“Bootleg Hello Kitty vape pens are just one example of the ways vaping is marketed, officially and unofficially, to kids,” laments the editorial of The Sacramento Bee. They continue: “Those candy-flavoured lung polluters are full of the sort of carcinogenic junk that would repel consumers if the products didn’t have names like Super Fly Lemon Pie and optionally customized bootleg Hello Kitty equipment. Benzene. Formaldehyde. Acetaldehyde. Not to mention the stuff that’s merely addictive and a hazard to children, like nicotine.”
No doubt most people reading this are too concerned about the clear case of Hello Kitty having molested the editor to be bothered about the rest of the nonsense-strewn piece. It is probably out of sympathy that no one has completed a feedback comment on the page – there’s no way they could be deleting submissions.
A recent article in the Daily Mirror contained such bias and factual errors that it drew a slew of complaints to the The Independent Press Standards Organisation. The volume of objection forced the paper to swiftly edit the online version in order to introduce an element of balance but vapers are still waiting on an apology – mindful that this doesn’t correct the initial impression given to non-vapers.
Such unethical reporting of untruths, or the ignoring of facts, isn’t confined to the media industry according to Professor Charles Siefe. The New York University journalism professor looked at seventy-eight Food & Drug Administration (FDA) publications and discovered that fifty-seven of them contained evidence of data fabrication or other forms of research misconduct.
Retraction Watch writes: “For decades, the U.S. FDA has uncovered misconduct in clinical trials but hidden it from the public. Only three of those publications mentioned the problems uncovered by the FDA. No retractions or errata were ever issued for any of them.”
“For an agency devoted to protecting the public from bogus medical science, the FDA seems to be spending an awful lot of effort protecting the perpetrators of bogus science from the public,” Siefe opined.
No wonder the Mirror was moved to comment on how the landscape may be changing following fundraising by The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA). SFATA raised the equivalent of £72,000 in less than three hours to draw a line in the sand; prompted by the preposterous lies being trotted out by state legislators and regurgitated in pet media outlets like The Sacramento Bee.
Stefan Didak, co-President of SFATA, said: “Several state funded tobacco control coalitions have taken their approach too far and crossed a few lines that we are going to have examined by lawyers. Misleading arguments can and will end up in court in front of a judge.”
The Mirror, thrashing about while circulation and advertising revenues continue to plummet, still managed to sneak in a bit of sensationalism, claiming: “The cash will also be used to hire spin doctors to evangelise about e-cigs and lobbyists to put pressure on politicians.”
They clearly can’t sense the wind shifting – the forecast predicts a cloudy front approaching.