by Carl V Phillips
Those of you who follow this blog but do not follow me on social media may be unaware that I am now writing for The Daily Vaper, a unit of The Daily Caller newspaper. Since the time and energy I spend doing that is basically the same time and energy I spent on this blog, there may not be a lot here. Not none, but a lot less.
I will try to do a periodic post here to index my Daily Vaper articles, particularly calling attention to the ones that would have been good fits for this blog.
I have written two antiTHRlies-style science lesson articles for Daily Vaper so far. One is an expansion on part of my previous post here, that debunked the analysis of a paper by Robert West. That Daily Vaper science lesson offers a terse presentation of the various causal pathways from vaping to smoking cessation. One of the major flaws in the West paper is that the authors (without saying they were doing so) incorrectly assumed that four of the five pathways did not exist.
The other science lesson is my briefest analysis ever of why almost everything you read about a gateway effect is wrong.
I wrote an article about the latest in the formaldehyde-in-vapor wars, featuring Igor Burstyn and Clive Bates, which is similar to the science analysis pieces I have written here.
I am rather proud of two pieces about absurd and cruel research FDA was doing on monkeys in pursuit of their policy goals of mandating lower-nicotine products. The first reported on how FDA reportedly caved to pressure to end the cruel and useless research. The second, based on an analysis of FOIA-obtained documents about the research, reported that the research was actually probably already completed, or at least close to it. It then assessed the research protocol to glean insight into how FDA is going to spin this research to further their political goals. In particular, FDA is planning to suggest this research — which looked at how much nicotine tortured monkeys (captive, isolated, bored, restrained) will inject into their artery by pushing a lever — somehow tells us something about human tobacco use behavior. I hope to get more documents and follow up on these.
I am equally proud of a series on FDA’s registration system, which e-cigarette manufacturers (a category that includes anyone who mixes e-cigarette liquid) are racing to use to register all their products. The series reports on what a disaster the system has proven to be: bad planning, bad design, technical failures, and terrible instructions and customer support. In particular, I reported this:
It has long been clear that the FDA does not have the capacity to expand from the traditional tobacco products they regulate, which amount to a few thousand. There’s simply no way they can handle registering – let alone regulating – millions of vapor products. The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association noted this when commenting on the proposed deeming regulation in 2014. In 2015 comments about the deeming regulation presented to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (the internal government watchdog), CASAA warned that, “FDA does not even have the capacity to handle the resulting registration paperwork.” This has proven to be the case.
I could not say it in a proper news article, but I will go ahead and take credit here, noting that I wrote both of those linked documents. Let this be a lesson to anyone who doubts my predictions :-).
Anyway, the articles are here, here, here, and here. The above quote and related analysis comes from the second. Readers of this blog might also be particularly interested in the fourth, and what it says about FDA’s attitude toward regulating e-cigarettes and tobacco products in general.
Finally, I led off my new secret identity as a mild-mannered reporter with a basic news story about the (probably temporary) defeat of a proposed tax on vapor products in Connecticut.
So please go check some or all of these out if you have not. While you are there, please check out the other reporting in The Daily Vaper and consider following it on social media or via email subscription.