Monday, 2 May 2016

ASH And Tobacco Control Caused All Vaping Bans

An article published today in the Leicester Mercury highlights just how nasty and intolerant a world self-serving tobacco controllers have created for us.
Leicester City fan banned from last home game of season after smoking e-cigarette 
A Leicester City fan has been banned for two home games due to smoking an e-cigarette in the stands.
Erm, why?

No harm has ever been attributed to e-cig use indoors let alone outdoors, so there is no harm being inflicted on anyone and no victim. There is no problem here, so a guy has been deprived of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of seeing his team win a miracle Premiership Title because of a rule applied simply for the sake of having a rule. This is the vile state of modern Britain - where the intolerant and prodnosed are pandered to - and it has been created and encouraged by the tobacco control industry for no other reason than their own bigotry and bank balances.

As I've written before, the only reason e-cigs are included in stadium bans is thanks to a bunch of pharma-funded 'public health' charlatans at Healthy Stadia and the Health Equality Group deliberately spreading false information to sports clubs.

But there's more to it than even that. Consider this zombie argument that you will see repeated often.

Erm, why would anyone need to "differentiate between people using e-cigs and people smoking normal cigs"? The ban on smoking in stadia is purely a vile bullying policy imagined, lobbied for and supported by grubby, tax-sponging organisations such as ASH and others in the same mould.

There is, and never will be, any measurable harm to others from passive smoking outside, it is a fantasy demon that the tobacco control industry has created amongst the public. Worse still, those in tobacco control who promote this fear are very clever with their words because they know very well that they are purposely lying about the potential 'dangers'.

So what if someone slips under the radar and smokes amongst others who are vaping? Neither is any kind of a problem we should be worrying about. If it is, we sure as shit need another war to illustrate what discomfort is really all about, and to remind many that a lot of people fought very hard to protect the freedoms that the selfish and affected amongst us are now seemingly content to flush down the toilet.

Ah but, I hear you say, some people don't like the smell of smoke, so it's only fair they be catered for. Well of course, but did anyone consider smoking and non-smoking areas? Well of course not because that wouldn't sit with ASH's chosen policy of bullying and 'denormalisation' of perfectly law-abiding people consuming a legal product. It is only the effete, snobby and repellent who ASH cater for.

Besides, if the smell of smoke is so rancid and identifiable, it wouldn't be much of a problem to spot, now would it?

Naturally, now ASH and other tobacco control industry organisations are "supportive" of vaping, I'm sure they'll be along soon to condemn Leicester's policy of banning fans who are using a product which Public Health England & the Royal College of Physicians say are a boon for public health.

Only a matter of time before ASH publicly voice disapproval about vaping bans instead of supporting them; likewise ASH Wales will ride in all guns blazing at some point to criticise vape bans instead of "fully" welcoming them; and I'm sure ASH Scotland's deafening silence will soon end as they use their clout to publicly shame the idiots who are creating anti-vaping policies up and down the nation on an almost daily basis.

In fact, I'm sure ASH are, as we speak, writing to Leicester City FC to tell them how absurd their policy is towards this fan and how cruel the punishment for something which they and others recognise as being conducive to improved public health. The public statement will follow soon after, I expect.

Yep, anytime soon.

I mean, considering ASH and the tobacco control industry are responsible for every vaping ban ever implemented, it's the very least they can do, isn't it?

Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Big Scream

A blinkered vaper-hating tobacco controller, pictured Thursday
"In tobacco control we call these reactions ‘the scream test’ of policy potency. We’re amused when the industry supports anodyne, useless campaigns like these. And we know we’re on the right track when they behave as they did over plain packaging." - Simon Chapman, 2013
Every right-minded person's favourite Grandad has written today about the hilarious reaction by Irish anti-tobacco extremist James Reilly to Thursday's positive Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Report on e-cigs.
Oh no. The RCP could be wrong. We still don't know if vaping could be harmful in 50 years time. And there are a lot of people in America and elsewhere who have raised doubts [no matter how ludicrous].
Responding, the Irish cancer charity said that while it recognised e-cigarettes were safer than tobacco, it could not recommend them for use as a smoking cessation device until further research was carried out.
Minister for Children Dr James Reilly said he was “very concerned” about e-cigarettes.
“We didn’t have sufficient information and I didn’t want the ‘perfect’ to get in the way of the ‘good’ in relation to including that in the legislation,” Dr Reilly said.

