Various Impacts of Smoking Bans

I regularly call for a 10-million+-strong army of smokers to simply force the end of smoking bans and discrimination against smokers. But I was thinking this morning that maybe that wasn’t necessary, and that the world’s 1.5 billion smokers might well achieve this desired effect simply by going home and withdrawing their custom from more or less everywhere. And I think this is what they seem to actually be doing, wherever smoking bans are introduced. And I believe that there’s indeed a perceptible negative impact on the economies of countries where bans are introduced, although I’m not sure how great it is.

So maybe there’s no need for an army.

But while I think that the economic arguments are the ones that are most likely to convince governments that smoking bans cost far more in terms of lost trade than they gain in improved health (if there is any improvement at all), I personally think that the greatest damage comes from the social fragmentation that smoking bans bring. Most people ignore this because the connections between people often seem nebulous and immaterial.

But let’s look at them.

Firstly there’s the fragmentation at a personal level. When I was living in Devon, I had a circle of acquaintances with whom I’d have drinks and play pool. These more or less vanished overnight when the smoking ban came into force. I also had quite a few distant friends, and these became much harder to meet up with in convivial circumstances, and so they gradually faded away. Result: 95% loss of friends and acquaintances. And the same will be happening with millions of other smokers to a greater or lesser extent.

Then there’s the community level. The pub by the river where I used to drink every day was also a community hub. It was the place to go to catch up with local news and gossip. That community more or less vanished with the smoking ban too. One of the non-smokers asked me why I didn’t come any more, and I said: “The smoking ban”. The loss of the community was a loss to me, but it was also a loss to all the non-smokers in it. And the pub landlord too. And the same was happening all over England.

And then there was the wider social level. Prior to the ban, quite a few of my long term friends had either been non-smokers or ex-smokers. And when the ban came into force, quite a few of them expressed their approval. Some even introduced their own home smoking bans. And I found myself in a world divided between smokers and antismokers, with a few tolerant non-smokers in between. The entire social realm had become polarised. And I had the misfortune to have had quite a few friends who turned out to be antismokers when the chips were down. And probably it was the same for many other smokers.

This seems to be an entirely new social division. Or at least one that I didn’t recognise clearly until 2007, when the smoking ban came into force. It’s a division that I now feel with great intensity. And if I discover that some once-admired public personage is in fact an antismoker, my admiration for them evaporates instantaneously. And I think that this social division is only going to deepen. Because if antismokers have deep contempt and loathing for smokers like me, I now feel the same contempt and loathing for antismokers like them. I don’t even want to know any antismokers. I don’t even want to meet them. And this is one reason why I think that if (or rather when) smoking bans are relaxed, there’ll have to be smoking and non-smoking pubs and cafes and restaurants, and this social division will become as real and as recognised as the division between Catholics and Protestants. You will belong to one community or the other. This division has been created, and it’s going to last a long time.

But there’s another social fracture that’s even more profound. It’s at an existential level. And that is that I feel that this England isn’t my country any more, and I have no place in it. That I have been expelled, and have become an exile in my own land. And that I am in a fight for my very survival as an autonomous human being, and that I am, as Rose put it, “under siege” after having been dealt, as Jax put it,  a “sledgehammer” blow. And all the former loyalties are revoked. As Iro Cyr put it a couple of days ago, in respect of the quite different country of Canada:

“If a smoker no longer has any rights it goes without saying that he doesn’t have any duty or responsibility towards his country either!”

That’s a very deep and ominous division to have opened up in a society. In my own case that division expresses itself in my almost complete lack of respect for all the mainstream political parties, and the politicians in them, and for the mass media. It’s why I don’t have a TV set, and why I don’t buy newspapers. And why I no longer care how well the national football or cricket team performs. They may as well be the teams that play for some foreign country.

And I think that this division will also widen and deepen. And it’s a division that won’t be healed by the amendment or repeal of the smoking ban. And it’s the most painful fracture of all. And one that look likely to eventually bring civil war (which I always see on the distant horizon these days) as people seek to recover their lost homelands from the enemies that have invaded them.

All these things are losses. And none of them can be measured by money.

Which brings me back to the smokers’ army. Smokers are beginning to hook up with each other all around the world. I’m doing my little bit to help that process. And I feel a greater bond between myself and smokers all over the world than I do to my own country which has rejected me. It’s about the only thing I feel connected to these days. And it seems to me inevitable that smokers will continue to link up in growing numbers, and gradually acquire a global presence and identity and pride – and also power. I think that, from having no influence at all, they will come to acquire very great influence indeed. Because the world needs to be rid of Tobacco Control and antismoking zealot doctors and the rogue foundations with their toxic credos that nourish and support them. And it’s going to need an army to do that. And that army is gradually materialising.

And so, on second thoughts, there actually is a need for an army. Mere passive economic power will not be enough to defeat our enemies.

About Frank Davis

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83 Responses to Various Impacts of Smoking Bans

  1. wobbler2012 says:

    It could be all over tomorrow if all the smokers in the UK went out tomorrow and smoked where they shouldn’t. Peaceful mass disobedience would solve the problem right away.

    David Icke said it best when he was talking about people getting fined for putting their rubbish bin out on the wrong day, he said the best thing to do would be for everyone to put their bins out on the wrong day.

    I am in no way advocating riots but can you remember the utter state of helplessness that was created when a couple of thousand people rioted in several English cities? Imagine what 10+ million people peacefully disobeying can do?

    Of course, if this FIAT money “house of cards” system were ever to break down the riots that would ensue would make the 2011 riots look like a teddy bears picnic, one upside of this would be that you would be able to smoke absolutely anywhere you liked.

  2. cdbro says:

    Any readers who fill in surveys for YouGov should keep their eyes open for survey UK302180 their latest effort to show support for past and future smoker punishment .
    I’ve got print screens of some pages.

    • cherie79 says:

      I did they survey but I don’t think they will be too happy with my replies.

      • Monty Cristo says:

        I’m pretty certain they won’t be too chuffed with mine either, especially the comment left at the end. It’s getting really weird to see these random smoking questions placed in apparently unconnected surveys.

  3. Frank, I completely agree with you about the social divisiveness of the antismoking movement and the destruction it causes. I usually refer to it as “ripping the social fabric.” Unfortunately, the kind of thing you describe, sort of a naturally occurring universal boycott, tends to be both very destructive AND very unobserved. The result is simply an overall downward impact to the economy and the social good — which is what we’ve been seeing and which is almost certainly a significant contributor to the world’s economic problems at this point — even if not large and distinct enough to be measured by researchers.

    :/
    MJM

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    It seems these nazi economic ban studies dont want to concentrate on the smaller businesses that catered to the smoking crowd. The chains had been taken over early on and there business isnt whats affected since they were already non-smoking and already had a devoted customer base. Thats not to say smokers disnt go there at times. But we had our places and when you consider California has 4 million plus smokers,thats a lot of money lost ,but also diverted into the underground economy that springs up from prohibition.The kids and young adults hit facebook and other social media. Im sure theres a click out there that puts the word out where the next party is gonna be for all the smokers and such. With the older set we dont seem to get in touch like that for the latest underground party or get together.

    Ive got a very devious mind and lot of ideas how to fight back locally on these bans,basically using the same tactics the nazis used on us.

    We all well remember the empty childrens shoes of dead kids to shs scam they ran all around the country.

