FINALLY PUBLISHED (May 2011) IN INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL...

Chaouachi K. Assessment of narghile (shisha, hookah) smokers’ actual exposure to toxic chemicals requires further sound studies. Libyan Journal of Medicine 2011, 5: 5934. 5 pages. Published Online 11 May 2011. Doi:10.3402/ljm.v5i0.5934

http://www.libyanjournalofmedicine.net/index.php/ljm/article/view/5934

*****************

IMPORTANT NOTE (March 2011): Revelations. Not only the criticised study was stained with serious errors, scientific and unethical misconduct (on behalf of the authors, the so-called ““peer-reviewer”” and the Editor-in-chief: see below) but it proved to be funded by the Tobacco industry (which manufactures cigarettes)... Indeed, hookah appears as an economic unexpected competitor from Asia and Africa. Details can be found in the following article:

 

Big Tobacco & Big Pharma Against "Oriental" Hookah Outsider: Evidence about One Undeclared Funding Source of WHO Shisha (““Waterpipe””-Coded) Antismoking Research. Knol 2011 (25 Mar).

http://knol.google.com/k/kamal-chaouachi/big-tobacco-big-pharma-against-oriental/534k6mvefph/24

SUBJECT: Censored critique of a major antismoking highly politicised biased publication from the US-American University of Beirut [*]. Our in-depth critique was first accepted by twice by Dr Donald Gardner, Editor-in-Chief of the Inhalation Toxicology journal until he received pressures (based on lies and defamation, as usual) from the authors themselves (Alan Shihadeh, among others). To justify his sudden U-turn,  Dr Gardner consulted a so-called “peer-reviewer” who did not read the manuscript... and called on to burn my books (that, for information, were not cited). All the lies, on behalf of the authors (Alan Shihadeh), the “anonymous” “peer-reviewer” and Donald Gardner himself (to justify his imported “decision”), are exposed in this document.

 [*] Katurji M, Daher N, Sheheitli H, Saleh R, Shihadeh A. Direct measurement of toxicants inhaled by water pipe users in the natural environment using a real-time in situ sampling technique. Inhal Toxicol. 2010 Nov;22(13):1101-9. Doi:10.3109/08958378.2010.524265)

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/08958378.2010.524265

Foreword (18 Dec 2010): Because my original manuscript has now been circulated among the antismoking Globalink activists, and because the Inhalation Toxicology journal has, apart from lies and misconduct, openly trodden the ethical code (COPE) it boasts of adhering to, the correspondence between Dr Donald Gardner, its Editor-in-chief and I, is being disclosed below so that everyone can check how the whole tobacco-related scientific literature peer-review system, particularly when it comes to ““waterpipe”” smoking, is corrupted.

I also wish to add that Dr Gardner refrained from submitting the full response from the US-American University of Beirut authors of the criticised study. Instead, he has blindly adopted their viewpoint. For example, his argument about my thesis (not cited as a full reference in my accepted manuscript) is exactly the one the same US-AUB authors used in the WHO flawed report (Alan Shihadeh was its “official” appointed expert). They tried later to justify their unethical anti-scientific dismissal of my early 420 page comprehensive transdisciplinary doctoral thesis on this issue (peer-reviewed by the founder of tobacco science in France) with the insidious argument Dr Gardner put forward (that it was not published in the form of an article... They did the same with a multitude of other authors from Asia and Africa who were deemed not  worthy of appearing in the WHO flawed report. Their only crime was that  they had carried out independent research far from the interests of today’s pharmaceutical industry and had come up with substantial (often “negative” and “unexpected”) findings long before the US-AUB authors began to occupy the scene with huge financial support from the USA antismoking lobby.

Letter to Dr Donald Gardner, Editor in Chief, Inhalation Toxicology.

From Kamal Chaouachi,  Paris, 7 December 2010

(previous correspondence right at the end - for memory)

Dear Dr Gardner,

Thank you for providing, in reply to my request, some details about the context in which your new decision (further to a U-turn) was taken. I am ready to accept it although I first wish to show you how you have been deceived by your collaborators. You are apparently not familiar with the Globalink world. I am drawing below your attention to it and to a series of serious breaches on behalf of your “peer-reviewer” and authors which, if not quickly treated, would let this case qualify for serious scientific misconduct and ethical violations regarding a biomedical publication. Your “peer-reviewer” is liable for a lawsuit over which I am thinking. As an aside and in this respect, your journal is supposed to adhere to COPE, “a suggested code of conduct for editors to guide them towards being fair to authors, researchers, and readers”, isn’t it?[1].

