Spinning wheels, rejecting improvements..

It is always interesting to watch dogmatic groups devour their own young, or to put it another way, dissension with the potential of making basic arguments both stronger and more subtle, and thus more persuasive to opponents, is aggressively rooted out to keep it simple. And here the KISS message directive of Keep It Simple […]

Working to keep smoking dangerous pt2

Quick follow-up to the last post regarding Russian “harm augmentation”. Susan Richards in Transition writes in more detail about academic, medical and political responses within Russia. However, the official view, articulated earlier this year by Russia’s [chief public health officer] Gennady Onishchenko, is that “substitution therapy is a first step towards the legalization of drugs.” […]

Working to keep smoking as dangerous as possible…

From the New York Times (The Needle Nexus)…. Moscow’s drug policy could be called harm augmentation: discourage drug use by making it as dangerous as possible. Arseniy and David, for example, can’t direct addicts to methadone clinics, since methadone — the global gold standard rehabilitation method — is illegal in Russia Kind of sounds like […]

Calling the kettle black..

This just in: press release (full text here) on Canada’s moves toward a tobacco settlement similar to the American one. EDMONTON, Nov. 19 /CNW/ – A coalition of prominent health organizations is applauding the Alberta government for passing a bill that will hold tobacco companies accountable for their tremendous impact on the healthcare system. Bill […]

Who would you believe? Doctors or politicians…

Two news items today…the first is the news release Physicians Urge FDA to Justify Condemnation of E-Cigarettes. The letter specifically targets the new tobacco legislation that passed through Congress this summer which gives the FDA power to regulate tobacco products in the United States and notes that the success rate of current smokers who attempt […]

Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven ‘owes its success to cigarettes’

Not really about harm reduction but a curious story from the Guardian. Was the secret to Stairway to Heaven’s success the fact that it gave DJs the chance to nip out for a cigarette? That’s the theory of Led Zeppelinbiographer Charles R Cross, who claims that 100 radio presenters “literally … swore” that they aired the […]

How many people smoke?

In Brad Rodu’s latest posting, How many Americans smoke?, he examines the discrepancies in various estimates of this figure.  His major point is that if we are truly concerned with ameliorating this “single most preventable cause of death and disease” we need good numbers to measure any progress or the lack of it. From personal […]

John Banzhaf ridiculed on TV

Thanks to Velvet Glove for alerting me to this. The rundown is that a lawsuit initiated by class action addict John Banzhaf (famously of Action on Smoking and Health)  has been reactivated by the courts of appeal and so can move forward into some discovery and then may or may not be dismissed at that […]

On Wikipedia: part 3

Ran across this article from Boston Review by Evgeny Morozov on Wikipedia.  (Sheds some light on the troubles and tribulations written about in parts one and two). Excerpt: This creates enormous knowledge gaps in Wikipedia and further alienates well-informed subject experts, particularly those who may know much that is hard to verify online. The subject […]