Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSShttp://iwf.org/images/email-logo.pnghttp://www.iwf.org33968Debunking Myths About The Past, Present And Future Of Opioids<p> The &ldquo;opioid epidemic&rdquo; consistently addressed in the news, by politicians and throughout social media conflates many aspects of the issue, often speaking interchangeably about prescription medications and illicit drugs. When the narrative and identifying of the problems get so confused and blurred or legal and political grandstanding becomes more about virtue signaling than honest analysis of multifactorial causal agents and helpful action, the solutions get further and further out of reach. As does the suffering.</p> <p> The mere existence of an opioid pill is not why there is a crisis.</p> <p> Myths abound in the public forum surrounding who caused it, what &ldquo;it&rdquo; actually is, how we got here, what it will take to fix it and who we can blame for the totality of a truly complex situation. Reducing the discussion to &ldquo;evil&rdquo; Pharma or pill mill bad actors does a disservice to making genuine strides in combating the innumerable factors at play that created surging rates of heroin and fentanyl-laced street drug use that have claimed far too many lives.</p> <p> All too often, the stories or talking points being told are not accurate depictions of the many contributing influences. And all but ignore any focus on the forgotten children, the tremendous health care burden their exposures are costing - financially, emotionally, physically, developmentally etc., and how to break the cycle of addiction, in general, to prevent future perpetuation of such devastating consequences.</p> <p> We like putting band-aids on ruptured arteries as policy, instead of performing the comprehensive task of looking inward and determining the myriad number of root causes for a problem. This practice of external blame game simply kicks the can down the road, often paying less dividends overall, not helping those most in need and complicating matters more than necessary.</p> <p> If family-centered programming is not at the core of remedies, then cure will remain out of sight. These and other aspects of the opioid epidemic were touched upon in a recent podcast I did on the topic.</p> <p> I had the distinct pleasure of being interviewed by&nbsp;<span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><a href="http://iwf.org/blog/2806620/A-Podcast-on-the-Complexities-of-the-Opioid-Crisis"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Julie Gunlock</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">, the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum Director for the Center for Progress and Innovation</span></span></strong></span>, on the complexities of the opioid epidemic and had the opportunity to tease out some of these subjects (e.g. prescription sharing, doctor shopping, pain as vital sign, multi-drug use/abuse) while also addressing the pediatric and adolescent difficulties often lost in the mix. (See&nbsp;<a href="http://iwf.org/blog/2806620/A-Podcast-on-the-Complexities-of-the-Opioid-Crisis">here</a>&nbsp;for her summary and access &ldquo;The Forgotten Children of the Opioid Epidemic&rdquo; podcast).</p> <p> In this recording (click&nbsp;<a href="http://iwf.org/media/2806607/-129-The-Forgotten-Children-of-the-Opioid-Epidemic">here</a>), you will learn about the historical context of society&rsquo;s current predicament and what is necessary to improve conditions and ensure a promising future. There are many social determinants of health and well-being that warrant discussion and require proactive measures to empower people to succeed in conquering these challenges and to help others entirely avoid developing new addictions.</p> http://iwf.org/media/2806763/Julie GunlockMon, 18 Jun 2018 19:06:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumShould We Let Our Kids Eat Dirt? • Bold Lifehttp://iwf.org/media/2806743/Julie GunlockFri, 15 Jun 2018 16:06:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumConsumer's Health on the Line While E-Cigarettes Are Targeted by the FDA • Cam & Co.http://iwf.org/media/2806697/Julie GunlockTue, 5 Jun 2018 14:06:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat Do You Think About Roseanne's Cancellation? • Bold TVhttp://iwf.org/media/2806657/Julie GunlockFri, 1 Jun 2018 21:06:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumOpioid Lawsuits Do More Harm Than Good • Bill Meyer Showhttp://iwf.org/media/2806628/Julie GunlockThu, 31 May 2018 09:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWorld No Tobacco Day: Let's Recognize the Potential of E-Cigarettes<p> Today is World No Tobacco Day. Created by the World Health Organization, May 31<sup>st</sup>is dedicated raising awareness of the health risks associated with smoking traditional, combustible cigarettes and to encourage government leaders and public health officials to support efforts to make it easier for smokers to quit.