Deep Smoke 2

A long response by Deep Smoke (who once worked for a tobacco company) to a question from markw:


All kidding aside could you ask Deep Smoke why the Tobacco Companies won’t fight the shs claims using tobacco control’s own air quality testing which proves that shs is NOT a workplace health hazard?


I don’t know why and I can only speculate. Initially, Big T did publicly fight all of the SHS claims, but this was what — 20, 30 years ago and more? A great deal has happened since then, such as the Master Settlement and all of those 40-60 year-old documents that tobacco control love to cite as proof that Big T is evil. The early 80s is about when most of the media began to support tobacco control groups while ignoring Big T. Obviously, that stymied the public fight in a huge way. Also keep in mind the FCTC from the WHO, which is partially designed to keep Big T out of the public fight. So I could answer markw’s question with another question: If no one pays you any attention, if no one is interested in what you have to say, how the hell can you fight against bogus claims?

Big T does fight these SHS claims when it has to, but only in court, when they are sued. Big T is sued often, yet wins the vast majority of individual consumer lawsuits. Not really consumer lawsuits, typically it’s a family member of a smoker who died in their late 60s early 70s from pneumonia, and a family member will claim that death and that they have also been harmed by SHS. It’s opportunism and greed: bitter, grieving vultures hoping to get a quick and easy payout from Big T. This is why tobacco control doesn’t use the courts to sue tobacco companies and instead uses politicians to achieve its ends of tobacco control, because they know they’re going to lose on health claims. TC have always lost on these grounds, with only a rare few exceptions when a judge or jury is particularly hostile to smoking (these decisions are reversed on appeal often). Any dumbass lawyer who would introduce TC propaganda in a court would be pummeled severely, so they have to prove beyond doubt that SHS actually harmed someone, and they cannot prove it. You never hear about the vast majority of these cases in the press, or if you do, and the plaintiff loses their suit, then the press simply ignores the whole thing, like it never happened.

Also do note that none of the smoking bans have made any difference to cigarette sales — people are still smoking. There is an overall decline in tobacco use and sales in western countries, yes, but that decline has been consistent for five decades prior to any public smoking bans. It has nothing to with bans. So from a Big T perspective, if it’s not hurting profits, then why spend money fighting it? It is, however, more complicated than this. Big T would love to see a relaxation of smoking bans, but they also supporting public opinion that SMOKING KILLS and PROTECT CHILDREN in order to be more “adults only” and “friendly” so I would think they do not want to jeopardise that position by taking on a fight they would only lose in the court of public opinion.

It is also a matter of legal standing. As said before, TC doesn’t not challenge Big T in court any longer (plain packs is different). Look at what is happening with possible smoke drift laws in Australia. Big T cannot get involved, apart from a press release, because it’s an attack against the individual smokers, not tobacco companies. You will see more and more of this as TC shifts its focus away from the companies and begins to attack individuals and/or housing complexes in court. They are already doing so in a number of places and these people do not have the resources to fight these claims. At the same time TC is trying to get laws implemented, one after another, usually in small towns and villages at a local ordinance level, and no governments nor councillors will consult with Big T. They pass laws to protect children or others without ever seeing any evidence of harm, because it looks good politically.

So there is no fight that can be fought. The only thing that Big T can do is keep selling a legal product to those who want it. The fight will have to come from us, the consumers. Unfortunately, most of the consumers also believe TC’s propaganda, and feel ashamed that they smoke, so they aren’t willing to fight either.

About Frank Davis

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24 Responses to Deep Smoke 2

  1. michaeljmcfadden says:

    Deep, you wrote, “Also do note that none of the smoking bans have made any difference to cigarette sales — people are still smoking. There is an overall decline in tobacco use and sales in western countries, yes, but that decline has been consistent for five decades prior to any public smoking bans. ”

    Deep, I’d have to disagree with you here. We really had almost nothing in the way of public smoking bans until the early 1990s. In 1994 moms still regularly took their kids to the playrooms in McDonalds and sat there chatting and drinking sodas and smoking while their kids played happily just a few feet away INDOORS and no one else paid any attention. I remember one McD’s I went to occasionally in that era: it had two levels, with the upstairs being nonsmoking. Probably at least half to two thirds of the customers were nonsmokers, and yet virtually no one bothered to walk up the stairs to the other area (which was actually quite nice and it was QUIET! LOL!) where there’d be no smoke.

