A striking case in point is that of the anti-vape/tobacco harm reduction hothouse at the University of California San Francisco. Not even being subjected to sexual harassment, racial slurs and having the authorship of her work stolen by Stanton Glantz shook the institutional brainwashing of Dr Eunice Neeley [link].
The millions of dollars flooding through Glantz’ department corrupted all it came into contact with; academic and scientific rigor fell by the wayside in the quest to produce the kind of findings the funders want to see.
This latest study says that research on the potential public health impact of novel nicotine products, like vaping, has “become a cornerstone of nicotine and tobacco science.” The problem is that we have witnessed a fracturing of the research community to a level that has outstripped that seen in previous decades.
Public Health England’s Martin Dockrell has previously commented that he experienced a bitter divide in the early days of HIV study and policy making, but that the current state of the debate over vaping outstrips it for the ferocity of the polarisation and the willingness of some ‘experts’ to lie.
This paper notes: “research priorities … are increasingly presented within the scientific community and to the general public in an oversimplified context, pitted against one another as though e-cigarettes either exclusively benefit or exclusively harm public health.”
The thing is, balanced research, harm reduction advocates and the majority of vapers freely admit they believe vaping isn’t “safe”, just that it is safer. Polarisation exists but appears to be firmly skewed from rational to corrupt with very little to none occupying the “vaping is perfect and totally safe” end of the spectrum.
“The amplification of one-sided, divisive views likely misrepresents the majority of scientists and moves the field away from norms beneficial to scientific integrity, such as nuanced discourse about e-cigarettes and frequent acknowledgment of the trade-offs that can arise between e-cigarette harm prevention and cigarette harm reduction.”
Inclusive conferences, such as the Global Forum for Nicotine (GFN), are run to discuss tobacco harm reduction and vaping and are open to researchers regardless of their views in order to promote healthy discussion. Initially the organisers of GFN would invite the likes of Simon Chapman, Martin McKee, Stanton Glantz and others in the hope that it may benefit them and the debate at large. None of these ardent anti-vaping campaigners ever bothered to attend.
“We, along with others, are concerned that the continued promotion of select, polarized stances on e-cigarettes will threaten the integrity of research and the objective consideration of complicated public health issues. Our more narrow concern, based on our experiences as trainees and early-career scientists, is that the dominance of polarized perspectives may be perpetuated and reinforced through training experiences, and as a result, greatly hinder the field’s progress in eliminating tobacco-related disease and death,” the team adds.
Here's hoping they all read this important plea for balance - lives are depending upon the polarised caps melting.
- “Polarization Within the Field of Tobacco and Nicotine Science and its Potential Impact on Trainees” by Carroll et al. – [link]