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More Lung Lies

Vaping causes 40% more lung disease, says a study by a researcher with a history of anti-vape propaganda

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Trust in science and scientists is undermined when findings are produced that stand at odds with observed reality. A Boston University School of Public Health study sought to find an association of e-cig use with respiratory conditions and claims to have discovered one. The researchers say that vapers are 40% more likely to contract a lung infection.

Science is supposedly based on evidence, but in reality, for most people, it is based on trust. Scientific evidence is mostly inaccessible. Scientific journals are difficult to obtain and their articles are written in a specialized language that is incomprehensible to all but a few experts in the field. We trust what those experts say about their results without having the ability to question the results themselves,” begins an article in Scientific American [link].

Only four in 10 people reported a great deal of confidence in the scientific community,” states another article [link] discussing public attitudes from 2017. Faith in the scientific process takes a knock every time researchers twist findings to match their desired outcomes.

Previously, corresponding author Stokes was part of the study that have claimed to find a teen gateway into smoking [link]. Team members in that work included Jessica Barrington-Trimis and Adam Leventhal – both of which are staunchly anti-vape and have a history of producing ridiculous and illogical findings.

Vaping has to be bad for the lungs, the research team reason, because a study by Dharma Bhatta and Stanton Glantz says so. Alarm bells have to sound and bring the veracity of a paper into question when it cites this discredited and retracted pair.

The study found that participants who had used e-cigarettes in the past were 21% more likely to develop a respiratory disease, and those who were current e-cigarette users had a 43% increased risk,” the authors declare.

Dr Andrew Stokes commented: "This provides some of the very first longitudinal evidence on the harms associated with e-cigarette products. In recent years we have seen dramatic increase in e-cigarette use among youth and young adults which threatens to reverse decades of hard-fought gains.

“This new evidence also suggests that we may see an increase in respiratory disease as youth and young adults age into midlife, including asthma, COPD, and other respiratory conditions.”

The study relied on twisting data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study – access to which is now blocked for academics at the University of California San Francisco due to fraudulent work by the aforementioned Bhatta and Glantz.

To make sure they weren't simply seeing cigarette smokers switching to e-cigarettes specifically because of health issues (rather than vaping itself causing these issues), the researchers only included people with no reported respiratory issues,” the authors say.

This is a sleight of hand that pretends any future lung disease is caused by vaping and not the decades of prior smoking, not to mention that self-reported data is unreliable.

They assert that vaping is associated with:

  • A 33% increase in chronic bronchitis risk
  • A 69% increase in emphysema risk
  • A 57% increase in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk
  • A 31% percent increase in asthma risk

Such findings run contrary to user reports on the Planet of the Vapes forum, and conflict with findings by Professor Riccardo Polosa where he monitored actual health improvements. Polosa’s work followed an actual cohort of COPD patients over five years (rather than just playing with numbers on computer). The work found: “The present study suggests that [e-Cigarette] use may ameliorate objective and subjective COPD outcomes, and that the benefits gained appear to persist long term. [e-Cigarette] use for abstinence and smoking reduction may ameliorate some of the harm resulting from tobacco smoking in COPD patients.” [link]

Lead author Wubin Xie added: "With a longitudinal study design and extensive sensitivity analyses, the study adds to a growing body of evidence indicating long-term health risks of e-cigarette use to the respiratory system.”

It doesn’t, the only thing this study adds is to the growing sense that a section of the American scientific community is solely focussed on producing results for funding and to support ideological anti-nicotine positions.


  • Association of Electronic Cigarette Use With Incident Respiratory Conditions Among US Adults From 2013 to 2018”, Stokes et al. – [link]

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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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