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Economist hails encouraging data

“Excellent news,” says economist Tim Worstall about the new report out of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), noting that vaping has outstripped smoking in youth popularity. Writing for Forbes in an op ed blog, Worstall observes that the economic significance of the new data revolves around the question of dual use over against vaporizers as a substitute for smokes. “The question really revolves around whether vaping is a substitute for smoking or a complement,” he says. He believes it is a substitute, and finds this a cause for rejoicing.

The “halving of teen smoking rates coincides with the invention and introduction of vaping . . . . People use vaping equipment instead of smoking, not as a gateway to it nor does vaping increase smoking prevalence. It is thus a substitute, not a complement . . . to be greatly welcomed,” he concludes.

He suggests that this trend can be abetted if the government will “tax tobacco til the eyes water.”

Worstall jests that opposition to vaping is a “Baptists and bootleggers situation,” in which moralists “think that any drug use, even the inhalation of nicotine, is simply wrong, perhaps even evil. It should thus be entirely expunged from our society.”

He further notes the fears of large pharmaceutical companies worried about competition for their therapeutic devices, brought to the market at great expense.

Worstall shows no awareness of statistics on “dual use”, and looks to recent data on drastic reductions in youth smoking, coincident with the marketing of e-cigs, as confirmation that vaping is a substitute for smoking, not a “complement”. For instance, he cites a recent New York Times article on the NIDA report to the effect that daily cigarette you by youths continues to plummet as vaping rises.

“Given that . . . vaping, at least so far as we know, is the most successful smoking cessation product any one has as yet invented (and do note that nothing else at all has halved teen smoking rates in only 5 years) means that we really shouldn’t be putting roadblocks in front of further adoption of the technology. . . . Why on earth would we want to derail what's working?”

It is gratifying to find support from the economic sector for what ex-smoking vapers know to be working in terms of their own successful quit attempts. The snowball keeps rolling.

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