The Last Straw?

Vaper’s Vortex

March 30, 2015

“I’m sad to say that this is complete garbage.”

As a student of the electronic cigarette phenomena for a number of years, I have read countless “studies” of every shape, size and description. Not surprisingly, most studies have their advocates who rush to support the stated conclusions. Also not surprisingly, most studies have their critics who rush to offer opposing viewpoints.

More often than not, critics go to considerable lengths to express their opposing viewpoint while at the same time maintaining a level of what I would call “professional courtesy”. The latest study from the University of California, San Francisco’s (UCSF) research team, headed by Professor Stanton Glantz, has triggered a critical response that is a rare example of scientific outrage.

The study is titled “A longitudinal analysis of e-cigarette use and smoking cessation”. You can view the complete study here but this is the conclusion presented in the study:

“Nonetheless, our data add to the current evidence that e-cigarettes may not increase rates of smoking cessation. Regulations should prohibit advertising that claims or suggests e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices until claims are supported by scientific evidence.”

The following are excerpts taken from analyses of this latest UCSF study. These comments, made by highly respected experts in tobacco harm reduction, leave very little in the way of doubt regarding their opinions. There is a line in the sand of the scientific community. Cross at your peril.

Carl Phillips

  • The results of this study were “circulated to tobacco control people in advance [of publication], so they were all ready to use it for propaganda before the scientists had a chance to reply.”
  • “It is difficult to imagine that they do not know they are lying.”
  • “Their lies are so obvious that every honest casual observer who reads their papers can spot them.”
  • “Unfortunately, even though the honest regulators are never going to buy this dreck, local city councils, often populated by people who barely passed high school biology class, will believe it and naively implement restrictions on e-cigarettes. And millions of potential switchers will see the disinformation in the news and it will cause them to keep smoking. Thus harm is being done – people are being killed – by UCSF’s lies every day.”

Still not quite sure of Phillips’ opinion of this study? You can read all of the details here.

Clive Bates

  • “This time it is Rachel Grana and colleagues at University of California at San Francisco, part of Professor Stanton Glantz’ group, which is rapidly becoming a slurry gusher of black propaganda, media-political spin and unethical practice.”
  • “I will leave it to the restrained and politely disparaging response of no less than the American Cancer Society to wield the knife on this one.” Bates then included a quote by Thomas J. Glynn, PhD, Director Cancer Science and Trends and International Cancer Control in response to this study:

“These limitations severely reduce the ability of the research team to make any meaningful conclusions about their data and call into question the headline in the news release accompanying the study, i.e. “E-cigarettes Not Associated With More Smokers Quitting, Reduced Consumption.”

You gotta know a study is pretty bad when even the ACS, a strong proponent of strict e-cigarette regulations, says the researchers can’t draw any meaningful conclusions. You can read the rest of Bates’ comments here.

Michael Siegel

We had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Siegel at the ECIG Industry Conference in Las Vegas in September. I am a huge fan of his candor and common sense approach to the e-cigarette debate. Here are some of his comments on the UCSF study:

  • “I’m sad to say that this is complete garbage.”
  • “It is truly an example of bogus, or junk science.”
  • “…this is not simply junk science. Rather, it is a deliberate attempt on the part of the investigators to misuse data.”
  • “This is dishonesty in research.”
  • “Unfortunately, it does not appear that these investigators are truly interested in whether e-cigarettes help many smokers quit or not. Instead, I believe that these researchers have a pre-determined conclusion that e-cigarettes are ineffective and that they are trying to manufacture results that support their pre-determined conclusion.”

I highly recommend reading the rest of Siegel’s post here.

In September of 2013, UCSF was awarded a five year, $20 million grant by the FDA and the National Institutes of Health (here). The UCSF Principal Investigator – Stanton Glantz. UCSF is one of fourteen centers to receive “Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science” (TCORS) grants in 2013. Altogether, the fourteen centers received $53 million in 2013, and potentially $273 million over the five year grant.

Taxpayer dollars are paying for this and other studies done by UCSF. Are we getting our money’s worth? Is Professor Glantz the right man for the job? Or is Glantz and UCSF simply giving NIH and the FDA what they expect (or demand)? Is this just another example of the bias so prevalent in all levels of government and so many organizations ostensibly committed to public health? Or is it “The Last Straw”?

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Dave Coggin has a Master’s Degree in business and spent 35 years in corporate America. He is a co-founder and partner in DIYELS. He has spent the last five years actively researching and following the evolution of the e-cigarette industry. He is a strong proponent of e-cigarettes as the most promising option currently known for tobacco harm reduction. He may be contacted directly at

The opinions presented here are exclusively those of the author. Vaper’s Vortex is offered as a service to our customers and followers. Anyone considering e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes should seek qualified advice from a medical professional.

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