Blatantly ignoring research, Dr. Frieden is failing the public by dismissing e-cigarettes as another alternative for smokers to kick their habit. If the Centers of Disease Control's (CDC) Director wants even less tobacco use for the U.S. citizens, he certainly isn't looking in the right direction. Dr. Frieden, America's "top doc", and his agency have chosen not to help with any positive information. There are no statements to help adults switch to a proven and less harmful alternative to smoking, but there is plenty of evidence to do so.
When tobacco use decreases, less smoking occurs
In the 1960's, 42% of Americans were smokers. Smoking rates have been steadily dropping with rates now at 15%, the lowest point in history. There doesn't seem to be a connection to e-cigarettes in the CDC's view despite in the sharpest one-year drop of 2%. Instead of keying in on the obvious, gratitude for the reduction in smoking goes to campaigns like "CDC Tips". Frieden claimed the campaign helped an "estimated 1.8 million smokers attempt to quit smoking" while "104,000 Americans quit smoking for good," according to a report found on the CDC website. Imagine the impact that campaign would have had if e-cigarettes were included as a way to help Americans decrease or eliminate tobacco. Dr. Frieden was asked directly on Twitter if he had any comments in regards to health implications of deceiving smokers. There was no response.
Creating mixed messages.
By wording an ad just right, the manipulation of a point can be subtle to some, and blatantly obvious to those who know better. One message used by the CDC campaign stated a woman "tried to quit smoking conventional cigarettes with e-cigarettes, but wound up using both products." The woman suffered a collapsed lung; however, the ad didn't mention she stopped using an e-cigarette and continued smoking cigarettes instead. That imagery to the viewer is suggestive and irresponsible.
When science and research are ignored.
What is stopping Dr. Frieden from picking up a phone and calling his colleagues at the Royal College of Physicians? Curiosity alone, from an esteemed professional, surely would be enough to assist even more citizens in America to help with that goal of "fewer smokers". It couldn't take more than one phone call to see 'just how' they came up with an estimated 95% less risk for e-cigarettes in relation to combustible tobacco. That alone would prompt a first year CDC director to raise an eyebrow with intrigue. Dr. Frieden is making a conscious choice to keep Americans uninformed about the benefits of e-cigarettes, and that irrational decision will keep people smoking. Real smoking rates will more than likely level off now that the regulations set by the Food and Drug Administration are about to go into place. Then, once e-cigarettes are classified as "tobacco," tobacco "use" in America will skyrocket by design.