Wednesday 22 December 2010

ASH, Pharma, And Their Supporting Charities, Need Smokers ... Not Vapers

Sorry to bang this drum again, but while it's quite obvious that the anti-smoking drive is purely an exercise in rent-seeking and pursuit of pharmaceutical profits, some still don't get it.

The Independent - without seemingly being able to spot it - has picked up on further proof in its reporting of this research* on the harm reduction potential of e-cigs.

"Few, if any, chemicals at levels detected in electronic cigarettes raise serious health concerns," the authors said. "Although the existing research does not warrant a conclusion that electronic cigarettes are safe in absolute terms and further clinical studies are needed to comprehensively assess the safety of electronic cigarettes, a preponderance of the available evidence shows them to be much safer than tobacco cigarettes and comparable in toxicity to conventional nicotine replacement products."
Ah, but d'you see? E-cigs aren't made by pharmaceutical companies, nicotine replacement products are.

The report reviewed 16 laboratory studies that identified the components in electronic cigarette liquid and vapor. The authors found that carcinogen levels in electronic cigarettes are up to 1,000 times lower than in tobacco cigarettes.
You'd think the anti-smoking lobby would be ecstatic, wouldn't you?

No, silly.

Since coming onto the market in the United States more than three years ago, electronic cigarettes have proven to be controversial. The FDA has threatened to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and six national anti-smoking groups – the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Legacy Foundation, and Action on Smoking and Health – have also called for the removal of electronic cigarettes from the market.
Ooh, look at all those 'concerned' charities listed there. All normally seen desperately attempting to halt the tobacco industry, and the use of its products, for the sake of the nation's health.

They hate cigarette companies, so they do ...

"Taking these products off the market would force thousands of users to return to cigarette smoking," Siegel said. "Why would the FDA and the anti-smoking groups want to take an action that is going to seriously harm the public's health? The only ones who would be protected by a ban on e-cigarettes are the tobacco companies, as these new products represent the first real threat to their profits in decades."
... but not enough to allow e-cigs to dent tobacco company profits, it would seem.

So, just what is their problem? Well, I have explained this a few times before**, but in essense you just have to follow the money. And anti-smoking organisations really need money from two sources; firstly, their supporting charities who benefit greatly from pharmaceutical patronage; and secondly - which is especially true in the US - the fines levied on tobacco companies themselves which is then funnelled into funding, you guessed it, anti-smoking organisations.

E-cigs undoubtedly help wean many people off tobacco, or if not, at least reduce harm - a result anti-smokers should be pleased about - but they do so in a way which doesn't financially benefit the tobacco control industry or its allies.

As such, the burgeoning e-cig industry is in the firing line ... even if that means driving vapers back into the sales figures of tobacco companies.

You see, it really never has been about health.

E-cigs are now in the same category as one of the other methods of quitting smoking which doesn't enrich ASH and their pals. Books.

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.
Using a book doesn't put food on Deborah Arnott's table; it doesn't help pay her mortgage; it doesn't even cover the maintenance on her broomstick.

If you quit using a book, an e-cig, or just by good, old-fashioned, stubborn willpower, there is no money in it for tobacco control and therefore it must be derided and denormalised as much as smoking itself.

Just think of those huge figures quoted for the sales of banned drugs in this country and others. The sky-high profits being earned by drug cartels and their profit-fuelled immunity to the best efforts of huge investment in prohibition. Then multiply those mind-boggling sums by about 50 to get an idea of the value of the worldwide nicotine delivery market.

That's one hell of an incentive, huh?

The nicotine war used to be a straight fight between tobacco and pharma. Books deny both, as does quitting cold turkey, so that's bad enough for ASH et al. But e-cigs are another thing entirely, they're a new entrant to the market. And anyone who has even the most cursory knowledge of business (which tobacco control most certainly is nowadays) will know that all industries will do their very utmost to stifle any new challenge to their income.

If smokers are banned from using e-cigs and consequently return to far more dangerous tobacco products, then so be it. Who cares if their health is consequentially harmed as a result? Certainly not tobacco controllers. At least then there is still a chance of earning a shilling or two out of them, as opposed to their cash escaping pharma's order book, or tobacco control's 'polluter pays' schemes, for good.

ASH, their supporting charities, and the pharmaceutical industry need a constant supply of smokers, not vapers. Even if tobacco was prohibited tomorrow, there would still be a role (and money) for them - they know this from observing the war on drugs. Their approach would change, but the cash would still flow.

What they really can't be doing with is smokers getting out of the system without bunging them a few bob. Since e-cigs have massive potential to do just that, it scares the willies out of them.

Many believe that tobacco control wishes to see a reduction in smoking for altruistic reasons, but if that were truly the case, the anti-smoking stance on e-cigs would appear to be biscuit contraception (fucking crackers).

With this research, we again see that nothing could be further from the truth. Tobacco control is, and always has been, about money and personal enrichment. No more, no less.

* Conducted by an anti-smoker of 25 years standing
** Previous related articles
here, here, and here


Anonymous said...

Pharma and tobacco both seem dumbwits about e-cigs profit potential, to the each of them. With proper research and development, they could come out with their own versions, probably more technologically advanced than the current devices - plus pharma and tobacco would have the advantage of providing proprietary sized cartridges requiring purchase of their own wares and for pharma, they could go on to make them into drug delivery systems for everything from aspirin to cough suppressants. What a shame both of these two industries today have about as much foresight, long-term planning perspective and technological R&D interests to accomplish today, what would be the equivalent had the US automobile industry paid attention to the designs of Tucker decades earlier than they eventually were forced to acknowledge. And where is government in all of this, on the side of the anti-smokers ready to ban e-cigs of course. There's enough money in keeping things as they are for government as well as the fake-charities and quangocrats.

Anonymous said...

Arnott the "anti cancer" campaigner.
Be carefull what you wish for it may come true.

Anonymous said...

e-cigs or any other nicotine continuation treatment does not solve the problem of nicotine addiction, it just moves it from cigarettes to some other delivery device which will continue the slavery of addiction. Allen Carr's Easyway is the only method that shows how to escape from addiction - and be HAPPY about it.
All of these other products are just to put money into the pockets of drug dealers. If you are a smoker Do yourself a favour and escape the nightmare with a little help from a dead guy: Allen Carr. RIP