Smoking Is A Disease

I’ve been following the Spanish response to their draconian new smoking ban, and reading (as best I can) Spanish blogs and news reports. Today, in El Pais, I came across an article in which the following words appeared.

el tabaquismo es una enfermedad crónica, como recoge la Organización Mundial de Salud.

which I translated as

Smoking is a chronic disease, as recognised by the World Health Organisation

Unsure whether I’d translated it right, I googled “Smoking is a disease”. And found lots of links. Like this:

A group of researchers led by professor Edward Ellerbeck from the Department of Preventive Medicine & Public Health at the University of Kansas say that doctors need to be more forthright when dealing with smokers and to consider the smoking habit to be a chronic disease in itself.

Now I don’t mind people arguing that smoking causes disease. A month back on this blog we were arguing over whether smoking caused lung cancer. But saying that smoking is a disease sets off alarm bells. In my understanding of the word “disease”, smoking isn’t any such thing.

But there seem to be a number of people who’ve been claiming that it’s a disease. Like this chap, who seems to have got hauled up before a tribunal, and told:

“Smoking is a habit it is not a disease or condition even though It may be a contributary cause of, or may aggravate, a disease or condition such as bronchitis, carcinoma of the lung, arteriosclerosis and so on.”

He wasn’t alone:

Medical definitions have reinforced the idea that smoking is indeed a disease. For instance, tobacco dependence was included as a psychiatric condition by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1980. Eight years later, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report declared smoking to be an addiction. Since then, the majority of doctors have treated smoking as a disease requiring medical attention.

Once smoking was labeled a disease, research into its causes and effects increased and advanced our understanding of tobacco addiction. Scientists consequently developed medical treatments such as nicotine replacement patches, gums, sprays and even vaccines. Each treatment is based on the premise that smoking is addictive and leads to compulsive drug seeking.

Nor is the attitude particularly new. Lennox Johnston, who was an anti-smoking campaigner back in the 1940s (Chris Snowdon has a few pages on him in Velvet Glove, Iron Fist) also regarded smoking as a disease.

“Smoking is a disease, “one of our most serious diseases.” “Smokers show the same [delusional] attitude to tobacco as addicts to their drug, and their judgment is therefore biased [in denial] in giving an opinion of its effect on them [and others].”—Lennox Johnston, “Tobacco Smoking and Nicotine,” 243 The Lancet 741, 742 (19 Dec 1942).

But I think that to claim that smoking is a disease is to twist and deform language.

And if smoking is a disease, then what other behaviour might not also be described as a disease? Why not Drinking Is A Disease? Or Eating Fast Food Is A Disease? Or Reading The Daily Telegraph Is A Disease? Or Voting Conservative Is A Disease? Once smoking is classed as a disease, then any behaviour that might be construed to be compulsive or addictive can also be called a disease, and clinics and therapies set up to treat the patients.

And, in fact, this is exactly what is happening. It’s not just smoking, but it’s also drinking and over-eating. Why not reading the Telegraph, and voting Conservative?

Dissent becomes disease. And exactly this happened with dissidents in the late Soviet Union. They were sent to mental institutions, and injected with drugs in an attempt to “cure” them.

In our new version of the Soviet Union, it’s not just a few dissidents here and there who are incarcerated in lunatic asylums, but entire social groups. No need for closed institutions. Our towns and cities have become open prisons in which social groups like smokers and drinkers and fat people are subjected to continuous assault and harassment.

I suppose that it’s not too difficult to understand how the word “disease” should have changed its meaning. Once we just had physical diseases, whose symptoms would be those of weakness, coughing, sneezing, running a fever, coming out in spots or sores and so on. But now we also have psychiatric disorders whose symptoms are those of fears, delusions, “inappropriate behaviours”, and the like. There are no physical symptoms with such mental disorders. And once one sort of mental disorder has been identified, then the road is open to identify lots more. More or less any behaviour can be identified as “abnormal” or “inappropriate” or “self-harming” or “antisocial” or whatever. And this is what has happened.

But the word “disease” is almost self-defining. It means “dis-ease”. “Ease” is a subjective state. One is either “at ease” or “uneasy” or “ill at ease”. And “ill at ease” means “dis-eased”. The patient presents himself to the doctor, and announces himself to be “ill at ease” or “ill” or “dis-eased”. The doctor then tries to discover what it is that is troubling his new patient. He prescribes some treatment. And if this is successful, the patient discharges himself by saying that he is now “well” again, and “at ease”. It is the patient, not the doctor, who decides if he is unwell. And who also decides that he has been cured.

