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Vaping continues to be a controversial topic pitting harm reduction against harm elimination; two goals that seem incompatible. But in writing about the effect of tobacco flavor on our blood vessels I discovered that vaping as practiced is not necessarily vaping as discussed. My initial response to the study of tobacco flavors was that studying the effect of flavors was too reductionist; you need to consider the impact of flavoring in the context of smoking or vaping to understanding how all the chemicals interact. After all, who just vapes flavor?

As it turns out, quite a few teens. Most teens are vaping flavor alone, not tobacco or nicotine. An NIH study [1] found that among the 28%...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has done many positive things recently: they eased red tape on generic drug approval, which is 85% of U.S. spending for pharmaceuticals, setting a new record last year by August and are on pace to exceed that again before the end of this fiscal year; they finally stated they were going to look into the suspect labeling claims made by Big Organic, which are far more deceptive...

Not only did Americans vote on members of Congress this week, but citizens of several states also voted on various science- and health-related policy issues. How did those turn out?

It was a mixed bag. In some states, sensible science policy carried the day, while in others, head-scratching new laws were passed. First, the good:

Colorado Proposition 112 was defeated. In the Centennial State, environmental activists tried to push through Proposition 112, which would have greatly curtailed fracking in the state. Based on rather flimsy evidence, its proponents wanted to expand the size of "buffer zones," inside of which fracking would not be allowed. The initiative was so poorly written and so transparently anti-fracking that it garnered...

flavored vapesAn article in yesterday's Washington Post titled "What's in all that vaping smoke?" gets thing one wrong before getting one thing right. What it gets wrong is the title, by using the term "vaping smoke", which incorrectly equates combustible cigarette smoke, made by burning tobacco, with e-cigarette vapor, which is not a tobacco product and confuses people...

Since its inception, the American Council on Science and Health has been trying to eliminate smoking. In the early days, that involved outreach and awareness and a certain amount of sympathy because it is an addiction.

But after two generations of outreach and awareness and sympathy, smoking has become, in the words of American Council on Science and Health President Hank Campbell, something of an IQ test. You have to be truly stupid to take it up.

Yet there are still moments, when we are lamenting the decline in intelligence in young people who take up smoking no matter how hard we try, that we have to admire their ingenuity. For example, now all of the best cold medication has to be kept behind the counter at the pharmacy because clever young people learned how to...

Not that long ago, if a company had invented a far safer way to deliver nicotine to addicted smokers, politicians would be celebrating. Smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of disease and death in the world. If every smoker quit cigarettes today, we would have a healthier society, and healthcare costs undoubtedly would decrease. That's a win-win.

But today, partisanship has ruined just about everything. It has crept into nearly every aspect of American life, from the workplace and classroom to sporting events and even dinner table conversations. A good idea is rejected simply because the "other team" came up with it.

This is a terrible development for our culture. But it's even worse for areas such as public health, because people die when we implement bad...

Dr. Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, a member of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and an endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research, was an early adapter of abandoning the "quit or die" approach to cigarette addiction, and embracing all avenues for smoking cessation. He also said we need to be more compassionate toward the smokers still remaining and advocate "harm reduction" while we get them to quit.

There's no question his approach – we adopted it as well, and he is on the American Council on Science and Health Board of Scientific Advisors, based on the strength of his arguments and research – has worked. Smoking has...

In its tenth anniversary edition, the latest Tobacco Atlas report by the World Lung Foundation (WLF) had some bad news to share: Tobacco-related deaths have nearly tripled in the past decade. If current trends continue, tobacco use and exposure will be responsible for the death of one person every six seconds which adds up to a billion deaths this century.

However, ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross has a bone to pick with the wording in the WLF report: It s not tobacco that s responsible for these deaths, he says, it s cigarettes! Smoking is what s responsible for killing 50 million people in the last ten years cigarettes are the cause of...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2015 National Health Interview Survey – the source for national smoking estimates – reveals surprising e-cigarette facts, summarized in the chart below.

The figures demonstrate a 7 percent drop in current vapers from the 8.9 million reported in 2014 (here), due largely to a 29 percent decline in the number of current smokers who vape. In the NHIS survey respondents were current smokers and/or vapers if they used products every day or some days. In both years, 22-23 percent of current smokers vaped every day; the rest reported vaping, on average, about 7.7 days in the past month.

Year to year, the number of former smokers who...

The CDC released a report on Thursday that should cause widespread celebration: The prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults (14%) is at an all-time low since the federal government began tracking such data in 1965.

That's not just extremely good news. This is a huge public health triumph and should make major headlines, just like it did on CNN. But other media outlets, like the...