“But the evidence is starting to pile up now that this is a serious problem.”
Actually the evidence is now saying it isn't a problem, but never mind.
Oh joy. It seems that Reilly - a doctor himself, apparently - has been stung badly by a report written by the UK's leading representative body for those in his own profession. Instead of admitting that he may be wrong on this subject, he obviously knows better so will ignore it (if he even read it at all) and just scream the same old shit he has done before.

Curious crusty Simon Chapman - who is a sociologist, not a doctor - is of the same mind. After FOIs revealed he had been corruptly attempting to undermine August's PHE report, he now appears to be sticking his fingers in his ears and refusing to listen to the RCP's conclusions too.

The link refers to the rapid responses at the BMJ where every absurd butthurt anti-nicotine fruitcake has been lining up to pass their ignorant and often laughable opinions about how the RCP is wrong. From the gynaecologist with a sideline in hypnotherapy who can see his income drying up; through the guy who bizarrely used the recent death of Prince to argue against vaping; to the nutjob whose "laser-like" critique amounted to citing Martin McKee and Simon Crapwell's easily-debunked Lancet article which McKee then lied about in the BMJ.

Then, today, the pièce de résistance. A letter to the editor of The Times which is unintentionally hilarious.

Signed by a diminishing cohort of reality-denying lunatic usual suspects including the aforementioned McKee & Chapman, along with opera-banning liar Mike Daube and German extremist Martina "Mendacious" Pötschke-Langer, the letter is a triumph of deliberately disingenuous brat-like screaming so effortlessly filleted by Clive Bates here, an article which I heartily recommend you read in its entirety.
The worst letter of 2016? It’s definitely an early contender
Three of writers of this letter to The Times (McKee, Chapman and Daube) won my “Worst Letter of 2014” award for a deranged letter they wrote to The Lancet, trying to mock a vaper, Lorien Jollye for having the impertinence to disagree with them based on her actual lived experience (my take on that letter is here - DP). But this is very strong: a real contender for  the 2016 award.
And, of course, no tobacco control industry scream is complete without hysterical comment from Mad Stan the aircraft mechanic, eh?
“These guys, in my view, are going off a cliff,” said Stanton A. Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California who has been outspoken in his criticism of e-cigarettes. “They are taking England into a series of policies that five years from now they all will really regret. They are turning England into this giant experiment on behalf of the tobacco industry.”
Add in random medical morons taking to Twitter and Facebook to exhibit their snobby prejudice and blind ignorance of the huge body of evidence in favour of the benefits of e-cigs, and the dramatic increase of newly chronic asthmatics in comments sections, for whom - shorn by the advent of e-cigs of their recently-endowed permission to sneer at many smokers - apparently now insist that even stepping into a shower could push them into an early death by steam so therefore vaping must be banned despite all evidence to the contrary, and we have one of the world's biggest ever collective screams on our hands.

Who knew that such a benign activity as vaping could flush out so many vile anti-social and intolerant arseholes in one fell swoop, eh? As Simon Chapman has taught us, the scream test has been well and truly failed by these ridiculous flat-earthers so the UK triple-whammy of PHE report, RCP report and NCSCT guidance must surely be on entirely the correct track. Hey, Simple Simon made the rules of this game, who am I to not follow them?

But then, I've always said that e-cigs carried the potential of doing just that. So as well as the first word, I'll leave the last word to Grandad too.
Over the years these lies have become the truth purely by virtue of constant repetition.  How often do we hear of the hundreds of thousands who have "died from second hand smoke" or the thousands of kids who take up smoking because they have seen it in a film?  I am not saying that all anti-smokers know they are lying but those at the top definitely do, unless they are totally deranged. 
Then along comes the e-cigarette. 
They had no answer to this device which threatened not only their livelihood but also the profits of their masters in Big Pharma.  Their only answer was to spin more lies in the hope that the momentum would carry them over the bump.  E-cigarettes are leading kids into smoking real cigarettes.  E-cigarettes are carcinogenic and are more dangerous than real cigarettes.  E-cigarettes reduce smokers' chances of quitting.  E-cigarettes explode without warning.  The list is long and tedious. 
They have been called out on their lies in public.
Maybe now people will see they have been lying through their teeth all along?
Quite. The longer these stubborn, narcissistic and inveterate liars scream, the more the public will hopefully see them as the repellent dishonest moon-howlers they (and their colleagues) have always been.