    Well what if we ran shoe drives for poor smokers kids due to the losses in income to the poor because of the high taxation rates on smokes. Toss in that New York study a few months back that showed the negative effect on the poor at about a 30% loss in income. Its a good idea it just needs polish. Then we could toss out theres no names of any dead kids ever to shs/ets if they start running there mouths,but there are kids doing without food and clothing parents cant afford because of the high taxes put on them. Then a counter argument to well they need to just quit then. I gather we toss out the 98.5% failure rate of NRT drugs and some number that have tried and failed and that their economic burden compunded by the economy leaves them needing to smoke to relieve stress at home and at work.

    We can further show how tobacco taxes are wasted on cessation programs that dont work via the previous 98% failure rate and how lowered taxes would help these families more than extra welfare or cash assistance the state would have to find because of increased need.

    Like I said it need to be well thought out and when it is any of us could push it in a local area with just a few folks…….

    Its a start on the road to repeal,anybody got other ideas toss em out!

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Public smoking officially sidelined: Brownsville’s extended ban set to begin

    http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_8e785260-6c28-11e2-a1ba-001a4bcf6878.html#.UQu_XLYJCB4.twitter

    Had me a good lil fight going on with a brownsville nazi and I was tearing him a new one when poof the lower comments I put up below his claimed shs shit science and about 5 minutes later all 7 posts disapear except for what I have above on the comments section. Just amazing aint it!

  6. Walt says:

    Everything Frank just so perfectly said.

    And it brings this to mind:. Not long ago I was in visiting family–a 4 hr train trip away. I enjoy my (extended) family; they’re smart, funny, and share my politics. None of them are smokers, except for one guy who smokes an occasional cigar for which he withdraws to his lair in the attic. (Okay, it’s a furnished attic, but still.) I’m “allowed,” unselfconsciously, to smoke in all their homes. but the day I was going home on a 3 o’clock train, there’s a plan for all of us to meet somewhere for lunch. Fine. I suggest a few places w/o bans (yes, Virginia, such places still exist in certain outposts) but am told last minute, that we’re going to meet at the restaurant in the No Smoking Anywhere train station. This left me no choice. And what started to happen was: I started to actually dislike my family, who seemed blind to the fact that they were forcing me to leave, not only the table, but the entire f’ing station to have a cigarette, and, worse than that, who took my having to do so with total equanimity. As though it were either right, or at the least, not wrong that I had to do this, or that, in any case, “it’s just the way it is.” I found this suddenly emotionally dangerous, something like treason, though whether it was I or they who were treasonous I can’t exactly say.

    • Walt says:

      that should have been “forcing ME to leave”. Lousy proofreader, I am.

      • smokervoter says:

        This presents a bit of a paradox for me. The rules of the house around my castle are this: I smoke like it’s 1964 here. If I feel like lighting one up, I do. I’ll give you fair warning so that you can go outside until I’m finished and you’re welcome to come back in.

        But is that really fair to my guests? Am I not acting like an antismoking arse by banishing them to the harsh elements outdoors whilst I indulge?

        In practice this doesn’t happen often as most of my friends continue to smoke (and this is after all Southern California; the temperature range for today is 23 C/ 9 C) but there is one guest with whom I’ve worked out a compromise solution with.

        My loverly ex-girlfriend of Tuscan Eye-Tie extraction, who used to smoke twice as much as I do, has now quit and does the hand-waving thing when she does visit – which is rather frequently I might add.

        She moves an extra 15 feet away and sits there and pouts a bit and lectures me while I puff away in bliss.

        She’s picked up a pretty heavy-duty case of OCD nowadays, which has really changed her personality around. I always wonder whether her quitting caused it or vice-versa.

        Regardless, I still love the old girl, she’s a sweetie-pie and I’m a very old-fashioned, loyal person.

    • jaxthefirst says:

      “ … took my having to do so with total equanimity.”

      I think that that’s one of the most insidious effects of the ban, and I’ve experienced it, too. In many ways, the total lack of outrage amongst otherwise tolerant non-smokers contributes as much to the maintenance of the ban as the whinging, hand-flapping and moaning of dyed-in-the-wool antis. I guess it ties into that saying that “in order for evil to prosper, all that is needed is for good men to do nothing,” and it’s true. If more tolerant non-smokers (who I believe outnumber the antis on a large scale) had spoken up vocally and loudly before the ban and in the early days (or even if they took the trouble to speak up now), then politicians would have had to have taken some notice and the antis wouldn’t have had the playing field all to themselves. If I can call on Godwin here (because the similarities are remarkable), it’s one of the reasons why I think that millions of otherwise decent German people are as responsible for the horrors of the Final Solution as are the wicked leaders who masterminded it. Had they spoken up in large numbers in the early days of the Third Reich, I feel very strongly that history would now tell a different, and much happier, story. There will always be people who wish to force their ideology on others, but they are always small in number. But provided they pick on a minority, what gives them the power to act on their nasty impulses is the apathy of the majority. And in the same way, I blame generally tolerant non-smokers as being as responsible for the ban and the damage it’s done as I do on the rantings of the anti-smoking zealot groups.

      It’s one of the reasons why I face a dilemma over the embryonic anti-alcohol movement which looks set to take up the reins now that all things anti-smoking are a bit last season. I very rarely drink because it doesn’t really agree with me, and as such I’m as near to a non-drinker as you can get without being teetotal. So I know, when the ball really starts rolling (as it soon will), then comments, articles, letters and objections which I make will carry ten times the weight as the same comments, articles, letters and objections would if written by someone who regularly likes a beer or two. I know, from having been on the receiving end, that when the chips are down, it’ll be people like me who will be the deciding factor in who wins the anti-alcohol war.

      Tempting me to throw my hat into the ring on the side of drinkers is, firstly, the principle – I object to the Government trying to tell me what I can and cannot decide to do, even if I decide, independently, that I’m generally not going to do it; secondly, there’s the destruction of pub culture which, for all that I’m no longer a regular pub goer I do nevertheless see as a precious and unique feature of British society which should be protected, particularly now that it is something of a rare and endangered species; and thirdly, there’s plain old humanity – do I really want to see others suffer as I have done? Not really. And of course, there’s the age-old question – do I want to lower myself to behave in the same non-supportive way as I now criticise non-smoking drinkers for behaving? Wouldn’t that make me just as bad as them?

      On the other side there’s, firstly, the practicality of the issue for me personally – will it really affect me in a major way if drinking is severely restricted or even banned altogether in public places? Not in the slightest. Secondly, there’s the issue of fairness. As Walt says – in the wake of the ban, not one single non-smoking drinker, even the open-minded ones who don’t mind me smoking in their homes, has ever indicated that they think it’s unreasonable or unfair or unkind to make one or two adults in a party stand outside like naughty children just to consume a legal product. And, of course, there’s resentment – the fact that when the chips were down for us, non-smoking drinkers failed us in a very, very big way. They did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Do I really want to invest time, energy and, possibly, money fighting the corner for a bunch of people who so robustly failed to invest the same to fight mine when they could? Well, no, not really – not unless they belatedly make a firm commitment to taking up the cudgels for my corner (where, of course, the fight still goes on) in return – which seems unlikely. And lastly, there’s pure self-interest, because the more social disapproval (and Government funding) shifts into this new sphere of interest, the less of a “live issue” anti-smoking will be and the fewer calls (or political/public support) there’ll be for further persecution of smokers. Indeed, on this last issue, it could actually be seen as a positive move for me, personally, to donate some of the not-insubstantial sums of money which I have amassed in my bank accounts (as a result of all the things mentioned in Frank’s last couple of posts), to anti-drinking campaign groups, simply to shore up their power and thus render the power of anti-smoking campaign groups, comparatively less. To use the playing field analogy again, by donating to anti-drinking campaigners, I could help to at least put another team onto that playing field which, hitherto, anti-smoking campaigners have had all to themselves.

