Saturday 14 December 2013

The Daily Mail: beneath the gutter press

What comes below the gutter press—the sewer press? Whatever it is, this is what is produces...

From the Daily Mail...

I won't even bother fisking this. Any sentient reader will be able to see the lies and gross misrepresentations of the science for themselves. The Daily Mail is—bafflingly—the UK's biggest selling newspaper. It is renowned for its woeful reporting of health and science stories, but it should feel genuinely ashamed for this article—an article which will likely deter smokers from switching to a vastly healthier alternative.

You can contact the Press Complaints Commission here. I encourage you to do so.


Woodsy42 said...

Looks to me like most of the DM readers have already ripped it to shreds. It's quite cheering to read the comments.

Vova said...

I googled this - it's a couple of chancers in a dental school bigging up their research and looking for grant money. Much as I despise the mail, it's not as if they'd made it up. Par for the course really.

Steve Kelly said...

It's pathetic that there are "researchers" reporting such nonsense and equally pathetic that papers such as the Daily Mail propagate the foolishness. But it's not only the Daily Mail and this situation has existed for a long time. Lots of folks have given up on the "mainstream media" by now. I have pretty much. I doubt virtually everything they report at this point. What with "Global Warming" scares they're not even honest about the weather anymore!

Junican said...

I've written to the Press Commission. I'll publish the text of my letter here in case it should be useful:

It is a well-known fact that ecigarettes contain only Propylene Glycol, Flavouring and a tiny amount of nicotine, as compared with the many potentially harmful toxins contained in tobacco. To say that it is even remotely possible for a person using an ecigarette 'to inhale MORE nicotine and toxins' is so misleading that it is positively dangerous.
Thousands of people are taking up ecigarettes to help them to stop smoking tobacco. They are doing so voluntarily. If, as a result of reading this article, such people are demotivated, or made fearful of ecigarettes, the Mail will have done enormous harm.
I have no doubt that the Mail will try to hide behind 'the precise, technical meaning of the words used'. For example, it is possible for a person using an ecig to puff and puff and puff, in which case he will inhale more nicotine, but, as an occasional 'vaper' myself, I know that this does not happen. In the same way that smokers take the occasional puff, so do vapers.
Specifically regarding the wording of the headline, the phrase "E-cigarette smokers" is hopelessly inaccurate. There is no smoke and therefore no smokING or smokER.
The Mail does not quote its sources for the outrageous mis-information which it is peddling. I suspect that more than one source has been used by whoever provided the information upon which the author of the article based the article.

May I make three suggestions?

1. That the Mail be obliged to publish a full and prominent retraction.
2. That the Mail be obliged to give full details of what studies have been used to compile this article and publish to actual source of the material used to write the article.
3. That the Mail be obliged to state whether or not it was paid to publish the article and by whom if so.

I must state that I have no connection with any ecig organisation whatsoever.

Yours sincerely,


By the way, did you notice that the only quote is by "Dr Deepak Saxena, associate professor of basic science and craniofacial biology". Where are they usual ASH reps etc?
Did they decline to comment or were they not asked? How unusual!

Clive Bates said...

This pair of dentistry clowns hasn't actually done any studies yet: it's all mouth.

Absolutely amazing - not sure which is worse, the medical ethics or the journalism.

It also reflects a new strategy at the Mail - combing the globe for lunatics to quote in support of its mentalist campaign against e-cigs. It gets over the tiresome requirements for accuracy in reporting by accurately reporting people saying inaccurate things.

Jackson said...

Junican said it all. Mindblowing garbage by haters.

Unknown said...

I guess dentists are just desperate to tap into all the antismoking grant money out there. This one sounds just as bad as one I analyzed in TobakkoNacht where parents were being warned that if they smoked around their kids to poor widdle poochums' toothies would fall outta dere haids.

That study made headlines all over the world, but in NONE of the stories I found did they describe what actually went on in the study. The researchers had actually deliberately wounded the gums of BABY RATS and then exposed them to the human equivalent of a kid sitting around the living room every day while mums smoked THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION cigarettes. Every day, not cumulatively. After three months went by (i.e. about 75 million cigarettes' worth of smoke) the baby rats' gums hadn't healed up quite as well as the gums of the baby rats that did NOT undergo the torture procedure.

None of those details were in any of the stories that people read at home though. Nope. All they saw was that children of smokers were destroying their children's dental health.

These researchers should be securely tied into a dental chair while a chain smoking Jack Nicholson on crack drills their brains out.