</p> <p> <iframe allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8zxYnIOuRwI" width="560"></iframe></p> <p> One way to make it easier is to allow the country&rsquo;s current 38 million smokers to choose the smoking cessation product that best work for them. Yet, that&rsquo;s getting harder for smokers to do.&nbsp;</p> <p> Sadly, politicians, regulators, and anti-smoking activists are making it more difficult to quit&mdash;particularly for women&mdash;by spreading misinformation about e-cigarettes, an innovative nicotine delivery system that is 95 percent less harmful than traditional cigarettes.&nbsp;</p> <p> The anti e-cigarette propaganda harms women the most because women have a harder time quitting traditional cigarettes.</p> <p> Studies clearly show that the products currently in the marketplace&mdash;patches and gum, which are the only products approved for sale by the FDA&mdash;don&rsquo;t work as well on women as they do on men.</p> <p> Women tend to suffer more severe symptoms of withdrawal, and are more likely to begin smoking again when faced with stress and anxiety. Because of a women&rsquo;s menstrual cycle, they have more and stronger cravings than men and additional psychological research shows that women smoke for reasons other than the nicotine--such as enjoying the habit of smoking, the hand-to-mouth contact, and the appetite suppressing qualities of cigarettes.&nbsp;</p> <p> This is why e-cigarettes are particularly important and are likely a more effective option for women who are trying to kick the smoking habit.</p> <p> So, on this World No Tobacco Day, we hope US policy makers and anti-smoking activists embrace giving women the products they need to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. Women deserve an equal chance at a healthy life.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2806621/Julie GunlockThu, 31 May 2018 08:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMichael Bloomberg should embrace vaping to support World No Tobacco Day<p> The World Health Organization created &ldquo;World No Tobacco Day&rdquo; to raise awareness of the health risks associated with smoking and encourage government leaders and public health officials to support efforts to make it easier for smokers to quit.</p> <p> You might assume that Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City who earned the nickname &quot;America&rsquo;s Nanny,&quot; would support this important public health initiative. After all, Bloomberg is known for using his powerful office not only to nudge, but to force people to adopt what he views as healthier habits.</p> <p> Most infamously, he sought to establish drink size restriction on sodas as a way to cut people&rsquo;s sugar consumption. He also banned the use of trans fats, mandated city restaurants post calorie information, and discouraged the use of salt (despite his own habit of salting everything from pizza to saltine crackers). It never seemed to matter to Bloomberg that stacks of scientific data show these nanny-state efforts fail to improve health outcomes, but plenty of evidence shows they hurt small businesses and annoy freedom-loving New Yorkers.</p> <p> Since leaving office, the former mayor has turned his attention to getting people to quit smoking &mdash; a noble goal for sure. Yet Bloomberg is sadly continuing his practice of ignoring research on what actually helps people make healthier choices in favor of his nanny-knows-best dictates.</p> <p> In the United Kingdom, doctors now routinely advise patients eager to quit smoking to try e-cigarettes, which studies have found are 95 percent less harmful than combustible cigarettes. According to a&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/08/half-british-vapers-have-now-quit-smoking-tobacco-study-suggests/&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1527793688143000&amp;usg=AFQjCNH0O-DCRbF-epB6h0klf_fnIaJwBQ" href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/08/half-british-vapers-have-now-quit-smoking-tobacco-study-suggests/" target="_blank">recent survey</a>, of the 2.9 million e-cigarette users in the U.K., more than half are ex-smokers who have&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1527793688143000&amp;usg=AFQjCNG4ALqV02HDw_YtWGRQN9itDGvaxw" href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health" target="_blank">given up smoking tobacco</a>&nbsp;in favor of vaping. This good news is likely why both Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians back the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool.</p> <p> But not Bloomberg. Instead, he&rsquo;s discouraged smokers from trying to reduce the harm of their habit by switching their nicotine delivery system from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarette devices. Instead of recognizing this innovation as a public health win, as mayor, Bloomberg backed the banning of e-cigarettes indoors, raised taxes on vaping products, and classified e-cigarettes as tobacco products despite them not containing any tobacco.