Letter to the editor: Use evidence-based research to make informed vote on 1A
Thank you for the front page article Sunday, Oct. 6, describing the prevalence and consequences of youth vaping. (“Vaping illness kills 18, sickens more than 1,000 across US,” published in the Summit Daily News.) One of the comments following the online version of the article claims that vaping has resulted in the decrease of sales of cigarettes in the U.S. As we know and should keep in mind, there is a disconnect between correlation and causation. That is, there is no reason to believe that the introduction of e-cigarettes has been responsible for the decline of cigarette use. Efforts have been underway for many years through public health, Tobacco-Free Kids, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, other nonprofits and the medical establishment to attack this deadly practice of cigarette smoking. If there has been a measurable decrease in the sales of cigarettes, these established tobacco control programs deserve credit, not e-cigarettes and their manufacturers’ misleading marketing campaigns of “safer alternative” and “a reliable means to quit smoking.” Further, a 2018 Dartmouth-led study reported a ratio of one vaper who succeeded in giving up cigarettes for seven years or more compared with 81 new smokers who began their lifelong nicotine addiction with e-cigarettes. Most of the new vapers began as teens or even preteens. Everyone should keep in mind these numbers — 1 and 81 — as they vote on ballot measure 1A in the upcoming election.
We must do everything we can to help our youths make responsible decisions.
Well-established research indicates that the top three policy initiatives most effective in controlling smoking/vaping are smoke-free indoors (covered by the Colorado Clean Indoor Act), raising the legal purchase age for tobacco products to 21 and accompany licensing of vendors (recently enacted ordinances in all Summit County jurisdictions), and raising the price of tobacco/nicotine products (ballot question 1A, coming to your mailbox soon). Please vote on behalf of our youths.
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