But the new doctors, the Lennox Johnstons and their descendants, feel able to inform people that they are “diseased” and “sick”. Smokers and drinkers and fat people might declare that they are “very well, thank you”, and say that they actually enjoy smoking and drinking and eating stuff, but the new doctors ignore this. They know better. They know that they are sick as soon as they learn that they smoke or drink or eat Kentucky Fried Chicken. Because these are all diseases, recognised by the WHO. They are addictions. They are recognised forms of psychiatric disorder. Like reading the Daily Telegraph and voting Conservative. You don’t tell them that you’re sick. They tell you. And in doing so they debase language.

I’d like to end with a quote from Friedrich Hayek’s Road To Serfdom, the chapter on The End Of Truth:

In this particular case the perversion of the meaning of the word has, of course, been well prepared by a long line of German philosophers, and not least by many of the theoreticians of socialism. But freedom or liberty are by no means the only words whose meaning has been changed into their opposites to make them serve as instruments of totalitarian propaganda. We have already seen how the same happens to justice and law, right and equality. The list could be extended till it includes almost all moral and political terms in general use.

If one has not oneself experienced this process, it is difficult to appreciate the magnitude of this change in the meaning of words, the confusion which it causes, and the barriers to any rational discussion which it creates. It has to be seen to be understood how, if one of two brothers embraces the new faith, after a short while he appears to speak a different language which makes any real communication between them impossible. And the confusion becomes worse because this change of meaning of the words describing political ideals is not a single event but a continual process, a technique employed consciously or unconsciously to direct the people. Gradually, as this process continues, the whole language becomes despoiled, words become empty shells deprived of any definite meaning, as capable of denoting one thing as its opposite and used solely for the emotional associations which still adhere to them.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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39 Responses to Smoking Is A Disease

  1. junican says:

    Just a quick one, Frank. A typical example is the word ‘abuse’. Not long ago, and I mean say five years, that word meant verbal insults. I speak of the noun. Somehow, the noun, ‘abuse’, became confused with the verb ‘abuse’. (Spelt the same but pronounced slightly differently. Now, the noun ‘abuse’ is almost meaningless – if you shout at your child for doing something stupid, your action can be interpreted as ‘child abuse’.
    Is there an answer? Maybe, but it is a difficult one and will take a long time to achieve.
    I think that it must come, eventually, through the election to Parliament of true Independents. I know that it is a big call, but I see no alternative. The three major parties are virtually clones of each other. The new idea will have to revolve around the actual personal qualities of the candidate standing for election, and not the party affiliation. Party manifestos are meaningless, especially in a coalition situation. The specific views of actual individual candidates need to be the important thing as regards their suitability.
    I also have another vision of the future of our politics, and that is that our local MPs should be ‘the chief’ of his constituency, which would mean that constituencies would have to be, in effect, local authorities. This is a variation on the theme of ‘tribes’.
    Far fetched? Yes, but worthy of consideration. I think that we all agree that the present system is rubbish.

  2. junican says:

    Just a quick one, Frank. A typical example is the word ‘abuse’. Not long ago, and I mean say five years, that word meant verbal insults. I speak of the noun. Somehow, the noun, ‘abuse’, became confused with the verb ‘abuse’. (Spelt the same but pronounced slightly differently. Now, the noun ‘abuse’ is almost meaningless – if you shout at your child for doing something stupid, your action can be interpreted as ‘child abuse’.
    Is there an answer? Maybe, but it is a difficult one and will take a long time to achieve.
    I think that it must come, eventually, through the election to Parliament of true Independents. I know that it is a big call, but I see no alternative. The three major parties are virtually clones of each other. The new idea will have to revolve around the actual personal qualities of the candidate standing for election, and not the party affiliation. Party manifestos are meaningless, especially in a coalition situation. The specific views of actual individual candidates need to be the important thing as regards their suitability.
    I also have another vision of the future of our politics, and that is that our local MPs should be ‘the chief’ of his constituency, which would mean that constituencies would have to be, in effect, local authorities. This is a variation on the theme of ‘tribes’.
    Far fetched? Yes, but worthy of consideration. I think that we all agree that the present system is rubbish.

