Proud Smokers

I was listening earlier today to Deborah Arnott and Chris Snowdon being interviewed on the Today programme about plain packaging proposals. Chris Snowdon had been asked a question about a report by the Adam Smith Institute, and Deborah Arnott was then asked to reply.

Deborah Arnott: Well [giggle], the Adam Smith Institute is well known for taking money from the tobacco industry, so you do have to question how independent this report is. It’s a classic tobacco industry argument to say that regulation doesn’t work. It’s used to argue against the ban on smoking in public places, the advertising ban, all sorts of other measures, all of which have been very successful. And on the evidence, well, peer-reviewed studies from around the world consistently show that plain packs are less appealing particularly to young people, strengthen the impact of health warnings, and reduce the ability of packaging to mislead consumers about the harms of smoking. We have to remember that over 100,000 smokers die each year, and this is an addiction of childhood, with two thirds of smokers starting before they’re sixteen.

Today Presenter: Christopher Snowdon, first of all on that question, do the Adam Smith Institute take money from the tobacco industry?

Chris Snowdon: I understand that there is less than three percent of their turnover from tobacco companies…

So, the very first thing that Arnott did was to say that the Adam Smith Institute was being funded by Big Tobacco (and so, unstated, of course they were going to come out against plain packaging). And although Arnott then went on to say a lot more (and to me it sounded like she was reading it all out), it was the Big Tobacco funding that the presenter picked up and threw at Chris Snowdon, doubling its impact by repeating it. And Chris Snowdon responded defensively by playing down the amount of money received.

I’ve heard exchanges of this sort dozens of times now, and it’s always like this. But wouldn’t it be refreshing if somebody were to instead respond like this :

Somebody: Yeah, it’s really great that the tobacco companies are providing a bit of funding. Thanks for pointing it out. They’re wonderful people. I wish they’d provide a lot more. We’ve got a helluva fight on our hands, and we can do with all the help we can get.

But I’ve never heard anybody ever say anything like that. And yet more and more I feel that something like this needs to be said. Because, for me, tobacco companies just don’t seem to be in the least bit evil or satanic in the way that Deborah Arnott clearly sees them. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the pharma companies that these days fill the role once played by Big Bad Tobacco.

There are several reasons that I’ve begun to think this way. And the first reason is that, while it was only the tobacco companies that were being publicly demonised over the past half century, their customers are now being demonised too. So we’re all in the same boat together. We’re all demonised now. And so we ought to unite. It’s not just demonised smokers that should unite with other demonised smokers all around the world, but that demonised smokers should unite with demonised tobacco companies.

The second reason is that, over the past 7 or 8 years that my attention has turned to the issue of smoking, I’ve been gradually forming the opinion that all tobacco research is complete tripe. The whole lot of it – from its Nazi origins all the way up to the present day. And my reasoning – which I’ve been gradually developing – is that none of it is worthy of the name of science, because in real science very great care is taken to accurately measure quantities like mass and length and time using carefully defined units like kilograms and metres and seconds, yet in tobacco research nothing is measured accurately and all the units are ill-defined. And if you’re not measuring things accurately, you’re not doing science. Tobacco research isn’t any sort of science: it’s a form of numerology or astrology, just like the Nazi racial science which it grew up alongside. And the only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that all the charges (e.g. smoking causes lung cancer) laid against the tobacco companies by antismoking researchers are false charges, or unproven charges, and that the tobacco companies are most likely innocent on all counts. And accordingly it is the duty of everyone (and not just smokers) to go to their aid.

And the third reason is that, regardless of what the claims against tobacco might be, they constitute a full scale assault upon a whole way of life, upon a cultural tradition, and upon the personal identities of many millions of people. A cultural war is now being waged not just against tobacco, but also alcohol, and on the foods that people eat. It’s a cultural war against the whole of western consumer society, and it’s getting  ever more all-encompassing and aggressive and abusive. An attempt is being made to suppress an entire culture, and to defame and exclude countless millions of people because they smoke or drink or are ‘too fat’. And this must be fought tooth and nail. We are faced with a monstrous enemy, and the enemies of this enemy are our friends. And the tobacco companies are perhaps the greatest enemies of our terrible enemy. And so the tobacco companies are our friends.

Each of these reasons, on its own, is sufficient to justify making common cause with tobacco companies. And it should be pointed out in no uncertain terms that when people like Deborah Arnott defame tobacco companies, they are now also defaming millions upon millions of smokers.

