Vaping News

Stanton Glantz – Super Modelling

Stanton Glantz creates a model to predict future harm from ecigs

Share on:
The latest study carried out by Stanton Glantz has been welcomed by some vapers as a welcome step forward from a man so outspoken in his opposition to vaping. While there may be words to warm the hearts of some should we be more circumspect about its contents?

In the work titled “Modeling the Health Effects of Expanding e-Cigarette Sales in the United States and United Kingdom”, Glantz addresses the potential health outcomes from the continual rise in the use of electronic cigarettes. It is a paper that has been welcomed in some quarters as an admission from Glantz that he accepts the science behind the efficacy and relative safety of vaping.

Joel Nitzkin, a doctor and prolific blogger on health, wrote that the paper: “can reasonably be interpreted as demonstrating the possibility that promoting e-cigarette sales for smoking cessation in the United States has the potential for substantial public-health benefits”.

It can, but although Nitzkin puts forward some caveats it seems clear that Glantz has laboured longer over his choice of language than his methodology. As he himself adds: “their model shows only harm to non-smoking teens.”

The actual paper is based on a flawed premise: “assuming e-cigarette use health "costs" ... as dangerous as conventional cigarette use health costs.” It is clever and calculated – and wholly unscientific. As is usual for Glantz, it is locked away behind a paywall to protect it from public criticism and trots out, by way of justifying fears, the nonsense that is the gateway effect.

It’s aim, so it would appear, is to come across as a rational and open study that factors in things like the Public Health England “95% safer” report. What it actually becomes is another citation for future objections to marketing, branding and allowing shops in certain areas.

The biggest cause for celebration might be that it could be interpreted as a white flag on the issues of efficacy and safety (for the time being). It looks as though the opposition to vaping as a form of health reduction is planning on focussing on the emotive issue of children. They know they had success in attacking tobacco companies using this approach and have managed to secure many headlines in their attacks on ecigs.

“The data presented make the case that the impact of e-cigarettes on current smokers is almost entirely beneficial. The magnitude of the benefit depends on the reduction in risk offered by e-cigarettes,” continues Nitzkin.

Given that Glantz achieves his funding from pharmaceutical bodies this in turn can be interpreted as a call for medicalization – and in turn a play by Pharma to attack the market via legislation.

Glantz’ co-author is tainted by Pharma too. While her earlier papers were on the topics of AIDS and melanomas, everything since has been focussed on vaping and smoking. It is unsurprising seeing as her employer, the UCSF School of Medicine is almost entirely dependent upon drug company funding.

In their conclusion they reaffirm the stance that Glantz has become notorious for: “According to this analysis, widespread promotion of e-cigarettes may have a wide range of population-level health effects, depending on both e-cigarette health risks and patterns of use. Absent the primary effect of e-cigarette promotion being only to divert current or future conventional cigarette smokers to e-cigarette use, the current uncertainty about the health risks of e-cigarettes, increasing e-cigarette use among youth, and the varying health effects at different e-cigarette health costs suggest a potential for harm.”

It is a position based on distrust, hidden pharmaceutical funded agendas and designed to perpetuate the fear of a “renormalisation” future that statistics do not corroborate. It is not the time to start congratulating Glantz on a Damascene conversion.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

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.

Join the discussion

Health & Studies

Expert Reaction to Pregnancy Study

Experts have reacted to the QML study of impacts of vaping in pregnancy and comparison with smoking

Vaping News

Study: Vapes Help Pregnant Quitters

A new study from Queen Mary University of London finds that vapes help pregnant smokers quit and pose no risk of poor pregnancy outcomes

Vaping News

IBVTA responds to UCL study

The Independent British Vape Trade Association has responded to University College London research and said the findings show the Government’s smoke-free ambition is stalling

Vaping News

Cochrane Review Echoes Swedish Success

The Cochrane Review echoes the Swedish approach, finding less harmful alternatives like vaping are superior to other quit methods, says Smoke Free Sweden