DES MOINES, IA –Iowa smokers looking to ring in 2016 by kicking the habit shouldn’t be scared away from using electronic cigarettes. That’s according to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a longtime foe of the tobacco industry and Chairman of the anti-tobacco organization the Truth Campaign. In response, the American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, is applauding Miller for becoming the first AG in the country to fight back against vaping misinformation.
In a statement released last week, Miller adds his voice to a growing chorus of public health advocates and researchers who agree that vaping is far less hazardous than smoking. He cites two estimates of the relative risk of vaping — 95% and 90-98% less hazardous than smoking. “But whatever number is correct, e-cigarettes are dramatically less harmful than combustible cigarettes,” writes Miller.
As Miller explains, confusion about vapor products is growing and has the capacity to harm public health. “Polling indicates that 32% of Americans believe that combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes are equally harmful,” writes Miller. “This means that as many as 13 million adult smokers believe them to be equally harmful, and are very unlikely to switch when switching may save their lives.”
Miller recognizes why many activists are so negative on vaping — a desire to keep youth from using the product — but expressed his discomfort with the strategy. “[A]dults misleading kids to get them to do what we want has always been a failed strategy.”
Miller also takes issue with “a misconception” that surrounds the debate about e-cigarette use by youth — the false idea that vaping once in a 30 day period makes someone a “regular user.” Miller advocates for looking closer at the numbers and judging both past month and habitual usage. “The numbers should be seen together — 13% used e-cigarettes once or more in the last 30 days; 2% have used an e-cigarette 20 or more days in the last 30 days.”
Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, applauded Miller for releasing his statement:
“Attorney General Miller deserves praise for bravely correcting misconceptions about vapor products. Despite clear science to the contrary, polls have repeatedly shown that large shares of the American public falsely believe that vaping is as dangerous as smoking.
“It is unethical for so-called public health groups — many of whom rely on cigarette tax revenue for their continued existence — to continue their misinformation campaign against these smoke-free products. These groups claim to be anti-smoking, but sadly, few see any problem with the fact that their scare campaigns are actually causing less smokers to quit.
“Iowa smokers looking to quit in 2016 should listen to the advice of Tom Miller. Vaping is far less hazardous than smoking and effective at helping smokers quit.”
For more on this issue, please see stories in the Des Moines Register and the Winston-Salem Journal.
About the American Vaping Association
The American Vaping Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates for fair and sensible regulation of vapor products, otherwise known as electronic cigarettes, with the goal of maximizing the number of adult smokers who use these products to quit smoking. The AVA was founded by Gregory Conley, a consumer and industry advocate with a long track record of advocating for vapor products dating back to 2010.
We are dedicated to educating the public and government officials about public health benefits offered by vapor products, which are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine or nicotine-free solution and create an inhalable vapor. The AVA is not a trade group and does not speak for any particular businesses, including our industry sponsors.
You can learn more about AVA and vaping by visiting the AVA website. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.