To:         Editors of Chest journal [e-mail addresses undisclosed]

From:                 Kamal Chaouachi [idem]

Subject:          Re: CHEST, 10-2864, Question Regarding May 2011 Correspondence

Date:                5 December 2011

Dear Dr AUGUSTYN,

Thank you for informing me of the “alert” you received about a purported “conflict of interest”. As you stress, it is certainly noticeable for its “seriousness”. It is in fact a mere renewed defamation campaign so let me go right to the point of your questions:

  1. I am a researcher, totally independent from the Pharmaceutical and Tobacco industries.
  2. I do NOT hold “a US patent on a narghile” or a European one or a Middle Eastern one... The “Chest conflicts of interest disclosure form” that was duly filled in when my article was submitted to your journal, is ABSOLUTELY true and sincere and still it is. The same goes for all my publications and, particularly, those very references cited in the same article [1].
  3. 3.1) I have NEVER been involved in “lobbying governments and engaging media in Europe and the Middle East against the inclusion of narghile smoke in bans on indoor smoking”. I have no other personal agenda than the progress of sound research on hookah (narghile, shisha) smoking and world peace.
  1. ““Lobbying”” the French, Italian, Tunisian, Algerian, Moroccan and US Governments? 

3.3        ““Lobbying”” Religious Authorities ?

  1. “””Lobbying”” the Syrian and Iranian Governments and that of the Great Libyan Jamahiriya ?
  2. GLOBALINK ““Media Advocacy”” Is Not Based on Sound Science But on Mere Psychological Warfare...

DEMONSTRATION

  1. I am a researcher, totally independent from the Pharmaceutical and Tobacco industries.

I am an independent (from both the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries: abbrev. “Big Pharma” and “Big Tobacco” further down)  researcher and I am afraid the “reader” who alerted you –and above all those individuals standing behind this hackneyed joke- cannot state the same as I, as you will see. The raison d’être of my scientific work is neither financial nor political. As nice as they may sound in the first instance, slogans like “Towards a Tobacco-Free World” or “Banning All Forms of Smoking” are as empty, vague, mere nonsense and even as dangerous as other similar ones hammered in today’s boiling geopolitics...

For 15 years now, my only concern has been to try to understand what, where, when, how and why people smoke; i.e. the human and social (anthropological) dimensions of smoking and, of course, the health consequences. Unavoidably, I have been compelled to debunk a series of myths surrounding hookah use, particularly prevalent among righteous antismoking researchers funded, most of the time, directly or indirectly, by Big Pharma and, quite unexpectedly also, by Big Tobacco. Although such a serious ethical violation (related to a series of studies published in peer-reviewed journals supposed to demand a strict disclosure of conflicts of interest) was highlighted by a renowned whistleblower [2], it has never been acknowledged nor did their authors deem it necessary to publicly apologise. Instead, they chose to “sweep it under the carpet”...

-The first myth to be debunked was that of the very ““waterpipe”” “notion” which proved to be a confusionist neologism, actually designed for a paradigmatic purpose, and also and above all a nominalism. Lumping together all water pipes of the world (the Pakistani or Indian hookah, the Tunisian or Libyan Shisha, The Egyptian Goza, the Yemeni Mada’a or the Lebanese or Syrian Arghile and even the tiny Chinese water pipes) under a same object and “concept” nicknamed ““waterpipe”” (particularly in one word) has resulted in a catastrophe for research on tobacco smoking and a waste of millions of dollars...  This point has been highlighted in many peer-reviewed articles, including the one published in your journal [1]. It was very important to draw the readers’ attention of readers and your very authors themselves (in your journal and others) to the fact that they had actually fallen in that epistemological trap when offering “systematic reviews” to the research community [1-4].

-Another prevalent myth surrounding hookah smoking – or a “fallacy” as two of your other authors would put it in the title of their work [5]- is the purported  similarity of nature between cigarette smoke and hookah smoke whereas it has been established, for decades now, that the matrix of the latter is much less complex [6-7]. I had to tackle this myth in particular because tobacco experts from WHO TobReg such as Jack HENNINGFIELD and Ghazi ZAATARI [8-9], among others, have been the peer-reviewers of the erroneous WHO report prepared by Thomas EISSENBERG, Wasim MAZIAK and Alan SHIHADEH (abbrev. E.M.S. further own). The latter are the heads of, respectively, the US-Syrian and US-Lebanese anti-““waterpipe”” smoking centres. However, this WHO report has let all Ministries of Health of the world replicate over the years the huge methodological errors it contains; that of the similarity of the chemical processes at stake [4].

