Show me the evidence. Anti-vaping reports further discredited

Posted by DrMendelsohn on 14 July, 2017

Opponents of vaping often base their views on two major international reports, one by the World Health Organisation and one by the US Surgeon-General. Both have been widely criticised. A new publication this week has further questioned the validity of the Surgeon General's report.

The US Surgeon-General Report, 2016

The Surgeon-General's report was criticised in a peer-reviewed analysis this week in the journal, Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Some of the concerns are that the report only included studies that ‘conformed to conclusions that had already been reached’ (known as confirmation bias). Furthermore, ‘there is additional evidence that the 2016 SGR falls short of providing a comprehensive overview of the literature’. Some studies were left out which could have important bearing on the results.

The review concludes ‘serious methodological oversights that greatly restrict the ability of the 2016 SGR to offer an objective review of the best available evidence related to the health effects of nicotine, tobacco, and e-cigarettes’.

Other critical reviews:

Clive Bates
Bad science, poor insights and likely to do harm – rapid reaction the Surgeon General’s terrible e-cigarette report

Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos
US Surgeon General declares e-cigarettes are a public health concern. But where is the evidence of harm?

The Influence, Helen Redmond
The Surgeon General’s Pack of Lies About E-cigarettes Is Likely to Cost Lives.

Dr Sally Satel, David Sweanor
Dear Surgeon General and Public Health Agencies, Anti-vaping Policies are Bad for Public Health

The World Health Organisation report, 2016

The WHO report was harshly critiqued by the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies. This independent and prestigious university based organisation is funded by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration. It’s conclusion:

In our view, the WHO report ‘fails to deliver the equipoise required for dispassionate formulation of public health policy. The report also contains factual errors and misinterpretations of evidence available in the public domain; and refers at its outset to four reports, including two systematic reviews, commissioned by the WHO but as yet unpublished and hence unavailable for scrutiny’. Click here to see the whole analysis.

Other critical reviews:

UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies
Media release
Commentary on WHO report on electronic nicotine delivery systems and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems, 2016

Clive Bates
WHO's anti-vaping scientific castle of cards toppled

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