twitter: @rolygate

Who Protects Smoking ?

Summary

    During the last decades of the 20th century, smoking prevalence reduced from a much higher level (greater than 40%) to around 20% of the adult population, in countries like the UK. Principally, this was due to education and coercion (high taxes, indoor bans and so on). Two main elements contributed to the reduction: the availability of mostly truthful information about the health cost of smoking, and the influence of Public Health.
    However, there has been no reduction for many years now - since 2008 in fact - despite ever-greater sums being spent, ever-louder calls to reduce it further, and ever more people going into the Public Health industry [1].
    We now know that smoking prevalence cannot be reduced by tobacco control methods once the 20% Prevalence Rule operates [see right-hand menu], and this explains the many years of zero reduction in the UK and other countries. Only substitution (THR) can work efficiently once the rule kicks in. There are no exceptions: no country has ever broken the rule.
    Therefore it is a simple matter to protect smoking from any further reduction: just block THR. This ensures that smoking prevalence will remain high and the multiplicity of bountiful income channels will keep delivering, thus keeping everyone who matters happy.

Who protects smoking, and why?

It is very easy to see who is protecting smoking from any further reduction: they are the people blocking THR.

THR or Tobacco Harm Reduction is the consumer-led substitution of alternative consumer products to replace cigarettes, such as ecigs or Snus (Swedish oral tobacco). Free access to THR products is proven to reduce smoking prevalence by more than 50%, with an equivalent fall in death and disease. Only substitution can significantly reduce smoking prevalence once the 20% Prevalence Rule operates. So, preventing free access to THR will protect smoking and maintain disease levels.
 

The players
Sometimes it is industry calling for prohibition of THR, in order to protect current income channels; the cigarette and pharmaceutical industries being the most common offenders, as might be expected. Sometimes it is government, enforcing laws or introducing new ones, in order to protect tax revenue and favoured industries. Sometimes it is government spokespersons, making sure that the overriding commercial policy - in reality, money vs lives - is presented optimally in the media (i.e. lied about). Sometimes, it is academics funded by a university that is in effect owned by industry. Most often it is the Public Health industry, who comprise a network of organisations that range from public-funded thinktanks through to the fake charities and front groups commonly run by the pharmaceutical industry for propaganda and lobbying - especially common in the USA, also extant in Brussels, but not exclusive to those locations.


Public Health
'Public Health' is a transnational industry with a common goal, common policy, common language, and common income channels. It comprises several discrete sectors, and ranges from organisations that may be entirely independent through to fake charities that are obvious fronts for the pharmaceutical industry, and all shades in between. Their activities range from what may appear to be pure altruism through to blatant commercial lobbying. The industry is split into a multitude of sections depending on specialities or location. There are several serious issues with Public Health:

  • Because health in developed countries is getting better every decade, and average lifespan improves all the time, you would be forgiven for thinking there is progressively less need for attention to public health - since it is clearly improving dramatically as a result of better medical care and living standards. In 1964 the most common age of death in the UK was zero; in 2014 it is 87. (This refers to the most-commonly occurring age at death, not the mean age, and is used as a dramatic illustration of how medical care has improved.) However, this is not reflected in the size of the Public Health industry: it grows every year in inverse ratio to need, and is not related to lifespan improvements because it does not address the factors that improve this (principally medical care, though housing and social inequalities also figure). The only reason for its growth is that funding grows. The biggest growth area is commercial funding. Commercial funds have a quid pro quo - of course. Public Health now has very little real work indeed, and mostly engages in job creation schemes and commercial promotion.
  • Anything to do with tobacco, health and related policy is a free-fire zone: normal ethics and human rights do not apply. It is a commercial goldmine and treated as such by all players, including Public Health, who now operate on behalf of funders to the exclusion of all else.
  • There are sections of the industry that have the worst record of any business anywhere: they are clearly the worst offenders in the world for black propaganda, astroturfing and corruption leading to death among the population. The Tobacco Control sector is the worst of all: it now protects smoking on behalf of its funders (government and industry).
  • The principal job of Public Health in any area related to smoking is to act for funders, to protect and promote the domains of the funders. Doing so protects their own fiefdom and secures their funding. No one is better placed than these charities to lobby, and lobby they do: for their funders, not the public.
  • This is why senior figures in US fake charities earn million-dollar salaries: they protect their funders' massive income channels from any threat. A big reduction in smoking would be the worst possible event: it would seriously hurt all their funders and seriously hurt their own prospects. Salaries would fall and jobs vapourise.
  • Health charities, which are often nothing of the sort - they are commercial pressure goups - are better placed than anyone else to lobby government and affect policy. Lobbying means application of pressure and distribution of funds to buy voting seats. They get the policies their commercial and government backers need, and these policies always mean better profits. They certainly don't work for the public. A pressure group protecting smoking from a 50% reduction by THR in order to benefit funders does not qualify as 'public' or 'health'.
  • The methods used by the Tobacco Control industry are the most egregious imaginable, comprising every dirty trick from black propaganda to blatant lies about safer alternatives to smoking. Their commercial value to funders is incalculable - they are the front line in opposing THR and protecting smoking, in order to maintain tax income and profitable disease levels.

