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Does Vaping Make Kids Smoke?

World-renowned scientist believes vaping leads to smoking

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Francis Collins is no normal scientist; he led the mapping of the human genome and then acted as a director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But, despite his achievements, he is allowing politics to win over proper science when he announces that vaping is making the tobacco problem worse.

“Today, thanks to decades of educational efforts about the serious health consequences of inhaled tobacco, fewer young people than ever smoke cigarettes in the United States,” explains Collins. Then he adds: “So, it’s interesting that a growing of number of middle and high school kids are using e-cigarettes—electronic devices that vaporize flavored liquid that generally contains nicotine.”

While he fails to see the obvious link between his two statements, Collins goes on to warn us that a recently NIH-funded study has discovered that vaping is bad - a very poor study produced by Stanton “I have alternative facts about vaping” Glantz.

“Researchers found no evidence that the availability of e-cigarettes has served to accelerate the decline in youth smoking. In fact, the researchers concluded the opposite: the popularity of e-cigarettes has led more kids—not fewer—to get hooked on nicotine.”

If touting Glantz’ work as if it were a legitimate exercise in seeking the truth is one thing, but Collins lends it his seal of approval by quoting fallacious chunks from it: “E-cigarettes come with their own health risks, including lung inflammation, asthma, and respiratory infections.”

Scientists like Michael Siegel take issue with such statements, well part of it. While Siegel acknowledges the existence of evidence to support the notion of lung irritation, “when it comes to the claim that e-cigarettes cause asthma and respiratory infections, the story is quite different.”

Siegel points out: “There is no clinical or epidemiological evidence that e-cigarettes cause either asthma or respiratory infections. There is one cell culture study which found an increased susceptibility to infection of respiratory epithelial cells. However, there is not a single clinical or epidemiological study I am aware of that documents an increase in the risk of respiratory infection due to vaping. Nor is there a single clinical or epidemiological study that documents an increased risk of asthma due to vaping.”

When Collins says, “As this study … shows, e-cigarettes seem to be making the tobacco problem worse, not better,” he is perpetuating a lie created by Glantz (who manipulated data to support his own biased agenda). If the National Institutes of Health are having such a problem with scientific process and evidence then maybe they ought to stay out of the debate.

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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