Thursday 26 December 2019

Humanity Is No Longer A Priority For the NHS

If you wanted evidence that humanity has departed from the NHS in favour of elitist zealotry and pointless ignorant bullying, you couldn't find a better example than this.
Smoking to be banned on all hospital grounds from next April  
Next year’s NHS contract with hospitals will say no-one should be allowed to smoke in any areas such as car parks.
Car parks. You know, where cars spew out deadly exhaust fumes that can kill in minutes in the wrong circumstances. Remember when it was about the vague 'perils' of secondhand smoke ... in enclosed places? Those days are long gone.
Health ministers have said no-one should have to “walk past a cloud of smoke in order to enter or leave their local hospital”.
A laudable aim, no doubt, if you are setting policy to encourage self-indulgent, snobby and bossy people who have orgasms over interfering in the lives of others for no reason but to inflate their own pathetic egos, but of no benefit to public health whatsoever. Smokers are not going to quit because of bullying like this, if anything it will strengthen their resistance and create mistrust of the medical community.

As anyone who has ever visited a hospital will know, the reason these daft rules are ignored - not just by the public but by staff too - is because not only are they are evil, daft, counterproductive and unnecessary in equal measure, but also the vast majority of people recognise that hospitals are stressful places and there is no will from decent people to poke their nose in and finger-wag some poor sod who may have just lost a relative. Are they really saying here that the answer to someone having a cigarette to soothe their grief is to run over and slap them with a penalty charge notice? Fuck me, what hideous mind came up with that plan?

The slug-like justification above is purely because "walking past a cloud of smoke" is one of the most-used reasons for rancid people on newspaper comments sections - who self-select by gravitating towards articles which get their teeth gnashing - to justify their personal wish for the world to revolve around them. We all know their problem is not actually having to breathe smoke in doorways anyway, it's the existence of people doing something they don’t like. There is no evidence whatsoever that these people are suffering harm. Banning smoking in car parks on this basis makes about as much sense as passing a law to fine people who stop in shop doorways ... which is my personal bugbear.

So it seems that NHS policy is now going to turn its guns against people in stressful situations, despite the real harm and distress it might cause, in order to satisfy some of the most intolerant and hideous people in society.

And it's worse because there is a very simple answer to all this if only the NHS and health professionals could drop their bullying and actually be interested in improving lives. Want to banish people smoking by hospital entrances? Simple, build a smoking shelter away from the entrance, it's not rocket science.

It doesn't even need to cost anything. The government claims it is fully in favour of e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking, so festoon it with ads for vaping products and get e-cig manufacturers and retailers to pay for it to be built and its upkeep, they would be glad to do so. Put adverts for Samaritans in there too and they could be offering a service to the grieving at the same time. You'd expect highly-paid professionals who work in an industry which is supposedly compassionate to come up with ideas like this, wouldn't you?

But, no, NHS offices are now filled with ideological bullies who would rather slap fines on people at their most vulnerable, pander to vile prodnoses, and ignore innovation which could actually help people switch to safer products which are backed by their own Tobacco Control Plan!

So, we are now in a situation where institutions like Grimsby hospital - which unveiled a sensible and forward-looking policy in October this year - will be forced to tear their newly-installed shelter down in favour of adherence to deliberate stigmatisation based on nothing but knuckle-dragging intolerance. So stupid.
Hospital bosses unveil plan to help patients and visitors give up cigarettes - a smoking shelter near the entrance 
“Peter Reading, Chief Executive at the Trust, said: “We have thought about this long and hard. [...] We need to ... help everyone to get the support they need to help them quit. We’ll be putting information about this support into the shelter, which is supported by the local public health team in North East Lincolnshire, and giving the users details of who they can contact to get help.”
Not that there is any adherence to government advice with this new NHS policy either, because they're not ruling out fining vapers too at some point in the future (emphasis mine).
Supplementary documents say the rule would “not apply at this stage to e-cigarettes” Health Service Journal reported. 
The health service and the NGOs, admin staff and assorted hangers-on appear to have completely forgotten what their role in society is supposed to be. They are paid by our taxes to provide a service which fits in with how people choose to live their lives, not to dictate their personal prejudices on us and impoverish or criminalise people who pay their wages for no reason except their own bigotry. They are the cart, not the fucking horse.