A significant proportion of Public Health has no possible use or value (probably most of it); and a proportion works purely for commercial purposes. It is now, basically, lobbying for hire and nothing more. Not only that, it clearly works against the health of the public in some areas. It is a special interest group whose aims appear to prioritise for their own survival.

Working out who paid for their services isn't always easy; but the money trail can usually be found. The best part about the Public Health industry's job is that they can shout loud and long about reducing smoking, since it can't be done any longer in places such as the UK where 20PR operates. As long as they block THR, they will always have a job and their funders will always be happy: tax revenues and chemotherapy drug sales are safe. No one cares how many smokers die anyway - otherwise THR would be fast-tracked, and the proven Swedish solution implemented immediately for a quick and proven route to a 50% cut in smoking prevalence and the proven parallel drop in smoking-related disease and death.

Who pays for the blatant lies ?

You may have noticed the repetition of 'proven' and the emphasis on proven results there, as compared to the zero results achieved by Public Health in the UK for the last few years. Not only has there been no reduction in smoking, the number of smokers in the UK actually grew after 2008. A notable feature of the static smoking prevalence of the last few years, combined with the actual growth in the number of smokers, is the volume of lies and obfuscation propagated by the Public Health industry to cover up the fact that the huge sums provided by the taxpayer have not just been completely wasted but applied instead to maintaining government and commercial incomes.

It is hard to understand the incompetence of government, pouring millions down the drain in this manner in a time of supposed economic difficulties; especially when smoking could be reduced rapidly at zero cost. The only answer to this conundrum must be that, in reality, government does not want smoking reduced. After all, a committee of 12-year-olds could do a better job - it's not exactly difficult:

~ THR is the only way of reducing smoking after 20PR operates
~ It costs the state nothing at all
~ So, if government promotes THR, then:
~ Government stops wasting millions on useless parasites
~ Watch smoking prevalence fall through the floor at near zero cost
~ Watch morbidity and mortality fall to Swedish levels and keep falling

It doesn't seem like rocket science - Sweden will have a male smoking prevalence of 5% by around 2016, and already has the lowest smoking-related mortality rate of any developed country by a wide margin. This amazing result is absolutely out of the question for any other country - unless they also embrace THR.

It's not as if the most senior UK academics don't agree, either:

"If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes we would save five million deaths in people who are alive today. It’s a massive potential public health prize."
- Prof. J Britton

Prof Britton is the Chair of the Royal College of Physicians' Tobacco Group, and is regarded as the most senior figure in tobacco control in Britain. His colleagues Profs West and Hajek, regarded as the next most senior figures, agree completely (qv for their quotes on this topic).

What are we missing here? The answer appears to be, "A lot of tax revenue, a lot of end-of-life savings that probably equal that revenue (about £12bn a year), and significant pharmaceutical industry income from treating disease".


Facts versus lies and propaganda
Now compare the facts with the media presentation of the industry/government agenda. See this report of the UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's words from the week ending October 25th, 2014:

"Mr Hunt said that “remarkable progress” was being made in reducing smoking rates,..." [2]

This is the most outrageous, blatant lie, since it very clearly refers to current progress - which as we have seen is zero and has been for years, and is cleverly concealed by Hunt, Public Health, and others working to a commercial agenda mostly centered around preserving tax revenues and protecting pharmaceutical industry income. This is the true face of national health: Hunt lies blatantly in order to protect revenues, with no thought for the thousands (and eventually, of course, millions) killed by his strong but unexplainable support for anti-THR policies.

