Everything You Think You Know About E Cigarettes Is Wrong
- May 14, 2018
- Dave Cross
Within my family we span the knowledge generations; my daughter is still reasonably happy that there is much she has yet to learn and ventures to school every morning full of hope for enlightenment and erudition. My son has entered the teenage phase where not only does he know the answer to everything but he also knows that everything we, his parents, know is wrong.
My wife, while at work, is a focal point for those who require information and facts. She knows everything that is happening and manages all of the information with nothing more than continual cups of coffee. Then she returns home to discover that it is me who knows everything. Of course, what I know everything about is limited to things no one wants or needs to know. In reality, my mind fractured at the beginning of 2012 and I have become acutely conscious of the frailty of my brain to accept, retain and recall fact.
And then there are my parents, well into their dotage, who are able to recount minutes from 1953 but will forget it’s my birthday if it isn’t on a calendar they check off each day. I do wonder how they remember if they have checked off the day already – I worry that they might fly through an entire month in the space of a morning.
You can probably picture the surprise on our faces as my wife, standing next to the television, read out the result. I looked at the dogs, they looked at me and we ran madly around the lounge. Considering the competition we would have been up against (if anybody else knew it was taking place) makes winning the e-cigarette blog award one of those moments in life I’ll treasure forever.
So we trust in science and politicians; we hold store in Electronic Cigarette research informing good legislation made in the best interests of us: electronic cigarette users and the general public at large.
Science has to be funded; E-Cig research doesn’t get carried out for free. Political parties receive donations from individuals and organisations…and news organisations need to sell advertising space.
So, when I happened upon a story on it referring to a UK electronic cigarette manufacturer scooping a prize my interest was piqued and I read further. Kudos to Gamucci, they lifted the coveted "Best e-cig brand in the UK" at the Brand Weekly Consumer Choice Awards 2014.
As if getting to the truth wasn’t hard enough (ignoring the philosophical questions about what is ‘truth’) – it’s always twice as hard when Stanton chips in.
Well known to seasoned vaping campaigners, Glance has no medical qualifications, just a poor degree in engineering, but that hasn’t stood in his way. Neither do facts. Over the last five days he has been back in the news due to the release of the paper entitled “Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine” where, once again, he selectively picks the bits of science that back up his opinions and ignores the rest while repeating things he thinks might be the case but states them as facts.
It’s fine to have opinions, everyone has them and it is also fine to have feelings about things, people have them too, but it is morally bankrupt to state your feelings and opinions as fact when:
a) You ignore all of the peer-reviewed science debunking your claims
b) Have carried out no actual research beyond selective reading
There’s a good reason for adopting the scientific process for health-related matters; it is testable, it can be analysed and the testing process can either be repeated or improved. What Glance has produced is nothing more than a rehash of his last article a matter regarding E Cigarettes of a few months old, flying in the face of the recent findings from actual e cigarette research conducted by ASH UK two weeks ago.
My daughter, my son, my wife, my father and Stanton Glance all have feelings and opinions about loads of things in life, we all do, but unfortunately for us we are almost always wrong. This isn’t my opinion; this is the product of research carried out by the Royal Statistical Society and King's College London. Basing electronic cigarette policy, strategy or legislation can’t be done on gut feeling – it has to be based on logic and research. What makes his actions so foul is not just that he is repeating a mantra, a tissue of lies and half-truths, but that every time he does it the media use it in order to increase advertising revenue because nothing sells as good as fear.
This ridiculous e cigarette paper was cited in the New York Times at the weekend, which was then syndicated to all of the regional press in the States. But, by far the worst, was that Popular Science (a magazine I had a lot of respect for in trying to broaden public access understanding of complicated issues) has swallowed it lock, stock and barrel - telling its readers that e-cigarettes are not harmless. No respected scientist has ever claimed that, it's not about it being harmless it's about it being less harmful. Almost all of the current research points to the conclusion that electronic cigarettes are orders of magnitude safer than smoking.
A ‘study’ is not scientific research, it is like reading a couple of chapters of every Jeffrey Archer novel and then stating what all of his books are about. Clearly one doesn’t need to read a single Archer novel to rate his skills as a writer but if you are trying to influence the legislative process because your University relies of funding from pharmaceutical companies what Glance is doing isn’t just wrong, it’s borderline criminal.
Opinions and feelings are one thing, ignoring research into something that could prevent cancer in a billion people just to serve your own ends is something else. Ignoring proper, scientific, peer-reviewed research like this: Effect of Smoking Abstinence and Reduction in Asthmatic Smokers Switching to E Cigarettes: Evidence for Harm Reversal Over my small time on the planet I have learnt that what I know to be true diminishes by the day, but I know this: Stanton Glance, everything you know is wrong.