August 31st, 2016
Except that is wrong in every way
The news coverage:
British newspapers, the main domestic vector of the anti-scientific public health dogma and baseless fear-mongering, were yesterday filled with prominently positioned garbage articles about vaping:
Not one single element of these headlines has any grounding in reality, and all are grossly misleading. The contributory negligence or cynicism of journalists in reporting vaping health stories is now commonplace. However, in this discussion, I would like to focus on the extraordinary negligence of the scientist behind these claims. >> read the full post
August 12th, 2016
One irresponsible scientist said this – enough for a headline at The Telegraph
I was recently contacted by Sarah Knapton, Science Editor at the Daily Telegraph, asking me to set the record straight on the criticism she had received following an article on vaping, not least on this site from me. There had been a formal complaint about her article, and she was asking me to publish the result – complaint rejected. In the post below, I publish the IPSO findings (as she requested) and the email exchange that followed, which I hope puts these findings in context. >> read the full post
August 9th, 2016
A typical day at the FDA Center For Tobacco Products
The FDA’s deeming rule went live yesterday, 8th August 2016. You will see a blizzard of expert comment about what it all means (feel the pain of Phil Bursado – see 8/8). In essence, FDA requires an enormously burdensome Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) to be filed and accepted by FDA for any new product from now on. So that’s the end of innovation, including pro-health and pro-safety innovation. For all products currently on the market, a PMTA has to be filed within two years, with a further year for FDA to review – that will wipe out most products and most smaller firms and open the way to the black market. (For the official view, see FDA overview and Q&A)
When thinking about this regulation from a public health point of view, there are two quotes I think everyone should have in mind: >> read the full post
July 4th, 2016
Unscientific, unethical and unlawful EU snus ban
Good news confirmed today: Swedish Match, the main European snus manufacturer, will take legal action to overturn the European Union ban on snus -see Reuters 1 July 2016: Swedish Match to challenge EU snus ban in UK court. This ban is possibly the most absurd and harmful piece of legislation the European Union has ever concocted, and its demise is long overdue.
The EU snus ban was introduced in 1992 (directive 92/41/EEC) and reaffirmed in 2001 (2001/37/EC) and reaffirmed again in 2014 in the Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU Article 17. The ban only exists because of posturing by self-indulgent and negligent politicians backed by prohibitionist harm-inducing NGOs. It has no scientific, ethical or legal justification whatsoever (see Death by regulation: the EU ban on low-risk oral tobacco) and can only be causing harm to health by denying smokers elsewhere in Europe benign alternatives to smoking that work so well in Sweden.
In 2003, Swedish Match challenged the identical ban in the previous Tobacco Products Directive 2001/37/EC (Article 8) and failed. See Case C-210/03 before the ECJ. However, a great deal has changed since then and even in 2003/4 I think they were unlucky to face a politicised court and improper scientific assessments of risk pushed by anti-scientific prohibitionists. But why should a legal challenge succeed now when a challenge failed in 2003-4? There are at least ten reasons to believe it will succeed this time. >> read the full post
June 22nd, 2016
It’s a massive decision with thousands of implications not easily recognised or understood. I want people to make the right decision, which I think is remain. Though I know a lot about this I don’t want anyone to take my word for it. So I’ve drafted up some questions to help you explore and challenge your own views.
>> read the full post
June 20th, 2016
I’m off on holiday before the EU referendum – but here’s my take on why to vote Remain in ten provocations. A longer, more analytical view here. >> read the full post
June 10th, 2016
DANGER: E-cigarette ‘gateway’ studies may expose gullible readers to reputational harm
Sometimes studies appear that can create the appearance of the discovery of a ‘gateway effect’ – the idea that vaping causes young people to progress to smoking.
Update: a ‘gateway’ study has just been published (13 June) and lots of dupes have duly fallen for it – see “Study published” below.
Beware! Here is an eight-point guide to evaluating such studies and the politically motivated claims that often go with them. >> read the full post
June 6th, 2016
I am particularly concerned about a sweeping statement made by one of the most vocal activists in tobacco control, Professor Stanton Glantz of the University of California at San Francisco. He asserts completely incorrectly and irresponsibly that a new study shows long-term vaping risk could equate to half the risk of smoking. This is a grotesque exaggeration.
Here I take a closer look at the claim and the study that supposedly lies behind it, looking at six failures in Professor Glantz’s reasoning: >> read the full post
May 29th, 2016
Warning: misleading people about the benefits of e-cigarettes is logically and morally equivalent to misleading people about the harms of smoking
A new discussion paper on e-cigarettes has come out in Australia. “Options to minimise the risks associated with the marketing and use of electronic nicotine delivery systems [ENDS] in Australia” by Professor Chapman and some of his following at the University of Sydney. [PDF – 8.5Mb or via Scribd as embedded below or linked here]. >> read the full post
May 27th, 2016
Meet people where they are or want to be
Guest post by Louise Ross, Service Manager at Leicester City Stop Smoking Service – the pioneering e-cig friendly service for smokers who want to quit. Louise explains how her service is teaming up with a vape bar and vaper to give practical help to smokers as they master vaping as an alternative to smoking. This is real public health to me – and I hope the public health establishment is paying attention and reflecting carefully on what is happening here.
Louise starts here… >> read the full post