Thursday, July 01, 2004

Atg: Political correctness and bad science run amok

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, acting on a request from the Ministry of Health, authorised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to sign the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a new legal instrument adopted by the World Heath Organisation (WHO), that addresses issues as diverse as tobacco advertising and promotion, agricultural diversification, smuggling, taxes and subsidies.

"My government recognises that the spread of the tobacco epidemic is not only a global problem but a national one as well, with serious consequences for public health in Antigua & Barbuda," Prime Minister Spencer said.

The FCTC grew out of the concern of the international community about the devastating worldwide health, social, economic and environmental consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke, and the increase in the worldwide consumption and production of cigarettes and other tobacco products, particularly in developing countries, as well as about the burden this places on families, on the poor and on national health systems.
Doesn't WHO have anything better to do than crab about advertising for a perfectly legal product?

A "tobacco epidemic"! WTF?! Epidemiology is about the spread of disease. Pray tell, by what stretch of whose wild imagination is smoking a disease? If it is, is it viral or bacterial, cellular or psychological? However, the only transmissible diseases are viral or bacterial. So, guided by the nannies at WHO, what kind of bilge is PM Spencer talking?

I'm not a cigarette smoker -- it's too damn boring a habit, but I do smoke an occasional cigar. However, when you're prone to bronchitis and upper respiratory ailments, you tend not to let occasional be more than one or two per year. Nevertheless, I do object to the state and other organization's controlling individuals' behavior with perfectly legal substances. Yes, there are risks attached to tobacco use; there are also risk attached to driving and crossing the street. Each person has to be responsible for his own choices, and damn the state that seeks to protect a man from himself.

Would that WHO and other such organizations protect us from the consequences of RU-486 which can kill not just the unborn baby but also its mother.


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