Tomorrow, Nov. 20th, is the 39th annual Great American Smokeout, sponsored by The American Cancer Society. Let s have a look at how well that s been working, in the most relevant terms: how many adults still smoke, and how many have successfully smoked-out, that is, quit?
See this graphic for some perspective:
Notice a trend? Neither do I. When the first Surgeon General s report on Smoking and Health linked cigarette smoking to a variety of diseases, especially lung cancer and heart disease, the impact was felt immediately: smoking rates declined from the mid-40 percent all the way to the mid-20s between the 1964 report s release and thirty years later, in the 1990s. Since then, over the past twenty or so years, the adult smoking rate has basically plateaued, with only a barely-perceptible downward slope (the very good news is that after a long flattened period, teen smoking rates have declined significantly over the past few years):
Many of us devotees of tobacco, smoking and public health believe that the increased use of electronic nicotine delivery devices e-cigarettes, and related vapor products have helped many young people to get off of deadly, addictive cigarettes.
The American Cancer Society, like its peer-group nonprofits (American Heart Assctn., American Lung Assctn., et al) and the official health agencies of governments at all levels, continue to disparage, stigmatize and spread alarmist misinformation about reduced-risk products such as e-cigs and vapors, ignoring the stunning lack of efficacy of their tried-and-true methods. Studies have confirmed that the FDA-approved methods to help smokers quit rarely succeed, as is clearly illustrated by the adult smoking rate s imperceptibly slow decline over the past decade.
So I propose that henceforth, the name of this third-Thursday-in-November event should be changed to The Great American Vape-Out, since millions of smokers have switched away from deadly cigarettes, thanks to e-cigs (34,000 examples of this can be reviewed at the Facebook page HelpingAddictedSmokers). After all, the Oxford Dictionary's "Word of the Year" is....VAPE!