Tuesday’s News at a glance:
Vape Around The Globe – Hello, My Name is… – Harry’s blog 36: WHO’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? – Experts say vaping can help ‘cure’ sore throats – Anchoring Bias and the Mistake of Comparing Smoking to Vaping – GPs and Pharmacies –
Mawsley, Planet of the Vapes
Indiana celebrates a decrease in vaping but the state continues to struggle to combat teen smoking, and use of heroin and prescription drugs. The confused UAE imposes 100% cigarette tax, but still maintains a total ban on vaping, and bans are the favour of the month on University of Nebraska campus grounds. Vaping is now so big that it features as part of crime coverage even if it bears no relation to the offence. Fortunately, in Britain, a Lancaster man vapes his way to marathon success and Dr Roger Henderson says E-cigarettes work.
The 27th Indiana Youth Survey highlights a drop in the number of teens using electronic cigarettes, down from 21.6% to 19.7% for VIth formers. The trouble with the survey is that it gives no insight as to whether vape products are being used as an intervention to prevent the take-up of smoking. So their war on vaping continues, despite their failure to address smoking, the use of heroin or the abuse of prescription painkillers.
Paul Barnes, Facts Do Matter
Every so often, something so bizarre pops up that I end up just taking a few minutes to absorb just how utterly bonkers it is before either bursting out laughing or face-planting my desk.
In this instance, I didn’t do either. First, a little history. Most of you know Clive Bates. Once a week, he runs a search on PubMed on everything THR related. It’s then bundled up in a nifty e-mail that he sends to a nicotine consumer group which I’m in.
Most of the entries have his comments, usually coupled with an excerpt from either the abstract of a paper or the conclusion. This one caught my eye out of the 32 results in Clive’s e-mail. (Clive’s comments in red)
In May, the Icelandic pro-vaping coalition Veipum Lifum (VL) held a conference in Reykjavik. On their website, they included a link to the WHO FCTC as well as links to the Icelandic Parliament and an article in Icelandic media both of which also carried the WHO logo. On 18th August VL received a letter from the legal unit of the WHO Regional Office for Europe threatening legal action stating that they had not given permission for the logo to be used especially as placing it on the VL website suggested that the WHO endorsed the use of e-cigarettes. The WHO demanded that the logo be removed not only from the VL website, but also from the other locations over which of course, VL had no control. The letter also said that examples of ‘misuse’ of the logo were attached which they were not.
To read the letter in full, click here.
The letter was dated 4th August, but only reached VL on 18th, the day before the 14-day threat period expired. On behalf of VL, Dr Karl Snaebjornsson wrote back on the same day asking for some clarification especially on the issue of the missing attachments. No reply.
Mark Howarth, Sunday Post
A study by Glasgow-based boffins claims that one of the chemicals in e-liquids kills off bugs that make people ill.
So breathing in the fumes of propylene glycol could help destroy even long-term infections.
The report – published in the journal Medical Hypotheses – turns the science about vaping on its head.
Experiments have shown e-smoke to be harmful to animals and there have been warnings it could increase the risk of heart and lung disease in humans.
But the new research describes the case of a woman who’d suffered tonsillitis for nine years – yet her symptoms vanished within weeks of taking up vaping.
— Dick Puddlecote (@Dick_Puddlecote) October 24, 2017
Carl V. Phillips, Daily Vaper
Anchoring bias is the common tendency for people, including experts, to not adjust their beliefs enough in response to evidence. For example, a medical treatment might be widely believed to be effective, but later when some research is done, the studies find no benefit. The correct response to this is “we were just wrong; it does not work,” but the anchoring tendency is to think “well, I guess it does not work quite as well as we thought.”
This tendency creates a major problem when the risk from vaping is compared to that from smoking.
The proper starting point for estimating the risk from vaping is to believe it is effectively harmless until evidence suggests otherwise. Research on smokeless tobacco has long shown that nicotine causes no measurable health risk. In 2008, near the dawn of e-cigarettes, Murray Laugesen reported that the other exposures from the early e-cigarettes he studied were not merely safer than smoking, but “safe in absolute terms on all measurements.” In 2013, Igor Burstyn reiterated this conclusion based on all available reports of e-cigarette chemistry.
Mawsley, Planet of the Vapes
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics state there were an estimated 79,000 smoking-related deaths in 2015. Electronic cigarettes have been welcomed for the first time, in order to combat this, as part of Stoptober. New advice has been sent out to chemists and pharmacies, and ecigs have been termed a “phenomenal tool” for GPs to help smokers quit.
University College London’s data shows that smoking quit rates are hitting record highs, at 20%. The UCL reports that this is all down to the success of vaping – and over half of all Stoptober quit attempts last year were made using an electronic cigarette. The good news story has been fed out to all chemists and pharmacies.
Gul Root, lead public health pharmacist at Public Health England, said: “Many smokers now use e-cigarettes as part of their quit attempt, so pharmacy teams need to be able to give sound advice to smokers who are already using them or want to use them.”