How Much Can a Prime Minister or President Cope With?

PM Theresa May and Pres (elect) Donald Trump can only cope with a very, very small number of ‘issues’ at a time. At the moment, May is fully involved with Brexit. Little else can occupy her mind. Trump is totally engrossed in creating his Administration. Both MUST offload other matters to other people.

Isn’t it weird that the US Surgeon General has just emitted a report which categorically states about e-cigs:

“These products [e-cigarettes] are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States, surpassing conventional tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and hookahs.”

“….form of tobacco….” “….form of….” 

It is not difficult to imagine the proceeding in a Congressional Enquiry in the USA. It would take a very clever Congressperson to get to the nitty-gritty. The SG would say that ecigs are ‘a form of tobacco’ because they facilitate the inhalation of nicotine. Are nicotine patches, gums and inhalers also ‘a form of tobacco’? “Yes”, he would say, “but they are medicinal and proven to be ‘safe'”.  And so the deception would be buried under an avalanche of tiny variations of the meaning of the word ‘form‘. It would take a clever and brave Congressperson to say, “A form of tobacco means actually tobacco and not an extract of some substance from tobacco. That substance is not ‘a form of’ tobacco unless it is tobacco”.

I have in mind this simple thought experiment. Suppose that you took an orange and extracted the pips, discarding the flesh and skin of the orange. Suppose that you then extracted from the pips some beneficial substance which required lots and lots of pips to produce a decent quantity of that substance. Would you be justified in claiming that the substance that you created is a form of orange? And would that statement still be true if the substance could also be extracted from the pips of other fruits? I would say not, since the pips are NOT ordinarily the parts of oranges that we normally consume.

But the REAL problem is the trickery. It is the use of the phrase ‘form of’. Peashooters are a ‘form of’ ballistic missile, therefore peashooters are very,very dangerous.

For that is the meaning of the SG’s report.

Who will tear it down? Who will investigate the proponents, including Glantz from the USA and Simple Simon from Australia? Those two, among many, are just the ‘the managers’. They are not ‘The Elite’. They are safe and protected, and can say anything that the want.

And is that not the HUGE problem – that they can say anything that they want and get away with it, without the possibility of restitution? Is it not true that the protection is the cause of the junk science?

Doll’s ‘Doctors Study’ is full of holes. It’s equivalent might be ‘all accidents on motorways are caused by speed’. In a sense, that is true since it takes some time to stop a car or lorry which is travelling at a speed of 70 mph. At that speed, you require a ‘safe distance’ between vehicles. But it is inevitable that someone will ‘fill up the space’ which you must leave to have a safe distance. You then have to slow down to create an new safe distance, which creates a new space to be invaded. So the Doctors Study DID NOT enquire as to the reasons that only a FEW smoking doctors actually died from LC. It merely described the difference between non-smoking doctors and smoking doctors, related to the very few doctors who died from LC.

That is, the Doctors Study should have been only a pointer. But, instead, it is The Bible. Many, in fact probably most, YOUNG doctors were involved in WW1 and WW2 around the time of the Doctors Study. How does anyone know what the effect of such experiences might have been? Doll did not allow for such differences (aka, confounders).

At base, despite the numbers involved and the time span, the Doctors Study was not gospel. It was akin to a video and not just a picture.

Is it any wonder that ASH ET AL an the WHO have not pointed out how much lower the incidence of LC is since smoking prevalence started to decline? The fact is that almost as many LC deaths occur as before. It would be reasonable to conclude that male LC deaths have decreased because few males are exposed to carcinogens, and that female deaths have increase because more of them are exposed to carcinogens. Tobacco smoke is just one little fraction of the exposure. After all, a smoker only inhales the smoke, if he inhales at all, a tiny number of times per day. We have to inhale fumes from traffic with every breath that we take, unless there is no traffic where we live and work.

