As signs of a juvenile diabetes tsunami mount, America’s broken healthcare and media institutions exhibit characterologically diminished capacity to follow and use evidence

by Clark Miller

Published April 12, 2024

The current burden of diabetes is extremely high and is increasing every passing moment globally. In developing economies like India, it is mainly fueled by the accelerated prevalence of overweight, early obesity and unhealthy lifestyles like the increasing trend of consumption of nicotine products in school-going children, adolescents and young adults. The estimates in the year 2019 showed that 77 million individuals were diabetic in India, which is expected to rise to a whopping 134 million by 2045 which will have a worse outcome if associated with or triggered due to early nicotine consumption.

The Government of India in a futuristic approach realized the morbidity of this association and launched the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, heart Diseases, and Stroke (NPCDCS) in 2010. By March 2017, non-communicable disease cells which help with planning, monitoring, and reporting activities were been established in 390 (55%) of 719 districts by the govt of India which is a very good initiative to monitor and track the new cases and registered follow-ups for outcomes. Further, as diabetes is still not a notifiable condition, there are limited data available on patients treated in the private sector, thus its actual burden is unknown. As a result, the burden of diabetes in India might just be hugely underestimated as actually known.

In the U.S. as well, juvenile diabetes is surging, with a recent, seemingly inexplicable upturn

Continuing with the reports from India,  

So if you still decide to use nicotine products either heated or heat not burnt types, you’re 30% to 40% more likely to get type 2 diabetes than people who don’t consume nicotine. The more you start early any form of nicotine consumption, the higher your risk, thus increasing your risk for type 2 diabetes even if you aren’t overweight. . . . 

The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016, reported obesity and tobacco use to be one of the most important risk factors for death due to diabetes. . . . 

Managing diabetes is challenging, and vaping in any form can make it even more so. Nicotine increases your blood sugar levels and makes them harder to handle. People with diabetes who vape may often need larger doses of insulin to keep their blood sugar close to their target levels.

Merely treating diabetes might just not be sufficient as it will take care of only blood sugar levels, the simultaneous cessation of nicotine products needs to be the primary highlight in all sponsored or self-help programmes now. Sensitization over the direct risk link between diabetes and the early start of nicotine consumption has to be sincerely and seriously dealt with in all opportunities and fronts. The resistance to e-cigarettes menace causing increased numbers of potential diabetics or heart patients, has to continue.

India is not the only developed nation to take strong, albeit misguided,  action to protect public health from another medical fix for the non-medical problem of compulsive substance use. India is one of 47 countries including Japan and Australia to ban e-cigarettes based on the evidence for harm and lack of benefit. 

In recognizing pressing need and motivating for decisive action to protect public health, those developed cultures likely benefited from absence of medical/media collusions of the type that would fabricate evidence to generate a lethal opioid crisis or, for example, promote vaping as “an innovative plan” in a top medical journal

It does appear that in India longstanding evidence linking nicotine to risk of and worsening of diabetes; a looming global youth diabetes epidemic; and trends of increasing exposure of youth to enhanced levels of nicotine in vape devices are recognized and have elicited concerns and responses in healthcare systems. 

Nations without competently functioning healthcare systems, or functional public health, research or medical institutions and experts, or competent media have lagged in recognition and action, with potentially devastating outcomes, highlighted by recent and continuing warnings of surges in juvenile diabetes onset, unexplained by risk factors other than recent trends in nicotine exposure

Girls vaping

Meanwhile in the context of mystified, confused experts and surging juvenile diabetes, the body of congruent evidence pointing to a causal link from nicotine vaping to an emerging youth diabetes epidemic is growing

Vaping teen

Why A Critical Discourse?

Because an uncontrolled epidemic of desperate and deadly use of pain-numbing opioid drugs is just the most visible of America’s lethal crises of drug misuse, suicide, depression, of obesity and sickness, of social illness. Because the matrix of health experts and institutions constructed and identified by mass media as trusted authorities – publicly funded and entrusted to protect public health – instead collude to fabricate false assurances like those that created an opioid crisis, while promising medical cures that never come and can never come, while epidemics worsen. Because the “journalists” responsible for protecting public well-being have failed to fight for truth, traded that duty away for their careers, their abdication and cowardice rewarded daily in corporate news offices, attempts to expose that failure and their fabrications punished.

Open, critical examination, exposure, and deconstruction of their lethal matrix of fabrications is a matter of survival, is cure for mass illness and crisis, demands of us a critical discourse.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.

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