Archive | April, 2014

Please don’t cite the new Nutt et al. paper as evidence for tobacco harm reduction

5 Apr

An elaborate analytical synopsis of what Junk Science is when it attempts to be actual, when it’s not based on the factual.

Tobacco harm reduction, anti-THR lies, and related topics

by Carl V Phillips

Some of you may have seen this new paper by Nutt et al. that purports to show the comparative costs imposed by various tobacco products.  There might be some temptation to cite it as evidence of the benefits of switching from smoking to smoke-free alternatives.  But I urge you not to do that for the reasons explained below.

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Dear Mr Drakeford…

3 Apr

The train came and went. Stop taking smoker’s only miracle of freedom away it’s the public’s choice!

Save e-cigs

This is our letter to Mr Drakeford AM, Welsh Government Health Minister, after the announcement today that e cigarettes are to be banned in public places.


Dear Mr Drakeford,

Welsh Government proposals to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places

Professor John Britton, of The Royal College of Physicians, said: “If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started using e-cigarettes we would save five million deaths in people who are alive today. It’s a massive potential public health prize.”[1] It is therefore very disappointing that the Welsh Government is proposing a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces, substantially enclosed public places, and places of work in Wales.

This proposal is sadly typical of the thinking of those who appear hostile to e-cigarettes. They do not know very much about them and show very little interest in finding out more.

In your…

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Letter to the Editor

1 Apr

Save e-cigs

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 11.19.15

Our letter to the Editor, in response to this:

Dear Sir,

Your recent article, ‘No smoke without fire! Kids are caught puffing on e-cigarettes in school’, stated that children across Liverpool were ‘puffing on e-cigarettes’, taking them to school, and that they were becoming a ‘prominent’ part of youth culture. These statements were based on a new report compiled by the Health Equalities Group (HEG) and the centre for public health at Liverpool John Moores University, entitled ‘Young People’s Perceptions and Experiences of Electronic Cigarettes’. The report concluded that ‘urgent action was needed to stop this new trend (using e-cigarettes) amongst young people’.

The impression given by the report and your article is that e-cigarettes manufactures are deliberately targeting children with advertising and flavours. These children, in large numbers, are taken in by this advertising and go on to become e-cigarette users and ultimately smokers. All this is allowed…

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What would we know about cigarettes and health if they were as new as e-cigarettes?

1 Apr

Tobacco harm reduction, anti-THR lies, and related topics

by Carl V Phillips

The question in the title (h/t to Rolygate for posing it to me) is intriguing.  If cigarettes had been used for less than a decade, and had seen the rate of uptake that e-cigarettes have seen, how much would we know about their health effects right now, and how does that compare to what we know about e-cigarettes?

For purposes of this exercise, assume that we have current general epidemiology knowledge and methods (ex knowledge about cigarettes per se, of course).  That is more complicated a counterfactual than you might realize because of how entangled the early history of epidemiology was with research on cigarettes.  However, even if semi-modern methods got a later start, epidemiology has evolved so ridiculously slowly that it is not unreasonable to assume we could have about the same level of development.  We would have to assume that there would not…

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