NRT: Biggest Quack Therapy in History

by hypnotherapist Chris Holmes

Now that the latest research from Harvard University  has found that:

“…using NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) is no more effective in helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the long term than trying to quit on one’s own.”

– exactly as The Truth Will Out Campaign has been stating since May 2008 based on the UK government’s own research

… it is time for all interested parties in this debate to demand that the NHS drop this worthless poison nicotine, which has never been “therapeutic” and stop lying to smokers about its supposed efficacy.  This global fraud is still being marketed, promoted and sold all over the world with the blessing AND recommendation of Medical Authorities and parties CLAIMING to be ‘scientific’ in principle and in practice, and these products have been wrongly labelled: “Evidence-based medicine”, when in fact they are neither medicine NOR evidence-based unless we are to allow the most blatantly misleading, shameless marketing spin to be regarded as evidence.

I think it was Edzard Ernst who said that there is no such thing as alternative medicine, there is only medicine:  it either works or it doesn’t.  His friends in The Nightingale Collaboration seem to agree: on their website they tell us that:

“We have set up The Nightingale Collaboration to enable us to share our knowledge and experience in challenging misleading claims in healthcare advertising and encourage anyone who is concerned in protecting the public from misinformation in healthcare promotion to join us in challenging it.  Together we can work to improve the protection of the public by getting misleading claims withdrawn and those responsible held to account.”

Right – so that’s ANY kind of healthcare, right?  So that would include all the misleading claims about nicotine replacement poisoning of the sort I’ve been exposing for years, surely?  Now that we have numerous independent scientific reports that consistently show long-term effects mirroring the long-term outcome for willpower alone at around 6%, there is clearly NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS for the endorsement or promotion of these products and especially not at taxpayers’ expense, and the NHS – a public service – has no business pretending that has not been clearly established.

So all those supposedly ‘scientific’ individuals who style themselves “quackbusters” have a bit of a dilemma here, don’t they?  They have designed their website carefully to make it look as though they are being all-inclusive in their bid to protect the public from lies and misinformation in the field of healthcare, but Martin Robbins’ “Lay scientist” piece in The Guardian annnouncing the launch of The Nightingale Collaboration completely gave away their real agenda: “A new skeptical campaign [which] aims to put the screws on alternative medicine.”

Question: Why be so coy about that on the Nightingale Collaboration website, then?  Answer: To appear objective, mislead the public and pay lip-service to the notion that the same ‘rigorous’ standards of scientific enquiry into safety and efficacy should be applied to both conventional medicine (ConMed) AND alternative methods, when in fact thay are not investigating ConMed at all.

But to have any real credibility over your stated aim to be trying to protect the public regarding misleading claims in healthcare, Collaborators, you surely cannot ignore the biggest medical scam ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.  NRT was originally approved on the basis of its performance at only 6 weeks.  The manufacturers were even allowed to quote that short-term result on the packaging as if it were the actual success rate of the product, which I KNOW you would be up in arms about if it were a herbal remedy, or something like that.  So come on:  we’re challenging you, here, to demonstrate that what you loftily declare on your website isn’t just meaningless cant.

The UK government have known since The Borland Report was published in 2005 that the long-term outcome of NRT is the same as willpower, and yet they have carried on regardless with the purchase and endorsement of these products – fraudulently, with taxpayers’ resources – for a further seven years, deliberately wasting smokers’ time with products that they KNOW will not actually help them – and in that time something like a further 770,000 smokers in the UK have died.  For you to wink at that, Collaborators, whilst getting all outraged about what some homeopath says on their website would prove you to be utterly insincere and fantastically petty, would it not?

This latest damning research from Harvard clearly proves Nicotine Replacement to be the biggest Quack Therapy in history and now this hideously corrupt boil on the face of healthcare must be lanced, so I’m sure, Collaborators, that you will feel that you must – for the sake of your credibility alone, if not your honour – join me in demanding that the NHS now DROP NICOTINE REPLACEMENT  PRODUCTS AND ADMIT THEIR FAILURE AND USELESSNESS so that “we can work to improve the protection of the public by getting misleading claims withdrawn and those responsible held to account.”

No need to thank me for drawing this massive fraud and human disaster to your attention – after all, we’re working together here to protect the innocent – right Collaborators?