 

POINT 1 (GLOBAL LEAK OF A MANUSCRIPT SENT TO A GLOBALINK MEMBER).

As you will certainly agree, the natural place for the critique of a publication is the journal in which the latter was published. My manuscript has a scientific merit (this was your first judgement (Nov, 29) until you made a sudden U-turn (Dec, 2) after you received the negative “feedback” from the authors of the criticised material (Alan Shihadeh, US-American University in Beirut)[2] on one hand and, on the other, after considering “various reviewers responses”, all this, I insist (given the complex issues I raised), in less than 24 hours...

In any case, and whatever the opinions of your authors might be, they have no value since they declined your objective offer to respond to the critique. For your information, there is a precedent in the ””waterpipe”” antismoking literature. However, the Editor in Chief of the corresponding journal (Mutation Research), further to having contacted the US-Egyptian antismoking colleagues of the US-Lebanese authors, and having accepted, after careful peer-review, my manuscript, added the following sentence: “The corresponding author of the paper by El-Setouhy et al has been informed about this letter, but did not wish to submit a response”[3][4]. You will remember that I made you the same suggestion, didn’t I? (cf. our correspondence further to your acceptance).

In your last letter, you said: “As with all Letters to Journal, I have passed it onto the authors of the paper to allow them the opportunity to respond”. I am afraid this is not exact. I once wrote a Letter to your very journal that you had not passed to the authors. Interestingly, it was a short comment on another Lebanese team (Bacha et al) who studied narghile smoking in a natural environment, on real smokers, and in a Beirut cafe. Amazingly and with no given reason, the US-AUB authors dismissed this relevant Lebanese research reference (together with other relevant ones), with no explicit or even marginal reason [5][6].

Consequently, it appears, from your last email (Dec, 6), that a copy of my manuscript was sent to the US-AUB authors. Expectedly, this document has now been been circulated among them and withing the 6000-member rich Globalink antismoking community (Thomas Eissenberg, Wasim Maziak, Alan Shihadeh, Jack Henningfield and other WHO TobReg members, etc.), including major Editorial boards. Globalink is the world antismoking network, sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry (Pfizer laboratories among others)[7]. As also expected from your action, the manuscript will hardly find a place to be published in.

 

POINT 2 (UNIQUE “PEER-REVIEWER”’S “REPORT”: LIES, VOID SCIENTIFIC CONTENT AND AD HOMINEM ATTACK).

My manuscript was not sent to independent researchers (from both the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries) as I suggested in my cover letter. Contrary to what you early stated (Dec, 2) only one “peer-reviewer”, not “various reviewers”(sic), was [were] consulted. The unique “report” is based on only 3 short void though pillorying sentences described  as pit bull behaviour elsewhere [8]. I am using quotation marks when referring to your unique “peer-reviewer” because, even for the non-specialist (and the first time in my own experience, I must say), his written style is rather strange. Using a disparaging style (my manuscript, outlining a complex health, social and human issue, would be not more than a “tirade”). More, his analysis stems from “gut feeling”(sic).

Certainly, when one works with one’s gut instead of one’s brain, it is possible to find a manuscript “not well written” and having “spotty logic”. By “spots”, your “peer-reviewer” actually refers to the breaking down of my “tirade” into a series of clearly outlined points (related to methodological flaws in the US-AUB study)... In sum, this is a classical argument of how antismoking “peer-reviewers” in tobacco research abuse, at no cost (no accountability) of their prerogatives in order to block or delay a publication. Sadly enough, the Editor-in-Chief is often deceived because (s)he is not necessarily a tobacco specialist, in particular when it comes to “””waterpipe””” studies. I am afraid this has been your case, Dr Gardner.

Your “peer-reviewer” concludes with not less than a defamatory ad hominem unsubstantiated attack coupled with a lie:  “the author claims no conflicts of interest, yet he cites three of his own books”. Concerning the conflicts of interest, and should your “peer-reviewer” need another relevant “tirade” to be reassured, he can refer to the corresponding section of two articles of mine cited in my manuscript [7][9]. By the way, why did not he notice that RITC, one of the funding bodies of the US-AUB antismoking team, is sponsored by such great names of the pharmaceutical industry as Glaxo-Wellcome/Smith Kline Beecham  and Merrck-Frost [10]?

