Friday, 21 February 2014

E-cigarette advertising

I was on Radio 4's You and Yours this lunchtime debating e-cigarette advertising with Vivienne Nathanson. She is the British Medical Association's head of 'science and ethics', but I didn't hear much evidence of either when she spoke. The usual spurious 'dual use' and 'gateway theory' objections were raised, along with the extraordinary claim that the e-cigarette "is not something that's being used to help people give up".

You can listen to the interview here. The item starts at 1.25 minutes.

And you can watch the advert that has fed the BMA's insatiable appetite for banning things below. As I mentioned in the interview, the word 'smokers' has been changed to 'vapers' for broadcast on television. I don't know why.

It is not the first e-cigarette advert to appear on television. E-lites got there first, but as E-lites are not made by a subsidiary of 'Big Tobacco' the BMA kicked up less of a stink.

Finally, if you haven't seen it yet, Rob Lyons' article about e-cigarettes and tobakko kontrol is well worth reading.


Richard White said...

"the word 'smokers' has been changed to 'vapers' for broadcast on television. I don't know why."

Probably because they don't want people to think it's exclusively for smokers.

Ivan D said...

I am appalled that Nathanson survived lying on Radio 4 about the scientific evidence on smoking in cars. She was not mistaken, confused or taken out of context, she lied.

I suppose her continued tenure tells anyone who actually cares all they need to know about the BMAs approach to science and ethics.

The medical establishment continues to ignore scientific method, favour populist policies promoted using emotional blackmail and place no value on ethics whatsoever.

Employing someone who has lied in public whilst acting as head of ethics would be generally unacceptable in industry but the medical establishment continues to argue that industry = bad state(medicalised)= good.

Unfortunately, the talentless media drones and the Westminster nouveau aristocrats, most of whom have never done a day's work in their lives, have a vested interest in supporting such simplistic nonsense. Being forced to be either scientific or ethical might wobble the whole house of cards that is the modern UK establishment.

Fredrik Eich said...

I remember Vivienne Nathanson claiming on TV that smokers die at least ten years earlier than non-smokers. Clearly not true. I suppose it could just be a nervous slip of the tongue but highly misleading in any case.

Junican said...

One of the really annoying thing about Nathanson's script is the constant harping on about "Worry". We have heard this emphasis on 'worry' over and over again. Who the hell is worried in reality? Well - no one, including Nathanson, I would guess: unless she is speaking on behalf of her Big Pharma paymasters. One can't help but feel that the whole point of using the word 'worry' over and over is to actually create worry where there is nothing to worry about.

Fredrik Eich said...

I don't know if you have seen this from the ACSH

"Although numerous studies seeking to find strong (or any) evidence of a link between SHS (secondhand smoke, or “passive smoking”) and lung cancer have failed to find such, the popular wisdom (shared by most scientists) is that SHS is indeed a cause of lung cancer. One reason for this widespread mythology is the failure of news media — both general and scientific — to take note of these studies."

Clive Bates said...


I have written to Dr Nathanson to pick up on a few points she made in the interview. The letter is here:

You did a very good job, but it would have taken the whole programme to challenge the entire catalogue of half-truths, non-sequiturs and falsehoods that were produced in such a short time.

Fredrik Eich said...

Clive Bates, director of anti-smoking group ASH, said in 1998: “This is a scaremongering story by a tobacco industry front group. ”No-one is seriously talking about a complete ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants.”

Is that really true. Not one person in the tobacco control industry talked about an eventual blanket ban on smoking in pubs and restaurnts or around 1998?