First they came for the smokers…..

I am just about to have my Johann Hari moment, except my hand is up for plagiarism.  I urge you to read both Dick Puddlecote and Chris Snowdon’s take on control freak Australia, who’s strap line is:

Cigs war won: Now cancer campaigners set their sights on beer.”

As Chris notes, “Well, guess what? Wowsers, health fanatics and puritans are not the drinker’s friend. Never have been, never will be. Those of us who enjoy pleasures that carry a measure of risk are on the same side. Always have been, always will be. The temperance lobby met with ASH in Scotland recently to swap notes, for God’s sake. How far down the slippery slope do you need to be before you realise you’re on your arse?”

As Dick notes, “I’ll keep saying it – we’re not talking of two issues here, there is only one. Those drinkers (and their associations) who were happy to let tobacco fall only hastened the onset of their own woes. Some of us did try to warn them, but there were just too many fingers in too many ears.”

My only original fact to add is the Royal College of Physician’s comment in 2008:

“The ‘passive effects’ of alcohol misuse are catastrophic – rape, sexual assault, domestic and other violence, drunk driving and street disorder – alcohol affects thousands more innocent victims than passive smoking.”

Then they came for the drinkers….





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4 Responses to First they came for the smokers…..

  1. Ed says:

    The TRUE effects of the Smoking Ban on one mans business.

  2. John Erkle says:

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011
    Non-smokers’ lung cancer may be different
    Researchers discovered lung cancer is different in people who smoke compared to non smokers who develop cancer.

    Read more:

    This should send ASH and the rest of tobacco control running for the leaking DIKE!

    Whats the backbone of the smoking ban, the claim that shs/ets causes cancer in non-smokers!

    If thats totally disproven, the basis for the bans is MOOT!

  3. Rose says:

    I think that this is more likely to be the real reason behind the bans, how else could you sell vast amounts of products that very few people want?


    WHO Europe evidence based recommendations on the treatment of tobacco dependence – 2002

    “The following recommendations on the treatment of tobacco dependence have been written as an initiative of the World Health Organization European Partnership Project to Reduce Tobacco Dependence.

    This was a three year project, funded largely by three pharmaceutical companies that manufacture treatment products for tobacco dependence, but managed by WHO Europe and a steering group which included government representatives and many public sector organisations.”

    “They were commissioned by the World Health Organization and have drawn on the experience of a number of European countries, including the four original target countries of the partnership project: France, Germany, Poland, and the UK. They were discussed in two European WHO meetings on evidence based treatment, in London in November 1999 and in Barcelona in October 2000, and revised in the light of feedback following those meetings.”

    Co-operation between public and private sectors in fight against Tobacco Dependence reaches unprecedented level

    Chicago – Four major pharmaceutical companies — Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis Consumer Health, Pharmacia Corporation and SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare — are working together with major public health organisations in a series of unprecedented initiatives to fight tobacco use world-wide.”

    “Services and support are key to helping smokers quit and to helping governments who have signed up to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) meet their commitments to drive tobacco use down.”

    “In an effort to reduce tobacco use, the EU and its Member States have signed up to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).3 The FCTC’s Article 14, through its recently adopted guidelines, demands action to promote cessation of tobacco use and provide adequate treatment for tobacco dependence.”

    Countries who have signed up to the FCTC therefore have a legal obligation to implement the recommendations of Article 14.”

    Guidelines Article 14

    Click to access FCTC_COP4_8-en.pdf

    DECEMBER 16, 2004
    Britain ratifies anti-tobacco treaty

    “The announcement was hidden away in a statement about a reduction in the number of smokers in the UK.”

    “On the same day as these statistics were published,” the release says, “the UK ratified the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.”

    And sure enough you’ll find the announcement halfway down, hidden in the text.

    More than a million fewer smokers since 1998, UK

    No wonder we couldn’t work out what was happening.

    [Article 8] creates an obligation to provide universal protection by ensuring that all indoor public places, all indoor workplaces, all public transport and possibly other (outdoor or quasi-outdoor) public places are free from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.

    No exemptions are justified on the basis of health or law arguments.

