In a statement posted to their homepage on cancer.org, the American Cancer Society (ACS) announces to the world their new position on vaping. In a statement approved by the Board of Directors in February 2018, the ACS sided in favor of vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco. This change in position comes in light of positive results from short-term vaping studies. The ACS maintains that the long-term effects of vaping are not known, but current evidence shows vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes.
ACS Clinical Recommendations
The ACS recommends professionals in the healthcare field continue to urge patients to use FDA approved smoking cessation methods. But, for those patients who will not use FDA approved methods, vaping is agreeable. The ACS also points out that the ultimate goal is to get patients to quit all tobacco products (including e-cigarettes).
ACS Policy Recommendations
The American Cancer Society recommends the implementation of policies and public health measures that will thwart the use of all tobacco products, including vaping, by all people (American Cancer Society, 2018). There is a strong recommendation to avert the use of tobacco products by our youth. The ACS believes that raising the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years and reducing the appeal; minors or young people would not want to buy in.
My thoughts on the ACS Position Statement
Were we just politely kicked in the ass? I mean seriously, they just turned us around by saying vaping is healthier, but then kicked us in the ass by insulting us and recommending the FDA reduce the appeal.
I’m all for people quitting tobacco and nicotine altogether, but let’s face reality and realize that tobacco has been a cancerous thorn in our side for many generations. Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying we should stop trying to achieve the goal of removing tobacco and nicotine from our societies; I’m just saying this tumultuous relationship is tied down with strong roots.
A Firm Hand
But for the ACS to say things like, “Some smokers, despite firm clinician advice, will not attempt to quit smoking cigarettes and will not use FDA approved cessation medications,” is just rude to the people who don’t want to use those approved methods because they know it will not work for them. Adding that, “These individuals should be encouraged to switch to the least harmful form of tobacco product possible…,” is a no-brainer until you realize the context of the statement. “These individuals” refers to those of us who do not want to use the FDA approved methods. The “least harmful” methods in that statement refer to the FDA approved methods again.
Reduce the Appeal? Say What?!
Finally, I want to touch on the recommendation to reduce the appeal of tobacco products. What this means to me is to remove the flavoring and current market packaging for e-liquids. I don’t know about anyone else, but I love tasting the many different flavor combinations available for e-liquids. Without those flavors I can’t see anyone choosing to stick with vaping; not if it means going from cigarettes, which taste horrible, to e-liquid with no flavor. I suggest reducing the appealing marketing for e-liquids and use plain text to list the flavors in a given bottle of e-liquid. Keep the awesome taste but don’t make the packaging so obviously delicious.
All in all, I like the direction things are moving in so far. This position statement shows the truth about vaping is reaching more people. And more organizations are beginning to see the logic in supporting the use of e-cigarette products as a legitimate method to quit smoking. On that note, I want to say thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoyed the read. Have a wonderful week!
What Are Your Thoughts?
As always, I want to know what you think about the topic I discussed. Check out the article posted by the American Cancer Society and draw your conclusions. Do you see the situation getting better or worse when it comes to vaping as a cessation method? What about the cities in the U.S. and the few countries that have taken steps to ban vaping? Will they be changing their positions now? Please leave a comment below.