Err, yes, yes, this is the point

There's a very strange comment in the British Medical Journal. One that makes me worry for the ability of some of these doctoring types to quite grasp the point and purpose of the world we live in. They're talking about e-cigarettes, vaping, all that sort of thing, as an alternative to actually lighting up the cancer sticks directly:

However, Gerard Hastings and Marisa de Andrade have a different take on the issue. They dispute e-cigarettes’ effectiveness in smoking cessation, urge caution, and suggest that NICE’s revised guidance may give these untested products implicit approval. They present long term use of nicotine products marketed by big tobacco as commercial exploitation of smokers attempting to quit. Calling for a broader view of smoking than nicotine dependency, they say, “When the only obstacle to progress on preventing the harms of smoking is the user’s dependence, e-cigarettes offer the beguiling prospect of addicted smokers migrating painlessly to safer mechanisms of nicotine delivery.” But without evidence that e-cigarettes work, they conclude, “The tobacco multinationals have leapt enthusiastically into this market; all now have major e-cigarette interests. This is not a consumer movement but the full onslaught of corporate capital in hot pursuit of a profitable opportunity.”

Err, yes, yes, that's the point and purpose of the system. This capitalist/free market hybrid that we have. If consumers decide they quite like something, perhaps it's getting a regular hit of nicotine without hacking one's lungs out 30 years later, then the point and purpose of the free market part is that the consumers get to choose among possible suppliers of those products. And the successful producers get to make a profit out of supplying those things that the consumers would quite like to have. Because, you know, over the past few millennia we've worked out that this is the best manner of encouraging people to produce the things that consumers would quite like to have.

So, a bit of invention, some innovation, sparks off a bit of consumer desire and suddenly potential producers are rushing to market, salivating at the prospect of the hot and cold running Ferrari's that the profits of their efforts will being them.

This isn't an aberration in the system, this isn't something to be decried, this is the whole damn point of it all in the first place.

I'm sure that someone once told me that you've got to be bright to be even accepted into medical training. Is this no longer true?