Followers of our blog will know how sceptical we’ve been regarding news stories demonizing e cigarettes in the media. Here in the UK we have the NHS, who have given their full backing to electronic cigarettes and are even offering them free to people who want to quit smoking. They’ve obviously done their research and wouldn't make a decision like that lightly, but still we see news reports that want to prevent or put people off from using e cigarettes. Why is this we wonder? It seems Cancer Research UK have also picked up on these dubious studies as can be highlighted by their article here.
Cancer Research UK have picked up on a US study that claims smokers who don’t use e-cigarettes are more likely to quit smoking than those who use them. Now this flies in the face of all the research done by Public Health England and the NHS, so it must be a serious report eh?
But it seems experts reporting on the study disagree.
Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention champion, said: “While its breadth is to be commended, its conclusions (that e-cigarettes don’t work for smoking cessation) are at best tentative and at worst incorrect.”
Rosanna O’ Connor, Director of Tobacco, Alcohol & Drugs, Public Health England, said: “Evidence from practice in England shows that two out of three smokers who combined e-cigarettes with additional expert support from a local stop smoking service quit.”
Prof. Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), said: “This review is grossly misleading in my opinion. There are several problems with the way studies were selected and used, but the main flaw is simple, though not easy to spot. The studies that are presented as showing that vaping does not help people quit only recruited people who were currently smoking and asked them if they used e-cigarettes in the past. This means that people who used e-cigarettes and stopped smoking were excluded. The same approach would show that proven stop-smoking medications do not help or even undermine quitting.”
So the experts in England are saying the US study is incorrect and grossly misleading. It isn’t the first study that’s been misleading and we’re sure it won’t be the last. The worst part of these studies are when news outlets run the stories as fact. We recently saw a similar case that was reported just in time to catch the New Year resolution quitters.
It’s commendable that Cancer Research UK have picked up on this and we can only hope other organisations are just as quick to see through the lies and misinformation that are spread through these so called scientific studies.
Conspiracy theories are yet to be proven, but can’t be discounted as history has shown us that it is indeed possible. And although the UK seem to be leading the world in common sense, these dubious kind of studies haven’t gone unnoticed in the US either.
As vapers it is our duty to call out any of these misleading reports where ever we see them. Big Tobacco make money out of selling a product that is highly addictive and proven to be severely bad for our health. Electronic cigarettes give us a way out of their grip and it stands to reason Big Tobacco will do everything in their power to prevent it.
Kudos to Cancer Research UK for calling out this latest so called ‘scientific’ study and Kudos to all the experts that were quick to shoot it down. It’s instances like this that make you proud to be British.