The following is a press release from the American Vaping Association published in its entirety.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, reacted today to a new report by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on smoking cessation tools. The report by the USPSTF, a government-backed independent organization that has a Congressional directive to review the evidence on cessation practices, advises doctors to only recommend FDA-approved therapies and counseling for smokers looking to quit.
Even though vaping is now almost certainly the most frequently used cessation tool in the United States, the task force kicked the can down the road on articulating a clear position on the disruptive technology products. Dr. Francisco Garcia, a task force member and a researcher at the University of Arizona, told Reuters, “There is not enough evidence to evaluate the effectiveness, safety or benefits and harms of using e-cigarettes to help people quit smoking.”
Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, expressed disappointment in the task force’s decision to dismiss the evidence of the effectiveness and relative risk of vapor products.
“In effect, the task force is sending an irresponsible message to smokers and their doctors — quit or die,” says Conley.
Conley continued: “Every year, far less than 5% of those trying to quit smoking do so successfully. The task force should have at least had the integrity to advise doctors that vapor products may be a positive intervention for hardcore smokers who have tried and failed to quit with products like the nicotine gum, patch, and medications.”
“In the United Kingdom, Public Health England and over a dozen respected public health authorities have endorsed the use of vapor products by smokers looking to quit. Their rigorous assessment is based on a totality of the evidence, both from clinical trials and the real world,” says Conley. “In contrast, the task force only made a cursory attempt to review the data, and as a result they end with the same old conclusion — more evidence is needed.”
“The clock is ticking. Smoking still kills hundreds of thousands of Americans each year,” adds Conley. “Every time groups like the USPSTF dismiss the benefits of vapor products, there are smokers that take their advice seriously and continue to smoke. The policy is unconscionable and needs to change.”