The Principle of Pleasure

This is one of those topics that you just know. One of those that you yourself understand, but find it somewhat tricky to put into some semblance of coherent speech. We all, to varying degrees, know what pleasure is. We all know what we enjoy, and we can all express; to an extent, why we enjoy something.

This is also one of those posts that’s taken far too long to write.

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On the lack of research in the media

Every once in a while a media article happens to come to my attention that makes me fall over in utter disbelief. Not simply due to the complete lack of understanding of the subject matter, but the complete disingenuity that the author takes to make as many bonkers points as possible.

It may be early in 2017, but this one is a strong contender for worst article of the year. (more…)

Our survey says….

Surveys. I’ve touched on the usual suspects upholding their own data as though it was the Holy Grail before. ASH is utterly remorseless when it comes to trumpeting their own data, usually for their own means, and they also heap scorn on data that contradicts their sacrosanct view of the populace. Typically, in the UK we have two primary sets of survey data on smoking – the ASH survey (hosted by YouGov) and of course the Smoking Toolkit Study.

Both of these, along with many others run by Cancer Research UK, consistently show that never-smoking-teens rarely pick up e-cigs. They also consistently show little or no progression from e-cigs to combustible tobacco. They also consistently show a decrease in smoking prevalence at the same time there’s an increase in e-cig prevalence. It’s hardly the silver bullet to prove (or disprove) “gateway” theories correct or otherwise; after all it is still perfectly feasible that some insanely curious folks will experiment with both. It’ll happen.

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A Day at the Summit

What a year it has been, the opening words of the E-Cigarette Summit 2016 Chair, Professor Ann McNeill. Could almost call that a throwback to the Summit of last year, but then the debate surrounding e-cigarettes hasn’t waned but intensified. This year, the Summit came hot on the heels of the FCTC Conference Of Parties (Seventh Session), which did get coverage (as did Brexit and Trump albeit briefly).

As with last year, I had the privilege of attending as a representative of Vapers in Power (says so on my badge), though I maintain that “Advocate” should be “Troublemaker in Chief”.

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Finding our Way

Yesterday I had the pleasure of reading a Q&A between my friend Fergus Mason and David Goerlitz. Having seen the documentary film A Billion Lives, and having heard David on Smoke Free Radio with Dimitris last year, there wasn’t much in that interview that I wasn’t already aware of.

Still, it was worth a read if only to remind myself of just how the tobacco control industry is more about control then it is about reducing smoking, and it can quite easily be summed up in one line:

Nobody took tobacco seriously. Nobody did anything about it, the government didn’t put them out of business.

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