  3. junican says:

    Just a quick one, Frank. A typical example is the word ‘abuse’. Not long ago, and I mean say five years, that word meant verbal insults. I speak of the noun. Somehow, the noun, ‘abuse’, became confused with the verb ‘abuse’. (Spelt the same but pronounced slightly differently. Now, the noun ‘abuse’ is almost meaningless – if you shout at your child for doing something stupid, your action can be interpreted as ‘child abuse’.
    Is there an answer? Maybe, but it is a difficult one and will take a long time to achieve.
    I think that it must come, eventually, through the election to Parliament of true Independents. I know that it is a big call, but I see no alternative. The three major parties are virtually clones of each other. The new idea will have to revolve around the actual personal qualities of the candidate standing for election, and not the party affiliation. Party manifestos are meaningless, especially in a coalition situation. The specific views of actual individual candidates need to be the important thing as regards their suitability.
    I also have another vision of the future of our politics, and that is that our local MPs should be ‘the chief’ of his constituency, which would mean that constituencies would have to be, in effect, local authorities. This is a variation on the theme of ‘tribes’.
    Far fetched? Yes, but worthy of consideration. I think that we all agree that the present system is rubbish.

  4. junican says:

    A bit more.
    At the moment, we have no defender of out language. Any newspaper can change the meaning of words with ease – just repeat the new meaning often enough until it catches on. the French do have a defender, although I am not sure how well it works.
    Further, I think that it really is time we addressed the problem of spelling. I feel very sure that our children, as a whole, are held back as compared with, say, the Spanish, by the complex spelling of words. I mean, why do we spell ‘cough’ (as in ‘cough and splutter’) in that way? Why do not spell that word ‘kof’? Question: Who benefits from our crazy spelling?

  5. junican says:

    A bit more.
    At the moment, we have no defender of out language. Any newspaper can change the meaning of words with ease – just repeat the new meaning often enough until it catches on. the French do have a defender, although I am not sure how well it works.
    Further, I think that it really is time we addressed the problem of spelling. I feel very sure that our children, as a whole, are held back as compared with, say, the Spanish, by the complex spelling of words. I mean, why do we spell ‘cough’ (as in ‘cough and splutter’) in that way? Why do not spell that word ‘kof’? Question: Who benefits from our crazy spelling?

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh no, don’t go there. We have lived through and are continuing to live under a regime which wishes to rewrite our history, culture, language, trampling over ancient customs and freedoms, airbrushing historical icons, telling lies about the past to justify their control of the present. To eviscerate our language of its rich history by adopting some kind of reductive phonetic spelling would only be a new form of the same process. To ‘disappear’ words, in the manner of 1984, is to disappear our ability to say what we mean, leaving us only with the abiility to say what we are supposed to say.
      Frank’s disassembly of the word ‘disease’ is a case in point. ‘Dis’ meaning negative, bad, wrong, has roots back to Ancient Greek and probably beyond. Spell the word phonetically – d-zeeze? – and you lose the clarity of perception.
      The English language, including its apparently eccentric spelling and pronunciation, is a living, breathing, changing testament to our history. The French have adopted a museum approach to theirs. There are many Englishes and only one French. And that’s just fine.
      PT Barnum

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh no, don’t go there. We have lived through and are continuing to live under a regime which wishes to rewrite our history, culture, language, trampling over ancient customs and freedoms, airbrushing historical icons, telling lies about the past to justify their control of the present. To eviscerate our language of its rich history by adopting some kind of reductive phonetic spelling would only be a new form of the same process. To ‘disappear’ words, in the manner of 1984, is to disappear our ability to say what we mean, leaving us only with the abiility to say what we are supposed to say.
      Frank’s disassembly of the word ‘disease’ is a case in point. ‘Dis’ meaning negative, bad, wrong, has roots back to Ancient Greek and probably beyond. Spell the word phonetically – d-zeeze? – and you lose the clarity of perception.
      The English language, including its apparently eccentric spelling and pronunciation, is a living, breathing, changing testament to our history. The French have adopted a museum approach to theirs. There are many Englishes and only one French. And that’s just fine.
      PT Barnum

  6. junican says:

    A bit more.
    At the moment, we have no defender of out language. Any newspaper can change the meaning of words with ease – just repeat the new meaning often enough until it catches on. the French do have a defender, although I am not sure how well it works.
    Further, I think that it really is time we addressed the problem of spelling. I feel very sure that our children, as a whole, are held back as compared with, say, the Spanish, by the complex spelling of words. I mean, why do we spell ‘cough’ (as in ‘cough and splutter’) in that way? Why do not spell that word ‘kof’? Question: Who benefits from our crazy spelling?

