Thursday, April 02, 2015

March E-Cigarette Madness: Semifinal Results for Worst E-Cigarette Lie

Today, I reveal the semifinalists for the 2015 Rest of the Story Worst E-Cigarette Lie Championship. The champion will be revealed next week. Criteria for selection included: (1) the extent of the misinformation provided to the public about e-cigarettes; and (2) the amount of probable damage to the public's health resulting by the misinformation. See my previous post for a full description of the Elite Eight organizations that made it to the quarterfinals.

The semifinal matchups were as follows:


1. California Department of Health Services vs. Mayo Clinic

2. CDC vs. FDA

Here are the relevant statements (lies) of each semifinalist 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."

Mayo Clinic: The Mayo Clinic stated that: "with nicotine inhalers you receive only nicotine." Even the arch-enemy of electronic cigarettes - Dr. Stanton Glantz - has acknowledged that nicotine inhalers deliver to users the following chemicals: Formaldehyde; Acetaldehyde; o-methylbenzene; Cadmium; Nickel; and Lead. In fact, I have shown that nicotine inhalers actually deliver higher amounts of six carcinogens than electronic cigarettes. The Mayo Clinic also stated that: "No studies have been done to examine the safety of e-cigarettes." However, there have been many studies that examined the safety of electronic 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."

FDA: The FDA stated, in its proposed deeming regulations: "Many consumers believe that e-cigarettes are "safe" tobacco products or are "safer" than cigarettes. FDA has not made such a determination and conclusive research is not available." That the FDA is not sure whether smoking is any more hazardous than vaping does not say a lot for the agency's scientific standards.

 1. California Department of Health Services vs. Mayo Clinic

The California Department of Health Services wins in a blowout. Buoyed up by further lies coming out of the state health department, the team was in rare form. The Department's web site is full of lies, including the whopper that e-cigarettes are no healthier than regular cigarettes. Other web site lies include the insinuation  that e-cigarettes are actually more harmful than regular cigarettes because they contain more particles, that vaping causes asthma attacks, that e-cigarettes cause heart attacks, that vaping causes as much lung inflammation as smoking, and that nicotine is as addictive as heroin. In addition, the Department is running a campaign to keep smokers from quitting by switching to electronic cigarettes.

2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vs. the Food and Drug Administration

In a close contest, CDC defeats the FDA. This was a tightly contested battle, and the CDC only pulled ahead in the final minutes. The CDC's lies about e-cigarettes being a gateway to smoking have had such a huge impact on public policy throughout the nation that CDC pulled away with the victory.


California Department of Health Services vs. CDC

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