Nicotine Nightmare for the Antz

Posted 27th April 2020 by Dave Cross
World Health Organisation mouthpieces have been busy sharing a statement issued by Matthew Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, who calls the statistics reported from France as “misleading”. Meanwhile France has swiftly restricted access to nicotine products as it fears people might use nicotine "too much".

Last week, POTV wrote about the work being done by Jean-Pierre Changeux and an internal medicine team at the Pitié Salpétrière hospital. They are researching whether nicotine patches help to reduce the symptoms of COVID-19 following seemingly startlingly low numbers of smokers presenting with disease complications.

Matt Myers earns a very healthy living from being paid to oppose vaping. To maintain his Bloomberg-funded cushy lifestyle, he needs to ensure the attacks keep on coming. “There is no evidence to suggest smokers are protected from COVID-19,” he misdirects. It’s the same way he repeatedly denounces claims that “vaping is safe” when nobody is saying that.

Jean-Pierre Changeux has never said smoking protects people from COVID-19.

Myers goes on to say there is a “growing body of evidence that smokers are at greater risk of suffering more severe consequences of COVID-19”.

Not content to invent claims, Myers also takes a swipe at vaping in his diatribe: “There is growing evidence that vaping can also harm lung health. These factors put smokers, and in all likelihood vapers, at greater risk when confronted with COVID-19.”

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Then he makes another ad hominem attack by implying that Changeux is a tobacco shill. He writes: “Tobacco companies will stop at nothing to sell more products, even if it means capitalizing on a pandemic. Never has it been more important for the public and policymakers to see the tobacco industry for what it is: an industry of death and disease.”

It is beyond absurd to suggest that Jean-Pierre Changeux is working on behalf of the tobacco industry to promote smoking – possibly the stupidest thing ever to come from Myers’ mind, especially as everything the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids does with regards to vaping ends up promoting cigarette use. Jean-Pierre Changeux’s achievements [link] and awards [link] speaks for themselves.

Fears of last week’s announcement quickly spread to the French government which acted swiftly to restrict the public’s access to NRT products. People are now limited to “one month’s supply” of patches or other nicotine products in order “to stop people putting too much nicotine into their bodies”.

The action fails to understand that using nicotine isn’t “smoking”, and the conflation continued as a government spokesperson “warned that smoking killed 75,000 people a year in France.”

Whether or not nicotine works at reducing the severity of COVID-19 symptoms will be demonstrated by genuinely independent experts conducting well-structured research; screaming activists with a history of lying (like Myers) are doing nothing but muddying the waters.

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  • “Anti-COVID Nicotine?”, POTV – [link]
  • “There is No Evidence to Suggest Smokers are Protected from COVID-19” by Matthew Myers – [link]
  • “France bans online sales of nicotine products”, BBC – [link]

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
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