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US Sen. Dick Durbin publishes an op-ed claiming that “vaping targets kids.”

WASHINGTON — Vaping opponent Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat representing Illinois, just published an opinion editorial for CNBC.com recycling the claims that vaping directly targets kids.

The opinion editorial, published on Thursday, October 21, 2021, argues that the US Food and Drug Administration’s recent PMTA approval of its Vuse tobacco-flavored closed system e-cigarette “raises alarms and may pave the way for other addictive products to remain on the market, such as Juul [devices] and the Puff bar.”

“This recent authorization raises alarms and may pave the way for other addictive products to remain on the market, such as Juul and Puff Bar,” argues Sen. Durbin in his op-ed. “That would be a dangerous decision for the future of public health in America.”

“I’m familiar with Big Tobacco’s playbook,” Sen. Durbin said, using talking points that aren’t even true. “Their business model has been painfully clear for decades: create an addictive product, lie about its health impacts, and target kids with ads. Finally, when the public learns the truth, Big Tobacco tries to reinvent with new, “less harmful,” and “cutting edge” nicotine products.”

Sen. Durbin, who is notorious for his blind followership of the tobacco control establishment, continues in his column to say that Americans should support the so-called settled science related to the impacts of e-cigarettes and vaping devices. The senator, however, is hypocritical. He completely dismisses the growing science supporting tobacco harm reduction and risk-reduced tobacco and nicotine products like vapes and oral pouches.

“No tobacco company — and certainly not the minds behind Joe Camel —has been a responsible public steward of its product, so the fact that the FDA placed so much trust in this company to responsibly advertise its product falls flat,” writes Sen. Durbin.

Durbin should’ve cited the latest evidence review by Public Health England, which reaffirms that vaping is up to 95 percent safer than smoking. He also fails to differentiate between his concerns for youth using electronic cigarettes and adults using these products in a potential effort to wean off smoking cigarettes.

Durbin is the Senate Majority Whip, which is the second-highest position in the US Senate.

Durbin is a chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and sits on the Appropriations and Agriculture Committees.

Durbin has been a staunch advocate for tobacco control for much of his career. Unfortunately, his position isn’t evolving and shows a willful ignorance of harm reduction policy.

Read Durbin’s misinformed op-ed right here.

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Michael McGrady is a columnist for Vaping Post's English edition. He is a critically acclaimed journalist with awards and recognition from across the industry. He was a finalist for ECigClick's annual vape awards in 2019 and 2020, a KAC Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarship Fellow in 2019, among other honours. He is also the host of Vaping Weekly, the Post's podcast. All articles express his own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the Editor's view.