David Leyonhjelm, guest post on electronic cigarettes

This was a column in The Financial Review

It seems everything is illegal in Australia unless a bureaucrat gives permission. What’s worse, you have to go to the trouble and expense of asking the bureaucrat for permission, because if bureaucrats were proactive they would run the risk of serving the public.

A good example is the case of e-cigarettes. These little inhalers can deliver a warm puff of nicotine, without the carcinogenic tar and industrial solvents of cigarette smoke. Alternatively, they can deliver a puff of anything else you could wish for, such as the flavour of mint, chocolate or whiskey.

In Australia, it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to deliver nicotine. Not because a bureaucrat has made a decision to ban them, but because no one has yet asked the right bureaucrat for permission.

What Australia is missing is an Oliver Twist – a poor wretched soul who draws the short straw and has to ask the bureaucrats at the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA): “Please, sir, I want some more”.

If anyone gets around to asking the TGA for permission, they will have to jump through the right bureaucratic hoops. They will need to put their hand on their heart and say that the only purpose of an e-cigarette is as an aid to giving up smoking. They will have to swear that no one would ever use them for enjoyment. And the onus will be on them to prove (at considerable expense) that e-cigarettes are effective quitting devices.

The ban-by-default of e-cigarettes containing nicotine suits zealous public health advocates just fine. They argue that something should be banned until it is clearly demonstrated to be harmless, since we are all incapable of deciding for ourselves. Such reasoning would have banned every human innovation before it could become popular, from the wheel to the internet. We would truly be in the dark ages.

They ignore their international counterparts such as the Royal College of Physicians, which concluded that e-cigarettes offer massive potential to improve public health by providing smokers with a much safer alternative to tobacco. They ignore how e-cigarettes are freely available in the EU and the United States. And they ignore Australia’s history of level-headed harm minimisation, such our pioneering of the option of methadone treatment for hard-core heroin addicts.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that their primary goal is to achieve a puritanical victory against nicotine rather than to save lives. It’s not really about the smokers, it’s about them. Like Marie Antoinette, they say to the smokers who could benefit from e-cigarettes: “Let them go cold turkey”.

In the meantime, Vince Van Heerden, a Perth businessman, lies convicted of the crime of selling e-cigarettes without nicotine. When the WA Health Department took Vince to the Magistrates Court, the case was thrown out because the magistrate found that, while it is illegal to sell something resembling a cigarette, the e-cigarette in question looks more like a pen. Unfortunately the WA Health Department appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that smoking heralds the apocalypse and anything that could possibly remind anyone of a cigarette must therefore be banned. The Supreme Court was convinced, and Vince Van Heerden was convicted.

But the weirdness doesn’t stop there. While it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes in Australia, it is perfectly legal to import up to three months’ supply of e-cigarettes, with or without nicotine. So our Government intentionally lets foreign online businesses do the exact thing that they ban Australian businesses from doing. It’s reminiscent of the line: “No sex please, we’re British.”

We are left with the most bizarre of situations. It is perfectly legal to sell cigarettes, which deliver death through combustion (along with billions of dollars of excise revenue to the Government). And it is perfectly legal for foreign businesses to sell us e-cigarettes with or without nicotine. But it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes with nicotine in Australia, because no one has asked the TGA to deem them to be quitting devices. And it is illegal, at least in some Australian States, to sell e-cigarettes to deliver non-nicotine flavours, because – horror of horrors – someone might see someone put something to their mouth. It’s like a ban on dancing because it can lead to fornication.
The Government bans by default, then places each Australian in the position of Oliver Twist, where we have to plead with authorities for permission to pursue a humble existence. Dickens, the great champion of justice and common sense, would be turning in his grave.

David Leyonhjelm is the Liberal Democrats’ Senator for NSW.

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61 Responses to David Leyonhjelm, guest post on electronic cigarettes

  1. C.L.

    Thanks God we have a Liberal government.

    They’ll restore freedom and put these medical Islamists in their place.

    Right?

  2. whyisitso

    Thanks God we have a Liberal government.
    They’ll restore freedom and put these medical Islamists in their place.
    Right?

    The bloody dictators – a Green/ALP government would never dream of restricting liberty in that fashion.

  3. Oh come on

    Excellent. Keep hammering the anti nanny state line, David L.

  4. Some History

    It is perfectly legal to sell cigarettes, which deliver death through combustion

    Sorry, David, but you sound as though you’ve swallowed the antismoking propaganda, hook, line, sinker, Shimano rod, aluminium boat, and part of the jetty. The so-called “death toll” from smoking in Australia is about 15,000 (nice round figure). It’s parroted far and wide, high and low. David, since you believe it, could you tell us how this figure is arrived at?

    But, David, you are right about one thing – the bizarre treatment of e-gizmos. To understand this, you need to grasp the part that pharmaceutical companies peddling their next-to-useless “nicotine replacement” products have played in antismoking. These pharma companies, e.g., Pfizer, have been major funders of antismoking groups, e.g., cancer society, heart foundation. These pharma companies fund antismoking groups to lobby for higher taxes on tobacco, smoking bans, etc. The more pressure is put on smokers through these punitive measures, the more smokers will seek to quit, the more they are directed to [next-to-useless] pharma wares. So, pharma companies have helped “cultivate the market” – with a lot of “moula” – for their [next-to-useless] pharma wares.

    Then along come the sellers of e-gizmos having not spent a cent on “market cultivation”, that spout the same antismoking rhetoric, and want to muscle in on some of the “smoking cessation” action. There were those [accurately] predicting a few years back the negative reception/treatment that e-gizmos would receive. For those most vocal in putting brick walls in front of the e-gizmos, go get some information on their pharma funding. They are simply just protecting their own stream of funding and their funders’ investment.