We should be proud smokers, and proud of the companies that supply us our tobacco.

After all, what sort of person is it who will say, “Here, have a nice piece of rump steak, but for heaven’s sake don’t tell anyone I bought it from Jones the butcher”? What they should be saying is: “Here, have a nice piece of rump steak. I got it from that wonderful butcher, Mr Jones. He really does do the finest cuts.”

As an Englishman, part of my identity is bound up in brand names. Names like Marmite and Bovril and Hovis and Guinness and Ovaltine and Rolls Royce and Sainsburys and Tetleys and Wedgwood and hundreds more. They are all evocative of a time and a place. They are as meaningful as names like Shakespeare and Newton and Wordsworth and Churchill. Or London or Manchester or Liverpool. I’m sure that everyone reading this, wherever in the world they live, has a similar collection of names and places and people with whom they identify.

Organisations like ASH and WHO are shitting on our culture. Yes, shitting. They are shitting on everything. They have set out to dirty and defame everything. They want to make people ashamed of themselves. They want to make people ashamed that they smoke, ashamed that they drink, ashamed that they eat meat, ashamed that they drive cars, ashamed that they go on holiday, ashamed of everything.

They want me to be ashamed of being English.

Well, I’m fucking well not in the least bit ashamed.

And I never will be. And nobody else should be either, whoever they are and wherever they live.


About Frank Davis

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39 Responses to Proud Smokers

  1. Tom says:

    Frank, I read this while taking a break from cooking dinner (macaroni and cheese, deep fried game hens, and broccoli), while sipping a beer and enjoying a cigarette… Someday I’d love to sit over many beers and smokes with you, which may never happen, since I live on the other side of the globe from you. I think you’re one of the sanest persons on the planet.

    • “sanest persons on the planet” . . . it’s not often that the word “sane” is used in any way other than to mean “free from madness”, but I agree with Tom. Sanity is not an absolute term, and, occasionally you come across a whose sanity stands out head and shoulders above the rest. Anthony Clare the psycholgist who used to be on the Beeb was one, and Frank is another.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Franks a general in a war of attrition,I am a soldier,a grunt,a body. I fight,we fight to destroy a common foe and its not Big Tobacco who is my enemy. Its not only TC thats the enemy but the entire World global progressive movement we are at war with. Its their globalist policies pushed from the UN and the WHO that are the real enemies of us all! Each day our numbers grow and grow because these eletists target more and more folks of the world. Whether they discover their persecutors are TC or not they are stiil our allies against the common foe. How these progressives think they can continue onward is beyond me,their collective collapse is imminent regardless of their desires. They are in fact the masters and architects of their own demise……..But by all means lets help the silly bastards towards another historical grave. We can cap them in the bottle like a genie,but one day decades from now after its all over another generation will have to fight this monster again! Let us hope the internet archives are alive and maintained for those folks will surely need our learned wisdom and how to fight back.

  3. Tom2 says:

    “We have to remember that over 100,000 smokers die each year…”

    So they do. We also have to remember that well over that number of non-smokers die each year too.

    “is well known for taking money from the tobacco industry, so you do have to question how independent this report is…”

    And the anti-smoking industry and anti-smoking fake-charites are wll known for thieving money from the taxpayer to promote a political agenda of smoking-bans to create a market for pharmaceuticals, which industry also funds the anti-smoking machine – so you really do have to question how independent and non-biased in their reporting ASH etal. actually are.

  4. smokervoter says:

    You would make one helluva’ speech writer. This latest one is a call to arms. For that mass audience of 75% of the people who are being continuously harassed and degraded by that powerful 25% with the loudest megaphones, the rulebooks and the enforcers, the concluding 9 paragraphs would suffice. [Starting with And the third reason is….]

    People can substitute their own countries, their national brand names and luminaries, but the message is universal.

    If there was just some way for this discourse to reach a billion people at once, these arrogant bastards wouldn’t be sleeping so well tonight.

    I was watching the BBC news broadcast tonight from Homs, Syria. The angry people attacked a security forces building and eventually prevailed, leaving it a smoking hulk. It’s nice to watch the bad guys go down in flames.