I am now seriously thinking of filing a lawsuit against your “peer-reviewer” for defamation and public lies. I beg of you, Dr Gardner, supposing you have read the manuscript, unlike your “peer-reviewer”: where are the “three books” of mine that I would cite ? None of them is cited. I even refrained from including my doctoral thesis in the list of references. I just cited it for memory, marginally, between brackets. This “pit bull” unethical attitude is the same I recently had to face with another publication. On one hand, I received very supportive comments from an independent peer-review report (objective, constructive, critical, with detailed points and corrections to bring)[9]. On the other, the second “peer-reviewer”(very likely Michael Givel, an antismoking Globalink activist)’ sole similar comment about a 50 page manuscript was:

"It would be very injurious for the scientific community to give a larger audience to Chaouachi by accepting his manuscript for publication in the Int J Environ Res Public Health: such publications are indeed frequently used by the tobacco industry to entertain the controversy about the health effects of the various forms of tobacco use".

The respectable independent Editors of that journal have immediately understood what was at stake and how they had been deceived. Please feel free to contact them. This ad hominem attack is unfortunately a characteristic of a great number of Globalink antismoking researchers working as “peer-reviewers” in journals like yours. They do not reveal to the audience of the journal and even to the Editor-in-Chief that they are affiliated with a well-organised transnational antismoking organisation having direct links with virtually all Ministries of Health of the world.

In this respect, who are Inhalation Toxicology’s peer-reviewers for tobacco-related issues. The names are less important than their affiliations. For instance, in the once online list of peer-reviewers of your journal, I found Steven Hecht who is known for his openly antismoking views. I have also seen in the same list that a fair number of your peer-reviewers work with the University of California, a renowned hive of antismoking activism. Globalink has many members there. Why did not they declare this affiliation, which would directly link them with the authors of the US-AUB article?

For instance, and just to take a relevant example, few people know that Kamlesh Asotra, from the university of California and consulted by your journal, is the author of a pseudo-scientific report on hookah smoking with countless errors [11].

 

POINT 3 (THE US-AUB’S AUTHORS’ REFUSAL TO RESPOND TO THE CRITIQUE CONTAINS A LIE AND HAS NO SCIENTIFIC OR ETHICAL VALUE).

As earlier said, your authors opinions on my manuscript are irrelevant since they declined, with no clear reason, your offer to respond to my article. Mentioning an “ongoing opposition” is definitely not a scientific argument. My past critiques of their flawed research have been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals. Not the least is the critique of the WHO flawed report, prepared by Alan Shihadeh himself, Thomas Eissenberg and Wasim Maziak (the later declared as co-author only two years later...) and Globalink members. It was “independently” “peer-reviewed” by WHO TobReg members, notably Jack Henningfield, who did not declare his huge competing interests in the pharmaceutical industry (Pinney Associates). This individual is also a member of the antismoking Globalink organisation. The above WHO report -whose two first sentences contain an error and a misquotation- is, as the US-AUB publication, characterised by a striking publication bibliographical bias, glossing over past research (not mine) which most brought the field forward [12]. If the US-AUB authors and their Globalink/TobReg supporters “doubt of” the “scientificity” of my publications, why do not they lodge complaints to the corresponding journals? Perhaps they will be able to get my articles UN-published?

Then your authors have actually LIED when they stated that they would have “addressed [my present critiques] in previous publications”. Unless they call ““publications”” what is nothing but online defamatory comments (about a purported conflict of interest)-as your “peer-reviewer” does- in notoriously antismoking journals of their Globalink colleagues and to which one cannot respond... The trick is hackneyed. The best example of what I am saying is that the methodological critique of the smoking machine (that they unilaterally dubbed “standardised” and now “The Beirut Method”) has never been addressed by them. See Arlot’s editorial openly presenting the critique:

“Chaouachi opens a debate on narghile (hookah, shisha) smoking. Chaouachi illustrates why any public health intervention concerning narghile involves an overdue critique of the narghile smoking machine now regarded as “standardized”[13].

