Thursday, 18 October 2018

How Dare You Reduce Harm!

Still bogged down in Puddlecoteville with real life, I'm afraid. I keep meaning to get round to write about recent trips including Geneva to see what the global cult of tobacco control was doing at COP8 at the start of the month, and I will do so soon.

In the meantime, you may have missed this article at the Telegraph in its 'premium' section, meaning you have to pay to access it.
Salesmen for one of the world's biggest tobacco firms have been caught offering potentially illegal incentives to smokers in bars to get them hooked on new "heat-not-burn" tobacco, it can be revealed.
In a breathless exposé, the excitable journo has highlighted the dastardly practice of the tobacco industry in trying to get smokers to take up something the UK's Committee on Toxicology (COT) assesses as 50 to 90 per cent less harmful than smoking. The bastards, eh?
Acting for Philip Morris, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, salesmen push tobacco devices in bars using a range of questionable tactics to entice potential customers, a Telegraph investigation has established. 
Erm, the smokers are already tobacco industry customers because they are smokers. And if the journo wants to talk about getting smokers "hooked" on heat not burn, has it escaped her attention that there is something else smokers are currently consuming which she might class as being "hooked"?

Evil tobacco exec tries to sell a safer product to a smoker, for shame!
The reporting of harm reduction products in media is pretty shit, I have to say. You know what we need? An 'expert' to calm things down a bit. But instead we get the head of the UK's pre-eminent tobacco industry-hating tax sponging organisation instead.
Commenting on the findings, Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity Ash, urged the government to take action.  
She said:  “After the Telegraph’s previous article exposing illegal advertising of IQOS by Philip Morris, the company promised the Government this would stop. Yet over a month later IQOS ads are still all plastered all over vape shops and tobacconists. Not only that, but now we find out Philip Morris is also plying smokers with free drinks in a desperate attempt to promote IQOS and sign up new customers.”
I don't know about you, but I always thought tobacco control was about stopping people smoking by whatever means. You'd think Arnott would be happy about smokers being encouraged to use something far safer, wouldn't you?

Especially if it won't cost the taxpayer a penny instead of government funding groups like ASH to ... oh hold on!

So ASH are calling for a ban on businesses talking to smokers and trying to get them to switch from smoking to products which are far safer. This is actually tobacco control policy in the UK right now. Staggering.

Of course, this just illustrates yet again that anti-tobacco cultists have completely abandoned their stated purpose of acting on "smoking and health" in favour of simply attacking industry instead. I'm sure in the past there were well-meaning people in tobacco control who cared about smokers' health, but once it became a multi-billion pound global industry, grants come easier if you have a dragon to slay.

It's not been about health with tobacco control for a couple of decades now. 

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