Most individuals who smoke cigarettes need to give up. Actually, many have tried to give up – solely to fail.
Nearly 40 million Americans are hooked on smoking cigarettes. In accordance with the CDC, smoking tobacco is the “main reason behind preventable illness, incapacity, and demise in the USA’ leading to 480,000 deaths yearly in the USA” – which breaks down to 1,300 smoking-related deaths per day, 54 deaths per hour, or almost one death per minute.
One dead American every minute and, yet some in Congress continue to play politics with vaping. It is irrational and anti-science … but it’s great public relations.
It’s as if elected officials need to set up a bogeyman to attract the spotlight to themselves and the fawning media coverage that follows. To make the point, we have the Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), calling on federal regulators to use their “full authority and power to investigate and take actions against Elf Bar and be prepared to ban it from the market.” If you haven’t heard of Elf Bar, it’s a Chinese-based vaping company – and Schumer’s bogeyman-of-the-moment.
Is vaping healthy? Should young people who do not smoke pick up a vaping habit? No, of course not. But these are the wrong questions and not the issue up for public discussion. Rather, the more relevant questions are: “Is vaping a safer alternative to smoking?” “Does vaping help smokers quit tobacco?” And here the answer to both questions is the same: an unequivocal, blaring “yes.”
The reality of smoking is too many people die from cigarette smoking because too many people quit trying to quit. It is too hard. Millions of Americans are dying from cigarette smoking because quitting tobacco is extraordinarily difficult. And the science and data tell us that vaping can help smokers quit cigarettes. And there are a multitude of laws and regulations intended to shield young people from vaping.
If the Senator really wanted to protect kids from flavored vapes, he wouldn’t be such vociferous advocate of cannabis – which, by the way, one can vape, and it’s sold in myriad flavors and colorful wrapping. Or the Senator could hold hearings on the dangerous health effects of smoking pot. But that would expose the hypocrisy of his argument that vaping is bad while weed good.
You see not only is the Senator pro-pot, but Schumer has also introduced the ‘Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act’ which would decriminalize weed on the national level and allow the states to set their own marijuana policies. Ironically, Senator Schumer is the highest-ranking champion of marijuana legalization in Washington, even as he attacks vaping.
Senator Schumer, unfortunately, would rather garner newspaper headlines and cable news coverage than observe the facts – and the facts tell us that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit.
Public health must be based on sound science, not ideology. What does the science say about smoking cessation? According to the American Lung Association, ex-smokers say quitting tobacco was the most challenging achievement of their lives. Giving up cigarettes is one of the most profoundly difficult things to do in one’s life—and the analysis backs it up. The knowledge reveals that people who smoke make – on common – 30 makes an attempt to give up smoking earlier than they’ll kick the behavior for good.
The science is evident so why does Senator Schumer proceed to combat a expertise and product that might doubtlessly save hundreds of thousands of lives? On vaping, our elected officers ought to comply with the science, not the politics – a lesson we realized all-too-well throughout the Covid pandemic.
Jerry Rogers is the editor at RealClearPolicy and RealClearHealth. He’s the host of the ‘Jerry Rogers Present’ on WBAL NewsRadio. Observe him on Twitter @JerryRogersShow.