Recently, Planet of the Vapes wrote about how University of Waterloo Professor David Hammond misinformed his government and the world’s media about “a disturbing trend in Canadian teen vaping rates”.
At the time, we referred to the study as “a disappointing hotchpotch that negated to factor in potential causes for the observed patterns”. The authors now accept they made serious errors in analysing the data. [link]
Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos called this a “massive erratum” and wrote: “The study results were presented to the government and leaked to the media 7 months before publication (because of the troubling findings!!). But the original abstract still reports the wrong results, and the correction is available in a supplement.”
The new study will be co-led by Dr Stephanie Coen at the University of Nottingham and Dr Jason Gilliland at Western University.
Grace Parraga and Dr. Constance Mackenzie, also at Western, were repeating the erroneous claim as fact as late as last Wednesday: “With the rapid rise in vaping in Canada, particularly among children and teenagers who have never smoked tobacco cigarettes before and in adults trying to quit tobacco cigarette smoking, research is urgently needed to understand the long-term health effects of vaping.” [link]
In 2019, Gilliland responded to the claim that there is “a rising prevalence of vaping in … schools” by saying: “There is certainly a lack of scientific evidence available for young people to make informed decisions about e-cigarettes. The members of our teen advisory council are concerned that their peers are either unaware of the potential health effects of vaping, or that the lack evidence is leading to the assumption there are no negative consequences. Thanks to the youth, we are looking into conducting new research in this area.” [link]
If there was any hope that this is going to be a balanced piece of work vanish when the University of Nottingham press office writes: “Increasing evidence of harms associated with vaping has led the Government of Canada to identify youth vaping as a major public health concern.”
The purpose of their work will be “to generate much-needed evidence on teenage vaping to ensure that research and educational resources resonate with them.”
“To encourage candid discussions about vaping, researchers will hold online focus groups where teenagers can use avatars and pseudonym screen names to participate, as well as in-person friendship group interviews when face-to-face contact resumes. Using this evidence, the researchers will work with teen collaborators to develop a creative communications campaign, such as a short film or comic strip, to deliver the study’s findings to teenagers.”
So, with Gilliland regurgitating prohibitionist fiction, can harm reduction benefit from Dr Steph’s vape expertise? Draw your own conclusions, as she write her proficiencies as: “The role of environments in shaping the gender gap in physical activity (i.e. boys and men are more likely to meet the recommended physical activity guidelines than women and girls). How gym environments contribute to the gendered nature of physical activity participation. Equity-based approaches to physical activity. The gendered nature of health and health care. Arts-based research methods (e.g. drawing, poetry, theatre).”
Heads up, Canada.