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McKee Targets Children With Nonsense

McKee slates pro-vaping organisations and spreads fiction in a newspaper aimed at children.

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Martin McKee the professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is well known for his willing ignorance towards pro-ecig evidence and has a strong anti-vaping stance. But he has taken his ridiculous actions to a whole new level. First News carried an interview with him where he speaks from an alternate reality.

First News is a weekly, colour newspaper for young UK readers. It claims it “aims to present current events and politics in a child-friendly format.” In 2013, it had a readership of around 60,000, similar to the Planet of the Vapes newsletter.

The paper’s owners say that they want the world to become a better place by making sure this young generation is “better informed than the last.”

Last week, First News treated the FDA’s claim that there is an “epidemic” of teen vaping as if it is fact.

This week, it writes: “Many experts are worried about the same thing happening in the UK, especially since lots of e-cigarette flavours and packaging are targeted at kids – even though you legally have to be 18 to buy them.”

Many experts aren’t worried because they appreciate the facts that there is no teen vaping crisis in Britain – this is evidenced fact, and was presented to the House of Commons cross part committee recently, the same committee that discounted ALL of Martin McKee’s submissions.

“Several health organisations in England have been heavily promoting e-cigarettes and claiming that they are much “safer” than smoking, but many experts are worried because not enough is known about them.”

Planet of the Vapes is not sure that “many” is an appropriate way to describe Simon Capewell, David Bareham and Martin McKee – three academics prone to extreme views that are mocked by most involved in tobacco harm reduction.

McKee’s comments included: “The reality is that we are getting lots of evidence that there are problems already, so we can be pretty clear that there are considerable risks.

This is utter nonsense.

He adds: [Vaping is] definitely causing changes in the cardiovascular system.”

Only according to a farcical “study” conducted by Stanton Glantz, where the American fudged the data and drew conclusions that weren’t supported by the evidence. When that study was published it faced a slew of calls for it to be retracted.

McKee said that all pro-vape studies are funded by the industry or the tobacco industry and that “independent” studies find the opposite. Quite how someone like Stanton Glantz and his ‘lies for $20 million’ approach is “independent” isn’t explained.

McKee claims that eliquid content is a mystery (despite having to be disclosed to the MHRA in order to be sold) and that PG creates formaldehyde – which in turn gives vapers cancer.

He goes on to explain that it’s impossible to make a claim that vaping is safer than smoking because it “is comparing apples and pears”.

First News then asks McKee: “The tobacco industry covered up the health effects of cigarettes for decades. Is this the same thing?”

His response? “Absolutely.”

McKee is saying that the vaping industry has conspired to fund and produce bogus scientific studies. Some may think that the man has taken leave of his senses.

Then he accuses Public Health England, ASH UK and the Royal College of Physicians of “pushing” electronic cigarettes.

“People elsewhere find it completely bizarre. England is way, way, way out of line with the rest of the world.”

Even though the children who read this newspaper might live in homes with people who have successfully quit smoking thanks to vaping, McKee foolishly adds: “We know that they only work for some people and overall reduce the probability of quitting.”

First News says, “We create fresh and innovative news content that speaks directly to young people in a voice they can recognize [sic] and trust. We want all children to be informed, to have a voice and be heard.”

When it comes to coverage of vaping, it is relaying untrustworthy news and misinforming children. Martin McKee here is, as never before, a bitter crank valuing propaganda over evidence and truth.

He is sinking to a new level by launching this diatribe of guff at children. It is McKee who lies at odds with the medical and scientific community; he is not the middle ground. He is an extremist, an outlier and needs to be ignored by the media like he was by the government

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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