Public Health and the Public

Oh myy. This is definitely a recurring theme recently isn’t it. First there was “stillblowingsmoke vs notblowingsmoke” then we had Vox spreading the same drivel. Wired picked up the story, as did many others. All in all, the public are reacting to what those in Public Health are trying to tell them, but not in the way you’d think.

I am of course talking about TobaccoFreeCA who really don’t seem to know quite what to say.  For one, being a “Tobacco Free” entity you’d expect them to be fully behind whatever the delightful Department of Public Health says about smoking, and by extension vaping. Not quite.

LessHarmfulNotSafe

 

At the start of the week they posted this on their Facebook page, clearly at odds with the current CDPH campaign.  What are you folks up to? Ah, there it is right at the bottom:

So yes, studies suggest e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, but that doesn’t make them “safe”.

Quite how anything can be classified as “safe” is beyond me.  Pretty much everything us humans do carries an element of risk, but we are generally reasonably intelligent creatures and we have instincts that allow us to balance risk vs reward.  I am of course excluding any PH grandees in that last statement, especially those that beat the drum against a less harmful alternative.

Listing all the "research"

Listing all the “research”

Two days later, this appears.  Almost as though these folks realised what they admitted previously goes against the current DPH message, so they have to cite any and all research to backup their increasingly desperate message.  Starting off with Prop65, the California list of hazardous chemicals “known to cause cancer”.  By the way wood dust is on there as something that is “known to the state of California to cause cancer”.

PicardDoubleFacepalm-1Well really.

Yes, I’ve read the document listing all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff.  It’s both an amusing and slightly worrying read, but then again this is coming from California where marijuana is legal. Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Interesting side-bar, I work in IT.  It’s boring as hell at times, but it suits me.  Received a piece of kit earlier this week, complete with a California Prop65 notice.  This piece of kit is a freaking storage device.  So according to California, I’m at a high risk of cancer just by using this device. Whatevs.

Back to TFCA, they list pretty much every single piece of “research” or study that has either been completely debunked already or has been cherry picked to create scary headlines such as the “10x Cancer Causing Chemicals” that came out as a result of the Formaldehyde “study”.  Thanks for the double face-palm Jean-Luc.

What’s next I wonder?

Nicotine

Ah but of course, Nicotine and the “Gateway” theory. Again.  If you are in any doubt, have a read of Bernd Mayer with regards to Nicotine, he’s been looking at nicotine for decades so he knows a thing or two that TFCA seem to deliberately ignore.

As for the “gateway” theory. Not a single shred of evidence could ever support this.  In places where vaping is on the increase smoking is in rapid decline.  This theory only exists in LaLa Land, or in the addled brains of Frampton Stands, Simeon Chimpman, or Marty McPhee.

NewsWorthy

This is just… Jean-Luc?

PicardDoubleFacepalm-1
More double face-palm.

Since the launch of our public health education campaign about e-cigarettes on March 23rd, we’ve seen an exceptional amount of negative commenting in that is made to appear like a grassroots effort. However, looking further into this activity, we realize this is a vocal group of vaping advocates, and the result of a highly orchestrated effort to drown out any public health education conversation around e-cigarettes

This is a technique called ‘social media bombing,’ where things like ‘astroturfing’ (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/astroturfing) are employed, and they have one clear goal — to shut down important public health education.

So instead of acknowledging that there is a differing view that can be taken into account and maybe opening the way for a useful debate on the issue, they once again resort to labelling us.  Again.  Big Vaping doesn’t exist folks!  We aren’t out to “shutdown important public health education”, far from it.  All we would like from you folks is the freaking TRUTH.  Is that so hard to believe?

Guess it is.

In fact, a March 28 news article, “How Big Vaping is Misinforming the Public about E-cigarettes,” exposes what’s been happening since the March 23rd launch of the public health campaign in California, as well as similar efforts to undermine public health campaigns that took place in Chicago and in the UK.

