The WaterPipeGate Files

Chronology of Events:

>> 26 March 2008. Communiqué: The Invention of Hookah (Shisha, Narghile) «Passive Smoking» through Repeated Scientific Misconduct and Fraud (A Necessary Step for the Tobacco-Free Earth Geo-Political Agenda).
The ““Waterpipe”” world experts of the US-Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies (Wasim MAZIAK, Kenneth WARD, Thomas EISSENBERG) publish a flawed study on hookah (narghile, shisha) "Passive Smoking", previously INVENTED . In order to minimise the huge differences (particles concentration) between hookah and cigarette smokes, their repeated scientific misconduct leads them to make use of a light cigarette.

> 15 Mar 2008. Communiqué: The Erroneous and Biased Cochrane Review on “waterpipe smoking cessation”. Cochrane’s Editorial Decision  and the Necessary Final Comments

>> 16 Feb 2008. Communiqué: Hookah (shisha, narghile) “Passive Smoking” is a FRAUD [Le «tabagisme passif» du narguilé est un leurre]. In blatant contradiction with WHO's definitions themselves, the ““Waterpipe”” world experts of the US-Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies (Wasim MAZIAK, Kenneth WARD, Thomas EISSENBERG) INVENT hookah (narghile, shisha) "Passive Smoking".

>> 05 Jan 2008. Letter to Dr Margaret CHAN, Director-General of WHO (World Health Organization) about Falsification of Official Arabic Translation in connection with the WHO TobReg Erroneous Report (“Advisory Note”) on ““Waterpipe” Tobacco Smoking

>> 24 Dec. 2007. Letter (e-mailed) to Dr Erik DYBING, Chairmain TobReg (CC: Dr David BETTCHER and Dr Yumiko MOCHIZUKI (Dir. WHO/TFI) to inform them on “Serious Errors in WHO New Report on “Scientific Basis of Tobacco Product Regulation”.

>> 29 Oct. 2007. [Dr K. T. C.] responds to Dr Douglas BETTCHER:

WHO and Peer-Review Standards in Studies on Hookah Smoking. The Lancet Early Online Publication 2007 (29 Oct).

Download pdf file HERE

>> 29 Oct. 2007.
The WHO Seriously Erroneous 1st Expert Report on "Waterpipe"™ : Wrong and Dangerous in Any Form or Disguise, LAUNDERED or RECYCLED Form ! Read COMMUNIQUE (Cochrane Reviews Scientific Credibility Stained by "Waterpipe"™ Group)

>> 10 Sept, 2007. Dr Douglas Bettcher, Dir. WHO/TFI a.i. posts a comment in the Lancet online:

Bettcher D. WHO Response to Use of evidence in WHO recommendations. The Lancet Early Online Publication 2007 (10 Sept).]

>> Sept. 2007: The WHO report on hookah smoking is MORE THAN NEVER erroneous !

READ: Last Comments (Aug-Sept 2007) by WHO TobReg Officials (Erik DYBING, Jack HENNINGFIELD) and the authors of the WHO Erroneous report (Thomas EISSENBERG, Alan SHIHADEH, Wasim MAZIAK and Kenneth WARD)

>> August 6, 2007: Neo-word ““Waterpipe””™, a dangerous nominalism for the world public health, is advertised again by new "expert" Dr Sebastian THOMAS from Libya.

Our reaction: Libya Now Victim of ““Waterpipe””™ Contamination. Another Twist of the “Bulgarian Nurses” Series ? (Aug. 08, 2007)

> April 2007: Publication of a 2nd erroneous 84-page "peer-reviewed" US-Egyptian expert report:

Read: Reaction Letter sent to Dr Margaret CHAN, Director-Gal of WHO


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.

> OMS & Narghilé [Letter to the Editor of Tabaccologia about the errors contained in WHO (TobReg) Advisory Note on “waterpipe™ Smoking” (2005)]. Tabaccologia 2006;3:44-5. Document dated 15 May 2006. Published in English and Italian (before the critique was out in JNRBM):

> 2nd Letter to Dr JW LEE, Dir.-Gal of the World Health Organisation. 31 March 2006. Proposal for a Gentlemen's Agreement.

> Letter from Dr MOCHIZUKI, Dir. TFI (Tobacco Free Initiative) to Kamal C. (dated 28 Feb. 2006, received 18 March 2006)

> 1st Letter to Dr JW LEE, Dir.-Gal of the World Health Organisation. 15 Dec. 2005. About the WHO “Advisory Note” report entitled: “waterpipe™ Tobacco Smoking: Health Effects, Research Needs and Recommended Actions by Regulators”, published by the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (2005).

History of a One-Year Struggle with International Censorship

> The Editor of a "peer-reviewed" journal (insert name HERE) rejected the manuscript because a "reviewer" said its English was poor.......

> The Editor of another "peer-reviewed" journal (insert name HERE) whose main job is "accountability in research" (not a joke) rejected the paper because it would cause "debate" (not a joke either, even if debate is a known condition of progress in science, isn't it ?)....

