Sunday 15 December 2013

Daily Mail Reports Results Of A Study Which Hasn't Started Yet

It looks like the Daily Mail group is ending 2013 in the same shoddy fashion as they started it.

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.


John Davidson Jr said...

Nothing new about that EPA 1992-3 ETS STUDY SAME THING..........CDC PHIZER FUNDED 9 STATES ECONOMIC SMOKING BAN STUDY SAME THING AGAIN all preannounced conclusions each and every time........

John Davidson Jr said...

DP here in the states its OUTCOME BASED SCIENCE............Heres the conclusion now build us a study to back up our agenda........politics at its finestis all it amounts too!

SadButMadLad said...

Sent in my complaint to the PCC.

That Emma Innes has been extremely prolific in her churnalism according to a search of her name on the DM.

Legiron said...

Surely that's standard procedure now? Write the results first then design the study to ensure you arrive at those results. Or just lie.

It's the way all antismoking research is done, why should antivaping research be any different?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

She tweeted this one so must be especially proud of it

Dick_Puddlecote said...

It starts earlier in the process than that. It's usually those funding the studies who decide what the studies will find.

Arbeit macht frei said...

Time to get the gloves off with these lying drones,well heeled "experts" and
perverted professionals.
These ink stained warblers are the same breed, who,100 years ago,next August ,(August 1914) coerced half a million young Britons to an early death
on a hundred distant battlefields.......for nothing...except another even more horrific 6 years of butchery (1939-45)
From health freakery to the horror of war the media surpasses even Judas
in the pursuit of deception and treachery
Even worse ,there amongst us,total half wits who think that THEY pick governments,that they decide the next bunch of deceivers to get most seats in
the Palace of Tricksters ,seatwarmers and fellow travellers.
How much longer.

Rebecca Taylor said...

Unfortunately, I found out when I worked in the NHS that while the PCC can make newspapers print corrections, they cannot:

- require that correction to be as prominent as the original article, so it's usually tiny and hidden

- make the media outlet take down the online version (years after the PCC judgement in favour of the NHS body I worked for the online version was still misinforming people)

But of course any attempt to tighten up the regulation of the press is "attacking press freedom". The press are free as far as I am concerned to publish what they like ("publish and be damned" comes to mind), but if they publish false information, that should have consequences, right now it doesn't or those consequences are so insignificant they make no difference. Leveson anyone?

Nicki Lawrence said...

I've read so many ridiculous and harmful articles written by so called journalists, all following a similar theme. I've replied to a few in an effort for harm reduction as obviously the reader, should they believe the tripe written, can be responsible for influencing the views of a huge number of people just via word of mouth.

I believe that the P.R. departments of our larger opponents are organised and working very hard by sending this propaganda out to every arm of the media knowing that, as is being proven time and again, many probably won't bother to do their research and find the real facts, as good journalists should. but will just add their name to the copy and like a good little journo, submit it for print. Job done and so easy!

Journalists have a large amount of space to fill and love sensationalism, so these P.R. goodies are right up their street. It might ruin the credibility of the hack and publication in the eyes of well informed vapers, but such scaremongering is doing untold harm to the less informed who, as a result may return to smoking or never make the switch. It's also influencing the people who are involved in the regulation of ecigs.

I believe that the P.R. arm of our brand new World Vaping Organisation needs to counter this propaganda by constantly submitting their own factual articles to the media. We need them on side to spread the real facts about ecigs for us. so it would be a great opportunity and really helpful to make good use of the articles' comments boxes to get the truth out there, with, wherever possible. a link to a factual article or study about ecigs to back it up and educate people. If we're quick enough to comment when we find these pieces, some of the harm they do could be nipped in the bud and even more people will benefit from vaping.

Spazmelda Whee said...

And, here's how the media disinformation churn chain comes in. This story has been picked up in increasingly garbled form by several other cut-rate media outlets. Absolutely infuriating. I wrote an email to Saxena Friday, no reply as of yet. I also wrote an email to the NYU media person who submitted the original article to the University Website, asking both for clarification on the study's status and where I could read a copy.

Here are the media outlets I've seen so far that have picked the story up.!/entry/ecigarette-users-sucking-in-more-toxins-than-conventional-smokers-research,52aebadb025312186ca12c3c

nisakiman said...

Slightly off topic here DP, but referring back to an earlier thread, where in the comments I said: "So when the vapers stop using the same arguments as Tobacco Control. and
by extension stop demonising those who choose to enjoy tobacco, that's
when my support will be forthcoming."
, you replied that

it was not your experience that vapers used TC arguments to further their cause.

