Search This Blog

Sunday, April 19, 2015

CDC: Throwing Smoking Veterans "Under the Bus"

Among all the hype of the recent headlines shouting "Teen E-Cig Use Triples" there is a lot of interesting back story.

Among the tidbits of e-cig data put out by the CDC we find the chart to the left.

The full study result is here - the study was done in Montana in 2013.

Among adults the primary reason for "ever use" of an e-cig was curiosity.

Now as anyone with a teenager knows, kids, particularly teenagers, are curious.  So the fact that more than 60% of adults reported curiosity as the reason to "ever use" an e-cig leads one to believe that kids will be even more curious.  Particularly given all the horrible things they hear about traditional cigarettes and smoking.

Note the next two reasons to use an e-cig: "To quit/reduce cigarette use" and "E-cigarettes are less harmful".   You can consider the next three reasons (instead) if you believe that "Not disturb others with smoke" is health related, e.g., a parent with children.

In researching this I came upon another interesting chart from here.  Under the section "Military Service Members and Veterans" we find this statement: "In the United States, cigarette smoking prevalence is higher among people currently serving in the military than among the civilian population. Cigarette smoking prevalence is even higher among military personnel who have been deployed."  The chart to below left is next to it.

So what does this say?

Well you might think that if you are poor and enter the service to advance yourself that, because you are poor, you are more likely to smoke.

But I don't think that's true because according to the above statement if you get "deployed" you are even more likely to smoke.

Note that other sources such as this and this confirm smoking as a problem for service men and women as well as veterans.

So maybe it has something to do with STRESS?

"Deployment" for those who don't know - means going off to somewhere in the world where, more than likely, something unsafe to your mind or person (gun fire, disease, long tour away from family, etc.) might be going on.  Whether to war or just building Ebola treatment centers no doubt deployment is some cause for stress.

When I was started high school in 1971 there were two things you did when you graduated: go to 'Nam (Vietnam for those too young to remember) or get a deferment and go to college.

In those days there wasn't anything like a medical diagnoses of "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" (PTSH) - you just dealt with the results.  Hence people smoked (see this).

So let's just imagine you are a smoking veteran from Montana.

You have heard decades of CDC/FDA/Surgeon General rhetoric about how bad smoking is.  If you have kids, you probably suffer additional guilt (and stress) from the fact that you think you are poisoning them with your smoking: of course adding to your PTSD.

You probably feel guilt in general about smoking because, after all, that's what the CDC/FDA/Surgeon General want's you to feel so you'll quit smoking.

But given what's medically known about the dangers of e-cigs and vaping (as in very little danger particularly relative to cigarettes) wouldn't you be curious about whether they would help you (just like the Montana study indicates)?

The same stress relief from nicotine without the tar that causes cancers or the smoke that screws up your cardiovascular system.

Wouldn't you try one?

If you had kids you'd really be interested in not smoking so the next few survey responses also make sense.

Now as many vapers know e-cigs are often a gateway to stopping smoking (see this Newsweek article from 2014).

It's well known today the e-cigs are a better thing to do than smoke.

Yet no one at the CDC apparently cares about this relative to the nations service men and women and veterans.

I would think that getting service folks off of cigarettes would cause people to jump for joy.

After all its a well-known smoking population.

Instead we hear about how it might be a problem for others, like kids.

But wait, weren't those kids SMOKING before e-cigarettes?

And if they weren't isn't it likely, like adults, they are just curious?

So come on Dr. Frieden, what about helping our veterans out here?

They are putting their lives on the line for our freedom, as in going to war.  Are you really planning on taking something like an e-cig/vaping away from them for their health?

No comments:

Post a Comment