Sometimes you need to read the actual paper

Simon Chapman quotes a paper on Tobacco Control:

A study was conducted from April 2012 (six ?months before plain packaging) to March 2014 (15? months after), by the Cancer Council Victoria, using national telephone samples of 8,679 smokers.

It found for those buying factory-made cigarettes bought in Australia, there were no significant increases in the use of so-called “cheap whites” (0.1%), international brands costing 20% or more below the recommended retail price (0.2%) or packs purchased from informal sellers (0.1%). The prevalence of any use of unbranded illicit tobacco (“chop chop”) remained around 3% throughout the study period. Unsurprisingly, smokers didn’t ditch legal packs for illegal supplies.

That sounds definitive. Yet the paper by Michelle Scollo, Meghan Zacher, Kerri Coomber and Melanie Wakefield has somewhat more subdued conclusions.

While unable to quantify the total extent of use of illicit manufactured cigarettes, in this large national survey we found no evidence in Australia of increased use of two categories of manufactured cigarettes likely to be contraband, no increase in purchase from informal sellers and no increased use of unbranded illicit ‘chop-chop’ tobacco.

Then there are the limitations of the study – that the authors admit! – that need to be considered:

  • It excludes people who don’t speak English,
  • It excludes any cigarettes bought overseas or online,
  • The study suffers from observation bias:

Since we limited the analysis to categories of contraband cigarettes for which we could obtain reliable objective data, our study was unable to assess changes in use of any top-selling Australian cigarettes that had somehow got into the illicit market. Also since we were unable to apply stable price-based criteria to assess likely illicit status, we would have failed to detect cigarettes that have been counterfeited to appear like common Australian brands.

So the very thing they are looking for was excluded from the study. It is like the magician telling the audience there is no rabbit in his hat and then expecting applause when he fails to produce the very rabbit that isn’t there.

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20 Responses to Sometimes you need to read the actual paper

  1. James Hargrave

    Chapman – just a crank with a cause frothing at the mouth. He should smoke a cigarette; it might calm him down a bit.

  2. Some History

    Ah, good old Crapman, King of Con, Sultan of Spin, Baron of Bollocks, Marquis of Muckraking…… but I digress.

    In “The Conversation” article Crapman is at his pitiful best. It’s one long smear, from “if tobacco company executives don’t like it [plain packaging], then it must definitely be a good move” to a character assassination of David Leyonhjelm to a contemptuous dismissal of DL’s party. “Look”, squeals Sir Crapman of Wankertown, “the only people that question us of “righteous” Public Health are creeps that are either shills of [evil] Big Tobacco or a political party that doesn’t even have the popularity of a candidate with a warrant out for her arrest”. Crapman is a bully and through contemporary Public Health has he found a lifelong outlet for his personality deficiencies. This “smearing” routine is pretty well the entire appalling repertoire for Public Health in dealing with “dissenters”.

    The one comment to Crapman’s article says it all:
    You rubbish tobacco funded research on smuggling and then offer research from an equally biased source that has been roundly lampooned as junk since it was released. Quite laughable really.Phone people up, ask if they are breaking the law, take the answers as gospel and call it evidence. Bucko the Moose

    If Crappo wants to talk about popularity, maybe he could explain to us the popularity of Action on Smoking & Health of which Crapman was at one time its director. When the taxpayer funding for this organization was pulled by the Abbott government, ASH, a so-called “charity”, had to shut down for lack of funding/donations, i.e., lack of public interest.

  3. Pusnip

    Chapman its a charlatan. Don’t expect an expose on their ABC anytime soon though.

  4. JC

    It excludes any cigarettes bought overseas or online,

    I haven’t tried recently, but I bet this ave is still open and cigs are humongously cheaper even with the cost of transport charges.

    They simply don’t check the packages and if they do it’s done by sampling. Big deal, so you lose a box but many other get through. I reckon the sampling would be 1 in a 1000 if not more.

  5. Some History

    For anyone interested. Here’s an upcoming European prohibitionist conference billed as “High Level Conference: Combating Tobacco Industry tactics: State of Play and a Way Forward”
    High-level speakers
    Emily O’REILLY, European Ombudsman
    Dr. Vera DA COSTA E SILVA, Head of the FCTC Secretariat, World Health Organisation
    Tonio BORG, former European Commissioner for Health
    Benoit VALLET, Director General for Health, France (tbc)

    Smoke free Partnership – a world without tobacco
    http://www.smokefreepartnership.eu/news/high-level-conference-combating-tobacco-industry-tactics-state-play-and-way-forward

    It’s all so “high level”. This “high-level” organization sponsoring this “high-level” conference is funded by Cancer Research UK, the European Heart Network, and Action on Smoking & Health (UK). Cancer Research UK receives a very considerable amount of [UK] taxpayer funding and Action on Smoking & Health (UK) is almost entirely funded by the [UK] taxpayer. Together they’ve created another, this time supra-national, unelected, unaccountable activist organization.

