Public Health Experts:
Don’t take this personally, but listening increases your credibility. If you feel your job is to “inform” the public in a public format such as twitter about e-cigarettes, then expect the public to be listening. Having a title before OR after your name does not give you all access to intelligence-land. There are no guarantees we’ll be impressed.
You see, the arrogance of “always being right” in your chosen profession seems to have a direct correlation with your ability to have common sense. I know this may be a challenge, and I believe in you. Try harder. You can do this! I’m here to help.
I know, I know – there’s a bunch of self-indulgent pride among your other experts. Boot lickers beneath you in some instances. We are not, and do not find it in our hearts to be impressed. I’m calling that the stethoscope syndrome, because after all, this is a family show.
Oftentimes an expert will make a claim and just assume we will nod our head in agreement because that’s what YOU think we’re
supposed expected to do because you have a title. Put that way before you hurt yourself. Let us take a moment to get past that, shall we?
We’ll cover “earning our respect” in a bit.
Good. Moving on.
Public health refers to “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals.” according to Wikipedia
- Science and art of preventing disease
- Prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts
Here’s the important part
- informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals
None of that says control, judge or presume. It most certainly did not leave communities and individuals looking in a window like children.
We don’t care about your opinion. It is not necessary. We have a hard time with using the phrase “yes, your majesty”.
May I suggest you see Clive Bates and his astounding assessment of your responsibilities for dealing with the public? Good. That is called
If you want to tweet about e-cigarettes, I expect you to be engaging. It’s for your own good, really. You can choose to engage as a public health expert. Once you do, I’ll expect you to pay close attention. To listen. MOST of us will entertain a good and fair assessment with you and your dispute, if you have one, AND do it without what usually is claimed: harassment.
I am trying to keep you from looking stupid because I care about you and your well being. Once you’ve made a stance – good or bad, stick with it. Don’t sway. Don’t sit in the middle. We like clear positions. That way, we can accept or dismiss anything else you say. Really.
We are the public
Did you find a study that looks like it may be worth telling us to go back to smoking? Think about it before you hit that button! We use these devices, and they have changed our lives. We are knowledgeable. What I don’t know, someone else does.
We are a GLOBAL network of people who have reduced or stopped our tobacco use. By choice. We research harder for good – and bad – than you think the public is able to. We want to know more about it than you because we USE THESE DEVICES. Our lives depend on it, and we can’t always depend on YOU. We can link science, data, reference material.
We all have personal stories you don’t want to hear. We assume you are misinformed at first. We all can recite and predict what you’ll tweet next, and it always ends with nicotine, children or don’t know enough. Then, the mute or block button becomes a choice.
We’re not trying to harass. We’re trying to engage. We are the public. We have MANY members of the twitter community who are Scientists, Doctors, Chemists, Nurses, and are in other facets of “public health”. Most of them were once like you.
The difference? They listened to us and understood what we said. Some, in fact are here at M.O.V.E. as well.
Here’s HOW and WHY Jim McManus changed his mind on e-cigarettes.
The public in public health.
I’ve devised a few rules and information for you to follow to help you on your journey to being a better expert. That’s why I’m here. I care. I’m concerned about both your reputation and well being. I want to stress to you that I am also under pressure to be right ALL the time. (That’s me below – @vapingit)
It’s not easy, and boy do I eat humble pie on occasion. (I like pie.) My own twitter peers, full of vinegar and nicotine, will tweet me up side the head when it’s deserved. (Some of them can be evil!) SO, in good fun and at times, boredom, I will tweet you back with a smart-ass remark once I’ve determined you’re not worth the paper your degree is printed on.
If we are wrong, we are wrong. Don’t pretend we’re unintelligent or misinformed. Don’t talk DOWN to us. Earn our respect. Tell us why. The information highway, it seems, is public health’s worst nightmare.
Get a pen. There is SO much to learn, I don’t want to overwhelm or burden you, so we’ll go with the basic package for now.
- If you don’t know the difference between combustion and non-combustion, stop, turn off your computer and talk to your cat.
- Tobacco harm reduction, less harm is the goal, it is the purpose. (See “public health definition” above.)
- “Dual use” IS less USE. ENCOURAGE new users.
- Don’t use the word “anecdote” in any form. We don’t like that.
- Smokers ARE allowed to smoke.
- If you want people to smoke, say so. It makes it much less confusing.
- If it is about public health, and that is THE most important thing, act like it.
- If it is about you suddenly being embarrassed because you’ve overstepped your knowledge, see Clive again from above here.
- Don’t discredit yourself with claims unless you KNOW what you’re talking about.
- Don’t use *phrases like “what about the children™” or “we don’t know enough”(see below) or “wibblewords™” like may, could, might.
- Side step the urge to say nicotine is a problem. You don’t think nicotine is addictive, do you? If so, you should be taking that up with Johnson & Johnson.
- Do not under any circumstances use Glantz, Chapman in the same sentence as “credible”.
- Refrain from using the words “long term“. It makes us giggle.
- It is discouraged to use or quote The Centers for Disease Control, Heart, Lung & Cancer associations along with ANY of their satellite offices and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Truth Initiative and any other “Tobacco Control” entities. They have NO interest in reducing tobacco.
- There is no such thing as UNICORNS.
Do NOT underestimate us.
“The straight-forward principles of harm reduction should be as uncontroversial for tobacco products as they are for alcohol, cars, air travel, children’s clothing, sexual practices, electrical goods and other goods and activities – until such time as there is compelling, proportionate evidence of imminent danger to public health overall that would ethically justify promoting health illiteracy with respect to these legal products.”
That is below here:
FREE BONUS GRAPHIC!!! No extra cost!
I (or someone else)
might may make an example of you.
Please note these few examples of blogs from when “I” have seen unprofessional conduct. You may recognize some of these names. They’ve been around a while. They need to go.
Centers for Disease Control’s Director Tom “Skippy” Frieden
Australia’s tobacco control “expert” & resident *mangy chimp, Professor Simon Chapman.
Americas favorite Meta-Analysis mechanic & punchline for “expert”, Professor Stanton Glantz.
This one’s fresh: Professor, Nurse & Editor of BMJ Tobacco Control: Ruth Malone
*Thank you, Broony!
Finally, please remember,
public display is public.
The reputation you save may be your own.
Finally, there are resources for public health. If I can find it, YOU can find it.
“Can’t find it” is no excuse for you. It is unprofessional and unacceptable. If you’re the expert, act like it! At minimum, hop down from your tower and ask US where you CAN find it. Not all of us bite.
If an e-cigarette were used as a MEDICAL device it seems there’s potential. Suddenly:
E-cigarette Research is HERE.
MORE e-cigarette research is also HERE.
If you are a Professional go HERE.
Final public health homework:
Play this less than 2 minute video from A Billion Lives.
Got myself a bit of advice for my “vape mates” about this blog from Marita Hefler, who is
“News ed BMJ Tobacco Control, Menzies School of Health Research, Syd Uni.”, and I’ve included my responses.
- Tobacco harm reduction, less harm is the goal, it is the purpose. (See “public health definition” above).
The tweet I added my “advice” to is just below.
You can decide if the document within the SEATCA tweet below shows any harm reduction efforts being employed here:
You can see the if the SEATCA mission statement shows any harm reduction here.
You can find me here on Facebook
You can find me here on Twitter
More to come.
Keep ON #Vaping On.
*Photo courtesy Big Bacon Morris. If it is in violation of copyright law or used without permission, please let me know and I will remove it immediately.
This blog was brought to you by a world of alleged good intentions and the hashtag #pubht.