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54 Anti-vaping groups send joint letter to Congress; urge denial of HR 2058, Cole-Bishop Amendment

Posted by Matt Rowland on

Now that the Obama Administration is nearing an end, this would be the perfect time for Congress to have a quick and unannounced vote on the HR 2058 Bill and the Cole-Bishop Amendment. On September 7, 2016, all members of the House Committee on Appropriations received a strongly worded letter urging Congress to vote against these pieces of proposed legislation should they indeed come up for a vote.  The joint letter was signed by an astonishing 54 anti-vaping activist groups, including the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, and the National Network of Public Health Institutes.

The letter is rather short but chock full of misleading information, much of which has already been either created, supported, or dispersed by both the CDC and the FDA.  For example, one section of the letter discusses the “alarming increase in youth use of electronic cigarettes.” However, many of the numbers come directly from CDC propaganda that lacks the very basics of scientific research methodology. 

“There has been an alarming increase in youth use of electronic cigarettes with 16 percent of high school students currently using e-cigarettes. In addition, high school boys now smoke cigars at a slightly higher rate than cigarettes – 14 percent for cigars and 11.8 percent for cigarettes. The final rule will enable FDA, for the first time, to oversee the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of these products, providing the agency with new tools to address the problem of three million middle and high school students using e-cigarettes and 1.4 million using cigars.”


These numbers are copied directly from CDC statistics, but the “scientists” who conducted this research forgot to mention some very important points.  They did not take into consideration whether or not the control group of adolescents were regular users of vapor or tobacco products.  Do they vape or smoke daily?  Or are they more occasional, social users?  For teens who vape, how many of the control group were vaping zero nicotine e-liquids?  After all, it is a well-documented fact that approximately 78% of teens who vape buy nicotine-free products.

The joint letter also addresses several other common points of contention that tend to make the vaping community cringe, including:

  • Vaping is a gateway to teen smoking.
  • High school boys now smoke cigars at a slightly higher rate than cigarettes.
  • The vaping and electronic cigarettes industries are intentionally trying to attract American teens by naming their e-liquids with trendy names, such as “cotton candy, gummy bear, and fruit punch that clearly appeal to kids.”

Even though the joint letter is also signed by several, highly regarded medical organizations, like the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians, it quotes no other substantive research to support its argument, other than the inflated numbers provided by the CDC.  A recent study by the Lombardi Cancer Center of Georgetown University indicates that the use of vapor products among teens could significantly reduce cancer-related deaths by as much as 21% in the coming years. Yet this information is lacking.  By refusing to include all of the facts, these “public health” groups are essentially advocating the denial of legislation that will ultimately send America’s youth running back into the arms of Big Tobacco.


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