The reason, of course, is very clear: just the savings on pensions, healthcare and social care for the elderly due to smokers dying off early (£10bn - £12bn?) easily covers the loss on healthcare for them (£5bn?) - a net gain of around £6bn without even taking into account the huge tobacco tax revenues, taxes paid by the pharmaceutical industry and staff, and taxes paid by everyone in the tobacco distribution and retail channels. The government gains around £25bn net from the tobacco business (revenue plus savings). Smoking provides a massive economic boost for government, so it's no surprise to learn that Hunt is dead against ecigs and THR. Why worry about a few million deaths when the money is so good? [3]

Culpable negligence

As a purely legal point, the date of guilty knowledge is well past. It was known by 2003 that THR products (specifically, Snus) reduced smoking prevalence rapidly and efficiently; had zero cost to the state; had no reliably-identifiable health impact; that the EU Snus ban of 1992 (and its transposition into UK law) was unjust; that the EU Snus ban caused tens of thousands of preventable deaths; and that THR was a provable solution to smoking-related morbidity and mortality, since its application in Sweden had resulted in unique national health statistics [4].

Post-2008 it was obvious to all that THR is the only solution, since no other method has worked anywhere the 20PR operates. It is not acceptable for public figures to exhibit obvious corruption* by attempting to block THR and by doing so enabling, promoting and protecting preventable deaths for profit.
* A reasonable definition of corruption is the pursuit of profit by government staff at the expense of the public interest. Thus, deliberately allowing millions of preventable deaths, or stopping their prevention, for economic reasons, by persons with a public office or a duty of care, is clearly corrupt. There is no requirement for personal profit to exist where the person involved holds public office or has a duty of care to the public, and where the motivation is clearly financial in some aspect.

The revolving door and the future expectation of benefit

As a separate issue and completely unconnected with any of the foregoing, we can also note the principal form of corruption that currently affects industry-government affairs. There are two aspects to it:

  1. The Revolving Door
  2. The Future Expectation of Benefit

The problem for industry is that payments to government staff via offshore bank accounts leaves a digital paper trail in these days of easy bulk data storage; and the nearest offshore banks have been forced into compliance with Inland Revenue or IRS agencies, leaving only faraway bank havens such as Aruba; and the size of the payments being offered prevents the traditional brown envelope: it's hard to explain a sudden £100,000 in spending money.

Otherwise, none of this would be any problem, as the industries seriously threatened by THR products have tens of millions in the petty cash box just for such eventualities. However there is a solution: the promise of future payments. It is extremely unlikely that industry will default on such offers, as the rumours would destroy all possibility of continuing these operations; in any case, the sums involved are so tiny by comparison with profits generated that there would be no point at all in defaulting.

1. The Revolving Door
This ploy is used with government staff in a department or agency connected with industry, especially those that regulate or purchase products or services. It is the basis of the regulatory capture process: the way in which an agency set up to regulate an industry eventually becomes owned by that industry, and works for it instead of for the public. It is a notorious source of corruption and is only ever allowed by weak governments who deliberately prefer to allow corruption as a deferred way to manage staffing costs, as industry pays government staff costs, later - although for services rendered.

The way it works is very simple: there is a revolving door between industry and government staff, and in practice they are the same, as staff move between the two. It is obvious to anyone that corruption will prevail in such an environment, since when government staff move to industry, they will be paid according to services rendered while in government; and when industry staff move into the government's department, or consult, they ensure the agenda is suitably managed.

2. Expectation of Future Benefit
This is the key to both corruption of researchers and senior government staff.

  • Researchers depend on funding from industry, so publishing work that accords with the agenda will ensure more work. Junk science that attacks THR will assure more and bigger funds later. It works exceptionally well for researchers because they do not have to declare a COI (conflict of interest) such as employment by a specific funder: they know they'll reap the rewards later.
  • Senior government staff will have earned so much gratitude from industry that there is no need for future employment; such high-level staff will have earned tens or even hundreds of millions for industry as a result of their management of government policy or activities. They can be given a non-executive board position with a related foundation or cut-out (a third party that can be presented as having no connection with the funder who pays), and thus draw a regular fee with no work or attendance required.

