by Chris Holmes
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) was originally passed as if it were an effective medication on the basis of its performance at just six weeks.
Since 2001 the UK government has spent hundreds of millions of pounds every year on the free or subsidised provision of NRT through the NHS.
Many scientific studies have shown that willpower alone produces a long-term stop smoking success rate of anywhere between 2% and 8%.
In 2005 the government learned from the Borland Report that NHS Smoking Cessation Services had a long-term success rate of just 6.5%. This is well within the normal placebo range, proving that those methods don’t work.
Promoters of NRT then adopted the fraudulent tactic of selecting only trial studies with a particularly low success rate for willpower – such as 2% – for comparison with NHS Services, to make it look as if the 6.5% figure boosts smokers’ chances of success.
The Borland Report did the same thing: slyly comparing the success rate of smokers trying to quit with their doctor’s help (2.6%) with those going to the hugely expensive NHS Smoking Cessation Services (6.5%) and concluding: “Where suitable services exist, we recommend that referral [to NHS S.C.S.] become the normal strategy for management of smoking cessation in general practice.”
The Royal College of Physicians have actually argued that 6.5% is “cost effective” if you treat million of smokers, because then, even that puny percentage would clock up a few hundred thousand successes! Barmy, eh? Never mind the fact that we needn’t spend a dime on NRT because willpower clocks up the same result anyway.
In 2007 I published Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was (Volume I) – a book that blew the whistle on the NRT scam.
In 2009 I published the second volume, and meanwhile the cost of NHS Smoking Cessation Services rose to £84,000,000. Just for that one year.
In 2010 my original claim that smokers’ cravings have nothing to do with nicotine was confirmed by research at the University of Tel Aviv.
In January 2012 my original claim that NRT has NO benefit was confirmed by research at the University of Harvard.
The Truth Will Out Campaign has been calling for the NHS to drop NRT since March 2008 because it doesn’t work at all. The science backs this campaign but the BMA, the Department of Health, the MHRA, A.S.H. and N.I.C.E. all continue to recommend nicotine replacement products and public funding for them. They are wilfully ignoring the facts.
My books made three controversial claims. The first two claims have now been independently verified. The third – that nicotine is not a drug at all, and that smoking is not drug taking – will inevitably be verified as well because it is all true. But how many smokers have died since 2007? More than half a million in the UK alone. How many of them tried NRT on the advice of government and medical authorities, unknowingly wasting their precious time?
How much NHS cash has been wasted already on these bogus products since 2001? Anybody’s guess, but since the Borland Report first gave the Blair government the bad news in 2005, it will certainly have topped £500,000,000 just in the UK.
IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CASH SHOULD BE DIVERTED NOW TO OPERATIONS AND EQUIPMENT THAT ACTUALLY WORK, PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE ON TWITTER, FACEBOOK, ANYWHERE… NRT is a massive global con and YOU are paying for it.