Here we go again: discouraging PR #SPAM by posting them pre-embargo: Here’s one about smokeless tobacco #AAASMtg

Just received this in my email.  As I have said before (The Tree of Life: How to stop press release spam? Post embargoed press releases) I am sick of getting unsolicited press releases that are embargoed and do not have any relevance to my work.  They are SPAM.   And to discourage this practice I am posting them to my blog when I receive them in order to break their embargo which I did not agree to.  Please – all of you out there sending out unsolicited PR SPAM – stop it.  Stop it.  Stop it.

EMBARGOED TO 6 P.M. EST, SATURDAY, FEB. 18, 2012
(3 P.M. PST, SATURDAY, FEB. 18, 2012)
Contact: Jill Scoggins, 502-475-2428, jill.scoggins@louisville.edu

UofL RESEARCH SHOWS SUBSTITUTING WITH SMOKELESS TOBACCO SAVES LIVES
Presentation at AAAS shows scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction efforts


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Substituting smokeless tobacco products can save smokers’ lives, and there is a scientific foundation that proves it.

That is the message Brad Rodu, D.D.S., professor of medicine at the University of Louisville (UofL) School of Medicine and the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction at UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Feb. 18. Rodu spoke at the session, “Harm Reduction: Policy Change to Reduce the Global Toll of Smoking-Related Disease.”

“Quit or die: That’s been the brutal message delivered to 45 million American smokers, and it has helped contribute to 443,000 deaths per year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Rodu said. “The truth, however, is that total nicotine and tobacco abstinence is unattainable and unnecessary for many smokers.”

Rodu’s presentation, “Transforming Tobacco Use: The Potential of Tobacco Harm Reduction,” was based on his almost 20 years of research. His work shows that smokers can greatly reduce their risk of disease and death by replacing smoking products with e-cigarettes or modern, spit-free smokeless tobacco. These products provide a much safer alternative for those smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking because they continue to deliver nicotine without the harmful effect of smoking.

“Nicotine is addictive, but it is not the cause of any smoking-related disease. Like caffeine, nicotine can be used safely by consumers,” Rodu said.

Decades of epidemiologic research bear out Rodu’s findings. While no tobacco product is completely safe, smokeless products have been shown to be 98 percent safer than cigarettes. In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Physicians reported in 2002 that smokeless tobacco is up to 1,000 times less hazardous than smoking, and in 2007, further urged world governments to seriously consider instituting tobacco harm reduction strategies as a means to save lives.

To see the proof of what tobacco harm reduction can do, look to Sweden, Rodu said. “Over the past 50 years, Swedish men have had Europe’s highest per capita consumption of smokeless tobacco as well as Europe’s lowest cigarette use. During the same time, they also have the lowest rate of lung cancer than men in any other European country.”

In the United States, steps have been made to document the value of tobacco harm reduction. In 2006, a National Cancer Institute-funded study estimated that if tobacco harm reduction was “responsibly communicated” to smokers, 4 million would switch to smokeless tobacco. The American Council on Science and Health – which organized Rodu’s session at the AAAS Annual Meeting – concluded in the same year that tobacco harm reduction “shows great potential as a public health strategy to help millions of smokers.”

Rodu is well aware of the controversy his research findings generate. Opponents of any use of nicotine delivery products maintain that smokeless tobacco puts the user at great risk for oral cancer, a position not supported by research.

“The risk of mouth cancer among smokeless tobacco users is extremely low – certainly lower than the risk of smoking-related diseases among smokers,” he said. “The annual mortality rate among long-term dry snuff users is 12 deaths per 100,000 and the rate among users of more popular snus, moist snuff and chewing tobacco is much lower.  For perspective, the death rate among automobile users is 11 per 100,000 according to a 2009 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Compare those to the rate among smokers: more than 600 deaths per 100,000 every year”

“The data clearly show that smokeless tobacco users have, at most, about the same risk of dying from mouth cancer as automobile users have of dying in a car wreck.”

About Brad Rodu

Rodu earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University. After an oral pathology residency program at Emory University, he completed fellowships at the University of Alabama at Birmingham sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. He was on the UAB faculty from 1981 to 2005 with appointments in several departments in the schools of Medicine, Public Health and Dentistry. He joined the UofL faculty in 2005. His research is supported by unrestricted grants from tobacco manufacturers to the University of Louisville and by the Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund.