If you note, there is what is essentially a very good comment here on this thread from Nicki Lawrence, but which although not overtly supporting TC, nevertheless endorses the TC propaganda:

"...but such scaremongering is doing untold harm to the less informed who,
as a result may return to smoking or never make the switch"

This is not a personal attack on the commenter, but just an illustration. That part of the comment I've quoted above could have come straight out of Deborah Arnott's mouth, effectively stating "smoking causes untold harm and smokers must be informed of the truth about e-cigs lest (God forbid), they return to that deadly poison, tobacco".

I know that is not exactly what has been said, but that is the subliminal message. And until vapers stop using TC soundbites to further their aims, they will garner little support from tobacco aficionados. Particularly ones like myself who are anyway very sceptical about the claims made concerning the hazards of tobacco, given the knowledge of the subject I have accumulated over the past few years.

Nicki Lawrence said...

My comment wasn't a TC soundbite, just my opinion, the experience of my own life and concern for the well being of others. It's well known that millions of people worldwide become very ill, often for years and die from smoking related diseases. My father and maternal grandfather both died of lung cancer as a result of smoking, so there's a very good chance that, had I continued smoking, I would, too. It takes years to develop and make itself known so, for all I know, I may already have it. In the ten years that ecigs have been used, no-one has died from their use or, to my knowledge, become seriously ill.

A year ago, at a hospital appointment. a nurse told me about e-cigs. I didn't really want to give up the enjoyable part of smoking but felt I really should so had, in the past, tried various NRT's but to no avail. I went straight out and purchased a cigalike as recommended. When the supermarket stopped carrying that brand, I went online and found the incredible vaping community and personal vapourisers that are far superior, in my opinion. I haven't had a cigarette since and even easily reduced my nicotine level down from 18mg to 6mg without noticing.

I went back for a follow up appointment at the hospital a couple of weeks ago and saw the same nurse. I rushed over to thank her for telling me about e-cigs but she told me that when the hospital found out that she was talking to patients about them, she was reprimanded and banned from any further such conversations. I am disgusted by this ~ how many people might die because she's not allowed to do what she did for me?

I've done a tremendous amount of research and nothing would make me want to go back to smoking tobacco. Like many vapers, I only want and need the nicotine and behavourial aspects of smoking, I've got exactly that with e-cigs and I'm extremely, deliriously happy with my decision to switch.

I completely believe that everyone should absolutely have the choice to smoke, vape, or do neither, but the very least they deserve are the true facts to enable them to make a fully informed choice, not propaganda scare tactics such as in the Daily Mail article and many others.. E-cigs are proven far safer than tobacco smoking by orders of magnitude, the scientific evidence is available but is being studiously ignored by opponents.

The use of propaganda is to stop people being fully informed and in my book that's a crime and many people like me, who would want to switch, will be harmed as a result. It's all about revenue, egos and ideology, not public health.

Spazmelda Whee said...

Hey, I got a reply from Elyse Bloom, Assistant Dean for Communications & Public Affairs at NYU College of Dentistry. She confirms that the research has not yet been done, but is just getting started.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Nice one. A Mail retraction is on its way, then. ;)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Something that tobacco control worked out a long time ago, Rebecca. This is about e-cigs, but they've been doing the same for tobacco for a long, long time.

Here's a recent example from the plain packaging debate.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

"I am disgusted by this"

So am I. One day there will be a reckoning, and some very nasty people will receive some much-deserved time in the cooler. ;)

Michael J. McFadden said...

I guess dentists are just desperate to tap into all the antismoking grant money out there. This one sounds just as bad as one I analyzed in TobakkoNacht where parents were being warned that if they smoked around their kids to poor widdle poochums' toothies would fall outta dere haids.

That study made headlines all over the world, but in NONE of the stories I found did they describe what actually went on in the study. The researchers had actually deliberately wounded the gums of BABY RATS and then exposed them to the human equivalent of a kid sitting around the living room every day while mums smoked THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION cigarettes. Every day, not cumulatively. After three months went by (i.e. about 75 million cigarettes' worth of smoke) the baby rats' gums hadn't healed up quite as well as the gums of the baby rats that did NOT undergo the torture procedure.

None of those details were in any of the stories that people read at home though. Nope. All they saw was that children of smokers were destroying their children's dental health.

These researchers should be securely tied into a dental chair while a chain smoking Jack Nicholson on crack drills their brains out.


Dick_Puddlecote said...

... And we sell tickets to watch ;)

crosspatch said...

Nicotine is not a carcinogen. What other "harmful chemicals"? All articles SAY that but never actually list them. They are not harmful, but they DO reduce government revenue on tobacco taxes and reduce revenue from big pharma for things like nicotine patches and lozenges which is huge money. Also, nicotine is a very powerful anti-depressant and cuts into big pharma's anti-depressant money.

They aren't harmful, though.

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