I have the highest regard for John Crown…..
…. as an oncologist.
I believe he is one of the best in the country and should I ever be unfortunate enough to require the services of an oncologist, he would be my first choice.
I draw the line there though.
When it comes to tobacco, he is a paranoid obsessive. To listen to him, you would swear that tobacco is the greatest evil and the cause of all the world's ills, and that the Tobacco Industry is there solely to kill off mankind for their own profit.
I suppose there is an excuse for him in that he sees a lot of cases of cancer. It's like a car mechanic demanding Draconian driving restrictions because he sees so many crashed cars?
Now he is on the e-cigarette bandwagon, demanding that they be treated as tobacco products [despite their containing no tobacco]. He wants people protected from "second hand vapour"!. He wants them banned in the workplace, in cars and just about everywhere else, and even wants the ludicrous step of forcing "plain packaging".
Now I would assume that an oncologist would like to see people stop smoking? Deluded or not, there is a logic to it. One of the greatest innovations in the smoking cessation field has been the development of the electo-fag, with millions forsaking cigarettes for the electronic version. You would therefore imagine that the ilk of Crown would be only too delighted?
His reasoning for his hatred is somewhat vague and basically boils down to "not enough studies have been done". His partner in crime Averil Power uses the excuse that "she has seen a child using one"! To use an example from my old friend John Mallon – Crown would stop an alcoholic from drinking water because it looks like vodka and not enough research has been done into water.
Treating electronic cigarettes as if they were ordinary cigarettes will have a major impact on those who wish to quit. Those who have already switched and who don't find the alternative quite so enjoyable will just revert back to their old habits. Others who see the electronic cigarette as a means to enjoy a vape down the pub or in the office will just shrug and stay on the old reliables.
The rise of the electronic cigarette has hit two industries and hit them hard.
The Tobacco Industry is losing sales as people switch to the electronic equivalent.
The Pharmaceutical Industry has been hit badly as sales of their smoking cessation products is severely under threat.
I can only assume that Crown is in the pay of one of the above.
The only other conclusion is that his obsessive hatred of smoking and his desire to force everyone to quit has clouded his judgment to the point of paranoia.
I'll let you decide.