“Nicotine causes heart attacks”Is one of the many arguments against vaping. Stanton Glantz of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) published a research study and stated that vapes were more likely to trigger heart attacks as compared to traditional cigarettes. The study was later published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
There were two points raised in the retraction of the article.
The main problem was that the researchers failed to examine the time that heart attacks occurred or when people started smoking vape.
To illustrate how this would change the research, let’s imagine a smoker suffering an attack of the heart. Then, they stop smoking cigarettes and begin smoking vaping.
When they switch to vaping, they don’t suffer any further heart attacks.
The person is considered an ex-smoker whose heart attack wasn’t caused by vaping. The heart attack occurred prior to the time they began smoking.
They were categorized as a person who smoked vapes and suffered an attack on the heart. The study led to Glantz’s conclusion that vaping is linked to heart attacks. Other researchers like Brad Rodu and from Nantaporn Plurphanswat at the University of Louisville wrote to the Journal of the American Heart Association and pointed out the flaw. Rodu used the same calculation as Glantz. However, he reclassified those who suffered heart attacks prior to vaping. The conclusion they came to was that vapers were less likely to experience heart attacks. The way in which Glantz arrived at his decision is based on the assumption that electronic cigarettes may cause heart attacks even before vapers first start smoking!
The third was that Stantz wrote in the blog post that his research found that vaping causes heart attacks. Even if his calculations were true, the study could only show that vaping was linked to a higher chance of having heart attacks and not that vaping caused them.
The language is not too important, but it made significant differences in how media outlets reported on the study. The study would have proven that “Vapers have a higher chance of suffering heart attacks. This could be due to vaping or it could be due to due to the fact that many of them have been smokers for a long time or a variety of other reasons.” However, the researcher claimed that vaping is the reason for the increase in heart attacks, which led to a variety of sources reporting that vaping could put people at risk of heart attacks.
Even though Stantz was given the opportunity to revise his paper, he did not make the necessary changes. Stantz claimed he could not access the database because he was “unable to access the PATH database,” PATH being the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health database that was used in the study that was originally conducted.
Even though the research was later removed, the harm remains. Look up the link between vaping and cardiovascular health, and you’ll find which claims that it’s more harmful than smoking cigarettes. If the false information is removed, it could take a long time before that happens – a time when the vaping industry might not be able to.