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US Science & Health Honcho slams CDC and UCSF lies

Dr. Gilbert Ross, Medical Director and Acting President of the American Council on Science and Health, came out last month with a blistering blog against officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of California at San Francisco for lying to the public about electronic cigarettes.

Ross cites “a stubborn adherence to a worldview mired in the 20th century 'tobacco wars',” and decries “their inexcusable willful blindness to, or complicity with, the intentional manipulation of science.” He notes that large pharmaceutical companies donate large sums to putative public health advocacy groups that oppose e-cigarettes, and that exise taxes on sale of combustible cigarettes are often a mainstay of state and local governments.

Ross believes that the vape bashers are fully aware of the dubious accuracy of their warnings about e-cig dangers. “They go out of their way to alarm desperate smokers about hypothetical concerns — and their scare tactics work.” He points out that more would-be ex-smokers now fear touted long-term dangers of vaping than feared them last year. “Media comments by officials of the CDC and the big nonprofits (American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, among others) imply that the nascent, innovative e-cig industry is merely a ploy by 'Big Tobacco' to lure young people into nicotine addiction,” while in fact “rather than being pawns of tobacco companies, the harm-reduction 'industry' consists of thousands of small businesses.”

And not only that, but their products are more effective for smoking cessation than are the FDA-approved treatments, notes Ross – hardly an insignificant point! Despite shrill warnings that vaping is a gateway to smoking for youth, “recent surveys — including the CDC’s own— indicate that e-cigs are actually helping young smokers quit their deadly addiction . . . just as their elders are doing,” observes Ross, noting that millions of smokers have successfully quit through vaping.

Ross admits that uncertainties remain about long-term effects of vaping – simply because they haven't been around long enough for conclusions to be drawn. However, he makes the obvious, common sense, point that a combination of nicotine with water and safe humectancts is hardly likely to be anywhere near as dangerous as “the hundreds of toxins and carcinogens in cigarette smoke.”

“This unethical breach of public trust will crush the burgeoning, decentralized e-cig 'industry,” says Ross. “It will effectively protect cigarette markets . . . it will keep smokers smoking,” he warns.

The comments of Dr. Ross were published in the op-ed pages of the Washington Examiner.

The American Council on Science and Health is an independently funded, public health non-profit, and accepts no-strings donations from a variety of corporations, trade associations, and individual donors, including small amounts from some e-cigarette makers.

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