</p> <div style="clear:both;"> <div data-bsp-plugin="Module63959" data-google-query-id="CNGG6bmlrtsCFcHFwAodlKoMdw" data-slot-name="/4026082/washington_examiner/undertone_seethrough" data-slot-sizes="[[2,2]]" id="googleAd_inline_1" style="margin-left:auto;"> <div id="google_ads_iframe_/4026082/washington_examiner/undertone_seethrough_0__container__"> <div style="clear:both;"> More recently, Bloomberg-funded anti-tobacco organizations have spread misinformation about e-cigarettes, suggesting they are responsible for a &ldquo;crisis&rdquo; of teen smoking and vaping, despite easy to find&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p1126-adult-smoking.html&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1527793688143000&amp;usg=AFQjCNG6oVi0YkEiq07_5rEcfY4Cy-yRlg" href="https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p1126-adult-smoking.html" target="_blank">data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a>&nbsp;that traditional smoking by teens is at historically low levels and&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=https://www.statnews.com/2017/06/15/vaping-teens-electronic-cigarettes-cdc/&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1527793688143000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEulltjBMOKORXmOu611-DWxiv2cQ" href="https://www.statnews.com/2017/06/15/vaping-teens-electronic-cigarettes-cdc/" target="_blank">fewer kids are vaping</a>&nbsp;as well. These organizations also downplay how e-cigarettes can reduce harm by implying vaping is equivalent to smoking traditional cigarettes.</div> </div> </div> </div> <p> Women are the biggest losers from Bloomberg&#39;s anti-e-cigarette propaganda. According to a recent&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=https://www.livescience.com/19452-women-harder-quit-smoking.html&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1527793688143000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEU-6JqGm-2ForDt-10iedV8PfECg" href="https://www.livescience.com/19452-women-harder-quit-smoking.html" target="_blank">study</a>&nbsp;published in Journal of Neuroscience, women have a harder time quitting traditional cigarettes because the FDA-approved smoking cessation products currently in the marketplace (patches and gum) don&rsquo;t work as well on women as they do on men.</p> <p> Women tend to suffer more severe symptoms of withdrawal, and are more likely to begin smoking again when faced with stress and anxiety.&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/01/05/study-explains-why-women-have-harder-time-quitting-smoking-than-men.html&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1527793688143000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEML3_BEv0KNLpd3220pOBFDN64Xg" href="http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/01/05/study-explains-why-women-have-harder-time-quitting-smoking-than-men.html" target="_blank">Women&rsquo;s menstruation cycles</a>&nbsp;also interfere with efforts to quit because during this time women have more cravings than men.</p> <p> Additional research shows that while women are still vulnerable to nicotine addiction,&nbsp;<a data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=https://news.yale.edu/2014/12/09/smoking-lights-brain-s-response-differently-men-and-women&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1527793688143000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEVmXT70y6NIOd0yBIPYZ7LuBgGjg" href="https://news.yale.edu/2014/12/09/smoking-lights-brain-s-response-differently-men-and-women" target="_blank">other factors</a>&nbsp;contribute to why women smoke, such as enjoying the habit of smoking, the smell and taste, the hand-to-mouth contact, and the appetite-suppressing qualities of cigarettes. This makes e-cigarettes a particularly important and a more effective option for women and the availability of these products an important women&rsquo;s health issue.</p> <p> Bloomberg fashions himself as an enlightened feminist. If so, he should set aside his nannying and allow women the products that will help them live longer and healthier lives. E-cigarettes can do that for millions of American women.</p> <p> Bloomberg should embrace the goals of World No Tobacco Day, which seeks to end the public health disaster caused by traditional cigarettes. Women need the tools to make that a reality.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2806624/Julie GunlockWed, 30 May 2018 15:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumA Podcast on the Complexities of the Opioid Crisis<p> I recently sat down with pediatrician, writer for the American Council of Science and Health, and IWF visiting fellow Dr. Jamie Wells for a wide ranging conversation about American&rsquo;s opioid crisis, focusing on one area that&rsquo;s rarely discussed&mdash;the children who are born addicted to opioids and who suffer from a painful condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome, which is drug withdrawal after birth.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <iframe allow="autoplay" frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/450831372&amp;color=%23ff5500&amp;auto_play=true&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_teaser=true" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p> Dr. Wells explained that this condition can lead to tremendous medical problems&mdash;a low birth rate, preterm birth, jitteriness, and even learning disabilities down the road.