GOP juggernaut George Will speaks out against vaping bans
George Will has been a political force of nature within the Republican party for decades, and he has just announced his views that the anti-vaping movement is probably heading in the wrong direction. While cities like San Francisco are implementing, or at least considering, bans on the sales of vapor products, Will wonders why these same local lawmakers are not going after combustible tobacco cigarettes with the same aggression instead.
In an opinion piece offered in The Washington Post, Will states that trying to reduce national smoking rates through vape bans may actually “backfire” and drive more young people into the welcoming, open arms of Big Tobacco. Instead of banning vapes, Mr. Will counters that legislators should instead focus on vapor education much like they did 50 years ago when smoking became such a critical concern for public health.
“More cigarettes might be sold because of bans on vaping products — because smokers cannot use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, or because teenage vapers will move on to readily available cigarettes. Perhaps instead of bans California should revive the antismoking ads that three decades ago reduced the number of smokers 17 percent in three years: ‘I tried it once and I, ah, got all red in the face and I couldn’t inhale and I felt like a jerk and, ah, never tried it again, which is the same as what happened to me with sex.’”
Will also notes that teen smoking rates are currently at historic lows, and he further implies that the rise in popularity of electronic cigarettes may have had a significant influential role in the declining numbers. However, he also points to unsubstantiated statistics published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that allegedly indicate a near 80 percent rise in teen vaping from 2017-2018. Mr. Will suggests that this may be only a “fashion fad” and that perhaps the FDA and politicians alike are acting prematurely.
“When vaping among high schoolers increases 78 percent in one year (from 2017 to 2018), it has become a fashion fad that is flourishing in the absence of credible frightening information. But, then, after more than half a century of the aggressive dissemination of such information, 16 percent of American adults still smoke.”
The Wall Street Journal once called George Will “perhaps the most powerful journalist in America.” So, his timely and open rebuke of the Bay Area’s prohibition of vapor products may hold some political clout on Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, Will also makes the same mistakes in his editorial that most journalists make when jumping to the defense or opposition of vaping.
George Will avoids the issues of political corruption and Big Pharma
Relying on national statistics published by the FDA without reviewing the underlying evidence that supports them is unprofessional at the least and grossly irresponsible at the worst. The alleged rise in teen vaping of 2018 was a creation of the then-FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb – the very man who left his job just a few, brief months ago to take a position with the Pfizer pharmaceutical company.
Who is Pfizer? The manufacturer of Chantix – one of the world’s most profitable stop smoking drugs. It’s also been linked to thousands of suicides, too, because of its propensity to induce deep depression as a possible negative side effect.
Other Big Pharma companies also stand to profit from a federally instituted vapor ban. GlaxoSmithKline, for example, makes Nicorette gums and lozenges, and the Johnson & Johnson company owns the patents on those nicotine patches that were once all the rage among smokers trying to quit. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone like George Will published an exposé on this sort of high-level corruption rather than just repeating unproven vaping myths and statistics originally generated by a highly questionable FDA?
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