Cancer Research UK and Public Health England, Among Others, Condemn Faulty Analysis; SFATA Urges Media to Reference Science Media Centre
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2016 – The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), the largest trade group representing the vapor industry, today expressed surprise that a leading medical journal would publish a meta-analysis titled, “E-cigarettes and smoking cessation in real-world and clinical settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” which finds e-cigarette use actually lowers smokers’ odds that they’ll quit tobacco by about 28 percent.
Authored by Professor Stanton Glantz of the University of California San Francisco, the meta-analysis, published today in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal, comes amid criticism of Glantz’s previous work on the topic in a submission to the FDA by the Truth Initiative (formerly Legacy For Health), a U.S. public health nonprofit, calling the research “invalid” and “scientifically inappropriate.”
“While the majority of the studies we reviewed are marred by poor measurement of exposures and unmeasured confounders, many of them have been included in a meta-analysis that claims to show that smokers who use e-cigarettes are less likely to quit smoking compared to those who do not,” reported The Truth Initiative. “This meta-analysis simply lumps together the errors of inference from these correlations. As described in detail above, quantitatively synthesizing heterogeneous studies is scientifically inappropriate and the findings of such meta-analyses are therefore invalid.”
SFATA is urging media covering this research to reference the Science Media Centre, where a cadre of leading scientists have rebuked the meta-analysis, calling it “unscientific” and “incorrect.” Some of them include: Prof. Linda Bauld, University of Stirling, Cancer Research UK; Rosanna O’Connor, Director of Tobacco, Alcohol & Drugs, Public Health England; Prof. Peter Hajek, Queen Mary University of London; Prof. Ann McNeill, King’s College London; and Prof. Robert West, University College London.
“We are not in the business of smoking cessation, but are in the business of helping smokers switch to a less harmful alternative,” said Cynthia Cabrera, president of SFATA. “While more data is always needed, the gold standard of the preparation of meta-analyses, the Cochrane Collaboration has concluded that vapor products and e-cigs provide acceptable alternatives to combustible cigarettes. It’s unfortunate that self-interested studies from Professor Glantz and other anti-vaping researchers are being published and not properly vetted, creating confusion and ultimately misleading the public about the efficacy of vapor products.”
Founded in 2012, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) is the largest trade association in the vapor products industry with more than 800 members and 19 chapters located across the country, representing online retailers, brick and mortar vendors, distributors, manufacturers, importers and wholesalers. For more information, visit SFATA.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @SFATA. Download a copy of SFATA’s “Top 10 Vapor Facts: Demystifying Misconceptions about the Vapor Industry” by visiting http://bit.ly/toptenvaporfacts.