Monday, 16 September 2013

In Your Dreams, Sydney Morning Herald

This astonishing article has caused a bit of a stir in the bansturbator's paradise.
Australia could become the first major nation to outlaw smoking, with a federal government-funded trial about to test the viability of electronic cigarettes as a safer, permanent replacement for tobacco. 
Medical experts, cancer groups and anti-smoking lobbyists battled for decades to rid cigarettes from public spaces. 
The Sun-Herald can reveal that as part of its anti-smoking reform agenda, the previous Labor government committed more than $1 million to a pioneering study that, by 2015, will determine whether or not e-cigarettes could be utilised to phase out traditional cigarettes altogether.
Now, on reading it, I had serious doubts about this as being true (in fact, it made me laugh so abruptly that the cat scarpered for the back door) for a number of reasons.

Firstly, some of the loudest critics of e-cigs have been anti-tobacco fanatics in Australia.

So much so, that you'd be hard pressed to find an Aussie in their tobacco control industry who doesn't view them as created by Satan for his henchmen on Earth to lure kids to an early grave.

So such a sudden about-turn in policy is quite inconceivable, especially from a Labor administration, and double especially since the pharmaceutical  marketing department - otherwise known as the World Health Organisation - is still dictating to gullible idiot politicians that e-cigs are baaad, m'kay.

Secondly, no matter how much governments whinge and pontificate about tobacco, making it illegal so abruptly leaves a massive hole in their budgets, one which they would have no idea how to fill without hammering their citizens with taxes which could only possibly lead to their being destroyed at the ballot box. Yes, even the most hateful anti-tobacco MP knows full well that costs to the health system are minute compared with the vital injection of cash that fags provide to their coffers (they are knowingly lying when they claim otherwise).

Another reason is perfectly illustrated in the comments:
"Lungs are made to breathe natural atmospheric air,not pollutants of any kind, and smoke or vapour is not their designed operating condition." - Kane 
"I am very allergic to cigarette smoke. It causes my throat to constrict and triggers uncontrollable coughing and breathing problems. Substituting cigarettes with nicotine vapour does not address the issue. It panders to nicotine addicts and continues to expose the community to poison." - Severely Affected 
"Common sense says e-cigs should be banned in public for the simple reason that nicotine is an extremely addictive substance and therefore we do not want to give the impression that they are socially acceptable or in any way cool." - StBob
You see, there is far too much stupid around (created by the tobacco control industry, it has to be said) for any government to even consider such a move right now.

Changing attitudes towards e-cigs would have to come first, and even then you're looking at a decade or more of turning around the giant tanker of nicotine denormalisation which hordes of professional, publicly-funded tobacco control execs have made their stock-in-trade for their entire careers. That is a generational shift which would take a massive amount of resources to effect.

And what is the huge investment here? A laughable $1m. That's the kind of money governments lose behind a backbencher's mistress's sofa.

Besides, why would any government - let alone the Aussie one which includes some regions where you can be fined thousands for possession of e-liquid, remember - be thinking of opposing their public health puppets; severely depriving their treasury of cash; creating the mother of all criminal black markets; pissing off the WHO; confusing the bovine in their citizenry; and guaranteeing electoral disaster, when such a result looks to be occurring organically anyway.
Reynolds American Inc. may have just eight more years as a predominant traditional cigarette manufacturer if a leading tobacco analyst’s revenue projections about electronic cigarettes prove accurate. 
Bonnie Herzog, with Wells Fargo Securities, has estimated Reynolds will have $4 billion in revenue from e-cigs in 2021 compared with $3.9 billion from conventional cigarettes.
Ain't that free market clever? It's almost like it knows better than governments what people actually want, eh?

So, considering the above, I wasn't too surprised to learn that the Sydney Morning Herald article was nothing but fantasy horse shit.
A front page article in the Sun Herald newspaper on Sunday 15 November (sic) presented incorrect information about electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes) research at The University of Queensland. 
The government had no input into the design of the trial and the decision to fund the study was based on the independent NHMRC panel's scores. 
The research is being conducted independently of government. The purpose of the trial is to test the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation by comparing their effectiveness in helping smokers to quit with traditional cessation aids such as nicotine gum and inhalators. 
To characterise this independent university research as part of a previous government's “anti-smoking reform agenda” is simply incorrect.
Nothing to see here, people. Politicians may be idiots, but they're not that stupid ... even Labor ones ... even in Australia.


Mark Davis said...

Shouldn't that be Sunday 15th September

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Yes, the Uni release got it wrong, hence the (sic).

castello said...

sic post dick! :) At least we some sort of decene press out of it

George Speller said...

"It causes my throat to constrict and triggers uncontrollable coughing and breathing problems" Gawd, can somebody finish the job please.

Linda Reid said...

Not necessarily, they have about 7 different time zones in Oz.

