Letter: Defending vaping puts kids’ health at risk

Posted Mar 17, 2020 at 4:11 AM


Recently The Dispatch took the highly unusual step of printing side-by-side op-eds both expressing the same opinion in opposition to a bill in Congress that would restrict kid-friendly flavors in nicotine and tobacco products.

Both pieces were shocking in their denial of facts and their blithe repetition of tobacco industry talking points. The Centers for Disease Control report that 6 million middle school and high school kids are using addictive nicotine, nearly three times the rate of just a few years ago. Vaping is fueling this epidemic with cheap, disposable, sweet-flavored products loaded with nicotine chemically altered to make it a more palatable starter for kids.

The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act has strong support of the American Association of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Truth, the American Public Health Association and hundreds of other organizations trying to stem the epidemic of teen vaping. That the new dean of OSU’s College of Public Health publicly disputed their position is alarming.

This important bill has passed the U.S. House, and it now moves to the Senate where the lead sponsor is Ohio’s Senator Sherrod Brown.

Let me add as a footnote that early analysis shows tobacco users are 14 times more likely to suffer serious illness and death from COVID-19 than non-smokers. Any inhaled nicotine paralyzes the lungs’ cleansing system. There was never a better time to quit smoking and vaping.


Rob Crane, MD,

Professor of Clinical Family Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus


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March 17, 2020