What Mitch Zeller Didn’t Say

Vaper’s Vortex

April 17, 2015


 

“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”    Albert Einstein

 

 

Mitch Zeller said:

“The 2014 results from the National Youth Tobacco Survey are astounding and disturbing.”

Mitch Zeller didn’t say:

“The 2014 results from the National Youth Tobacco Survey document the continuing and unprecedented decline in the use of combustible tobacco cigarettes by our youth.”

Mitch Zeller said:

“In one year we’ve seen a tripling of e-cigarette use among middle school and high school age kids. This is an extraordinary jump, and something we are very concerned about from a public health perspective.”

Mitch Zeller didn’t say:

“The correlation between the tripling of e-cigarette use among middle school and high school age kids and the dramatic decline of tobacco cigarette use among middle school and high school age kids is clear and undeniable. As e-cigarette use goes up, tobacco cigarette use goes down.”

Mitch Zeller said:

“There’s good news and there’s bad news with the release of the National Youth Tobacco Survey results.

The good news is that cigarette use and cigar use by middle school and high school age kids continues to be down compared to where they were four, five, ten years ago.

“The bad news is that e-cigarette use and hookah use is rising and rising exponentially.”

Mitch Zeller didn’t say:

“The good news is that, as a result of the e-cigarette alternative, cigarette use by middle school and high school age kids has dropped by almost 50% over the 2011-2014 period covered by the new study.

The bad news is that hookah use, a combustible tobacco product even more deadly than traditional cigarettes, is rising and rising exponentially. An astounding and disturbing development.”

Mitch Zeller said:

“So, all the good news is being threatened by the bad news of this dramatic increase in the use of e-cigarettes and hookah.”

Mitch Zeller didn’t say:

“So, all the good news is being threatened by the bad news of this dramatic increase in the use of hookah.”

Mitch Zeller said:

“Electronic cigarettes contain and deliver nicotine.

Nicotine is very dangerous to the developing child and adolescent brain.”

Mitch Zeller didn’t say:

“Almost 45 states have passed legislation outlawing the sale of e-cigarettes to youth under the age of 18. Under the proposed regulations for e-cigarettes, the prohibition of sales to youth under the age of 18 will become federal law.”

Mitch Zeller said:

“Parents should take no comfort in the fact that their kids are using an e-cigarette rather than a burning cigarette because of the presence of nicotine.”

“Any tobacco or nicotine containing product being used by a child or an adolescent is bad for that person and it’s bad for public health.”

Mitch Zeller didn’t say:

“Parents should take no comfort in the fact that their kids are using a hookah rather than a burning cigarette. Chemical content, including more than 70 carcinogens, have been measured in the smoke produced by hookahs at levels ten times higher than combustible tobacco cigarettes. We know that cigarettes are dangerous. Hookahs are ten times more dangerous.

Any tobacco or nicotine containing product being used by a child or an adolescent is bad. We know that studies have shown that it can adversely affect brain development in youth. Parents should be informed and discuss the hazards of nicotine with their children.”

Mitch Zeller said:

“A lot of people have asked whether e-cigarettes are addictive for kids. The answer is, we don’t know yet.

We do know that they contain and deliver nicotine, and that they could be addictive, but I can’t say definitively that they are for kids.”

Mitch Zeller didn’t say:

“While we don’t have all of the answers yet, the FDA, the CDC, and NIH are working together to make better informed decisions. Funding is already in place for studies to determine not only the addictive potential of the nicotine in e-cigarettes, but other potential risks and/or potential benefits of e-cigarettes – the ‘continuum of risk’ principle.”

Mitch Zeller said:

“What I can say definitively is that nicotine is harmful to the developing teenage brain, and no teenager, no young person, should be using any tobacco or nicotine-containing products such as e-cigarettes.”

Mitch Zeller didn’t say:

“What I can say definitively is that nicotine is harmful to the developing teenage brain, and no teenager, no young person, should be using any tobacco or nicotine-containing products.

That is why we will be pursuing the prohibition of sales, to youth under the age of 18, of all tobacco products that contain nicotine.”

Mitch Zeller said:

“The latest release of the National Youth Tobacco Survey results from 2014 should raise alarm bells for parents and educators. The striking increase in middle school and high school use of e-cigarettes and hookah is really a public health emergency.

“A tripling of e-cigarette usage in one year is just an astounding finding.”

 Mitch Zeller didn’t say:

“The latest release of the National Youth Tobacco Survey results from 2014 should raise alarm bells for parents and educators. The striking increase in middle school and high school use of hookah is really a public health emergency.

A doubling of hookah usage in one year is just an astounding finding.”

Mitch Zeller said:

“But the message to educators, the message to parents is, you should be equally concerned. These products contain nicotine, many of them probably deliver nicotine, and nicotine is harmful to the developing teenage brain.”

Mitch Zeller didn’t say:

“We know that nicotine is not harmless. We also know that “harmless” is an irrational standard that cannot be met by tens of thousands of products that Americans consume on a daily basis.

Government agencies and public health organizations must work together in promoting harm reduction. We don’t tell people they can’t drive cars because it’s dangerous. We create seat belt laws and encourage safer driving practices.

History tells us that prohibition is not, and will never be, the answer. Taxes are not the answer. Harm reduction – that is doable. That is within our reach. That is our responsibility. That is our super power.

 

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Dave Coggin has a Master’s Degree in business and spent 35 years in corporate America. He is a co-founder and partner in DIYELS. He has spent the last five years actively researching and following the evolution of the e-cigarette industry. He is a strong proponent of e-cigarettes as the most promising option currently known for tobacco harm reduction. He may be contacted directly at dave@diyels.com .
The opinions presented here are exclusively those of the author. Vaper’s Vortex is offered as a service to our customers and followers. Anyone considering e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes should seek qualified advice from a medical professional.

2 thoughts on “What Mitch Zeller Didn’t Say

  1. He didn’t say –

    “We didn’t ask the vapers if they were using nicotine or not. They might have said no “

    1. VERY good point! There are a lot of VERY good points that the survey fails to address. Too risky to ask well thought out, meaningful questions that might produce data that would not support their pre-conceived conclusions. This survey represents an incredibly expensive exercise in government lobbying with taxpayer money.

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