Why would a representative of the American Lung Association (ALA) outright lie about Vaping and think that others would not notice? Well, it did get noticed and others are speaking up about the irreparable harm this will cause. False information coming from a public agency sets a bad precedence that can have long lasting effects.
The truth needs to be known, the Wisconsin branch of the (ALA) is lying about the risks of smoking and the director of tobacco control and public policy stated:
“There’s still a perception that e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes and so for some kids who never would have tried smoking cigarettes they get the idea this might be a safer alternative.” -Dona Wininsky from the Wisconsin chapter of the ALA in a recent interview on public radio.
In the past, the tobacco industry deceived the public in order to downplay the severe health effects of cigarette smoking caused. The ALA was formed in response and is supposed to be unbiased. However, with false statements like above, it appears this is no longer the case. Their statement says that e-cigarettes or vaping are no less harmful than regular cigarettes. This also means that cigarettes are no more dangerous than e-cigarettes or vaping. This is an outright lie that can harm the public and encourages people not change their smoking habits.
Dr. Stan Glantz, a respected scientist, is publicly challenging these reckless false statements. He has stated numerous times that e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes and that if a smoker switches to vaping only, they will experience an improvement in their health. This misinformation campaign is in fact, going to kill people he says.
He is also careful to point at that like the ALA, the push to keeps the youth from vaping and smoking is an important fight. He draws the line at outright deception and refused to lie in order to deter them from vaping. He rightfully states that the effect of downplaying the health hazards of smoking is that it will produce less deterrence to youth smoking.
Adults are also influenced by these statement. If smoking is claimed to be no different than vaping why would there be incentives to switch? Many lifelong smokers who can’t quit are caught in the middle and are confused when they look at vaping as an alternative. Statements like the one above is doing the public a disservice. The ALA should be promoting vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking.
In the UK vaping is endorsed by the health establishments as a viable harm reduction tool, and people are generally better informed as to the relative risk of smoking and vaping. Their stance is that long-term vaping is far safer than smoking. Research shows that former smokers using vaping only have shown a reduction of the toxic chemicals by 97% as compared with the levels of cigarette-only users.
Reducing toxic chemicals by up to 97% by vaping alone is the correct information smokers should be receiving from public health agencies. This will allow individuals to make informed choices that can help improve health and break the dependence on smoking. False statements hurt more the true ones because they get spread quickly and treated as fact. It takes significant effort to correct a false truth.
That is why the harm caused by this careless statement shouldn’t go unchallenged. It should cause others to rise up and speak in opposition. These lies lead to confusion for the general public and there needs to be a push for truth. This truth is clear and simple, vaping is less harmful than smoking. This is a something the ALA should be embracing but instead, they are picking up where the historical fraud and deception of the tobacco industry ended.