Tuesday 27 August 2013

Conflict of interest of the week

In the war against e-cigarettes, you might expect Big Pharma to seek a rent-seeking ban in order to preserve its share of the nicotine market. Similarly, you might expect Big Tobacco to seek restrictions on this new competitor to the cigarette industry.

Both could be accused of self-interest if they call for e-cigarettes to be banned, but they're not the only ones who fear for their livelihoods. Now, even the people who work at smoking cessation centres are getting worried...

Stop smoking services face a new era of challenges due to the rise of the electronic cigarette, health chiefs have warned.

... Adrian Butterworth, smoking cessation manager at the Crompton Health Centre, said: “Our services have been described as ‘jewell [sic] in the NHS’ crown and we couldn’t be more proud of that achievement.

... “We have seen a slight down-turn in people using our service in the past year and we think it is down to e-cigarettes. Smokers think they quitting by using one but in fact they are not. It’s just another way of smoking."

You'd think that someone who runs a smoking cessation centre would know what smoking is, wouldn't you? That it involves fire, combustion and burnt matter, for example. No wonder their success rate is so pisspoor and no wonder smokers are abandoning them in favour of e-cigarettes.


Anonymous said...

I presume that the 'crown' of which they speak cost 99p from the local fancy dress outfitter?

Rursus said...

Adrian Butterworth presents the harmfulness of tobacco on the same level with ecigarettes?

He gets money for this bullshit?

Michael J. McFadden said...

Perfectly stated Chris. Tobacco Control would do a lot better if they fired all their incompetent staff.

Hmmm... but there'd be nobody left then. Ahhh well, it would still be better than what they've got.


Unknown said...

"Both could be accused of self-interest if they call for e-cigarettes to be banned,"

I must say though, I find it a little hard to believe that Big Tobacco (or any industry) would call for a ban of their own products:



Don't you ... ? Is there something here I missed?

Unknown said...

You would have thought that a stop smoking clinic would know that it is the nicotine that is addictive, and not the tobacco.
That said, it has been claimed that additives tobacco companies use make the nicotine more addictive, and switching to electronic cigarettes is a useful first step to smokers who want to quit nicotine. The truth is that the anti smoking lobby are not about choice.

Unknown said...

"a stop smoking clinic would know that it is the nicotine that is addictive, and not the tobacco."

Not so sure about the nicotine addiction theory anymore. Nicotine alone does not seem to be very addictive ...


Michael J. McFadden said...

Despite the nonsense from the Antismokers nicotine by itself is probably not very "addictive." Surgeon General's Reports in the US were very clear on that point in the 60s and 70s, but got taken over by the Antis in the 80s because of the political power (under the Reagans' "Just Say No!" antidrug policies) of declaring it "the most addictive drug in the world." E.G. it was widely known and tolerated that "children" in their mid teens would often smoke and that stores would sell cigarettes to anyone who at least appeared to be at least 15 or so (legal age, technically, was 18, but totally ignored). But... once the Antis could play up the image of "innocent children being addicted by Big Tobacco Drug Pushers" that toleration went out the window.

Nicotine plays a PART in the smoking habit, and a fairly big part, but the whole ritual/feeling of smoking makes up an equally big part of it once one has become accustomed to enjoy taking their nicotine in that form. Big Pharma's nicotine is about as appealing to the average smoker as sitting down to a meal with an IV drip of grain alcohol would be to someone who enjoys wine or whiskey or beer with or after their meals. Individual smokers probably operate along a continuum -- with some being more dependent upon nicotine and some being more dependent upon the ritual of sitting back from their work to think for a bit while enjoying something they like to do. E-cigs address both those needs to some extent (although they don't provide as nice a "unitary/discreet break" experience as an individual cigarette does).

In terms of those famous "nicotine-enhancing additives" I challenged a professional Anti on that on a board a while ago and of course got no response. The only element of that which I am aware of is that some BigT companies discovered in the 1980s that slightly increasing the level of natural ammonia in cigarette smoke made the absorption of its nicotine more efficient -- thereby increasing the effective nicotine "dose" per unit of actual smoke inhaled.

That **SHOULD** have been hailed as a great health advance: for that segment of smokers who smoke a lot primarily to maintain a pleasant level of nicotine stimulation, that change could well have reduced their total exposure to the undesirable toxic/carcinogenic elements of tobacco smoke.


timbone said...

"Smokers think they quitting by using one but in fact they are not. It’s just another way of smoking."
Adrian Butterworth is unknowingly supporting the late Alan Carr, founder of the most successful quit smoking method. Let me explain.
Alan Carr was an avid opponent to NRT. He quite rightly said that if a person wants to give up smoking, then they must stop feeding the nicotine monster which they have created.
Now smokers love their nicotine monster. I truly believe that any smoker who wants to quit only wants to avoid the potential damage from everything OTHER than the nicotine.
The nearest thing that the NRT stable have managed to the ecig is the inhalator.