20 Dec, 10 | by BMJ Group
James Watson (also known as jwatso or Junican) won the TC website poll for best ideas for new ways to talk about tobacco control with 77% of the vote. Some of Mr. Watson’s colleagues on several pro-tobacco blogs may have helped push his good idea over the top, but this provides even more convincing evidence that it is indeed a good idea. It’s one about which we recently published an analysis in the journal (Callard, Follow the Money, Tob Control 2010;19:285-290).
Mr. Watson’s proposed idea was to emphasise the following:
1. If people purchase cigarettes from foreign multinationals, THE PROFITS are leaving the country.
2. However, the COSTS, in terms of health consequences remain [in] the country.
Mr. Watson also submitted a range of other comments, including one in which the first letter of each paragraph spelled out the word ‘propaganda.’ We noticed this, although we did not find it quite as clever as Mr. Watson apparently did, according to an email to us and other blog posts elsewhere, but as it is our policy with the blog to encourage discussion, we do not reject comments simply because the editors do not agree with them.
In any case, Mr. Watson has won the poll and we sincerely hope that he will use his free subscription to the journal to educate himself further about how the tobacco industry has funded and used ‘smoker’s rights’ groups and others to advance its interests while misleading smokers and undermining even the most reasonable public health protections.