|Dr. Glantz wants us to believe e-cigarettes will|
turn young more people into smokers, but his
numbers are totally irrelevant
photo credit: Scott Charlesworth via photopin cc
cigarette experimenters (≥1 puff), ever e-cigarette use was associated
with higher odds of ever smoking cigarettes (≥100 cigarettes; odds ratio
[OR] = 6.31; 95% CI, 5.39-7.39) and current cigarette smoking
(OR = 5.96; 95% CI, 5.67-6.27)."
This tells us that e-cigarette experimenters have a higher odds of being smokers or at least have tried a cigarette. If anything this suggests smokers experiment with e-cigarettes, probably as a healthier alternative, trying to quit.
- "Current e-cigarette use was positively
associated with ever smoking cigarettes (OR = 7.42; 95% CI, 5.63-9.79)
and current cigarette smoking (OR = 7.88; 95% CI, 6.01-10.32)."
The same association is shown for current e-cig users. So e-cig users are either smokers (probably trying to quit) or former smokers (congratulations on the switch guys).
- "In 2011,
current cigarette smokers who had ever used e-cigarettes were more
likely to intend to quit smoking within the next year (OR = 1.53; 95%
Smokers that had tried e-cigarettes intend to quit smoking within the next year. Good. Don't give up guys.
- "Among experimenters with conventional cigarettes, ever
use of e-cigarettes was associated with lower 30-day (OR = 0.24; 95% CI,
0.21-0.28), 6-month (OR = 0.24; 95% CI, 0.21-0.28), and 1-year
(OR = 0.25; 95% CI, 0.21-0.30) abstinence from cigarettes.
Current e-cigarette use was also associated with lower 30-day
(OR = 0.11; 95% CI, 0.08-0.15), 6-month (OR = 0.11; 95% CI, 0.08-0.15),
and 1-year (OR = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.07-0.18) abstinence. Among ever smokers
of cigarettes (≥100 cigarettes), ever e-cigarette use was negatively
associated with 30-day (OR = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.42-0.89), 6-month
(OR = 0.53; 95% CI, 0.33-0.83), and 1-year (OR = 0.32; 95% CI,
0.18-0.56) abstinence from conventional cigarettes. Current e-cigarette
use was also negatively associated with 30-day (OR = 0.35; 95% CI,
0.18-0.69), 6-month (OR = 0.30; 95% CI, 0.13-0.68), and 1-year
(OR = 0.34; 95% CI, 0.13-0.87) abstinence.".
These initially look like they prove Glantz's theory, but actually they don't, because this only talks about total abstinence from cigarettes: "Abstinence from conventional cigarettes for 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year was based on responses to the question "When was the last time you smoked a cigarette, even 1 or 2 puffs?". So this actually just tells us e-cigarette users, or experimenters, have a higher chance of being smokers, or still smoke from time to time, than people that haven't tried e-cigarettes. Why? Well as the first 3 statement tells us, e-cigarette users are probably former smokers or still smokers. And these last statements says nothing about whether e-cigarette use lead to smoking, but combined with the 3 first statement it might suggests that not all e-cig experimenters or users are able to completely stop smoking.
The reason the data in this study is irrelevant is of course the questions that have been asked when collecting the data:
- "Have you ever tried cigarette smoking, even 1 or 2 puffs?"
- "About how many cigarettes have you smoked in your entire life?"
- "I plan to stop smoking cigarettes for good within the next…"
- "During the past 12 months, how many times did you stop smoking for 1 day or longer because you were trying to quit smoking cigarettes for good?"
- "When was the last time you smoked a cigarette, even 1 or 2 puffs?"
- "Which of the following tobacco products have you ever tried, even just 1 time?" (E-cigarettes were one of the answers)
- "During the past 30 days, which of the following tobacco products did you use on at least 1 day?" (E-cigarettes were one of the answers)
Remember what they're trying, or rather should be trying to find out here: Do e-cigarette users that have never smoked before, start smoking? So why didn't they ask all the smokers in the survey this question: "Did you start using e-cigarettes before you started smoking?" Isn't that the obvious question? To me it is. So why wasn't it asked? Because Dr. Glantz already knew what answers he would get, and they really don't help his case. Dr. Glantz concludes that e-cigarettes are encouraging young people to start smoking, and smokers to keep smoking, rather than discouraging them. This means we should see an increase in tobacco consumptions. But the numbers are showing quite the opposite, here presented by Dr. Siegel: http://goo.gl/bHZY1s. Despite the fact that more and more young people are trying e-cigarettes, the decline in tobacco consumption is accelerating. This also supports my post from a couple of days (http://goo.gl/KZEHnK) ago where I argue that vaping replaces smoking, both by enabling current smokers to quit or cut down and by giving young people an alternative so they don't start.
By collecting a bunch of irrelevant answers, and turning them into irrelevant numbers, Dr. Glantz has successfully shown that vaping and smoking is associated with each other, cause people use e-cigarettes to quit smoking, or as an alternative to smoking... nothing more. Thank you Dr. Obvious.
(Dr. Glantz is not the first one to do this by the way: http://goo.gl/4gR10M)