  7. Anonymous says:

    “Smoking is a chronic disease, as recognised by the World Health Organisation”
    As with every con we come across in our lives there is blatant disregard for the people affected by their lies.
    Why terming my habit “chronic disease”? Do they need this kind of statement to justify their behaviour? Clearly they cannot assume that we class ourselves as “nobody” who do not get offended by the rules they wish to impose on us.
    ———–
    “Our towns and cities have become open prisons in which social groups like smokers and drinkers and fat people are subjected to continuous assault and harassment”.
    Here I feel compelled to add that a group of people who often experience a great deal of disrespect and disadvantage, be it in social standing, work life or just in general life – women, have existed as long as mankind does.
    The attempt to stigmatise smoking in public just further adds to harassment often experienced by this group of people.
    As time progresses it becomes more and more obvious that there are more repercussions than considered by imposing this smoking ban and alongside a poor attempt of social engineering.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “Smoking is a chronic disease, as recognised by the World Health Organisation”
    As with every con we come across in our lives there is blatant disregard for the people affected by their lies.
    Why terming my habit “chronic disease”? Do they need this kind of statement to justify their behaviour? Clearly they cannot assume that we class ourselves as “nobody” who do not get offended by the rules they wish to impose on us.
    ———–
    “Our towns and cities have become open prisons in which social groups like smokers and drinkers and fat people are subjected to continuous assault and harassment”.
    Here I feel compelled to add that a group of people who often experience a great deal of disrespect and disadvantage, be it in social standing, work life or just in general life – women, have existed as long as mankind does.
    The attempt to stigmatise smoking in public just further adds to harassment often experienced by this group of people.
    As time progresses it becomes more and more obvious that there are more repercussions than considered by imposing this smoking ban and alongside a poor attempt of social engineering.

    • Anonymous says:

      Brigitte
      You may have heard of the Yorkshire Ripper, a serial killer who attacked women as they walked alone.
      It caused terror throughout the area and women lived in fear, so intense that you could feel it as dusk fell.
      It could be anyone, the man at the bus stop, a man walking towards you at night, a father, a friend, a boyfriend.
      The police hadn’t a clue.
      The police advice was simply for women never to go out alone.
      Employers organised transport to take their female workers home to the door, people moved in groups.
      That’s why it was so remarkable and shocking that only a few years later, they introduced legislation that specifically demands without exemption, that women should go outside, frequently on their own,frequently in the dark, setting themselves up as an archetypal Ripper victim.
      Until of course, fear, public contempt, or injury persuades them to comply.
      But that’s what the denormalisation campaign is about.
      Rose

      • Anonymous says:

        The Yorkshire Ripper
        “During the five years it took police to catch him, no woman in his hunting ground of Yorkshire and Greater Manchester felt safe.
        Day or night, they were scared to walk alone – hardly surprising when the formal advice from police was: “Do not go out at night unless absolutely necessary and only if accompanied by a man you know.”
        “The climate of fear meant men weren’t to be trusted, and police resorted to using undercover female officers as prostitutes in an attempt to smoke the Ripper out.
        Female students, angry at the impact this man had on their lives and freedoms, organised candlelight protests to reclaim the night.
        A whole region was paralysed, and despite thousands of men being interviewed – including Sutcliffe himself – the killer was still not identified.”
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10661833
        Denormalisation
        “Several authors have invoked Erving Goffman’s notions of stigmatisation to describe the process and impact of this radical transformation, which importantly includes motivating smoking cessation.”
        “Goffman described stigmatisation as the transformation “from a whole and usual person to to a tainted, discounted one” writing that “Stigma is a process by which the reaction of others spoils normal identity”.
        http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/17/1/25.full
        In England at least, in obeying the demands of the law ostensibly to protect workers from “passive smoking” you are forced to present yourself publicly as “a tainted, discounted” person.
        Dogs are sent outside, not humans, but the law forbids any business from treating you with the normal respect they did previously, on penalty of huge fines.
        Thus using private businesses as agents of stigma, whatever the owners personal view.
        Goffman, E (1968) Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity,
        “The stigmatised can become self-conscious, feel on show, be afraid to display negative emotions such as anger, in case this is seen as a symptom of their stigma. They feel exposed to staring, to curious strangers and their false shows of interest.”
        http://www.arasite.org/goffstig.html
        Rose

      • Anonymous says:

