Others have commented extensively, eg Dick Puddlecote . For those not familiar, the TC magazine has been crying about bloggers criticising their propaganda studies in blog posts and on Twitter and such without permission. They claim that the ‘proper’ place to publish such criticism is in their own magazine using their ‘Rapid Response’ system.
I was not going to bother commenting on this matter because the article has been thoroughly ripped apart by everyone else, but I decided to put in my two pen’orth just for fun.
Ask yourself:”Whom is the TC magazine for?” I should imagine that it is a freebie, circulated around ‘stop smoking service’ centres. I cannot see anyone actually paying for it. In other words, something else that smokers and taxpayers pay for.
So the target audience is THE FAITHFUL. So the editors of the magazine are telling THE FAITHFUL not to pay any attention to the infidels who pull TC’s fake studies apart, but to stay faithful and believe. And so you get statements like this:
Recent comments posted on some personal blogs impugn the objectivity of Tobacco Control and its reviewers, questioning our motives and the veracity of peer review.
In other words, “Do not believe those infidels. We are honest and true, even though we might make the occasional mistake”
But read that sentence again. Note the juxtaposing of ‘motives’ and ‘veracity of peer review’. ‘Public Health’ is very fond, very fond indeed of juxtaposing different things as though they were the same thing. EG, “overweight or obese”. ‘Motives’ and ‘veracity of peer reviews’ are totally different things.
There was a critique which I read (I wish I could remember where, but it appeared as a link, and I cannot remember) which hit the nail. It queried a study which said that experiments had shown that flavours in ecigs, and not the PG or VG, produced massive quantities of aldehydes. The researchers deduced that because ‘plain’ liquid did not produce such quantities, it was the flavourings which did. Farsellinos and Hayek (forgive misspellings – it is late) asked for details of the liquids used so that they could attempt to reproduce the results, but the researchers either could not or would not tell them. Now, even the most scientifically innocent amongst us would tend to realise instinctively that not all flavours are the same; that some flavours might produce weird results, and that it is important to know which flavours were the ones which produced the massive quantities of aldehydes. And, of course, the identity of the liquid would be massively important. But no. In their responses to requests for the information, the researchers suggested that they did not know precisely what liquids they used! Perhaps they were afraid of being sued by the producers of the liquid, especially if the producers had already done copious experiments which showed that nothing of the sort could happen – in normal circumstances.
But horrible tastes could happen in abnormal circumstances, such as what is called ‘dry puff’. I assume that means when an ecig heater is activated when little or no liquid is present. That is quite possible and not at all unlikely to happen from time to time. But the result would be a really nasty taste, so no one, unless he was incredibly stupid, would continue puffing. But that raises another point. Precisely how dangerous to health are those massive quantities of aldehydes? Which brings us to another TC trick – exaggeration of effects.
What really, really amazes me is that politicians, who are, by definition, the best people in the land to govern, are so gullible. One would have to be very cynical to say that they just do not care.
But perhaps the worm is turning.
Who voted for Brexit? Who voted for Trump? It was not the arseholes in tobacco control for sure. It was ‘the lower classes’ – the smokers and drinkers.
I thought it was comical when tobacco control was shrieking a few days ago that the Government had not published the new ‘tobacco control strategy’. Could it be possible that, unlike Chan from the WHO, our Government has more important things to deal with?
And there is the solution to TC’s exaggeration of its own importance – the NHS is in crisis, the UK’s relationship with the USA is mega-important, Brexit really, really matters. How important is the risk of an individual dying before another individual? In fact, it would be wonderful for the NHS if millions of old-age pensioners popped their clogs tomorrow -smokers or not. In fact, according to TC, most of those aged OAPs would have been non-smokers since most smokers would already have died.
What is clear to me is that TC is in retreat. Maybe its magazine is being binned unread and no one is interested in anything it says. After all, who could be permanently interested in propaganda?
I remember some years ago taking part in a little competition organised by TC. I forget the detail, but, essentially, it asked for useful slogans. I offered (words to the effect): “Tobacco profits leave the country, but the harm remains”. It was better phrased, but that was the essential. I WON!
Needless to say, I just had to tell them that my proposition was ‘fake news’. I wrote and said that my ‘proposition’ was crap; that the ‘profits’ from commercial and industrial activity were distributed world-wide depending upon who owned the shares in tobacco companies. Whereupon I received an ‘ad hom’ nasty response to the effect that I was a sort of ‘plant’, to which I replied that, unlike you Ms Whoever, I do not get paid for my endeavours.
Tobacco Control is a joke. It can only be that it has emanated from some aboriginal worship (and I do not mean Australian Abos). I mean some sort of belief that tobacco has metaphysical properties. One of those properties might be the wish to just carry on.
In our lives, when we are young, we wish to be active and demanding. When we get old, we relax and take things as they are. “What is, is”. But even old farts can rebel. For example, there are benefits which I can claim because of my wife’s illness (MS). There are some which I do not need, but I claim them. Why? Because both of us smoke, and so we contribute MORE THAN non-smokers. We smokers subsidise non-smokers.
Tobacco duties, alcohol duties, petrol duties and all the rest are VICIOUS, REGRESSIVE TAXES WHICH HIT THE POOREST PEOPLE HARDEST.
The Tory Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Party have been persecuting me, a smoker, for decades and decades. In the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s, tobacco duties did not matter because they were only a small part of the price. Now they are 75% or more of the price.
What I like is that more and more people are recognising that ‘Duties’ are terribly unfair to those who pay the duty, and that those who do not buy the stuff which attracts Duty are being subsidised by those who do. There is no moral reason that smokers should be tormented by duties.
DUTIES ARE FRAUD!