06/11/2011 05:46 PM Originally written 05/12/09 The World Health Organisation once again is demonstrating 'Integrity' is not in its vocabularly, much less that it knows how to hold onto it.
We were already aware of the Global Smokefree Policy it is now advocating, and we are similarly aware of the bastardised fabricated figures that it is so fond of. With that in mind, there is nothing particularly fresh in this article, just more of the same boring, jaded antics.
For millennia, tobacco smoking has been enjoyed for a multitude of reasons from spiritual celebration to relaxation and sociality. This is true around the world and, contrary to what the health establishment tries to make us believe, smoking is not the result of an addiction. The Native Americans gathered around their fire with the peacepipe were not doing so out of necessity to ward off withdrawals, and neither is the elderly man outside your local pub with his cigar. Actually scrap that last point; the elderly people of the population realise they fought for this country's independence only to get kicked in the teeth with the removal of their rights and have opted to stay home instead. Good on them.
This week the WHO is up in arms over smoking in Africa. That's right, in a continent rife with disease, infections, poverty and malnutrition, the WHO has decided the single biggest health threat and cause of concern to Africa is the humble tobacco plant. 
"Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of illness and death," the WHO's expert on non-communicable diseases, Ala Alwan, said in a statement.
No, it isn't. Even succumbing to the outrageous figures spouted by ASH and the government leads us scratching our head at the fact that alcohol kills more. Furthermore, breaking it down to statistics - which the health establishment is so fond of - shows that only 0.3% of UK smokers get lung cancer each year - and over the age of 65, the same as non-smokers - which would mean that statistically smoking is a risk-free activity and anything from driving a car to falling out of bed poses a higher risk.
8 million a year? Yet Cancer Research UK states openly that tobacco has killed only 6 million in the UK in the past 50 years combined. The article is rather amusing, for nowhere in there is a single shred of science, but rather an endless series of 'expected', 'thought' and 'believed'. Or, in other words, scare-mongerers scare-mongering with no evidence to support themselves. Just another day in the office then.
At this point, it is painfully obvious Alwan forgot to turn his brain on before he gave the interview, but just to hammer that point home some more he claims smoking tobacco is an economic problem:
"Tobacco breeds poverty, killing people in their most productive years," he said. "It consumes family and health-care budgets -- money spent on tobacco products is money not spent on such essentials as education, food and medicine."
Whether the population of Africa spend their money on food, tobacco or shiny razor blades makes no difference because they are still putting money into the economy (although as mentioned above, suggesting the biggest cause of concern - healthwise or financially - in Africa is tobacco shows ignorance beyond the highest degree). Tobacco is so damaging to the economy that China proposed people smoke more - albeit a short-lived concept but a real one nonetheless.
Besides, countries now miserably demonstrating a smoking ban illustrate perfectly how banning smoking harms the economy. Alwan and co. need to realise the fact that banning smoking does not stop smoking. It just stops smokers paying into their own country.
The final paragraph of the article is quite disheartening:
Lobotomies must be in order for these people. If I were a philanthropist focusing on Africa, tobacco smoking would not even appear on the list. There are numerous serious, important issues facing Africa that need attention and to focus on smoking is gross negligence. Perhaps even murder.
Originally written 05/12/09
The World Health Organisation once again is demonstrating 'Integrity' is not in its vocabularly, much less that it knows how to hold onto it.