I was going to post the following last night, but got distracted.
I’ve drawn a map of the advance of Tobacco Control ‘army’ over the past 60 years or so.
The campaign starts in 1950 with the publication of Doll and Hill’s London Hospitals study and Wynder and Graham’s US study, and another US one whose name I forget, all linking smoking cigarettes with lung cancer (1). Doll and Hill follow up by starting the British Doctors study, which was to keep publishing results for the next 50 years.
The next phase in the campaign sees the launch of the secondhand smoke threat (2) by Sir George Godber et al. in about 1975, and this steadily gathers momentum over the next 25 years.
I’m not sure when thirdhand smoke (3) was invented, but I’ve placed it at about 2000. And by fourthhand smoke (4) I’m thinking of nicotine vapour.
It’s the view of MJM and others that the ‘threat’ posed by the various-hand smokes diminishes with each stage (which is reflected in the width of the advancing column), and so it’s easier to persuade people that secondhand smoke isn’t anywhere near as dangerous as firsthand smoke, and so that’s where the counter-attack should be made.
However, there’s another way of thinking about this advance of Tobacco Control. And it’s that when it started off in Nazi Germany (which most people either don’t know or forget about), it was almost killed off in 1945. What Doll and Hill and the others essentially did was to revive the Nazi ‘science’ by adopting the same methodology, with added statistical analysis. But if back in 1950 Tobacco Control wasn’t very strong, then it’s been getting stronger and stronger ever since.
So a revised map would look something like this:
And what’s different about this is that Tobacco Control, as it got stronger and more organised and better funded and more influential, was able to advance its cause with weaker and weaker arguments. It could do this because it had gained a total stranglehold on the ‘science’, and on the ‘experts’ in the media who disseminate the ‘science’, and on the medical profession, and also on governments. It’s so strong that it’s even spawning related ‘science’ in fields of alcohol and nutrition. It’s become a monster.
For example, right now Tobacco Control is working very hard indeed to ‘prove’ that novel e-cigarettes are as dangerous as any tobacco product. And they’re actually being pretty successful. E-cigarettes are getting banned left, right, and centre.
Seen this way, Tobacco Control is at its strongest with its spearhead attack on nicotine vapour – because that’s where most of its very considerable efforts are currently being directed. Where it is at its weakest lies deep in its rear, where it regards the battle as won, and where “the debate is over”. And where most of the players are dead. And where no attack is expected. And where the whole campaign can be cut off at its root.
And so, in my view, the current TC spearhead should simply be side-stepped, and an attack mounted far to the rear, against the myth of firsthand smoke (highlighting its Nazi origins). The vapers should be left to defend themselves. And anyway I’m inclined to believe that stamping out vaping will prove to be a bit of a Pyrrhic victory, because it’s making a lot of people realise not only that the justifications for all these bans are based on ‘research’ that’s been quickly ordered up to reach a pre-determined conclusion, but also what utter bastards TC are. For example, an antismoking friend (about the last one I’ve got) phoned a few weeks back to tell me about these new e-cigs. “They’re banning those too,” I told her. “What!!!?” she shrieked.
Back in 1950, with no internet around, the debate about the Doll and Hill London Hospitals study raged for a while in the newspapers and in the medical profession and a few other interested parties. And from what little I’ve gleaned of it, the study was fairly rapidly discredited. But a number of doctors were seemingly convinced by it, including not only Richard Doll and Bradford Hill themselves, but also George Godber, future architect of secondhand smoke. And these doctors seem to have simply gone on indefinitely repeating its findings thereafter, and started other studies, probably because they had the funding to do so.
The London Hospitals study is, in my view, an appallingly bad piece of research, if only because 98% of the patients in it were smokers, and so – regardless of whatever disease they’d been looking at – they would have likely found that 98% the people suffering from it were smokers. And this is more or less exactly what they did find with lung cancer.
Yesterday, someone wrote that the “flagship” Doll and Hill study was the subsequent British Doctors study, which was only wound up in 2004, with Sir Richard Doll saying that it had been designed to “advertise” the association of smoking and lung cancer (I don’t have the exact quote). And that’s exactly what it did, by keeping smoking in the public eye for another 50 years. But if it was “advertising” anything, it was the findings of the earlier London Hospitals study, which I regard as the true “flagship study” – and the one that most needs to be sunk.
I think that, with the resources available on the internet, it should be possible to revisit this flagship study. And I believe that if just this one study can be thoroughly and completely dismantled, then it will call into question all the subsequent studies. And if anyone raises an eyebrow about TC’s manifestly rigged anti-vaping ‘research’, we’ll be able to say, “That’s how they’ve always done it.”