New Vaping Scare Study Slammed By The Experts As “Speculative and Bizarre”!
Here we go again!
OK and once again it’s rebuttal time and this episode features the alarming claim that e-cigarettes and vaping cause more harm to health on a population level than they benefit.
Indeed the authors go as far to say that:
Overall, the model estimated that e-cigarette use in 2014 would lead to 1,510,000 years of life lost.
Yeah they really did say that…
I know – file another one under sh!te you really couldn’t make up!
But it’s a ‘thing‘ and needs addressing particularly as the hungry for anti-vape science stuff global media are slobbering and straining at their leashes to get this one out!
So hopefully we’ll get ahead of the pack for once lol.
The results and conclusions have been slammed by experts in the field of e-cigarettes and health with one calling them “very speculative assumptions” – whilst another called the findings ‘bizarre‘ – harsh words in the world of peer to peer science stuff!
More on the rebuttals later.
So What’s The Latest Anti-Vape Scientific Study Saying?
OK the study – grandly titled: Quantifying population-level health benefits and harms of e-cigarette use in the United States – was carried out by five medical ‘experts‘ from various medical disciplines – I’m not clear on where the funding came from…
The study concluded:
Based on the existing scientific evidence related to e-cigarettes and optimistic assumptions about the relative harm of e-cigarette use compared to cigarette smoking, e-cigarette use currently represents more population-level harm than benefit.
This new study also adds the dire warning about the urgent need to combat the growth of kids taking up vaping:
Effective national, state, and local efforts are needed to reduce e-cigarette use among youth and young adults if e-cigarettes are to confer a net population-level benefit in the future.
All sounds very scary – but as always there’s an issue with not only the method of the study – that well known scientific method the Monte Carlo stochastic simulation model – I use that all the time lol…
But also the interpretation of the findings that once again come from the wrong baseline.
BTW when I took up vaping I never dreamed I’d spend my time Googling such things – I’m just here for the #FreeShit as I tell everyone 😉
Health Experts Ridicule Anti-Vape Study
OK back to this ridiculous claim and let’s see what the real experts have to say.
Dr Lion Shahab, Senior Lecturer Epidemiology & Public Health at University College London [UCL] was quick to comment – I say quick from his reaction I’m pretty sure it took a while to get his jaw back off the ground lol.
On the claim that kids were taking up vaping in their droves before becoming smokers Dr Shahab said:
Modelling of outcomes is crucially dependent on the initial assumptions being made.
The authors make some very speculative assumptions here, particularly on the ‘gateway’ effect in teenagers – they assume that vaping leads to smoking.
The trouble is, all their data on this comes from studies that don’t prove anything of the sort, and ignore the possibility that e-cigarettes could actually be driving kids away from tobacco.
This leads to a biased result which flies in the face of data in the US, where smoking among kids continues to decline – just like in the UK. If this new study were correct, those rates would be going up.
The authors’ estimate of ‘life years lost’ is primarily driven by their overestimate of e-cig use contributing to a significant increase in the uptake of smoking in kids.
Nicely put Doc and this guy was recently giving evidence to UK MPs on the Science and technology Committee where he slammed so called scientific studies that put vaping in a bad light.
As to the study’s results he was extremely forthright:
In my opinion, the authors’ choice of studies used to justify the impact of e-cig use on quitting rates is rather biased.
In at least one case they have used a paper whose methodology has previously been heavily criticized.
If you’re going to make assumptions, a much more reasonable approach would be to assume e-cigarettes are at least as effective as things like patches or gum – that is what the very best evidence from proper randomised controlled trials shows.
Unfortunately the authors of this study modeled using wrong assumptions – and, unsurprisingly, they’ve ended up with the wrong conclusions.
You can’t be any clearer than that!
The Study Findings Are ‘Mathematically Impossible’
Dr Shahab was joined in condemning the study by our old friend and pro-vape expert Prof Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London.
He also appeared before UK MPs in the same committee meeting as Dr Shahab – so once again a real expert who has actually studied in great detail the effects of e-cigarettes on the human body.
His comments on this particular study leave you in no doubt he thinks the results should be chucked in the nearest bin:
This new ‘finding’ is based on the bizarre assumption that for every one smoker who uses e-cigs to quit, 80 non-smokers will try e-cigs and take up smoking.
It flies in the face of available evidence but it is also mathematically impossible.
In the UK alone, 1.5 million smokers have quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes. The ‘modelling’ in this paper assumes that we also have 120 million young people who became smokers.
The model only reflects whatever spurious assumptions are put into it.
Starting with the opposite assumptions would generate the opposite result.
This is no route to a scientific finding.
As to the so called ‘gateway effect’ of e-cigarettes drawing children to the cancer sticks in a Faganesque kind of way Professor Hajek didn’t hold back:
In reality there is no evidence, from any country, that vaping lures young non-smokers to smoking (let alone in huge numbers).
In the USA, the country where the authors live and whose smoking statistics they should know, smoking in young people has been declining at an unprecedented rate.
Vaping is helping smokers quit, and there is no evidence that it lures children to smoking.
It may even be deflecting young people who would otherwise smoke away from cigarettes.
There you have it – yet another so called scientific study that’s sole purpose was to vilify and demonize vaping has been put firmly in its place.
Though don’t hold your breath waiting for the mainstream media to report anything positive – wonder why that is 😉
If you want to read the study – it’s not exactly a page turner – then you can do so HERE.