“This is the first evidence of a substantial, human health impact of the popular devices that were first introduced about a decade ago, indicating that e-cigarettes may be more dangerous than previously thought,” Glantz wrote, while presenting absolutely no evidence of any kind.
Michael Siegel pointed out the first rule of statistical analysis: “correlation does not equal causation. This study is a perfect demonstration of that phenomenon. It is entirely possible that in most of these cases, the smokers suffered a heart attack and then started vaping in an attempt to quit smoking. In fact, I believe that is the most likely explanation for the observed study findings.”
And so it is with the latest study by the American Heart Association. Colin Mendelsohn, accepted as an authority on such matters, commented: “the national study of US smokers with cardiovascular disease finds an association between ecigs and quitting and no evidence that ecigs are being taken up by long-term ex-smokers.”
In fact, the American Heart Association’s report contains phrases that would have steam coming out of Glantz’ ears. First of all, the authors acknowledge the subjects “individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease.”
“The national study of US smokers with cardiovascular disease finds an association between ecigs and quitting and no evidence that ecigs are being taken up by long-term ex-smokers.” - Colin Mendelsohn
Moreover, the organisation also accepted that vaping was exceptionally successful as a quit tool for these most at-risk smokers: “We found the odds of having ever used e-cigarettes was 85% higher in former smokers with CVD who quit smoking within the past year compared with those who reported being ‘some days’ current smokers.”
They also discovered that vaping was being chosen as part of a desire for quitting (rather than Glantz’ claim that it leads to dual use and prolonging smoking): “current smokers who attempted to quit smoking within the past year showed 70% higher odds of ever having used e-cigarettes and 97% higher odds of currently using e-cigarettes as compared with smokers who had not attempted to quit over the past year.”
Plus, the paper slammed theories of gateways and luring ex-smokers back into smoking: “Moreover, when exploring e-cigarette use among former smokers, our analysis demonstrated that e-cigarettes are not being adopted by established quitters. By supplanting cigarette use and not appealing to long-term former smokers, e-cigarettes could provide a viable path to cigarette smoking reduction, or even cessation.”
If Glantz is reading this paper then by the time he gets to the next quote he’ll be ripping his hair out and crying: “e-cigarette users in 2014 to 2015 were more likely to attempt to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes and to succeed in quitting than nonusers.”
Oh, and then there’s: “Evidence from the few randomised controlled trials conducted to date suggests that e-cigarettes do not appear to have major short-term health effects.”
The full report isn’t all roses and chocolates, but there is enough here to demonstrate that at least one major organisation is shifting its position with regards vaping and harm reduction.