The media absolutely gushed over the possibility that smoking leads to brain damage, highlighted in a 'study' Monday. They were so happy to not have to write about another miracle vegetable or marshmallow cannons and call it 'science' they didn't bother to really read the data, so the news coverage of the study was misleading and highlighted why we need better science journalism.
They didn't bother to note that the study was observational, they only examined "... the association between smoking history and cognitive decline in the transition from midlife to old age." Participants reported their own smoking habits spanning a period of 25 years. Self-reported data like this can be problematic because there are no controls in place. People can easily misreport how much they smoke in either direction. Additionally, as the authors themselves admit, the data "... cannot be assumed to be representative of the general population," because the participants were white-collar civil servants.
Smoking Causes Brain Damage? Why We Need Better Science Journalism by Cameron English, Policy Mic
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Are Marijuana Warning Labels Needed? Users Say Yes
- Should Pregnant Women Be Concerned About BPA?
- Something is wrong in the Arctic
- Order Patterned With Chaos - How Climate Is Predicted For Decades - With Exact Forecasts Only For Days
- The Five Stages Of A Dying Theory
- Is The X(5568) A True Resonance ?
- John Glenn, Astronaut, and Senator dead at 95. A Milennial Perspective
- "Maybe we should institute medical marijuana testers, like the food-testers of old that used to..."
- "An interesting generational perspective there. In the mid-1950s, I was given a copy of The Complete..."
- "Dear Hank, perhaps I did not understand:I did as you told and nothing happens; sorry, I am lonely..."
- "You're copying and pasting some proprietary Microsoft code in your Word document. Switch to the..."
- It’s Not Brain Surgery, But do you Know What is? Brain Surgery!
- A Possible Antidote for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Surgeon General Declares War on E-Cigarettes But Not Marijuana, Hookah
- NHL's Concussion Protocol, a Closer Look (Part 2)
- Uh-Oh — Smokers Are Drinking the 'Additives Cause the Cancer' Kool-Aid
- A New Way to Prevent HIV Infection