Monday 16 November 2015

Tobacco Control: Big Industry's Biggest Friend

Boy, the effect of e-cigs in exposing tobacco controllers as vacuous loons just gets better and better.

The 'public health' movement would, I'd say, overwhelmingly self-identify as left of centre and 'progressive'. Tobacco control has leapt on the back of this by using terms such as "tackling health inequalities" to explain some pretty hideous policies which hurt the poor far more than the well off (more on that later in the week). Their biggest political supporters worldwide are invariably lefties. In the UK, Labour almost swoon whenever a tobacco controller speaks.

With their stance on e-cigs though, just look at the actors who are benefitting. For example, here is an article from Malaysia about a new initiative to persuade smoking athletes to quit tobacco.
Johnson and Johnson Malaysia recently launched a new anti-smoking campaign with the theme “Do Something Amazing” and it also introduced the Nicorette patch, which is an improved nicotine replacement therapy to help smokers fight their cravings. 
The campaign is also to encourage smokers to overcome tobacco-dependence through the setting of attainable goals, which allow them to maintain focus and have more control over the quit attempts.
Johnson & Johnson, eh? Big Pharma and their lovely magic nicotine which is entirely harmless. Unlike, of course, the stuff in e-cigs which the same people in this picture consider deadly.

No, really! Pictured alongside J&J execs are two individuals - Dr Helmy Haja Mydin and Dr Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin, both associate professors at University Malaya - who also happen to be on the Ministry of Health e-cigarette committee, and are signatories to a letter advocating bans on e-cigs in Malaysia.
 I. restrictions be immediately put in place for the retail sales and public use of electronic cigarettes and vaping  
 II. a discussion in Parliament in the foreseeable future regarding the need to implement a ban for both electronic cigarettes and tobacco 
Fancy that!

Meanwhile in Italy, the government is planning to be the first to apply sin taxes to e-cigs. I can't for the life of me understand why, but perhaps this might explain it.

That's André Calantzopoulos on the left - CEO of Philip Morris International - sitting next to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at an event in September.

We know, too, that pharma companies lobbied the EU to implement strangling regulations on e-cigs which has resulted in the Tobacco Products Directive which effectively makes every product currently on the market illegal in May next year. We also know that PMI are advising the UK government to introduce sin taxes to e-cigs in this country, because they told the world so in their response to a consultation [page 286] on something entirely unrelated

This is the kind of cronyism and big industry involvement that the tobacco control industry is inviting by their appalling approach to e-cigs. On the one hand you have utter lunatics vilifying consumers, spreading falsehoods, half-truths, innuendo and bare-faced lies about the dangers of vaping, on the other you have those in tobacco control - who claim to be in favour of harm reduction - idly sitting by as vape ban after vape ban is installed, creating precedents all over the shop.

In May 2016, just about every e-cig currently on the market will be banned all over the EU thanks to the TPD - something vaper's friend ASH UK, for example, is hugely in favour of - while elsewhere vaping is being obliterated entirely by daft laws prompted by mad tobacco controllers deliberately lying to spread fear amongst politicians simply because of their damaging anti-social prejudices.

So, next time you hear someone in the comfortable, highly-funded tobacco control industry saying that they are just looking after those poor smokers. Remind them of who is actually benefitting by their incompetence, inaction, bigotry and institutional mendacity ... huge multi-national corporations. It's just too easy, isn't it?

The term "useful idiot" has never been more aptly applied than when describing professional anti-smokers.

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