Wednesday, October 14, 2015

CDC Continues to Mislead the Public by Classifying E-Cigarettes as Tobacco Products and Not Admitting that They Contain No Tobacco

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to mislead the public by classifying electronic cigarettes as tobacco products and by failing to inform the public that electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco. In yet another MMWR article on "tobacco product" use, the CDC includes electronic cigarettes in the category of tobacco products, along with five other products which actually do contain tobacco: cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookah tobacco, cigars, and pipe tobacco. At the same time, the article fails to disclose the fact that electronic cigarettes, unlike any of these other five products, do not contain any tobacco.

The Rest of the Story

The CDC is misleading the public by failing to tell the truth about electronic cigarettes. These products do not contain tobacco and therefore should not be classified as tobacco products in epidemiologic studies such as the one reported above by the CDC. Moreover, the CDC should disclose the important fact that e-cigarettes contain no tobacco.

In fact, I can find no article anywhere on the CDC web site where the agency acknowledges that e-cigarettes contain no tobacco. Even it its fact sheet of vital information about e-cigarettes, the CDC omits the vital fact that these products do not contain tobacco.

It truly appears that the CDC is intentionally hiding from the public the important fact that e-cigarettes contain no tobacco. The apparent motive is to demonize electronic cigarettes by making them appear much more hazardous than they really are. Moreover, by equating e-cigarette use and smoking, the CDC is misleading the public into thinking that e-cigarettes really don't offer any health advantage over smoking. This is devastatingly damaging information, and it is irresponsible for the CDC to be engaging in such an unethical communication campaign.

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