    So smoking bans really just started to come in at any significant level only after 1990. Smoking had been going down prior to that, but I’m guessing it accelerated afterward (did it?). Of course it’s a bit hard to differentiate other factors: the MSA opened the tax floodgates in 1998. Before that the general idea of adding even 25 cents on a pack in a single swoop was almost unknown. I think legislators assumed that BigT would lead the citizenry in a witch hunt for their scalps if they tried extortionate taxes.

    Nowadays BigT *does* fight taxes — but they do it alone: they have no citizens groups working with them and it’s an uphill battle: they have to spend 5 or 10 pounds/dollars/euros to get the same “punch for their money” that the Antis get by spending a single unit. A significant percentage of the population seeing a BigT ad will have a “counterreaction”: they’ll see it as proving the Antis’ point that there’s a Big Evil Tobacco Lobby out there trying to buy the election and kill their children.

    – MJM

  2. Belinda says:

    Where are the records of all these court cases? Has anyone listed them?

  3. Belinda says:

    People should consider that removing children from any conceivable threat can work against them

  4. Rose says:

    “TC have always lost on these grounds, with only a rare few exceptions when a judge or jury is particularly hostile to smoking (these decisions are reversed on appeal often)”

    Oct 11, 1997

    “The flight attendants’ long-shot legal war against cigarette manufacturers ended Friday with a stunning battlefield surrender by Big Tobacco: An unprecedented $349 million settlement in the landmark secondhand smoke case.

    Individual flight attendants will receive no money in the deal. Instead, the tobacco industry agreed to funnel $300 million into a newly created medical research foundation.

    The rest of the money goes to the flight attendants’ lawyers, the Miami husband-and-wife team of Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt. Their payday Friday: $46 million in fees plus $3 million to offset costs.

    Longtime foes of the tobacco industry, the Rosenblatts declared moral and financial victory, and they savored the triumph against superior forces and overwhelming odds.

    Throughout the four-month trial, the two attorneys faced off against more than a dozen tobacco lawyers supported by nearly unlimited budgets and resources. And, until 10:06 a.m. Friday, the tobacco industry had never settled a private lawsuit involving cigarette smoke.”

    “The industry made no admissions Friday and did not accept responsibility for any illnesses suffered by flight attendants.”

    “This is the first time the tobacco companies have ever paid a dime in a private settlement,” Broin, 42, said. “That’s an admittance that passive smoke is injurious to nonsmokers.”…-a083887989

    Tobacco Case Judgment Of $350 Million Was Too Small, Lawyers Say
    January 05, 1999

    MIAMI — Outside attorneys seeking to upset a $350 million trial settlement against Big Tobacco argued to an appeals court on Monday that flight attendants sold out their case too cheaply.

    The October 1997 deal came four months into the nation’s first trial of a class action complaint against the tobacco industry. The deal would fund a $300 million foundation that would seek to find early detection methods and cures for diseases flight attendants said they contracted through exposure to secondhand smoke.

    The flight attendants claimed in a lawsuit filed in 1991 that because tobacco companies conspired to cover up the dangers of secondhand smoke, they fell victim to everything from bronchitis to lung cancer.

    Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Robert Kaye called the settlement “an extraordinary accomplishment in an extraordinary case” in his order approving it. He also signed off on a $46 million fee and $3 million for costs to Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt, attorneys for the flight attendants.

    On Monday, attorneys for a handful of dissident flight attendants attacked the deal as vague and unfair to their clients and said Kaye abused his discretion by going along with it.

    A leader of the non-smokers’ rights movement called the settlement “an outstanding and remarkable victory.” John Bazhaf, founder of Action on Smoking and Health and a law professor at George Washington University, said it is “highly unlikely this kind of deal would ever be offered by the tobacco industry again.”

