Quit and Win vs. Quit or Die

Posted 21st December 2016 by Dave Cross
When it comes to quitting smoking, The Land of the Free is anything but in some parts of the United States. Enlightened public health officials have embraced vaping as a method of harm reduction; meanwhile, backward thinkers still push a quit or die philosophy.

Megan Grayless works for the Catch Global Foundation in Austin, Texas. She’s in charge of the Catch My Breath program and is horrified that one in four Texas teenagers claim to have ever tried an electronic cigarette. Megan is worried, she’s very worried: “It’s very alarming, because in particularly with youth and young adolescence, their brain is still developing.”

Megan would be concerned, her pharma-focused organisation runs the Catch My Breath with the sole aim of “e-cigarette prevention”. Vaping, apparently, is the new gateway drug for youth!

"Youth E-cigarette use is quickly becoming a public health emergency," says organiser Steven Kelder. "While those of us in public health celebrate the decline in cigarette use among children, youth are increasingly turning to E-cigarettes instead. E-cigarettes have their own host of health and developmental impacts that can last well into adulthood. Contrary to public opinion, E-cigarettes are not harmless. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine, which is addictive, and contain other harmful toxins. Nicotine exposure by the foetus, children and adolescents can have permanent developmental consequences."

Grayless and her chums have organised a series of lesson plans for teachers to use in schools, in order to indoctrinate teens with distortions of the truth and gross lies. They happily receive their salaries to act in a way to give current teen smokers no option – ‘quit our way or stay smoking’ ought to be their motto.

We Vape

Doctor Michael Cummings doesn’t live in Texas. It’s not worth him bothering to relocate because it’s highly unlikely the Catch Global Foundation would accept an application from him. Cummings works at the MUSC Hollings Cancer Centre and is one of those exceptional things – an American cancer specialist who feels vaping has a part to play in reducing the harm of smoking.

In January, the Hollings Cancer Centre ran a “Quit & Win!” competition.  All the contestants needed to do was stay clear from smoking cigarettes between January and February 15th, and the two winners scooped $1,000 in prize money. Cummings followed up the participants afterwards by phone and discovered that 83 had managed to stay clear of smoking.

What made this a bit different was that Cummings embraced vaping as one of the tools in the quit cabinet. “Looking back, I would say the contest was a success,” said the doctor. “I think smokers are looking for something better (than conventional medications, gums and patches) to help them quit.”

He celebrated the fact that a third of those taking part used electronic cigarettes. How bizarre is it that some parts of America champion harm reduction through vaping while others tell you to quit or die?

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
Eternal Vape