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ByeBye cigs, Hello e-cigsThe well-respected NYTimes columnist Jane Brody has been around a long, long time, and we here at ACSH often use her column for its worthwhile information for our readers. Today s piece, More Worries Rise From the Ashes, is in stark contrast to those, unfortunately. And this topic presented her with a great opportunity to do her readers a major service instead...

In a world of fake news, scientists tend to find comfort within the pages of the scientific literature. While peer review is far from perfect and science often wrong, the process finds the truth in the long-run.

The gatekeepers of science -- that is, the people tasked with editing the scientific journals -- have an incredibly important job. They must decide which research deserves to be published and which does not. Other journal editors publish essays and articles for general consumption rather than scientific manuscripts. Regardless of one's exact role, what all editors have in common is the privilege of facilitating dialogue among the scientific community and its stakeholders.

As we have rightly come to expect, with great privilege comes great responsibility. That's...

Cancer Screening Déjà Vu

In its coverage of a new blood test that is being billed as a method to detect colon cancer, U.S. News is appropriately skeptical: “But while the ColoMarker test may well have all the potential in the world, based on the information available so far, ‘it is unproven as a screening measure,’ writes Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colorectal cancer at the American Cancer Society...Like the highly controversial prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, ColoMarker is a blood test that looks for a protein whose levels may be elevated in people with a...

California is a trendsetter.  

It’s home to world-class wine, championship basketball teams, beautiful weather, and legendary cities like San Francisco. But my home state, sadly, is also a trendsetter when it comes to wrongheaded public health policy. There’s no better example of this than Proposition 65, a law that has cost California businesses close to $300 million as of 2016.

Originally approved by voters in 1986, the law empowers the state government to regulate the use of chemicals, over 800 and counting, that it deems toxic to human health and the environment. Scientific shortcomings aside, the language of Prop. 65 has exposed California’s businesses to an...

Non-communicable diseases are often associated with our behavior; tobacco remains the poster child and efforts at reduction in its use has provided lessons on how to affect similar change for other health concerns. In a new review in the Journal of Studies of Alcohol and Drugs, the subject is alcohol, but it could just as well be Big Sugar or in some alternate future, Big Marijuana. So what works, what policy tools can we employ to nudge behavior away from substances that can cause harm. Spoiler alert – education is not on the list.

The abuse of alcohol is believed to be, in part responsible, for about 5% of global deaths and by World Health Organization estimates accounts for about 4% of our global “disease burden.” The current review looks at preventative interventions...

If 20 years ago you had told the American Council on Science and Health that tobacco company stocks would be outpacing the S&P 500 by 600 percent for investor return in the two-year period leading into 2016, we'd have thought you were proposing some bizarre science-fiction story. While I understand the power of addiction, that is only an issue for smokers; and future generations would be far more aware of the dangers of smoking and not become smokers, I'd have argued.

"Smoking is an IQ test by now," I'd have said, "no one will be doing it then." That's because young people would be smarter and learn from our mistakes, and not get addicted...

U.S. Right To Know is a small marketing group devoted primarily to endorsing the organic food process and undermining conventional agriculture. Nearly 100 percent of their funding comes from organic food companies, and they seem to believe that for organic food to be cost-effective, regular farming has to become more expensive. (1) Like Sourcewatch, Mother Jones and a few others, they are what the science community calls Deniers For Hire, the junkyard dogs of politically partisan anti-science groups. They hate farmers, and they hate affordable energy, but they hate scientists and doctors most of all. (2)

Now, they are not paid to be ethical, they are paid to get results for their clients, so since they are stuck blogging on Huffington Post we...

If you were living in Austria, Russia, and Sweden in August of 1805, declaring war on France, led by the legendary tactician Napoleon Bonaparte, must have felt like a suicide mission. It basically was. He stomped through Europe and it was only seven years later, longer than all of World War II, when he finally made a mistake and tried to tough out a Moscow winter in the open.

Napoleon of 1805 is what fighting against the Grande Armee of Organic Food sometimes seems like. Nothing ever seems to go wrong for them. Numerous foodborne illness outbreaks are shrugged off - somehow people even continue to frequent Chipotle stores - and high prices are no deterrent. We've debunked their ridiculous claims about having no pesticides and being more nutritious and being able to feed the...

E-cigarette legislation

The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), a public health education and consumer advocacy nonprofit devoted throughout our 35 year history to the promotion of sound science in public health policy, urges the Oklahoma Legislature to promote the benefits of e-cigarettes as a method of Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) in helping smokers quit.

Our own research on this subject1 published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, as well as many other studies and epidemiological data, support our assertion that the methodologies comprising THR the substitution of low-risk tobacco and nicotine-delivery products for lethal cigarettes have significant potential benefits in terms of...

CrossFit Inc.'s CEO Greg Glassman was once in a war on Coca-Cola - at least until it was revealed he was only in a war on Coca-Cola because Coke gave money to his competitors. Then he changed gears and claimed to be in a war against soda. But then it was revealed that he drinks a lot of soda - and a lot of margaritas - and switched gears to claiming he is not in a war on soda, he is in a war for public health, and simply believes that if a researcher has ever taken money from a company, they are unethical.

In the science community, when dealing with people who are either evangelists in a war they know little about or are simply anti-science, this is known as "moving the goalposts." Basically, you just keep changing your argument every time the old one is shown to be...