        The Yorkshire Ripper
        “During the five years it took police to catch him, no woman in his hunting ground of Yorkshire and Greater Manchester felt safe.
        Day or night, they were scared to walk alone – hardly surprising when the formal advice from police was: “Do not go out at night unless absolutely necessary and only if accompanied by a man you know.”
        “The climate of fear meant men weren’t to be trusted, and police resorted to using undercover female officers as prostitutes in an attempt to smoke the Ripper out.
        Female students, angry at the impact this man had on their lives and freedoms, organised candlelight protests to reclaim the night.
        A whole region was paralysed, and despite thousands of men being interviewed – including Sutcliffe himself – the killer was still not identified.”
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10661833
        Denormalisation
        “Several authors have invoked Erving Goffman’s notions of stigmatisation to describe the process and impact of this radical transformation, which importantly includes motivating smoking cessation.”
        “Goffman described stigmatisation as the transformation “from a whole and usual person to to a tainted, discounted one” writing that “Stigma is a process by which the reaction of others spoils normal identity”.
        http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/17/1/25.full
        In England at least, in obeying the demands of the law ostensibly to protect workers from “passive smoking” you are forced to present yourself publicly as “a tainted, discounted” person.
        Dogs are sent outside, not humans, but the law forbids any business from treating you with the normal respect they did previously, on penalty of huge fines.
        Thus using private businesses as agents of stigma, whatever the owners personal view.
        Goffman, E (1968) Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity,
        “The stigmatised can become self-conscious, feel on show, be afraid to display negative emotions such as anger, in case this is seen as a symptom of their stigma. They feel exposed to staring, to curious strangers and their false shows of interest.”
        http://www.arasite.org/goffstig.html
        Rose

    • Anonymous says:

      Brigitte
      You may have heard of the Yorkshire Ripper, a serial killer who attacked women as they walked alone.
      It caused terror throughout the area and women lived in fear, so intense that you could feel it as dusk fell.
      It could be anyone, the man at the bus stop, a man walking towards you at night, a father, a friend, a boyfriend.
      The police hadn’t a clue.
      The police advice was simply for women never to go out alone.
      Employers organised transport to take their female workers home to the door, people moved in groups.
      That’s why it was so remarkable and shocking that only a few years later, they introduced legislation that specifically demands without exemption, that women should go outside, frequently on their own,frequently in the dark, setting themselves up as an archetypal Ripper victim.
      Until of course, fear, public contempt, or injury persuades them to comply.
      But that’s what the denormalisation campaign is about.
      Rose

  9. Anonymous says:

    “Smoking is a chronic disease, as recognised by the World Health Organisation”
    As with every con we come across in our lives there is blatant disregard for the people affected by their lies.
    Why terming my habit “chronic disease”? Do they need this kind of statement to justify their behaviour? Clearly they cannot assume that we class ourselves as “nobody” who do not get offended by the rules they wish to impose on us.
    ———–
    “Our towns and cities have become open prisons in which social groups like smokers and drinkers and fat people are subjected to continuous assault and harassment”.
    Here I feel compelled to add that a group of people who often experience a great deal of disrespect and disadvantage, be it in social standing, work life or just in general life – women, have existed as long as mankind does.
    The attempt to stigmatise smoking in public just further adds to harassment often experienced by this group of people.
    As time progresses it becomes more and more obvious that there are more repercussions than considered by imposing this smoking ban and alongside a poor attempt of social engineering.

  10. Anonymous says:

    WHO LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY TO HELP SMOKERS QUIT – 1999
    “This partnership with the World Health Organization offers great promise in the effort to reduce tobacco dependence and thus reduce the significant health costs and burden of tobacco-related illnesses and deaths,” said Sir Richard Sykes, Chairman, Glaxo Wellcome plc.
    “As a company, our commitment is to fighting disease.
    Tobacco dependence is in every sense of the word a disease with major but reversible health implications.
    Together, we can defeat this disease.”
    http://www.who.int/inf-pr-1999/en/pr99-04.html
    Selling sickness: the pharmaceutical industry and disease mongering
    There’s a lot of money to be made from telling healthy people they’re sick. Some forms of medicalising ordinary life may now be better described as disease mongering: widening the boundaries of treatable illness in order to expand markets for those who sell and deliver treatments.
    Pharmaceutical companies are actively involved in sponsoring the definition of diseases and promoting them to both prescribers and consumers”
    http://www.bmj.com/content/324/7342/886.1.extract
    Especially if you keep very quiet about less helpful information.
    Nicotine
    “Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae), predominantly in tobacco, and in lower quantities in tomato, potato, eggplant (aubergine), and green pepper.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/n/nicotine.htm
    Rose

