Right-wing media outlet says FDA is ‘hysterical’ and ‘addicted to fear’ about vaping

The right-leaning newspaper the Washington Examiner (WE) is finally coming to the defense of vaping.  As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb continue their months-long, overly-cantankerous hand-wringing about an alleged rise in teen vaping, the news publication seems to be finally fed up.

In an opinion pieced published last Friday, the WE reprimands the FDA for not only its ridiculous claims about teen vaping, but it’s out-of-the-blue statements regarding vaping as a gateway to smoking.  The article even addresses Gottlieb’s other outlandish claims suggesting that teenagers who use nicotine are endangering their brain development.

 “To be clear, there is as of yet no epidemiological evidence to suggest nicotine harms teenage brains in the way Gottlieb describes. His intention to prevent minors from developing a nicotine addiction is, of course, noble. But claiming that occasional or even regular vaping is just a few steps short of developing alcoholism or a drug addiction strains credibility.”

Bazinga!  Take that FDA!  Sit and spin, Scott Gottlieb! But the Washington Examiner article entitled Addicted to fear, the FDA is hurtling toward a historic mistake doesn’t stop there.  It also makes a rather remarkable statement regarding the over-dramatized, fear-monger tactics being employed by the FDA.

“Cheered on by a cacophony of moral entrepreneurs, an increasingly hysterical FDA is lunging towards policies that will cripple the e-cigarette industry, which is now the biggest challenger to traditional cigarettes.”

Also noteworthy is that the WE article essentially accuses the FDA of intentionally cooking the numbers regarding in-house data allegedly indicating a near 80 percent rise in teen vaping last year.  These “numbers” are what led FDA Chief Gottlieb to label teen vaping as a nationwide “epidemic” earlier this summer.

Teen vaping ‘epidemic’ is non-existent

However, as the WE article further points out, there’s a huge difference between a high schooler experimenting with an e-cig once a month at a party and a teenager who vapes every day on her way home from school.  The FDA data never seems to make this clear distinction.  They just lump everyone together in a giant pile of teen vaping gobbledygook that grossly misinforms the American People. 

“While the uptick in youth vaping is concerning, the headline figures obscure the reality of teen tobacco use. The percentage of teens who vape regularly is 5.7 percent, up from previous years but hardly the basis for a national panic. More importantly, since 2011 when e-cigarettes started becoming popular, teen smoking has fallen from 15.8 percent to 8.1 percent. When we look at kids who smoked cigarettes on 20 or more days, smoking among high-schoolers was just 1.8 percent in 2018. The story of teen smoking in recent years is not one of failure, but of tremendous success.”

To close the article, the Washington Examiner also makes clear that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking based on pure, old-fashioned, scientific evidence.  It also instructs the ire-stricken Gottlieb that the quantity of people who die every year from smoking-related illnesses is seven times greater than those associated with the opioid crisis.  In short, the FDA’s “excessive regulation” on vaping is “costing lives.” 

Related Article:  More UK research debunks FDA’s claim that e-cigarettes are ‘gateway’ to smoking

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American Council on Science & Health blasts CDC for its ‘bizarre crusade’ against vaping

Since Jan 2019, more and more public health agencies are coming out against the FDA and Chief Gottlieb’s ridiculous rants against vaping. Thank goodness, but what is taking them so long?
#vaping #vape #ecigs #vapeingsaveslive ##eliquid #vapeon #vapedaily #vapenation
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American Council on Science & Health blasts CDC for its ‘bizarre crusade’ against vaping

When an organization like the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) publicly reprimands a federal agency like the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), it’s truly newsworthy.  Members of this non-profit advocacy group are comprised of many of the world’s top scientific minds. They are experts in the fields of food safety and nutrition, disease prevention and pharmaceuticals, pesticides and the environment, and yes, the tobacco and public health industries most specifically.

The ACSH is also extremely nonpartisan.  In 2008, it referenced then-President Obama’s cigarette smoking during a discussion about the long-term effects of combustible tobacco products.  In the 1970s, the ACSH denounced the famous talk show host Phil Donahue and journalist Barbara Walters as “surrogates” of the petrochemical industry.

The ACSH even criticized Apple employees who refused to enter the homes of customers where smoking had previously taken place because of their unfounded fears regarding second-hand smoke.  This is not some fly-by-night, pro-vaping activist group.

ACSH:  Vaping devices and e-cigs ‘are not tobacco products’

In a February 12 opinion piece published on the organization’s website entitled CDC Misleads By Calling E-Cigarettes A ‘Tobacco Product,’ the ACSH blasts the CDC for its intentional mislabeling of e-cigarettes as tobacco products even though the e-liquids that cause the vapor are 100 percent tobacco-free. 

