Vaping News

Criticism of Studies Rumble On

Two poor anti-vape studies continue to draw criticism from the science world.

Share on:
The recent respiratory study by Rob McConnell and Jessica Barrington-Trimis has been described as an example of scientific dishonesty and deception as Michael Siegel goes to town and dismantles the sham work. Meanwhile, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) attempts to fight back after Doctor Farsalinos pointed out some glaring discrepancies.

Barrington-Trimis is being linked with an ever-growing number of poor pieces of anti-vape research. “Electronic-cigarette Use and Respiratory Symptoms in Adolescents” is yet another one, and it was quickly attacked for being of an exceptionally poor quality.

Claims that vaping harms teenage lungs were supported by assertions – but, unfortunately, not backed up by any evidence in the paper produced by McConnell and Barrington-Trimis. Farsalinos pointed out that asking a child if they coughed didn’t equate to a medical diagnosis of bronchitis.

Now Michael Siegel also slams them for making the ludicrous suggestion that vaping is partially to blame for “the burden of chronic respiratory symptoms in youth.” He makes three simple points:

  • “After controlling for individual smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, there was no significant relationship between current e-cigarette use and bronchitis symptoms.”
  • “Among never smokers, there was no significant relationship between current e-cigarette use and bronchitis symptoms.”
  • “After controlling for individual smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, there was no significant relationship between either infrequent or frequent current e-cigarette use and bronchitis symptoms, and there was no significant trend.”

Some studies might fudge the results to draw a conclusion, McConnell and Barrington-Trimis just ignored everything they discovered and posted the conclusion they set out to achieve but failed to prove.

Farsalinos also questioned the DRI’s findings, highlighting the discrepancy where no aldehydes were discovered in flavour-free liquids. He asked the researchers for their method so he could replicate the investigation, but all he has received is insults. “I LOVE being criticized. We will soon have developments on this issue, so stay tuned,” he wrote on his Facebook account.

This was after DRI published the following: “A recent blog post by Dr. Farsalinos was also brought to my attention. In his post, Dr. Farsalinos states that our ‘results contradict previous research on aldehyde emissions’ and he makes other assertions that I would like to address here in more detail. By making this statement, Dr. Farsalinos revealed that (a) he is not up-to-date with the current literature, and (b) has not read our paper carefully, because we explicitly compare our results to other studies.”

“E-cigarette research is new for us, but involves similar sampling and analytical techniques,” they say – clearly oblivious to the simple fact that a vape device is vastly different to a tobacco cigarette.

The full DRI response is insulting and indignant; it is worth reading in full. We can be assured that Farsalinos will follow this up and it will be covered here on POTV.

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


Parliament Fears Two

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs faced questions from a Conservative MP and, oddly, a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

Sacrificing Health For 2p Cut

Tory Government alienates vaping voters with its mission to cut tax by an unaffordable 2p to attract voters by placing a tax on vape products in the forthcoming budget

Vaping News

Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today