  11. Anonymous says:

    WHO LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY TO HELP SMOKERS QUIT – 1999
    “This partnership with the World Health Organization offers great promise in the effort to reduce tobacco dependence and thus reduce the significant health costs and burden of tobacco-related illnesses and deaths,” said Sir Richard Sykes, Chairman, Glaxo Wellcome plc.
    “As a company, our commitment is to fighting disease.
    Tobacco dependence is in every sense of the word a disease with major but reversible health implications.
    Together, we can defeat this disease.”
    http://www.who.int/inf-pr-1999/en/pr99-04.html
    Selling sickness: the pharmaceutical industry and disease mongering
    There’s a lot of money to be made from telling healthy people they’re sick. Some forms of medicalising ordinary life may now be better described as disease mongering: widening the boundaries of treatable illness in order to expand markets for those who sell and deliver treatments.
    Pharmaceutical companies are actively involved in sponsoring the definition of diseases and promoting them to both prescribers and consumers”
    http://www.bmj.com/content/324/7342/886.1.extract
    Especially if you keep very quiet about less helpful information.
    Nicotine
    “Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae), predominantly in tobacco, and in lower quantities in tomato, potato, eggplant (aubergine), and green pepper.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/n/nicotine.htm
    Rose

  12. Anonymous says:

    WHO LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY TO HELP SMOKERS QUIT – 1999
    “This partnership with the World Health Organization offers great promise in the effort to reduce tobacco dependence and thus reduce the significant health costs and burden of tobacco-related illnesses and deaths,” said Sir Richard Sykes, Chairman, Glaxo Wellcome plc.
    “As a company, our commitment is to fighting disease.
    Tobacco dependence is in every sense of the word a disease with major but reversible health implications.
    Together, we can defeat this disease.”
    http://www.who.int/inf-pr-1999/en/pr99-04.html
    Selling sickness: the pharmaceutical industry and disease mongering
    There’s a lot of money to be made from telling healthy people they’re sick. Some forms of medicalising ordinary life may now be better described as disease mongering: widening the boundaries of treatable illness in order to expand markets for those who sell and deliver treatments.
    Pharmaceutical companies are actively involved in sponsoring the definition of diseases and promoting them to both prescribers and consumers”
    http://www.bmj.com/content/324/7342/886.1.extract
    Especially if you keep very quiet about less helpful information.
    Nicotine
    “Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae), predominantly in tobacco, and in lower quantities in tomato, potato, eggplant (aubergine), and green pepper.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/n/nicotine.htm
    Rose

  13. Anonymous says:

    Brigitte
    You may have heard of the Yorkshire Ripper, a serial killer who attacked women as they walked alone.
    It caused terror throughout the area and women lived in fear, so intense that you could feel it as dusk fell.
    It could be anyone, the man at the bus stop, a man walking towards you at night, a father, a friend, a boyfriend.
    The police hadn’t a clue.
    The police advice was simply for women never to go out alone.
    Employers organised transport to take their female workers home to the door, people moved in groups.
    That’s why it was so remarkable and shocking that only a few years later, they introduced legislation that specifically demands without exemption, that women should go outside, frequently on their own,frequently in the dark, setting themselves up as an archetypal Ripper victim.
    Until of course, fear, public contempt, or injury persuades them to comply.
    But that’s what the denormalisation campaign is about.
    Rose

  14. Anonymous says:

    The Yorkshire Ripper
    “During the five years it took police to catch him, no woman in his hunting ground of Yorkshire and Greater Manchester felt safe.
    Day or night, they were scared to walk alone – hardly surprising when the formal advice from police was: “Do not go out at night unless absolutely necessary and only if accompanied by a man you know.”
    “The climate of fear meant men weren’t to be trusted, and police resorted to using undercover female officers as prostitutes in an attempt to smoke the Ripper out.
    Female students, angry at the impact this man had on their lives and freedoms, organised candlelight protests to reclaim the night.
    A whole region was paralysed, and despite thousands of men being interviewed – including Sutcliffe himself – the killer was still not identified.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10661833
    Denormalisation
    “Several authors have invoked Erving Goffman’s notions of stigmatisation to describe the process and impact of this radical transformation, which importantly includes motivating smoking cessation.”
    “Goffman described stigmatisation as the transformation “from a whole and usual person to to a tainted, discounted one” writing that “Stigma is a process by which the reaction of others spoils normal identity”.
    http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/17/1/25.full
    In England at least, in obeying the demands of the law ostensibly to protect workers from “passive smoking” you are forced to present yourself publicly as “a tainted, discounted” person.
    Dogs are sent outside, not humans, but the law forbids any business from treating you with the normal respect they did previously, on penalty of huge fines.
    Thus using private businesses as agents of stigma, whatever the owners personal view.
    Goffman, E (1968) Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity,
    “The stigmatised can become self-conscious, feel on show, be afraid to display negative emotions such as anger, in case this is seen as a symptom of their stigma. They feel exposed to staring, to curious strangers and their false shows of interest.”
    http://www.arasite.org/goffstig.html
    Rose

