Public health expert alleges ‘CDC coverup’ of teen THC vaping data

The vaping community has been plagued this year with repeated calls from local, state, and federal politicians to legally ban at least flavored, nicotine-based vaping products nationwide.  No half measures will be accepted by these uncompromising anti-vapers as is evidenced by their collective reactions to President Trump’s partial ban issued last month targeting strictly flavored cartridges and pods. 

Vaping hating politicians are still pushing the conspiracy theory that nicotine-based vapor products - which are already partially regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – are behind the mysterious outbreak of lung injuries of the past few months.  The FDA along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are finally publicly acknowledging that nicotine-based vapes are not involved in the over 2,000 EVALI patients’ medical diagnoses. Per an internal CDC investigation, approximately 82 percent of all patients admitted to using non-FDA regulated THC-containing cartridges purchased from “informal sources” or the black market.

Related Article:  Siegel: CDC’s refusal to conduct urine testing of lung patients ‘inexcusable’

However, many public health experts remain critical of the CDC’s handling of the whole affair.  When the outbreak was first appearing on the national stage, the CDC warned against using all vaping products – with the predominant focus on nicotine--based vapes.  THC vaping was not even mentioned in the early days of the outbreak.

Now that the CDC and the FDA readily admit that marijuana-based cartridges usually laced with vitamin E acetate are the true public health concern, where is the political outrage?  Why are vaping hating politicians still hell bent on wiping out the entire nicotine vaping industry?  

Dr. Siegel accuses CDC of ‘concealing and suppressing information’

As far back as August 28, 2019, Dr. Michael Siegel of the Boston University of Public Health Sciences told USA Today that the CDC was being “unintentionally vague” about the alleged lung disease, its origins, and its related symptoms.  Had the CDC been more forthcoming right away, perhaps more lives could have been saved.

“Based on what we know now, I think there’s enough to tell people: Don’t vape THC oils – especially products that are bought off the street…There are certain things the agency could be recommending right now that could potentially save lives and prevent this from happening by being much more specific…
“There are millions of people vaping out there…When they get this advice ‘Well, we don’t know what it is; it’s vaping,’ that doesn’t help anyone. So, I think they need to try to be specific."

More recently on January 26, Siegel upped the ante in his debasement of the CDC.  In an article posted in Tobacco Analysis, Siegel reviews many of the agencies past statements, included data, and public warnings while looking for clues that the CDC may have a secret, hidden agenda.

Related Article:  Dr. Siegel blasts AHA for clinging to ‘alternative facts’ about vaping

Siegel notes that the agency data is very detailed about the percentages of middle and high schoolers who are occasional or heavy e-cigarette users, but the statistics on teen vaping of THC-containing substances is either minimal or non-existent. He then makes accusations of a “CDC coverup” aimed at misdirecting public attention away from cannabis-based products and towards nicotine-based vapes instead.

As proof, Siegel looks to the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NTYS), all of which are conducted by the CDC.  He notes one major difference.  In the 2019 version, the question related to marijuana vaping is intentionally omitted. 

“Why would the CDC intentionally take this question off the survey, when it had included the question in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 surveys?...
“The CDC cover-up of the role being played by THC vaping in the youth vaping epidemic has had serious consequences. Arguably, it contributed to the sudden and unexpected outbreak of respiratory disease that took the public health world by storm last year, something that could potentially have been avoided or reduced had health practitioners and agencies throughout the country been aware of the severe health risks being posed by youth THC vaping.”

Most politicians who consistently lambast the American nicotine vaping industry despite mounting scientific evidence to the contrary often claim flavor bans are necessary “in the interest of protecting America’s youth.”  However, their politically charged outrage is sorely lacking when the issue of combustible tobacco or state-legalized marijuana enters the conversation.  Their silence on THC vaping in relation to the EVALI scare is especially deafening. 

Related Article:  Dr. Michael Siegel blasts American Lung Association for lying about vaping

(Image courtesy of YouTube)

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