Sunday 28 July 2013

Yep, Still No Evidence Says NHS

This time last week, the massed ranks of state-funded tobacco control industry execs were cock-a-hoop about a policy-led study which they claimed proved conclusively that plain packaging is a success in Australia. I disagreed, hence the article being entitled "Still no evidence, then".

Sadly for the church of anti-smoking, the NHS tends to agree with me.
However, people were surveyed at only one point in time. It is currently not clear whether the changes in attitudes would lead to people quitting.
The article confirmed my view that this says nothing about the effect of plain packs on deterring children ... which we were repeatedly misled to believe it was all about.
The survey only looked at adults’ beliefs, so we can’t say if younger people would have the same reactions.
The dubious nature of the research was also rightly highlighted.
The study was carried out by researchers from the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at Cancer Council Victoria in Australia and was funded by the anti-tobacco lobbying organisation Quit Victoria.
Because, you can imagine can't you, the reaction if this was a study paid for by a tobacco company coming to the opposite conclusion. So let's be consistent here, it's a pile of junk designed for the singular purpose of pretending something pointless is working.

Personally, I find that very encouraging as it shows that they kinda know there is no evidence - despite their repeated lies claims to the contrary - so are again furiously trying to fabricate some.

To their credit, the authors of the NHS critique were having none of it.
Because this study looks only at one point in time, it cannot establish cause and effect between factors, or say that the packaging is the cause of the change in attitudes.
Yep, still no evidence worthy of heavy-handed legislation. Indeed, not even something to get excited about on Twitter.
Importantly, it cannot tell us whether a change in packaging achieves the desired outcomes of an increase in actual quit rates or preventing people from starting smoking.
And why is this?
While people smoking the plain pack cigarettes were significantly more likely to have thought about quitting and place higher priority on quitting, their intention to quit smoking remained unchanged.
In other words - no matter how much the likes of the Guardian bang on about it - no-one is any the wiser about plain packaging influencing quit rates since the last time tobacco controllers produced nothing but hot air and fantasy.

Nice try, bansturbators. Next!


Junican said...

Could it be possible that the new CEO of Public Health England is beginning to wind down the grossly exaggerated propaganda? There is little doubt that public trust in medical research is being badly damaged by the hysteria.

There was only one comment on that report on the NHS Health Direct Website. Only in that comment was the very obvious fault in that study pointed out. The fault was that there is bound to be some initial shock produced by the ugly packets.But, as we all know, one very soon gets used to this uglification and ceases even to notice it. Thus, the study was obviously worthless.

MarkWadsworth said...

hehe good find!

What the.... said...

There is an agenda-driven, “incestuous” relationship between these organizations. Quit Victoria is essentially funded by the Victorian State government.

Quit Victoria is a joint initiative of the Department of Health, VicHealth, Cancer Council Victoria and the Heart Foundation.>/i>

Quit Victoria has lobbied the state government to impose outdoor smoking bans, and it has also lobbied local councils for the same, i.e., “sock puppet”.

Steve Brown said...

One day, hopefully soon, the Anti-Smokers will realise that it is the contents of the packet which interest people, not the cardboard packet.

Messing with the packaging is useless. There are older kids selling single fags to the pupils coming out of the local high school with no packets in sight.

Their business is brisk!

What the.... said...

Then there’s the connecion between the State organization,
Quit Victoria, and the federal government:

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Could it be possible that the new CEO of Public Health England is beginning to wind down the grossly exaggerated propaganda?

Much as it would be welcome, I wouldn't think that possible at all, no.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

NHS Choices are worth adding to RSS. They regularly embarrass one-eyed public health propagandists with this kind of debunking. I'm sure Bazian (the authors) would have already received a stiff telling off and veiled threats for being so damned annoyingly honest.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I refer you to the answer oft given here. It's never been about health.

What the.... said...

And here’s Stantonitis Glands, the glorified mechanic, has his one-sided take on the matter, bleating the standard “it’s a tobacco industry conspiracy, I tells ya”.

Antismoking has been obscenely funded by the taxpayer and Pharma interests for the last few decades. The great “skill” of activists is in propaganda - how to make headlines, how to maintain a high media profile. There has essentially been no questioning of their conduct. They are used to getting their way. The more fanatics are accommodated, the more hysterical and inflammatory become their claims, and the more deranged, draconian, and inhumane become their demands. On the rare occasion that fanatics don’t get their way, they resort to “Plan B” which is occurring now in the UK concerning “plain packaging” – it’s all a tobacco industry “conspiracy” - “there’s that “evil” tobacco industry thwarting our wonderful work”, screech the fanatics.

This entire “Us vs them” framework was also contrived by the fanatics
decades ago. This mythological good vs evil drama was suggested by the
Australian antismoking activist, Chapman, at the 1983 [antismoking] World
Conference on Smoking & Health. It was in the presentation of his paper, a
manual on how to do propaganda, “The Lung Goodbye”:
“Such a list could be added to considerably, but most entries would be characterized by being somehow cast in a mythological good versus evil battle in an arena observed by mass numbers of people. The good (health/clean air/children) versus evil (cancer/uncaring, callous industry) dimension is the ineluctable bottom line in the whole issue and a rich reservoir for spawning a great deal of useful social drama, metaphor, and symbolic politics that is the stuff of ‘news value’ and which is almost always to the detriment of the industry.” p.11 (see Godber Blueprint)

Having cast themselves in the role of the “mythological good”, the zealots
are always right. Anyone who dares disagree with them is always wrong and part of some “evil” tobacco industry “conspiracy”. It’s all for manipulative, “theatrical” effect – although there are some in the antismoking movement that believe they are “god-like” - and has been quite successfully used for the last three decades on an essentially superficial/gullible political class, media, and public. The zealots and their financial partners must have regular belly laughs at how all too easy the brainwashing has been.

What the.... said...

Mike Daube's rule that "you can measure the effectiveness of your program by the response it provokes."

That’s another of the favorites of the rabid zealots: If our proposed measures are going to be ineffective, then why is the tobacco industry so opposed?

Well, there’s a variant for the rabid zealots. The more hysterical are the fanatics for a measure, the more they are up to no good, the more the “evidence” is contrived, and they’re promoting the logical fallacy of
“appeal to authority”.

Dirk Vleugels said...

Bertrand Russell said this about tobacco

Dirk Vleugels said...

See here

See here too

That was in 2011. It is impossible to enforce the law since every Balinese smokes.

nisakiman said...

And talking about complete lack of evidence, I came across this link on Twatter.

FDA finds insufficient evidence to justify menthol ban.

The FDA preliminary evaluation – reflecting data from numerous studies –
does not provide evidence of any significant differences between
menthol and regular cigarettes with respect to smoking initiation,
addiction to nicotine or cessation. There is no justification for an
evidence-based decision by the FDA to ban or otherwise restrict the
menthol content in cigarettes.

But the EU will ban it anyway. Because they want to remove all choice from those who enjoy tobacco, because they don't like it. And if they don't like it, then nobody can have it.