UPDATE: You'd think this would be a parody tweet, but it really isn't. I think they actually mean it.

The echo chamber seems to be collapsing in on itself in ever-decreasing circles. Long may their absurdity continue.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Majority Schmajority, Who Cares?

Yesterday Simon Clark reported that Swansea Council held a Consultation on Smoke-Free Public Spaces ... and promptly ignored it.
In other words, even though less than 15% of respondents were current smokers there was still a clear majority opposed or strongly opposed to extending smoking bans to public beaches. 
Ignoring that small detail, Swansea Council has gone ahead and introduced a 'voluntary' smoking ban at Caswell Bay with the support (naturally) of ASH Wales and other interfering busybodies. 
The Caswell Bay policy is described as a one-year pilot scheme. I imagine it's what they intended all along. The outcome of the consultation was a minor hiccup.
Indeed, because anti-smoking is a pseudo-religious crusade. It is nothing to do with health and the tobacco control industry has never been remotely interested in the public good. Despite undoubtedly knowing the results of the Swansea Council consultation ASH Wales, for example, couldn't give a badger's tit what the public think.
“We support Swansea Council in implementing their first smokefree beach – only the second of its kind in Wales. 
But then the first, you may remember, was "fully" welcomed by 'vape-friendly' ASH Wales despite (or maybe because) it included vaping. Their logo now sits proudly on signs designed to 'denormalise' e-cigs in the minds of the public. It's pretty clear that the only people ASH Wales really care about are those who derive state-funded salaries from ASH Wales.

Well, actually it's not strictly true that tax-sponging anti-smoking sock puppets always ignore the public. If it suits them they are more than happy to use us as lobbying tools, as we saw in September last year.
Sheila Duffy, from anti-smoking group Ash Scotland, said in a 2014 survey, 73% of Scottish adults agreed smoking around hospitals should be outlawed.
So, if the public want smoking banned, ASH will call for a ban; if the public doesn't want smoking banned, erm, ASH will still call for a ban.

This is, of course, not even close to being the first time all branches of ASH have completely ignored the wishes of the people whose taxes pay their salaries, the same was true with plain packaging and all UK smoking bans to name but two occasions of many.

In short, here is the tobacco control industry's policy towards the public, in full.
"If the public is useful for what we want, great; but if not, fuck 'em"
Along with their loose definition of 'evidence', and their adherence to junk science and blatant lies, this policy should really be quoted prominently at the top of all tobacco control industry headed paper.

It's way past time that these malevolent, dictatorial, insulting genital warts on democracy and decent society were cut off without a penny. George, get to it!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The WHO's Dictatorship World Tour

DG of the WHO Margaret Chan, all of a flutter in Moscow 2014
Following a jolly bash in Putin's gay-hating, airliner-destroying Russia in 2014, it appears the world's anti-smoking industry has found another place where they feel very much amongst friends.
THE Department of Health will send two officials to a nanny state anti-smoking conference in Turkmenistan tomorrow despite the country being run by a mad dictator, The Sun can reveal. 
In recent years the cultist leaders of the former Soviet state have imprisoned thousands of political opponents, banned the foreign press and also banned ballet, beards and even dogs.
To the tobacco control industry, these guys could almost be cousins, so I can see the appeal.
Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov uses the title “Arkadag” or “Protector”.
Whereas Margaret Chan just calls him "my next squeeze".
[The respected Human Rights Watch group say] “The government thoroughly denies freedoms of association, expression, and religion, and the country is closed to independent scrutiny.”
Sounds rather like a World Health Organisation FCTC event, doesn't it?

I wonder where the global anti-smoking Goliath might arrange a beano next? I hear there are some interesting characters in Libya and Iraq whose views on smoking are right up tobacco control's street.