Dear #AAAS, I am NOT embargoing my own talk & I plan to record it and post afterwards #embargowatch

Just got another email from AAAS regarding their big meeting in February in Vancouver where I am scheduled to talk:

—————————————-
This request for materials is from the AAAS media relations team and is separate from any you may receive from your symposium organizer or the AAAS Annual Meeting office.
—————————————-
Dear AAAS Annual Meeting Participant:


Thanks to all of you who uploaded materials to the AAAS Virtual Newsroom by Jan. 16. For those of you who have not submitted materials or want to submit additional materials, you may do so right up through the meeting. The materials will be available online to reporters, although we can no longer guarantee that we’ll be able to copy new
submissions at our expense for placement in the on-site library of speaker materials. We will try to include materials received in the next several days in our copy order, however.



You also can make printed copies (10-15 copies) yourself and ship them to Vancouver so that we can place them in the on-site papers library for reporters. Ideally, press materials should be on-site prior to your presentation. Please see below for appended mailing instructions.


Speakers and organizers can submit materials by going to:
http://www.eurekalert.org/aaasnewsroom/mcm/speakers


Your individual username and password for the site:


Please provide the following:


— A one-paragraph biographical sketch (not a C.V.)


— A short lay-language summary of your talk, beyond the abstract.


— The text of your talk, if available, or a related (ideally recent) technical paper, either as a Word file or a PDF. PowerPoint presentations are acceptable, but a full text will better serve reporters’ needs.


— Any additional supporting materials, including multimedia files such as JPEG or TIFF photos in high resolution (300 dpi) and/or digitized video clips.


IMPORTANT: Please note that all AAAS meeting presentations are strictly embargoed and your speaker materials should not be released publicly until the time of your presentation.


If you upload your materials by 16 January, we will copy them at our expense for placement in the on-site library of speaker materials, available only to newsroom registrants.


Please notify your institution’s press office of your AAAS Annual Meeting presentation as soon as possible. Your press office can help you submit speaker materials to us and can begin to generate media interest.
….

The thing is – I did not agree to “Embargo” my talk and as I wrote about before, I do not even know what that means.  I figured, in the interest of being “open” about my feelings about this, I should write to AAAS to let them know I was not going to embargo my own talk, and I plan to record my talk and post it afterwards:

To whom it may concern


I am scheduled to speak at the AAAS meeting and I am writing this in regard to the email attached below.  I do not support the notion of an Embargo for my talk and I am unwilling to participate in the embargo. I plan to post information about my talk to the web and to my blog and am writing to specifically let you know I fundamentally do not support the embargo nor did I agree to it when I agreed to give a talk at AAAS.


I also plan to record my own talk and to post the recording and the slides to various websites.  I am not sure if AAAS has a policy about that but wanted to let you know of my plans in the interest of not having any surprises.


Sincerely


Jonathan Eisen

Will report back if I get a reply … and maybe I can get Ivan Oransky to help make sense out of what a talk embargo means.

AAAS meeting – is this one for embargo watch?

Giving a talk at the AAAS meeting in February in Vancouver.  I have avoided AAAS meetings previously because I do not like AAAS’s position on open access issues.  Given that AAAS is at least indirectly a supporter of the recent Research Works Act I am pondering whether or not I will boycott the meeting.   While I ponder that — I thought I would share the presenter instructions I just got from AAAS (see below).

Apparently, my talk is “embargoed” – though I am not sure I understand how that works for a talk (see the part I highlighted in yellow which, well, I almost certainly will not be following).  I do not understand actually what a talk embargo means – am I supposed to not share with people what I am working on so that every piece of data I present at the meeting will never have ben seen by anyone?  Or am I just not supposed to show my talk to anyone?  What exactly is a talk embargo?  And what will they do when I do not follow it?  Maybe Ivan Oransky knows.

I note – I am surprised AAAS does not try to require me to sign over rights to my presentation to them …

This request for materials is from the AAAS media relations team and is separate from any you may receive from your symposium organizer or the AAAS Annual Meeting office.

—————————————-

Dear AAAS Annual Meeting Participant:

If you have already uploaded your materials to the Virtual Newsroom for the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, thank you and please disregard the rest of this e-mail.

For those speakers who have not submitted materials, we’d appreciate your prompt attention to this request. We expect a good turnout of reporters at the meeting in February, and we’d like to provide them as much information as possible about your presentation.

Symposium organizers can help as well by uploading relevant papers or overview documents and encouraging your speakers to submit materials. Papers and speaker materials are for use by reporters in preparing stories and are not made available to general registrants at the meeting.

Speakers and organizers can submit materials by going to:
http://www.eurekalert.org/aaasnewsroom/mcm/speakers

Your individual username and password for the site:

Username: xxxx
Password: xxxx

Please provide the following:

— A one-paragraph biographical sketch (not a C.V.)

— A short lay-language summary of your talk, beyond the abstract.

— The text of your talk, if available, or a related (ideally recent) technical paper, either as a Word file or a PDF. PowerPoint presentations are acceptable, but a full text will better serve reporters’ needs.

