Monday, 24 February 2014

A Squeak Corrects Daily Mail's Roaring Inaccuracy On E-Cigs

Just before Christmas, I predicted that the Daily Mail were about to receive a second telling-off of 2013 for their unfathomably crap reporting of e-cigs. They had already seen a previous article in January pulled but crucially - as Clive Bates pointed out at the time - not retracted.

The Mail's December nonsense was just as stupid and inaccurate, bearing this headline.
'E-cigarette smokers inhale MORE nicotine and toxins than regular smokers': Study finds 'users are unknowingly inhaling' a host of dangerous chemicals 
Sadly for the inept author, Emma Innes, the study had found no such thing ... mostly because it hadn't even begun. My comments at the time reflected this.
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. 
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.
Well, the PCC have finally - three months later - released their decision, and if anything it's less satisfactory than the one which preceded it.

The amended headline has been altered to this, with a small 37 word footnote the only evidence of the article's previous form.
'E-cigarette smokers may absorb MORE nicotine and toxins than regular smokers': Study to investigate risk of using 'healthy' tobacco alternative
For three months or more the Daily Mail's vast readership has been stumbling across a significant falsehood, yet only now once traffic has died down has it been changed, and even then to something which doesn't materially alter the claim being made; that e-cigs are likely to be more dangerous than smoking.

Now, I suppose it's too much to expect the Daily Mail to prominently announce their journalist's piss poor research in an entirely new piece, but it would be nice to think that they'll be more careful in the future. Or maybe - a slim chance, I know - to report something wildly positive by way of balance.

I won't be holding my breath, mind. The Mail enjoys unnecessarily scaring the public far more than putting the wind up tax-sponging tobacco controllers who truly deserve it.


John Gray said...

Vis a vis the comments, it's such a pity that too many pro e-ciggers don't know their arse from their elbow. I am heartily sick and tired of reading them blether on about "4000 toxins" in ordinary cigarettes and blaming the tobacco companies, entirely, for the war on e-cigs. The tobacco giants are now rapidly producing their own e-cigs as they know they have no choice, whereas Big Pharma may loose all its revenue (brilliant!) from rubbishy patches and gum.

Frankly, although I am really pleased with my e-cigs (I have three) I sometimes feel profoundly ashamed at the bovine stupidity of many of their users!

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I agree it's irritating seeing the kneejerk attacks on tobacco for blocks put in front of e-cigs; it's clear that pharma are far more guilty of that. But it's a result of decades of indoctrination, I'd say. Lazy, yes, but I reckon that will change over time and history will show who were the real obstacles to e-cigs (maybe even courts too, hopefully).

I'll have to say it again, though, that I see very few vapers who have that tainted view and feed their own e-cig conversion by attacking smokers and tobacco. The vast majority I know, and a significant majority on forums, comments sections etc who I don't, are vocally in favour of freedom of choice.

That's not to say that there are evangelical ex-smoking and now smoker-hating vapers out there (there definitely are) but that I am convinced they are a minority and are often tackled by vapers themselves.

SadButMadLad said...

Its worth pointing out that the PCC is so crap at handling anything that they even mismanaged the sending out of the email announcement. They used CC rather than BCC and so 130 people now know each others email addresses. Sending an email asking us to delete the previous email is a bit stupid, our email addresses have now been shared inappropriately and can't be unsent. Time to use the DPA on the PCC.

Quite why Ben Gallop at the PCC thought it OK to send an important email at the end of a day when he was obviously tired and not thinking, or possibly rushing to send before he dashed to catch his train, I don't know.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Haha! On the plus side, that's 130 vapers who have now been formally introduced. Perfect for if there's ever a campaign or something going on to, say, defend e-cigs from corrupt and incompetent national or supranational state interference. ;)

SadButMadLad said...

I'm sure the 130 of us could use the email addresses to speak with each other, but any public use of the list is covered by the DPA and illegal. And it wouldn't be advisable to use the list as their email address wasn't put forward for any campaigning - it might be a private one for a different purpose as is the case with mine. It only needs one person to complain to scupper any campaign using it.

