The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) issued the following statement on the release of new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), revealing that smoking by adults declined to a historic low of 15.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015. The statement was released in SFATA’s September Newsletter:
“The decrease in the smoking rate is yet another indication that the increased use of vapor products is not contributing to an increase in the use of combustible tobacco. We believe that vapor products are serving as a less harmful alternative away from smoking, and are a contributing factor to the recent decline in cigarette smoking.
While we applaud the efforts of anti-smoking groups as well as federal and state public health officials for the decrease in smoking thus far, the focus should be on incentivizing the switch to vapor products while enacting policy to keep these products out of the hands of minors, rather than demonizing vapor products with unnecessary taxes and burdensome regulations.
Lowering the number of smokers would largely reduce the more than $300 billion lost each year in economic and health care costs from combustible tobacco, particularly for Medicaid patients, where the prevalence of smoking is twice the general public.
We believe vapor products are technology products, not tobacco products. They have quickly created a new industry that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in revenue and, most importantly, the potential to reduce the public harms caused by smoking.”