Suppose that it was proven reasonably that smoking is harmless in itself? That a person would have to live for 150 years before harm could be detected? Would that stop the UN from persecuting smokers? It would not, since the UN’s objective is to free up land which is currently used to grow tobacco plants. A former WHO head actually said so – ‘let the tobacco plant farmers grow potatoes’ (not his actual words).

What needs to happen is that the purposes of the UN, WHO, IPCC have to be defined. They have become rogue elephants, blundering about. But Trump and May are just individuals who may or may not understand the malign influences which produced the FCTC.

In my little way, I SEE it. Forget tobacco since it is of no importance. The real issue is Poverty. Forget climate change until everyone has a reasonable standard of living. I watched a video tonight about the slaughter of people involved in drugs in the Philippines:

Tobacco Control applauded the crack down on smoking, as it did with North Korea. There is a serious epidemic in tobacco control. Someone outside of it must expunge the disease.

 

 

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6 Responses to “How Much Can a Prime Minister or President Cope With?”

  1. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Personally Junican i think traffic fumes are by far the biggest causes of LC having worked in road transport for 40 years not our beloved cigarettes.

  2. Some French bloke Says:

    Speaking of ‘Simple Simon’, and with regard to the discrepancy between the cigarette hypothesis and the urban/rural divide in LC prevalence (cf. Timothy’s comment above), our ‘clever bugger’ Chapman found a way to not just explain it away, as Doll routinely did (*), or to brush the issue under the carpet, but to even reverse the association!

    (*) E.g. Doll declared in an interview with Alexander Baron (7th April 1993):
    Question: There is though a connection between living in towns and lung cancer?
    Sir Richard: Well, yes, a small relationship there was, though it’s disappearing now, but this could be explained almost wholly if not wholly by the difference in cigarette consumption between towns and the countryside, particularly people in the countryside tended to go on smoking pipes longer; they switched over to cigarettes later, and on average they smoke less than people in towns.
    (see A. Baron’s essay Smoking… and something else)

    In an article called “Ten myths about smoking that will not die” (10th march 2016) Crapman puts it this way (‘myth’# 8):

    “if we wanted to consider the relative contributions of air pollution and smoking to smoking-caused diseases, an obvious question to ask would be “does the incidence of lung cancer differ between heavily polluted cities and very unpolluted remote areas?”
    Yes it does. Lung cancer incidence is highest in Australia in (wait for this …) in the least polluted very remote regions of the country, where smoking prevalence happens also to be highest.”

    http://theconversation.com/ten-myths-about-smoking-that-will-not-die-56076

    And his reference is a study using (you guessed it) adjusted figures:
    http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=6442454565 (v. pdf ca06-c05)

  3. junican Says:

    A quote from the second link:

    Similarly the average annual numbers of excess cancer cases by region have been calculated by comparing the actual number with the number expected if each region had the same age-standardised rates for Major City areas.“.
    Who decides ‘what the number expected’ is?

  4. Some French bloke Says:

    And how exactly did they ‘age-standardise’ the rates in Major Cities versus the Countryside and remote areas? Seems they have a real problem with the actual numbers, which seldom, if ever, make their way into the final (and supposedly conclusive) population-wide studies and surveys… Rhetorical question: would real science routinely resort to ‘adjustments’, ‘standardisation’, and so eagerly defer to expectations?

  5. narbanor Says:

    Who decides ‘what the number expected’ is?

    Good question. One could also ask: why the heck, and how exactly, did they first ‘age-standardise’ the rates in Major Cities versus the Countryside and remote areas? Seems they have a real problem with the actual numbers, which seldom, if ever, make their way into the final (and supposedly conclusive) population-wide studies and surveys… I have yet to come across a report using raw data on e.g. the Mormons’s morbidity rates as compared with other populations. Could that be because divulging such sensible information would make it less easy for TobCon to use the members of this Church as ‘poster children’?
    A final – and rhetorical – question: would real science routinely resort to ‘adjustments’, ‘standardisation’, and so eagerly defer to ‘expectations’?

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