Letter To Linda

In common with DP, Taking Liberties, Chris Snowdon, and others, I’ve been taking a bit of interest in the Independent’s ‘exclusive’ on how Philip Morris have been trying to use FOI to get Stirling University to produce data on studies into children’s attitudes to smoking and cigarette packaging. What interested me most were these sections (my emphases added):

The demands from the tobacco company, made using the UK’s Freedom of Information law, have coincided with an internet hate campaign targeted at university researchers involved in smoking studies.

One of the academics has received anonymous abusive phone calls at her home at night. She believes they are prompted by an organised campaign by the tobacco industry to discredit her work, although there is no evidence that the cigarette companies are directly responsible.

Academics studying the smoking behaviour of British teenagers and adults have found themselves to be the targets of vitriolic attacks by the pro-smoking lobby.

University researchers have been sent hate emails and some have even received anonymous phone calls, which usually come after a series of blogs posted on pro-smoking websites, including at least one which is linked to the tobacco industry.

Linda Bauld, professor of socio-management at Stirling University’s Institute for Social Marketing, says she was unprepared for the scale of the personal attacks aimed at discrediting her work on smoking behaviour and anti-smoking legislation.

“I’ve had a series of anonymous calls starting about a year ago,” Professor Bauld said. “These are phone calls in the evening when I’m at home with my children. It’s an unpleasant experience.

“It’s happened six or seven times and it’s always an unknown number. It’s usually after stuff has been posted on one of the main smokers’ websites.

“They don’t leave their name, they just say things like ‘Keep taking the money’, and ‘Who are you to try to intervene in other peoples’ lives’, using a couple of profanities.”

I think the main thing that comes out of this is that academics like Linda Bauld have been reading pro-smoking blogs. And since I write a pro-smoking blog, she may well read mine. And in fact she may well be reading this very post. So the rest of this post will be addressed to her. I’ll do my level best not to be vitriolic.

So sit down, Linda, and listen very carefully.

Firstly, there is no organised campaign. Because there are no organisers, least of all the tobacco companies. The internet doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t have a command hierarchy, like in your line of work, where I believe you’re a university professor, which is a bit more senior than a lecturer or a post-grad researcher (like I once was). We pro-smoking bloggers aren’t part of any organisation. We’re all different people. Quite often we don’t agree about all sorts of things. We’re a loose, swirling cloud of individuals. A swarm.

Part of your problem is that you’ve become so fixated on the tobacco companies that Tobacco Control has been combating for the past 50 years that you haven’t noticed that this swarm has begun to emerge, in the form of the millions of smokers worldwide who are feeling the impact of smoking bans on their social lives, their families, their jobs, their self-esteem, and their wallets. The only real connection they have with tobacco companies is that they consume their product. They have about as much connection with Big Tobacco as the average housewife has with Sainsbury’s or Tesco or any other large company whose products they purchase. They don’t work for them. They don’t take money from them. They don’t take orders from them. They don’t take a lead from them.

So disabuse yourself of that idea: we’re not an organisation. And we’re not being led by any tobacco company.

If anything happens on these blogs and forums and newsletters, it’s not something that’s been organised. It hasn’t. It’s just that one person writes something, and somebody else reads it, and responds to it, and so do other people, and the next thing they’re all writing about the same thing or the same person (like, f’rinstance, you). Much like people sitting in a pub quite often all talk about the same thing without anyone actually saying, “Right ho, everyone: The next topic of discussion is Manchester United.” You may have yourself actually experienced these occasions: they’re called conversations. And they sort of just happen, without any planning, or memos, or text messages. And that’s what just happens in the big swirling conversation that is the blogosphere. It looks organised, but it isn’t. You’re very far from alone in thinking that it’s organised: Heck, even the Chinese Communist party thinks it’s organised.

And secondly, this swarm is growing. Because there are a lot of angry smokers around these days. And not just smokers. Quite a few people in the swarm don’t smoke at all.

And a lot of these people are very angry. Some of them have lost their jobs because of smoking bans. Some have been refused medical treatment because of smoking bans. Some (like me) have lost most of their friends since the smoking ban came into force, simply because there was nowhere warm and welcoming to meet them any more. And some have committed suicide. And some just don’t like what’s being done to smokers.

And thirdly, there are a hell of a lot of them. There are about 1,300 million smokers in the world, at a conservative estimate. And none of them likes what’s being done to them. Because, let’s face it, no smoker like smoking bans any more than turkeys like Christmas. They don’t like being banned, excluded, denormalised, vilified, and demonised. Most people don’t. They may not be equally angry, but they’re all gradually getting angrier. And when they’ve got angry enough, they’ll join the growing, circling swarm.

You think your enemy is Big Tobacco. But those days are over. Your enemy now is the ever-growing swarm of angry smokers from all over the world, gradually coalescing into a super-swarm.

And they all hate you. And people like you. They hate your guts. They really do.

If you haven’t noticed them, it’s probably because you’ve been studiously ignoring them. You don’t allow either smokers or tobacco companies to attend any of your numerous conferences. You don’t want to know what they think. You see smokers as mindless drug addicts, hooked on tobacco. The only thing you want to do to them is make them quit smoking. Nothing else matters to you. Not what they think or what they feel or what they believe or what they say. You have dehumanised them. You have reduced them to so many rats to be nudged and goaded and electrocuted into blind obedience.

I’d like to suggest that this was a mistake on your part, and that smokers are actually as fully human as anyone else, and as intelligent as anyone else, and as aware as anyone else what is being done to them. It wasn’t your personal mistake. It was the mistake of the whole Tobacco Control movement, from the very top to the very bottom. You think you’re dealing with rats, but you’re not. You’re dealing with people who are just as smart as you are, just as knowledgeable, and just as determined.

