Losing Public Trust

Via Walt, a couple of pieces about Tobacco Control featuring some antismoker called Ronald Bayer. First:

BAYER: The question now is, how come public health officials can’t come out straight and say the reason we’re banning smoking on parks and beaches is we want to protect smokers. We want to get them to give it up, we want them to smoke less and we want to make it more difficult for people to begin smoking.

Second:

In making the case for banning cigarette smoking in parks and on beaches, public health officials, tobacco control advocates, and environmentalists have routinely appealed to the need to protect children, other nonsmokers, and wildlife from potentially injurious exposure. The specter of third-party harms has been invoked as the rationale for public health interventions. In doing so, despite relatively weak scientific evidence, advocates have sought to avoid the charge that outdoor smoking bans represent yet another case of overreaching by the “nanny state,” of unjustified paternalism that lacks any respect for adults’ fundamental autonomy.

Advancing claims that mask the underlying public health goal of denormalization is a perilous strategy. Public health must, in the end, rely on public trust. That trust is threatened when the case for interventions depends on weak evidence and involves degrees of dissimulation. Advocates for outdoor smoking bans should be candid about the limits of arguments based solely on third-party harms as they confront the lethal consequences of tobacco use.

So Bayer is wondering why Tobacco Control won’t stop pretending that outdoor tobacco smoke is harmful, that cigarettes butts harm wildlife, and that smoking in public sets a bad example to children, and instead just come out straight and say that they’re simply trying to make smokers stop smoking.

Actually that’s not quite what he said. What he actually said was that the real reason we’re banning smoking in parks and beaches is because “we want to protect smokers.”

In what way do park and beach smoking bans “protect smokers”? They don’t protect them at all. It’s an outright lie to say that park and beach smoking bans protect smokers.

Bayer can see that the claims that outdoor tobacco smoke is harmful, that cigarettes butts harm wildlife, and that smoking in public sets a bad example to children, are all just a pack of lies. So he comes up with a new lie to replace these old lies. And the new lie is that outdoor smoking bans protect smokers.

This is the Tobacco Control mindset at work: just Keep Telling Lies. If one lie doesn’t work, try another. Tobacco Control is a giant lie machine.

The real reason they want outdoor smoking bans is not that they want to protect smokers. It’s that “We want to get them to give it up, we want them to smoke less and we want to make it more difficult for people to begin smoking.”

In fact it’s not that they want to make it more difficult for people to begin smoking, but that they want to make life difficult for smokers. They want to make life as difficult as possible for all smokers everywhere. And they’re doing it because they hate smoking and they hate smokers. It’s got nothing whatsoever to do with health or wildlife or children.

But they know that if they come out and say that they hate smoking and that they hate smokers, they’ll reveal themselves to be the nasty bullying bastards that they really are. They have to disguise themselves as something other than what they are. They have to pretend to be protecting non-smokers, protecting wildlife, protecting children, and now even protecting smokers.

Tobacco Control is a protection racket. They’re no different from the Mafia demanding “protection money” from businesses, when the only thing those businesses really need is protection from the Mafia. Tobacco Control is just a way of robbing smokers. It’s a way of robbing smokers of their good name, of their standing in society, and of their money. But it can only be done if Tobacco Control can manage to present itself as being something essentially good and benign and helpful. The moment the mask slips, they’re done for.

Say it again: Public health must, in the end, rely on public trust.

But when Tobacco Control just tells lie after lie after lie to advance its cause, people are eventually going to realise that they’re being lied to, and they’re going to cease to trust Tobacco Control.

And distrust spreads easily. If you’ve ceased to trust Tobacco Control, you’ll next start distrusting the wider Public Health institutions with their dietary advice. And if you distrust Public Health, you’ll next start distrusting the medical profession. And if you distrust the medical profession you’ll distrust government, and mainstream media, and science, and pretty well everything else as well.

And that’s pretty much exactly where we are today: all trust is vanishing, like water down a drain.

