by Carl V Phillips
Most of you recall our two posts from about a month ago, analyzing the American Cancer Society’s efforts to block laws that would ban e-cigarette sales to minors. (At least I assume you have, since they are about the most read entries on this blog.) You might also have seen CASAA’s recent call to action about a proposal in Arizona that would ban sales to minors — we urge support of it, while the ACS is leading the opposition.
This week, Mike Siegel took up the charge on this issue. Yesterday, he published a post that reviewed our posts here and endorsed my argument (based on careful elimination of all other apparent explanations) that ACS was actively trying to maximize children’s use of e-cigarettes in order to make e-cigarettes look bad. This would support a real (anti-health) agenda of creating rules that would restrict adults’ access to e-cigarettes and THR more generally.
Today, Dr. Siegel further analyzed the situation and concludes:
that the American Cancer Society has admitted that Dr. Phillips is correct. This is no longer just a theory. This is a bona fide explanation for the ACS position on this issue. And the ACS admits it.
Based on a letter from the ACS (also signed by the American Lung Association and American Heart Association) to Arizona senators, which CASAA published as part of our Arizona call-to-action, Siegel argues that a smoking gun in support of my theory is their statement that having a minor ban:
“sets the stage for tobacco companies to claim they are protecting children via this legislation…”
This is certainly consistent with the content of ACS’s Rhode Island testimony that I analyzed in the first post. Siegel goes on to argue that their motive for wanting adult bans (and thus for wanting children to keep using) is found in their statement:
“The use of these products by adults could have a serious negative impact on the social norms around smoking especially around children.”
and argues that this shows,
Thus, the ACS opposition to e-cigarettes is ideological: they can’t stand the idea of a behavior that looks like smoking, even if that behavior is helping to save thousands of lives.
No doubt this is part of their motivation, but as harsh as this accusation is, I am actually rather less charitable about the real motives of anti-THR liars, as readers will recall from previous posts.
I will add a couple of observations about that ACS quote. First, though the tobacco companies who are in the e-cigarette sector all support sales bans to kids, these efforts have been led by (real) public health people and CASAA, not industry. And with “claim they are protecting children” ACS is trying to try to keep the reader from realizing that the full statement is that they could “accurately claim they are protecting children”. Or put in normal human language, that they/we “are protecting children”. But since ANTZ live in a world where claims matter more than reality, they may not have even realized that their wording was a lie.
Siegel also adds this additional observation to CASAA’s previous analyses of ACS:
On its web site, the ACS asserts as follows: “We do know that e-cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction, especially in young people who may be experimenting with them, and may lead kids to try other tobacco products, many of which are known to cause life-threatening diseases.”
So according to the ACS, we have the scientific evidence needed to conclude that e-cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction in young people who are experimenting with them.
However, in its letter to the Arizona Senate, the ACS claims: “Very little is known about the use of electronic smoking devices by youth…”.
Well, which is it?
In the former statement, the ACS’ goal is to scare the public about how much of a threat electronic cigarettes pose to minors. So they manufacture evidence (which doesn’t exist) to show that these products are leading to nicotine addiction among young people.
In the latter statement, the ACS’ goal is different. Here, they want to convince the Arizona Senate that e-cigarette use among youth is not a problem, negating the need for this new legislation. So the ACS now claims that there is no evidence that youth are actually using these products.
Often, all it takes to show that the anti-THR activists are liars is to accurately quote them twice. Keeping up an internally consistent web of lies takes a lot more care, intelligence, and planning than they are capable of.