Thursday 1 September 2016

Tobacco Control Is Like The Wild West, Urgently Requires Regulation

In my entry at the Tobacco Tactics website, there is a section entitled "Denigrating Health Professionals". As you can imagine, I am extremely proud of this, so much so that it features prominently in my Twitter banner.

You see, this is because they fully deserve the abuse for the extensive catalogue of lies they have told over the years. It's a shame that my page hasn't been updated since 2012, but I sometimes think that could be because others are starting to see that I'm right. Simon Chapman, for example, is now viewed by even some of his own 'public health' colleagues as a dangerous crank and spreader of blatantly false bullshit.

He's not alone, of course, as The Sun's front page splash proved the other day.

Now, I've been writing about this stuff for a long time, but I am struggling to remember anything worse than that from any tobacco control or 'public health' source. It seems that - despite the internet exposing their practices to more scrutiny than ever - they have not cleaned up their act, but instead strive to be increasingly worse. Many sections of the tobacco control industry, it seems, believe that the answer to their lies being exposed is just to lie even more than before!

The 'research' that led to that study has already been skewered comprehensively by others (see here, here, and here), quite an easy task (apart from if you're a journalist) since it is truly desperate stuff.

However, I'm more interested in what this says about 'public health' in general and tobacco control in particular. By that I mean what punishments are there for disseminating execrably false information such as this? The 'public health' movement is forever telling us that we need regulations to stop the damaging excesses of industry, but they have arguably far more potential to harm the public if they come out with garbage which directs the public wrongly, yet are totally unaccountable!

In my business, if someone I employed was lying to primary or secondary customers, I would be calling them into my office and disciplining them harshly if not dismissing them for gross misconduct. Reason being that such actions could undermine the company's integrity and put our revenues and future contracts in jeopardy.

In tobacco control, though, it is the other way around; lies are applauded by fellow tobacco controllers and they derive more revenue from the lies (by way of increased publicity and grant status), rather than less. If controls were the same as they naturally are in the private sector, they should be losing their integrity too, but don't because they self-describe as 'experts' and everyone believes them ... even though many of them knowingly lie through their teeth every day.

As I've mentioned many times before, though, the reaction by tobacco controllers to the behaviour of some of their colleagues - ranging from unprofessional to gross misconduct I'd venture to say - has ranged from mild rebuke (as the maximum) to deafening silence. At times, they have even jumped on the lunacy bandwagon themselves!

Under the line at Clive Bates's article, Linda Bauld despairs at having to constantly defend vaping, rather like the Dutch boy and the dyke. That's all well and good, but it is tobacco control which punched the holes in the dyke in the first place with thoroughly disingenuous and regularly mendacious claptrap, as I've described before.
However, the world's prime promoter of such things - Mad Stan Glantz - has been a star in the tobacco control industry firmament for a very long time. Bauld and the rest of the UK tobacco control community have known he's a weapons grade lie machine for decades, but have been quite happy to let it all go without comment.

Glantz has been falsifying data and producing jaw-dropping junk research (like this, for example) since many of the current crop of career tax-sponging anti-smoking prohibitionists were in nappies, yet not one of these fine upstanding 'experts' and 'scientists' has ever bothered to pull him up on any of it before.

So there is some vague hint there by Bauld that some tobacco controllers like Glantz have been a bit naughty, but that'll be all it is; a vague hint. To make it any more than that would - quite rightly - call their own expertise and impartiality into question.

What is urgently required is some serious oversight of the 'public health' Goliath. Tobacco control, especially, has to whipped into line and told that this isn't some jolly little club where lying is allowed with a wink and a smile, but is supposed to be professional and not run and operated by people with the professional acumen of Del Boy and the morals of Alan B'Stard.

All the while tobacco control was calling for more regulations on e-cigs with the glib and inaccurate sound bite that a perfect and successful free market was "like the Wild West", the only industry which has truly acted (and continues to act) like the Wild West has been the totally unregulated and entirely unaccountable tobacco control industry; where black is white; economic principles are inconvenient and to be ignored; and where truth is a lie and vice versa.

In Bauld's comment, she also hints that this is an international problem so, therefore {shrug}, what can we do?
I do think there is someone somewhere worrying about this. This includes funders as well as researchers and others. The problem is that funders operate largely within a domestic (national) sphere in public health and the international environment (beyond a few countries) is overwhelmingly opposed to tobacco harm reduction. That is not the full story but it is part of it.
Well, it would be some kind of start if the UK could show some leadership (tobacco controllers like that word, don't they?) and actually do something useful.

Let's look at the organisations who are supposed to oversee 'public health' in the UK. The Faculty of Public Health is run by lunatics who are - along with the Chief Medical Officer - complicit in the deceit being forced upon the public regarding e-cigs; the different branches of ASH pay lip service while permanently trying to destroy vaping (after already having destroyed snus); and PHE are so limp that it looks like they just want to take government cash and not ruffle any feathers.

Where is the outrage from the lucrative 'public health' community towards such absolute crap being fed to the public by news outlets they usually despise such as The Sun, Telegraph, Daily Mail and The Times? Why are angry letters not being publicised by 'public health' grandees even now, two days after the damaging headlines.

If you were a cynic, you'd think it wasn't about health or something, wouldn't you?

So, there's a reason why I denigrate health professionals. It's because it is not an honourable industry so they deserve no respect, in fact it is arguably fundamentally corrupt.

To borrow one of their oft-employed arguments, self-regulation has signally failed with 'public health' and tobacco control, their profession is like the Wild West; it ignores extremist views and they all urgently require harsh regulation to curb the public health harm their excesses cause.

I'm sure many will agree, just not publicly in case they get attacked by the most corrupt in their echo chamber or it results in a loss of the state funding they all parasitically crave.

So, in the meantime, I shall watch the inevitable tumbleweed emanating from the likes of PHE, RCP, ASH, FPH etc over recent headlines with amusement, while they laughably describe other industries as unregulated, negligent and harmful.

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