And just today, WIRED published an article, “The War Over Vaping’s Health Risks Is Getting Dirty,” which also describes these efforts to undermine e-cigarettes public health messaging:

These tactics feel all too familiar. The tobacco companies and their many front groups are infamous for using all kinds of tricks to deceive the public for more than 50 years

CDPH’s mission is to educate Californians so they can make the best health decisions for themselves and their families. We will continue to work hard to inform the public with credible, reliable information about the negative health effects produced by all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes

Honestly, the fact that they are trying to say that CDPH is “educating” Californians is a worrying thing.  CDPH is blatantly lying to them, there isn’t even enough grains of truth in their campaign to even begin to be slightly credible.  The only reason that this “war on e-cigarettes” is being likened to “Tobacco” is that in their cauled eyes “Big Vaping” and “Big Tobacco” are one and the same thing.

It is typical of a puppet entity like TFCA to spout the pre-prepared agenda driven mumbo-jumbo, not to mention openly praising articles that are frankly baseless and are likely to cause more harm by deceiving the public into continuing to smoke.

I resent that. I am a human being, I owe no allegiance to the tobacco industry for allowing me to smoke for twenty years, just as I owe no allegiance to the vaping industry.  Both entities offered me a personal choice, which being the semi-intelligent being I am I chose having weighed the risks.  It’s simple folks, kick and beat your target enough don’t be surprised when that target turns around and hits back.

My message to TFCA is this.

Speak to the actual experts who have seen ALL the evidence from both sides and have chosen to openly support harm reduction and a viable alternative.  CDPH are lying to the public that they serve, and the public is wising up to their tactics.

Update: I felt compelled to respond to the latest Facebook post from Tobacco Free CA.  Just in case they decide to start moderating my response is below in full.

“Since the launch of our public health education campaign about e-cigarettes on March 23rd, we’ve seen an exceptional amount of negative commenting in that is made to appear like a grassroots effort.”

That is because it *is* a grassroots effort.

“However, looking further into this activity, we realize this is a vocal group of vaping advocates”

Yes, there are a number of vapers that are keeping an eye out for potential misinformation that would harm the vaping community as a whole. I could draw parallels here, but I don’t think I need to do I?

“the result of a highly orchestrated effort to drown out any public health education conversation around e-cigarettes.”

Oh, if only there was actually a “conversation” between public health and *the public* regarding this subject. There isn’t, many of the claims made by “public health” are in fact half-truths or bald faced lies. Which, as a member of the public I feel I’m well within my rights to call out.

“This is a technique called ‘social media bombing,’ where things like ‘astroturfing’ are employed, and they have one clear goal — to shut down important public health education.”

There are many causes that utilise social media to get their point across, why should vapers be treated any differently? To call the public “astroturfers” crosses a very serious line. The vast majority of the vaping community DO NOT GET PAID by any vaping business, they do what they do because they care about something that has made their lives better. Unfortunately, the “public health education” that is trying to be put across is blatantly saying that e-cigarettes are AS HARMFUL as CIGARETTES. The current scientific evidence doesn’t support that claim at all, so the “education” is patently false.

“In fact, a March 28 news article, “How Big Vaping is Misinforming the Public about E-cigarettes,” exposes what’s been happening since the March 23rd launch of the public health campaign in California, as well as similar efforts to undermine public health campaigns that took place in Chicago and in the UK. Check it out:”

A one-sided story, that has no real basis in actual fact. The advertising campaign from CDPH is based purely upon a flawed and biased report.

“And just today, WIRED published an article, “The War Over Vaping’s Health Risks Is Getting Dirty,” which also describes these efforts to undermine e-cigarettes public health messaging”

If the messaging was based in actual truths, that are know by the vast majority of vapers, but yet not by the public health folks there wouldn’t be such an issue.

“These tactics feel all too familiar. The tobacco companies and their many front groups are infamous for using all kinds of tricks to deceive the public for more than 50 years”

Any campaign could trace some of the tactics back to the “tobacco playbook”. There is no such thing. Plain and simple, the vaping community and the vaping advocates are fighting against the half truths, and blatant lies being propagated by those in “public health” as those lies undermine the entire term “public health”.

“CDPH’s mission is to educate Californians so they can make the best health decisions for themselves and their families. We will continue to work hard to inform the public with credible, reliable information about the negative health effects produced by all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.”