"It causes my throat to constrict and triggers uncontrollable coughing
and breathing problems. Substituting cigarettes with nicotine vapour
does not address the issue. It panders to nicotine addicts and continues
to expose the community to poison." - Severely Affected"

Indeed you are, I have the same issue with exhausts from cars, sickly aftershave and cow dung but most of all bleating idiots talking waffle, that really gets me "Severely Affected"

Bucko TheMoose said...

(they are knowingly lying when they claim otherwise)

I'm willing to bet the politicians have bought it and would be in for a big shock when all the 'savings' never appeared.

JonathanBagley said...

There's ecigs and there's ecigs. Chapman's talking about ecigs currently on the market, those which are "made in in China" (Arnott, passim) explode right, left and centre and contain random quantities of nicotine and poison. The Government ecigs will be manufactured by massive pharmaceutical companies and peer reviewed studies will have shown them to be completely safe and effective as smoking substitutes.

Anto said...

As an Australian who was a teenager of the '80's, I can tell you that I was originally very unsettled, subsequently unnerved, followed by appalled, then aghast as my personal and (to me, at least) highly enjoyable personal habit was transformed from just that, into something closer to a chemical weapon directed at children, neighbors, friend and pets.

When e-cigs first became available a few years ago, we Australians were suffering under wall-to-wall State and Commonwealth Labor governments. So, of course, the first inclination was to ban them. Consequently, given that Labor's first knee-kerk reaction always becomes its considered policy position six months later - regardless of how stupid that might be - we ended up with State and Commonwealth health ministers issuing e-cig bans up and down our wide, brown land.

Things quickly devolved into a chaotic farce, however, as it became somewhat problematic to ban the actual "devices" used to imbibe the nicotine. After all, what would the rest of the world think, if Australia was to ban rechargeable batteries?

In the end, they focused on the nicotine, itself. Anything which was here already and approved was OK (be it cigs, cigars, loose tobacco, gum, patches, etc.), however anything else was banned. In some States, nicotine liquid was added to the Category 1 drug list - putting it on a par with crystal meth, heroin, cocaine, etc. In other States, it was put onto the pharmaceutical-only list, meaning it could only be sold by doctors or pharmacies. So, the oligopoly was preserved.

Fortunately, our system of bureaucracy separates the health and the customs functions. As a result, those puny, ugly, mental midgets who are flinging down commands from their socially sterilized towers in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, et al are pitted against a national border protection agency which is more concerned about boatloads of AK-47's or crystal meth, than they are about some smoker in Paddington bringing in 100ml of ejuice for his SLB ego-V tank system. Well, go figure!

Consequently, regardless of the increasingly militant and strident idiocracy which seems to make our increasingly irrelevant laws (Australia passed 65,000 pages of the sewage last year alone), those who feel a need to thumb their noses at this stupidity can still be found. And, no - it's not just among the "dumb" working class, who don't know any better, who have to be taxed, cajoled and outlawed for their own good.

No, that is far from the case. Einstein believed that smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs. I would take his assessment against the hysterical, paid haters any day of the week.

And, so I sit here puffing away on my vaping device, thinking fondly of how inventive we smokers are, and hoping that the feckless idiots like Simon Chapman manage to live long enough to realize that they have failed as badly as Carry Nation and her cohorts of fellow loonies did, 100 years ago.

It takes two fingers to raise a cigar, cigarette, or an e-cig to a library monitor-cum-fascist, and I fully intend to raise them all for many years to come!!

Junican said...

But smoking is not an illness, so claiming that ecigs might help you stop smoking is not a 'health' claim.

Junican said...

NHMRC - National Health and Medical Research Council - is government funded. Therefore the research is being carried out at the behest of the government, otherwise it would not be funded. Therefore, whatever the reasons are for the research, they are the government's reasons.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

If so, we're all in trouble as it means they're even more stupid than we thought.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Hear, hear!

By the way, love the term puny, "ugly, mental midgets". :)

Bucko TheMoose said...

I don't know. I think they can be VERY stupid

Anto said...


In truth, they don't stop ejuice coming into the country. In theory they could if they wished, I guess. I don't know exactly what the customs procedures are, but there's no way they could ever vet every parcel coming into the country.

a said...

Not really. NHMRC is government funded but if you read the UQ press release, or ask anyone who's ever been involved in research, or ask anyone who's ever worked at a university, or google NHMRC you'll find that the idea that it is "the government's reasons" is wrong. Researchers come up with their own ideas and apply to NHMRC for funding. If it is scientifically valid research and an important enough topic (like testing if e-cigs actually help people quit smoking) then they may be awarded funding. It's certainly not a top-down process of the government designing research and contracting academics to carry out their agendas as many people seem to believe. Although this belief is forgivable given idiots like Eamonn Duff (of SMH) are allowed to completely fabricate claims like this for their newspapers.

tugboat said...

You might be interested in an interview with the person doing the research here in Aus.

Although I don't agree with all she said there is definitely some hope here as her previous positions were pro-snus.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Thank Tug, very interesting. :)