“Waterpipe”™ and Communicable Serious Errors. The Lancet ID (Infectious Diseases) Publishes an Erroneous Piece of News but Will Not Correct It
Meleigy M. Waterpipe™ and communicable diseases link, says WHO. The Lancet/Infections 2007 (Jul); Vol 7; issue 7:448.
The author of the above paper states: "According to an advisory released by WHO, studies have shown that the risk of transmission of tuberculosis from an infected waterpipe is similar to the risk of transmission of living with an infected individual in the same household."
Since you, reader, are now familiar with the WHO Erroneous Report on "Waterpipe"™ Tobacco Smoking , you will remember that this last document, apart from wrong citations regarding the topic of "transmission of communicable diseases", doesn’t contain anything in relation with "the risk of transmission of living with an infected individual in the household", won’t you ?
Since you are probably a returning visitor of the Observatory on Hookah and Health, you will also remember that the only study in relation with this problem was led in Denmark, won’t you (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) ?
Now, further to our friend's alert, The Lancet has actually acknowledged the existence of this serious error although its Editor will not accept to publish a correction. We have taken good note of this position. However, it may not be in agreement with COPE’s Recommendations (*):
"Whenever it is recognised that a significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distorted report has been published, it must be corrected promptly and with due prominence. An apology must be published whenever appropriate. If after an appropriate investigation articles prove to be fraudulent or contain major errors that are not apparent from the text, the articles should be retracted. The word retraction should be used in the title of the retraction to ensure that it is picked up by indexing systems. Cogent criticisms from readers should be published unless editors have convincing reasons why they cannot be. Authors of criticised material should usually be given the opportunity to have a response published."
(*) COPE, the Committee on Publication Ethics is "a code of conduct for editors of biomedical journals", "a suggested code of conduct for editors to guide them towards being fair to authors, researchers, and readers".
The Lancet argued that the published erroneous piece of news is not academic… Obviously it is scientific and was peer-reviewed but it wouldn’t be "academic". That’s interesting. Perhaps not academic as Peter Kandela’ two peer-reviewed anecdotic papers -cited and cited again in a long and sad series of purportedly ““peer-reviewed”” publications (including the WHO Erroneous Report on "Waterpipe"™ Tobacco Smoking)- as THE “evidence” that the hookah is of Indian origin and that children smoke the hookah with their fathers…
Kandela P. Narghile smoking keeps Waterpipe™ Researchers in Wonderland. The Lancet 2000; 356 (9236): 1175.
Kandela P. Signs of trouble for hubble bubble. The Lancet 1997; 349 (9063): 1460.
And they call this science, "good science", "peer-reviewed" science…
Finally, dear reader, should the Observatory on Hookah and Health keep silent on this or is it right to blow the whistle (even if it has become sort of permanent) ?
Image: courtesy of Health News
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