The New England Journal of Medicine ran a letter linking e-cigs to cancer and the panicky media gobbled it up like a pot brownie. But how sturdy is this research? What might happen if you tapped lightly on their findings?
Ah, science. What used to be about facts is now about fame - Greg Gutfeld
Yes, under closer scrutiny, this blockbuster collapsed faster than Michael Moore in a spin class.
According to experts, the researchers found that vaping produces lots of formaldehyde, but only if you overheat the system. Meaning: If you use the device wrongly, in a way that a user can't even tolerate, then it's harmful. This would be like concluding that broccoli is deadly if you eat 300 pounds of it in one sitting. This would be like saying driving a car is deadly if you floor it in reverse on a narrow cliff while doing JELL-O shots in your underwear.
The point: If you create an unrealistic climate for harm you create the harm you seek, which allows researchers to elevate the risk and that lands them in a prestigious journal.
As Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum points out, the study author, James Pankow, is already backtracking, telling NBC, quote, "We are not saying e-cigs are more hazardous than cigarettes" and told Reuters they should have provided more context, admitting the authors just wanted to get it out.
Ah, science. What used to be about facts is now about fame and the casualties are folks trying to quit a bad habit and get healthy. It makes you wonder what the New England Journal is smoking.