  5. Walt says:

    Yes, they are shitting on our cultures and sometimes I root for them to go the whole hog. Ban MacDonald’s, ban Coca Cola, ban coffee and candy, prohibit drinking alcohol in restaurants and bars, take the salt out of food, tax the hell out of everything and demonize everyone. It will either be the only way to wake the slumbering mobs and make them raze the whole structure and run its architects out of town, or an accurate barometer of exactly what spineless sheep people are so we can safely give up on the whole wooly lot. Yes, I’ll continue to fight tooth and nail but having lost teeth and nails and, so far, all the fights, I begin to consider that if I can’t stop the tide I can at least enjoy a laugh as it sweeps over everybody’s castles in the sand.

  6. nisakiman says:

    “I’ve heard exchanges of this sort dozens of times now, and it’s always like this. But wouldn’t it be refreshing if somebody were to instead respond like this :

    Somebody: Yeah, it’s really great that the tobacco companies are providing a bit of funding. Thanks for pointing it out. They’re wonderful people. I wish they’d provide a lot more. We’ve got a helluva fight on our hands, and we can do with all the help we can get.”

    Frank, those were almost exactly my thoughts when I listened to it.

    It’s time we stopped being “shamed” by these charlatans. It’s time to take the moral high ground back. Smokers rights groups are far too apologetic; they’ve been browbeaten into believing too much of the propaganda. It’s time to abandon rearguard action and go on the offensive. Chris Snowdon should have adopted the approach you illustrate, particularly as it was a given that Arnott would use the “funded by BT” ploy. And he should have followed up with Tom’s suggestion: “And the anti-smoking industry and anti-smoking fake-charites are wll known for thieving money from the taxpayer to promote a political agenda of smoking-bans to create a market for pharmaceuticals, which industry also funds the anti-smoking machine – so you really do have to question how independent and non-biased in their reporting ASH etal. actually are.”

    It’s time to start putting the antis on the back-foot in these discussions / debates.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Chris Snowdon should have adopted the approach you illustrate

      Trouble is, I’m not sure that Chris Snowdon can adopt that approach, because he believes that smoking causes lung cancer. And once you believe that, you can no more be proud to smoke than you can be proud to throw yourself off a cliff.

      • mikef317 says:

        Trying to read another person’s mind isn’t the wisest thing to do, but…

        Being familiar with your CATCH debates, I think Chris Snowdon honestly believes that smoking causes lung cancer. I think he will continue to believe this until presented with some explanation as to why cigarette smokers get lung cancer more frequently than non-smokers. (I’d disagree – just because a cogent theory can’t be presented doesn’t mean a false theory must be accepted.)

        I can’t provide a link, but re secondhand smoke, I think Mr. Snowdon has stated that he read all the available studies and concluded that the “science” was junk (or not proven, or words to that effect).

        While I haven’t bought Mr. Snowdon’s books, I follow his blog, and while I may be hopelessly wrong, my addled memory doesn’t recall a single instance where he claimed to have read the original studies that linked smoking to lung cancer. Here I mean Doll, Hammond, Dorn, the Royal College, the Surgeon General, etc. And I mean not simply accepting conclusions stated by Authority, but drudging through the original documents, page after page, pondering the numbers, and evaluating the “logic.” (But this is all “settled science.”)

        It’s best I think to let Mr. Snowdon say what he’s read and what he believes. I’ve read a good chunk (but hardly all) of the studies that “proved” that smoking causes lung cancer, and I believe they were written by foaming at the mouth, swinging on the chandelier screwballs who were hellbent on proving their theory correct.

        Bottom line, if you really believe that smoking causes lung cancer (and 100 + other diseases?) it’s God awful tough to defend smoking.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Bottom line, if you really believe that smoking causes lung cancer (and 100 + other diseases?) it’s God awful tough to defend smoking.

          I entirely agree. And I think this is the fatal weakness of Chris Snowdon’s position. And of a lot of other people’s as well. They have an uphill battle.

          It was never entirely clear to me quite why Chris Snowdon was so convinced that smoking caused lung cancer, while at the same time deriding the case against secondhand smoking (which he does in his book, Velvet Glove Iron Fist). There are a number of possible explanations, one of which is the Everybody Knows argument – i.e. Everybody Knows that smoking causes lung cancer, so how can you possibly disagree? -. Another explanation is that it’s his tactical view, in the battle with the antismokers, that winning the battle over secondhand smoking is much easier than winning the battle over firsthand smoking, and so the latter goal must be abandoned for the time being.

