During a recent press conference, the Director for the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Tom Frieden, openly dismissed electronic cigarettes as an effective and far healthier smoking cessation device. Even though Europe is choosing to support vaping rather than eliminate it, Freiden stood firm when questioned by reporters. Unfortunately, his supporting reasoning is being labeled as intentionally misleading by many journalists and medical industry experts around the world.
In the 1960’s, nearly 45% of Americans smoked tobacco cigarettes. Since the 1990’s, this percentage has been dropping at a steady pace. However, the CDC just announced last week that the number of active smokers has hit a 20-year low, and as a result, Dr. Frieden seems to want the CDC to claim most of the credit. Instead of citing the popularity of vaping as the largest contributing factor to the decline in smoking, Dr. Freiden ignores its influence altogether.
The CDC has also been making statements regarding a woman who allegedly tried to quit smoking using vaping products, only to end up using them interchangeably with tobacco cigarettes at the same time. The agency goes on to claim that the woman in question eventually suffered a collapsed lung. By creatively and perhaps deceptively wording the statement, Tom Freiden implies that e-cigs led to the woman’s health problems.
But upon further investigation by The New York Times and other major media outlets, the woman only suffered from the collapsed lung after first switching back to tobacco cigarettes 100% of the time. Dr. Frieden is being accused of intentionally misleading the American public to favor the newly released FDA e-cig regulations.
Lack of accurate scientific research
Dr. Freiden and the CDC is also attracting controversy for supporting an FDA whose new e-cig regulations are in direct contradiction to the 28 countries of the European Union. Less than a month before the FDA e-cig regulations were announced, the UK’s Royal College of Physicians (RCP) released an extensive report stating that e-cigs and vaping devices offer tremendous benefits to the future of public health. The RCP even goes so far as to say that e-cigs should be embraced and supported by federal governments rather than demonized and abolished.
Many fear that the CDC’s “Top Doc” may be looking a gift horse in the mouth. They also question why the United States is going against the European Union and other world leaders. By failing to praise the vaping industry for helping to reduce U.S. smoking rates, Frieden may be missing a tremendous opportunity to help millions more Americans to quit smoking. Instead, he stubbornly sides with the FDA. If the CDC-FDA partnership is successful and electronic cigarettes are regulated out of existence, most medical experts believe that the new 20-year low in U.S. smoking rates will witness an instantaneous surge in the opposite direction.