Thursday, February 04, 2016

American Lung Association Gives Middle Finger to Vapers Who Have Quit or are Trying to Quit Smoking

According to a statement published by the American Lung Association (ALA): "the Lung Association does not support using them for cessation, nor does it support any direct or implied claims that e-cigarettes help smokers quit."

Elsewhere, the ALA states: "The American Lung Association is troubled about unproven claims that e-cigarettes can be used to help smokers quit."

In addition, the ALA attacked Leonardo DiCaprio for vaping at the Screen Actors Guild awards, stating that his vaping was "deeply troubling."

The Rest of the Story

What is "deeply troubling" is the fact that the American Lung Association is giving the middle finger to vapers who have quit smoking successfully using electronic cigarettes and who are attempting to quit smoking using these products.

Why would an organization that is supposedly interested in protecting the respiratory health of the population condemn people who are taking action to protect their health and save their lives? It makes no sense.

It would be one thing for the American Lung Association to state that the scientific evidence does not make it clear exactly how effective e-cigarettes are for smoking cessation. But it is another thing for the organization to state that it does not support the use of these products for cessation. The simple fact is that hundreds of thousands of smokers have successfully used e-cigarettes to quit smoking. We know this from the very data which the ALA is citing in arguing that 80% of adult e-cigarette users are dual users (this means that approximately 20% of e-cigarette users have quit smoking using e-cigarettes). Even using the conservative figures that only 5% of smokers are vaping, and only 10% of these smokers have switched completely, this implies that more than 200,000 smokers in the U.S. have quit smoking using e-cigarettes.

This makes it ridiculous for the ALA to complain about the "unproven claims" that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking. There are hundreds of thousands of vapers who can attest to the fact that these claims are accurate. The ALA apparently has so much scorn for vapers that their real-life experiences don't matter.

By condemning Leonardo DiCaprio for vaping, what the ALA is essentially saying is that they would rather that he remain a smoker. Because clearly the choice he made was between continuing to smoke, which he has done heavily since a young age, and trying to quit by turning to vaping. This is an admirable decision which could well save his life. Does the ALA want DiCaprio to be the next in a long line of Hollywood actors who die from smoking-related disease? Sadly, that is what is implied in the ALA's condemnation of DiCaprio's decision to turn to vaping in an attempt to quit smoking once and for all.

Sticking their middle finger up at DiCaprio and hundreds of thousands of others who are trying to quit smoking using these novel products is not only a tremendous insult to them, but it undermines the supposed mission of the American Lung Association. The ALA should be overjoyed that so many smokers have quit using e-cigarettes and that so many people, including prominent actors, are setting an example by making attempts to quit smoking because of the availability of vaping products.

In contrast to the American Lung Association, I do not find DiCaprio's attempt to quit smoking to be deeply troubling. I find it to be admirable and courageous. I applaud him and the hundreds of thousands of vapers out there who have defied the ALA's recommendation and decided that it was time to protect their health and save their lives by switching to vaping.

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