Reps. Tlaib & Pressley go on hypocritical rant during Wednesday vaping hearings
On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy held two congressional hearings exploring Juul’s potential role in the alleged teen vaping "epidemic.” The event was not without its fair share of political grandstanding by committee members from both sides of the aisle. Yet, as the hearings progressed, it became abundantly clear that many of these representatives had no idea what they were talking about.
For example, Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, half of the foursome collectively known as The Squad, agreed that “we don’t need more studies” on vaping versus Big Tobacco. This is the age-old argument of morons whose sole objective is to win a debate by being the loudest voice in the room rather than to follow the facts and come to an information-based conclusion.
Global warming and vaping: Science matters
For two lawmakers who constantly admonish the GOP for their failure to recognize the science supporting climate change, their collective stance against vaping is nothing short of hypocritical. Sciences matters, and according to the American Cancer Society, the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine, and countless other public health institutions, smokers who switch completely to vaping are reducing their risks of heart disease, respiratory illness, and smoking-related death.
Since 2015, the Royal College of Physicians has also claimed that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than combustible tobacco. But facts be damned, Tlaib and Pressley still insist that Juul is literally “killing” people. As disturbing as this sort of politician freak-out can be, these two elected officials have grossly overstepped the proverbial line. Truth be told, vaping – and by extension Juul – has probably saved more lives during that two-hour congressional hearing than Tlaib and Pressley ever could during their entire political careers.
Even former FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb wasn’t this bad
Tlaib and Pressley also seem to forget who originated this alleged teen vaping “epidemic” in the first place. Early last year, the former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Dr. Scott Gottlieb initiated this nonsensical catch phrase when he first noticed that vaping was quickly becoming the most popular smoking cessation aid in America.
Sales of conventional stop-smoking aids like nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges were plummeting, and even sales of the popular no-smoking drug Chantix were falling amid accusations that the prescription medication may induce suicidal thoughts and chronic depression.
Related Article: Public health expert calls ‘moral panic’ over vaping as ‘ridiculous’
In his final year as FDA Commissioner, Gottlieb started his epidemic rantings just before he left his position to join the team of pharmaceutical company Pfizer – manufacturer of Nicorette gums and other nicotine replacement therapies. Coincidence?
The sad truth is that Reps. Tlaib and Pressley have just missed a tremendous political opportunity – the very thing that they were ultimately looking to achieve during their congressional tirade last Wednesday. Had these two elected officials done their research, followed the facts, and connected the dots, they could have become vaping’s most dedicated advocates. Instead of shining the spotlight on FDA corruption at the highest levels, they chose to press their collective lips against the butt checks of Big Tobacco just like every other politician in Washington, DC.
(Image courtesy YouTube/CNN)