Those nasty emails and phone calls you’ve been getting weren’t organised or planned by anyone. I shouldn’t worry about them too much. It’s just the trailing edge of the swarm, like the zephyrs on the perimeter of a hurricane. But they’re not going to stop. They’re going to become more and more frequent. You should start worrying when bricks start getting thrown through your window, or messages daubed on your door. They won’t be planned or organised either. They’ll just happen.

You look worried. You should be. Not now, but soon. For it’s not too late to do something about it, to keep the growing swarm from your doorstep.

Here’s my suggestion. Announce that you’ve had a change of heart about smoking and smokers. Tell people that you’ve begun to believe that they’re people just like other people, and they should be treated with respect, and with dignity – and they’re not just filthy addicts to be herded like animals. Write to the Minister of Health and tell him that you think that the current antismoking campaign has become ‘counter-productive’ (or something like that. I’m sure you’d be able to come up with the right formula of words). Suggest that the smoking ban should be relaxed, because it’s doing far more harm than good. Set out to persuade your colleagues of the merit of your new arguments. Call for a ‘rethink’. Or a ‘moratorium’.

That way – and that way only – you’ll maybe calm the angry swarm. And smokers like me will admire you for your insight and your courage. And they’ll welcome you like Christians welcome gadarene swine. Or is it lost sons? Or prodigal sheep? Something like that, anyway.

And if that doesn’t work, then resign from your job, and do something different. I’m sure you’re highly employable, and have lots of friends and contacts. They’re opening up a new Sainsbury’s round here soon. I’m sure you’d make a great check-out girl.

Better still would be to leave the country, and go somewhere where antismokers are admired – like Bhutan. Or maybe Nepal. That way, you’ll be out of the country and maybe even living under a new name when your old university department gets torched, and your old colleagues are strung up from lamp posts.

A few years ago the antismoking organisation ASH thoughtfully issued a warning to businesses in Britain that they could face prosecution if they didn’t act to stop smoking on their premises. It would therefore only be equally considerate to offer a counter-warning. Count yourself as having been warned. And offered friendly, helpful guidance. A bit like the friendly, helpful guidance you offer smokers.

Think of it as a kind of voodoo warning.

For if you don’t take steps to remedy the situation, that swarm of angry smokers is just going to get bigger and bigger, and more and more menacing, and ultimately far more powerful than Big Tobacco ever was. It’ll become an unstoppable, elemental force. And nobody will be any more in control of it then, or able to organise it, than they are now. Not even your friends in Westminster.

So think it over. You’ve still got time. And if you like, you can even leave a comment on my blog with any questions you might have.

So there you are. I’m done. And not a drop of vitriol!

About Frank Davis

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65 Responses to Letter To Linda

  1. Wiel says:

    Frank, you really express what’s going on in the TC movement here. They need to get rid of their “Tobacco companies organize the resistance” idea. “Your enemy now is the ever-growing swarm of angry smokers from all over the world”. I really agree on that. We’re not rats but human beings. Again: agree.
    Let them leave their ivory towers and face the real world.
    Their mindset is their weakness. So we will win. Point.

  2. Wonderful post! I tested my new e-cig* in the corporate hotel opposite my workplace in Vancouver – a healthist nirvana – and the barman was so brainwashed that he actually said that my immediately-dispersing cloud of vapour smelt “quite strong actually” and “gave him a headache”. I restrained from calling him ‘Pavlovian’ (i.e. no better than a drooling dog) but wish I hadn’t. I think a little vitriol is perfectly acceptable given the hatemongering we’ve endured.

    * I hasten to add that I’m still smoking real cigarettes – I am now a tobaccotarian! I just like to puff away with a beer – and thankfully not all barkeeps in Vancouver are as Pavlovian as tonight’s experiment.

  3. Geo says:

    Frank,

    I believe it is too late for them to reverse direction. The hate, instigated by the Tobacco Control Industry’s denormalisation tactic and sanctioned by governments the world over, has allowed not only the TC minions but every fear driven bigot to abuse people who smoke.

    Fear begets feats, anger begets anger, violence begets violence.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I believe it is too late for them to reverse direction.

      I suspect that you’re quite right.

      • harleyrider says:

        Frank again you nailed it!

        But we must recall the fervent prohibitionists of yesteryears anti-alcohol movement.Those progressives by 1933 were BEGGING on the newsreels for forgiveness from the general population after prohibitions repeal!

        To think these folks wouldnt do the same thing may not seem likely now,but their names are MUDD and their actions unfathomable in any gentle persons persuassion!

        In the end and I hope not a blood letting of the anti-smoking prohibitionists own bodies maybe they will REPENT and beg our forgiveness……………..Will we be listening,I doubt it,we will be to busy ressurecting our lost lives down at the local pub or coffee shop!

      • Rose says:

        MERRY XMAS FROM UNCLE SAM POISON RUM, DECEMBER 1926 CHAPTER 45

        “BY NOW, it was not only liberal Eastern wets like New York Gov. Al Smith who were calling for modification of the Volstead Act. A growing number of Republican leaders were abandoning the dry chorus: Nicholas Murray Butler, the distinguished president of Columbia University, had denounced Prohibition as evil and inhuman; even the saintly John D. Rockefellers, senior and junior, solid Baptist teetotalers both, had withdrawn funding from the Anti-Saloon League fanatics.

        In referenda in New York and four other states, voters had overwhelmingly called for relaxation of the pious laws that the farm belt had successfully imposed upon all America seven long parched years earlier. In early December 1926, New York’s federal grand jury went on record as opposed to the national prohibition laws, arguing, among other things, that they had all by themselves created “a ruthless and dangerous set of criminals.”

