The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky recently released a new report that coincides with a rather deceptive marketing campaign designed to frighten teen and lower-income smokers away from vaping devices and e-cigs. According to the report which was also partially funded by the group Interact for Health, Kentuckians in these socioeconomic communities are 74 percent more likely to experiment with electronic cigarettes than their more affluent counterparts.
But there are some decidedly deceptive statements made in the report with are simply not true. For example, Ben Chandler, the CEO for The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, actually claims in a recent press interview that e-cigs are equally as harmful as conventional cigarettes. He also continues to spread the completely unfounded falsehood that vaping is a gateway to smoking.
“Research suggests that e-cigs may be a gateway to using other forms of tobacco, and they can be just as harmful. They expose users to toxic chemicals, including nicotine, which long has been proven to be addictive and responsible for a wide range of health issues. E-cigs are simply not a safe alternative to smoking, especially for young adults and nonsmokers.”
Chandler seems to be one of those rare breeds of anti-vaping activists that intentionally define nicotine as a “toxin,” which is highly inaccurate since nicotine is a naturally occurring chemical found in many fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant. The anti-vaping propaganda continues in the organization’s publication entitled The Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP).
Dr. Michael Siegel and The Foundation for Healthy Kentucky
The infamous Dr. Michael Siegel has recently discovered this new Kentucky study, and he takes issue with many of the organization’s assertions. In a blog posted on February 13, Siegel blasts the Kentucky Health Group by calling them outright liars.
“There is abundant evidence that vaping is much safer than smoking. In stating that vaping is just as harmful as smoking, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is lying to the public. Moreover, this campaign of deceit is undermining the public's appreciation of the severe health hazards associated with smoking. If smoking is no more hazardous than vaping - which doesn't involve the burning of tobacco - then it must not be as harmful as previously thought.’
Strangely, Dr. Siegel changes his tone a bit towards the end of the article. Apparently, The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is a relatively young organization whose metaphorical heart might be in the right place, but its proverbial foot seems to be firmly lodged in its collective mouth.
Siegel hopes that Chandler and his public health group will correct this misinformation campaign rather quickly, and he vows to keep an eye on the situation until they do.
What Dr. Siegel may not know is that the illustrious Ben Chandler is also a former U.S. Congressman of Versailles, Kentucky. And if politicians are skilled at anything, it’s stretching the truth to fit their own, devious purposes.