In a submission to the Australian government, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) argues that there is no evidence that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit, that e-cigarettes are harmful to health because they simply substitute one addiction for another, and that physicians must fight to prevent vaping from becoming an acceptable alternative to smoking.
According to an article published by the Australian Journal of Pharmacy: "Commenting on its submission to an inquiry into the devices, the AMA
says it believes that there is currently no compelling evidence that
e-cigarettes are successful in helping people to stop smoking. ... AMA President Dr Michael Gannon says that the
growth in e-cigarette products internationally has provided sections of
the tobacco industry with the opportunity to rebrand themselves as part
of the effort to reduce smoking – but there is no evidence that
e-cigarettes work as a deterrent. ... “E-cigarettes must not be
allowed to be marketed with claims that they are a smoking cessation
aid,” Dr Gannon says. “There is no such evidence. ... “We must not allow e-cigarettes to become a socially acceptable alternative to smoking.”"
The Rest of the Story
Up to this point, I have been criticizing many anti-tobacco groups for presenting false information about the relative safety and effectiveness of vaping and for supporting public policy that would harm the public's health. However, I have refrained from attacking the motives or intentions of these groups, assuming instead that they are simply misguided or uninformed about the scientific evidence.
That all changes today.
After reading the position statement of the Australian Medical Association, it is now clear to me that there is thinking going on in the anti-tobacco movement that is just plain evil.
Specifically, I am now convinced that in order to preserve a certain misguided ideology in tobacco control (the idea that addiction itself is unacceptable under any circumstances), anti-tobacco groups are willing to sacrifice the health and lives of smokers.
In other words, this really isn't about helping smokers and reducing the morbidity and mortality from smoking-related diseases. This is instead about protecting the world from the scourge of addiction itself, without regard to the impact of these statements and policies on the lives of smokers.
Smokers are literally being sacrificed for what is viewed as the "greater good," which is protecting the world from nicotine addiction.
To be blunt, the idea that anyone might actually derive enjoyment from, and health benefit from the use of nicotine is so unacceptable to anti-tobacco groups that it must be destroyed, even if that comes at the expense of smokers' lives.
I apologize, but this is just plain evil. This is not what public health and medicine are supposed to be about.
These groups are now admitting that they would rather not see smokers have a safer alternative that could save their lives. They do not want to see vaping become an alternative to smoking.
Think about that: They would rather smokers continue to smoke than to quit smoking if they are still deriving pleasure from nicotine. This equates to the position that they would rather see smokers die than save their lives but continue to derive pleasure from the use of nicotine.
This is a cruel position to take.
Many readers have inquired as to why the frequency of my posts have decreased recently. Part of that is of course due to the summer season. But a major part of it has been that I have been beset with a sense of utter frustration and disillusionment. I have realized that the ultimate goals of the modern anti-tobacco movement do not align with my goals and I fail to see any change in the movement, no matter how much I point out the incoherence of current tobacco policy. I can't think of a single anti-smoking groups that has revised or corrected its false statements on the health effects of vaping after being informed about the errors in their communications. It's not clear that anyone actually cares.
But today marks a turning point from even that level of frustration. Because it is now clear that we are not just dealing with scientific misinterpretation, poor communication, and misguided policy. We are dealing with cruel intent. And that is not something that some posts on a blog are able to change.