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Why harm reduction isn't good enough

Discussion in 'Tobacco Harm Reduction' started by rainbowreality, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. rainbowreality

    rainbowreality Postman

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    Very interesting article exploring the mentality of health professionals, the eu and the uk on its total abstinence or die mentality. It's quite stark to think the ideology of 'those that know better' is even when something comes along that requires no state funding and is between 95 and 99% safer than smoking (about the same level of risk as coffee) they refuse to consider it.

    www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/6/1/29

    Apologies if this has already been posted
     
    #1 rainbowreality, Mar 8, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
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  2. Angryoldgit

    Angryoldgit Initiate

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    Dangerous, Unsafe, Safe, Safer, Safest?


    What do these words mean to you? I mean, given that life inevitably leads to death, can life ever be safe? I know that we can make life safer – by taking care over the things we do, for example, or by not doing things that are patently dangerous, but who should decide what is unsafe, and what is safe to do? I was told from an early age not to put my fingers into an electric socket, so I don't for I understand that electricity can kill. But I learned from experience that electricity in small quantities is relatively harmless, so I will play around with 12-volt circuits quite happily. In certain situations, of course, even 12 volts can be harmful, but one learns the rules. This is mitigation of danger, or harm reduction, or choosing a safer option. No governmental body or agency has ever found it necessary to legislate and prevent me from tinkering with the electrics on my car, or indeed, with lightning if I wish.


    So why are there people in the world determined to stop me inhaling nicotine, if that is what I choose to do? They let me drink coffee, or tea, or alcohol. They let me ride a bike, drive a car, go swimming, climb mountains, bungee jump or fly gliders. Nobody could possibly say that these have no dangers, but there are no laws to stop me, just rules for my guidance, to lessen the likelihood of harm. But nicotine? 'Thou must not!' seems to be the cry! And, should I reply, 'This is what I wish to do', I am declared an 'addict' and thought unfit to make rational decisions, it seems. I must face a barrage of propaganda, be lectured non-stop by medical practitioners, even dentists and opticians, as to the dangers of smoking. When that does not make me quit, public opinion is turned against me by propaganda that suggests my 'addiction' is killing my wife, my children, my neighbours, my workmates, the barmaid at the pub, and the family dog. Even when the evidence for this is flimsy,misleading, ambiguous and blatantly false, the lies must be continued, for someone has decided that smoking must be ended, once and for all, for the public good.


    What can one do? Well, turn to safer alternatives; cleaner nicotine that has none of the toxins in smoke; patches, chewing gum or inhalers, but I don't find them helpful for they do not give me the 'buzz' that cigarettes do. But wait, what's this on the horizon? A method of taking a nip of nicotine without the dirty, toxic, carcinogenic chemicals I was warned of – an electronic cigarette! It's clean, it's hygienic, it smells good, it tastes good, it mimics the hand-to-mouth actions of smoking. It produces no smoke, it contains no tobacco, so it's legal to use indoors. At last, after fifty years of getting my nicotine from tobacco, I am free to enjoy it in a clean and fresh-smelling way, and it cannot harm my family, or the barmaids, or the dog! It seems I have found safe nicotine.


    So, as I had been advised was good for me, I no longer smoke. My lungs have cleared, my blood pressure dropped, I have more energy, my clothes are fresh-smelling and so is my breath. I no longer go in fear of an early death because I am a non-smoker, and I have been told ad nauseam that non-smokers live forever, whereas smokers die after as few as fifteen cigarettes.


    But the euphoria is short-lived, for it was not my smoke that the puritans wanted to ban, that was just the excuse. Nor was it my smoking that they did not like, since that was only the visible sign of my failing. No, it is my consumption of nicotine that is the problem, and that must be expunged and exorcised from the world. No matter that what I do now is orders of magnitude safer than smoking, the army is already on the march, and only unconditional surrender will save me and my like from their retribution. No matter that nicotine is only as toxic and addictive as caffeine, and less so than alcohol, its association to smoking is too strong to be ignored. It must be banned, it must be highly regulated, to save me from myself. There is no longer any danger to those around me, for I do not smoke, but I exhale nicotine, and nicotine is in tobacco, so cannot possibly be safe, can it? Well, it seems that it is safe in tomatoes, and potatoes, and peppers, and aubergines, and cauliflowers, and probably in many other foodstuffs. It must also be safe in patches and gums and inhalers, else my doctor would not have prescribed them for me. But nobody can, or will, say that it is safe in the atmosphere, unlike traffic fumes, industrial fallout, natural and man-made pollution for which 'acceptable' and 'safe' levels have been set.