I speak from experience having just over a week ago been placed into the nicest room in the hospital - the relatives room where they sit you down, offer you tea and coffee till you're overflowing, and tell you your loved one is dead. I don't smoke anymore but you just know if someone sparked up there the most pressing problem - for the NHS - would be that you lit a fag rather than that your fucking Dad just died suddenly.

Daft policies like this prove that thinking amongst health professionals about providing a service which works for everyone is an alien concept to the higher echelons of the NHS; that they believe their obsessive zealotry is more important than the people who are unfortunate enough to have to visit a hospital; and that decency and humanity have left their premises long before the smokers they wish to eject have done so. They would rather drive bereaved and distressed smokers onto the street at their hour of heartbreak - not even conceding the car park or their own private car for crying out loud - than provide somewhere humane for them to take it all in.

The people who work in NHS hospitals are caring and compassionate, the people who lead them are the opposite; ignorant, overpaid, heartless and - on the basis of this crap - unimaginative, inhumane and incompetent. 

Thursday 19 December 2019

The Incomparable Deceit Of The WHO

Today saw a lot of media coverage over a new report from the World Health Organisation claiming:
Number of males using tobacco globally on the decline, showing that government-led control efforts work to save lives, protect health, beat tobacco
It further boasts that ...
[P]ositively, the new report shows that the number of male tobacco users has stopped growing and is projected to decline by more than 1 million fewer male users come 2020 (or 1.091 billion) compared to 2018 levels, and 5 million less by 2025 (1.087 billion).
Wow! A million globally, they say? That is a lot, isn't it? The Director General of the WHO - who once recruited Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador before worldwide disgust forced him to backtrack - is ecstatic ...
“Declines in tobacco use amongst males mark a turning point in the fight against tobacco,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “For many years now we had witnessed a steady rise in the number of males using deadly tobacco products. But now, for the first time, we are seeing a decline in male use, driven by governments being tougher on the tobacco industry."
Is that so, DG? Really? That million reduction is entirely due to the policies dreamt up by the massed ranks of tobacco control? Well, I think that is debatable. A clue is there if you scroll to the bottom of the page (emphasis mine, cos they'd rather you don't notice it).
The WHO report covers use of cigarettes, pipes, cigars, waterpipes, smokeless tobacco products (like bidis, cheroots and kretek) and heated tobacco products. Electronic cigarettes are not covered in the report.
Yep, the WHO - for this report only - do not consider e-cigs as being tobacco use.

Now, in the UK alone we have approximately 1.9 million ex-smokers who now exclusively vape, and the law of averages suggests at least 50% of those are male. Globally, we know from the BBC that there are around 41 million vapers worldwide. Kinda knocks the WHO's pathetic 1 million into a cocked hat, doesn't it? Add those 20 million odd males who vape instead of smoke to the WHO's consumption figures and we're looking at the same old tired and failed tobacco control policies as always.

In The Hague next year, the WHO will insist at their biennial shit-fest - COP9 - that there is no difference between vaping and smoking, they will also insist that e-cigs are a tobacco product, that they do not help people quit and demand that governments across the world either prohibit vaping entirely or treat the products exactly the same as cigarettes, including slapping taxes on them, eradicating flavours and banning their use just about everywhere. There are no grants for these trouser-stuffing quangocrats from Mr Bloggs handing his own cash to a vape shop to buy a Vype or an Eleaf.

Yet, for the sake of a headline, they will admit that vaping isn't smoking just long enough to claim credit for a revolution which was absolutely none of their doing.

This report from the WHO is weapons grade nonsense. Plain packaging, for example - the WHO's big ticket item of recent years - has had no effect anywhere it has been tried, in fact all evidence points to it increasing the black market and leading to more people smoking. Wherever vaping is treated favourably, by contrast, has resulted in record declines in smoking prevalence never seen in hundreds of years. It is absolutely nothing to do with Tedros and his blinkered, Luddite, stick-in-the-mud troughers and their goalpost-shifting, cherry-picked junk statistics.

The deceit of these people is quite astonishing. If they were so confident that their policies are so fucking marvellous, they would include e-cigarettes and show that despite the massive uptake of vaping their interventions were still robust, but they can't. So instead they exclude vaping and try instead to claim credit for what they had absolutely nothing to do with, and in fact are straining every sinew to exterminate on behalf of their generous conflicted funders.

Christ, if Carlsberg did lying, even they couldn't do better than this. It's never been about health, and it's never been about truth.