If you continue to use the existing “credible and reliable” information sources, then this “war” will continue. Maybe, if you listened to the vaping community and the advocates, along with the hundreds of medical proffessionals WORLDWIDE you might see the truth for yourself.

Update 04/04/2015

More_Nicotine

Not only is nicotine addictive, but can be lethal in small doses in adults and children

Um, OK if you say so folks.  Pretty much everything I’ve seen on Nicotine doesn’t conclude that it is addictive.  Far from it in fact.  As for lethality, the “small doses” statement is quite frankly more bantha poo-doo I’m afraid.

Citing existing “publications” may seem like a great idea to you, but not to us.  Science has moved on a hell of a lot since the SG report of 1988.  Things that everyone thought they knew about Nicotine mostly turned out to be utter bunkem.

Some e-cigarette product brands pitch the ability for users to mix their own e-liquid, which could require them to handle liquid nicotine. This is very dangerous, as improper handling of nicotine can cause poisoning. Many e-liquid bottles that contain nicotine are not adequately labelled and do not have child-resistant caps. As a result, by the end of 2014, e-cigarette poisonings among young children tripled in one year, making up more than 60% of all e-cigarette poisoning calls.

Oh dear.  You do realise TFCA that Nicotine occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables don’t you? You might also want to stop and think about picking holes in Nicotine as your Pharma buddies might not like it.  What’s that?  The Nicotine in NRT is “magic nicotine” is it?  Hardly.

On the subject of “poisonings”, maybe you’d like to provide some context to the numbers?  As in, how many of those ‘calls’ actually required medical intervention (in which case they would be classed as poisonings) and how many could be classed as “exposures”.  Mustn’t forget the “what should I do” type calls either.

In order for Californians to make informed decisions about their health, it is important to have the full range of facts. Tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which contain nicotine, have multiple negative health effects.

To make informed decisions about their health.  Hmmm. “Tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which contain nicotine”; does this mean you are going to classify NRT as “Tobacco Products” then? No?

Thought not.

Update 06/04/2015

It seems our friends at TFCA are thinking that if they continue to spout ‘information’ eventually someone will listen to them.  I’m afraid it doesn’t quite work that way, see the majority of the public that they are addressing are in possession of more factual information and are questioning everything.  This is good, and social media is helping to propagate that questioning into the minds of everyday folks.

The latest ‘information’ is all about PG and VG.  Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin. Two key ingredients in the making of e-liquid.  Both have been substantially studied, and one of those two is used as a carrier for asthma inhalers.

PG_VG

Propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) serve as the liquid carriers for nicotine, flavoring additives, and other chemicals in e-cigarettes. These chemicals are found in many food products and are FDA-approved. But it is critical to note that these chemicals were approved by the FDA as food additives, to be ingested as a food product – not inhaled.

So by adding “FDA Approved” to something makes it immediately “safe”, right.  Have you seen Varenicline boxes recently? Big black FDA warning box? Yep, it’s an “approved” product. By the FDA.  By the way, PG isn’t just used in asthma inhalers it is also used as an aerosol disinfectant in US hospitals. Think about that for a second.

Chemicals change when they are heated. They become more volatile and additional toxic chemicals are created during the heating process. This is why inhaling heated PG or VG, as one does with e-cigarettes, is not the same as ingesting it. In fact, heating PG or glycerin at high temperatures has been shown to produce formaldehyde, a known respiratory irritant and human carcinogen identified on California’s Prop 65 list of chemicals that cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

Ah yes, the infamous ‘Formaldehyde’ problem they keep trying sound the alarm over.  Humans breathe the stuff out in normal aspiration folks.  Yes it isn’t particularly pleasant in larger quantities, ask any vaper about the dry hit.  It is nasty.  But, bear in mind that us vapers are pretty clued up when it comes to the devices we use and we generally operate them at settings that give us what we need.  Occasionally, we get it wrong or we just don’t pay attention (I’m 110% guilty of that) and let the juice in our tanks get too low to wick properly.  Heck, even the “study” that produced the scare story admits that when used properly, there was no detectable formaldehyde.

