Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CDC Refuses to Ask Critical Survey Question So that Results Don't Foul Up Its Attack on E-Cigarettes

Since 2012, the CDC has known that past 30 day use of electronic cigarettes has been increasing dramatically among youth. This makes it essential for the agency to determine whether these kids are becoming addicted to vaping or whether they are merely experimenting with e-cigarettes on an occasional basis. So you would figure that the CDC would add a question to find out exactly how often youths are using e-cigarettes.

The CDC has failed to ask that question, and the only reason I can see for this glaring omission is that the agency doesn't want to find out that few youths are actually addicted to vaping because it would destroy CDC's propaganda about e-cigarettes being a gateway to smoking, addiction, and serious brain damage.

In the UK, however, they are not afraid to ask this question. In both 2013 and 2014, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH-UK) has asked youth not merely whether they used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, but whether they use them regularly (more than once per week). The answer will astound you.

The Rest of the Story

ASH-UK found that among nonsmoking youth, all use of e-cigarettes was mere experimentation. There was zero (0) regular use of e-cigarettes (defined as using e-cigarettes more than once per week) (data presented by Martin Dockrell, Tobacco Control Programme Lead of Public Health England, at the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health). The only regular use of e-cigarettes was observed among current and former smokers.

These data suggest that CDC's gateway hypothesis may be incorrect and that e-cigarette experimentation is not leading to nicotine addiction and then to cigarette smoking. Instead, it appears that e-cigarette experimentation is not leading to anything other than e-cigarette experimentation (and perhaps diversion away from regular tobacco cigarettes, since these experimenters are largely kids who are at risk for smoking).

The CDC doesn't ask the same question. The answer would most likely ruin the agency's story about how e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking, to nicotine addiction, and to brain damage.

Thus, in my opinion, CDC is misleading the public not only through its outright lies, dishonesty, and deception about e-cigarettes, but also by its failure to ask the right questions to actually test its pre-determined conclusions. Perhaps it's not surprising that CDC shows no interest in testing those conclusions. The answer might destroy the e-cigarette myths that the agency is trying to create.

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