Friday 16 May 2014

Here's Some Evidence For You, Mark Drakeford

Following on from yesterday's article, one of the cherry-picked studies Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford chose to demonise e-cigs was plucked from across the English Channel.
"A research survey of Paris schoolchildren reported in academic journals in February of this year found two thirds of 12 to 14 year old e-cigarette users had never previously been a smoker"
Now, while I doubt this very much since it flies in the face of studies in other countries around the world which found quite the opposite, a report today in respected French newspaper Le Parisien details the, err, terrifying consequences of Drakeford's factoid.
Electronic cigarettes do not drive the young into the arms of tobacco, quite the contrary. This is essentially the conclusion of the annual Paris study on tobacco consumption. "This is a real surprise," admits Professor Bertrand Dautzenberg, author of this study of more than 13,000 high school students in Paris. 
The President of the French Office for the Prevention of smoking was the first to worry about the incentive effect of the e-cigarette there two years ago. According to the survey, many young people have taken to the new device: in 2014, over 90% of smokers had puffed on an e-cigarette, as well as 23% of non-smokers. In one year, experimenting with e-cigarettes which from 12 years has doubled and is at its height for 16-17 year olds: with 53% having held one in their hands. By comparison, the number of students lighting a cigarette once out of school has reduced significantly. 20% of 12-15 year olds smoked in 2011, it is now 11.2%. Same dynamic in high school, where 33.5% of students smoked in 2014, against 42.9% in 2011.
"A spectacular decrease in four years"
So, no evidence of the gateway theory, then - exactly as reported in the UK by ASH - and an almost halving of 12 to 15 year old smokers in a very short space of time. What's not to like? Put that with your other 'evidence', won't you Mark Drakeford?

Otherwise - to paraphrase something someone said quite recently - I'm sure our successors will look back at the debates we are holding today and shake their heads at health minister Drakeford acting in a way which threatens to prevent the same dramatic decline in smoking amongst Welsh teens.


moonrakin said...

A sociology lecturer on the Labour gravy train ticket isn't a good starting point. He can't find his arse with both hand and we seem to be paying £90K a year plus pension and exes for this blithering tw*t.

Does he make this shit up himself or is he assisted in his tw*tery by more daffodil waving professional civil servants? .I think we should be told. This is negligence of a high order - this man has a legal duty to be objective - it's time to throw some law at prats like this.

Junican said...

This is tricky. Once again, we see the Charlatan Zealots dictating the debate. The debate OUGHT NOT TO BE about what twelve-year olds and such get up to, but rather about what ADULTS do. The Tobacco Control Industry has been trying for a couple of years to define 'young people' as 'up to twenty four-ish'. They think and say that if they can stop 'young people' starting smoking before twenty four, that these people will never start smoking. What frightens them is that these people might start vaping and then might discover the delights of tobacco. So, the Zealots are shrouding their thinking with epidemiological minor differences to distract attention from what they are really thinking.
They are also horrified by the idea that they might fail to reach their targets precisely. It is important for them to succeed precisely to diminish smoking by precisely 2% per an. Too much, and the politicians will worry about about tobacco tax income; too little, and they will worry that politicians will see them as a waste of money. Again, the Zealots decided what the level of diminishing should be.
E-cigs have buggered things up for them. Either they will replace Big Pharma's patches and gum or they will exacerbate the decline in smoking too quickly. Neither outcome is desirable.for the charlatans in tobacco control.
But does not this situation show up our politicians for the wankers that they are? There is not and cannot be any justification for persecuting 25% of the people and they should have seen that in 2007.

Michael J. McFadden said...

Junican,, do you have a link for that 2/3 study thing?

Also: re the "young people" (or "The Children") as up to 24ish.... Just yesterday, I ran across the WHO's GATS {Global **ADULT** Tobacco Survey} and I noticed something interesting: they define "adult" as anyone more than fourteen years old! If you're fifteen and a day, when they want to juggle their statistics, they'll define you as an adult.

But almost a decade later, when they want to play "The Children" card, they'll define you as a "young person" or child.

They lie. All the time.


moonrakin said...

A bit old - but there's some grizzling about salaries for the numties who are "paid professionals" supporting these sort of antics...

see here

Zillatron said...

This sounds to me suspiciously like the Dautzenberg study from LAST year, where some part of the conclusion was phrased (deliberately?) misleading that the same desinformation was spread by EU commissions Dr. Schnichels at the end of an IMCO session. (30/05/2013 at 12:34:50)

"Among the
12 - 14- year-old schoolchildren, 64.4% of e-cigarette experimentation was by
Which has the desired tabloid headline potential, when you ignore the context and don't pause to do some math. The sentence before this is:
"Experimentation rate is 6.4% among the 12 - 14-year-old,

So the total rate really would be a more realistic 4.1 % of non-smoking 12 - 14-year-old trying it once.

Well, I guess, working with relativ percentages is relativity theory for this kind of politicians.