• July 8, 2020

That’s some ‘problem’

A public health expert in the US has set out to answer a question that has probably popped into many heads in recent times: why does vaping seem so threatening to the tobacco control movement?

Writing on his blog, The Rest of the Story, Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, starts off by saying that he and his colleagues in the tobacco control movement had based their entire careers on the principle that it was wrong to lie to the public.

On the other hand, much of their campaign against Big Tobacco had been based on the contention that cigarette companies lied to the public about the health risks of smoking.

However, Siegel said he believed that during the past few years the tobacco control movement had largely abandoned truth as a central value in so far as its campaigns against vaping were concerned.

Why is vaping so threatening to the tobacco control movement? he asks. Is it threatening because it is extremely dangerous – basically as harmful as smoking – and is therefore harming the health of the nation’s 11 million adult vapers?

No, he replies to his own question; it’s precisely the opposite…

‘The problem with vaping is that it is not killing anyone, so there is no punishment for the vice of being addicted to nicotine,’ he said. ‘And that’s something that the tobacco control movement can simply not tolerate.’