At the end of January 2018, vaping devices were violently attacked by the AFP. According to the French press agency, e-cigarettes significantly increase the risks of cancer and heart disease.
The bad buzz began after the publication of an article in the Bulletin of the American Academy of Sciences. The study’s results suggested that e-cigarettes may have carcinogenic effects related to the presence of nitrosamines, a derivative of nicotine. However, many newspapers quickly turned the hypothesis put forth by the American researchers into a stated fact.
Some media outlets like Paris Match quickly came to the defence of electronic cigarettes by citing renowned scientists and doctors. For Dr. Dupagne, a general practitioner, relaying such premature conclusions is criminal. On the contrary, according to him the use of e-cigarettes to help quit smoking should be encouraged.
Unjustified media harassment
Professor Bertrand Dautzenberg of the Department of Pulmonology at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris says that the facts are being manipulated. According to him, the studies that concluded that e-cigarettes are dangerous have no scientific value because the methods used in the experiment did not reflect the reality of e-cigarette usage.
First and foremost, the nicotine levels used in the experiment were far greater than what consumers are actually exposed to. Furthermore, according to the professor, it is unreasonable to use findings obtained while studying mice and apply them to humans. For him, a doctor who specializes in respiratory illnesses, e-cigarettes are a very effective way to fight tobacco addiction. Indeed, he does not hesitate to prescribe e-cigarettes to patients who hope to quit smoking.
Thankfully, much of the press has condemned the news purporting the harmfulness of e-cigarettes. This is a relatively new trend, however, as in years past the media consistently and systematically denigrated the idea of vaping. In the interest of consumers, it is essential that newspapers remain independent of the power of Big Tobacco and its lobbies. Publishing scientific facts must be done in a reliable way, and come from multiple sources lest premature conclusions dominate the headlines.