  5. Some History

    David, you’re going to have to get up to speed on the history of antismoking. At the moment you’re way, WAY behind.

    It’s America that’s popularized antismoking insanity – again, and which other countries are following suit. The problem with Americans is that they are clueless to even their own recent history. America has a terrible history with this sort of “health” fanaticism/zealotry/extremism or “clean living” hysteria – including antismoking – that goes back more than a century.

    Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid, 400+ year history, much of it predating even the pretense of a scientific basis or the more recent concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”. Antismoking crusades typically run on inflammatory propaganda, i.e., lies, in order to get law-makers to institute bans. Statistics and causal attribution galore are conjured. The current antismoking rhetoric has all been heard before. All it produces is irrational fear and hatred, discord, enmity, animosity, social division, oppression, and bigotry. One of the two major antismoking (and anti-alcohol, dietary prescriptions/proscriptions, physical exercise) crusades early last century was in America. [The other crusade was in Nazi Germany and the two crusades were intimately connected by physician-led eugenics]. The USA has been down this twisted, divisive path before. Consider the following: The bulk of claims made about smoking/tobacco were erroneous, baseless, but highly inflammatory. Unfortunately, the propaganda did its destructive job in the short term, producing mass hysteria or a bigotry bandwagon. When supported by the State, zealots seriously mess with people’s minds on a mass scale.

    http://www.americanheritage.com/content/thank-you-not-smoking

    “Cigarette Wars: The ‘Triumph’ of the Little White Slaver” (1998) by Cassandra Tate. Google the following combination – “the endless war on tobacco” “seattletimes” – which should bring up a summary article of the book at the Seattle Times. [I can’t provide this link or the comment won’t post]

    The Nazi “war on tobacco”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2352989/pdf/bmj00571-0040.pdf

  6. Cold-Hands

    Finally an LDP position with which I can agree without a single reservation.

  7. Some History

    1.
    We need to comprehend that antismoking doesn’t begin with the Nazis. The primary root of the antismoking that we see today (and was seen in Nazism) is America. The US of A has a long history of anti-tobacco (part of “clean living” hysteria) that goes back to the mid-1800s. Anti-tobacco was latched onto by Temperance (religious) groups and assorted physicians. All manner of [baseless] claims were made about the “harms” of tobacco. Within the hysterical fervor to “save” the “slaves to tobacco”, it produced a pressure to quit (or not start) not unlike we currently see.

    Below are some of the snake oil “cures” offered in America. They’re all from the mid-1800s to early-1900s.

    This is a quality reproduction of William H. Bradley’s Art Nouveau poster “Narcoti-Cure,” created in 1895.
    http://www.amazon.com/Advertisement-Narcotic-Cure-Cures-Tobacco-Habit/dp/B007M1PQU4
    http://www.zazzle.com/art_nouveau_poster_narcoti_cure_by_will_bradley-228696851649223185

    Coca Bola
    http://southmallblogger.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/drug-war-cigarette-mercantilism.html

    Hindoo & No-To-Bac (Sterling Remedy Co.) late-1800s
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/ephemera/addiction.html

    Newell Pharmacal
    http://www.popscreen.com/p/MTUyMDUwNzcx/Amazoncom-1916-Ad-Tobacco-Pipe-Cigarette-Newell-Pharmacal-Smoking-
    http://www.amazon.com/Tobacco-Cigarette-Newell-Pharmacal-Smoking/dp/B005DGXZ62

  8. Some History

    The current antismoking crusade, very much in the eugenics tradition – involving the same medically-aligned personnel and repugnant methodology, is much like crusades over the previous 400 years. It is a moralizing, social-engineering, eradication/prohibition crusade decided upon in the 1970s by a small, self-installed clique of [medically-oriented] fanatics operating under the auspices of the World Health Organization and sponsored by the American Cancer Society (see the Godber Blueprint http://www.rampant-antismoking.com ). This little, unelected group, using much the same inflammatory rhetoric of its fanatical predecessors, decided for everyone that tobacco-use should be eradicated from the world – for a “better” (according to them) world. These fanatics were speaking of secondhand smoke “danger” and advocating indoor and OUTDOOR smoking bans years before the first study on SHS, and extortionate taxes on tobacco years before contrived “cost burden” analyses of smoking: In the 1970s, populations – particularly in relatively free societies – weren’t interested in elitist social-engineering, particularly by a group (medically-aligned) that had a horrible recent track record (eugenics). Given that their antismoking crusade would have otherwise stalled, the zealots conjured secondhand smoke “danger” to advance the social-engineering agenda, i.e., inflammatory propaganda. Until only recently the zealots claimed they weren’t doing social engineering, that they weren’t moralizing. Well, that’s a lie that’s been told many times over the last few decades.

    The zealots’ goal this time is not to ban the sale of tobacco but to ban smoking in essentially all the places that people smoke (combined with extortionate taxes), indoors and out. Up until recently the social-engineering intent has been masqueraded as protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke “danger”. But even this fraud can no longer be hidden in that bans are now being instituted for large outdoor areas such as parks, beaches, campuses where there is no demonstrable “health” issue for nonsmokers. This dangerous mix of the medically-aligned attempting social engineering is a throwback to a century ago. We seem to have learned nothing of value from very painful lessons of only the recent past.

  9. dan

    Some History, come visit me in the cardiothoracic or vascular operating room sometime…
    Unlike you (I suspect) I get to measure the function of the lungs of lifetime smokers in real time every single day. I don’t mind the rare cigarette but sadly the propaganda is true.

