by Chris Holmes
President Barack Obama said today: “Where there is inefficiency, where there is corruption, we expect those people to be held accountable.”
That is a fine democratic principle. Well said, Mr President. Of course he was talking about the government of Afghanistan, warning those people that they could not expect continued support from Western governments if they did not root out corruption wherever it is identified.
I take it, then, that President Obama would recommend the same remedial action to be taken within the U.S. administration and indeed their counterparts in the UK government, wherever it can be clearly shown that inefficiency and corruption are wasting valuable resources and attempts are made to conceal this, rather than rectify it.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy doesn’t work at all in the long term according to the government’s own research. Already, following the press release in July this year from the smokers’ rights group Freedom2Choose which cited my research demonstrating clearly that the NHS advertising claim that smokers are “four times more likely to succeed” by using those services was actually false, we note that in the latest TV campaign promoting those services, the bogus claim has been quietly dropped!
This is not enough. Let me just remind you what the Borland report found when that group investigated the long term results of the NHS approach to smoking cessation at the 12 month interval:
What they found, at 12 month follow up, was that the in-practice treatment scored only 2.6% success at one year, whereas the Stop Smoking Services delivered a staggering 6.5%. And then they actually had the temerity to officially conclude thus: “Where suitable services exist, we recommend that referral become the normal strategy for management of smoking cessation in general practice”.
Seriously folks, I ask you: is it possible to believe that anyone – any collective group of people – could be so unutterably stupid as to recommend the continuation of either of those approaches to smoking cessation, at the taxpayer’s expense, based on failure rates of 93.5% and 97.4% respectively? Also, what happened to the supposed 15% success rate claimed by the Ferguson report? Gone – reduced to 6.5% at best. This proves that the report was flawed and misleading and should never again be cited to market NRT products or NHS services. No wonder they buried it.
Finally, if the 1992 University of Iowa report found 6% for willpower over very large sample numbers, as did Cohen (4%), then how is 6.5% “up to four times more likely to succeed”?
The fact is that it is not.
At the start of the Truth Will Out Campaign, I reported that smokers were being lied to about the effectiveness of these services and drug company products, and reproduced in the Evidence section of this site published NHS and DoH documents that claimed up to 90% success rates for short-term results (4 weeks), but did not report at all on long-term outcomes. When they finally did, they claimed 15% success at one year, which I have now proved is also very misleading.
I said, right from the very beginning, that it was 94% failure. Thank you Borland et al, you just officially confirmed it. (Reproduced from the blogpost Dept of Stealth 6)
These results do not indicate that smokers should be directed to the Smoking Cessation Services. In fact they make it blindingly obvious that the whole sorry, stupid failure should be scrapped before any more valuable resources are wasted on it. Any fool can see that, so before we start lecturing the Afghan government about corruption, we should take that fine democratic sentiment and use it to investigate the corruption at the heart of the British government, and the role of the global drug companies that are bleeding the NHS to death.
If you agree, link up – spread the word. Let’s end it! Where are the bloody investigative journalists these days? Wake up, Health Editors! THIS IS A SCANDAL!
Apparently in some NRT promotions this New Year the ‘Four Times More Likely To Succeed’ claim is still being used. This is not “evidence-based medicine”, unless of course the DoH and the MHRA are going to cynically attach that label to any officially approved medicines REGARDLESS of what the evidence actually is.
Hear that trickling sound, Doc? That’s the sound of your credibility steadily draining away. You’ll miss it when it’s gone.
**Update, January 2012: Harvard University report that NRT does not help smokers quit in any way. August 2011 Tel Aviv University study confirms that smokers’ cravings have nothing to do with nicotine and that smoking is a habit, not a drug addiction – exactly what I said four years earlier when I first published: