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The Tobacco Control Industry - Part 2

In Part 1 of the article on the tobacco control industry or TCI, we looked at how they operate and why they do what they do. The statement was made that they are corrupt, and kill for profit, but the mechanism behind this may not be clear to you (and especially the scale).

The following is a flow chart listing of the reasoning. By the time you get to the end, you will have grasped the scale of the issue.

The chain of reasoning

1. We know from the 20% Prevalence Rule that tobacco control no longer works to reduce smoking prevalence in many countries such as the UK. Smoking prevalence did not reduced for about 5 years between 2008-2013, and all subsequent falls are measurably due to vaping. Neither the NHS SSS (Stop Smoking Services) nor tobacco control measures have had any effect recently and they will no longer have any effect, no matter how much money is wasted on these measures.

2. The only thing that will now work for any significant reduction is THR: the substitution of alternative safer consumer products for cigarettes.

3. Prof Britton says: "If all smokers switched to e-cigarettes, 5 million lives will be saved in the UK just among those alive today".

4. Britton's figure is a theoretical one because (a) we cannot expect all smokers to switch, and (b) we cannot expect all smokers to switch by tomorrow - the two propositions his 5 million figure is predicated on. However, if we accept that his basic assumptions are correct - that e-cigarettes are relatively harmless (especially in comparison with tobacco cigarettes) and that millions of lives could be saved if smokers switch en masse, then perhaps we can estimate, in some way, approximately what the scale of the potential saving of life is in reality.

5. For example, we can expect that eventually 60% or more UK smokers will switch - because 50% switched to Snus in Sweden, and because ecigs are more popular with smokers than Snus. Also, at least 10% of the smoking population will switch to Snus (if allowed), in addition to those who switch to ecigs (because some will prefer Snus; and because this is a fact in the USA*). These smokers would already have switched to Snus if it were not banned in the UK since 1992.
* At Q2 2013 there are still more ST (smokeless tobacco, oral tobacco) users in the USA than there are e-cigarette users, but this will change by 2014.
Update Q3 2015: Rodu tells us there are 8 million ST users in the USA, and he also tells us that CDC data appear to show ~9m vapers. Calculations based on the economics show 10 million vapers. Two surveys report 15m and 21m vapers. Therefore it is reasonable to state there are now more vapers than ST users, and most likely considerably more.

6. So we now have a practical figure we can apply to the Britton figure: 60% + 10% of his number; 70% of 5 million is 3.5 million. So, assuming that all switch tomorrow, this is the number of UK smoker's lives that could be saved who are alive today but who would normally die as a result of smoking. Since we know this is impossible as it might take decades to reach this switch percentage, the number is moot; however, it gives us a very good idea of the scale, since otherwise we might assume that perhaps a few hundred thousand might be saved, perhaps even up to a million. But the scale is far, far larger than that: because eventually there will be a point at which all these smokers would have switched, and their lives would be saved (if free and unhindered access to THR products was allowed), the Britton projection has shown us the reality is that eventually many millions of lives could be saved, just in the UK, and this is not a small-scale issue.

Alternatively, you could describe this as the number of deaths that could be prevented; or the number of deaths that will be caused; or the scale of the murderous effect of blocking access to e-cigarettes and Snus. (Please choose your preferred way of describing it.)

Note that some of these are already occurring: the 10% of annual smoker deaths caused by the ban on access to Snus in the UK. About 100,000 deaths per year are said to be due to smoking, in the UK, and about 10% of these deaths are already caused by the twenty-three year old Snus ban (at 2015 - the ban was implemented in 1992); although it could be more.

7. Now let's get a figure that represents the same effect throughout Europe that will result from an EU ban ('regulation') of THR products:
a. We now know that blocking THR will kill 3.5 million in the UK at some point in the foreseeable future (and many more later); and if the smokers who would switch, given free access to THR products, all did that tomorrow then those 3.5 million lives saved would be from those who are alive today.

b. There are 28 EU countries (27 yesterday, 28 from today July 1st 2013 - Croatia just joined) [note: this was the day the article was written]. EU law is national law for all countries in the EU.

c. To get an equivalent figure for deaths throughout the EU caused by blocking THR is difficult, as we need to know how Prof Britton calculated his 5 million figure. As an estimate (before adjustment for other factors) it would be 7 times the UK figure of 3.5 million (thus 24.5m - as the EU smoking death rate is reported as 7 times the size of the UK rate).

