In The 2000’s, Pence Was Still Denying The Link Between Tobacco And Lung Cancer
Vice President Mike Pence was chosen as the country’s “coronavirus czar” on Wednesday, announced during a press conference at the White House.
But Pence has an interesting relationship with the facts on health issues, evidenced by his assertion in a 2000 op-ed that the dangers of smoking were overblown.
"Time for a quick reality check," Pence wrote at the time, according to Business Insider. "Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill. In fact, 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer."
It remains unclear whether Pence’s position on the matter has changed, but Snopes noted that he has not made a similar argument since the op-ed in question.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would certainly disagree with Pence’s assessment, as the CDC asserts that "Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death."
Smoking is not the only issue where Pence falls outside scientific consensus, Newsweek noted this week. The vice president has also claimed that condoms are ineffective, saying in 2002 that they “are a very, very poor protection against sexually transmitted disease.” Pence added that "the only truly safe sex" is "no sex."