According to a press release issued Monday, the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center testified before the state legislature that smoking is no more harmful than vaping.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The University of Kentucky Cancer Center apparently testified that smoking - which kills 400,000 people each year in the U.S. - is no more hazardous than vaping, which involves no tobacco and no combustion and merely involves the vaporization of nicotine from a solution containing propylene glycol and glycerin.
According to the press release, which appears to have been issued by Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program, the University of Kentucky Cancer Center director - Dr. Mark Evers - told a state legislative panel that e-cigarettes may be "every bit as dangerous" as smoking tobacco.
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Let's be very straight about this: if the tobacco companies said exactly the same thing before the legislature, they would probably be facing criminal charges for perjury, as well as civil liability charges for fraud.
For any tobacco company to defraud the American public by undermining the health consequences of smoking by stating that they are no more harmful than electronic cigarettes would be unheard of in 2013, and no tobacco company would ever do such a thing. They wouldn't be caught dead making such an outright lie.
Apparently, this is not so for the University of Kentucky Cancer Center, which stepped into territory that used to be occupied by Big Tobacco, lying before a state legislative panel, asserting that vaping is every bit as dangerous as smoking.
Even the tobacco companies agree that smoking is more hazardous than vaping. I don't understand how any scientist, especially a physician at a cancer center, could downplay the hazards of smoking so much as to suggest that they are no more harmful than a product that contains no tobacco and involves no combustion.
What is it about electronic cigarettes that causes its opponents to consistently lie to the public and make up scientific data to support their opposition? My guess is that the evidence is simply too strong for them to confront directly and honestly. Why else the need to resort to lying or misleading the public?