The FDA Is Determined To Ignore the Decline in Underage Vaping Because It Weakens the Case for New Restrictions

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The agency seems inclined to ban the vaping products that former smokers overwhelmingly prefer because teenagers also like them.

According to the latest results from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), 11 percent of high school students qualified as “current” electronic cigarette users this year, meaning they reported vaping in the previous month.

That’s down from nearly 20 percent in 2020 and nearly 28 percent in 2019—a 60 percent drop over two years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which conducts the survey, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates “electronic nicotine delivery systems,” both welcomed this evidence that the “epidemic” of underage vaping is abating.

Just kidding. Since acknowledging the sharp decline in e-cigarette use by teenagers would undermine the case for new restrictions on vaping products, including a ban on the e-liquid flavors that former smokers overwhelmingly prefer, the CDC and the FDA prefer to ignore that downward trend.

The CDC emphasizes that “approximately 2.06 million youths” in high school and middle school “were estimated to be current e-cigarette users in 2021,” adding that “use of tobacco products by youths in any form, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe.” Since vaping products do not contain tobacco and do not burn anything, which explains why they are much less hazardous than cigarettes, the CDC’s habitual conflation of them with “tobacco products” is not only inaccurate but willfully misleading. The slippery term unsafe likewise conceals a huge difference in risk.

Read full article here.

Jacob Sullum – Reason – 2021-10-01.

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