The United States Surgeon General released a report today that slammed e-cigarettes and called for even more regulation and taxation.
In the completely biased report, Vivek Murthy chooses to focus almost exclusively on the highly manipulative and alarmist “think of the children” argument.
Seriously. Let that sink in.
The Surgeon General of the United States, a position that brings to mind a fair, impartial, and unbiased guardian of the health of the nation has gone completely off the deep-end and embraced Big Tobacco and Big Pharma propaganda in his first official report on e-cigarettes.
The report chooses to focus on “youth”, completely ignoring adult use of e-cigarettes.
The report makes the outlandish and ridiculous assertion that vaping doesn’t help smokers quit, which flies in the face of the testimonies of millions of former smokers whose lives have been saved by e-cigarettes. Interestingly, the opening statement in the “Overview” section of the executive summary seems to unintentionally make the case for vaping by claiming that an increase in use of e-cigs coincides with a decline in traditional cigarette smoking:
Although conventional cigarette smoking has declined markedly over the past several decades among youth and young adults in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS] 2012), there have been substantial increases in the use of emerging tobacco products among these populations in recent years (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] 2015, 2016). Among these increases there has been a dramatic rise in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among youth and young adults (Figures 1, 2, and 3).
Wow, what a real head-scratcher. Could the increase in e-cig use and decline in smoking be because vaping is helping people to quit smoking? Nah, couldn’t be that!
The most bizarre portion of this whole situation is that he is simultaneously calling for more regulations in the name of public health while also admitting that he isn’t sure of the role that e-cigarettes play in reducing tobacco consumption. From the report:
Therefore, more studies are needed to elucidate the nature of any true causal relationship between e-cigarette and combustible tobacco product use.
This “ban it first, figure out the facts later” position is something that you would expect from an internet troll or a paid industry shill, but not something that anyone would ever expect to hear from the UNITED STATES SURGEON GENERAL.
If you’re thinking about taking the time to actually read this report to learn about the fair and logical arguments against vaping (I’m sure that there are some), don’t bother. It’s nothing more than a regurgitation of the “think of the children” arguments that anti-vaping nutjobs have been beating us over the head with for the past five or six years. Nothing new to see here. Just the same bullshit that we’ve heard before written by a guy with a fancier title. E-liquid flavors are being created for kids, since adults don’t like things that taste good (what about flavored alcohol, which is perfectly legal?), vaping leads to smoking and not the other way around (even though the UK prescribes e-cigs to help smokers quit), etc.
When digging deep into the report, I found an argument that was so strange that I had to do a double-take and check to make sure that this wasn’t some elaborate hoax and that I was actually reading a real Surgeon General report. Here it is, quoted directly from the report:
Themes in e-cigarette marketing, including sexual content and customer satisfaction, are parallel to themes and techniques that have been found to be appealing to youth and young adults in conventional cigarette advertising and promotion.
Because grown-ups don’t like to fuck and don’t enjoy being satisfied customers. How incredibly bizarre is it that the Surgeon General is officially making the claim that SEX in marketing is designed to appeal to KIDS? What the fuck is going on? I really don’t have anything else to say about it, because I’m still trying to wrap my head around what I just read. It’s just such an incredibly creepy and weird thing to say, let alone write down in an official report.
Let’s move on.
In the final “Call to Action” portion of the report, Murthy encourages the implementation of the new FDA regulations, which are designed to completely destroy the vaping industry and make it virtually impossible to buy or sell vaping products.
Fortunately, with the incoming Trump administration and Republican congress, the evil and corrupt regulations are almost certainly going to be overturned. Hopefully the anti-vapers are just making a last desperate measure to impose their will on society in the face of the inevitable, and this will all blow over in a couple months.