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A Call for More Sensible US Vapor Policy

A Call for More Sensible US Vapor Policy



A Call for More Sensible US Vapor Policy

Health organizations and institutions in America have consistently taken an adversarial position when it comes to vapor products. Recently though, the American Cancer Society has taken an important step toward changing their tune about vaping, and there’s been an outcry of support for more groups to take a harm reduction approach with regard to vapor's potential to reduce tobacco use.

In an editorial by Dr. Carrie Wade, director of harm reduction policy for the R Street Institute, she argues that more groups should take a page out of the American Cancer Society's playbook, moving toward a more “science-based debate” that would replace the current anti-vaping rhetoric. Wade points out that there’s a disconnect between the science-based community and public policy.

“Unfortunately, we rarely see much mind-changing in public policy, even in supposedly science-based policy debates,” Wade writes in the editorial, co-authored by Steven Greenhut.

Vaping and Politics

According to the paper's authors, one of the pervasive problems in American politics when it comes to any major change is the influence of outside interest groups and lobbyists. Special interest groups represent corporate perspectives that are unwavering in their support for one side or another.

“Interest groups and politicians take firm positions and then battle with the other side over proposed laws or regulations, regardless of what new evidence may come to light. And that’s the reason why a recent policy position from a prominent public-health group has grabbed national headlines — it’s not often that major groups evolve on core issues.”

This is an important point in the world of vaping. We here at Breazy have followed study after study, country after country, that have come out and said that there are positive benefits to quitting cigarettes and vaping instead. However, in the United States, until now there has been little to no change in position from major health organizations or the government.

As we’ve seen in the United Kingdom, both private health groups and government agencies have sought effective ways to cut down on national smoking rates. As a result, the government has made it a priority to support the use of e-cigarettes as a method for smoking cessation

American Cancer Society

The change in policy from the American Cancer Society is “refreshing,” according to the editorial.

“Based on currently available evidence,” the society explained last month, “using current generation e-cigarettes is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but the health effects of long-term use are not known.”

Additionally, the Society “recommend[ed] that clinicians support all attempts to quit the use of combustible tobacco and work with smokers to eventually stop using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes.”

While these recommendations are surprising, it’s difficult to surmise how much change will come to American policy concerning vaping. Wade struck a hopeful tone looking at the changes made by the ACS so that millions of smokers are encouraged to quit using vaping as a cessation tool.