Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Vaping Opponents Continue to Just Make Up the "Facts"

In apparent desperation because the actual facts do not support their vigorous opposition to vaping, anti-vaping advocates continue to simply make up the "facts" as they go along.

Just last week, a professor at Eastern Tennessee State University was quoted in an article in the Johnson City Press as stating that the increase in youth e-cigarette use means that vaping is bringing in new smokers.

According to the article: "Dr. Hadii Mamudu, an East Tennessee State University assistant professor in the school’s College of Public Health, is a world-wide recognized expert on this topic. One of his biggest evidence-based concerns, which have been somewhat addressed in the new regulations, pertain to the unsettling trend that more youth are taking to e-cigarette use, whereas they might not have come into tobacco use otherwise. “A North Carolina survey suggests that youth use rates increased from 1.1 percent to about 8 percent between just 2011 and 2013,” Mamudu said. “It’s very, very quick. And that’s troubling that it’s bringing in new smokers.” ... It’s partly generational, Mamudu said, and it’s frustrating that when tobacco experts were making progress against tobacco use in recent decades, e-cigarettes came along to cut into their gains."

The Rest of the Story

I am aware of no evidence that vaping is bringing in new smokers. What it is doing is bringing in new vapers. But there is no evidence that vaping is easing the transition to becoming a smoker. If anything, the evidence suggests the opposite. While e-cigarette use skyrockets, youth smoking has plummeted to its lowest historical level.

It is not even conceptually reasonable to suggest that e-cigarette use brings in new smokers. The e-cigarettes that youth are using are heavily flavored products and after getting used to the sweet and tasty flavorings, it is difficult to imagine that a youth would then find a Marlboro attractive. The truth is that youth who really do take up vaping are likely going to find it much more difficult to transition to smoking.

But the lack of evidence - either empirical or conceptual - is not stopping vaping opponents from simply making up the facts as they go along. Apparently, the truth is not enough to support their vigorous opposition to vaping. When the truth is not on your side, your only resort is to manufacture, make up, or distort the facts to support your position.

There is another possibility as well. It is possible that when he says that e-cigarettes are bringing in new smokers, the professor means that vapers are smokers - in other words, that vaping is a form of smoking. But that is obviously false, as vaping involves no combustion, produces no smoke, and does not even involve the use of tobacco.

Either way, anti-vaping advocates continue to intentionally mislead and deceive the public. It is unfortunate that vapers cannot trust tobacco control and health groups to provide accurate information. They can't even trust national health agencies like the CDC and FDA. The only place they can turn for accurate information is to the vaping community itself.

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