Why so angry?
Yes, I get it. You vape, and you are livid about public health spokesholes misrepresenting the facts. I know vaping has the potential of eradicating smoking tobacco. I enjoy my mods. atomizers, DIY coil building and all the flavorful juices out there. I’m just like you. I kicked a nasty habit, and I want to tell the world that big tobacco is evil and that most public health organizations are either BT (big tobacco) shills or on the Big Pharma payroll. I get it.
But hold on. Those researchers are people too. Why be on the attack all the time?
I have recently been more active on twitter, and I see a lot of vitriol outed towards those researchers. Sure, a few (like McKee, Glantz and others) are genuine asshats hacks with a lot of sway in higher circles who literally are a danger to global public health, but there are many researchers that start with an incorrect premise because they basically don’t know any better. Just because they have published some studies that are scientifically questionable, doesn’t mean that they are unwilling to change their minds. Yes, it’s bad, and just provides fodder for ANTZ (Anti Nicotine and Tobacco Zealots) to wave around, but the origin of their hypotheses is usually misinformation instead of malice.
It’s okay to be livid. It’s awesome that you are passionate about vaping and it’s merits. Yes, the world has some assholes in it that spoil it for the rest of us. But look at this from the bottom up. If we can show these TC researchers that we’re actually friendly, but rational and skeptical (and able to back up what we say), we can get a lot more sway as a community. I have always preferred rational discourse over being on the defensive all the time. Because then you don’t have to be on the defensive all the bloody time. It also shows that we’re not rabid reactionaries
Try this next time; when you can communicate to a TC researcher directly, just ask him or her about the hypothesis, research, parameters, how it was conducted, target groups. research that shows the inverse of their position and your reservations about it. You know, actual interest and well tenured skepticism. Connect with them on a personal level. Be friendly and civil. If they are half the scientists that they claim they are, they will listen to you, your arguments, and maybe they will even re-examine their research.
I have engaged some TC researchers and some public health people in this manner, and they seemed very responsive to this approach. I would like to see more of this happen:
On the other hand, I might just be an incurable optimist.