Update: Regulator Watch also interviewed Dr. Michael Siegel, a pro-vaping advocate, as a follow up to the following interview with Stanton Glantz.
Brent from regulatorwatch.com somehow got Stanton Glantz, one of the biggest anti-vaping opponents, to come onto his show for an interview.
Glantz clearly has the ideology of the old-school anti-tobacco movement, which unfortunately bleeds into his thoughts regarding electronic cigarettes, but not everything he said is bad.
Let’s take a look at the interview…
Glantz Believes Kids Are Vaping At An Alarming Rate
In the Regulator Watch interview, Stanton Glantz kept repeating that he believes a dangerous amount of kids are now vaping. He also claims that e-cigs are a gateway for kids to start smoking cigarettes. He says this isn’t just a small amount either. He believes this to be a substantial amount.
There are studies that have been done that Glantz has reportedly interpreted incorrectly to reach this conclusion, for example, the CDC reports that tobacco use has not declined at all since vaping has become popular. But what the CDC and Glantz don’t tell you, is that they are classifying electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product in their research, which they shouldn’t. If you remove electronic cigarettes from the equation, you’ll find that tobacco use has actually declined dramatically across all age groups.
Another study that Glantz and vaping opponents like to refer to is a recent survey that asked teenagers if they have ever used e-cigs. But, there was a major flaw with this study. The researchers didn’t ask respondents how often they would vape or when the last time it was that they vaped. The researchers only asked, if at some time in their lives, they’ve used an electronic cigarette. So even if one of these kids had used an e-cig one time, no matter how long ago, they would be considered an e-cig user in the report. The researchers designed the study to get the answers they wanted to report on.
If you watched the interview, this is one of the many things Brent was hinting at when he asked Glantz about why there seem to be issues with how anti-vaping groups are interpreting the data (hint, hint, Glantz). If you read Glantz blog, you’ll see that it’s full of biased interpretations of data and false statements about things that the researchers themselves don’t even say.
Glantz Admits That E-Cigs Are Safer
There were some gold nuggets that came out of this interview too. For example, Brent got Glantz to admit that electronic cigarettes are far safer than smoking cigarettes.
Glantz also stated that he doesn’t believe e-cigs are very toxic. He says that his biggest concern really comes down to the issues that kids will use e-cigs and move to tobacco.
He said that if vaping stayed in the realm of hobbyist vapers and that if it wasn’t a gateway to smoking, he probably wouldn’t have an issue with it.
Is The “95% Safer Than Smoking” Statistic Made-Up?
Glantz also talked about the figure from the Public Health England study that stated that vaping is 95% safer than smoking. Glantz believes that the number was pulled out of thin air without any evidence behind it, but if you’ve read the study, you’ll know that’s not very likely.
He also claims that even if that number were true, the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England only look at cancer, not health benefits as a whole. He said that most smokers don’t die from cancer, but instead of cardiovascular disease and other non-cancerous lung diseases.
First, let’s take a look at the data.
According to the CDC, these are the stats for smoking-related deaths from 2005 to 2009:
- Cancer (all types) – 163,700 deaths
- Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases – 160,000
- Respiratory Disease – 113,100
Glantz combined cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as one statistic, in which case it’s true that more smokers die from those conditions rather than cancer. But of all the ways someone can die from smoking, cancer is the leading cause. He just twisted the facts to make it fit the story he was trying to tell.
Still, his claim that the England’s top medical researchers are only using the 95% safer figure as it relates to cancer is an interesting one. And based on the wording of both the PHE study and the Royal College of Physicians report, that doesn’t appear to be true.
For example, the Royal College of Physicians report states that “hazard to health” from long-term vaping is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm of smoking tobacco. That term, “hazard of health,” sounds like an all-encompassing term, not just focusing on cancer.
RCP also states that this report “shows that, for all the potential risks involved, harm reduction has huge potential to prevent death and disability from tobacco use”
And if you really dig into the research, you can see that they looked at respiratory issues, metabolic issues, and cardiovascular disease. And the same goes for the Public Health England study. Neither organization was looking at only cancer.
So Glantz is either lying or he just doesn’t know the facts. If you know anything about Glantz history, he’s probably lying.