Denial of the Echo Chamber

One of the many reasons I have a blog is so that I can spout, mostly nonsense, into the ether my thoughts on a particular topic that piques my interest. Most of the posts on these pages cover the various bits of “science” – mostly bad science – that grab sensationalist headlines, that do nothing more than to confuse a highly nuanced subject. Most of the time I am fairly factual, though quite often I will, quite frankly, take the piss.

It’s cathartic.

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The growing gulf of sanity in Tobacco Control

There are times when I do get a kick out of receiving e-mail updates from medical journals. The Lancet in particular (it is free, and somewhat annoying at times – especially the “Department of Error” – which doesn’t actually tell you much in the e-mail, you have to click the bloody link – unlike every other link in the mail) does give plenty of entertainment value. Their own manifesto is a source of much hilarity, considering its penchant for allowing ridiculous anonymous smear jobs in its esteemed digital pages. The logo itself “The best science is a good start” provokes a minor snort and a Spock eyebrow, but it’s the message underneath that is my source of hilarity (emphasis mine):

We at The Lancet believe it is our moral imperative to empower research and to grow the social impact of science.

Improving lives is the only end goal that matters, and research is only relevant when it has impact on human lives. We therefore select only the best research papers, based on their quality of work and the progression they bring: the best science for better lives.

Have they seen the drivel that’s been posted? Probably not. Today’s little op-ed is another corker.

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E-Cigarettes: A Time Bomb? Really?

First, let me be absolutely, 110% crystal bloody clear. I do not care which method of cessation you choose. I do not care if you are smoke free through one method or another. I do not care if you smoke. I do not care if you vape. Whatever choice you make is yours and yours alone.

I vape, and I do encourage others to do so if I feel they want to. I do not preach.

Right, now that’s out-of-the-way, even though I needn’t really have made those statements, on with the post.

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Huff & Puff

So there’s a new quack in town that has decided to jump on the anti-vaping bandwagon. Is this quack a respiratory physician? A specialist in the deep, dark and mysterious ways of the lung and airway? A specialist in the effects of cancer or other diseases that have been linked with smoking?

No. Margaret Cuomo (MD) is a radiologist. She specialises in diagnostic radiology. She has published a book – “A World without Cancer” – which (according to Amazon) is fairly popular. I haven’t read it, based on her latest stunt for Huff Post Wise it’s likely to be filled with inane, non-evidence based drivel. But what do you expect? The eldest daughter of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and former NY First Lady Matilda. The sister of Governor Andrew Cuomo and CNN’s Chris Cuomo seems to give her the idea that she can say anything she damn well likes.

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Eyes Wide Shut

In a seemingly all too familiar refrain there’s another DoH Director, this time in Rhode Island, making grandiose and thoroughly misleading claims on vapour products. Last May, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott became the new director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, where she stated quite categorically that “some” of her priorities included: “addressing disparities in the health-care system and providing high-quality health care to more people”. 

Frankly, that’s an admirable goal. As is building a “statewide, strategic plan” to address overdoses and a prescription monitoring system. So I guess in less than a year she’s figured all that out so she can turn her attentions to nannying the crap out of her state residents.

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