  10. Some History

    We need to comprehend that antismoking doesn’t begin with the Nazis. The primary root of the antismoking that we see today (and was seen in Nazism) is America. The US of A has a long history of anti-tobacco (part of “clean living” hysteria) that goes back to the mid-1800s. Anti-tobacco was latched onto by Temperance (religious) groups and assorted physicians. All manner of [baseless] claims were made about the “harms” of tobacco. Within the hysterical fervor to “save” the “slaves to tobacco”, it produced a pressure to quit (or not start) not unlike we currently see.

    Below are some of the snake oil “cures” offered in America. They’re all from the mid-1800s to early-1900s.

    “Narcoti-Cure” 1895.
    “Coca Bola”
    “Hindoo”
    “No-To-Bac” (Sterling Remedy Co.) late-1800s
    “Tobacco Redeemer” (Newell Pharmacal)
    “Baco Curo” late-1800s

    Then there was Ballou’s Tobacco Disinclinator from 1867
    Interestingly it made these claims, without basis, back in 1867:
    “That the use of Tobacco shortens human life from Five to Twenty years, decreases manly vigor in the same ratio, causes a majority of the sudden deaths attributed to heart disease, and renders the subject more susceptible and less able to withstand any disease, is the opinion of our most eminent physicians. How shall we rid ourselves of this accursed habit, and prevent the uninitiated from falling into it? …..”

    Sounds like contemporary antismoking!

    [Can’t provide links or comment will not post. But they can be googled]

  11. MsDolittle

    I love e-cigs. Since uptake DrDo has barely coughed for 4 days.

  12. Leo G

    The ban-by-default of e-cigarettes containing nicotine suits zealous public health advocates just fine. They argue that something should be banned until it is clearly demonstrated to be harmless, since we are all incapable of deciding for ourselves.

    The rule with tobacco products was to permit smoking for several hundred years while it did not appear to cause an epidemic of disease. When newly introduced cigarettes, on the other hand, appeared to cause death and morbidity in abundance, the official line was intensively to promote the habit.
    When medical authorities finished scratching their heads about the apparent abrupt change in the risk from tobacco, governments then intensively legislated to simultaneously tax cigarette distribution while protecting cigarette producers.
    More recently, the trend has been to force down the cost of producing and distributing cigarettes while further increasing taxation, and protecting young people from the habit of smoking taxed cigarettes by creating a demand for cheap smuggled cigarettes.
    There’s that social justice thing again. The villains get to proclaim their righteousness and pretended concern for public health, the rest of us are given the choice of licking the floor or kicking the habit.

  13. MsDolittle

    There’s that social justice thing again.

    Was it Enoch Powell who said if you put “social ” in front of the word it becomes the opposite.

  14. Some History

    Unlike you (I suspect) I get to measure the function of the lungs of lifetime smokers in real time every single day.

    So you think that medicos aren’t subject to propaganda? The training of the last few generations of doctors has included rabid antismoking. The way some doctors view those that smoke is that whatever the affliction, it must be the smoking. That’s not science. That’s institutionalized superstition.

    Then we have doctors that tell patients that their affliction, even lung cancer, was directly and solely caused by smoking. There is no evidence that supports that claim. Doctors are trained in the clinical method. They are typically clueless about scientific enquiry or the very significant rules governing statistical and causal inference. The bulk, if not all of the evidence “against” smoking is statistical in nature. We’re talking population-level statistics (that btw were pioneered by eugenicists early last century) that do not lend themselves to extrapolation to the individual level.

    If this wasn’t bad enough, there are doctors that even tell nonsmoking patients with lung cancer that it was solely “caused” by their exposure to tobacco smoke in the staff room all those years ago. Concerning secondhand smoke, we’re talking about tiny relative risk differences over a baseline that’s barely above zero in absolute terms. This conduct of specifying direct cause in individual cases is delinquent. At a saner time, such doctors should have been fronting a disciplinary tribunal. Yet, these are not saner times. This sort of delinquent conduct is becoming the norm in the medical establishment which further promotes incoherent beliefs both in doctors and patients.

    Then we have:
    “As many as one in four doctors who responded to a 2005 Canadian Lung Association survey admitted to providing lesser care to smokers. A University of Washington survey published last year found just under one in 10 smokers hid their tobacco use from doctors, often because of stigma.”
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=2417574

    If it was 1% of doctors admitting that they provided lesser care to smokers, alarm bells should be ringing. One in four doctors admitting as much is a catastrophe in motion. Alarm bells are ringing but no-one seems to be able to hear them. The medical establishment was warned decades ago that adopting the ideological stance of antismoking would run the grave risk of fostering bigotry at the institution level. It fell on deaf ears. And what came of this study? Absolutely nothing.

    A few years ago the Tobacco Control advocate (i.e., antismoker), Michael Siegel, broke a finger and needed to attend hospital. He mentioned that the first question asked was whether he was a smoker. He noted the response of those before him in line. Those who answered that they were a smoker were ushered into a different queue regardless of their reason for being in the emergency ward. Siegel highlighted that the overriding feeling he got was that he was happy he wasn’t a smoker. This sort of situation is dangerously appalling. For many smokers, attending a medical practitioner or a hospital setting is like being tossed into a circumstance run by a deranged cult maniacally intent on their “conversion”. Further, there are many within the contemporary medical establishment that have the social graces and bedside manner of oafs. It would have Ben Casey and Marcus Welby turning in their stage prop graves.

    For anyone interested, there’s some very useful information on some of the danger signs in the contemporary medical establishment and iatrogenesis (it’s a short read):
    http://f2cscotland.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/dangers-to-life-and-public-health-lobby.html
    [I would urge folk to have a quick read]

  15. MsDolittle

    Smokers are less likely to get Parkinson’s disease

  16. MsDolittle

    Some History ?quick read? Really?

  17. Some History

    Unlike you (I suspect) I get to measure the function of the lungs of lifetime smokers in real time every single day.

