Friday, 9 March 2018

Sorting The Lies And The Truth At #WCTOH2018

Following on from Wednesday's article here about happenings at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) in Cape Town, I see that proceedings have now wrapped up. The congenital liars delegates are packing their bags as I write and heading to the airport for their state-funded flights back home, filled to the brim with military-style fighting rhetoric against industry but having achieved the grand sum of fuck all for the benefit of public health.

We learned from this conference - if learn is the right word - that the tobacco industry lies about many things. Apparently their insistence - along with accumulated global evidence over centuries - that prohibition doesn't work is nonsense.

We also 'learned' that e-cigs have had nothing to do with the dramatic decline in smoking in the UK since about 2012, in fact it's not even worth mentioning. Nope, tobacco companies saying harm reduction is good and plain packaging has had no effect is just another one of their lies. It's plain packaging - introduced in spring 2017 - which is the main driver.

And we were also educated that there is no downside to high tobacco taxes, because it is just an industry myth that they create black markets.

OK, the percentages on that graph bear little resemblance to those measured by HMRC's latest measuring tax gaps report ...

... but that's just a minor detail because the tobacco control industry is a fine, upstanding bearer of the sword of truth! Whereas 'Big Tobacco' are big fat liars.  It's ridiculous that anyone could ever think high taxes cause illicit trade. You could ramp the duty up to £200 per pack and all that would happen is that revenues would rise and smokers would quit while criminal gangs remained oblivious to the profit potential of a huge global market starved of supply.

We 'learned' too that the tobacco industry's lies about the slippery slope when it comes to sanctions on tobacco are totally unfounded. You may remember Debs Arnott telling us this in 2012.
"The “domino theory” i.e. that once a measure has been applied to tobacco it will be applied to other products is patently false."
Yep, that is blatant tobacco industry propaganda too.

The tobacco controllers at WCTOH this week, however, never lie. They only tell truths.

Truths such as this.
Philanthropist Mike Bloomberg launched a $20 million initiative this morning to fight the “fake science” being spread by tobacco companies. The former New York City mayor announced the new initiative ahead of the 17th World Congress on Tobacco, which gets underway today in Cape Town. It’s dubbed the STOP campaign — Stop Tobacco Organizations and Products — and will fund nonprofit groups and researchers to monitor tobacco companies that are “lobbying governments with false information,” such as the safety of smoke-free products like e-cigs, Bloomberg says. His goal: "STOP is going to fight these practices and tell people what the truth is."
Yes, damn those e-cigs and their much-reduced potential for harm, they're just not "safe" and must be banned. Mikey is so passionate about spreading truth that his words even reached the Guardian.
The tobacco control movement has roundly denounced the [Foundation for a Smokefree World] and accused PMI of duplicity. Michael Bloomberg, now WHO global ambassador for noncommunicable diseases, said it was “an effort by Philip Morris to confuse the public and to misinform them deliberately”.
Yeah, you stick it to them Mike. PMI's unrestricted funding, over which they have no control and to which they are committed no matter what the FSFW finds, is just a way of "misleading" the public into thinking reduced harm products might, erm, reduce harm whereas tobacco control - truthsayers extraordinaire - are valiantly trying to tell the public otherwise.
“I understand the tobacco companies want to protect their business, but to deliberately go out and to misinform people where lives are at stake is just something that I think we should not permit. And so my foundation has committed $20m as a start to explain to people what’s going on.”
So what's going on Michael?
At a briefing, Michael Bloomberg accused the foundation of promoting “fake science as well as fake news”
Well considering the FSFW has not produced a single item of science yet and Mikey is so determined they never will that he's bunged $20m at the 'problem', that's an interesting theory and in no way can be considered "fake news".

See, funding by 'Big Tobacco' must, by definition, result in fake stuff, while tobacco control would never mislead the public and Mike is a stand-up guy so his $20m would never be used to promote propaganda, so completely disregard the statement at the bottom of his article.
The Guardian’s series Tobacco: a deadly business is funded by by support provided, in part, by Vital Strategies with funding by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
See? Now you're better educated. Thank you WCTOH delegates for your astonishing departure from reality sterling defence of the truth this week. Taxes well and truly not spunked up the wall, and no mistake.

Has there ever been a profession so fundamentally dishonest as tobacco control? 

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