Predisposed Outcomes

Another day, another study. Two actually. Though the first I was planning to cover is a meta analysis (which will have to wait), while the second is a vaping mouse study. As most of you will no doubt be aware, conducting experiments on mice is an age-old way of identifying possible links to humans.

However, in a large number of cases, the results identified in mice do not necessarily translate well across species to us homo-sapiens. Unfortunately, the fallout from this study is going to be the usual moral panic.

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Awareness Failure

It’s been a while since I had a good look at some junk science. I kind of missed doing it. So, what better way to get back to it then with this steaming pile of festering dingo kidneys?

This study sought to assess: 1) pervasiveness of vaping or electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use, 2) General understanding of information on vaping or e-cigarette use, 3) Prevalence and respondent awareness of smoking/vaping prevention programs, and 4) Awareness of the harmful effects of e-cigarettes.

Kanyadan et al 2019

Oh boy.

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E-Cigarettes and DNA Damage

Leaving aside the fact that I haven’t posted for a while (almost two months), it isn’t particularly surprising to find that a) the media are at it again, and b) tobacco control researchers are at it again.

We have seen this kind of study before, at around the same time of the year, where some ‘research’ makes some claim about how e-cigarettes are “worse than originally thought”. We’ve recently seen a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the US which largely mirrors the findings from the UK’s Royal College of Physicians; I do plan to go over that at some point – time permitting.

Of course, there’s always more research to be done, nothing is ever 100 percent conclusive, so it is unsurprising to see more DNA research.

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The Gateway: Reloaded

Just recently, the “gateway theory” has been doing the rounds yet again. I stumbled across this paper that claims the gateway theory is in fact, real and undeniable.

As usual, the researchers are making wild claims about cause and effect, but there’s one key problem with this paper, in that it is the outcome of focus groups:

It is a form of qualitative research consisting of interviews in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging.

 

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Very Low Intelligence

 

I know. I borrowed the title from jewel robber extraordinaire Dick Puddlecote. He won’t mind. It is, in fact, thanks to the illustrious Puddlecote that I became aware of another pile of utter rubbish.

A quick glance at the PubMed abstract piqued my (slightly addled) science brain.  I’ve written about the very low nicotine cigarette debacle before, and that (at the time) Ms Cramer of RSPH had given a talk at the E-Cigarette Summit (2015) on the idea of “de-nicotinised” e-cigs and how, by some miracle, that led to fewer cigarettes being smoked but more vaping (the ol’ self-titration theory being proven once again).

Puddlecote has mentioned, a couple of times, the whole thing surrounding VLNC in the US is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at coercion. He goes on to remind his readers that Tobacco Control conveniently forgets the whole low-tar cigarettes were instigated – by them – through legislation.

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