With the rise of vaping as a legitimate healthier alternative to smoking, many anti-vaping groups grow louder each day. However, though most of their anti-vape stories are poorly researched, mainstream media still pick them up. The Nursing Times gives a strong counter to their pseudo-science.
Everyday, whether via social media, traditional media, television, and even select magazine, anti-vaping groups try their best to damn electronic cigarettes.
While most of these stories are poorly researched and backed up by flawed science, the media still picks up their stories, helping spread falsehoods about vaping in general.
In one instance, The Sacramento Bee exclaimed, “The Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that kids who try e-cigs are far more likely to graduate to regular cigarettes.”
The obviously biased study goes on to say that it has “found that e-cigarettes are – as suspected – a gateway habit, opening the door to a public health menace.”
What makes the editorial even more absurd is that it was written anonymously. The writer was obviously trying to hide his name, most likely knowing his or her facts are wrong.
However, The Nursing Times will not take these faulty articles get away clean. Jenni Middleton, the editor of the magazine, wrote: “The Telegraph and the Mail Online overplayed the fears about e-cigarettes being a gateway for teens into tobacco use. The Telegraph wrongly stated that 68% of those who had tried e-cigarettes went on to smoke tobacco – the true figure was 37.5%. The Mail Online reported the percentages correctly, but did not say that these results were based on just 16 young people who had tried e-cigarettes.”
The Telegraph stated that “young people who try e-cigarettes are much more likely to start smoking, scientists have concluded.” Middleton promptly points out the fact that these statements are based on only 16 responses out of 700. A conclusion drawn out of such a small sample size should not be taken as fact.
Middleton added, “the reporting of the study could give the impression that the findings represented a consensus opinion, which is certainly not the case. The study has come in for harsh criticism from independent experts in public health.”
Professor Robert West, another scholar who gets tired of sweeping generalization about vaping said, “This kind of propaganda by major medical journals brings public health science into disrepute and is grist to the mill of apologists for the tobacco industry who accuse us of ‘junk science’.”
Middleton continued pointing out the flaws of the study. She said, “Of the people surveyed, 728, only 507 of these people responded to the survey again a year later.
“This type of study can never prove that one thing (in this case trying e-cigarettes) causes another (trying tobacco cigarettes). Young people try lots of things while they grow up, and some people are more likely than others to take risks. It is perhaps not surprising that those who try e-cigarettes are also more likely to try tobacco,” Middleton added.