In the News September 27th
Tuesdays News at a glance:
Shameless Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Tries to Censor Researchers – Transitioning From Cigarettes to Electronic Cigarettes Increases Alcohol Consumption – Young adults say vaping helped them quit smoking, restrictions are dangerous – A top journalist is suing the FDA over its alleged use of a banned and secretive practice to manipulate the news – WHO opposition to tobacco-harm reduction threatens public health – FDA is striking dangerous deals with reporters – Brexit will complete Margaret Thatcher’s economic revolution – To Play The Game, You Should Really Understand The Rules – Digging Up More Ecig Efficacy Evidence – Vaping industry protests 40% tax with rally at Capitol – We will fight them on the beaches and in the zoos
Sally Satel, Forbes
The Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum, GTNF, meets in Brussels starting tomorrow. The conference is an annual industry summit which attracts cutting edge researchers, innovative health policy makers, and creative entrepreneurs. If the anti-tobacco lobby has its way, however, these participants would just stay home.
“We hope that your participation in the GTNF 2016 programme was just a misunderstanding which will soon be rectified…” said a warning letter sent to participating researchers by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a major anti-smoking advocacy group in the U.S., and the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention, based in Brussels, Belgium.
Peter Hajek, PubMed
The title asserts that smokers who switch to vaping start to drink more. The paper however shows no such thing. It just reports that ex-smokers who vape drink more than ex-smokers who do not vape. Heavier smokers are more likely to seek nicotine maintenance and are also heavier drinkers and the difference almost certainly predated quitting. The title does not reflect the study findings and misleads casual readers.
Michele Munz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Evan Wright, 18, started smoking cigarettes and cigars early in high school. He sometimes smoked three cigars a night and began to have serious breathing problems, he said.
A year ago, he started vaping, which delivers nicotine in an appealingly flavored aerosol without all the toxic chemicals that come from burning tobacco. His breathing problems went away.
“Every day, I get the urge to go buy a cigar or a pack of cigarettes, but I pull out the vape and inhale the strawberry pina colada, and I’m good to go,” said Wright, of Des Peres, Missouri.
A top journalist is suing the FDA over its alleged use of a banned and secretive practice to manipulate the news
Dave Mosher, Business Insider
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may reportedly still engage in a banned practice that manipulates popular news coverage, and a few of America’s top science journalists are railing against the government organization because of it.
One of them is even suing the FDA for documents related to the matter.
The commotion, raised by NYU journalism professor Charles Seife in a feature story at Scientific American, deals with the FDA’s use of a worrisome media strategy called a “close-hold embargo.” (Seife’s NYU colleague and journalist Ivan Oransky previously detailed the matter in a series of posts at his blog Embargo Watch.)
Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco, Business Mirror
THE World Health Organization’s (WHO) opposition to tobacco-harm reduction, a policy embodied in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), “is dishonest and threatens public health,” the US-based think tank Reason Foundation said.
A treaty created by the WHO in 2004, the FCTC seeks “to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.”
Since the FCTC came into force in 2005, however, the Reason Foundation said the number of smokers in the world has increased, mainly in China and other poor countries that were the FCTC’s primary target.
Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View
Is the Food and Drug Administration manipulating what stories we get on its decisions?
That’s the suggestion of a new article in Scientific American on the ways that the FDA controls who sees information when, and how journalists can report on it. The practice sounds pretty scurrilous.
Sometimes a source gives information to journalists before a public announcement in exchange for an agreement that the journalist won’t publish the information until an agreed-upon time. This process — called an embargo — is actually reasonable and beneficial to the public, because it gives reporters time to dig into a technical subject without feeling that they have to only skim the paper quickly and dash off an article so they can be the first to publish and get the scoop.
Nigel Lawson, The Telegraph
The most recent example of this process is probably more damaging on health grounds than on economic grounds, though it is that, too. This is the Tobacco Products Directive, which regulates vaping – the smoking of electronic cigarettes (which contain no tobacco at all). Despite the strong endorsement of vaping by the Royal College of Physicians, lobbying by the tobacco industry and the pharmaceutical industry (which doesn’t like competition to its own far less effective anti-smoking products such as nicotine patches) has caused the EU to ban their advertising and set a restrictive limit to the nicotine level in electronic cigarettes, thus limiting their attractiveness to those who wish to give up tobacco.
They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but then some with very little knowledge have made a lucrative living on the back of their ignorance.
Take Simon Chapman, for example. Fresh from a triumphant tour of Europe including a London stopover – on expenses, natch – chatting to a dozen of his pals, the increasingly irrelevant fossilised tobacco control brick-brain has been pouring forth again. This time about the upcoming industry GTNF conference.
Mawsley, Planet of the Vapes
At the release of the latest findings from University College London, Robert West added a word of caution that the efficacy evidence might not translate to other nations. One week later and reports are coming in from as far apart as Malaysia and Detroit that it does – or would if it were given a chance.
Doctor Chris Ford was fortunate to attend the Global Forum for Nicotine, back in June. By her own admission, before she took part she was not convinced by the conference theme: ‘E-cigarettes could be the biggest public health intervention of our lifetime’. It became a voyage of discovery, as she says: “[I] had my eyes firmly opened. I got chatting to two people, both of whom were vaping. Eric, now in his late 60s, explained that he was a retired teacher and had smoked since he was 16 years old.”
Dave Marcheskie, abc27 News
Not many issues fill the Rotunda quite like education or gun issues, but the vaping industry gave everybody a run for their memory by packing the front end with supporters and signs.
“If you’re within the sound of my voice, you need to stop and listen on how small businesses are being crushed and shut down by taxation,” John Dietz said.
Supporters’ lungs were filled with passion to keep their lungs filled with vape. The rally was to protest a 40 percent wholesale tax on vaping products, including e-cigarette liquid. Vape shop owners argue the high tax would force them to raise costs too high for consumers and to make an operating budget work.
Christopher Snowdon, Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
Yesterday the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, in cahoots with a mendacious director of ‘public health’, called for an extensive outdoor smoking ban. Their ostensible justification for this – that chiiiiildren shouldn’t have to see people smoking was bad enough but the true intention – forcing adults not to smoke because the killjoy puritans don’t like it – was even worse.
The ‘public health’ director in question, Jim McManus, fancies himself as a bit of a friend of the vapers so it was pleasing to see so many vapers smack him down. Here are some of the highlights from the blogosphere, not all of which are SFW…