The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released another report with strong warnings on youth vaping, ignoring data showing a drop in the use of electronic cigarettes by teens in 2016.
The report analyzes e-cigarette use among teens in middle school and high school, and chronicles their brand preferences and whether they use reusable or disposable devices. The report uses statistics published in a surgeon general report from Dec. 8, showing a massive spike in the youth vaping rate between 2011, when the products first gained traction, and 2015.
The report states that 16 percent of high school students use e-cigarettes, up from only 1.5 percent in 2011, however it ignores more recent data from the annual Monitoring the Future survey, which showed a drop in youth vaping in 2016 down to 13 percent of high school students.
Health officials for the CDC conclude the report is key to aiding their efforts to curb vaping among teens, which the CDC argues is a major health concern. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy recently suggested vaping could serve as a gateway to cigarette smoking for teens, and that e-cigarette use among America’s youth is rapidly creating a public health crisis.
“The CDC is using a fear-based outreach effort on e-cigarettes,” Dr. Edward Anselm, senior fellow at the R Street Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The risk to young people is overstated. The recent surgeon generals report had little to say about actual harm to young people. Public perception of the harm and risk of e-cigarettes is being shaped by this disinformation and many people now believe that e-cigarettes are as harmful as combustion cigarettes.”
Many health experts took issue with the surgeon general report, criticizing government officials for ignoring the positive impact vaping has on current smokers and the youth smoking rate. While high school vaping sits at 13 percent, use of cigarettes is dropping to historic lows. Between 2011 and 2015, the percentage of middle school smokers dropped from 4.3 percent to 2.3 percent. Smoking among high school students dropped from 15.8 percent to 9.3 percent. (RELATED: Veterans Are Slamming The FDA’s Plan To Smother Vaping Industry)
Many health experts argue promoting vaping over traditional tobacco aids public health, while harsh regulations make smokers less likely to use the device to quit.
“It is important to clarify that the landscape for e-cigarettes is evolving and that over recent years, youth experimentation and regular use of e-cigarettes has declined,” Anselm told TheDCNF. “It is only recently that sales to minors was prohibited. Overall, the sum of young people using either cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or both is declining. If young people experiment with nicotine, it makes sense that they should try a less toxic form.”
The surgeon general suggests applying the same rules and regulations governing traditional tobacco to e-cigarettes, due to what he deems are the negative impacts of vaping, including, “priming for use of other addictive substances, reduced impulse control, deficits in attention and cognition and mood disorders.”
This is in line with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which finalized a rule in May forcing all vape products to be regulated the same way as cigarettes. The move will force electronic cigarette vendors to submit a pre-market tobacco application for their products to the FDA for approval and is threatening to gut the domestic market.
Vendors and manufactures have until Aug. 8, 2018 to submit the applications for their products and many are anticipating closure, due to the application costs, which range from $100,000 to $400,000 dollars each.
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