Wednesday 9 August 2017

'Passive Vaping' Bullshit In The Daily Mail

While I've been busy lately, there was an astonishingly shit article popped up in the Daily Mail last week which is a classic of the junk science clickbait genre so beloved of tobacco control.
Scientists have issued a warning on passive vaping because of toxic chemicals in e-cigarette vapour. 
People in bars where vaping is allowed are exposed to unhealthy levels of formaldehyde, which causes cancer, and acrolein, a toxin which irritates the eyes and skin.  
That is the finding of a study based on as few as three people an hour using the devices in a bar.
The word 'scientists', in this context, is used in the very loosest sense, since we are talking about Berkeley University in California. For the uninitiated, they are the same bunch of lunatics who are promoting the ridiculous quackery of 'thirdhand smoke" using grant money from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP). For an example of how that route is simply a way of creating lies with public money, do read this audit trail of how the scam works that I wrote a few years ago.

So, now we know how disingenuous they are, how did they persuade the Mail to publish such a load of nonsense?

Well, it's quite easy really. The study is here and you can see just from the abstract the problems with it.
Contributions from vaping to air pollutant concentrations in the home did not exceed the California OEHHA 8-h reference exposure levels (RELs), except when a high emitting device was used at 4.8 V. In that extreme scenario, the contributions from vaping amounted to as much as 12 μg m–3 formaldehyde and 2.6 μg m–3 acrolein.
Yes, it's the old crank-it-up-to-11-and-measure-the-bad-stuff approach again. Junk scientists cling to this method to produce their lies, even though they know very well that in real life conditions no vaper would ever push their equipment to such absurd extremes. But then, tobacco controllers are not interested in proper science, just convincing vacant journalists to produce a fraudulent headline.

If you want to read more how the power an e-cig to destruction scam works, see this review by Clive Bates including a letter to some of the researchers who were referenced in this latest piss poor study. The research cited by the Daily Mail's 'scientists' has been debunked over and over again, but they keep referring back to it because - despite their knowing it is plain wrong scientifically, so therefore fraudulent- it fits the conclusion they wish to press release to the media.

However, it's even worse than that. For a start, there were no real measurements taken for the study, it was all 'modelled' on data they extracted from elsewhere. So when the Mail article talks about "people in bars where vaping is allowed are exposed" you may be fooled into thinking that this scenario was thoroughly tested in real life by these 'scientists'. Not so, because not a single wisp of vapour was produced during the study, it was just a computer program predicting what might happen under certain scenarios.

So, of course, the frauds who produced this research entered a whole load of garbage into the computer to produce the result that they wanted to come to. Therefore, they predicted extreme e-cig emissions from a high-powered device - which most e-cigs aren't - and ignored the fact that people using those which are would instantly taste the disgusting bad chemicals and stop vaping.
These emission rates were used as inputs to calculate indoor air pollutant concentrations using home and bar scenarios as described in the Supplementary Information.
But ... it's even worse than even that! Their central assumption was that 20-40% of the vapour comes out of a user's mouth without being inhaled and do you know where they got that from?  Well, a study of how much "sidestream" smoke is emitted by smokers when smoking tobacco, naturally. The amount of vapour which escapes before being inhaled has never actually been studied, and these 'scientists' certainly didn't want to be the first ones to do so because it would have fucked up their pre-determined plan. They even admit that it's a shoddy way of doing things themselves in the study text.
It should be noted that puff duration and other topography parameters are different for conventional and electronic cigarettes, and for that reason using [mouth spill] derived from tobacco cigarettes may be a source of bias.
Ya don't say!

Because who uses high-powered e-cig devices? Well, sub-ohmers do, and anyone who knows how sub-ohming works knows that it is a vaping activity that means taking the vapour directly into the lung so - surprise, surprise - results in no vapour at all accidentally spilling out of the mouth before it is inhaled, let alone 30% of the vapour produced by the device.

If you take pretend vapour from a pretend model using a device running at unrealistic levels, and then assume 30% is spilt from the mouth and not inhaled - which is bullshit and never happens - it's very easy to then create a scenario whereby you can get a computer to measure high levels of chemicals which would never occur in the real world.

This, in tobacco control circles, is what they call "science". In all other areas, it is described as "Garbage in, Garbage Out" which - oddly enough - is a fine description of the tobacco control profession as a whole. 

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