Thursday 22 October 2015

The Inconvenience Of Proving Harm

It seems 'public health' prohibitionists are a bit miffed that the public is largely uninterested in banning e-cigs in public, so they're doing something about it.

Not by proving beyond doubt that "passive vaping" might be a danger via sound and objective science, of course, because they seem to understand that it would be quite impossible to do that. So instead, they've cranked up the junk science lie machine.
There is ongoing debate over banning electronic cigarette use (vaping) in public places. Many people perceive secondhand e-cigarette vapors (SHV) to be relatively harmless, which may affect their support for policies to restrict vaping in public places.
Well, secondhand vapour is harmless, there are no two ways about it. And, since it's harmless, only a hideous, totalitarian, anti-social crackpot could possibly support a ban on e-cig use in public. End of story, nothing to see here, flogging a dead horse, let's go spend taxpayers' money on something which actually matters, says cash-strapped, David to industry's Goliath, shoestring budget 'public health', obviously.

Or maybe not.
Given that awareness of secondhand cigarette smoke risks predicts public support for clean air policies, we hypothesized that greater perceived harm of SHV to personal health would be associated with stronger support for vaping restrictions.
Not actual harm, you notice, merely perceived harm. As in, what brickie Joe and Tesco cashier Jane might believe, even if it is wildly wrong. It doesn't seem to matter to the study's author if any harm actually exists, they're just interested in the support for banning stuff.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that continued monitoring of public perception of SHV harm and the accuracy of e-cigarette marketing claims about reduced harm would be needed to guide clean air policy decisions.
Again, a "clean air policy decision" should surely be solely down to whether there is "clean air" or not. What the public thinks as they natter in the fish and chip queue shouldn't come into it, should it? Well, not for a proper scientist, no, but junk scientists like this one are a different beast.

And we've seen exactly this approach before from a tobacco control fraudster called Jonathan Winickoff. In 2009 he ran exactly this kind of survey to find out if the public believed there was such a thing as thirdhand smoke. The public being terrified by tobacco control for years, and having been softened up by a prior leading question, thought that yes, there might be something in it. As NHS Choices noted at the time:
The degree of danger caused by “third-hand smoke” was not assessed in this study.
Not that it stopped the Telegraph from spreading the falsehood anyway.
Parents who limit their smoking to the garden could still be harming their children because of the dangers of 'third-hand smoke', doctors have warned.
Winickoff was very pleased with this, of course.
"When you come into contact with your baby, even if you're not smoking at the time, she comes in contact with those toxins. And if you breastfeed, the toxins will transfer to your baby in your breastmilk." 
"Everyone knows that second-hand smoke is bad, but they don't know about this," he added.
That's because the danger quite simply doesn't exist, and he knew that. You see, with tobacco control industry extremists it's all about getting a headline printed, and nothing whatsoever to do with health.

So, it would appear that 'public health' has set its sights on convincing governments to ban e-cig use in public not by proving harm actually exists, but by "continued monitoring of public perception" to "guide clean air policy decisions" in favour of prohibition. All that's needed is more baseless scaremongery and more promotion of terrified ignorance amongst the public and they can start demanding that politicians ban e-cigs everywhere because x% of the public believe something that isn't true.

It's far too inconvenient to actually prove harm exists, because it doesn't and never will, so they just bypass it. It's never been about health, you know.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, these people deserve to be in jail.

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