Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Washington State Health Director Corrects Statement about Electronic Cigarettes; Hopefully Other Health Officials Will Show the Same Integrity

Today, I applaud Dr. John Wiesman - Secretary of the Department of Health for the state of Washington - for his immediate correction of his statement which I noted yesterday.

As I wrote yesterday, in a press release issued last week by Washington governor Jay Inslee, the state's Secretary of Health (Dr. John Wiesman) was quoted as stating that active smoking is no more hazardous than vaping. The press release quoted Dr. Wiesman as follows: "This is an urgent health concern that must be immediately addressed. Many kids believe e-cigarettes are safer, but scientific evidence suggests they are not."

Apparently, immediately after becoming aware of my critique of this statement, Dr. Wiesman corrected it. The statement now reads: "This is an urgent health concern that must be immediately addressed. Many kids believe e-cigarettes are safe, but scientific evidence suggests they are not."

By changing "safer" to "safe," the statement has been corrected because it is indeed true that electronic cigarettes are not safe in an absolute sense.

The Rest of the Story 

I applaud Dr. Wiesman for his immediate response and correction. This demonstrates tremendous scientific integrity, and I greatly respect him for that.

Anyone can make mistakes (I have made plenty), but a willingness to correct such mistakes is what is most important.

Now, I hope that the other anti-smoking and health groups which have made false or misleading statements about electronic cigarettes will correct those statements. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to occur, as while Dr. Wiesman merely made a mistake, the misleading statements by many other health groups are part of a deliberate campaign to demonize e-cigarettes. 

1 comment:

Blogger said...

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