        And still the federal sleuths mounted large prosecutions; still the Dry Navy prowled the coast for rum runners; a week before Christmas, President Calvin Coolidge went before Congress to request still another $30 million for enforcement. For all the diligence, there were said to be 22,000 thriving speakeasies in the city – this number came from an assistant U.S. attorney who had quit his job in hopeless despair – and it was estimated that a good 100,000 cases of whisky continued to arrive every week.”

        The official Health Department numbers made it plain that more and more people were dying of bad alcohol in New York City every year, not even counting the off-the-books deaths: 127 in 1921, 233 in 1922, 370 in 1923, 499 in 1924, 585 in 1925. The city’s 1926 death toll was expected to surpass 750. Nationally, the number was nearly 4,000.
        Every Christmas, the Anti-Saloon League’s general counsel, the odious Wayne Wheeler, made a public point of expressing satisfaction at these figures.
        “If a man wishes to violate the Constitution of the United States,” Wheeler liked to chuckle, “he should be free to commit suicide in his own way.”

        On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the city, reported Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Norris, 11 more merrymakers died, and 55 were committed blind and sick and raving to hospital wards.”

        “Merry Xmas from Uncle Sam,” observed the Daily News.
        ON FRIDAY the 31st, there were 43 dead, and it wasn’t even New Year’s Eve yet. By midnight, two more people were gone and another 28 were hospitalized. And it was only midnight.

        UNCLE SAM, said The News, “is sound and fine at heart. But he is controlled, just now, by a gang of blackjackers cloaking themselves in the sacred names of law observance, civic and national duty, patriotism. The Washington administration knuckles under to these daughters and sons of witch hunters of olden days, because it fears them.”
        http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2000/03/28/2000-03-28_merry_xmas_from_uncle_sam_po.html

  4. Walt says:

    Christ, I hope she does read that.

    Meanwhile, I wouldn’t trust her research into children’s attitudes about smoking and its artifacts. In America, we set the standard for such “research” when a fraudster named Joseph DiFranza was so successful in a parallel study that purported to show that kindergarteners (literally, 6 year olds) were so attracted to the Joe Camel character that they were doomed to a life of depravity and addiction that he managed to get Joe permanently banned. His fraud was uncovered (but Joe stayed banned). Here’s an excerpt with just a part of how he did it (link below)

    ” When Dr. Joseph DiFranza’s pretesting for his 12/91 JAMA article showed that the ads appealed more to people in their 20s than early teens, he wrote his colleagues, “It would appear that we have just disproved our theory that the ads appeal more to kids than to adults.” To get his final results, DiFranza changed questions that didn’t produce the desired answers and included in the results the answers of “kids” who told him they did not smoke. He also counted respondents up to 21 years of age as “kids.” DiFranza told a newspaper reporter: “None of these studies was designed to show that these Camel ads increased smoking among kids.” DiFranza also found, but did not report, that 94% of the students who thought Joe Camel was “cool” also thought “smoking makes you unpopular;” 95% thought “smoking makes you unattractive.” …• In a paper presented at the 1995 Marketing and Public Policy Conference, Joel S. Dubow, professor at St. Joseph’s University and an editorial referee for the Journal of Advertising Research, stated: “The errors of method and conclusion which occur in DiFranza et al are overwhelming. They consist of both errors of scientific method and what appear to be lapses of integrity on the part of the authors. .., And, we ought to ask, also, whether the actions of DiFranza et al constitute an incident of scientific fraud.” ”

    http://tobaccodocuments.org/rjr/…74250- 4255.html

    :

    • Frank Davis says:

      Meanwhile, I wouldn’t trust her research into children’s attitudes about smoking and its artifacts.

      Neither would I, given the appalling low quality of most of the research. It’s probably why they don’t want Philip Morris looking too closely at it. While they do press release science, they’re ok. But if anyone digs at all deep, they’re in trouble.

      • harleyrider says:

        While they do press release science, they’re ok. But if anyone digs at all deep, they’re in trouble.

        Bingo Frank and why she is playing the emotional victim card here!

        Victimology 101,when the fingers pointed at you, simply create an alter scene where your accuser is the bully!

    • alisa says:

      she did see it

  5. Rose says:

    Very gently put, I thought, Frank

    IN MY VIEW: Brainwashing in the Anti-Smoking Movement: #1 – Smearing the Opposition

    “If you take part in secondhand smoke policy training in the tobacco control movement, chances are that you will be taught that all opposition to smoking bans is orchestrated by the tobacco industry, that anyone who challenges the science connecting secondhand smoke exposure and severe health effects is a paid lackey of Big Tobacco, and that any group which disseminates information challenging these health effects is a tobacco industry front group.

    Consequently, the a chief strategy of tobacco control is to smear the opposition by accusing them of being tobacco industry moles. And in no situation should one say anything positive about an opponent, even if true.”
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/04/in-my-view-brainwashing-in-anti-smoking.html

    Not infrequently, as I have watched the swarm of opposition grow, I have thought of that famous line from Tora! Tora! Tora!

    “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

    • harleyrider says:

      LMAO! 5 years of daily bombardments against the nazi strongholds and finally we see the opposition buckling! But how do you defend the indefensible!

      Charachter assasination!

  6. Brigitte says:

    Linda Bauld, professor of socio-management at Stirling University’s Institute for Social Marketing, says she was unprepared for the scale of the personal attacks aimed at discrediting her work on smoking behaviour and anti-smoking legislation.