> Other: (See later here)....

How this Double Catastrophe Could Happen

> The Role of the US-Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies in this:

(See later here)....

> The Role played by Ghazi ZAATARI, a Member of TobReg, the panel of WHO top-level experts in charge of supervising the report.

Ghazi ZAATARI is a member of the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg). He wrote in the AUB Bulletin (American University of Beirut)(dated Feb 2006, Vol7, 45):

“I have been a member of the TobReg since October 2004 and encouraged the study group to give this form of smoking [waterpipe™] the attention it deserves. Last June, I made a presentation on the subject before the group during its annual meeting in Rio de Janeiro.”

The same Bulletin states: “Dr. ZAATARI’s presentation was partly based on studies made by Professor Alan SHIHADEH, assistant professor at AUB’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Thomas EISSENBERG, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies in Virginia Commonwealth University, both of whom were commissioned by the TobReg to conduct the worldwide review.”

> This so-called “worldwide review” was rather strange. Only studies serving the same dubious objectives and interests were reviewed. Key references are missing and their authors obviously meant it in order to present themselves to the world as “pioneers” in this field of research.

> The two biased studies, referred to by G. ZAATARI, were carried on by the two experts who designed methods and experimental protocols aiming, not at objectively analysing the real health effects of hookah smoking, but at “bringing the "evidence"” that hookah smoking is MORE dangerous than cigarette smoking. This was not acceptable from the beginning.

Consequently, this report was prepared under the influence of only one member (G. Zaatari) of the Study Group, who imposed to the entire college of prestigious specialists (TobReg) the selection of “his” expert from the same organisation as his (American University of Beirut). However, his practice is in contradiction with the very principles set out by the TobReg itself regarding independence (see critique of report).

As a conclusion, the World Health Organization has been lured and fooled by a handful of individuals. The ethical principles of the corresponding body (TobReg) have been broken. The newly elected Director-general of WHO is urged to set up an international independent investigation commission to look into the matter and penalize those who stained the reputation of the Organization.


The First World Health Organization Report on "Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking"

World Health Organization Report on Waterpipe  Tobacco Smoking

>> 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. (FULL TEXT FREE)

The spontaneous comments of the 4 main official world experts in charge of the report (Thomas EISSENBERG, Alan SHIHADEH, Kenneth WARD, Wasim MAZIAK) were, after months, and in a timorous tone: “biased and inaccurate”. However, instead of telling you where the numerous critiques are wrong, their sole explanation was, apart from a defamation campaign (see further down), as follows:

How come… “It is possible, I suppose, that these otherwise respected scientists have published waterpipe™ research that is flawed in a way that has eluded four sets of peer reviewers, three editors, and multiple readers of three different journals, only to be detected by a single very observant scientist.” (Globalink, 15 March 2007)

The “evidence” that all Kamal Chaouachi 's (rather embarrassing) critiques would be “wrong” is (Hold your breath!) that… its author has been advocating for harm reduction in the field of hookah smoking and was personally and wilfully involved, alas for a short period, in (Hold your breath again !) the No-Carbon Monoxide World Harm Reduction Hookah Project ; in fact, the most serious response to the growing Public Health concerns, particularly regarding the “infamous” hookah lounges. 

Defamatory attacks by the above quartet of official experts chiefly addressed two famous critiques. Both pitifully failed. The first was carried on through a Letter to the Pediatrics journal. Kamal's reply was clear enough to make the Editor of the latter not change his mind and understand what was really at stake.

The other offensive was about the most popular page of the TC (Tobacco Control) journal: “Serious Errors in this Study”. However, the Editor of this last journal (where many friends of the above team work), posted an online Letter entitled  Failure to declare competing interest” , once again in relation with the  No-Carbon Monoxide World Harm Reduction Hookah Project

KC’s right of reply was immediately rejected and only excerpts of his detailed letter were selected for a quite personal interpretation by the Editor of TC. KC repeated and insisted that he had no competing interest for any of all his publications and that he did not earned a penny for the famous patent (the object of the harsh libellous attacks). He said his experience ended on 15 June 2005 and that he doesn't care and has nothing to do with the correspondence delays between the patent agencies in France and the USA. Finally, he added that he was ready, if necessary, to give the full particulars of the State Attorney with whom the files are kept.

Quote-worthy as a censored testimony for all tobacco control researchers sincerely concerned by the world public health :

“I have tackled the most pressing and important public health research issue of the century regarding the world hookah (shisha, narghile) epidemic. In the same time, the most famous teams (Eissenberg, Shihadeh, Maziak, Ward) have been, on purpose, orienting research in other directions ("nicotine-addiction", for instance), not to mention their production of an erroneous "Health Advisory Note" report for WHO, the first ever prepared by this UN agency. Who is to be considered a "criminal" as far as the world public health is concerned ?”

(Kamal Chaouachi's Letter to Editor Tobacco Control, 5 April 2007)