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DOSSIER: Vape, hydroxychloroquine, same fight for disturbing remedies!

DOSSIER: Vape, hydroxychloroquine, same fight for disturbing remedies!

The first is a recognized but too often controversial risk reduction tool, the other is an antimalarial whose existence dates back more than 70 years. If basic nothing seems to link them, the vape and the hydroxychloroquine can however help to fight two quite distinct pandemics: that of smoking and Covid-19 (coronavirus). Difficulties? Unfounded criticism? Although defended by many scientists, these two remedies are the subject of fierce media and scientific research.


At the writing we are not a scientific "elite" and it is important to clarify it before going into more depth in such a complex subject. However, that cannot prevent us from asking certain questions and making obvious links as to the way in which the scientific news of vape and hydroxychloroquine is treated.

In this dossier, we are talking about two "potential" remedies for two quite distinct "pandemics" but which nevertheless receive fairly similar media and scientific treatment. First let's talk about the vape (or « vapotage« ) which for its part has existed for more than 15 years and is more and more established as a reduction tool in tobacco addiction. This electronic device generating an aerosol containing nicotine or not has the advantage of helping the smoker to replace his addiction by a product with risk reduction. If the vape were better considered by the scientific community, it could hypothetically avoid more 7 million dead due to smoking worldwide each year.

For its part, hydroxychloroquine is a medicine (marketed as hydroxychloroquine sulfate under the brand names Plaquenil, Axemal (in India), Dolquine and Quensyl) indicated in rheumatology in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus for its anti-inflammatory properties and immunomodulatory. In France, hydroxychloroquine in all its forms has been listed since the decree of on list poisonous substances. With the emergence of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, this "remedy" is propelled to the fore by the Chinese authorities and especially by the Pr Didier Raoult, infectiologist and emeritus professor of French microbiology. If the use of hydroxychloroquine as an effective remedy were confirmed, this molecule could end a pandemic which confined 80% of the planet for months and killed more than 380 000 people at present (more than 6 cases confirmed).

So what are we waiting for? Why don't we use these "magic formulas" right now? Well unfortunately everything is not as simple as that. Between doubts, bad faith and conflict of interest, the two "remedies" have got in the way, whether rightly or wrongly.

Vaping, a solution against smoking?


But then what can these two products have in common? Well let's talk about the scientific side first! In 2015, English public health (Public Health England) was pronounced in favor of the vape by declaring " than vaping 95% less harmful than tobacco". According to the study of Public Health England, vaping could be an inexpensive way to reduce tobacco consumption in disadvantaged areas where the proportion of smokers remains high. Surprisingly, this study by the British public health agency was violently criticized by a medical journal: The Lancet .

In its editorial, the famous medical journal said: " The work of the authors is methodologically weak, and it is all the more perilous by the surrounding conflicts of interest declared by their funding, this raises serious questions not only on the conclusions of the PHE report, but also on the quality of the process. 'exam.". Despite the relentlessness of many scientists in favor of vaping, including the Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos who had expressed on the subject, this attempt at discretization has borne fruit by degrading the potential veracity of the words of Public Health England. Even today, scientific doubt remains and this is partly because of this publication of the medical journal "The Lancet".

For hydroxychloroquine, it is a fight of the same type which seems to impose itself on the scientific world. Just like for the vape there are those who are "for" and those who are "against". However there is an actor that we find for the two remedies, it is the medical journal " The Lancet". Indeed, on May 22, a study published in the famous medical journal concluded that hydroxychloroquine was not beneficial to Covid-19 patients hospitalized and could even be harmful. Following this publication, France launched a repeal of the exemption which allowed the use of this molecule against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the suspension of clinical trials intended to test its effectiveness. An important decision even as the pandemic is not yet coming to an end.

Hydroxychloroquine, a solution against Covid-19?

But drama, overwhelmed with criticism from scientists around the world, the study of " The Lancet Which was behind a series of bans on the molecule in several countries, finally sank on May 4, 2020, after the retraction of three of its four authors, the main one Mandeep Mehra. " We can no longer vouch for the veracity of primary data sources", Write the three authors to the prestigious review which had published its long study on May 22. The reason for this withdrawal: Surgisphere, the company that collected the mountain of data used as the basis for their work and headed by Sapan Desai, fourth author of the article, refused to give access to its sources, due to confidentiality agreements with its customers.

If the vaping world is still waiting for the apologies of " The Lancet "Regarding his denigration of the Public Health England study on the safety of vaping in 2015, it is clear that the weekly British medical scientific journal is far from" reliable ". In a recent interview, the Pr Didier Raoult states: " LancetGate is such a comical symptom that, in the end, it looks like Nickel-plated feet do science. This is not reasonnable.". For his part, the doctor-journalist Jean-Francois Lemoine denounces " a bogus study "Stating that" paid scientific articles, this has been practiced for a long time".

Lack of seriousness, conflicts of interest or even manipulation of the pharmaceutical industry, it remains difficult to know to see the end of the tunnel concerning these two scientific scams. In the meantime, millions of people find themselves in danger of death while obscure games take place behind the scenes.


How not to speak of the media manipulation which also has its role in the case of vaping as in that of hydroxychloroquine. True victims of a media appreciation more than approximate, these two "remedies" are the subject of real debates in society that should not take place. Far from us the desire to be judge or divine word as for the flawless effectiveness of the vape or hydroxychloroquine, however it remains possible to note the differences and especially the illogical treatment of the media spheres concerning these potential solutions to two separate pandemics.

In the case of vaping, it has been years that the risk reduction tool is sometimes praised sometimes thrown into the pasture to extremist groups who feel uneasy as soon as they hear the word "nicotine". Over time nothing really changes and the vaping continues to create division, everyone gives their opinion on the subject and this is obviously done at the expense of a benefit that could be offered to smoking patients.

However, it is clear that this "problem" inevitably returns when a product presented as revolutionary and inexpensive makes its appearance. Today, we are experiencing the same dilemma with hydroxychloroquine, an inexpensive molecule that could prove its effectiveness. So how not to draw a parallel with the world of vaping which has been fighting for years against incessant and unjustified attacks…

If on our side we are convinced that nothing happens by chance and that vaping like hydroxychloroquine disturbs certain industries wishing to make large profits with ineffective methods, we clearly do not wish to impose our vision of things.

Pr Didier Raoult, infectious disease specialist and professor emeritus

However, as a nod to fate, Professor Didier Raoult who defends hydroxychloroquine as a beautiful devil as a treatment with Covid-19 (coronavirus) seems unwittingly to have imagined a parallel with the vape there is years.

Indeed, in 2013, he declared : " In the name of the precautionary principle, we will try to curb the thing that is fighting against the biggest killer. It's an extraordinary thing. ” For him, the vape may not have a future in the fight against smoking just as hydroxychloroquine may not have in the fight against Covid-19: « I said to myself, this thing will not hold because it is a product of pure innovation that has escaped all circuits ».

Hypothesis, anticipation or reality, only the future will tell us if Professor Didier Raoult understood everything about these two major pandemics ...

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About the Author

Editor-in-chief of, the reference site on the news of the vape. Committed to the world of vape since 2014, I work every day so that all vapers and smokers are informed.