Weak government allows this process to continue as it is a form of salary they don't have to pay. As long as government policy is defendable, and no one complains too loudly about the results, the process continues unchecked. This is one reason why government is pleased to allow and protect the free-fire zone around tobacco and related areas: maintaining profits can be camouflaged behind great volumes of rhetoric, ensuring a fog so thick that no one knows which way is up. In addition, it is all protected by the 20% Prevalence Rule in any case: profits are safeguarded despite any amount of talking or even action. It is the ultimate win-win situation: whatever is done, or promoted, or declaimed, or 'fast-tracked', or 'public-healthed', or spent, or anything else - smoking prevalence and smoking disease stay the same, meaning that tax and pharma income is unaffected. The media can shout about how much government is doing. Public Health can shout about how much they are doing. The WHO can shout about how much they are doing. Nothing at all will happen; everyone continues to rake in the money while all the time looking as if they are fiighting smoking and even beating it. Professional liars like Jeremy Hunt can hide the facts deliberately, and the media will support him because pharma pays them by advert revenue and/or threatens not to buy ads, and everyone is working to pharma's agenda. Only the smokers die and they don't count.

It cannot be described in any other way than as simply perfect.

EU corruption

Different arrangements exist for senior EU staff. The profits from corruption within the EU are so vast that offshore banks have to be employed. We know that the opening bid requested as a bribe by an EU Commissioner is €10m (ten million Euros), and as a result the Commissioners can become fabulously wealthy. They employ their own personal staff to organise the payments and arrangements, the scale is so large.

Needless to say, the health of EU citizens is not a priority - it is bought and sold as a commodity to the highest bidder.

The EU deliberately allows the preventable deaths of around 70,000 European citizens a year caused by the Snus ban. Industry profits generated as a direct result are vast, which explains their generosity. After all, an EU smoking prevalence of 5% wouldn't suit anyone at all, would it?

The world's biggest gravy train - and it's all legal

Everyone gains from smokers paying huge taxes; then becoming ill and giving a big boost to drug sales (e.g. diabetes drugs, blood pressure drugs, cholesterol drugs); then attempting to quit and using pharmacotherapies, which have a 9 out of 10 fail rate; failing to quit, and relapsing to smoking; then getting really ill and needing really expensive treatments (such as chemotherapy); then dying ten years early and saving the government a fortune in pensions and care of the elderly.

Smoking is a goldmine, for everyone who counts, and no one cares about the cost to those who don't count: the people who 'volunteered' to pay - the smokers.

Except they didn't volunteer: they were addicted by the government tobacco business; then when they tried to quit, they had all options forcibly removed except the expensive, useless pharmaceutical interventions, to ensure they complied with the taxed > unwell > tried and failed to quit > taxed > sick > died cycle that makes so much money for so many others.

So it comes as no surprise that many feel the cigarette trade is a government business: it is run by them, it profits them, and it is protected by them. It earns vast revenues by making people sick; it kills them and earns the same again in cost savings; people have no safer alternative - the government was careful to ban Snus, in order to ensure no viable alternative, and will now assist the EU to gradually remove ecigs; and people have no recourse: the government ensures that.

Cigarettes are a government product - you buy government tobacco. You buy 18 out of 20 cigarettes in the pack from the government, with the tobacco corporations as a minor partner handling logistics. It's a government-run profit-making business. The UK government have an 86% stake in sales OTC [6], and the tobacco industry just has a minor stake at 14%. When the other channels are factored in, government has a >90% stake - it is a government-owned, government-run and government-profiting business.

You get your cancer from the UK government because cancer is their business at both ends of the equation: tobacco tax revenue at one end, and pension savings when you die early, at the other end. That's why they protect it so strongly by ensuring the EU blocks THR, the only threat to smoking now; the EU is immune to democracy since it is a structure specifically designed to allow governments to sidestep democratic processes.

The only accurate way to describe such an arrangement - this new form of federalist government that combines maximum control of the population with maximum revenue generation, completely protected from any interference - is neo-communist.

Background

In many countries, particularly the western developed countries in Europe and North America, smoking prevalence was much higher than today. It was over 40% in most of these countries; for example it is said that male smoking prevalence in the UK was as high as 80% at one point. Over the four decades up to 2008 those prevalence figures fell, mostly as a result of persuasion (education) and force (tobacco tax increases). Subsequently, various forms of bans (advertising, indoor use), and publicity campaigns (denormalising of smokers) have had an effect, especially on public perception of smoking: a once near-universal habit, it has become a minority habit. A significant minority, though: probably almost 30% of the European population smoke; 25% prevalence is quite common; and 20% of the adult population is around the lowest seen at 2012.

