This letter originally appeared in the Journal Gazette on December 29, 2014.
By answering “maybe” to the question of whether vapor products, otherwise known as e-cigarettes, are safer than combustible cigarettes, Jill Leal of Tobacco Free Allen County exemplifies much of what is wrong with tobacco control’s misguided war on vaping (“It is not candy,” Dec. 19).
Among public health researchers who have published on the topic, there is no doubt that the use of vapor products is far less hazardous than smoking. Doubt about whether they help smokers quit is also quickly being extinguished as more studies are published.
In 2010, a survey found that 80percent of smokers correctly believed that vapor products presented less risk than smoking. By 2013, that number had dropped to 60 percent. So why the disconnect?
Perhaps it’s because prominent anti-smoking activists – driven by an ideology that forces them to reject even the sight of fake smoking – have gleefully peddled misinformation. This has been to the detriment of smokers, many of whom have taken these cryptic warnings seriously and continued to smoke.
President, American Vaping Association