When The Press Goes Bad

Posted 12th June 2017 by Dave Cross
There have been poor media articles, there have been ridiculous statements from medical professionals, but here we present an amazingly bad piece carried on the Huffington Post website. Doctor Ninad Katdare, a man who claims to be a qualified consultant in surgical oncology and a specialist in abdominopelvic oncology, pens the piece.

How should a good article about vaping begin? Should a medical professional start by listing his experiences? Should he explain what vaping is or the dangers posed by smoking? Not if you are Ninad Katdare. If you are Dr. Katdare you begin by going totally over the top: “Many of us are justifiably concerned about nuclear wars, weapons of mass destruction and war.”

There, in just fifteen words Katdare has set vaping in a post-apocalyptic landscape. “In fact we sometimes literally court death with the choices we make - these dangers are available to us freely and cheaply and they are addictive. Almost every person who reads this will also know two people who have died of tobacco-related illness. Still people flock to this habit and the government does precious little to stop the sale of these weapons of mass destruction.”

Sure, this could be a preface to the dangers of smoking, but given that the headline states “Why Tobacco Is Never Safe - Not Even In An E-Cigarette Or Hookah”, it is clear this hyperbole is intended to cover everything that’s coming.

This statement is fine: “The stimulant effects of tobacco are temporary and illusory. The end effects over a period of time are almost always the same - illness and death.” Or, it would be fine had the title not laid claim to the fact that e-cigarettes contain tobacco, because Katdare would have you believe that vaping is just one example of tobacco being “a wolf in sheep's clothing”.

“The new fads of hookah and vaping (e-cigarettes) are also just ways to consume nicotine and harmful to us. Thus, tobacco can be accessed in various ways and knowingly or unknowingly harms your body.”

Univapo

It’s not a cigarette-replacement technology, it’s not harm reduction – according to Katdare, vaping can be belittled into being nothing more than a fad. Not just a fad, he says vaping is “equally dangerous” to smoking. The man is either deluded, on medication, the victim of a recent brain trauma, or a knowing liar: “E-cigarettes are known to contain particulate matter (in addition to tobacco)”.  As we all know, there is not one iota of tobacco in eLiquid.

Wait, there’s more: “[the tobacco in eliquid] is implicated in causing asthma, coronary artery disease along with lung cancer.” This is a total fabrication, an unjustifiable insult to the medical profession and the scientific process. Then comes, “blah blah blah flavours to entice young people blah blah blah kids consuming these can lead to asthma and poor lung development.”

Tobacco may harm the body, Doctor, but vaping (if you’ve seen The Cochrane Review or the report by the Royal College of Physicians) is “at least 95% safer”. A product that is 95% safer than smoking offers the opportunity to save a billion lives, Huffington Post. Articles like Katdare’s stand to kill people. Millions of people. Just like pressing the red launch button of a nuclear missile. 


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
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