Monday, April 26, 2010

Nicorettes or nothing: anti-smoker hypocrisy

One definition of hypocrisy is: “the practice of professing standards, beliefs, or morals contrary to one's real character or actual behaviour, especially the pretense of virtue and piety”. Another is “the condition of a person pretending to be something he/she is not, especially in the area of morals or religion; a false presentation of belief or feeling.”

Thus, a politician who rants and raves about family values and the sanctity of marriage while secretly engaging the services of prostitutes is a hypocrite. The preacher who riles against deviant sexual behaviour at Sunday services, then retires to the confines of his private quarters to peruse his collection of child pornography is a hypocrite.

But what about those medical professionals who push sales of smoking cessation products? Are they also hypocrites? Based on a preponderance of the evidence, the answer has to be a clear, unequivocal “yes”.

I've noted several times on this blog that every anti-smoker group in the country, including the health departments of senior levels of government, has been shilling for the pharmaceutical companies which manufacture and distribute Nicoderm, Nicoretttes, Commit lozenges, Nicotine Inhaler and the like.

In addition, drugs like buproprion and varenicline (Zyban and Chantix respectively), are prescribed regularly for smoking cessation. Both drugs are strongly suspected of causing suicidal ideation, actual suicide, accidental death and a host of other serious side effects, both physical and psychological, in some patients.

But, what makes the hypocrisy of the medical profession stand out is the antagonism towards any nicotine delivery system or product which is not manufactured by the big drug companies.

The electronic cigarette is one notable example. Despite the support of many health care professionals, including fervent anti-smoking advocates, as a useful tool to reduce or eliminate tobacco consumption, the anti-smoker crowd around the globe has opposed the distribution and sale of the device.

Smokeless tobacco products such as Snus are also targeted by the anti-smoker crowd. Despite scientific evidence showing that Snus is many times less hazardous than smoking, the anti-smoker crowd seems intent on making it unavailable (or prohibitively expensive) to smokers. And, the tobacco companies are even prohibited from informing their customers of the reduced risk.

No alternate nicotine delivery systems or products , it seems, are acceptable to the anti-smoker crowd if it doesn't bear the drug industry seal of approval. The position of the health scare fanatics is that smokers must quit. But, they must do so only through the use of approved drug regimens: the overly expensive nicogums, lozenges or the patch.

The fanatics, including many in the medical professions, are overtly protecting the bottom line of the drug companies which are a major source of funding for their anti-smoker campaigns.

Pure, unadulterated hypocrisy.

Faced with declining cigarette sales and an increase of “smoke free” legislation, the tobacco companies turned their attention to producing smokeless tobacco products which were far less harmful than smoking tobacco. These smokeless products include snus, and several more novel products.

Camel Orbs, for example, come in the form of a pellet which is designed to “melt in the mouth". Others include Camel Sticks, a twisted stick the size of a toothpick and Camel Strips, a dissolvable film strip which is placed on the tongue. All include various concentrations of nicotine.

And all represent a threat to sales of pharmaceutical smoking cessation products; a market worth billions of dollars. And, they represent a threat to smoking bans which were intended to de-normalize and demoralize smokers. They can be used as a substitute in those areas where smokers can no longer light up.

I wrote about the anti-smoker opposition to some of these products in a previous blog. But, it seems some of these newer nicotine products are under renewed attack by anti-smoker fanatics; despite the fact that many of them are identical in design and purpose to pharmaceutical products already on the market.

The new Camel Orbs, for example, are very similar to the Commit lozenge. Both come in attractive packaging, both come in flavoured candy form, both are designed to melt in the mouth and both contain roughly the same amount of nicotine. The only real difference is in the price. Commit Lozenges are two to three times more expensive than Camel Orbs.

Camel Orbs, however, have been attacked by anti-smoker zealots because they're distributed by RJ Reynolds, a tobacco company. And, that's enough for the fanatics to call for a ban, or some other form of regulation, by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the US.

Hypocritical bastards, the bloody lot of them.

I'll have more to say on this and the “scientific study” used to justify their latest fear-mongering campaign in my next post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think anti-smoking campaigners should not be allowed to drink. We are no longer to smoke our drug of choice (nicotine) in bars, so that they can consume their drug of choice (alcohol) sans our fumes?
They should also not be allowed to drive. I don't drive (nor fly), but I smoke. I no doubt am far "greener" - I can never over my entire lifetime of smoking emit anywhere near what they pump out in a single week with their SUV's!
I cannot believe the hypocrisy!