Monday 8 September 2014

The Show Must Go On ++ Updated ++

So, further to yesterday's article on Faculty of Public Health president John Ashton's public implosion, it seems the inevitable has occurred and he's realised he was being a bit of a dick on Saturday night.
Still, if anyone was under the impression that the FPH will be more receptive to opposing views on the issue of e-cigs as a result, you might need to think again.

You see, even if Ashton has been placed in the naughty corner (which I very much doubt), the doomsaying from the FPH is likely to carry on regardless - perhaps in the form of their more media-savvy former president, Alan Maryon-Davies. Here's the gullible old coot on BBC Scotland on Friday.
Our worry is that they maybe helping a lot of smokers to just perpetuate the habit because it means they can maybe smoke in places where they wouldn't normally be able to smoke and they can keep it going and perhaps lose their urge to give up because they're a pretty good way of getting the nicotine hit. 
An even bigger worry is that they might be recruiting a whole lot of young people because they are being marketed at young people with fruit flavours and bubble gum flavours.
Long term readers here will remember Maryon-Davis for his bizarre claim in 2009 to be "a libertarian by nature", just before reeling off his 'libertarian' credentials on the BBC.
Is the government 'nannying' us too much? Is it trying too hard to micro-manage our health? I say firmly - no. 
I see an increasing acceptance that we, all of us, need not only more information and guidance from government, but also more legislation to save us from ourselves. 
We need to press for more legislation to improve and protect health and well-being. We need a big stick to curb the worst excesses of the various commercial interests who shape our lifestyle. We've been largely successful with the tobacco industry, and now it's time to shift the focus onto alcohol and junk-food.
What next? I would like to see a ban on smoking in cars with a child on board and a ban on displays of cigarettes in shops. I would like to see a real hike in tax on alcohol and a ban on deep price-cuts for booze. I would like to see a wider ban on junk-food adverts around TV programmes watched largely by children. 
I would like to see a whole raft of other legislation for health.
Despite his obvious libertarian tendencies, I don't think he's going to object too much to more state interference with e-cigs, do you?

Meanwhile, John Ashton's latest cherry-picking criticism of e-cigs was published at the integrity-bereft BMJ just before the weekend. That is, the BMJ who won't accept research funded by tobacco but refuse the same rule against anything paid for by the pharmaceutical industry for some unknown reason.

Click to enlarge
Ashton made full use of the BMJ's paywall to broadcast his ill-informed views to undecided medical types, without the possibility of being challenged by those horrible vapers and their inconvenient dissent.
Many critics of WHO’s position are from the harm reduction community and see e-cigarettes as a useful contributor to tobacco control efforts. But these critics seem unable to decide whether e-cigarettes are a short term medical aid to quitting smoking or a consumer good, to be used in the long term.
Why decide when they offer both?
Images aimed at young people are reminiscent of those previously used by the tobacco and alcohol industries.
He seems very certain of that assertion. Another health pro who was present at e-cig company board meetings where they discussed ensnaring kids, perhaps? Or is he talking about adults under 30?
Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at the Center for Tobacco Control, University of California San Francisco, says “there is no justification for reintroducing these toxins indoors after we spent 30 years getting rid of them"
Quoting aircraft engineers is e-cig control 101, it seems.
The tobacco industry’s integration with e-cigarette manufacturers is not altruistic.
This is true, they fall into the category of acting in self-interest as per Adam Smith's invisible hand. Ashton and his colleagues, however, receive no pay whatsoever and do their bansturbating for nothing but love.
Many, seemingly well informed, people appear willing to suspend disbelief about the tobacco industry’s goodwill. This issue is as much about commercial politics as science. Let us get the science right by making sure all vested interests are in the open, as we seek to improve the public’s health.
Good idea. Because with the pharma-funded WHO's dream Moscow city break fast approaching - and with the FPH's dogged resistance to any evidence-based positivity about e-cigs - it would be interesting to discuss further the 'independent financial arrangements' of the FPH and their members, not to mention the ideological anti-business agenda of far-left ideologue John Ashton.

Just sayin'.

UPDATE: Well, you just knew that Ashton wouldn't simply go quietly into the night. The Times has decided that he is just a poor wounded tobacco control soldier, bravely carrying on in the line of duty.
Public health chiefs have accused e-cigarette users of a campaign of online abuse, saying that junior scientists are being scared away from research by explicit attacks from “vapers” on Twitter.
Not all bad then? Considering the shocking quality of most tobacco control 'research' so far on e-cigs, I'd say they're the very last people who should be conducting any.
Professor Ashton and the Faculty of Public Health declined to comment ...
Very wise seeing as they have a disciplinary to conduct.
... but Professor Martin McKee, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who is another critic of e-cigarettes, said: “If you say anything, they get you within minutes, there’s so many of them."
So many of them that they become a problem for the likes of McKee, yet still no evidence of any of them quitting smoking with e-cigs according to the junk scientists of public health.

They've lied so much over the years that I do believe they're starting to confuse even themselves.


Erick said...

Is FPH brainwashing people behind the bike shed or something!!

Ian Hills said...

Yes, with funding from the European Union -

Erick said...

Mister McKee must be saying the bubblegum thing then. How thick do you have to be to not take the hint.