I was reading some newspaper report from somewhere today (the USA I think) which quoted some quack professor or ‘doctor’. He/she said that the smoking rate in the USA was now at 15% and that the success was down to the sterling efforts of the tobacco control industry. He was jolly pleased especially with the fall during the past 12 months. That big fall was all down to the efforts of the Zealots. Needless to say, no attempt was made to acknowledge the part played by ecigs. It was all down to the wonderful persecution of smokers.
But what caught my eye was something that he said. It was, words to the effect, “The public health gains are enormous [in the USA], but we must not forget that that the problem of tobacco, which kills bla, bla, is still widespread throughout the world”.
Do you see the vague implication? The speaker would angrily deny it, but the implication is that the job in the USA is done and dusted, and it is the wider world which is now the target. But he really ought not to deny it. The same applies in Australia where it is claimed that smoking is also down to 15%.
I’m sure that we have all heard the phrase “diminishing returns”. As a simple example, as more and more people get TV sets, the demand for TV sets becomes smaller and smaller. Eventually, the only people left without TV sets are those people who simply do not want to watch TV. That is a problem for the tobacco control industry in the USA. At 15%, the smoking population is almost certainly ‘the hard core’. I don’t mean the old smokers who refuse to ‘quit’; I mean those people, young and old, who enjoy tobacco. From my personal observations, both in the UK and in Magalluf, the vast majority of old people no longer smoke. It is young people who have taken up the batten. It is easy to understand why most old people have stopped smoking. It has nothing to do with health. It is because trailing to the shop to buy cigs is a pain in the butt when you are getting on. Also, many old people are surviving on state pensions and cigs are costly. Further, funnily enough, I think that older people find it quite easy to stop smoking if they really want to. It is a matter of ‘costs and benefits’, innit? Suppose that you are getting a bit frail, and walking to the shop is getting hard. What do you do? You say, “Sod it. I’ll do without cigs for tonight. I’ll chew a stick of rhubarb instead”. That is, the ‘cost’ of going to the shop is greater than the ‘benefit’ of cigs. Hardly any old people smoke and many middle aged people have stopped. It is the younger element who are the ‘hard core’. Do you see the implications? They are that the ‘hard core’ is not some sort of determined, red-neck, juice-spitting, old backwoodsman, but is that section of the young population which believes that ‘carpe diem’ (grasp the day) is the best policy. The ‘hard core’ is constantly changing as some youths start to smoke and some older youths stop smoking.
So, with smoking, “diminishing returns” does not mean applying more and more force to stop older people smoking. It means applying more and more force to stop some youths, a small number, from enjoying tobacco. Thus, more and more resources have to be employed to press smoking prevalence down a tiny bit more. Further, young smokers get more canny. They get ‘sources’, therefore even more resources are required to block the ‘sources’. The situation is typical of the sine wave – a force initially has difficulties in moving an object, but moving the object gets easier once the object starts to move, but there comes a point where the force is exhausted, and then the object reverses the pressure under some other force. It is like stretching a piece of elastic. The force stretching the elastic tires, and the elastic then reverses the process.
In the USA, and most Western countries, tobacco control is a spent force. Banning smoking cars with kids? If that was seriously intended to be strictly enforced as the smoking ban in pubs was enforced, then the expenditure on enforcers would be ENORMOUS!! Plain packaging? Who gives a shit about the packets? What is really weird is that the nasty colours and images, which are supposed to deter yoofs, are hidden behind shutters! How gigglesome!
Because of the contradiction of hiding unappealing colours and gruesome images behind closed shutters, I KNOW that the objective was suspicious. It has been a long time in brewing, and may not apply in the UK, but it is quite likely to be intended to spread world-wide and affect bars here and there, in due course, which have cigs on open display behind the bar, as they used to be in the UK. Get a law enacted in the UK or Ireland, and it will become contagious. That is true. It is a disease. The disease is coercion, denormalisation, persecution – and, eventually, prohibition on pain of death. The Zealot will deny it, but it will not be up to them. Big Business, in the form of Big United Nations, Big European Union, Big Pharma and, indeed, Big Tobacco will have taken control of the totally corrupt web.
But all is not lost. Eventually, today’s youth will kick the Bastards into touch. The unfortunate thing is that the Bastards will sneak off.
PHYSICAL HEALTH is not the be all and end all of life. In fact, it is the least important thing. Witness the health situation of Stephen Hawking. He’s been ‘nearly dead’. physically, for decades, and yet continues to survive. If you look at the mortality statistics, you see what seems to be indiscriminate slaughter. I mean that. Indiscriminate Slaughter. In every ‘disease vector’, there is an age-related function.
Enough. I tend to get carried away. My simple intention was to show that The Zealots have had to internationalise their campaign, and I see no reason that, say, the UK should finance those endeavours. Let Bloomberg, Gates, etc do so. But do not allow Gates and co to persuade the UK to follow up the Gates’s expenditure with 100 times that expenditure. It does not follow.
I think that TC in the Healthy, Wealthy West is played out. Yes, it is still spending fortunes on miserable miasmas such as PP, uglification of cig packets and hiding its ugly packets behind doors. I must admit to being very amused by the situation in my local coop. The tobacco display is now shrouded behind glaringly obvious dark green sliding doors with the word TOBACCO plastered on the surface of the doors. That display is behind the counter. And yet, not more than a couple of metres away, is a huge display, not behind the counter, of alcoholic beverages of the most heiniest kind – really horrible stuff like whiskey, rum, gin and vodka. Further, on open display, is SUGAR and SALT!!!
I don’t think that more is needed to understand the fluidity of the foundations of public health claims. Zealots claim hard evidence, but that evidence applies to only a few people. The TRUTH is that the truth is random.