Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Another day, another lie by Glantz

Sorry for the re-use of this photo, but I really
can't be bothered to find another one of Glantz
Stanton Glantz is really on fire these days. Today I noticed he proudly proclaimed that some of his friends have done another longitudinal study shows that kids at low risk of smoking who use e-cigs are a lot more likely to progress to cigarettes. Using his computer skills to make some of the text bold, and thereby, in quite a clever way I have to admit, he's able to emphasize his point and what he thinks his friends have proven with this study:

What they found was that the kids who used e-cigarettes were 8.3 times more likely to be actual smoking cigarettes a year later.
Oh, really? Is that what they actually found? Well apparently they think they did. From the "At a Glance"-section of the study:
In analyses that controlled for all covariates, baseline e-cigarette use was independently associated with progression to smoking (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 8.3; 95% CI, 1.2-58.6) and progression to susceptibility (AOR, 8.5; 95% CI, 1.3-57.2) among initially nonsusceptible nonsmokers.
Hmm... this doesn't smell right? In what way did they twist reality to come up with those numbers? I have to admit I kind of cheated a bit and went straight on to Michael Siegels blog to see if he had already read the study and pointed out the lies. Of course he had, and he confirms a sneaking suspicion I had: They've created an alternative definition of a smoker. Well actually, from what I can see (I haven't really read the study that well yet), they don't really define a cigarette smoker in the study but rather a cigarette smoking initiator. Still they write about this as if they were the same thing. So what is a cigarette smoking initiator then?
... a cigarette smoking initiator, defined as someone who has smoked at least 1 puff of a cigarette in her or his lifetime
Oh? By that definition I'm actually still a smoker, right? Actually I think I remember taking a puff of my mothers cigarette when I was like 6 (sorry mum, I don't think I ever told you that), so I've been a smoker since I was 6 then. No wonder I was in such a bad shape when I hit 25. I'm also pretty sure my teenagers are alcoholics as I know for a fact they have tasted beer. Oh, Lord...

I guess most people can see why such a definition of smokers by itself makes this whole study was total waste of time, and the published results nothing more than a big fat lie. If you don't, or just want a good read, I recommend reading Dr. Siegels thorough explanation here.

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1 comment :

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