One of Us

I was thinking today how much had changed over the past 5 years since the UK smoking ban came into force. Back then I wasn’t in contact with any other smokers, and while I’d heard of F2c, it took me months to find my way into its discussion forums. And when I did, I got the feeling that maybe 100 people in Britain were angry about the ban, and none of them had any clue what the hell to do about it.

How things have moved on since then. I’m now writing my own blog (something I didn’t think I was capable of doing, five years ago), and getting around 1000 hits per day. And my blog is only one of a mounting number of smokers’ blogs. And these days, it seems to me that there are thousands of smokers from all over the world who making contact with each other, comparing notes, making suggestions, talking.

This year, we’ve even begun to start to do things. The ISIS social impact survey of smokers is a co-operative effort that seems to be bearing fruit. And hot on its heels there’s been the co-operative effort in producing the TobaccoControlTactics website. And Wiel Maessen has just completed an anti-smoking-ban tour of Belgium in his houseboat (if that’s what it is), in the company of friends, which seems to have been a great success. Such things were inconceivable five years ago. For me at least.

So I was wondering today what the future would bring. And it seemed to me that the nascent global smokers’ network would just carry on growing, and growing exponentially. So if this year it feels like there are thousands of people in it, next year it’ll seem like there are tens of thousands. And the year after that hundreds of thousands. And instead of being largely restricted to Europe and America, it will include South America and Asia and India. All of which was inconceivable 5 years ago.

In 10 years time, I thought, it was going to be huge. There’d be millions of us. In a swarm.

Right now, smokers still have almost zero political clout. And so they’re completely ignored. But over the next 10 years, this is going to change, as smokers emerge as a surprise new global political entity. The politicians and the media who have been so studiously ignoring them are going to find it necessary to court them. And at the same time the Tobacco Control Industry will find itself losing influence, and losing money.

One might say that this swarm of angry smokers will have been the creation of Tobacco Control. Because it has been draconian smoking bans, and the exclusion and demonisation of smokers, that has brought this movement into existence. And every new imposition – plain packs, car smoking bans, etc. – only creates fresh impulse for smokers to fight back. The more draconian measures that Tobacco Control advocates – and, let’s face it, Tobacco Control only ever does Draconian with a capital D – the larger the swarm will grow.

I don’t think this movement is ever going to be organised. Not in the sense of having membership cards and committees and a president and treasurer. It will instead grow and evolve of its own accord, exactly like it’s doing right now. And it’ll probably develop in some very surprising ways. After all, what’s happening right now has been surprising enough already. So I’m sure that there will be plenty more surprises in store.

What we’re seeing is the emergence of a new political entity, with a set of shared values that centre around the simple pleasure of smoking tobacco. Because one of the strangest things that I’ve noticed over these past five years is that I now think of myself primarily as a smoker, and now judge people according to whether they’re smokers or antismokers. It’s become the only thing that really matters. This would have been inconceivable 5 years ago too. But now, whenever I see a smoker, I see One Of Us.

This is something that’s been manifested over the past month with my interest in California’s Proposition 29 (currently having a partial recount, I believe),  and more recently with Santa Monica town council. As an Englishman living in England, I shouldn’t be interested. But I am. Because Californian smokers are my people, and California (or rather NorCal) is the worst place to live in the world if you’re a smoker. I can raise no enthusiasm for the US Presidential election later this year, and I can raise no enthusiasm for UK national politics either, but I can get really enraged about local politics in both places (e.g. Stony Stratford last year). My perspectives have become international, and yet also local. And I think that, as activist smokers become more numerous, it’s something that will be seen more and more (and in many senses, Wiel Maessen’s foray from Holland into Belgium over the past couple of weeks has been another great example of ‘international localism’).

Another thing that I expect to see more of is a deepening social division. The smoker-antismoker divide is becoming more and more unbridgeable. You’ll either be on one side, or you’ll be on the other. And as it all gets more and more polarised, the middle will be harder and harder to occupy. And since there have always been far more smokers than antismokers (with the antismokers’ numerical deficit being offset by huge tax and pharma funding), this social division will tend to favour smokers – particularly as more and more non-smokers seem to be lining up with the smokers rather than the antismokers.