    A three-judge panel of the Third District Court of Appeal heard two hours of arguments Monday and will issue its ruling at a later date. If the court upholds the pact, the estimated 10,000 to 60,000 flight attendants in the class will be able to seek compensatory damages in follow-up trials across the country.

    “The judge Kaye] was asked to buy a pig in a poke and he bought it,” said Alan Morrison, an attorney for Public Citizen, the Ralph Nader consumer group in Washington, D.C. He represents five dissident flight attendants.

    Attorneys for Big Tobacco and the Rosenblatts reached an agreement to end the trial after the plaintiffs had finished with their 52 witnesses and the defense had started presenting their side.

    Kaye was about to rule on a motion to eliminate punitive damages and the most serious fraud claims against Big Tobacco.”

    “Shevin noted flight attendents were never supposed to get any money from the first phase of the trial.

    He also commented that while fewer than 1 percent of the flight attendant class objected to the settlement, all 23 class representatives supported it. Two of them, Norma Broin and Patty Young, were in the courtroom audience, along with a dozen tobacco attorneys supporting the deal.

    Shevin also challenged Morrison’s statement that no law firms are ready to take the flight attendants’ follow-up cases to trial. A dozen South Florida firms have stepped forward, according to a friend-of-the-court brief, the judge said.

    Stanley Rosenblatt, who is in the middle of a second class action trial on behalf of Florida smokers, took credit for helping change the legal landscape for anti-tobacco cases.

    When he agreed to represent the flight attendants six years ago, every lawyer he knew “thought this was evidence of certifiable lunacy,” Rosenblatt said.”

    So what made them suddenly cave in?

    • Rose says:

      But the Tobacco Companies don’t pay, the customers do.
      60,000 flight attendants persuaded that their illnesses were caused by secondhand smoke.

      So what what really did cause their illnesses?

      Illness among cabin crew heightens toxic air fears -2009

      “A survey of pilots and crew has found alarmingly high levels of illnesses they have contracted since beginning work for airlines.

      One in seven of the 789 British airline staff surveyed had to take more than a month’s sick leave in the previous year. One in 23 was diagnosed with cancer, even though the average age of those surveyed was around 40. According to Cancer Research, one in 34 Britons will contract cancer at some point, but for those under 44, the figure falls to one in 200.”

      “The reports, seen by Telegraph Travel, also reveal high levels of miscarriages, thyroid conditions, high blood pressure, cholesterol, pneumonia, bronchitis and IBS. Campaigners claim that the high levels of illness are the result of toxic engine fumes contaminating the air in cabins, and say this has implications for passenger safety and the health of frequent fliers.”

      It surprised me how common it was.

      • Rose says:

        But of course, now no one can smoke on planes.

        Air stewardess dies after taking anti-smoking drug

        “A 21-year-old air stewardess died suddenly after taking the controversial anti-smoking drug Zyban, the Mail on Sunday can reveal.

        Kerry Weston, who was in good health, was found on the floor of her hotel room during a stopover in Nairobi last month.

        Her parents Eddie and Eileen are convinced the ‘wonder cure’ for nicotine addiction contributed to her death, after traces of the drug were found in her liver during a post mortem examination”

        • nisakiman says:

          I note that at the bottom of the article on the girl’s death, possibly from zyban, there is:

          “We are no longer accepting comments on this article.”

          So presumably there was originally a comments section, but it’s been pulled.

          I wish I’d seen any comments that were made. I should imagine they would not have been very complimentary to the anti-tobacco campaign.

        • Rose says:


          Unfortunately the DM seem to take them off routinely, annoyingly, they seem to be taking the dates off now as well.

          Smoking pill link to 35 deaths 2001

          “GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s second largest drug company, conceded yesterday that the anti-smoking drug Zyban was suspected of causing adverse reactions in 35 people who have died in the UK since it was introduced last June.

          The acknowledgement came at the inquest of Kerry Weston, 21, a British Airways air hostess who was found dead in a hotel room in Nairobi, Kenya, in January, two weeks after she began taking the drug to help her quit her 15-a-day habit.

