Tag Archives: study

Scientist Exposes ‘Sham’ Methodology Linking E-Cigarettes To Smoking

By Guy Bentley – A Swiss study claiming vaping can lead to smoking and harms current smokers’ chance of quitting suffers from “fatal” flaws, and the paper’s conclusions are misrepresentative, according to a leading public health expert.

“We found no beneficial effects of vaping at follow-up for either smoking cessation or smoking reduction,” the authors conclude in the study.

But Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, has written a damning critique of the study, which was published in Swiss Medical Weekly. 

“The study fails to establish the baseline vaping status of each participant,” Siegel wrote. “To qualify as a true longitudinal design, the study would identify vapers and non-vapers at baseline and then follow both groups over time to compare changes in smoking status over the follow-up period.”

“Instead, the study measures – at follow-up – whether the participants had used an electronic cigarette any time in the past year,” he continued. “They could have used an e-cigarette for the first time the previous day, for example, and would still be considered as vapers in the analysis.” (RELATED: CDC Data Blows Away Popular E-Cigarette Criticism)

Siegel points out that the researchers don’t compare the changes in smoking behavior over time between vapers and non-vapers. The study only measures changes in smoking over the past year and whether the subjects had ever used an e-cigarette. So, in Siegel’s words, the “study methods do not allow the investigators to determine which came first.”

“Because it is a cross-sectional study, it is impossible to know whether the change in smoking status preceded the use of electronic cigarettes or whether the use of electronic cigarettes preceded the smoking status change,” he wrote.

This omission is critical, as it casts severe doubt over the claim that e-cigarettes are a cause of smoking initiation or failure to quit. The second fatal flaw is that the question used to assess vaping behavior only asked about ever use of e-cigarettes,” Siegel wrote. “It does not assess the frequency of use or its duration. According to the methodology, participants were merely asked whether they had ‘used’ e-cigarettes at any point in the past 12 months.”

But the term “used” was not clarified. Vapers, as defined in the study, included anyone who so much as tried one e-cigarette. “It is entirely possible that many of the participants who the study called vapers were actually not vapers at all, but merely people who had tried an e-cigarette,” Siegel added. (RELATED: CDC Admits, No ‘Concrete’ Evidence E-Cigarettes Are Gateway To Smoking

Siegel’s criticism comes soon after a meta-study arguing that e-cigarettes made it harder for people quit smoking received widespread criticism from health professionals, and was branded an “unscientific hatchet Job.”

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Fact Check: Ben Carson Slams Media On Fetal Tissue Study He Participated In

August 14, 2015– In the wake of multiple investigative videos surfacing appearing to show Planned Parenthood selling aborted fetus tissue for profit, Republican Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has been a vocal critic of Planned Parenthood and the practice of using fetal tissue for medical research. However, critics have uncovered a study that researched fetal tissue, which Carson participated in, leading to claims that Carson’s participation contradicts his vocal opposition.

Last month, in an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Carson said that the benefits of fetal tissue research were over-promised and under-delivered. Carson also said that there was nothing that couldn’t be done without using fetal tissue. However, Carson would not completely condemn and call for an end to the use of fetal tissue research.

“Yes, Dr. Ben Carson has done research on fetal tissue and published his findings,” wrote Dr. Jen Gunter, who originally challenged Carson in a blog post. The media took the story and ran the narrative that Carson had studied fetal tissue from aborted fetuses. “Ben Carson Once Did Research On 17-Week Aborted Fetal Tissue,” reads a headline from Huffington Post.

Carson took to Facebook to explain the true circumstances surrounding the study and trade jabs at the media. Carson says that the aborted fetal tissue was from a microscope slide that a separate pathology lab used to compare with the tumors he had removed from his own patients. “Today I was accused by the press as having done research on fetal tissue. It simply is not true… My only involvement in this study was supplying tumors that I had removed from my patients,” declared Carson. “The fetal tissue that was viewed in this study by others was not collected for this study.”

After clarifying his involvement in the study, Carson went on to hit his critics and reassure his supporters.

“I am sickened by the attack that I, after having spent my entire life caring for children, had something to do with aborting a child and harvesting organs. My medical specialty is the human brain and even I am amazed at what it is capable of doing,” wrote Carson. “Please know these attacks are pathetic attempts to blunt our progress.”

In only a few short hours, the post generated almost 150,000 likes and 40,000 shares, making it one of his most successful social media posts of the campaign.

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Princeton Study Declares U.S. government an Oligarchy

A new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has found that the United States’ government more closely resembles an Oligarchy or a Corporatocracy than a Republic or Democracy. Researchers examined nearly 2,000 policy changes in the United States between 1981 and 2002 and compared the changes to the preferences of average Americans, wealthy citizens, and interest and lobbying groups.

The researchers sought to find the answers to who governs in America, who really rules, and to what extent are U.S. citizens sovereign or powerless. To do this they analyzed four theoretical traditions in American politics. These include Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic Elite Domination, and two types of interest group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism. The researchers write, “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

They found evidence to support the theories of Economic Elite Domination, and Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism. The key difference in the theories is the power and influence that wealthy individuals yield versus the average, or median voter.

Despite past researchers suggesting that policy changes are the result of “collective preferences” or that liberalism and conservatism in policies is representative of the views of citizens, the Princeton study suggests “that reality is best captured by mixed theories in which both individual economic elites and organized interest groups (including corporations, largely owned and controlled by wealthy elites) play a substantial part in affecting public policy, but the general public has little or no independent influence.”

The researchers findings also indicate that even when a majority of citizens disagree with the economic elite, and call for policy change, they rarely get it. The researchers blame “the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system.”

The study concludes with the following statement:

“We believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.”

Although the researchers (and most of the media) refer to the idealized American government as a democracy it is important to remember that the original text of the Constitution called for a republican form of government, as seen in Article 4, section 4:

“The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government,”

Interestingly enough the researchers also mention critics who believe the elite themselves created the Constitution to take away freedoms from the average citizen. “Analyses of U.S. politics centered on economic elites go back at least to Charles Beard, who maintained that a chief aim of the framers of the U.S. Constitution was to protect private property, favoring the economic interests of wealthy merchants and plantation owners rather than the interests of the then-majority small farmers, laborers, and craft workers.”

Whether you believe in a Democracy, a Constitutional Republic, or self-government, it is clear that unless Americans begin to educate themselves to the problems, and move to action, we will see all our freedoms stripped away and the Corporate-State will become further entrenched.