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NYU scientists refute FDA claims of a ‘teen vaping epidemic’

Since the appointment of Dr. Scott Gottlieb to Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early 2017, unsubstantiated claims of a teen vaping epidemic have been running rampant. The allegations that began with Gottlieb are only continuing to escalate well after his departure in 2019, but scientists at New York University are now strongly refuting their validity. 

Since the rise in popularity of vaping began around 2015 when the mass-marketing of vapor products became economically feasible due to numerous advancements in manufacturing technologies, Big Tobacco has been overly anxious to eviscerate the vaping industry entirely. With sales of flavored vapes on the rise, profits of conventional cigarettes were plummeting.  Furthermore, Big Pharma was unhappy likely because pharmaceutical companies were experiencing consistently diminishing sales of their stop-smoking aids like nicotine-enhanced patches, gums, and lozenges.

In short, the evidence was showing that U.S. smoking rates were dropping to historic lows.  Yet, the U.S. government was warning the American People about tobacco-free vaping?  This obvious contradiction in objectives caught the attention of numerous public health experts, including the NYU team.

Teen vaping versus smoking:  Maipulated numbers

In the waning days of 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was issuing multiple public health alerts about a supposedly mysterious outbreak of “vaping related” lung injuries.  The disorder would eventually be named EVALI and claim a reported 68 deaths. 

Yet unbeknownst to the American People, a truly lethal global pandemic had already hit the shores of the United States.  Unlike the intentionally and falsely fabricated “teen vaping epidemic,” the Coronavirus would quickly become responsible for an astonishing 245 million deaths and counting. 

Related Article:  Smokers who switch to vaping see improvements in myocardial functions

Perhaps in an effort to sway federal health officials away from their ill-conceived anti-vaping agenda towards a more dedicated focus on the uber-deadly COVID pandemic on the horizon, officials from the NYU School of Global Public Health issued a press release in January 2020.   The scientists announced the publication of a study indicating that the teen vaping crisis does not actually exist.  Not only were the U.S. government’s data regarding underage usage of vapor products wrong, but it was intentionally manipulated to support a strong anti-vaping bias.

“Most young people do not vape, and even fewer vape regularly…Our findings underscore the importance of examining the full context of how youth are using vaping and tobacco products…The key to protecting youth in the United States is determining the patterns of frequency of use and co-use of vaping and tobacco products, which will give public health decision makers the best possible information to protect the public's health."

In other words, the FDA and the CDC were citing statistics based on irregular survey questions sent to millions of school kids asking whether they had EVER vaped rather than asking if they were regular, daily vapers.  This seemingly simple tweaking of the language is the statistical discrepancy between a teenager who has EVER stolen a tobacco cigarette from his father’s pants pocket and one who buys and smokes a pack of cigarettes every day.  The differences in possible health consequences are both dramatic and severe.  Federal regulatory expert Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute puts it this way in a recent interview with The Washington Examiner.

“The study showing e-cigarette use among adolescents rose between 2017 and 2018, the CDC’s National Youth Tobacco Survey, is a survey that only captures any use in the last 30 days. That might capture habitual users, but it also includes mere experimentation (e.g. a one-time puff off a friend’s vape at a party), not necessarily regular use. Once you exclude 18 year-old adults, students who used other tobacco products, and experimental users, the survey actually found that only 0.6% of high schoolers regularly vaped (about 95,000 kids). While that is still concerning, it is not an ‘epidemic.’ Yet, that is how the FDA portrayed the problem to the public.”

The NYU team conducted extensive interviews with over 20,000 middle and high school students who had previously participated in the CDC research that ultimately led to the “teen vaping epidemic” nonsense.   But this time, the NYU team had reformulated the questions based on ever-use versus daily-use. 

The results?  The NYU team discovered that “From 2015 to 2018, daily cigarette smoking among youth declined from 1.2 percent to 0.9 percent, while regular vaping (20 or more out of the past 30 days) increased from 1.7 percent to 3.6 percent.”  In comparison, a whopping 5.8 percent of middle and high schoolers reported regular smoking of combustible tobacco cigarettes. 

Related Article:  Forbes: CDC claims that vaping causes EVALI are ‘nonsense’

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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