My journey into vaping

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Vaping isn’t rocket science.

There have been gaps in my blog posts recently, some health related. Some because I often sit looking at my voice recorder, and notes I’ve transcribed as I scroll through social media and news searches with a giant yellow question mark over my head. Sometimes it switches to an exclamation mark. More frequently these days it switches to a row of characters often used to replace a swearword. I am astounded by the depths to which those who deny e cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking will sink.

My newly pressed fellow vaping blogger The Random Vaper wrote an excellent piece on the latest idiocy from one of the three main ecig deniers today. I don’t need to start to write the same post, for which I’m very grateful. I really couldn’t face the task. This is what strikes me standing apart from the ecig debate and looking at this latest pile of tripe.

The people who are creating the myth that ecigarettes are just as harmful as smoking are not experts in relevant fields of study.  Let’s compare two of the main players. On the side of the deniers we have Professor Stanton Glantz. I’ve taken this from his Wikipedia page:

Glantz  gained a BSc in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1969, an MSc in applied mechanics from Stanford University in 1970 and a PhD in applied mechanics and engineering economic systems, again from Stanford, in 1973. Concurrently with his studies he worked at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center, first as a student trainee then as an aerospace engineer. In 1973 Glantz carried out postdoctoral research on the mathematical modeling of heart tissue at Stanford University and then at the University of California, San Francisco, where he has worked since 1977.

On the side of evidence based science we have Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos. These are his main qualifications which I have compiled from publicly available information.

Dr Farsalinos obtained an MD (Medicine) from Charles University Medical School in 1998. Resident in Internal Medicine Kastoria General Hospital from 2002 – 2005, Cardiology resident Sitia General Hospital, Crete 2007 – 2008. Cardiologist (resident) Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center 2008 – 2011. Cardiologist (fellow) Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center 2011 – Present and also Clinical Observer and Researcher, Department of Cardiology, Medical Imaging Research Center University Hospital Gathuisberg, Catholic University of Leuven March 2013 – Present.

Which of these two people would you trust to give you a medical opinion? Glantz might be a “rocket scientist”, but I’d rather take the advice of a doctor when it comes to the effects of vaping on my body. While Glantz is still trying to tell us that ultrafine water droplets are as harmful to health as particulate matter, Dr Farsalinos has found no evidence that would make him advise against using ecigs. I look at the list of names on the letter written to the WHO in support of sane regulation by leading experts, and compare the list of names who wrote in argument of regulation that would effectively strangle the technology and I see the same sort of disparity in fields of expertise. Those who support ecigs generally have relevant qualifications, those who do not are outside their field of expertise.

The arguments and evidence coming from Glantz get more desperate over time. There is something very strange about the way that every last scrap of information is turned over and twisted to become a strike against vaping. Captain Ahab has to go hunt his whale.


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