You Were Warned. Fat Lotta Good It Did.

Politicized “Science” in Public Health is to “Science” as Scientology is to “Science”. .

Case in point: Vaping was a godsend for millions of smokers who wanted to quit smoking tobacco, but couldn’t.

Big Left, riding a wave of prohibitionism driven by (pick one) (or two, or all of them, I don’t know, it may be entirely appropriate):

  • Self-righteous dudgeon, or
  • A pathological hatred of people enjoying themselves, or
  • The aesthetics of putting something in one’s mouth for fun, or
  • A need to control everyone’s behavior

…drove a wave of rules and statutes that treated vape like cigarettes.

And the “unintended” consequences?

Well, what do you think?

When San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved a 2018 ballot measure banning the sale of flavored tobacco products — including menthol cigarettes and flavored vape liquids — public health advocates celebrated. After all, tobacco use poses a significant threat to public health and health equity, and flavors are particularly attractive to youth.

But according to a new study from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH), that law may have had the opposite effect. Analyses found that, after the ban’s implementation, high school students’ odds of smoking conventional cigarettes doubled in San Francisco’s school district relative to trends in districts without the ban, even when adjusting for individual demographics and other tobacco policies.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics on May 24, is believed to be the first to assess how complete flavor bans affect youth smoking habits.

“These findings suggest a need for caution,” said Abigail Friedman, the study’s author and an assistant professor of health policy at YSPH. “While neither smoking cigarettes nor vaping nicotine are safe per se, the bulk of current evidence indicates substantially greater harms from smoking, which is responsible for nearly one in five adult deaths annually. Even if it is well-intentioned, a law that increases youth smoking could pose a threat to public health.”

In other words: to “safeguard” people from addiction to a chemical that’s about as dangerous as caffeine, they drove people from a delivery system with minimal, largely edge-case dangers, to one that literally involves drawing concentrated air pollution into the lungs.

It’s almost too obvious to be a Berg’s Law: when you mix science and politics, you don’t get scientific politics; you get politicized science.

12 thoughts on “You Were Warned. Fat Lotta Good It Did.

  1. A decade ago I gave up my subscription to Science, the flagship publication of the AAAS. They had published an article claiming that, since at the very fringes of the population of athletes, some men had lower natural testerone than some women, it was wrong to have seperate male and female categories in sports.
    The article was an abuse science to push public policy. Whether male and female athletes should compete as equals is obviously not a scientific question. Science is now a publication about “science,” not science.
    Once a month or so I get an email from the AAAS begging me to renew my subscription. In every email the AAAS insists that its primary goal is to achieve diversity among scientists. This will strengthen science, sez the AAAS.
    Yet empirically this is false. Discoveries in physics in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century revolutionized the world. There has never been a period like it, before or afterwards. Virtually all of the scientists working at this time were white males of European descent.

  2. Is it already a Berg Law to note that the implemented plans of leftists almost never expect nor predict the consequences, or that the expected consequences are wrong?

  3. Is it already a Berg Law to note that the implemented plans of leftists almost never expect nor predict the consequences, or that the expected consequences are wrong?

  4. Here is the latest email sent to me by the AAAS. This isn’t just part of it. It is the whole damn thing. Not one word about scientific discovery. It is all diversity, all the time for the editors of Science.
    Dear Colleague –

    At AAAS, we believe that encouraging diversity in science is more than a moral issue. When science only includes a few perspectives, what we can achieve and who can benefit is severely limited. Simply put, AAAS should be as diverse as the society we serve.

    It’s time for the scientific community to welcome voices that include science advocates from every background in the global STEM community. When people from all communities are welcome to participate in science, everyone benefits.

    We’re focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion at AAAS but to keep up the momentum, we need your help. Every day AAAS works to further this mission by:
    Engaging in conversations with individuals and groups to learn what’s working and what still needs to be done
    Extending the reach of science journalism into communities where there is currently limited access
    Strengthening the scientific workforce through recruitment, mentorship programs, funding assistance, and networking opportunities for underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields
    Will you join AAAS to help us build a stronger and more diverse scientific community? When you join, you’ll be a part of the world’s largest general scientific society that’s actively working to diversify science for the benefit of all.

    Learn more about our membership options to find the level of support that’s right for you. Currently, new Silver level members and above will receive our exclusive ‘Science By All’ T-shirt as our gift to you.

    Thank you for supporting AAAS and our push for more diversity in science.

    Sudip S. Parikh, PhD
    Chief Executive Officer
    and Executive Publisher, Science Family of Journals

  5. I remember discussing this issue with my daughter, a nurse, a while back. She’d researched the harms of vaping–predominantly homebrew solutions used to bring THC into a person–and the thing that was very obvious was that she (and transitively, her professors) was acting on vaping in isolation, as if there was no tradeoff between vaping, smoking, and chewing tobacco.

    Really, that’s the same thing we saw with COVID–pull out all the stops to stop COVID, never consider what the response among people might be, or the consequences to the economy and deaths of desperation, etc.. OK, all the stops but “keep people with active COVID cases out of nursing homes”, I guess.

    It seems as if there is a certain myopia among medical authorities these days, one that (see Fauci’s article about epidemics and balancing quarantines with the risks to the economy and deaths of despair from about 2016) doesn’t seem to have been evident just a few years back. Something very interesting, and tragic, is going on here.

  6. It seems as if there is a certain myopia among medical authorities these days, one that […] doesn’t seem to have been evident just a few years back

    Could it be that the medical authorities haven’t changed all that much, but the respect, power delegated to them has? In other words, the obscenely escalated reaction to the Kung flu has exposed the medical authorities as the Pharisees they always were.

  7. I tuned into Phoebe Judge’s “Criminal” podcast yesterday and listened to the “Unfit” episode examining the practice and “science” of eugenics and forced sterilization in the 1920’s and 30s, primarily through the story of Ann Cooper Hewitt (see Audrey Clare Farley’s book, “The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life and Scandalous Sterilization of Ann Cooper Hewitt.” The podcast dug into how the eugenics movement was accepted and endorsed culturally, scientifically, and legally (with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes a proponent).

    The intent of the podcast seemed to be to tie the the practice of a century ago to the “white supremacy” theme of today. It was interesting, though, to see how the progressive elite of the day drove and controlled the narrative – and to think how the same process is used today to “scientifically” support transgenderism and the modern-day eugenics embrace of abortion which largely targets the black population. 100 years ago women of lower classes were declared “mentally unfit” and regularly forcibly sterilized – by court order – to weed out “inferior” genes; Anne Cooper Hewitt’s case was part of a national “WTF” reckoning that drove the practice and acceptance of the policy underground.

    100 years ago, human bodies were irreversibly altered and damaged to serve a progressive interpretation of a mental condition, based on a social science. Today progressives tout transgender surgery as an acceptable and necessary solution to mental angst, and take to the streets to champion a “better never to be born” doctrine – as the body counts progressively increase.

  8. Forced sterilizations… forced vaccinations… why is it the peace™ loving progressives always have their bidding done by force?

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  10. jdm, we’ve always had the grasp for power–witness things like the discredited Kellerman study that stuck around for years because it gave doctors power over gun law–but then I think there’s a second thing where many doctors are either changing their tune or leaving the profession/joining the profession because they abhor/love the increasing political power.

    So a firm “I don’t know” on my part.

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