[excerpt] -File under “spurious correlations”
Earlier this year, Dr. Glantz published another bogus study in JAMA Pediatrics. This time, he claimed that adolescents that use ecigs are more likely to become smokers. For this particular study, he actually used survey data, but it wasn’t his own. Instead, he carefully selected the data he needed from the 2011 and 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey. In the early portion of his analysis, Dr. Glantz seemed to be on track. Based on his analysis of the data, he concluded that using ecigs was associated with higher odds of previous or current smoking. That makes sense considering that ecigs are primarily used by smokers. Next, he said that ecig users were more likely to try to quit smoking. Once again, this seems pretty true! But that’s where the good science ends and the big jump to illogical conclusions begins.
Next, Dr. Glantz concluded that using ecigs reduced the odds of smoking abstinence. That seems contradictory to his previous statement that ecigs increased attempts at quitting. Finally, he used some twisted logic to determine that ecigs do not discourage teen smoking, but actually act as a gateway to tobacco use. In reality, there is absolutely zero evidence in his data to support this conclusion. In order to back that kind of statement, you need long-term information on how smoking and vaping use evolved over time among the same set of survey participants.
New Outrageous Claims
With a history of bad science and plenty of outright lies, we’ve learned to basically dismiss anything published by Dr. Glantz. But this week, he made a claim that is so completely crazy that it deserves a moment in the spotlight. Are you currently using e-cigarettes? If so, Dr. Glantz said you are luring people into using tobacco. That’s right… if you choose tobacco-free electronic cigarettes, you are tempting people around you to start smoking. You are a walking cancer risk to everyone that sees you take a puff on that ecig.