As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a consistent attack on the vaping industry, public health organizations like the American Cancer Society (ACS) have remained somewhat noncommittal. Meanwhile, organizations like the American Lung Association are guilty of spreading misinformation alleging that vaping is a gateway to smoking, especially among teens. Others attempt to delay their opinions until while more scientific research develops.
The ACS is not one of these aggressively anti-vaping agencies. In February 2018, the organization issued a press release stating that e-cigs are indeed less harmful than smoking. However, it also called for more research before it could fully endorse the product. Vaping advocates accused the ACS of being cowardly for failing to take a decisive position while anti-tobacco lobbyists claimed the ACS report as another victory.
American Cancer Society endorses vaping
Perhaps in an attempt to clear up the confusion, the American Cancer Society has just released an updated position statement just this month which specifically endorses vaping both as a form of tobacco harm reduction and an effective smoking cessation aid.
“Although many ENDS deliver nicotine, flavor additives, and other chemicals, they do not burn tobacco, a process that yields an estimated 7000 chemicals, including at least 70 carcinogens. Thus, public misunderstanding underscores the urgent need for consumer education about the absolute and relative risks posed by different tobacco products and to reinvigorate smokers’ understanding of the importance of quitting combustible tobacco. Whereas complete information on all the potential risks and benefits of ENDS is not yet available, there is sufficient information to allow ACS to act now with a clear focus on the primary goal of ending deadly combustible tobacco use, which is responsible for approximately a one-half million deaths per year and 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States.”
The ACS’s call for more consumer education to prevent “public misunderstanding” about vaping versus smoking is truly noteworthy. The statement also makes clear that the smoke from tobacco is laced with thousands of toxins and carcinogens that the vapor from e-cigs totally and completely lacks. In the closing argument of the report, the ACS states in italicized font that all smokers must cease all combustible tobacco use by perhaps considering a less harmful alternative, such as vaping.