Thursday, August 01, 2013

PolitiFact Rhode Island Exposes Anti-Smoking Advocates' Lies

In a PolitiFact Rhode Island expose published in the Providence Journal, the lies of many anti-smoking advocates who oppose electronic cigarettes have been exposed. Specifically, many anti-smoking advocates have argued that smokers should not quit using e-cigarettes because "we have no idea what is in them." PolitiFact's "Truth-O-Meter" scored this claim as FALSE.

According to the expose: "As PolitiFact Rhode Island listened during a July 1, 2013 discussion of legislation on electronic cigarettes, a categorical remark by a state representative caught our attention. Rep. Teresa Tanzi, D-South Kingstown, declared, "We have no idea what is contained in that vapor" when an e-cigarette is used. Is there really no information available to the public, as she seemed to suggest?"

"Our exploration of her statement took us into the world of "vaping" -- the act of using an e-cigarette. ... It didn’t take us long to discover that, despite Tanzi’s assertion, there have been numerous scientific studies about the content of e-cigarette vapors. One of the leading voices in the national tug-of-war over e-cigarettes is Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Health, and a Brown University graduate. He co-authored a definitive academic paper in 2010 in the peer-reviewed Journal of Public Health Policy that reviewed the available science on e-cigarettes. He cited 16 studies, most of them sponsored by the industry, but all conducted by independent laboratories." ...  

"Our ruling - State Rep. Teresa Tanzi said, "We have no idea what is contained in [electronic cigarette] vapor." But we found that numerous studies have identified the primary components of the vapor. ... The judges rule her claim False."

The Rest of the Story

Hopefully this will put to bed forever the common lie being spread by many anti-smoking advocates that we have no idea what is in an electronic cigarette (either the cartridge or the vapor). This misinformation has been spread by a number of anti-smoking groups and advocates, as I have documented in The Rest of the Story over the past months.

The rest of the story is that the anti-smoking movement's electronic cigarette playbook is a lie. It is simply not true that we really don't know what the ingredients in electronic cigarettes are. And it is also not true that we have no idea what chemicals are contained in electronic cigarette vapor. In fact, we have a far more precise idea of what is in electronic cigarette vapor than we do of what is in cigarette smoke.

But it appears that these anti-smoking groups (a misnomer, as Bill Godshall astutely points out) would rather that smokers continue to take their chances with the known hazards of smoking than switch to the much safer personal vaporizers.

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