I almost feel sorry for the World Health Organisation.
For years they have been obsessed with tobacco. It is the world's greatest killer… millions dying every day… it must be eradicated and wiped off the face of the planet… blah blah blah.
Then along comes Ebola.
Now Ebola is grist to the mill for the WHO and their pals in Big Pharma. They can start bandying words like "outbreak" and "pandemic" to get the world really worried. After all, Ebola is almost a byword for a deadly plague, so it's a simple matter to whip the world up into a frenzy and to start spending billions on vaccines.
The only small problem is that there is no vaccine.
There is hope however for all Big Pharma shareholders. There is a potential vaccine on the horizon which just needs a few further tests and tweaks. Get that little baby rolling and Big Pharma will have one of its greatest bonanzas yet.
The big problem though is that that vaccine is derived from the tobacco plant. Is it good, or is it evil? Will they have to force people to wear nicotine patches after each inoculation? Will the vaccine be banned under the EU's Tobacco Products Directive? Will hypodermics have to carry a health warning ["While saving your life, this product can kill you"]?
Naturally they have discovered that it is the most lethal stuff imaginable and causes more deaths than the Hiroshima bomb.
When you are setting out to find something that you have already convinced yourself is there, then it is a simple enough process to find it. These "scientists" did so by rolling out a gas chromatograph which, by my understanding of these matters is an extremely sensitive machine and is generally used to search for specific elements. For example, you don't ask the device to itemise the colours in a photograph, you ask it if the colour green is present. So these "scientists" set out to specifically search for certain compounds, and of course they found them. I lay very heavy odds that if they set out top find Plutonium in my sitting room that they would find a molecule or two?
So having proved their preconceived notions they announce that people's home are full of deadly chemicals which they attribute to "third hand smoke". What I would like to know is how they know that tobacco smoking caused those elements to be present. I know for a fact that my home is brim-full of highly toxic materials, from radioactive gas, through lead, up to arsenic and beyond. How do I know? Because if you look hard enough, you'll find these things everywhere – in the air we breath, in the soil we grow our food in and on every surface we touch. The world is full of toxins caused by pollution, chemicals, nuclear tests and by the earth itself.
I have a suggestion and a question for these so called "experts".
My question is the old one I have asked so many times in the past and yet no one has answered – if the residue from smoking is so damned dangerous how come people who lived in the last century are still alive? Smoking was rampant, so called second hand smoke was everywhere and the residue must have lain thick on every surface, so according to all these recent "studies" we should all be dead by now from cancer and heart attacks? Yet those generations are living longer than any previous generations?
My suggestion is that before they start involving themselves in the myth of third hand smoke, that they try and prove there is any danger in second hand smoke. This is something they have singularly failed to do, relying of cherry-picked statistics which to date have suggested that second hand smoke is less carcinogenic than tap water.
The Consumer Show is not on my regular list of viewables but last night they were to talk about electronic cigarettes.
The programme was much as I expected. There was the usual confusing statements about e-cigarettes producing "smoke" and referring to the devices as if they were just another type of cigarette. There were a few of the regular objections, such as the cheeeeldren being poisoned by e-liquid which was neatly countered with the obvious reply that houses are full of stuff that is toxic and that they all have child-proof caps.
What struck me most about the programme were the two Antis.
There was Chris Luke who seemed to be more confused than anti, and makes the strange statement that e-cigarettes are dangerous as they contain the "highly addictive nicotine" while overlooking that the patches, gum and inhalers he doubtless recommends are also nicotine delivery systems. He also quotes a mysterious "study" that showed that e-cigarettes are a "gateway" to real cigarettes, which he was lucky to get away with.
A professional anti-smoker
Then there was our old dear friend Luke Clancy, the man who has single handedly saved the Irish nation from itself – in other words a full time professional Anti-Smoker.
He is of course violently anti electronic cigarettes partly on the grounds that they "re-normalise" smoking, but his main objection to them seems to be that Big Tobacco are showing a financial interest in the e-cigarette business.
It strikes me as a sensible bit of diversion for the tobacco industry – as cigarette sales threaten to decline, then invest in a similar business that is flourishing. However Clancy reckons this logic "is what they would have us think" as if there were some deep dark conspiracy where Big Tobacco is somehow going to poison the world with vapours. This, to me is a perfect example of the pathological mindless obsession that drives the Antis. If it has any connection with the tobacco industry then by definition it must be evil personified. It never seems to occur to them that any business, whether it's Big Tobacco or Big Pharma is there to make profit and little else.
It's worth taking a look at the programme excerpt just to see Clancy in action.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that electronic cigarettes are by far the most effective way for people to quit smoking, so the logical step would be to encourage their use. However the HSE claims that "there currently was 'no conclusive evidence' that e- cigarettes are safe for long-term use" and this is their excuse for the ban. This is rubbish and they know it. The only ingredient that could possibly have long term consequences is the nicotine and there is little that isn't known about that.
To date, none of their measures have had any effect whatsoever on smoking rates. Indeed anecdotal evidence suggests that the Draconian measures have had an opposite effect by increasing awareness of smoking and also the "forbidden fruit" effect.
So here we have Ireland, second in the league, yet with one of the highest levels of smoking? And they are congratulating themselves? This alone shows clearly that they are not interested in health but merely in the persecution of smokers.
The exclusive club of Tobacco Control is interested in one thing only and that is the lining of their pockets through fat salaries and backhanders from their lords and paymasters in Big Pharma.
Why else would nicotine be a lethally addictive poison in e-cigarettes but actually good for the health in patches and gum as supplied by Big Pharma?