Lets look at Dr Peace's background: the Assistant Professor gained a BA in Chemistry and Biology from Wittenberg University. Then she worked as a research technician for Liqui-Box Corporation, developing flavoured bottled water and improved delivery systems for wine and condiments in bag-in-box units.
Her next step was to become a research technician for Procter and Gamble, before completing an MSc in Forensic Toxicology at George Washington University, and a PhD in Forensic Toxicology at Virginia Commonwealth University.
She developed an undergraduate program in Forensic Science at VCU, she served as a Laboratory manager at Kroll Laboratories, a company specialising in urine testing. Yes, she literally learnt how to take the piss.
As well as other things, she now “helps to train crime scene investigators in the Mid-Atlantic region in the identification, collection, and preservation of entomological evidence and develops and teaches forensic science workshops for elementary and high school teachers.”
This is clearly an experienced and educated woman – so why did it all go so wrong when she was interviewed about vaping on television?
“I think the scientists are still debating as to whether or not is falls on the harm versus harmless scale. It’s not water vapour, and I don’t mean to be glib about this, but water in your lungs is called drowning so, [ha-ha],” the doc explained to an early evening TV show full of idiot presenters on The Project.
“So really the liquid that’s inside the electronic cigarette is a mixture of chemicals – propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin – there’s still chemicals and, you know, and there’s some debate as to if the coil gets really hot, are there any by-products and chemicals that you’re going to be inhaling as a result of it?”
“I am familiar with popcorn lung. So when you think about popcorn lung. Umm. What generates it is, err, you’re inhaling chemicals that’s going to cause some kind of damage to the interior of the lung tissue. Err, and when you damage the interior of the lung tissue, your ability to, err, you know, inhale and process oxygen is going to be compromised.”
Professor Marewa Glover responded on social media: “How to lose your credibility as a scientist in one foul swoop - go on The Project NZ and say people vaping are ‘inhaling water’, and thus ‘they would be drowning’! Oops. Stick to talking about topics you know something about.”
A typical online troll said that vapers were over-reacting, and that it was a case of not being “media trained”. Since when was training required to tell the truth in response to questions instead of fabricating nonsense?
Respected harm reductionist Carl Phillips pointed out: “if there is no water in your lungs, you have probably been dead in a desert for a while.”
Clive Bates said that it amounted to “incoherent nonsense”, and added: “Harm versus harmless is not a scale, it’s a dichotomy. A lot of harm versus hardly any harm is on a scale and the right way to think about smoking and vaping. And it’s nothing to do with drowning.”
Clearly the show’s presenters aren’t that worried about drowning, last night they presented a segment demanding “water-only schools”. The show happily refers to itself as producing “news delivered differently” – and that box was well and truly ticked with Doctor Michelle Peace.