The threesome work at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts. Hadland and Harris haven’t been particularly prolific in their campaigning against vaping, although Harris’ Twitter feed is something to behold. Chadi probably lists attacking tobacco harm reduction as a hobby on his CV.
Invoking the spirit of hard drug use, he referred to ‘nic salts’ as “freebase” last year. Although it may be correct from a chemistry perspective, such language was designed to evoke connotations of crack cocaine.
Chadi told the American Society of Addiction Medicine's annual conference that Juul use alters the teen brain and makes them more susceptible “to other drugs”. Even the withdrawal from vaping was likened to a drug detox, saying youths were “showing irritability or shakiness when they stop”.
If anybody was desperately hunting out fake news about vaping, harm reduction researcher Frank Baeyens reckons this could be the best of the bunch: “Look no further: almost all anti-THR/anti-e-cig lies in one neat little package. Including a call to investigate the effectiveness of replacing dirty, sinful nicotine obtained from vaping with clean, medically approved nicotine.”
The authors conflate smoking with nicotine use at the outset: “The rapidly increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes has effectively reversed 5 decades of decreasing nicotine use among youth.”
They repeat the lie that there is evidence of harm from nicotine use: “There is building evidence that exposure to nicotine during adolescence and young adulthood is not only associated with increased rates of use of other substances, but also that such exposure has long-term effects on the developing brain.”
Generations of tobacco users have forged careers, won Nobel prizes and created spectacular works of art. Smokers have won world wars and become doctors; Einstein, Elvis and Duke Ellington all partook – yet we are to believe that a single rat study proves teen brains are attacked by nicotine.
Then the doctors ignore current efficacy evidence: “There is no clear evidence that e-cigarettes may be beneficial as a smoking reduction or cessation tool.”
Repeating claims of an epidemic is a further example of shoddy science as the Food and Drug Administration is still to release the full data it based its findings on.
Pretending there was no evidence from the Cochrane Review or the United Kingdom, they then write: “Aggressive marketing minimising the risks of e-cigarettes has contributed to misperceptions about e-cigarettes and what they contain and a low level of perceived riskiness.”
Building on Chadi’s inferences from last year, they continue to a humdinger of a lie: “There is now a growing consensus that e-cigarettes increase risk of subsequent use of cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol, and other substances.”
No informed person could or would believe there is a causal link between vaping and starting to use alcohol or hard drugs. Chadi and Hadland are clinical doctors, and Harris holds a doctorate, it is difficult to see them as stupid people. Such behaviour is totally reprehensible but we can only speculate upon their motivation to do this.
- “Understanding the implications of the ‘vaping epidemic’ among adolescents and young adults” by Chadi, Hadland and Harris - https://doi.org/10.1080/08897077.2019.1580241
- “The Consequences of Dishonesty” by Scott Wiltermuth, David Newman, and Medha Raj - http://www.spsp.org/news-center/blog/the-consequences-of-dishonesty
- Public Health England - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review
- Royal College of Physicians - https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/nicotine-without-smoke-tobacco-harm-reduction-0
- Cochrane Review - https://uk.cochrane.org/news/conclusions-about-effects-electronic-cigarettes-remain-same
- New Nicotine Alliance - https://nnalliance.org/nnaresources/position-statements