For years they have been bullying, cajoling and lying in their efforts to stop people smoking.
When their efforts met with little success they invented "second hand smoking" in order to get the non-smoking public on their side.
Then along came the electronic cigarette.
Now you would imagine they would have embraced the e-cig with open arms as here at last was a means to get people away from the evils of the cigarette. It didn't contain all those thousands of carcinogens that they claimed are in cigarettes; it doesn't produce any smoke or smell and people were taking to it in their droves. Around the world hundreds of thousands of people were forsaking cigarettes for the electronic version. Surely anyone who truly believed that cigarettes are the big demon would welcome the e-cigarette?
The World Health Organization stepped up its war on "Big Tobacco", calling for stiff regulation of electronic cigarettes as well as bans on indoor use, advertising and sales to minors.
Several things strike me about this report.
"[…..] the UN health agency also voiced concern at the concentration of the market in the hands of transnational tobacco companies."
Now what is this? E-cigarettes are evil because they are in the hands of tobacco companies? Setting aside the fact that the vast majority of e-cig companies have nothing to do with the tobacco companies, what is their logic? Is it that tobacco companies can only produce evil? It is produced by a tobacco company ergo it has to be bad?
In the report, the WHO said there are 466 brands of e-cigarettes and the industry represents "an evolving frontier filled with promise and threat for tobacco control".
OK, they acknowledge there is promise, but where is the threat?
But the devices are controversial. Because they are so new there is a lack of long-term scientific evidence to support their safety and some fear they could be "gateway" products to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking.
This is the argument that is frequently trotted out – "there is insufficient research". E-cigarettes have been around for some years now, and you can be absolutely sure that the Anti-Smoker brigade have already carried out extensive tests. Their problem is though that they won't have found any of their "thousands of carcinogenic chemicals". If they can't find anything bad to say, then just keep quiet and pretend the tests were never done, because you can stake your life that if they had found anything harmful it would have been shouted from the rooftops.
What they will have discovered in their tests is that the electronic cigarette is nothing more than a better alternative to the patches, gum and inhalers produced by their friends in Big Pharma.
It has never been about health. It has never been about getting people to quit smoking.
It has always been about scaring people into attempting to quit by using Big Pharma's useless products.