COVID Jackass

Posted 2nd September 2020 by Dave Cross
Dr Robert Jackler has a long history of attacking tobacco harm reduction and vaping in an attempt to get funding for his junk science. This time around he is telling anyone who is in the market for a salacious story that vape companies have been “exploiting” the COVID pandemic to boost sales.

When Californian zealots helped set up the Centre for Disease Control’s (CDC) Still Blowing Smoke evidence-free attack on vaping website, Stefan Didak humorously created the Not Blowing Smoke parody site, providing visitors with genuine facts about vaping.

Jackler leapt into the fray, claiming Didak had infringed CDC copyright. It was quickly pointed out to him that he clearly didn’t have the first clue about copyright. Didak wrote to Jackler: “Despite having immediate and direct access to one of the most respected law schools in the United States, the paper fails to recognize that works of the United States government do not qualify for copyright protection. All the same, we believe the transformative works created by individual consumer advocates fall squarely inside the bounds of fair use. The images utilize less than 3% of the original source material, are wholly intended to provide both criticism and commentary and do not use the CDC logo.”

The next year, Jackler launched a website that tracked advertising. A typical example of his nonsense went: “Ads for eCig manufacturer NJOY feature rocker Courtney Love, in an expletive-laced ad, in which supporters of indoor smoking bans are portrayed as ‘stuffy’ and ‘stuck-up’, while the rocker is portrayed as free-spirited and independent.”

Jackler appeared to think the then 52-yr old punk rocker was a spokesperson for the modern teen generation.

He told journalists last year that “The rush to higher and higher nicotine concentration has reduced the cost of nicotine addiction and comes with a huge poisoning risk. [Some bottles hold] enough nicotine to kill an entire preschool class.”

World Vapers Alliance

Nobody knows if he is disappointed that an entire preschool class is still to be poisoned by a Juul pod.

Researcher Amelia Howard ripped Jackler apart, saying: “First of all, no one knows what they're [the press] reporting on. This isn't like journalists not reading past an abstract or press release. They literally don't have a clue what the study is about. Not even a vague idea. And apparently every newsroom's solution to this problem was to guess.

The study is by Robert Jackler, a Stanford doctor who, by serendipity, managed to translate a compulsion to hoard tobacco marketing memorabilia into some sort of folk hero status in the anti-smoking movement. Jackler is an expert in cutting around people's salivary glands or something. But in tobacco research land, he fancies himself a historian who conducts cutting edge data science on Wednesdays. (On full moon dates, he dabbles in cultural sociology and communications studies).

This is the definition of junk scientist, but he's tolerated, even indulged by many in tobacco control. Jackler also hates vaping. Every now and then he succeeds in placing an impenetrable piece of angry nonsense on evil ecig companies in the field's flagship journal.”

Now CNN has offered up column inches to carry his turgid waffling.

Pure Eliquids

"While we thought we'd seen it all, we never imagined that we'd see tobacco companies exploiting a global pandemic for marketing purposes. What really surprised us was how many different ways they did it, and how many companies and brands engaged in the practice,” he told them.

And what is his issue now? He is incandescent that some vape companies have been offering free hand sanitiser, face masks, or (wittily) toilet rolls with orders.

They offer their hand sanitizer in the same little bottle. You can very easily accidentally think that that's for use in vaping. You pour 70% alcohol in the vaporizer, breathe it in, can do some serious harm to your lungs.”

The number of people who have vaped hand sanitiser? Zero.

Jackler goes on to object to companies offering sage advice on not sharing devices, countacless delivery, and discounts being offered to NHS staff (encouraging them to quit smoking). His paper offers no science, it’s just another piece of corrupt ranting designed to appeal to the Tobacco Control echo chamber.

The Electronic Cigarette Company


  • Complete Tobacco Control, POTV – [link]
  • Celebrity Vaper Attacked, POTV – [link]
  • THR Advocate Destroys Juul Study, POTV – [link]
  • Exploitation of the COVID-19 pandemic by e-cigarette marketers, Jackler et al. – [link]

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
ALD Group