Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Researchers(and others!) Pet Hobby horses to Advance Smoking Cessation

 One observation that I have discovered over the last 3+ years is the  illogical advancement of one method over another ......I am excluding e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products from this debate (for now)

My early-teen smoking experiences were with Capstan Full Strength, Players Navy Cut or woe betide  me Woodbine, these were all unfiltered cigarettes and all very high nicotine (and tar) products. After trying a few filtered products I found I preferred to use them, not for any notional tar -reduction but the fact that I didn't get a mouthful of fine tobacco if I carelessly puffed away. For 40+ years I happily puffed away in blissful ignorance of the so called science surrounding the filter apart from the very brief experience of  using Silk Cut which I found worse than useless and either covered up the filter or removed it entirely.
I make no apologies for giving you a potted version of the Beard smoking history especially when the latest hobbyhorse from some quarters is the Very Low Nicotine Cigarette advanced by such groups  as Aspire 2025 , Tobacco Free Kids , Truth Initiative (formerly the Legacy Foundatiom) , Centre for Tobacco Control and Research at UCSF   The reasoning behind VLNC is eviscerated by Dr M Siegel here 

Why do certain researchers and institutions come down in favour of one method,when as anyone who has gone through the experience of stopping smoking can give a very detailed account of what worked for them, imagine a smokers version of 'The Wisdom of Crowds'.
Clearly no coercion should be involved in cessation of smoking, smokers have a very strong and well deserved reputation of 'digging their heels in'
From this authors point of view simply give smokers truthful factual advice(if requested by them!) and there should be as wide an assortment of attractive smoking alternatives or the traditional NRT and medications readily available and simply allow freedom of choice.

* note I found this blog from months ago,and realised it was not published.

ps this excellent article highlights the folly of VLNC  via Prof Lynn Kozlowski here 

Rightful Anger and Bewilderment at Lack of Support towards A Billion Lives Screenings

This is a painful post to contemplate writing anything much positive about the recent UK fiasco regarding A Billion Lives screening applications. Two only, out of many applications have been successful :- Glasgow and Swansea, this is a hugely disappointing result so far and needs sorting out quickly

Simon Clark from Forest wrote this damning indictment  which is a very powerful summary, however a few points are inaccurate and in need of correction.

he states 1)...'Vapers have also risen to the challenge in Wales with a screening in Swansea on November 23 almost certain to reach its target thanks to Vapers In Power (Wales) and some local vape stores.' 

The 2 nominated persons associated with the screening and leading driving forces were Simon Thurlow(NNA trustee) and Rhydian Mann(NNA Associate and VIP member). VIP were also heavily involved to make this a success. 

another here 

 2) 'With a few noted exceptions I'm astounded the UK's leading vaping advocates have shown so little interest in organising their own screening or promoting someone else's. (The occasional tweet doesn't count. Getting out of bed takes more effort.)' 

This appears to be a direct 'dig' at the NNA, I will not spend too long on dismissing this ridiculous slur, ALL of the NNA consumer Trustees  + many of the Associates have actively campaigned and participated in organising screenings -  eg see David Dorn,Andy Morrison,Dave Kitson in action at the NEC in front of hundreds of Vapers at a recent event.(sadly no link)

3) ''I've lost count of the number of UK-based bodies that advocate vaping, some of them funded by the e-cigarette industry. Where is their 'Jeff Stier'? Where is their planning committee?'' 

I replied to Simon on his blog regarding this ambiguous statement which is open to many interpretations. To clarify, no consumer organisation receives any funding from the e-cigarette industry 

However, all of the above 3 points are relative nit-picking on my part :- the undeniable fact is that screening numbers have been hugely disappointing. 

Apathy and calls to make the screening available for free on the internet have abounded,but I personally think that local organisers maybe grossly underestimated what was required of them(this is not meant as criticism,just an observation). Following disappointing stories I along with others have assembled a guide to help future screening organisation see  here, but it is clearly obvious that 'we' are novices at organising and marshalling the necessary interest due to inexperience in such matters, we are not PR experts!). Another walkthrough guide is here  (but this doesn't give the nuts n bolts of how to do it successfully)

Enough of this reflection and negativity, hopefully anyone contemplating organising a screening will give the matter some serious thought before blindly blundering in on a tidal wave of enthusiasm and give the matter due diligence 

This documentary is a game changer, WE all have to up our game to give it the necessary attention to make it the success it deserves