      So, which way to go? Any suggestions, anyone?

      • Frank Davis says:

        Had they spoken up in large numbers in the early days of the Third Reich, I feel very strongly that history would now tell a different, and much happier, story.

        It is indeed all happening again, in exactly the same way, and for exactly the same eugenic reasons. And I think that many Germans (particularly my German readers) are strongly aware of it. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that, for these historical reasons, more Germans than Britons are aware of and profoundly alarmed by these parallels.

        There are some differences, however. The new eugenic social cleansing campaign isn’t being conducted against a few hundred thousands Jews, but against hundreds of millions of people all over the world. And I think that they have bitten off more than they can chew this time, and that the smokers’ army of which I speak is beginning to form ranks, all over the world.

        I very rarely drink because it doesn’t really agree with me, and as such I’m as near to a non-drinker as you can get without being teetotal.

        Well, I’m a drinker as well as a smoker, and so I don’t quite share your dilemma (although I think Rose is near-teetotal too, so she might be able to help). I’ll be more than happy to help out drinkers. I just wonder what they’re going to do when they find obscene images and DRINKING KILLS messages plastered all over their wine bottles. I wonder whether they’ll wake up.

        But if I’m both a smoker and a drinker, I am not a fat man. I’m as thin as a rake (always have been). Yet I hate the mounting campaign of state-sponsored hatred and contempt and derision directed at fat people far more than any directed against alcohol. Perhaps because I don’t think that fat people can help being fat. It’s just what they are. My father was a pretty fat man. It was just how he was.

      • gimper30 says:

        This is a GREAT post! You have expressed all of my inner feelings exactly. I had thought about posting something similar to this yesterday using the analogy (call me silly if you will) of the old children’s story, “The Little Red Hen”.

      • Rose says:

        I understand your quandary completely, jax.
        There is a small and malevolent corner of my mind that is currently laughing like a drain at the nasty surprise that’s coming their way, I have to stamp on it daily.

        The question is as a non-obese non-drinker, do I let them stew because they were just too slow witted to see that Alcohol would be next if they didn’t stand up for me and that those unsupportive portly people would be too big to hide and too heavy to run when it was their turn?

        Regretfully no, it would just make me feel bad about myself.

        Others do not feel the same as me though.

        Gilmore: ‘One could end up looking evangelical’ 2008
        Ian Gilmore, his belief that the smoking ban is a huge success and that he is now “focused” on campaigning on alcohol.
        http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/General-News/Gilmore-One-could-end-up-looking-evangelical

        That should set your teeth on edge.

        • jaxthefirst says:

          Funnily enough, I had a conversation with someone in a pub this very evening (no, I wasn’t in there long – I was just picking up my OH, who’d finished watching the rugby on the big screen. And no, I didn’t buy anything either, because I wanted to get out as quickly as possible, as did he, because everyone else was leaving, too!) which added an extra point to my “don’t support the drinkers” side of the equation.

          In short, I had a conversation with a drinker whose local pub had actually closed in the last year and, as the conversation progressed into the territory of why pubs were closing, and would we have any left at all in 10 years’ time, it became evident that this particular drinker had, it seemed, inadvertently swallowed the entire “ban-supporting publican’s phrasebook,” and laid the whole thing squarely at the feet of the supermarkets “selling cheap alcohol” and “young people pre-loading before they went out.” The fact that he confused both Alcohol Concern and the AHA with Alcoholics Anonymous indicated how totally unaware he was of what is waiting in the wings for all drinkers, just pending a few emotive publicity campaigns, the encouragement of a bit of public self-righteousness through the establishment of the concept of Passive Drinking, and a hefty wedge of public money.

          It made me realise that drinkers are doomed through the inability, or just the sheer unwillingness, of the vast majority of their own number to open their eyes and make the connection between the early anti-smoking movement of 30 years ago and the as-yet early anti-drinking movement of today. And in the course of that one short conversation, I just sort of suddenly realised that most drinkers won’t permit themselves to see what’s hitting them, right up until the time pub landlords are disallowed, by law, to serve them more than two pints at a sitting and they are banned from drinking in any place where children might see them. By which time, of course, it’ll be far, far too late. Smokers, of course, made the same mistake; but then we didn’t have a precedent-setting group in recent memory to warn us which way the wind was blowing. So we have an excuse for not getting our act together. Drinkers don’t.

          Ultimately, then, I am left wondering whether there is any point at all in offering help in any measure to any group of people who remain so stubbornly determined not to help themselves.

    • Frank Davis says:

      and, worse than that, who took my having to do so with total equanimity.

      I know the experience. They’re completely oblivious. And I also know the experience of starting to actively dislike such people.

      It isn’t universally true, however. In the early days of the smoking ban, when I was standing outside a building with a party going on inside with 100 people or more, a couple of non-smoking friends of mine came out and stood with us.

      “What brings you out here?” I asked, surprised to see them.

      “We’ve come to show solidarity with the smokers,” one said.

      I was very touched that they’d thought of me and my companions. And my opinion of them rose several notches that evening.

      But that was only two people out of a hundred.

  7. nisakiman says:

    And that is that I feel that this England isn’t my country any more, and I have no place in it. That I have been expelled, and have become an exile in my own land.

    I’ve been away for ten years now, and the few times I’ve been back I’ve felt I’ve recognised the place less and less. I feel no longer welcome. Nowadays my loyalties are to my adopted home, which doesn’t seek to marginalise me, rather than my country of birth. UK is indeed a foreign country as far as I’m concerned. And not only that, it’s a foreign country I have no desire to even visit. It’s very sad that it should have come to this.

    The zealots have much to answer for.

  8. Rose says:

    This is very definitely my country, for one thing the bones of my ancestors are buried all over it, and I was grown from it’s soil, but it has to be recognised that now we are being ruled from a distance by foreign powers.

    The inequalities now forced on a large section of the population, the meeting places that they made for themselves now being regulated out of existence, being centrally directed in what they must think and even where they may take shelter ( in a construction that must be laughably 50% open to the elements by law), have gone too far and what can happen to one group of decent law abiding people can undoubtedly happen to others. There is now a precedent.

    Fearmongering Government broadcasts condemning, defaming and urging other people to turn against their fellow citizens, while pestering healthy people to take unnecessary drugs on the off chance of avoiding diseases that can affect anyone and that they may never suffer from, for the profit of private companies, are not inflicted on the majority of persons who in general are allowed to live their lives as they wish without such interference.

  9. Rose says:

    GMO Tobacco Produces Antibodies To Treat Rabies

    “Here is a conundrum in the culture wars; genetically modified tobacco has been shown to have numerous beneficial effects and now another one has been added.

    The treatment for rabies (painful shots, thankfully not all in the stomach in 2013) is not as bad as the disease (death) but it is hardly civilized, so here is hoping the anti-science crowd does not claim genetically modified tobacco will create giant rats with SuperRabies. Rabies deaths are not a big issue in the USA, 10 a year or so, and therefore it may be safe to do fundraising campaigns about Frankentobacco here, but for developing nations a better solution would save a lot of lives.”

    “In a new report, scientists produced a monoclonal antibody in transgenic tobacco plants that was shown to neutralize the rabies virus. This new antibody works by preventing the virus from attaching to nerve endings around the bite site and keeps the virus from traveling to the brain.

    To make this advance, they “humanized” the sequences for the antibody so people could tolerate it. Then, the antibody was produced using transgenic tobacco plants as an inexpensive production platform. The antibody was purified from the plant leaves and characterized with regards to its protein and sugar composition.

