At COPWATCH we present facts to counter the misinformation coming from the ‘other side’ – those who deny the benefits of tobacco harm reduction. However, never be in any doubt that passion lies underneath – we consumers are fighting not only for our lives, but for the lives of people who smoke. Enjoy and reflect upon this reaction to the WHO report.
The release of the 9th edition of the WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic last week clearly shows that the avalanche of misinformation & disinformation is indeed being sponsored and paid for to maintain relevance of outdated concepts and to vilify Tobacco Harm Reduction in the court of public opinion, which is subjective at best.
Science is the quest for knowledge, not a means to justify dogma. Science, if done correctly, can and should be replicated to confirm objective findings and the information should be widely distributed.
Sadly, this is not the case when it comes to reducing harm from combustible and unsafe tobacco globally.
Instead, we have media manipulation – the presentation of cherry picked information to incite moral outrage.
Instead we have arguments about “funding” of research and its alleged bias on conclusions.
Instead, we have “front groups” and “astroturf” to give a human face to the disinformation to make it relatable.
Instead, we have people who are deemed “professionals” and “experts” acting like histrionic teenagers creating drama and insult to those who question their methods and motivations to deflect from the truth.
So, what is the truth? How do we know that “experts” mandated to protect “public health” are in fact fulfilling their responsibilities to us, the public?
That truth, in this space, is that innovation outside the parameters of what is “comfortable” and “known” must be “wrong” and a conspiracy from big business to keep shareholders happy.
George Carlin was a comedian in the 1970s who stirred the pot about “the system” and how it “works” (or doesn’t) for the average person. “War is rich old men protecting their property by sending middle class and lower class men off to die.” The war on tobacco will never see its conclusion whilst we have rich old men protecting their financial interests at the cost of the dirty “smoking” masses.
In the minds of these people, they believe they are righteous and the optics are good. As long as they can control the narrative and keep the reality of the harm they cause with their moralistic imperatives under wraps its a winning combination for “everyone”