Before I provide further down the concrete evidence your Editors are entitled to expect in connection with the “alert”, let me point out that the one you received is a “classic”, a hackneyed “remake” (this time, perhaps the 15th one...), periodically activated by GLOBALINK activists –particularly the E.M.S. team- each time they see that an embarrassing critique of their poor or pseudo-science is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

For information, or as a reminder for some, GLOBALINK is the world antismoking network of about 6,000 activists (and organisations) around the world, funded by Big Pharma (Pfizer laboratories among others – see also World Conference on Tobacco OR Health) [10-11]. Although some journals are still embarrassed with this question, being a member of it represents per se a striking ideological conflict of interest which should be disclosed in each case. Otherwise, the reader is mistaken on how the peer-review process has actually taken place. I am saying this out of a long and bitter experience and as an ex-GLOBALINK member for several years as clarified in the corresponding section of a previous publication [6]. Dr SIEGEL, previously cited, has also been a former member of GLOBALINK, from which he has been expelled, as I. He depicts that organisation as follows: “I'm not the only one whose views are being censored. I think that GLOBALINK is an example of the groupthink mentality that has taken over tobacco control. When people are dissenting, you need to control that dissent, and the best way to do that is to censor them so their views cannot be heard. GLOBALINK does a great job of that. The Pfizer connection will only serve to make it even less hospitable to opposing views on pharmacotherapy's role in smoking cessation”[11].

Many GLOBALINK members do NOT declare their competing interests. Not the least is Jack HENNINGFIELD, previously cited (for being one peer-reviewer of the WHO erroneous report) who has failed to declare his striking competing interests in Big Pharma in a comment on one of my publications (in a grouped attack with E.S.M., based on a similar “alert” to the one you mentioned, and that has been discarded by the Editor in Chief). Jack HENNINGFIELD is actually “Vice President, Research & Health Policy” of Pinney Associates, a wealthy company whose business is "international pharmaceutical manufacturers and marketers, established specialty pharmaceutical companies, and start-up companies making their first forays into the development and marketing of drugs”[12].

By a strange coincidence, my attention was recently drawn to a similar “alert” of yours. It was disseminated through an antismoking web site titled SHISHAWARE [13]. Interestingly, I was asked the very same questions you raised, although in an indirect way, as if the anonymous authors were feared of something… The corresponding online antismoking resource is basically stuffed with strong ““waterpipe”” “antismoking” advocacy and systematic advertising of biased anti-““waterpipe”” studies, exclusively (therefore glossing over half of the existing literature of several decades of independent -from both Big Pharma and Big Tobacco- research). The SHISHAWARE site is anonymous although it is, according to what I have understood, managed by a group of US “medical students” and apparently closely (if not entirely) related to Thomas EISSENBERG and Wasim MAZIAK. I have even been told that the latter ““waterpipe”” expert publicly intervenes on that site. I was somehow surprised as this was a thing Dr MAZIAK had been doing, for long years, only within the close framework of the GLOBALINK intranet... Obviously, these individuals are committed to a world prohibition agenda (details available) and they are apparently in a hurry (because of research accountability and popular demands stemmed from the above mentioned prevalent research myths surrounding hookah smoking).

  1. I do NOT hold “a US patent on a narghile” or a European one or a Middle Eastern one...

-My statement regarding potential conflicting interests included what I have declared elsewhere: i.e., that I have never received financial or non-financial, direct or indirect, funding either from pharmaceutical companies (nicotine ‘‘replacement’’ therapies and products) or from the tobacco industry, as reflected (with a clarification regarding a famous invention) in the corresponding sections of two key references [6][14].

Having soon realised that most of the remaining toxic chemicals in hookah smoke originated from the charcoal used with the pipe (and not the smoking mixture itself; this is another myth...), I was involved, from Spring to Autumn 2004, in the development of a hookah prototype with a public health harm reduction objective.

