Thursday, 29 October 2015

The unsurprising relationship between vaping and drinking

It's been a vintage week for junk science - one of the best in living memory - and it just keeps coming.

E-cigarette users are 'significantly more likely' to be problem drinkers: Devices encourage excess alcohol consumption, study claims

Smokers drink more than non-smokers so it would not be surprising if the same is true of vapers. However, the headline falls down in the second half when it claims that vaping actually causes drinking.

People who use the devices are significantly more likely to consume more alcohol than those who don't use them, researchers claim.

Moreover, those using e-cigarettes and alcohol together report drinking more.

These two sentences seem to be saying exactly the same thing in different ways, but never mind.

Usually, when people quit smoking they also quit drinking, the researchers said.

[citation desperately needed]

Therefore, those who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking may miss out on this added benefit of quitting, they said.

Sorry to break it to you, but people don't stop drinking when they give up smoking. At least, they don't stop drinking for good. Some people might find that avoiding alcohol helps them to maintain the discipline to break the habit, but that isn't an 'added benefit', it is an added cost.

The researchers concluded by urging people not to ignore the 'knock on' effects of e-cigarette use.

'This area of research is extremely important and I don't want it to get pushed to the side,' said lead author Alexandra Hershberger, of Indiana University-Purdue University.

You're sounding a bit needy there, Alexandra, if I'm honest.

'Establishing the direct health effects of e-cigarette use is important but it's vital to look at the secondary effects, too.'

Will someone please give this woman a research grant so she shuts up?

Previous studies have revealed a strong link between cigarette smoking and drinking, so the researchers hypothesised that a similar connection may be found with e-cigarette use and alcohol. 

Well, duh.

They asked two different groups of people who drank alcohol about their habits regarding e-cigarettes. In both groups, the survey revealed alcohol consumption led to e-cigarette use and vice versa.

However e-cigarette users were significantly more likely to drink problematically than non-users in both groups. What's more, those who expected to use the devices and alcohol together reported drinking more.

So what?

'If you quit smoking cold turkey, it affects other behaviours associated with smoking, such as drinking,' said Ms Hershberger. 'By replacing smoking with e-cigarette use, it could be that you're at risk of continuing behaviours you don't want to continue.

Firstly, who's saying that people don't want to drink? Secondly, how did the vapers compare to the smokers? You don't know, do you? You didn't bother to look at smokers because, like most 'public health' morons, you imagine that if people didn't vape they would be completely abstinent from nicotine use.

'This is particularly serious for people with alcohol addiction - using e-cigarettes could make it harder to stop drinking.' 

Did you study people who are addicted to alcohol? No. Never mind. You don't need to do the research to hypothesise that e-cigarette users are more likely to be addicted to alcohol. I'll bet you that they are also more likely to gamble, take drugs and be promiscuous. How do I know? Because smokers are more likely to do all those things, and vapers are the same people. The smoking doesn't cause these behaviours, however, and nor does the vaping. The underlying mechanisms are personality type and risk tolerance.

The study also revealed that more women use e-cigarettes socially than men.


In general, men report more risk-taking behaviours than women, including smoking, drinking and drug use.

It's hardly surprising that they are more likely to switch to a less risky nicotine product then, is it?

The findings suggest that women may not perceive e-cigarette use as risky.

It's not risky - or rather it's not risky in the sense that any normal human being would define the word. And it is certainly much less risky than smoking cigarettes, so there is nothing remotely surprising about risk averse groups being drawn to them.

'We were surprised to see higher e-cigarette use in women,' said Ms Hershberger.

Then you're an imbecile.

'Generally men tend to report more risk-taking across the board, but in our study, women outnumbered men in terms of e-cigarette use. This could be because women perceive the device differently to other risk-taking behavior; e-cigarettes tend to be viewed more positively than cigarettes.'

So they should be, despite the best efforts of the irresponsible, scare-mongering 'public health' racket.

'Those views could be driving more use in women than we'd expect.'

Considering you've just conducted a study that confirms the bleeding obvious and you're surprised by every one of its banal findings, I wouldn't put too much stock in your expectations.

The research was published in Addictive Behaviours.

Then the editor should be familiar with the concept of co-morbidity.


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