Still Screaming

It’s been about a month since the announcement of a lot of cash being spent (transparently mind, unlike tobacco control) to further support research into harm reduction products which caused quite a stir within the tobacco control industry. Much to mine, and several others, delight.

As far as it is understood, Phillip Morris – who right now is trying to cosy up to public health (and failing miserably – take note vapers) – are going to be shovelling a rather large amount of cash into this initiative. Rather large equating to approximately 80M US Greenback.

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Being Open about COI

VCU researchers aim to educate the public about the dangers of e-cigarettes and produce results that would compel tighter government regulation.

This little gem comes via (yet another) ridiculously pointless “study” into the ‘effects of vaping’ by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University. A study that, by the way, has taken two years and collaboration between faculty from VCU’s Biomedical Engineering and Biology departments.

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E-Cigs and ‘dripping’: What Science isn’t Saying

There’s a new study doing the rounds at the moment. Well, I say “study” but it isn’t really. It’s yet another survey, with participants selected from eight southeastern Connecticut high schools from spring 2015. “This study is the first systematic evaluation of the use of dripping among teens,” says the lead author Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine.

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Public Health Wales failing Public Health

It is well-known that within the UK, each of the devolved areas have completely different priorities when it comes to “running” their little piece of the country. Wales tried, and spectacularly failed last year to bring in a new “Public Health (Wales) Bill” which would, in effect have severe negative consequences for Welsh vapers. That Bill, the demented offspring of one Mark Drakeford, was defeated at the final hurdle, not by the weight of evidence as it should have been long before it got to the final vote, but by the “cheap date” comment.

A victory is a victory. Whether you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning. In the case of Labour’s attempt to place a gagging order on the Welsh vaping community, we won.

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On the lack of research in the media

Every once in a while a media article happens to come to my attention that makes me fall over in utter disbelief. Not simply due to the complete lack of understanding of the subject matter, but the complete disingenuity that the author takes to make as many bonkers points as possible.

It may be early in 2017, but this one is a strong contender for worst article of the year. Continue reading “On the lack of research in the media”

The Bullshit Asymmetry Principle: Torturing Statistics

It must be something about this time of year for all the idiotic anti-vaping, anti-nicotine or anti-anything, to crawl out from under whatever rock they’ve been hiding under and spout a tranche of utter bullshit before scuttling back to their safe space, complete with a shiny new grant to cook up more bullshit.
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How to use “chemicals” to deter dual use

I guess it’s a case of “start as you mean to go on” regarding ‘scientific research’ on e-cigarettes. The very first paper I read in 2017 has this in its conclusion:

FDA is required to publicly display information about the quantities of chemicals in cigarettes and cigarette smoke in a way that is not misleading. This information, if paired with information from advertising or FDA disclosures indicating that e-cigarette aerosol contains lower amounts of those same chemicals, could have the unfortunate effect of encouraging smokers to become dual users or increase their existing dual use under the mistaken impression that they are significantly reducing their health risks.

That’s quite a statement to make. Here smokers, don’t go dual use tobacco and e-cigs ‘cos you’re not actually reducing the harms. What a way to start 2017.
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News designed for panic

In an all-too-familiar refrain, the Daily Fail has once again thrown journalistic integrity out of the window (as if they had any to begin with) to boldly tell the world that “e-cigs are bad mmkay”. Regular readers will of course remember a similar “study” – these things seem to come out at regular intervals – that claimed e-cigs have the potential to have severe adverse effects on the heart. It was a festering pile of fetid dingo kidneys then and, guess what, it still is.

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Precisely what risks?

As part of the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive – 2014/40/EU – and specifically Article 20, the section that relates specifically to e-cigarettes the European Regulatory Science on Tobacco (EUREST – what can I say, the EU does alphabet soup better than the Americans) – the EU wanted a report on the “potential risks” of the product. To be fair, that is a laudable goal considering the use of the product. The problem, of course is the implementation. Not to mention the cost.

The report, edited by Constantine Vardavas and Panagiotis Behrakis (and no, I couldn’t actually pronounce those names), complete with a list of experts (I’ll leave it to you to decide how “expert” they are) – Agaku Israel, Filippidis Filippos, Girvalaki Charis, Gratziou Christina, Lundback Bosse, Maciej Goniewicz, Radu-Loghin Cornel, Tsatsakis Aristidis, Tzatzarakis Manolis (and no, I couldn’t pronounce those names either), and presented to the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety Health Programme (I’m surprised they didn’t make an acronym out of that) cost EUR €180 450. You can find the grant award here, search the document for Chafea/2014/Health/17.

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Whispers in the Dark

If there’s one thing that public health like to do, it’s to provide advice on how we, the Proles, live our day to day lives. This advice, which always ranges from the “no shit sherlock” to the “what the hell are you thinking” type. The vast majority of such “advice” is pretty much common bloody sense. Thing is, nanny seems to think us Proles don’t have any, so they have to spoon-feed us guidance on a regular basis, just so we don’t forget who’s in charge. Continue reading “Whispers in the Dark”