The results of the National Health Interview Survey, the NHIS, are in and the CDC is reporting that smoking rates have hit an all-time low. This is phenomenal news. In the last five years the number of people who smoke has decreased by 5% and now stands at 15.2%. In the last year alone the smoking rate has declined by 1.6%. The smoking rate has never declined this rapidly.
At the same time, the number of people who have switched from smoking to vaping continues to grow. Last year, University of Louisville Professor Dr. Brad Rodu examined NHIS data and found that 85% of the 2 million former vapers who took part in the survey reported quitting cigarettes in the last five years. That coincides with the advent of electronic cigarettes and vaping. The correlation is clear. Vaping may very well be taking out smoking.
It is estimated that there are now 4 million people in the United States who now vape instead of smoke cigarettes. We have seen so many smoking cessation plans come and go over the years. A long list of prescription drugs that change brain chemistry to try and help people quit. None of these have ever led to such a rapid decline in the smoking rates. This lends credence to the position that the electronic cigarette may be the greatest ally that we have ever had in the fight against smoking. Although this will surprise many people, it certainly comes as no shock to the vaping community.
We see smoking rates are at an all time low and see the connection to vaping. At ECCR we are working hard to help smokers find an answer for their addiction. It is working for so many people. Fighting to get the truth about e-cigarettes out there is not easy. Anti-vaping special interests are well funded, often with your tax dollars, and have no compunction spreading unfounded conjecture. The vast majority of mainstream media stories are negative. The spin is on and worse, its working.
Public health officials in England recently published a report that showed that vaping is 95% safer than smoking. This conclusion was reached after intense research and a 111 page report. Those same public health officials were frustrated by the fact that surveys showed that 48% of the people in England had a negative outlook toward vaping. They urge smokers to switch to vaping. It is a different story in the US. Surveys here show that 65% of Americans do not consider vaping to be safer than smoking. How much lower would those smoking rates be if not for the anti-vaping message that special interests are selling in the US?
AVA: Vaping May Be Reducing Smoking Rates
The American Vaping Association is working to spread the truth about electronic cigarettes. Greg Conely of the AVA was thrilled to see the decline in smoking rates. “This is great news that is worthy of celebration. Public health benefits every time a smoker quits,” he said. “If this decline continues, we stand a chance of actually attaining a 12% smoking rate by 2020.”
The CDC’s ‘Healthy People 2020’ goal is for smoking rates to be at 12% by the year 2020. The CDC, however, has attacked electronic cigarettes at every opportunity with misleading media campaigns. Ironically, the CDC is probably attacking out best chance of continuing to lower smoking rates.
Conley went on to say “It is undeniable that vaping has played a significant role in promoting cessation among adult smokers. It is time for activists to stop making nonsense claims that vaping is somehow leading to more smoking by adults or teens.”
Teen ecig use is just one attack angle utilized by anti-vaping groups who seem to be oblivious to the fact that a war on ecigs only helps Big Tobacco. Yes, teen vaping rates have increased but teen smoking rates have decreased. They never tell you that part. They also use manipulated data and misinterpret survey data to massage the message into a smear campaign that would make even the slimiest politician proud. They are successfully clouding the issue and victimizing smokers who might otherwise be able to make a more informed choice.
Electronic cigarettes are not perfect. If there could be some sort of natural concoction of dandelion root and witch hazel that would miraculously and instantly eliminate any desire to smoke cigarettes that would be perfect. Well, no perfect solution exists. And while Public Health England, ECCR and the AVA lament the fact that the public is so misinformed about the realities of vaping, we continue to fight to at least get the truth out there and make sure that smokers have a safer alternative.
Waiting for a perfect solution that would satisfy anti-vaping groups is not a very good way forward here. There are too many lives at stake right now. So today, let’s celebrate the victory of decreasing smoking rates but then tomorrow, it’s time to get back to work and fight to rid our society of smoking once and for all. Vaping may be the vehicle that get’s us there. It’s past time that anti-tobacco groups stop treating us like the enemy.