There has never been any meeting of smokers and antismokers. There has never been a debate. Antismokers always act to cut smokers out of any consideration. And so accordingly they’ll never get any consideration from smokers. The two sides are at war with each other, and there can never be any armistice or peaceful co-existence in this existential struggle. Either the antismokers eradicate all the smokers, or the smokers eradicate all the antismokers. It’s one or the other. There is no middle way.

But as the numbers of activist smokers exponentially multiplies, the former possibility will become increasingly remote. As Tobacco Control starts to get de-funded (and California’s Prop 29 has $735 million of funding for antismoking organisations riding on it), its influence will wane. But smokers must press on to completely close down Tobacco Control (and probably the WHO in the process) and all its sources of funding (e.g. the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the pharma companies, and so on.) And smokers must ensure that all the antismoking medics get driven out of the medical profession as well, complete with the US Surgeon General. It has to be a clean sweep. And the broom is going to have to reach into the narrowest nooks and crannies. 70 years ago, Nazi Germany was defeated, but the Nazi eugenicist virus continued to flourish and prosper in America and Britain. This time the job must be completed, and completed thoroughly and methodically and painstakingly.

In the process, I can well imagine smokers becoming allied with other social groups. Drinkers and fat people are obvious candidates, because both are under attack also. But yesterday I was considering Christians as well. They’re also being ‘denormalised’, after all.

Today I was thinking that Jews – or at least Israelis – are also natural allies. They know, after all, better than anybody what these Nazis are capable of. As a smoker getting persecuted by antismoking Nazis, I’ve found myself becoming far more sympathetic to Israel than I ever used to be. Because the world hasn’t really changed. It’s no more safe for Jews (and other ‘undesirables’ like smokers) than it was 100 years ago. The Nazis are still around. They just all wear suits these days, and they speak English, and they live in NorCal, and so nobody thinks they’re Nazis. So Jews can’t let their guard down. But, thus far, Jews don’t seem to have noticed that other social groups can be (and are being) subjected to exactly the same sort of demonisation as they were. So while I can see a natural ally in them, they can’t see one in me. And in fact Israel even has its own smoking ban! Which I find amusing.

I’m sure there are other potential allies. Global warming sceptics (or ‘deniers’) are another set of potential allies. And Richard North of EUreferendum, just back from some conference in Harrogate, has been saying that this week he’s going to invite new people into his discussions, so I’ve been wondering whether to apply, just to add a smoker’s perspective on the EU.

There are artists and musicians too. Because, in keeping with what I’ve just said, what I really like about Lana Del Rey is not the fact that she’s real pretty, or that I really like her music (Blue Jeans mostly), but the fact that she’s also a brazen smoker. She’s even taken to smoking on stage. Who else does that? But the war with the antismoking Nazis has to be fought just as much with art and music and literature as with anything else. Lana Del Rey is political. Yes she is.  And the antismokers hate her.

So it could get very interesting over the decade ahead, as the world becomes everywhere divided into Nazi antismokers versus anti-Nazi smokers. It’s going to be an asymmetric war, with money versus numbers.

And we’re going to win.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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32 Responses to One of Us

  1. reinholdfrombavaria says:

    more and more non-smokers seem to be lining up with the smokers rather than the antismokers

    Yes, that’s my impression, too.
    Many decent non-smokers feel abused by these screaming anti-smokers.
    That all happens not on my behalf, they say.

    • nisakiman says:

      Indeed, Reinhold. The majority of non-smokers I meet really couldn’t give a damn whether I smoke or not. And they think total bans are disproportionate. Particularly here in Greece. I went to a Greek Baptism on Sunday. It’s a big event in the Greek Orthodox Church, and after the church ceremony at midday, everyone (must have been about 100 guests) decamped to a nearby restaurant where rows of tables were laid out for a full sit-down meal, with the beer flowing like water. The interesting thing was that although probably slightly less than half the guests were smokers, there was no thought of separation, no ‘smoker’s tables’ and ‘non-smoker’s tables’. Everyone just mixed in, and the non-smokers were totally oblivious to whether or not there was a smoker sitting next to them. They haven’t yet been brainwashed by the media here.

