TEEN VAPING: MORE EVIDENCE, AGAIN, POINTING TO BOOMING E-CIGARETTE USE WORSENING, NOT PREVENTATIVE FOR, CIGARETTE SMOKING
by Clark Miller
Published November 14, 2018
Updated April 7, 2021
Evidence continues to accumulate pointing to increased prevalence of “vaping”, or use of e-cigarettes to inhale vaporized nicotine (the addictive chemical in cigarettes), in adults and youth as providing no established net population health benefit and likely harm. As noted in a previous post in a series – as with other “harm reduction”, replacement, and healthcare practices driven and implemented by the medical industry in collaboration with drug manufacturing and delivery industries, medical/pharmaceutical fixes for entirely non-medical problems have resulted in predictable failed outcomes and harms. Just last year, the FDA branded vaping as an important “harm reduction” strategy, that approach endorsed in the nation’s leading medical journal.
The most recent post in this series discussed new evidence of alarming reversals of decades-long trends in decreased cigarette use, including in youth, concurrent with booming “vaping” of nicotine – seemingly pointing to a worsening, rather than protective effect of e-cigarette use:
New Canadian public health figures – for e-cigarette and cigarette use among Canadians 15 years of age and older – appear to model similarly alarming U.S. trends. Prevalence of that population in Canada having ever used e-cigarettes increased by 15% in 2017 compared to 2015. And concurrently with the increased use of vaping, instead of the desired and industry-promoted projection of decreased cigarette use related to vaping, cigarette use increased, also by 15%, over the same period. As in the U.S., cigarette use had apparently prior to the upturn been in decline, “In 2017, the overall prevalence of smoking among Canadians aged 15 and up was 15 per cent, representing 4.6 million current smokers, an increase from 2015 when it hit an all-time low of 13 per cent.”
More recently, epidemiological data on vaping among youth and adults at risk of increasing use of tobacco cigarettes and nicotine dependence was released by the American Academy of Pediatricians.
“With our findings, we suggest that smoking uptake and progression is an adverse public health consequence of high rates of e-cigarette use among youth and young adults. The findings also did not reveal strong evidence of transitioning away from combustible cigarette use as a potential public health benefit of e-cigarette use in young people. Together, these findings reveal that adolescent e-cigarette use may result in an overall adverse impact on the public health of youth and young adults.”
The congruence of those results with the accumulating evidence pointing to a gateway rather than proactive link from vaping to cigarette use and nicotine dependence appears to form another disturbing example of medical/pharmacologic fixes for non-medical problems predicting harm.