    What about the lifelong smokers that you don’t see, that don’t have lung issues?

    I don’t mind the rare cigarette but sadly the propaganda is true.

    Now, Dan, I’m not advocating that all that’s been said over the last 40 years about smoking is propaganda, as I hope you’re not advocating that all of it isn’t propaganda (remember that the zealots are now up to “thirdhand smoke danger”).

    There are claims that can be made about the risks of smoking. But these need to be strongly tempered given the nature of the underlying data (statistical). The problem with crusades is that information is quickly hijacked by extremists….. prohibitionists…. that start using the standard highly-inflammatory vocabulary that moralizing zealots are notorious for. Making baseless, highly inflammatory claims is easy. Attempting to demonstrate why particular claims are baseless is hard, time-consuming work. Once the inflammatory claims start flying, it becomes difficult work to distinguish fact from fiction.

    Honestly depicting statistical information doesn’t have sufficient “terrorizing” value for zealots.

    I can point you to a document (see Godber Blueprint) that instructs activists not to use statistical information, but to use such terms as “kill” which go far beyond the implications of the underlying data.
    Working Papers in Support of the 8th World Conference on Tobacco or Health: Building a Tobacco-Free World
    March 30 – April 3, 1992

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    (excerpts)
    Use strong direct wording such as
    Smoking kills
    Smoking is addictive
    Smoking causes lung cancer
    Smoking causes heart disease
    Smoking damages your lungs
    Smoking harms the fetus
    Smoking hurts your children
    Don’t use statements that condone any
    form of smoking, imply only a chance
    of contracting disease, or attribute the
    statement to a third party . Don’t use :
    “Don’t smoke too much for health’s sake . ”
    “Smoking may cause……
    “According to the government . . . . .”

    (p.14)
    Consider skull and crossbones or other
    strong visual displays .

    (p.15)

    We’re not dealing with facts here. It’s activism. It’s the standard deterioration into the vocabulary of moralizing zealotry. It’s the production of [baseless] generalized slogans for terrorizing effect.

  18. Some History

    Dan,
    Consider the warning label “Smoking Harms Unborn Babies”. The statistical associations between smoking women and particular problems in newborns is confined to a few percent of deliveries to smoking women. Further, the role of smoking in these problems is highly dubious in that it is such a poor predictor for these problems. The vast majority of deliveries to pregnant smokers are comparable to pregnant nonsmokers. But you would never guess this from the label above which implies that smoking harms all babies.

    This inflammatory nonsense comes from the late-1970s. Look at the Godber Blueprint, the framework for the current crusade. Here’s an insight into how antismoking fanatics/zealots/extremists “reason”:
    “Donovan’s most interesting remarks related to smoking and pregnancy. He admitted that he couldn’t explain how or why smoking harmed the fetus but suggested that, instead of worrying about such fine points, women be told that all unborn children of smoking women will be hurt. Donovan urged every participant to go back to their countries and publish estimates of the lethality of smoking and pregnancy based on the number of pregnant smokers. He urged this as an effective method to get women to stop smoking. 1979 (p.14)”

    This is the sort of inflammatory trash that has been fed to the public for the last 30 years. Facts don’t matter. All that matters to antismoking fanatics/zealots/extremists is what needs to be said repeatedly to terrorize folk into antismoking conformity.

  19. Some History

    Some History ?quick read? Really?

    You love reading, don’t you :)

  20. JC

    What about the lifelong smokers that you don’t see, that don’t have lung issues?

    They fall into the overall population of smokers from which a statistical picture can be gained.
    But that isn’t the point. We’ve known for a very long time that heavy smoking will impact a lot of people’s lungs, cadio system etc. The question is should adults be treated like children.

    Should we also ban all risky behaviour ? Why stop at smoking?

    And banning e-cigs is clownish behaviour.

  21. Frederic

    They are typically clueless about scientific enquiry or the very significant rules governing statistical and causal inference. The bulk, if not all of the evidence “against” smoking is statistical in nature. We’re talking population-level statistics (that btw were pioneered by eugenicists early last century) that do not lend themselves to extrapolation to the individual level.

    Well I am a critical care doctor and have a degree in epidemiology and I’m pretty confident you are spouting bullshit. Individual level? That makes no sense at all. Do you actually have anything resembling evidence for your beliefs that you could give us? And the anecdote about special departments for smokers? Give me a break.
    All the evidence is statistical? You aren’t aware of decades of experimental research into the effects of things like BAP and all the others?

  22. Frederic

    Use strong direct wording such as
    Smoking kills
    Smoking is addictive

    Yes, because it is true and because health messages should be kept simple,

  23. Frederic

    The statistical associations between smoking women and particular problems in newborns is confined to a few percent of deliveries to smoking women.

    The world has moved on SH, jobs openings for pro-tobacco propagandists closed last century.

  24. JC

    All the evidence is statistical? You aren’t aware of decades of experimental research into the effects of things like BAP and all the others?

    Yes, but the research as explained is dishonest in my opinion. We’re always told by the med profession or their interpreters in the media that smoking greatly increases the risk of lung cancer, cardio problems and all the other ailments frequently brought up.

    But it’s not as easy as that because there are a number of variables that aren’t explained like the number of years of smoking and of course the frequency of cigs consumed.

    I’m sorry, but a one cig a day smoker is not going to be dying of smoking related causes. Possibly not even a five a day smoker is. Then there are social smokers and cigar smokers and pipe dudes. People that roll have slightly less risk.

    All these things are never really explained as we only get that smoking is bad for you bullshit. And it is bullshit unless the references are clearly shown.

  25. JC

    Yes, because it is true and because health messages should be kept simple,

    No it isn’t true for every single type/style of smoker. That’s the point. The messages shouldn’t be kept simple because we aren’t fucking morons – at least not all of us are. A simple message is almost always propaganda.