    “I’ve had a series of anonymous calls starting about a year ago,” Professor Bauld said. “These are phone calls in the evening when I’m at home with my children. It’s an unpleasant experience.
    “It’s happened six or seven times and it’s always an unknown number. It’s usually after stuff has been posted on one of the main smokers’ websites.

    Here Prof. Bauld laments the unpleasantness of “personal attacks”. And she states “ It’s usually after stuff has been posted on one of the main smokers’ websites.

    I most certainly would be interested to read the “stuff” posted on ?WHICH main smokers’ websites.
    Whys is Prof. Bauld surprised to read “stuff” on websites? Does Prof. Bauld consider the amount of “stuff” posted on tobacco-control/anti-smoker websites? What about the extremely unpleasant experiences encountered by innocent, law-abiding citizen caused by, e.g. the DENORMALIZATION campaign, in pursuit of anti-smoking legislation?
    Last, but not the least:
    ….says she was unprepared for the scale of the personal attacks aimed at discrediting her work on smoking behaviour and anti-smoking legislation.
    Prof. Bauld, with all due respect; These things do happen in Science; it is nothing unusual in this field of work. And Scientists do love to discredit each others work.

  7. Ed says:

    The Anti-Smoking lobby and their lapdog researchers started the HATE campaign against smokers, THEY CAN NOW EXPECT THE SAME AGAINST THEM.

    • harleyrider says:

      Ya thats true,but for 5 years thats what Ive been doing…….destroy their Junk Science the foundation of their agenda!

    • Brigitte says:

      The Anti-Smoking lobby and their lapdog researchers started the HATE campaign against smokers, THEY CAN NOW EXPECT THE SAME AGAINST THEM.

      Indeed, they have started it. And, surely, they must expect to “reap what they sow”.
      What they didn’t think of is it was THEM who put the smokers into the position of having nothing to lose, so “fear” has been taken out the equation.
      This probably scares them far more as second,- third,- fourth-and-so-on, – hand smoke damage.

  8. Bill Gibson says:

    I think that an invitation to address the next TICAP Conference is in order and to bring along her side-kicks of Gerard Hastings, Sheila Duffy, Celia Farren, Debs Arnott and the newly appointed Director of Communications for ASH Scotland, John Watson (formerly of Amnesty International Scotland who has been given a roigh time of it since he advised me of his appointment). We up here in Scotland smell a rat, an evil rat in the form of the new session of the Scottish Parliament which is about to commence.

    Already we are bracing ourselves for Alcohol Minimum Pricing and other Prohibition Measures yet to be announced, our fears are recorded here

    http://news.scotsman.com/opinion/Brian-Monteith-Lets-stop-patting.6829652.jp

  9. Bill Gibson says:

    here is another example her twisted mind at work, go to page 7

    http://lacors.conseq.net/lacorsdev/tio/275418

    compare this with Indoor Air Quality Standard EN 13779 (accepted and implemented throughout all EU Member States)

    http://www.freedom2choose.info/docs/EC_Standard_For_Ventilation.pdf

    or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N66hVQ0WIkQ

  10. Phil Johnson says:

    “…She believes they are prompted by an organised campaign by the tobacco industry to discredit her work, although there is no evidence that the cigarette companies are directly responsible.”
    This proves that she is an absolute moron in reality Frank. The “Evidenced Review” authored by herself Linda Bauld, referenced to work by Linda Bauld was so baseless that it did not warrant any credit in the first place-so how could it be DISCREDITED?
    As for the phone-calls I don’t see anything but truth in what has been revealed as uttered into her ‘shell-like’!
    “‘Keep taking the money’” – perfectly true, LB is very happy to soak up as much government cash as she possibly can whilst demonising her fellow human beings. & “Who are you to try to intervene in other peoples’ lives” – unfortunately for LB the anonymous caller is absolutely correct! Who is LB anyway?-just some self righteous anti smoking nomark who has grabbed an opportunity (with both money grabbing hands) to make fellow human beings lives intolerable just because she can. She hasn’t quite grasped the concept that people have different forms of enjoyment. She probably likes pulling spiders legs off one by one, or sticking a straw up a frogs arse to inflate the poor creature-who knows.
    One thing for sure, as Frank rightly points out, the swarm is gathering pace & strength!

  11. chris says:

    It’s often forgotten that the greatest reduction in smoking (at least in the US) occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s–back when you could essentially light up just about anywhere, even on an airplane and no one would even notice. I believe there are even studies that show smoking rates decline at a slow but sure rate when nothing but peruasion is used, but they begin to shoot up again when more aggressive methods are employed. Look at Ireland.

  12. smokervoter says:

    Memo to: Professor Linda Bauld
    From: The Pro-Smoking Blogoshpere

    You didn’t really think you could continue forever kicking people in the face with unanswered blows did you? No more hiding behind your protected academic immunity status while raining gutter level vitriol down on right decent folk. All the while you sit back reading and drooling over all of the ‘you stink’, ‘you’re filthy’ and ‘good riddance’ comments you’ve purposely incited. You love it, you cold blooded, majorly-credentialled snake.

    We’ve seen what happens to those who end up on your List and now that you’re crucifying our so-called obese friends, they’ll be gathering with the swarm as well. And forget about alcohol Prohibition v 2.0, you can’t be serious.

    The dam is about to burst. You have no idea of how much pent up hostility is going to spill over the top when it finally breaks.

  13. harleyrider says:

    Need a Rope!

  14. Frank that’s just pure masterpiece!

    You have become the Mark Twain of the 21st century!