          But I don’t in fact think that he thinks in either of these ways. And I have another proposal, and this is that Chris Snowdon accepts tobacco research (and maybe all research) at face value. And, taken at face value, the research shows that firsthand smoking is likely to cause lung cancer 13 times (or 20 times, or 5 times) more often than in non-smokers, and that secondhand smoking is only likely to cause lung cancer 1.25 0.25 times more often than in non-smokers. I suspect that he accepts these numbers (and also their confidence intervals), and uses them to argue that there’s no justification for smoking bans. But at the same time, he accepts that firsthand smoking is a genuine killer, because the research says so.

          Someone like me, however, is critical of the research methods used (for the sorts of reason set out in my piece above). I don’t think that any of this tobacco ‘research’ is science in any meaningful sense. In other words, I don’t accept the results at face value. It’s the same with AGW (although I’m not sure what Chris’ position is there). Taken at face value, the research shows that the earth is warming dangerously rapidly. But I never accept anything at face value – particularly in the case of AGW, when I used to do research using heat flow models.

          Anyway, these days I suspect that Chris accepts research findings at face value. This is a bit like accepting that a car is in good working condition because it’s got an up-to-date MOT certificate, rather than actually lifting the hood and taking a look at the engine yourself.

          But, as you say, it’s not really possible to read someone else’s mind, and only he knows why he thinks the way he does.

      • Rose says:

        For some people I think it’s a step too far, to rip apart everything you were ever taught, right back to the beginning.

        For me it was easy, I never believed it in the first place.

    • nisakiman says:

      With regards the “smoking causes lung cancer” orthodoxy, my personal opinion is that smoking can be a contributory factor in the disease. There would seem to be a link, but how strong that link is is not yet quantified. Not to my satisfaction, anyway.

      And let us not forget that Prof. Doll was a shameless paid shill (a fact not uncovered until after his death) for the chemical industries, whose main role on their behalf was to convince all and sundry (but mainly governments) that cancer was nearly always a self-inflicted disease; that it was in no way connected to the chemicals that abound in the world today. Most infamous was his defence (to the Australian government) of the defoliant Agent Orange which was used extensively in the Vietnam war. Agent Orange was made by Monsanto, and at the time he was telling the Australian government (in the role of an independent expert on cancer, of global renown) that there was absolutely no connection between the prevalence of cancer in the Vietnam vets and the Agent Orange they had been exposed to, he was also being paid $1500 per day consultancy fees by………yes, Monsanto!

      I’m inclined to agree with Dr Kitty Little, who believed that smoking was a bit of a red herring, and that the main culprit is diesel particulates.

      Like you Frank, I no longer take things at face value. Funnily, I’d always just accepted all the stuff I read in the papers, (albeit with a pinch of salt) until the AGW thing started. It just seemed so preposterous to me, that I started doing a bit of digging on the internet. That then led me to start questioning the “the science is settled” orthodoxy on smoking. And of course the more you investigate, the more lies and calumny you unearth.

  7. mikef317 says:

    “…I’ve been gradually forming the opinion that all tobacco research is complete tripe.”

    As I recall, Frank, you visit WattsUpWithThat. There’s an excellent 2/22 post by Alec Rawls about the forthcoming IPCC assessment report. This is quite long (and totally about global warming), but the following paragraph (at the start) could equally apply to smoking.

    My training is in economics where we are very familiar with what statisticians call “the omitted variable problem” (or when it is intentional, “omitted variable fraud”). Whenever an explanatory variable is omitted from a statistical analysis, its explanatory power gets misattributed to any correlated variables that are included. This problem is manifest at the very highest level of AR5, and is built into each step of its analysis.

    I particularly liked the word “fraud.”

    The quoted paragraph could be applied to most tobacco “research” done since 1950. There is certainly an association between smoking and lung cancer, but when the two were originally linked, smoking was the only variable considered. Other things linked to lung cancer include: heredity, socioeconomic class, having had tuberculosis, alcohol, dietary fat, milk (??), beer (!!), radon gas, asbestos, etc., etc. But “researchers” were quite happy to blame smoking alone whenever a smoker developed lung cancer. They still are.

    The issue of ignoring studies that contradict a pre-determined conclusion is also raised by Rawls. This is equally rampant in the tobacco “literature.”

    I think the same problems are found in all corrupt “science.” Exaggerating results, demonizing opponents, claims of moral superiority, grandiose schemes to reform the world, etc., etc.

    Maybe I’m just stating the obvious, but I do like Rawls’ use of the word “fraud.”

    P.S.: Tripe? Your vocabulary is richer than that.