    As if that argument were not silly enough, it seems that nicotine consumption must be expunged in order that no-one else will ever make the same 'mistake' that I did, and develop a taste for it. For that would lead inexorably to smoking tobacco, with all its dangers! In some strangely twisted logic, the argument goes, “People like nicotine, coffee, tea, sugar, alcohol, excitement etc. They seek more of what they enjoy – we can refer to this as 'addiction', especially when speaking of nicotine. Nicotine is associated with tobacco, but the others aren't, so can be ignored (for now!). To get nicotine out of tobacco, it is commonly smoked.The smoke is dangerous to health. Ban smoking where it may harm others, but tolerate it otherwise and collect taxes off the smoker. If nicotine can be consumed without smoking (which may be very much safer) we must ban it in case people enjoy it, for if they enjoy it, they will choose the most dangerous method of consumption! And our young people will be too stupid to take the safer option, so the option must be banned'. Problem solved!”


    And so we have our 'Final Solution'. No matter how 'dangerous' smoking may be to the smoker, it is the 'unsafe' nature to the bystander of 'passive smoking' that prompted a ban in public places. But a 'safer' option like e-cigarettes cannot be absolutely guaranteed to be 'safe', so the 'safest' option is to ban the very thing that offers the best solution ever found to the problem of smoking, and ride roughshod over public opinion to do it. However, this too is far from being 'safe', since there are now over two million former smokers who have taken the step to safer alternatives, and many more current smokers who might, and they are all voters. If you are a politician in anything other than the safest seat, be afraid, be very afraid!
     
    #2 Angryoldgit, May 3, 2014
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
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  3. Mawsley

    Mawsley Putting the soup into super hero

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    I hate seeing Aban in public places. That fucker gets everywhere these days.
     
  4. anthonyb

    anthonyb Achiever

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    Liberated from this longish document. http://www.tobaccoharmreduction.org/wpapers/006v1.pdf
     
  5. Chegs

    Chegs Veteran

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    They are forever "informing" people about the highly addictive drug nicotine,and take all steps to eradicate the users access to it.Yet you can go see a genuine medical practitioner (Dr) who will prescribe you any variety of highly addictive drugs(painkillers/anti-depressants etc),you can even buy this dangerous addictive drug in small doses like patches/inhalers etc to rid yourself of tobacco from the age of 12 plus.You can buy other vegetables that contain higher concentrations of nicotine than the patches at any age,from a grocer with no restriction on quantity.All because anybody that blows a cloud of vapour looks like they're smoking,so that means that the ANTZ must have a collective nervous breakdown every winter when millions of people are "smoking" on their way to work/college/school.
     
  6. steffijade

    steffijade Achiever

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    The sickening thing about the whole situation is that it's the ones with the vested financial interests that have been the most resistant to vaping.

    At first, we were largely ignored as a passing fad but once vaping began to take off and the financial implications began to dawn on big tobacco, big pharma, big government and big tobacco control, they panicked.

    The first strategy was to try and scaremonger smokers from attempting to vape by saying that they 'just' didn't know what was in the liquid (although the FDA did try to make a three ring circus over a single test).

    There's an ongoing battle being waged by the 4 entities above to plant the seeds of fear in the minds of the public about vaping but now their overall strategy has switched slightly.

    After it became apparent that 'they' couldn't stop the inevitable spread of vaping, 'they' decided that they could have their cake and eat it... if they couldn't get rid of it, they'd gain control of it. The MHRA has been given responsibility for regulating vaping in the UK by big government but the MHRA is largely funded by big pharma (surprise surprise). The WHO are pushing for eliquid to be classified as a tobacco product and somewhat unsurprisingly, it's recently been revealed that one of the biggest financial contributors to the WHO are none other than big pharma.

    One of the biggest noises in tobacco control in the UK is ASH.. no prizes for guessing who also donates to and sponsors them.

    If there were no smokers all of the big 4 vested interests would be threatened financially... no profits from selling cigarettes for big tobacco, no tobacco duty income for big government, big pharma would have nobody to market their expensive and ineffective NRT products to and most cynically of all, the people who have made a career out of being bigoted hatemongers in big tobacco control would be put out of work.

    The obvious solution for all 4 of them is a two tier regulatory system.. which is what they are working towards.