d. On a purely mathematical basis it appears to be the annual death rate multiplied by 50. So perhaps we can take the EU annual smoking death rate, multiply it by 50, then take 70% of the result. We should also adjust the figure by a certain factor, to represent the probability that more lives will be saved in more developed countries, and the reverse.

e. Annual death from smoking in the EU is reported as 700,000 at 2013. Multiply by 50 = 35 million. 70% of 35m = 24.5 million. So, the 'unadjusted' figure for the number of deaths in the EU among those alive today that would be caused by blocking access to THR products, assuming all smokers switched tomorrow, is 24.5 million.

f. Now we must adjust the figure to reflect that more lives will be saved in the most developed countries, and less lives will be saved in less-developed countries. As the UK is one of the most developed countries, then the figure must be adjusted downward; but we can only guess at how much. Let's be generous and reduce it by 50% as it cannot realistically be more than this.

g. Thus we now have the number of deaths in the EU among those alive today that could be caused by blocking access to THR products: at least 12.25 million.

And now perhaps you appreciate the scale of the issue?

Of course, that figure assumes all smokers switch tomorrow, which is impossible. But you must be able to see that those lives will be lost eventually; the scale is correct even though it cannot apply to those alive today, as is presented by the original statement. Tens of millions of lives will be lost directly as a result of banning / blocking / regulating THR products (which are all essentially the same thing).

Why e-cigarette regulation equals a ban

Now, to explain the significance of the regulation issue, and why it is substantially equivalent to a ban.

Note very well indeed that restricting consumer choice by artificial regulation is the same as removing access (and is deliberately so): consumer products are successful due to the mechanism of free choice and the wide variety of choices.

This point requires an explanation, so let's use an analogy and consider the example of tea in the UK. We don't know how many tea drinkers there are as this information is not available. However we know there are tens of millions of them, and 165 million cups are drunk every day. Let's assume there are about 40 million regular tea drinkers; and this very high number is mainly due to the hundreds of options. If you don't understand why, here is the explanation:

1: How many tea drinkers do you think there would there be if availability is restricted to loose tea only? (96% of tea in the UK is consumed in teabags.)
2. How many if you restrict it to loose, green tea only?
3: How many if you restrict it to one brand of loose green tea?
4: How many if you restrict it to one brand of loose green tea that doesn't taste very good?
5: How many if you restrict it to one brand of loose green tea that tastes bitter, with tightly regulated ingredients (so it doesn't work)?
6: How many if you restrict it to one brand of loose green tea that tastes bitter, with tightly regulated ingredients so it doesn't work, made at huge cost so that the retail price is ridiculously high?

If you said about 1% of the current total number of tea drinkers you are probably on the high side - people would change to alternatives (or more likely go to the black market). This is also an exact parallel with e-cigarette restriction by regulation: all the separate issues listed above have an exact equivalent in the proposed regulation of e-cigarettes that is designed to virtually remove them from the market.

The lethal effect of regulation

And perhaps now you get the full picture: EU regulations to restrict access to THR products already kill tens of thousands, and will clearly kill millions before long. These regulations are implemented to protect established industries and those who obtain the regulations. The regulations are clearly not for the benefit of public health when millions of deaths will result.

Regulations are designed to work in this way precisely because of the effect they have: a 99% or greater reduction in sales of a product. When the product is a THR alternative to cigarettes, the result is widescale preventable death.

The tobacco control industry blocks THR on behalf of its masters, the pharmaceutical industry. The result of blocking THR is preventable death on a very large scale.

Tobacco control personnel are generally partly paid by the taxpayer in some form; most claim to work for public health; and many are medics, or academics in positions related to healthcare; therefore you can reasonably argue that they have a duty of care and/or that their work should benefit the public. Thus, working against the public good (as killing millions of people appears to be), for profit (to benefit commercial funders, to secure their own jobs, and possibly to gain additional benefits) would generally be considered as corruption.

Conclusion: senior tobacco control personnel are murderously corrupt, as they kill for profit on a massive scale while having a duty of care.

It is unfair to extend that conclusion to the rank and file in the tobacco control industry; they are as susceptible to propaganda as anyone else (and there is an argument that they are perhaps even more susceptible). We refer to them as the 'useful idiots' because they probably don't have a clue who they are really working for and what the result is. They are working for pharma and the cigarette trade (whether they are conscious of it or not) and the result of their work is death on an industrial scale (because it is for and on behalf of industry and is suitably large-scale).

We have to suppose that they are simply too stupid to realise that; the management certainly aren't.



created 2013-07-01
last update 2013-08-20