&nbsp;There&rsquo;s been a five-fold increase of children born with neonatal abstinence syndrome in the US in the last several years. Dr. Wells also explained that the medical field is also seeing an increase in accidental ingestion of opioids by children, which has led to much higher rates of pediatric intensive care unit admissions.</p> <p> Hospitals are also reporting that they are seeing higher rates of hospitalizations among teenagers. These opioid-related hospitalizations often require the highest level of hospital care, which means massive costs.</p> <p> Dr. Wells explained that the way to solve this problem is to keep anti-opioid treatment family centric. Otherwise, these problems will persist.&nbsp;</p> <p> Dr. Wells and I also discussed how the opioid crisis has led to pharmaceutical companies getting a bad rap and opioid being marred. The fact is, opioids have helped millions of people live without pain and lead productive lives.&nbsp;</p> <p> As far as who&rsquo;s to blame for this crisis, Dr. Wells advises recognizing that the opioid issue is complex and avoid the folly of finding one entity to blame.&nbsp;&nbsp;She also pointed out that many factors have contributed to today&rsquo;s crisis: prescription sharing, doctor shopping, gaming the system, pill mills, the aggressive lobbying of the pain movement, and the medical field&rsquo;s willingness to add pain as the fifth vital sign, which offered perverse incentives to over prescribe and perhaps a willingness among doctors to give these medications to patients who didn&rsquo;t really need such strong pain medications.</p> <p> The point: the opioid crisis is complex and one entity can&rsquo;t be blamed entirely.</p> <p> This led to our conversation about how activists have taken advantage of the opioid crisis to file lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies. Jamie asks&mdash;what good will these lawsuits do?</p> <p> She added that pain medications do tremendous things when used properly. Instead of silly lawsuits, Dr. Wells suggests a two-fold approach: 1) getting rehab services to those who are addicted, 2) work to prevent further addictions, and 3) help those who are currently addicted find future success and stability.&nbsp;</p> <p> Dr. Wells agreed that these lawsuits will have a deleterious affect on pharmaceutical companies by drawing funding away from the research and development that could be done to help those who are suffering with painful diseases and programs that could help those who have become addicted.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2806620/Julie GunlockWed, 30 May 2018 10:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumE-Cigarettes are 95% Less Harmful Than Cigarettes-Why the moral panic? • Steve Gruber Showhttp://iwf.org/media/2806618/Julie GunlockWed, 30 May 2018 10:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum#129 The Forgotten Children of the Opioid Epidemic<p> Dr. Jamie Wells discusses the forgotten children of the opioid epidemic. Prescription opioids and the cycle of addiction affects children in very damaging ways--which are often left out of the conversation. Solutions should be family-centric, thoughtful, and comprehensive.</p> http://iwf.org/media/2806607/Julie GunlockTue, 29 May 2018 12:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTurmoil with North Korean Meeting and NFL Protest Controversy • Up All Night on BBC Radiohttp://iwf.org/media/2806606/Julie GunlockMon, 28 May 2018 12:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWe shouldn't ignore the differences between smoking traditional tobacco products and vaping • Bold TVhttp://iwf.org/media/2806597/Julie GunlockFri, 25 May 2018 15:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSucked into Eco-Activism: McDonald’s May Ban the Plastic Straw<p> Call it eco-silly.</p> <div> The humble plastic drinking straw is now on the chopping block as the latest target of the country&rsquo;s eco-warriors. And while everyone can agree on the importance of clean oceans and eliminating waste &mdash; the alternatives to plastic straws leave a lot to be desired.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> A shareholder proposal will be presented to McDonald&rsquo;s on Thursday to stop its use of plastic straws altogether in the U.S., and to offer alternatives, multiple outlets&nbsp;<a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/05/21/mcdonalds-being-sucked-into-movement-ban-plastic-straws/501242002/">reported</a>. The mammoth international restaurant chain already announced in March it would phase out plastic straws from its 1,300 U.K. restaurants and begin a trial of paper straws in some of locations starting in May, reported&nbsp;<a href="https://www.foodandwine.com/syndication/mcdonalds-plastic-straw-ban?xid=soc_socialflow_twitter_fw&amp;utm_campaign=foodandwine&amp;utm_source=twitter.com&amp;utm_medium=social">Foodandwine.com</a>.