Tuesday 15 April 2014

Carry On Smoking, Says The BMA's Welsh Secretary

You don't have to be mad to be a health wonk in Wales, but it certainly seems to help.

At the start of the month we heard from Mark Drakeford - the Welsh Health Minister who confirmed it's not about health - and today it's Dr Richard 'Wideload' Lewis.

Dr Richard is the Welsh secretary of the BMA - a provincial version of proven liar Vivienne Nathanson - and he is trying his level best to be as downbeat about e-cigs as is humanly possible.

"I'm a glass half empty kind of guy"
From WalesOnline:
He said: “We welcome some of the specific public health initiatives in the white paper, particularly the ban on e-cigarettes, which is consistent with BMA policy in that the safety of the devices is still unproven but there is also the concern about them normalising smoking."
Y'see, that's the unexplainable aspect of tobacco control, isn't it? Politicians and people like Richard - of which there are many highly-paid thousands in this country - are always banging on about smoking despite it being such an abnormal behaviour. With only 12 million smokers in the UK, you have to camp out for weeks on end in a twitcher's hide in a city centre to spot one ... if you're lucky.

He also says safety of e-cigs is "still unproven" which, of course, also means their danger is still unproven too, but Richard likes to look on the dull side. I bet he's the life and soul at parties.

Still, even so, this would be a valid - albeit totalitarian - argument if he were commenting on an outright ban of e-cigs for those who choose to use them and accept the unproven mild harm/safety gamble. However, the Welsh proposals are only about banning 'not smoking' in enclosed workplaces, and considering there has not - nor ever will be - evidence of harm to bystanders from second-hand vapour, it's entirely irrelevant to the debate.

What's more, Richard's love of the Welsh government's proposals is completely at odds with the recommendations of ASH Wales.
Although safety concerns about the devices exist, and we still lack information about the long-term effects of using e-cigarettes, we should be wary of taking steps that could undermine those who are using them as a means of protecting themselves from the harms attributable to tobacco. 
ASH Wales recommends that premises continue to be allowed to make decisions for themselves on whether or not to permit the use of e-cigarettes, although we recognise that there may be environments where the use of these devices is inappropriate.
I mean, what's the point of the taxpayer coughing up 73% of ASH Wales' income if the Health Minister and the BMA are going to simply ignore them about e-cigs?

Anyway, I digress. Richard continues ...
“While we accept that some smokers are using them to reduce their smoking habit, the products still contain nicotine and are still addictive and the research and the safety aspects of their use are yet to be demonstrated through evidence.”
So carry on smoking, says the BMA's Welsh secretary.
Meanwhile, smoking rates remain stubbornly high, at 23%. 
But many have said that the move to ban e-cigarettes could hinder people’s attempts to quit smoking by taking away a product that may be used as an aid to kick the habit.
Yes, they have. ASH Wales amongst them.
But Dr Lewis said: “We must not encourage use of a new system of nicotine delivery when we are unsure about its safety or efficacy as a means of stopping smoking."
So carry on smoking, says the BMA's Welsh secretary.
“There is some emerging evidence that people who are not cigarette smokers are taking up e-cigarettes and then taking up smoking."
Do you know, proven liar Vivienne said precisely the same thing last year? Not much of an endorsement for our Richard, is it, especially since no-one knows where this emerging evidence is and ASH can't find it either.

Perhaps it's still in the process of being faked, I dunno.
“E-cigarettes are still giving people a nicotine habit which is not good for people’s health in general.”
I suppose he could have said nicotine use on its own is stratospherically safer than smoking, but that isn't on the BMA's agenda at the moment for some unfathomable reason. Instead, the mantra is that you should worry about e-cigs ... a lot. Mind how you go, can't be too careful. Best just stick with the fags.

Eh, Richard?


Legiron said...

He might as well have said ' The useless patches and gum we recommend are still giving people a nicotine habit...'

So is he calling for a ban on those too?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

No, because they have been approved by the MHRA for long term use, you see? And this is for why.

"It has become widely accepted that there are no circumstances in which it is safer to smoke than to use NRT"

It is also widely accepted that there are no circs where it's safer to vape than smoke.

However, that was issued by the MHRA who are "an organisation whose activities are entirely financed by a levy from the pharmaceutical industry", so that's OK.

localpeasant said...

