Rodu Lambasts BMJ Article

Posted 14th July 2021 by Dave Cross
Professor Brad Rodu has lambasted a recent article carried in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in a letter written to the editor. The article was penned by two “investigative journalists” currently working for Le Monde and The Investigative Desk – one of which previously penned a vile defamatory piece about Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos.

Brad Rodu is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville. He holds an endowed chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) research and is a member of the James Graham Brown Cancer Centre at the University of Louisville. He has been involved in research and policy development regarding THR.

Rodu believes that there are millions of smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit with conventional cessation methods involving tobacco and nicotine abstinence, and he thinks they should be encouraged to use far safer vape or other alternative nicotine products.

The investigative journalists, Stéphane Horel and Ties Keyzer previously produced two articles published by Vpro-Argos and Le Monde which Dr Farsalinos called “defamatory” (1).

The Investigative Desk is part funded by the University of Bath’s Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG). The TCRG received $20m from billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Horel and Keyzer’s piece accused THR advocates “of undermining decades of tobacco control.”

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Rodu wrote to the BMJ to highlight “specific scientific problems with the article’s content”, but his contribution wasn’t published. Consequently, he has posted his letter in full on his blog (3).

In attempting to link vaping with Covid, Horel and Keyzer cited 4 pieces of research and stated they “roundly disproved that smoking protects against covid-19.”

Professor Rodu responded: “It is ironic that the article by Horel and Keyzer was published in BMJ under the topic of ‘Research Integrity,’ because their own research may not have reached the level readers deserve in a quality medical journal. In fact, a close look at their four studies, and others that they omit, roundly disproves their disproval claim.”

POTV readers may remember that it was Brad Rodu who eviscerated Stanton Glantz when he tried to claim that vaping caused heart attacks up to ten years before smokers had made the switch (4).

Rodu goes on in his letter to ream off a swathe of studies that Horel and Keyzer had chosen to ignore or fail to cite properly (because it would have destroyed their initial argument).


He concludes that there is “substantial evidence” that smoking has prevented people from contracting Covid in the numbers that would have been expected.

Other studies looking at the prophylactic effect of nicotine in relation to Covid are ongoing. Needless to say, Bloomberg-funded organisations and individuals will fail to report the results if they turn out to be inconvenient.


  1. Farsalinos Fights Defamation -
  2. Covid 19: How harm reduction advocates and the tobacco industry capitalised on the pandemic to promote nicotine -
  3. The British Medical Journal Falsely Claimed “Harm Reduction Advocates and the Tobacco Industry Capitalised on the Pandemic to Promote Nicotine” -
  4. Glantz In The Spotlight, POTV -

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