Harm reduction does not mean, as a prohibitionist caricature (see GLOBALINK) wants, “pushing” for the use of certain substances. Instead, the harm reduction concept relies on a solid, logical, epidemiological, medical and philosophical background. You may consider having a look at the Harm Reduction Journal (BioMed Central Group) to get an idea of what this concept covers, particularly in the tobacco smoking field [4].

I am an official co-inventor of this harm reduction pipe (cutting down CO by 95%). Its full reference is :Patent 2005. "Narguile a allumage simplifie" [Narghile with simplified ignition]. Appl. EP20050291196. Filed 3 June. Published 14 Dec). Please also note that the work on which this patent relies was cited in another important article published in the Journal of Public Health [15]. Its Editors introduced it as follows: “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” [16].

My participation in this exciting project was frozen by Autumn 2004. However, the official termination was officially formalised only by 15 June 2005, i.e. before the potential commercial exploitation of the product (which did not actually took place as foreseen as the company in charge of this project eventually went bankrupt). By 15 June 2005, I signed away and ceded all my rights regarding the invention (legally certified as an “acte sous seing prive” by State Attorney in Paris). From the above date onwards, I have not had anymore any relation, of any type, with the patent, even if the US patent (Young&Thompson/USA), based on the original French one, may still mention my name on the internet. I have received only a lump sum for my short-lived participation in this harm reduction project. Furthermore, I declare that, in the course of my 15-year research work on this issue, I have never received funding either from pharmaceutical companies or the tobacco industry. I began to publish hookah health-related studies in peer-reviewed biomedical journals only beyond that date.

If you can read French, here is, as another example, what I put down at the top of the first page of a university document disseminated among medical students: “Conflits d’intérêts: Je déclare n’avoir ni n’avoir jamais eu aucun conflit d’intérêts au sens de la loi Kouchner (décret 2007-454 du 25 mars 2007. Art. R. 4113-110 ; ni avec l’industrie pharmaceutique (NRT ; produits et thérapies de « substitution » de la nicotine) ni avec l’industrie du tabac”. You will note that this academic material clearly refers to national French Law. This is no game.

Should you be interested in more administrative details, you can simply contact the French State Attorney, the local Patent Office (Novagraaf) in Paris or the US one (Young & Thompson). An Internet search specialist such as Pascal DIETHELM, distinguished member of GLOBALINK Advisory Committee who has been suing Big Tobacco “moles” across the globe [17], may easily establish that I have signed away all my rights related to the French patent by June 15, 2005 and that I have absolutely no relation with any US patent. I am ready to provide the full names, particulars and relevant related correspondence details (attorneys, patent offices).

It is also sad to see such people (actually professional defamers), who have wasted huge amounts of public money in mass publishing of ““waterpipe”” biased papers, using the same stratagem with other independent researchers that they now term « denialists » (yes, « denialists », probably a reminiscence of World War II or, closer to us, in reference to G.W. Bush’ famous summon: “He who is Not with Us [against the Evil Axis] is Against Us”...). Dr SIEGEL, a professor of public health -who, interestingly, argued that Environmental Tobacco Smoke “kills over 50,000 US Americans each year and whose testimony expertise contributed towards a 145 billion dollars verdict against tobacco companies- has reacted to this totalitarian escalation [17-18].

My only potential competing interest is that I have been, for several years, an active member of GLOBALINK, as explained elsewhere [6].

  1. I have NEVER been involved in “lobbying governments and engaging media in Europe and the Middle East against the inclusion of narghile smoke in bans on indoor smoking”.

3.1 Let me challenge your defaming reader to provide the name of any another researcher in the same field as I who would be involved with me in a so-called “lobbying” activism. Therefore, one must admit that I am alone so I am really puzzled by the wording. According to the Oxford dictionary, a “lobby” means “a group of people seeking to influence legislators on a particular issue”. Unfortunately, and contrary to the E.M.S. teams who have received ongoing funding (millions of dollars) for no or extremely poor scientific results, I have not got the means (such sums of money in particular) to influence anybody. The sole source of my supposed global influence is the sound scientific content of my writings which has been assessed by many independent (from both Big Pharma and Big Tobacco) experts of the world.

Before I proceed further, let me point out that any justified ban on cigarette smoking should be first based on solid science, not twisted manipulated statistics and far from the influence of powerful pharmaceutical lobbies (e.g. Pfizer’s direct influence on the European Commission)[19-20].

