Beamsville, ON, June 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A recent commentary written by Clifford Douglas, former Vice President of Tobacco Control at the American Cancer Society and founder of the Center for Tobacco Control calls for the end of the internecine warfare over vaping. Douglas has also formerly served as a special counsel on tobacco issues in the U.S. House of Representatives, as a tobacco control policy advisor for the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health and the U.S. Surgeon General, and as a lawyer representing injured smokers and state attorneys general in litigation against the tobacco industry.
Within the commentary Douglas states, “But I think the national tobacco control community in the U.S., my community, is now letting down tens of millions of adult smokers, their families and friends, healthcare providers, and government decision-makers. I refer to my community’s approach to dealing with electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). We are now neck-deep in intractable internecine warfare between the mainstream tobacco control community, whose primary focus is on protecting youth from the dangers of vaping, and the tobacco harm reduction (THR) community, some of whose scientists are also committed participants in mainstream tobacco control efforts. The THR community emphasizes the potential benefits of vaping for adult smokers who cannot or will not quit smoking otherwise. It seems that ne’er the twain shall meet.”
Douglas’ commentary is focused on the United States, but it is applicable globally. For vape and harm reduction advocates, the trying nature of the relationship with government and health organizations stems from the moving goal posts. At first the objection to vaping was a lack of research. Now that vaping is widely recognized as less harmful than smoking and there is evidence of its efficacy, the argument has shifted to a moral debate solely focused on youth with little regard for the health of adults.
“But the emphasis on the part of the tobacco control community these days is clearly about kids and vaping, leaving almost no room to advocate the use of e-cigarettes and other non-combustible products to help adults addicted to smoking who cannot or are unwilling to quit nicotine, many of whom are socially marginalized, poor, less educated, experience serious mental health conditions, or are members of the military or veterans,” said Douglas.
“The Canadian Vaping Association commends Douglas for trying to bridge the gap between tobacco control and vape advocates. In the end, we all have the same goal of a tobacco free society. The past practises of tobacco companies have caused distrust of the vape industry with regulators and the public. It is important to remember that this industry was created by smokers, for smokers. We don’t want youth vaping and have proposed many reasonable solutions. There are ways to prevent youth use that won’t inflict harm on adult smokers,” said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA.