“Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it …”
Last week, Dr. Brad Rodu, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville and long-time proponent of tobacco harm reduction, posted an update on his blog to a months-long story about a study with dangerously inaccurate conclusions regarding vaping and heart attacks. Dr. Rodu (and now a dozen other well-known and credible people in the tobacco and nicotine research and policy space) is calling out the study for erroneously concluding that switching to vaping from smoking increases one’s risk of heart attack. The inaccuracy of the conclusion can be linked to data being fabricated by the study’s authors, Drs. Stanton Glantz and Dharma Bhatta.
As a matter of transparency, study authors routinely disclose limitations of certain study protocols and data sets. But making up claims out of whole cloth is generally frowned upon. When evidence of such a fabrication is brought to the attention of journal editors, corrections must be published and, many times, the article in question needs to be retracted. Considering the consequences of discouraging people who smoke from switching to low-risk alternatives like vaping, this particular study deserves the full boat of remedial action, including retraction and possibly censure for the authors.
Taking Dr. Rodu’s suggestion in last week’s blog post to heart, CASAA is encouraging our members to make contact with the editors at The Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) urging them to formally retract the Glantz-Bhatta heart study.
A timeline of events and reporting on this issue follows below, along with a link to our engagement that you can use to easily send a message to JAHA editors.
- Bhatta, Glantz – “Electronic Cigarette Use and Myocardial Infarction Among Adults in the US Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health.” (June 5, 2019, JAHA)
- Glantz (Blog) – “More evidence that e-cigs cause heart attacks, this time from PATH.” (June 6, 2019)
- Rodu – Letter to JAHA Editors (July 11, 2019)
- Rodu – Letter to JAHA Editors (July 18, 2019)
- Jayne O’donald (USA Today) – “Study linking vaping to heart attacks muddied amid spat between two tobacco researchers.” (July 19, 2019)
- Jacob Sullum (Reason) – “Anti-Vaping Researchers Claim E-Cigarettes Cause Heart Attacks Before Smokers Try Them.” (July 19, 2019)
- JAHA Response (Oct. 30, 2019)
- Brad Rodu (Tobacco Truth) – “Opportunity For the World-Wide Research Community: Spend 15 Minutes to Counter Falsified Research in the Journal of the American Heart Association.” (Nov. 13, 2019)
- Andrew Gelman (Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science (blog)) – “Controversies in vaping statistics, leading to a general discussion og dispute resolution in science.” (Nov. 27, 2019)
- Jacob Sullum (Reason) – “8 Months Later, This Journal Still Hasn’t Corrected Its Study Implying That E-Cigarettes Magically Cause Heart Attacks Before People Use Them.” (Feb. 7)
- Brad Rodu (Tobacco Truth) – “Indefensible Inaction by JAHA Editors on Obvious Research Misconduct.” (Feb. 7)
While it is not a novel observation to say that conversations about tobacco control and drug use routinely neglect–and even dismiss–the people affected by intervention policies, it is rare that we find an opportunity to highlight and fight back against the “the ends justify the means” mentality of activist researchers and zealots.
Take a moment to send a message to JAHA editors sharing your story of switching to vaping and how making the switch has affected your health. If you have received feedback from your doctor related to observing improvements (especially related to heart health), be sure to include that too.
- “The Help A Smoker In Recovery Project is looking for vaping products to give those entering treatment for addiction …” (Sept. 9)
- TAKE ACTION – US – VAPING PROHIBITION IS ON THE TABLE IN CONGRESS!
- TAKE ACTION – US – KEEP VAPE MAIL LEGAL! (Reject S. 1253)
- Puerto Rico – Take Action – Vapeadores Aliados por Puerto Rico (VAPR)
- Vermont – Take Action – Stop Flavors Prohibition (S. 288)
- Oregon – Take Action – Stop a Flavor Ban (SB 1577)
- Virginia – Take Action – Oppose Arbitrary Nicotine Limits and Online Sales Bans!
- Nebraska – Take Action – Stop an Indoor Vaping Ban (LB 840)
- Washington – Take Action – Stop a Vapor Tax and Unreasonable Product Standards (SB 6254)
- Kentucky – Take Action – Stop a Vapor Tax!
- South Dakota – Take Action – Stop a Flavor Ban!
- Kansas – (PUBLIC HEARING) – HB 2563 – Flavor Ban – Hearing: Thursday, February 13, 2020, 9:00 AM Room 346-S
- Georgia – Heads Up – “Georgia could ban most flavored vape products in 2020. What effects will that have?” (Oct. 9, 2019)
- “Brief of Amicus Curiae Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) in support of Intervenors-Appellants American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association et al.” (Jan. 30)
- Lee Devito (Metro Times) – “Michigan teen who needed double lung transplant finally admits he vaped marijuana–but the media is still clouding the issue.” (Jan. 31)
- David Robinson (lohud) – “NY Vaping: AG appeals judge’s order that struck down emergency e-cigarette flavor ban.” (Feb. 3)
- Rich Duprey (The Motley Fool) – “Juul Won’t Be the Only One Hurt By a Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products.” (Feb. 4)
- Brad Rodu (Tobacco Truth) – “FDA’s So-Called Laser Targeted Advertising is Hypocritical, and Deadly.” (Dec. 6, 2019)
- KSAT. com – “The good side of nicotine.” (Feb. 5)
THE MORE YOU KNOW: Adding vaping to smoking bans isn’t just about enforcing “courtesy.” It causes the general public to equate vaping with smoking & agreeable to disincentives like high taxes & flavor bans.
Establishments ALREADY have the right to ban vaping without needing a law & now these smoking bans – without any scientific basis – often include OUTDOORS & PRIVATE RESIDENCES. That means vaping would be banned there, as well. There’s nothing “reasonable” about that.
ALL laws should be based on supported facts and indisputable science, not “feelings!”
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