To close this section, the US-AUB authors’ response was a form of pressure on the Editor-in-chief’s decision.  In these conditions, how would not be there a “strong opposition”(sic) to their highly politicised pseudo-scientific literature when, among others:

a-          the taboo word “glycerol” (major component, unlike cigarette, of shisha tar ?) is not cited in their “most robust evidence to date”[2]?

b-          40% of the “volunteers” were cigarette smokers (nicotine compensation) and other couples of smokers – vs. narghile only smokers ?

c-          their volunteers were observed in one hour sessions (with all the numerous biases this entails)? This is already true for a 5 minute cigarette session, as any independent tobacco researcher, worthy of this name, will confirm.

d-         their bibliographical references  are based on such erroneous ““”waterpipe”” articles as Maziak (Tobacco Control 2004) whose “review” credits authors of past studies for the exact opposite of what they say (about lung cancer, bladder cancer, aspergillosis, etc.) [14][15]?

e-          their “science” leads, through interviews with the same ““”waterpipe”” experts, to disseminating on a global scale such equivalences as: 1 ““”waterpipe”” = 200 cigarettes [16]?

f-           our scientific work is plagiarised by the antismoking colleague of these individuals, Bertrand Dautzenberg (who is too busy to be a member of Globalink but whose colleagues of the French organisations he heads are direct members of it)[17][18]? Interesting, a few years ago, the scenario began exactly as this one. A manuscript was sent to a French biomedical publication. It was “peer-reviewed” the “pit-bull” way [8] by the above individual. A few months later, the deed was exposed. In any case, would a so prestigious professor of medicine be so stupid as to plagiarise unscientific materials?

g-          etc., etc.

 

Is this what they call their “science”, their (Globalink) “peer-reviewed” science ?

 

POINT 4 (YOUR PERSONAL REVIEW AS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF IS LIMITED AND BASED ON MISREPRESENTATIONS OF THE WORK)

After you confirmed your acceptance of my manuscript (twice: Nov, 29 and Dec, 1), based on your sole scientist’s judgment, you informed me of a U-turn decision (Dec, 1). Then, you justified this sudden change by stating: “after a through examination of the data and various reviewers responses”(see previous points).

Given the nature of the unique “peer-reviewer’s comment and his lies (see previous points), how can one “agree with” him? I hope you will share my doubts.

Then, let us consider your personal objections, bearing in mind that you are not a specialist of this form of tobacco smoking, which even the WHO TobReg experts, behind the US-AUB politicised and regulation-policy oriented study, have failed to understand [7][12].

I am afraid your expression is too vague that it is impossible to respond to the following:

“I found that the evidence you put forward to characterize the study as unsound is not compelling enough, and sometimes based on assumptions.  Several of your key arguments are not fully developed so it is unclear why some of the methodolgical choices represent a major flaw”.

I urge you to be more precise so I can respond in a scientific manner. Fortunately, you add other points that can be clearly addressed:

“Many of your points are backed up by self-references, most of which being critiques of earlier papers. These references, which are not research articles, are not, in my opinion, appropriate or compelling for the points you make”.

First, the truth (clearly “visible” in the references list) is that I have mainly backed my critique of the US-AUB article with others’ (than mine) references. For instance, I cited the censored Lebanese and Saudi research studies who preceded in time and quality the US-AUB researchers and who were not cited for now clear purposes. The same strategy is reflected in the WHO report (whose main author, please keep this always in mind, is Alan Shihadeh...).

Instead of referring, among others, to our pioneering research works on hookah smoking and cancer and radioactivity [19][20], which also highlight the same flaws in the US-AUB literature, I have decided to cite the most recent and relevant publications, particularly:

a-          our critique of the totally absurd cancer hypotheses by the Syrian direct colleagues of the US-AUB authors [7];

b-          the critical review of the “passive smoking” related literature since the US-AUB authors stress again in their paper, on the “side-stream” smoke from narghile when it is known that the related hazards have been hyped and caricaturised to an unprecedented degree in the recent months [9][21][22].

Why should I refrain from backing the points I make with self-references? Are critiques of the so prevalent flawed “”waterpipe”” literature not citable? Would citing one’s publications be a privilege of the antismoking US-AUB authors who cite their own literature up to 13 times [2], not to mention their citing of their direct colleagues’ literature (other teams of the US-AUB, Maziak, etc.) ? Against this background, the truth is that I have cited only 5 personal references out of 30 (among them many from the US-AUB and other antismoking teams). I am afraid this attitude, if endorsed, would qualify as blatant double standard.

