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University of California San Francisco researchers attack vaping again.

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Researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), based in California, have launched another agenda-driven assault on vaping. Again, by conflating electronic cigarettes with the tobacco industry, anti-Big Tobacco zealots tie vaping to danger and drug abuse.

In another paper locked away behind a paywall, the team, led by Dr Pamela Ling (a close colleague of Stanton Glantz), worry that “developing and legitimising pharmaceutical-like, reduced-harm tobacco products (are) giving the tobacco industry a new lease on life?”

It is typical that they fear tobacco companies making a profit from a reduced harm product more than the potential for good offered up by this reduction in tobacco-related harm.

The “pursuit of new, standardized, designer, possibly government-certified nicotine products—a process we call pharmaceuticalisation—may fundamentally change how policymakers and the public perceive both the tobacco industry and its products,” fret the trio of academics.

Many vapers claim that when they were heavy smokers usual nicotine therapy replacement products failed to work. There is a large body of anecdotal evidence that vaping worked in ways that other products simply couldn’t manage. This scares the life out of the pharmaceutical industry - and the people reliant on their research money.

The threesome believe that vape companies are making illegitimate claims: “Without new drug approval, alternative nicotine products cannot be advertised as cessation devices; nonetheless, consumers may regard these as de facto nicotine replacement therapy analogues. Vaping advocates and some public health organisations cast e-cigarettes as cessation aids regardless of certification by drug authorities. As such, the industry assumes the mantle of medical legitimacy by association.”

Of course, no attack on vaping can be complete without adding in a reasonable slur to the mix. In this instance, Ling’s squad offer up a link between vaping and marijuana. Not only is this a sign of how desperate they are getting but, given that many states are either legalising or have legalised cannabis, it’s an utterly pointless connection to a legitimate (albeit pretty unrelated) product.

Their beef, apparently, is threefold. Firstly, us claiming that vaping works as a quit method dilutes and adds confusion to “the trust … of legal prescription pharmaceuticals.”

As well as being miffed that people are making claims of efficacy, Glantz’ henchpeople don’t like any products being sold without even tighter controls on testing and claims of verifiable reduced harm.

But mainly this: “Third, pharmaceuticalisation legitimizes the tobacco industry as a partner and producer of innovative nicotine products, ignoring the ethics of both producing and profiting from addiction and its treatment.” In short, they don’t like the tobacco industry and don’t believe they should profit from curing tobacco addiction. Because ‘tobacco company’.

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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