Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Inconvenient Evidence For Tobacco Control

Life is still overwhelmingly busy at Puddlecote Inc hence the lack of content here of late, plus I've just got back from Poland after another interesting GFN conference. There is lots to write, but sadly not much time to write it.

For now, your humble host would invite you to read this article at Reason which neatly highlights some textbook tobacco control fraud.
Three days after more than two-thirds of San Francisco voters agreed that mandating flavorless e-liquid was a reasonable response to the rising popularity of e-cigarettes among teenagers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published survey data showing that in 2017 vaping declined among middle school students and remained steady among high school students after falling in 2016. E-cigarette alarmists were so flummoxed by reality's failure to fit their narrative that they insisted the survey must be wrong. "Study Says Vaping by Kids Isn't Up," read the Associated Press headline, "but Some Are Skeptical." 
The skeptics had heard that teenagers are Juuling in schools across America, and they figured all that press coverage should translate into higher vaping rates. They suggested that survey respondents might not have realized Juul e-cigarettes are e-cigarettes.
It seems we are seeing a new application of the customary spreading of misinformation and lies. For decades tobacco control has deliberately spread falsehoods by way of quack science, misdirection and hysterical exaggeration of tiny risks. They have been doing this relentlessly in the US towards e-cigs but the evidence refuses to comply with their scare stories.

So their answer now appears to be - instead of looking at the real world evidence and changing their approach - to deny that the real world evidence is reliable.

It takes a special kind of liar to rubbish hard data from unimpeachable sources and continue to advocate for fantasy and fairy tales instead. This would be bad if it were, say, in the field of finance or transport, but to urge governments to ignore what is happening in real life in an area which will have an impact on the public's health is beyond the pale.

It also shows that tobacco control either cannot, or will not, understand the concept of market share. Just because Juul is taking off in the US it doesn't mean the market is increasing. It is a tool they used disingenuously in the campaign for plain packs in the UK, as I have written about before. The trick was to highlight a tobacco industry document talking about how their market share increased and pretend this was an increase in the market as a whole.

It's bunkum, of course. The scam centres on confusing (deliberately?) the tobacco industry with a monopoly instead of a collection of companies who fight like cats with each other for market share. Only in a monopoly is an increase in one product's sales volume an indicator of an increase in the market. And tobacco control is very happy to promote this confusion in how businesses work because they are never interested in the truth.

However, it's up to you to decide, in this case, whether this is a purposeful thing or that US tobacco control honestly doesn't have the first clue about what market share is, so have therefore confused themselves.

If it is the former, they are recklessly playing games with the public's health; if it is the latter, they are woefully fucking stupid, should be roundly ignored by policymakers and defunded immediately.

But there is a deeper flaw in all this mendacious guff from American anti-vaping organisations. Because whatever they morally think about youths using e-cigs, it doesn't matter one iota.
Despite the constant warnings that increased experimentation with e-cigarettes would lead to more smoking, consumption of conventional cigarettes by teenagers stubbornly continues to decline, reaching a record low last year in the Monitoring the Future Study, which began in 1975. According to the NYTS, the incidence of past-month smoking among high school students fell from 15.8 percent in 2011 to 7.6 percent in 2017.
If all those anti-smoking organisations are so interested in people quitting smoking, why on earth are they fighting this?

Here is how youth smoking looks in the US according to the latest government data.


You'd think they'd be pleased, wouldn't you?

I can only agree with Reason when they say that tobacco control in the US is "only pretending to care about public health". Sadly, 'twas ever thus worldwide. 



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