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Alert: Ex-Mayor’s Trousers Face Fire Danger!

If your knickers are in a knot about vaping, look out for fire!

In the Autumn of 2013 the Center for Disease Control announced with horror that use of electronic cigarettes among youth rose dramatically in 2013.

In December 2013 the University of Michigan announced with highly appropriate glee that smoking among youth has declined in 2013, following up on a precipitous decline that had already been going on for two years prior to this one.

Later in December 2013, a host of e-cig ban activists stated that use of electronic cigarettes by young people causes youth smoking to rise. Not may cause. Does cause.

Let's review the possibilities:

Possibility one: E-cig ban activists don't read research. (Not likely, since the Michigan study was summarized by the Campaign for Smoke-free Kids, whose releases have quasi-scriptural status among the e-cig ban crowd. The summary even used the occasion for an unsupported jibe against e-cigs.)

Possibility two: The proponents of the e-cig ban deliberately fibbed to the public. (Watch your pants!)

Possibility three: The e-cig ban crowd doesn't do logic very well.

Let's walk through the syllogism:

First premise: Phenomenon A rises in time period X.

Second premise: Phenomenon B declines in time period X.

Possible conclusions:

1st possibility: Phenomenon A causes phenomenon B to decline.
2nd possibility: Phenomenon A causes phenomenon B to rise.
3rd possibility: The incidence of phenomena A and B are unrelated.
4th possibility: A causes B a slight rise, counteracted by other stronger forces.

Which of these conclusions are possible. The first, third, and fourth. Only one of them is excluded absolutely. The one the vaping-ban advocates presented to the public as true.

The 4th possibility is worth a moment's consideration. What could the other, stronger forces be? The summary from "Smoke-free" crows that the following factors have undoubtedly produced this decline: " higher tobacco taxes, well-funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs that include mass media campaigns, strong smoke-free laws, and effective regulation of tobacco products and marketing."

All of these have been going on since the late 1990s, and yet "Smoke-free" notes that the current decline started about three years ago, " after several years in which progress had nearly stalled." Hmmm. The factors to which success is credited have been going on for a decade and a half. There was a decline, then a plateau, then a dramatic resumption of the decline within the past 5 years.

What new factor appeared about 5 years ago? We can do the math! Can Bloomberg?

Yesterday it was suggested here that the vaping ban crowd needs to take a remedial course in Psychology. Maybe Logic 101 would also be in order.

A popular radio personality credits baseball great Ted Williams with the aphorism: "If you don't think too good, don't think too much!" Maybe they should just stop thinking so much.

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