“This is very important to understand: E-cigarettes and other vaping devices do not contain tobacco. Period. They are not tobacco products, even though the government apparently considers them to be tobacco products.”

The article then goes on to attack the CDC for spreading misinformation alleging that vaping is a gateway to smoking.  They call this notion a “myth” while pointing to the CDC’s own published data which indicates the exact opposite.  Since 2011, teen smoking has been steadily declining, and its now at its lowest point in recorded history. 

“It’s as plain as day. Among middle and high school students, e-cigarette use is up, but real cigarette use is down. (The graph above depicts only data for high school students.) If vaping was a gateway to smoking, then cigarette use wouldn’t be falling.”
“The CDC has also gone on a bizarre crusade against e-cigarettes. True, vaping is not completely safe, and it should only be used by smokers as a quitting device. Recreational use should be discouraged, and policies should be in place to prevent them from falling into the hands of teenagers. But the exaggerated hype and fear surrounding e-cigarettes runs the very real risk of undermining a valuable public health tool.”

The ACSH also tries the common-sense approach when explaining its opposition to the CDC’s “bizarre crusade against vaping.”  The attempt to equate smoking with vaping is just plain bad for public health because research shows vaping is far less harmful than smoking.  It’s like saying that condoms are bad and should be abolished because teenagers have sex, which is bad, but it’s not as bad as teenagers having sex without condoms.  Yet, according to the ACSH, “the CDC keeps fumbling” the message when it comes to vaping versus smoking. 

Related Article:  Did the CDC just confirm that vaping is not a gateway to teen smoking?

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NYU study: Vaping ‘saves lives’ and is ‘substantially less harmful’ than smoking

A new study led by public health experts from New York University (NYU) is addressing the apparent distortion of societal views regarding the nicotine associated with vaping versus smoking.  The project is a collaboration with academics from the University of Nebraska, the University of Vermont, and the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies. Together, the researchers examined Alternative Nicotine Delivery Systems (ANDS) and their capacities to reduce tobacco harm reduction for adult smokers. 

What they determined is that the smoking of combustible tobacco products is the leading cause of tobacco-related death and disease, both in the United States and around the world.  Unfortunately, the general public is being tricked into assuming that because tobacco cigarettes and many vapor products both contain nicotine, then they are equally as deadly.

E-cig vapor is ‘very different’ from combustible tobacco smoke

According to the paper’s co-authors, this overwhelmingly popular misconception is not based on scientific evidence.  In fact, they further claim, switching to vaping from smoking “saves lives.” The NYU paper entitled Harm Minimization and Tobacco Control: Reframing Societal Views of Nicotine Use to Rapidly Save Lives was recently published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (NCBI).

“A diverse class of alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS) has recently been developed that do not combust tobacco and are substantially less harmful than cigarettes. ANDS have the potential to disrupt the 120-year dominance of the cigarette and challenge the field on how the tobacco pandemic could be reversed if nicotine is decoupled from lethal inhaled smoke.”

The public health experts also explain that the decoupling of nicotine from the tar and toxins found in combustible tobacco smoke is the critical difference between vaping and smoking.  The aerosol smoke derived from the burning of tobacco leaves contains an average of 70 different carcinogens and enormous amounts of noxious carbon monoxide.  Since the e-liquids in vapor products are 100 percent tobacco-free, vaping is said to be “much safer” than conventional smoking. 

“E-cigarette aerosol is very different. E-cigarettes do not contain any tobacco and do not produce carbon monoxide. The harm continuum emphasizes a key point: It is not that e-cigarettes are completely safe, or even the safest nicotine-containing product available, but that they are much safer than smoking. NRTs are safe enough that CDER approved them for over-the-counter consumer use more than two decades ago. Long-term use of NRT has been endorsed as an acceptable strategy to reduce morbidity and mortality from smoking.”

The NYU researchers suggest that the misinformation about vaping being spread online is severely undermining public health.  To support their conclusions, they also point to multiple clinical trials and toxicology studies which clearly indicate that the harmful chemicals found in combustible tobacco products are dramatically higher in comparison to those of e-cigs.

In fact, an astonishing 144 prior research studies are specifically referenced in the acknowledgements section of the publication. At least three of those references are published by Public Health England, the UK organization which rocked the world by announcing in 2015 that vaping is approximately 95 percent less harmful than vaping. 

Related Article:   The ‘kill vaping’ conspiracy: Regulator Watch releases shocking video interview

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Experts refute Tasmanian vaping study equating smoking and vaping

A report began surfacing earlier this week of a team of Australian researchers claiming that vaping and Heat-not-Burn systems are just as deadly as smoking.  They claim that both e-cigarettes and the heated tobacco device IQOS manufactured by Big Tobacco’s Phillip Morris causes just as much inflammatory damage and oxidative stress to the lungs as smoking.

But mainstream media journalists still have essentially no idea what vaping is all about.  Unfortunately, they automatically assume that research like the Tasmanian vaping study was based in scientific fact.  They rarely check to see if the co-authors or their conclusions are reputable by contacting other public health experts in the field.

Related Article:  Is HnB technology giving vaping a bad name?

Instead, these bloggers and journalists simply proceeded to write hundreds of fear-mongering headlines that spread across social media like wildfire.  One example from the Metro in the UK stated, No type of smoking is safe: cigarettes, heated tobacco, vaping all ’cause serious lung damage.’ Headlines like these are unfortunately designed to drive millions of smokers straight back into the loving arms of Big Tobacco.

The study-in-question entitled IQOS exposure impairs human airway cell homeostasis: direct comparison with traditional cigarette and e-cigarette is published for the world to see on the ERS Journals website.  Luckily, several highly-regarded and well-credentialed scientists have already stepped forward to refute the paper’s findings.  

Dr. Ed Stephens, University of St. Andrews, Senior Research Fellow

According to Science Media Centre (SMC), Dr. Stephen Andrews has “no conflicts of interest or any connection with the tobacco or e-cigarette industries, nor indeed with any commercial interest.”  The SMC also published Dr. Andrews’ opinion regarding the controversial vaping study in which he calls its findings “puzzling.” He further claims that public health experts should treat the co-authors’ conclusions with “considerable caution.” 

“This Research Letter to ERJ Open Research is a puzzling contribution to the debate on e-cigarette safety. It presents new data that purport to show, among other things, that emissions from e-cigarettes are about as harmful to respiratory health as smoking combustible cigarettes. E-cigarettes are certainly not harmless but the authors’ conclusion is inconsistent with most published research which indicates that vaping is significantly less hazardous than smoking.”

Dr. Andrews further explains that the Australian scientists failed to consider the excessively high heating temperatures that would be required to compile the e-cig data necessary to support the paper’s conclusions.  This same discrepancy has been cited over and over again when more reputable scientists have refuted similarly bogus vaping studies of the past.  Yet, here we are again.

“There is a plausible explanation for their findings, namely that the e-cigarette vapour generated for their experiments with living cells was laden with toxic carbonyls, which can easily happen when the e-cigarette device is run at moderately high power and wicking does not adequately keep up with re-supplying e-liquid to the heating coil, a phenomenon known as a “dry puff”. The sensory experience of dry puffs is so unpleasant due to high levels of formaldehyde that vapers avoid them by modifying their vaping behaviour or adjusting the settings on their devices.”

Dr. Lion Shahab, University College London, Associate Professor

The SMC also published the opinion of Dr. Lion Shahab, an Associate Professor of the Behavioural Science and Health Institute of Epidemiology & Health at the University College London.  Shahad has a professional history of collaborating with Big Pharma companies like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

In his opinion statement regarding the Tasmania study, Shahad also takes issue with the researchers’ in-laboratory methodologies.  He specifically notes that the researchers exposed the living cells to the various vapors and tobacco smokes for a lengthy period of three full days, which does not mirror real world use of the technology in any way.  Even the concentrations of smoke and vapor are suspect.

“These type of studies (whether in cells or animals) also have problems for different reasons which are key when trying to make more general inferences. For instance, exposing cells to smoke or vapour continuously for 3 days, as was done here, does not reflect realistic use conditions. This also applies to the concentrations of smoke used in the experiment which is not what humans inhale. It is also difficult to interpret how the changes observed relate to actual health outcomes, as there are many steps that need to take place between changes at cellular level and disease development.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and multiple anti-vaping organizations are on an aggressive campaign to annihilate the American vaping industry.  The agency has already banned the sales of many flavors of e-liquids through conventional brick-and-mortar retailers like convenience stores and gas stations.  Now the FDA is even threatening to abolish the sales of all vaping devices, including those available through online purchases.  Bogus “studies” such as the one from Tasmania only further confuse these regulatory and public perception issues further. 

Related Article:  New Farsalinos vape study debunks old NEJM ‘formaldehyde myth’

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