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A marathon of misinformation: The divisive result of the latest vaping news
If you were to walk into any e-cigarette store in the UK and ask the question ‘Is vaping safer than smoking’, every single one would tell you the same thing. Yes.
You may ask why companies like us say this. Is it our attempts to mislead you into a purchase? Is it our desire to save face around negative press? Are we simply making assumptions without proper foundation? The answer is, and will always be, no.
We have made it our goal to present a product that is clinically proven to be safer than tobacco to a world that is desperate need for a quitting tool. We want to see a reduction in cancer rates, the end of big tobacco and a future that is healthier for all of us, and this comes first for the entire vaping industry.
We spend each and every day collecting research, both positive and negative, to create an accurate and unbiased report of the risks associated with vaping. And in the four years we have operated, we always find the same answer. Vaping is overwhelming better for you than smoking.
It succeeds as a safer smoking alternative and a smoking cessation tool, with almost 10 years of in-depth research to prove this. It has provided a community of millions of smokers with the opportunity to change their lives, an opportunity that wouldn’t exist without this industry. We’ve seen customers suffering from severe side-effects of frequent tobacco usage improve their health and outlook with the help of vaping devices, and we are certain that even more can enjoy the same benefits.
We truly believe that vaping can change the world, and it’s already begun.
But, you may be wondering why we have to discuss this yet again? History repeats itself, as a recent study highlighted by the Daily Mail claims that Vaping can increase the risk of cancer in users. This has led to a wave of negative press, condemnation of the industry and many vapers now looking to return to smoking.
How do we respond?
Frankly, you’re being misled.
So where does this research come from?
Researchers at New York University exposed human organ cells and lab mice to ‘e-liquid vapour’ and discovered that they became cancerous at a higher rate than expected. Sounds fairly straight forward, doesn’t it?
With a deeper look, that isn’t the case. The methods used simply are not conclusive enough, or accurate enough to promote this response. Here is just a basic overview of the concerns voiced by professionals:
- The damage to DNA and cancer risk found in the study was hypothesised to be a result of nicotine. However, researchers from the University College London, the Nation Institute of Health and Care Excellence and the Medicines and Healthcare Product Regulatory Agency have concluded that nicotine is not a carcinogen, and does not cause long term damage to the body.
- The study, at no point, provides a relative comparison to smoking. Recent studies from the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England have shown that e-cigarettes have a 95% reduction in harm when compared to smoking, which is not represented in the study itself. Other researchers have come to similar conclusions, pointing to a reduction in cancer risk of around 50,000 from Italian researchers Stabile and Buonanno. This has been followed with further results from the University of St Andrews, which theorized that vaping poses only a 1% risk of harm when compared to smoking.
- Cell cultures are historically poor indicators of the effect of certain chemicals on humans. In 2017, thousands of cell culture and human health studies were invalidated after a contamination dating back 60 years. (It should be noted that the Daily Mail was also found to be misreporting information about the effect on the NHS at that point as well). Cell culture studies are very early tests, the results of which are often found to not apply when introduced to humans.
- Animal testing also is not a reliable source of information on how chemicals affect humans. Regarding cancer tests on lab rats, Daniel G. Hackman MD reported that only 37% of lab rat results can be replicated in humans, with a further 18% leading to contradicting results. That comes from extremely high grade and controlled studies, with poorly conducted research offering an even lower strike rate. For example, Thalidomide, a drug that caused horrific birth defects, did not show the same results in lab rats when research was undertaken.
- The nicotine containing aerosols may not being indicative of commercially available E-liquid, devices or nicotine content. It does not take into account the variety available, nor does it accommodate for how products provide custom options for power, e-liquid ingredients or other variables.
The result is that this study does not offer conclusive results, and leads with speculation, not fact. Furthermore, it drastically conflicts with established research, and more constructive evidence from senior research bodies.
This conflict of evidence leads to a failure to establish trust in the results. We cannot hold this research up an example of the dangers of vaping when so many concerns exist.
The Daily Mail
It is common knowledge that the Daily Mail is not a reputable source for news, yet they continue to reach the public and inform a large portion of the UK.
The reason why is simple, the Daily Mail is extremely effective at grabbing your attention. Every headline you see from the newspaper commits to the same formula, by which it announces a scandal and uses misleading language to draw you in to reading further.
The Daily Mail is a news source, like many others, that relies on this kind of approach, gaining money every time a viewer jumps onto their pages via advertisements covering their site.
They also have a very negative view towards vaping. The reason? Scandals are more interesting than good news. The Daily Mail has a storied history of not exactly being accurate with their sources, taking information and twisting it into something that will stir emotion in its readers. Truth and rationality take a back seat in many cases.
Here are a few examples:
Things the Daily Mail has reported on in the past, all of which were proven false:
- Disabled babies were being euthanized under the Liverpool Care Pathway.
- A Portsmouth primary school had denied pupils water on the hottest day of the year because it was Ramadan.
- Wolves would soon return to Britain.
- A Tamil refugee, on hunger strike in Parliament Square, was secretly eating McDonald’s burgers.
- Elton John ordered guests at his Aids charity ball to speak to him only if spoken to.
- Local authorities were plotting to expel Christmas from public life and replace it with the secular festival of Winterval.
- A restaurant in Uganda was serving human meat.
- Israel opened dams to flood the Gaza Strip.
- Oral sex is good for women’s health and helps fight depression.
- Accused Police Commander Brian Paddick of using cocaine and prostitutes after bribing friends to provide false testimony.
- Women in work are more likely to give birth to a child with Autism.
- Published fake murder trial results, including falsified testimony from Judges.
- Manipulated evidence to discredit Global Warming proof.
In recent years, The Daily Mail has been banned as source from Wikipedia, who states that they are ‘generally unreliable’. The Daily Mail is known to deliberately tout misinformation as truth.
The Daily Mail article in question shows clear signs of the same thing:
- The article implies vape companies suggested tobacco heating products were healthy. Vape companies do not imply this, to the point where most refuse to sell the products altogether.
- It implies that vaping caused cancer cells in the research, despite the study offering no direct conclusion or hard evidence that it does.
- It suggests that vaping is considered healthy. Vaping is not considered healthy by anyone in the industry; it is known to reduce the risks from smoking by about 95% and should be used as a cessation tool first. Any vape store would say the same thing, making its customers aware of a 3% margin of risk associated with the use of nicotine.
- The article attempts to make a scandalous statement in the form of ‘e-cigarette smokers might have a higher risk than non-smokers of developing lung and bladder cancers and heart diseases.’ Again, this statement does not take into account the reduction in risk when compared to smoking, and seems to insinuate that there is a high risk, which is simply not the case according to more reliable research.
The Daily Mail should be viewed with a degree of scepticism. Misinformation is their business, the repercussions be damned.
And other, far more trustworthy sources agree.
The media got their hands on the news, prompting a surge of negative opinions towards the industry. Vaping figure heads were interrogated on television, a massive social media revolt against vaping began and thousands were lead to believe that vaping will kill you faster than smoking.
This is a tragedy, and it’s not just vapers who believe so. Cancer research UK, the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, the Guardian, the Telegraph and more have condemned the dangerous reporting techniques, instead rationalising the results.
Jasmine Just from Cancer Research UK had this to say:
“The evidence so far shows that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking. Research like this is important, but this lab study only looked at the effects of e-cigarette smoke on cells and on mice, which means it’s not possible to draw any conclusions from this about how e-cigarettes might affect people in real life.’
“Up to two-thirds of long term smokers will die because of their addiction, but e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco. Instead they contain nicotine, which is what keeps people addicted, but is not responsible for the major health harms from smoking.
“Research in people has shown that those who make a complete switch from smoking tobacco to e-cigarettes can significantly reduce their exposure to key harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke.”
Cancer Research UK has argued that according to their research, vaping does not cause cancer and should be looked to as a solution to smoking addiction.
This sentiment has been echoed by the Telegraph, who summed up the argument commendably and simply. In their response article, they made the reality of vaping clear:
‘If you smoke, and want to live a long life, stop smoking. If you want to stop smoking, you will probably find it easier to quit if you turn to e-cigarettes, or “vaping”. Vaping is not completely harmless but it is far, far, far less harmful for you than smoking.’
The results are clear to see, and its what companies like ourselves have been saying for years. The sad truth is that misunderstanding, bias and fearmongering will continue as long as journalistic sources take advantage of their lack of accountability.
Get to the point, will you!
In summary, this research is a good thing.
Seriously, we want more research that gets into the nitty gritty of vaping, and we do not take issue with the study itself, methodology concerns aside.
We do have a serious problem with smokers being continually encouraged to keep smoking, guaranteeing an early death, cancer or other horrific health issues.
We see these articles every few weeks, telling smokers that vaping will give you cancer, popcorn lung, degenerative lung conditions and worse. But they continue to ignore the enormous body of research that openly and clearly states otherwise.
Millions of people die every single year as a result of smoking. Smoking related costs to society and the NHS come to £18.3 Billion. Somehow, when something has finally come along to offer a solution to this problem, there are people who seek to casually destroy the chance for other to finally beat a terrible addiction. And we won’t stand for that.
Vaping has only 1%-5% of the risks associated with smoking, with no recorded cases of serious illness or death associated with them.
Cigarettes cause :
- Irreversible lung diseases,
- Gum disease,
- Brain tumours,
- Arterial hardening,
- High blood pressure,
- Blood clots,
- Chronic bronchitis,
- Lung cancer,
- Oesophagus cancer,
- Larynx cancer,
- Mouth cancer,
- Throat cancer,
- Kidney cancer,
- Bladder cancer,
- Liver cancer,
- Pancreas cancer,
- Stomach cancer,
- Cervix cancer,
- Colon cancer
- And so much more.
The truth is that simple, but somehow, the public are being lead to believe otherwise. Don’t fall for it, the future of the best chance to stop smoking depends on it.