Pseudoscience in electronic cigarette policy
An excellent blog post by Bernd Mayer, which points out some fallacies in some current (June 2014) Public Health official’s thinking.
Public health authorities are engaging in a worldwide campaign to restrict or even ban the free market of electronic cigarettes. In view of the obvious benefits these alternative nicotine delivery systems provide to smokers, this objective may appear irrational and in conflict with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (). However, the noble ambition of tobacco harm reduction is opposed by financial interests of the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries as well as finance ministers, who all consider electronic cigarettes as a serious threat to their future wealth.
Besides these solid and comprehensible financial issues, the ideologically motivated aim to eradicate everything that might resemble a cigarette and could re-normalize smoking behavior plays a pivotal role. Regardless of their motivation, to justify restrictive regulations, health authorities need arguments to convince politicians and the public of the alleged hazards of electronic cigarettes. As always, pseudoscience comes into play when scientific arguments are lacking. In this post, I will first describe some characteristic features of pseudosciences and then reveal the pseudoscientific background of the anti-ecig campaign.
How to recognize pseudoscience?