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Pharmaceutical Multinationals:Buying Governments, Selling Antismoking

Big Drug'sNicotine War -- By WandaHamilton

December17, 2002– When one says that frauds and antismoking campaigns are financed by (and atthe service of) pharmaceutical conglomerates many do not believe it – especiallythose who are already “converted” to healthist “doctrines”, or at any rate benefit from the passive smoke fraud to get rid of smokers. Some even say:  “… Andwhy" The pharmaceutical industry loves smoking, because it causesmany cancers, and they sell the therapies!” -- barely hiding their blindcontempt for those who enjoy the lovely habit of smoking.

Thepharmaceutical industry loves smoking indeed – but not because it “causes”cancers (and, by the way, in spite of all superstitions, not even one canbe proven to be caused exclusively by smoking – or if caused by smoking at all;two thirds of the cancers occur in non smokers). Big Pharma loves smokersbecause they are its new business horizon, delivered up with the force of laws and by a medical establishment which is as powerful as it is dishonest.

Thanks to theconstant work of our researchers, the solid connections between antismokingcampaigns and Big Pharma’s marketing become more and more evident every day. Theinvestment by pharmaceutical multinationals in statistical frauds is then pickedup by the ministries of health of various countries, and those ministries turninto veritable promotional centres for pharma products, pushing health fraudsand products from private companies with public money. It this the “Third Way”that President Clinton proposed – the new “cooperation” between public and private

It is not acoincidence that the pharmaceutical giants pay antismoking activists all overthe world to instigate hysteria and mass hatred against smokers.The goal of this marketing campaign, which involves even well-knownnames of international medicine, is quite clear: the smoker, frightened by thedisinformation, tormented even by his kids (who get brainwashed in school),thrown out from public places and workplaces – and finally hated by society –tries to quit to conform. But, since he is told he is an “addict”, he must turn to the help of his doctor, who either sends him to a quit-smokingcentre or prescribes the “therapy” directly, depending on the businessarrangements made with Big Pharma. With public money, therefore, aprivate enterprise that is based on persecution is promoted – apersecution that goes after the very segment of the public that pays for that kindof marketing,  using “public health” to induce the people to change theirbehaviour through using false and biased information, to satisfy the financialneeds of private colossuses.

This is thechilling reality of the Fraud of the Century, and documentation from twomajor pharmaceutical manufacturers corroborates the mountain of evidence (notthe statistical one!...) we are accumulating.

The Annual Report 2001 of Pharmacia Corporation [if the link does not work, clickhere](manufacturer of quit-smoking product Nicorette), tells us at pages 9, 24 and 26:

“Drivingthe growth of Consumer Healthcare is one of the world’s top 10 otc brands:the Nicorette family of smoking cessation products. Nicorette showedrenewed vitality last year with sales of $299 million, up 37percent over the prior year. Among the highlights of 2001 were thehighly successful September otc launch of Nicorette in Japan [1](the first otc smoking cessation product to be approved in that country);the reacquisition of sales and marketing rights to Nicorette gum in Canada [2];and the launch of a new global marketing campaign.[3]Nicorette currently controls about half of the worldwide smokingcessation market.”

The Annual Report 2001 of Glaxo Smith Kline  [ifthe link does not work,clickhere]  (manufacturer of the quit-smoking product Zyban, the antismoking pill), tells uswhat follows.

At page 10 identifies the competition:

In theUSA, the major competitor products in over-the-counter (OTC) medicinesare: … private label smoking cessation products. In the UK the majorcompetitor products are … Nicotinell (smoking cessation remedy).[4]

This pointis picked up at page 61 of the report (see below).

At page 46:

“Zybanthe smoking cessation product was launched in France.” [5]

At page 49, the GSK annual Report shows the antismoking pill sales for 2001: 337 million pounds, about 440 million US dollars – a decrease next tothe 357 million pounds of the year before (over 475 million dollars), probablydue to the competition of other products, and because of the negative publicityfor the chain of heart attacks deaths of smoking “patients” clearly connectedwith the use of this “medicine” which, like its competition, has a failure rateof 85%. That means that the “patient” will go back to smoking, andthen back to the smoking “cessation” products and so on, in an endless, cruel cycle between guilt, fear and pleasure, feeding three interested parties: thepharmaceutical industry, the tobacco industry and the state – and, to add insultto injury, he will be the victim of endless intimidation, marginalisation, andsocial discrimination.

At page 58:

“Inthe smoking cessation market, Zyban’s growth of 54 per centreflected its rollout into European markets following European Unionapproval in April 2000. Initial sales were particularly strong in the UKand Germany”. [6]

At page 61:

“Smokingcontrol sales declined eight per cent, reflecting competition in the USmarket following the introduction of private label Nicotine ReplacementTherapy (NRT) gum and patch. The introduction of two new GlaxoSmithKlinesmoking control products in the US market, Clear NicoDerm Patch andNicorette Orange Gum, prevented further inroads from private label brands.Excluding the USA, smoking control sales grew by 58 per cent. [3]

Just two of themain manufacturers of “cessation therapies”, therefore, have sold about 670million US dollars in those products in one year – without counting thelargest of all, Johnson & Johnson, a very generous financer (thought itsphilanthropic arm, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)of antismoking “activists” and “studies”, to the tune of over one billiondollars in the last ten years and just in one nation, the USA.