3.2 ““Lobbying”” the French, Italian, Tunisian, Algerian, Moroccan and US Governments? 

If ““lobbying”” means suggesting ways to reduce the harm of hookah smoking, then yes I was the first to measure expired and environmental carbon monoxide (CO) levels in hookah lounges as early as 1997. I published and republished the corresponding findings and suggested practical measures to national public health authorities in France (Tobaccology thesis 1998; Alcoologie 1999; Doctoral thesis 2000; Epidemiology & Publ. Health 2007). Unfortunately, they were hampered by counter-“lobbying” on behalf of powerful real lobbies such as GLOBALINK. In spite of this hostile environment leading us to an Orwellian society, I did not miss any opportunity to advertise my early related results and those of other researchers; e.g. in such an antismoking Italian journal as Tabaccologia in which a 60-page tetralogy on hookah smoking, with particular emphasis on public health, was early published [21].

I have been the personal correspondent of Tabaccologia at the 1st African Conference on Tobacco OR Health (Casablanca, 7-10 décembre 2006). The “OR” is not a mistake but it was meant and highlighted on purpose by the organisers. My intervention was highly appreciated, particularly by doctors working with the Ministries of Health in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia [22]. In the latter country, it seems that the new authorities are now concerned with other more pressing matters than the deadliness of “second-hand smoke” in open air and well ventilated cafes.

As far as the expected world wave of CO poisoning due to hookah smoking is concerned, I should also mention a US journal on Emergency Medicine whose Editors were very interested in my analysis [23].

The case of France is particular. When I was first interviewed by experts of the Ministry of Health in France, I warned them that their aggressive planned ban on hookah smoking was relying exclusively on an ad hoc ““book”” which proved to be, not only the greatest fraud in the history of tobacco research but, also plagiarised material; and of my own censored literature... The authors were Bertrand DAUTZENBERG, president OFT (Office Français du Tabagisme - organically linked to GLOBALINK), top national French antismoking authority, and Jean-Yves NAU (medical journalist with Le Monde daily newspaper and prolific scientific writer for La Revue Medicale Suisse, author of about 700 hundred articles indexed with PubMed)[24-26].

An interesting aspect for your journal and its concerns over potential conflicts of interests is that the main author of the ““book”” is a lung specialist and that the products of the publishing house (Stéphane ARBOUZE, Dir. Editions MARGAUX-ORANGE) are financially supported by the great names of Big Pharma. Unsurprisingly, two full pages of the “”book”” (pages 86-88)[24] are dedicated to the use of “nicotine “replacement” therapies and medicines such as Chantix whereas all epidemiological studies show that hookah smoking under its modern form, does induce no addiction (or a very little one in complex cases, impossible to clarify against the previously mentioned global confusion due the ““waterpipe”” nominalism). Finally, on another interesting ethical level, Mr ARBOUZE defends his ““authors””[24-26]....

Among numerous serious errors (on almost every page sometimes), and to mention the most exotic one, the authors took one study on CO from Middle-East barbecues for one on hookah (narghile, shisha) smoking and pretended that it represented strong evidence about exposure to hookah smoke. One must keep in mind that such  a “”book”” served as the scientific basis for a  planned nation-wide ban in such a great country as France... I said an “aggressive”” ban because we can read page 72: "We are heading towards a political conflict when hookah lounges close by the 1st of January 2008” [original in French: «D’ores et déjà, un risque de conflit politique se profile avec l’arrêt de l’activité des bars à chicha au 1er janvier 2008»)[24].

The experts at the Ministry of Health were extremely surprised and sorry to hear about such breaches in ethics. For this reason, they reviewed the details related to the enforcement of the ban on hookah lounges. On another level, one must also realise that these places are patronised by smokers who go there for the only purpose of smoking so that the question of “involuntary exposure” of non-smokers to hookah smoke takes another meaning, doesn’t it ?...

3.3 ““Lobbying”” Religious Authorities...?

While Globalink activists have provided religious authorities (targeting Islam in particular) with twisted biased evidence on the effects of second-hand smoke in general [20][27], my work has been focussing on the analysis of complexity and the medical anthropological context of prevention of tobacco smoking in Muslim societies. One example, beyond a comprehensive 420 transdisciplinary doctoral thesis, has been an article co-authored with an Italian researcher and published in a peer-reviewed antismoking journal [28].

