Monday, June 27, 2022

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Sustains Teen Vaping “Epidemic” By Ignoring 2021 Data


The teen vaping “epidemic” was never real; it was a passing fad, blown out of proportion by anti-tobacco zealots (here, here and here).  There is no question that past-30-day (i.e., current) high school vaping increased from 12% in 2017 to 27% in 2019.  However, by 2021, the high school vaping rate had plummeted to 11%, and smoking rates sank from 8% to 2% during those four years (here). 

The “epidemic” may have been fake, but the concocted crisis led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban the sale of millions of lifesaving e-cigarettes and vaping products, the latest being JUUL. 

The “epidemic” lives on at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, as evidenced by a May 24 presentation by CTFK president Matt Myers at the Clear the Vapor Conference, sponsored by Parents Against Vaping E-Cigarettes.  I will not link to his YouTube video, as I don’t want to inadvertently increase the 43 views he has earned. 

Here is an image from his presentation on high school smoking, using information from the National Youth Tobacco Survey:


Myers frequently cites the NYTS because it produces the highest teen vaping numbers.  But this time he plays fast and loose with the survey, seen in this slide from his presentation:


After 2019, high school vaping plummeted for two years.  How did Myers deal with that challenge to CTFK’s “epidemic” narrative?  He simply ended his chart at 2020, omitting available 2021 data.

Here is the corrected chart: 



As I have noted in a prior blog entry, anti-tobacco crusaders are doing a great job of promoting e-cigarettes and vape products to America’s youth, using cartoons, hip images, photos of kids vaping, and attractive vape flavor illustrations.  The CTFK even offers a powerful, though misguided, teen-oriented vaping promotion featuring 42 vaping scenes in under five minutes (here). 

Tobacco prohibitionists will use any trick to ensure that the teen vaping “epidemic” never ends.


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