American Cancer Society Issues Statement in Favor of Vaping
Since the dawn of the vaporizer, proponents of this emergent industry have stressed that the vaping platform is inherently cleaner than their traditional, analog counterparts. In later years, scientific research lent overwhelming evidence towards these early claims. However, it wasn’t until just recently that the vaporizer market received an incredible, paradigm-shattering credibility boost.
In a stunning reversal of prior mainstream sentiment and widely-expressed beliefs, the American Cancer Society (ACS) released a public-health statement regarding their long-term strategy to eliminate combustible tobacco use in the United States. Key among their stated tools for success are the “usual suspects,” such as education programs, as well as stringent, public warnings against tobacco products.
Nevertheless, the ACS offered a key concession: vaporizers, or e-cigarettes as they are commonly known, are accessories to the cause, not impediments.
Essentially, this is a tacit endorsement of the vaping community and subculture, and the rapidly rising vape-manufacturing industry. Note that the U.S. Surgeon General calls for the speedy elimination of combustible tobacco products (ie. “analog” cigarettes). The mainstream watchdogs are in zero mood to offer any unnecessary concessions.
Further understand that private advocacy groups have in many cases shifted their attention away from traditional tobacco conglomerates and retailers, and towards the vaping industry. Approximately late 2017 to early 2018, activists bought radio time to deliver anti-vaping messages. Flip on your favorite TV program, and you’ll also notice anti-vaping commercials.
Mainstream opposition, perhaps animus, imposes their leverage against the broader vaporizer community. Yet despite these attacks – which are largely rooted in exploitational distortions of scientific evidence – the ACS asserts that vaporizers facilitate the pathway to a combustible-tobacco free society.
It is, in no small order, a direct repudiation against popular disinformation campaigns.
The American Cancer Society and Their Long-term Strategies
Before we dive into the details, let’s clarify something from the onset. No, the ACS did not lose their minds. And the vaunted public-health organization is not a victim of an elaborate con or a high-tech hack.
The ACS is still the very same organization that we have known throughout our lives. Eradicating all cancer cases associated with tobacco consumption and exposure is the agency’s top priority. As stated previously, their strident, absolute objective allows no leeway for unnecessary concessions. In other words, they will not even give the hint of an endorsement, no matter how slight.
This fact, though, gifts the vaporizer industry with invaluable credibility. A major factor in mainstream distrust towards the vape-manufacturing sector’s claims that they produce cleaner platforms relative to analog cigarettes is corporate nepotism. Of course they will say that!, anti-tobacco and vaping activists chime. The call is coming from inside the room.
Of course, this is a matter with which everyone unanimously agrees. You wouldn’t trust a used-car salesman about claims of automotive reliability. As such, no one should automatically believe any source that has a financial interest in the words they speak.
But here’s the critical difference: unlike other industries, vape manufacturers have readily subjected their products to independent, third-party review. Vape advocates aren’t frustrated with the prolific counterarguments; rather, they oppose false constructs of independent research and their conclusions.
And this is exactly what the ACS has stated with their recent public disclosure. They list the incredible human costs associated with combustible tobacco products. They also note the prevalent discriminatory results of cigarette-marketing campaigns. According to the ACS report, Americans who have attained lower education certifications are disproportionately smokers relative to the broader population. Furthermore, higher smoking rates are found among the LGBTQ community.
The ACS is absolutely committed to ending cancer through tobacco combustion. To meet this ambitious, long-term goal, they invite the use of vaporizer products as a means towards ultimate cessation. In the case that an ex-smoker refuses to quit vaping, the health organization implies that vaping is a much more desirable alternative to smoking analog cigarettes.
Intractably and undeniably, this statement is a bold affirmation of the vaping community’s long-held and long-disseminated view that vaporizers and e-cigarettes are structurally different from analog cigarettes and traditional tobacco products; therefore, they should be viewed from a different lens.
