The Deliberately Blinkered Approach

Just a little footnote to yesterday's theme…

So the Royal College of Physicians announces that in their opinion e-cigarettes are a remarkably effective smoking cessation device. 

You would imagine there would be a sigh of relief amongst the various governing bodies?  An unbiased organisation, highly regarded in the medical world has made a pronouncement that should please everybody?

Not so in this backward little country called Ireland.

Oh no.  The RCP could be wrong.  We still don't know if vaping could be harmful in 50 years time.  And there are a lot of people in America and elsewhere who have raised doubts [no matter how ludicrous].

Responding, the Irish cancer charity said that while it recognised e-cigarettes were safer than tobacco, it could not recommend them for use as a smoking cessation device until further research was carried out.

Minister for Children Dr James Reilly said he was “very concerned” about e-cigarettes.

“We didn’t have sufficient information and I didn’t want the ‘perfect’ to get in the way of the ‘good’ in relation to including that in the legislation,” Dr Reilly said.

“But the evidence is starting to pile up now that this is a serious problem.”

Actually the evidence is now saying it isn't a problem, but never mind.  Incidentally, I haven't a clue what the "good" and "perfect" thing is about.

Dr Reilly said he was concerned that e-cigarettes could become a “gateway” to traditional nicotine consumption. “I don’t want to undermine anything we’re doing by not having good, strong evidence, well-researched. I know that there are people in America very concerned about this.”

Er, no.  The report just says that there isn't a "gateway" effect.  And as for the vested interests and lunatic fringe in America…. What can I say?  What about the doctors in the UK who aren't concerned?

So, to paraphrase the Irish attitude –

We think cigarettes are 100% lethal, and while we are told that e-cigarettes are 95% safer, there is still a remote possibility that they are 5% lethal and would therefore prefer people to stick with the 100% lethal ones for a few more decades until we are happy that further research has been carried out.

Or possibly the real truth –

Look, Ireland relies very heavily on Big Pharma as an industry and we wouldn't want to rock the boat.  Also they are very generous in funding qangos so we don't want to offend them in any way.  Therefore we would ask people to ignore the experts and carry on smoking which is, when all is said and done, a huge generator of tax revenue.  And if anyone wants to quit, then ignore those idiots in the UK and rely instead on the useless yokes produced by our pharmaceutical friends.


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The Deliberately Blinkered Approach — 5 Comments

  1. Dr James Reilly has it exactly backward. The "perfect" in his viewpoint would be that nobody uses nicotine in any form. That overlooks the fact that nicotine provides benefits such as improvements in mood, memory, concentration, and attention span that some folks need help with more than others. So the perfect is unattainable. Measures such as insanely high prices for tobacco products are being thwarted by solutions such as the black market. Look how well alcohol prohibition worked in the U.S. (not!)

    The "good" consists of people who need the benefits of nicotine being able to get those benefits without being subjected to the health hazards of inhaling smoke, which include heart attacks, stroke, cancers, and lung disease.

    So because some people can now enjoy nicotine's benefits without paying the price of a smoking-related disease, Dr. Reilly wants to discourage smokers from switching. He is allowing his world-view of "perfect" be the enemy of the "good" of reductions in smoking-related diseases and deaths.

    • James "Fatso" Reilly is at the extreme end of the lunatic fringe.  He is fanatically obsessed with smoking and the tobacco industry.

      I urge you to take a look at this –

      I defy anyone to watch that and say he isn't deranged.  What makes him so dangerous though is that he is deputy leader of the ruling party and therefore guaranteed a ministerial post.  He was in charge of Health, but make such a mess of it that he was demoted to Children.

      Reilly doesn't just want people to stop smoking – he wants the complete destruction of the tobacco industry and the eradication of any form of tobacco use from the face of the planet.

  2. Of course the Big Cheeses in Tobacco Control don’t like the idea that e-cigarettes could be safe.  It threatens not just their lucrative funding from the taxpayer, but their very existence.  If all (or virtually all) smokers were to switch over to vaping tomorrow that’d be the end of the whole shebang, wouldn’t it?  No need for expensive anti-smoking advertising campaigns, no need for whispering in the ear of The Authorities to urge them into “doing the right thing” by bringing in increasingly-restrictive rules and regulations, no need for anti-smoking groups, no need for their “advisors” to sit on committees or take part in consultations or offer their opinions on proposed tobacco control measures … no need, in fact, for any of the “services” which Tobacco Control currently “offers.”  Who would be interested in their “expert” opinions on something that virtually no-one does any more?  Where would they get their kudos and their power from then?

    And the hateful anti-smoking drones who have latched onto all things anti-smoking would hate it, too (which may be one reason why they still complain if they see anyone vaping, with all the accompanying hand-waving and pretend coughing – anything to keep up the idea that vaping and smoking are one and the same thing).  Without smokers, who would they bully?  Who would they feel superior to?  Which strangers would they feel emboldened to be rude to in the street?  Who would they post spiteful comments about on t’Internet? 

    Oh yes.  A major shift from smoking to vaping would upset a lot of people.


    • Of course one of the biggest impacts would be the loss of revenue for the gubmint.  Remove all those billions and the tax take would have to be increased somewhere else.  All those non-smokers would find themselves being screwed even tighter, which could bring about the glorious prospect of people begging to having smoking reintroduced!

  3. Nicotine is a glorious drug, another plant alkaloid that makes our existence pleasurable and safe. Tis an anodyne against Alzheimer and chronic gut conditions. It soothes a troubled mind and fosters alertness.  

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