  15. Pat Nurse says:

    Yes an excellent post Frank. Sadly, I could not contain my anger so eloquently but I did out a smokerphobic who demonstrates that truth is not important when it comes to hate. http://patnurseblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/terrified-big-p-front-groups-strike.html

  16. harleyrider says:

    Just found this Frank very interesting

    http://www.fuckfrance.com/topic/2905045/2/Discussions/New-Study-Sends-Secondhand-Smoke-Myth-Up-In-Flames.html&replies=30

    Over the past months, anti-smoking groups have been forced to hone their techniques of suppressing dissent from within the movement, since so far I have not been deterred by any of these tactics.

    But I’ve learned a lot about how the groups are able to suppress dissent.

    Thus, I offer my Top Five List of Techniques to Suppress Dissent. I propose this as a guidebook or manual that could be given to anti-smoking advocates. I even offer actual, real-life examples of each of the techniques.

    TOP FIVE LIST OF TECHNIQUES TO SUPRESS DISSENT:
    A Guidebook for Tobacco Control Advocates

    5. Accuse the Dissenter of Being Paid Off by the Tobacco Industry

    When you don’t like what a colleague is saying, simply turn the tables on him and accuse him of being paid off by the tobacco industry. Don’t worry about not having documentation of your accusation or the possibly defamatory nature of your public statement. After all, claims only need to be documented when they’re made by the tobacco companies. Anti-smoking groups are not subject to the same ethical standards.

    Example: Accuse the dissenter of being a tobacco stooge.

    4. Accuse the Dissenter of Supporting the Tobacco Industry

    Just shy of making an outright accusation that the dissenter is being paid off by the tobacco companies, simply accuse the dissenter of supporting the tobacco industry cause. This relieves you of the defamation risk but allows you to accomplish virtually the same objective of discrediting the dissenter and ruining his career. This is enough to discourage all but the most hardy of anti-smoking advocates from offering any criticism of the tactics, statements, or agenda of the movement.

    Example 1: Accuse the dissenter of lending support to the destruction of the health of the public.

    Example 2: Accuse the dissenter of running a tobacco industry support group.

    3. Accuse the Dissenter of Helping to Kill People

    There are times when tactics #4 and #5 will not work because the dissenter has a long history of fighting Big Tobacco and it will be clear to your colleagues that he doesn’t support the tobacco industry cause. In these cases, an excellent approach is to accuse him of helping to kill people, even though that may not be his actual goal. By aligning him with the goals of Big Tobacco without actually suggesting that he is intentionally supporting tobacco companies, you have at your hands an excellent way of discrediting the advocate through personal attack.

    Example: Accuse the dissenter of helping Big Tobacco kill people.

    2. Implore All Anti-Smoking Groups and Advocates to Ignore the Dissenter

    If you don’t think that anyone will buy the argument that the dissenter is taking money from Big Tobacco or supporting the Big Tobacco cause because he has devoted 20 or more years of his life to fighting tobacco-related morbidity and mortality, the next best thing to do is to try to get all of your colleagues to simply ignore him. Sending an email to thousands of advocates entitled “Please Ignore [insert name of dissenter here]” is a great way of accomplishing this.

    Example: Implore thousands of colleagues to please ignore the dissenter.

    1. Censor the Dissenter by Removing Him from All Internet and Email Listserves and Discussion Forums

    There are situations in which none of the less aggressive tactics will work. In cases of especially well-known and prominent dissenters who have made major contributions to the tobacco control movement through decades of research, advocacy, and leadership, you may need to resort to more aggressive and definitive tactics. Since email and internet discussion forums are now a predominant mode of communication in tobacco control, expelling the dissenter from all tobacco control email listserves and discussion forums is an ideal tactic to silence him.

    Remember that you don’t need a legitimate reason to expel the dissenter. You can simply state that he has interfered with the quality of the listserve messages, or that he is being too repetitive.

    Example 1: Expel the dissenter from listserves and discussion forums.

    Example 2: Expel the dissenter from listserves and discussion forums.

    Additional Techniques to Consider

    In rare situations, none of the above techniques will be effective in suppressing dissent from a colleague because he may actually have a conscience and may decide that expressing the truth to the public is worth risking his career. Do not worry. In these situations, there are a number of additional techniques that you can use.

    1. Suggest that There Are More Important Things to Worry About then the Concerns Raised by the Dissenter

    There are times when the concerns raised by the dissenter are actually valid and his arguments are compelling. In these cases, an effective technique is to make people think that there are many more important things to worry about than the concerns raised by the dissenter. Some very good lines to use are the following:

    “We are too busy fighting Big Tobacco to pay attention to this distraction from our important work.”

    “Nobody is perfect. In our work to protect kids and save lives, we are bound to make a few mistakes.”

    “Sure we made a few misleading statements. But they’re nothing compared to the statements being made by the tobacco companies and smokers’ rights groups.”

    The word “distraction” is an excellent one to use. It turns the attack on the dissenter, suggesting that he is a distraction to the movement. Trying to deflect the criticism by turning it against the tobacco industry is also a wise and effective strategy. No matter how unethical or inappropriate the tactics and statements of the anti-smoking groups are, it will never be as bad as what the tobacco companies have done. Reminding people of that will always deflect attention from any untruths being spread by the movement.

    Example: Suggest that there are more important things to do than worry about the concerns of the dissenter.

    2. Point Out that Only a Small Fraction of Statements We are Making are Misleading

    No matter how inaccurate or fallacious a statement the anti-smoking movement is making may be, it will never represent more than about 1% of all statements made by these groups. Thus, pointing out that only a small fraction of statements made by anti-smoking groups are misleading or inaccurate is a valid and effective technique. It will take attention away from any deception that is going on and focus attention on the many accurate things that we say. Combining this technique with Additional Technique #1 is particularly effective, as it may help not only to distract attention from the deception going on in the tobacco control movement’s propaganda, but re-focus it on the deception going on in the tobacco companies’ propaganda.

