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American Heart Association Urges Parents to Lie to Their Kids About E-Cigarettes and Not to Answer their Questions

It has been well established that using e-cigarettes is far safer than smoking. Clinical studies show that smokers who switch to e-cigarettes experience immediate and dramatic improvement in both their lung function and in their cardiovascular function. They also experience a dramatic reduction in levels of chemical toxins. Any parent who suggests to their kids that e-cigarettes are as dangerous as real cigarettes is lying.

However, this fact has not stopped the American Heart Association from urging parents to hide from their kids this important factual information. The American Heart Association actually recommends that if your kid asks you whether e-cigarettes are any safer than tobacco cigarettes, you not answer the question directly but immediately divert attention to the fact that nicotine will harm their brain and that their e-cigarette battery might explode and kill them.

Here is an excerpt from a fact sheet that the American Heart Association recommends parents use to answer this question from their kids:

"Aren’t e-cigarettes safer than conventional cigarettes?• Because your brain is still developing, scientific studies show that it isn’t safe for you to use any tobacco product that contains nicotine, including e-cigarettes.
• Whether you get nicotine from an e-cigarette or a cigarette, it’s still risky.
• Some e-cigarette batteries have even exploded and hurt people."

The Rest of the Story

I find it disturbing that the American Heart Association is recommending that parents essentially lie to their kids by deceiving them into thinking that e-cigarettes are as hazardous as real cigarettes. But it is even more disturbing that the American Heart Association is recommending that parents refuse to directly answer the questions that their kids may ask about the relative harms of e-cigarettes vs. tobacco cigarettes.

The rest of the story is that the American Heart Association is so obsessed with disseminating hysterical claims about the health effects of e-cigarettes that they are willing to stoop to the level of recommending that parents risk their entire relationship with their kids by lying to them and not directly answering their questions.

Frankly, I don't think there is a kid in America who would fall for this crap and not realize that their parent is spewing out nonsense. This will most likely result in their kid wanting to immediately get together with their friends and vape up a storm.

I have my own recommendation for the American Heart Association: Stop telling parents how to talk to their own children, especially if you are going to recommend that they use lies, misinformation, question avoidance, and deception. Both the parents and their children, and the quality of their relationships, will be far better off without your inane advice.

NOTE: In fairness to the American Heart Association, the "fact sheet" to which they link is not their own. It was apparently produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nevertheless, by choosing to refer parents to this fact sheet, they are essentially providing this advice.
Original author: Michael Siegel
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