Five Reasons Health Policy Initiatives Can Get It Wrong
Dr. Carl Phillips (CASAA board member and author of the blog Anti-THR Lie of the Day) recently completed an excellent article describing why most health policy recommendations that stem from a single risk study (such as the amount of chemicals in electronic cigarette vapor) are unfounded and in a sense, a lie. Why is this, you ask? Carl notes that there are five main reasons:
1.) Incorrect Study Results:
Any one study that is done in isolation doesn’t represent sound science. A balanced approach requires multiple perspectives and angles.
2.) The Policy May Fall Short:
Even if the risk factor in question turns out to be the cause of the problem, the solution may not correct the problem. He uses the example of the recent New York City soda controversy. Certainly obesity is a problem in this country, but does arbitrarily banning amounts of soda do anything to correct that problem? He supposes no, but more importantly suggests there is no reason to believe it is true.
3.) The Policy Might Create Unintended Harm
Unintended consequences are certainly a reason to be cautious. For example, Carl posits that while you can reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, people would smoke more, thus increasing your initial problem.
4.) The Costs of Implementing the Policy
How much are you willing to spend on a policy? A risk factor study alone could hardly disclose the actual costs of a proposed policy. Carl uses smoking bans as a way to illustrate this point. While you can ban smoking, would the outrageous costs of enforcement offset the current health costs? Certainly a valid question.
5.) Even if it works, is it ethical?
Carl finishes the article with a defense of an an individuals right to choose. Specifically, he speculates if a nicotine vaccine was developed that many parents would advocate such vaccination at birth. While you can vaccinate against diseases, what of vaccinating against personal choices?
See the original article on Anti-THR Lie of the Day. Be sure to let Carl know that Ecig Advanced sent you!