Thursday, August 29, 2019

Why is the American Lung Association More Interested in Demonizing Electronic Cigarettes than Saving Kids' Lives?

In response to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's warning that the spike in vaping-related lung disease among young people appears to be largely associated with counterfeit e-liquid products, especially THC oils, the American Lung Association contradicted Dr. Gottlieb and tried to cast the blame on traditional nicotine-containing e-cigarettes instead.

The spokesperson for the American Lung Association was quoted as saying: "With all due respect to former FDA Commissioner Gottlieb, I think it's too soon to speculate about the cause or the reason why we're seeing this ... I firmly believe that had FDA not delayed the oversight of these products in July of 2017 that we would be in a much different position than we are today. ... The tobacco industry has long been happy to place fingers when there have been issues of counterfeit cigarettes … The bottom line is that e-cigarettes are not safe, and from the American Lung Association’s perspective, no one should be using e-cigarettes."

The Rest of the Story

Alas, the truth is revealed. At the end of the day, the American Lung Association's chief aim is to demonize e-cigarettes and anyone who is using them.

What's astounding to me is that the American Lung Association is actually undermining Dr. Gottlieb's warning to the public to avoid vaping THC oils and counterfeit e-liquids purchased off the street. Moreover, Dr. Gottlieb is not "speculating." At least five different health departments and the CDC itself have stated that many of the reported cases appear to be associated with the use of THC oils purchased off the street. We don't need to wait until there is absolute certainty about the cause of every single case. There is enough information to warn people not to use THC oils or any e-liquids purchased from unlicensed sellers or pop-up shops. That's exactly what Dr. Gottlieb was doing and it's deplorable that the American Lung Association would attempt to undermine his warning just to get in a jab against vapers.

Seriously, it's very clear to me that the American Lung Association truly hates vapers and wishes them nothing but the worst. It's almost as if they are hoping that the cases end up being tied to traditional vaping products so they can say "We told you so."

Ironically, while the American Lung Association castigated Dr. Gottlieb for jumping to conclusions, it then proceeded to jump to conclusions itself, asserting that the cause of these cases is the failure of the FDA to implement the pre-market tobacco application requirement. But that presupposes that the cases are due to e-liquids being manufactured by legitimate companies that would be complying with the FDA regulations. If the cause of many or most of these cases is THC oils, then those wouldn't be subject to FDA regulation in the first place. The ALA's statement is essentially concluding that the THC oils are not a major cause. This is irresponsible and dangerous and threatens the health and lives of the nation's young people.

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