Anti-vape Mouthpiece Slammed

Posted 6th July 2017 by Mawsley
Simon Chapman, for many vapers, exists in a realm occupied by Stanton Glantz and Martin McKee. It’s a land where alternative facts abound, where the three of them leap about with their eyes closed and mouths permanently gushing nonsense. It could be entertaining were it not possible that their utterances have the distinct possibility of keeping smokers smoking and not switching to electronic cigarettes.

Chapman is one of the reasons that Australia lags behind in its approach to harm reduction. With a puritanical zeal, he sees the battle against vaping as being a natural extension to his war he’s waged on tobacco companies for decades. Closed off to all reasonable debate, he now spends most of his time attempting to goad vapers into slanging matches on Twitter. With the little time he has left free afterwards, he writes blinkered articles such as the one he did for the Sydney Morning Herald.

The article provoked some condemnation, but then Chapman isn’t a stranger to this kind of reaction. After giving evidence to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines, his own government slated him:

  • “His research work has been mainly—and perhaps solely—from an academic perspective without field studies.”
  • “His views have been heavily criticised by several independent medical and acoustic experts in the international community.”
  • “Many of his assertions do not withstand fact check analyses.”

Chapman doesn’t take to criticism, he launched himself into a salty reply to his elected representatives – and one can only wonder at how he’s bursting over Clive Bates’ takedown of his Sydney Morning Herald piece.

“Normally, I just ignore anything written by Professor Emeritus Simon Chapman,” Clive Bates explains, “a retired academic and noisy tobacco control activist from Australia. It’s usually just too error-laden and irritating to bother with and, on the ‘bullshit asymmetry principle‘, one could spend a whole life correcting his endless misunderstandings and mistakes. But because the Australian parliament is considering these issues, I have made an exception for his latest piece of irresponsible anti-vaping propaganda.”

Bates launches into an absolutely crushing destruction, point by point, of Chapman’s ridiculous call for the current Therapeutic Goods Administration ban on electronic cigarettes to be continued.

Bates highlights: “There is not a shred of evidence anywhere in the world that e-cigarettes could risk repeating the ‘smoking health disaster’ under any conceivable regulatory regime, including under no regime at all. This is reckless hype that sets the tone for the rest of the article. Even academics with no scientific background should be capable of understanding that almost all the of the harms caused by smoking arise from products of combustion of tobacco.”

Chapman’s work in the vaping field, as with his wind farm contributions, continues to be mainly an academic perspective without field studies. His views will always be heavily criticised by experts, only finding support with the narrow bunch of like-minded prohibitionist zealots. As Bates illustrates, so many of his assertions do not withstand fact check analyses to the point it has to be considered what value this man has to any future debate. It’s time for Australia to ban Chapman from harm reduction dialogue, and welcome vaping.