“I’m publicly calling on Commissioner Gottlieb to ensure the ban on kid-friendly e-cig flavors is enacted within the month before he leaves. Because a ban on the kid-friendly flavors is in the pipeline. Now with him leaving, it’s in jeopardy,” said Schumer.
The senator held up a picture of flavored e-cig packages and said: “Look at these flavors, do you think these flavors are aimed at adults?” Sadly he went on to wrongly state that youth tobacco use has reached its highest level in years, and attributed this to an increase in vaping.
Has vaping halted the drop in smoking rates?
“From a public health perspective, a situation in which 20 percent of high school students are vaping while 8 percent are smoking is vastly preferable to a situation in which 0 percent are vaping and 29 percent are smoking (as the NYTS found in 1999).”
In line with the senator’s arguments, last month a CDC spokesperson claimed that the introduction of vaping products in the US, has halted the progress in the declining smoking rates which began in the 90’s.
“We were making progress, and now you have the introduction of a product that is heavily popular among youth that has completely erased that progress,” said CDC spokesman Brian King, referring to a CDC study published this week, indicating that tobacco use was about as common among high school students last year, as it was in 2017.
The problem with this study? The “progress” King is referring to has been “erased” only if you count vaping as tobacco use, and ignore the big difference in health hazards between the two forms of nicotine consumption. Last year Public Health England (PHE), released findings from an e-cigarette review that was conducted by leading independent tobacco experts, and updated the organization’s 2015 vaping report, confirming that that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.
Meanwhile, a recent article on Reason, rightly pointed out that the CDC on the other hand, an organization supposed to be striving to minimize morbidity and mortality by applying harm reduction measures, seems to totally ignore these figures. “The CDC, notwithstanding its supposed focus on minimizing morbidity and mortality, habitually obscures these important distinctions.”
The increase in vaping is positive for public health
In line with what many public health experts keep pointing out, the piece explains that if more people are vaping and as a result less people are smoking, given the relative safety of the devices, this is a victory for public health. “From a public health perspective, a situation in which 20 percent of high school students are vaping while 8 percent are smoking is vastly preferable to a situation in which 0 percent are vaping and 29 percent are smoking (as the NYTS found in 1999).”
In fact, the government-sponsored survey, the Monitoring the Future Study, which also detected a big increase in vaping last year, shows a continuing decline in past-month smoking among 12th-graders and past-month drop in cigarette smoking also amongst 10th-graders, although it ticked upward among eighth-graders (from 1.9 percent in 2017 to 2.2 percent in 2018).
Read Further: New York Post