    • Frank Davis says:

      This what the first UK study – Doll and Hill’s London Hospitals study – did. They ignored all the other possible causes, such as road tar, even though they’d asked questions about them in their survey. They just homed straight in on smoking. And this was the study in which almost everybody smoked, and so whatever disease anyone had, they were almost certain to be a smoker as well. And quite possibly a Londoner.

      I have a book by Rawls. It’s called A Theory of Justice. But I must confess that I’ve never read it. Perhaps when I’ve clarified my own thinking a bit more about justice and law, I’ll feel able to do so.

      • mikef317 says:

        Two different Rawls – John (the book) and Alec (the global warming post).

        I’ve also heard of A Theory of Justice. It’s either one of many thousands of books I have in boxes in my basement or something that struck me as worth buying and reading that I never got around to buying or reading.

        There’s no further reply to your above response about Chris Snowdon, so I’ll comment here.

        I really respect most of his opinions. But not about primary smoking. In the U. S., back in the 1970’s, Richard Nixon declared war on cancer. Billions upon billions have since been spent, and to this day, nobody really knows what causes cancer – except lung cancer. That smoking causes lung cancer was “proven” almost from the start in 1950. Except, of course, for people who never smoked and still got lung cancer.

        Compared to “I don’t have the slightest idea of what’s going on,” no matter how flawed, most people will accept whatever theory is currently in fashion. Not me. I’m quite comfortable living in total ignorance, rejecting a theory as false, without having any alternative explanation. Given time (maybe years) maybe I’ll solve the puzzle. Or maybe not.

        I really respect Mr. Snowdon. But I think he lacks my extreme tolerance for ambiguity. I’d say that he and most people will hold firm in their beliefs until they are presented with an alternative theory that looks at the smoking / lung cancer facts in a different (non-casual) prospective.

        Re winning the battle against passive smoking. Like an avalanche, if the case against primary smoking fails, the case against secondhand (and the deranged idea of thirdhand smoke) must also fail. (To those who can debunk secondhand smoke “research,” have you ever looked at the studies on primary smoking? They’re just as bad.)

        Re global warming, the earth has been warming since the end of the last ice age, some 12 to 14 thousand years ago. Double recorded human history. It’s reasonable I think to state that the 20th century was a bit warmer than the 19th. There doesn’t appear to be any warming for the past 15 years (but earth is 4 billion years old, so what do these pathetically short time periods mean?).

        Do humans contribute to warming? Do you heat your house, drive a car, cook food? Ever flown on an airplane? Does a local power plant supply electricity? Of course, humans contribute, but compared to the sun, or just heat generated by planet earth itself? Humans are bit players.

        Do I lose sleep over global warming? Hell no. In fact, right now, going to sleep feels like a good idea. But first one more cigarette.

  8. It started, for me, with the Public Entertainment Licencing Act which sought to stop me playing musical instruments in streets, pubs etc. Then it moved on to tobacco. I see this not just as “shitting on our culture”, but “cultural genocide”.

  9. JJ says:

    Who came out on top in the discussion?

    • Frank Davis says:

      Between Arnott and Snowdon? Well, I thought that in her opening speech (and it was a speech), Arnott established air superiority. But Chris Snowdon stuck in there, and managed to knock a few holes in the wings of her Ju-88s.

  10. Rose says:


    It seems that my MP was head butted and punched in the Stranger’s Bar last night.

    He’s the one who pleased me by voting for an Eu referendum and annoyed me by rushing to vote against Mr Nuttall’s bill instead of having the decency to abstain.

    “Conservative Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey, was reportedly head-butted and punched in the incident which happened just after 11pm tonight in the Stranger’s Bar, a Commons bar which is reserved for MPs and their guests.

    Mr Joyce is alleged to have “just started lashing out at people”, according to one eye-witness who asked not to be named.

    The eye-witness told PoliticsHome that Mr Joyce, a former Army officer who represents Falkirk, pushed a Tory MP and then started punching some of the other Conservative members seated at the back of the bar. Drinks were thrown over other bar partons.

    It is reported that Mr Joyce complained that the bar, popular with MPs from all parties, was “full of Tories”.

    Naturally I am horrified that such a thing should happen, but somewhere deep in an unpleasant corner of my mind, I can’t help thinking that what goes around comes around eventually.

    • Rose says:

      David Nuttall MP calls for end to pub smoking ban – 2010

      “David Nuttall, the new Conservative MP for Bury North, wants to overturn the smoking ban by introducing a Commons Early Day Motion next week.