— Any additional supporting materials, including multimedia files such as JPEG or TIFF photos in high resolution (300 dpi) and/or digitized video clips.

IMPORTANT: Please note that all AAAS meeting presentations are strictly embargoed and your speaker materials should not be released publicly until the time of your presentation.

If you upload your materials by 16 January, we will copy them at our expense for placement in the on-site library of speaker materials, available only to newsroom registrants.

Please notify your institution’s press office of your AAAS Annual Meeting presentation as soon as possible. Your press office can help you submit speaker materials to us and can begin to generate media interest.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

How to stop press release spam? Post embargoed PRs. Here’s one about Mayans using tobacco.

Just got this press release by email. I am sick of receiving dozens of unsolicited press releases, especially those in topics not related to my work. So from now on I think I will be posting the press releases whether there is an embargo or not, since I did not agree to any embargo in these cases (see Ivan Oransky’s post at Embargo Watch about this). Here is one I just got about Mayans using tobacco. Wonder how many stories will make jokes about whether this is what led to their demise?

Press release below:

Strictly Embargoed Until 00.01 Hours (EST), Thursday , January 12th, 2012
[05.01 Hours UK Time (GMT)/ 15.01 Hours Australian Eastern Time, January 12th]

Media Contact:
Dawn Peters (US) +1 781-388-8408
Ben Norman (UK) +44 (0) 1243 770375
Physicalsciencenews@wiley.com

Scientists Confirm Tobacco Use by Ancient Mayans
Mass Spectrometry Detects First Physical Evidence of Nicotine in Mayan Container

Archaeologists examining late period Mayan containers have identified nicotine traces from a codex-style flask, revealing the first physical evidence of tobacco use by ancient Mayans. The study published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry reveals the flask is marked with Mayan hieroglyphics reading, “y-otoot ’u-may,” (“the home of its/his/her tobacco,”) making it only the second case to confirm that the text on the exterior of a Mayan vessel corresponds to its ancient use.
“Investigation of food items consumed by ancient people offers insight into the traditions and customs of a particular civilization,” explains Jennifer Loughmiller-Newman from the University at Albany in New York. “Textual evidence written on pottery is often an indicator of contents or of an intended purpose, however actual usage of a container could be altered or falsely represented.”
Many of the Mayan flask vessels from the Kislak collection of the Library of Congress examined in this study were filled with other substances, such as iron oxide used in burial rituals, making it difficult to detect the original content.
The most indisputable evidence of a container’s usage is obtained when hieroglyphic text or pictorial illustrations on the exterior of a container is consistent with the chemical analysis of interior residues. For the current investigation, researchers analyzed samples extracted from the Late Classic Maya period (600 to 900 AD) using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS).
Nicotine—the signature alkaloid in tobacco—was identified as the major component of the extracts from one of the 150 vessels in the collection. The flask was determined to be made in southern Campeche, Mexico and dates to around 700 AD.
Prior to the current discovery, the only existing evidence showing a Mayan vessel to have the same content as indicated by hieroglyphic text was the identification of theobromine, an alkaloid found in cacao, more than 20 years ago.
“Our study provides rare evidence of the intended use of an ancient container,” concludes Dr. Dmitri Zagorevski from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. “Mass spectrometry has proven to be an invaluable method of analysis of organic residues in archaeological artifacts. This discovery is not only significant to understanding Mayan hieroglyphics, but an important archaeological application of chemical detection.”


This study is published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact Physicalsciencenews@wiley.comFull citation:
Dmitri Zagorevski, Jennifer A. Loughmiller-Newman, “The Detection of Nicotine in a Late Mayan Period Flask by GCMS and LCMS Methods,” Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry; January 2012, DOI: 10.1002/rcm.5339

Paper URL upon publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/rcm.5339
Images:
Images of the flask are available on request from physicalsciencenews@wiley.com. Images should be credited to Jennifer Loughmiller-Newman .

Interviews:
To arrange an interview with Jennifer Loughmiller-Newman or Dr. Dmitri Zagorevski, please contact Marylou Schiro in the Anthropology office at the University at Albany at mschiro@albany.edu or Kathy Gersowitz in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary studies at kgersowitz@albany.edu .

About the Journal:
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry is a journal whose aim is the rapid publication of original research results and ideas on all aspects of mass spectrometry. One of the highest high impact journals in its field, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry publishes original research results and ideas on all aspects of the science of gas-phase ions and all the associated scientific disciplines.
For more information, please visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1097-0231.

About Wiley-Blackwell:
Wiley-Blackwell is the international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world’s leading societies. Wiley-Blackwell publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols. For more information, please visit www.wileyblackwell.com or our new online platform, Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), one of the world’s most extensive multidisciplinary collections of online resources, covering life, health, social and physical sciences, and humanities.