  15. Anonymous says:

    Oh no, don’t go there. We have lived through and are continuing to live under a regime which wishes to rewrite our history, culture, language, trampling over ancient customs and freedoms, airbrushing historical icons, telling lies about the past to justify their control of the present. To eviscerate our language of its rich history by adopting some kind of reductive phonetic spelling would only be a new form of the same process. To ‘disappear’ words, in the manner of 1984, is to disappear our ability to say what we mean, leaving us only with the abiility to say what we are supposed to say.
    Frank’s disassembly of the word ‘disease’ is a case in point. ‘Dis’ meaning negative, bad, wrong, has roots back to Ancient Greek and probably beyond. Spell the word phonetically – d-zeeze? – and you lose the clarity of perception.
    The English language, including its apparently eccentric spelling and pronunciation, is a living, breathing, changing testament to our history. The French have adopted a museum approach to theirs. There are many Englishes and only one French. And that’s just fine.
    PT Barnum

  16. Anonymous says:

    Our own taverns/pubs
    Smoking is a disease? OK!!!!
    Diseased people have compromised physical conditions.
    People with compromised physical conditions MUST have special treatment and considerations.
    Those diseased smokers MUST have their own special taverns/pubs!!!
    Gary K.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Our own taverns/pubs
    Smoking is a disease? OK!!!!
    Diseased people have compromised physical conditions.
    People with compromised physical conditions MUST have special treatment and considerations.
    Those diseased smokers MUST have their own special taverns/pubs!!!
    Gary K.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Our own taverns/pubs
    Smoking is a disease? OK!!!!
    Diseased people have compromised physical conditions.
    People with compromised physical conditions MUST have special treatment and considerations.
    Those diseased smokers MUST have their own special taverns/pubs!!!
    Gary K.

  19. junican says:

    Language
    @ Barnum and FD.
    My friends! Do you think that I am not aware of our heritage and the derivations of the words in our language?
    You must have seen the original texts of Chaucer. A person trying to read those texts would find it very hard to make any sense of them, both in the spelling of words and the form of the characters.
    B used the word ‘disease’ as an illustration of the origin of words. I, personally, do not see any problem, in that respect, with using the characters ‘dizeez’. I would go so far as to say that it is irrational to pronounce the word ‘disease’ with two ‘z’s, rather than two ‘s’s. Unfortunately, if you try to pronounce that word with ‘s’es rather than ‘z’s, you end up with a sound which sounds like ‘decease(d)’.
    All I am trying to say is that we should have a debate about the matter. I see no advantage in unnecessary complexity. If we do not make a conscious effort to decide on our spelling, then ‘text messaging’ will make the decision for us.
    Do we want wills to be drawn up with statements such as: “4u2, a grand apieceish, like luv u”? If we do not attend to this problem, that is the way our language is going to go.

  20. junican says:

    Language
    @ Barnum and FD.
    My friends! Do you think that I am not aware of our heritage and the derivations of the words in our language?
    You must have seen the original texts of Chaucer. A person trying to read those texts would find it very hard to make any sense of them, both in the spelling of words and the form of the characters.
    B used the word ‘disease’ as an illustration of the origin of words. I, personally, do not see any problem, in that respect, with using the characters ‘dizeez’. I would go so far as to say that it is irrational to pronounce the word ‘disease’ with two ‘z’s, rather than two ‘s’s. Unfortunately, if you try to pronounce that word with ‘s’es rather than ‘z’s, you end up with a sound which sounds like ‘decease(d)’.
    All I am trying to say is that we should have a debate about the matter. I see no advantage in unnecessary complexity. If we do not make a conscious effort to decide on our spelling, then ‘text messaging’ will make the decision for us.
    Do we want wills to be drawn up with statements such as: “4u2, a grand apieceish, like luv u”? If we do not attend to this problem, that is the way our language is going to go.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Re: Language
      I’m sure that George Bernard Shaw or someone wrote something that demonstrated the benefits of a rational phonetic system of spelling, in which letters were phonetically re-assigned until it became completely unreadable.
      I tried briefly to find it, but instead turned up another long poetic complaint, called The Chaos:
      Dearest creature in creation
      Studying English pronunciation,
      I will teach you in my verse
      Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
      I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
      Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
      Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear.
      So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
      Pray, console your loving poet,
      Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
      Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
      Dies and diet, lord and word,
      Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
      (Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
      Made has not the sound of bade,
      Say-said, pay-paid, laid but plaid.