But it’s not just the vaping industry that’s been positively changed by this announcement. Indeed, long before the ACS declared their position on traditional tobacco, tobacco conglomerates themselves have shifted towards ENDS, or heat-not-burn products. It’s no secret that tobacco firms have suffered financial losses due to fewer Americans smoking than ever before. To adapt to this trend, these traditional powerhouses have taken a page (or a chapter) from new tech.
To further solidify the ACS’ strategies, they outlined three key objectives:
Promote Cessation Devices
Of all the strategies that the health agency will deploy, the active promotion of cessation devices has the greatest positive impact for the vaporizer and vaping communities. Now, more than ever, Americans who currently smoke are seeking viable pathways to quitting the habit permanently.
The problem, as virtually all vaping enthusiasts can sympathize, is the addictive and seductive lure of traditional, analog cigarettes. Smokers desperately desire to quit, yet psychologically, the combined elements of throat hit and the ever-present nicotine fix is often too much to overcome.
Finally, a mainstream institution has realized the practical barriers involved in the cessation journey. It makes zero sense – no matter what aisle of the political spectrum you shop – to stymie avenues and technologies that can assist in achieving the greater objective: end all cancers and diseases associated with tobacco combustion.
Key within this strategy and sentiment shift is the recognition that combustion, not nicotine, is the culprit behind these horrific human costs. The ACS report reveals that combusting tobacco products yields an estimated 7,000 chemicals, of which at least 70 are known carcinogens. In sharp contrast, vaporizers, e-cigarettes, ENDS, and other heat-not-burn devices are designed to warm flavor elements near the burning point, but not beyond it.
Therefore, and this is an extremely important point, the organic chemistry within the flavor elements are not compromised.
Combustion products are devastating to human health in that it forcibly and violently converts organic compounds into corrupted, inorganic matter. Put another way, combustion (as the name suggests) explodes a flavor element’s natural chemistry, resulting in harmful byproducts. In turn, cigarette smokers consume these byproducts, often multiple times a day.
The ACS is adamant about the distribution of accurate information, specifically involving the robust benefits provided by vaporizer products. The health organization writes:
“public misunderstanding underscores the urgent need for consumer education about the absolute and relative risks posed by different tobacco products and to reinvigorate smokers’ understanding of the importance of quitting combustible tobacco. Whereas complete information on all the potential risks and beneﬁts of ENDS is not yet available, there is sufﬁcient information to allow ACS to act now with a clear focus on the primary goal of ending deadly combustible tobacco use, which is responsible for approximately a one-half million deaths per year and 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States.”
Their above quote drives home the urgent practicality that vape manufacturers provide. Of course, it is not possible to know the entire spectrum of risks associated with ENDS or similar products. That’s not the point! Do you get into your car with a full assessment of vehicular and infrastructural risks associated with your daily commute? No, you simply get into your car and drive.
More to the point, the mere existence of risk wouldn’t collapse the automotive industry. If the presence of risk was the core catalyst in determining social mores, literally nothing would get done. The ACS affirms the same argument.
It is detrimental to the greater cause of eliminating tobacco-combustion related cancer cases to affront vaporizers with ignorance.
Prevent Underage Vaping and Initiation of High-risk Demographics
Although the ACS generally holds a positive view of the vaporizer community with its latest public statement, they also note their concerns and reservations. And among these, the sharpest criticism from anti-vaping activists is that the industry promotes underage vaping.
Let’s be 100% clear. All reputable vaporizer and e-juice retailers like Vapor Authority obey every state and federal law in the books. Vapor Authority in particular goes above and beyond to ensure full compliance, with their management team daily reviewing legal changes and proposals that may impact the legal landscape.
Furthermore, Vapor Authority utilizes two authorized third-party age verification companies, in addition to personal vetting, to avoid any and all incidences of selling to minors. In fact, the company has actually lost business because some customers refused to provide certified age verification. The founding executives consider this a necessary cost that ultimately benefits the broader vaping industry’s integrity.
You can verify this uncompromising commitment to legal compliance yourself: simply call Vapor Authority to place your order, and you will be asked to prove your age – even if it’s painfully obvious that you’re of the legal age to consume!
