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La Jolla Lies

“E-cigarettes are harmful to your health,” lies UC San Diego’s Dr Laura Crotty Alexander

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La Jolla is a beautiful place: Rugged coastlines, pine trees, sandstone canyons, world-renowned golf courses and clifftop ocean views. It’s a place where people visit expensive boutiques and dine on the waterfront. Also, it’s a place where parents have been subjected to the anti-vape deranged outpourings from Dr Laura Crotty Alexander. “E-cigarettes are harmful to your health,” she says.

Calling for a ban on all flavoured e-liquids, Crotty Alexander declared to a newspaper in La Jolla that it “will go a long way in preventing children and young adults from picking up these e-cigarettes in the first place and thus will protect our community”.

Although I have been studying electronic cigarettes for several years, sometimes it feels like the same questions keep coming back around,” she says.

Some would say the same questions keep coming back around because Crotty Alexander keeps posing them and spinning fabrications disguised as facts.

There are many parents here in La Jolla who could tell you first-hand that e-cigarettes are addictive and dangerous.”

Now, unless those parents are experienced, independent researchers then their opinions don’t exactly count for much – unless the anecdotes accord with your personal bias.

One La Jolla parent found empty e-cigarette pods in her ninth-grader’s backpack, then had to witness her child’s nicotine withdrawal over the weekend, followed by a months-long period of working to break that powerful addiction.”

That is so science.

But then this is the person who states: “I can confidently say, without a shadow of a doubt, that e-cigarettes are harmful to your health. More specifically, based on my own research here at UC San Diego and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, I can say that inhaling e-cigarette aerosols leads to negative effects on your lungs, brain, heart, kidneys, liver, colon and immune system.”

Should she be worried about teens in La Jolla picking up vaping and progressing to smoking?


In a University College London paper, lead author Dr Emma Beard (Institute of Epidemiology & Health) said: “These findings suggest that the large gateway effects reported in previous studies can be ruled out, particularly among those aged 18 to 24. However, we cannot rule out a smaller gateway effect and we did not study younger age groups.

“If the upper estimates are true, we would estimate that of the 74,000 e-cigarette users aged 16 to 17 in England, around 7,000 would become ever regular smokers as a consequence of e-cigarette use. At the same time, approximately 50,000 smokers are estimated to quit per year as a consequence of e-cigarette use”.

Another University College London study, by Jackson, Jamie Brown, and Martin Jarvis, found the only gateway in American teens was from smoking to vaping – reducing harm.

The wealth of true independent evidence has found that vaping is “at least 95% safer than smoking”. Year on year, Public Health England failed to find any evidence of the harms claimed by Crotty Alexander – something confirmed by the monthly Cochrane Reviews.

The residents of La Jolla deserve better than Dr Laura Crotty Alexander.

Photo Credit:

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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