      And so on.
      Frank

    • Frank Davis says:

      Re: Language
      I’m sure that George Bernard Shaw or someone wrote something that demonstrated the benefits of a rational phonetic system of spelling, in which letters were phonetically re-assigned until it became completely unreadable.
      I tried briefly to find it, but instead turned up another long poetic complaint, called The Chaos:
      Dearest creature in creation
      Studying English pronunciation,
      I will teach you in my verse
      Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
      I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
      Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
      Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear.
      So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
      Pray, console your loving poet,
      Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
      Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
      Dies and diet, lord and word,
      Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
      (Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
      Made has not the sound of bade,
      Say-said, pay-paid, laid but plaid.

      And so on.
      Frank

  21. junican says:

    Language
    @ Barnum and FD.
    My friends! Do you think that I am not aware of our heritage and the derivations of the words in our language?
    You must have seen the original texts of Chaucer. A person trying to read those texts would find it very hard to make any sense of them, both in the spelling of words and the form of the characters.
    B used the word ‘disease’ as an illustration of the origin of words. I, personally, do not see any problem, in that respect, with using the characters ‘dizeez’. I would go so far as to say that it is irrational to pronounce the word ‘disease’ with two ‘z’s, rather than two ‘s’s. Unfortunately, if you try to pronounce that word with ‘s’es rather than ‘z’s, you end up with a sound which sounds like ‘decease(d)’.
    All I am trying to say is that we should have a debate about the matter. I see no advantage in unnecessary complexity. If we do not make a conscious effort to decide on our spelling, then ‘text messaging’ will make the decision for us.
    Do we want wills to be drawn up with statements such as: “4u2, a grand apieceish, like luv u”? If we do not attend to this problem, that is the way our language is going to go.

  22. junican says:

    Language
    Further.
    Of course, the spelling is nowhere near as important as the deliberate misuse of words.
    In the Courts, generally speaking, words have retained their meaning. But, I wonder to what extent ordinary words like ‘litter’ can have two meanings in Courts. On the one hand, ‘litter’ can mean leaves, which are natural. but, on the other hand, ‘litter’ can mean man-made rubbish. These are the problems which arise when Government does not precisely describe the meaning of the words it uses. For example, as regards the duties of publicans, how did the words ‘not allow’ come to mean ‘force not to’? The two ideas, thus expressed, cannot possibly mean the same thing.
    And that is another reason that the smoking ban is irrational.

  23. junican says:

    Language
    Further.
    Of course, the spelling is nowhere near as important as the deliberate misuse of words.
    In the Courts, generally speaking, words have retained their meaning. But, I wonder to what extent ordinary words like ‘litter’ can have two meanings in Courts. On the one hand, ‘litter’ can mean leaves, which are natural. but, on the other hand, ‘litter’ can mean man-made rubbish. These are the problems which arise when Government does not precisely describe the meaning of the words it uses. For example, as regards the duties of publicans, how did the words ‘not allow’ come to mean ‘force not to’? The two ideas, thus expressed, cannot possibly mean the same thing.
    And that is another reason that the smoking ban is irrational.

  24. junican says:

    Language
    Further.
    Of course, the spelling is nowhere near as important as the deliberate misuse of words.
    In the Courts, generally speaking, words have retained their meaning. But, I wonder to what extent ordinary words like ‘litter’ can have two meanings in Courts. On the one hand, ‘litter’ can mean leaves, which are natural. but, on the other hand, ‘litter’ can mean man-made rubbish. These are the problems which arise when Government does not precisely describe the meaning of the words it uses. For example, as regards the duties of publicans, how did the words ‘not allow’ come to mean ‘force not to’? The two ideas, thus expressed, cannot possibly mean the same thing.
    And that is another reason that the smoking ban is irrational.

  25. Frank Davis says:

    Re: Language
    I’m sure that George Bernard Shaw or someone wrote something that demonstrated the benefits of a rational phonetic system of spelling, in which letters were phonetically re-assigned until it became completely unreadable.
    I tried briefly to find it, but instead turned up another long poetic complaint, called The Chaos:
    Dearest creature in creation
    Studying English pronunciation,
    I will teach you in my verse
    Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
    I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
    Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
    Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear.
    So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
    Pray, console your loving poet,
    Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
    Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
    Dies and diet, lord and word,
    Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
    (Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
    Made has not the sound of bade,
    Say-said, pay-paid, laid but plaid.

    And so on.
    Frank

  26. junican says:

    Like the poem. I think that I saw that many, many years ago – or something very like it.

  27. junican says:

    Like the poem. I think that I saw that many, many years ago – or something very like it.

  28. junican says:

    Like the poem. I think that I saw that many, many years ago – or something very like it.

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