    Example: Point out that our misleading statements are only a fraction of all of our statements.

    Techniques to Avoid at All Costs

    The one technique to avoid at all costs is responding substantively to the arguments being made by the dissenter. Respond with an ad hominem attack, but by no means address the actual argument being made.

    • Brigitte says:

      The one technique to avoid at all costs is responding substantively to the arguments being made by the dissenter. Respond with an ad hominem attack, but by no means address the actual argument being made.

      Yes, this works. But I found something much more entertaining; get them going to the point they begin to call you all sorts of funny names, wind them up “a tad” further and then end the conversation with: “RELAX!!! think of your blood pressure!!! It wouldn’t look good for your cause if you, as a strict anti-smoker, suddenly died from a heart attack, would it?…..”

      Works a treat every time!

  17. harleyrider says:

    Then check this out,it would have been a perfect addendum to the smoking and lung cancer debate a few months back!

    Journal of Theoretics

    Smoking Does Not Cause Lung Cancer

    (According to WHO/CDC Data)*

    By: James P. Siepmann, MD

    Yes, it is true, smoking does not cause lung cancer. It is only one of many risk factors for lung cancer. I initially was going to write an article on how the professional literature and publications misuse the language by saying “smoking causes lung cancer”1,2, but the more that I looked into how biased the literature, professional organizations, and the media are, I modified this article to one on trying to put the relationship between smoking and cancer into perspective. (No, I did not get paid off by the tobacco companies, or anything else like that.)

    When the tobacco executives testified to Congress that they did not believe that smoking caused cancer, there answers were probably truthful and I agree with that statement. Now if they were asked if smoking increases the risk of getting lung cancer, then the answer based upon current evidence should be “yes.” But even so, the risk of a smoker getting lung cancer is much less than anyone would suspect. Based upon what the media and anti-tobacco organizations say, one would think that if you smoke, you get lung cancer (a 100% correlation). You would at least expect a 50+% occurrence before someone used the word “cause.”

    Would you believe that the real number is < 10% (see Appendix A)? Yes, a US white male (USWM) cigarette smoker has an 8% lifetime chance of dying from lung cancer but the USWM nonsmoker also has a 1% chance of dying from lung cancer (see Appendix A). In fact, the data used is biased in the way they are collected and the actual risk for a smoker is probably less. I personally would not smoke cigarettes and take that risk, nor recommend cigarette smoking to others but the numbers were less than I had been led to believe. I only did the data on white males because they account for the largest number of lung cancers in the US, but a similar analysis can be done for other groups using the CDC data.

    You don't see this type of information being reported, and we hear things like, "if you smoke you will die" but when we actually look at the data, lung cancer accounts for only 2% of the annual deaths worldwide and only 3% in the US.**

    When we look at the data over a longer period of time, such as 50 years as we did here, the lifetime relative risk is only 8 (see Appendix A). That means that even using the biased data that is out there, a USWM smoker has only an 8x more risk of dying from lung cancer than a nonsmoker. It surprised me too because I had always heard numbers like 20-40 times more risk. Statistics that are understandable and make sense… it may be a new avenue of scientific inquiry.

    The process of developing cancer is complex and multifactorial. It involves genetics, the immune system, cellular irritation, DNA alteration, dose and duration of exposure, and much more. Some of the known risk factors include genetics4,5,6, asbestos exposure7, sex8, HIV status9, vitamin deficiency10, diet11,12,13, pollution14 , shipbuilding15 and even just plain old being lazy.16 When some of these factors are combined they can have a synergistic effect17, but none of these risk factors are directly and independently responsible for "causing" lung cancer!

    Take a look in any dictionary and you will find something like, "anything producing an effect or result."18 At what level of occurrence would you feel comfortable saying that X "causes" Y. For myself and most scientists, we would require Y to occur at least 50% of the time. Yet the media would have you believe that X causes Y when it actually occurs less than 10% of the time.

    As ludicrous as that is, the medical and lay press is littered with such pabulum and gobbley-guk. Even as web literate physician, it took me over 50 hours of internet time to find enough raw data to write this article. I went through thousands of abstracts and numerous articles, to only find two articles that even questioned the degree of correlation between smoking and lung cancer (British lung cancer rates do not correlating to smoking rates)19,20 and another two articles which questioned the link between second hand smoke (passive smoking) and lung cancer.21,22 Everywhere I looked the information was hidden in terms like "odds ratio," "relative risk," or "annualized mortality rate," of which most doctors probably could not accurately define and interpret them all let along someone outside the medical profession. The public relies on the media to interpret this morass of data but instead they given politically correct and biased views.

    If they would say that smoking increases the incidence of lung cancer or that smoking is a risk factor in the development of lung cancer, then I would agree. The purpose of this article is to emphasize the need for using language appropriately in the medical and scientific literature (the media as a whole may be a lost cause).

    Everything in life has risk; just going to work each day has risk. Are we supposed to live our lives in bed, hiding under the blanket in case a tornado should come into our bedroom? We in science, have a duty to give the public accurate information and then let them decide for themselves what risk is appropriate. To do otherwise is to subtly impose our biases on the populace.

    We must embrace Theoretics as a discipline as it strives to bring objectivity and logic back into science. Every article/study has some bias in it, the goal is to minimize such biases and present the facts in a comprehensible and logical manner. Unfortunately, most scientists have never taken a course in logic and I'm sure that English class was not their favorite. Theoretics is a field of science which focuses on the use of logic and appropriate language in order to develop scientifically credible theories and ideas which will then have experimental implications. As someone whom I respect says, "Words mean things." Let us use language and logic appropriately in our research and the way that we communicate information.

