Tuesday, 26 August 2014

CDC says teens love e-cigarettes ... I give you: "The firewall theory"

Yesterday The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released another set of numbers (and lies) claiming to prove their gateway theory: http://goo.gl/BYdvtj. Their numbers, they say, shows that the number of teens that has tried e-cigarettes have tripled from 2011 to 2013 and here comes their punchline: Among non-smoking youth who had ever used e-cigarettes, 43.9 percent said they intended to smoke conventional cigarettes within the next year, compared with 21.5 percent of those who had never used e-cigarettes.
"The increasing number of young people who use e-cigarettes should be a concern for parents and the public health community, especially since youth e-cigarette users were nearly twice as likely to have intentions to smoke conventional cigarettes compared with youth who had never tried e-cigarettes."
This is the conclusion drawn from those numbers by Rebecca Bunnell, Sc.D., M.Ed., Associate Director for Science in CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health and the lead author of the study.

So the CDC have concluded once again that their numbers prove the gateway theory... but in fact it does no such thing. The problem is that they conclude that the e-cigarette use is the reason why these people wants to try cigarettes, but their numbers say nothing about this. It's not possible to know this, at least when you haven't asked the participants that question. In fact, a more plausible explanation is that people who would have tried out cigarettes in any case is also much more likely to try out e-cigarettes. Of course the numbers can't prove this either, but in my eyes it's the more plausible explanation of the two. The CDCs own numbers even supports this as they show that teen smoking rates is declining: http://spinfuel.com/vaping-news/cdc-finally-tells-the-truth/

Let's for a minute assume that the explanation I proposed is the correct one. As a former smoker and current vaper I know that going back to cigarettes is just not something I'm very likely to do, unless forced by regulation. The reason is that cigarettes gives me nothing more, in fact it gives me a lot less, than vaping. Cigarettes tastes, well, like shit compared to vaping, and in addition to this I, and I bet most American teens, know how bad cigarettes are for my health. There is just no good reason to start smoking if you've tried vaping.

Now let's assume the CDC theory is correct, and teens want to try out cigarettes because of their e-cigarette experiments, even if their own numbers shows that this is highly unlikely. Well the paragraph above is still valid. In fact a vaper who has never smoked cigarettes is even more likely to think cigarettes are inferior to e-cigarettes... by far. 

The CDC wants you to believe their numbers support their pre-defined conclusion and their gateway theory. This is not true. Their numbers however are not useless, they might very well give us indications of another, more plausible theory. I give you "The firewall theory": Vaping acts as a firewall that stops teens from taking up the deadly habit of cigarette smoking.

I'm far more worried about the 21.5 of the teens that have never tried vaping but still wants to try out cigarettes, than I am about the 43.9% of vapers that wants to try. And so should the CDC be, but they're not... because their boss has already decided that he hates e-cigarettes (http://goo.gl/MR0txR).

AtomizersSale

12 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Like you, I am more than a bit skeptical that any youth who thinks they might try a real cigarette wouldn't take their first and puke. Why would anyone go from e-cigs to tobacco cigarettes? I have tried to locate the actual study. The CDC says it is published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research but I can find no such study published there. I want to see how things were actually worded. Did these youths "try" an e-cigarette or do they use them on a daily basis? I also want to know how all of these youths are allegedly getting their hands on something that they cannot legally buy in most states. Finally, I want to know how many of them would have tried a regular cigarette as their first "smoking" device if there had been no e-cigarette to try. Until I see the actual study and how the actual survey was worded, I cannot believe anything the CDC says. It sounds like a case of wording a survey in a manner that will almost definitely give you the predetermined results that you want.

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