Anyway, despite the UK government describing Turkmenistan's human rights record as "of significant concern", Andrew Black's Department of Health team is delighted to attend and are even touting some plus points.
Last night the Department of Health defended sending their staff to the repressive state, as the tickets and hotel will be paid for by the World Health Organisation. 
“Our officials’ travel, accommodation and subsistence is being paid for by the WHO, at no cost to the British taxpayer.”
At no cost to the taxpayer? What, you mean apart from the £3.6 million of taxpayer cash the DoH has already shovelled to the WHO ... just so they can then use some of it to pay for hotels and travel for a DoH delegation in a basket case nation run by a raving lunatic? Wouldn't that be called money laundering in any other sphere?

Isn't it interesting that whenever tobacco control is mentioned, anywhere in the world, it always involves corruption and someone lying to the public.

UPDATE: Via @AgentAnia, here is a WHO dictatorship tour venue that I missed from last week.

Zimbabwe, eh?

Such a wazzock, isn't he?

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Chapman: Accidental Or Deliberate Stupidity?

On Wednesday I wrote about how Australia has appointed a cabal of closed-minded prohibitionist nut jobs to assess the future of e-cigs in their Godawful nanny state nation.

I suggested that the outcome may already be pre-determined.
The fix is in the bag in Australia, isn't it? Tobacco controllers have taken hold of the levers and will no doubt produce a load of bullshit junk to ensure e-cigs are permanently demonised Down Under. Who needs the public and due process when you have vile public-hating prohibitionists like Chappers pulling the strings, eh?
Well, Simple Simon Chapman - the calm, objective soul that he is in advance of his conducting a scientifically-astute assessment of e-cigs and vaping - exhibited his {cough} impartiality recently on Twitter.

This is quite incredible for someone who the Aussie government relies upon for its info, for the simple reason that he completely misunderstands the basic premise of the stats he is tweeting about.

The 16k to 22k figure of those who quit using e-cigs is only those who - crucially - would not have quit at all if e-cigs had not been available, as explained in this article by someone who is not paid for their time, unlike Simple Simon.
891K people used ecigs in their quit attempt in 2014. There aren't enough good data to tell us directly how many of these would have been successful long term (12 months) quitters. We do know (from other studies) that the long term quit rates for both over the counter (OTC) NRT and cold turkey (CT) are 5%, and that ecigs increase the success rate over these for any quit attempt by 50%. So 5% of our 891K ecig quitters would likely quit with OTC NRT or CT if e-cigarettes weren't available and 2.5% would not. 2.5% of 891K is 22K. These are the people who would not have quit if they had bought OTC NRT or gone cold turkey but did so with ecigs. 
In 2014 the medicinal methods 'lost' 330K quit attempts, 250K of which are attributed to people choosing ecigs instead rather than just rejecting the med options. So to account for those we have to deduct them from our 891K ecig quit attempters (because they would have gone the meds route if ecigs were unavailable). So now our starting number is 641K. 2.5% of 641K is 16K. These are the people who would not have quit in 2014 if ecigs were not available.
It's obviously too complicated for a Professor of 'public health' at Sydney University to understand but to condense it for him you, it doesn't mean that "878,000-884,000/900,000 smokers" didn't quit at all using e-cigs - in fact many or even all of them might have done - it just means that 16k to 22k of them would not have done so (or even attempted to) if e-cigs weren't around.

I'd say I'm surprised that someone who is tasked with guiding Australian policy in this area can be so thick as to not understand this but then Simon can't even be trusted to count exclamation marks with any degree of accuracy.

But it kinda brings up a point about Chappers' suitability for the job. You see, he was exposed in FOI responses published here in January to be in cahoots with people who are determined to extinguish the potential of vaping by any means fair or foul. He was also prominent in writing an attack piece in the Lancet (the favoured journal of e-cig denialists) expressing surprise that a part-time waitress from Cornwall should have the temerity to speak the truth.
We were surprised to read in The Lancet (Nov 1, p 1576), Lorien Jollye's criticisms of the public health community for, as she alleges, insulting and ignoring the supporters of electronic cigarettes
Well, considering Simon tends to enjoy describing vapers as "vapid" and routinely blocks anyone who has an opinion on vaping that differs from his own, I'd say that's fair comment.

All in all, the above would probably show that he's hardly going to be the best person to impartially inspect the evidence surrounding e-cigs in Australia, which poses a bit of a problem.

