Electronic cigarettes are creating a lot of buzz in the mainstream media these days. Already this week, we’ve seen multiple reports about e-cigs, but there were two that stood out among the rest. First, The Daily Mail published a report declaring e-cigarettes just as dangerous as their tobacco counterparts. Then MSN responded by declaring the article’s conclusions as a rumor and contradicting the research cited. Let’s take a closer look at these two articles and the ongoing debate about the safety of electronic cigarettes.
The Daily Mail kicked the week off by posting a new article about the dangers of electronic cigarettes. The column centers on the conclusions of a recent French study that declared e-cigarettes to be dangerous and harmful. A French magazine called “60 Million Consumers” was responsible for the recent study and the magazine concluded that there were dangerous chemicals in e-cig vapor that were toxic and just as harmful as cigarette smoke. But is this really the case? MSN disagrees.
In fact, MSN featured The Daily Mail article on their site the next day in the “News and Rumors” section. This particular column is most often used to follow up on bad reporting and to debunk rumors that can quickly spread through the media without intervention. Interestingly, MSN quickly picked up on the 60 Million Consumers study and called the conclusions unconfirmed and merely rumors.
In MSN’s response to The Daily Mail’s article, they explain the specific context and circumstances involved when the 60 Millions Consumers study was conducted and published. “The context here is that France’s health minister recently announced that the country would treat e-cigs the same way it does regular cigarettes, and extend bans on public smoking to those vaping.”
French authorities are undoubtedly pleased with the 60 Million Consumers study as it backs their agenda to ban e-cigarettes from public use. However, MSN brought in another expert with plenty of scientific research to address the allegations that e-cigs are just are harmful as tobacco.
Professor Igor Burstyn from Drexel University is no stranger to electronic cigarette research. In fact, he just completed and published his own massive study on e-cigarettes after reviewing research from 9,000 different subjects and dozens of previous studies conducted worldwide. After analyzing this mountain of data, Dr. Burstyn concluded that e-cigs posed no real health risks.
Interestingly, he studied the same chemicals that are mentioned in The Daily Mail’s article. The Daily Mail said e-cig vapor contained high amounts of formaldehyde and other carcinogens, but in a conversation with MSN, Dr. Burstyn said he did not agree.
According to MSN, Dr. Burstyn isn’t just a researcher interested in e-cigarettes. He has a close personal connection as he convinced his wife to stop smoking and start using e-cigs instead. He feels confident that the risks of e-cigs are minimal and insignificant, especially in the light of everything we know about tobacco cigarettes.
Ultimately, every individual will have to study the research and decide which facts are most reliable. However, MSN made a really solid case in favor of e-cigarettes and left The Daily Mail looking uninformed and biased.
Did you read the two articles? Which publication did you agree with?