Wednesday 25 March 2015

Who Is Misinforming Jane Ellison About E-Cigs?

Today, anti-smoking group Fresh North East issued a press release which expressed worries about how e-cigs are being portrayed.
In 1976 Prof Michael Russell wrote that 'smokers smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar. When we urge people to stop smoking, we explicitly mean to quit smoking tobacco. 
It is a worry that concern among smokers over the perceived dangers of electronic cigarettes and vapourisers appears to be rising compared to the much more harmful product which is tobacco.  A significant number of people hold incorrect beliefs about the harm from electronic cigarettes and nicotine - believing that part or most of the health risks from smoking are from nicotine.
Unusually for a tobacco control industry press release, this is actually true. Nicotine has been described by the RCP as a "very safe drug", by NICE as "relatively harmless", and Waldum et al concluded that "our study does not indicate any harmful effect of nicotine when given in its pure form by inhalation". So who is spreading all this alarm about nicotine?

Well, for one, step forward Jane Ellison MP (someone so in thrall to the WHO that she believes their COP6 where press and public were banned was 'transparent') speaking in Westminster Committee Room 11 on Monday.

This was in response to a question from Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood about why there was no mention of direct harm from e-cigs when passing laws against their sale. Interestingly, Horwood's wife works for Public Health England which might have prompted the curiosity.

In case the embed doesn't work, Ellison stated in reply - along with a contemptuous chuckle - that "addiction to nicotine, we would consider harmful", thereby ignoring the RCP, NICE and principled researchers, whilst also illustrating the damaging ignorance Fresh North East felt necessary to address in their press release.

Now, considering nicotine is on a par with caffeine when it comes to dependence and harm, I hope Ellison didn't drink any coffee on the day she uttered that nonsense. But more importantly, who on earth is advising her if she is so badly informed?


truckerlyn said...

Could be Big Pharma, ASH, WHO, etc, etc. They are the ones who want to put an end to smoking in any form. Then again, I guess it could be whoever is paying her the most!

Of course, these people are obviously ignorant of the fact that nicotine is in many natural foods and also in a great many medications, both over the counter ones and prescribed ones - it is called Niocine on the packet and comes from the same source that tobacco does!

Dick_Puddlecote said...

To be fair, ASH are sitting on the fence with e-cigs. They recognise the benefits but still want medical regs which would severely damage uptake. Not sure of their view of the relative harm of nicotine, but I'd hope they would think the same way as Fresh.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

... via the World Health Organisation, I expect.

truckerlyn said...

I agree that ASH are sitting on the fence, but I believe they are also hedging their bets - they wouldn't want to have any of their funding cut!

Or am I being too cynical?

jude said...

When they couldn't come up with any actual harm from vaping, you know, real harm, like actual physical damage, the ANTZ had to try and muddy the waters by pushing the pretend harms, or made up garbage, like "gateway", and the usual "wont someone think of the cheeldren" nonsense.

The whole "nicotine is evil" rubbish being thrown around now, just shows how very desperate they are getting to find something, anything, to try and stop people giving up smoking tobacco. They bleat about the harms of tobacco smoking, but they very much want people to fail in their quit attempts, so they still have an enemy to fight, and they keep the anti-smoker funding coming in. This whole invented issue with vaping is nothing to do with health at all, never was, its all about the money.

The mouth foaming religious fanatics are the useful idiots for the governments that rely on tobacco taxes, (without sins there cannot be sinners, and nicotine enjoyment has now become the "sin" rather than smoking tobacco). The zealots are also the useful idiots of the pharma industry, although they do the best to hide their relationship, and try to hide their fascist ideology in sciency , concerned sounding words.

And the beat goes on......

Jax said...

Goodness me, Dick. What on earth made you think that anyone was advising her? She’s a Tobacco Control grandee! These people don’t need to be advised by anyone. They make it up as they go along – the story changes depending on whatever suits their current argument best at any given moment – and the moment they’ve made their point they genuinely believe that it’s gospel truth.
No matter that last week they were saying something else, and the week before something else again – whatever their latest pronouncement is, that’s the truth now. These people are seriously delusional, and when you’re delusional, irritating little elements like real life mustn’t be allowed to intrude on the deception.

And yes, Jude. Spot on. After all, if everyone gave up smoking, vaping, chewing tobacco and snuff tomorrow, and the whole tobacco
industry collapsed overnight, all these nasty little prohibitionist bully-groups would, in the blink of an eye, be rendered about as necessary as, today, are groups campaigning to close down opium dens.

jude said...

Or they'd just move on to harassing and demonising anyone who drinks alcohol, eats junk food, or enjoys a sugary soft drink. They will never be happy until they have sucked any and every enjoyment out of the lives of others.

Sarah said...

Exactly. Finding herself still bereft of any evidence for actual harm from nicotine she has taken the ideological stance that addiction in and of itself is a harm. I doubt she needed help. Once the low addictive qualities of ecigs are better understood she will move on to moralising over the enjoyment of 'drugs' and no doubt the term 'substance abuse' will be redefined for the purpose. There's still a lot of mileage in nicotine for these people before they have to turn on 'big something else'.

JonathanBagley said...

No, I don't think you are. ASH celebrated when the TPD was voted in. This will make illegal all effective devices and liquids. ASH can afford to say anything it wishes.

Chris Oakley said...

I don't think it matters who is informing her She took her recently created job because she is at heart a healthist, so she will ignore facts, distort reality and speak dishonestly in public in support of her quasi religious beliefs. She will of course be backed up by the less than objective DoH believers and her boss.

Unfortunately we live in an age in which facts and arguments more subtle and more accurate than "it will save lives" no longer matter. Mr Cameron has demonstrated that in spades by pushing through plain packaging legislation.

We live in a dumbed down, slogan ridden decadent excuse for a society and I am beginning to seriously worry about its sustainability.

Dragonmum said...

We made this revolution while no-one was looking - not Pharma, not Big T and certainly not Public Health. Whatever they choose to do now it's too late - talk about the Kodak moment! Ellison has picked up the mantle of the lovely Ms Soubry and is running with it but she won't get far; addiction in and of itself is part of everyday life - I commend you to chocaholics and 16 cups a day coffee fiends. All this woman has done is demonstrate her abysmal ignorance (or paid for arrogance) either way she's just lost a lot of Tory voters. She's made their stance on e-cigs very clear, to me at least.

jude said...

Totally agree, the arrogance, greed, and toxic ideology of the ANTZ has blinded them to what was happening in the real world, where vaping has, and is, becoming more popular everyday. Its to late now to try and stem the flow with their lies and propaganda, the horse has well and truly bolted, and the gate has been swinging open for a number of years now.

As far as addiction being "bad", they have failed to prove that nicotine has any downsides, whether the person is addicted to it or not, in regards to vaping. Nicotine causes no disease, and can be beneficial for some diseases. It does not cause a person to lose control of any faculties, in fact it enhances concentration and helps with fatigue. Trying to equate nicotine use, with the common view of "addiction" is simply an attempt at demonising the user, and IMO this is done out of spite.

Tick Tock........