If Biden is being truthful, he should 'follow the science' on vaping as well as COVID
Throughout the 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden has repeated claimed that his administration will “follow the science” when making decisions about the coronavirus pandemic here in the United States. When reporters ask questions on nearly any topic these days, the Biden Administration almost always includes a reference to science in its response.
How will the Biden administration manage climate change? Biden promises to follow the science. When will schools be reopened 5-days a week? Biden’s not sure yet, but he will definitely follow the science. Should children be vaccinated? If we follow the science, probably not, Biden says.
The trouble with Biden’s campaign slogan is that the “science” keeps changing. This is to be expected, of course, because COVID-19 is still a relatively new virus, and it also seems to be morphing into new and more potentially harmful variants. The scientists are always learning something new. So, the “follow the science” mantra doesn’t always work.
Except in the case of vaping.
Hundreds—if not thousands—of research studies now confirm that electronic vapor devices are approximately 95 percent less harmful than smoking. Vapes are also nearly 99 percent non-carcinogenic, and the toxicity of second-hand vapor compared to that of cigarette smoke is almost zero. In fact, since 2015 when mass-marketed vapor products went mainstream, both adult and teenage smoking rates have plummeted to their lowest points in history.
What did Biden say about vaping on the campaign trail?
In early 2020 when then-candidate Joe Biden was still trailing in the polls, he traveled to Iowa for a town hall meeting. At that time, the mainstream media was spreading a now-debunked rumor that teenagers who vape are more prone to developing a new and mysterious lung disorder named EVALI. When asked by one of the town hall guests about his thoughts on the scandal, Biden said that there needs to be “serious scientific data as to whether or not it has the kind of long-term damage on the lungs and it causes death before we allow it to be sold.”
Sound familiar? Unfortunately, Biden seemed to have no idea that public health experts had already been conducting extensive research on this topic for well over five years. In 2013, the Beckers Hospital Review released the results of a comprehensive study whose co-authors determined that vaping is 95 percent “less risky” than smoking.
In August 2015, the U.K.’s Royal College of Physicians in coordination with Public Health England (the equivalent U.K. agency to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) confirmed Beckers’ statistics by releasing a study of their own. It, too, found vaping to be “95 percent less harmful than smoking.”
EVALI changed the game for everyone
But the EVALI scandal changed the public perception against vaping so dramatically that lawmakers now feel obligated to side with the anti-vapers just to win a few votes. For over six-months in late 2019 and into early 2020, mainstream media continuously pushed the false narrative of a “vaping-related” lung disorder.
Yet, both the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) knew all along that nicotine-based e-liquids had nothing whatsoever to do with the outbreak. The real culprit was THC-enhanced cartridges illegally laced with Vitamin E acetate and sold on the black market. On February 25, 2020, the CDC quietly—and without media fanfare—released a following press release acknowledging their error in judgement.
“Due to continued declines in new EVALI cases since September 2019, and the identification of vitamin E acetate as a primary cause of EVALI, today’s release is the final biweekly CDC update on the number of hospitalized EVALI cases and deaths nationally. CDC will continue to provide assistance to states, as needed, related to EVALI and will provide future updates as needed at: www.cdc.gov/lunginjury.”
The entry of cannabis products into the anti-vaping conversation changed the game again. Biden knows that a majority percentage of the Democrat Party is demanding the federal legalization of marijuana. But if his “follow the science” rallying cry is to remain consistent between COVID, vaping regulations, and cannabis legalization, then the “science” is not on his side.
Of those three subjects, reputable pro-cannabis research is the least available. People close to President Biden offered the following quote to The Atlantic in Jul 2020.
“…Liberals talk about trusting science on everything from climate change to wearing masks—and, notably, wanted vaping restricted because the health effects were unclear—but are willing to let that standard slide here because they want marijuana to be legal.”
Which is how we ended up where we are today: Vaping is still legal, but Congress has no passed legislation that now bans the United States Postal Service (USPS) from delivery vapor products to private homes.
The newly passed Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act in combination with the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act) also place more severe restrictions on private delivery companies. In fact, the new regulations are so strict that UPS, FedEx, and DHL have already stated that they will no longer delivery nicotine products of any kind…period.
Here’s hoping President Biden eventually comes to his senses and adheres to his promise to “follow the science.” If he does, Biden could literally save the American Vaping industry as it teeters on the brink of congressionally-induced evisceration.
Related Article: EVALI showed us the political hypocrisy of vaping vs. marijuana
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)