If you're a government agency like the CDC, the best time to admit to a huge mistake is on Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend. If you're a government agency like the FDA, there's never a good time to make a boneheaded decision.
While an investigation is underway into the exact nature of the problem, so far the likeliest explanation is that improper use of vaping devices has led to illness, or the death, of some users. But that sort of nuance isn't governing the thinking of the FDA or CDC officials, both of which are allowing myths and fearmongering to drive their policies and public statements.
CVS just sent out a mass email patting itself on the back because the pharmacy chain no longer sells cigarettes. That's fine and good. But here's some of the other junk they sell.
It shouldn't really be a surprise when this California city, which doesn't have a clue about the importance of public health, implements a policy that will help kill people.
Not all vices are equally bad. In a perfect world, our kids never do anything stupid or rebellious. But we don't live in that kind of world, do we? The principle of harm reduction acknowledges that reality, which means that teen vapers are preferable to teen smokers.
Commissioner Scott Gottlieb believes that his FDA should be in the business of getting smokers to transition away from cigarettes, to something less harmful like e-cigarettes or other products. That's similar to the policy taken by the UK's National Health Service, and it's precisely in line with ACSH's policy stance of harm reduction.
Like a series of bad sequels, the media is back with yet another terribly botched story. This time, the claim is that using household cleaning sprays is like smoking 20 cigarettes per day. Wrong again.
A traveler who smokes should be able to wait to light up until he, or she, gets home. But if that's not possible, the nicotine craving can be satisfied with a layover in Europe or Asia.
The King County Health Department, which serves mostly the city of Seattle and its suburbs, has recently earned a reputation for being driven by politics rather than by evidence-based medicine or common sense.
Once again, the echo-chamber nature of press releases serves to promote misleading science and internet "health news" clickbait. This time, it's with headlines claiming that tobacco – not marijuana – boosts early stroke risk. So is this fact or fiction? Let's take a look.
Vivek Murthy recently announced that e-cigarettes pose a "major public health concern," adding that "the use of nicotine-containing products by youth, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe." But that's not what the science says. It'd be far better for the Surgeon General to say that those who don't currently vape shouldn't do it, bit, but that e-cigarettes are likely to prove much safer than regular cigarettes.
There are some unanswered questions about the long-term health safety of e-cigarettes. Studies have suggested that "vaping" is safer than smoking because it doesn't expose a person to the inhaled toxins found in cigarette smoke that can cause cancer. A recent study published in Mutation Research has furthered this thinking, showing that e-cigarettes do not cause mutation in DNA.