Dr. Helen O’Neill & her icky e-cig experiment mixing bubblegum e-liquid with sperm

Dr. Helen O’Neill from the UK Institute for Women’s Health announced to the world last week that vaping bubblegum e-liquid can make a man’s sperm move more slowly.  The story was posted all over the web because, let’s face it, the headline includes the term sperm, and Dr. Helen knows how to manipulate social media in true Trumpian style.

But how did Dr. Helen come to the revolutionary decision to mix bubblegum e-liquid with sperm in the first place?  Apparently, if the story in The Times is to be believed, she also experimented with several other flavors, too, because cinnamon-flavored e-liquid allegedly produces the same startling yet repulsive results.

Dr. Helen O’Neill, the creepy UK scientist with a mouse testicle fixation

Now, what sorts of “experiments” did the British doctor perform in order to come to her groundbreakingly creepy conclusions?  Dr. O’Neill and her team of renowned colleagues collected sperm samples from thirty different men, threw a dab of their semen in separate petri dishes, and mixed in a bit of propylene glycol, which is a primary ingredient of e-liquids used in vaping devices and e-cigs. 

They also took other dabs of each man’s sperm and mixed them with different e-liquid flavors.  What they discovered is that bubblegum and cinnamon flavors “had a significantly worse effect on the number, motility and maturity of the sperm than the normal liquid.”


But Dr. Helen was so proud of her findings that she took her “work” a few steps further.  After experimenting with human sperm, she and her team exposed adult male mice to e-cig vapor from the different flavorings of e-liquid.  Then, over a period of four weeks, they measured the testicles of the mice-in-question only to discover that they had significantly shrunken.

What does shrunken mouse testicles have to do with slow-moving human sperm?

Does this automatically mean that vaping bubblegum e-liquid makes a man’s testicles shrink, too?  Or could the mice’s testicles have shrunken for some other completely unrelated reason – like because the mice were continuously having their private parts probed over the course of four weeks by odd-looking humans?  And what do shrunken mouse testicles have to do with slow-moving human sperm anyway?

Dr. Helen O’Neill doesn’t say, and she also never seemed to conduct similar “research” using the conventional smoke from combustible cigarettes.  Dr. Helen O’Neill, the vaping public demands to know:  How much does a mouse’s testicle’s shrink if you blow cigarette smoke in its face for four weeks straight?  Until Dr. Helen provides this scientific comparison, her “study” is essentially junk science.

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