Thursday 11 July 2024

Smoking-related cancers at an all time high?

Do people in “public health” have little meetings where they dare each other to tell the media the most outrageous nonsense they can think of? Is it a competition? Do they put money in a pot which they only lose if a journalist laughs at their press release and refuses to publish it?

If so, that day never seems to come. I stopped giving money to Cancer Research UK (CRUK) years ago when it became obvious that they were prepared to abuse people’s trust in their brand by using dodgy claims to lobby for stupid policies. I suppose you have to expect activists to gild the lily somewhat, but there’s gilding and there’s gaslighting.

Rishi Sunak’s plan to very gradually prohibit the sale of tobacco had to be put on hold when he pulled off the political masterstroke of holding a general election in July for no reason. It is extremely unlikely that the Labour Party will not revive it — they were keener on the idea than the Tories — but the anti-smoking lobby are not taking any chances and are lobbying hard for it to be made a priority. The only snag is that a mere six per cent of the general public share their belief that it is a priority. And so, to inject some urgency into the proceedings, CRUK announced on Tuesday that “the number of cancer cases caused by smoking in the UK has reached an all-time high”. 

Does anybody in their right mind find this remotely believable? Smoking rates in the UK peaked at around 60 per cent in the 1950s. By 1990, they had halved to 30 per cent. They have since more than halved again, to 13 per cent. It takes a while to develop cancer, of course, but it doesn’t take 70 years. If it did, you might as well smoke. 

Read the rest at The Critic...

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