The Bad Math Behind Vaping Prohibition

Regardless of one’s mathematical prowess, it should be fairly simple to understand the valuable potential of e-cigarettes. Already, these devices have helped three million—a very large number with seven digits—American adults quit smoking. Moreover, if more American adult smokers switched to e-cigarettes, this would result in billions — an even larger number with 10 digits — of savings to state Medicaid programs.

Americans Can’t do Math, But Policymakers Can and This Could Vaporize Tobacco Harm Reduction

I just read a recent article that makes a somewhat odd thesis. The idea is that Americans suck at math and that’s why they’re suckered by the obviously juked stats that health agencies and other opponents of harm reduction like to bandy about.

The author posits that if anyone looked at the obvious, like e-cigarettes containing far less chemicals than smoking it should be obvious. It becomes even more obvious talking about the amount of money states and organizations face to lose with declining tobacco taxes.

I think the notion that people not knowing the math is mostly tongue-in-cheek. Many of the points are rehashed things everyone has known for years.

I propose an alternate theory here. It’s not that Americans are bad at math (ok, they are). The real problem is Americans being bad at reading comprehension.

Then again, how much effort would you put into reading dry scientific material that you have no real interest in? So, most Americans get their info from the media and the government. That’s where the problems seem to lie.

It makes you wonder what things you don’t care about are actually way different than what you hear about.

Steve K

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