Thursday 6 August 2015

The "Negative Health Outcomes" Of Lung Cancer Screening

Carl Phillips has written some must-read articles on the extremists who exist in the tobacco control industry scam recently.

He describes anti-tobacco extremism very well in this article, but a previous post explaining why 'public health' loves lung cancer is particularly well drawn.
About ten years ago, I coined the term “anti-tobacco extremists” to refer to those who take the most extreme view of tobacco use. This was an attempt to push back against anti-THR activists being inaccurately referred to as public health, given that they actively seek to harm the public’s health. I have since given up on that, and recognize that “public health” is an unsalvageable rubric, which should just be relegated to being a pejorative. But the extremist concept remains useful. The test for anti-tobacco extremism is the answer to the following question: If you could magically change the world so that either (a) there was no use of tobacco products or (b) people could continue to enjoy using tobacco but there was a cheap magic pill that they could take to eliminate any excess disease risk it caused, which would you choose? Anyone who would choose (a) over (b) takes anti-tobacco to its logical extreme, making clear that they object to the behavior, not its effects.
Of course, this is only theory until we see something to prove Carl's point. Fortunately, though, there is always one comedy tobacco controller willing to step up to the plate.
Yes, it really does appear that Chappers is promoting a study which suggests better lung cancer screening could actually be a bad thing! But it gets worse when you look more closely at the study itself.

Firstly, it analysed a mere 35 people, so can in no way be claimed to be representative of the general public. Now, I thought Chapman was pretty hot on such derisory sample sizes, but apparently not. But then, the 'public health' movement is increasingly not much to do with health, more a deep-seated hatred of anyone who earns money selling stuff that people enjoy and choose to buy.

The body of the study Chapman found so interesting (35, dude, just 35) is yet another classic example of looking at 'intent' rather than actual behaviour, just like those pumped out by world-renowned junk scientist Mad Stan.

Tobacco control scammers like to publish on perceptions because they don't like doing proper science and following people up to look at quit rates or behaviour change, it's too much like hard work and they are addicted to easy tax-funded cash. In this case, the study conclusion is that smokers believe cancer screening can mean either they are not going to get cancer (as they haven't already) or, if they do, it will be caught and treated so they're safe. This could be useful if it leads to better conversations with patients, but the process of screening itself cannot possibly be described as potentially harmful by anyone but a blinkered 'public health' nutter who actually finds lung cancer quite useful for campaigning purposes.

Most importantly, though, the authors don't actually know if those who have been screened will actually refrain from quitting or instead if, after a little reflection and a bit of time after the screen, might actually decide that the very threat was enough and quit anyway. And the reason they don't know? Because - naturally for the tobacco control industry - they couldn't be bothered to follow people over time and find out.

Still, there you go, another day in the wibble-filled world of tobacco control, eh?

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