Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Cash On Bullshit Delivery

The trouble with building up a house of cards based on lying for your supper is that the truth is always out there waiting to blow it all down.

A review of hundreds of studies into smoking cessation has revealed that the overwhelming majority of ex-smokers gave up without resorting to nicotine replacement therapies.

What is more, studies which extol the virtues of nicotine patches, gums and pills are more than twice as likely to have been funded by drug companies than others, the Australian researchers said.
You don't say. Or, as the full research text puts it.

In this Policy Forum, we test this law and, because a recent review of Cochrane selected randomized controlled trials of NRT [27][28], found that while 51% of industry-funded trials reported significant cessation effects, only 22% of nonindustry trials did, we also test the hypotheses that research on pharmaceutically mediated cessation is frequently conducted by researchers supported by pharmaceutical companies
My my. All these years of swivel-eyed smoke-haters screaming about the corrupt practices of tobacco companies, yet here is the pharmaceutical industry with their fingers caught in the junk science till.

I would have thought that Amanda Sandford, spokesperson for the pharmaceutical industry ASH, would be appalled at such disgraceful tactics. after all, she has been jumping up and down crying foul about big tobacco doing the same, for years.

Not a bit of it.

But Amanda Sandford, of anti-smoking group Ash, disagreed with Professor Chapman's interpretation of the research.

She said that studies into the benefits of nicotine patches and gums were 'robust' and that 'all the evidence points to relying on willpower alone is not terribly successful'.
She must be talking about the studies funded by her pharma bankrollers - which would be frightfully hypocritical of her, don't you think? - as the real (non pharma-funded) evidence points to quite the opposite.

Amanda surely can't have have forgotten about ASH being forced to apologise, and pay costs, for previous claims which rubbished alternative quitting methods to NRT, could she?

Today Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the public health charity has apologised to Allen Carr’s Easyway Organisation for unfounded comments made by its Director in November 2006.

In November of last year, Deborah Arnott, Director of ASH claimed that specific success rates quoted by Allen Carr Easyway were “plucked out of the air” and “basically made up.” She made these comments whilst on the BBC Radio 4 “PM” programme during a piece concerning the death of Allen Carr, founder of Allen Carr’s Easyway organisation.

Deborah Arnott’s comments referred to two independent studies conducted by eminent experts in the field of smoking cessation which had already been published in peer reviewed journals indicating a 53% success rate for Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking Clinics after 12 months.
53%? Wow! That kinda dwarfs the 1.6% success rate of pharmaceutical plasters and chewing rubber, doesn't it?

Too many numbers, Dick, I can hear you cry - it's all so confusing. You'd be right to ask for a more clear explanation. So let's do a visual.

Here is the success rate of Allen Carr, a quit scheme built around willpower alone, which is 'not terribly successful' according to Amanda Sandford.

And here is what Amanda Sandford classes as success.

Still, who cares about health as long as ASH get paid and pharma sells shitloads of patches to the NHS at your expense, eh?

The nicotine supply war is probably the biggest lie generator the world has ever seen.


Leg-iron said...

Allan Carr claimed his method didn't require any willpower. Nor any drugs or alternatives of any kind. He just took a bunch of people who wanted to quit into a room and talked to them.

If ASH had any real intention of cutting down the rate of smoking, they'd have been delighted. they would also have welcomed Electrofag instead of pretending it's lethal because it looks like smoking.

They have no such intention, of course. No smokers = nobody to control and nobody to keep buying their patches and gum.

That's why they keep it in the news. They are advertising smoking, which is illegal, and encouraging the young to start, which is both illegal and immoral.

Everything they do is designed to make smoking more attractive. They might ban it completely, which would be the ultimate in making it irresistible. Then they'll run both the black market and the special 'tobacco enforcement agency'.

There is no death slow enough for them.

Mrs Rigby said...

It's a load of, errm, "shoe repairers".

o/t I just found this, up your street I'd have thought?

DaveA said...

ASH "work closely" with big pharma and own or have owned shares in Glaxo SmithKline who produce NRT.

Also here is an illuminating letter written in 2001 by the then head of ASH Clive Bates to the Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline and I quote:

"We have worked with GSK under the auspices of the WHO-Europe Partnership Project on tobacco dependence and at various one-off opportunities. ASH was instrumental in securing greater government commitment to smoking cessation products in the NHS National Plan and we have helped with PR for both Zyban and Niquitin CQ." and "ASH has a small shareholding in GSK and I will be attending with others to question you and the Chairman on this situation".


Anonymous said...

No wonder.
I'm an MP duuuh! i'm a MP duuuh!
dribble .........
Well which is the worst accusation dumb or corrupt ?
Problem is chaps that's our money your pissing up the wall !
The anti smoking lot are getting richer,as the pharma lot are .
Money ?'
Surely not.

Anonymous said...

No wonder.
I'm an MP duuuh! i'm a MP duuuh!
dribble .........
Well which is the worst accusation dumb or corrupt ?
Problem is chaps that's our money your pissing up the wall !
The anti smoking lot are getting richer,as the pharma lot are .
Money ?'
Surely not.

westcoast2 said...

Sorry DP, Amanda got it right. HMG's "A Smokefree future" Says so on page 11:-

14 Those who are most successful in quitting use a combination of behavioural and medicinal support. We want to make the most effective forms of support easily and inexpensively available to everyone. Smokers who stop smoking with NHS support are up to four times more likely to stop successfully compared with smokers who stop without any form of support.

and again on 43
4.2 Half of all quit attempts are ‘assisted quits’ – they are made by people with support from NHS Stop Smoking Services or primary care, or using over-the-counter medication. This means that the other half are ‘unassisted (cold turkey) quits’, which have the lowest chance of success. 16

The reference 16 goes to spreadsheet no idea why.

Anyways the government policy is evidence based, so it must be true.

After all HMG are a paragon of Virtue just like Amanda Sandford.