It does nottake a statistical expert to see the glaring correlation between the explosionof antismoking campaigns by activists and “public health” and the expansion ofthe interests of pharmaceutical multinationals. Once again, unsettling questionsthat everyone should ask come to mind:

  • Even in thetotally unproven hypothesis that tobacco is as lethal as we hear, do we acceptthat the state be “in bed” with the multinationals, using public money topromote their agendas"
  • There hasbeen great trumpeting and scandal about the tobacco lobbies; how come there is silence about antismoking tobacco lobbies"
  • Is it acoincidence that the toughening of antismoking positions in variousgovernments occur when the minister of health is a renowned doctor, whoseconnections with Big Pharma are as inevitable as they are intuitive tounderstand"
  • What logical reason can one bring to make us believe that the minister ofhealth may be less corrupt and susceptible to corporate interests thanother ministries" Are we really that naďve, or it is just convenientfor us to be so, because we hate smoking since we have been brainwashedagainst it"

Given theevidence of facts from this and other documentation, there can be only oneanswer: we are contemptuous of corruption when it involves things that weconsider “immoral” (or that, at any rate, do not suit us); but we close an eye(or both) on the corruption that pushes “moral” agendas, or things that somehowsuit us. Therefore, we have accepted corruption as a licit means to reach ourgoals – even when that corruption becomes the system. But, perhaps,it is better not to ask such questions, isn’t it -- because the answerswould be more unsettling than the questions themselves.

Instead, it ismuch better to close eyes and ears (and especially the mind), and to continue torepeat and scream endlessly that “smoking kills”. Believe that – it is the wordof the Therapeutic State.


[1] In the sametime period, stiff antismoking laws have been proposed (and applied) in Japan,traditionally a country very tolerant of smoking. It has been forbidden to smokein the streets, and severe crackdowns are implemented, turned to dramaticallycurb the enjoyment of tobacco, while groups are spreading the usualdisinformation on smoking and health, and especially the passive smoke fraud. [back to text]

[2] In Canada,the ferocious antismoking campaign has increased immensely, and fuelled with 480 million public Canadian dollars (about  360 million US) in justone year by the ministry of health for a “total war” against smokers; the removal of parental authority of smokers who do not submit to thepropaganda has been repeatedly proposed. The passive smoke fraud propaganda has increased geometrically, while local bansare passed thanks to the activation of local health units. In the meantime, nonofficial rumours  suggest that the Canadian Supreme Court is preparing to hear acase in February 2003 that would lead, almost inevitably, to the de-legalisationof tobacco, ensuring the virtual monopoly of nicotine to the pharmaceuticalindustry. [back to the text]

[3] The WorldHealth Organisation is about to close an international treaty that sanctions the persecution of smokers at the worldlevel, and the prohibition of tobacco advertisement on a planetary scale.The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of Lyon has picked up themethodology that earned to the USEnvironmental Protection Agency the decision of a US federal court, whichdemonstrated conclusively the statistical fraud about passive smoke (thatdecision has been conveniently eliminated very recently by the 4thappeal court not by reversing it, but by eliminating the entire legalprocedure). By positioning the passive smoke methodological fraud on “international waters”, and by increasing the (at any rate insignificant)risk increment from 19% to 30%, the WHO-IARC tandem justifies and instigatessmoking prohibitions. Finally, we are looking at a tremendous increase in thepush to forbid smoking in public almost in every country in the world, inperfect sync with the promotion of pharmaceutical smoking cessation products ata global level. [back to the text] - [back to the text about page 63]

[4] Recently, wehave seen  a tremendous toughening of antismoking campaigns in the UK. GreatBritain has forbidden tobacco advertisement, and smoking prohibition in publicis strongly promoted by antismoking organisations and by collaborationist media. [back to the text]

[5] No more thanthree months ago, French “public health”  launched a “red alert” on the dangersof active and passive smoking, even using violent TV advertisement that portrays the last instant of life of a lung cancerpatient, to emotionally associate the scientifically unproven “causality”between smoking and lung cancer, and to instil fear in smokers so that theyquit. Although refuted by other countries, this approach only indicates that themarketing of pharmaceutical products and antismoking disinformation is finelytuned to different cultures, and implemented with different means by the localministries of health using public money; but the goal is the same all over. [back to the text]

[6] In the sametime period, the antismoking campaign message gets pounded home even more allover Europe. Two months later Zyban was launched in Italy and almostsimultaneously the (then) minister of “health” Veronesi proposes a total ban ofsmoking in public, a policy initiative now continued by his successor, GirolamoSirchia. Again, banning public smoking is an essential  move to inducesmokers to quit. Most ministries of “health”, together with the WHO, are greatpromoters of smoking cessation products – complete with toll-free numbers,advertisements, and quit-smoking “specialists” hired by the state to push aselection of pharmaceutical products. But the health consequences of thoseproducts -- and their 85% failure rate -- are either underplayed, or kepttotally hidden. For example, two months after the introduction of Zyban in Italyand UK, a mainstream Italian news broadcast reported the long chain of deaths following the use ofZyban  – deaths that occurred within 10 days from the firstadministration of the drug. After that news, however, the information was“abandoned”, and nothing has been known thereinafter. A similar situation existsin other countries. Ministries of “health”, antismoking centres, and doctorscontinue to prescribe this dangerous drug, while it seems quite obvious that thestate does not wish to endanger the immense interests of Big Pharma, but itcontinues to state that “smokers are at risk of cardiovascular disease”  -although the only evidence is statistical, and statisticallyinsignificant to boot (risk increase: 70%; the level of risk increase toreach statistical significance for multifactorial disease such as cardiovascularones – 300+ co-factors – is 200 - 300%). In this way, the heart attackspossibly caused by antismoking drugs are easily dissimulated, since “smokers areat risk anyway”. So far, that has been the position of Big Pharma in almostevery instance of death after the assumption of quit-smoking drugs.

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