I guess this being published sixteen years ago will mean that not too many people are fussed. It is true that since 2000 we’ve discovered a hell of a lot of evidence about smoking’s lethality which may have swayed his opinion - for example, we now know that smoking as a habit will shorten your life by on average ten years, which Pence wouldn’t have known when he wrote this. However, it’s not as if smoking killing people was controversial in 2000 - we’ve known since 1964 that there is a clear link between smoking and lung cancer.
Either way, I still find this article quite amusing. This part in particular:
“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.”
Firstly, these statistics are almost certainly outdated, since we keep on finding new ways in smoking can harm people. It seems like new diseases associated with it are discovered every year. Currently, it’s estimated that 20% of deaths in the USA each year are caused by smoking.
But, even if Pence’s statistics were still correct, given that ~37 million people in the USA smoke, what he’s saying is that 12.3 million people die from smoking each year and 3.7 million will contract lung cancer, but that this isn’t a problem.
This is the Vice President of the United States of America…