Friday, 6 April 2018

More Junk Science From Glantz

There may well come a time where the name Glantz is used as a byword for production of the worst kind of deliberate junk science, such is his expertise in the practice.

A merchant of doubt explains merchants of doubt
Just like we derive the term gerrymandering from the grubby antics of Elbridge Gerry, so we may - nay, should - in future refer to research fraudulently contorted to achieve a preconceived conclusion in any discipline to have been 'Glantzed'.

Brad Rodu has highlighted the latest in a long line of Glantzian chicanery on his blog this week. Publishing in the Paediatrics journal, Glantz once again came up with a conclusion that vaping amongst adolescents drives them towards smoking. Except for one thing, he had discounted prior cigarette consumption altogether.

Erm, I know that tobacco controllers understand smokers less than the general population, but this is a pretty fundamental error. Of course people dabbling with e-cigs are more likely to smoke afterwards if they have smoked before, yet Glantz chooses to completely ignore this vital piece of information.

As Rodu comments:
In their analysis, the authors ignore the fact that their study group consisted entirely of experimental smokers with widely varied experience – one or more puffs but never a whole cigarette, one cigarette, 2-10, 11-20, 21-50 and 51-99 cigarettes.  
It is well established that past smoking (in this case, LCC at Wave 1) predicts future smoking (one year later).  Chaffee, Watkins and Glantz ignored this information in order to claim that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking.  Their study should be retracted. 
Well, yes. In any legitimate area of research, a fundamental flaw such as this would have been discovered during peer review, but then tobacco control has never been a legitimate area of research, it is just political policy-based evidence-making. Why a journal like Paediatrics would continue to allow such a blatantly shonky piece of research to contaminate its pages is anyone's guess.

Rodu reproduced the analysis taking into account prior cigarette use and - lo and behold - the claims made by Glantz entirely disappeared. The data had been comprehensively Glantzed.

This was pointed out in the responses page at Paediatrics by Rodu, and Glantz fiercely defended his study ... by launching an ad hominem attack. Under Dick's Law, this means Rodu has already won. However, the victory is even greater considering Glantz's response admitted that he and his colleagues deliberately treated kids who had smoked only one puff and never a whole cigarette just the same as those who had smoked 99 cigarettes. Only a charlatan would do something like that and, as charlatans go, Glantz is as mendacious and deceitful as they come.

But then tobacco control has long since departed from having anything to do with science, it is in fact anti-science and its journals are increasingly also of the same mindset. It's a cult to which you are either within or without. Glantz is one of the cult leaders so is duty-bound to promote whatever quasi-religious anti-nicotine hegemony that his colleagues wish him to, and at the moment in the US it just happens to be an ignorant and quite absurd dislike for e-cigs based on no reasonable foundation whatsoever.

How ironic is it that someone still banging on about the behaviour of tobacco companies in the 1960s can so brilliantly encapsulate the actions of tobacco control doubt-spreaders in 2018?

The tobacco industry has long since abandoned any pretence that their core product is harmless, but some in tobacco control are employing exactly the same doubt creation methods now towards e-cigs! Glantz has become everything he has spent decades condemning. He propagates ignorance, obscures truth and deliberately creates confusion. And if Paediatrics doesn't retract a blatantly and deliberately false study such as this one, they are complicit in the fraud and their integrity is in the gutter.

As I mentioned earlier this week, there's a very good reason why vapers don't believe a word that tobacco controllers say, and Glantz has just provided them with another prime example.  

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