    The antibody was also shown to be active in neutralizing a broad panel of rabies viruses, and the exact antibody docking site on the viral envelope was identified using certain chimeric rabies viruses.”
    http://www.science20.com/news_articles/gmo_tobacco_produces_antibodies_treat_rabies-102580

    Personally, I’m all for it, but then I’m not terrified of a plant.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    This is absolutely PATHETIC! These smokefree idiots got this stupid actress to commit an actual outright LIE!

    Air quality in Alexandria businesses has improved since smoking ban enacted, advocate says

    http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20130201/NEWS01/302010325/Air-quality-Alexandria-businesses-has-improved-since-smoking-ban-enacted-advocate-says

    Ford, who lives in Pineville, related personal details regarding her health and explaining why health and fitness are important to her.

    “I simply can’t be anything but healthy,” she said, adding that as a child she was “too skinny,” anemic and hypoglycemic.

    “I watch my food, I watch my protein intake, and I work out,” she said. “One of the reasons I moved back here (from Los Angeles) is because we still have good air quality.”

    Ford said she suffered cadmium poisoning once while living with roommates who smoked.

    “I don’t judge people that smoke if that’s what they want to do,” she said. “I had two roommates that smoked. My family didn’t smoke. We were Baptist tee-totalers. I really thought I was cool with (people smoking), and that I would just hang with it.”

    Then the actress began experiencing some health problems, which she chalked up to allergies. When she saw a nutritionist, he tested her hair follicles.

    “He told me I had cadmium poisoning,” Ford said. “Poisoning. And he said by any chance are you around smokers. I immediately went back to my roommates and told them no smoking in the apartment.”

    Ford was joined at the luncheon by dozens of community leaders from Rapides Parish along with leaders from Louisiana cities where smoke-free ordinances are not currently in place. A number of Louisiana musicians also were at the event to show their support for smoke-free workplace.

    Oh really:

    “He told me I had cadmium poisoning,” Ford said. “Poisoning. And he said by any chance are you around smokers. I immediately went back to my roommates and told them no smoking in the apartment.”

    The same amount of cadmium obtained from smoking eight packs of cigarettes can be enjoyed in half a pound of crab.

    Risks of smoking exaggerated.

    http://ericboyd.blogspot.com/2008/01/risks-of-smoking-exaggerated.html

    • Frank Davis says:

      “He told me I had cadmium poisoning,”

      And she believed him!

      That’s the trouble with these people. They believe everything they’re told by ‘authorities’, even nutritionists, FFS.

      • smokervoter says:

        I immediately went back to my roommates and told them no smoking in the apartment

        Were I one of her roommates I would immediately have given her the web address of find-me-a-new-place-to-live.com or hypochondriac-rentals.com or overbearing-self-centered-suddenly-homeless-flash-in-the-pan-actress.com

        Of course if the tables were turned with a majority of non-smoking co-tenants, I would go looking for I-gotta-get-out-of-this-place.com. If it’s the last thing I ever do.

        And speaking of flash in the pan actresses, who in the hell is Faith Ford? By my calcs her fleeting little pan just got about 20% smaller. Have a bright, shiny, cadmium-free, fan-free future there Faith.

        A number of Louisiana musicians also were at the event to show their support for smoke-free workplace.

        Conspicuous in its absence was the smoking hot rock band Firebug.

    • smokervoter says:

      The same amount of cadmium obtained from smoking eight packs of cigarettes can be enjoyed in half a pound of crab.

      Yowsa, how did that one get past me? I once devoured a pound-and-a-half of the Pacific Stone Crab Claws I sold for a living in one sitting. I most likely smoked a cigarette before and after – so how much cadmium does that add up to?

      I should be dead.

      You know what they say about drug dealers consuming all their profits. Well, one of the main perks of my business was that when I forgot to go to the grocery store or bypassed the Burger King on the way home, I always had a freezer full of the tastiest meat on earth and I wasn’t shy about pigging out. I even got a case of the gout once from over-indulging.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    (̅_̅_̅_̅(̅_̅_̅_̅_̅_̅_̅_̅_̅̅_̅()

  12. Michael F says:

    I am going to rant so this may be disjointed, also I am angry and pissed(Vodka)

    Smokers are fighting a war of sorts. There is are no boarders or nationalities. There is the WHO and Big Pharma. They hate our habit. I have a smoking habit and not an addiction. I am a man which means that I will not succumb to pressure to quit when someone else tells me to. If I choose to quit I will but if it is good enough for Einstein it is good enough for me. He was a serious smoker and so am I

    Economics. Tourism suffers under the smoking ban. Countries that do not have a smoking ban pdo better. I was thinking about the countries that grow tobacco. Do they suffer. No. J&J buy from them to make NRT, for example: http://whyquit.com/pr/120108.html . Funny how that has never been in the news. I am surprised no one has sued over it. The people in the comments section complain about it but say “At least it is better than smoking”. Thats why we loose. Quitting smokers against smokers. Anti smokers against smokers.

    What is the real reason we are fragmented and powerless to do anything about restrictions. We are all adults, we have the right to decide what we do to ourselves. Laws decided by minorites. Minorities are loud. They do not speak for the majority, but if they are loud enough they get their way like a screaming child.

    How do they do it? The theory is that J&J who owns all the NRT’s convice governments that smoking is evil so the governments advertise NRT. Therefore all the images on the packets and government sponsered TV ads are designed to sell NRT products. Clever marketing. Media also works for them. Maybe it is not intentional. Governments issue press realises given to them by the Cancer groups who are influenced by big pharma and WHO with numbers that defy logic. Media are lazy and do not check the numbers and assume that the information is correct. We do not have investigation reporters anymore, we have journos that copy and past, job done.

    Will continue…

  13. magnetic01 says:

    Protest against full smoking ban in public places held outside Bulgarian parliament
    http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n298414

  14. margo says:

    Frank – you’ve put the situation extremely well. Even before the ban, friends and families were being split by Smoking (mine among them). It took smokers a while to find out the truth and stop feeling faintly guilty, but more and more are now doing that. What I think I’ve noticed among the few fellow-smokers in my life is that the ban started a process in us. We have Grown Up. We now see so much more clearly: governments, politicians, big industries, how the world really turns. I never was a nationalist, I never supported a team, I never liked politicians and quite often I didn’t vote because there was nobody there worthy of my vote. I was always a bit of a cynic. I didn’t know the half of it. I think I’m getting there now, and I owe it to the ban. It jerked me awake.
    Jaxthefirst – I’ve never been a drinker either. I don’t care whether I ever see an alcoholic drink again. But I did used to enjoy a trip to the pub, sitting smoking while friends got pissed and I made my half go the whole evening (that pub’s gone now), and I always get in a stock at home for friends who like it. If you do join the fight for the drinkers (and I hope you do), please don’t start your comments with “I don’t drink, but …”. (I hate it when nonsmokers do that). This is not about whether we drink/smoke or not. This is about fighting for tolerance and rationality and the right to just be whoever we are without some bastard puritan money-for-me tosser picking out targets-for-hate and using them as scapegoats for their own ruthless ends.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      You will get to again,its historically guaranteed…………

      • margo says:

        Your optimism always cheers me, HR. I do so hope you’re right. This is my country, and this is my world they’re screwing, and it is the future for my kids and grandkids – so I do hope you’re right.

