It isn’t particularly uncommon for government agencies to bend the truth. What is thoroughly disingenuous is how they decide to bend the truth. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed a bit of a trend. Wherever the use of e-cigarettes is prevalent, the overall combustible use declines. It is kind of hard to see how one equals the other, but that is exactly what the CDC have done.
Overall tobacco use by middle and high school students has not changed since 2011, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Of course, in this instance they mean anything tobacco related. You will of course know that the FDA is planning to regulate e-cigarettes just like tobacco and they are even going so far as calling them tobacco products. Which is easy enough as the definition of a tobacco product in the US is – any product derived from tobacco, which of course would include nicotine. After all it is a derivative of tobacco – probably the single best source of nicotine on the planet. Technically it is a correct definition, but it does get a little bit silly when it also applies to the component parts of an e-cigarette.
Data from the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey show that 4.7 million middle and high school students were current users (at least once in the past 30 days) of a tobacco product in 2015, and more than 2.3 million of those students were current users of two or more tobacco products. Three million middle and high school students were current users of e-cigarettes in 2015, up from 2.46 million in 2014.
Again, the definitions for “tobacco product user” in the US could be considered, quite frankly to be wonky. As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, to be a “current user” of any “tobacco product” you only need to have used said product once in the last 30 days. That then qualifies you to be a “current user” which is frankly ridiculous. I last had a cigar back in May 2015, and no doubt I’ll have one or two more over the course of 2016 and I would consider myself to be a “current user” of cigars – though from the US’s point of view I would be classed as an “ever user”. Confusing isn’t it?
I’ve covered this before, the US is, shall we say a little befuddling with how they represent statistics. Mostly they fudge them around until they get the kind of result they are looking for, mostly to stir up some media attention in an effort to push forward some inane piece of legislation that only serves to be, quite frankly, puritanical nannying.
The most interesting part of this, slightly twisted infographic is that the use of e-cigarettes has, once again risen but that there is a significant decrease in current cigarette use. Surely anyone with half a brain-cell would suggest this can only be a good thing?
— Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (@TobaccoFreeKids) April 15, 2016
Apparently not. Ya see, CFTFK is one of these insidious organisations that just loves the sound of its own press releases, and of course the sweet taste of cash from the trough, all for (wait for it) the “benefit of public health” :
None of these tobacco products is currently regulated by the FDA to stop marketing and sales to kids or otherwise protect public health.
Unless I’m mistaken (which happens) the usual tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, ryo and so forth) do currently have regulation by the FDA – it’s not the kind of regulation that these public health troughers want, but it is regulation nonetheless.
Today’s survey shows that the huge increase in youth e-cigarette use since 2011 is continuing. From 2014 to 2015, current e-cigarette use rose from 13.4 percent to 16 percent among high school students and from 3.9 percent to 5.3 percent among middle school students. From 2011 to 2015, there was a more than ten-fold increase in current e-cigarette use among high school students – from 1.5 percent to 16 percent. Just between 2014 and 2015, the total number of youth e-cigarette users increased from 2.46 million to 3 million. For the second year in a row, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco products among both middle and high school students – in fact, nearly twice as many youth reported using e-cigarettes compared to cigarettes (3 million to 1.6 million).
CFTFK makes a big song and dance out of teens vaping, all while yelling “The Cheeldren™” loudly and often to any and all who are listening. They insist on “strict
regulation prohibition” because they don’t like it. They think that vaping is smoking. The CDC and FDA think that vapour products are tobacco.
The best news in the survey is that cigarette smoking among high school students has fallen by 41 percent since 2011, with the smoking rate declining from 15.8 percent to 9.3 percent in 2015. But this finding is tempered by a lack of decline from 2014 to 2015.
The vast majority of the press release is all about the vaping prevalence rates, with only two (count ’em) sentences on the rate of actual smoking. Which, judging by the percentage rates (if you can actually believe them), they are actually having similar success to the UK, although the UK is still streets ahead.
But then, it’s never ever been about health. It’s always been about prohibition. Control. It’s about time the proles revolted.