Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Arguing with Simon Chapman!

To persuade fellow tweeters that making packs look identical speeds up transaction times, Simon Chapman first pointed at the study referred to here:

The study in question is Carter O, Mills B, Phan T, Bremner J. Measuring the effect of cigarette plain packaging on transaction times and selection errors in a simulation experiment, Tobacco Control, 21, 572–577, 2012.doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050087.

I expressed doubts that removing the branding would make cigarettes easier to identify, but he had none of it, posting the video below to prove how quick it is to pick out a plain pack from behind a screen:
This of course is not proof of anything, it is a video of a single transaction, without any consideration of how sales environments vary.

Professor Chapman has so much faith in this study that it resolves all the plain packaging dilemmas for him (to my mind serving times are nowhere near the crux about why this is a bad idea). To him this is a 'non-issue'. I asked him why he was bringing the issue up, when the study was over a year old.

After a few minutes I managed to find the response from Dick Puddlecote to the study: BMJ's official attempt to 'prove' that plain packaging makes shop service quicker. But I couldn't share it with Simon since he had blocked my response with the following comment:

Simon Chapman@SimonChapman6
Study was done in Nov/Dec 2012. I talk about it because of the oceans of nonsense that BigTobacco & its goons (like you?) spout.
Well, no hard feelings, Simon! I have never been in correspondence with this man before but within a few exchanges of tweets he calls me a stupid person or a thug, and terminates the connection. More to the point, he hasn't persuaded me that he has a case using that study (incidentally he is also wrong about the date: the BMJ published the study in September 2011).          

EDIT: please see comment below 12 February from second Anonymous commenter: my mistake, seems I was the one got the studies back to front.                       


Anonymous said...

Why would you even bother to defend tobacco? Why not fight for a more worthwhile cause that could do with intelligent campaigners, there's plenty out there.

What the.... said...

Anonymous, I wouldn’t think it’s a “defense” of tobacco, per se. Rather it is a defense against moralizing fanaticism/zealotry/extremism that carries its own severe risks and dangers.

What the.... said...

Belinda, you’re getting the “standard treatment” from the antismoking bigots. It’s a long-standing tactic: If anyone dares disagree with the fanatics’ incessant drivel, they’re immediately accused as “goons of the tobacco industry” and, therefore, meriting silencing. It’s miscreants such as Crapman that are the thugs.

What the.... said...

Here’s some background on Chapman.

Chapman has been with the current antismoking crusade from the early days. His presentation of “The Lung Goodbye” at the 5th World Conference on Smoking & Health (1983) provided the fanatics with propaganda avenues, i.e., how to do propaganda. Chapman was responsible for the “Chapman Trick”. It is a trick used incessantly over the last 30 years that promotes the deranged idea that smokers are inhaling “poison” (e.g., ant poison, embalming fluid, rocket fuel, etc) and that nonsmokers are being “poisoned” by secondhand smoke. For more on the Chapman Trick, see comments by “magnetic01”:

Chapman also floated the idea that medical doctors who smoke should be barred from practicing medicine. He was also the driving force in Australia for making “fire-safe” cigarettes mandatory. These cigarettes involve the use of paper with glue rings along its length. The use of such paper increases the chemical load of manufactured cigarettes. These FS cigarettes were never health tested. So we have Public Health advocates making cigarettes more hazardous and never bothering to have them health tested.

Chapman has been high-profile in denormalization propaganda….. you know….. smokers stink, smokers are a burden to society, etc.

He even received recognition from the then NSW Premier for his denormalization efforts:

Chapman was a Member, Expert Advisory Panel on Tobacco and Health (1985-2000) for the World Health Organization -

Chapman has also advocated “smoker licensing”:

What the.... said...

More recently, Chapman has been involved in getting outdoor bans implemented.

Chapman’s University of Sydney has banned smoking on campus, save four designated smoking areas that are close to the perimeter of the university anyway.

In this article, Chapman reiterates his position that he does not support outdoor bans except in al-fresco dining areas. He certainly does not support bans that effectively stamp out smoking on an entire university campus. Although he does not agree with such bans, he does not question the mental state of those proposing/instituting
such bans, i.e., bigotry. He spends most of the article reinforcing Tobacco Control
propaganda, e.g., “no safe level”.

And, of course, Chapman has to indulge in his incoherent analogies:
“Someone smoking next to me while I eat lunch outdoors is not going to really harm me, but the imposition is unpleasant in the same way as loud music away from music venues or dog faeces underfoot.”

