The experts wade in on the teen ‘epidemic’
We begin with Dr. Farsalinos and his article regarding the alleged teen vaping epidemic.
This article is reasoned and calls for clear headed, scientific thinking, not emotional outpourings when it comes to such serious public health matters. He asks for a very careful evaluation of the benefits versus adverse effects of vaping, and to look at the impact at a population level. He believes smoking prevalence data must be included for accuracy, plus the way the statistics are measured must be transparent, as including a child that has vaped once in thirty days, he argues, ‘is meaningless’. (Our analogy of this once in 30 days: it’s the same as someone trying an olive once, in a 30- day time frame, that was co-incidentally being studied, and then being presented to the world as being addicted to olives.)
Reducing the effectiveness of e cigarettes by removing flavors and changing the devices will impact the adult population – significantly. To illustrate this, Dr. Farsalinos recounts a study from 2005. The study looked at the relationship between snus and cancer in men over the age of 35. In the USA that year, over 104,737 men aged over 35 died of smoking related cancers. The research then compares this to a situation where the entire population of the USA was addicted to snus, but they didn’t smoke. Had this been the case, then the death rate would have been 2’081, attributed to tobacco related cancers.
Dr. Farsalinos states, “ “Nicotine is probably not an important contributor to ischemic heart disease in smokers” and “… nicotine is unlikely to contribute importantly to the pathophysiology of stroke” Snus is a less harmful tobacco product than smoking. Here you see a hypothetical huge increase on tobacco use via snus, but a way lower death rate due to a less harmful product.
You get what he’s saying here…
Which takes us to the Forbes magazine. They begin by stating the historically low teen smoking rates, and again focus their concern on the way that the CDC and FDA collate and collect the data on teen vaping. How they focus on who has vaped in a month – (think of the olive analogy) and they focus on the alleged, but not proven gateway theory that vaping leads to smoking. They draw upon evidence from the Monitoring the Future Study, which mirrors the results from the UK’s Smoking Tool Kit studies. They found that most, never smoking, but vaping teens didn’t use nicotine, and didn´t vape enough to create a serious habit where they might become addicted. They found they only vaped a few days a month. 2/3rds that try vaping use 0% nicotine and vape only for the flavors. Nicotine use was about 20% of vaping 12th graders – (16-17yrs), and 13 % in 8th graders (13-14yrs) Less than 50% of seniors that vaped used nicotine.
So, if we use these statistics, less than half the population of vaping teens are using nicotine.
And according to the FDA – this is what it is about. It’s about Nicotine.
The author writes that the CDC cannot assume any chemical connection between e cigarettes and tobacco in these cases where no nicotine is used. Even counting every vaper as a tobacco user is misleading, incorrect and plays with the statistics. If the correct data is used and analyzed, then you have 0.3% of nonsmoking teens, vaping nicotine often enough that they might develop a long-term habit.
“As you might expect, never-smokers are less inclined to use e-fluids containing nicotine than current or former smokers are. But even if we ignore that difference, the MTF results indicate that only one-third of adolescent vapers are vaping nicotine. That share rises to almost one-half (47%) among teenagers who vape six or more times a month. If you multiply that percentage by the 0.7% of never-smokers who (according to Warner’s study) report vaping on 20 to 30 days in the previous month, you have about 0.3% of non-smokers who are vaping nicotine often enough that they might develop a long-term habit.”
Plus, the article states the following:
“Warner notes that in 2014, following three years in which adolescent experimentation with e-cigarettes exploded, “The MTF data indicated the largest annual percentage decline in smoking in the nearly 40-year history of the survey.” That welcome development may surprise you if you've been listening to the CDC.” When these biblical proportion statistics are published, very careful analysis must be made as to how the data was collated, collected, analyzed and what data is used. Only then will we know the cold scientific truth, and not the emotional outpourings so often used to manipulate us. Then the results must be weighed, at a population level, looking at both benefits and adverse effects.
It can’t be ignored that the Tobacco stocks rose to their highest levels in decades with that press release from the FDA.