  26. jupes

    Finally an LDP position with which I can agree without a single reservation.

    Yep.

    Ridicule the idiot bureaucrats then sack their fat arses. What a bunch of mini totalitarian fuckwits.

  27. Some History

    Well I am a critical care doctor…..

    Well, hoopty-doo. You make my case well. You have that awful smugness and haughtiness typical of the “god-complexed”. And you’re a critical care doctor? Heaven help us. As highlighted earlier, you sound like one of those that has the social graces and bedside manner of an oaf.

    I suppose you’re also not aware of the last time the medically-aligned got really pompous and decided to “fix” the world. It gave us the eugenics catastrophe (that included anti-smoking/alcohol) of early last century. And the medically-aligned are well on their way again. At the root of the scare-a-day insanity is the bastardized version of “science” called lifestyle epidemiology. That you’re also an epidemiologist isn’t impressive at all.

    The world has moved on SH, jobs openings for pro-tobacco propagandists closed last century.

    Why do you even bother? We’re well aware of the “anyone who disagrees with their medical eminences must be ‘pro-tobacco propagandists’” trash that antismokers constantly spout.

    I actually doubt that you are a critical care doctor. The prospect is too horrifying. I think you’re an antismoking astro-turfer parroting the standard slogans.

  28. C.L.

    It’s true that the figures on smoking deaths are all bullshit.

    Total bullshit.

    I know of 90 year-olds quizzed by robotic medical zombies glorying in the unearned honorific of “Dr” who link some ailment (usually the person’s last) with their smoking in days of yore. And they will be recorded as ill smokers in most, if not all, of the key paper work.

  29. JC

    CL

    The death count maybe bullshit and the way deaths are reported. You have to say there’s more than a bit of gerbil warming like fiddling going on. However if you’re a pack a day smoker for all your adult life there is a heightened risk of shit like emphysema, CPOD and cardio shit. I really don’t think that part can be questioned.

  30. None

    Thanks God we have a Liberal government.

    They’ll restore freedom and put these medical Islamists in their place.

    Right?

    Hahahahaha that’s about a funny as anyone thinking Leyonhjelm will restore freedom and put these medical Islamists in their place.

    And even funnier than us paying $200K for the vote-stealing idiot author to cry that he needs six weeks to organise his office, hates bike helmets, and really fancies a bit of Sodomy Inc.

  31. Some History

    Frederick, you have a smoker before you that has a serious heart condition. You’ve just told the family that it was the years of smoking “what dun it”.

    Bear in mind that at last count there were close to 500 risk factors for earlier-onset heart disease, many of them cross-correlated. My first question to you is how do you know that smoking specifically “caused” the heart condition in this case? Were there any other contributing factors? Why is smoking even considered as a contributing factor in this specific case? The answer is you don’t know. You can wobble it around in your head any way you want but you don’t know. Importantly, my next question would be how can you discern whether the patient before you (individual case) is above or below the baseline (I doubt you would even understand the question)? The answer is you have no such discernment. You do not understand underlying causation. You don’t know. Yet you and many others in the medical establishment are prepared to tell patients and their families that you know exactly, specifically in individual cases that “smoking is what dun it”. You people are deranged with incompetence and self-importance. You’re promoting mental and social dysfunction galore.

  32. mareeS

    Frederick, the “critical care doctor:” I spent 6 weeks in a critical care unit, including 10 days in a coma in ICU last year, and the smoking issue is something that has begun to puzzle me with the medical profession.

    I have never smoked a cigarette or a bong, never wanted to, yet it is the first question that one gets asked by admitting personnel in a matter of serious illness in a hospital here in Australia, and is asked every day on every shift by nurses and doctors, even though it’s there in the redord at the end of the bed..

    I was asked it daily by medical personnel for 49 days after coming out of a 10-day coma, and none of the doctors or nurses saw the irony of me with five different drug lines running into my body, being asked if I had ever smoked tobacco.

    Having never been a tobacco smoker, I am nevertheless worried that medical care is being rationed away from tobacco smokers. It seemed to me during my stay in hospital that I got extra points and some different care for never having been a smoker, and siblings who are in the nursing and medical professions say never to admit to being a smoker.

    So, Frederick, where does the Hippocratic oath start and stop with smokers?

  33. Robert O.

    I remember the comments by a surgeon on smokers when asked if he had ever removed a lung from a non smoker “no after about 200 operations, as soon as operate you can see the difference, grey lungs as opposed to healthy pink ones”.

  34. Clam Chowdah

    CL

    The death count maybe bullshit and the way deaths are reported. You have to say there’s more than a bit of gerbil warming like fiddling going on. However if you’re a pack a day smoker for all your adult life there is a heightened risk of shit like emphysema, CPOD and cardio shit. I really don’t think that part can be questioned.

    Yep. Spot on.

  35. rickw

    On a more practical note.

    The busy bodies in Canberra have been working on rules and regulations for privately owned and operated UAV’s. The sort of equipment that real estate agents use to take photographs of properties from the air and that you can now buy for a couple of hundred dollars.

    Have there been any significant issues or incidents?

    No, it’s just that in Canberra’s world view, if it exists, then it must be regulated. Of course anyone buying a camera equipped UAV at an electronics store is going to be downloading a copy of the regulations and reading them in detail before getting it out of the box……

  36. Bruce of Newcastle

    I am waiting for the medical marijuana people to commence illegal action in favour of e-cigarettes.

    They should be asked this at every opportunity, since the marijuana legalisers are of the left and the ban of e-cigs is coming from the left.

    But then the Left is much better known for hypocrisy more than they are known for logic or empathy.

    My position is both should be legal and taxed, thereby cutting the real criminals off at the knees.

