Centophobia https://www.flickr.com/photos/41107941@N00/3457027013

Newly released data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has shown that annual cigarette sales in 2020 increased for the first time in two decades, despite numerous tax increase in multiple states on the product. The increase in cigarette sales follows a concerted effort by well funded anti-vaping activists to distort the science and data regarding vaping to pass laws restricting consumer access, causing a significant drop in the number of smokers quitting, as well as leading smokers who had previously made the switch returning to combustible tobacco.

Vaping, a proven harm reduction technology which is 95% safer than deadly combustible tobacco, is endorsed by over 60 of the world’s leading medical bodies, and according to studies conducted by Georgetown University Medical Center has the potential to save 6.6 million American lives in the next 10 years. Despite the science, activists, primarily funded by Michael Bloomberg to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, throughout 2020 lobbied lawmakers to restrict access to this vital quit-smoking aid, leading to multiple states and local governments banning the majority of vaping products. These bans, such as those instituted in San Francisco, have already been shown by Yale University to increase youth smoking rates and this latest data demonstrates that these restrictions have contributed to smoking increasing across the board.

In addition, misinformation regarding “EVALI”, a 2019 outbreak of lung illnesses caused by illicit, black market THC products laced with Vitamin E acetate which has nothing to do with nicotine vaping products, has also been shown to have increased the smoking rate. According to previously published research conducted by Boston University, anti-vaping activists “messaging that questioned the safety of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes” and falsely attributed EVALI to nicotine vaping “led to an increase in combustible cigarette use

This trend of increased smoking is set to continue if Congressional Democrats get their way, and impose staggering new Federal Taxes on e-cigarettes. Academic modelling has shown that Democrat proposals, which would see e-cigarettes taxed even higher than combustible tobacco, would lead to 2.75 million additional smokers in the United States.

The increase in smoking rates has proven the devastating public health consequences of the Bloomberg-driven anti-vaping campaign in the United States. It’s time that lawmakers accept the science, and follow other governments such as the United KingdomCanada, and New Zealand, who are actively promoting smokers making the switch to vaping. Millions of lives quite literally depend on it.