The liars lexicon of the anti e-cigarette campaign

E-cigarettes save millions of lives. But Big Pharma is against them because it threatens sales of their useless stop-smoking products. Big Tobacco is conflicted, and politicans just love banning things. There's a liars lexicon against helping people's health

Why not tell the truth about e-cigarettes?
Robin Mitchinson
On 5 March 2015 09:18

It would seem that the antis campaigning against e-cigarettes are working their way through the entire Liars Lexicon.

‘They’ torture statistics so that they will show anything the antis want.

‘They’ cherry-pick scientific information to fit their case.

‘They’ present opinion as fact.

‘They’ pervert logic to assert ‘proofs’ or actually non-proofs.

‘They’ say that there is no proof that e-liquid, which consists of an inert oil and a tiny amount of nicotine (or not; you can order the nicotine-free version) plus a whole range of flavours from Havana cigar and Jack Daniels to bubble-gum, is harmless.

Try applying that ‘logic’ to all human activity. It will not get you far. You can’t prove a negative.

But turn it around. What ‘they’ are really saying is that there is no proof that it is harmful. There is not a scrap of scientific evidence that the vapour given off by the liquid is harmful in any way.

Nothing is burned. The liquid is simply heated; it has no similarity with tobacco smoke and all its harmful outcomes; it leaves no odour on your clothes; no tacky deposits on your furnishings and TV screen; no dirty ash trays; no eye-watering smell of smoke.

The UK Government’s own tobacco tsar has described e-cigs as the greatest breakthrough in public health this century, with the potential to save millions of lives.

‘They’ say that it is a ‘gateway’ product that will encourage people, especially the young, to take up tobacco. The logic of this is impenetrable.

What possible reason could there be for someone who has never smoked to take up e-cigs? If ‘they’ can produce one example out of the entire population of the planet it would be as much a surprise as the Second Coming’.

‘They’ say that e-cigs don’t stop people smoking tobacco. Tell that to the 2 million+ people in UK who have switched. Until two years ago I was a two-pack a day man.

Not anymore. I don’t have the slightest craving for a cigarette, and when out of curiosity I have tried one I find them devoid of any flavour or satisfaction whatsoever. Apart from which I am saving at least £3,000 a year.

So who are ‘they’? This piece by an American scientist may give a clue.

‘Big Pharma -- notably Pfizer, GSK, Johnson and Johnson -- sell multi-millions worth of near-useless NRT products and drugs each year. Not coincidentally, these same companies subsidise the public-health non-profits and academic centres very generously. Yet when these groups attack e-cigs and warn smokers to stick with the pharma products, they never disclose that funding.

"Similarly, the pervasive hyper-regulation of e-cigs at the state and local level has a lot to do with cigarette excise taxes propping up local budgets -- as of now, e-cigs are largely untaxed’.

People are simply no longer buying nicotine patches and other modern versions of snake oil because they are expensive and don’t work.

And naturally there is Big Tobacco who will readily provide funding to any scientist who is ready to produce ‘evidence’ that will support the required conclusion.

It is now looking as if Big Tobacco will now adopt ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ as a future strategy. There are already signs that they are buying into the market.

So why are politicians so eager to join the banning brigade? Because they can! ‘Banning’ is what politicians do.

Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, living in the Isle of Man, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world

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