Friday, January 29, 2016

The lonely professor

Was it mere co-incidence that the day after there were several news reports about the record low rate of smoking amongst Australian youth (something that the stories noted might be at least partially attributed to plain packaging - but the claims was cautiously made) that Sinclair Davidson posted a long critique of another paper that looked at whether plain packaging was making adults more likely to quit.

For those who could even bother following the highly technical argument, the bottom line is that the evidence from the study isn't that overwhelming.   M'eh.

Seems a bit beside the point, when before its introduction, I believe the main hoped for effect of plain packaging was to be to discourage young people taking up the habit, and the study wasn't even looking at that.  The survey evidence which did get publicity does indicate that it may be having that effect.  

So the Professor's attempts to deride plain packaging as possibly being effective are being seen, even by some who comment at his blog, as rather obsessive (and, I would add, desperate).  As someone in comments said:
Sinc: wish you would drop this embarrassing obsession
Every time I see Simon Chapman on the TV talking up dropping smoking rates, I imagine a blood pressure spike happening in a certain office at RMIT.  And then a scurry to look at some anti tobacco research or other to see what pointless nitpicking can be made of it.

Update:  if you want to read (or at least glance at) evidence for a truly obsessive personality disorder, you need only read the extremely lengthy comments that commenter "Some History" comes up with at every single post where the Prof whines about plain packaging not being proved to be effective.  

Update 2:  Oh!  A new post by SD  seems to be correct in saying that the paper discussed in the news (linked above) may have mis-spoke when saying that youth smoking was at "record lows".   Although, truth be told, how much weight one should put on the difference between 2.5 and 3.2% in voluntary responses on surveys by teenagers is debatable.

Still, as usual, the overall picture remains a matter of not seeing the wood for the trees.  Just like with climate change.


Not Trampis said...

Let us not forget the outright hypocrisy involved here. Here he complains he can't get to the data yet everyone was denied the data on the petrol pricing WA experiment except for him and one other.
given the amount of mistakes he has made due to his poor work ethic how could anyone take his 'results 'seriously.

In terms of plain packaging The kouk have given him several black eyes. Amazing how a man who holds a University job does not even understand Basic ABS data.

Not Trampis said...

Why does he say the ABC is the OFFICIAL government news agency when it clearly is not.
Well he clearly didn't understand what the word predecessor meant.

Maybe it is english he doesn't understand.