  15. gary says:

    You comparison of early Nazi Germany and the smoking ban is preposterous and an insult to all the millions slaughtered (not limited to a few hundred thousand jews), you also seem unable to connect the obesity epedemic with ill health. Suggesting that fat people are just fat and nothing to do with diet, which is even more preposterous than the stance you take on the smoking ban. At the heart of your problem is self interest. This seems to stem from you losing all your friends when the smoking ban came in. Believe me freindship is based on more than the shared activity of smoking
    I have been in the hospitality industry for 35 years and the smoking ban cut costs in cleaning and repairs and in some places resulted in increased food sales. The reason pubs suffer in this country was the presence of poor quality chemical filled beer, poor service and the lack of professionalism from pub landlords. For years we put up with, watered down beer, dodgy security staff, badly run pub kitchens, then the teenage pound beckoned and we saw the move to the easy money of the teenage market with alcopops. The demise of pubs has been more to do with the companies and landlords than any smoking ban (good landlords soon had heated areas for smokers).
    I have been a smoker for some 40 years but the tripe you spew out on the subject beggars belief, you say you want nothing to do with antismokers then i suggest you sit in your garden or house (alone) eat mcdonalds every day and smoke like billy ho.

    • Frank Davis says:

      You comparison of early Nazi Germany and the smoking ban is preposterous and an insult to all the millions slaughtered (not limited to a few hundred thousand jews), you also seem unable to connect the obesity epedemic with ill health.

      Antismoking and antisemitism are two sides of the same eugenicist coin. Antisemitism in Nazi Germany started with the exclusion of Jews from professions and a variety of places (the Nuremberg Laws). The Holocaust was simply the culmination of a long process of demonisation and exclusion of Jews. The same thing is happening now with smokers, and increasingly drinkers and fat people. They are ‘undesirable elements’.

      Suggesting that fat people are just fat and nothing to do with diet, which is even more preposterous than the stance you take on the smoking ban.

      Unfortunately it very often doesn’t seem to have very much to do with diet. Some people seem to be prone to putting on weight, and have great difficulty losing it. On the other hand, my weight is more or less constant however much I eat.

      Believe me freindship is based on more than the shared activity of smoking

      I know that perfectly well. Many of my friends were non-smokers, after all. But one thing that friendship needs is some sort of convivial environment, and that was what vanished with the smoking ban.

      I have been in the hospitality industry for 35 years and the smoking ban cut costs in cleaning and repairs and in some places resulted in increased food sales. The reason pubs suffer in this country was the presence of poor quality chemical filled beer, poor service and the lack of professionalism from pub landlords. For years we put up with, watered down beer, dodgy security staff, badly run pub kitchens, then the teenage pound beckoned and we saw the move to the easy money of the teenage market with alcopops. The demise of pubs has been more to do with the companies and landlords than any smoking ban (good landlords soon had heated areas for smokers).

      You’re obviously one of the meatheads who mismanage the hospitality industry, and can’t see the obvious: pubs lost a great deal of trade when smokers deserted them. Which is why they started closing in droves in 2007.

      • gary says:

        Passive aggressive are we Frank, seems like any voice against your illinformed ramblings are greeted with resorting to name calling. Meathead…I am sure you could do better than that.
        For years pubs have been badly run. Quite the biggest enemy to pubs were the large pub estate business’s. The likes of Punch Taverns & Enterprise Inns who relied heavily on none catering amateurs to take on licensed premises, more often than not couples investing their redundancy payouts on business’s they knew little about and ending up broken and damaged by the experience. These pubs groups with their layers of management ill concieved drinks strategies, punitive rent policies and dodgy retrospective rebate systems made it impossible to make a profit out of a pub.
        Meanwhile well run pubs like well run restaurants survived. Do you really think that all pubs would have survived against the cheap drinks offered by supermarkets, the ever growing presence of home entertainment excessive drinks tax. Lots of the pubs you say were lost to the community were actually hotbeds of vile male orientated bigotry and slackers getting pissed at lunchtime. The new breed of pub (check out Ossett Brewery in yorkshire) offer more than stale tobacco smoke, sticky carpets and a seat at the bar for the local gobshite. They cater to what the majority want, a good clean quality pint, clean toilets, well prepared food maybe a decent cup of tea or coffee all in a decent environment alongside a warm welcome. Pubs were too engrossed in the selling of the company product at the expense of anything else and failed miserably to identify the modern customers needs.
        For your information i specialise in turning around failing pubs and restaurants and enjoy more than a fair share of success, so you will have to come up with slightly better researched statements than what i have seen up to now.
        To take the imbecilic argument to its conclusion it’s six years on so we should expect to be roused from our slumber at midnight beaten then packed into railway carts and shipped off to extermination camps.
        I am sure that your reactionary views solicit all types of support from lots of misguided folks but please do not tell me that the smoking ban was responsible for the closure of our pubs. It may have been a contributary factor but it was one amongst many.
        By the way, when the smoking ban came in i was certain that like me, my fellow smokers would stop drinking coffee and that would be the end of coffee shops, but hey what do you know in 2007 Leeds city centre we had 16 coffe shops, we currently have 34.
        Do yourself a favour Frank, sit back enjoy your smoke and find a cause thats worth fighting for, or is it that this little campaign of yours is supported by donations from certain quarters. BAT perhaps or Phillip Morris, I can’t wait to see what jingoism and insults you have lined up for me next.
        Goodnight Frank sleep well

        • beobrigitte says:

          I can’t wait to see what jingoism and insults you have lined up for me next.

          No, this does not wash anywhere, anymore.

          To take the imbecilic argument to its conclusion it’s six years on so we should expect to be roused from our slumber at midnight beaten then packed into railway carts and shipped off to extermination camps.

          Hmmmm, by the looks of it, we better lock our doors….

          6 years on and the public still has not got used to the smoking ban. What was proudly announced 6 years ago?

          Meanwhile well run pubs like well run restaurants survived.
          It is ok then to insult hard working people who wish to cater for all guests?

          They cater to what the majority want, a good clean quality pint, clean toilets, well prepared food maybe a decent cup of tea or coffee all in a decent environment alongside a warm welcome.

          What majority? Are all non-smokers queing up to get a seat there?

          or is it that this little campaign of yours is supported by donations from certain quarters. BAT perhaps or Phillip Morris

          Actually, if BAT or Phillip Morris are dishing out donations, please do make sure they come OUR way!!!

        • Frank Davis says:

          Meathead…I am sure you could do better than that.

          You’re quite right. I could have.

          Meanwhile well run pubs like well run restaurants survived.

          That’s true. Pubs have had to re-invent themselves as restaurants. I watched it happen with my local pub in Devon, as it transformed itself from a community pub for a band of local villagers into a restaurant for the middle classes to descend upon in their Volvos. They even hired a French chef, bless ‘em. There was no place for the local people, or local gobshites as you prefer to call them (who’s calling who names, eh?). I watched the death of a community pub, and also of a community. But clearly, you are not in the least bit concerned with community of any sort. It’s purely the bottom line that matters.

          you will have to come up with slightly better researched statements than what i have seen up to now.

          It’s coming soon. I’m working on it right now. I’ll email you a copy when it becomes available.

          do not tell me that the smoking ban was responsible for the closure of our pubs. It may have been a contributary factor but it was one amongst many.

          For many pubs, smokers made up 50% or more of their customers. Pubs like that were bound to be hit very hard. And they were, as this graph (shamelessly nicked from Chris Snowdon) shows:

          is it that this little campaign of yours is supported by donations from certain quarters. BAT perhaps or Phillip Morris

          Yes, that would explain it, wouldn’t it? And it’s the sort of thing that antismokers regularly come out with.

