As Dick Puddlecote has often pointed out on his blog – e-cigs have the potential to show up the plethora of lies, half-truths and utter hypocrisy of the troughers found in the tobacco control industry. There have been a few examples of this over the years, but there appears a new desperation setting in as a blatant, and rudimentary episode appeared from the land of down under.
As others have remarked, Australian tobacco control have swung so far, and missed so often that they have now taken to openly slandering ordinary members of the public; implying – each of them – they are nothing but a front for the tobacco industry.
Regular readers of Puddlecote will of course remember Australia opened up an inquiry into the possibility of making nicotine legal for e-cigarettes. Significant work has been put in by the likes of Dr Atilla Danko and his cohorts to try (and initially fail) to reverse the senseless prohibition of nicotine containing e-liquid. The latest inquiry is the next logical step.
However, all is not well down under with one particular Sydney pensioner scooping whatever mud is left in his barrel and trying to make it stick.
Philip Morris and other interest groups were “astroturfing” – trying to create the illusion of a big grass-roots pro-vaping movement that does not really exist.
“They’ve been actively recruiting people to put in submissions. These are exactly the same tactics they used for plain packaging. They have dusted off the same software, the same template and just changed the content.”
This of course is the same complaint that certain members of the EU had when they received 53,282 responses to a particular consultation. Berteletti became “alarmed” at numbers of responses (because the EU doesn’t do a great job of letting people know about consultations so the average number is around 500 – many of which will be NGO’s and their shills) and that they “will remain vigilant against such “rent-a-mob” tactics by the tobacco industry, consistent with Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC.”
Oh really? This is Article 5.3 of the vaunted WHO FCTC:
In setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law.
Naturally, “protection” of tobacco control policies includes total exclusion of the industry (‘cos they can’t be trusted, natch) to stubbornly refusing to turn up to a Federal debate at all because a member of the tobacco industry is present.
Of course, Article 5.3 doesn’t mention anything like that, it just means making sure that the tobacco industry doesn’t have too much influence in policy discussions or decision making. There’s nothing in that Article specifically states the industry (who are the target of all these policies after all) should be completely excluded. But of course, by excluding the industry (or anyone who is in the least bit sympathetic to the industry) tobacco control troughers can come up with whatever they want, and it’s all entirely justified.
Y’see, if Simple Simon had bothered to do some research (snork) before uttering bovine flatulence he would have discovered (as Snowdon did) that the “campaign” he is attributing these industry shills has been mothballed since 2015.
So much for up-to-date information from Professor [sic] Chapman, who firmly believes that public health and tobacco control should never meet representatives from the tobacco industry. Ever, ‘cos, y’know, bad things might happen.
Amusingly, it wasn’t just Chapman throwing around the atypical ad-homs either, seems that if Chappers can do it, it’s OK for everyone else to do it too. Do read more about this episode from Shannon.
Thing is, all this latest (and transparently blatant) attempt to smear everyday individuals has done is reinforced the simple, unavoidable fact that Chapman and his ilk have had their time. Their tactics are losing power. The overwhelmingly obvious success of e-cigarettes elsewhere cannot indefinitely be ignored (much to Chapman’s chagrin), and Australia keeping nicotine containing e-liquids illegal will do the total sum of diddly squat to change that.
Whatever Australia chooses to do with e-cigarettes will not stop vaping being a success in other countries. Chanting the words ‘big tobacco’ over and over again will not change that. Describing vapers as ‘astroturfers’ and ‘trolls’ will not disguise the fact that e-cigarettes have the support of many respected doctors and medical organisations. The magic words are losing their power. The trick is getting old. The spell is wearing off.