Saturday, 2 June 2012

WHO anti-tobacco campaign contravenes its constitution

This is the constitution of the World Health Organization.
  • Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. [...]
  • The achievement of any State in the promotion and protection of health is of value to all. [...]
  • The extension to all peoples of the benefits of medical, psychological and related knowledge is essential to the fullest attainment of health.
Just for starters. 'Complete physical, social and mental wellbeing' is arguably incompatible with a denormalization agenda policy towards the social act of smoking. Denormalizing smoking is (beyond argument) part of the World Health Organization's agenda (see WRPO Blue Ribbon Campaign at this link).

Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco and Health is arguably at odds with the statement that promoting and protecting health 'is of value to all'. Article 5.3 states that governments 'need to be alert to any efforts by the tobacco industry to undermine or subvert tobacco control efforts and the need to be informed of activities of the tobacco industry that have a negative impact on tobacco control efforts'. If public health is a matter of common public concern, there should be no call for sidelining people from the public policy process by reason of their employment. (Like this.) 

On 'medical, psyhological and related knowledge', I have found a paragraph on tobacco labelling, published by The Union
To date, several countries have stopped requiring quantitative emission information from packages and instead require descriptive information about toxic constituents in smoke and their effects on health. Preliminary research suggests that this information is more meaningful to consumers and less likely to result in misperceptions about the relative risk of different cigarette brands. Further work is required to examine what types of descriptive product information are most useful to consumers. The extent to which information about additives or design features (such as filter ventilation) might serve as effective consumer messaging is also unclear, mainly because these approaches have yet to be explored. Several suggestions of approaches to descriptive product information that may be effective are discussed in section 2.
The idea is that quantitative emission information misleads people into thinking that some brands of tobacco are less toxic than others. Customers could be persuaded to change brands rather than doing the right thing, namely quitting the habit. The received wisdom is that instead of being misled by quantitative emissions, customers should be given generalised information. In my view, this kind of information is already all over the packet. Ingredient information is just that. What customers do with it is entirely their business. It is proposed that instead of quantative information they are to be given just more health advice. This is not compatible with the provision of full information.

This post came from a remark by Greg Burrows on Facebook:
After reading the World Health Organisation's Constitution, I believe with their methods prescribed in tobacco control they are fundamentally in conflict with their own constitution in regard to this statement: "The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition."
The definition of social condition is the state in which a person finds themselves in a particular society.
I am not a lawyer but to my mind the whole emphasis or goal of WHO FCTC has been to force their version of what our (smokers) social condition is, whether we like it or not, this is against their constitution.
I agree entirely with Greg that the spirit of the WHO has been abandoned in the current public health drive directed at smoking. It seems to me that the constitution of the World Health Organization was written at a time before the organization was dominated by ambitious, globalist campaigns.

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