Saturday, May 09, 2009

Tobacco Control’s New Look

By Blad Tolstoy

Ever wondered what tobacco control operatives get up to at their conferences? Well, if not, let’s take a little trip back in time to the 2007 – UK National Smoking Cessation Conference also known as “UKNSCC”, pronounced as it’s spelt, and taken from and old one-word Mongolian phrase meaning: “exterminate filthy smokers”. So there, now you know, and for those of you interested in paying this charming little website a visit, please see: where you will be able to note that another of these costly little junkets is planned for this year and all courtesy of that well-known nicotine replacement therapy provider (NRT), Pfizer.

Yes, indeed, it must be nice for this pharmaceutical company to have so many willing sales representatives at its disposal to market its well-nigh useless products. What? You don’t believe NRT is useless? Well, take a look at this recent BMJ study which finds it has a failure rate of 98.4%. See: Effectiveness and safety of nicotine replacement therapy assisted reduction to stop smoking: systematic review and meta-analysis:

and for Michael Siegel’s commentaries, see:

Rapid Response Questions Conclusions of Nicotine Replacement Therapy Study, Asks Whether Financial Conflict of Interest Biased Study Conclusions


New Study Demonstrates How Conflicts of Interest with Big Pharma Influence Reporting of the Effectiveness of Smoking Cessation Drug Treatment

both currently located at:

Ho-ho, this is not he first study to find poor results for NRT, and the picture is not too good for fans of smoking cessation with smoking rates throughout the world, almost ubiquitously, either stabilised or up.

So what goes on at these conferences then? Well, lots of hand-wringing about how to tyrannise smokers further and mutual admiration, for certain, accompanied by lots of back slapping and self-delusion as project and study figures are manipulated and trotted out to meet every occasion and to place a positive spin on every dodgy result. However, without digressing further to explain how tobacco control is failing, I can now reveal the outcome of the secret plans that were laid at the 2007 – UK National Smoking Cessation Conference (catchy, isn’t it?).

Oh yes, I can reveal that smoking cessation aficionados are now sporting new authoritarian style uniforms of the Gestapo variety and all thanks to plans laid at this most excellent conference where social orgasm was the order of the day. After all, it’s so nice to be among friends when you don’t have any amongst normal people.

Who’s this? Why, it’s our old friend the walking Brillo pad - Paul Hooper of Smokefree England - and one of the conference delegates. Here he is relaxing at an Exterminate a Smoker party in Birmingham all camped up in his new look as Obersturmbahnfuhrer Hooper.

And here’s ASH’s little Debbie Arnott as Gruppenfuhrer Arnott. What a transformation!

From this:

To this:

What a plucky little trooper she is!

Here are some more of the new tobacco control outfits, the last one modeled by Martin Dockrell, ASH’s Head of Policy, who prefers to remain anonymous. Well, are you surprised?

Yes, it’s so exciting to know that tobacco control operatives are now running round our streets in Gestapo clobber. That will give them the authority and respect they crave, you see if it doesn’t! Oh…And remember’ it could only happen in New Labour Britain where any tosser can be a government minister.