This is a two-part summary of two studies carried out into vaping and teenagers.
Firstly, the Medscape “study” and of Dr. Stanton Glantz’s research into e cigarettes use leading youths into cigarettes.At this point it should be pointed out that Medscape is a wholly owned subsidiary of WebMD. In 2013 the Chicago Tribune reported “WebMD, which operates medical websites providing health and disease related information, has struggled with a fall in advertising revenue with pharmaceutical companies slashing marketing budgets”.
Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of Health Sciences at Boston University, wrote an entry on tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com where he accused Medscape’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas R. Frieden and Dr. Glantz of making up lies and distorting research to meet their own agendas.
Dr. Siegel welcomes and believes debate on the topic of vaping is vital but he states;
“I don’t believe there is room for is tobacco control scientists and government agency leaders making up scientific evidence to support pre-determined positions.”
There is an argument that the positions taken by Medscape and the university department Dr. Glantz works for are influenced by their reliance on funding from pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Siegel points out that Frieden’s claim that many of the teenagers who began using vaping devices went on to become cigarette users is a lie and does not feature in the research and is unable to be deduced from it.
He continues to explain that Glantz’s claim that electronic cigarettes pose 20% of the risk of cigarettes is also made-up and lacks any supporting evidence. Siegel states that although the exact long-term effects of vaping remain unknown that is no justification for inventing figures and presenting them as fact.
Second Study by Dr. Ted Wagener from University of Oklahoma
The second paper by Dr. Siegel contrasts these bogus statistics with a look at the research carried out by Dr. Ted Wagener at the University of Oklahoma.
Wagener studied the smoking/vaping habits of 1,300 students attending the University on the back of findings that vaping had doubled within America’s school population over the proceeding 12 months, from 3.3% to 6.8% of students.
This study remains the first and only one to look directly at a gateway link between vaping and cigarettes, unlike the abuse of data in Medscape’s study.
Out of the 1,300 students only 43 said that they had used an e cig, which represents only 3.3% of the student body. Of those 43 students only one person had progressed to using regular cigarettes – representing 0.08% of the student body or 2% of vapers.
Wagener says that this evidence proves that claims of vaping acting as a gateway into smoking is unjustifiable and the statistics prove that e cigarettes are not a gateway to anything.
Dr. Siegel uses these findings to refer back to the statement (made as fact) by Frieden that “many kids are starting out with e-cigarettes and then going on to smoke conventional cigarettes” to support his argument that it is wrong to dress up opinions as fact.
He concludes by repeating something vapers will now be getting used to hearing: that policy in relation to vaping is being seemingly driven by the fact that cigalikes look like cigarettes and nothing more; that laws are being put in place because of personal agendas rather than research, data and evidence.