Health groups slay vaping with faint praise

To paraphrase Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, highly respected health groups have come to bury vaping, not to praise this recognized harm-reduction tool that helps people stop smoking combustible cigarettes.

By ignoring overwhelming evidence of the benefits of ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems), this abrogation of the health groups' responsibility to maximize public health is peculiar, indeed, particularly when recognizing that the United Kingdom is calling for a change in national policy after acknowledging that vaping is an important tool for smoking cessation.

Vapor prohibitionists include the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Truth Initiative (formerly the American Legacy Foundation), myriad medical societies, and multiple national (FDA and NCI) and state-local (notably city-level) governmental entities.

Instead of speculating regarding motives, it is necessary to confront their reticence to embrace ENDS, notwithstanding their classic "more research regarding electronic-cigarettes is needed" disclaimer.

Just like Brutus, these are "honorable" organizations that must be outed...by invoking their own assertions.

Throughout, remember that ENDS constitute non-combustion vaping rather than "smoking."  Disinformation campaigns have adversely affected public knowledge, for most people falsely believe that e-cigs are no healthier than traditional ones, notwithstanding the milestone achievements of tobacco control advocates during the past half-century, for, in America, the smoking rate has hit a new low (16%).

For example, The ACS's newly published policy statement has been portrayed positively because it acknowledges that ENDS reduce harm, but its oxymoronic proposed interventions reflect intransigence to altering its prior counterproductive activism.

Indeed, it falsely claims that combustible tobacco product use causes "up to 98% of tobacco-related deaths" (suggesting that other entities such as ENDS could also be culpable) when cigarette smoking actually causes >99% of tobacco-attributable morbidity, mortality, and health care costs.

This is not an insignificant oversight, since it presages the ACS's ongoing refusal to alter its initiatives to sue the FDA to ban all vapor product sales on 8/8/2018 (rather than 8/8/2022) and to lobby for:

1) the FDA to ban flavored vapor products (but not the deadliest flavoring, menthol), along with dozens of organizations;

2) taxing vaping products;

3) banning vaping in all workplaces; and

4) forcing taxpayers and insurers to subsidize only Big Pharma's smoking cessation products (including those that carry greater risks than do ENDS).

Lest there be any doubt about the ACS's not so subliminal messaging that inexplicably undermines the belatedly recognized utility of risk reduction, note that the ACS counsels inter alia:

1) against sustained dual use of both ENDS and combustibles) and

2) for raising the minimum age for sale and promotion of all tobacco products, including ENDS, to age 21 years.

In what can be seen only as information suppression, ACS even removed a website that invited the public to share "quit smoking" success stories after 95% of the respondents claimed they had quit through vaping.  This recalls a grassroots petition seeking to rein in Obama's war on vaping.

Essentially, the ACS tweaked its anti-tobacco positions while still lobbying to ban ENDS, a seemingly indefensible posture endorsed by isolated activists and opposed by cogent scientists such as at the American Council on Science and Health.

To the contrary, as per our prior generic overview and scientific analysis, vaping should be lionized as the most effective risk-reduction and smoking-cessation technique.

Again, quoting Marc Antony: These health groups have "lost their reason."

Robert Sklaroff, M.D., medical oncologist, and Stephen F. Gambescia, Ph.D., professor at Drexel University, have been active tobacco control advocates at the local, state, and national levels for 35 years. 

To paraphrase Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, highly respected health groups have come to bury vaping, not to praise this recognized harm-reduction tool that helps people stop smoking combustible cigarettes.

By ignoring overwhelming evidence of the benefits of ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems), this abrogation of the health groups' responsibility to maximize public health is peculiar, indeed, particularly when recognizing that the United Kingdom is calling for a change in national policy after acknowledging that vaping is an important tool for smoking cessation.

Vapor prohibitionists include the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Truth Initiative (formerly the American Legacy Foundation), myriad medical societies, and multiple national (FDA and NCI) and state-local (notably city-level) governmental entities.

Instead of speculating regarding motives, it is necessary to confront their reticence to embrace ENDS, notwithstanding their classic "more research regarding electronic-cigarettes is needed" disclaimer.

Just like Brutus, these are "honorable" organizations that must be outed...by invoking their own assertions.

Throughout, remember that ENDS constitute non-combustion vaping rather than "smoking."  Disinformation campaigns have adversely affected public knowledge, for most people falsely believe that e-cigs are no healthier than traditional ones, notwithstanding the milestone achievements of tobacco control advocates during the past half-century, for, in America, the smoking rate has hit a new low (16%).

For example, The ACS's newly published policy statement has been portrayed positively because it acknowledges that ENDS reduce harm, but its oxymoronic proposed interventions reflect intransigence to altering its prior counterproductive activism.

Indeed, it falsely claims that combustible tobacco product use causes "up to 98% of tobacco-related deaths" (suggesting that other entities such as ENDS could also be culpable) when cigarette smoking actually causes >99% of tobacco-attributable morbidity, mortality, and health care costs.

This is not an insignificant oversight, since it presages the ACS's ongoing refusal to alter its initiatives to sue the FDA to ban all vapor product sales on 8/8/2018 (rather than 8/8/2022) and to lobby for:

1) the FDA to ban flavored vapor products (but not the deadliest flavoring, menthol), along with dozens of organizations;

2) taxing vaping products;

3) banning vaping in all workplaces; and

4) forcing taxpayers and insurers to subsidize only Big Pharma's smoking cessation products (including those that carry greater risks than do ENDS).

Lest there be any doubt about the ACS's not so subliminal messaging that inexplicably undermines the belatedly recognized utility of risk reduction, note that the ACS counsels inter alia:

1) against sustained dual use of both ENDS and combustibles) and

2) for raising the minimum age for sale and promotion of all tobacco products, including ENDS, to age 21 years.

In what can be seen only as information suppression, ACS even removed a website that invited the public to share "quit smoking" success stories after 95% of the respondents claimed they had quit through vaping.  This recalls a grassroots petition seeking to rein in Obama's war on vaping.

Essentially, the ACS tweaked its anti-tobacco positions while still lobbying to ban ENDS, a seemingly indefensible posture endorsed by isolated activists and opposed by cogent scientists such as at the American Council on Science and Health.

To the contrary, as per our prior generic overview and scientific analysis, vaping should be lionized as the most effective risk-reduction and smoking-cessation technique.

Again, quoting Marc Antony: These health groups have "lost their reason."

Robert Sklaroff, M.D., medical oncologist, and Stephen F. Gambescia, Ph.D., professor at Drexel University, have been active tobacco control advocates at the local, state, and national levels for 35 years.