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All About The Benjamins

The Centre For Disease Control’s recent survey and the ensuing New York Times article has prompted a strong rebuttal from many sources.

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“Another day, another fraud perpetrated by our ‘public health’ leaders at the CDC,” shouts the American Council on Science & Health (ACSH). They aren’t alone. Questions are being asked why a body tasked with public health and harm reduction is misrepresenting the facts and why a respected newspaper is aiding them.

In an editorial titled “The Perils of Smokeless Tobacco, expressing the New York Times’ opinion, they tell the CDC’s tale and accuse the vaping industry of “playing down ... harms and risks.” They confuse smoking with nicotine use, lie about the industry targeting youth and repeat the gateway myth. Not prepared to let it lie there, the editorial finishes off by sticking the boot into Snus for reasons that are neither clear nor remotely truthful.

ACSH accuse the NY Times of “working hand-in-glove with the “public health” officials, NGOs and politicians whose craving for cigarette tax money and/or big pharma largesse outweigh their ethics.”

Speaking on behalf of ACSH, Doctor Gil Ross didn’t mince his words: “The amount of Orwellian double-think and hypocrisy continues to mount each day. The spokesmen for the CDC and its minions continue to lie and mislead, slicing and dicing their own data to assert that the trends say the opposite of what they clearly do say. Oh well. Some day, truth will triumph and these officially-sanctioned liars will reap their just rewards.”

Business magazine Forbes’ website carried not one but two articles castigating the CDC. Sally Satel, putting on her harm reduction hat, wrote: “The [CDC] agency’s study does not confirm what many have feared about e-cigarettes, namely, that they are a ‘gateway’ to cigarette smoking. If anything, it shows the opposite, making a solid case that e-cigarettes are diverting kids away from a lifetime of smoking and future disease.” She cites a survey from Canada debunking the gateway myth prior to lambasting the CDC for lying in an ad campaign by claiming ecigs do not help smokers to quit – as all the evidence contradicts their position. She calls for the director of the CDC to account for his misleading rhetoric to the oversight subcommittee.

Jacob Sullum continues the attack in his article: “Rather than admit they [CDC] were wrong to claim that e-cigarettes are a ‘gateway’ to the conventional kind, opponents of vaping have escalated their prevarications by implying, in defiance of all scientific evidence, that there is no important difference between the two [cigarettes and ecigs] kinds of nicotine delivery devices.”

Mike Corones, writing for the Reuters news agency, also points out that the CDC’s own data contradicts their conclusions by referring them to an opinion article in, just to complete the circle, the New York Times!

Gil Ross, in a separate article, points out “there is no tobacco in e-cigs/vapour products, which they [CDC] well know.” So what is the motivator? It’s related to the income states receive from Big Tobacco and what stands to be lost if ecigs cannibalise cigarette sales. The graphic on this page lists to top earners in 2014 alone (data from Pro Publica); it really is all about the Benjamins.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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