          Giving evidence on behalf of the pharmaceutical giant, Dr Howard Marsh, senior medical adviser on Zyban to Glaxo, said that while there had been 35 deaths following adverse reactions to Zyban, there was no conclusive proof that any were directly linked to the drug.”

          “Zyban is used in a population of patients who are put at risk because of smoking and, therefore, reports of deaths of patients receiving Zyban are to be expected,” said Professor Alasdair Breckenridge, CSM chairman”

          Zyban death link inquiry is ‘flawed’

          “A Government inquiry into the controversial anti-smoking pill Zyban has been seriously undermined after it emerged that campaigners against the drug have not been asked to give evidence.

          The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), the Government body which rules on whether to prescribe drugs on the NHS, is expected to make a decision later this month on whether Zyban is a clinical and cost-effective way of treating nicotine addiction.

          But a Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed that only supporters of the drug – including its makers, Glaxo-SmithKline, and the Department of Health – have been asked to submit evidence.

          Campaigners concerned about the 57 British deaths linked to the drug and the 7,297 users who had suffered suspected side-effects, including chest pains, fits, seizures and depression, have not been contacted.

          Among them is Eddie Weston, whose 21-year-old daughter, Kerry, died after taking Zyban for just two weeks. Last year, a coroner ruled that the drug had played a part in the death of the air stewardess. The Government then imposed tighter controls on the use of the drug with other medication.

          Mr Weston, from Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, said: ‘Everything that happens seems to be totally biased in favour of the drugs companies. Not having all views represented is going to taint the final decision.

          ‘They have never come to me. It is appalling that it is so one-sided and shows that all they are doing is a rubberstamping exercise.’

          Sounds familiar.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Although the date isn’t on the article, it emerges when the Mail’s search facility is invoked.

          Health Article
          Air stewardess dies after taking anti-smoking drug
          27/02/2001 12:12:14

  5. Frank Davis says:

    Are Zyban and Chantix two quite different drugs? According to this link, they seem to be:

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced that it is requiring manufacturers to put a Boxed Warning on the prescribing information for the smoking cessation drugs Chantix (varenicline) and Zyban (bupropion). The warning will highlight the risk of serious mental health events including changes in behavior, depressed mood, hostility, and suicidal thoughts when taking these drugs.

    • Rose says:

      Apparently Zyban was an anti-depressant known as Wellbutrin, but then it was used as a cessation drug under the brand name of Zyban.

      Goodness knows what bupropion is based on, but Chantix (Varenicline) appears to have been modelled on cytisine, the poison in laburnum and broom, sold under the name of Tabex in Bulgaria.

      Smokers can triple quit success with 12p ‘wonder pill’… but you can only buy it online
      29 September 2011

      “A nicotine substitute which can be bought online for 12p more than triples a smoker’s chances of quitting for at least a year, research has shown.
      Tabex, which contains the active ingredient cytisine, is obtained from laburnum seeds.
      Experts believe the drug is as effective as conventional stop-smoking treatments and could save the NHS millions of pounds a year.”

      “The origins of the drug can be traced to German and Russian soldiers in World War II who smoked laburnum leaves when they ran out of nicotine.”–buy-online.html

      “Tabex is an original Bulgarian preparation of plant origin, intended for the treatment of tobacco smoking. The preparation is developed on the basis of the alkaloid Cytisine, contained in the plant Cytisus laborinum L. (Golden Rain acacia)”

      • Frank Davis says:

        It really looks as if they are completely different drugs.

        I think I might write something about this. Having one stop-smoking drug (Chantix) which makes smokers suicidal is arguably an accident. But two??

        • churchmouse says:

          When Zyban first came out in the 1990s I happened to be reading an American magazine which had an ad for it. As you know, these pharma adverts in the US are required to give you all the information, including side effects.

          The Zyban ‘ad’ said that if you smoked whilst on it, you were in danger of having a seizure or a stroke. Up until I read that, it sounded pretty interesting. About 10 years ago, I met someone who was taking it and she had developed a rather strange personality — she became somewhat manic at the drop of a hat. I heard from another person that her family had later persuaded her to go back to cigarettes!

