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New FDA Tobacco Chief Says Vaping is Safer and More! Tobacco Harm Reduction News

New Center for Tobacco Products director Brian King says vaping has “markedly less risk.” Maine anti-vaping groups ignore facts, push flavor ban. CASAA CEO Alex Clark on panel at GTNF & announcing We Vape We Vote tour. Debunking biased research and more!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!


FDA // New CTP Director On Vaping

In a surprising AP interview, new FDA Center for Tobacco Products director Brian King tells the reporter that the public misperception that vaping is as dangerous as smoking isn’t “consistent with the known science,” and that vaping has “markedly less risk.”

He also said that–of the “really important science and innovations that have occurred in the industry in recent years”–the “most notable” for him is nicotine salts, which he says “could hold some public health promise.”

Unfortunately, it seems the agency has no plans to correct those misperceptions.

 

READ MOREInsider Q&A: FDA official on vaping’s ‘promise or peril’

TOBACCO CONTROL // Teen Vaping Scare Mongering

Past 30 day smoking and vaping declined since 2019 (from 7% to 5.5% and from 28.7% to 17.4% respectively) in addition to ever-vaping dropping from 45.1% to 31.7% without the Maine government passing a flavor ban. Yet Tobacco Control still claims that vaping is somehow “turning the tide” of declining smoking rates and wants flavors banned.

Also note how data is reported in this article. The extremely low smoking rate isn’t reported at all in the article and in a linked article the smoking rate is teens reporting having smoked at least once a day in the past 30 days vs. the rate of teens reporting EVER vaping. They should have compared apples to apples, such as past 30 day smoking with past 30 day vaping, or ever smoked with ever vaped. It seems to be deliberately deceptive.

Meanwhile, sexual assault among teens rose from 11.9% to 14.2%; serious contemplation of suicide rose from 16.4% to 18.5%; drinking alcohol before age 13 rose from 23.8% to 25.6%; binge drinking (5 or more) rose from 32.7% to 34.4% & marijuana use before age 13 rose from 16.6% to 18.5%.

READ MORE: Maine vaping numbers down for students as work continues toward further bans

TOBACCO CONTROL // Misleading the Public With Misinformation

Popcorn lung! Candy flavors! Vaping epidemic! 2 million teens vaping!

This one pulls out all of those anti-vaping myths, misdirection and lies, then fails to report that teen vaping has declined dramatically (and smoking is down to historic lows,) that the 2 million teens “vaping” includes those who had even 1 puff in the past month, and that the 4.9% of high school teens who vape frequently would otherwise be SMOKING.

READ MORE: A kid-saving NY law almost no one enforces: How the flavored vape ban went up in smoke

CASAA IN ACTION // Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum 2022

 

CASAA IN ACTION // We Vape We Vote Tour 2022

On September 27th, CASAA, the American Vapor Manufacturers and Americans for Tax Reform released a special livestream announcement of the We Vape We Vote 2022 Tour!

Every American should have the right to use vaping to quit cigarettes. Critical health decisions should be up to the individual. Not the FDA. Not the CDC. And certainly not nanny-state politicians in Congress.

This fundamental belief underlies our entire effort. That’s why we need leaders who recognize vaping as a powerful harm reduction tool and the single most effective smoking cessation device ever created.

Millions of American adults vape to quit smoking, and our coalition continues to grow despite every hurdle thrown at us by overzealous bureaucrats in Washington. The only way we can stop the outright prohibition of vaping is to mobilize and vote.

Join us today, and together we will tell our elected officials: We Vape, We Vote.

RESEARCH // Excuse Me, but Your Bias is Showing

If you’re in public health research and truly wanted to save lives, you’d LEAD with vaping being associated with a “39% percent less risk of MI when compared to traditional smoking” AND make it very clear that the “vapers” who were compared with never-vapers also had a history of smoking.

Instead, these “public health researchers” put the focus on the different outcomes between vapers and never-smokers/vapers, claiming vaping was the reason for increased risk rather than the fact that the vast majority of “exclusive” vapers also smoked for years or decades before they vaped–a more likely reason they’d have increased MI risk rather than a few years of vaping.

 

READ MORE: E-cigarettes and myocardial infarction: A systematic review and meta-analysis

RESEARCH // Study Falsely Claims Evidence of “Gateway Effect”

Researchers claim that, prior to vaping becoming popular in 2014, the youth smoking decline was steadier and steeper. Consequently, they say, 1.66 million more youth started smoking than would have otherwise, “providing evidence…for the gateway effect.”

Is it true?

[The TL/DR answer is No. If you want to know why we reject this claim, keep reading!]

First, they chose to compare 11 years (2002-13) to just 4 years (2014-19). They also chose to omit data from 2020 and 2021.

