Images of Oesophageal Cancer

Chris Snowdon a few days back, quoting from an editorial in the Lancet:

There is no excuse to ignore regulatory interventions for access, advertisements, and unit cost that are shown to reduce alcohol consumption. Like tobacco, the longer the delay in effective control, the more severe future interventions for alcohol will need to be. It is not unimaginable that bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild, which once bore the artwork of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, might one day be required to have plain packaging and images of oesophageal cancer or a cirrhotic liver.

I suppose it must be some doctor who wrote this. I don’t suppose it would have been a lawyer or an architect or a bus driver. The Lancet is a medical journal, after all.

I don’t quite understand the first sentence. But it seems to be saying that there’s “no excuse” to not introduce measures that will “reduce alcohol consumption.” It seems to be the unstated assumption that reducing alcohol consumption is an unquestionably good thing about which absolutely everybody is completely agreed.

But I can easily imagine a situation where one would want to increase alcohol consumption. If you’re having a dinner party, wouldn’t you want to provide a few bottles of wine to help wash the food down, and maybe some brandy or port afterwards with the cigars? Wouldn’t you want everyone to get pretty well oiled?

But, of course, the doctor who wrote this editorial probably has dinner parties that are alcohol-free.

And tobacco-free.

And sugar-free.

And fat-free.

And salt-free.

Forget any thoughts of plates laden with turkey and ham with roast potatoes and carrots and peas and gravy. Forget any ideas of second helpings as well. And forget any ideas about subsequent plates with huge slices of lemon meringue pie and whipped cream. Above all forget about any cigars and cognac and chocolate.

Face it. If this guy threw a dinner party, the guests would each be given a slice of bread and a glass of water. And the bread would be gluten-free.

In fact, I feel confident in saying that this guy never holds any dinner parties. And never goes to any. He probably hates them.

And he probably hates them because they are orgies of excess. A dinner party is supposed to be a feast that provides more food than anyone can eat, and more alcohol than anyone can drink. For you want everybody to leave saying, “Carry I out, but don’t bend I!”

The antismoking Dr W in whose house I once found myself living never touched alcohol. But even he relented at Christmas, when the plates on his dinner table would become unusually full, and he would pour himself (and nobody else) a little glass of what looked like sherry, and ostentatiously take a single tiny sip from it while giving a toast. I used to imagine that afterwards he would pour the remaining sherry in the glass back into the bottle for use at subsequent Christmases, and had probably managed to make a single bottle last for 30 years or more.

But all that aside, we have been told in this editorial that we must reduce alcohol consumption. And that means no parties, no fiestas, no carnivals, no dances, no excess of any kind. Just bread and water.

And in the second sentence in this passage we are warned that if there is any delay in introducing controls on alcohol, it will only mean that there will need to be “more severe” future interventions.

We need “regulation”, “control”, “intervention”.

And then, in a final sentence of giddy imagination, the writer looks forward to the day when bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild are bearing “images of oesophageal cancer or a cirrhotic liver.”

For this is what he wants. He wants to take the things that Picasso and Dali beautified, and turn them into something poisonous and ugly, just like he’s already been making tobacco into something poisonous and ugly.

And when he’s finished with tobacco and alcohol, he’ll start on meat and fat and sugar and chocolate. He’ll deface everything he can lay his hands on. He will take everything beautiful and make it ugly. He’ll piss all over it.

For that’s what he’s doing: defacing everything, pissing on everything.

And if he could get at the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, he’d probably gouge out one of her eyes.

Some people bring beauty to the world. And some people bring ugliness.

And isn’t the author of this Lancet editorial telling us much more about himself than he’s telling us about alcohol or tobacco? He’s telling us, in a few sentences, what a controlling, regulating interventionist he is. And how moralistic – “no excuse”, “need to” – as well. And how threatening and overbearing. And how he longs to deface bottles of wine just like he has defaced packets of tobacco. Isn’t he telling the world just what a poisonous little shit he is? And isn’t he even telling us that he’s antisemitic as well: Château Mouton Rothschild?