The thing that worries me is not the way the BMA have been hell bent on getting shot of Ecigs for whatever reason, its the fact that GP's have little time to research things themselves so rely on BMA advice and if my Doctor regurgitates BMA garbage what else is my Doc getting wrong on other advice? I seriously have to take my Docs advice with a pinch of salt and say 'I'LL GET BACK TO YOU', until I can check out my ailments from other sources, thus the BMA is DESTROYING the trust we have always had with our GP's. The Doctors really need to stop the BMA or get another association, this one is not SAFE or EFFICACIOUS !

Dick_Puddlecote said...

An excellent point, well made. Next time I see my doctor (4 years time at my next driver medical) I'll make that case to him.

localpeasant said...

I seem to remember from their accounts its 90% + 10% from NHS

Dick_Puddlecote said...

The link above goes to their latest accounts at the charity commission. Without looking into it too deeply, 73% is easily spotted, but I'm happy to be corrected. ;)

Offa's Lot said...

Oh no, not another two timing ,back stabbing,twin tongued,grasping Druid who
has slithered out of some grey valley slag heap. Just another third rate quack puppet toadie croaking any instructions on his inbox,another weary dreary sad faced Pontificating Puritan bent on the demolition of happiness and freedom
Will no one rid us of this meddling medics?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Now, "third rate quack puppet toadie" I like. {applause}

nisakiman said...

Yes, it does have a certain ring to it, doesn't it?

nisakiman said...

I wonder what his BMI is. He certainly looks a bit jowly. Clinically obese, perhaps, under the latest guidelines? I think a strict dietary regimen is called for - purely for his own good, of course. You can't be too careful, can you?

What do you think? Brown rice, tofu and broccoli for six months? He'd thank us for our intervention in the end, when he is finally fat-free

harleyrider1778 said...

Oh and in reply to your buddies post after you started searching me out here on this story in Australia......

[joshua a harleyrider1778 • 2 hours ago

Oh shush. How about you tell that to all the non-smoking waitresses who contracted emphysema and other smoking related illnesses.

i guess smokers don't smoke because they are intelligent though...]
Anyone here can vouch for the content of the answer.......

Designated smoking areas pushed in Victoria


Tobacco Control Scotland has admitted it has no record of any deaths or demonstrable harm caused to anyone from second hand smoke as the UK Govt pushes forward the idea of third hand smoke, aka Invisible Smoke, without any evidence at all.

Bill Gibson, The International Coalition Against Prohibition (TICAP) chairman, was interested to know how many actual deaths and respiratory illnesses were recorded in Scotland from passive smoking, given the reported guesstimate 13,000 figure which is repeated parrot fashion year after year.

He put in an FOI request and found that there wasn't one death or respiratory illnesses attributed to SHS or tobacco. Perhaps I should repeat that. Not one death has been recorded in Scotland as definitely related to tobacco smoking or passive smoking.

If we did the same the world over we would get the same answer.

Remember this story from last year:

B.S. Study: 600,000 People Die Worldwide From Secondhand Smoke Every Year


US Bureau of Labor Statistics Shows Zero Deaths From 2nd Hand Smoke
Where are the deaths?
If people who work in bars die from secondhand smoke, why does the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the last 4 years show ZERO DEATHS from exposure to harmful substances or environments?

statsDOTblsDOTgov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb0259DOTpdf This data is for 2011. (pg38 of 53).
Notice that 31 people died while working in a "drinking place"(which my bar is classified as). 27 deaths were by violent injuries by persons or animals(?). 2 died by fires or explosions. I don't know where the other 2 deaths are listed however, there are 0 deaths from exposure to harmful substances or environments.

So where are these deaths from SHS?

Notice 2010 under this below. In 2010, there were 28 total deaths, 25 from violence and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.

In 2009, 32 deaths of bar workers. 31 were violent deaths and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.

In 2008, 35 deaths of bar workers. 32 were violent deaths and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.

They aren't crawling out and dying in the parking lots either. We would have noticed 'em."
Sheila Martin

harleyrider1778 said...

I like the Glass House theory as a name really really well for the whole damnable business of junk science that built the nanny state! It doesn't take much for it to shatter the whole business.

harleyrider1778 said...

Where do you think Big Pharma gets its nicotine from................TOBACCO PLANTS is where and the directive states anything derived from tobacco is now a tobacco product. Hense NRTs are tobacco products via their own definition!

harleyrider1778 said...

If you read the last SG report it kept on page after page making it clear that NRTs are not tobacco products....Now we see if the nicotine is from tobacco plants then its a tobacco product. Big Pharma is the 2nd or third biggest buyer of tobacco at the auction barns right behind the federal government that buys whats left over!

...e-cigarettes “would be considered as tobacco products as per the WHO
FCTC” if they contained nicotine made from tobacco leaves, according to
the minutes.

