Monday, 18 September 2017

Glantz's 'expanding tobacco epidemic'

From Stan Glantz's wacky blog...

More evidence that the US permissive policy environment for e-cigs is expanding the tobacco epidemic

Hong-Jun Cho, Lauren Dutra, and I recently published “Differences in adolescent e-cigarette and cigarette prevalence in two policy environments: South Korea and the United States” in Nicotine and Tobacco Research. This paper compares changes in e-cigarette and cigarette use in South Korea and the United States between 2011 and 2015. Korea has maintained restrictive policies on e-cigarettes whereas the US has left them essentially unregulated (a situation that the FDA will continue until at least 2022).

We found that In Korea adolescent e-cigarette use remained stable at a low level, whereas in the United States e-cigarette use increased. Most important, combined e-cigarette plus cigarette use declined in Korea whereas it increased in the US. The restrictive policies in Korea likely contributed to lower overall tobacco product use. These results are evidence against the claims that the availability of e-cigarettes is preventing youth from taking up cigarettes. They also add to the case that a permissive e-cigarette policy environment is making the overall nicotine/tobacco epidemic worse.

Wow, really?! Vaping is expanding the 'tobacco epidemic' among youngsters in the US?

*reads the study*

Cigarette prevalence (past 30 day) decreased in Korea from 12.1% (11.6–12.7) to 7.8% (CI: 7.3–8.3) and in the United States from 11.1% (9.5–12.6) to 6.1% (5.1–7.3). Combined prevalence of cigarette and e-cigarette use (adjusting for dual users) decreased in Korea from 13.2% (12.7–13.8) to 8.5% (8.0–9.1) but increased in the United States from 11.3% (9.7–12.9) to 14.0% (12.4–15.7).

It turns out that South Korea only has 'lower overall tobacco product use' if you pretend that e-cigarettes are tobacco products. The 'increase' in tobacco product use in the US also only exists if you make the same mad assumption.

Back on Planet Earth, the adolescent smoking rate in South Korea remains higher than in the US. The rate has dropped sharply among American youth since vaping became popular. It has dropped less sharply in South Korea.

So it's more pitiful junk science from Glantz and co. As you were.

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