You add: “ Similarly, your PhD thesis is the sole reference for one of your points. Yet, as far as I know, this work is not available as a published article”.

This is not true. First, that document is not mentioned in the list of references. I only cited it marginally and for memory and between brackets, three times in the whole manuscript.

Within the section titled “Faking good behaviour” and over-ritualising”, the doctoral thesis is not the sole reference. The first reference is that of the US-AUB authors themselves since they had volunteers who “drew >400 puffs in a sitting”. In my opinion, this negative result deemed a comment supporting the fact that observed smokers do not behave naturally. I have participated in unpublished research in a laboratory as early as 1997. However, this fact is well known among all independent competent tobacco scientists.  Antismoking researchers make believe that cigarette and narghile smoke are almost the same (the latter being much worse)[16] and, for obvious reasons, do not pay attention to such “details” (just like the one about glycerol...). The second cited reference is that, extremely relevant, of a social psychologist named Lalwani [23].

As for “Scenario for the Moassel global epidemic” (critique 8a in the manuscript), I cite, only for memory, the existence of the doctoral thesis because such a document precedes, by far, the reference cited by US-AUB authors. The latter deceivingly give to understand that their colleagues (Maziak et al) are those who established a fact (one of the reasons for the world “””waterpipe”” epidemic). This is a scientifically and bibliographically wrong.

The doctoral thesis is a comprehensive transdisciplinary 420 page 850 footnote publication. It is not a “master thesis” as Jack Henningfield (TobReg) described it, visibly in a desperate intent to justify the absence of its mention in the supposedly objective WHO report (prepared by Shihadeh)(see online comments [12]. This doctoral thesis seals five years of research (including field observations in the Middle East. It offered the first review of the biomedical literature on this issue, long before the US-AUB and Syrian colleagues began to try to become the most “visible” actors on this issue. It has been positively peer-reviewed (in particular for its biomedical aspects) by the top tobacco scientist in France, founder of the first learned society of tobacco science (“Societe de Tabacologie”) and father of the latter as a discipline taught to physicians in the same country. Such a model can now been found in other European and francophone countries. A key finding of its research is that “observed” smokers do not behave naturally and this entails an important bias.

Publishing it the form of an English-language article (420 pages...), as you suggest, would be a terrific task. Extensive parts of the thesis have been translated into English and made available, including to the US Lebanese and US-Syrian antismoking teams, particularly through the antismoking Globalink network with whom I have been affiliated for years [7]. Furthermore, it has been commercialised since 2002 by a university-related structure in France. Its quintessence is reflected in the papers cited in my manuscript submitted to Inhalation Toxicology. This is why it is cited only between brackets.

Consequently, it appears, as with many other tobacco researchers, that your knowledge of this specific issue is unfortunately limited. You are not to blame. You are only invited to keep fair with all authors, as the ethical code of conduct (COPE) your journal is supposed to adhere to, commands [1]. You should keep a critical eye on both views (in spite of the striking A-symmetry) and encourage scientific respectful debate. In this regard, my paper does not contain any personal attack and is based only on the findings of the US-AUB authors and the existing relevant scientific literature, including that not cited by the authors. When there are views from two different sides that one cannot understand in detail, debate is necessary.

This is why I immediately accepted your offer to send the manuscript of the criticised publication. The present reward of such an action seems to me excessive.

 

CONCLUSION

The US-AUB manuscript contains many serious errors and flaws (40% of cigarette smokers that are a direct explanation of the unusual nicotine levels (nicotine compensation); observed smokers; silenced contradiction of the findings with all similar studies; publication bias; etc.) that have remained uncommented.

For obviously meant reasons, there is not a word about glycerol, a major component of shisha tar. Would you have accepted, you Dr Gardner, who supervised an Expert Panel on the harm reduction Eclipse cigarette, that not a word be said on its glycerol component?[24] ? The situation was different by that time. The studies on the Eclipse cigarette were carried out, not by antismoking researchers sticking to an agenda (that of the FCTC prepared by Globalink members) but by researchers of the tobacco industry.

I wished you had sent the manuscript for peer-review by independent researchers: at least to one of the names I provided. Furthermore, tobacco industry researchers know more about the problems posed by observed smokers, smoking machines and glycerol cigarettes than antismoking researchers whose main objective is eradication, not understanding the smoker or even trying to reduce the harm caused by tobacco smoking.

