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Lonely pen-pal Konstantinos waits for WHO to reply

Konstantinos Farsalinos and WHO Chairperson Margaret Chan are getting to be regular pen pals, although the correspondence remains a bit one sided. Everybody's fave nicotine scientist, the Groovy Greek, one might say, has yet to hear back from his second letter to the object of his attentions, the Mistress of WHO. The second letter was a reasoned response to Stanton Glantz's rather illogical attack on the first letter to the World Health Organization by a group of 53 prominent nicotine scientists. But Ms. Chan remains silent, as do her minions.

One can almost hear the strains of "Why Don't You Write Me a Letter", sung by Kool Konstantinos with back-up vocals from the "no-harm vapoteurettes".

"Why don't you write me a letter, I'm out in the jungle, I'm hungry to hear you.

Send me a card, I am waiting so hard to be near you.

Why why why – Why don't you write...."

But seriously... – then again, what "but seriously" can there be when the anti-vapers just keep on repeating the same litany of flawed logic, skewed interpretation of data, and rhetorical cherry-picking.

As Dr. Farsalinos points out, the Glantz response (signed by the impressive number of 131 people with degrees that he managed to talk into it) gives us the same old same old! – harmful substances present – with no mention of the fact that their concentrations are several orders of magnitude lower than for cigarettes or even normal breathing. Extrapolations from dual-use statistics that are wholly conjectural, about whether or not the dual-use is leading to cessation or not. Extrapolations from statistics about declining smoking rates among youth that are illogical, conjectural, and just plain counter-factual. Guesses about gateway effects presented as proven facts. The proposition that partial cessation-effectiveness is insignificant (in fact, spinning partial success as not only failure but obstruction), and failing to measure success percentages against percentages for unaided quitting. The list goes on, but it's a tired old story.

The main point made by Dr. Farsalinos is that the scientists are not claiming that vaping is 100% harm free. Nothing is 100% harm free. To ban something that has mostly positive effects just because it isn't 100% harm-free is foolish. Not that it hasn't been done before. Some doctors opposed Pasteur's vaccination efforts at first. They weren't always successful, just more than anything ever had been before. The scientists are arguing for an acceptance of "better than ever" instead of holding out for 100%.

But is Ms. Chan, and her vitally important organization, listening?

"Please Mister Postman, look and see
(Oh yeah)
If there's a letter in your bag for me
(Please, Please Mister Postman)
Why's it takin' such a long time?"