    Sinc, you might be interested in what these Public Health nitwits who are science illiterate, history illiterate, economics illiterate, and human nature illiterate are contemplating concerning tobacco tax and the illicit trade [you know this isn’t going to end well]:
    http://www.smokefreepartnership.eu/tobtaxy

  6. Some History

    Chris Snowdon addressing some of the antismoking lunacy coming out of Tasmania:

    http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/mad-versus-madder.html

  7. feelthebern

    ?It excludes people who don’t speak English,

    The trade in chop-chop is growing exponentially.
    Particularly amongst new Australians.
    In 10 years time, it will give the cops something to do post pot & coke being legalized, therefore ending the “ice terror”.

  8. Tim Neilson

    JC
    #1956617, posted on February 24, 2016 at 10:38 pm
    I didn’t know that. It explains the large number of empty cigarette packets in the streets round my place with no horror pictures and with all the writing in Asian or Arabic.

  9. Some History

    The one comment to Crapman’s article says it all:

    You rubbish tobacco funded research on smuggling and then offer research from an equally biased source that has been roundly lampooned as junk since it was released. Quite laughable really.Phone people up, ask if they are breaking the law, take the answers as gospel and call it evidence. Bucko the Moose

    That comment was “removed by moderator” at The [one-sided] Conversation. “The Conversation”….. L-O-L

  10. Kool Aid Kid

    Sinclair: your obsession is starting to compete with Kates’ combover hangup for its boring repetition.

  11. Simon/other

    Sinclair: your obsession is starting to compete with Kates’ combover hangup for its boring repetition.

    I started out thinking that but I’ve become absolutely hooked to this plain packaging thing. I am actually starting to look forward to the next episode. It didn’t seem to have any relevance until I started looking at the senate stuff and the cagey answers Health D. officials repeatedly blagged the good senator with. The whole thing has an X files conspiracy feel to it.

    So please just keep investigating this stuff and who knows where it might lead.

  12. Some History

    KAK bored; KAK not happy. Poor, poor KAK.

    KAK, could you tell us if there’s anyone forcing you to read this thread? Because it doesn’t interest you doesn’t mean it’s of no interest.

  13. Kool Aid Kid

    SH; Clearly you have accepted the Kates world view and are ON THE PROGRAM. Keep tight and carry on!

  14. Sinclair Davidson

    Sinclair: your obsession is starting to compete with Kates’ combover hangup for its boring repetition.

    You’ve hurt my feelings. I’m offended.

  15. Kool Aid Kid

    Sinclair: I’m sad about that. But if heroin was packaged in nice glossy cartons designed to make kids feel good about the purchase do you think it would be accepted? The ciggy crowd have had a good run. They are very lucky that a product that is damaging to health is still in public markets.

  16. Some History

    SH; Clearly you have accepted the Kates world view and are ON THE PROGRAM. Keep tight and carry on!

    Does this babble have some sort of cryptic meaning that is beyond me? Or is this reading too much into it, improperly assigning intelligent design where there is none?

  17. Some History

    Sinclair: I’m sad about that. But if heroin was packaged in nice glossy cartons designed to make kids feel good about the purchase do you think it would be accepted? The ciggy crowd have had a good run. They are very lucky that a product that is damaging to health is still in public markets.

    You should be ashamed – really – if that’s your “understanding” of the circumstance.

  18. Kool Aid Kid

    SH: no shame here. Quite enervated by the increasing acceptance of mainstream conservative views actually. After decades of dozy righteousness. But I’ve no time for parades and none at all for spruikers. And to be clear I like the idea that tobacco companies can sell their goods as long as they do not disguise the health outcome. In fact I’d like to see the same treatment for other addictive drugs.

  19. Some History

    SH: no shame here. Quite enervated by the increasing acceptance of mainstream conservative views actually. After decades of dozy righteousness. But I’ve no time for parades and none at all for spruikers. And to be clear I like the idea that tobacco companies can sell their goods as long as they do not disguise the health outcome. In fact I’d like to see the same treatment for other addictive drugs.

    That’s what’s confusing…. it looks like English.

  20. Kool Aid Kid

    SH: I’m not confused. Tobacco companies have marketed a hazard as something luxurious or manly. I’d be perfectly happy if all addictive drugs were freely available so long as their effects and properties were identified in the marketing. Maybe we could have oncologists do the GG ads for tobacco?

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