Wednesday, July 12, 2023

More Good News From the 2022 NHIS… But You Won’t Hear It from U.S. Health Authorities


Following on my post last week discussing dramatic improvement in vaping and smoking rates from the 2022 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), today I present additional positive news from that survey.

The CDC last year counted 14.9 million current vapers, representing a 64% increase in just two years.  Importantly, 6.1 million vapers, or 41%, are former smokers.  This is the fourth NHIS survey in a row with 40+% of vapers having stepped away from the fire.  Can we prove that all of them used vapes to quit?  Of course not, but former means smoke-free, and it doesn’t matter how they quit, or how they stay that way. 

Following last week’s format, the next chart shows the number of current vapers according to smoking status and age.  The pattern here is crystal clear.  Young adults age 18 to 24 are not quitting smoking in high numbers by vaping, but 2.8 million, or 65%, of current vapers in that age group never smoked.  That is just as important, because never smoking is healthier than former smoking, regardless of vaping.  For all older age groups, the percentage of former smokers is around 50% or higher, which is vitally important since those are the ages when smoking-related diseases start kicking in, killing smokers.


The entire American health establishment, including the CDC and FDA, are obsessed with teen vaping.  A Google search for adult e-cigarette use in 2022 yields no results.  In other words, health authorities are turning blind eyes toward the nearly 15 million adults who enjoy nicotine and tobacco with little or no risk, as smoking inexorably – though still too slowly – declines.    

Imagine how fast sales and use of combustible cigarettes would disappear if public health leaders simply told smokers the tobacco truth – that vaping is 95% safer than smoking.


Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Astounding Smoking & Vaping Statistics in New CDC Data


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) just released the full data set from the 2022 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Earlier, the agency published “Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the 2022 National Health Interview Survey,” a document that reflected the CDC’s propensity to cherry-pick data in order to portray all forms of tobacco as deadly and evil.

The chart at left shows the prevalence of smoking and vaping among American adults over the years the survey collected information on vaping -- 2014 to 2022.  Note that the smoking rate, denoted by the black and gray columns, started out at 16.8% and has since declined to 11.6%, for a drop of about 31%.  During that time, the vaping rate increased from 3.7% in 2014, to 6% last year.  One of the more noticeable trends is the increase in vapers who are former smokers, which I will examine in my next blog.

Now let’s look at the same statistics, but only for Americans age 18 to 24 years.  The smoking rate in 2014 was 16.6%, almost identical to that among all Americans, but then something extraordinary happened.  Smoking dropped a whopping 71%, to just 4.8% in 2022, while vaping increased substantially. 


The young adult numbers sync with those I’ve reported from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (here).  In short, smoking is a vanishing habit among teens and young adults in America.

Instead of celebrating this as a public health victory, anti-tobacco crusaders continue to denounce a nonexistent vaping crisis.  They decry another generation enslaved by nicotine, but ignore the millions of Americans who daily consume caffeine, which is also addictive and benign.  

While tobacco prohibitionists are, ironically, threatened by the fading of smoking, I have spent an entire career at major academic medical centers watching inveterate smokers pay a life-shortening price for being unable to quit the crusaders’ way, i.e., going nicotine-free.  Thankfully, today’s generation of smoke-free youth and young adults will enjoy a future devoid of the ravages of smoking, even as they continue to consume smoke-free tobacco products.