  37. Some History

    Frederick: “Yes, because it is true and because health messages should be kept simple”

    Fred, you’re describing propaganda. I’ve provided some excerpts below (following comment) from the “sweet” work by Adolf on the art of propaganda. Adolf didn’t invent propaganda, but he was an excellent student of the art of mass manipulation. See if you can recognize in these excerpts the activity of contemporary antismoking. Godber and his cronies declared war on the tobacco industry and tobacco users, i.e., defined as “the enemy”, back in the 1970s, continuing a eugenics tradition. In war, all those not supporting you or that are defending the enemy are also “the enemy”. Only the position of antismoking, which seeks the eradication of tobacco-use from the world, is heroic, righteous, and moral. Look at the Godber Blueprint. You will see such words used in antismoker documents. There is the recommendation of using highly inflammatory terms and slogans (not implied by data). This is not science but the propaganda of political activism. “Creative epidemiology” is the same thing; the Chapman Trick, the same thing; the “black lung” lie, the same thing; “what do they need to hear to persuade/cause/force them to make it happen?”, the same thing – salesmen of derangement for ideological and financial profit. The propaganda goal is to play on the emotions, particularly of nonsmokers – typically irrational fear, revulsion, and hatred – and to give the gullible a sense of promoting a “better world” by enthusiastically boarding the bandwagon and parroting the rhetoric.

  38. Some History

    2.
    Excerpts from Mein Kampf (Adolf Hitler) Chapter 6: War Propaganda

    The purpose of propaganda is not the personal instruction of the individual, but rather to attract public attention to certain things, the importance of which can be brought home to the masses only by this means.
    ….. because that is not the purpose of propaganda, it must appeal to the feelings of the public rather than to their reasoning powers. (p.155-156)

    That it is a mistake to organize the direct propaganda as if it were a manifold system of scientific instruction. (p.156)
    The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. (p.156)
    The worst of all was that our people did not understand the very first condition which has to be fulfilled in every kind of propaganda; namely, a systematically one-sided attitude towards every problem that has to be dealt with.(p.157)
    The aim of propaganda is not to try to pass judgment on conflicting rights, giving each its due, but exclusively to emphasize the right which we are asserting. Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (p.158)
    As soon as our own propaganda made the slightest suggestion that the enemy had a certain amount of justice on his side, then we laid down the basis on which the justice of our own cause could be questioned. (p.158)
    Propaganda must be limited to a few simple themes and these must be represented again and again. Here, as in innumerable other cases, perseverance is the first and most important condition of success. (p.159)
    Its [propaganda] chief function is to convince the masses, whose slowness of understanding needs to be given time in order that they may absorb information; and only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on the memory of the crowd.

  39. evcricket

    Ahahahahahahaahaha Some History you don’t look *at all* like a paid industry spiv posting 500 word comments every half hour. Ahahaahahaha what amateurism.

  40. Tel

    Doc, I’ve been in Africa recently and I’m worried I might have been exposed to Ebola.

    Hmmm, do you smoke?

    I used to, but I gave it up last year.

    Ahhh yes, that’ll be it then.

    Huh? Shouldn’t you be testing for a virus or something?

    Waste of valuable resources, you already confessed to being a smoker.

    But the hemorrhagic fever?

    Should have thought about that before you started with those evil cigarettes.

    It could be an epidemic!

    It already is an epidemic. People who should be living to 90 are dropping like flies in their late 80′s.

    I don’t feel like I got my six bucks worth.

    Not much I can do, while you still insist on having once smoked. Say, you aren’t feeling a bit diabetic are you? My quota is down this month.

  41. Combine Dave

    . This is not science but the propaganda of political activism.

    Isn’t there a wealth of info to suggest smoking is bad for you?

    Unfortunately so long as the individual relies on the public health system/public welfare there’s a case to be made for the state to intervene in the habits of individuals that rely on its services that have a likely public health impact.

  42. Unfortunately so long as the individual relies on the public health system/public welfare there’s a case to be made for the state to intervene in the habits of individuals that rely on its services that have a likely public health impact.

    I don’t agree, the state could just transfer the cost to that individual, and where it cannot be paid post-operatively add a lien to any property owned by that individual until the debt is discharged.

  43. alexis

    Some History can’t provide us with any statistical or experimental evidence that smoking is not causative of heart disease so he provides us with slabs of Mein Kampf instead. Please give us more health tips SH.

  44. Token

    It seems everything is illegal in Australia unless a bureaucrat gives permission. What’s worse, you have to go to the trouble and expense of asking the bureaucrat for permission, because if bureaucrats were proactive they would run the risk of serving the public.

    Listen to people speak, too many have surrendered their independence and are all too eager for this to be so.

  45. Some History

    Ahahahahahahaahaha Some History you don’t look *at all* like a paid industry spiv posting 500 word comments every half hour. Ahahaahahaha what amateurism.

    Well, that “profound” comment must have taken all three of your functioning neurons. Congratulations. You must be proud.

    It provides a good intro for this comment (sorry, evcricket, but this one also involves more than 4 words).

    Try reasoning with someone that has absorbed/internalized the relentless repetition of slogans, i.e., effectively brainwashed. You can’t because their beliefs weren’t arrived at through reasoning. Question any of the slogans and the believer immediately feels vulnerable. They know they believe the slogans but they don’t understand why they should be believed other than they were told by “authorities”. The believer usually reacts in a negative, emotional manner, i.e., histrionics – e.g., “You don’t know what you’re talking about”, “Everyone knows……”, “You’re an emissary of the evil tobacco empire”.

    This is the “better” world social engineers have in mind, where everyone simply does what they’re told without question. Dissenters/questioners are quickly set upon and brought into line (in one way or another). Then the self-installed social engineers wonder why they’re called dangerously deranged.

