Scientist Exposes ‘Sham’ Methodology Linking E-Cigarettes To Smoking

Scientist Exposes ‘Sham’ Methodology Linking E-Cigarettes To Smoking

Vaping Study Wrong
A Swiss study claiming vaping can lead to smoking and harms current smokers’ chance of quitting suffers from “fatal” flaws, and the paper’s conclusions are misrepresentative, according to a leading public health expert.

“We found no beneficial effects of vaping at follow-up for either smoking cessation or smoking reduction,” the authors conclude in the study.

But Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, has written a damning critique of the study, which was published in Swiss Medical Weekly.

“Instead, the study measures – at follow-up – whether the participants had used an electronic cigarette any time in the past year,” he continued. “They could have used an e-cigarette for the first time the previous day, for example, and would still be considered as vapers in the analysis.” (RELATED: CDC Data Blows Away Popular E-Cigarette Criticism)

Siegel points out that the researchers don’t compare the changes in smoking behavior over time between vapers and non-vapers. The study only measures changes in smoking over the past year and whether the subjects had ever used an e-cigarette. So, in Siegel’s words, the “study methods do not allow the investigators to determine which came first.”

“Because it is a cross-sectional study, it is impossible to know whether the change in smoking status preceded the use of electronic cigarettes or whether the use of electronic cigarettes preceded the smoking status change,” he wrote.

This omission is critical, as it casts severe doubt over the claim that e-cigarettes are a cause of smoking initiation or failure to quit. The second fatal flaw is that the question used to assess vaping behavior only asked about ever use of e-cigarettes,” Siegel wrote. “It does not assess the frequency of use or its duration. According to the methodology, participants were merely asked whether they had ‘used’ e-cigarettes at any point in the past 12 months.”

But the term “used” was not clarified. Vapers, as defined in the study, included anyone who so much as tried one e-cigarette. “It is entirely possible that many of the participants who the study called vapers were actually not vapers at all, but merely people who had tried an e-cigarette,” Siegel added. (RELATED: CDC Admits, No ‘Concrete’ Evidence E-Cigarettes Are Gateway To Smoking

Siegel’s criticism comes soon after a meta-study arguing that e-cigarettes made it harder for people quit smoking received widespread criticism from health professionals, and was branded an “unscientific hatchet Job.”

Vaping: UK Grants License For E-Cigarettes As Quit Smoking Aid

UK Grants License For E-Cigarettes As Quit Smoking Aid

In the UK, vaping is now legally licensed as a smoking aid, and e-cigarettes can now be prescribed to be used as a way for smokers to quit. Britain officially gives license to the product e-Voke as a medicinal quitting alternative.

This is sort of controversial since ironically – e-Voke is produced by a British American Tobacco – one of the world’s biggest tobacco brands. UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) tells that the decision to regulate e-cigarettes is in the interests of people who can use it as a quit smoking device.

Still, many health communities are concerned about the potential risks of vaping. Since it is still a new habit, long-term studies has not yet been conducted. The long-term effects are also not clear as of now, and will be further investigated by scientists.

But it is claimed that vaping is a much safer alternative, since tobacco-based cigarettes still claims nearly 6 million deaths per year, as reported by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Public Health England reported that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to people’s health than regular cigarettes. Still, moderation and more research is needed on this area.

British Prime Minister David Cameron made headlines before when he endorsed e-cigarettes as a quitting aid, since he himself is an admitted smoker who struggles to quit.

“Certainly as somebody who has been through this battle a number of times, eventually relatively successfully, lots of people find different ways of doing it and certainly for some people e-cigarettes are successful. So I think we should be making clear that this is a very legitimate path for many people to improve their health and the health of the nation,” according to the Prime Minister.