</div> <div> <p> The fast food chain will also begin keeping straws behind the counter in Britain &mdash; meaning customers will have to ask for them if they&rsquo;d like them.</p> <p> Here are the options McDonald&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/alternatives-to-plastic-straws-eco-friendly/">might be presented with at the meeting</a>: straws made of bamboo; paper; steel; or glass; and one made of actual straw (presumably known as a straw-straw). Other options include a water bottle or a reusable cup and straw &mdash; can you say &ldquo;hotbed of germs&rdquo;?&nbsp;&mdash; and of course, foregoing the straw all together.</p> <p> The company would like its shareholders to vote against the straw study proposal. &ldquo;We continue to work to find a more sustainable solution for plastic straws globally,&rdquo; the chain said in a statement Monday. &ldquo;In the meantime, we have adopted compostable straws in certain markets to meet regulations while we work with packaging experts to develop a planet-friendly, cost-effective answer for all McDonald&rsquo;s restaurants.&rdquo;</p> <p> Last year McDonald&rsquo;s debuted an exclusive, highly-engineered straw dubbed the &ldquo;Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal,&rdquo; or STRAW, for short. The name took longer to say than the actual length of time the STRAW was around: It was only available for two days, February 24th and March 1st, with a scant 2,000 of them spread across the entire country.</p> <p> Sometimes its better to leave well enough alone. Bamboo seems a front-runner for the Golden Arches and others who want to put the plastic straw on the trash heap of history.</p> <p> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know where you&rsquo;re going to get these bamboo straws,&rdquo; Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center in Washington, D.C., told LifeZette. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know what planet they&rsquo;re on by saying we&rsquo;re going to save the oceans by switching to some of these outlandish alternatives.&rdquo;</p> <p> If activist groups want to use only bamboo straws and only frequent the establishments using those items, Stier says, they are free to do so right now.</p> <p> &ldquo;But I think with all of these plastic straw alternatives, we ought to read these activist claims as if it were the last straw,&rdquo; he added. &ldquo;We should stop believing these claims that we are destroying the earth by using convenient products.&rdquo;</p> <p> Stier is not alone in his thinking. <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Julie Gunlock, director of the Center for Progress and Innovation at the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, also in Washington, D.C., has no problem with plastic &mdash; straws or otherwise.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;I suppose it&rsquo;s fine if a company wants to switch to these paper straws, but if anybody has used one, you know they tend to disintegrate, and McDonald&rsquo;s is well-known for ginormous drinks,&rdquo; Gunlock told LifeZette. &ldquo;I can just imagine the mouth injuries when you hand your child a glass straw and they munch into it, or it breaks and they cut their finger or their mouth &mdash; or, God forbid, they ingest glass.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> This is hardly convenient &mdash; hardly what anyone needs.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;Also, there is a reason plastic straws were invented,&rdquo; she added. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re fantastic, they don&rsquo;t disintegrate, and they last a long time, so I think this would be frustrating for consumers and for businesses.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Even then, Gunlock doesn&rsquo;t put it past McDonald&rsquo;s agreeing to ban plastic straws, adding that large corporations often like to do certain things for publicity.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> One could make the argument that businesses and consumers could just go without a straw. However, some people want a straw, as they believe it helps protect their teeth and gums from acidity and food dyes. The jury is still out on whether using a straw actually makes a difference &mdash; and a general web search provides a buffet of talking points for both sides of that argument.</p> <p> Meanwhile, some people want straws in order to avoid spilling liquid on themselves. Others may have a child in the car who is too young to drink a beverage sans straw.</p> <p> For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Banning plastic straws, however well-intentioned, appears to be no exception to this rule.</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/media/2806585/Julie GunlockWed, 23 May 2018 07:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIs Boredom Beneficial to Kids? • BoldTVhttp://iwf.org/media/2806566/Julie GunlockFri, 18 May 2018 15:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMoral Panic Over E-Cigarettes Carries a High Cost<p> AEI scholar Dr. Sally Satel has yet another <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/vapin-in-the-boys-room-1526423371?mod=searchresults&amp;page=1&amp;pos=1">must-read article in today&rsquo;s Wall Street Journal</a> about how the moral panic over e-cigarettes is clouding judgment on an important public health issue&mdash;how do we help the roughly 37.8 million American adults who currently smoke cigarettes quit the habit for good or switch to less harmful e-cigarette products.