  46. Aristogeiton

    Give it a rest, “Some History”.

  47. JeffT

    As teenage smokers many moons ago, we used to laugh and predict that the “Phillip Morris” doctor would soon have a cure for any ill effects from smoking.
    That was the time when switching to Phillip Morris was claimed to cure smokers cough.
    Anyway, it looks as though the “Phillip Morriss” doctor is here today. I shouldn’t have given up.
    I have a feeling Some History may well be a non smoker.

  48. hoppers

    Back to the point, if a hardcore smoker like me can pack it in by using e-cigs, then anyone can.
    This ban is an act of idiocy which is no doubt costing lives already.
    The Govt should be encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigs.
    Whether, SH, there has been a level of misinformation or not, and I have no doubt there has been, such is the way with zealots, the fact remains that 6 months ago I had a permanent cough, which I no longer have, and I do feel better. I do not think smoking is a good idea. Possibly the worst decision I ever made.
    Sadly I think hell will freeze over before sense on e-cigs is seen at Govt/Medical/Cancer Council level.
    Glad to hear DrDo is hanging in there BTW.

  49. Shy Ted

    And let’s not forget the imposition of non-smoking in hospitals via nicotine replacement, thereby diverting the smoker’ cost to you the taxpayer. Not sure it’s so outside SA but $1.1 million has just been diverted to a website protesting against the federal governments cuts. Money well spent, eh?

  50. Aristogeiton

    hoppers
    #1396607, posted on July 28, 2014 at 8:48 am
    Back to the point, if a hardcore smoker like me can pack it in by using e-cigs, then anyone can.
    This ban is an act of idiocy which is no doubt costing lives already.

    Yup. Me too. 6 months and no desire to smoke at all. Despite a previous poster’s assertions, cigarettes will fuck you up, particularly your lungs. Professional liars like Simon Chapman are paid by the taxpayer to limit their liberty, and practically ensure that many more die of cancer than is necessary. What a joke.

  51. It seems everything is illegal in Australia unless a bureaucrat gives permission.

    Even DL is prone to thinking this too.

  52. Mr Anderson

    Let them eat cake?

    It’s amazing the power and longevity of a catchy line that fits with a groups’ prejudices. The Left are masters at this. Plastic Thanksgiving turkey anyone?

    My point is that, when making an argument (and I’m not disagreeing with this one) it has to be as rigorous as possible, otherwise it’s open to being torn down based on technicalities and side issues rather than the substance.

  53. alexis

    Mr Anderson, was Marie Antoinette a relative of yours or something? Because that is extremely irrelevant. I mean, I know God said “let there be light”, even though as an atheist I am very sure he didn’t…

  54. alexis

    Doc, I’ve been in Africa recently and I’m worried I might have been exposed to Ebola.

    Hmmm, do you smoke?

    I used to, but I gave it up last year.

    Ahhh yes, that’ll be it then.

    What is this rubbish? Smoking like family history etc is a risk factor for things like heart disease and the demographics are necessary to establish prior probability of a condition before or along with laboratory and other testing.

    A 45 year old nonsmoker with normal lipid profile, no family history is stratified differently and may require a different investigative approach compared to a 45 year old who has smoked a pack a day for 30 years, has a congenital condition with sky-high bad lipids and a father who died of myocardial infarct at 42. People here can complain about doctors and Nazis and eugenicists but that’s all a bit irrelevant.

  55. ian

    Me too no ciggies for 6 months, puff on an e ciggie no more niggling cough
    Feel heaps better my wife and I saving $700 a fortnight

  56. Some History

    This [e-cig] ban is an act of idiocy…

    Hoppers & Aristogeiton, if you switched to e-cigs, no problem. You can only go by your own experience. If you think smoking was becoming problematic for you, you won’t get any argument from me. As to e-cigs will “solve” everyone’s problem, that I do have a problem with. I spend time on a number of overseas blogs where quite a few smokers comment. Most there have tried e-cigs and put them down fairly quickly, not liking them at all. If they work for you, wonderful. But don’t go assuming that they work for all or even most.

    Another disaster in the making complements of Antismoking Inc. was making “fire safe” cigarettes mandatory a few years ago in a number of countries, including Australia. These cigarettes have a higher chemical load and were never health tested on humans. There are many that have immediate reactions to these cigarettes, e.g., coughing fits, constant phlegm, wheezing, “lung burn”. There was a 30,000-strong petition that was presented to a congressman in the USA a few years ago to look into the matter. What became of it? Nothing. Antismokers couldn’t care less. Symptoms typically disappeared within a day or so through switching to loose tobacco.

    Questions: Why do Tobacco Control, specifically, and Public Health, generally, lie about e-cigs? Why the concerted attempt to demonize them? Do you believe that Tobacco Control only started lying when e-cigs came on the scene? Given the anti-e-cig atmosphere, how seriously do you thing TC takes the tobacco “death toll”?

    As to e-cigs will reduce cancer, that’s very questionable. The overall cancer mortality for smokers and nonsmokers is roughly the same at about 33%. The percentage will vary between studies. There’s more lung cancer for smokers which means that there’s more cancer originating at sites other than the lung for nonsmokers. The implication is that, over an age range, there’s a subset of the population that is cancer prone. This sort of information is never presented by Public Health. It has to be extrapolated from raw data. The belief that if everyone stopped smoking tomorrow, cancer mortality would drastically reduce is highly questionable. Lung cancer might drop somewhat. But even there the fastest growing segment for lung cancer is in women where the major suspect is hormonal abnormality. Overall cancer mortality will fairly much be the same. If anything, cancer mortality will probably rise with a significant segment of the population (baby boomers) now living into very old age. Further, while the antismoking fanatics have been pontificating, over the last few decades there’s a growing body of evidence strongly implicating infection (particularly viral) in a multitude of diseases including cancer, heart disease, COPD. In many of these studies they don’t even use the categories of smoking/nonsmoking. They are simply identifying viral material in tumors, for example, and how viruses can tamper with cell and immune functioning. Maybe some of the medically-aligned commenting on this board can shed some further light.

