Pressmaster/shutterstock.com

Precisely what risks?

As part of the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive – 2014/40/EU – and specifically Article 20, the section that relates specifically to e-cigarettes the European Regulatory Science on Tobacco (EUREST – what can I say, the EU does alphabet soup better than the Americans) – the EU wanted a report on the “potential risks” of the product. To be fair, that is a laudable goal considering the use of the product. The problem, of course is the implementation. Not to mention the cost.

The report, edited by Constantine Vardavas and Panagiotis Behrakis (and no, I couldn’t actually pronounce those names), complete with a list of experts (I’ll leave it to you to decide how “expert” they are) – Agaku Israel, Filippidis Filippos, Girvalaki Charis, Gratziou Christina, Lundback Bosse, Maciej Goniewicz, Radu-Loghin Cornel, Tsatsakis Aristidis, Tzatzarakis Manolis (and no, I couldn’t pronounce those names either), and presented to the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety Health Programme (I’m surprised they didn’t make an acronym out of that) cost EUR €180 450. You can find the grant award here, search the document for Chafea/2014/Health/17.

(more…)

bedya/shutterstock.com

Big Brother finds stuff

Social media. A rather quaint place. Filled with thousands of people from a variety of walks of life. You could be forgiven for thinking that social media is important, ‘cos it isn’t. Not in the least, but by that very same token it is important for Big Brother.

As I’ve written about before, researchers in the field of Tobacco Control absolutely adore social media as it gives them raw, unfettered access to a field of stuff.

(more…)

Indoctrinating the children

When it comes to anti-smoking campaigns and organisations one of the key mantras is “protecting the kids”, the ever-present “think of the children”. Trouble is, whenever an organisation says to policy makers “thinking of the children” it inevitably tugs on said policy makers heart-strings. Everyone wants their kids to grow up and lead good, healthy, normal lives don’t they? Let’s face it, I grew up to lead a relatively normal healthy life. I made choices along the way, some good and some not so good, it’s all part of this little thing called “growing up”.

But, in the murky world of “public health” and “tobacco control”, they have spent countless millions in taxpayer cash over the last few decades to convince bully young adults, and by ‘young adults’ I mean those between 18 and 25 years of age into stopping smoking because well, ideology. (more…)

Pet Journalism

The thing with journalists is they tend to get friendly with regular sources of information. The “go-to” folks for soundbites and information, no matter how bizarre that information is. The flip side of that, is when they are ‘confronted’ by opposing views the immediately adopt the “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” stance by retreating past la-la land up to cloud cuckoo. (more…)