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ALARMINGLY HIGH RISK TO PUBLIC HEALTH BY MEDIA PROMOTION OF MEDICAL LIES

As if their generation of the opioid crisis was practice, America’s medical-media collusion distorts and fabricates information to support vaping, a gateway to nicotine dependence and tobacco smoking with no evidence for cessation benefit.

by Clark Miller

Published October 6, 2021

More than 75 percent of US physicians wrongly believe that nicotine directly contributes to the development of cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD), a new study shows.

That’s interesting, important, and illustrative, but neither alarming nor consequential for public health. Instead, the alarming threat illustrated by this media report is what the report gets wrong, more fundamentally than the ignorance of the medically-trained doctors, about the risks of nicotine regardless of how it is administered – in a tobacco cigarette or in an electronic vaporizing device – “vape”, or “e-cigarette”.

That media failure – a remarkable, triumphant success in its collusion with medical and pharmaceutical industries to spin fabrications  – helped create the lie that opioids were safe and effective for all types of pain, helping to generate the opioid crisis that worsens and takes more American lives with increasing dose of the medical “fix” – that fix itself another media-medical lethal fabrication – provided to Americans trapped in the medically-generated crisis.

Nicotine does not, based on available evidence, directly cause or increase risk of cancers or cardiovascular disease, a factoid seized on by this piece in Filter to warn that by holding those false beliefs, doctors may generate harm by failing to promote nicotine use in “harm reduction”, specifically vaping, a practice promoted by the same medical-media collusion whose fabrications rationalized the  runaway prescription of opioids for the non-medical condition of chronic pain, generating the opioid crisis.

The doctors are wrong about the direct effects of nicotine. Their false beliefs, to the extent that they influence the doctors’ medical practices to reduce use of nicotine by vaping, Nicotine Replacement Therapy, or other method, would save lives. That’s because each time someone dependent on the potentially lethal compulsive use of nicotine and vulnerable to its direct and indirect effects is led to falsely believe that nicotine replacement or harm reduction approaches work, or that there are medical treatments for compulsive use of nicotine or any other substances, they are diverted away from real evidence-based therapies for compulsive substance use, and placed at continued risk of harm.

And that’s because those doctors and the author and editors of the Filter piece, and every other useful mouthpiece in a valued position in America’s medical-media collusion are practicing and writing and publishing from positions of profound ignorance of the relevant research, effects, and public health threat of nicotine use in tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes, replacement therapies or any other form.

Nicotine is the psychoactive substance in cigarettes that affects mood and generates dependence – keeps users coming back for more of what is killing them and enriching the tobacco and nicotine delivery device industries.

Especially the vape industry. Nicotine concentrations in vape “juice” are often higher than in cigarettes.

“But nicotine doesn’t directly cause cancer !” No, it doesn’t.

Young person smoking a cigarette

What it does is this –

It hooks kids on vaping, and vaping as established by accumulating evidence leads kids who have never smoked cigarettes to smoke cigarettes and to be primed to smoke cigarettes, because they’ve become dependent on nicotine. Cigarette smoking does directly cause cancer.

It directly affects cellular and subcellular physiology in ways that increase insulin resistance or otherwise increases risk of onset of diabetes, that is, contributes to the juvenile diabetes epidemic. That’s not good.

It acts as a gateway drug not just to initiation of cigarette smoking, but to return to problem use of alcohol and opioids as well, tying its use to worsening alcohol and opioid use epidemics. Alcohol use does directly increase risk of cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

It both directly contributes to the incidence of chronic pain syndromes and exacerbates perception of chronic pain. Astute readers will recognize “chronic pain” as a factor in America’s increasingly lethal opioid crisis generated by the same medical-media collusion promoting use of nicotine.

What nicotine doesn’t do is this –

It does not, used in vape devices or otherwise, help smokers of cigarettes stop smoking cigarettes. Predictably, the “evidence” spun by corporate and social media as supportive of benefit, on any examination, is revealed as evidence instead of pathological levels of diminished capacity for research literacy, integrity, and critical thought – the conclusions entirely unsupported based on the most fundamental of types of invaliding errors in the experimental design and interpretation.

It does not provide significant benefit as “Nicotine Replacement Therapy”, delivered by patches, gum, or other means.

The Filter piece is representative and symptomatic

of forms of cultural pathology that rationalize, normalize and protect continued addictive and morbid use of substances to moderate mood and meet needs – in this case the substance nicotine. The function of this type of “journalism” is to protect and rationalize the continued dependence and problem use of addictive substances by those who benefit from such rationalization and protection of their use of harmful substances.

And symptomatic of institutional and personal pathology that drives continued use of misinformation, deception, and rationalization to protect standing and rewards that depend on perpetuation of lethal lies and lethal epidemics.

