On Oct 2nd Consumer Reports reported that there was no proof that vaping helps people quit smoking. The story was based on a study by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an “independent” group that advises the u.s. on health issues, emphasis “independent”. The study was published in the September issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
In their “independent” study, the group concluded that the evidence is insufficient that e-cigs help smokers quit. Interestingly in their article; Consumer Reports also suggested that the landmark uk study was flawed and bias.
All in all, it was another typical, beating a dead horse piece of anti vaping propaganda. With the frequently used “insufficient evidence” and of course the now prerequisite “formaldehyde” claim. Nothing new, nothing special, the article ended with the writer suggesting use of the patch or gum instead.
Then an interesting thing happened, it would seem many vapers read consumer reports. Because they apparently received responses from 1,300 people who had quit smoking through vaping and in octobor 7 the report updated –Readers Respond: E-Cigarettes Help Them Quit Traditional Smokes
Many readers shared their stories about their journey to tobacco cessation. For example: one woman shared how she had tried the patch, pills, gum, counseling and that nothing worked until she tried vaping.
So you would think with such a response from their readers Consumer Reports would show more favor towards vaping in their next e-cig related article. Unfortunately not so much, while they did post a response to the readers. Consumer Reports still spent most the article spreading more false information about vaping.
This matters, and it matters a lot. Because its a great example of a large, trusted news source clearly having a bias against vaping. Especially alarming is that this is Consumer Reports, who claim to “ serve consumers through unbiased product testing and ratings, research, journalism, public education, and advocacy”.
Its also important to note, the study conducted by the “independent” task force, was not based on any actual focus group. They just reviewed a number of other studies, with no real guidelines on what products those studies were based on.
But there is a silver lining here: the fact that there was such a response from vapers shows the strength of our growing community. That we are engaged, and informed and willing to speak out and share our stories.
We contacted Consumer Reports for a statement regarding their obvious bias, and offered to point them to a number of studies that proves vaping’s effectiveness and we are happy that consumer report has updated their report.