Is this really the sort of man that the medical profession would wish to speak for it in editorials in the Lancet? Is this really the sort of man that doctors would like to see representing them in the BMA or RCP? Isn’t he someone to be rather embarrassed about?

Wouldn’t they prefer to be represented by people who are trying to care for other people, help other people, cure other people, rather than pour out their poison over the world around them? Wouldn’t they want to be rid of these killjoys, and replace them with kinder and happier doctors? I’m sure there are one or two around.

All of which reminds me that Chris Snowdon is advertising a new free downloadable book he’s written: Killjoys. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure it’ll be a good read.

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30 Responses to Images of Oesophageal Cancer

  1. Vlad says:

    The success tobacco control has had has encouraged all sorts of lunatics so that it’s not inconceivable to imagine all food (except fruit and veg) covered in ‘health warnings’ and/or ‘plain packaging’. I see alcohol and sugar rich products as the easy next targets.

    Speaking of esophageal cancer…I read recently an interview of Lauren Bacall who said that cigarettes killed Humphrey Bogart. I wonder whether she scientifically established that or merely was repeating what ‘experts’ had told her. Bogart was quite an alcoholic and had poor eating habits (not in the sense that he wasn’t meeting his five a day BS). To me those 2 factors sound like much more probable reasons for him developing the disease.

    • imagine all food (except fruit and veg)
      Um there is a bunch of people in OZ, I think, who want fruit banned because it is high in sugar (scientifically they probably have a point?).

      • nisakiman says:

        Now why am I not surprised to hear that?

      • Joe L. says:

        I say let them ban fruit! Or at least put warning labels on it. If they’re going to put warnings on processed foods that are high in sugar, they should also put them on fruit. Especially in today’s world where everyone pretends to be concerned with “equality.”

        In fact, I hope that soon everything has a warning label slapped on it. It will accentuate the absurdity, and if nothing else, dilute all the other warning labels. People will simply start ignoring any and all warnings they see. Healthism is well on the road to self-destruction.

        • Vlad says:

          If they follow in tobacco control’s steps, they’ll end up ‘plain packaging’ fruits. It might sound crazy now, but how would someone in the 50’s or 60’s describe the current situation regarding tobacco? Speaking of OZ, there’s a doctor down under, Gary Fettke who has a blog called ‘no fructose’ and gave a presentation about dangers of sugar, particularly fructose, and had an image of a rotten apple.

        • Rose says:

          If we have to spend all our days grazing like sheep on our energyfree, pleasurefree diets, we won’t be capable of giving them much trouble.

  2. RooBeeDoo2 says:

    That article is an editorial by The Lancet, so presumably it’s penned (at least sanctioned) by.the Editor…

    ‘The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put
    it, “poor methods get results”.’

    Click to access PIIS0140-6736%2815%2960696-1.pdf

    Horton hears the W.H.O.

    • Joe L. says:

      The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.

      Wow. “Perhaps half” is a very bold and damning assessment. It’s encouraging to see what appears to be a growing awareness and disgust with pseudoscience within the scientific community.

      Hopefully we get a sequel: “Horton Kills the W.H.O.”

  3. waltc says:

    Exactly on topic, I’d like to thank Tony for his link the other day to the free pdf of “The Death of Humane Medicine,” a stunningly good book on the history and present state (c. 1990s) of health fascism and all the health fashions that the fascists have imposed, in which alcohol, tobacco, salt, fat, meat, exercise and sex have, in turn, been the root of all evil or the route to salvation. Written by that rare kind of academic with a sharp (sometimes laugh-out-loud) sense of humor, it’s well worth 200 pages of your time. (I’m halfway through it and doubt I’ll change my mind.)

    Click to access death-of-humane-medicine.pdf

  4. Inspector Alleyne says:

    The most glaring candidate deserving to be plastered in health warnings is every vehicle containing an internal combustion engine. I can only wonder at the reactions of these hypocrites on seeing their beloved motor cars painted khaki and covered in graphic pictures of blood and guts.

