Is ‘The Health of the Public’ (aka “Public Health”) a ‘Cloud’ Phenomenon?

What brought the above thought into my mind was listening to the broadcasts of ‘debates’ about ecigs between a certain Professor John Ashton and a certain Professor Robert West, and the same Prof Ashton and Clive Bates. Those debates can be listened to here:

It really is worth listening to those ‘debates’, if only for the comical aspects. (Frankly, if you want serious debate, don’t bother).

What I have noticed is that most of the arguments against ecigs are of the ‘what-if’ kind. Like, “What if children are attracted by bubblegum flavours?” In the mouths of Zealots, that translates into, “Big Tobacco is deliberately targeting children with bubblegum flavours”.

What I love is that, in those two radio debates, Zealot was pit against Zealot. But there is more. The whole discussion about ‘ecig vapours’ is wonderful, because it is casting doubts upon tobacco smoke ‘vapours’. When the Zealots, in a fit of glorious incompetence, declare ecig vapours to be as ‘dangerous’ as SHS, we know that the the anti-smoker crusade is starting to fall apart. Even the Professor Ashton has fallen into this trap. He said that ecig vapours contain ‘metallic’ substances (or something like that) in the chat with Bates. Bates pointed out that these substances were commonly inhaled/digested by humans and that it was the dose which was important. Ashton (probably shortening his life by five years as a result of being pissed) asked if Bates would be happy if his children inhaled the minuscule metal fragments. I can’t remember the reply, and it is not important.


A huge split has appeared within the Health Zealot ranks. But it is not only about ecigs – it is also about second hand smoke. A lot of the dispute about SHS is ‘under the radar’, but it is there.

The Roman Empire is said to have disintegrated because it created a bureaucracy in Rome which was out of control, huge, unsustainable, expensive and ‘not fit for purpose’, which led to the rapid collapse of the Roman Empire in the end. The same could be said about the British Empire. It was never REAL. It was always a delusion. It was one set of bosses defeating another set of bosses. The whole thing was delusional. But, for a time, the ‘Pax Britannica’ worked.


The point of the above is that ‘The State of the Health of the Public” is constantly fluctuating. With a population of some 60,000, 000 people, it is totally impossible for a couple of Professors here and there, despite their erudition, and their computations,to say what any individual should eat and drink. Therefore, it is not a reasonable thing to do to increase generalised punishments in the form of taxes.

Be sure in your mind that increases in taxes (on cigs, for example) with the intention of discouraging are ‘ultra vires’ as far as Government is concerned. Politicians will not admit it, of course, but the fact is that taxes are intended only to finance the State’s needs. They are not intended to punish or ‘dissuade’).


Readers might ask what I mean by “Cloud Phenomenon”.

It strikes me that the state of ‘public health’ at any given time depends upon whatever ‘epidemic’ is currently either ‘real’ (like flu) or ‘potential’ (like SHS). A flu epidemic can be quantified, but a ‘potential’ SHS epidemic cannot be quantified. In fact, unless the SHS epidemic can be quantified, there is no reason to believe that it exists. Lacking evidence of a SHS epidemic, then the only reason for hysteria is a ‘cloud’ of bits of information – big studies which produce tiny bits of differences which matter not one jot.


To finish for tonight, it seems to me that the forthcoming ‘Conference of the Parties’, re the FCTC,  in Russia is just such a ‘crowd phenomenon’.


Public Health is “An Estimate of the Healthiness of the Public at a given moment in time”. It is a statistical number which is infinitely subject to error.



4 Responses to “Is ‘The Health of the Public’ (aka “Public Health”) a ‘Cloud’ Phenomenon?”

  1. castello2 Says:

    Great read. They are getting very desperate and showing their true colors.

  2. J Brown Says:

    Sadly, they appear not to have noticed the Stanford U study that showed ‘no clear link’ between passive smoking and lung cancer in non-smokers, and came to the conclusion that: The fact that passive smoking may not be strongly associated with lung cancer points to a need to find other risk factors for the disease [in non-smokers].

    • Junican Says:

      They know about it all too well! That’s why they are trying to hide it as much as possible. And the fact that they are NOT trying to find other causes shows that they have little interest in ‘Public Health’.

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