About Frank Davis

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10 Responses to Losing Public Trust

  1. Rose says:

    I always wondered why Ronald Bayer mentioned the Aids epidemic in 2005

    “The AIDS epidemic has borne witness to the terrible burdens imposed by stigmatization and to the way in which marginalization could subvert the goals of HIV prevention. Out of that experience, and propelled by the linkage of public health and human rights, came the commonplace assertion that stigmatization was a retrograde force.

    Yet, strikingly, the antitobacco movement has fostered a social transformation that involves the stigmatization of smokers”
    https://web.archive.org/web/20080517043652/http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/full/96/1/47#R30

    Now I think I know why.

    No wonder they hate Philip Morris, it seems that Tobacco Control in it’s quest for funding and importance had it’s nose put out of joint.

    Public enemy no. 1’: Tobacco industry funding for the AIDS response
    2016

    “This article analyzes the history of tobacco industry funding for the AIDS response – a largely ignored aspect of private donor involvement.”

    Fair play? Philip Morris’ support for the early AIDS response in the USA

    The initial response to AIDS in the USA during the 1980s was characterized by conflicts between affected communities – mostly gay men and their allies – and repressive public reactions. When infections first appeared among young homosexual men, homophobia combined with ignorance to generate a particularly oppressive and stigmatizing response (Fee & Krieger 1993). People Living with AIDS (PWA) were denied health care, lost their jobs, and were evicted from housing.”

    “Over the next decade, PM became one of the largest corporate donors to the National AIDS Fund. The fund had been created in 1988 to generate resources and provide support for ASOs and received donations from a variety of sponsors, including the Ford Foundation and Elton John Foundation (NAF 2007). One of the Fund’s signature projects was Positive Helpings, a nutrition program for PWAs. Between 1996 and 2001, Positive Helpings distributed more than US$ 3 million from PM to food and meals programs serving PWAs. In addition to supporting the National AIDS Fund, PM donated to a wide range of AIDS organizations, including the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the Lutheran Church and the American Foundation for AIDS Research (PM 1995).”

    “However, PM also hoped to use its relationships with ASOs to foster competition for resources that were being directed toward tobacco control. As evidence mounted regarding the harms of smoking and second-hand smoke, the US government increased funding to civil society organizations to conduct anti-smoking youth education and tobacco control advocacy. PM used the networks it had established through its AIDS programs to contest this support. In 1996, the company initiated a strategy entitled ‘Fair Play’, which aimed to limit the effectiveness of tobacco control advocates. Fair Play documents reveal a proposal to mobilize social activists, including those fighting AIDS, to compete with tobacco control groups for government funds.”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5068916/

    So they took that very public “ignorance to generate a particularly oppressive and stigmatizing response (Fee & Krieger 1993). People Living with AIDS (PWA) were denied health care, lost their jobs, and were evicted from housing.” and did the same to smokers.

    I remember the general terror at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, no one knew for sure how it spread, there were all manner of alarming rumours going round.

    Dr Marewa Glover
    “In tobacco control over 35 years, we have exaggerated the effects deliberately to scare people off smoking,” she told the Health Select Committee on Wednesday.

    “What we didn’t realise, was that years down the track, we’d be in this situation where everyone believed what we said and are now taking these extreme, punitive measures, when the evidence does not support the need for it.”

    Turning ordinary people into social outcasts when you knew perfectly well that they were no such thing, just to spite a tobacco company, was a truly wicked thing to do.

  2. Algernon Struthers says:

    More lies from tobacco control, and lies are what awakened this NPC from his slumber of comfortable beliefs. As Frank says:

    “if you distrust Public Health, you’ll next start distrusting the medical profession. And if you distrust the medical profession you’ll distrust government, and mainstream media, and science, and pretty well everything else as well.”

    I only differ regarding the order in which the mistrust proceeds, which is no difference at all.

  3. beobrigitte says:

    BAYER: The question now is, how come public health officials can’t come out straight and say the reason we’re banning smoking on parks and beaches is we want to protect smokers.
    Adults are not only perfectly capable of making their own choices, they are expected to do so! Although 16 year olds are not yet adults but if they will be allowed to vote for the next government than I see no reason why they shouldn’t smoke or drink as they are deemed capably of making adult choices.