    If exemptions must be considered on the basis of other arguments, these should be minimal.
    In addition, if a Party is unable to achieve universal coverage immediately, Article 8 creates a continuing obligation to move as quickly as possible to remove any exemptions and make the protection universal.”

    Click to access art%208%20guidelines_english.pdf

  4. Rose says:

    The Pharmaceutical industry appears to be in a spot of bother.

    The Patent Cliff

    “Nickname for the impending expiry of a range of lucrative pharmaceutical patents.”

    Drugmakers warned of $140 billion patent “cliff”

    (Reuters) – The world’s top drugmakers face the loss of $140 billion (70 billion pounds) in annual sales by 2016 as key product patents expire and cheap generic versions of their blockbuster medicines hit the market, according to a report on Wednesday.

    Independent market analysis firm Datamonitor said that the huge patent “cliff” meant manufacturers of branded products could expect to face a decade of unrelenting generic competition.

    As a result, many investors are concerned drug companies do not have enough new compounds moving through development to keep sales and profits growing at historic levels.

    “While reformulation strategies may be effective at staving off generic competition in the short term, ultimately manufacturers need to develop truly novel drugs in order to maintain franchise and portfolio revenues in the face of generic competition,” he said.”

    “Chantix sales could help Pfizer on its comback trail, as it tries to fill its impending, multibillion-dollar sales vacuum that will result from some of its older blockbusters losing patent protection.”

    And the previous government were only too happy to help out it seems.

    Gordon Brown plans tonic for pharmaceutical industry – 2009

    The Government has placed the pharmaceuticals industry at the heart of its economic agenda with the appointment of Lord Mandelson and Alan Johnson to a key health sector group that will report to the Prime Minister.

    Gordon Brown has summoned senior industry figures, such as Andrew Witty, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, and David Brennan, his opposite number at AstraZeneca, to a meeting at No10 to discuss ways of protecting pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies, their revenues and their jobs, as the economy deteriorates rapidly.”

    “Mr Witty is leading the industry delegation, which has been organised by the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI). The meeting formally kicks off an initiative in which the Government and the pharmaceuticals industry will work together to address the barrage of problems they face over the next few years.

    The traditional pharmaceuticals companies, for which some key patents will expire in the coming years, are concerned about the increasing cost of bringing new drugs to the market and growing regulatory hurdles”

    Anger at advisers’ biotech links

    “Dozens of the Government’s most influential advisers on critical health and environmental issues have close links to biotech and drug corporations, according to a dossier of Whitehall documents obtained by The Observer.

    Internal papers from the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) reveal for the first time the extent of the close connections between big business and scientists hired to give independent advice to Ministers. Many work as consultants for the firms, own shares in the companies or enjoy lucrative research grants from them.

    Confidential documents disclose that former Environment Minister Michael Meacher and Food and Farming Minister Lord Whitty, were deeply concerned that scientists with industry links were dominating committees on everything from food safety and air quality to the imminent arrival of GM crops. Both Meacher and Whitty were alarmed that the scientists’ commercial links jeopardised the independence of the advice they gave”

    More than three-quarters of the members of the committee which advises Ministers on food safety have direct links to major food companies and drug giants including Novartis, Astra-Zeneca and Syngenta. Its chair, Professor Ieuan Hughes, has personal interests in Pharmacia – which in April was bought by Pfizer to create the biggest drugs company in the world – and owns shares in BP Amoco where his daughter works.”

    “Big push” for UK biotech 2007

    “Now is the moment for a big push” in improving the environment for the UK biotech industry, argues Tony Blair, Prime Minister.
    “To allow the biotech industry to get some strength in research out of the NHS is something we need to look at in this country,”

    “The Prime Minister added that he believes the industry and Government have now curbed the actions of animal rights extremists, and underlined his support for stem cell research.

    The discussions covered the cost of clinical trials, strengthening links with universities and funding. The BioIndustry Association (BIA) described the meeting as, “incredibly positive from all around the table”, and that Tony Blair’s leadership on creating the right policy climate for biotech had “reverberated across the sector”.

    THE GHOST LOBBY New Labour and the Pharmaceutical Industry

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