When the actual facts do not support their position, what do anti-vaping groups like Tobacco Free Amarillo do?
Quite simple ...
... they make up facts.
In other words, they lie.
Take, for example, Tobacco Free Amarillo's "fact sheet" on electronic cigarettes. According to this organization:
1. "As a result of widespread information about the dangers of tobacco and the increase in tobacco policies in the United States, the tobacco industry developed these new products, allowing consumption of nicotine without the use of a cigarette."
This statement is untrue. The tobacco industry did not develop e-cigarettes. These products were developed by independent companies that had nothing to do with Big Tobacco. In fact, electronic cigarettes were on the market for six years in the United States before any tobacco company entered the e-cigarette market. That occurred in 2012 when Lorillard acquired blu.
2. "While manufacturers state these products are safe alternatives to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are not inspected or regulated by the FDA, so consumers should question the safety of these products."
At very best, this statement is misleading. It is true that two or three of the hundreds of electronic cigarette companies have claimed that their products are safe. However, the overwhelming majority of companies, including the tobacco companies which market e-cigarettes, are making no such claims. Most companies simply claim that these products are safer than real cigarettes, which is undoubtedly true.
3. "The long-term health effects of e-cigarettes are not yet known, but short-term lung changes are similar to those caused by traditional cigarettes."
This statement is also untrue. Short-term lung changes are not similar to those caused by traditional cigarettes. In fact, most of the short-term lung changes observed with traditional cigarettes are not seen with e-cigarettes. Most importantly, while traditional cigarette smoking causes decrements in lung function (as measured by spirometry), the electronic cigarettes that have been tested do not. Several studies have shown that smokers who switch to electronic cigarettes experience dramatic improvement in their respiratory symptoms and marked improvement in their lung function.
The Rest of the Story
The rest of the story is that when the facts are not enough to support the e-cigarette demonizing position of anti-vaping organizations like Tobacco Free Amarillo, these organizations simply make up the "facts" in order to support their positions. In other words, they lie to the public in order to make e-cigarettes sound as dangerous as real ones.
But what they are doing, in effect, is making smoking seem only as hazardous as vaping. In other words, because of the statements of these anti-vaping groups, the public largely believes that smoking is only as hazardous as using a non-tobacco-containing product which involves no combustion and which has been shown to be much safer than tobacco cigarettes.
Thus, the effect of the campaign of deception that is being waged by anti-vaping groups is to undermine decades of progress in educating the public about the severe hazards of cigarette smoking.
Those with an interest in increasing cigarette sales could ask for no greater favor from these health groups. Unwittingly, and ironically, they have entered the realm of helping to protect cigarette profits by protecting cigarette sales from competition and by making sure that the cigarettes which smokers use are tobacco-full rather than tobacco-free. Thus, organization names like "Tobacco Free" Amarillo appear to be a misnomer. They are opposing, rather than supporting a transition from tobacco-full to tobacco-free cigarettes and from deadly combustible tobacco products to much safer tobacco-free products that have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.