Let me introduce the players for this rumble. In the angry red corner we have, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Altria and Japan Tobacco International. The four major players on a global scale in the tobacco industry.
In the cowardly yellow corner we have, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), California Department of Public Health, Faculty of Public Health, Cancer Council Australia, American Lung Foundation, American Heart Foundation, Tobacco Free Kids, British Medical Association and so on. Far too many to list out here.
In the blue corner we have…um…. us.
Seems to be a pretty mis-matched fight doesn’t it? Both ‘Big Tobacco’ and tobacco control have almost limitless budgets, and we are talking millions here. California alone can throw 15 million a year at their campaigns. That’s a lot of money. A hell of a lot of money. What would you do with a budget of $15M a year? Or even better, what would you do with a budget of $210M?
Think about that for a moment. The CDC and it’s ‘modestly funded’ tobacco control program gets $210M annually. Admittedly, that figure is for all the tobacco control campaigns run either by or on behalf of the CDC. Let’s put that into perspective shall we:
The CDC also budgets for PHSS; Public Health Scientific Services, for the fiscal year of 2015 it’s $526M, just over double that of the tobacco control program yet they budget $30M for antibiotic resistance to “detect and protect against the spread of the most deadly and costly antibiotic resistant pathogens”. Aren’t they extravagant? They are budgeting tobacco control at 7 times the value of antibiotic resistance.
UCSF tobacco controller and consistent muppet, Frampton A. Blands gleefully receives $291,666 for this year, whereby he produces..well quite frankly, utter rubbish.
Insisting that the “hardcore” smokers are beginning to come around to the idea of giving up smoking because overall smoking prevalence is going down. Trouble is, as with any of Frampton A. Blands’ ‘research’, there’s a tonne of confounding as his “quit rates” are not all successful quits at all, rather they are attempts as well as actual quits.
In order for Frampton to ensure he gets more funding for his tobacco control efforts he has to obfuscate figures to make his recommended control programs and actions appear to be highly successful when in fact it’s all a lot of hot air.
Spending that much cash, most of which would of course originate from the taxpayer in the first place on efforts to ‘encourage’ the great American People to stop smoking. Trouble is though, all these folks in the red and yellow corners are forgetting one key point. Us. The millions of former smokers globally that have successfully ceased tobacco use on our own, usually with a “screw you” mentality to their ‘anti’ campaigns. We are totally forgotten, ignored or worse, dismissed as ‘anecdotes’.
Not only are there millions of us, their own organisations are starting to join us too. They recognise the benefits of vaping as a harm reduction or cessation strategy. Those poor folks in the yellow cowardly corner and the red angry corner simply do not have a clue.
Here’s the thing though, if by some insane miracle the remaining smoking people stopped smoking tomorrow do you believe that this insane amount of taxpayer cash will stop flowing to these people? Well no, of course it won’t. They’ll go off looking for the “next tobacco” to de-normalise and nanny you over.
Let’s get ready to rumble.