Sunday 21 February 2016

"Deciding Who Lives And Dies"

In customarily melodramatic anti-smoker style, Cancer Research UK recently released a video designed to raise cash ... for their friends in the state-funded tobacco control industry.

Entitled "Could you decide who lives and dies?", it's a typical example of the industry's overwrought shroud-waving bullshit, as you can see.

The blurb accompanying the clip claims that there is such a dire shortage of funding that they're having to turn smokers away!
With cuts to public health budgets, Stop Smoking Services can no longer be offered to everyone. Someone has to decide who gets help and who doesn’t. 
I'm sorry but that smells like dustbin juice to me. If you tell your doctor you want to quit smoking, watch how quickly he'll sign you up to a meeting with a stop smoking counsellor. Faster than you can say '20 Lambert & Butler please' I'd wager. And you'll get an appointment far easier than the one with your doctor!

Of course, what the CRUK vid doesn't tell you is that there is a perfectly reasonable - and entirely justifiable - reason for the cuts.
A sharp decline in the number of smokers using an NHS support programme to help them quit has been linked to the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes. 
Nationwide figures have shown a similar trend to those in the south west of Scotland. 
In 2013, the Information Services Division reported that the number of attempts to stop smoking had fallen by 13% compared with 2012.
It's quite simple. If no-one wanted to quit smoking there would be no need at all for stop smoking services, and the same principle applies if there is a decline in demand. If there is a decline of 13 per cent then quite obviously the services will require fewer resources, probably in the region of around 13 per cent funnily enough.

So what level of cuts are being applied then? Well, they're not very savage according to ASH.
Overall, smoking cessation budgets were down: in 39 per cent of local authorities, smoking cessation budgets had been cut compared to only 5 per cent where they had increased. They stayed the same in 54 per cent of local authorities. More than a quarter of local authorities (29 per cent) had seen cuts of more than 5 per cent. 

5 per cent seems to be quite a paltry figure under the circumstances. We don't know what the upper end of the level of cuts is because ASH only mention those exceeding 5 per cent. Presumably, if some authorities had cut by 10 per cent or more ASH would have chased a headline by saying so.

Therefore, considering a decline in demand of 13 per cent, in real terms most - if not all - smoking cessation services are now better funded than they were before.

Hardly deciding "who lives and dies", now is it? If anything, those statistics above make a great case for there being scope for more cuts to better reflect demand.

A better example of "deciding who lives and dies" can be seen in Belgium, however, where tobacco control industry policies have bred and nurtured a quite disgusting decision.
In Belgium, patients with lung fibrosis will not get reimbursed for a treatment if they have smoked in the last 6 months. The smoking abstinence will be controlled by a urine test, which needs to be negative to open rights to reimbursement of the drug. 
The former secretary-general of the French Society of Tobaccology (SFT) confirms that the urinary tests incriminate all nicotine consumers, including former smokers who continue to use substitutes such as patches or gums, and vapers.
Be in no doubt, the tobacco control industry are solely responsible for this kind of vile social eugenicism. Their sustained campaign of bullying and 'denormalisation' of smokers has encouraged behaviour which would be considered appalling if directed at any other section of society.

In Belgium, they really are "deciding who lives and dies", unlike the paltry cuts referred to in CRUK's pathetic video which amount to no such thing.

So, to answer CRUK's question, "Could you decide who lives and dies?". It appears from their video that the public would find it an unconscionable and detestable thing to do. However, the 'public health' community in Belgium (and elsewhere) seem to have no trouble with it at all.

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