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End The Lies

The American Heart Association announces a “bold” program to end the lies, but isn’t talking about its own

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The American Heart Association (AHA) has announced it is funding a new campaign to the tune of $20 million. It promises to combat lies in research, but the true purpose is immediately apparent from the full title: The “End the Lies Youth Vaping and Nicotine Research Initiative”.

Rather than pledge itself to being honest about its own announcements and dodgy research, the AHA has launched the initiative with yet more hysterical nonsense. “My 14-year-old son and his friends deserve better than to be targeted and manipulated by Big Vape’s insidious marketing tactics that have caused more than 5 million youth nationwide to begin e-cigarette use,” said Bertram Scott, chair of the AHA board of directors. “E-cigarette companies have simply borrowed from Big Tobacco’s marketing playbook in their effort to addict a new generation of nicotine users.”

Emotive anecdotes do not replace sound scientific studies – and using fictional terms such as “Big Vape” is laughable from a body wishing to be taken seriously.

Snopes refers to itself as “the internet’s definitive fact-checking resource”. In 2017, Snopes called out the AHA for misleading the public about coconut oil [link]. It accused the public health body of “cherry-picking data” to “misrepresent the very science they claim to be defending”. We have seen the AHA doing precisely the same thing regarding vaping time and again over the last few years.

“This research project, one of the largest ever funded by the association, will help us answer critical questions about the health consequences of e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction, particularly in youth,” said AHA President Robert Harrington.

The AHA plans on finding out (some would say creating fear over):

  • Nicotine's impact on teen brain development, intelligence and learning
  • The impact of nicotine and other e-cigarette compounds on the cardiovascular system
  • How device types, flavours and other e-cigarette chemicals and by-products influence addiction
  • How to treat nicotine addiction in youth using behavioural, pharmacological and mobile health technology solutions
  • How effective e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices are for smoking cessation
  • The impact of regulatory policies on youth e-cigarette use

The substantial chunk of cash will be handed over to project partner Kaiser Permanente with a view to ensuring “federal, state and community lawmakers and policymakers do their part.

This statement presupposes they are not “doing their part” currently and in effect tells us precisely what the research will inevitably discover.

Kaiser Permanente is a medical care consortium based in, you guessed it, California. It has, “had disputes with its employees' unions, repeatedly faced civil and criminal charges for falsification of records and patient dumping, faced action by regulators over the quality of care it provided, especially to patients with mental health issues, and has faced criticism from activists and action from regulators over the size of its cash reserves.” [link]

“Teens, parents and educators are encouraged to learn more and join the campaign at,” it says. As Guy Bentley writes for The Reason Foundation, the “campaign appears more geared toward funding anti-vaping advocacy than balanced, scientific research.”


  • “The American Heart Association’s ‘Quit Lying’ Campaign Spreads Misinformation About E-Cigarettes”, Guy Bentley – [link]

Photo Credit:

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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