One of my greatest relevant findings has been that Islam commands that god sound science should be sought, according to the Prophet of this great religion (and this is very important): “from the cradle to the grave” (in Arabic: “Utlubu l-‘ilma min al-mahdi ila-l lahdi”). The direct epistemological consequence is that researchers (particularly those working on Muslim societies) should just stick to this simple universal precept. Even atheist researchers will accept such an invitation because it is as obvious as logical. Therefore, the central question is: why research on tobacco smoking should appear as an exception to this principle: because a handful of fanatics would have transformed “tobacco control” into a religious movement [17-18]?

This is a great opportunity for a synergistic cooperation between all peoples of the world. The remaining problem if the question of inter-communication since English is, de facto, a monopolistic language. This has not always been the case and there is not fatality in this field. In the past centuries, other languages, such as Chinese, Hindu, Urdu, Persian, Hebrew, French and particularly Arabic (think of all tremendous scientific discoveries and developments in all fields of science between the 9th and 15th centuries; which benefit the whole mankind later) have been the vehicle of science. Today, Esperanto is certainly the best candidate to this role.

3.4“””Lobbying”” the Syrian and Iranian Governments and that of the Great Libyan Jamahiriya ?

I did state somewhere that tobacco is injurious for health and, consequently, the Syrian government was right to ban smoking in certain public places. The corresponding decree was relevant in many instances (taxis, public transportation, shared offices, etc.). However, it did not distinguish between non-ventilated, poorly and well-ventilated public areas. The case of Syrian coffee houses, as described in an early doctoral thesis, was therefore striking for the inconsistency of the ban and posed the question of the scientific integrity of the data provided by the GLOBALINK US-Syrian activists who touted it. An insight on this case can be found in a peer-reviewed 50 pages publication that GLOBALINK activists have attempted to censor, in vain and against the decision of the Editors (independent scientists). In particular, this article contains photographs which are a clear demonstration of the psy-warfare techniques implemented by prohibitionist activists of the same organisation [14].

More, during their briefing by antismoking activists, the Syrian authorities were provided with data on “working examples” from the world. As in many other cases, the operation has been a mere importation of so-called “Western” “evidence” justifying an immediate ban in public hospitalities. As far as Europe is concerned, not only have I reminded how the French ban on hookah smoking was, from the outset, a scientific fraud but, on a wider level, it was also based on a manipulation [19-20].

If the Syrian decree has now been “alleviated” and is more “tolerant”, it is a good thing for the preservation of the social, cultural, economical and even political tissue of Syria, particularly on the eve of external threats on its territorial integrity and independence.

As for Iran, I presume that its leaders have found, based on their own anthropological and medical findings, that a total ban on their local water pipes was contrary to common sense. Hence, their repeated U-Turn decisions to lift the ban [29]. Or, perhaps, thanks to some mysterious “domino effect”, Iran public health authorities have decided to adopt the tolerance displayed by the Syrian government.  Although I have seen a lot of anti- “””waterpipe”” research led over the past few years in Iran -and directly inspired by the US example-, I must say that I have been a mere observer of the Persian scene and I have never had so far the opportunity to pay a visit to this wonderful country.

Finally, I have always supported the wise tolerant pragmatic policy of the Great Libyan Jamahiriya government and the open-mindedness of their researchers. The case of the Libyan Journal of Medicine is really praiseworthy [30]. However, in view of the appalling turn of events in this country, I fear a radical totalitarian evolution which will be fatal for researchers there.

3.5 GLOBALINK “Media Advocacy” Is Not Based on Science But Relies on Mere Psychological Warfare...

You mentioned media. However, no references were cited as in the case of governments... Consequently, let us take the most recent example I have in mind: that of a prestigious journal as The Guardian whose staff has interviewed Globalink activists, colleagues of E.M.S. If you have not yet read the corresponding article (quite rare for allowing an exchange of views from “both sides”), you are strongly invited to do so that you may realise the extent of the censored facts on behalf of antismoking researchers [7].