Informed, credible, truthful headlines that represent a commitment to public health and well-being and overcome cowardice to express truths about  the mounting deaths of Americans trapped in public health epidemics would look something like this:

ALARMINGLY HIGH NUMBER OF US DOCTORS THINK THAT NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPIES ARE EFFECTIVE FOR TOBACCO SMOKING CESSATION

Despite lack of research evidence for significant benefit

 

ALARMINGLY HIGH NUMBER OF US DOCTORS THINK THAT USE OF NICOTINE IN VAPING DEVICES IS EFFECTIVE FOR TOBACCO SMOKING CESSATION

Despite lack of evidence – as in doctors’ use of opioids for pain – for benefit or harm reduction, evidence instead pointing to no cessation benefit and gateway effects

 

ALARMINGLY HIGH NUMBER OF US DOCTORS THINK THAT THERE IS A MEDICAL CONDITION, “ADDICTION” THAT IS A MEDICALLY-TREATABLE DISEASE OF THE BRAIN

That belief has held over decades of invalidation by all lines of evidence and decades of worsening lethal epidemics while medical fixes were increasingly provided

 

ALARMINGLY HIGH NUMBER OF US DOCTORS THINK ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS IS A SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES BENEFIT TO AMERICANS TRAPPED IN LETHAL SUBSTANCE USE EPIDEMICS

Despite there never having been evidence to support benefit, instead prediction of harm as established for decades

ALARMINGLY HIGH NUMBER OF US DOCTORS THINK THAT OPIOID SUBSTITUTION TREATMENT (OST OR MAT) IS A SUCCESSFUL MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR COMPULSIVE OPIOID USE

The belief seeming to hold against all lines of relevant evidence consistently establishing no benefit, instead predictable harms

ALARMINGLY HIGH NUMBER OF US DOCTORS THINK THAT CHRONIC PAIN IS GENERALLY A MEDICAL CONDITION TO BE TREATED WITH MEDICATIONS OR OTHER MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS

Apparently not learning from an increasingly lethal opioid epidemic, or from longstanding evidence establishing chronic pain generally as a psychogenic condition, without medical treatments

ALARMINGLY HIGH NUMBER OF US DOCTORS THINK THAT DEPRESSION IS A MEDICAL CONDITION

The belief retained over decades of lack of research evidence for benefit from medical approaches, instead increasing depression rates with increasing provision of medications

 

ALARMINGLY HIGH NUMBER OF US DOCTORS AND COLLUDING MEDIA WRITERS THINK OF AND RATIONALIZE “ADDICTION” AS A DISEASE OF ISOLATION, WITH WORSENING OUTCOMES THROUGH THE COVID PANDEMIC RELATED TO CHANGES IN SOCIAL AND TREATMENT SUPPORTS

Apparently unable to reason and discern that increasingly lethal epidemics have been fueled and worsening over past decades, before any pandemic – for multiple substances – over the same time that provision of medical and rehab “treatments” have increased greatly

We could go on, but there is little point. In a pathologically impaired institutional and corporate media culture, truth and knowledge are created AS NEEDED TO SERVE THE INTERESTS THAT BENEFIT FROM FABRICATED, FALSE KNOWLEDGE, not as related to evidence or the results of critical thought or ethical commitment to the social good. Pathologically impaired systems are not capable of changing themselves. Something more will be required.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.”

– Pierre Bourdieu  Outline of a Theory of Practice (1972)

In Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice, heterodoxy is dissent, challenge to what “goes without saying” – the accepted, constructed doxa, “knowledge”, reality, that goes without saying precisely because it “comes without saying”, without real scrutiny, untested, unquestioned. The function of doxa is not knowledge or truth or promotion of the collective good, but to protect and serve the interests of those with the power, the cultural capital, to create it.

Why A Critical Discourse?

Because an uncontrolled epidemic of desperate and deadly use of pain-numbing opioid drugs is just the most visible of America’s lethal crises of drug misuse, suicide, depression, of obesity and sickness, of social illness. Because the matrix of health experts and institutions constructed and identified by mass media as trusted authorities – publicly funded and entrusted to protect public health – instead collude to fabricate false assurances like those that created an opioid crisis, while promising medical cures that never come and can never come, while epidemics worsen. Because the “journalists” responsible for protecting public well-being have failed to fight for truth, traded that duty away for their careers, their abdication and cowardice rewarded daily in corporate news offices, attempts to expose that failure and their fabrications punished.

Open, critical examination, exposure, and deconstruction of their lethal matrix of fabrications is a matter of survival, is cure for mass illness and crisis, demands of us a critical discourse.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.

Pierre Bourdieu - Outline of a Theory of Practice 1972

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