Thursday 20 February 2014

Sauce For The Gander

In support of plain packaging, the tobacco control cartel submitted a systematic review of their 'evidence' to government back in May 2012. This is the basis of every claim by supportive MPs that there is overwhelming 'proof' in favour of banning colours on packs of fags.

However, as I said at the time ...
The review states that they filtered the studies from a starting list of 4,518 citations. How bad the others must have been to leave just 37 which were predominantly authored by the same people conducting the review can only be guessed at. Scribblings on the back of a fag packet, presumably. Is tobacco control really that bad, or are these people just advancing their one-sided agenda under a cloak of impartiality?
Well, scroll on to the present day and a new systematic review of evidence relating to e-cigs has been produced by Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens-Greece. It is fully described at this site (recommended read), and finds there is nothing to worry about when it comes to vaping.

I contacted Dr F with a pertinent question about his evidence base. Namely:
The 97 studies I read as being covered by your review, are they EVERY study done on e-cigs or have you excluded any as being unreliable/irrelevant/unhelpful etc?
And his reply?
The 97 studies additionally include studies not specifically performed on e-cigarettes but evaluating e-cigarettes components such as PG, VG and nicotine toxicity.  Concerning e-cigarette studies, NO, we did not exclude anything.
Now, if we are supposed to believe that a selective systematic review of plain packaging citations is the gold standard and should be accepted as fact, which tobacco controllers insist. Then, by the same token, the non-selective systematic review of every piece of e-cig evidence ever produced - plus a few extras for the lolz - should be treated in the same manner. Yes?

It's a simple enough concept, and one of the core principles employed by Wikipedia to ensure consistency.

So, if tobacco control continues to insist on maintaining that their cockeyed systematic review is proof positive of the benefit of plain packaging, they can never again claim that "we don't know anything about e-cigs". Now can they?


But then, there is nothing consistent, fair, or principled about tobacco control, so I expect they'll just carry on spouting their garbage regardless.


Dick_Puddlecote said...

Their argument is that the inhalator has been approved by the MHRA and/or NICE. Thou shalt not trade unless a public sector quango has had its pound of flesh.

SteveW said...

Would that the buggers in office were even capable of evaluating evidence, let alone had any compunction so to do...

David Pimborough said...

Hah! It's all a smoke screen to divert the public attention away from the real elephant in the room ;)

I wonder how many smug shrill antismokers drive round in diesel engine road vehicles?