At what point does anecdotal evidence become statistically significant data …

This blog post might sound a bit more like a rant to some but for everyone who typically reads this content, I think they will agree with my frustration.

These views are my own.

If you look around at the THR community, you will see a lot of the same—accidental quitters.

Vapers LOVE to share their quit story because we are still shocked that we actually successfully quit smoking.

Most of you know my story, but I will go into more detail here to show why my frustration is causing me to write this post.

At 30, I had a blood clot. Per WebMD.com “You can get deep-vein clots at any age, but it usually affects people who are older than 40”. My doctor stressed the fact that I was a rare case, he also stressed that I needed to quit smoking. I knew he was right, I had heard it all my life. From concerned family and friends and people telling me almost daily that I knew that cigarettes were deadly and that I was cutting my life short by not quitting.

My blood clot changed my life. I had to walk around with a syringe deposit box since I had to administer the shots of Lovenox I was prescribed every 12 hours on the dot. These shots need to be within a few inches of your belly button, and they HURT. Not only that, but since this medicine is meant to thin the blood it causes bruising when you do give yourself the injection.

My stomach looked like a black and blue dartboard. A glaring reminder each morning when I saw myself in the mirror. My choice to smoke was why I was in this position.

I tried every single option my doctor recommended. None worked.

So guess what I did? I smoked. My habit had a hold over me that forced me to choose to risk my health further even though I was literally a walking billboard for why I should quit.

So why am I frustrated?

As I mentioned earlier, vape advocates LOVE to tell their stories. These stories are dismissed as anecdotal. But when do anecdotes become real-life data? One or two stories, ok, those may be anecdotes. But when you have thousands and thousands of stories of real-life former smokers that have quit!! That has to be data.

We are told that anecdotal evidence is based on individual accounts rather than on reliable research or statistics, and so may not be valid. 

But anecdotal evidence can complete the picture. Anecdotal evidence can be an important indicator of the need for further study.

In my opinion, it is time for public health to take notice of these anecdotes. The THR community is not going to stop, and ignoring all of these adults with these amazing quitting stories is wrong.

 These stories deserve to be heard, understood and counted as real life data when policies and decisions are made. People die every single day from smoking-related diseases. That should be reason enough to change the way public health interprets these “anecdotes”.



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Vaping can save 200 million lives and flavours play a key role in helping smokers quit. However, policymakers want to limit or ban flavours, putting our effort to end smoking-related deaths in jeopardy.

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