for some reason, probably because he doesn't want to admit the position the office held for the past couple of years was backward and wrong. The U.S. Surgeon General released on Thursday a 30 year update on smoking rates in the country. Cigarette smoking among American adults is at an all-time low of 14%, which represents about 34 million smokers.
Although vapes and eLiquids are not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a quit-smoking aid, the evidence is out in the wild and the word is spreading that they are in fact quite useful as a smoking cessation method.
“It is difficult to make generalizations about efficacy for cessation based on clinical trials involving a particular e-cigarette. More research is needed on whether e-cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation and to better understand the health effects of e-cigarettes.” Dr. Jerome Adams said in the consumer guide recently released by the FDA.
Before vaping the promotion of smoking-cessation methods that have had limited successes. Strategies for decreasing tobacco use, such as raising excise taxes, fully funding prevention programs at the state level, and implementing graphic warnings labels on tobacco products don't do as much as those who enforce those methods would like in efforts to get people to quit smoking. Unfortunately for these non vape methods less than 33% were successful using FDA-approved cessation medications or behavioral counseling.
The guide recommends that “in order for adult smokers to achieve any meaningful health benefits from e-cigarettes, they would need to fully switch to e-cigarettes and stop smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products completely.” which is a refreshing reappraisal of the FDA's stance on vaping. The guide of course then adds; “Among those who have switched completely, the ultimate goal should be to also stop using e-cigarettes completely.”
Adams’ office said research shows that more than two-thirds of U.S. adult cigarette smokers report interest in quitting cigarette smoking, with the majority trying to quit during the past year. “I’m calling on healthcare professionals, health systems, employers, insurers, public-health professionals, and policy makers to take action to put an end to the staggering — and completely preventable — human and financial tolls that smoking takes on our country.” Adams said.
David Sweanor, an adjunct law professor at the University of Ottawa and the author of several e-cig studies, said Adams and his office “have ignored Nielsen data, analyst reports, estimates of cross-elasticities, the lived experience of millions of vapers, the insights from thousands of vape shops, the experience of Sweden, Norway, Iceland, etc. on substitutability.”
The foremost study on the public-health impact of e-cigarettes, released in April 2016 by the Royal College of Physicians, says e-cigarettes are up to 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Public Health England said the study helped affirm its decision to include e-cigs as reduced-risk options for smokers. You know this claim by now, it's an old feather in our old hat.
In a January 2019 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers with the U.K. National Health Service determined e-cigarettes are nearly twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy products in helping smokers quit traditional cigarettes for at least one year.
What do you think about this latest news from the FDA? Are they finally getting on the right side of smoking history? Will this be a sign that 2020 is the year of the vape? Will states that have already banned vapes have to react in light of this new stance from the FDA?