The American Council on Science and Health recently published an Op-Ed which goes after the CDC for a so-called “crusade” against vaping.
The fight over how to regulate vaping has been ongoing for almost as long as modern vaporizers have been on the market. But as this debate wages on, traditional smoking still kills more people every year than any other preventable cause. This adds to the pressure on legislators to figure out the proper way to handle e-cigarettes, with both sides increasingly dug in on their views. Those in support of vaping point to a growing pile of peer-reviewed evidence which strongly suggests vaping has a lot of harm reduction and smoking cessation value to offer. Critics remain skeptical about these benefits, with most feeling the more significant issue is the unintended impact on teens.
Luckily, a respected institution is calling out the CDC for exacerbating the already rampant misinformation circulating about e-cigarettes. The American Council on Science and Health is well known in the health community as a long-standing non-profit advocacy group who’s weighed in on a wide range of topics over the years. They’ve built a reputation for being a fair and unbiased voice in healthcare advocacy. While they’ve remained quiet on vaping up until now, they recently published an Op-Ed aimed at the CDC for going on a “crusade” against the vaping industry.
The New Report
The American Council on Science and Health is made up of many of the world’s top scientists, all working toward goals in important health sub-fields. As you can imagine, tobacco control is one of the more significant issues they work on, giving them quite a bit of sway in policymaking. Their feelings on the state of vaping research and advocacy were made clear in the opinion piece published earlier this month. Their main focus is on how the CDC and others purposefully attempt to blur the lines between vaping and smoking to make it easier to pass harsh regulations. Making matters worse, they believe this is happening in spite of the clear harm reduction and smoking cessation value e-cigarettes provide.
The ACSH also discussed how fear over a teenage vaping “epidemic” is fueling further misinformation and ultimately leading to fewer smokers quitting cigarettes. Despite statistics which prove teenage smoking has continued to plummet alongside the rapid growth of vaping, many legislators and parents are convinced vaping is leading their teen into a life of smoking. While vaping presents a unique challenge for policymakers, the ACSH implores them to weigh their options carefully, “Recreational use should be discouraged, and policies should be in place to prevent them from falling into the hands of teenagers. But the exaggerated hype and fear surrounding e-cigarettes runs the very real risk of undermining a valuable public health tool.”
Is Vaping Worth It?
In addition to the research which shows teenage smoking dropping alongside the growth of vaping, we also have other evidence which suggests the teenage vaping “epidemic” is being overblown. A report of over 60,000 teens conducted by Action on Smoking and Health concluded that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are vaping on a regular basis; Meaning even fewer are ever even picking up a cigarette at all. We also have evidence which suggests not only is vaping a useful smoking cessation tool, but it may actually be the single most effective device we currently have at our disposal.
The value is just as apparent when looking at how much safer they are than smoking. A report published in December concluded that e-liquid vapor contains around 93% fewer toxicants than cigarette smoke, but don’t think this is the first time we’ve gotten numbers like that. In fact, we’ve consistently found similar numbers since Public Health England first published their report back in 2015 which found e-cigarettes to be at least 95% safer than smoking. Even more impressive is the report published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
Stories like this are becoming increasingly common as people get fed up with the misinformation and lies coming out of federal health agencies. While vaping isn’t harmless, we have plenty of peer-reviewed evidence which supports the invaluable smoking cessation and harm reduction value of vaping. We should be happy to see a momentum shift like this, as it means it’s getting harder to deny the benefits of vaping. But that means it’s as important now as ever that we each do everything we can to teach the smokers in our lives about what vaping can offer them. The best way to protect our rights is to continue to uncover the blatant misinformation spread by the CDC and FDA.
Do you think it’s a good thing another respected institution is backing vaping? What do you think is the most critical part of vaping? Should we be holding the CDC and FDA accountable for spreading misinformation? 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.