Wednesday, 28 July 2010

More on Cancer Research UK Funding of Tobacco Control Strategy

I've been back to the Cancer Research discussion on possible cuts to charity funding. Among their committees is the Tobacco Advisory Group, which awards funding for projects relevant to the following priorities.
  • Current UK policy priorities, e.g. see the 'Beyond Smoking Kills' report.
  • Greater regulation of all products containing tobacco and nicotine.
  • Greater tax and/or smuggling measures in the UK.
  • Tackling health inequalities and addressing the needs of groups with particularly high rates of tobacco use.
Research must support existing tobacco control objectives.

The Tobacco Advisory Group is just one of 11 funding committees. However smoking-related research grants are awarded by other committees including more clinical work. This link shows a search of ongoing CRUK-funded research on smoking. You will find nothing here to challenge the official consensus on tobacco control or smoking cessation. I particularly like this logic-defying piece:
Most smokers who quit successfully do so spontaneously, without planning or support. However, most will make multiple 'spontaneous' attempts to quit before succeeding to long term abstinence from smoking. Treatments such as nicotine replacement therapy increase the chances of quitting; it is therefore logical to try to find ways of encouraging those making a spontaneous quit attempt to use additional sources of support.
In other words, give nicotine therapy to people who are trying to 'quit' unaided even though 'most smokers who quit successfully do so spontaneously, without planning or support'. Has the researcher seen this gem from Action on Smoking and Health, 16 July 2010:
We know NRT can improve people's chances of giving up smoking, but it doesn't mean you won't start smoking again. In one study, 9 in 100 people quit smoking for a year with the help of NRT, but only 5 in 100 were non-smokers eight years later.
Other ongoing research projects include plain packaging, tobacco display and much more on cessation. You can read the future of tobacco control here.

I guess I expect the planning for tobacco control to come out of public funding, but not necessarily from medical charity funding.

6 comments:

John Watson said...

So what ASH are telling us is the NRT has a 90% failure rate over one year and a 95% failure rate over eight years. Given the cost to the NHS for NRT particlarly in regard to those on benefits who do not pay for prescriptions surely even the most ignorant economonist must concede that there is no value for money in this course of action.

John Watson

This is public money being spent at a time when the government is being forced into cutting services due to excessive debt ASH as advisors to the government have a duty to ensure that policies they recomend are cost effective, clearly this one is not.

Vapers Network said...

This article might be of interest:

"Have they truly not seen what the marginal dollar spend on anti-tobacco is used for? It pretty clearly has low cost-effectiveness, and arguably actually does more harm to the world than good, even apart from the money"
http://ep-ology.blogspot.com/2010/07/obesity-spending-and-long-since.html

Belinda said...

I agree John ... I wonder what the CRUK researcher will come up with that can possibly negate that finding!

david b said...

What is particularly disturbing is that smokers have been deliberately and cynically programmed to believe that nicotine is so highly addictive that they need NHS help to quit. Many could perceive this as valid justification for not being able to quit - the signals sent out by the NHS are more or less telling them that it's too bloody difficult (...but keep taking the tablets anyway....). Made all the worse, of course, by the relentless and ever increasing scaremongering.

Belinda said...

'This is public money being spent at a time when the government is being forced into cutting services due to excessive debt ASH as advisors to the government have a duty to ensure that policies they recommend are cost effective, clearly this one is not.'

Same applies to CRUK with their own money.

Davidb ... and yet the addiction is not strong enough to constitute a breach of rights at Rampton.

david b said...

BTW, so called smoke free Rampton has smoking shelters for staff and obesity is rife among patients.