eLetters

442 e-Letters

  • Disappointing retreat from the public square

    NOT PEER REVIEWED
    The editors of this journal, Tobacco Control, argue in their blog that debate about published articles should be concentrated on their rapid reaction facility. It is possible that they are making a constructive invitation to their critics to join a debating platform they might otherwise be wary of. However, the blog has been widely read as disparagement of other forms of engagement, notably social media and blogs. It is possible that the editors do not fully appreciate why people use blogs and social media to respond to papers they find problematic, and not Tobacco Control's rapid response feature. Here are several reasons:

    1. Trust

    Critics may consider, rightly or wrongly, that Tobacco Control has a track record of publishing papers that have dubious scientific merit, overconfident conclusions and policy recommendations that cannot be supported by the paper - almost always reinforcing a particular (abstinence-only) perspective. Critics may be concerned that their work will be treated unfairly or sidelined, or that they will be judged or ridiculed. They may distrust the editors, believe the journal is not impartial, or hold it in low esteem.

    2. Conflict of interest and incentives

    Not everyone is content to have their reactions edited or approved by the same people whose work they are criticising. Once a journal has published an article that is open to criticism, it develops a conflict of interest between its own r...

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  • Request for a few important clarifications

    NOT PEER REVIEWED The authors of this editorial assert that a journal article’s authors are “entitled to be aware of and respond to critiques”, and imply that this is only possible if critiques appear in a forum attached to the journal. Setting aside the fact that authors can easily become aware of and respond to critiques on other forums, I am curious if the authors could offer some basis for claiming such an entitlement? It seems quite contrary to all existing laws, principles of ethics, cultural norms, and standard practices that relate to commentary about published work. Moreover the behavior of many of these very authors suggests they are willing to go to great lengths to avoid being made aware of critiques.

    It seems safe interpret the statement as saying that at least these particular authors would like responses to their work to appear on this page. And so, I am fulfilling their request. (Assuming this is allowed to appear, that is. I say that not because I believe there is anything in this comment that would warrant censorship, but to emphasize the blindness of this process. That is, the commentator really has no idea what will be allowed to appear.) I call the authors’ attention to two blog posts I have written critiquing this editorial to ensure they have the requested opportunity to be aware: https://antithrlies.com/2017/02/20/editors-of-t...

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  • The value of this largly depends on the willingness to publish comments

    NOT PEER REVIEWED
    While I would agree that comments that are directly applied to the article in question are better than blogs scattered across the internet, this policy is entirely dependent on the willingness of editors to publish critical comments that may not be formatted or composed in a style that they are entirely comfortable with. Will editors provide feedback to, for example, citizen activists on why their comments were not published, and how they could change them to make them more acceptable? This seems unlikely, and will only reinforce the perceived inequality of position.

    I would also be moved to wonder how editors will deal with rapid responses that link to lengthier works elsewhere? For example, the format of the rapid response does not lend itself well to appending images, which can often be useful to highlight problems.much more effectively than text.

    A more likely outcome of this policy is, I fear, an increasing separation into two echo chambers with no overlap, and with far too little exchange of thoughts between the proponents and opponents of vaping, to the detriment of the vast majority who are neither,

  • Prevalence of e-cigarette prevalence among Korean adolescent is decreasing
    Hong-Jun Cho

    NOT PEER REVIEWED This ad watch shows an interesting example of illegal marketing activity of an e-cigarette company in Korea. However, the description of the trend of e-cigarette prevalence among Korean adolescents is not correct. According to the national annual surveys that the author quoted (reference 4), prevalence of current (30-day) e-cigarette use among Korean adolescents was 4.7% in 2011 and 5.0% in 2014. It decre...

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  • Cigarette Butt Waste and Resolution
    Dave Conlin

    NOT PEER REVIEWED Back when I used to own property with several hundred feet highway frontage, I was distressed to find and pick up an average of 50 or more butts along my property every time I walked the perimeter.

    I thought about the bottle deposit idea as a solution, but many simply won't care and the unrefunded deposits end up as an added profit for the manufacturer.

    Why not mandate a special plas...

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  • Natural Cigaretts
    Kim C

    NOT PEER REVIEWED Why is the LGBT at greater health risk?? and why was it necessary to even add that?? This makes me very upset that we are "targeted" as such! How is this.. or was this part of the study?

    Conflict of Interest:

    None declared

  • Re:Bauld et al omit evidence on passive exposure to e-cigarette aerosol
    Sarah Jakes

    NOT PEER REVIEWED David Bareham cites 'Rip Tripper' as evidence that e-cigarette users report experiences of allergies being exacerbated in non users by vapour and describes Mr Tripper's subsequent rather mangled argument that the devices should not be used in enclosed public spaces as "eloquent".

    Perhaps Mr Bareham is unaware that Mr Tripper has also claimed that vaping causes limb cramps and dry knuckles which...

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  • Methodological pitfalls in the measurement and decomposition of socioeconomic inequality of smoke exposure
    Guido Erreygers
    NOT PEER REVIEWED I would like to point out a few disturbing inaccuracies in the methodology and interpretation. Since the health variable is binary, the authors apply "Wagstaff's correction" to the Concentration Index. This is a perfectly legitimate decision, but the authors mistakenly suggest that this correction can be applied to both the relative and the absolute version of the index, yielding two normalized indices. In fact,...
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  • Flavor Profiles
    Kenneth H Kawa

    NOT PEER REVIEWED When it comes to vaping my knowledge is somewhat advanced, in the hardware aspect I am in the forefront of technology, I test prototypes and beta models for manufacturers all around the globe, I also have acquired quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to the creation of flavors.

    There's a big difference between something you like and what is referred to an "All Day Vape" or ADV and the impact t...

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  • This is a perspective through a warped lens.

    NOT PEER REVIEWED
    This is not a particularly well constructed argument. In particular, the paragraph that states:
    "If ENDS emissions were really benign, indoor vaping advocates should take courage and call for it to be allowed in classrooms, crèches, hospitals and neonatal wards. That they do not rather suggests that they know well that such a position would be irresponsible."
    is possibly the worst excuse for a genuine point of debate it has ever been my misfortune to encounter. it is not even a particularly well constructed straw man.

    Many things are considered normal and appropriate for the general population that would not be considered appropriate for a crèche, classroom or neonatal ward.

    To use merely the first two examples that sprang to mind (and the list is almost endless):
    Incense sticks are widely used, and despite the clear emission of smoke, they are are not banned, or the subject of proposed bans, in most jurisdictions. Many people use them, but I doubt that any would do so in a crèche or neonatal ward. Yet, if we follow the same logic proposed here, this means that they are dangerous, and should be banned almost universally.
    Similarly, fog machines are widely used in stage shows, nightclubs and even teenage discos. Despite the extremely strong similarity with vaping, both in chemical composition and particle size, there are not widespread calls for fog machines to be banned (I'm certainly not aware of...

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