Interestingly, the report comments on previous “media advocacy” (lobbying in other words) by GLOBALINK activists who let the BBC actually publish blatant lies:  “In March, the BBC published a news story claiming that GPs in Leicester "are seeing an increase in teenagers with health problems linked to shisha pipe smoking". But Leicester PCT [Primary Care Centre] now says the story was erroneous; while it maintains the number of teenagers in the city smoking shisha is on the rise, it says GPs have not confirmed an increase in treating patients with health problems caused directly by shisha”.

No apology was published by the BBC as in the case of the series of anti- “”waterpipe””” studies funded by the Tobacco Industry [2]. This is the sad reality of “tobacco control” today. Some analysts dubbed this trend “science by press release” and other see it as an authoritarian evolution, although totalitarian would best describe it [27][31-33]. It works, particularly when it comes to hookah smoking because the latter is a more complex question in which another type of bias also appears: the xenophobic one. Striking concrete examples in the very biomedical peer-review press can be provided upon request.

These individuals believe that they stand above all ethics, above the law and that they will never be made accountable for the numerous errors and lies published in peer-reviewed journals.  They keep self-confident because of their lobbying power as they have an army of focal points (most of the time silently acting as peer-reviewers) affiliated with GLOBALINK. The ethical problem is that this ideological conflict of interest must be acknowledged. Consequently, the question is: who is doing “lobbying”: a powerful network of 6,000 members (including organisations) funded by Big Pharma or an isolated individual in the world? Please note the disproportion, the lack of balance and the asymmetry of ground “forces” when you may read here and there that there would be now a “controversy” over statements on health effects of hookah smoking. A “controversy” does imply the existence of at least two (rather) balanced sides. How can a party of one sole censored researcher trigger a “controversy”? If, in spite of all the world-scale GLOBALINK lobbying and media manipulation previously described, such a controversy actually exists, then this means that this scientist deserves some interest, doesn’t he ?

CONCLUSION

In their response to my article, the team I have criticised in your journal states: “On the other hand, the letter appears to be suggesting that moassel smoking is less harmful than smoking other types of tobacco but fails to provide convincing data. We believe that the burden of proof falls on Dr Chaouachi and others who have been advocating the safety of certain forms of smoking. Until such proof is available, it would be prudent to accept the findings that water-pipe smoking may negatively affect lung function parameters, keeping in mind the relatively low quality of the supporting evidence behind them” [34].

As if publishing biased “systematic reviews” in several journals were not enough for them, your authors, just as the authors of the “alert” you received did, have actually defamed me.  Because I highlighted serious flaws in their research methods, I would be “advocating the safety of certain forms of smoking”. Would your peer-reviewers, who scrutinised my manuscript, be so stupid? Although I am not expecting any apology from them, let me challenge them to provide the Chest Editors with the least evidence for this gratuitous libel.

As the French saying goes: “Calomniez, calomniez, il en restera toujours quelque chose”… However, let me ask the authors of the “alert” you received to declare their full affiliations and competing interests; in particular their connections and/or degree of collaboration with the E.M.S. team. I would not be surprised that, in view of their militant, ideological, biased and poor style of writing, they happen to be their direct colleagues or own students [10][13]. Let them also know that I am now in possession of solid evidence to sue them all for repeated defamation.

As an independent researcher, I claim the right to remain free to oppose rampant Prohibition understood as legal actions based on pseudo-science, fake science. Against this gloomy background, and as a free citizen before being a scientist, I feel my duty is to resist this tragic totalitarian evolution on a global level. I have been educated in French Voltaire’ spirit who, for memory, said: “I do not approve of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

Ideally, I should be grateful if you could publish the defamation material that reached your office side by side with this Letter. It could serve as a “class example” to show how, in the very scientific field, obscurantist forces in the 21st century, and in the USA in particular, try to silence dissenting views.

I hope I have been of some help in raising awareness about this complex issue so that you can be more watchful in the future regarding any manuscript you may receive on ““waterpipe”” smoking. The first thing to do is to correct the nominalistic bias (not a mere question of vocabulary as stressed)[1]. Then, and also as a result of the previous bias (““waterpipe”” actually works as an editorial code), please do check the bibliographic bias. I do not mean, of course, the absence of my own references but that of dozens of other relevant independent high calibre researchers still hiding involuntarily as ghosts...

