Will Gross National Ignorance result in Gross National Happiness ?
(But not in Bhutan!)
“Anyone in Bhutan selling tobacco or found with cigarettes that have not been declared to customs has committed a non-bailable offence that carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.”Chris Snowdon described the dire situation in Bhutan in January this year. Since then, the young Buddhist monk mentioned by Chris, is now serving 3 years. Only the other day, another two offenders were sentenced to 3 years and 1.5 years respectively and apparently, there are nearly 70 others who have been arrested for breaches of prohibition laws, presumably, as these are ‘non-bailable’ offences, languishing in jail awaiting their fate.
Bhutan’s ‘Gross National Happiness’ apparently involves prohibition and incarcerating people for possessing non-state approved tobacco together with a number of other proscribed behaviours? Since when has state oppression produced happiness in anyone other than control freaks, religious nutters and bigots?
Without freedom there can be no true happiness - individual freedom is a basic tenet of individual and collective happiness!
What makes this worse, is that the present assault on individual freedoms is based on anti-tobacco deception to further a political agenda; ie the contradiction in terms of 'smoke free', or more accurately, the elimination of smokers from society. The same agenda is also now being utilized against drinkers, the overweight and more. ie. Those considered to be 'undesirables' by the new puritan revivalists.
One thing is constant in relation to almost anything associated with the tobacco control industry; disinformation, 'spin', and/or propaganda, that is becoming increasingly obvious to more and more independent observers. Take this comment from ‘the Independent’ article;
"A survey in 2009 funded by international anti-tobacco groups found that just 2.8 percent of people smoked in Bhutan, compared to 31.4 percent in China.
But after dark in the capital, Bhutanese of all ages can be found defying "No Smoking" signs in the back-street bars of the capital."
Only the most gullible will be unable to identify the contradictions in those two sentences! Of course, the first sentence is an 'estimate' from an anti-smoker source that attempts to create a false sense of isolation in individual smokers and the second, probably a factual observation. It is probably more accurate to say that only 2.8% of Bhutanese smokers are silly enough to risk adverse attention by state law enforcement and admit to their smoking pleasures!
Digressing from Bhutan, the 31.4% figure for China HIDES the fact that around 60% of Chinese males smoke, while only around 3% of females do. These figures have hardly changed for decades. Yet there is relatively little difference in cancer prevalence between sexes!! (almost two thirds the incidence - M205 / F130 per 100K) There is no doubt that cancer has recently been rising in China but the rise is almost certainly NOT due to smoking. Even taking into consideration China’s large population, how can smoking be responsible when;
“One third of the world’s new female lung cancers occur in China” (32.8%) (Pfizer: Cancer burden in Asia; 2008) - YET only 3 - 4% are smokers??
Is this the reason? - a reason that western public health ‘experts’ avoid and ignore. The pollution that westerners are exposed to daily may not be as clearly defined as in this Chinese article but it is just as relevant and our pollution has been around much longer than in China, but the response from authority is so uncomfortably similar;
“At the village clinic, Doctor Zhang Jianyou said he has noticed an increase in cancer cases among the 3,000 residents. "The pollution has definitely had an impact," he said. "I have been here 43 years. In the past, cancer was not obvious, but in recent years it has become a very evident problem. Last year alone, we had five cancer cases.”It is also known that smoke related disease in China, in percentage terms, is about half that in western developed countries where smoking prevalence is around half that of the Chinese.
“When locals tried to protest, Zhang said they were blocked by the authorities because the chemical factories contribute to the local economy”.
eg. All cancers male (age adjusted);
USA - 407 per 100K
China - 205 per 100K
The contrast is even more stark in the heaviest smoking (over 60%) Asian countries;
all cancer male (age adjusted);
Laos :110 per 100K or;
Indonesia with a male smoking rate of nearly 70% has an all cancer incidence rate of only 95 per 100K .
Less than one quarter the rate in USA where smoking rates are one third of Indonesia! (stats relate to 2005 from Pfizer Cancer burden in Asia; 2008.)
These are clear incompatible correlations - (for ‘tobacco control’ that is) - that challenge anti-tobacco rhetoric - AND they know it! In fact it is invariably true that heavier smoking countries have less ‘smoke related’ disease than those with the least smokers, but these tend also to be less industrialised too.
In addition, it has now been admitted that cancers are rapidly increasing worldwide despite the reduction in smokers;
“THE number of cases of cancer worldwide has increased by a fifth in just six years, with fears that rates will soar further with disease caused by unhealthy lifestyles, experts have warned.”
Figures estimated that there were more than 12.6 million cancer cases diagnosed around the globe in 2008 - up from about ten million in 2002. The figure is expected to rise to 21 million by 2030.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) said it believed that 2.8 million cases of cancer are linked to poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight”
However, as you can see, it is not admitted that this is clear and obvious evidence of failure of the anti-smoker campaign; that the substantial reduction in smoking/smokers has NOT resulted in ANY reductions in ‘smoke related’ illness, but evidence to be used to restrict even more individual freedoms relating to alcohol, obesity and other individual lifestyle choices! It has been published purely to influence delegates in the forthcoming United Nations summit on non-communicable diseases . concentrating on developing countries.
This public media admission ‘coincidentally’ aligns nicely with the UN summit’s goals; to increase/consolidate the power of the UN through the WHO (paras 5,10 & 39) : To ‘educate’ heads of state and government representatives as disciples in ‘healthianity’ propaganda in order to ‘spread the word’ to other gullible people (paras 21, 26 & 34); to encourage the imposition of ever more restrictions on individual choice (paras 44 and 47); divert attention away from the hard-to-deal-with real serious causes by ignoring them (paras 38 - 43). While environment, pollution and poverty are briefly mentioned in passing, according to this ‘Draft outcome document’, apparently lifestyle choices are the only risk factors for non-communicable (non-infectious) diseases but this is a gross misrepresentation of the truth! ‘Best buys’ is a term used to justify this stance - they don’t intend to discuss the relevant details let alone tackle the real causes. They are fixing the dripping tap in the kitchen, using the sticking plaster they bought from the pound shop, while water gushes down the walls from the burst water pipe in the attic.
If these heads of state etc allow themselves to be influenced, allow real causes of cancers to be sidelined, and research for cures to be starved of funding to feed a public diversionary agenda, (a new variation of Marx's ‘opium of the masses’ ?) the health of smokers and non-smokers alike will continue to suffer!
There is an old adage that states ‘Ignorance is bliss’, so maybe ignorance can be ‘gross national happiness’. Maybe this whole lifestyle religion is tuned to promoting this ignorance, producing nations of Stepford wives (and husbands) who are gullibley led to believe that they are masters of their own mortality, that there are no causes of non-communicable disease other than their bad lifestyle choices. If they work conscientiously Monday to Friday, don’t smoke, eat what they are told to eat; drink what they are told to drink; wash the car on Saturday and do the 5 mile jog on Sunday - they will be superior people, can live forever and be happy happy happy!! - unless of course, they deviate from the designated program! GROSS!