More public health porkies

From The Age:

A global tobacco giant is using freedom of information laws to obtain data from surveys by thousands of Victorian school children and teenagers that reveal their attitudes to smoking and alcohol.

Public health advocates believe “Big Tobacco” may use the data to hone their marketing of cigarettes to teenagers, as well as to fight plain packaging laws first implemented in Australia and now being introduced across the globe. There are also concerns the data could be shared with alcohol companies.

Tobacco advertising and marketing of all sorts is illegal in Australia and has been for over 20 years. How stupid do these “public health advocates” think we are? How stupid is The Age for uncritically publishing such rubbish?

Then this:

It’s understood the institute felt legally compelled to disclose the data, effectively giving Big Tobacco access to millions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer-funded research for the price of an FOI application.

The horror. The horror.

It’s called open access publishing. Taxpayer funded research is supposed to be zero-price. In fact – the FOI fee should be refunded.

The fact is we now know the plain packaging policy is based on fabricated evidence. Now it’s just a case of determining exactly how much of the “evidence” has been fabricated. That means that every academic and research organisation that has published in the area can expect to receive a request for their underlying data. That data, I suspect, will be placed into the public domain – as is quite appropriate for taxpayer funded research data – and people will be able to investigate exactly what has been going on.

This is a delicious irony:

The Victorian Cancer Council is spending thousands of dollars fighting the FOI application in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Charity spending thousands of donated dollars to prevent a taxpayer from access taxpayer funded research?

This entry was posted in Hypocrisy of progressives, Plain Packaging, Take Nanny down, Wakefield data, Wakefield Study. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to More public health porkies

  1. rich

    Charity spending thousands of donated dollars to prevent a taxpayer from access taxpayer funded research?

    How many battlefields are progressives dragging off the reservation and into the twilight zone? I suppose that that charity money is “other peoples money” to them, anyway. Never give the Victorian Cancer Council a dime ever again.

  2. mundi

    Most charities spend half their donations on their own staff, a quarter on advertising, and the remainder is invested to make even more money. Occasionally maybe 5% is actually spent on the cause, which is usually the least important thing to spend money on.

  3. Rabz

    How stupid do these “public health advocates” think we are?

    How stupid is The Age for uncritically publishing such rubbish?

    It’s a good thing these are obviously rhetorical questions.

  4. Dr Faustus

    Professor of Health Policy at Curtin University Mike Daube:

    “This use of FOI legislation by the world’s most lethal industry raises another issue of enormous concern. If Big Tobacco can use FOI to harass a cancer council, what is to stop them using FOI to obtain information from any researchers employed by universities, or to tie them up in endless legal battles?”

    He said governments might need to amend FOI legislation to prevent it being used in this way.

    A characteristic of a bigger issue than tobacco on display here. In a world where rationalist ‘normal science’ is challenged by a widespread post modernist acceptance of ‘socially extended facts’ you can see exactly where this trail is going.

    Off to the intellectual gulag, you climate denialist frackers.

  5. Some History

    It seems as though BAT is questioning of the conclusions the Cancer Council has drawn from the currently “secret data” concerning plain packaging. So, BAT wants to see the actual data. Fair enough.

    I caught Toddy Harpon on Channel 2 this morning. He was attempting to spin it as “evil” Big Tobacco is after The Children® (Public Health views The Children® as the property of Public Health); Big Bad Tobacco will use the data to advertise to The Children® although, as Sinc points out, tobacco advertising has been banned for decades. Interestingly, the interviewer pressed Toddy a little more than the crapologist is used to. He was asked what were the privacy issues; did the data contain actual names and addresses of The Children®? “No”, replied Toddy, “but the data contains postcode information”. Don’t give Big Bad Tobacco postcode information or it’ll be able to pinpoint each of The Children®. For heaven’s sake! Given the constant stream of agenda-driven trash that they feed the public, Toddy and his Public Health buddies do believe that the public is either stupid and/or apathetic.

    The “charitable” status of the Cancer Council and many other groups needs to be scrutinized. There are certainly volunteers in such organizations but the administrative side is made up of very well paid folk. If I remember correctly, the Cancer Society, Heart Foundation, and Lung Association were created in the eugenics fervour of early-1900s America. They were initially funded by the mega-wealthy (e.g., Rockefeller?). The beauty of such “charitable” groups is that they could be used to influence (e.g., social engineering) public policy in ways that the mega-wealthy individually could not and the influence eventually cost nothing because these organizations became self-funding through donations. This trio of organizations has since been replicated in numerous countries around the world.

    Again if I remember correctly, a book by the journalist Beale in the 1940s makes passing reference to cancer societies in America. Such societies prey on the primal fear of disease and death. A slogan of the time was that a cancer cure was just around the corner that only needed more money to come to fruition. Seventy years on and cancer societies are making the same claim.

    Contemporary cancer societies have become voracious. They have tried to poke their marketing nose everywhere. If someone dies of cancer, don’t send flowers. Make a donation to the cancer society. It’s your mother’s birthday (re: breast cancer). Don’t give her a present. Make a donation to the cancer society. They’ve convinced a number of sporting codes in a variety of countries to go “pink” (re: breast cancer) for an entire week. They’ve convinced cruise ships to have fun-runs on board to gather more donations. Societies have been convinced that donating to cancer societies is “good”. Yet no-one asks, for all the money that’s been poured into these “charities”, where is the cure that’s been promised for the better part of a century?

