CDC Putting Lives at Risk with Warning Against E-Cigarettes

Today, the Centers for Disease Control put out a dire warning against use of e-cigarettes in the aftermath of a spate of recent lung illnesses associated with use of THC-containing products and perhaps nicotine-containing products. CEI Senior Fellow Michelle Minton criticized the CDC for its blanket, unhelpful admonition against all e-cigarettes.

“In its warning today against use of e-cigarettes, the CDC is failing the public in its most important job – to protect the public from imminent health risks. The CDC is supposed to synthesize local health information into actionable advice so that Americans can avoid being exposed to contaminated products. Several state authorities announced that the outbreak of lung illnesses linked to vaping have been associated not with nicotine products but with illegal marijuana products that, after testing, appear to have been contaminated with vitamin E oil. Just yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced similar findings.

“Yet, the CDC today issued a vague and confusing warning about e-cigarettes, even though not a single case involved in this outbreak has been conclusively linked to legal, nicotine-only e-cigarettes. By focusing on the delivery method instead of the substances at the heart of this outbreak, the CDC has compounded this confusion. More importantly, by undermining the clearer warnings from state authorities, the CDC is putting lives at risk and raising questions about its value as a public health institution.”