Why is CDC Director Thomas Frieden lying about vaping?

For several years now, U.S. public health officials like CDC Director Thomas Frieden and the FDA’s Mitch Zeller have tried to justify their illogical hatred of e-cigs and vaping devices.  They spend enormous amounts of tax dollars publishing fictionalized articles, press releases, and news stories suggesting that vaping is a gateway to traditional tobacco smoking, especially among America’s youth.

Yet several independently-funded scientific research studies and surveys show this assertion to be completely untrue.  In fact, the opposite is happening.  Smoking rates among teens are plummeting to an all-time low.

Rather than admit that they are wrong, people like Thomas Frieden of the CDC double-down on their nonsensical rhetoric in defiance of all scientific evidence to the contrary.  To this very day, they still insist that there is essentially no difference between vaping and smoking.  Even when world-class medical organizations like the UK’s Royal College of Physicians states publicly than e-cigs are 95% safer and healthier than conventional tobacco products, the CDC and the FDA turn a blind eye.  What gives?  Why is the CDC lying about vaping?

CDC and the National Youth Tobacco Survey

According to the CDC’s own data per the National Youth Tobacco Survey, 13.4 percent of high school students reported use of e-cigarettes in 2014, up from 4.5 percent in a year earlier. During the same timeframe, the rate of past-month e-cig use among middle school students rose from 1.1 percent to 3.9 percent. So, what does Thomas Frieden and his staff do next?

They release a press release entitled, “E-Cigarette Use Triples Among Middle and High School Students in Just One Year” that is picked up by every major news outlet in the nation and several others aboard.

Now, strangely, these numbers are accurate.  And, yes, the numbers tripled within one year.  But we are taking about single percentage points here.  And nowhere….NOWHERE…does the press release mention that over two-thirds of teenagers who try e-cigs vape zero-nicotine e-liquids.  THAT information is conveniently left out.

What the CDC won’t tell you

But this is only part of the story.   Elsewhere buried deep within the press release are some other, more interesting statistics that go completely unnoticed by newscasters and anti-vaping bloggers.

In the fourth paragraph, the CDC states “Cigarette use declined among high school students and remained unchanged for middle school students.”   High school students who had tried smoking within one month of the study were down from 12.7 percent in 2013 to 9.2 percent in 2014.  Middle school smoking rates declined from 2.9 percent to 2.5 percent, but, according to the CDC, a 0.4 percentage difference is too insignificant to accurately measure.  So, they simply choose to say the middle school rates “remained unchanged.”

The numbers are even more dramatic when comparing the percentages from 2014 against 2011.  Smoking rates fell sharply from 15.8 percent to 9.2 percent among high schoolers and 4.3 percent to 2.5 percent among middle schoolers.  Yes, the CDC, the FDA, and even anti-smoking organizations like the American Heart Association use press releases like these still spread lies and misinformation about vaping, labeling it a gateway to teen smoking.

But the term “gateway” is a relative term.  It can be both good and bad, depending on how you use it.  As one New York Times columnists explains it, e-cigs and vaping devices are “not a gateway in, and they might be accelerating the gateway out” of teen smoking addiction.

So, why is Thomas Frieden and Mitch Zeller lying to you about vaping?

Mitch Zeller has his own reasons, reasons that are specifically related to the Pharmaceuticals Industry and other competing nicotine replacement therapies like “the patch” and nicotine gum.  But Frieden?  Frieden might just be like every other political insider in Washington, DC.  Even though the CDC is in Atlanta, Frieden may be suffering from the same personality defect plaguing one or more of our presidential candidates.  Rather than admit they were wrong, they simply keep repeating more and more lies.  Apologizing is NOT an option.  And the mudslinging only get worse.

Article Credit: Matt Rowland

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