Thursday, 23 January 2014

I See Scared People

On Sunday, an article was published at Nicotine Science and Policy discussing why public health is so irrationally opposed to e-cigs.

One suggestion, above all, encapsulates exactly what is happening.
"[W]e think there is a bit of suspicion and jealousy because the e-cigarette movement did not emanate from medicine or public health, hence public health never felt it had “ownership” of the initiative."
Ain't that the truth?

If E-cigs had been developed by the pharmaceutical companies and promoted by their marketing department - also known as the tobacco control industry - do you seriously think we'd be seeing so much scaremongery from anti-smokers? Of course not.

If they were a pharma product, tobacco controllers would have already been camped out at Westminster demanding they be available on the NHS; that doctors should be paid for recommending them like already happens with proven health risk Champix; and people like Martin McKee would be tweeting about how bloody marvellous they are.

Unfortunately, e-cigs were not imagined by Big Pharma, but instead a pesky Chinese guy. And we know, don't we, how racist the tobacco control industry is when it comes to the Chinese.

There are , therefore, reputations at stake. And tobacco control are shitting themselves, as this video (via Grandad) proves conclusively.

Discussing the phenomenon of e-cigs, Kathleen O'Meara squirms and slithers through an interview by throwing out every piece of entrenched tobacco control garbage she can think up in the short time afforded to her.

Following on from Clive Bates pointing out that "an industry has developed in the public health community of creating a lot of fear and panic about this", O'Meara simply proves that he is correct by doing exactly that.

Looking distinctly uncomfortable throughout, her first approach is - predictably - to invoke big bad tobacco. Apparently, e-cigs are "undoubtedly" good for health but because the tobacco companies are getting involved, it must automatically mean they're actually something evil.

To top off the evening, Kathleen O'Meara of the Irish Cancer Society marched in 'after' the speakers had finished. The woman didn't have the courtesy to get there on time, I thought. But no. She actually came in, took the microphone on the floor and gave a tirade of her own before picking up her handbag and marching out again.
Not falling for baseless smears, the refreshingly astute Irish compère dismisses that as irrelevant and pushes her again for a proper answer.

Perhaps perplexed as to how this tired and pathetic tactic - aka Tobacco Control 101 - didn't instantly close down the debate, O'Meara was briefly knocked out of her stride (see the stumble and glance to the heavens at 10:35 in the vid). Regaining calculated pretence of authority, she flips over to marketing earlier than she'd hoped, and then some.

"They're marketed like cigarettes were!", "they sidestep our wonderful smoking bans!", "they look like smoking!". The usual desperate crap, before scraping the barrel by going against one of tobacco control's historical heroes.
"This is nicotine! Nicotine is what has smokers, smoke"
I've no doubt she will have knowledge of the late Michael Russell, who is arguably the founder of the nicotine replacement therapy industry O'Meara and her cronies now shill for. In 1976, his paper in the BMJ was recognised as ground-breaking for its advocacy of harm reduction.
Comparisons of nicotine concentrations in dependent users of dry nasal snuff, moist oral snuff and cigarette smokers showed remarkably similar levels, pointing to the controlling influence of nicotine. This led Russell to become an early advocate of harm reduction, since it was apparent that it was the tar, not the nicotine, that killed smokers, and it was possible to satisfy users' desire to take nicotine with non-combustible tar-free products
Russell is rightly regarded as the father of effective treatment to help smokers quit. He took an early interest in nicotine chewing gum, which had been developed in Sweden by his friend Ove Ferno, and was instrumental in persuading a vacillating pharmaceutical company to go ahead with it.
Yes. That nicotine that "has smokers, smoke" is the base for every NRT product her organisation has been relentlessly promoting as quite brilliant for smokers for decades, yet now it's evil and must be blocked. 

So, in effect, O'Meara is perfectly OK with nicotine provided by pharmaceutical companies, but not by anyone else. Especially those slitty-eyed bastard Chinese.

Which led nicely into the other petrified vested interest in the studio, Darragh O'Loughlin of the Irish Pharmacy Union. Looking as awkward as a teen in his first office job, complete with ill-fitting suit, Darragh blathered on about "safe and effective" NRT (yes, really!), and how only medical regulation is acceptable for e-cigs. 

"You want a monopoly", countered RTÉ's host. Twice.

No, not all, replied Darragh - looking for all the world like a Rottweiler had just clamped its jaws around his love plums, so uncomfortable was he at being figured out so effortlessly - they're being bought by people who don't want to quit smoking, that's his problem. Followed swiftly by an idiotic assertion that harm reduction is no good because tobacco is the only substance known to man where dose doesn't make the poison. And, do you know what? I actually think that was the only part of his spiel he actually believes, the bovine tart.

Darragh's testimony is cursorily and accurately described as "special pleading from the pharmaceutical industry" by Bates while he and O'Meara shift uneasily in their seats and unsuccessfully attempt to still appear superior, smug and dismissive. It didn't work. It's clear to all viewers that their contrived arguments suck and they are simply fearful of their house of cards falling down and paper-cutting their ill-gotten salaries. 

But there is still one last futile attempt by Darragh to rescue the situation, so he talks about Bates's "friends in the tobacco industry" and we've then come full circle. Starting off with an irrelevant point from O'Meara to try to stifle debate, and finishing in the same, shoddy, pathetic, unhelpful, disingenuous, corrupt, spineless and tawdry way. 