          I don’t think you’re a smoker at all.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          I dont even think he ever worked in the hospitality industry either much less smoked. His posts are all about how he likes being self screwed by the ban and enjoys it. What person in their right mind would agree with a law that criminalizes themselves and their friends,besides driving away local trade. BTW Frank your local Pub that reinvented itself only did it out of forced edict of law. But what it did do was create a need for a LOCALS PUB for the smokers and their friends………I wander how quickly your local would likely open a smoking pub or two when the ban gets repealed and it will. But for the time being there must be a underground smokers hangout somewhere near you. Ireland has them and they were nicknaming it ”ME MUMS PLACE” usually a transformed garage on the alleyway into a homespun pub for the owner and his mates!

        • prog says:

          @ Frank ‘I don’t think you’re a smoker at all.’

          Agreed. But, If so, as a 40/day smoker he must spend a couple of hours a day bunking off work, albeit being a very valuable asset of Big Tobacco and HMRC. Probably stinks a lot more than most smokers as well (lol).

        • Frank Davis says:

          I think he said he’d been smoking for 40 years, rather than had been smoking 40 a day.

          All the same, that makes him about 60 years old. And I’m not at all sure that 60-year-olds are the right people to “turn round ailing pubs and restaurants”. I somehow think you need a younger man who knows what younger people want.

        • raymond barfoot says:

          dear gary, you must be the new anti on the block.pleased to hear your drivel, not!!!!!!you dear sir seem to me a perfect example of people i personally have known who cheerfully spout mis-truths and outright lies.as for insults:here is one just for YOU: go soak your head in freezing cold water to the tune of is this all there is have a great life showing your nannying ways sir.and may your self righteous tone go with you.open minded my foot. sorry frank but this fellow does not pass muster. raymond b.

    • garyk30 says:

      Just proves that all people named Gary are not rational.

    • beobrigitte says:

      You comparison of early Nazi Germany and the smoking ban is preposterous and an insult to all the millions slaughtered (not limited to a few hundred thousand jews)
      May I remind you of the origin of this anti-smoking nonsense? (Frank summarized it well!)

      Suggesting that fat people are just fat and nothing to do with diet, which is even more preposterous than the stance you take on the smoking ban.
      How about a food ban, then? Nothing other than bread and water for “the fatties” ?
      Or better even, discontinue the currently available variety of food?

      At the heart of your problem is self interest.
      Are you in a position to be the judge of that?

      I have been a smoker for some 40 years
      Whatever Diesel you smoke, tobacco is not a constituent.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070404162413.htm

      (good landlords soon had heated areas for smokers).
      See above

      but the tripe you spew out on the subject beggars belief, you say you want nothing to do with antismokers then i suggest you sit in your garden or house (alone)
      Quite rightly no-one “wants anything to do” with callous anti-smokers. Perhaps you could open your own pubs with a big sign above the door? We smokers promise never to show up there!!!!

    • jaxthefirst says:

      Re Gary’s first sentence (as the rest of you seem have done a good job of thoroughly fisking the rest of his comment).

      It always bemuses me when someone reacts to any comparison of anything to the Holocaust with such outrage because in many ways to me it seems to be the worst possible insult to the countless victims of the Holocaust to adopt a sense of “It was terrible that it happened, but it’s never going to happen again, so don’t let’s ever connect it to anything that happens today.” Surely if there’s one thing that we should as a species have learned from the Holocaust it’s that if it can happen once, it can happen again.

      Being alert to Holocaust “mentality” in any form therefore is surely the greatest memorial that present-day generations can offer to the victims of that terrible time. Pretending that it was a “one-off” and that human nature has somehow changed and that “we’d never allow it to happen again,” (whoever “we” are) is not only unrealistic, but it’s also a tremendous insult to the people who suffered. Active remembering is surely much more precious than any amount of apologies, reparation or Holocaust Memorial days, which, vital though they are, do tend to place the Holocaust firmly in the unhappy annals of history, rather than maintaining them as lessons for life which we can – and should – all keep in our minds as potential present dangers, no matter what superficial changes society may have undergone in the intervening decades.

      And to believe that if it were to happen again, it would only manifest itself in the same image – as prejudice against a particular racial minority – is to dangerously underestimate the cunning which underpins the mentality of those who seek to persecute for whatever of their own twisted reasons. The persecutors’ need to persecute does not diminish just because one group of potential victims has been placed “out of bounds.” It just manifests itself somewhere else. That’s why we should keep invoking Godwin whenever we see similarities of its application in any area – not just race – and reminding people not just of the horrors of the Final Solution, but also of the mindset which preceded those horrors.

      People who object to the comparison should ask themselves whether the Holocaust would have been somehow “not so bad” if it had been directed towards another group than primarily the Jewish people. And if, as I suspect, the answer is no, then they should therefore also ask themselves why, when there is any indication – no matter how slight – that the same mentality is beginning to manifest itself, like a dark monster slowly awakening from a deep slumber, then, rather than actively encouraging people to make the comparison to the singular most horrific illustration of how this mentality, when unchecked, progresses, they are instead demanding that no comparison be made. Because if those demands are met, and those comparisons are made taboo, then it will happen again. And those who protest that the Holocaust was a “one off” which is incomparable to anything else will have played a major part in bringing it about.

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Gary.

    • prog says:

      Oops, not a 40/day….apologies Gary

  16. Frank Davis says:

    He! I was quite pleased at this. I happened across an online US Citizenship test in the Christian Science Monitor this afternoon, and thought I’d have a go. I think I did pretty well, using just the knowledge I’ve picked up over time!

    • smokervoter says:

      In the late 60s the Big Idea after graduation in my bucolic backwoods of SoCal was to Go See Europe and bum around for a month or two, sampling all the liberated Sveedish blondes and the sexy-accented British Birds (Marianne Faithful in that zippered leather jacket for instance) along the way.

      My and my best buddy were going to go over and either buy two Triumph/BSA’s or one with a side-car, cuz we heard they were dirt cheap in England. Then we would have them shipped back over here or sell them, if necessary, for the plane fare home.

      Sad to say, it never happened. I still regret it to this day. I have this picture in my head of this magical place, straight out of a Disneyland E-ticket ride, called Europe/Britain (I’m learning – they’re two separate entities).

      Now I visit there vicariously by tuning into this blog daily and to everyone on your blogroll and then some. I love the British centre-right (looky here, centre and not center) blogosphere.

      Your mastery of the English language, your thought processes, your dogged resistance to tyranny are most admirable. I think it comes from having a contemporary history that starts way before the year 1620.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Frank you probably did better than most native born and ill schooled americans would do!

  17. beobrigitte says:

    Which brings me back to the smokers’ army. Smokers are beginning to hook up with each other all around the world…
    …And I feel a greater bond between myself and smokers all over the world than I do to my own country which has rejected me.

    Let’s face it, don’t we all? There is the smoker’s “nod”; there is the smoker’s smile and there is the obvious greeting gesture that shows the cigarette in our hands.

    Perhaps there will be a smiling ban soon in this theatre.

  18. beobrigitte says:

    Perhaps there will be a smiling ban “soon in this theatre of banning culture”. In 3-D, of course!

    (Sorry, I did post before I finished the sentence)

  19. magnetic01 says:

    “You comparison of early Nazi Germany and the smoking ban is preposterous”

    Gary, you’ll have to get your facts straight. There were two major antismoking crusades in the first half of the 20th century – America and Nazi Germany. It’s not coincidental that in all the countries of the world, the “crusades” occurred in just these two countries; the connecting thread is eugenics primarily and questionable religious groups (Temperance).

    Were there smoking bans in America early last century – yes. Were there smoking bans in Nazi Germany early last century – yes.

    Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid, 400+ year history, much of it predating even the semblance of a scientific basis or the more recent concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”. Antismoking crusades typically run on inflammatory propaganda, i.e., lies, in order to get law-makers to institute bans. The current antismoking rhetoric has all been heard before. And when it is supported/funded by the State, all it produces is irrational fear and hatred, discord, enmity, animosity, social division, and bigotry. The two major antismoking (and anti-alcohol) crusades of early last century were in America and Germany. The bulk of claims made by antismoking zealots were baseless and highly inflammatory.
    http://www.americanheritage.com/content/thank-you-not-smoking
    http://www.velvetgloveironfist.com/index.php?page_id=18
    http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=5339
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2352989/pdf/bmj00571-0040.pdf
    [The last link specifically refers to the Nazi war on tobacco]

    The current antismoking crusade is much like previous crusades. It is a moralizing, social-engineering, eradication crusade decided upon in the 1970s by a small, self-installed clique of fanatics operating under the auspices of the World Health Organization (the Godber Blueprint http://www.rampant-antismoking.com ). This little, unelected group decided for everyone that tobacco-use should be eradicated from the world. These fanatics were speaking of secondhand smoke “danger” years before the first study on SHS, together with advocating indoor and OUTDOOR smoking bans. Secondhand smoke “danger” is a concoction to advance the social-engineering, eradication agenda. The goal this time is not to ban the sale of tobacco, but to ban smoking in essentially all the places that people typically smoke. Unfortunately, America is again the world leader in the current antismoking derangement. Once the State falls into the trap of supporting/funding zealotry – particularly physicians exploiting/prostituting their medical credentials as occurred in the eugenics of early last century – the inflammatory rhetoric that constantly plays on fear and hate starts flying.

  20. magnetic01 says:

    “I have been a smoker for some 40 years”

    Who are you trying to kid? You sound like a standard antismoking fanatic. You arrogantly spout quite a number of antismoking slogans. And attempting to pose as a smoker is just another antismoking con.

    To take the imbecilic argument to its conclusion it’s six years on so we should expect to be roused from our slumber at midnight beaten then packed into railway carts and shipped off to extermination camps.

    The Nazi antismoking connection has been indicated to you. So, Gary, you think that unless smokers are being shipped off to extermination camps, there’s no problem. Shame on you. If we consider just the last few years, outdoor smoking bans – which have no basis btw – carried no/small fines. There are now municipalities instituting bans with multi-hundred dollar fines and, for “repeat offenders”, possible jail time. Just recently, a proposal has been forwarded in Oregon that tobacco can only be purchased with a prescription: Those using tobacco without a prescription can face up to a year in jail:
    http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/lets-quadruple-scope-of-war-on-drugs.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+DickPuddlecote+%28Dick+Puddlecote%29

    And there are many other nasty themes emerging in the contemporary antismoking crusade. If it was mentioned just a few years ago that the persecution crusade would be ramped up, involving possible jail time, the antismoking fanatics would have squealed “don’t be ridiculous”. Thankfully, Gary, we don’t listen to sanctimonious, ill-informed, bigoted nitwits such as yourself.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Its probably Simon Crapman…………………. I kinda did a hit job on their BMJ blog the other day. Nothing nasty just the facts! Of course they didnt post them,But Im sure SIMON got a copy!

  21. Walt says:

    Yeah the “40 year smoker” gag really falls flat. Not even a “self-hating smoker” could spew that amount of unwarranted piss. Friendship, btw, entails, to begin with, a level of loyalty and empathy and, beyond that, a set of shared principles. If I learned that a friend failed on principles, any principles I consider of importance, it would cause a rift and considerable disappointment. And if I let a friend suffer an indignity w/o standing up for him, I wouldn’t be much of a friend myself.

    Finally, the analogies to the Holocaust, or more aptly to Nazi Germany, are not with how it ended but with how it began. And it began (check your history books if you doubt me) with Jews being banned from… .yes.. restaurants and bars, then from public parks (a ban that began right after Kristallnacht), then from jobs, universities, housing, and even from walking on sidewalks (and this, long before, they were ghettoized) while all around them public propaganda campaigns called them vermin, warned against them as vectors of disease, and depicted them as dirty, smelly and altogether less than human.

    So take your smug, ahistorical ignorance and shove it up your pub.

  22. Gray wrote, “For your information i specialise in turning around failing pubs and restaurants ”

    Heh, no wonder he likes the ban.

    - MJM

  23. Frank, you depress me better than anyone else. Being 23 I know full well that everything is just going to get worse…

  24. Dave Hitt says:

    >>You comparison of early Nazi Germany and the smoking ban is preposterous and an insult to all the millions slaughtered (not limited to a few hundred thousand jews),<>Which brings me back to the smokers’ army. Smokers are beginning to hook up with each other all around the world…<<

    I wish that were true, my friend, but I just don't see it.

    Most oppressed groups have learned to fight back, and are succeeding in gaining social acceptance and pushing back the aggression against them. Gays, blacks, women and atheists, to name a few, are successfully fighting discrimination that goes back to the beginning of civilization. But smokers are, for some unfathomable reason, different. The vast majority of us accept this crap, refuse to protest in any meaningful way, and *allow* ourselves to be marginalized, even though the discrimination against us is only a few decades old.

    If 10% of the smokers in the US, for instance, got together and chipped in the price of a carton of smokes, they could create an organization bigger than the NRA and AARP combined. But every attempt to create such an organization has failed miserably, due to the lack of interest and support. Unless and until a significant percentage of smokers starts standing up and refusing to be marginalized, the discrimination will continue and keep getting worse.

    • Frank Davis says:

      If 10% of the smokers in the US, for instance, got together and chipped in the price of a carton of smokes, they could create an organization bigger than the NRA and AARP combined. But every attempt to create such an organization has failed miserably, due to the lack of interest and support.

      I agree that if smokers got together that way, they could indeed create a very, very powerful organisation. But you’re right that they don’t. Why is that?

      Well, the case of Jews is worth looking at. Prior to the Holocaust, while there were small numbers of stateless Jews pushing for a Jewish state, most Jews were as apathetic as smokers today. In fact, if you read (as I have done) Jewish literature from that time, you’ll find it’s filled with self-pity and resignation. Yet now Jews have their own state, which regularly wipes the floor with its Arab neighbours, and Jews are watching out carefully for signs of antisemitism (which has also been on the rise in recent years). The self-pity and self-loathing has gone. So maybe it takes a Holocaust to achieve this.

      In the case of blacks in the USA, they’d been a despised underclass for centuries, much like Jews. There wasn’t a holocaust, but they were excluded from almost everywhere, and lived on the margins of society. But thanks to people like Martin Luther King and others (most notably , Satchmo, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr, Little Richard, Chuck Berry), it got turned round, and right now the USA has a black president. So maybe it doesn’t need a holocaust.

      I don’t think there’s actually going to be a smoker holocaust, but I think things will keep on getting worse and worse for smokers, and the same transformation will happen with them as with Jews and blacks.

      And I think it’s already beginning to happen. Smokers actually are hooking up all over the world. I am connected to smokers all over Britain, and Europe, and the USA, and Canada. This wasn’t happening at all 5 years ago. Furthermore my ISIS survey has been an international volunteer effort by smokers scattered across these continents. But there isn’t any formal organisation, a Smokers Union with people paying dues like you’re suggesting. So I think that the way it will grow is informally, without a central hub. And I think that’s a very new and interesting development.

      So, unlike you, I’m very optimistic. I think smokers are bound to come together, exactly like any other persecuted minority has done.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        and right now the USA has a black president. So maybe it doesn’t need a holocaust.

