Ignorance or Hypocrisy?

Ignorance or Hypocrisy?

I know, it’s been awhile since I last put finger to key. Far too much going on outside the twitter- & blog-spheres for me to put aside time to regularly post. Real life eh?

It seems the hypocritical vapers friend ASH have been up to their old tricks. Again. I’m not at all surprised, after all this time last year they said the 250,000 vapers that use 20mg/ml and above don’t matter. Fancy that!

This time, bless their ignorant black souls, they are claiming that the message that vaping is a valid alternative to smoking isn’t getting through to smokers. Well, who would have thought that?

It can’t be anything to do with the “welcoming” of bans now could it?

No, nothing so mundane as that. We know, from the debacle surrounding the demoted Fatal Motion in the House of Lords just how far they’ll go to protect legislation that they lobbied for. Never mind the fact that the reasoning for the demotion was nothing to do with the legislation itself, by pulling “We’ll lose the plain packs’ legislation” which, by the way isn’t even in the Tobacco & Related Products Regulations, and of course the “protecting the Children” cards.

Oh, did I mention plain packs? The legislation that, just last year - prior to it being actually implemented - was magically responsible for a decline in the smoking rate. Of course, plain packs are proven to work aren’t they?

Well, no. It isn’t. It hasn’t worked, at all, in Australia. Which is of course a bit of a mystery for the tobacco control freaks, yet they still receive much praise from the FCTC - as does everywhere else that implements it.

Of course, it’s a complete boondoggle. Australia has, by far, the harshest tax rate on tobacco than anywhere else. So the rapid decline in the smoking after the introduction of plain packs had nothing whatsoever to do with the eye watering tax hike. Natch.

So you can imagine what the tobacco controllers of the world are thinking can’t you? Plain packs are not proven to ‘work’ in Australia, and the latest figures from two countries that have also implemented them (the UK and France) show the same story:

new figures reveal that even despite the French government’s controversial efforts to turn the population off cigarettes, numbers of people smoking has gone up.

Since France introduced a ban on branded cigarettes in January 2017, more packets of cigarettes have been sold compared to last year when branding was allowed, according to the country’s Customs Office (L’administration des Douanes).

In March alone the French bought four million packets of cigarettes, over four percent more than during the same period last year.

Bit of a mess isn’t it? Of course, that hasn’t stopped tobacco controllers making grandiose claims about how “plain packaging will be responsible for 300,000 smokers quitting” now has it?

The high taxes haven’t worked all that well, bans haven’t worked (they’ve been directly responsible for the withering of local communities with forced pub closures among many other “unintended consequences”) but naturally, all tobacco control are concerned about is forcing smokers to stop what they enjoy doing.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise at all to find Debs is spouting her usual nonsense at the revelation that there are more ex-smokers than there is “dual users” following the ASH commissioned, self-selecting survey, run by YouGov - you’ll be amused to know that the President of YouGov, one Peter Kellner, sits on the ASH Board of Trustees.

The result of this benighted survey give us a glimpse into the post-TPD world as highlighted by the New Nicotine Alliance, and one does have to wonder exactly what was going through the minds of Debs and co when they drafted this portion of the press release:

“The rapid growth in e-cigarette use has come to an end while over a third of smokers have still never tried e-cigarettes, saying the main reasons are concerns about the safety and addictiveness of e-cigarettes. Its important smokers realise vaping is much, much less harmful than smoking.”

Thing is, as you miserable lot at ASH are well aware, slapping huge warnings on products that a) don’t contain nicotine and b) are the most disruptive technology available, developed by consumers for consumers, isn’t exactly going to spread the message that should be spread is it?

The research shows many people are over-estimating the risk posed by e-cigarettes. Only 13% of respondents recognise e-cigarettes are a lot less harmful than smoking, with 26% thinking they are more or equally harmful. This is a communications challenge that needs to be met to reduce the harm caused by tobacco to smokers and those around them. It may also be a factor in the slowed growth of e-cigarette uptake.

Of course, don’t mention that your own welcoming of bans, how quiet you are when bans are proposed, and your dogged determination to navel gaze over the TRPR has anything to do with the skewed results.

“These new data also demonstrate the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) rules on nicotine concentration and tank size will only effect a small proportion of e-cig users.”

Of course, that’s only for current users not for potential switchers, precisely what RCP have suggested folk should do (whether they will or not is entirely up to them), but how can they when the ridiculous lipstick-on-a-pig Directive prohibits access to the kit they need?

Either ASH are utterly ignorant (unlikely) of what the new rules will actually do, or they simply don’t care.

As I said, this time last year:

Then there’s the awful press releases that spring up – the “ten times more cancer causing chemicals” and the worst article of last year from that cell study. Not once did I ever see ASH put out a strong response. Nor did I ever expect them to, after all they’ve shown little regard for the actual people that will be affected.

Also, Puddlecote:

I think we know where ASH’s priorities lie now, don’t we? And it’s certainly not with vapers or asserted with health in mind. Their allegiance seems to be firmly with protecting their chums in tobacco control from rightful condemnation rather than being “supportive” of e-cigs and tobacco harm reduction.