Thursday, September 19, 2013

FDA Doesn't Want Public to Think that Cigarette Smoking is More Hazardous than Vaping

I hate to start another post with "Yes, you read that headline correctly," but indeed, you did read the headline correctly.

The FDA has acknowledged that it does not want the public to think that cigarette smoking is any more hazardous than using a non-tobacco e-cigarette.

According to an FDA spokeswoman, as quoted at WebMD: "We don't want the public to perceive them (e-cigarettes) as a safer alternative to cigarettes."

The Rest of the Story

Why in the world does the FDA want the public to think that cigarette smoking is no more hazardous than vaping?

Even the tobacco industry, in 2013, acknowledges that smoking is more harmful than vaping.

In fact, if a tobacco company made the very same assertion that the FDA is making, they would immediately be dragged back into Judge Kessler's courtroom and would have to issue yet another corrective statement.

To be sure, then, the FDA should be ordered to issue a corrective statement of its own. Here is my suggestion:

Proposed Corrective Statement #1: (for the FDA)
Corrective Statement for FDA's Deception Regarding the Relative Safety of Electronic Cigarettes Compared to Real Tobacco Cigarettes

We are being required to tell the truth about the safety of cigarettes compared to electronic cigarettes. We told you that electronic cigarettes were no safer than tobacco cigarettes, that we didn't want you to think that e-cigarettes were safer. But that was a lie. Here's the truth:

  • We found only trace levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in electronic cigarettes, comparable to those found in FDA-approved nicotine replacement products like nicotine patches and nicotine gum. In contrast, cigarettes have high levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines and pose a substantial cancer risk.
  • The levels of carcinogens we detected in electronic cigarettes are orders of magnitude lower than in regular cigarettes, indicating that electronic cigarettes are likely much safer than regular cigarettes in terms of cancer risk.
  • The minute levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in electronic cigarettes are a necessary result of the extraction of nicotine from tobacco. Overall, these devices deliver nicotine with only a few other chemicals, compared to the delivery of nicotine plus tens of thousands of chemicals and more than 60 proven carcinogens in regular cigarettes.
  • Recent studies have shown that in contrast to  smoking, e-cigarette use does not cause acute impairment of the coronary circulation. Thus, the risks of heart disease are likely to be much lower.
  • Smokers who switch to electronic cigarettes have been shown to have an immediate improvement in their respiratory symptoms. E-cigarettes almost certainly lower the risk of COPD compared to continued smoking.
Paid for by the Food and Drug Administration by order of The Rest of the Story.

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