Senator Patrick Moynahan once said that you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Unfortunately, the CDC appears to be operating on an opinion basis and not a fact basis. Despite the recent data that shows that teen vaping is declining, the CDC is sounding the alarm warning all that teen vaping is out of control. So, let’s reflect.
A University of Michigan study published in December established that teen vaping is declining. Yet the CDC says teen vaping is out of control. It gets weirder. The CDC’s own data shows that only 1.2 % of youth that have never tried any tobacco product had tried vaping. So again, just 1.2% of youth that took part in the CDC’s National Youth Tobacco Survey said that an electronic cigarette was their first experience with any tobacco product. The gateway theories are unfounded.
What we do know and what everyone admits is that teen smoking rates are at all time lows. Yet the CDC says teen vaping is out of control. A yale study has shown that in areas where vaping is banned, teen smoking rates tick up. It would be worth everyone’s time here to take a break, really absorb the data, let go of preconceived suppositions, and get things right.
Has The CDC Gone Post-Truth, Too?
The 2016 word of the year was ‘post-truth’. The Oxford Dictionary devfines post-truth as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
So we live in a time when facts have lost their lustre. Expressing an opinion as though a fact is considered to be a valid counter to factual evidence. Post-truth is winning an argument by appealing to emotion and belief in spite of facts. The CDC is contributing to a post-truth society where we only accept the facts that suit our world views or opinions.
The CDC needs to be above using fear tactics and internal non-fact based opinions to form public opinion. People are already losing trust in our institutions. The CDC is not helping. The CDCs own data is being ignored in the messages that they are forming and issuing. And it’s not the first time they have ignored their own data to sound alarms and scare the public about electronic cigarettes. Last year despite their own e-cigarette data showing that vaping seemed to be helping people quit, the CDC will never discuss it.
You can choose any opinion but you can’t shoose your own facts. Wouldn’t the CDC be much more to the wise if they listened to the data and allowed facts to inform their opinions? I think that’s pretty easy to answer.