      • RdM says:

        Thanks! ;- I hadn’t looked at wattsupwithat for a fortnight or so…
        Some of the comments are quite amusing in the face of it, too.

        Meanwhile, I have to go organise some food…

        and beer…

        before I vid the latest news… :=})

      • smokingscot says:

        Loved the comments on that link. Choice!

        Re the Inspector’s comment, please don’t forget their ire at aircraft and ships. They don’t like those either. Been amusing thinking about Carnival Cruise and Cunard being forced to paint their liners in some awful colours, with warnings and passengers having to cough up for a “green” surcharge.

        Oh and no more of those all you can eat, or even 24/7 buffets, nope Sir, you’ll get a flash card that’ll allow you to order exactly the amount you need calorie wise for age and height.

        And Ryanair or Easyjet and so on, all left unpainted cos paint weighs.

        And our Queen and Prime Minister and your President and all the serious elitist and their motorcades; each vehicle required by law to display the mpg, co2 and so on in huge fonts.

        Our Queen’ll stymie the dead hands, just use one of her many horse drawn carriages.

        At some point it gets so farcical, even the primates will stop their hunting and gathering for a snigger at us humans!

  5. Tony says:

    ”…the longer the delay in effective control, the more severe future interventions for alcohol will need to be.”
    Demanding appeasement and threatening severe punishment if politicians dare to disobey. The arrogance is off the scale. Anyone issuing threats like this should be laughed at or even certified except that a “respected” medical journal has published it. And the author probably and perhaps rightly assumes that he has the full backing of a sick and twisted global medical establishment. Or should that be “medical Caliphate”?

    I suggest that the smoking bans be recognised as formally marking the end of the age of reason. It was good while it lasted.

    • Rose says:

      How they did it last time.

      “In 1903, Herrick had been elected governor with the largest plurality in Ohio history; for the 1905 campaign, he had substantial campaign funds, as well as the goodwill of many a churchgoer for having vetoed a bill that would have legalized racetrack betting. And Ohio Republicans had lost only one gubernatorial election in almost two decades.

      Wheeler and the ASL sponsored more than 300 anti-Herrick rallies throughout the state and mobilized their supporters in the churches by suggesting that the governor—“the champion of the murder mills”—was a pawn of the liquor interests.

      When the Brewers’ Association sent out a confidential letter urging its members to lend quiet but material support to Herrick (his Democratic opponent was a vocal temperance advocate), Wheeler said he “got [a copy of the letter] on Thursday before election, photographed it and sent out thousands of them to churches on Sunday.” In a race that drew what was at the time the largest turnout for an Ohio gubernatorial election, every other Republican on the statewide ticket was elected, but Myron Herrick’s political career was over.”

  6. Tony says:

    ”But even he relented at Christmas, when the plates on his dinner table would become unusually full, and he would pour himself (and nobody else) a little glass of what looked like sherry…
    2 thoughts:
    1. Did no-one in the household object to his selfish behaviour?
    2. Did you really sit down to a Christmas dinner with this creature?

    • Frank Davis says:

      In answer to 2: Yes.
      In answer to 1: almost everybody at the table was young. I was 17. I didn’t get a glass of sherry. Maybe his wife got one, but I don’t remember it.

      I didn’t think he was being selfish. Quite the opposite. I think he was doing what he felt he had to do at Christmas: have a drink. But I don’t think he actually wanted one at all.

  7. Joe L. says:

    Tobacco companies are allowed to make television ads once again. Actually, after being banned from advertising, they are now being forced to advertise … against themselves. The tobacco companies seem to be bending over and taking this without putting up any fight whatsoever. This appears to be a delayed effect/continuation of the show trials from over a decade ago; and the timing combined with the statements from the tobacco companies make the whole thing feel a bit strange.

    A wave of new tobacco ads is planned to be broadcast across prime-time television and published in newspapers this weekend, but they aren’t promoting what you might expect.

