Monday, 1 February 2010

The Mask Slips (The Nicotine War)

Burrow deep enough into today's tripe from Andy Burnham and you find a little thank you gift to the driving force behind Labour's attack on smokers.

A major shift in the government’s anti-smoking policy has been quietly announced, allowing nicotine products to be sold as a long-term substitute for smoking, not just as an aid to quitting.

The announcement acknowledges that some smokers are nicotine junkies, who find it close to impossible to give up the addictive element in cigarettes.

Indeed they are, as a Mail article last week highlighted.

My name is Claudia and I am an addict. For ten years I have been addicted to Nicorette - a nicotine chewing gum - and I am desperate to give up. How I rue the day I ever started smoking. It has cost me a small fortune and undoubtedly damaged my health.

She is not alone. Such addiction is commonplace and, contrary to the mantra pumped out by tobacco controllers, can definitely be damaging. Because, you see, nicotine replacement therapy can be a killer.

A teenager was rushed to hospital after he overdosed on nicotine gum handed out to pupils at school.

Aiden Williams, 14, was kept in overnight on a heart monitor after chewing 45 pieces of Nicorette - the equivalent of smoking 180 fags.

Doctors said the dosage could have killed him, but he probably survived because he smoked and had built up a tolerance to the drug.

And yet lethal doses are readily available, even in the current risk averse climate, to Labour's beloved children - without sanction.

Mum Caroline yesterday called for the Nicorette handouts to be banned after hearing smokers as young as 12 can be given up to a week's supply - 105 pieces - by health counsellors at the school without parental consent.

It doesn't look like government are going to change this policy anytime soon, although they are very scared indeed at the thought of adults using e-cigs.

"The Department of Health is not aware of any evidence about the long-term safety of e-cigarettes and, as such, would suggest that consumers exercise caution.

"E-cigarettes are not promoted by, or available on, the NHS," she said.

It would appear to be a contradiction, unless you have read here before, in which case you will know exactly why. It's because big pharma sells NRT but hasn't got any fingers in the e-cig pie.

ASH are heavily reliant on pharma dosh, as are Cancer Research UK, who have a policy of refusing donations from e-cig companies.

CRUK is not a lot more than the R&D arm of big pharma (think about it - if they found a cure, who would make it and sell it to the NHS?) so it's hardly surprising.

During preparation for Labour's successful attempt to hide tobacco displays, ASH were heavily involved in disseminating misleading information, and a Cancer Research UK employee was seconded to the DoH for one day a week.

So what better reward for unremitting loyalty than to extend the scope of NRT prescriptions, on the NHS natch, thereby making big pharma rather happy.

ASH are very happy too.

But the move was welcomed on Sunday by Action on Smoking and Health which has been campaigning for the change for some time.

“This is quite a substantial shift in policy, and important one,” a spokesman said. “It is the first time the government has come out and said it supports a harm reduction strategy, and not just a quit smoking approach”.

I did mention all this quite a while ago.

All that really matters is that you get your nicotine from the right supplier. There are huge profits to be had. It's a straight fight between tobacco manufacturer and pharmaceutical industry, for control of the income.

And again more recently, when my crystal ball was working particularly well concerning the threat of e-cigs, the cuckoo in the nicotine delivery nest.

Without wishing to be accused (again) of not knowing my subject matter, or of ignoring externalities, I have tended to suggest many times that Banzhaf and his UK-based ilk are merely shills for big pharmaceutical interests before. This is merely further incontrovertible proof that one cannot believe a word that ASH, or any smokefree body, says. It has always been the way, it's just that our current MPs have been too stupid to see it.

Are UK politicians as quite stunningly dense as those in New Jersey? We shall see, but secretly you know that I'm going to be back here very soon pointing out that they are, don't you?

For tobacco control, and the pharmaceutical industry, Labour are a tax-funded ATM that just keeps pumping out the cash.

As I said earlier, it has never been about health.


Anonymous said...


Excuse me, I am trying out OPen ID and Livejournal. Will this post?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Looks good to me :-)

Anonymous said...

Andy Burnham,champion of the
lower classes in classy Liegh.
The local idiots still believe he
is a Socialist whilst he goes full
steam to shut their pubs ,clubs,
bingo halls ,socials and Lodges.
Just how much thicker can anyone
get even allowing for the fact they,ve not had any proper schools fo 40 years

East Lancs(Posh End)

Snakey said...

"a spokesman said"
They are always too gutless to put their names to the lie.

Electric Monkey said...

Anything is definitely better then smoking tobacco cigarettes. The e-cig may not be harmless but it doesn't contain any carbon monoxide, tar or carcinogens. It also doesn't have any of the 4,000 chemicals found in a traditional cig. If you are going to smoke something, what would you choose?

Anonymous said...

I stopped smoking 3 weeks ago and have just been discharged from hospital after a 4 1/2 hour lifesaving operation. Any future use of nicotine will quickly undo all the good work so I find it amazing that Government and pharma-funded friends demand an incessant onslaught of smoking reminders and the promotion of a known poison yet the law will forbid me from seeing inanimate packets on shelves etc.
I don’t need reminders.
Once I can get out of the house I won't be able to avoid pictures of cigarettes at the entrance of every building but worse than that I can't avoid NRT promotion in almost every advertising break on TV & Radio.
Have I the strength to ignore them or will I have to succumb to their poison???

Electronic Cigarette said...

Great Article!