In this blog, I examine an extraordinary claim by Professor Stanton Glantz of the University of California at San Francisco. Professor Glantz claims that the US public is right to believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking and that science is now catching up with public opinion.
This claim is profoundly and dangerously false, and it demands a challenge. Professor Glantz makes his claim in a commentary in response to a substantive paper on perceptions of the relative risk of smoking and vaping. Both articles appeared in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open. This blog is a 13,000-word review looking in detail at Professor Glantz’s 700-word commentary and its supporting citations, examining thirteen claims that form the basis of the overall claim. I am hoping the critique provided here will be a useful primer to some of the arguments in this controversial field.
For navigation, there is a table of contents.
- A paper on risk perceptions has disturbing results
- Professor Stanton Glantz provides a commentary
- A review of Professor Glantz’s commentary
- Claim 1: the public perception is correct, and science is catching up
- Claim 2: optimists ignore toxins and ultrafine particles
- Claim 3: perceived risk drives tobacco use behaviour
- Claim 4: National Academies report understates the risk of vaping
- Claim 5: long-term health effects of vaping are unknown
- Claim 6: vaping causes heart attacks and strokes
- Claim 7: vaping is a cause of respiratory disease
- Claim 8: some vaping risks approach those of cigarettes
- Claim 9: vaping is implicated in cancer
- Claim 10: dual-use undermines the value of vaping
- Claim 11: e-cigarettes are ineffective for real-world smoking cessation
- Claim 12: the explosion of youth use outweighs any benefits to adults
- Claim 13: conclusion – the people are right and science is catching up