    Yes, smoking is bad for you, but so are fast-food hamburgers, driving, and so on. We must weigh the risk and benefits of the behavior both as a society and as an individual based on unbiased information. Be warned though that a society without risk shall cease to exist. Let us be logical in our endeavors and true in our pursuit of knowledge. Instead of just waiting for lung cancer to get me (because the media and a lot of the medical literature told me that smoking causes lung cancer), I can enjoy my occasional cigar even more now…now that I know the whole story.

    • Brigitte says:

      Harleyrider, back in the 1990s, when there was a kind of explosion of available grants for “research” into linking smoking as a direct cause of lung cancer, some of my fellow students (and friends) jumped on the anti-smoker band wagon. When I dared to utter the words ” I don’t know; it would seem more logical that smoking, as well as a large number of other things, is only a contributing factor for the development of lung cancer.” a heated debate ensued.
      I was accused of being ignorant, whilst I accused my fellow students to suffer from pre-concluded bias.

      So I was more than pleased when you pointed out:
      Yes, it is true, smoking does not cause lung cancer. It is only one of many risk factors for lung cancer.
      The process of developing cancer is complex and multifactorial. It involves genetics, the immune system, cellular irritation, DNA alteration, dose and duration of exposure, and much more. Some of the known risk factors include genetics4,5,6, asbestos exposure7, sex8, HIV status9, vitamin deficiency10, diet11,12,13, pollution14 , shipbuilding15 and even just plain old being lazy.16 When some of these factors are combined they can have a synergistic effect17, but none of these risk factors are directly and independently responsible for “causing” lung cancer!

      The process of developing cancer is complex and multifactorial. It involves genetics, the immune system, cellular irritation, DNA alteration, dose and duration of exposure, and much more.
      This alone (the much more may also include the ever fluctuating hormones; be it e.g. thyroid hormones right down to the sex hormones and their precursors) is more than one life time worth of study, especially when reaching the stage where all these need to be combined.

      Any funding available?

  18. harleyrider says:

    Here is the whole US Federal Court decision. This decision makes liars of all those “professionals” who have exposed themselves by stating that ETS hurts children and adults. It severely questions the integrity of our institutions, and those ministries and department of health who have promoted smoking bans, and manipulated the public opinion into the perception that “smokers are killers”. It accuses politicians, health activists, certain doctors, and whoever else has engaged in the persecution of smokers of being corrupted.

    The anti-smoking cartel has been officially stamped with the truth. But this will not deter it from proceeding with its agenda of repression and deceit. In fact, the cartel has already announced that this decision will not alter its agenda.

    When exposed for what it is, the cartel shows no modesty, but it even accelerates the suppression of liberties and its criminal promotion of deceit for as long as it is not stopped by the force of those who are the oppressed.
    —-
    THE TEXT OF THE DECISION OF THE US FEDERAL COURT
    ON THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE EPA

    “EPA publicly committed to a conclusion before research has begun; excluded industry by violating the [Radon] Act’s procedural requirements; adjusted established procedure and scientific norms to validate the agencies public conclusion, and aggressively used the Act’s authority to disseminate findings to establish a de facto regulatory scheme intended to restrict Plaintiff’s products and to influence public opinion”

    “The Court is faced with the ugly possibility that EPA adopted a methodology for each chapter, without explanation, based on the outcome sought in that chapter”

    “The Court is disturbed that EPA and Kenneth Brown [one of the EPA report’s authors] buttress the bioplausibility theory with epidemiological studies. EPA’s theory must be independently plausible”

    JUDGE OSTEEN’S ORDER

    Judge Osteen granted Plaintiff’s (the tobacco industry’s) motion for partial summary judgement, ordering that Chapter 1 to Chapter 6 and appendices in the EPA’s “Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders,” (December 1992), be vacated.

    According to Black’s Law, Fourth Edition, the term “vacated” means:

    To annul; to set aside; to cancel or rescind; to render an act void; as, to vacate an entry or record, or a judgement.

    In layman’s terms, Chapters 1 to 6 and appendices to that 1992 EPA secondhand smoke report no longer exist. Therefore, the following conclusions, as taken verbatim from Chapter 1, page 1, of the report, do not exist, and must be disregarded:

    THE EPA STATED:
    (“1.1 Major Conclusions:”)

    THE US FEDERAL COURT RULED:

    “Based on the weight of the available scientific evidence, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that the widespread exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) presents a serious and substantial public health impact.”
    VACATED

    In adults: “ETS is a human lung carcinogen responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually in the U.S. nonsmokers.”
    VACATED

  19. harleyrider says:

    Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada Encourages Local Anti-Smoking Advocates to Deceive the Public in Order to Get Outdoor Smoking Bans Enacted
    Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada is encouraging local anti-smoking advocates throughout Canada to deceive the public in order to promote widespread outdoor smoking bans that cover wide-open areas such as parks, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, curbs and retaining walls.

    Specifically, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada instructs local advocates to tell the public that: “Even in very small concentrations, second‐hand smoke causes immediate, short‐term and long‐term harm to people exposed to it. … The long‐term harm can include premature death from cancer or heart disease.”

    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/06/physicians-for-smoke-free-canada.html

  20. jredheadgirl says:

    “We pro-smoking bloggers aren’t part of any organisation. We’re all different people. Quite often we don’t agree about all sorts of things. We’re a loose, swirling cloud of individuals. A swarm.”

    What an understatement..lol..Great post Frank!

