Call for Alan Stout's resignation from BMA NI & stop prejudice against Asthma sufferers.

Call for Alan Stout's resignation from BMA NI & stop prejudice against Asthma sufferers.

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Facemask Sufferers UK started this petition to Asthma uk and

Calling for the end of Alan Stout's tenure at the BMA NI and for an end to the persecution of asthma sufferers and others who wish to choose not to wear facemask. This is due to his recent behaviour giving rise to a prominent hit piece on asthma sufferers in which he plucked statistics out of thin air and created an atmosphere of persecution, discrimination, and prejudice against people with non-visible medical conditions who might wish to choose not to wear a facemask (

There is no argument that people with asthma or other conditions who wish to wear a facemask should continue to do so if they are happy to do this. This petition is aimed to represent those who, for very good reasons, wish not to wear mask; people who have been utterly failed by Alan Stout.

The piece in the BBC stated that Alan Stout has said:

1. "Ninety nine per cent of people who have those conditions can wear a face mask."

There is no evidence base for this statement. None. Therefore the statement can only have a political aim and is not based on medical evidence but on the personal opinion of Alan Stout.

2. "Asthma is not an exemption,"

This is an absolute statement and factually incorrect. It is not coherent with government guidance. Neither is it coherent with Alan Stout's own opinion that 1% of people do actually have reason for an exemption. It marginalises and discriminates against them.

3. The story also said that Alan Stout suggested that people with conditions affecting the lungs and breathing were among the most at-risk from coronavirus and should be doing everything to protect themselves.

Wearing a facemask does not provide the wearer with protection, they are not permitted to be called PPE. This was never a stated intention of mask-wearing and anybody claiming that a cloth mask or disposable surgical-style mask protects the wearer is contravening the law on what is legally permitted to be called PPE.


The BBC have also stated, contrary to scientific evidence, that wearing a mask does not cause levels of oxygen to lower or CO2 to become higher but it is not clear that these contested statements originate from information provided by Alan Stout.

Additionally, wearing of a mask can cause psychological distress which is often a precursor to provoking asthma attacks. People should not have this distress imposed upon them when evidence for wearing of masks is so weak and usually devoid of the potential harms that can be caused by doing so.


People have to make difficult decisions about what they feel they should do in the best interests of their own health and with regard to a varying degree of differing information. They should be supported to make that decision themselves and not dictated to by a person who pulls statistics out of thin air in order to persecute them.



Facemasks are NOT PPE - they are NOT worn to protect the wearer:

There is no statistically significant evidence that wearing facemasks reduces transmission: 
Bundgaard, H., Bundgaard, J.S., Raaschou-Pedersen, D.E.T., von Buchwald, C., Todsen, T., Norsk, J.B., Pries-Heje, M.M., Vissing, C.R., Nielsen, P.B., Winsløw, U.C. and Fogh, K. (2021) ‘Effectiveness of adding a mask recommendation to other public health measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in Danish mask wearers: a randomized controlled trial.’ Annals of Internal Medicine, 174(3), pp.335-343.   

There are notable risks with the wearing of cloth masks:
  MacIntyre, C.R., Seale, H., Dung, T.C., Hien, N.T., Nga, P.T., Chughtai, A.A., Rahman, B., Dwyer, D.E. and Wang, Q. (2015) 'A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers', BMJ open, 5(4), pp.1-10.

Wearing a surgical mask modifies significantly and clinically dyspnea (shortness of breath) in as little as 6 minutes:
Person, E., Lemercier, C., Royer, A. and Reychler, G. (2018) 'Effect of a surgical mask on six minute walking distance', Revue des maladies respiratoires, 35(3), pp.264-268.

There is evidence that mask wearing can induce psychological and physiological distress:
Chandrasekaran, B. and Fernandes, S. 2020. '"Exercise with facemask; Are we handling a devil's sword?”–A physiological hypothesis', Medical hypotheses, 144(110002), pp.1-4.  

Extended mask wearing is risk laden:
Kisielinski, K., Giboni, P., Prescher, A., Klosterhalfen, B., Graessel, D., Funken, S., Kempski, O. and Hirsch, O. (2021) 'Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?', International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(8), pp.1-42.  

Risks to long-term health from masks shedding fibres:
Han, J. and He, S. (2020) 'Need for assessing the inhalation of micro(nano)plastic debris shed from masks, respirators, and home-made face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.' Environmental Pollution, 268(115728), pp.1-4  

All age-groups of asthma sufferers complained of mask-related breathing difficulties, disturbing smell, heat, sweating and skin problems (data not shown)—regardless of the type of mask used:

Maison, N., Herbrüggen, H., Schaub, B., Schauberger, C., Foth, S., Grychtol, R., Abdo, M., Watz, H., Nikolaizik, W., Rabe, K.F. and Kopp, M.V., 2021. Impact of imposed social isolation and use of face masks on asthma course and mental health in pediatric and adult patients with recurrent wheeze and asthma. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, 17(1), pp.1-5.

This is not an exhaustive list.


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