Are E-cigarettes Harmful, According To The BBC Yes!! False Headlines

Posted by Peter Nelson on

Yet again the BBC have headlined an article:

Vaping 'can damage vital immune system cells'

Vaping can damage vital immune system cells and may be more harmful than previously thought, a study suggests.

This headline is totally misleading and negative. Headlines like this are used to sensationalise stories and totally mislead people who might be thinking of using e-cigarettes to quit smoking. If they are worried, this headline might well put them off. You can read the full article here.

The problem with the overall article, apart from the headline, is the lack of detail. The BBC do not say who wrote it but it is very lazy journalism. They do link to the Journal Thorax paper but do not tell you all the details in the report.

The study was done using 8 people who had never smoked, yes just 8 people!! In addition they only vaped for 48 hours, so there is absolutely no chance to see if the body/lungs would adapt to the inhaling of the vapour. The study also used 36mg Nicotine based e-liquid, this is quite frankly ridiculous as the maximum you can buy by law is 20mg, so why use 36? Probably just to get a result that could be sensationalized in headlines. They also use a Kanger e-cigarette which is regarded as a straight to lung device, you would never vape straight to lung at 36mg Nicotine, even if the law allowed. Straight to lung is typically vaped at 3mg Nicotine. 

This is such a minor study that it is pretty much worthless as a guide to whether or not e-cigarette usage is harmful or not, in addition to the ridiculous method used for the study this article does not merit headline news on the BBC website. On the same Journal Thorax website there are plenty of studies and articles promoting e-cigarette usage, yet the BBC journalist who wrote this picks out one article that they can use a negative headline on. 

There is no doubt that e-cigarette usage is harmful in some way, however this has still not been proved and all public health bodies and Cancer Research UK promote e-cigarettes as a great way to stop smoking. In addition they all regard e-cigarettes as much less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but clearly the BBC just likes a good headline, rather than helping people quit smoking they want to stop people and scare them off with sensational headlines. the BBC know fine well that there are lots of stats that show the general public mainly read headlines and take that on board rather than reading the whole article themselves.

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