Tuesday 27 October 2015

Won't Tobacco Control Please Think Of The Children!

Regular readers will know that for years on these pages I've maintained that e-cigs have the potential to show up the tobacco control industry as the self-absorbed, trouser-stuffing, socially-destructive, health-be-damned, institutionally mendacious collection of snake oil salesmen that they have always been. However, even I'm suprised at how rapidly the the real life proof of that is stacking up now.

In just the past week we've seen how they can't be arsed with actually finding any evidence for banning vaping, nor do they like it when the truth about e-cig use is at odds with what their wet dreams hoped it would be.

Now, though, we can see that this astonishingly luddite approach is delivering the opposite of what professional anti-smokers claim to aspire to ... not that I should imagine they give a shit (emphases mine).
This paper examines the causal impact of e-cigarette access on conventional cigarette use by adolescents. Regression analyses consider how state bans on e-cigarette sales to minors influence smoking rates among 12 to 17 year olds. Such bans yield a statistically significant 0.9 percentage point increase in recent smoking in this age group, relative to states without such bans. Results are robust to multiple specifications as well as several falsification and placebo checks. This effect is both consistent with e-cigarette access reducing smoking among minors, and large: banning electronic cigarette sales to minors counteracts 70 percent of the downward pre-trend in teen cigarette smoking in the states that implemented such bans.
Yes, that's right. The ridiculous stance of blinkered, reactionary, screw-health-let's-just-bash-tobacco-companies 'public health' rent-seekers towards e-cigs in the US is actually leading to more kids smoking than would otherwise be the case (see also, plain packs in Australia).

Quite ironic, isn't it, that a profession which bleats about harm to children from tobacco products at every opportunity is fully committed to a policy which actively results in more children smoking than if they just shut their traps. "Experts", eh?

And before anyone says that this is a world away across the Atlantic, Dick, so why should we care? Well, it's precisely the policy that has been adopted in England and Wales with The Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015.

One day politicians and tobacco controllers might actually look at the evidence before jerking their knee and passing damaging regulations which contradict the "first do no harm" mantra of the health profession. Today is not that day though, and the case study of e-cigs proves that some glorious enlightenment when dogma and an entrenched jobsworth mentality is abandoned by 'public health' in favour of actually doing something good for the public's health is further away then ever.

Still, who cares? What are a few thousand more smoking kids between politicians and their elite, evidence-phobic, grant-gobbling buddies in the tobacco control industry as long as they all still get paid, eh?

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