Category Archives: Lies

Regular entries for this blog – bits of the catalog of lies.

New Phillips-Nissen-Rodu working paper

by Carl V Phillips

Those of you who read this blog might be interested in the new working paper by myself, Catherine Nissen, and Brad Rodu that I just posted at my other blog. It is not about THR per se, but it is closely related and has key THR aspects. Mostly it shows how the almost the entire enterprise of smoking cessation — as both an individual or policy matter — is misguided because of a few identifiable points of confusion, and a bit about how to fix this. (Yes, that is a rather ambitious characterization. You can tell me if you think it is wrong.)

FDA proudly harasses retailers for selling lowest-risk products

by Carl V Phillips

This is basically an update of this post, in which I analyzed FDA’s banning of new flavors of Ariva/Stonewall products by declaring them “not substantially equivalent” to the previous flavors. But I thought it deserved a post of its own.

You will recall that I noted (a) that the banned products were from a family of products that might well be the lowest-risk products on the market, (b) the stated reason for the ban was that they contained more (presumably an inconsequential amount) of one chemical, and (c) if a bit more of one chemical constitutes “not substantially equivalent” then basically nothing is ever substantially equivalent.

Today FDA proudly announced that they are also harassing retailers who still have some of the banned products still on their shelves (and posting their names and addresses, no less). The manufacturer has presumably stopped shipping these products, but they are slow-moving (they never really caught on, despite having some dedicated adherents and probably being ultra-low risk) so it is not surprising that retailers still have some on the shelf.

You might think that an agency whose job it is to protect the public’s health would not spend government money (and waste perfectly good product) by hassling retailers who are innocently selling off their remaining stock of a very-low-risk product, probably completely unaware of the ban. Moreover, you might think that a regulatory agency in charge of this would know who actually manufactures the products (they list Star Scientific Inc. on the webpage, but Star go out of this business a while ago and sold the brand to a new company started by their former employees).

You would be wrong.

What is wrong with ecig particulate claims – the simple version

by Carl V Phillips

One of the two blogs (excluding this one — I will leave that judgment to others) you should read every word of, if you are interested in understanding the sciences surrounding THR, is Clive Bates’s. So I suspect most of my reader have already seen this impressive piece he wrote about the series of nonsense claims about e-cigarettes producing dangerous exposure to tiny airborne particulates. However, I found myself thinking “that is so long and goes into so much detail that I think the point might be lost.” You know that you are being wordy if you provoke that from me! :-) Clive joked that I was going to write a haiku version of it, but I don’t think I could pull that off, so here is merely a shorter summary of the main point and an additional fatal flaw that he did not address. Continue reading

Smoking trends don’t show whether ecigs are “working”. Ever. So quit it!

by Carl V Phillips

Live by the sword….

A new study by Goniewicz et al. found that smoking and e-cigarette trialing[*] are both up in Poland. They conclude based on that (yes, just on that — my sentence fully sums up their results), “Observed parallel increase in e-cigarette use and smoking prevalence does not support the idea that e-cigarettes are displacing tobacco cigarettes in this population.” It turns out that simple sentence is wrong in its details (the trend was not remotely parallel) while right in its conclusion. But that is only because the conclusion is basically always true: There is no conceivable data from population usage trends that could either support or deny the conclusion that e-cigarettes are displacing cigarettes. Continue reading

ANTZ try to redefine “astroturf” to mean “anything they don’t like”

by Carl V Phillips

CASAA is amused, proud, and annoyed (but mostly amused) to be the topic of a new research paper. Of course, we have been mentioned in papers a dozen times before, not including in our own work, and are most proud of being mentioned as the sponsor of Igor Burstyn’s seminal paper. But never before were we the main subject of the study. Of course, the paper was written by ANTZ and so it should come as no surprise that its main claim is a serious lie.

The paper, by Jenine K Harris (Washington University in St. Louis), Sarah Moreland-Russell, PhD (WU), Bechara Choucair (Chicago Department of Public Health[*]), Raed Mansour (CDPH), Mackenzie Staub (WU), and Kendall Simmons (WU), published at Journal of Medical Internet Research, is actually a little bit interesting. Continue reading

CDC lying about e-cigarettes again (outsource)

by Carl V Phillips

No time for new analyses here for a few days. You are probably still trying to catch up on the recent deluge anyway. (If you really miss me, you can read the comment I submitted to BMC Public Health about Popova and Ling, based on the previous post.)

In the meantime, I will outsource. Please go read Brad Rodu’s assessment of the latest nonsense and double-talk from CDC.

New public health research: lying to people can affect them (as if they didn’t already know)

by Carl V Phillips

A new paper in the normally more-respectable BMC Public Health, by never-respectable ANTZ at the University of California (San Francisco) reports research that mostly showed that, if people were given disinformation claiming (nonexistent) health effects from smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes, accompanied by gory pictures, then they will be tricked into to thinking the risk was higher. Surprise!

Well, of course, it is no surprise that people can be tricked and no surprise that UCSF “researchers” would conduct such unethical research. It is rather more of a surprise that the non-ANTZ BMC Public Health would publish it and that an ethics committee would allow it to be done. Ok, maybe not the latter — the ethics committees are pretty much in the pocket of public health. That committee at UCSF probably would never allow, say, Farsalinos’s survey of e-cigarette users, and would trump up some claim that it was a threat to the study subjects, whereas they allowed serial liars Lucy Popova and Pamela M Ling a free hand to tell people they might as well smoke.

Anyway, Clive Bates was first off the block in responding to this travesty, and he covered the breadth of it well, so I am not going to reinvent the wheel here.  Go read what he wrote first. Then come back to this, wherein I go deeper into a few specific points. Continue reading

Follow-up on how medics doomed public health – case studies

by Carl V Phillips

Yesterday I posted a long essay, a history-of-science analysis that wove in news events and personal flashbacks (hey, what author doesn’t want to be Kurt Vonnegut or Thomas Pynchon?), about why the public health profession ended up being the hate-filled anti-humanitarian institution that it is today. You will recall that it was ultimately the medics, not the temperance nuts, who were responsible for the downfall of public health. Today a case study, and a bit of a second, that provide some further illustration and some comic relief (there is no other way to play it — it is too absurdly horrifying to present as other than comedy). Continue reading