          Yes, Champix and Zyban are two different drugs, although severe depression and suicidal thoughts seem to be the side effects with Champix.

  6. michaeljmcfadden says:

    Excellent cites Rose! You’re able to pull out research from your files with a rare skill! :)

    Nisakiman, you wrote, “I wish I’d seen any comments that were made. I should imagine they would not have been very complimentary to the anti-tobacco campaign.”

    Nisakiman, Antismokers detest the internet: it is the one medium where their opponents have something approaching a “Level Playing Field” in presenting their information and arguments to a wider population. If it wasn’t for the freedom of the internet there would probably be far less opposition to their efforts and they know it.

    Watch for them to fight it though: they’ve got no scruples and in their “end justifies the means” mentality they’ll destroy internet freedom in general just to protect their crusade. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that the Daily Mail et al are under pressure to limit comments on smoking-related articles. I would also not be at all surprised to find a strong antismoking hand in the push for the creation of “adults only” internet zones where they can lump things like Frank’s blog in with videos of people having sex with donkeys under a “.xxx” domain designation or some such.

    I happen not to care for donkey videos, nor for some boards that preach anti-Muslim or anti-black or other sorts of hate — but I’m not willing to sacrifice free speech simply in order to be a bit more “comfortable” in my internet surfing. Nor, if I had children, would I be willing to sacrifice it in order to “protect” them from such distasteful things: their loss would be far greater in general than any benefit they might gain from such government control of speech and thought.

    – MJM

    • Rose says:

      You are too kind, MJM.

      Boeing suit settlement stirs jetliner air safety debate

      “SEATTLE — A former flight attendant is believed to be the first person in the U.S. to settle a lawsuit against the Boeing Co. over what she claims is faulty aircraft design that allowed toxic fumes to reach the cabin, triggering tremors, memory loss and severe headaches.

      The amount and other details of the settlement Wednesday between former American Airlines worker Terry Williams, a 42-year-old mother of two, and Boeing were not made public as a condition of the agreement.

      But 250,000 pages of company documents turned over to the plaintiff’s legal team by Boeing seem certain to fuel the long-running battle over the safety of cabin air in commercial jetliners.”

      “Boeing and the airline industry have long maintained that cabin air — compressed air pumped, or “bled,” from the plane’s engine — is safe, saying such breaches are extremely rare and that short-term exposure to the tiny amounts of toxic substances in the cabin air poses no health risk.”

      “But stricken airline crews and their advocates say faulty “bleed-air” systems have been causing health problems dating back to the takeoff of jet travel in the 1950s.”

      “As the case developed, Boeing turned over 250,000 pages of documents dating to 1954 and 1955 that showed the company was aware of cabin air contamination and had sought detection and filtration systems to combat the problem.

      Others documented concern among executives that there could be health hazards related to exposure to toxic fumes when oil leaks into bleed-air systems.

      “It’s bizarre that we’re talking about the 1950s, but that’s where our air data comes from with respect to the MD-80,” Brodkowitz said.

      “To this day, the only thing filtering this toxic soup out of the cabin are the lungs of the passengers and crew.”

      “This is the first time the tobacco companies have ever paid a dime in a private settlement,” Broin, 42, said. “That’s an admittance that passive smoke is injurious to nonsmokers.”

      “In October 1991, Miami attorneys, Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt, brought a class action suit against the tobacco industry seeking damages on behalf of flight attendants and their survivors, for the diseases and death that have been caused by their exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in airline cabins.

      The October 1997 settlement, after four months of trial, among other substantial benefits to class members, established an endowment fund of $300 million that has supported a not-fur-profit research foundation, the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI).

      The Mission of FAMRI is to sponsor scientific and medical research for the early detection, treatment, and cure of diseases and medical conditions associated with exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.”

  7. garyk30 says:

    “So smoking bans really just started to come in at any significant level only after 1990. Smoking had been going down prior to that, but I’m guessing it accelerated afterward (did it?). ”

    Ahhhh, no!
    There have been about the same number of smokers for the last 45 years.
    Smokers as a % of the adult population has seen a decline because of the vast increase in the number of adults, about 62%

    Per capita consumption of cigarettes suffers from the same increase in total adults..