So we can now safely state NRT drugs are also tobacco products.

harleyrider1778 said...

A synthetic form of nicotine exists quite
different in its effects from^that present in
smoking tobacco. This nicotine is twofold
less poisonous than the form produced
by nature. The molecular pattern in the
natural product is left-handed, while the
synthetic nicotine has its atoms arranged
in a right-handed form.
It is too difficult and expensive to make
this synthetic nicotine by present methods
for commercial production. "And perhaps
its effect would be so different that
tobacco users would not care for it."


I went back to check the date on this alumni newsletter and was flabbergasted:
MAY 2, 1929

See third page of the PDF under the title "Dr. Jaeger to Speak"

harleyrider1778 said...

DP I can see a great legal battle ensuing over whats a tobacco product now!

Legiron said...

Their argument is irrelevant when the main complaint is that tobacco replacement with another nicotine product reinforces addiction.

If Electrofag is continuing nicotine addiction, then so are patches and gum. Ban one, ban them all. Or none.

I say let them do this, then turn it on the Pharmers .Then ask ther Pharmers why they are pushing an addictive product, thern sue.

We can win a load of cash here as long as we give them enough rope.

harleyrider1778 said...

The war begins……….when they should be kissing Nigels arse and begging for a coalition government with him as PM

Britain’s Tory ‘Establishment’ Goes to War With UKIP ahead of May Elections


Leading Conservative Party figures, working with Times newspaper journalists, have thrown the gauntlet down before the UK Independence Party ahead of the European Elections next month. UKIP hit back following yesterday’s story by the Times that its leader Nigel Farage was ‘under investigation’ by European authorities over his expenses claims, causing uproar within Conservative ranks.

UKIP stated that the Times’ source for its story alleging Farage misappropriated £15,500 from the European Parliament was a “a convicted fraudster serving a suspended sentence, whose allegations are unfounded and vexatious”. Over the course of yesterday it emerged that not only was the Times’ original source spurious, but that the ‘investigation’ by the European Anti-Fraud body (OLAF) was hardly of substance, as the organisation is persistently used by political parties as a means to embarrass opponents.

Further to this, another Times source, David Samuel-Camps, wrote to the paper making clear that the story has distorted his responses to the questions posed. He said: “I am extremely concerned that in your report you have distorted my responses to your questions regarding the Lyminster office costs. To the best of knowledge and belief I was completely honest in my answers and resent the fact that those answers have been completely distorted. I did warn you that there is a small minority who are ‘mischief makers’ – one in particular who would go to any lengths to destroy Mr Farage’s reputation.”

But the Times has doubled down on the story, instead of publishing corrections and apologies as one might expect. UKIP allege that this is because of the paper’s links to the Conservative Party, citing numerous high-profile, David Cameron allies inside the paper.

UKIP states that Lord Finkelstein, the Times’ executive editor and Tory peer, “has in the past been embarrassed by claims that he has written speeches for Osborne while simultaneously working as Times chief leader writer.”

The eurosceptic party also names Matthew Parris, Alice Thomson, Hugo Rifkind, Rachel Sylvester, Tim Montgomerie, and Alexi Mostrous, all of whom are either known to be hostile to UKIP, or maintain familial and professional ties to the Conservative Party.

The Conservative ‘establishment’ has hit back at these claims, rallying around their Times colleagues. Another former Conservative MP, Paul Goodman, took to the pages of ConservativeHome to mock UKIP’s allegations that there is some sort of conspiracy against them from within Britain’s political establishment – even though the hostility and campaigning is already well documented. Goodman admits in his piece that he is also a columnist for the Times, though he insists his latest piece is not about UKIP.

On The Level said...

Three Marlboro Men - David McLean, Dick Hammer and Eric Lawson died of smoking-related diseases, thus earning Marlboro cigarettes, specifically Marlboro Reds, the nickname "Cowboy killers".

harleyrider1778 said...

The oldest original one still living and breathing on his ranch out west!

On The Level said...

Is that Thourlby? The one that claimed that he never smoked cigarettes or consumed alcohol?

Robert Innes said...

Tobacco product regulation - group members
David L. Ashley, PhD
Alan Raymond Boobis, OBE
Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, MD, PhD
Mirjana Djordjevic, PhD
Nigel Gray, MBBS
Prakash C Gupta, PhD
S. Katharine Hammond, PhD
Jack Henningfield, PhD
Antoon Opperhuizen, MSc, PhD
Olalekan A. Ayo-Yusuf, BDS, PhD
Ghazi S. Zaatari, MD
Chair of the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation