American Council on Science & Health blasts CDC for its ‘bizarre crusade’ against vaping

When an organization like the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) publicly reprimands a federal agency like the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), it’s truly newsworthy.  Members of this non-profit advocacy group are comprised of many of the world’s top scientific minds. They are experts in the fields of food safety and nutrition, disease prevention and pharmaceuticals, pesticides and the environment, and yes, the tobacco and public health industries most specifically.

The ACSH is also extremely nonpartisan.  In 2008, it referenced then-President Obama’s cigarette smoking during a discussion about the long-term effects of combustible tobacco products.  In the 1970s, the ACSH denounced the famous talk show host Phil Donahue and journalist Barbara Walters as "surrogates" of the petrochemical industry.

The ACSH even criticized Apple employees who refused to enter the homes of customers where smoking had previously taken place because of their unfounded fears regarding second-hand smoke.  This is not some fly-by-night, pro-vaping activist group.

ACSH:  Vaping devices and e-cigs ‘are not tobacco products’

In a February 12 opinion piece published on the organization’s website entitled CDC Misleads By Calling E-Cigarettes A 'Tobacco Product,’ the ACSH blasts the CDC for its intentional mislabeling of e-cigarettes as tobacco products even though the e-liquids that cause the vapor are 100 percent tobacco-free. 

“This is very important to understand: E-cigarettes and other vaping devices do not contain tobacco. Period. They are not tobacco products, even though the government apparently considers them to be tobacco products.”

The article then goes on to attack the CDC for spreading misinformation alleging that vaping is a gateway to smoking.  They call this notion a “myth” while pointing to the CDC’s own published data which indicates the exact opposite.  Since 2011, teen smoking has been steadily declining, and its now at its lowest point in recorded history. 

“It's as plain as day. Among middle and high school students, e-cigarette use is up, but real cigarette use is down. (The graph above depicts only data for high school students.) If vaping was a gateway to smoking, then cigarette use wouldn't be falling.”
“The CDC has also gone on a bizarre crusade against e-cigarettes. True, vaping is not completely safe, and it should only be used by smokers as a quitting device. Recreational use should be discouraged, and policies should be in place to prevent them from falling into the hands of teenagers. But the exaggerated hype and fear surrounding e-cigarettes runs the very real risk of undermining a valuable public health tool.”

The ACSH also tries the common-sense approach when explaining its opposition to the CDC’s “bizarre crusade against vaping.”  The attempt to equate smoking with vaping is just plain bad for public health because research shows vaping is far less harmful than smoking.  It’s like saying that condoms are bad and should be abolished because teenagers have sex, which is bad, but it’s not as bad as teenagers having sex without condoms.  Yet, according to the ACSH, “the CDC keeps fumbling” the message when it comes to vaping versus smoking. 

Related Article:  Did the CDC just confirm that vaping is not a gateway to teen smoking?

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