by Carl V Phillips
For those who may not know, the World Health Organization is one of the worst anti-THR liars in the world. The prominence of their role as liars has fallen behind some other players in the Anglophone discourse recently, perhaps because their FCTC process has been largely eclipsed by the FDA, MHRA, and EU processes, because the WHO are slow and plodding so have not managed to become very actively anti-ecig yet. But they, including their propaganda-science unit, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), are still trying to keep people smoking.
In this press release (h/t Clive Bates), WHO claims smokeless tobacco causes a huge number of cases of oral cancer and creates a huge health and financial toll in India and other countries in that region. The announcement includes the news that the governments in that region are embarking on a goal (note: I intentionally did not say “plan”) to reduce use by 30%. For those who do not know, this really means that WHO set that goal — in this region and in many other poor countries, insult is added to poverty by having a bunch of rich operatives in Geneva act as puppet masters for the national health authorities.
The lie here is that people in that region don’t use smokeless tobacco. The cheap and ubiquitous causal drugs (filling the same niche that coffee, tea, tobacco, coca, etc. do in other cultures) used by millions of people in that region consist of several ingredients. Sometimes tobacco is one of them, though sometimes not. When it is included, it is typically the third ingredient down the list.
It is true that these products cause lots of oral diseases. While the formal research on this is terrible quality and barely exists, it is clear from population statistics and product chemistry that there is a serious problem. (Note that when population statistics and product chemistry show a result that the ANTZ do not like — say that e-cigarettes work and are low risk — they insist that it is of no value. But when they like the result they embrace it. Only politics matters to these people; they just make up scientific methods to further their politics.)
But the problem seems to be largely attributable to the other plant ingredients and a caustic chemical that are present (see this post for details), so the lie is not that the dip used by Indians and their neighbors is bad for you. The lie is that it is smokeless tobacco. Because, of course, we know that the risks from actual smokeless tobacco are so low that they cannot even be shown to exist. (A few archaic variants perhaps had a risk that was a few percent that of smoking, but modern popular products have a risk so low it is speculative, based on predicting that nicotine has some adverse consequences.)
Suggesting that tobacco is causing these diseases is basically like claiming that tomato slices are fattening: Tomato slices are typically the third ingredient in a fast-food burger, after the meat (including the grease it is cooked in) and the bun/wheat flour. Fast food burgers are fattening. So blame the tomatoes! They are from a plant that is closely related to tobacco, after all, which means it must be their fault. So if you are buying something in the gutka family in India be sure to get the kind without tobacco, and if you eat fast food burgers be sure to hold the tomato. According to the WHO, that will make the products healthy.