Yours sincerely,

Dr Kamal Chaouachi

_________________

REFERENCES

[1] Chaouachi K. More Rigor Needed in Systematic Reviews on “Waterpipe” (Hookah, Narghile, Shisha) Smoking. Chest May 2011 139:5 1250-1251. Doi:10.1378/chest.10-2864

http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/139/5/1250.full

[2] Siegel M. Dishonest Disclosures? Six Articles on Health Effects of Hookah Use Fail to Mention that Research Sponsor Was Directed by a Tobacco Industry Executive. The Rest of the Story (tobacco policy blog). 10 March 2010

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/03/dishonest-disclosures-six-articles-on.html

[3] Raad D, Gaddam S, Schunemann HJ, Irani J, Abou Jaoude P, Honeine R, Akl EA. Effects of waterpipe tobacco smoking on lung function: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Chest. published 29 July 2010. Doi: 10.1378/chest.10-0991

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20671057

[4] 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.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=19440416

[5] Chan A, Murin S. Up in Smoke: The Fallacy of the Harmless Hookah. Chest. 2011;139:737-738. Doi: 10.1378/chest.10-2985 CHEST April 2011 vol. 139 no. 4 737-738

http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/139/4/737

[6] 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 2009 (online: 24 Dec).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2009.11.036

[7] The Guardian. Smoking shisha: how bad is it for you? It is growing in popularity but some experts say a single shisha session is the same as smoking 200 cigarettes. By Huma Qureshi. Monday 22 August 2011 20.59 BST

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/aug/22/shisha-smoking-how-bad-is-it

[8] WHO TobReg (World Health Organization “study group for the regulation of tobacco products”)

http://www.who.int/tobacco/global_interaction/tobreg/members/en/index.html

[9] Siegel M. FCTC Commentary #2: Proposed Tobacco Product Regulation Approach Makes No Sense, Is Not Based on Science, Will Deceive the Public, and Harm Its Health. The Rest of the Story :Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary; 2010 (01 Jun)

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/05/fctc-commentary-2-proposed-tobacco.html

[10] Globalink (see Pfizer commercial logo on homepage)

http://www.globalink.org/

[11] Siegel M. Prostitution of Tobacco Control Science and Policy: World Conference on Tobacco or Health Accepts Big Pharma Sponsorship. The Rest of the Story – Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary 2008 (13 Mar)

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/03/prostitution-of-tobacco-control-science.html

[12] Jack Henningfield’ undeclared competing interests

http://www.pinneyassociates.com/our_clients.xml 

[13] Shishaware (Anonymous US “Medical Students”)

http://www.facebook.com/ShishAware

[14] 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

[15] Chaouachi K. Public health intervention for narghile (hookah, shisha) use requires a radical critique of the related ‘‘standardised’’ smoking machine. J Public Health 2009;18(1):69–73. Doi: 10.1007/s10389-009-0272-7 [Springer Berlin/Heidelberg].

http://www.springerlink.com/content/58352477706011t0/

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

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

[17] Siegel M. Danger: Public Health Could Become a Religious Movement. Eur J Public Health. 2009 (11 Feb):

http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/eletters/19/1/2#99

[18] Siegel M. On the McCarthystic element in Tobacco control.

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/02/on-mccarthyistic-element-in-tobacco.html

[19] The Smoke Free Partnership [financed by and prepared for the European Respiratory Society, INCa (Institut National du Cancer), Cancer Research UK, European Heart Network]. Report “Lifting the smokescreen - 10 reasons for a smokefree Europe”. 2006. 146 pages. ISBN 1-904097-56-1

http://www.smokefreepartnership.eu/Lifting-the-smokescreen-10-reasons

[20] Molimard R. Le rapport Européen Lifting the SmokeScreen: Etude épidémiologique ou manipulation ? [The European Report "Lifting the SmokeScreen": Epidemiological study or manipulation?] Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2008 Aug;56(4):286-90. [in French. Abstract in English] http://www.em-consulte.com/article/184637

http://www.formindep.org/L-article-integral-du-professeur  [English version]

