Friday, 2 May 2014

My comments on CDC Director Frieden's explanation to what he hates with e-cigarettes

I just finished reading this article in the Los Angeles Times where CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Director Tom Frieden explains what he hates about electronic cigarettes, and I just can't resist the urge to comment on it. I know I'm a bit late but what the hell. How this man got this job is beyond my understanding.
“I’ve treated so many adults who are desperate -- desperate -- to get off tobacco. They all started as kids,” Frieden said. “I see the industry getting another generation of our kids addicted. To me, as a physician, when 1.78 million of our high school kids have tried an e-cigarette and a lot of them are using them regularly … that’s like watching someone harm hundreds of thousands of children.”
When the anti-e-cigarette movement is out of arguments, this is what they turn to. Think about the children. And Frieden even wants us to think about 1.78 million of them. Of course with no reference to any evidence whatsoever. To be honest I'm a bit surprised he didn't mention puppies and kittens while he was at it. Now dr. Frieden - how many patients have you treated that was desperate -- desperate -- to get off e-cigarettes? Well at least he kind of confirms that e-cigarettes gets these people off tobacco. Then he adds:
“people have a misconception that the tobacco epidemic is a thing of the past. Tobacco still kills more Americans than any other cause. It still kills more than 1,000 people a day. As a doctor, I can tell you it kills them in really unpleasant ways -- gasping for breath with emphysema, with cancer, with heart disease.” 
What on earth does that have to do with e-cigarettes? We all know cigarettes kills people in rather nasty ways, but why should that make one hate e-cigarettes? Again, he feels the need to mention he's a doctor, to give people the impression he knows what he's talking about. Some probably fall for that too and it is such statements that will keep your patients gasping for breath with emphysema and dying from cancer or heart disease, dr. Frieden.

I'm glad the journalist felt the same way that I did about the statement above and asked the obvious question next:
"What does that have to do with e-cigarettes?"
"E-cigarettes are a tobacco product,"
Frieden answers.
Oh really? By what logic? That the nicotine can be extracted from tobacco? That would also make nicotine gum and patches tobacco products. But maybe it's because it looks like you are smoking tobacco when you use them? By that logic however you also have to assume that electric cars are oil-products that lets out just as much CO2 as a regular car, right? I mean in some cases you can't really see the difference. Actually, when I think more about it, e-cigarettes does have something to do with this; they have the potential to shorten dr. Frieden's line of emphysema, cancer and heart disease patients. Maybe that's his problem?

Then there is the five reasons Frieden rattled off to why e-cigarettes are as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes:
--“If they get another generation of kids more hooked on nicotine and more likely to smoke cigarettes, that’s more harm than good”
--“If they get smokers who would have quit to keep smoking instead of quitting, more harm than good.
--“If they get ex-smokers who have been off nicotine to go back on nicotine and then back to cigarettes, more harm than good.
--“If they get people who want to quit smoking and would have taken medicines to think e-cigarettes are going to help, but they don’t, more harm than good.
--“If they re-glamorize smoking, it’s more harm than good.”
This makes it pretty obvious that Frieden actually has no reason to hate e-cigarettes, but has decided to do it anyway. And these are just a list of reasons he wish he had, that's why he put "if" in front of them. Well here is why I hate dr. Frieden and why he is as dangerous as a mass murderer:
-- "If he buys a machine gun and kills a bunch of people, he would do more harm than good".
Actually I've got another, more plausible one as well:
-- "If he takes advantage of his position to make sure smokers are deprived of a healthier alternative and hence keep on smoking, he would to more harm than good"
Just for good measure, Frieden threw in two more problems with e-cigarettes: People who use them can expose kids, teens and pregnant women to nicotine via secondhand smoke; and enterprising smokers can put marijuana or hallucinogens in an e-cigarette “tank.”
First of all there is no smoke involved in vaping. This just shows ignorant and uneducated this man is. Then there is a bunch of ways to consume marijuana and hallucinogens. Do you hate ovens since it can be used to bake hash cookies? And by the way Frieden, you missed another opportunity to throw in puppies and kittens. Stay focused please.
Frieden acknowledged that “stick to stick, they’re almost certainly less toxic than cigarettes" and that many people have quit smoking tobacco cigarettes with the help of e-cigarettes. However, he said, “the plural of anecdote is not data.”
So the fact that millions of people have quit with the help of e-cigarettes are just funny anecdotes and not data? If you ask everyone who quit smoking how they did it, the means they used are just irrelevant then? This argument just crumbles under it's own weight.
“If the e-cigarette companies want to market these to help people quit, then do the clinical trials and apply to the FDA,” he said, in a reference to the Food and Drug Administration. “But they don’t want to do that. They want to market them widely.”
Another example of how little common sense this man shows/has. This has nothing to do with whether or not e-cigarette companies want to apply to the FDA or not, it has to do with what they can afford and how long it would take to get a new product to the market. I would like to believe that Frieden understands this in his position, but based on his statements, sadly I don't.
“The challenge that the FDA has is that they will be challenged by the tobacco industry, as they have been at every step of the way,” he said. The federal agency “tried to regulate e-cigarettes earlier, and they lost to the tobacco industry. … So the FDA has to balance moving quickly with moving in a way that’s going to be able to survive the tobacco industry’s highly paid legal challenge.” 
You think the tobacco industry's lawyers will fight regulations that will effectively wipe out all their competition? The FDA's challenge is to balance between moving quickly and moving in a way that will convince the general public that their regulations are reasonable. And the tobacco industry will applaud every successful step the FDA takes in this direction.

Since I started this blog, I've read tons of articles about, and interviews of, anti-e-cigarette advocates, but never before have I come across any that managed to reel off this many contradictions and this much, excuse my language, bullshit in so few words.

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4 comments :

  1. Spot on. F**k you Frieden. You're every bit as bad as the bureaucrats in the Nazi party administration who pushed paperwork while millions died.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here is why the FDA proposals are INSANE and OUTRAGEOUS!
    Everyone agrees e-cig consumers should be 18+.
    Everyone agrees the e-liquid ingredients and warnings could & should be listed.

    The fact that the FDA is trying to shut down small businesses, kill jobs, stunt innovation, and hand over the electronic cigarette market to big tobacco, is quite frankly despicable. The FDA does not regulate cigarettes, or the tobacco industry, but they are worried about regulating electronic cigarettes that are SAVING PEOPLE'S LIVES?!

    ADULTS use flavored e-cigs to get away from the tobacco taste/flavor altogether once switched over.
    (This DOES NOT and is not meant to influence young children. This notion is absurd)

    We demand and deserve the right to any and all alternatives to the deadly cigarettes you are allowing on the market. We will fight for our rights to alternatives while you keep cigarettes on the shelf.
    SHAME ON YOU FDA, BIG PHARMA, BIG TOBACCO, AND ALL YOU WORTHLESS LOBBYISTS.

    ReplyDelete
  3. He should be forced to resign. Anyone who willingly lies as much as he has should be removed. Every time he opens his mouth another smoker decides to keep smoking and not even try to reduce their harm. It is unconscionable that he has a license to practice medicine.

    ReplyDelete
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