In some countries such as Britain the prevalence figures dropped to about 21%, then stalled out. Nothing worked after 2008, and smoking prevalence stayed around 20% for the five years between 2008 and when ecigs started to reduce it noticeably, around 2013. Vast sums were spent here and in other countries like the USA to try and move smoking prevalence past the stall point [5]. Nothing worked. In fact, in the UK, the number of smokers increased between 2008 and 2013, probably by about 0.5 million: if the population grows, as it has done strongly in the UK, then a 20% sector of the adult population also grows.

The phenomenon of smoking prevalence decline stalling at around the 20% mark, and the impossibility of shifting it beyond that point by tobacco control methods, was noted by those unafraid to speak of it such as CV Phillips. Not many in public health had the courage to do so, since they had to keep the faith or be forced out of their public- and industry-funded positions.

This is now informally called the 20% Prevalence Rule. Smoking prevalence reduction stalls out around 20% when the Rule operates (in developed countries where smoking prevalence was originally more than twice the stall point), and none of the methods used to reduce it to that point will work thereafter, for any significant reduction. THR, though, works very well indeed after this point: Sweden's male smoking prevalence falls steadily at 1% per year, has done since 2003, and will be 5% by around 2016. Two-thirds of tobacco users there are Snusers not smokers, and smokers who switch to Snus are, clinically, non-smokers - on average, their health outcomes are the same as ex-smokers.

So the solution to stalled-out smoking prevalence reduction, and also to smoking-generated disease and death, is already proven - Tobacco Harm Reduction or THR: the consumer substitution of alternative preferred products for cigarettes. It does three jobs at the same time:

  • Reduces smoking-related morbidity and mortality to statistically-unidentifiable levels for THR product users
  • Breaks through the 20PR stall point easily
  • Reduces smoking prevalence to a level so low it is impossible to achieve any other way

There are no known exceptions to the 20% Prevalence Rule. This leads to the obvious conclusion that, if THR can be blocked, no matter how much money is thrown at the problem, and no matter how great the resources applied, and no matter how much publicity is generated in order to try and reduce smoking (or pretend to reduce smoking) - no significant gains can be made after the 20% mark, if the Rule operates [5].

There is only one Sweden, after all - so blocking Snus and EVs (electronic vapourisers, or ecigs) will ensure smoking survives, and probably at a prevalence rate close to 20% - the final reduction point that protects all the revenues and jobs dependent on smoking.

Who benefits from smoking ?

First and foremost, states depend on tobacco tax revenues: that is to say, the enormous tax revenues support governments and government departments; and in the USA, States and cities. Then, multiple entities, industries, organisations, groups, trades, and individuals depend on smoking-generated revenues for their livelihoods. Next we must consider the government departments that depend on other industries that strongly benefit from smoking - anything connected with the pharmaceutical industry (and therefore health), for example. Then we must account for the immense savings for government, in a socialised state, that are provided by smoking due to smokers dying on average up to 10 years early: the savings on pensions, healthcare and social support for the elderly are tremendous. It has been calculated that just the savings on pensions in the UK from smokers dying early is £7.5 billion annually.

More can be found wherever you look. It is almost impossible to list all the beneficiaries or account for all the revenue. It is vast, and it is everywhere.

It is so complex we have to refer to this as the smoking economy, and it is a significant part of the national economy. In the UK it probably accounts for 3% of GDP. Globally it is easily worth more than $1 trillion a year, possibly as much as $1.5 trillion.

The immense power of the smoking economy

The smoking economy, because of its size, is immensely powerful: its lobbyists and propagandists are better funded than any other pressure group in the world. It has almost unlimited funds with which to solve any problem. It owns any and all power centres related to smoking and health. It can and will protect itself.

