CDC says U.S. smoking lowest in history; so why is the FDA trying to destroy them?

CDC says U.S. smoking lowest in history; so why is the FDA trying to destroy them?

In 1965, 42.4 percent of American adults over the age of eighteen smoked cigarettes.  Today, that number is an historic low at only 14 percent, according to new data released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC report was compiled with the assistance of both the National Institute of Health's National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Yet within days of its release on November 8, 2018, the FDA immediately implemented a federal ban on the sales of flavored vapor products via brick-and-mortar retailers.  The only exceptions are age-restricted vape and tobacco shops.  

If smoking rates are at an all-time low, then why is the FDA blasting vaping?

A multitude of private research studies conducted throughout 2018 further indicate that as the national smoking rates declined, the use of vaping products rose proportionally.  Since vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking, according to the Public Health England and similar organizations around the world, then the vaping industry should be applauded by the CDC, the FDA, and the NIC for being an instrumental contributor to the plummeting smoking rates in America, right?

Related Article:  FDA’s Gottlieb: If teen vaping doesn’t drop at ‘astonishing’ rate, FDA will kill vaping entirely

Not so fast.  Throughout 2018 - at the very same time that the new smoking statistics were making themselves known to public health experts - the FDA was simultaneously engaging in an anti-vaping rampage in mainstream and social media.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb would often appear on news shows like CNBC’s Squawk Box and threaten to ban the sales of all flavored vapes, even online.  He would also sometimes imply that he might kill the entire vaping industry altogether, including banning the sales of vape mods, tanks, and embellishments.

At the core of Chief Gottlieb’s ire were allegations that vapor companies are employing kid-appealing marketing practices to entice underage sales.  To be fair, the brunt of Gottlieb’s anger is specifically targeted at Juul Labs whose product’s make up about 80% of teen vaping purchases nationwide. 

However, he distinctly takes issue with all e-liquids that are candy, cereal, or sugary flavors, regardless of who makes them.  In Gottlieb’s world, only a kid would vape such tasty flavors. 

Related Article:  Vaping advocate Tony Abboud of VTA takes to CNBC to fight for adult vapers

The new CDC report was released two weeks ago.  The vaping ban occurred just last week.  The occurrence of these two FDA actions at the very same time means that while Gottlieb was blasting teen vaping for being an “epidemic,” he also already knew that national smoking rates for both teens and adults are at an all-time low.  But he failed to reveal this remarkably historic fact during any of his televised interviews.   

On November 9 shortly after the FDA announcement of its ban on flavored vaping products, Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes wrote an Op-Ed in Forbes Magazine.  Entitled Antivaping hysteria is unhealthy, the article essentially calls the FDA and all vaping haters  in general “witless.”

“For no rational reasons, healthcare officials and antismoking crusaders are waging war against vaping, even though millions of people have found it to be the only effective way to give up smoking. Users get the pleasure of nicotine while avoiding tar and other substances in cigarettes that are truly lethal. What are these witless prohibitionists inhaling”

Today, only 14 percent or about 34 million adults in America smoke either “every day” or “some days.”  That’s a decline of a whopping 67 percent since the good, old days of 1965 when tobacco companies would advertise cigarettes in television commercials.

It’s also a sharp drop of about 15.5 percent since 2016 – the year when vaping was just becoming an international phenomenon.  These are just a few of the fun facts published by the CDC, the FDA, and the NIC to which the American vaping industry can and should take at least partial credit. 

Related Article:   Japan bans smoking for 2020 Olympics, but HnB & limited vaping okay

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints, policy or company position of, the rest of our staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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Robert Jones - November 26, 2018

I truly do believe that the government is very mad at The vaping industry for taking away their tax income from traditional cigarettes. If you think for 5 minutes that this is about the health and welfare of the population you been smoking something other than Vapes cigarettes or weed. This is about tax revenue. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. If they can do away with the vaping industry they can get all those cigarette taxes back from all those little kids who will smoke cigarettes instead. Now I don’t think anybody should smoke if they’re under 18 years of age but they’re going to do it. I started smoking when I was 12 I quit smoking at 52. The only way I was able to quit smoking was vaping. If these hateful people new the condition people like me were in when I finally quit smoking and had one ounce of compassion for other human beings, which they don’t, they would just shut up and leave The vaping industry alone. Only thing they need to be concerned about is the purity of the nicotine and the ingredients in it. And leave the market to determine is viability. Sure is funny to me the party of no regulations I sure does want to get in your underwear and your cigarette drawer. Mind your own business and leave Americans to be free like we’re supposed to be.

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