Friday, November 28, 2008

Refusing to consult foxes on welfare of chickens

160 countries have refused to admit cancer producers into discussions on limiting the global spread of cigarettes.  The countries argued there is a fundamental conflict between the interests of public health and those of cigarette producers.  That is obviously true.

Meanwhile, the Lancet reports that, at current smoking rates, 100 million Chinese men will die as a consequence of smoking between 2000-2050.  Many will destroy family finances vainly seeking a cure for their ailments.

Cigarette producers generate far more human misery than international terrorism.


Anonymous said...

and so does booze, Harry which is something you're fond of.

Anonymous said...

"so does booze"

Only if you drink to excess. Whereas cigarettes wreck your health, and maybe kill you, if you consume them exactly as recommended by the manufacturer.

No other legal product does that.

hc said...

Spiros is exactly correct. you consume the things as recommended and they are likely to kill you.

Booze is a problem but the scale of costs associated with it - even including traffic accident deaths and related costs - is vastly lower.

BTW JC even if I did consume alcohol how would that affecxt the validity of the argument that smoking is very costly?

Anonymous said...


what recommendation do cig companies offer in terms of consuming their product?

If the answer is none then don't answer.

Light smoking doesn't kill you... 2 to 3 cigs a day may in fact be ok for you.

hc said...

JC, 3-5 cigarettes per day has still been shown to damage your health. There are many more recent studies confirming this.

John said...

You may as well label many Pharma companies as "foxes" because time and again these have been found to have done the following to promote their products:

rig the methodology to achieve the desired result.
attack opponents with smear campaigns.
fail to report negative results
fail to report side effects
change drugs just a little so as to make it a "new" drug.
promote more expensive drugs over less expensive ones even when there is no appreciable difference in efficacy.

Are Pharmas evil? No, the very reason we have conflict of interest considerations is because it is the nature of the beast to, as much as possible, promote one's interest over others.

Now here's a difficult choice: should we allow Pharma companies into discussions on health related issues?

Anonymous said...

This is an appropriate analogy. A similar situation arises with climate change and the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. The federal government seems to consult much more with polluters than it does with stakeholders whose concerns are actually related to climate change. Friday's Financial Review suggested that the government may increase the handouts to emissions intensive industries. This means that less of a dividend will go to households.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.