  • Governments need the tobacco tax revenues.
  • Government cannot afford to infuriate 25% of voters by banning smoking.
  • 18 out of the 20 cigarettes in a pack are bought from the government - they have an 86% stake in tobacco sales, and much more when the savings are accounted for.
  • You buy government tobacco. The tobacco industry has only a minor stake at 14% of sales.
  • The tobacco industry, in most places, is a cigarette industry; they have to protect smoking, and they have partners in government.
  • The pharmaceutical industry earns as much as the tobacco industry does from smoking, in places such as the UK; they need to protect it.
  • Pharma almost certainly earns more from smoking in the UK thann the tobacco industry does. In a typical year around 2012 where the tobacco industry earned £2bn from sales, it is impossible that pharma earned less than this. A case might even be made that earnings approach double this figure [7].
  • Only THR can significantly reduce smoking once the 20% Prevalence Rule operates - nothing else has ever worked and there are no exceptions - so pharma has to block THR in order to protect smoking, which generates around 15% of their income.
  • Pharma's global gross in 2014 will be around $1 trillion. Smoking is probably the largest single generator of revenue at around 15% of gross.
  • Pharma owns health; they have such immense funds to draw on that they own anything and anyone they want, and their most important asset of all is that pharma decides health policy. Health policy never, ever hurts pharma. The pharmaceutical industry will do whatever it takes to safeguard the principle that it decides health policy - this is the key to profitability and security.
  • Pharma appears to own the heads of government health-related departments and agencies, so their departments follow orders. THR will be blocked, smoking protected, and current income channels defended. The cost to public health appears not to matter.
  • Government regulatory agencies eventually become owned by the industries they were supposed to regulate - this is 'regulatory capture'. Such agencies are commonly funded and controlled (and even staffed) by their industries.
  • Clinical guidance organisations such as NICE have pharma's input on policy due to staff sharing, and policy never hurts pharma.
  • An agency designed to regulate pharma is funded by pharma and owned by pharma, and works almost exclusively to protect and promote it. All you have to do is look at what such agencies do: they will do anything to protect pharma even when it is clearly deleterious to the public interest. The staff are the same, the policy is the same, the paymaster is the same: the revolving door means pharma staff and government agency staff are the same. Senior staff will move to pharma on retirement and be suitably rewarded.
  • Despite EVs (electronic vapourisers) being a consumer product, they affect health; this allows pharma to own the space, and ownership allows them to block EVs.
  • Pharma moves their government agencies into a position to control and block THR, even though these are consumer products.
  • The tobacco control industry depend on smoking for their well-paid no-result jobs (high pay for zero results), almost unique in today's results-driven culture; there's nothing like it anywhere except in Public Health. Not only has smoking prevalence not been reduced for many years, but the number of smokers in the UK actually rose - but they earn more every year. It's a winner. No one knows why abject failure gets such high rewards; but we can guess.
  • Only THR can reduce smoking once the 20% Prevalence Rule operates, so the tobacco control industry must block THR in order to survive: their jobs depend on it, after all. No smoking = no tobacco control. Their paymasters demand it in any case.
  • Some universities get their funding from pharma: eventually, so much funding that pharma owns them. Universities and pharma funding are like heroin addicts and the dealer.
  • Pharma needs to protect smoking, and only THR can harm smoking now; so pharma's universities employ researchers to generate junk science and propaganda with which to attack THR products such as EVs.
  • The corrupted universities and institutions are easy to identify: they have staff pushing propaganda and researchers publishing junk science against THR.
  • The Public Health industry employs zealots and corrupted staff who inadvertently or deliberately carry out pharma's orders (the useful idiots, and the lie-for-cash medics); pharma's agenda is to protect smoking at all costs.
  • Public Health protects smoking by blocking THR, the only thing that can now reduce smoking prevalence by any significant amount.
  • The funds available are so vast that everyone in control of policy is owned.
  • Public Health is a transnational industry built around removing people's rights, often for commercial profit. Because of its coordinated, transnational nature it is able to destroy human rights with impunity, as it receives the backing of the richest corporations and the largest NGOs (who are owned by the corporations).
  • The WHO is owned, and rigorously defends and protects smoking. The department concerned with tobacco and health is a pharma property.
  • The EU Health Directorate is owned. We know exactly how this is done, as Commissioners become fabulously wealthy as a result of their position - one was caught moving personal funds of $100m between offshore banks. No prizes for guessing where that came from. As a result, the EU robustly protects smoking and defends it from any threat.
  • The EU Snus ban kills about 10% of the smokers who die each year, by preventing access to safer, acceptable tobacco products in the EU. That's around 10,000 in the UK - 70,000 total in the EU. The ban generates enormous sums for pharma, and they are eternally grateful. Literally millions become ill as a result of the Snus ban, and that is of almost incalculable value to pharma.
  • The EU are desperate to ban EVs any way they can. They attempted to replicate the Snus ban, but vapers won't lie down and die. They fought back, and the ecig ban was temporarily averted; but the EU are masters of deception and have unlimited funds to ensure pharma (and thus smoking) is protected: EVs will eventually be regulated out of existence, unless legal challenges are successful.