So the implication that vape shops are running amok selling vaporizers to underage people is a grave injustice to the majority of companies doing things right. Still, the prevalent criticism is understandable, at least on paper. Anti-vapers routinely accuse e-juice manufacturers of marketing products that children find attractive. Their specific beef is often against candy-flavored e-liquids.
But even here, we must be careful not to conflate cause and effect. More often than not, both children and adults are attracted to the same marketing tactics. How else do you explain the dramatic success and popularity of the Star Wars franchise, which, if observed objectively and analytically, is a children’s fairy tale?
Walking, talking dogs, and grown men shooting laser beams and swinging light sabers: if this doesn’t describe the machinations of childhood fantasy, I don’t know what would. Yet no one is calling for the abolition of science-fiction movies because they’re attractive to children, and that such films can leave a dangerous, false impression of the real world.
People invariably have choices. We hope they make the right ones, but ultimately, this is not the government’s job to intervene.
Attacking candy-flavored e-liquids also opens up a slippery slope. To remain consistent, adult beverages that feature flavors appealing to children must also cease. But that is a direct contradiction to expressly-stated freedoms.
The ACS hasn’t taken a direct stance against the controversial accusation that vape manufacturers knowingly market their products to children. Instead, they promote the idea of countering vaping advertisements with increased spending towards public-education campaigns. Furthermore, they support legal initiatives and bolstering current laws designed to protect children.
For the vaping community, much of this is a redundancy. As previously stated, all reputable vape shops ply their trade strictly in accordance with the law. On a further note, industry players are incentivized to do so. Already competing against Big Tobacco firms and their ENDS products, they don’t want to add regulatory challenges to their daunting task.
Initiate Comprehensive Tobacco Solutions
For the long run, the ACS has adopted a practical, rational approach that doesn’t overlook reality. More importantly for the greater discussion towards a comprehensive tobacco solution, the health agency stepped outside the dangerously ambiguous territory of political waters. Rather than abiding by confirmation bias, they looked at the evidence and facts regarding vaporizer-based impacts.
That’s really all that the vape industry has asked for, an objective assessment of available data. Upon doing so, the analyst will discover that combustible-tobacco products and vaporizers deploy two, completely separate functionalities: one method burns the flavor element, while the other heats it.
Admittedly, the distinction sounds simplistic, but the end result is where the differentiation becomes patently clear. The ACS is merely the latest organization to confirm what many other scientific studies have revealed. Combustion necessarily leads to toxic and carcinogenic byproducts; it’s the same reason why most people prefer not to eat overly-burnt steak.
Vaping, on the other hand, is akin to steaming your vegetables: you can enjoy rich, robust flavors without destroying key nutrients. For vaping e-liquids, enthusiasts can initiate satisfying draws without incurring the harsh blowback from combustion devices (not to mention the steep health costs).
The new policy of the ACS is to encourage reasonable innovations towards non-combustible, smoking-cessation devices. At the same time, they wish to institute a consistent framework that applies to every competitor fairly and transparently.
The way the law is presently enforced, it allows some leeway to vaping manufacturers that doesn’t exist for traditional tobacco companies. To promote healthy and fair commerce, laws and statutes must be applied consistently. That can’t happen without a comprehensive assessment of the legal framework encompassing both traditional tobacco products and next-generation vaporizers.
Additionally, the ACS is committed to avoiding dual usage of ENDs-like devices and analog cigarettes. Though a crude summary, the idea here is to eradicate the latter while tolerating the former. But no matter how you look at it, this sentiment is a net positive for vaporizer products and its associated manufacturing industry.
Ultimately, the biggest takeaway here is that the ACS and the vaping community at large are finally approaching the same mindset. Obviously, much work needs to be done. A thorny issue is the heavy accusation that the vaping sector tacitly supports marketing to children. As previously stressed, the majority of vaporizer proponents wholeheartedly support measures to protect children.
But despite some differences, vaping enthusiasts and professionals can rejoice that the ACS is willing to dialogue based on an evidentiary framework, not a politically-bought anecdotal one. This is unquestionably a massive victory for the vape sector, and heralds likely greater headway to come.