In a recent interview, Dr. Mark Tyndall blasts the FDA over how they’re handling the regulation of e-cigarettes.
The public perception of vaping seems to change with every new report or condemnation by a misinformed public official. It appears the majority of the public are perfectly content believing whatever the government tells them. Because of this, vaping regulations tend to be entirely different depending on where you find yourself. In America, the FDA has been at the forefront of this battle, continually fighting to implement crippling regulations on the harm reduction and smoking cessation tools. At least one respected expert has had enough, as Dr. Mark Tyndall recently called out the FDA for what he sees as a significant overstatement of the likely dangers.
The case made by Dr. Tyndall is the same as by countless others. He believes vaping could represent a significant breakthrough in our fight against tobacco if only public health officials adequately supported them. The vaping community has applauded the interview for telling things the way they are, while anti-vapers remain unconvinced e-cigarettes have any good to offer. Regardless, this is a significant victory for vapers everywhere, as it proves once again the FDA cannot simply spread misinformation without it being called out by many respected doctors.
It was during a recent interview with Brent Stafford of Regulator Watch in which Dr. Mark Tyndall made the case against what he sees as a serious overblowing of the facts by the FDA. In fact, he was refreshingly candid about his position, and why he believes the FDA continues with their misguided plans. The former Director of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control covered several topics, including how we got here, what comes next, and what we can do to make things better. He started by discussing the impact of the media on public perception of vaping, arguing news outlets overstate the potential harm of vaping while failing to properly express how much help they could provide current smokers.
The result of this campaign of misinformation is clear. During the interview, Dr. Tyndall talked about an experience he had with a smoker earlier that day. According to the interview, he came across a woman in her 50s who was smoking a cigarette. He asked her why she is still smoking when she could be vaping, and her response was quite telling. She said she wanted to avoid the chemicals found in vaping products, indicating she only smokes 100% additive free tobacco, so there isn’t any extra danger or chemicals. The fact is, whether or not they have additional additives, smoking cigarettes is still one of the absolute most dangerous things you can do to your long-term health. It’s clear we have more work to do if even our 50-year-olds mistakenly believe smoking is in any way less dangerous than vaping. He finished his discussion of vaping with a simple plea to the youth, “For God’s sake. Don’t try cigarettes.”
What The Data Says
Understanding where Dr. Tyndall is coming from isn’t that hard once you take a look at the peer-reviewed evidence we have. For starters, concerns over the so-called teenage vaping “epidemic” have been shown to be quite overblown by the FDA and media. A report of over 60,000 teens by Action on Smoking and Health concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up vaporizers regularly. This means far fewer are ever ending up a smoker because of an e-cigarette. The reason for this may be explainable as well. A report by researchers at the University of Louisville wanted to test all the most common smoking cessation methods and aids to determine the most effective. After all their testing and analyzing, the team concluded not only is vaping an effective smoking cessation tool, but it’s actually more likely to succeed than anything else, including prescription drugs.
Things only get more impressive when you turn your attention to the harm reduction value of vaporizers. A report published by Public Health England back in 2015 found that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. While that report made waves at the time, these days we have plenty of research like it. In fact, only a few months ago we got another report which found the toxicants in vapor are about 93% lower than in smoking. But the most critical finding was easily the report published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is about 57,000 times lower than a smoker with a similar background.
Dr. Tyndall has zeroed in on a significant problem for the vaping industry, rampant misinformation. This issue is at the root of many of the most significant challenges, and we can’t move forward until we deal with them. The fewer smokers who understand what they stand to gain by making the switch to vaping, the harder it will be to keep protecting our rights. Alternatively, if more people knew precisely what’s at stake, it would be the most significant thing we can do to ensure our rights moving forward. That’s why we simply must do all we can right now to prove to the smokers in our lives that switching to vaping is the right choice.
What are your thoughts on the misinformation surrounding vaping? How can we do a better job of supporting vaping? Does it matter if we teach non-smokers about the value of vaping as well? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.