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Ideology Beats Science

It seems that the shrieking from tobacco control about the Smoke-Free Foundation is still going. I am not particularly surprised by the near-constant wailing. It has, however, taken on a particularly curious note with the activist magazine Tobacco Control now flat refusing to publish any “industry-funded” papers; something it’s refused to do since 2013.

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Hello, My Name Is…

Every so often, something so bizarre pops up that I end up just taking a few minutes to absorb just how utterly bonkers it is before either bursting out laughing or face-planting my desk.

In this instance, I didn’t do either. First, a little history. Most of you know Clive Bates. Once a week, he runs a search on PubMed on everything THR related. It’s then bundled up in a nifty e-mail that he sends to a nicotine consumer group which I’m in.

Most of the entries have his comments, usually coupled with an excerpt from either the abstract of a paper or the conclusion. This one caught my eye out of the 32 results in Clive’s e-mail. (Clive’s comments in red)

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Still Screaming

It’s been about a month since the announcement of a lot of cash being spent (transparently mind, unlike tobacco control) to further support research into harm reduction products which caused quite a stir within the tobacco control industry. Much to mine, and several others, delight.

As far as it is understood, Phillip Morris – who right now is trying to cosy up to public health (and failing miserably – take note vapers) – are going to be shovelling a rather large amount of cash into this initiative. Rather large equating to approximately 80M US Greenback.

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Vaping as a Stick

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, but vaping isn’t a stick to go around beating smokers with. It isn’t purely a cessation tool, though most alphabet organisations would love you to believe that.

Sure, most vapers view vaping as a way off tobacco and bully for them. Some view it as a cessation method; ‘cos they wanted to stop smoking and nothing else worked for them. Again, bully for them. Vaping is, by and large, a flexible and thoroughly enjoyable pastime.

Thing is, most in public health, and tobacco control in particular, will never see vaping as anything but a cessation tool, or a threat to their funding. They would love to have vapers work with them to “end the tobacco epidemic“, and while yes, beating public health around the head with a stack of evidence to get them to back off has had a remarkable effect; after all the UK is the most forward-looking on ecigs, it is far from being perfect. Mostly, public health and tobacco control should just fuck off, and leave us alone.

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The Gateway: Reloaded

Just recently, the “gateway theory” has been doing the rounds yet again. I stumbled across this paper that claims the gateway theory is in fact, real and undeniable.

As usual, the researchers are making wild claims about cause and effect, but there’s one key problem with this paper, in that it is the outcome of focus groups:

It is a form of qualitative research consisting of interviews in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging.

 

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Social Media Snooping

Here we go again. More taxpayer funded “research” to look at what average, everyday people are saying on Twitter. I’ve written about this type of research before, and no doubt I’ll end up writing about it again, and again, and again ad infinitum.

The supposed aim of this spectacular pile of fetid, festering, dingo kidneys is to try and automatically classify Twitter users who tweet about e-cigarettes into “distinct categories”.

I guess this lot were bored or had a stack of cash floating around that was about to be nabbed by something worthwhile, or they had another study idea that needed a cash injection so they needed to waste cash to get more. Typical tobacco control “research” thinking troughing.

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An Absolute Shitshow

With so much happening behind the scenes at Facts Towers I almost, almost missed this large, festering pile of bantha poodoo. I say almost, because, well it’s bloody difficult to miss it.

Y’see, an article in The Sun no less gives the impression that Cancer Research UK is putting some vape-friendly ads out. I haven’t seen them myself so I have no idea what they look like.  Remember, it is fast approaching “Stoptober”, the annual public health splurge on convincing folks that you really should be stopping smoking now.

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