Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The e-cigarette conspiracy: You can't handle the truth!

Safety concerns are obscured by a fragrant cloud of vapor
    (Feb 27, 2014) Volunteers are being recruited through CraigsList and a Bronx "free classifieds" site for a groundbreaking study of e-cigarette safety at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. The stated hypothesis of this study is troubling: E-cigarettes "disorder airway epithelial biology."  It is the airway epithelium that are "central to the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer." Impacts on epithelial gene expression, DNA methylation, telomere length and cilia length will be scrutinized.
    Doesn't this sound a little bit scary?
    Strangely, this research effort is not listed, as it should be, on the clinicaltrials.gov. web site, even though it was submitted in Dec. 2012 and "verified" in Oct. 2013. It is hidden in an XML file that is clearly not intended for public consumption. I have written to the two researchers who are designated as "contacts," to pose basic questions about the assumptions underlying their inquiry. I have stressed my seriousness in covering this subject thoroughly and responsibly. We have a right to know what they suspect and why. They are being funded by us, through the National Institutes of Health.
    They have not even acknowledged, much less responded to, my repeated overtures.
    This is not an isolated example. Despite urgent calls around the country for more safety information about e-cigarettes, virtually none of the findings from research around the world have been publicized. I think I've figured out why: Both Big Tobacco and anti-smoking/public health officials want e-cigarettes to succeed.
    Disclosure: I love e-cigarettes. I want them to be safe. But all this secrecy makes me very uneasy.

Smoke and mirrors is so passe. Trendy obscurantists prefer vanilla vapor.
    Even those who most ardently oppose smoking of any kind, and who want e-cigarettes to be scrutinized and regulated like tobacco products, acknowledge that e-cigarettes products can save millions of lives. Several top public health officials have urged restraint in the push to demonize e-cigarettes as merely a clever way to perpetuate addiction to nicotine. They fear that over-regulation could stifle an industry that -- however flawed and potentially problematic -- is producing an extremely valuable alternative to tobacco cigarettes.
    I will post an extensive article on e-cigarette safety in a couple of weeks.

Puff the "Magic" Draggin'
The power of blissful, wishful thinking.
    But before that, I will publish "The Great White Hoax," an expose regarding massive deception in the marketing of e-cigarettes as a nicotine-replacement product.
    Stay tuned. This is fascinating stuff. And delicious puff.