Vaping News

Foul Play From Rooney

Presenters told an Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators online conference audience a pack of lies about vaping

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The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) couldn’t hold its latest fundraiser conference, so it moved it online. Vaping was one of the topics up for discussion, but unfortunately the presenters didn’t know the difference between fact and fiction – or simply didn’t care.

Where did you find these presenters? They are absolutely clueless,” exclaimed world-renowned harm reduction expert and vape advocate Clive Bates.

The AONN+ claims to be “the largest national specialty organisation dedicated to improving patient care and quality of life by defining, enhancing, and promoting the role of oncology nurse and patient navigators.”

The organisation benefits from over 8,200 membership subscriptions and earns a healthy income from putting on four conferences per year. “We view our organisation as one consisting of ‘professional patient advocates and, to that end, we support and serve our members.”

Serving members…up with an invoice for $145 a head to log online and see someone talking nonsense from their home. Taking place over May 14-17, the conference certainly improved the health of the AONN+ presenters’ bank accounts. This isn’t to say the presenters were lying in return for money, they might just be very stupid.

Last year, during the illegal THC/Vitamin E Acetate-related lung outbreak, Nancy Rooney, a lung nurse navigator at the Richmond University Medical Centre, told journalists: “Our kids were told not to smoke, but we stopped the conversation.”

Emphasising her fundamentalist position, she added: “Nothing goes in your lungs but the air you breath.”

Rooney, said Staten Island Live, “has been warning kids about the dangers of vaping years before the recent spike in illnesses -- when doctor’s [sic] were first seeing cases of ‘popcorn lung’.”

Despite failing to appreciate that there hasn’t been a single incident of vape-related “popcorn lung”, AONN+ still reckoned Nancy Rooney was the kind of quality speaker their conference needed.

Tricia Strusowski describes in a video on the AONN+ website about how the organisation has goals of putting evidence into practice. If the presentations by Rooney and Marissa Brown are anything to go by then it is keener on incorporating lies.

Rooney told her home-bound audience that vaping, “simulates the feeling of smoking with a dopamine release”. She warned, “34 million American adults still smoke, most of these addictions start early in their teen years, which speaks volumes to the responsibility we have to teach kids about the harmful effects”.

But, instead on focussing on the dangers of smoking and what messages would be appropriate, she veered off to attack vaping with bare-faced lies: “Chemicals and lung illnesses can cause ‘popcorn lung’ the nickname for bronchiolitis obliterans. This is a condition that damages the smallest airways in the lungs and results in coughing/shortness of breath.”

Then she announced that pods like those found in Juul devices contain: Nicotine, Glycerol, Propylene glycerol, Benzoic acid, and Vitamin E acetate!

If Rooney knows how to go about making a product that contains water soluble vape products and oil-based Vitamin E acetate then she wasn’t sharing.

The ingredients are those of a made-up product that exists only in the mind of the presenter,” commented Clive Bates.

Marissa Brown then stepped up to declare, “there is a strong link between smoking e-cigarettes and using tobacco, which shows that e-cigarettes are a gate way to tobacco use”.

Clive offered the pair of them some advice: “Before claiming vaping is a gateway to smoking, find a really basic book on epidemiology and look up ‘confounding and ‘common liability’. You [both] might both avoid embarrassing yourselves quite so effortlessly in future.”


  • Vape-related illness reported at Staten Island University Hospital; top docs weigh in”, Staten Island Live – [link]
  • The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators – [link]
  • US vaping lung injury outbreak was a public health fiasco or worse”, Clive Bates – [link]
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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