As I revealed earlier this week, Stan Glantz has publicly made false accusations which imply that electronic cigarette companies have been behind the scenes orchestrating and paying for statements by a number of right-wing think tanks that are supportive of electronic cigarettes.
Here is Glantz's accusation: "the e-cigarette companies (which are,
increasingly owned by cigarette
companies) are mobilizing the same network of right-wing think tanks
that the cigarette companies have used for years to push their policy
agenda, often linked with the tobacco companies' development of the Tea
Party and related groups. John Mashey, a member of the Center for
Tobacco Control Research and Education's Advisory Committee, sent me a
few good examples. ... The more things change the more they stay the
One of the key examples in question is a video on the Cato Institute site in which Jacob Grier makes a number of insightful comments that are supportive of electronic cigarettes.
Surprised that Jacob would have been paid by electronic cigarette companies to make these remarks or that his statement was orchestrated by Big Vapor, I was gratified to learn from Jacob himself that neither of these accusations from Stan are true. Jacob confirmed that the production and placement of this video were not directed by any electronic cigarette companies and he was not paid by any electronic cigarette company to make these statements.
The Rest of the Story
Sadly, Stan Glantz continues to feel the need to lie to the public in order to try to discredit opinions with which he does not agree. And while I have no problem discrediting statements by exposing the truth about financial relationships which present conflicts of interest, I do have a problem with spreading false lies that make the public believe that there is a conflict of interest present and which therefore defame the reputation of the individual. Not only is this unlawful, but it is unethical as well.
Certainly, Stan owes an apology to Jacob and he owes an apology to CATO as well.
But sadly, I have no doubt about how to answer the question I posed in the title for this post. I am sure that Stan will continue to defend his false accusations and allow them to stand, rather than to retract these defamatory remarks and apologize to Jacob and others whose reputations he defiled. Sadly, these tactics are acceptable in the tobacco control movement, as long as they are directed at tobacco companies (and now, electornic cigarette companies).
If Stan does apologize and/or retract his false accusations, please send me a cable because I want to know about it right away. But I'm not holding my breath. The truth is just too much for idealogues like Glantz to take. It is only through lies that they can discredit the overwhelming experience of tens of thousands of vapers that these products are helping them to improve their health and potentially save their lives.