    Click to access Tobacco-Trend-Report.pdf

    Table 3: Number of Adults Who Were Current Smokers By Sex, Race and Age, Selected Years, 1965-2008
    1965 = smokers = 50.1 million

    1990 = smokers = 45.8 million

    2008= smokers = 46.6 million

    1965 population(total) = 185 million = about 139 million adults
    2008 population(total) -300 million = about 225 million adults

  8. garyk30 says:

    Sorry; but, no linked source.
    1950 — 1965 = 14% decline
    1965 —-2008 = 7% decline
    1950 — 2008 = 20% decline

    1950..(M) 65%.. (F)38%

    Population = 150 million(USA)

    113 million adults = 56.5 million males and 56.5 million females

    Smokers = 36.7 million males and 21.5 million females = 58.25 million smokers

  9. garyk30 says:

    Had a two hour spine surgery a couple of weeks ago and was curious about the risk of mortality between that and a smoker dying from lung cancer.

    The 2 hour surgery was about 3 times as risky as my chances of getting dead from lung cancer after 50 years of smoking!!!!

    Comparative death statistics are:

    Current smoking and lung cancer death= 7/10,000 per year.

    Surgery related deaths = 22/10,000 per year.

    Here we find that there are about 46 million smokers and they have about 32,814 lung cancer deaths.
    That is a rate of 7/10,000 per year.

    Every year more than 15 million people in the U.S. have surgery and there are 32,000 surgery related deaths.
    That is a rate of 22/10,000 per year.

  10. garyk30 says:

    Antis(Doctors) make huge claims about the “costs” to society from mainstream and SHS.

    They are just trying to cover their asses!!!
    Table 1: Estimated Annual Mortality and Economic Cost of Medical Intervention


    TOTAL = 783,936………..$282 BILLION

  11. michaeljmcfadden says:

    Interesting figures Gary! Thanks! Hope your spine is feeling better! I’ve managed to dodge the bullet on that sort of thing so far despite a significant scoliosis.

    – MJM

  12. metzjeff says:

    I used to get pissed when people told me where and when I could smoke. One day I picked up an E-Cigarette. I have been smoking since 1966 now. But from the moment i took a hit from that Ecig.I knew I could quit.Then I found the Mods. Bigger E-Cigarettes with a bigger punch but, still water vapor.! I have smoked in Courts and in Jails. Hospitals and restaurants. Big T kiss my ass goodbye and I hope you freakin die.You have been killing people with a smile on your face as long as I’ve been alive. Goodbye you bastards.

  13. Zyban and Chan(m)tix are very different agents. Zyban is actually Wellbutrin, rebranded for purposes of extending patent, an antidepressant while Chantix is a partial agonist of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Their mechanism to cause any form of suicidal thinking is probably very different as well. Antidepressant medications have always had some relationship to suicidal ideations or acts through either pushing a person into a manic episode or putting what was felt to be more energy into a person who then completed suicide. Chantix seems to induce depression and has been associated with a black box warning in the US for years. Interestingly it is still on the market with the black box acknowledging that some depressive episodes do seem to fully clear.

  14. michaeljmcfadden says:

    Metzjeff, you DO realize I hope that the Antismokers have NOOOO intention of letting you continue to vape your e-cigs in peace. Here’s a link to an interview I did on smokers and vapers working together over at

    – MJM

  15. michaeljmcfadden says:

    Metz, a follow up:

    We just had a courthouse here in PA that banned e-cigs and MORE:

    “Westmoreland County Commissioners voted to add electronic cigarettes to the courthouse’s smoking ban. The ban will also include other smokeless devices that mimic cigarettes and other tobacco products that are smoked.”

    In other words, if you walk into that courthouse, head to a bathroom stall, close the door, pull out a bubble pipe and proceed to blow bubbles (presumably while singing, “I’m forever blowing bubbles…”) you may find a SWAT team bursting in and halting your aberrant behavior with extreme prejudice.

    It’s even worse if you happen to thoughtlessly insert the cork-eraser end of a white #2 pencil into your mouth!

    – MJM

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