How Anti-Vaping Campaigners Created the Youth Vaping “Epidemic”
Cigarette smoking is a lethal habit that kills approximately half of those who sustain it over their lifetime. But, contrary to popular belief, the nicotine in cigarettes does not contribute significantly to this death toll. Combustion, the burning of materials, produces the vast majority of toxic chemicals, which, when inhaled repeatedly and over many years, leads to the death and disease associated with smoking. If smokers could switch to a product that delivers nicotine without combustion, they would eliminate most of the risk associated with tobacco use.
Such products exist, in the form of nicotine replacement therapies, like patches, gums, and lozenges. But these have proven largely ineffective for long-term smoking cessation. Meanwhile, electronic nicotine delivery systems, known as e-cigarettes, appear to be at least twice as effective in helping smokers quit and remain smoke-free. This is likely because, unlike other cessation tools, e-cigarettes satisfy not just cravings for nicotine, but other behavioral and psychosocial benefits smokers associate with smoking.
E-cigarettes—a substitute for combustible cigarettes that is orders of magnitude safer than smoking and that smokers will find appealing—have the potential to save and improve billions of lives over the next century. Countries that have embraced these harm- reducing alternatives are already reaping the benefits through accelerating declines in smoking, smoking- related illness, and death. The United States, unfortunately, is not one of them.
Evidence from researchers around the world underscores the prospect that e-cigarettes are the greatest public health opportunity in a generation. Yet, anti-tobacco advocates have only intensified efforts to malign and prohibit these potentially lifesaving products.
Michelle Minton – Competitive Enterprise Institute – June 17, 2020.