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Monday, 21 September 2009

HOW LONG WILL THIS BILLION DOLLAR CHARADE CONTINUE? - John R. Polito

With Mr. John Polito’s, - a well known advocate of cold turkey tobacco cessation - explicit permission, we are posting here his comment on how far the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the tobacco issue, more particularly the cessation methods. His passionate comment is rich with links you can follow that illustrate precisely his point. Mr. Polito has advised us that anything he publishes on the web is public domain, so please feel free to spread it far and wide. Politicians must be made to feel that we have had enough of allowing Big Pharma to operate without any accountability for the damage they are causing individuals and society through their unethical, immoral and fraudulent marketing tactics for economic gain.

As posted in Dr. Siegel’s blog at: http://www.haloscan.com/comments/mbsiegel/8151429188389081481/

Dr. Siegel, thanks for helping expose the greatest research sham in pharmaceutical industry history. The ALF, ALA, ACS, RWJF, CDC, AHRQ, DHHS, GSK & Pfizer all are aware that they have been active participants in scamming smokers into believing that quitting without pharmacology is nearly impossible, when in fact that's how 9 out of 10 long-term ex-smokers succeed. It's a false and deceptive campaign done solely for economic gain.

By the way, Professor Simon Chapman, Australia's leading tobacco control voice, just released an attack upon Pfizer (entitled: "Pfizer's campaign to drug as many smokers as possible") that sounds an awful lot like something Dr. Siegel might say:
http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/09...rs-as-possible/

The bottom line is that all of these organizations are by now fully aware that it's impossible to blind smokers with significant quitting histories as to the onset of full-blown withdrawal. As a study by the nicotine patch co-inventor (Jed Rose of Duke) just found, four times as many placebo nicotine patch users were able to correctly identify their group assignment as were wrong about it. More than 200 placebo controlled cessation trials have measured levels of frustration not efficacy. What's sad is how all of the above organizations insist on ignoring all real-world findings showing that real cold turkey quitters have yet to be beaten by any form of pharmacology and it's consumer fraud of the worst sort to suggest otherwise. Many of these quitters are fighting to save their lives and what do we do, we lie to them!!!!!!! God, help us!!!!!

Placebo use in drug addiction studies is a license to steal. Participants in these studies were not expecting to go cold turkey and endure full-blown withdrawal. Instead, they joined in hopes of obtaining weeks or months of a free chemical ("medicine") that would stimulate their dopamine pathways, thus diminishing their withdrawal syndrome. If assigned to placebo it didn't happen. Often 80-90% of the placebo group relapsed within the first few days. It isn't that they necessarily relapsed because they couldn't quit but because this particular effort failed to live up to expectations. The results aren't science. They're junk.

How much longer will this billion dollar charade continue? President Obama promised that science would be driven by facts not profits. When, Mr. President?

Thanks for focusing on the ALF's pharmacology sales site, www.BecomeAnEx.org, Dr. Siegel. Dr. Richard Hurt's name, face and advice are all over the BecomeAnEx site. But as disclosed in this 2009 paper, he also serves on Pfizer's Advisory Board -
http://caonline.amcancersoc.org/...ct/ caac.20031v1

In this video clip Dr. Hurt crams pharmacology down the viewers throats by falsely asserting that pharmacology doubles "your" chances. Dr. Hurt knows that that is a real-world effectiveness representation he's making there, not a clinical trial placebo efficacy claim -

http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...arn_addiction/ 2

Here's a second clip claiming medicine can double "your" chance of success (at tail end) - again, it's a clearly false effectiveness claim -
http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...earn_overview/ 3

Here Dr. Hurt explains how to pick the right pharmacology -
http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...arn_addiction/ 3

In this ALF video Dr. Hurt teaches how to chew nicotine gum -
http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...arn_addiction/ 4

Here the ALF's drug store teaches about the nicotine lozenge -
http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...arn_addiction/ 5

This is Dr. Hurt selling the nicotine patch -
http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...arn_addiction/ 6

This is his nicotine inhaler clip -
http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...arn_addiction/ 7

This is his nicotine spray clip -
http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...arn_addiction/ 8

This is his Zyban and Chantix clip. Amazingly he does not advise viewers of any adverse event or death concerns associated with using Chantix. As a member of Pfizer's Advisory Board, how does he get away with it?

http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...arn_addiction/ 9

In this clip he again encourages quitters to talk with their physician about medications. If using an OTC product, why would they also need to make an appointment to see their doctor?
http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...rn_addiction/ 10

This clip is about getting medication and setting a quit date. The problem with the ALF's advice is that we now have two studies asserting that not setting a quit date, that quitting spontaneously, doubles your chances. These are the study links:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubm...pubmed/ 16443610

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubm...pubmed/ 19509277

So which is it ALF? Get visitors to buy medicine and pick a quit date or advise them to jump in the quitting pool without meds? This advice should be immediately corrected. If not, it's a rather glaring admission that ALF's quitting site is nothing more than a pharmaceutical industry drug store.
http://www.becomeanex.org/the-ex...#being_ex/ share

Overall, a fair assessment of the ALF's quitting site would be that it strongly suggest that quitting without medication is far less successful than quitting with it.

Did the ALF read the National Cancer Institute's quitting method survey showing non-pharmacology quitters actually doing better? How about the long-term results from the UK's NHS Stop Smoking Program? Do you care about "truth" or is that simply some job security slogan to tag tobacco companies with?

I used to think cessation pharmacology researchers were simply misguided but it has been way too many years and there's now far too much evidence for them to continue to claim ignorance. I hate to say this but I now believe that most are either amazingly stupid or criminally culpable in the deaths of untold thousands of pharmacology scammed smokers, who trusted the fancy credentials and lies into their grave. It's Dr. Drug Rep all over. It's pretty sad that history will record that money was more important than their legacy.

By the way, I see the word "quitting" getting bantered about when discussing the e-cig. Until the pharm industry extracted nicotine from the tobacco plant all quitting involved both quitting nicotine and its delivery device. For the sake of accuracy and both youth and user understanding I'd encourage use of the word "transfer" instead of "quitting" as delivery continues.

Regards,

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