Monday, April 06, 2015

March E-Cigarette Madness: CDC Wins National Championship for Worst E-Cigarette Lie

The national championship for worst e-cigarette lie was held between CDC and the California Department of Health Services.

Here are the relevant statements (lies) of each finalist organization:

California Department of Health Services: The California Department of Health Services (CDHS), under a grant funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), produced a brochure entitled "Protect Your Family from E-Cigarettes: The Facts You Need to Know," which claimed that: (1) "E-cigarettes are just as addictive as regular cigarettes" and (2) "Studies show that e-cigarettes do not help people quit smoking cigarettes."

CDC: The CDC misrepresented cross-sectional CDC survey data as conclusive evidence that electronic cigarettes are a gateway to smoking. Specifically, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden stated: "Use of e-cigarettes in youth doubled just in the past year, and many kids are starting out with e-cigarettes and then going on to smoke conventional cigarettes." In addition, Dr. Frieden was quoted as stating that electronic cigarettes are "condemning many kids to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine."

While it was a closely contested match, the CDC pulled out the victory because the damage caused by its lies are likely to be much greater than those of the California state health department. Some of the lies from the state health department are so blatant that no one will actually believe them. However, the CDC's lies about e-cigarettes being a gateway to smoking have been widely accepted and repeated by local health departments and policy makers and are already serving as the basis for some local policies. Moreover, the CDC's lies are potentially devastating to the e-cigarette industry because if these statements were true, then it would be difficult, if not impossible, to show that e-cigarettes will have a net benefit for the public's health, and therefore, no e-cigarette pre-market applications could be approved. The effect of CDC's lies, if they are accepted as truth, could therefore be the complete destruction of the e-cigarette market. That would have a severe detrimental effect on the public's health, and it brought the CDC the championship trophy.

THE NATIONAL CHAMPION for Worst E-Cigarette Lie:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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