McMillan study sets new bar for ANTZ spin on findings

Just in on UPI Report: Some e-cigarettes deliver carcinogens, while I cannot comment at this point on the suggestion that tank systems may deliver more carcinogens (the idea does not seem entirely improbable) what drew my attention was a reference to an abstract and study findings that though written here as part of the lab report seem to an unrelated study.

To wit: “This study has two alarming findings,” said lead author Robert C. McMillen, PhD, associate professor, Social Science Research Center, and coordinator, Tobacco Control Unit, Department of Psychology, Mississippi State University. “First, the risks of e-cigarette use and exposure to vapor are unknown, yet many parents report using these electronic cigarettes to reduce harm to others. Second, half of current users are nonsmokers, suggesting that unlike tobacco harm-reduction products, e-cigarettes contribute to primary nicotine addiction and to renormalization of smoking behaviors.”

It is certainly alarming that parents are reporting using e-cigarettes to reduce harm to others. It has always been alarming to ANTZ when users know the differences in risks among nicotine products as opposed to swallowing the party line that they are all equally dangerous. No card carrying ANTZ will ever accept the idea of individuals enjoying nicotine without paying for it. The second “alarming” fact was that half of current users are nonsmokers. As the report states: “ever use of e-cigarettes was associated with current or former smoking status”. In other words, most vapers used to be but no longer were smokers.

Though he has provided evidence (I am assuming some since we do not have access to the actual survey) that people are supplanting smoking with vaping he somehow considers this as fundamentally different than tobacco harm-reduction products (does he mean smokeless tobacco or NRTs? – who knows?). Either we have the “just don’t like smoking or vaping of any kind” association or “just don’t like anybody using nicotine who isn’t using it to quit using nicotine”.

One last conclusion of his is that young adults exclusively use flavored e-cigarettes. Technically I don’t think any unflavored e-cigarette is available and if he means not tobacco flavored it still means little since I would suspect that the only vapers who really hold on to tobacco flavoring with the range of choices now available are the ones with decades of ingrained familiarity.

And to reiterate it would be good to read the actual survey report and not just this report from a conference poster which might not even make it into publication though it is already being circulated in the world of news.

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