November 22nd, 2015
Children at play
Some quick notes on the NatCen report: Survey of Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England – see Summary and Full report PDF.
NatCen is contracted by the official statistician to conduct this survey, which provides data for 2014 for England on substance-using behaviours of 11-15-year-olds. It’s is possible that alarmist conclusions will be spun from a lazy reading of some findings on e-cigarette use. In fact, the survey provides a reassuring picture of young people’s smoking and vaping habits. >> read the full post
November 20th, 2015
“Any idea what this is or what you do with it?“
Readers will recall the letter in the New England Journal of Medicine (22 January 2015) on Hidden Formaldehyde in E-cigarette Aerosol – and its flawed highly misleading calculations of cancer risk that gained worldwide attention. See my various blogs on this scientific shambles).
It now seems that Portland Univeristy is describing the team that brought us this fiasco as ‘fearless researchers‘, presumably because they have had the bull-neck to ignore the tsunami of informed criticism that has swept over them from scientists and knowledgeable users about the elementary errors in their methodology – to the point of mockery by analogy with burning toast.
So let’s take a look at how they have defended themselves. On 16 April 2015, the NEJM published a critical letter and a reply by the authors. Usefully, the letter reveals the authors’ defence of their work and demonstrates that it is wholly inadequate. The case for retraction remains undiminished. >> read the full post
November 16th, 2015
On 20 October, I received an enigmatic reply (above) from the Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. This was to my letter from April complaining about the publication of a flawed study on e-cigarettes and formaldehyde in the NEJM. His note didn’t say much, but it was copied to around 40 others, so I thought I ought to reply. It is an opportunity to write explaining some of the fallout.
You can refresh your memory of this sorry episode here and here.
Here is my response… >> read the full post
November 13th, 2015
Professor Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney has used his BMJ blog platform to mount a quite personalised attack on my views on e-cigarettes drawing bizarre conclusions from imagined inconsistencies in statements I made about completely different things separated by 15 years and a lot of change. I’ve submitted a comment to the BMJ, but for all I know it will be held in moderation for days while the blog is circulating freely. So here is a copy of my attempt at a dignified response. >> read the full post
November 5th, 2015
Who are the Illuminati of e-cigarettes? The BMJ investigates…
For doing what it should do and doing it well, Public Health England has been subjected to a frenzy of criticism from the public health establishment. What is going on…? I’d like to make ten observations…
>> read the full post