UPDATE – FRANCE JOINS U.S. AND CANADA ON THE GATEWAY LIST: AS VAPING BOOMS AMONG YOUTH, CIGARETTE USE REBOUNDING, NOT DOWN

by Clark Miller

Published November 27, 2018

Updated April 8, 2021; March 11, 2022

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, 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.

BELOW – 2022: NEW RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS PREDICTED OUTCOMES FROM VAPING BASED ON KNOWN DIRECT LINKS FROM NICOTINE TO DIABETES

Teen girl vaping

Use of e-cigarettes appears to predict initiation of tobacco smoking in both youth and adults, evidence discussed in context in this post.

Now, preliminary corroborating epidemiological evidence for the U.S. congruent with those results points to prevalence of cigarette use among youth – after years of decline – increasing, not decreasing, concurrently with increases in prevalence of nicotine delivered in vape devices. The uptick in cigarette use is indicated by a trend of clearly diminished reduction in prevalence with a statistically insignificant increase in cigarette smoking in youth in the U.S., discussed and graphically reproduced in this post.

Following those findings, Health Canada released data that, similarly, is both predicted and alarming.

New Canadian public health figures – for e-cigarette and cigarette use among Canadians 15 years of age and older – appear to model those 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.”

Now it appears that France has joined the U.S. and Canada for the alarming and predictable trend. Vaping there has increased among youth since its introduction and marketing began a decade or so ago.

Noted in this 2017 report, in 2016 more than half (53%) of French 17-year-olds had tried vaping, and 2 percent had become daily users. And their use of tobacco cigarettes increased, for 17-year-olds, “the downward trend in daily smoking observed between 2000 and 2008 reversed, with a slight increase over the 2008 – 2014 period.”

As outlined in a previous post in this series

the FDA/Medical Industry plan and endorsement for vaping as effective harm reduction relied on an irresponsibly limited data base; was not grounded in a research base adequate to support confidence in vaping behavior as reducing use of tobacco overall or confidence in vaping health effects as significantly benign compared to those for tobacco; and ignored the direct links among nicotine, risk of onset of type 2 diabetes, and increasing rates of diabetes among youth.

Endorsement of the FDA plan in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) cited a small downward shift in vaping by youth over just one year- 2016. But as described in new reports in the online news source Vox, more recent data point to booming use of e-cigarettes among youth, that use increasing likelihood of young people starting to smoke (tobacco) cigarettes.

Mounting evidence connects links among accumulating research, findings, risk and harm:

Vaping is booming among young people

Driven by popularity of shrewdly advertised, designed, and marketed devices to deliver nicotine

In concentrations similar to or possibly higher than delivered in cigarettes

As often preferred by users

The retained dependence on nicotine supporting durable use of vape devices

Without consistent or convincing evidence of benefit as cessation aid for use of cigarettes

Instead evidence of “gateway” effect, or prediction of initiation of cigarette use

The presumed net benefit of vaping substituted for cigarette use not established, with long-term population effects of increased prevalence of nicotine dependence unknown

And alarming in the context of known health risks of nicotine regardless of delivery system, including contribution to incidence of type 2 diabetes, increasing in youth

Now, independently in the U.S., Canada, and France – epidemiological data predicted by those results and links contribute to evidence of failed outcomes, again, for medical industry harm reduction fixes for the non-medical problem of compulsive substance use. As vaping – not long ago endorsed in the nation’s leading medical journal as a form of harm reduction – booms among youth, concurrently historical trends in decreased use of tobacco smoked in cigarettes now appear to be reversing and apparently increasing in those three populations.

The congruence of those trends 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.

2022: NEW RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS PREDICTED OUTCOMES FROM VAPING BASED ON KNOWN DIRECT LINKS FROM NICOTINE TO DIABETES

From a recent post, published March 9, 2022 – 

Scientists at one of America’s leading medical research universities warn that an “important” new study should serve as a serious wake-up call for e-cigarette smokers.

Frequent vaping can increase a person’s risk of developing high blood sugar — known in medical circles as prediabetes — which is reversible, but often leads to full-blown type 2 diabetes and a host of serious health problems later in life, according to the report published Wednesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“Our study demonstrated a clear association of prediabetes risk with the use of e-cigarettes,” said lead study author Shyam Biswal, an environmental health science professor at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, SWNS reported.

Biswal continued, “With both e-cigarette use and prevalence of prediabetes dramatically on the rise in the past decade, our discovery that e-cigarettes carry a similar risk to traditional cigarettes with respect to diabetes is important for understanding and treating vulnerable individuals.”

. . .

They found that those who vape — a popular pastime among teens and 20-somethings — are 22% more likely to develop prediabetes than those who had never partaken. Meanwhile, traditional cigarette users were 40% more likely to suffer from the condition.

“In the case of cigarette smoking, nicotine has a detrimental effect on insulin action, and it appears that e-cigarettes may also have the same effect,” said Biswal, adding that participants who vaped were found to have worse mental and physical health than nonsmokers.

The link between electronic tobacco dispensers and prediabetes is still unclear. However, nicotine — which is found in both e-cigarettes and traditional cancer sticks — is known to spike blood sugar levels. And, while prediabetes is reversible, it is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other serious complications.

That’s right, nicotine

has a direct effect on insulin biochemistry and would whether administered by smoking combustible cigarettes or by vaping. Nicotine is nicotine.

That all sounds alarming, on top of multiple, worsening lethal public health threats, and especially in the context of runaway use of nicotine by youth by vaping and a youth obesity epidemic already raising concerns about increasing incidence of diabetes.

Who saw that coming?

I did, at A Critical Discourse, in multiple posts over the past 4 years including this post in August of 2018 noting the direct contribution of nicotine to risk of onset of diabetes, then repeatedly over the following years, like here, and here, and here, some 6 to 10 posts in all noting the links among nicotine – diabetes – youth vaping epidemic.

That seems like a public health concern worth the investigative and reporting attention of American journalism over the past 4 years, while vaping boomed among adults and youth. To be fair, American media have been distracted, focused on other reporting related to vaping – as described here, and here, here,  here, here, and here

Young person smoking a cigarette

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.

Pierre Bourdieu - Outline of a Theory of Practice 1972

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