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Study shows military vaping now more common than smoking

Smoking rates among military soldiers has been a significant concern of the U.S. Armed Forces for decades, but the results of a new study indicate tremendous progress is taking place in recent years.  The findings suggest that military vaping is now more common that the smoking of combustible tobacco products.  In fact, smoking rates among the ranks of the armed forces is even lower than that of the general population. 

According to the Military Times, approximately 7.4 percent of service personnel were daily smokers in 2015 in the early days of the vaping phenomenon compared to 12.9 percent of average adult civilians.  Today, an estimated 20 percent of the lower ranks consider themselves current daily e-cigarette users.  The Marines have the highest percentages topping out at around 16 percent. 

U.S. Military expressing growing concerns about vaping

Most would view the rapidly dropping smoking rates among soldiers as a good thing, but officials in the upper echelons of the U.S. Armed Forces are expressing strong concerns about the simultaneous rise in vaping rates.  In their May 2018 Quit Brief, the Top Brass actually attempt to discourage military vaping by saying that it is not FDA-approved.

“E-cigarettes are not a proven quit aid and are actually tobacco products themselves. They come with their own health risks and are not an FDA-approved way to quit other forms of tobacco.”

They also often repeat the notorious tag line of the FDA claiming that vaping is a gateway to smoking.  Military health officials have also been actively circulating anti-vaping materials among active service personnel citing the alleged negative effects of vaping.  The Military Times writes the following.

“Defense health and service officials have been distributing educational materials about the negative effects of e-cigarettes for several years, along with information about the dangers of tobacco use, and tips for quitting. They’ve emphasized that there’s no proof that e-cigarettes will help people quit tobacco long-term. In their May 2018 ‘Quit Brief’ to the field, officials noted that e-cigarettes are not an approved way to quit tobacco use. Recent studies show that use of e-cigarettes by non-smoking young adults can lead to cigarette smoking, they noted, and most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive.”

U.S. Military Leaders may or may not be held totally responsible for this potentially devious spreading of misinformation among the ranks.  The Armed Forces take their direct instructions from the Executive Branch of the United States government and the President of the United States.  Part of the executive branch is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, formerly led by the notorious vaping-antagonist Dr. Scott Gottlieb.  Until such time as a new, more vape-friendly FDA Commissioner is appointed, military vaping will likely remain under heavy scrutiny. 

Related Article:  17-year study shows ‘little evidence’ that teen vaping leads to adult smoking

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