    They are “corrective statements” that a federal court judge ordered tobacco companies in the United States to release to inform the public about the dangers of smoking. The tobacco industry is expected to begin running these ads on Sunday. In 1999, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the country’s largest cigarette manufacturers and tobacco trade organizations, claiming civil fraud and racketeering violations over the course of more than 50 years. Then, in 2006, federal judge Gladys Kessler ruled that tobacco companies had violated civil racketeering laws and ordered them to put stronger language and warning labels in their marketing and to print ads detailing smoking’s health effects. Under court order, the ads are paid for by the tobacco companies Philip Morris USA, Lorillard, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Altria Group.

    “There was a decade of litigation over exactly what they say and when they’re going to run and what the font sizes are and all of that stuff,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and the Truth Initiative distinguished professor of tobacco control at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the lawsuit. “But it is meant to, to some extent, reverse 50 years of lying to the public,” he said. The ads appear as black text on white backgrounds and detail the health effects of smoking, the addictiveness of cigarettes, and the dangers of secondhand smoke and low-tar cigarettes, among other health concerns.

    Tobacco companies weigh in

    Altria, which owns the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, issued a statement in October in response to the court order. “This industry has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, including becoming regulated by the FDA, which we supported,” Murray Garnick, Altria’s executive vice president and general counsel, said in the statement. “We’re focused on the future and, with FDA in place, working to develop less risky tobacco products,” Garnick said. “We remain committed to aligning our business practices with society’s expectations of a responsible company. This includes communicating openly about the health effects of our products, continuing to support cessation efforts, helping reduce underage tobacco use and developing potentially reduced-risk products.”

    In a statement to CNN, R.J. Reynolds said it “will fully meet its obligations under this order as part of its commitment to being a responsible company operating in a controversial industry.”
    “We are working to address and resolve many of the controversial issues relating to the use of tobacco. The tobacco industry today is very different than it was when this lawsuit was filed in 1999,” the statement said.

    Full article here: Big Tobacco’s court-ordered ads make their debut

    • Frank Davis says:

      “There was a decade of litigation over exactly what they say and when they’re going to run and what the font sizes are and all of that stuff,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and the Truth Initiative distinguished professor of tobacco control at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the lawsuit.

      “But it is meant to, to some extent, reverse 50 years of lying to the public,” he said.

      Stanton Glantz is asking people to believe that large organisations like tobacco companies have been engaged in telling repeated and systematic lies to millions of their customers. He is telling us that there are people out there who will tell such lies. And in doing so, he is encouraging people to believe that they’re being lied to left, right, and centre. So why should we suppose that only TC tells the truth?

      Stanton Glantz really shouldn’t be too surprised if a lot of people start thinking that it’s people like him, working in Tobacco Control, who are the biggest liars of all. And they only started accusing the tobacco companies of telling lies because they had already started lying about tobacco themselves – and they knew they were doing it..

      It’s people like Stanton Glantz who have been lying to the public for 50 years..

      • Rose says:

        If this is correct, the “corrective statements” are just forcing the tobacco companies to print and broadcast anti-tobacco statements at their own expense. Nothing we aren’t used to, just the usual song and dance

        “Among the statements that the cigarette manufacturers will be compelled to make on Nov. 26:
        More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined.
        Smoking also causes reduced fertility, low birth weight in newborns, and cancer of the cervix.
        Smoking is highly addictive. Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco.
        Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Philip Morris USA intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive.
        When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain – that’s why quitting is so hard.
        All cigarettes cause cancer, lung disease, heart attacks, and premature death – lights, low tar, ultra lights, and naturals. There is no safe cigarette.
        Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and coronary heart disease in adults who do not smoke.
        Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, severe asthma, and reduced lung function.
        There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”

  8. Rose says:

    North Korean dictator outlaws drinking and singing in bid to tighten grip on population
    20 November 2017

    “North Korean despot Kim Jong Un has reportedly banned singing and gatherings
    It hopes to stifle the impact of the imposed crippling economic sanction”

    The commenters can see it happening here.

  9. Pingback: Planners Are Authoritarians | Frank Davis

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