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American Cancer Society Position Statement on Electronic Cigarettes

The American Cancer Society recently released an updated statement on E-cigarettes, and the tone is definitely different than it has been in the past, however it’s in no way a glowing review.  The best news for vapers is the following from their press release: “Some smokers, despite firm clinician advice, will not attempt to quit smoking cigarettes and will not use FDA approved cessation mediations.  These individuals should be encouraged to switch to the least harmful form of tobacco product possible; switching to the exclusive use of e-cigarettes is preferable to continuing to smoke combustible products.” (what if I already used the FDA approved cessation medications and failed, several times?)

They don’t go into detail about why. They don’t explain how much less harmful vaping is than smoking. Really, they don’t commit to anything significant. When I first read the release, I was pretty happy to see their change in attitude towards vaping, but the more I read it the more I realized how seriously irrelevant this statement was. The overall tone was still negative towards ecigs, and used such phrases as “The ACS strongly discourages the concurrent (or “dual”) use of e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes” (which I spoke about in the last blog) and “evidence indicates that young e-cigarette users are at increased risk for both starting to smoke and becoming long-term users of combustible tobacco products” which is a topic for a different blog, because causation and correlation are important to understand when claiming teens are at increased risk to start smoking after vaping. This phrase is basically using the “Gateway” theory we hear so often, which is near impossible to prove either way.


So great, the ACS acknowledges the obvious with their statement, which is minimal at best, still immoral at worse. I guess we will look at it optimistically and say at least it’s a step in the right direction from a public health group….. a small step. A really really small step, like a mouse step. It would be nice if they could come out with a definitive statement like their brothers in the UK, which made clear their stance, and strongly recommended smokers stop smoking, through the use of patches or e-cigs doesn’t matter, just stop smoking. Let’s hope this signals a shift in recommendations across more US public health groups, and maybe even embrace the idea of Harm Reduction via vape. We shall see. There’s a lot of regulatory things happening right now, so I expect something major to happen soon. Stay tuned……  


Read the whole statement here:

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