Health & Studies

Thai Junk Science Videos

Thai experiments purporting to measure the particulate matter of vape have been mocked by harm reduction experts

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Scientists in Thailand have videoed themselves conducting an investigation looking at the particulate matter of vape. The videos were shared by The Thai Vapers advocacy group, prompting much mirth and mocking. The gauntlet has been laid down: can Stanton Glantz produce a worse investigation to win the Junk Science in Vaping 2019 award?

What is particulate matter and PM2.5 ?

DEFRA states: “Particulate matter is a term used to describe the mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air. It can be either human-made or naturally occurring. Some examples include dust, ash and sea-spray.”

“PM2.5 means the mass per cubic metre of air of particles with a size generally less than 2.5 micrometres (µm). PM2.5 is also known as fine particulate matter.”

The first video shows people so scared of vape that they have donned facemasks, and carry out one of the most unscientific experiments on vaping ever conducted.

A vacuum pump pulls aerosol from a dripper and the host of the event declares it “simulates vaping”. Then he claims the box is completely sealed – but then is seen to place a monitoring device into a large opening.

At the end, he announces: “This experiment shows that the volume of PM2.5 in the e-cig aerosol is quite high.”

Some may wonder if all of the researchers were “quite high” when they devised the investigation.

The second video depicts a similar arrangement, but this one appears to have been conducted in someone’s bedroom – but has the added excitement of a laser pen.

The Thai Vapers advocacy group said: “Watch the experiment on PM2.5 in e-cig aerosol. What a misleading argument!”

Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos commented: “If you boil water you will have the same effect. This looks like 3rd world propaganda. Very sad. This is not even a way to measure droplets or anything else. This is pure kids' play in a playground.”

Dr Charles A. Gardner, Foundation for a Smoke-Free World observed: “Surprised they did not all wear HazMat Suits. Glad the guy with the vaporiser had a blast shield in case it exploded.  I'm sure he wears that whenever using his cell phone.”

Then, in relation to particulate matter, added: “Which would you rather have fall on your head? A gallon of water or a bowling ball?”

American Vaping Association’s Gregory Conley pointed out: “They're not measuring harmful particles. They're measuring the presence of liquid droplets. Not a single person who vapes actually activates the device that long. The reason being is that it would start to burn the cotton. Which, we already know combustion is the worse source of PM in the air. This is junk science, and irresponsible research practices.”



  • Video 1

  • Video 2

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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