Using models disconnected from reality to justify huge ‘endgame’ interventions

New Zealand is planning to introduce so-called ‘endgame’ measures, including the removal of nicotine from legally available tobacco. We examine and review the modelling used to justify the measure and find multiple fatal flaws.

With thanks to Dilbert @SottAdamsSays

In this blog, we take a look at modelling used to justify ‘endgame’ legislation under discussion in New Zealand. Among other things, this would reduce nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco available through legal channels to minimal levels. We find the modelling and data assumptions bear no relation whatsoever to the underlying processes and the effects that such legislation would trigger. Deep cuts in smoking are assumed as inputs to the model. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the model results show deep cuts in smoking, and this determines the resulting health benefits. But the assumptions have no grounding in reality and misinterpret and misuse trial findings.

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Will Brazil rethink its vaping prohibition?

“O Brasil vai repensar sua proibição de vaping?” Brazil is consulting on lifting its ban on vaping products. Will it recognise the perverse consequences of prohibition and shift to risk-proportionate regulation? We argue it should rethink its approach to nicotine.

Prohibition is about the worst regulatory response to safer alternatives to smoking

Brazil’s public health agency, ANVISA, has been consulting on whether the long-standing policy of prohibition of vaping products should be retained or lifted. The consultation questionnaire seeks comments on a technical document.

Shortcut to full response (PDF).

Here’s my take…

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A critical review of an Australian anti-vaping polemic

John Maynard Keynes: “when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?”

Normally, I just ignore anything written by Professor Emeritus Simon Chapman, a retired academic and noisy tobacco control activist from Australia. It’s usually just too error-laden and irritating to bother with and, on the ‘bullshit asymmetry principle‘, one could spend a whole life correcting his endless misunderstandings and mistakes. But because the Australian parliament is considering these issues, I have made an exception for his latest piece of irresponsible anti-vaping propaganda.

This was published in the Sydney Morning Herald: Keep TGA control of e-cigarettes or risk repeating the smoking health disaster 20 June, 2017. I hope the SMH will give some space to a credible Australian to provide its readers with a more realistic perspective.  In the meantime, here is a critique of the article, with extracts of the original in quotation blocks and a commentary below each block.  Continue reading “A critical review of an Australian anti-vaping polemic”