    We want to get them to give it up, we want them to smoke less and we want to make it more difficult for people to begin smoking.
    Quote Bible: “And they will become like the children”. Apropos bible, wasn’t it the irresistible, forbidden fruit that became a magnet to only 1 of 2 occupants of heaven?
    Nowadays we call it negative selling; You tell people that they can’t have a product because it’s too expensive for them and also has to be hidden behind shutters so they can’t see it, guess what people want and will buy.

    Public health must, in the end, rely on public trust.
    Public trust…. Bayer appears to put his trust into lies, gross exaggerations and more lies. Why should the public (gradually becoming aware that we’re being constantly lied to) trust this Public Health? Who wants this costly Public Health, anyway?

    And distrust spreads easily. If you’ve ceased to trust Tobacco Control, you’ll next start distrusting the wider Public Health institutions with their dietary advice. And if you distrust Public Health, you’ll next start distrusting the medical profession. And if you distrust the medical profession you’ll distrust government, and mainstream media, and science, and pretty well everything else as well.
    This has to happen to eliminate the influence of liars and money/fame grabbers. I believe it’s already underway. Lies can only be sustained for a period of time before they snap back in the face of the liars.

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    It is really sad to see tobacco control’s deliberate deceit and lies taking hold to impose increasingly draconian smoking bans throughout tb world. The evidence of tobacco control lies is hidden in plain sight. The legacy of their lies is the persecution of smokers but it won’t end there. The antismoker bli=ueprint is the playv=book for establishing totalitarian states. Tobacco control must be destroyed!

    • The evidence of tobacco control lies is hidden in plain sight.

      Absolutely correct, and the contents of TC’s purloined letter is to be found in national and international statistics, that show long-time LC trends that clearly give the lie to every single conclusion that has been rashly derived from the data contained in every single anti-smoking study that has hit the headlines in the past seven frigging decades! At a pinch, the reduction in LC risk for British males, dropping from 111.35 (1979) to 59.20 (2016) would point to a 3-fold relative risk (not a 15, let alone a 24-fold RR, as anti-smoking studies usually show), only, in the same time frame, female LC rates in the UK shot up from 31.51 to 48.59 (an increase of 54.2%). Clearly, those contradicting trends have to do with something completely extraneous to smoking rates!

      Just find a way to widely publicize those two contradictory facts, and the whole TC citadel collapses, and Deb Arnott, Stantonitis Glantz, and other less mediatically exposed anti-smoking bastards, are in big trouble!

      This perfectly exemplifies a state of generalized secrecy, one of the five aspects of ‘spectacular domination’, according to Guy Debord’s Theory of the Spectacle. And the reason why PM, and the other supposedly private concerns [making up so-called Big Tobaccco] didn’t fight back, in spite of the availability of all that ‘hidden in plain sight’ evidence, is called the fusion of State and Economy as per the same theory.

  5. waltc says:

    Beyond hatred, sadism. Audrey posted this yesterday at Clash:

    From a June 4, 2012, article in The Plain titled “Public Colleges in Ohio Asked to Go Totally Smoke-Free”:

    “Notre Dame College has had a campuswide smoking ban since December 2006,” said human-resources director Susan Anderson. It does offer three locations where people can smoke — at the farthest reaches of the campus. There is no shelter, just a receptacle to deposit cigarette butts into, she said. ‘If you smoke, you should be uncomfortable,’ she said. ‘You should be really warm, really cold or really wet.'”

  6. Rose says:

    ‘If you smoke, you should be uncomfortable,’ she said. ‘You should be really warm, really cold or really wet.’”

    Is Notre Dame College comfortable with a human resources director who advocates torturing students who have different views?

  7. Pingback: Can Denormalisation Ever Succeed? | Frank Davis

  8. Loose Bruce. says:

    Thank goodness I left the UK many years ago and now live in a country that tolerates ALL its citizens.

  9. Charles Burns says:

    We know TC is a giant lie machine. But the non-smoking public, who are now the great majority, don’t care. They believe the lies about ETS and are glad there are fewer smokers. Nobody is going to stand up for our rights. Nobody cares.

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