I demanded nothing more than a fair evaluation of the scientific merit of my manuscript. I did not expect to face, particularly from your journal, such ethical violations on behalf of your authors and your so-called “peer-reviewer” (who abused of your trust in him), his lies, and the unethical obstacles posed to the scientific discussion of your authors’ findings. Now that I have responded point by point to each of the above, I demand that, after consultation with COPE [2]:

-your “peer-reviewer” be publicly blamed in an editorial for his anti-scientific unethical attitude;

-my manuscript be published now that it has been subject to public circulation among the antismoking activists (“Global Leak”/Globalink).

Another option is to either not publish my manuscript but simultaneously un-publish the US-AUB authors’ article in order to be fair with both sides.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely,

Kamal Chaouachi

PS: finally, and because you made the mistake several times, I remind you that my family name is not “Chuouachi” but “Chaouachi”.

 

____________

REFERENCES

[1] COPE, the Committee on Publication Ethics:

http://www.publicationethics.org.uk/guidelines/code

[2] Katurji M, Daher N, Sheheitli H, Saleh R, Shihadeh A. Direct measurement of toxicants inhaled by water pipe users in the natural environment using a real-time in situ sampling technique. Inhal Toxicol. 2010 Nov;22(13):1101-9. Doi:10.3109/08958378.2010.524265)

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/08958378.2010.524265

[3] Chaouachi K. Micronuclei and Shisha/Goza Smoking in Egypt. Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis 2009; 675: 81–2.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2008.11.017

[4] El-Setouhy M, Loffredo CA, Radwan G, Rahman RA, Mahfouz E, Israel E, Mohamed MK, Ayyad SB. Genotoxic effects of waterpipe smoking on the buccal mucosa cells. Mutat Res. 2008; 655:36-40.

[5] Chaouachi K. Missing reference in study on saliva cotinine and exhaled CO in narghile smokers (Lebanon). Inhal Toxicol. 2008 Sep;20(11):1055.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18788020

[6] Bacha ZA, Salameh P., Waked M. Saliva Cotinine and Exhaled Carbon Monoxide Levels in Natural Environment Waterpipe Smokers. Inhalation Toxicology 2007;19(9):771-7.

[7] Chaouachi K, Sajid KM. A critique of recent hypotheses on oral (and lung) cancer induced by water pipe (hookah, shisha, narghile) tobacco smoking. Med Hypotheses 2010; 74: 843–6. Doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.11.036

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20036075

[8] Walbot V. Are we training pit bulls to review our manuscripts? Journal of Biology 2009, 8:24. Doi:10.1186/jbiol125

http://jbiol.com/content/8/3/24

[9] Chaouachi K. Hookah (Shisha, Narghile) Smoking and Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). A Critical Review of the Relevant Literature and the Public Health Consequences. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009; 6(2):798-843.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=19440416

[10] RITC (Research on International Tobacco Control).

http://www.idrc.ca/uploads/user-S/10905197851Program_Framework_for_RITC.htm

[11] Asotra K. What You Don't Know Can Kill You. Newsletter of the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program.

www.trdrp.org/publications/newsletters/2005/805nwsltrprt.pdf

[12] Chaouachi K. A Critique of the WHO's TobReg "Advisory Note" entitled: "Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking: Health Effects, Research Needs and Recommended Actions by Regulators. Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine 2006 (17 Nov); 5:17. Doi:10.1186/1477-5751-5-17

http://www.jnrbm.com/content/5/1/17 

[13] Arloth J. Editorial. J Public Health (2010) 18:1–2. 31 December 2009. Doi: 10.1007/s10389-009-0303-4 [Springer Berlin/Heidelberg]

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10389-009-0303-4

[14] Maziak W, Ward KD, Afifi Soweid RA, Eissenberg T. Tobacco smoking using a waterpipe: a re-emerging strain in a global epidemic. Tobacco Control 2004; 13: 327-333.

http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/vol13/issue4/

[15] Chaouachi K. Clarification about bladder cancer and shisha smoking in Egypt. Cancer Epidemiology (The International Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Detection, and Prevention) 2010 ; 34: 220. Doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2010.01.001