        Frank we could well be better off if we didnt have the formerly oppressed now oppressing us all!

        http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/federal-government-continues-progress-to-prevent-tobacco-caused-disease-while-states-fall-tragically-short-137655658.html

        Federal Government Continues Progress to Prevent Tobacco-Caused Disease While States Fall Tragically Short

        “President Obama’s administration has confronted the tobacco epidemic head-on,” said Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association president and CEO.
        …………………………………….

        Owebama has used the CDC and other federal agencies have been dooling out grant money to city, county, and other local governments that adopt smoking bans, not to mention to anti-smoking coalitions who push for stricter smoking bans. It’s been happening in both the Saint Louis area, plus also in the Myrtle Beach area. I’ll note that these aren’t the only 2 areas of the country where these ban grants have been given to a smoking ban coalition.

        Articles proving it’s been happening(wasteful grant money being given to anti groups pushing for smoking bans, plus waving financial grants to communities that ultimately decide to ban smoking) in both parts of the country(grant money going to both Tobacco-Free Saint Louis in the Saint Louis area, and Smoke-Free Horry in the Myrtle Beach/Conway.

        The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an initiative to ban smoking from college campuses last month. This is part of the HHS goal to create a society free of tobacco-related disease and death, according to their action plan released by the HHS in 2010.

        Colleges who fail to enact campus-wide smoking bans and other tobacco-free policies may soon face the loss of grants and contracts from the HHS, according to the plan. Western receives grants through a subdivision of the HHS called the National Institutes of Health, Acting Vice Provost for Research Kathleen Kitto said.

        http://www.westernfrontonline.net/news/article_f8068f12-0efe-11e2-8b41-001a4bcf6878.html?success=1

        Obama administration to push for eliminating smoking on college campuses

        Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/11/obama … z29zJ2V2TV

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        and right now the USA has a black president. So maybe it doesn’t need a holocaust.

        Frank we could well be better off if we didnt have the formerly oppressed now oppressing us all!

        http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/federal-government-continues-progress-to-prevent-tobacco-caused-disease-while-states-fall-tragically-short-137655658.html

        Federal Government Continues Progress to Prevent Tobacco-Caused Disease While States Fall Tragically Short

        “President Obama’s administration has confronted the tobacco epidemic head-on,” said Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association president and CEO.
        …………………………………….

        Owebama has used the CDC and other federal agencies have been dooling out grant money to city, county, and other local governments that adopt smoking bans, not to mention to anti-smoking coalitions who push for stricter smoking bans. It’s been happening in both the Saint Louis area, plus also in the Myrtle Beach area. I’ll note that these aren’t the only 2 areas of the country where these ban grants have been given to a smoking ban coalition.

        Articles proving it’s been happening(wasteful grant money being given to anti groups pushing for smoking bans, plus waving financial grants to communities that ultimately decide to ban smoking) in both parts of the country(grant money going to both Tobacco-Free Saint Louis in the Saint Louis area, and Smoke-Free Horry in the Myrtle Beach/Conway.

        The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an initiative to ban smoking from college campuses last month. This is part of the HHS goal to create a society free of tobacco-related disease and death, according to their action plan released by the HHS in 2010.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an initiative to ban smoking from college campuses last month. This is part of the HHS goal to create a society free of tobacco-related disease and death, according to their action plan released by the HHS in 2010.

        Colleges who fail to enact campus-wide smoking bans and other tobacco-free policies may soon face the loss of grants and contracts from the HHS, according to the plan. Western receives grants through a subdivision of the HHS called the National Institutes of Health, Acting Vice Provost for Research Kathleen Kitto said.

        http://www.westernfrontonline.net/news/article_f8068f12-0efe-11e2-8b41-001a4bcf6878.html?success=1

        Obama administration to push for eliminating smoking on college campuses

        Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/11/obama … z29zJ2V2TV

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Frank if thats what ending Jim Crowe laws and getting a leftwing wacko socialist president is. I think Id rather put them back on the oppressed list……..rather…….Than us on it.

  25. As usual, Magnetico says it well:

    “These fanatics were speaking of secondhand smoke “danger” years before the first study on SHS, together with advocating indoor and OUTDOOR smoking bans. Secondhand smoke “danger” is a concoction to advance the social-engineering, eradication agenda. The goal this time is not to ban the sale of tobacco, but to ban smoking in essentially all the places that people typically smoke.”

    - MJM

  26. Junican says:

    When I first saw gary’s comment, I thought that it was GaryK pretending to be a Zealot. I was waiting for the punchline – “Oh my God! I just awoke from a nightmare! I dreamt that I was a Holy Zealot!” I was really surprised when the comment turned out to be genuine.

    In gary’s diatribe, a curious phrase caught my attention – “(good landlords soon had heated areas for smokers).” Yes, I remember those heaters. I remember people standing under them, singeing their hair and shivering against the icy blasts. Nobody even bothers switching them on any more.

    gary should remember a few things:

    1. Publicans were PROHIBITED from catering for their smoker customers.
    2. Entrepreneurs were PROHIBITED from opening new bars specially for smoker customers and staffed by smokers.
    3. Smokers themselves did not necessarily want dining areas and cute menus. They could eat very well at home and socialise in the pub.

    What we smokers want is THE FREEDOM to associate with our fellows in those places which permit us to do so, and that is why we see this iniquitous law (the smoking ban) as akin to Nazi laws of the 1930s. I don’t think that it will end in gas-chambers. Had it not been for the enabling effect of the militarism of WW2, it might never have happened in Germany either. But what we are definitely seeing is exactly the same persecution.

    • Junican, Gary is UNABLE to remember any of what you (quite rightly) point out. His programming will not allow it. So it is quite entertaining to reply to his comment(s).

      Nevertheless,

      Frank wrote
      I personally think that the greatest damage comes from the social fragmentation that smoking bans bring.

      Social fragmentation also leads to fragmentation of votes for any political party planning to stay/gain votes for their leadership in the next general election. (We smokers can still vote for any party becoming the next government, can we?)

      Perhaps the smokers army is already a threat.

  27. raymond barfoot says:

    dear frank, sorry about earlier but i do not like a auntie saying such utter claptrap in the presence of people i have come to enjoy even if it is inly in the world wide web,whose opinions i tend to value s oppossed to someone whom i suspect has no life happiness at alland judging his comments has his mind made up all weong to begin with.gary 30k is not gay the auntie, of that i am certain and harley already torpedoed his rant better than i any how.i dont always write well but i at least try to make good sense when i do opine.good on the rest of y,all tellin the auntie off. not a nice person that one.good article as always frank and provokes much thought for me at least. have a blessed weekend y,all raymond b.

  28. Kendo says:

    Thanks for this, Frank. My wife and I smoke. I’ve often drawn comparisons between anti smoking and the nazis, for which I’ve often been accused of “over reaction”. it’s refreshing to see it spelled out so eloquently here. Good on yer…..

  29. Pingback: Welcome to the Land of Chaos. | underdogs bite upwards

  30. raymond barfoot says:

    dear frank, hello one last time, i thought i typed it right but i did not:gary30K i have no disagrreement with, my beef is with gary the auntie.also rose and harley rider i have much admiration towards all of you.not so much for the auntiewhom has proven he is the meathead.also read smokervoter when i can.i dont type so well so i try very hard to think through what i say before i say it.that said good on all pro-smokers that savaged the aunties vile utterances.yes it is a war but one we will win because prohibition ignores one constant.human nature. no one likes to be nagged and hectored all the time.we are the celts the goths and to some extentthe rebels who do not like to be told how we may enjoy our idle time,that is why the so-called righteous will lose. we are the chaos they cannot comprehend nor fight effectivly.point made. raymond b.

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