E-cigarettes pose less risk than smoking. The science is clear: while cigarettes kill about half their users, e-cigarettes have perhaps five percent of the risk. Therefore, e-cigarettes have the ability to save the lives of those smokers who switch to vaping. Yet, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is trying to eradicate e-cigarettes, a move that would sacrifice smoker lives and squander one of the greatest public health opportunities of our generation.
Why? Regulators say they are concerned about a recent uptick in youth vaping. The irony is it was probably the FDA that helped inspire an uptick in youth vaping. But now the agency is doubling down on bad policies.
Experts disagree over how much safer e-cigarettes are compared to combustible cigarettes, but no credible expert disputes the fact that e-cigarettes are safer. Of course, in addition to smokers, some never-smokers choose to take up vaping. Presently, there are eleven million adult e-cigarette users in the United States. A small portion, around one percent, are “never smokers.” For some anti-nicotine zealots, this small group of people who might slightly increase their health risks by vaping matter more than the smokers whose lives might be saved by vaping. We can now count the FDA among those zealots.
Michelle Minton – Competitive Enterprise Institute – April 15, 2019.