</p> <p> Satel explains that the popularity of one particular type of e-cigarette, called JUUL, with teens is making some in the public health and political spheres unjustly demonize these products writ large and for all demographics--even for people desperate to find a smoking cessation product that works for them (see <a href="http://iwf.org/blog/2805664/Testimony-Before-FDA-Advisory-Committee">my testimony before the FDA </a>on why e-cigarettes are the preferred method of smoking cessation product for women). Satel writes:</p> <blockquote> <p> &hellip;instead of cheers for a blockbuster of American ingenuity that&rsquo;s saving lives, JUUL has sparked a moral panic. A Harvard pediatrician likened teen use of JUUL to &ldquo;bioterrorism .&nbsp;.&nbsp;. a massive public-health disaster.&rdquo; Last week, Sen. Chuck Schumer demanded that the Food and Drug Administration douse the &ldquo;fire of e-cig addiction among New York adolescents.</p> </blockquote> <p> Of course, Satel agrees that teens shouldn&rsquo;t vape. So does JUUL, which even supports raising the smoking age to 21 (not a policy with which I agree) and has pledged $30 million to fight underage vaping. But, as Satel spells out, we can&rsquo;t forget that &ldquo;there is no adult activity that some kids won&rsquo;t do.&rdquo; To suggest otherwise is to put your head in the sand and just hope your kid is a perfect angel. Satel offers some sobering statistics on why this just isn&rsquo;t the case for most kids:</p> <blockquote> <p> According to the 2017 Monitoring the Future&nbsp;<a href="http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/mtf-overview2017.pdf?mod=article_inline">survey</a>, almost 1 in 5 high school seniors reported getting drunk within the previous month, while 22.9% used cannabis during the same time frame. Only 11% said they had vaped. Two major government surveys show that regular e-cigarette use by people who have never smoked is under 1%.</p> <p> Some 4.2% of high-school seniors report smoking conventional cigarettes daily, according to Monitoring the Future, and 9.7% reported smoking at least once in the previous month. These are &ldquo;the high-risk youth&rdquo; we need to worry about, said Lynn T. Kozlowski, a tobacco expert at the University of Buffalo, at last month&rsquo;s E-Cigarette Summit in Washington. Youth who have started to smoke, he added, &ldquo;need to know the real costs of different nicotine products.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p> That&rsquo;s the critical point (something Carrie Lukas also wrote about <a href="http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/386502-abstinence-only-is-the-wrong-approach-to-vaping-products">here</a>). Teens and parents need to understand that traditional cigarettes are far more dangerous than vaping products and it&rsquo;s immoral, unethical and just plain outrageous for anti-smoking activists, government agencies and politicians to hide or distort the facts about vaping being safer. Satel writes:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p> Better they are told that the smoke they are inhaling comes with 7,000 chemicals, dozens of them in carcinogenic levels, plus carbon monoxide. And if they can&rsquo;t or won&rsquo;t quit, they should know that vaping, according to the Royal College of Physicians, is about 95% less hazardous than cigarette smoking.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p> Of course parents prefer to give the &ldquo;just don&rsquo;t start!&rdquo; advice, but if they do, perhaps the better advice is that given by David B. Abrams of New York University&rsquo;s College of Global Public Health, who Satel quotes in her piece. He says:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p> If the choice is between getting addicted to nicotine and dying from cigarettes or getting addicted without dying from e-cigarettes, the answer is obvious.</p> </blockquote> <p> Satel concludes by warning that &ldquo;Overheated worries about youth vaping are threatening to obscure the massive potential benefits to the nation&rsquo;s 38 million cigarette smokers. Two million have already quit thanks to e-cigarettes. Vaping products are already the most widely used quit-smoking tool.&rdquo;</p> <p> We should all be in favor of providing smokers innovative products that can help them quit smoking as well as urging teens never to start smoking or vaping. Each of these goals can be pursued simultaneously and without ridding marketplace of products that can actually accomplish the first.&nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2806527/Julie GunlockWed, 16 May 2018 08:05:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum