Sensational studies - Science, the press, and vaping.

Posted by simon 14/11/2019 0 Comment(s)

Another day, another scare story.

This time “vaping once is so dangerous it should be banned”

I read this and eye rolled so hard that I can now see out of the back of my own head.

So, what is the horror story this time?

A researcher in Germany, prof. Thomas Munzel took a group of twenty smokers and got them to vape, and measured what it did to arteries in their arms. He also locked 151 mice in boxes and  tested vapour on them for between one to five days, six times a day for twenty minutes at a go.

There is also the ever prevelant “its all aimed at the youth market” blurb attached.

 

Lets get into this, shall we?

 

First off, youth vaping:

“In the UK, 1.6 per cent of those aged 11 to 18 use e-cigarettes more than once a week, compared with 0.5 per cent in 2015.”

I want to ask you a question. Who lets their kids vape? I get that 18+ can, as its legal, but who actually lets their eleven year old vape? And where do they get them from? I can assure you that its not from the majority of vape shops, we are MASSIVELY stringent with sales, and the fines and jail terms associated with serving under age people are terrifying. Don’t let your kids vape. Just DON’T. Don’t let them smoke either.

 

Ok, that out of the way… on to the study…

The human testing: a study sample of twenty people is pathetically small, any statistician will tell you, the bigger the sample, the more accurate the results. There was also no non smoking control group to test these findings against. It is also not stated what devices were used, or what strength nicotine was used. The higher doses (less commonly used) are going to have a more pronounced effect than the lower, more frequently used strengths (3-6mg is a lot more common than 18-20mg). How long did they get them to vape for? Most people only take occasional puffs. If they were vaping for say, five solid minutes, on a high dose, the results will be unrepresentative of normal use, and be basically invalid.

Its shock science.

 

The animal testing: One, mice are not humans. Testing vapes on them is not going to be representative. And putting them in a vape filled box for twenty minutes six times a day is stupid. How is that in any way like the usage in humans? Again, no data has been provided in a public forum on nicotine concentrations. If mr whiskers was in a box for twenty minutes with a 20mg aerosol, he’s going to have a lot more of a pronounced effect than a more standard strength.

It’s, again, shock science.

 

As a whole the vaping industry is getting repeatedly hammered in the press, because we are an easy target, there is no unified voice, no prominent trade body, so we just keep taking body hits from people spouting half baked science, often sponsored by Pharma and tobacco companies (disclaimer -  the above study was apparently independently funded). We are not perfect, we acknowledge that, but the prevailing opinion of pretty much every study body in the UK is that you are a heck of a lot better off switching to E products, than you are by carrying on with tobacco. It’s all about risk mitigation, and coming in at 95% less damaging than cigarettes, it’s a much safer bet.

Thank you for sticking with us.

 

-Simon, Caernarfon store.

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