I could go on, but the latest post from TFCA seems to double back on itself a little by mentioning the asthma inhalers and PG use, until they drop this little gem in right at the end.

E-cigarette companies currently don’t have to submit research showing potential health effects of their products, don’t have to adhere to any manufacturing safety standards, and don’t have to disclose any of the ingredients. This leaves consumers at risk because they are unaware of how chemicals such as PG and VG can affect human health.

Just because vendors “don’t have to adhere” to manufacturing standards, does not mean that they “are not” adhering.  Most of the devices meet most consumer standards for personal electronic items.  True, there could be improvements made, but the devices themselves are relatively safe and most importantly, safe when used correctly.  Just like any other device.

As these folks continue to post more ‘information’ this post will get updated.  Stay tuned!

11 thoughts on “Public Health and the Public

  1. LOL!

    “is made to appear like a grassroots effort.”
    This childish tantrum sounds like: “The dog ate my homework!”
    Now they invent a conspiracy theory.

    “we realize this is a vocal group of vaping advocates,”
    Yes, sure. A silent group wouldn’t be heard. Doh!

    “the result of a highly orchestrated effort”
    Here we go again. No clue, no proof, no data. What will tobacco control addictics do in this case?
    Just postulate “we found something!” Like they “prove” their propaganda claims.

    I got news for the control freaks: There is something called “social networks”. A few posts on facebook, twitter, etc. That’s all the “orchestration” we needed.

    How do you call people like that?

    Certified!

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    • They really have no idea how social media works. They seem to think its like some platform that they can use to push their ideology and lies, without any blow back, they are fools.

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      • They are used to the one way preaching of the gospel of their presumed wisdom from the lofty heights of their ivory towers. Where their faithful media flunkies spread their sermon to the silent masses. The only opposition they have known was from other ivory towers. When the selfanoited deities quarrelled, lowly people had to cower and praise the wisdom of the victor.

        The world changed. Now more and more of the peasants see the emperors scientific cloths for what they are. And tell it to their face.

        In the cautionary tales like Frankenstein, the narcissictic mad scientists never bother to listen to the peasants and dismiss their opinions as irrelevant …

        … until they get their pitchforks and torches and demolish their castles.

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        • hehe, yep, and they really get the hump when those bloody peasants do a better job of exposing their lies, than they did in pushing them onto social media :)

          Viva la resistance!!!!

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  2. The effort of the ANTZ to counter the efforts of advocates is not unexpected, and it shows that we’re making a difference. As for expecting any truth in their campaign to discredit vapers, we should know by now that they won’t let anything like facts get in the way of their “cause”. I put the word “cause” in quotes because many of us know their stated cause is not their real cause.

    The fact that they’re making such an effort to discredit the movement tells me that we’re making a difference. Keep up the great work everyone!

    Like

  3. Great work. I have been trying this morning to make a comment to them on Facebook but the button does not seem to work. Anyone else able to get through? My sister and I were talking about the Cold War yesterday. We are children of the 60s. Anyone remember “Duck and Cover”? Anyway to Survive an Atomic detonation all us schoolchildren had to do was get under our desks and cover our heads! Lunacy! This from our Government! So from now on to keep my sanity when I hear advice from this misinformed and controlling group of ( I am too much of a lady to use the words here) I will just think of Duck and Cover . Smoke and Mirrors are what this has come down too with them.

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  4. Applying the tobacco control “scream test”, vapers are doing some exceptionally good work exposing the lies of tobacco control , we know this because they are screaming up an hysterical storm. Keep up the good work my vaping brothers and sisters, and watch the scream meter go off the scale.

    BTW I’m just an ordinary person, who works a job, loves my family, and lives in a little town in the middle of nowhere, I’ve never seen a cent from Big Tobacco, (although I’ve certainly paid them a lot of money for their products in the past), and never received a cent from Big Vapour, (whatever that is supposed to be). All I did was quit smoking by switching to a vastly safer product, and advocate so that other smokers can have the opportunity to do the same.

    If those in tobacco control want vapers to shut up and stop exposing their lies, there is a very simple way to achieve this, STOP LYING, and leave us alone to make our own well informed choices.

    Like

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