    As to “cigarettes will fuck you up”, I have no idea what you’re going on about.
    As to “particularly your lungs”, in proportional terms there are localities where smokers far outnumber nonsmokers in lungs donated for transplant. And the smokers’ donated lungs do as well as the nonsmokers’. I hope you’re not going to deteriorate to smokers having “black lungs”, for that, too, is another inflammatory myth.

  57. Some History

    People here can complain about doctors and Nazis and eugenicists but that’s all a bit irrelevant.

    I think you missed the point of a number of comments here. As to investigative approach and the provision of medical treatment, this isn’t at issue. The problem is the social engineering where a myriad of punitive, coercive measures are applied to smokers to quit. I don’t know about Australia, but in America there’s a move pushed by Pharma companies to have all smokers admitted to hospital pulled aside at some point and given a 2 or 5 minute “lecture” on the perils of smoking, that the smoker should quit, and the hospital setting is a wonderful setting to quit smoking, at which point they are issued next-to-useless Pharma wares. It has nothing to do with what the smoker is even presenting for. It’s browbeating and moving product.

    Then we have a whole raft of antismoking “research” where, lo and behold, it always arrives at antismoking conclusions. And this questionable research is used as the basis for more smoking bans, more taxes, and the “leperization” of those who smoke.

    Siegel’s blog, tobaccoanalysis, has had regular analyses of antismoking research where it’s “spot the shenanigans”. There was one case a few years ago where conclusions were released to the press when the actual research hadn’t even commenced. Siegel is himself medically trained and is now a Professor of Public Health at Boston University. He’s also a rabid antismoker. Yet he had to distance himself from mainstream Tobacco Control because the lying, the cherry-picking, the smearing of opposition, the “groupthink” got too much even for him. His interest in exposing the corruption is that he’s fearful that it might derail antismoking altogether. It’s testimony to how widespread the corruption is in that exposing numerous instances of fraudulent, agenda-driven conduct has made no difference at all. The well-funded Tobacco Control juggernaut just keeps rolling along.

  58. Some History

    People here can complain about doctors and Nazis and eugenicists but that’s all a bit irrelevant.

    Again, it’s the moralizing, social engineering intent that’s at issue. It’s the nasty, judgmental streak that’s been allowed to flourish in medically-monopolized Public Health that’s at issue.

    Eugenics didn’t come and end with Nazism. Eugenics was popularized in America. Hitler and the Germans were students of American eugenics. Some insight into the connection between American eugenics – California in particular – and German eugenics.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/11/09/ING9C2QSKB1.DTL

    Eugenics is notorious for its racial/breeding/heredity dimension. Less well known is that it also has a behavioral dimension – anti-tobacco/alcohol (negative eugenics – viewed as body poisons), dietary prescriptions/proscriptions, physical exercise. [find a eugenics text at a uni library. It will typically have sections on anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol] Eugenics reduced all to the physical. Health was perversely reduced to a physical, absence-of-disease phenomenon (biological reductionism). Eugenics was embraced/funded by the mega-wealthy and the educated classes. There were few critics of eugenics. The promise was the eradication of poverty, crime, and disease. It did no such thing. It brought out the worst in people – racism, bigotry, cruelty, brutality.

    Post-WWII, the eugenics issue was never resolved in America. The greatest concentration of eugenicists was in America. Eugenicists didn’t just disappear or change their philosophy. They simply stopped using the “E”[ugenics] word. In the 1970s there was another emergence of an obsession-with-physical-health movement. Unfamiliar with eugenics, the movement was referred to as “healthism”. Healthism is actually the hygienism of eugenics. Healthism is an aspect (behavioral) of eugenics by another name.

    The current antismoking onslaught involves the typical eugenics “personnel” – physicians, biologists, pharmacologists, statisticians, and, more recently, behaviorists. It involves the same physicalism/materialism (biological reductionism) that produces a perverse, sterile definition of health stripped of the art, detail, and humanity of living. It involves the same reliance on flimsy population-level statistics that were pioneered by eugenicists early last century for population control. It revolves around “prevention”, the cornerstone of the eugenics framework. There is the same utter obsession with longevity for its own sake. It involves the same constant call for a “healthier” or “better” society. It involves the same primacy of the medical establishment and social-engineering intent where all should be coerced to abide by this superficial, “medicalized” framework, i.e. medical imperialism. It involves the same denormalization and mass propaganda techniques, a constant playing on the primal fear of disease and death, to achieve social-engineering goals.

    We can also see that the social engineering is extending beyond tobacco to alcohol, diet, and physical exercise – that’s the behavioral dimension of eugenics.

  59. hoppers

    FYI Some History, it was not health concerns that made me pack it in.(Though I don’t miss the cough)
    It was the new year Tax rise with more scheduled rises to come.
    Mrs H wouldn’t buy strawberries due to the cost….She loves strawberries.
    Suddenly it hit me how unfair it was that I was about to spend $21 on 20 smokes….So I didn’t.

  60. Oh come on

    Hoppers & Aristogeiton, if you switched to e-cigs, no problem. You can only go by your own experience. If you think smoking was becoming problematic for you, you won’t get any argument from me. As to e-cigs will “solve” everyone’s problem, that I do have a problem with.

    Why are you opening up a front on e-cigarettes? Switching to e-cigs works for some, maybe not for all. Why do you care?

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