      Mr Nuttall said the legislation was partly responsible for the closure of dozens of pubs in his constituency.

      “It’s not just smokers, everybody loses out,” he said.

      Mr Nuttall’s bill would exempt pubs and social clubs from the ban, allowing landlords and licensees to have dedicated smoking lounges for drinkers complete with smoke filters.”

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Why even ‘wowsers’ argue about smoke bans Simon Chapman
    February 23, 2012

    The state government’s proposed raft of smoking restrictions is generating debate, even among anti-smoking campaigners. The ethical basis for restricting others’ smoking rests on the 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill, who famously wrote: “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others … Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”

    There is now a large body of evidence dating from the early 1970s that being exposed to others’ tobacco smoke can cause serious disease. But this evidence is nearly all about chronic exposure over many years, experienced by the families of smokers and by workers such as airline crew and bar staff who got concentrated lungfuls of it every day. Their occupational health rights to a safe workplace were shredded by neo-Dickensian assumptions that they should just have to put up with it.

    Children are particularly vulnerable, with the earliest studies showing increased respiratory problems in infants living in smoky homes. Acute exposure to cigarette smoke produces measurable but temporary bodily changes, and in some people with diseases such as cystic fibrosis, even short exposures can be very distressing and dangerous.

    You can read the rest here:

    Read more:

    • Frank Davis says:

      The idea of these bastards quoting J.S.Mill is nauseating.

    • nisakiman says:

      My biggest problem with the whole concept of “dangers of second-hand smoke”, quite apart from any research or studies that have been done, is that accepting what they tell us requires the suspension of ones ability to think for oneself.

      I was born in 1949, and like many others who read this blog, grew up in the fifties and sixties when smoking was the norm. As kids, we were constantly in a fug of tobacco smoke. Even if your parents didn’t smoke, (although most kids had at least one parent who smoked – in the home) you were exposed to it everywhere you went.

      In buses, trains, cinemas, offices, hospitals, cafés, friends’ homes etc etc.


      It was ubiquitous. Impossible to avoid.

      So how come we are the healthiest, longest lived generation yet? Why were childhood asthma and multiple allergies almost unheard of when we were kids?

      (I’ve asked these questions several times in online debates on the subject, but I’ve never had an answer. They’re the questions that always get ignored.)

      Quite simply, the SHS scare just doesn’t make sense. It flies in the face of past experience.

      In fact, I firmly believe that our generation built a resistance to asthma and allergies as a result of being around smoke. It would explain why childhood asthma and allergies are reaching epidemic proportions nowadays. Kids just aren’t getting the chance to build up those antibodies.

      • smokervoter says:

        I get the same reaction from some people when I bring up this simple statement of the facts regarding SHS. People over 30 years of age invariably give you that knowing look. People under 30, having never set foot in a smoky bar, don’t give you that look. Instead they give you this strange blank look, as if they don’t want to acknowledge what you’ve said, but deep down inside know you’re absolutely right.

        They also tend to support smoking bans. Like I’ve said before here “Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30″ Except Ron Paul Kids, of course.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Children are particularly vulnerable, with the earliest studies showing increased respiratory problems in infants living in smoky homes.

      How come that nowadays, in the years of acute smoking-phobia there are so many children suffering from e.g. Asthma and/or chest infections? (In the many years of smoky homes childhood asthma as well as children suffering from chest infections was virtually unheard of…)

      Acute exposure to cigarette smoke produces measurable but temporary bodily changes, and in some people with diseases such as cystic fibrosis, even short exposures can be very distressing and dangerous.

      In the years of smoky homes diseases, such as cystic fibrosis were also virtually non-existent. Apart from that, to use cystic fibrosis as an example for the distressing and dangerous “temporary bodily changes” (like the terminology!) of exposure to cigarette smoke is pure idiocy. The breathing problems due to accumulation of sticky mucous of cystic fibrosis affected individuals are the least of their problems. Much worse affected are organs, such as pancreas. But then, this does not fit into trASH’s (pipe)dream of a smoke free world.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Either Chapman is trying to save his own nazi azz and sees it all comming to an end soon or he;s trying to save some form of the second hand smoke junk science by itself as he sees total insanity has taken over his own propaganda dept!

  13. garyk30 says:

    “Deborah Arnott: Well [giggle], the Adam Smith Institute is well known for taking money from the tobacco industry, so you do have to question how independent this report is.”

