Could Mr. Williamsâ€™s own omissions be due to the fact that his company, MedPharma Partners LLC â€œprovides management consulting and business development services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and technology enabled healthcare service organizations of all sizesâ€? After all, fewer cancer, heart, and COPD patients would mean less business for â€œpharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and technology enabled healthcare service organizations of all sizesâ€, and less business for those entities would presumably mean less clients for Mr. Williamsâ€™s company, wouldnâ€™t it?
Besides, theyâ€™re only â€œcrazyâ€ people anywayâ€¦
Right, Mr. Williams?
I’ve replied in his comments section as follows:
November 26, 2007
In my post I make two points:
1. High cigarette taxes are unfair to the mentally ill. If they smoke almost half the cigarettes then they probably pay almost half the cigarette taxes, too. Social programs are often funded by increasing cigarette taxes, with the idea that this is just taking money from smokers who deserve to be punished anyway. If it were widely understood that such a policy placed a disproportionate burden on the mentally ill, support might be less widespread.
2. Schroeder advocates a blanket ban on smoking in mental health facilities without acknowledging that â€“at least for some patients such as schizophrenicsâ€”smoking provides therapeutic benefits as well as causing harm. In general the bad outweigh the good but Schroeder does readers a disservice by failing to mention that mentally ill smokers arenâ€™t the same as those without mental illness.
It was amusing to read that my opinions are influenced by my consulting business interests. My post looks more like something the Tobacco Institute would want someone to say, donâ€™t you think?
Regular readers of the Health Business Blog know that I write what I think, regardless of whose ox is gored. Often itâ€™s pharma companies and health insurers.
For a more comprehensive view on the relationship of smoking and schizophrenia, see this special report from schizophrenia.com.
Finally, I take exception to your comment about â€œcrazyâ€ people. That may be your opinion. It definitely isnâ€™t mine.