  6. Some History

    The excessive salaries at the grand-daddy of cancer societies, the American Cancer Society (the ACS is also at the root of the current global antismoking crusade):

    Cancer charity donates less than 1pc
    LESS than one cent in every dollar raised by an Australian charity has gone to its intended cause in its first two financial years, documents show.
    The Adelaide-based National Cancer Research Foundation last year picked up $387,864 in donations but gave just $4900 away, according to its audited profit and loss statements.
    The year before, it raised almost $197,160, giving away only $935.
    So far this financial year, one of the foundation’s directors says the charity has passed on almost $30,000, but yesterday could not say how much had been raised.
    Most of the money raised in the past two financial years went on commissions, management fees, travelling expenses and drivers.

  7. Norman Church

    I always get rather confused about Big Tobacco. I am not a smoker. However, to my untrained eye, most cigarettes look around the same length and circumference. At least the ones sold in packets. And with plain packaging, the packets all look the same. How am I meant to tell the difference between totally evil Big Tobacco and, say, moderately wicked Medium Tobacco? Obviously, if I were to take up smoking, I would want only to smoke the slightly naughty Small Tobacco. Help, please! I need guidance. I am willing to donate $50 of other people’s money to the person with the best suggestion on this important issue of public policy.

  8. Some History

    Then we have this:
    Most doctors who were terminally ill would
    AVOID aggressive treatments such as
    chemotherapy – despite recommending it to
    their patients

  9. closeapproximation

    Good on the cats for promoting liberty. But of all the causes on which to expend scarce energy, smoking is a really poor poster child.

    Then again, this blog is pretty libertarian-theoretic, and that’s something I like about it.

  10. Some History

    Does anyone know the salary structure at the Victorian Cancer Council?

  11. Rabz

    Does anyone know the salary structure at the Victorian Cancer Council?

    Executive Remuneration is on page 39:

  12. Some History

    Thanks, Rabz.

    That’s staggering.

    1 x 0-$99,999
    1 x $160,000-$169,999
    1 x $190,000-$199,999
    1 x $240,000-$249,999
    1 x $250,000-$259,999
    1 x $270,000-$279,999

  13. johanna

    So, only people they approve of are entitled to data? It is eerily reminiscent of the Climategate email along the lines of – why should I give you my data when you are only going to poke holes in it?

    The pioneers of the scientific method must be rotating in their collective graves.

  14. Peter of Canberra

    Well, remember the Max Planck quote ““Science advances one funeral at a time”, and that he and his cohort faced resistance and obstruction from those believing the old paradigm.
    Obviously this also applies to Gerbil Warming

  15. “This use of FOI legislation by the world’s most lethal industry raises another issue of enormous concern.

    I’d dispute this. As we are finding out, the abortion industry takes more lives, of more defenceless children, from more poor people, than smoking.

  16. JohnA

    Oh, and another thing.

    The Age rages on about how (shock! horror!) Big Bad Tobacco is not as bad as Big Bad Other Multinationals because they pay their fair share of Australian tax.

    Oh, dilemma! Oh, heavens to Betsy, progressives are going to have to make a decision about who to support and who to demonise?

    Wonderful. They can have a serious look at their cognitive dissonance for a while.

  17. ar

    More public health porkies

    Pork will be banned next.

  18. David

    Pork will be banned next

    It already is in some households. [caveat] Rashers of flat nosed sheep are O.K.

  19. mundi

    My mother works for a cancer charity who spend 26% of gross revenue on actual cancer research. That is considered extremely high. The average is just 6%. Most charities with under $1m revenue do not give a single cent to the cause, they just pay for their own costs.

  20. Tim Neilson

    Norman Church
    #1773170, posted on August 20, 2015 at 4:33 pm
    I am willing to donate $50 of other people’s money to the person with the best suggestion on this important issue of public policy.
    That’s pretty stingy. Why aren’t you prepared to donate limitless amounts of other people’s money? (Not mine – I’m not “other people” for this purpose.)

  21. kc

    Tobacco companies are so far ahead of the curve it is beyond belief. They figured out a very very long time ago that the best way to get a teenager to do something…is tell them not to. All the anti tobacco hype and blather by the MSM, anti cancer councils and anti personal choice activists all play nicely into the narrative of “Don’t do it”, and while MSM and their band of merry men beat this up into an outrageous frenzy…big tobaccos marketing execs would just be sitting in an office, quietly smirking and ticking the box for another very successful campaign which will encourage the “you can’t tell me what to do teenagers” into grabbing a packet of fags. No, I’m not a smoker, hate the bloody things and my young bloke (now 27) smokes like a bloody chimney. Smart marketing companies, and include alcohol companies, twigged to the effect of authorities saying “don’t”, a long time ago. It is why these companies fund anti binge drinking/anti smoking etc. campaigns. It is NOT because it will reduce the effects and use of their products and not because they are being good corporate citizens . It is because it will INCREASE sales in the under 20’s “f#@k you brigade. Come in spinner!

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