    One answer to that is: ” Well, govts have been taking billions, in taxes of one sort or another, from smokers and you may have noticed that govts are not particularly caring about the wishes of smokers!!!!”

    Tobacco control research has a great deal to say about the ‘risk’ of smoking ‘causing’ disease deaths; but, the ‘probability’ of all those deaths actually being ’caused’ by smoking is never considered.

    Most of us have played dice games or games that use dice.
    Most of us know that your chance of getting a six on one throw is 1 in 6(1/6) and there are 5 ways you might not get a 6(5/6).

    We know that if you throw 2 dice, there are 36 possible combinations of numbers(6×6) and your chance of throwing two 6’s is only 1 of those 36 combinations.

    We know that there are 25 possible combinations(5×5) that do not involve the number 6 at all.

    It is 25 times more likely that you will not roll any sixes as your rolling two sixes.

    The 1993 EPA(USA) Report stated that never-smokers exposed to SHS/ETS had a 20% increased risk for lung cancer death,RR 1.20, as never-smokers not exposed to SHS/ETS and figured there were 3,000 deaths ’caused’ thereby.

    20 is 1/6th of 120; so, if that death occurs, there is a 1/6th probability it was ’caused’ by SHS/ETS exposure and a 5/6th probability it was not. The same as rolling dice.

    Let’s say that the number 6 means SHS/ETS exposure causes the lung cancer death.

    If you take two such deaths, there is only a 1 in 36 possibility that both were caused by SHS/ETS exposure and it is 25 times as likely that neither of those deaths were caused by said exposure.

    If you consider 3 of those deaths; rolling 3 dice at the same time, we find that there is only 1 way(6-6-6) out of 216 possible combinations of numbers(6x6x6=216) for all three to have been ’caused’ by SHS/ETS exposure.

    There are 125 possible combinations(5x5x5) that do not include the number 6.
    Therefore, it is 125 times more likely that none of those deaths were caused by SHS/ETS as it is that all three are caused by SHS/ETS exposure.

    Now let’s consider how likely it is that 10 of those deaths were all caused by SHS/ETS.
    When we roll 10 dice, there are 60,466,176 possible combinations of numbers and only ONE where all 6 dice come up as a 6.

    There are 9,765,625 combinations that do not include the number 6.

    10 SHS/ETS ’caused’ never-smoker lung cancer deaths:
    There is only a 1 in 60.466 million chance that all 10 were ’caused’ by SHS/ETS and it is 9.76 million times more probable that none of those deaths were ’caused’ by SHS/ETS.

    It is possible for those 3,000 EPA claimed deaths due to SHS/ETS to have occurred; but, the probability is very,very tiny(my calculator won’t show a number as large as 6 to the 3,000th power.) and it is probably billions of times more likey that none of those 3,000 lung cancer deaths were actually ’caused’ by SHS/ETS exposure.

  14. Tony says:

    My impression from the CATCH debate was that Chris Snowdon’s main reason for believing that smoking causes lung cancer was the Auerbach Beagles study.

    Hope you don’t mind my asking Frank, but Mikef317 posted on 6th Feb that he had a good critique of Auerbach. Mike, is there any chance of you sending it to Frank to post about or asking him if you can author a guest post?

    • Frank Davis says:

      I had a similar thought, Tony. It would make an interesting guest posting.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Auerbach’s experiment was again described and the table again presented in the 1977 SG’s Report (which was just a reprint of portions of earlier reports). In the 1982 Report, however, the SG described Auerbach’s experiment again but this time the SG remarked that Auerbach’s “observation has not been repeated so far”.

      When a scientist says that an observation has not been repeated, it is a polite way of saying that the initial experiment may have been fraudulent. It would be nice to know why Auerbach’s experiment was not replicated. Were others unable to train Beagles to smoke through tracheotomies, or were others able to do so, but no harm was done to the dogs? We do not know and the SG does not tell us.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        But the findings had been revived snd confirmed by three outsiders: one a veterinary specialist, and two well-regarded pathologists, John Berg of the National Cancer Institute and Raymond Yesner of Yale Medical School. Visiting Auerbach’s lab, Yesner was satisfied that the beagle slides showed “local invasion of the pleura” and cellular abnormalities,though no masses of traveling cancer. Thus corroborated, the findings were deemed sufficient to take them public with a flourish. The cancer society, which had paid for the study, was headed then by William H. Lewis, retired chairman of the Kenyon & Eckhardt advertising agency and a fierce foe of the tobacco industry who had risked losing business for his firm by outspokenly favouring the broadcast ban on cigarette commercials. Having thrived in a world where hoopla was routine, Lewis saw no reason not to stage a big press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria early in February 1970 to break the news of the beagles study findings.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Then we get this:

        7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
        November 2004.