    There will be one form of vaping device that will have nicotine levels over 20mg/ml but will only be able to be produced and sold after being awarded licensing as a medicine by the MHRA. Anything else will be classified as a tobacco product and be taxed accordingly.

    The above satisfies all of the big 4.. big tobacco still get to sell 'tobacco', big pharma still get to sell 'NRT', big government still gets to collect 'tobacco' duty and big tobacco control get to keep their jobs being puritanical cockwombles about the 'dangers' of 'tobacco products', whilst recommending 'safe' licensed, medicinal 'NRT'.

    The only people who don't benefit are the likes of us... vapers and smokers who might one day switch to vaping, but that's hardly surprising really. We've never been anything other than lowlife, expendable cash generators in their eyes anyway.

    The notion that the mantra of quit of die is so engrained that it can't be discarded is true up to a point, but the sad and shameful truth is that it all boils down to money. We are brought up to believe that 3 of the big 4 should theoretically be more concerned with public health than with money and the fact that they appear to do the exact opposite is not only lamentable, imho, it's fecking criminal.
     
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  7. Fleabag

    Fleabag Achiever

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    The only thing missing from this is the most depressing.
    Big pharma's profits are arguably most damaged not by the loss of NRT revenue, but the revenue from the sale of treatments for people with smoking-related conditions.
    We vapers see it, but outsiders don't quite believe us when we try to make them see that big pharma want us to get cancer & copd - people's yachts & big pensions rely on it

    Sent from my GT-I9305 using Planet of the Vapes mobile app
     
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  8. gords1001

    gords1001 Achiever

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    In an ideal world, these fuckwits would be given a fair trial for mass genocide and crimes against humanity, taken oytside when they are found guilty, shot in the stomach and left to bleed out, from the ministers that voted for this bullshit upwards.
     
  9. knome

    knome Achiever

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    Yeah... and don't offer 'em a last cigarette - just to twist the knife.
     
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  10. Angryoldgit

    Angryoldgit Initiate

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    The myth of nicotine addiction.

    Onthe 16thMay 1988, the Surgeon General of the United States, C. Everett-Koop,announced to the world that nicotine is an addictive drug. Heconcludedthat “behavioral characteristics that determine tobacco addictionare similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroinand cocaine.”And that is it! The sum total of an argument that still rages today.Smokers smoke because it gives them pleasure in a way that is'similar' to the effect of certain dangerous drugs (and alcohol,caffeine, favoured foods, favoured activities and even religiousfervour of course). What a surprise that is; people do something thatgives them pleasure, and pleasure makes them want to do it again!

    Ofcourse, that is not quite the end of the story. Based on the SurgeonGeneral's report, President Bill Clinton, on 22ndAugust 1996, declared nicotine to be addictive, and placed it underthe jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And thosetwo pronouncements were sufficient to enshrine forever that nicotineis a deadly and addictive drug to be vilified, regulated, taxed andbanned as required by every government, and every action group onearth.

    TheSurgeon General's comment puts me in mind of Bishop Ussher'spronouncement that the world was created in 4,004 BCE, based on theages of prophets mentioned in the Bible, in that there is very littleevidence for, much evidence against, but those who care to believe itwill do so because it is a basic tenet of their religion. PresidentClinton was, of course, a lawyer and not a medical man, so he actedsolely on the advice of the Surgeon General. He was also a politicianwith a strong personality, and overrode the views of Al Gore (theVice-President) who advised against the ruling that nicotine shouldbe overseen by the FDA.

    Imake no defence of tobacco. As a means of providing nicotine, it is adisaster. It is full of toxins, some of which are known, or at leaststrongly suspected, to be injurious to health. The 'curing' processto prepare it for smoking adds even more harmful compounds. Thecombustion process that releases the nicotine also releases toxicgases, particulate matter and trace elements at the same time. Thesmoke is dirty and toxic, like the fumes from a forest fire, or avehicle's exhaust, or a power station's chimneys. It harms the userand poisons the atmosphere, so that even non-users are at risk ofharm. All of these are known disadvantages of extracting nicotinefrom tobacco by combustion.