You see, as I've mentioned before, a chronic and publicly exhibited distaste for a subject matter is a conflict of interest which should exclude that person from having any role in decision-making or research.
Non-financial interests can take many different forms, including personal or professional relations with organisations and individuals. We would also want to know about strongly held beliefs where they are relevant to the task in hand.
This is quite important, because the tender document which Chapman would have responded to in order to get the gig asked specifically for such conflicts to be declared.
The Tenderer must disclose in the Tender any actual or potential conflict of interest, any risk of a conflict of interest and any apparent conflict of interest arising through the Tenderer or any member of the Tenderer’s organisation engaging in any activity or obtaining any interest that is likely to conflict with or restrict the performance of the project fairly and independently. As part of this, the Tenderer must disclose whether the Tenderer or any member of the Tenderer’s organisation has ever: 
• publicly advocated for or against, or conducted research and/or published research  and/or opinion pieces on tobacco harm reduction. 
Where a Tenderer has disclosed, under paragraph 35.1 of this RFT, the Tenderer must also propose mechanisms for managing any conflicts of interest if the Tenderer were awarded a contract to provide services under this RFT. 
If at any time prior to entering into a contract for the Services, an actual or potential conflict of interest arises or may arise for any Tenderer, other than that already disclosed, that Tenderer should immediately notify the Department in writing. 
If any actual or potential conflict is notified, or the Department becomes aware of any actual or potential conflict, the Department may, in its absolute discretion: 
• disregard the Tender submitted by such a Tenderer;
• enter into discussions to seek to resolve such conflict of interest; or
• take any other action it considers appropriate.
Now, I believe Simon's latest laughable failure at understanding maths and stats is bad, but we have to assume it's just the usual problem of him being a cretin. For the simple reason that if we attribute him with any intelligence on the matter then clearly he is disseminating false information deliberately. No?

So I suppose you pays your money and makes your choice. Is he really so stupid as to not understand data properly meaning he shouldn't be awarded a contract to study e-cigs because he's a mathematically-challenged idiot? Or is he spreading a pack of lies which means he carries a huge and burdensome conflict of interest which means he should be disqualified from being awarded a contract to study e-cigs because it "is likely to conflict with or restrict the performance of the project fairly and independently"?

Either way, he shouldn't be doing it especially since it is to be held behind closed doors.

Then again, maybe he did disclose this whopper of a conflict of interest and the Aussie government just ignored it, which would be a much bigger story. Is there anyone out there in Oz who fancies putting in a freedom of information request to ask?

Thursday, 21 April 2016

More Fun With Public Health And E-cigs

A debate took place tonight at the Royal Society for Public Health which is quite revealing about the echo chamber that their industry operates in.

Entitled "e-cigarettes and the workplace" what do you think the make-up of the panel would be? Employers maybe, employees, trade union members? That sort of thing? Maybe a tobacco controller or two to add a bit of balance?

Nah, course not. Here it is.

So, erm, it was public health, tobacco control (public health), consumer, medic (public health), public health.

Where was the point of view of the private sector? Or, in fact, anyone who has ever employed anyone outside of the tobacco control/public health sphere? Well nowhere, of course, (except for the consumer who was the only one who seemed bothered to actually consider the subject).

Which makes it all the more funny when you see tweets on the event's hashtag such as this.

Who was controlling the agenda and messages at this 'debate'? There was no tobacco industry voice, no-one from the private sector, and not even anyone from the public sector who could meaningfully be termed an objective employer. But "tobacco corporations" were controlling the messages and agenda? What a farce!

But then this is what we have come to expect from 'public health', they have long since dispensed with engaging in debate which might challenge them, instead choosing the safe space of sterile chats amongst their friends over which they can exercise complete control. Heaven forfend that someone might say something which doesn't fit with the programme, and let's just yell Big Tobacco every now and then, Tourettes-style, for good measure.

As I understand it, those opposed to allowing e-cigs in the workplace were outnumbered on the night but that's because it's common sense. But doesn't it just show how 'public health' has now completely divorced itself from the kind of businesses that make net contributions to tax funds which 'public health' then leech off of when they compile a panel about "e-cigarettes in the workplace" which is entirely made of those who waste our taxes rather than those who contribute to them?

50% of the UK employment market is public sector (far too much IMO) but when the panel tonight consisted of zero percent private sector involvement, you have to wonder what exactly they are afraid of? An alternative voice which doesn't believe health is the be all and end all of doing business, perhaps?

Yes, I think so.