[21] Chaouachi K. Tetralogy on Narghile (Hookah, Shisha) and Health published in Tabaccologia, the official Journal of the Italian Society of Tobaccology. Part 4: Public Health and Prevention, Tabaccologia 2006;4:29-38. Full text (in Italian) free plus English and French abstracts available

http://www.tabaccologia.org/PDF/4_2006/7_42006.pdf 

[22] Chaouachi K. Rapport de terrain sur la  1ère Conférence Africaine Tabac ou Santé (Casablanca, 7-10 décembre 2006). Publié en partie dans : Chaouachi K. Report da Casablanca, 7-10 dicembre 2006. 1ª Conferenza Africana Tabacco o Salute”. Tabaccologia 2007;1:17-8.

http://www.tabaccologia.org/PDF/Tabak_01-2007_bassa.pdf (4 Mo)

[23] Chaouachi K. Prevention and sporadic carbon monoxide poisoning related to shisha (hookah, narghile) tobacco smoking. J Emerg Med. 2010 (Feb 2)[Epub ahead of print] . doi:10.1016/j.jemermed.2009.11.027

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jemermed.2009.11.027

[24] Dautzenberg, Bertrand & Nau, Jean-Yves : « Tout ce que vous ne savez pas sur la chicha». Paris, Editions Margaux-Orange (dirigées par Stéphane Arbouze)/OFT (Office Français du Tabagisme), 2007.

http://www.ofta-asso.fr/index.php/component/content/article/49-les-supports-dinformation-et-de-communication/108-article-de-base-muet

http://www.margauxorange.com/produit.php

[25] 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

[26] 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

[27] Siegel M. Scottish Smoking Ban Study is Example of Science by Press Release. The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary 2007 Sep 13.  

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/09/scottish-smoking-ban-study-is-example.html

[28] Pulerà N, Chaouachi K. Prevenzione dei danni da fumo di tabacco: un ruolo per l’islam? Tabaccologia 2007;1:20-21

http://www.tabaccologia.org/rivista.html 

[29] Lifting the Ban in Iran on Pragmatic Grounds

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-ml-iran-water-pipes,0,3795814.story

[30] Chaouachi K. Assessment of narghile (shisha, hookah) smokers’ actual exposure to toxic chemicals requires further sound studies. Libyan Journal of Medicine 2011, 6: 5934. 5 pages. Published Online 11 May 2011. Doi:10.3402/ljm.v5i0.5934

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3094468

[31] Schroeder JC. Communicating Science: Press Releases at EHP. Environ Health Perspect 2010; 118:a58-a58. doi:10.1289/ehp.1001913

http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action;jsessionid=1729AE76E997AC14EF36B1DC26D71AEF?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.1001913

[32] Davies JB. Bad Science in a good cause is just bad science. Dir. Centre of Applied Psychology, University of Strathclyde; FEAD (Film Exchange on Alcohol & Drugs) 2010 (10 June).

http://www.feadonline.org/video327/John-Davies:-%27Bad-science-in-a-good-cause-is-just-bad-science%27.html

[33] Kenneth P. Green and Hiwa Alaghebandian. Science Turns Authoritarian. American 2010 (27 Jul).

http://www.american.com/archive/2010/july/science-turns-authoritarian

[34] Jihad Irani, Dany Raad, Elie A. Akl. Response. Chest May 2011 139:5 1251-1252. Doi:10.1378/chest.11-0023

http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/139/5/1251.full

THE END

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

From: Nicki Augustyn

To: [Kamal Chaouachi, e-mail address undisclosed]

Cc: Richard Irwin ; Cynthia French ; Jean Rice ; Nicki Augustyn

Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2011 2:57 PM

Subject: CHEST, 10-2864, Question Regarding May 2011 Correspondence

Dear Dr Chaouachi,

It has come to our understanding that you may not have disclosed important conflicts of interest, as required by our policies, regarding your letter that was published in the May 2011 issue of CHEST, "More Rigor Needed in Systematic Reviews on 'Waterpipe' (Hookah, Narghile, Shish) Smoking."

A reader has alerted us to the following conflicts:

We ask that you clarify for us whether these allegations are true, and if so, please explain why you withheld this information from the conflict of interest form that you signed prior to publication.

Because of the seriousness of this potential omission, we must require that you respond in writing no later than next Thursday, December 8th.

We look forward to your reply and thorough explanation.

Sincerely,

Nicki Augustyn


--
Nicki Augustyn
Managing Editor,
CHEST
American College of Chest Physicians
3300 Dundee Road
Northbrook, Illinois 60062
p: +1/847 498-8374
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