September 16, 2019
Over the last three months, the news has been filled with stories of people falling ill from a mystery lung ailment supposedly caused by vaping. The majority of the coverage has been incomplete, inaccurate, and done little more than scare and confuse the public. Anti-vaping activists and certain public health agencies that have long wished to ban e-cigarettes have skillfully exploited this confusion to convince people the outbreak is a manifestation of the health threat posed by e-cigarettes, of which they have long warned. Worse, they are using such scare tactigs as justification for restrictions or bans on these products, which have helped millions of adult smokers quit their deadly habit.
August 27, 2019
News media around the world have picked up on the story of “vaping-linked” hospitalizations. Most have omitted the fact that black market marijuana e-liquid has been identified as the culprit in some of these cases, while not a single case has been linked to nicotine-only e-cigarettes. Interestingly, most of those falling ill are in states where marijuana for recreational use is only available through the black market.
August 23, 2019
H.P. Lovecraft opined in 1931 that “if religion were true its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into artificial conformity, but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth ….” Of all the professions in the world, one might think scientists would be most inclined to agree with this sentiment. But, as the case of Dr. Marewa Glover demonstrates, anti-tobacco research has become more religion than science, where anyone who dares to deviate from or even question the prevailing dogma is cast out as a heretic.
August 6, 2019
The goal of the government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to provide simple advice that promotes nutritional health, but for millions of Americans it may do exactly the opposite. The recommendations, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), may appear harmless. There remains, however, little evidence that the Guidelines have helped reduce obesity in America and some evidence that it may actually have made it worse.
July 30, 2019
Over the last four weeks, eight Wisconsin teenagers have been hospitalized with severe lung damage. The news that vaping caused these illnesses has swept across social media and is, predictably, being used to push for more government restrictions on e-cigarettes. But, what few of these reports have pointed out is that it seems most—if not all—of the hospitalizations were related, not to e-cigarettes, but illicit “street vapes.”
July 16, 2019
Is this a story from The Onion? It’s a question we often ask ourselves these days when we encounter stories online that seem too ridiculous to be true. Sadly, Cheantay Jensen’s recent article about why she returned to smoking is not satire.
June 12, 2019
Regulators at the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had an opportunity in 2016 to move marijuana into a less restrictive category of controlled substances. This could have ended the ongoing conflict between federal law, which considers the sale of marijuana illegal in all cases, and the laws of the states, almost all of which consider some form of marijuana legal. The DEA, however, rejected petitions to reclassify marijuana.
May 16, 2019
Readers of The New York Times deserve better than advertising masquerading as righteous opinion writing. While reporters at Times get credit for exploring and exposing conflicts of interest among its reporters or sources, their commitment to ethical journalism is not consistently applied. See the paper’s coverage of e-cigarette controversies.
April 15, 2019
E-cigarettes pose less risk than smoking. The science is clear: while cigarettes kill about half their users, e-cigarettes have perhaps five percent of the risk. Therefore, e-cigarettes have the ability to save the lives of those smokers who switch to vaping. Yet, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is trying to eradicate e-cigarettes, a move that would sacrifice smoker lives and squander one of the greatest public health opportunities of our generation.
April 4, 2019
Journalists aren’t the only purveyors of “fake news.” Federal agencies also generate misleading headlines. Sometimes, they do it with a purpose. That seems to be the case with the Food and Drug Administration’s recent press release warning the public about a possible link between e-cigarettes and seizures.