In the USA:

  • The States depend on the MSA funds to prop up their economies. The MSA payments have just started to slide in 2014 - well ahead of the projected ecig effect - and billions of dollars have been withheld this year. Next year will be much, much worse.
  • Some States unwisely sold their expected future MSA payments in the form of bonds. After all, smoking was as safe as Fort Knox - until EVs came along. Those bonds will be defaulted on soon enough. Such States are clearly incompetently run and will experience significant economic problems.
  • The States' Attorneys General have a strong personal financial interest in maintaining the MSA payments at current levels. The AGs are fighting to protect smoking in any and every way they can. Banning EVs is the best way to go.
  • Cities can also tax cigarettes, so they too depend on the tobacco tax revenues. The most incompetently run cities, such as New York, are effectively bankrupt. Removal of the tobacco revenues will send them over the edge - so they are fighting a desperate rearguard action to prohibit EVs.
  • The MSA funds - tens of billions of dollars of free cash - filter down to the tobacco control industry and the fake health charities. They are the richest 'health' orgs in the world as a result. Their salaries and funding are unimaginably, obscenely vast. They will do anything - that's anything - to protect their million-dollar salaries. They only get paid if smoking continues unopposed, so their best plan is to block ecigs.
  • You will see the fake charities and pharma front orgs screaming in pain as EVs take market share from cigarettes. The louder they shout their lies, the more worried you know they are about their funding.

Industry controls health policy

It's just business. People need jobs, the higher-paying the better. Many jobs ultimately depend on smoking, and it is probably millions of jobs; and they include very well-paid jobs at policy level and/or with a powerful public voice. They are - rather obviously - all for sale. In the US, States and cities also have an important role to play in protecting smoking. 

Everyone (that is, everyone who counts) depends on the tobacco revenues, ancillary payments, and savings. Smokers who switch to vaping or Snus are not just an annoying nuisance, they take the bread from the mouths of those who deserve it far more: those in power.


Smoking doesn't just create wealth, it creates vast amounts that are jealously guarded by those on the receiving end: you can see them at work whenever you hear opposition to ecigs and Snus. Smoking is the ultimate gravy train: the suckers pay, nobody cares, and everyone goes home rich. It's everyone's job to keep them paying - that, or lose your house. It's a no-contest, pure and simple.

What happens when THR is prohibited

Blocking THR kills. Prohibition of tobacco harm reduction products that smokers would use, if they could, means they have to keep smoking. If they could switch, they become non-smokers from a clinical perspective - health outcomes for smokers who switch to Snus or who totally quit are the same. This is unquestionably demonstrated clinically due to the power of the hundreds of studies with massive subject numbers (up to 98,000) over multiple decades, and it is proven by Sweden's unique national health statistics.  The phrase 'large cohorts' takes on a new meaning with Swedish Snus studies, and there is only one meta-result: switching or quitting are effectively the same.

Therefore blocking of THR kills, and we can estimate how many: in Sweden, two-thirds of tobacco users are Snusers and one-third smoke - so 66% prefer Snus. The EU banned Snus 22 years ago; it is likely that at least 10% of smokers would have switched to Snus given the choice and given truthful information about the risk reduction (somewhere around 99% +/- 1% - the mortality rate from Snus consumption is too low to be reliably measured statistically). It is reported that 700,000 a year die from smoking in the EU. Therefore, 10% of this death toll, 70,000, is going to be caused by the EU Snus ban.

The EU would like to do exactly the same with ecigs, and did in fact try a ban but were defeated by an unusual demonstration of backbone from MEPs. Not that this mattered a jot, as they were outmanoeuvred and draconian restrictions passed anyway in secret; this is, after all, neo-communism in action.
 

Blocking THR after the 20% Prevalence Rule operates is murder by proxy. Some will do anything to keep their £1 million house, and killing on an industrial scale to keep up the mortgage payments is just part of the job description for the pharma whores, bent medics and corrupt liars in the Public Health industry.




 


Notes

[1] The first reduction in smoking prevalence in the UK for many years was seen in 2013, as reported by Prof R West's longitudinal surveys in partnership with YouGov and ASH UK. It corresponds with the number of ex-smokers quitting by use of e-cigarettes (as also reported by Prof West).