  21. Junican says:

    What we see HR is something that has been known for a long, long time, but which does not normally impinge much on the general public;

    POLITICIANS DO NOT OPERATE IN THE REALM OF TRUTH. I think that it was Ribbentrop who said that ‘politics is the art of the possible’. The unfortunate thing about the whole tobacco scenario is that the interests of TC and the interests of politicians have somehow coincided. I do not quite see what the interests of politicians are – could it be something as simple as the constant reiteration by ASH that 80% of people support the ban (including 50% of smokers)? That is, do politicians see the ban as a vote-winner?

  22. harleyrider says:

    interests of TC and the interests of politicians have somehow coincided.

    Junicam Id say its big pharma cash in the politicians pockets!

  23. Ed says:

    There are more than enough Tobacco Control “researchers” who may be feeling left out of this controversy and wondering why they have not been contacted.

    http://www.ukctcs.org/ukctcs/people/index.aspx

  24. Iro Cyr says:

    Have you all had the chance to read their how to implement outdoor smoking bans manual from which you will find some excerpts in my article here: http://cagecanada.blogspot.com/search?q=manual

    PS – Well expressed Frank. Now just think what we could accomplish if the swarm was organized!

  25. Junican says:

    I would be interested to know just how many physicians make up this organisation ‘Physicians for a smoke free Canada’, excluding activists who are not physicians. Also, I wonder who funds them?

  26. Iro Cyr says:

    At one point they were advertizing that they had 1500 member physicians IRC. Yet when a testimony was given at a court hearing at one time, their spokesperson, Neil Collishaw, was not accepted as an expert witness because he was not a physician. You’d think that with 1500 physician members they would have picked someone else as an ”expert witness” to testify? Most of their funding comes from government.

  27. harleyrider says:

    Who Does the AMA Really Represent?
    By Linda Gorman Filed under Physicians on October 21, 2009

    In 2001, the AMA received almost $20 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in exchange for managing a nationwide effort to ban smoking.

    http://healthblog.ncpa.org/who-does-the-ama-really-represent/

  28. Mia Holl says:

    Frank,
    may I translate your “Letter to Linda” and post it in my blog …? Even if most Germans never heard of Linda Bauld, we have our own “Linda Baulds” who need to read something like this. :-)

    • Frank Davis says:

      Certainly you may. Just let me know where I can read it (and not understand a word of it) when it’s ready.

    • Brigitte says:

      Mia, thanks for the translation!

      I really do hope Germany’s “Linda Baulds” and their repulsive anti-smoking friends read it! And then brace yourself for some REAL vitriolic attacks from the handful of loud anti-smokers who refuse to understand that no individual within the ever growing, angry swarm of smokers has lost his/her confidence.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just read your blog Mia, translated via babelfish…. http://uk.babelfish.yahoo.com/

        And you raise an interesting question…
        Why did Linda Bauld and your own Sebastian Frankenberger NOT report these phone calls and emails to the police? Especially since Frankenberger has supposedly received death threats, surely that would be the obvious thing to do. As you say in your blog, either these threats did not happen, or if they did, then neither party felt troubled by them.

        It seems like their “science” they prefer to go straight to the media to report it.

        I wonder if they are now trying to portray smokers, as not just “filthy”, “stinking” and “evil” but also now as “terrorists”? Of course there is no evidence of this, which is why neither of them went to the police, but if they can whip up some more hysteria regarding smokers, it can only help their evil cause.

    • Reinhold says:

      Servus, Mia! Super Idee! :)

  29. Pingback: Was schwärmt denn da? – Wespennester, und wie man nicht mit ihnen umgehen sollte. « Rauchverbot-Bayern-Blog

  30. Rose says:

    “And if you like, you can even leave a comment on my blog with any questions you might have.”

    But Frank, is she even allowed to speak to you under Article 5.3, you being an individual and all?

  31. Junican says:

    Damn it! All these acronyms are messing my brain up!

    I have just googled ‘Physicians for a Smokefree Canada’. There appears to be no such organisation. This is not dissimilar to ‘Tobacco Control’ – despite the fact that there is a ‘Tobacco Control’ magazine, there is actually no such organisation as ‘Tobacco Control’.

    It is hard for us ordinary people to understand such a thing – it is like having a Golf Club with no clubhouse, no golf course and no members, but with employees, an administration and influence over the rules of golf. But such a golf club could not exist without at least one member (even if that member was anonymous) to provide finance, could it?

    So who is the ‘member’ of ‘Physicians for a Smoke Free Canada’?

    It does not surprise me that the quack physicians and the quack professors involved in the Stirling Uni thing are horrified. Their whole cosy universe is about to be blown apart.

    Unless Philip Morris do a deal…………………….

    Having said that, I am sure that I read somewhere that someone, an individual person, has already asked that the same info that PM have asked for should be revealed to him.

    The plot thickens day by day.

    Does Canada have an FoI Act?

  32. Iro Cyr says:

    Physicians for a Smoke Free Canada http://www.smoke-free.ca/
    Yes Canada has an FOI Act. E-mail me privately if you want to discuss this : votrevoix@cagecanada.ca

  33. harleyrider says:

    Ahh! The worm begins to turn………….It does not surprise me that the quack physicians and the quack professors involved in the Stirling Uni thing are horrified. Their whole cosy universe is about to be blown apart.

    Unless Philip Morris do a deal…………………….

    Having said that, I am sure that I read somewhere that someone, an individual person, has already asked that the same info that PM have asked for should be revealed to him.

    The plot thickens day by day

    ………………..

    PM definately knows something is up in the study or its underlying raw data!

    Perhaps it will reach the same level as the GLOBAL WARMING EMAILS back in 09!

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