Back in January, the Mail on Sunday published an appalling article on e-cigs which they were forced to retract by the Press Complaints Commission.
A Health article on January 27 said some experts believe electronic cigarettes can be more harmful than real ones. In fact we are not aware of any experts who hold this view compared to the risks of cancer, heart disease and lung damage from real cigarettes. We apologise for any contrary suggestion.That particular pile of trash was written by an appallingly incompetent journalist called Susannah Butter. But, incredibly, the Mail seems able to boast another equally bungling, substandard hack in the form of Emma Innes.
She wrote an article along almost identical lines which was published on Friday.
'E-cigarette smokers inhale MORE nicotine and toxins than regular smokers': Study finds 'users are unknowingly inhaling' a host of dangerous chemicals
Researchers at New York University found that due to the ‘frequency of puffing’ and ‘depth of inhalation’ e-cigarette smokers absorb higher levels of harmful chemicals than those who smoke traditional cigarettes.
Dr Deepak Saxena, associate professor of basic science and craniofacial biology, said: ‘The issue is urgent as a recent survey conducted among students at eight U.S. colleges found that 12 per cent of e-cig users had never smoked a conventional cigarette.’
‘Due to the frequency of puffing, depth of inhalation, and length of vaping,’ says Dr Xin Li, ‘e-cig users may actually absorb higher concentrations of nicotine and other toxins than conventional tobacco smokers.’Emma didn't care to provide a link for this ground-breaking new study in order that we can study the data. But that's probably because there quite simply isn't any.
Her source looks to be nothing but a press release from New York University College of Dentistry (emphases mine).
Deepak Saxena, associate professor of basic science and craniofacial biology, and Xin Li, assistant professor of basic science and craniofacial biology, both at the College of Dentistry, are working to close the gap between marketing and science by using oral cavity and various systems biology approaches to reveal the health impact of e-cigs. The FDA and the American Lung Association have cautioned that e-cig users are unknowingly inhaling vaporized chemicals including diethylene glycol. “The issue is urgent,” notes Saxena, “as a recent survey conducted among students at eight U.S. colleges found that 12 percent of e-cig users had never smoked a conventional cigarette.”Hmm, sounds familiar, huh? In fact, you'll find all Emma's other quotes in there too, just before this final para.
Since the initial interaction of nicotine from e-cigs with the human body occurs first in the oral cavity, Saxena and Li will collect saliva and oral mucosa from College of Dentistry patients who are e-cig users to determine the relative abundance of oral bacteria and changes in DNA in these patients in order to compare them with the effects found among conventional cigarette smokers.So, this is just an announcement of a study which will take place in the near future, not - as Emma states - one that has already concluded and declared results.
Now, it's clear that Saxena will be determined to find that e-cigs are bad, because he seems to dislike them despite having only scant knowledge of what they are. This is made crystal clear by this radio discussion - laughably titled "understanding e-cigarettes" - where he exhibits his ignorance in many ways, including describing e-cig use as "vapping".
However, when the study is finally published, debate about its claims can begin, but that time really isn't now.
This is a new low for junk journalism about junk science. We're now very well used to "science by press release" whereby conclusions are sent to the press before biased research has been peer-reviewed and published - if, indeed, it is ever published. But at least the studies have normally been completed before some ignorant hack pumps out their garbage.
Emma Innes has just told the world about conclusions from a study which hasn't even started yet and, as such, I expect her lies to round off the Daily Mail's year with another humiliating retraction.
Snowdon offered some good advice on this yesterday.
You can contact the Press Complaints Commission here. I encourage you to do so.And so do I.