Saturday, 18 June 2011

Europe launches 'Ex-smokers are unstoppable', 3 year campaign

(and in case you think that is grotesque, try this)

The three-year anti-smoking campaign involves an interactive programme called iCoach, an application designed to encourage smokers to keep on trying to stop smoking. EU officers will be encouraged to lead by example and register with iCoach before it is let loose on the public. It has been published in all the European languages (you can see why the campaign is expected to cost 16 million euros).

As well as putting pressure on officers to sign up to this hideously expensive campaign in order to set an example to lesser mortals who don't work for it, EU Health Commissioner John Dalli also looks forward to extending legislation restricting the use of smokeless tobacco products. So not only will they resort to bullying EU employees, they will also seek to ban e-cigarettes and similar products and push for further restrictions on the marketing and selling of tobacco.

The more I read the less I understand how the smoking cessation racket has been sold on the public. Courtesy of Rick S's comment yesterday, have a look at this on the views of Robert West from 2007. Robert West is a professional anti-tobacco activist, as the article makes clear. Interviewed at the very start of the English smoking ban, he says this:
The experience of the smoking ban in Ireland and elsewhere suggests that the ban itself will have limited impact on the government target of 21 per cent smoking prevalence by 2010. Around 25 per cent of people in England admit to smoking cigarettes. To cut this figure by one per cent, every single smoker in the country would have to try to stop, and at least half of them would have to use effective treatments to help them do it.
“The government is looking for a miracle, basically. But the point is not whether we will reach arbitrary targets but the fact that for every one per cent of smokers we see about 3,000 unnecessary deaths per year. Everything we can do to bring down the figure means a lot of suffering prevented.”
Even a professional anti-smoker believes that the success rate in smoking cessation is very low. People like West truly believe that only by all smokers attempting to stop smoking at the same time can a drop of 1 per cent in the smoking rate be achieved, and that this will somehow save 3,000 lives a year. The last sentence seems to be mere window dressing. If that's what it takes to bring smoking rates down, they clearly can't be coming down very much, and all the efforts going into smoking cessation programmes are doing little besides boosting pharmaceutical takings, and propping up the careers of professional anti-smoking activists like Robert West.

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