Now here’s the thing. While Chapman claims he does not support university-wide bans in particular, he is, again, lying. This is an [Australian] advocacy manual for instituting smoking bans at universities, beginning with a few [inconvenient] designated smoking areas, eventually followed by a complete smoking ban on the entire campus. Lo and behold, there’s Chapman’s signature to the plan (p.2).
Guide For A Tobacco Free Campus

From the same "Guide", you’ll also notice that he is a board member of the antismoking activist group ASH. ASH was also behind the recent, despicable “Lavac Incident” of which Chapman surely must have been aware:

Anonymous said...

At least those risks can be fought intellectually and not with chemotherapy. I wonder how you'd feel about arguing for tobacco if you or a loved one developed lung cancer because of cigarettes.

Belinda said...

I am not defending tobacco. I am attacking anti-tobacco and defending tobacco use as a legal lifestyle choice. Life might be better if no one chose to smoke tobacco, but that's not the world we live in.

I could not agree more about other worthwhile causes, I am sure there are many, but don't mistake what I do here for sympathy with an industry.

What the.... said...

Anonymous, while you seem to be obsessed with smokers and death, have you ever contemplated your own demise, how you will die? Do you think it will be any different from those who smoke? Will you suffer considerably before you meet the end? Or do people such as you not die?

What the.... said...

Chapman was recently confronted on a comments board about the “Chapman Trick”. In a rarity, he “responded”, typically by attempting to weasel his way out of any responsibility for the trickery or its consequences:

Chapman: “……. The plainly obsessive John Anderson who astonishingly credits a small self-published book I wrote in 1983 [The lung Goodbye] with having awakened the world to the chemistry of tobacco smoke and tar, is a serial cyber stalker who mostly inhabits sordid little pro-smoking cyber echo-chambers of denial and conspiracy theories. Blair, these people have massive relevance deprivation syndrome and thirst for anyone taking them seriously. Engage them once and they get priapic with excitement and spread it all over their dozens or so co-conspirators. Their rants are amazing. It's an endless freak show of ignorance.”

JA: “…….Nice try, Simon. Quite a number of your “suggestions” in your little book have been used incessantly over the last 3 decades, and are still used. Importantly, you didn’t “awaken the world to the chemistry of tobacco smoke and tar”; rather, you helped plant baseless, highly inflammatory beliefs in the minds of many.
You really can’t help yourself, can you, Simon? Most of your comment is ad hominem nonsense. You’re making it up. It’s a standard trick of the fanatics – try to get “dissenters” booted from a comments board as “serial stalkers”.
“pro-smoking cyber echo-chambers of denial and conspiracy theories”
That’s a bit rich coming from anti-smokers who are constantly claiming tobacco industry “conspiracy”. In fact, anyone who doesn’t agree with them is a tobacco industry “conspirator”. I’m not pro-smoking; I’m anti-fanatic/zealot/extremist. So, Simon, are you suggesting that the current antismoking crusade, like most before it, is not a social-engineering, eradication-of-tobacco-use crusade, or at the very least to remove smoking from “normal” society? You ought to be able to answer it. You’ve been there since the very early days.

Chapman: “…..Then he insists my 1983 book The Lung Goodbye was indeed highly influential. OK, if you say so John. Funny though, that only 4 people have cited it in Google Scholar in 29 years http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?hl=en&q=the+lung+goodbye&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=
Some of us have moved on a bit since 1983. Which gets me to his baiting about NRT. He’s so obsessed about the “Godber plan” whatever that is (I met the late Sir George Godber once in my life and don’t recall him having any plans – but probably I can’t help myself lying about this, John will tell you) .. that he has no idea that I am widely seen as public enemy #1 by big pharma about NRT. This piece (20,000+ views) http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000216 most NRT doesn’t do much for many smokers because it is under-powered & doesn’t give smokers the same nicotine brain hit bolus that smoking does.
But he’s right about tobacco industry conspiracies: there was and is one http://www.bmj.com/content/321/7257/371.full
John – that’s it from me. You are a waste of everyone’s time, sorry.”

What the.... said...

JA: “…..You’re far too modest, Simon. Most people using the “Chapman Trick” wouldn’t know where it originated or that it’s even a trick. It’s been handed down time and again over the last 30 years. Nowadays it’s just a cut-and-paste job, found on many anti-smoking web sites; it’s parroted. Only “old-timers” in the “movement” would know – if they can remember – that it’s trickery. Now people can know where it originated and that it is trickery. And you’re being somewhat presumptuous doing a search with Google Scholar. “The Lung Goodbye” isn’t a scholarly piece; it’s a propaganda piece. You should definitely be assigned some credit for the consequences of the manipulation.