        “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Frank after all those years and 100s of billions wasted on junk science research they have NOTHING! Look who is always behind the junk science, ACS!

        Lets not forget where the ACS came from:

        ockefeller also created the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Foundation, and the American Lung Association in this eugenics framework)

        Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid history. The three antismoking crusades of the last century have been eugenics-driven. In eugenics, health is erroneously reduced to an entirely biological phenomenon and where a self-installed elite attempt to engineer/breed a “better” human herd. In addition to a genetic aspect, eugenics views tobacco and alcohol as racial poisons needing to be eradicated (negative eugenics). Antismoking was rife in early-1900s USA. Smoking and tobacco sales were banned in quite a number of American states.….
        Dillow (1981) notes that the bulk of antismoking claims were fraudulent and inflammatory. Dillow fails to note that the antismoking crusade of the early-1900s USA was eugenics-driven: Eugenics was mainstream in the USA at this time. At the turn of the last century, eugenics was mainstream in the USA, the UK, some European countries, and a number of Scandinavian countries. The USA appears to be the most prominent. The mega-wealthy in the USA (e.g., Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, Kellogg) were supporters and funders of eugenics (and antismoking, anti-alcohol) – and still are. Rockefeller and Ford were also prominent supporters of Nazi eugenics. (Rockefeller also created the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Foundation, and the American Lung Association in this eugenics framework). Rockefeller and Ford had trade agreements with the Nazis through the 1930s

  15. Junican says:


    I’m currently ploughing through the Judgement in the Scottish Case which threw out the ASH ET AL claims for damages (for a Mrs McTear) related to ‘smoking caused lung cancer’. I just came across the following passage in the Judge’s decision which I thought you might like. It relates to Tobacco Industry expert evidence:

    By contrast, all the expert witnesses for ITL charged fees for their services. This is generally the case: expert witnesses are usually professional people who would normally be expected to seek appropriate remuneration for research, preparation of reports and attendance at court. Mr McEachran [Council for Mrs McTear) put it to three of these witnesses [for the tobacco company) that they were being “handsomely” paid for giving evidence. I have no basis for saying that any of their fees were not properly charged. In discussion at the hearing on evidence, Mr McEachran maintained that I had to be very careful with witnesses whose research was funded by the tobacco industry and who were paid handsome fees. There was the danger that this might induce bias, and I should look critically at such evidence. I do not accept as an a priori assumption that funding from the tobacco industry is tainted. Everything depends on the independence of the researcher and the quality of the research; and it may well be that ample funding leads to sound research. The question, however, remains for consideration whether the expert witnesses for ITL complied with their obligations as independent expert witnesses and how soundly based their views were.

    I though that you might like the assertiion: “I do not accept as an a priori assumption that funding from the tobacco industry is tainted” So ASH ET AL not only ride roughshod over science, they also ride roughshod over the opinion of learned Judges!

  16. After all, what sort of person is it who will say, “Here, have a nice piece of rump steak, but for heaven’s sake don’t tell anyone I bought it from Jones the butcher”? What they should be saying is: “Here, have a nice piece of rump steak. I got it from that wonderful butcher, Mr Jones. He really does do the finest cuts.”

    I do believe that we must start attacking the antismokers lifestlye choices.After all who do they think they are to attack on a personal lifestyle choice? We as smokers are more tolerant , but why don’t we start to attack others’ people choices as well?

    Every gooddooer that i know comes and tell me to quit smoking, but will they quit drinking , will they quit junk food , will they stop that paternalistic bollocks and start treating me as a human being and not a pariah?

  17. harleyrider1978 says:

    From here on out anytime I hear health prevention I know for a fact its junk and eugenics driven!

    Public health needs to be done away with and a new system from days gone by reinstituted! The family doctor……..Maybe even they might return to HOUSECALLS!

    Health Depts are just a political action comittee set up to push the latest TRIPE from junk science or political agendas. A waste of dollars and healthist dogma.

  18. beobrigitte says:

    I AM a smoker – and proud of it.

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