CMAJ should be advocating subsidizing smokeless tobacco

This August 30th, it was reported that an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal was advocating that provincial drug plans should pay for smoking cessation drug therapies. Not a bad idea. If the official position is that smoking increases costs to public health and that cessation is an investment that would more than reduce […]

If one small lie could stop someone from ever smoking?

Years ago at a conference I attended, we had a discussion going about how much misleading information was present in materials which were aimed at getting people to stop or not start smoking. One of the more persistent ideas was that nicotine was poisonous. But a doctor who worked at an addictions clinic said that […]

SCOOP! Leaked UPA Guidelines for Tobacco Reporting

-The following inadvertently ended up in my inbox via a BCC re a starting writer at a major newspaper who probably was not aware that it was intended to be confidential. There is little need to comment on this since it pretty well speaks for itself.-PLB. United Press Association Guidelines for Tobacco Reporting As a […]

Smoking in decline and smokeless tobacco use increasing; how is that anything but good news?

Recent articles on Washington’s smoking rate to the point of being the 3rd lowest in the US seem at first glance to be reports of good news (lower smoking means fewer health costs all round) yet reveal themselves to be little more than vehicles of the standard quit or die propaganda. In Wash. adult smoking […]

Canadian group adds in their two cents to the smoking in the movies issue

Canadian anti-smoking groups like to strut around crowing that they have consistently been at the forefront of tobacco control policy. This country pioneered graphic warning labels on cigarette packages, restricting tobacco advertising and adding onerous taxes onto tobacco. We were among the first to have no smoking areas in restaurants. But to out lasting shame, […]

E-cigarettes: Kids are the red herring in this debate

Up to about a year ago the usual news report on electronic cigarettes was unabashedly positive. Here was this great new product that smokers were finding to be a pleasurable substitute for cigarettes. The stories would feature smokers and their reports of improved breathing and in just about every case they would also mention how […]

Tobacco control seeking help in how to further stick it to smokers

A couple of days ago, Elaine Keller wrote a great comment to the article Word Wars and Tobacco Control at the BMJ Group Blog. Excerpt from that posting: In too many places even today, tobacco use is still taken for granted and if problematised at all, is understood primarily as an individual ‘bad habit’ rather […]

California, marijuana and the tobacco companies

When future archaeologists dig up the remains of California, they’re going to find all of those gyms their scary-looking gym equipment, and they’re going to assume that we were a culture obsessed with torture. –Doug Coupland The Coupland quote is not entirely perfect but it does go toward illustrating the absurdity of life in California, […]