By averaging the yearly declines, they could say smoking declined by approx. 0.75% per year prior to 2014 to approx. 0.37% per year after 2014.

This makes it sound like youth smoking had a large steady decline before. But did it really?

No. Between 2006-10, well before vaping took off, there was also a 4 year stall. High school smoking only dropped 2.6 percentage points and between 2009-10 there was ZERO change.

The 2015-19 “slowdown” actually had a greater decline than the one in 2006-10, dropping by 3.5 percentage points.

So, by choosing to AVERAGE the annual declines over 11 years, researchers were able to “smooth over” that 2006-2010 stall, making the later one seem unique.

Interestingly, there was a total drop of 10.2 percentage points (from 22.9% to 12.7%) for high school smoking in that 11 years (2002-13) which averages to 0.93 percentage points per year.

If you look at 2006-10 it was an average of just 0.65 percentage points per year over 4 years.

But AFTER 2014…

Between 2015-19, high school smoking declined an average of just 0.875 percentage points per year, but that is still significantly better than the average 0.65 percentage points per year between 2006-10.

But if you include the omitted 2020-21 data (2015-2021,) the average decline is 1.23 percentage points per year–a significantly higher average than the 2002-2013 period!

So, when we use ALL available data, HS smoking dropped more on average per year in the 6 years AFTER vaping became popular than it did in the 11 years prior.

But you may have noticed that we’ve only been looking at high school rates. Why did researchers choose to combine both high school and middle school data?

The only reason we can see for that is to offset the dramatic change in high school smoking after 2013. You see, by 2013, middle school smoking was already at a very low 2.9%, so it only dropped to 2.3% by 2019 (which is still a good 20% decline.) High school smoking, on the other hand, dropped from 12.7% to 5.8%!

It’s also a curious choice for the researchers to combine high school rates with middle school rates when you consider that most of the dramatic vaping rates reported by the media are the high school rates, which are far more relevant in predicting future young adult and adult vaping/smoking rates. (And, for the record, middle school smoking was down to just 1% by 2021!)

As high school smoking is a better predictor of future adult smoking, did all of the alleged “extra” 1.66 million teens who smoked in 2015-19 continue to smoke?

We can look at the young adult data for a hint….

In 2015, the high school vaping rate was 16%, and the young adult (18-24) smoking rate was 13%.

By 2021, those who were in high school between 2015-2019 were now all young adults and the smoking rate was DOWN (by 56%) to just 7.4%.

So, where are all of those “extra smokers” from vaping?

In closing, the researchers omitted important data (2020-21), “predicted” that there should have been fewer teens smoking by pretending past slow decline periods (2006-10) weren’t a thing, and ignored follow-up data (young adults) that could verify increased smoking.

Did they prove there is a vaping “gateway effect?”

Not even close.

READ MORE: Impact of the e-cigarette era on cigarette smoking among youth in the United States: A population-level study


CASAA MEDIA // Spotify

CASAA’s podcast is now on Spotify! Please give us a follow here:

CASAA IN ACTION // Twitter Spaces

On this week’s Twitter Space we talk with journalist Alex Norcia about his investigation into the inner workings of FDA and what he’s uncovered so far via FOIA requests. You won’t want to miss this episode – now available on CASAA’s YouTube channel, too!

CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live

If you missed the most recent CASAA Live show, check out the replay now! CASAA Live is on alternating Saturdays at 4:30 PM ET/3:30 PM CT/2:30 PM MT/1:30 PM PT on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter!

This week, join CASAA Live for our conversation with Christopher Snowdon, journalist and author of several books including “The Art of Suppression: Pleasure, Panic and Prohibition since 1800,” and “Velvet Glove, Iron Fist: A History of Anti-Smoking,” about his recent Twitter study post, his books on prohibition and the war on tobacco, and his take on the war on vaping!

TAKE ACTION // CASAA State Facebook Groups

Have you joined your CASAA State Facebook group yet? Check it out now! Click the link below, click on your state on the map, then click the “Join Now” button to go to your state’s group page. It’s as easy as that to stay updated on local happenings, meet local advocates and never miss a Call to Action in your state!

Don’t forget to also follow our official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CASAAmedia

FIND YOUR GROUP: CASAA State Locator

CASAA STORE // Apparel and More

Show your support by shopping our store! Our president (and brilliant website/swag designer) Danielle has added some awesome new designs to CASAA’s apparel shop!

 

VISIT: CASAA Apparel and Swag Store

CASAA MEDIA // Podcast

Catch up on past tobacco harm reduction news with Alex and Logan on the CASAA podcasts on SoundCloud every Monday and now live on YouTube and Facebook every Saturday at 3:30 PM.

SoundCloud:

 

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