Just when you thought public health could sink no lower, it pulls it off again! This time, a couple of “tobacco control” organisations, CTFK and ENSP, have been writing to several participants in a conference (GTNF 2016) to be held next week. The letters tell them they must be mistaken, that they can’t possibly have realised tobacco companies were involved and that they should pull out before it is too late. All backed with a threat of reputational damage if they don’t. I find this deeply depressing and disturbing. Let’s take a look at:
Introduction. This is the second of two pieces on the ‘tobacco endgame’. In the first, (Are we in the endgame for smoking?) I presented some data on global cigarette use to show that we are not in an endgame, at least in an endgame defined as “the late or final stages of any activity”. This is important because if policy-makers believe cigarette use is shortly to disappear, there is a danger they will be indifferent to or impatient with policies designed to mitigate the harm caused by ongoing use.
In this posting I would like to review the policy proposals that some tobacco control activists and academics believe could accelerate the rate of progress towards the end of smoking / tobacco / nicotine / disease (or whatever it is that is to be ended). This post focuses on the set of policy proposals set out in the May 2013 supplement of the journal Tobacco Control. It’s a long post in response to a lengthy supplement, so here is a table of contents:
1. Chess. the final stage of a game, usually following the exchange of queens and the serious reduction of forces.
2. the late or final stages of any activity: the end game of the negotiations.
The UCSF submissions show multiple failures of fact and interpretation; inappropriate framing; and dramatic systematic biases – emphasising minor or implausible risks while diminishing or ignoring entirely very significant potential benefits.
I might have added that the cigarette based business model of the tobacco industry could not ask for better allies. Almost everything coming from UCSF on e-cigarettes will, if regulators acted on it, protect cigarette sales from competition, support a diminished market for e-cigarettes best suited to tobacco industry dominance, increase avoidable smoking and lead to more death and disease. Nice work! Continue reading “A critical commentary on the Glantz and UCSF e-cigarette submissions to the FDA”
I want to give over a guest post to Gerry Stimson, David Dorn and Rick Lines to reproduce their excellent rejoinder to Professor Martin McKee. This is far more than a richly deserved put-down to the casual arrogance of McKee. It includes a quite fundamental challenge to the health, medical and campaigning organisations that work on ‘tobacco control’. Why are they so far apart from the people they are supposedly trying to save or help? I like the slogan adopted by people with HIV/AIDS as they dealt with the huge interests chasing funding, with some bringing abstinence-only or other ideologically driven programmes into the field: nothing about us, without us.
I was pleased to see the schools inspector Ofsted weighing in on religious education (RE) in schools. The report Making sense of religion: a report on religious education in schools and the impact of locally agreed syllabuses [release / report] is interesting – though stops short of a full broadside on the very idea of RE. Ofsted summarises:
The report argues that RE should not ignore controversy or the changes in the role and significance of religion in the modern world. Pupils should be taught that religion is complex, that its impact is ambiguous and should be given the opportunity to explore that ambiguity.
I visited Nim’s Kitchen on Saturday evening, a splendid Thai restaurant in Norwood near Crystal Palace – very tasty food, good ambience and buzz, with excellent attentive service.
Nim’s Kitchen is a very good dining experience, but the truly remarkable thing about Nim’s Kitchen is the eponymous Nim herself -what she’s been though is shocking. But not as shocking as what religious commentators have to say about it. Continue reading “Thai restauranteur overcoming Act of God”