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2010.01.001

[16] ASH (Action on Smoking and Health). ““Shisha 200 times worse than a cigarette” say Middle East experts””. 27 March 2007 (prepared by Martin Dockrell)(accessed 13 June, 2008) [based, among others, on an interview with Wasim Maziak and Alan Shihadeh]

http://www.newash.org.uk/ash_4q8eg0ft.htm

[17] Chaouachi K. An open letter against plagiarism and plagiarists. Tabaccologia 2009; 1: 46-7 [English and Italian]

http://www.tabaccologia.org/PDF/1_2009/19_1_2009.pdf

[18] Zaga V. Plagiarism in biomedical sciences: a bad habit that needs to be rooted out [Il plagio in campo medico-scientifico: un malcostumbre da estirpare]. Tabaccologia 2009;4:5-7.

http://tabaccologia.org/PDF/4_2009/2-042009.pdf

[19] Khater AE, Abd El-Aziz NS, Al-Sewaidan HA, Chaouachi K. Radiological hazards of Narghile (hookah, shisha, goza) smoking: activity concentrations and dose assessment. J Environ Radioact. 2008 Dec;99(12):1808-14.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2008.07.005

[20] Sajid KM, Chaouachi K, Mahmood R. Hookah smoking and cancer. Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) levels in exclusive/ever hookah smokers. Harm Reduct J 2008 24 May;5(19). Doi:10.1186/1477-7517-5-19

http://www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/5/1/19

[21] Fromme H, Dietrich S, Heitmann D, Dressel H, Diemer J, Schulz T, Jörres RA, Berlin K, Völkel W. Indoor air contamination during a waterpipe (narghile) smoking session. Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Jul;47(7):1636-41.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2009.04.017

[22] Chaouachi K. Hookah (shisha, narghile, "water pipe") indoor air contamination in German unrealistic experiment. Serious methodological biases and ethical concern. Food Chem Toxicol 2010;48(3):992-5. Doi:10.1016/j.fct.2010.01.020

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2010.01.020

[23] Lalwani AK. The Distinct Influence of Cognitive Busyness and Need for Closure on Cultural Differences in Socially Desirable Responding. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009; 0 (0): 090114112719036. Doi: 10.1086/597214

[24] Eclipse Expert Panel, 2000. A safer cigarette? A comparative study. A consensus report. Inhal Toxicol 12 (suppl 5), 1–48."

 

 

PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: <gardnerde@aol.com>

Date: 6 December 2010 17:17

Subject: Letter to Editor

To: kamcha@gmail.com

Dear Dr. Chuouachi:

 

 Thank you for your letter to Inhalation Toxicology. As with all Letters to Journal, I have passed it onto the authors of the paper to allow them the opportunity to respond. I have heard back from the authors and they will not be writing an official response to the letter. The reason they give for this is that there is ongoing opposition between yourself and this group, which they feel they have addressed in previous publications and in their opinion, your letter is not a scientifically sound objection to their research. As such, I sent your letter to be peer reviewed so that I could make an unbiased and objective decision on its publication. Please find the comments below:

 

My gut feeling is that this particular tirade doesn't really need to be published - it is not well

written and the logic is spotty.  The author claims no conflicts of interest,

yet he cites three of his own books.”

I have reviewed your letter myself to assess the validity of the referee's coments and came to the following conclusions:

 Your critique centres on the flawed methodology of the study.  However, I found that the evidence you put forward to characterize the study as unsound is not compelling enough, and sometimes based on assumptions.  Several of your key arguments are not fully developed so it is unclear why some of the methodolgical choices represent a major flaw.

-                Many of your points are backed up by self-references, most of which being critiques of earlier papers. These references, which are not research articles, are not, in my opinion, appropriate or compelling for the points you make. Similarly, your PhD thesis is the sole reference for one of your points. Yet, as far as I know, this work is not available as a published article.

In conclusion, I agree with the reviewer’s comment and I found important flaws in your letter which warrant its rejection.

 

Donald E. Gardner PhD. Fellow ATS

Editor-in-Chief, Inhalation Toxicology

Inhalation Toxicology Associates

11 Monastery Road, West

Savannah, GA 31411

Phone: 912-598-9426

Fax: 912-598-9455

Mobil: 912-660-8720

E mail: gardnerde@aol.com

 

----- Original Message -----

From: gardnerde@aol.com

To: kamcha@gmail.com

Sent: Friday, December 03, 2010 4:36 PM

Subject: Re: Inhalation Toxicology - Decision on Manuscript ID UIHT-2010-0178

 

I am working on it but I have some questions for you too......... I will respond later.............

