Zealots Kill More Mice

Posted 31st July 2018 by Dave Cross
University of Texas research subjected mice to all-body exposure vape in an attempt to discover the impact. It turns out it’s not good for the rodents, but then nobody would have assumed it was. The team, led by Fatima Alshbool PhD, ended up claiming they’d demonstrated “negative cardiovascular health effects”; the reality is they simply caused needless suffering.

The team confidently states: “Based on our observations, we expect that clinicians will help in educating the public and their patients regarding the potentially negative cardiovascular health effects of e-cigarettes and the evidence that they may not be as safe as currently perceived.”

On many levels this may well take place because the report has all the appearances of a thorough piece of research – at a superficial level. Any clinician glancing at it will see the graphs, the ample references and that it ticks all of the boxes on how to professionally present a paper. What the time-restricted doctors will miss are the glaring errors and unjustifiable leaps of logic.

The negative slant of the study is predictable given that the lead researcher is Fatima Alshbool PhD. Alshbool is linked with past studies that rely heavily on discredited work or outright lies. For example, her 2017 work, looking at vaping and the cardiovascular system, made many ridiculous statements:

  • Highlighting a boom in teen use over a long period rather than noting that it’s dropped for the past two years
  • Focussing on juice flavours being a problem
  • Claiming that vaping elevates “susceptibility for addiction to … drugs such as cocaine”
  • Talking about “aggressive marketing”
  • Ignoring all positive research highlighting the harm reduction aspect of vaping

This is the first study to demonstrate that, in an animal model, whole body exposure to e‐cigarettes enhances platelet activation and increases the risk of thrombogenesis,” the researchers write. This much is true, but it raises the question, ‘what is the point?’

The point was to confirm their own bias; a stance exemplified by them writing: “e‐cigarettes are now known to be a source of a large number of toxicants, such as nicotine, cotinine, aldehydes (e.g., acrolein), and particulate matter.”

In fact, not even those with a propensity to attack vaping are convinced by the study. Dr. Neal Benowitz, a colleague of Stanton Glantz at the University of California’s Centre for Tobacco Control and Research and Education said: “The pattern of exposure is different. Humans basically adjust their puffs, taking one when they want. In a mouse, it’s artificial in many ways. You give an animal a strange noxious thing to breathe in and they get pretty stressed out, so who knows what’s going on with them.”

Of course, Benowitz goes on to knock vaping and praise “the thoroughness of the study”, while at least finally acknowledging the fatal flaw underpinning almost every piece of anti-vape research: that future research has to experiment with vape products by “using these devices in ways they’re actually used.”

The Texas team wrote: “We employed a passive e‐VapeTM vapor inhalation system and developed an in vivo whole‐body e‐cigarette mouse exposure protocol that mimics real‐life human exposure scenarios/conditions.”

Whole‐body e‐cigarette mouse exposure mimics real‐life human exposure? It absolutely does not. The study is as flawed as all of the other mice studies before it, such as this one in 2015 and the one published in February.

Not only does the research community need to have vaping experts involved in experiment design, they need to stop killing mice for no reason or sensible outcome.

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