When Marewa Glover was nominated to be New Zealander of the Year several anti-vaping noses were bent out of shape. An admirable tobacco harm reduction campaigner, she holds opinions that irk the likes of Simon Chapman. Speaking about a government proposal to criminalise smoking in cars with children triggered a spate of cultish ad hominem attacks from “the Church of Tobacco Control”.
One of those attacking her was the PHA. She responded by saying: “They want to silence me. They've got to discredit me because it undermines their singing from the same song sheet and I'm singing a different song and it's like, shoot that bird.”
Marewa met with lawyers to discuss appropriate actions and the PHA has formally apologised to her. At the foot of its homepage, the PHA write: “On 29 August, 2019, our PolicySpot newsletter contained a number of statements made by Dr Prudence Stone about Dr Marewa Glover. These statements included comments stating Dr Glover was influenced by Philip Morris International and that Dr Glover had made false statements to the select committee considering amendments to the Smokefree Environments (prohibiting smoking in motor vehicles carrying children) Amendment Bill. These statements by Dr Stone were false. Dr Stone and the PHA retract these comments and unreservedly apologise to Dr Glover for the comments made.”
Simon Chapman insulted Marewa Glover as part of his endless online retching. He is yet to issue an apology to her but has been caught out on multiple previous occasions. He has had to apologise to Dr Sarah Laurie [link] (“These allegations were implied without foundation and are entirely false”), and Dr Joe Kosterich [link] (“My remarks were entirely false and without foundation”). Maybe Chapman should simply stop insulting people and inventing lies?
In 2014, Professor John Ashton quit role as president of Faculty of Public Health following his abuse of harm reduction advocates on Twitter. He labelled them “e-cig trolls” and posted the following:
- “These abusive ecig people remind me of the lads who used to play with themselves behind the bike sheds at school. They are even more pathetic than that. Need ecigs to get aroused.”
- “Have you always been an anonymous c***.”
- “I think I have identified a new species of human being this week. Obsessive, compulsive, abusive onanist with ecig tendencies.”
In 2016, The Times was forced to print the following apology to David Nutt, David Sweanor, Karl Fagerstrom, Riccardo Polosa and Clive Bates [link] :
- “We recently published articles and a leader about scientists and public health experts and their alleged financial links with the tobacco industry (Tobacco giants fund vaping studies, Scientists wooed in charm offensive and Smoke in their eyes, October 12). The experts mentioned in our report, Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London, Professor David Sweanor of the Faculty of Law and Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics at the University of Ottawa, Professor Karl Fagerstrom who created the Fagerstrom Test for Cigarette Dependency, Professor Riccardo Polosa, Director of the Institute for Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology at the University of Catania, and Clive Bates, former executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, are internationally respected for their longstanding global work to reduce smoking, and their work on the issue of nicotine harm reduction. Our report and a panel headed “Academics making a packet” implied that these experts had received funding for research into e-cigarettes. We accept that this was wrong and that their work has not been tainted by the influence of tobacco industry funding. We apologise for our errors and omissions and for the embarrassment caused.”