Last night, Twitter pointed me in the direction of an interesting article.
Well, that's a good thing, isn't it?
The Smoking Matters service in Dumfries and Galloway helped 102 people in deprived areas kick the habit in the past year – 251 below target.
So there was a target of 353? Why? Why not 355? Or 360?
Public Health Consultant Dr Andrew Carnon said the trend was being mirrored across Scotland.
He said many people saw e-cigarettes as a stepping stone to stopping smoking.
Doesn't he mean "gateway"? Or is it a "stepping stone" to quitting and a "gateway" to smoking. Anyway, stepping stone or gateway, surely he must be pleased? They are quitting, aren't they?
Nationwide figures have shown a similar trend to those in the south west of Scotland.
In 2013, the Information Services Division reported that the number of attempts to stop smoking had fallen by 13% compared with 2012.
Maybe they have reached rock bottom and there aren't any smokers left who want to quit? Or maybe they have just found a more efficient method than being nagged by Carnon?
That was the first decrease seen in recent years and it was also suggested this could be "partly explained" by the rise in the use of e-cigarettes.
Indeed. Electrofags seem to be remarkably effective?
Dr Carnon said that although there was still a lack of evidence about their effectiveness, the NHS might have to review and adapt its smoking cessation service in the future.
Actually I think he will find evidence by the millions. The NHS will definitely have to step up its campaign against e-cigarettes though.
However, he said he believed that there would always be a need for support services in that provision.
Well, he wants to keep his job, doesn't he?
"The position of e-cigarettes is at the moment not fully clear because they are so new there hasn't been all the research carried out," he said.
"We actually don't know at this stage just how effective they are in helping people to stop smoking.
We do, and there has been a lot of research. They have been around a while after all. But then the research shows them to be effective so we had better ignore it. Can't have research spoil a good income?
"There is also a risk, potentially at least, that smokers may use them in certain settings where they are not allowed to smoke tobacco but without any intention of actually stopping smoking tobacco cigarettes."
He said that was clearly a case where they would not be of any benefit to a smoker's health.
Er, what? People are substituting e-cigarettes for ordinary cigarettes for a good part of the day and are therefore presumably smoking a lot less of the latter? Or is he saying that smoking less ordinary cigarettes is bad for our health?
"The third possibility, which again would not be a great one, is that people who don't smoke might feel that e-cigarettes are something that are much safer that they would like to try," he added.
So the world is full of people just itching to smoke but who might try e-cigarettes first? I doubt it. And even if they do, then so what?
"We just don't have the research evidence at the moment to say whether there is a risk that those people who might simply be experimenting with e-cigarettes might get drawn into using tobacco cigarettes at a later stage."
Actually we do and they don't. Even those fascists in ASH admit that.
Dr Carnon said it was clear from research that people had the best chance of quitting with some support.
Yes. The e-cigarette Internet forums are full to the brim with support. Or does he alone have that mysterious key to quitting and therefore he must be the only one to give that support?
"It is not just about the nicotine replacement, it is not just about use of e-cigarettes," he said.
No. It's about quitting his way and no one else's.
"It is actually about working with somebody to help you through the difficult process – because it's not easy to quit smoking.
Thereby justifying his salary.
"So really we would encourage people either to go to the smoking cessation service which is called Smoking Matters or to one of their local pharmacies who can help them or they can ask their GP if they would like some advice."
Nothing like pimping your "charity" and our friends in Big Pharma?
Note: There is a line omitted from the original article –
"This article is sponsored by the British Tax Payer, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and all the staff at Smoking Matters."