The easiest way to quit smoking

The Nicotine Myth Exploded

5 thoughts on “NRT: Biggest Quack Therapy in History”

  1. Your website has made me very angry. You seem to have based most of your rhetoric about the dangers of NRT at the fact that:

    “Since 2001, when the New Labour government first made nicotine products widely available on prescription, around 700,000 UK smokers have died from smoking related illnesses, and hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been wasted on the pointless production of a very nasty poison, posing as a medication. *Update: that will be well over a million deaths by now, 2010. How many more, Doc?”

    How does this relate to NRT at all? The above paragraph boils down to: “since 2010 700,000 smokers have died from smoking”. If you said “700,000 people have died from NRT” that would be a completely different, and wrong, claim.

    shocker… 700,000 smokers have died from smoking, this number would have been the same regardless of if NRT was made available on prescription or not, and I dare say it is lower because of the availability of NRT, as people, like myself, have been able to give up with the help of the NHS.

    The merits of hypnotherapy are touted in several studies, and severely criticised in others. Get your facts straight, stop blindly touting a single smoking cessation option. Different things, or combinations of methods, work for different people.

    You make me sick, and you’ll likely make a lot of other people sick too with talk like that.

  2. Alex, NRT doesn’t produce any long term successes outside of the normal placebo range, and it never did. It was originally approved on the basis of its performance at just six weeks, which it never should have been.

    My point is that smokers should not be prescribed things that don’t work because that wastes their time when they could be using methods that have been proven to have real efficacy at 12 months – not 6 weeks (NRT) or 12 weeks (Champix). Those short term outcomes are officially termed “evidence-based medicine”, which is misleading.

    You know perfectly well that since 2001, the UK taxpayer has been paying for smokers to first try the gum, then the patches, then the lozenges, then the little inhalator thing, then perhaps the microtab – believing that “science” shows them to be effective, because that’s what they’ve been told – and during all that wasted time, thousands of them will fall ill and die. And they do. The fact that a few stop smoking that way – such as yourself – is more down to your willpower and determination than anything else. It’s all the others I’m concerned about.

    If you read other pages on this site you will find that I am recommending three methods that have no side effects and have all been shown to be effective, not JUST hypnotherapy.

  3. Re your comments on the Nightingale Collaboration:

    There is no coyness about our aim on our website. If I may quote from the FAQs, “We focus on misleading claims in healthcare promotion to the general public in the UK. Most misleading claims that appear in advertising aimed at the general public are in promotions for complementary and alternative therapies and products. If there are misleading claims in advertising for conventional medicine, then we believe these should be challenged too and the resources we make available on this site should help people to do that.”

    If you come across advertising for NRT that you think is in breach of ASA or any other regulations, then I suggest you submit a complaint to the appropriate bodies using the information we helpfully provide on our website. Together we can conquer misleading claims in healthcare promotion!

    Alternatively, you can just carry on whingeing on your wee blog.

  4. Ah, what a shame: kind of let yourself down at the end there! My “wee blog” gets over 2 million hits a year with more than ten thousand unique visitors a month, so it’s not quite as pathetic as you’d like to think it is – and I achieved that all by myself, I don’t have any cosy pals in the media who promote me like the Nighthawk Collaboration does. (I think that’s a much better name.)

    Don’t you think the poison factories have legal departments? They know the cat’s out of the bag now: the latest campaign for NiQuitin said: “No other patch is more effective”! Technically true, in the sense that none of them work at all. So, not much we can do about that, is there? No. They’re not lying: no other patch is more effective. Since that deception is a multi-million dollar industry hoodwinking hundreds of millions of smokers worldwide, perhaps you should re-think your priorities because individual homeopaths making claims on their individual websites may not be the greatest threat the public faces – unless of course you’re an anti-CAM zealot who is only pretending to be even-handed.

  5. Chris I am happy to see that someone out there is standing up and speaking out against the sceptic collaborative. Double standards are the norm for these people. They hide behind false information and take pleasure in discrediting anything they don’t like. I was going to use the word ‘believe’ but I have fallen in to that trap before with sceptics. in fact the word sceptic is being fraudulently used in most cases as sceptical philosophy encourages debate and respect, things which all to often are beyond the grasp of your run of the mill debunker.

    keep up the good work.

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