Thursday, September 24, 2020

The CDC Nicotine Brain Fallacy


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is out with a false advertisement telling kids that “Nicotine in e-cigarettes can harm brain development.”  The headline says, “It’s not like you can buy a new brain.”  To make it accurate, I’ve added “…for your pet mouse.” 

Let me be crystal clear.  The harm in brain development federal officials talk non-stop about only happens in laboratory torture of mice.  Mouse studies are well known to be of questionable value in predicting human effects.  There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the claim that nicotine causes harm to human brain development, so it is astounding that federal officials traffic in this false narrative.  This nonsense is an affront to 34 million adult current smokers and 55 million former smokers in the U.S., virtually all of whom started when they were teenagers.  There is no evidence that their brain development was harmed, a fact that was specifically acknowledged by a prestigious nicotine researcher Dr. Neal Benowitz at an international tobacco meeting this week.

I have for years catalogued CDC misinformation campaigns regarding smokeless tobacco (examples here, here, here) and e-cigarettes (here, here, here, here).

Today, CDC’s bungling of Covid-19 facts and guidance is pulling back the curtain on that agency’s tragic shortcomings and its readiness to disregard or “warp” the truth. Educated tobacco users have known the CDC has been lying about and to them for years.




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