“An effort is being made on an international basis to persuade well-known personalities in sports, entertainment, the arts, etc., not to participate in any form of tobacco advertising or promotion. Author of this idea is Simon Chapman of Australia who was at Winnipeg selling copies of, and giving a paper on, his recently published 53-page "The Lung Goodbye -- A manual of tactics for counteracting the tobacco industry in the 1980's". His manual had a ready sale at Can. $4 a piece and its contents are considered so "enlightning" that it is enclosed with this package. (p.7)”

Simon, your Buga-Up group also had a wonderful reception at that conference.

“Or save yourself some time and read this 1988 Surgeon General’s report on nicotine addiction http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/NN/B/B/Z/D/ All a conspiracy I suppose, John?”

Simon, why are you quoting organizations that are ideologically compromised, that, as far as tobacco goes, conduct themselves as activist groups? The Office of the Surgeon-General was committed to the smokefree “utopia” since the 1960s, and publicly so since the mid-1980s. Contributions to the Reports concerning tobacco have been dominated by high-profile anti-smokers since the early-1980s, including the re-definition of “addiction” and SHS “danger”. The Office of the Surgeon-General also uses your “Chapman Trick”: Consider a recent Surgeon-General report (2010) further highlighting the “perils” of exposure to ambient tobacco smoke. There at the very beginning, on page 3, it starts with the Chapman Trick, i.e., inflammatory propaganda.

Simon, how seriously should we take the remainder of the report when it begins with inflammatory propaganda?

There is an open conspiracy at work. The anti-smokers kept insisting from the 1980s until only recently that anti-smoking legislation was not social engineering, that it was only to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke “danger”. But we can now see that it was all a protracted lie. The information in the Godber Blueprint has only come to light recently – as has the anti-smoking fanaticism early last century. The anti-smoking goal has only been social engineering from the outset, masqueraded for a time as “protecting” nonsmokers from secondhand smoke, and where propaganda has been fraudulently peddled under the pretense of “science.”

Belinda said...

Anonymous, a diagnosis of lung cancer is not necessarily the result of smoking even in smokers. Lung cancer in nonsmokers is rising, and if an external source can cause cancer in non-smokers it can also cause it in smokers. Look for Lynn Eldridge's blog on lung cancer: http://lungcancer.about.com/b/2012/11/29/why-anti-smoking-campaigns

The point however is that smoking should be regulated but not something that is stigmatised to the point that it resembles a black market product. This just encourages criminals to fancy their chances. It is a legitimate and legal choice and too many restrictions will not improve safety.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Belinda, I too believe life might be better if no one chose to smoke. Hopefully tobacco control measures can help support children to navigate things like peer pressure and advertising so they never start smoking, and cessation is targeted at those smokers who would like to quit but have become too addicted.

Ps, I won't be posting here again. To be honest I'm not quite sure how I even stumbled onto this blo!. But that last message from 'what the' is a bit personal and threatening so I'm going to split.


What the.... said...

Anon: “But that last message from 'what the' is a bit personal and threatening so I'm going to split.”

Nice cop out.

What the.... said...

Hey, Anonymous, what are you doing about iatrogenesis?

Consider “iatrogenesis” which refers to any detrimental outcome produced by medical conduct (e.g., adverse drug reactions, medical errors, poor care of the bed-ridden resulting in infected bed sores). In America, from the very few studies that have been done, iatrogenic deaths are estimated at 750,000-1,000,000 per annum. It dwarfs the so-called tobacco “death toll” (400,000) and is approaching half of the total annual death toll in America (2,500,000). The medical establishment is by far the leading cause of preventable death and disability and associated costs.

Further, the iatrogenic toll is far more plausible, causally, than the tobacco “toll”. The tobacco “toll” is based on lifetime use that also brings into play a veritable plethora of other factors over a lifetime. It is also argued from the population level that has very poor extrapolation to the individual level, i.e., it is a “statistical death toll”. Conversely, the iatrogenic toll is argued from the individual level and then estimated for the population level. For iatrogenesis, causation is typically demonstrable at the individual level. For example, with adverse drug reactions (these are properly prescribed, FDA approved drugs), it may take just one or a few pills to produce cardiac arrest in some patients that can be fatal or leave permanent injury. The patient is stable and within an hour of taking a pill goes into atypical catastrophic failure. The temporality of many of these associations is not over a lifetime, but involves hours or days. Of the two – the iatrogenic or tobacco tolls – it is the former that should attract very serious scrutiny. But, as will be seen, it has been the other way around, or upside-down, indicating who is running the show.