[2] The Independent, UK
Saturday 25th October, 2014
Jeremy Hunt wants a 'smoke-free' Britain
- Health Secretary praised by anti-smoking groups
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/jeremy-hunt-wants-a-smokefree-britain-9814391.html

[3] Jeremy Hunt is a blatant liar who protects revenues generated by smoking, by deliberately misrepresenting the failure of smoking prevalence reduction in the UK and backing the prohibition of THR, at the cost of thousands (millions?) of lives lost due to the highly profitable government tobacco business. If he tried to sue for libel on this, he would be up against a mountain of facts; and the ONS could probably not be persuaded to change their statistics ("The rate of smoking in Great Britain has remained largely unchanged over the last five years." - ONS, UK official statistics); and it is impossible to make Sweden disappear (Sweden has the lowest smoking-related mortality rate of any developed country, by a wide margin, due to free access to a THR product; the lowest cancer rates in the EU for some types caused by smoking; and unique national health statistics as a result ). So good luck with that, Jem - Public Health Liar Of The Year. And it's not easy to get that title - the competition is intense :)

[4] See: Foulds et al 2003, Effect of Snus on smoking and public health in Sweden;
Lee, Hamling 2009, Systematic review of the relation between smokeless tobacco and cancer in Europe and North America;
Lee 2011, Summary of the epidemiological evidence relating Snus to health;
...etc. - also References page qv]

[5] Note that the US has a significant ST user population (smokeless tobacco / oral tobacco). Rodu states this number is around 8 million, and it therefore accounts for all of the drop below 20% smoking prevalence and then some: prevalence is said to be around 18.5% currently, and would therefore be significantly over 20% without ST use, given the smoker population of about 45 million and ST user pop of 8m, even allowing for some dual-use.

THR is therefore strongly demonstrated in the USA.

Also note carefully that Bill Godshall among many others states that smoking has at least 10 times the risk elevation for oral cancer as any modern oral tobacco product originating in the West.

As far as genuine Swedish Snus goes, manufactured to the Gothiatek standard, risk for oral cancer is too low to be measured. Here, oral cancer is almost entirely caused by smoking, drinking and HPV - and especially combinations thereof.

[5] The 20% Prevalence Rule states that, in a developed country where smoking prevalence was originally much higher, and probably a figure of around 40% is the mark, then it cannot be reduced significantly past 20% by the methods used thus far (usually education, tax, bans etc.). Only THR is known to be able to achieve significant subsequent reductions.

The figures have not been researched sufficiently for confidence, but they appear about right. There are no known exceptions.

[6] In a year when UK tobacco sales are £14 billion, such as around 2013, government takes £12bn and the tobacco industry £2bn; £12bn is 86% of £14bn. However this is not the whole story, and total income and savings for government is at least double this after all costs are paid (the saving on pensions alone is around £7.5bn, as smokers die early).

[7] What does pharma earn from smoking?
- NHS costs for treating smokers (that is to say, specifically for treatment of smoking-related disease such as lung cancer) are quoted as ~£5bn currently. Somewhere around 45% of NHS costs in this type of area are drug costs.
- Add to this the massive boost from general drug sales caused by smokers: diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure drugs for example; a smoker is 40% more likely to be diabetic, and this effect on health is seen across the board.
- Add to this the boost to non-specific OTC drug sales generated by smokers: the result of bronchitis and so forth on general sales.
- Add to this the smoking cessation drugs such as NRTs and psychotropic drugs (and please note that this is by far the smallest of all pharma's income channels from smoking).

Adding these multiple channels will easily total more than the tobacco industry's revenue; it is hard to get a figure less than around double, in fact. Smoking is a huge revenue generator for the pharmaceutical industry, and most likely provides around 15% of pharma's expected $1 trillion global revenue for the current year.

The pharmaceutical industry decides health policy, through its control of government departments affecting health policy. Health policy never, ever hurts pharma. This is its most valuable asset. Pharma has to protect smoking, and is well aware that the 20% Prevalence Rule is the key to profitability: smoking cannot normally be reduced below about 20% if the Rule operates, so the Rule must be protected from any threat. The only threat is THR and it must be blocked at all costs. Since hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake, a few tens of millions here or there mean nothing in the fight to protect smoking from further reduction.

 

latest update

This article was updated on the 25th October, with Jeremy Hunt's outrageous lie that could not go unchallenged.

 

 


created 2014-10-23
update 2014-10-25