Friday 20 February 2015

James Reilly: liar or simpleton?

James Reilly, arguably Ireland's most fanatical anti-tobacco crusader, displayed a staggering degree of ignorance (or dishonesty) when discussing snus in a parliamentary meeting this week. The video below shows the imbecile (or liar) claiming that people in Sweden cut their gums in order to use the world's safest tobacco product.

This, of course, is sheer nonsense, as journalist Dan MacGuill says on his blog...

In case you didn’t already know, using snus does NOT involve cutting your gums. That’s a complete fiction – passed on as fact by a trained doctor, to a committee responsible for performing due diligence on Ireland’s public health legislation.

But what’s even worse about this clip is what the minister does NOT say: Sweden has by far the EU’s lowest tobacco-related mortality rates among men.

And several studies (here and here) have concluded that this is precisely because snus is legally available and prevalent there, which is not the case elsewhere on the continent.

It's never easy to say with certainty whether people in the 'public health' racket are lying or merely incompetent. The same is often true of politicians. Since Reilly is in both camps, he could either be a massive fraud or a massive idiot. Or both.

On this occasion, if Reilly knew that what he was saying was a lie, he must have expected to be called out on it, so I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and call him an unbelievably ignorant thicko who doesn't know the first thing about the one subject to which he has dedicated his career, rather than a conscious deceiver and fraud.

Either way, he's not a fit person to be making laws, which explains why Ireland has some of the most idiotic and counter-productive tobacco control legislation in the world. Despite having the worst problem with black market tobacco in western Europe, they've recently announced plans to introduce plain packaging. Guess who was the driving force behind the policy?


Christopher Snowdon said...

Oh really? no sir, OMG Reilly. So Sweden is a nation of self harmers? I know he spouts a load of nonsense but this takes the biscuit, what is he on? he must be the IRA's pin up boy.

Christopher Snowdon said...

Not so surprising when one recalls that this is the same imbecile who believes that adults who smoke in their own cars will cease to do so after being mesmerised by disapproving drivers.

Christopher Snowdon said...

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but advocating snus instead of smoking because of some imaginary health benefits is bullshit. Let me explain: first of all, snus and smoking are 2 completely different experiences. It's like recommending someone who enjoys a drink to give it up and eat brandy filled chocolates instead. They both have alcohol in common, just like snus and smoking have tobacco in common. Secondly, on the tobacco-related mortality rates: that's an antismoking propaganda term which can't hold water under close scrutiny. Need I remind you of all people that not even lung cancer has been induced in lab animals ? But we're supposed to believe that people get all types of cancers from smoking, right ? Anyway, even if we go along with the propaganda, the numbers don't add up. Sweden has 297 male cancer cases per 100k while heavier smoking countries like Austria has 295 cases per 100k, Finland 290/100k UK 284/100k.

Christopher Snowdon said...

Who in this world could possibly believe that a man so dedicated to the cause of public health could lie so blatantly in order to demonise a risk-reduction strategy to reduce danger from smoking?

Christopher Snowdon said...

"It's never easy to say with certainty whether people in the 'public health' racket are lying or merely incompetent."

In both cases they are lying, so does this really matter? The important thing is that the entire medicine world today is controlled by Big Pharma by manipulation, lobbying and corruption. You cannot expect a health official to tell the truth if the truth goes against Big Pharma's economical interests. Snus and Ecigs are competing with Big Pharma products - for that reason and that reason only they are dismissed. There is really no more to it. This is about business, not health - or rather: It is only about health as long as it involves Big Pharma's products and solutions.

Christopher Snowdon said...

"he's not a fit person to be making laws"

He's not fit to be a doctor either.

Christopher Snowdon said...

I must say that the screen capture on the video you've embedded is quite delightful! Scowling, with his pinky thrust firmly up his right nostril! A truly candid image of the person who we're dealing with.

Christopher Snowdon said...

Sweden has about 19 lung cancers per 100 000, while other European countries have around 30, and most other cancers have nothing to do with tobacco.
As for replacing cigs with snus, it makes perfect sense of course. What many ex-smokers are missing is not the ritual, or the gesture or the social experience but the molecules.

Reilly has probably heard of the hoax about glass particles in snus, supposedly put there in order to open the gum and facilitate absorption. This is of course a legend, cutting the gums would probably create blood coagulation and scars, which would not make absorption any easier. But I suppose Dr Reilly knows more than me about that.

Is he an ex-smoker? Many anti-tobacco jihadists are simply ex-smokers desperate not to relapse. Somebody give this guy a cigarette, for Heaven's sake.