Cleveland Clinic pushes dangerous anti-vaping propaganda

Cleveland Clinic pushes dangerous anti-vaping propaganda

For many years, the science communication landscape looked something like this: accredited universities and public health institutions conducted robust research and educated consumers about the risks they faced; devious activist groups fabricated health threats that gullible and dishonest reporters uncritically amplified; ACSH and other scientific organizations refuted the nonsense emanating from the headlines. [1]

Things are different today. Consumers are often misled by their reputable health care providers and other trustworthy institutions. There is no better example than this recent article published by the Cleveland Clinic: How vaping or smoking affects your physical activity:

Contrary to some popular beliefs, vaping is not a safe alternative to smoke Actually, researchers they say the rise of vaping “threatens five decades of progress in the fight against tobacco use.”

The article is a simmering mixture of equivocation, carefully selected statistics, and outright lies. There is an eight letter word that we will not use in order to preserve our family reputation. Let’s go over some details and hopefully help the Cleveland Clinic right its ship.

research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the vast majority of vaporizers sold in the US include nicotine, which has long been known to be a dangerous and addictive chemical.

Absent from the carcinogenic chemicals in tobacco smoke; nicotine is just a mild stimulant. The clinic agrees with this observation because recommends nicotine-containing gum, patches, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal sprays as tools to quit smoking. Small doses of nicotine cannot be “dangerous and addictive” when vaporized and “medical” when sold by pharmaceutical giants. These are mutually exclusive designations.

Vaping is on the rise, particularly among teens and young adults. Studies have shown that youth vaping has increased from about 1% in 2011 to a whopping 21% in 2018.

The trend is completely reversed when the most recent results from the CDC’s National Youth Tobacco Survey, which runs through 2022: four more years of data that the Cleveland Clinic ignored. Fewer than 10 percent of teens vape today, and the vast majority are already smokers. The same goes for young adults; are smokers who turn to vaping because helps them quit smoking combustible tobacco. In fact, vaping is more effective than the smoking cessation medications recommended by the Cleveland Clinic.

Smoking causes both immediate and long-term effects on exercise and physical activity… Like inhaling cigarette smoke, vaping can cause coughing and chest pain or tightness. (Not exactly the kind of symptoms that will help you run that extra lap or boost your energy to do a few more reps in the gym.)

I lift weights and run races three times a week; I also vape daily, but my performance in the gym is not affected. I’m not the only one either. According to a May 2022 study published in drug and alcohol dependence:

Among smokers at age 30, 36% adopted vaping some or all of the time at age 39. Higher relative frequency of vaping was associated with 4 of 9 outcomes examined, including significantly more exercisemore constructive engagement [and] better physical health… at age 39, taking into account behaviors prior to age 30 [emphasis mine].

Follow-up question for the Cleveland Clinic: If vaping hinders exercise performance, why do people engage in it? plus exercise after switching to e-cigarettes? Perhaps the growing lot of studies documenting the benefits of vaping, including improved respiratory health, could help us answer that question.

Nicotine is a dangerous and highly addictive chemical. Quitting vaping and smoking is not easy. Many smokers may need multiple techniques to find what works for them, and relapses are common…

The word “techniques” above links to This article on the clinic’s website, “How to Quit Smoking: 7 Ways to Kick the Habit.” Here is technique number two:

Try over-the-counter methods like nicotine patches, lozenges, or gum. You can also talk to your doctor about prescription nicotine that comes in nasal spray or inhaler form.

So to quit this “dangerous and highly addictive chemical,” the Cleveland Clinic suggests you use the same dangerous and highly addictive chemical. The absurdity here cannot be lost on anyone, not even the fools who wrote the article.

This is not to say that nicotine replacement therapy is useless. It works quite well for many ex-smokers, including people that reduce or eliminate your dependence on nicotine with electronic cigarettes. But it is logically impossible to demonize a substance and at the same time prescribe it to your patients.

Not surprisingly, anti-smoking groups and reporters attack vaping. Ideologists and idiots routinely get the facts wrong. But when the Cleveland Clinic, which bills itself as “the first integrated international health system in the world”, parrots the false rhetoric of the Truth Initiative, we have a very serious problem.

Public health institutions have done much to discourage smokers switch to vaping, a decision that can literally cost them their lives. Whatever its motivations, the Cleveland Clinic is ignoring the evidence and unnecessarily putting too many people at risk.

[1] There have always been exceptions to this rule, of course. The decades of duration assault on saturated fats it is probably the best example of conventional medicine giving dubious health information to the public.

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