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Daily Fail

The Mail proves it will print anything as part of its continual effort to drive advertising click-through sales.

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The Daily Mail has published two electronic cigarette articles this week. If you are a fan of vaping then one will appeal to you, if you loathe the notion of ecigs or are a fan of American spelling and grammatical errors then you’ll find the other perfect.

The heading attacking vaping drops an ‘L’ from “mislabelled”, an error repeated in the article. It includes the American spellings for “flavorings”, “vapor”, “pediatrics”, “center” and “theaters” while throwing in some extra spaces and a “sepeate” for good measure. Far from being a pedantic attack at online content, the litany of errors draws into question the factual basis of the entire article.

It’s lazy, poor journalism from the outset, so when the article claims that electronic cigarettes are just as addictive as tobacco cigarettes the research is already called into question. The journalist, Mark Prigg, only contributes American content. The process appears to involve him simply forwarding anything that drops into his email inbox without any form of fact checking.

Although the piece claims to be presenting the findings from an investigation carried out by the American University of Beirut and the Centre for the Study of Tobacco Products, the grubby hands of confused Californian Antz are all over it. Neal Benowitz, a colleague of Stanton Glantz at the University of California San Francisco, rears his head before the article moves on to cover ecig marketing and the gateway effect. It is tired, rehashed coverage and is a poorly pre-written piece from a PR company reprinted as news.

It contrasts strongly with the anonymously drafted commentary titled E-cigarette users catching up with smokers. But again, it’s not news. The piece hangs on a press release that appears to have been created by ECITA given the quotes from VIP Electronic Cigarettes and Tom Pruen.

It presents findings from previous studies carried out by Professor Robert West but fails to include the latest 2015 data, indicating it is old copy being rehashed or presented for the first time during a slow news week.

While the content may be welcomed by vapers for its positive tone many smaller vendors have recently be concerned by another ECITA member commenting that they’d be unable to achieve the regulations the organisation is angling for, calling them cowboys: "It is achievable, and this standard is a genuine threat to the cowboy element of the industry as there is no way they will be able to comply, will want to comply or will be able to afford compliance. They will have to move on to something new." The company has since edited this comment on their blog.

So, while the tone of the article is more positive suspicions remain that its author is more concerned with angling for an organisation’s key objective than promoting vaping in the main. The pair of pieces accentuate how little can be taken at face value when vaping is being covered by the national media.

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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