Donald E. Gardner PhD. Fellow ATS

Editor-in-Chief, Inhalation Toxicology

Inhalation Toxicology Associates

11 Monastery Road, West

Savannah, GA 31411

Phone: 912-598-9426

Fax: 912-598-9455

Mobil: 912-660-8720

E mail: gardnerde@aol.com

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Kamal Chaouachi (kamcha@gmail.com) <kamcha@gmail.com>

To: GardnerDE@aol.com <gardnerde@aol.com>

Sent: Fri, Dec 3, 2010 10:33 am

Subject: Re: Fw: Inhalation Toxicology - Decision on Manuscript ID UIHT-2010-0178

Dear Dr Gardner,

Apart from a copy of the reviewer’s reports that were not appended at the end of your email of yesterday (after the “> Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:” line), I would also like to be informed of the US-AUB author’s response (Alan Shihadeh) to whom you sent my manuscript after I agreed on your suggestion to do so.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Kamal Chaouachi

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Kamal Chaouachi (kamcha@gmail.com)

To: GardnerDE@aol.com

Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 5:28 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Inhalation Toxicology - Decision on Manuscript ID UIHT-2010-0178

Dear Dr Gardner,

By two times, you recently informed me that you have accepted to publish my Letter to the Editor (attached). I have also stressed that I had no objection that my manuscript be sent to the very authors of the criticised material, that is, peer-reviewed by themselves. According to you, you, this has been done yesterday.

However, per your letter of today, I understand that my manuscript has been submitted to several (others, I presume) peer-reviewers and that it has been rejected.

In these conditions, I should be grateful if you could provide me with the reports of the peer-reviewers as it is common practice in biomedical journals.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Kamal Chaouachi

 

----- Original Message -----

From: <gardnerde@aol.com>

To: <kamcha@gmail.com>

Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 4:27 PM

Subject: Inhalation Toxicology - Decision on Manuscript ID UIHT-2010-0178

> 02-Dec-2010

>

> Dear Dr. Chaouachi:

>

> I regret to inform you that after a through examination of the data and various reviewers responses I have considered your paper but unfortunately feel it unsuitable for publication in Inhalation Toxicology.  

>

> Sincerely,

> Dr. Donald Gardner

> Editor in Chief, Inhalation Toxicology

> gardnerde@aol.com

>

>

> Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:

>

>

----- Original Message -----

From: gardnerde@aol.com

To: kamcha@gmail.com

Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2010 5:01 PM

Subject: Re: Letter

Yes, I will publish your Letter if the authors fail to respond...I am contacting the authors today.  Thank you.  don

Donald E. Gardner PhD. Fellow ATS

Editor-in-Chief, Inhalation Toxicology

Inhalation Toxicology Associates

11 Monastery Road, West

Savannah, GA 31411

Phone: 912-598-9426

Fax: 912-598-9455

Mobil: 912-660-8720

E mail: gardnerde@aol.com

 -----Original Message-----

From: Kamal Chaouachi (kamcha@gmail.com) <kamcha@gmail.com>

To: gardnerde@aol.com

Sent: Mon, Nov 29, 2010 5:10 pm

Subject: Re: Letter

Dear Dr Gardner,

Thank you for your interest and proposal. Of course, I would agree and I feel every author has the right to respond to objections from peers.

However, should they decide not to respond –as this happens sometimes-, I hope that your decision to publish the Letter will naturally remain. In such a case, and in your quality of Editor-in-Chief, you may choose to add, together with the Letter, a comment like: “the authors have been informed and chose not to respond”.

Yours sincerely,

Kamal Chaouachi

 

On 29 November 2010 15:33, <gardnerde@aol.com> wrote:

Dear Professor Chuouachi

I have received your Letter to the Editor regarding comments on the published paper by Katurji.

I am willing to publish your Letter but I must first send it to the authors to provide them an opportunity to respond.  When they provide a response to your Letter, then both letters would be published "back to back".. do you agree with this??? Thank you.    

Donald E. Gardner PhD. Fellow ATS

Editor-in-Chief, Inhalation Toxicology

Inhalation Toxicology Associates

11 Monastery Road, West

Savannah, GA 31411

Phone: 912-598-9426

Fax: 912-598-9455

Mobil: 912-660-8720

E mail: gardnerde@aol.com