Witch Hunt

Posted 30th September 2019 by Dave Cross
Doctor Konstantinos Farsalinos apologises for an article stretching to a mammoth 2351 words, but it remains a powerful denunciation of a public relations campaign that seeks to vilify vaping and vapers. He calls the fear being whipped up “an immoral ‘moral panic’ campaign based on fiction, intimidation, terror, confusion and misinformation.”

Opening, he laments the irony of living in times when we can access a wealth of information with the click of a button, and yet it has resulted in, “in many cases, in an unprecedented spread of misinformation and confusion.”

He offers up a case in point, “The recent, serious outbreak of acute respiratory failure has been presented (with impressive titles) in several articles (such as here and here) as linked to vaping and e-cigarettes while in reality it is linked to THC oils, illicit THC oils. There seems to be an uncontrolled, widespread black market of THC products for which none takes responsibility and none is held accountable. Or maybe, in an effort to avoid any responsibility and accountability (which would be bad news for public relations) some have decided to blame the “eternal enemy”: the e-cigarette.”

Then, he turns his attention to media coverage linked to anti-vaping billionaire Michael Bloomberg: “The authors of the article tried to make an in-depth investigation on the recent outbreak of lung disease in the US by looking at past case reports, taking interviews from several scientists and presenting evidence from published studies. Although I am not questioning the motives of the authors, the end-result is a collection of confusing and irrelevant information that, for the most part, is unrelated to the disease outbreak in the US and provides no real insight about anything; instead, it misinforms the public.”

“I’ve never heard any scientist suggesting that e-cigarettes are absolutely healthy and safe, and that anyone can or should use them. E-cigarettes carry a residual risk, minimal compared to smoking, which we will be able to quantify over time. However, there is no doubt that e-cigarettes are by far less harmful than smoking and they fit perfectly to the core definition of harm reduction, a strategy that we practice every day in our lives (seatbelts, helmets, condoms, medicine). The crusade against e-cigarettes is based on false assumptions that e-cigarettes (instead of illicit THC oils) are the cause of the acute lung disease outbreak and is being propagated by presenting irrelevant information to the public leading to major confusion, misinformation and misperceptions.”

His full article is linked to below and should be read by everybody with a passing interest in the subject – especially journalists, researchers and clinicians.

Resources:

  • “The witch hunt against e-cigarettes continues while people get sick from illicit THC and remain uninformed” by Doctor Farsalinos – [link]
 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker