August 14th, 2019

Vaping risk compared to smoking: challenging a false and dangerous claim by Professor Stanton Glantz

…and VAPING IS SMOKING

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In this blog, I examine an extraordinary claim by Professor Stanton Glantz of the University of California at San Francisco. Professor Glantz claims that the US public is right to believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking and that science is now catching up with public opinion.

This claim is profoundly and dangerously false, and it demands a challenge.  Professor Glantz makes his claim in a commentary in response to a substantive paper on perceptions of the relative risk of smoking and vaping. Both articles appeared in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open.  This blog is a 13,000-word review looking in detail at Professor Glantz’s 700-word commentary and its supporting citations, examining thirteen claims that form the basis of the overall claim.  I am hoping the critique provided here will be a useful primer to some of the arguments in this controversial field.

For navigation, there is a table of contents. >> read the full post

May 15th, 2019

Rethinking tobacco and nicotine - a Twitter chat

I’ve just taken part in a Twitter chat on tobacco harm reduction with an Africa focus. The chat was organised by the Campaign for Safer Alternatives (@GoingSmokefree) with hashtag #SaferAlternatives. I thought it would be good to preserve it in one place and invite more comments and questions. You can access the tweets from here to comment, and please use the hashtag and tag me if you would like a response. Disagreement and debate welcome! Trolls, not so much.

I’ve grouped the Twitter discussion into thirteen themes that came up…

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April 17th, 2019

Bizarre FDA vaping retail restrictions more likely to do harm than good

Caught in its auto-induced moral panic about the teen vaping epidemic, the FDA has decided that it would be better if certain vaping products were harder to get hold of than cigarettes, and the ones that were easiest to get hold of should be the ones most like cigarettes – tobacco and menthol flavour. This seems entirely mad to me and riddled with the potential for unintended consequences that would increase smoking in both adults and adolescents.

Needless to say, FDA has not acknowledged or assessed possible unintended consequences – yet these are likely to overwhelm any possible benefits.

So I decided to put in a comment on the measures on that theme. First, some background then my comment.
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March 4th, 2019

Vaping research priorities - my top ten

Following up on the guest post by Louise Ross: What are the vaping research priorities? Have your say… I have now had my say and wanted to share my top 10 priorities.

Here is a link to the vaping research priorities survey If you have ideas, please respond by 20 March 2019.

Here are the 10 ideas I have submitted (now updated with a postscript)

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February 28th, 2019

Anti-vaping activists pitch unscientific fringe positions to a national newspaper

Some veterans of the tobacco control establishment have found the public health opportunity of vaping hard to come to terms with

Updated 2nd March, 2019.

An email originating from a senior journalist at a national newspaper reached me indirectly this morning. The newspaper had sent position statements from nine anti-vaping ‘experts’ asking someone (not visible to me) for a reaction to twelve ‘observations and opinions’ advanced by members of this group. The newspaper proposed to publish these in an article soon after. I thought it may help readers if I provided some responses to these twelve points myself.

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