The once prestigious Mayo Clinic, supposedly a bastion of medical expertise and encyclopedic knowledge of all things medicine, has allowed themselves to be influenced by the same media fear-mongering and agenda driven pseudo-science that plagues the world of medical laypersons. One Dr. Richard Hurt (who should immediately have his license to practice medicine removed and prosecuted for criminal public endangerment in my opinion) recently released several statements on behalf of the official position of the Mayo Clinic organization. There is nothing really new about his remarks. He is essentially taking the same party line that they have been taught to parrot by their lords, demonstrating a gross ignorance of scientific and medical research and thereby falsely accusing honest medical researchers of misleading the public to line their own pockets. For those of you who are reading this from your thick-carpeted office inside the fortress walls of the Mayo Clinic, this is referred to as the psychological unconscious act of projection. You all are blaming other scientists of greed and corruption because you can’t understand why a person in the medical research community couldn’t be greedy and corrupt.
“Dr.” Hurt’s statements were exactly this, “One of the solutions that the nicotine and the e-cigarette is dissolved into is called propylene glycol which is a cousin of antifreeze and why anybody would want to puff on something and put that in their mouth is amazing.” This belligerent and deprecating (not to mention erroneous) statement shows us a number of important things about Hurt’s persona: 1. He’s ignorant of science, and 2. He’s insulting and downright abusive of people who have worked hard to improve their health (lest we forget, part of the oath taken by doctors is to ‘do no harm,’ which is kinda hard to do if you’re telling people to stop being healthier.) Basically, in the words of one of my favorite bloggers, Michael Siegel, over at The Rest of the Story, Richard Hurt is calling those who use E-cigarettes as a way to stay off of analog (tobacco) cigarettes f***ing morons. Guess they didn’t cover logical fallacies in medical school, what with this being a more than obvious red herring/ad hominum attack.
Hurt (Sorry, I’m not going to use the salutation “Dr.” in front of his name anymore… I don’t think it’s appropriate) went on to insult the vaping community even more when he snidely retorted to the scientific claims of the pro E-cig community with the statement, “we use evidence-based medicine…” (Emphasis added) The rest of the statement is the same stuff we’ve heard a thousand times. But these generally-accepted medical “experts” at the prestigious Mayo Clinic carry a lot of weight with statements about their adherence to the scientific method, which we all learned… and learned to hate… in High School and College Gen Ed classes. They’re trusting the public to hang on their every word with the resignation of ‘well, they’re doctors. They know more than I do.’ Richard Hurt is indirectly accusing the E-cigarette industry of exactly what he and his cronies are guilty of; “publicity machinery” as it was worded by the (I’m sure) carefully prepared interviewer of Mr. Hurt.
Hurt also goes on to contradict himself (and the entire ANTZ armada) by stating that E-cigarettes are not tobacco products and that propylene glycol is approved for human consumption, and is harmless in the many foods through which we already ingest large quantities of PG. He does rightfully point out (surprise, surprise) that many of the E-cigarette products are manufactured in China under no quality control whatsoever. I’ve tastes DeKang and I agree with Hurt that, just based on the taste alone, there most assuredly is NOT any semblance of quality control over in China. This one correct statement, however, isn’t enough to excuse all of the wrong and wilfully ignorant statements made before it.
In my disappointment of the medical organization I once respected above almost all others (with the exception of Navy Corpsmen), I decided to do a little digging into Richard Hurt to see what I could find. As it turns out, Mr. Hurt is the lead “doctor” in May Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center, a Chairman of Global Bridges, an organization devoted to tobacco dependence medicinal therapy), and a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. So essentially, the rising popularity of electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation device is threatening to Hurt in several different ways. For starters, the existence of Global Bridges could become relatively unnecessary if people begin to quit smoking in droves without the use of nicotine replacement devices/therapy or craving suppressing drugs. E-cigs also threaten his position within the hierarchy of the Mayo Clinic. And I venture to say that Richard Hurt stands to lose a lot of money if certain Big Pharma corporations lose billions of dollars when nobody uses their smoking cessation products anymore.
I have to say that I’m really getting tired of supposed medical professionals constantly saying that there is no scientific evidence that E-cigarettes help people to quit smoking. How long can they draw out that ridiculously untrue statement. They might just as well say that there is no scientific evidence that deciding not to throw oneself into the Grand Canyon can save one’s life. Or how ’bout implying that it’s unproven that an airplane without mechanical problems will not crash due to mechanical problems. Or a scuba diver diving in shark-free waters will almost certainly avoid being devoured by Jaws. They are denying the very thing that makes the question possible in the first place. I wonder, sometimes, when we will be able to put any faith into the supposed experts of the world again. As of today’s date, that seems to be damn near impossible. But I’m gonna keep looking. I might just get motivated enough to go to my local hospital and chat with a few doctors about the issue, even though it’s never been scientifically-proven that there are doctors in a hospital.