Nice pop press article on the benefits of nicotine (outsource)

by Carl V Phillips

I am seldom inclined to outsource to a popular press article, but this article in Discover magazine, by Dan Hurley does a very nice job of presenting the case for the positive effects of nicotine in an easy breezy style. I recommend it. It is designed to just argue the affirmative case — it is not at all balanced — but arguing the affirmative case has a lot of value when most people do not even realize there is such a case. Continue reading

CDC prepares to launch massive anti-ecig lie campaign

by Carl V Phillips

In a move whose dishonesty, flouting of government ethics, and abuse of the interests of the citizenry are as great as NSA spying or concocting fake casus belli, the CDC has announced that it plans to try to discourage smokers from switching to e-cigarettes. The plan is recounted in this Wall Street Journal article. This effort could easily cause more American deaths than the Iraq war; indeed, if it takes off, it could cause more total deaths.

CDC’s decades of anti-THR lies about smokeless tobacco have played a major role in discouraging smokers from switching throughout the world, and the toll from that is huge. (Ironically, many vapers and e-cigarette supporters still believe those lies. Stockholm syndrome maybe?) That effort caused the early deaths of tens of thousands, if not millions, of people. Now they seem to be ramping up their simmering attacks on e-cigarettes to another full-blown homicidal campaign.

Continue reading

New CDC study on how to write conclusions that do not follow from the analysis

by Carl V Phillips

If you read the title of the paper (peer-reviewed journal article!), “Nicotine and the Developing Human, A Neglected Element in the Electronic Cigarette Debate” by Lucinda J. England, Rebecca E. Bunnell, Terry F. Pechacek, Van T. Tong, MPH, and Tim A. McAfee (all employees of the U.S. CDC), you might think it was a study of the effects of nicotine. But upon reading the abstract and noticing that it merely has some vague hand-waving about that, and is mostly about “needed” policy interventions, you would probably think it is instead a policy analysis. But it is neither. It is a case study of how “public health” people do not think that conclusions and policy recommendations need to be based on any analysis whatsoever. Continue reading

Science Lesson: what are vapor, aerosol, particles, liquids, and such?

by Carl V Phillips

There is much confusion about states of matter as they relate to e-cigarette “vapor”. This post is intended to explain what you need to know about them.

The word “vapor” has become a generally accepted term for “what comes out of an e-cigarette”. That means what it means, and that is fine. Common language often takes technical terms and uses them in a way that is “incorrect” if interpreted as if it were the technical term. But this can create confusion. Continue reading

Pamphlet: Tobacco harm reduction, e-cigarettes, and e-cigarette use: an overview

by Carl V Phillips

For a seminar at the U.S. Senate offices today (which also featured Gregory Conley and CASAA’s Igor Burstyn), I prepared a handout that I think is the best way to give an overview of what the title describes.

[Update: I neglected to mention that the event was hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), in the person of CASAA advisor Sally Satel. They and she did a great job of planning the event and getting a lot of people there to hear what we had to say. It was a great contribution to the cause.]

It is aimed at people who know a little bit about the topic, and thus have probably heard bits of the usual misinformation, but are fuzzy on even the basics. It glosses over the health science because Igor was covering that.

I figured I might as well share it more widely: Phillips – harm reduction and ecigs handout (pdf) [updated 19mar15 based on comments plus some additional tidying]. Comments welcome and feel free to share it. We will probably turn it into some sort of “permanent” CASAA document.

The only thing from my talk that is not in the document that is worth mentioning: When talking about the myth that flavors appeal only to kids, I pointed out that, as I understand, not too far from where we were sitting there is an Official Senate Candy Dish.

What is peer review really? (part 8 – the case of Borderud et al.)

by Carl V Phillips

A few months ago, Borderud, Li, Burkhalter, Sheffer, and Ostroff, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center published a paper in the peer-reviewed journal, Cancer, that they claimed showed that using e-cigarettes did not help — and indeed hindered — attempts to quit smoking by cancer patients who enrolled in a smoking cessation program. The problem is that it showed no such thing. Instead, what is shows quite clearly is just how bad journal peer review really is in this field. Continue reading

New Phillips working paper on THR-related gateway claims

by Carl V Phillips

My new working paper, “Gateway effects: why the cited evidence does not support their existence for low-risk tobacco products (and what evidence would)” is summarized and available for download at EP-ology.

New research reveals 27 new deadly hazards from e-cigarettes

by Carl V Phillips

Following on the headline-producing success of recent scaremongering research on e-cigarettes, a flurry of new studies have been produced. A spokesman for the U.S. Fooling and Dramatizing Agency remarked, “we thought it was great when someone figured out that if you cook e-cigarette liquid up to welding temperatures that it produced lots of formaldehyde. So we thought, hey, we have billions of dollars to support that kind of research, so what else can we fund?” The answer was, indeed, impressive. Continue reading