Concerning smoking, there have been thousands upon thousands of antismoking “studies” conducted/funded. Many do not break new ground but simply reinforce the agenda. World Conferences on Smoking and Health have been occurring since the 1960s. In the last few decades there are National Conferences on Smoking and Health. There are now even Conferences for Nonsmokers. Then there are Smoking Cessation Conferences run by the Pharma cartel peddling its useless/dangerous “smoking-cessation” wares. Additionally there are numerous antismoking lectures and colloquia and speeches and committees and campaigns. Specific institutes for the study of tobacco have been created as sub-centres of university Public Health Departments (which in turn are sub-centres of the medical faculty). There is a plethora of taxpayer-funded antismoking organizations – referred to as “charities” - lobbying government for antismoking policies. There has been a frenzy of antismoking activity over the last three decades. A formidable, lucrative industry has been created that did not exist 30 years ago. And the bulk of it is all under medical direction. The medical establishment has wreaked social havoc, again, to tackle the tobacco “death toll”, and peddled essentially on the basis of the far smaller so-called tobacco “toll” in nonsmokers (SHS).

Belinda said...

Anonymous: I am not into the business of judging people who smoke. Quite honestly there are many harmful substances out there and when I said life might be better without tobacco it was with a very large pinch of salt.

I don't think any comment here was intended as personally threatening, but perhaps suggesting that you considered things differently.

What the.... said...

So we could then ask that if this has been the reaction to the tobacco “death toll”, then there must be an even greater industry addressing/correcting institution-wide iatrogenesis? In fact, there’s not. Compared with the many thousands of antismoking studies, there are but a handful (~ 20) concerning institution-wide iatrogenesis, damning as they are. There are no conferences on iatrogenesis whatsoever. There are no specifically-created institutes addressing the issue. In fact, it attracts almost zero attention within the medical establishment itself. The medical administration doesn’t like talking about it or the public knowing about it. This is the same medical establishment that now wants to “fix-up” the world. Scrutinizing the medical establishment would reveal how unstable its framework is. It would mean a [reasonable] loss of profits and trust. While it tenaciously maintains the spotlight on its favorite social targets, it avoids scrutiny like the plague. The contemporary medical establishment has been reduced to a production line, a medical industrial complex, where the tenets of the Hippocratic Oath play little or no part. The medical establishment was out of control 30 years ago. It has since entered a sinister phase. And smokers are one of the first to notice the ugly side of the medical establishment in its world-fixing (eugenics) and financially-compromised aspirations.

What the.... said...

References for iatrogenesis:
“We estimated that in 1994 overall 2216000 (1721000-2711000) hospitalized patients had serious ADRs [adverse drug reactions] and 106000 (76000-137000) had fatal ADRs, making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death”.

Including more sources of iatrogenesis:
Doctors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.
Cause 250,000 Deaths Every Year
From Starfield, B. (2000) Is US Health Really The Best In The World? Journal of the American Medical Association, 284 (4), 483-485.

Including even more sources of iatrogenesis:
Null et al. (2003)
Cause 780,000-1,000,000 Deaths Every Year

“Global Trigger Tool” Shows That Adverse Events In Hospitals May Be Ten Times Greater Than Previously Measured

Pat Nurse MA said...

A relative of mine is dying from lung disease caused by working for years on the roads and being exposed to passive suicide from car fumes driven by anti-smokers who don't care who they poison. He has never smoked in his life, neither has he ever been around smokers.

It is awful to watch him die but no one cares about him because he's not a smoker and so they can't nag him in his last hours and taunt him that it's all his fault because they are also to blame because they've been too lard arse lazy to think of anyone else when they jump in their cars.

Smokers with emphysema can walk about, get to a phone and debate on radio about how ill they are - with plenty of breath - but my never smoking relative can't even get off his bed or hold breath long enough to say a simple sentence.

Belinda - the anon troll is one of Chapman's stooges sent in to defend the high priest of hate. Ignore and delete is always the best option for bigots like that. Neither can you debate with the bullies because they will just shout you down.

Anonymous said...

Belinda, the study that Crapman tweeted was actually published in the BMJ on Feb 11 as a rapid response. Your link was to an earlier study by the same people in Tobacco Control. Here's the current study http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e525?tab=responses -- you can see it says "To determine the actual impact of plain packaging on transaction times in Australia, one month before and after 1 December 2012" So they were obviously referring to a second study.

Belinda said...

Anonymous ... thanks for the correction (I didn't really believe that SC had it wrong but my eyes were playing tricks on me).

Jackson said...

I've met the guy socially three of four times over the past 30 years and heard lots about him. He can be amusing if you are drunk at a party but he's actually an insufferable effeminate mommies boy. Like a brat who get's praise from ignorant anxious parents.