    Butdoes this make nicotine a dangerous drug? If our need of energycauses us to burn fossil fuels, which poisons the atmosphere, whichcauses health problems or climate change, does this make electricitya dangerous product? Well, electricity can kill, of course, which iswhy we have sensible guidelines for its usage, but we accept certaindangers for the benefits we gain from electricity. We do not excludeit from our towns and cities, or our homes. Instead we adopt harmreduction measures to protect us from its dangers. Electromagnetismis, of course, a naturally-occurring force of the universe that weadapt for our benefit, a little like the nicotine that occursnaturally in many of the foodstuffs that we enjoy; tomatoes,potatoes, aubergines, peppers, cauliflower, and many more. When didwe ever consider that a taste for these foods constituted addiction?Surely, if nicotine is so powerful and dangerous a drug, we wouldexpect that people would exhibit an addiction by excessiveconsumption of these foods, but we do not see such an effect.Consider too that the medical establishments' standard 'treatment'for tobacco 'addiction' is to wean the smoker away from smoking bythe administration of small amounts of - nicotine! In other words,treating the addiction by administering the object of addiction! Thisis akin to giving an alcoholic a stiff drink to cure his problem, ora quick 'fix' of heroin to a junkie! Did anyone ever advise anex-smoker to avoid potatoes, tomatoes or cauliflower in order toavoid a relapse?

    Suchlogic is, of course, lost on the anti-smoking campaign that has takenon the nature of a religious crusade. To the zealots who now run ourhealth agencies, nicotine is the devil incarnate, the ultimate evil,the source of all the world's ills, the jew of their Hitleritehatred. Science, like public opinion, is to be perverted orsuppressed to fit their agenda. If the millions of people who enjoysmoking can be demonised by arguing that they are drug addicts, thenit is only fair that they should be penalised by fines in the form oftaxes. With public opinion turned upon them, they can be segregatedand vilified until they relinquish their filthy habit. And thecampaign began to work; smoking prevalence dropped from around 70% toaround 30%, and the zealots rejoiced greatly!

    Inthe mid-1990's, however, was invented a nicotine-inhalation productthat does not involve the incineration of tobacco. Instead it usespharmaceutical-grade ingredients (glycerine, propylene glycol andflavourings) containing a small amount of nicotine. This 'e-liquid'is heated by a coil connected to a battery to vapourise it so that itcan be inhaled by the user, the nicotine is absorbed by the membranesof the mouth and lungs, and the remaining water vapour is thenexhaled. The user gets a nicotine 'buzz', and there are nocarcinogens, toxins, odours or particulates to harm anyone in thevicinity. It emulates the acts and rituals of smoking and helps usersto adapt their behaviour to become 'vapers', non-tobacco nicotineusers, non-smokers. Thus the electronic cigarette (or e-cig) solvesthe problem, one would think; a win-win situation that answers allthe criticisms of smoking – except one!

    It'sthat pesky allegation that nicotine is a deadly and addictive drug,made by one man years before the e-cig was even a spark in atest-tube, and the reason that the crusade against nicotine continuesanew in the clean, smokeless new world of the e-cig. But theillogical arguments now become ludicrous, and laughable, except forthose whose religious views are offended, and the governments whoseincome depends on taxation from tobacco, and the tobacco companieswho profit from smokers, and the pharmaceutical companies whoseprofits come from treating victims of smoking, and/or providingnicotine 'treatments' for nicotine 'addicts', and the health adviserswhose employment depends on the war on smoking. Arguments that runalong the lines of:-

    “Smokingkills, nicotine encourages smoking; We must kill safer nicotineconsumption, but let smoking continue for it generates income!”

    “Ifpeople continue to consume nicotine, they will continue to smoke,even when safer options are available that are safer, cheaper,cleaner, and more socially acceptable!”

    “Seeingpeople not smoking, but consuming nicotine in a safer way, underminesthe message that smoking is a deadly occupation caused solely bynicotine 'addiction'!”

    “Ifpeople are consuming nicotine in a way that vaguely resemblessmoking, then others will emulate them, but will choose to smokecigarettes, rather than use an e-cig!”

    “Ife-cigs look like a safe alternative to smoking, then non-smokers willtry them, be instantly addicted to nicotine, and will become lifelongsmokers!”

    “Addictswho think they enjoy nicotine in e-cigs must be mad, for they musthave smoked to become addicted, and only a madman smokes, so they canhave no aptitude for rational decisions!”

    “Itwas 500 years before we found out that smoking was deadly. E-cigshave only been around for a few years, so we do not know how safethey might be. We should ban them now, in case not smoking might befound unsafe after 500 years of not smoking!”

    “NicotineIs Addictive! Nicotine Is Addictive! Nicotine Is Addictive! NicotineIs Addictive! Nicotine Is Addictive! Nicotine Is Addictive! …” to be repeated forever to the tune of any favourite hymn.
     
    #10 Angryoldgit, May 6, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2015

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