A team of scientists from both the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and Nashville’s Vanderbilt University have recently released the results of a new medical study indicating that only 27 percent of American physicians feel comfortable recommending vaping as a stop smoking aid. For many in the vaping community, this comes as no surprise. The amounts of inaccurate or intentionally misleading anti-vaping propaganda being shared across social media these days is simply staggering.
As a group, doctors are just confused as the average consumer, according to the new survey. While Europe has been consistently releasing numerous research studies over the years indicating that vaping is perhaps 95 percent healthier and safer than smoking, American public health agencies seem to have the direct opposite point of view.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to promote electronic cigarettes as “tobacco products,” even though the e-liquids contained inside are entirely tobacco-free. Meanwhile, America’s Top Doc, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, still continues to demonize vaping in the press. Whom should family care physicians believe?
Mayo Clinic and Vanderbilt theoretical vaping study
The scientists from these two highly regarded institutions decided to submit a survey to thousands of USA physicians. In the survey, the doctors were given a hypothetical case study. They were then asked how they would respond to the patient in real life.
The hypothetical patient is a 27-year old woman, a smoker, and suffering from chronic asthma. She is well aware that she needs to quit smoking, but her attempts to do so through more conventional nicotine replacement therapies like “the patch” and nicotine gum have proven unsuccessful. Whatever she tries, nothing seems to work.
The woman wants to try vaping, and she asks the hypothetical doctor if he or she approves. Alarmingly, only 27 percent of the doctors surveyed admitted that they would recommend vaping to the asthmatic patient struggling to quit smoking. Even though the woman admits that she can’t stop using other alternative therapies, the other 73 percent of the doctors refuse to provide their endorsement.
Dr. Michael Siegel from the Boston University of Public Health finds these numbers “truly appalling.” By not endorsing vaping, these thousands of doctors are essentially saying that smoking is better than vaping for the fictional asthmatic patient.
“While this is truly appalling, I do not blame the physicians. They
have been misled and confused by a major campaign of deception being waged by
anti-tobacco groups and some health agencies, including the FDA and the CDC.
These groups have lied to physicians and deceived them about the nature of
e-cigarettes, their risks, and the relative risks of smoking compared to
“For example, the CDC has told physicians that e-cigarettes are simply another ‘form of tobacco use.’ The FDA has told physicians that there is no evidence that vaping is any safer than smoking. Many anti-tobacco groups have told physicians that vaping is actually worse than smoking. Several anti-tobacco researchers have told physicians that vaping poses a higher cancer risk than smoking. Recently, some anti-tobacco researchers told physicians that vaping poses a higher risk of stroke than smoking. And many organizations have told physicians that vaping causes bronchiolitis obliterans (‘popcorn lung’) without even a suggestion that smoking also causes this severe, progressive lung disease.
Some of the physicians surveyed in the Mayo/Vanderbilt study readily admitted to a preconceived negative perception that smoking and vaping are essentially one-in-the-same. Since the 1990’s, smoking is now considered a vile, nasty habit to the majority of Americans. And since vaping looks an awful lot like smoking, the two are often lumped into the same category. The results of the new study are published in the Annals of American Thoracic Society.