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Vaping: Cessation Tool or Gateway Drug?

All About Vaping

On March 1st, Lieutenant Colonel John Westhoff spoke to Health Science students on the topic of “Vaping: Cessation Tool or Gateway Drug?”. Dr. Westhoff is an Army physician and proud graduate of Brigham Young University ('95). He is board certified in Emergency Medicine, Public Health & General Preventive Medicine, and Occupational Medicine.

During the seminar, Dr. Westhoff remarked “This is something that has really come out of nowhere…There are a lot of areas area where Public Health Officials are in violent disagreement about the way ahead. Vaping is one of those areas.”

Dr. Westhoff compared and contrasted the cigarette smoking populations of the United Sates to China and Europe. He explained that Great Britain is embracing vaping as a cessation tool—especially if you're a 35-year-old European smoking 2 packs a day—but the U.S. is being more cautious and concerned at how vaping targets youth to start up a habit they didn't originally have. “The U.S. has come a long way in Public Health regarding smoking and we don’t want to see these gains reversed,” he said.

As part of the presentation, Dr. Westhoff played a video highlighting the new counter culture of vapor blowing tricks and hipsters that vaping has produced (that even drew a reaction “Ooo”s and “Ah”s from his BYU student audience). He pointed out that at present there is no regulation or oversight on what is being vaped “We are completely in the Wild West.”

After his thought provoking presentation, Dr. Westhoff asked all in attendance what they had concluded about vaping. “Is this a great boon that is going to help people wean themselves from cigarettes? Or is this a coming plague where a lot of people who weren’t going to smoke are smoking?” Click on the link below to watch the presentation and decide for yourself.