Assume, makes an ass out of you and maybe me

Whilst sitting at my home office desk, transferring the hundreds of photographs taken from my best friends wedding yesterday I tried playing a little catch up with all the shenanigans that have been going on for the last two days. Needless to say, I failed miserably. But one or two items did catch my eye and they both have a commonality.

It would seem that our delightful friend, Frampton Blands has been up to his usual trickery. Or at least, he has been trying to. This article popped into my social feeds and it is pretty clear from the title alone that it is going to be pure and utter bunkem.

Headline

Pretty much the very first thing I saw after that was the following quote from Mr Blands:

“One, people think e-cigarettes will help them quit,” says Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the  University of California – San Francisco. “Two, they use them as a way to get around smoking bans. And three, they think they’ll be less dangerous.”

Got some news for you there. One, personal vaporisers are effective in helping people to quit, if they so choose. Two, the smoking bans were put in place due to more junk science on environmental tobacco smoke as a way of kowtowing to the then minority groups.  Three, they are substantially less dangerous than tobacco cigarettes.

Nicotine is highly addictive – one reason that increased teen use of e-cigarettes is concerning. But e-cigs don’t contain tobacco or the many other carcinogens and toxins found in traditional cigarettes. Smoking is a major risk factor for lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and other medical conditions.

For pity sake, starting this one with the “addictive” tagline, despite there not being any truly scientific definition of “addictive”.  There’s a small ray of “hope” in the statement “don’t contain tobacco or the many other carcinogens and toxins found”.  Which is pretty much what we as vapers keep trying to drum into their primitive skulls.

So finds a new study of 1,000 California smokers. At the study’s beginning, researchers led by Wael Al-Delaimy at the University of California – San Diego asked participants if they’d ever used e-cigarettes, and whether they intended to quit smoking. A year later, to the researchers’ surprise, the e-cigarette users were less likely than “never users” to have quit smoking or cut down on smoking cigarettes, regardless of their intention. “We hypothesize that maybe [users] are getting higher doses of nicotine, and so it becomes less likely they’re able to quit,” Al-Delaimy says.

When the new results came out, Al-Delaimy heard from vapers who say e-cigs really helped them stop smoking. “Clearly it’s working for some people – it’s helping them quit,” he says. But solid evidence is needed, he continues, not just anecdotes. “We have to give good advice to people to be aware that this may not be the magic bullet to help them quit,”

So we are back to being “anecdotes” again simply because they are not asking the right survey questions, nor do they postulate any kind of sensible premise for a longer term study. This is, pure and simple, lazy “media science”.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the “researchers” excluded certain participants from the results because they had quit with vaping, you know they have to make the “unable to quit” figures much more extreme for media headlines.

Glantz

Carla Berg,​ an associate professor of behavioral sciences and health education at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, says “there are a lot of caveats” around the new study’s findings. For one, she says, the ever-user category is quite broa​d – with no breakdown of whether participants had once tried a puff of a friend’s e-cigarette, were intrigued and experimenting, or were using them specifically to quit smoking.

Ah, some relative sense, pretty much more of the same kinds of things we as a community try to get answers for. Right now “ever use” consists of anyone who has used (or tried) an “e-cigarette” in the last 30 days. There is, and never has been any kind of separation in that category. It does of course mean that for “researchers” like Mr Blands, it makes it easier to lump all the results together to present exactly what he wanted to present. Remember, Frampton Blands has no qualms whatsoever about doing “research” that supports pre-conceptions, but doesn’t bother when the outcome may challenge those ideals.

There are words for people like that.

It’s hard to generalize on e-cigarettes, Berg says, when there’s no standardization, from the amount of nicotine in the liquid to the makeup of other ingredients, or how devices deliver the liquid to users. A small September 2014 study, which looked at a single brand of e-cigarettes, found that the secondhand vapor contained fewer hazardous chemicals than secondhand smoke from cigarettes.

Yes, the “safe vs safer” argument. It’s getting pretty stale this one, yet they keep trotting it out. We know it isn’t SAFE, but it IS SAFER. Remember, it’s a comparison to smoking not “fresh air” that we look at here. Orders of magnitude safer than smoking.

Given a choice, “vaping forever is probably better than smoking forever,” Glantz says, but that’s not what really happens. “What people do is dual use,” he says. That’s when people smoke tobacco some of the time, maybe at home and in their cars, while turning to e-cigarettes in public spaces.