I'm seriously thinking about the setting the DPA on the PCC. Once watchdog investigating another watchdog. HaHa!

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Go for it.

I'm curious as to how it took over three months to come to a decision which should have taken 5 minutes. It was incontrovertibly misleading journalism.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I'm hearing more about this, been copied in.

Someone has already mentioned the DPA and another says "perhaps we should tell the Daily Mail". Quality! :)

Jax said...

They are really, really worried about e-cigs, aren’t they? The panic and hysteria is really starting to show in jumping-the-gun type stories such as these. Even the fact that there is a proposed “study” to “discover” how terrible e-cigs are is an indication of how, behind the scenes, there’s no doubt all sorts of desperate cobbling-together of any old junk they can find to try and paint e-cigs as every bit as wicked as the real thing. What a shame that vapers are (with a few exceptions) by and large such a bunch of pompous brainwashed fools that their only means of defence is the playground cry of “Don’t start bullying us – keep bullying them!” with an indignant finger pointing back towards real smokers. It’s like I’ve always said
about the embryonic anti-booze/salt/sugar movements – until the people who want to stop these new movements from really taking hold recognise that they’ve got to swallow their pride, go back to the beginnings of the anti-smoking hysteria and show that that – the “original sin” of junk science – was exaggerated spin and lies from the outset, then they will simply stand accused of being hypocritical and their weak protestations will be mown down by the juggernaut of the new-style Healthists, whether they like it or not. Welcome to the world of the smoker, all ye vapers! "Passive vaping" will be on the cards next! But, unlike smokers, you can’t say you weren’t warned …

M.Hopkins XIX said...

Why spend so much angst for the Vaping snakes and pond life
They are little more than yellow streaked dwarfs clouding the greater issue of
liberty and personal choice,democratic rights and choice of life style.
They are only going down the same path as the cringing smokers,all fumes
but no fire,plenty of chat but no bollocks,twittering and tut-tutting ,embracing
keyboards and I-Pads as if they were muskets and bayonets.
Signal Corps overflowing with info experts ,the trenches deserted.
Bit of advice for all furious fumers
........PUT UP.....OR........SHUT UP
All aboard the WITCH HUNT
The Senior Anti smoking Chief Witch (U NO U) is having her coven rattled
Time to collect the firewood and clear the village green for some "payback"
BTW Does anyone know how much (u no u) troughed for her sterling work for
the big "chemists"
Many notable ANTI SMOKERS seemed to have a more than normal interest in KIDDIES,, now we know why.

Crossbow said...

While I strongly disagree with government regulation of the press, the toothless, spineless and slothlike PCC isn't a great advert for self regulation.....

Jax said...

Sorry for being dim here, MH, but any chance of a clue as to which Chief Anti-smoking Witch you mean? There are so many of them to choose from! Are you talking today’s furore over Mrs Harpic-person, or is there another story I’ve yet to hear about? I’m curious. Any hints gratefully accepted …

Dick_Puddlecote said...

"What a shame that vapers are (with a few exceptions) by and large such a bunch of pompous brainwashed fools that their only means of defence is the playground cry of “Don’t start bullying us – keep bullying them!” with an indignant finger pointing back towards real smokers."

Jax, vapers like that irritate me as much as you, but - as I said in reply to John Gray - my experience is the opposite of yours. I find the smug types to be few and far between, with understanding vapers who favour freedom of choice by far the majority.

Perhaps it's a location thing, but I'd normally expect Puddlecoteville to have more anally-retentive finger-waggers than elsewhere.

Torquemada said...

Dear Jax
Forget Madame Harpic,she's just a novice in the Convent of Hades
Think of a slithering reptilette who stuffed the 2005 Labour manifesto and
stamped her withered claws onto the quivering Labour Back benchers to get a total ban.Further clues,an OZ, Bolshy,Man hating,creeping fellow traveller
typical of the twisted Blair Babe genre,their true agenda hidden under pink
wrap round the neck proletarian scarves( standard issue)
Last seen posting NO SMOKING signs on the STYX embankment later seen
in a North London Starbucks joint giggling with the Medusa.
Any nearer guessing who ?