I do, sometimes, despair of the "logic" espoused by those who would guide us. They're either incredibly thick, or disingenuous. What they aren't, is consistent. Come and play Acronym Bingo for a while...
If you've been keeping up with the news, while the USAnian election was dominating it, India hosted the Seventh Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (COP7 of FCTC). Not much has made the Mainstream Media (MSM is its snappy three letter acronym) about it, other than that the UK has pledged £15 million to the FCTC over a period of five years, in order to "help" low and middle income countries (LMICs) to implement the recommendations of the FCTC.
Still following? Good...
The move was also bolstered by five million quid that Cancer Research UK has already donated (remember, CRUK is a charity, a charity which many private folks donate their hard earned cash to), again, to bolster FCTC implementation in LMICs, and, it seems, already spent. Now, I, for one, was not aware that any funds donated by Brits to a Brit charity were going to be spent trying to "help" folks in other countries be coerced into stopping doing anything. I'd kind of imagined that said funds would be used to - you know - try to find the cure for cancer. Mostly because that's what their adverts on the telly (which I'm guessing they don't get for free) imply.
Now, CRUK, ASH UK and the Department of Health (@DHgovuk) all tell us that they're pretty much onboard with ecigs as a harm reduction proposition. OK, there are some amongst them that, when the mood takes them to be completely honest, see them only as a cessation tool - that is to say just another, more effective and palatable form of NRT. A tool, if you will, to "reverse the smoking epidemic". Yuk!
For the moment, let's just allow them that. Just for the moment - I'm not going soft in the head.
So, between them, CRUK and DHgovUK have stumped up 20 million of your and my heard earned quids to go to FCTC to be used for, frankly, God knows what (and neither he nor FCTC is really letting on - I mean, how much did the COP7 junket cost?).
At the same time, CRUK is bleating on that the Stop Smoking Services (SSS) are being de-funded by Local Authorities (LAs), and that this is bad. Very bad. They want to see that reversed, because, they think, SSSes are a vital tool in the fight against the "Tobacco Epidemic" (no acronym exists for this. Sorry).
Now, it doesn't take Einstein to work out that all that money they've just thrown at the FCTC (supported, it must be said, by the Framework Convention Alliance for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control - FCA for FCTC for short) could easily have been diverted to the SSSes, or could have been used to counter the misinformation that CRUK, ASH and DHgovUK acknowledge exists with regard to ecigs. They all claim that too many folks think that ecigs are "as bad as fags" and that too few correctly identify them as being more than 95% safer (or less than 5% of the risk) than smoking lit tobacco.
And yet, some muppet from Corporate Accountability International (CAI), the enforcers of the FCTC's COPs (these are the folks who strongarm any even mild dissenters to the FCTC's edicts into full and unquestioning compliance) decided to tweet that, officially (ie in the view of FCTC) ecigs do NOT enable ANYONE to quit smoking cigarettes.
So, there you have it. Like turkeys voting for Christmas to be extended to a month-long celebration, our pro-vaping "friends" at CRUK, ASH, FCAfor FCTC and DHgovUK send shedloads of our hard-earned to a bunch of folks who officially hate ecigs, instead of earmarking it to be used to counter the idiocy that those folks constantly spout.
More to the point, it seems that this has the blessing of government ministers:
Now, you, like me, might think that that's a stupid move. If you were running an SSS anywhere in the country, you might be looking at this and thinking "What the actual fork?". You might well be thinking that, it seems, our "friends" are more concerned with being seen to be the "good guys" on the international stage tha actually helping a service which they, they say, value highly, which is the jewel in the NHS crown (I'm not doing the whole "National Health Service" explanation. Oh. Wait!) and which, they say, is of vital importance.
Their words say one thing, their actions another. Consistent?
And we're supposed to trust them?