And this is the tobacco control industry's problem with e-cigs. As the interviewer thanks his studio guests, they look like gangsters who've not made their hit and are fearful of being whacked by an angry mob boss while they sleep. "Look Ma, we're on top of the world!", except that they're not any more, they're just scared people floundering and making themselves look more and more stupid week on week ... while e-cigs surge on, creating new people to dislike them every day. 

If they weren't such unspeakably compromised vandals, I could almost feel some pity. 


MarkWadsworth said...

"To top off the evening"
Glorious. Given the context, who can read that without thinking "Top of the morning"??

Old Dog said...

In good form today, Dick.
What about Dr Ross Morgan of ASH at 2.40 ..... he must have been dealing with a patient immediately prior to the interview, because he was still donning his stethoscope. LOL

John Davidson said...

In America their yelling it looks like a cigarette so it must be banned think of the children!

Junican said...

My mouth fell open a couple of time, with a sharp intake of breath. One specific was when the Darragh said that it doesn't matter how many fags per day you smoke. Does he know nothing at all about Doll's Doctors Study? In that study, the amount of smoking was CRITICAL! Light smokers suffered hardly any ill effect at all, but heavy smokers were 'dead men walking'. That wasn't the only bare-faced lie, but it is the one I most clearly remember.
Have you noticed how these Zealots seem to try to outdo each other in the bogus claims department? I should imagine that that is what happens at their conferences - speaker after speaker raises the bar, and they all get more and more excited to the point of knicker-wetting glee.
I think that we are only just beginning to be able to see behind the scenes. The inclusion of Darragh sort of gives the game away. What we are seeing is not 'The Tobacco Control Industry'. Tobacco control is only a part of the whole racket. The whole racket is 'The Public Health Industry'. And I don't mean the word 'industry' just as a label. I mean it as (my definition): "an amoral organisation which provides goods and services for profit". It is time that the Public Health Industry was brought before a court on civil charges of racketeering.

cigarbabe said...

As usual great article Dick! I Absolutely adored hearing more misinformation fom the "Tobacco Control Cronies Association" via video.......rofl

John Davidson said...

Pfizer’s E-Cigarette Exposed!

So, a “nicotine vapor cartridge” is pierced when put into an “inhaler” and you p...uff on it. That sounds a lot like the same products all of these cities and states are banning right now due to the “potential health risks” and “unknowns”. However, Pfizer’s e-cigarette is FDA approved and prescribed b...

John Davidson said...

The biggest whopper to date gay babies............

John Davidson said...

The Renormalization of Smoking? E-Cigarettes and the Tobacco “Endgame” — NEJM

Perspective from The New England Journal of Medicine — The Renormalization of Smoking? E-Cigarettes and the Tobacco “Endgame”

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Thanks for pointing that out, Junican. I wasn't aware that the Doctors' Study mentioned dose relationship. So that's two historical tobacco control figures rubbished by the desperate Irish propagandists, then. Any port in a storm, eh?

The Thought Gang said...

My favourite bit was when, after blathering on about how the evil tobacco industry getting into the e-cig business is a totally bad thing that we should be totally worried about, mr pharma then said that medicines regulation wouldn't be a problem because medial trials could easily be afforded by, er, big tobacco!

Great work, there.. evidencing total ignorance of the small-business-driven commercial dynamics behind the success of e-cigs, whilst simultaneously undermining one of the key pillars of his anti-e-cig position.

Junican said...

Indeed Dick.

I'm going to try to insert some images with a commentary. I hope that it works.

The first image is of a Doll graph depicting the difference in survival rates between smokers and non-smokers. [The grid-lines are mine] If you look carefully, you will see that the X and Y axis are not to the same scale. When the graph is drawn to the same scale, this is what you get (second image):

You can see that almost all the effects occur in old age, and, because the two line are almost parallel, both smokers and non-smokers start to die off at the same rate, although smokers start to die off earlier.

Now here a a graph which I created myself from the Doll original graph (third image):

In that graph, I've reversed the nature of the graph from 'survivors' to 'deceased'.
Starting from the left, the lines represent - heavy smokers, moderate smokers, light smokers and non-smokers. [Please allow for the very great difficulty in transcribing the info from one graph to the other!]
What is perfectly clear, however, is the 'dose relationship' in mortality rates.

Trench Fodder said...

Of course the E-fag is not popular with GPs and Chemists and other assorted health cranks,no juicy profit in them.
The campaign against the Vaping game will intesify untill the profits return to the pockets and purses of the Shroud waving spivs on the Anti Tobacco bandwagon
The vapers AND smokers MUSTstop dilly dallying,parroting and twittering to no avail and mount an organised resistance.
To all bloggers ,campaigns and activists, get together,join up,organise,meet
publish and print and distribute
Quo Vadis

Mickelodian said...

Clive is the ex-director of ASH UK and both of the guests knew that... so to say 'If your friends in the Tobacco industry' to Clive is a little like saying to Bill Gates 'If your friends in Apple, Google Android and Kindle....'

I know one thing about Clive bates ...and that is that he has no friends in the tobacco a man they are most definitely in his enemy camp!

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Yep. But Darragh was doubtless referring to the fact that Bates will engage with anyone who advocates harm reduction, so an irrational ad hom is how they address that perfectly acceptable approach.

They long since forgot how to debate politely.