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Welcome to the BeatNic Blog. Here, you'll find the latest e cigarette news, commentary and maybe even a special or two.

With the re-organization of the E-Cig Express website, we decided to rename our old "E-Cig Express Blog" and move it from the Blogger platform to one right here on our website. Rather than move all of the old articles and comments over to a new platform, we decided to leave them in place. You can view the old blog here.

Please feel free to comment on any post you find here. We want to hear from you!

Ecig Science: Is a Study of Studies Really a Study?

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Questions about the New American Heart Association ECigarette Study

It's been quite awhile since I wrote anything for the BeatNic Blog. I don't write just to write. If there is nothing significant worth talking about, what's the point in writing something (or in the case of some blogs, ANYTHING) just to get something published every week?

Honestly, there has been very little of any significance to talk about as far as ecigarettes go. Sure, the House recently sent a request to the FDA to change their grandfather clause date on e-cigs but that's just politics - a lot of meaningless talk that will have no impact at all on what the FDA does. The FDA is a corrupt, unelected group of appointees that doesn't give a rat's ass about what the boys on the Hill have to say. Only money talks with these people.

As I poured through the same old, same old ecig headlines today, I finally saw one that caught my eye - American Heart Association Study Finds Vaping More Effective for Quitting Smoking than FDA-Approved Products. Naturally, any study that sheds e-cigarettes in a good light gets my attention but this one was done by the American Heart Association - a group that is largely funded by the pharmaceutical industry and pretty much known as being anti-ecig.

According to the abstract of the study, e-cigarettes are more than twice as effective as current pharmaceutical solutions at smoking cessation. To be precise, electronic cigarettes were 18% effective at six months compared to only a 7% efficacy rate for FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products like nicotine gum, lozenges and the patch.

There's a problem; though, this is not a study in and of itself. Instead, it is a study of other studies. Six separate studies were used as the basis of the American Heart Association's findings. In reality, they cherry-picked six studies that have been done and used them as the basis of their report.

How in the world do you decide which six studies to use? According to ecigalternative.com, there were more than 50 e-cigarette studies done in 2014, alone! The Drexel report used more than 9,000 separate e-cigarette publications as the basis for its study.

Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing which six studies out of thousands that the American Heart Association selected as the basis for their findings. Abstracts of studies never give you those details but that will all be revealed in due time.

Surely, no matter which side of the e-cig debate you are on, you would have to agree that it would be incredibly easy to hand select six studies that fully supported whatever agenda you wanted to put forth. I could have picked six studies that showed that e-cigarettes were far more than 18% effective as cessation aids and also picked other studies that showed the pharmaceutical solutions to be less than 7% effective. Likewise, I could have found studies that showed that pharmaceutical solutions are more effective than e-cigarettes.

In light of how easy it would be to manipulate this type of "study" of studies, I must say that I am completely confused. Just four months ago, the American Heart Association wanted very strict regulations on e cigarettes. Is this yet another case of an organization trying to influence the FDA one way but putting out a completely opposite side to the public or is it a sudden change of heart (no pun intended)?

I can't help but wonder who really funded this study and what ties the researchers had to any companies that may benefit from its findings. Sadly, that's the way I'm wired these days. As much as I'd like to trumpet this study, I simply cannot give it the credibility that organizations like the American Vaping Society is giving it.

There is no doubt that the American Heart Association's latest ecigarette study will be challenged by every anti-vaping group out there and as much as I hate to admit it, they will have every reason to eye it with suspicion. If this study of carefully selected studies had showed the complete opposite, which it easily could have, what would your reaction have been?

BeatNic Blog Quote of the Day: "If you steal from one author it's plagiarism; if you steal from many it's research." - Wilson Mizner



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