“Journalism is guided by several principals, including truth, accuracy, and humanity. The publications that falsely link vaping to COVID-19 and erroneously state that vaping is as harmful as smoking have failed to uphold these basic principles by disregarding the facts.”
“The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) is alarmed by the resurgence of articles inaccurately depicting vaping as being as harmful as smoking, as well as linking vaping to increased COVID-19 symptom severity. As both claims have long been disproven, it is concerning to see a sudden return of misinformation coming out of the United States,” read the opening paragraph of the release.
The association referred to the fact that the UK’s Royal College of Physicians first concluded that vaping is at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking six years ago. Since then this figure has been reconfirmed by countless independent peer reviewed studies, and by Public Health England, which is renowned for having conducted its own research on a regular basis to validate such findings. “As a result of these and other studies, vaping has been recognized for several years by many major health organizations to be less harmful than smoking.”
Moreover, several studies claiming the opposite were disproved and in a very renowned recent case, even retracted. “Publications stating otherwise are at best uniformed and at worst willfully ignorant. Given that a basic fact check would disprove the claim that vaping poses the same risks as smoking, it is apparent that ulterior motives or personal bias are at play.”
Misinformation about vaping is leading to public health disasters
Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of the CVA pointed out that sadly these ulterior motives are leading to public health disasters. “Disregarding the facts in bad faith jeopardizes the health of millions of smokers globally. Controlled trials conducted by National Health Services concluded that vaping as a smoking cessation tool is twice as effective as any other nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) product.”
“These trials concluded that smokers increase their chances of quitting smoking by 83% using e-cigarettes compared to any other NRTs. Given that 1 in 2 smokers will die from smoking related illness, it is in the interest of public health to embrace the world’s most effective harm reduction tool,” he added.
To add insult to injury, added the release, not only are the harm reduction benefits of vaping products often dismissed, but the devices have been incessantly and falsely linked to an increase in risk of contracting COVID-19. “In addition to misleading smokers about the relative harm vaping products pose, it is equally troubling to the CVA that many publications continue to link vaping to COVID-19 long after health authorities have verified that there is no proven connection.”
There is no evidence that vaping increases the risk of contracting COVID-19
Both the FDA and the Science Media Research Center, have negated a possible link between vaping and contracting the virus. “There is no evidence that vaping increases the risk of infection or progression to severe conditions of COVID-19. However, vapers with a long previous smoking history could exhibit conditions seen in vulnerable patients,” said Dr. Caitlyn Notley, a prominent researcher from the University of East Anglia.
“However, this would not be an effect of vaping but of previous smoking. Since completely switching from smoking to vaping improves cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, smokers who switch to vaping might be expected to have a better prognosis if infected by COVID-19,” she added.
Notley went on to emphasize the effectivity of e-cigarettes as smoking cessation tools. “E-cigarettes are the most popular consumer option for stop smoking support, and they are effective. People should be encouraged to switch to vaping rather than continuing to smoke tobacco.”
It is irresponsable of journalists to make false claims about safer alternatives
The CVA concluded by pointing out how irresponsible it is for journalists to make such false claims for the sole purpose of creating sensationalism. “Journalism is guided by several principals, including truth, accuracy, and humanity. The publications that falsely link vaping to COVID-19 and erroneously state that vaping is as harmful as smoking have failed to uphold these basic principles by disregarding the facts. The CVA would like to remind irresponsible journalists of these guiding principles and urge them to research the facts rather than perpetuating misinformation that can jeopardize the lives of millions of smokers.”
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