So Frampton admits that vaping is probably better than smoking. Hang on a tick, isn’t he a fervent believer that e-cigarettes are cigarettes? Seems he might have some memory issues too.

The hazard of increased nicotine from dual use is “a huge concern,” Berg says. She’s seen people wear e-cigarettes on lanyards around their necks. “They’re carrying them around all day, in circumstances where they normally would not be able to smoke,” she says. “They’re puffing at them, and if they’re using them at the same time as their cigarettes, they’re really getting a high dose of nicotine.”

Dual use may be a “huge concern” for those within public health or tobacco control, but not for your average vaper nor is it a major issue for Dr Gopal Bhatnagar either.  You know a leading heart surgeon who has invested in a vaping company. True, dual-use is not necessarily ideal, but it is still harm reduction.

The wide assortment of vaping products can be baffling. Many users prefer refillable vaping devices that are available online or from local retailers.

Cigalikes look and feel like traditional cigarettes, with a tip that glows red from an LED light as users puff. Several popular brands come from tobacco manufacturers – such Altria, R.J. Reynolds and Imperial Tobacco – that have entered the e-cigarette arena.

Berg says tobacco companies moving into the e-cigarette market “is of concern, because they are rapidly going to leverage resources toward getting e-cigarettes as marketable and consumer-driven as possible. Having a group of addicted people really helps business.”

Yes, comparing the tobacco companies crappy cig-a-like product to the more customisable mods that you can get from vape shops, both in the street and online. Trouble is, the tobacco industry missed a trick. Quite a fucking big one. They are still producing 1st Generation en-masse, only now are they starting on their “2nd Gen”, which will still be shite by the way. The consumer driven vaping “industry” is years ahead now, why do you think we are under so much pressure and scrutiny from everyone?

E-cigarettes might have once seemed like the miracle solution for smokers who couldn’t light up aboard airplanes. But e-cigarette smoking is banned on most commercial U.S. aircraft. Whether people can use e-cigarettes elsewhere depends. Legislation often comes from the state or local level, Glantz says. On Monday, the city of Portland, Maine, joined the growing list of communities prohibiting people from using e-cigarettes in public, the Portland Press Herald reports.

For fuck sake, you do not “smoke” an ‘e-cigarette’ it is called vaping for a reason.  The legislation is coming from state or local levels (for the US), but where do you think the ideas originate from? There has to be a crap tonne of communication going into and out of UCSF where Frampton is no doubt pushing his bullshit agenda to any who will listen, not that many are actually listening now with some of his more ludicrous statements.

Evidence

 

True, there are still a fair number of unknowns. The chief of which is the long-term effects of vaping, there isn’t quite sufficient evidence to conclude beyond doubt one way or the other.  However, there is sufficient evidence to speculate. The e-liquid and any associated flavourings are probably the only achilles heel that vaping has, pretty much every other “attack” by Tobacco Control has been or is being completely debunked with each new study.

Of course, there would be a plug for “recommended methods” in there, but at least there is the wholly negative “there’s no [conclusive] research out there and [despite] what you’re hearing on the street, from your friends or even your doctors to give it a try – still be very cautious about that”.

A load of tosh frankly. Though I suspect Frampton Blands is getting bored with saying the same things himself:

sglantz_blog

 

Even when  the rule is finally issued, if it resembles the proposed rule,  it will have little practical effect because it does nothing to reign in use of flavors in e-cigarettes or other tobacco products, internet sales of e-cigarettes (something the FDA wanted to do and that the While House took out), or e-cigarette marketing.  The Administration could, I suppose, act on public comments that the public health community and attorneys general submitted calling on the FDA to close these loopholes in the final rule but, given that the White House has blocked eliminating menthol from cigarettes for years despite strong evidence (including from the FDA’s own analysis) that doing so would protect public health, I am not holding my breath.

I know, reading his blog posts are hard work. I must have missed the White House (yes Frampton, you have yet another spelling mistake in your blog post), blocking the elimination of menthol, but the thing Frampton is most annoyed about is “it will have little practical effect”. From what I’ve read on the Deeming (and I’ll admit to not reading ALL of it), there’s a bunch of new rules for the advertising and marketing of vapor products, there are limits of the device registrations and a few other points about the devices themselves.

that doing so would protect public health, I am not holding my breath.

He wants vaping under FDA control, and he seems to be getting a little irked by the delays. Well good. Keep waiting for FDA “regulations”, they are slower than you are Frampton. Do us all a favour, and do a Chapman. Retire.