      Yes, the ‘antis’ really are a vocal minority who happen to have found a way to mine a rich seam of funding, and so currently wield far more power than they deserve.

  2. Rose says:

    Frank

    Well if overnight you’ve been turned from respectable member of the community to social outcast, isolated and banned from everywhere you were once known,like a sudden blow to the head, it does take a while to pick yourself up and find your bearings.
    There must have been millions of us around the globe at various times doing the same.

    I had been watching what was happening to the Americans here and there, but when that great tidal wave hit our shore, I was still completely unprepared for the great shock to the psyche it would cause.
    But when I did come around, it was the Fight, not the Flight, impulse that had been triggered.
    Clearly, I am not alone.

  3. truckerlyn says:

    Great piece, Frank.

    Sorry if I sound negative, but as there are non smokers who don’t give a damn either way, there will always be smokers who, no matter what, will just ‘go with the flow’ and probably, eventually give up as they will capitulate and ‘do anything for a quiet life’!

    I don’t know that my husband will give up smoking, but I’d bet a year’s pay on him NEVER speaking out or ‘getting involved’ in any pro smoking groups! I get enough grief from him for reading and responding here!

  4. truckerlyn says:

    Sorry, meant to add, it is like those that moan and groan about the government and the all 3 main political parties, but bleat with a shrug of the shoulders ‘there is nothing we can do, we are stuck with them’ – like both my husband and mother! I usually scream with frustration and tell them to just vote for another party, to which they reply ‘there isn’t one that is capable of running the country!’ Like any of the 3 main parties are capable of that!

    It is extremely frustrating because there are so many others out there who think and feel exactly the same as my husband and mother!

    • Rose says:

      Hey, this is scary stuff, not everyone has the guts to look it straight in the eye, don’t know, don’t want to know and who can blame them.

      I am banned from speaking on any aspect of tobacco in our house and anywhere else when my family is present.
      Anyway, it’s a lot more productive discussing things with people who do know what you are talking about.

      It very much reminds me of when the crash helmet law came in, no one except bikers seemed to see the awful precedent set, it’s MY head not the governments, how dare they fine me if I don’t choose to wear one.
      Car drivers just couldn’t see it, but they squealed a lot when they were made to wear their seatbelts, some of them still think that set the precedent for government nannying, but they are wrong.

      My husband thinks I am completely wasting my time, but it keeps me quiet and he does make me coffee periodically. : )

      • Frank Davis says:

        My ex-smoking (but sympathetic) brother thinks I’m banging my head against a brick wall. I think so too, but I have a very hard head. ;-)

      • beobrigitte says:

        Rose, truckerlyn – some member of my extended family did raise the issue of “WHAT?????? YOU still smoke???” at a wake, funnily enough.

        Whatever he thought he would induce, “guilt” and “shame” wasn’t amongst them.
        I ended my reply with the words: ” … and next time we meet I EXPECT an ash tray on my table; after all, I have no problem providing water for YOU when you need to take your blood pressure medication”.

        There are no more discussion about smoking. What a pity.

      • truckerlyn says:

        Regarding the seatbelt law, I have a Medical Exemption because I am VERY Claustrophobic and, as I am getting older, the chlaustrophobia is getting worse – or perhaps it in reaction to all the government interference on our freedoms and personal choices?

        Anyway, it is actually not that difficult for most people to ‘feign’ the chlaustrphobia problem and get themselves an expemption, if they so wish. There are ways round some of the nannies rules!

        • Rose says:

          I have always worn my crash helmet, even before it was the law,and I have worn seatbelts since they were fitted, because that’s what racing riders and drivers do!

          They based their adverts on risk and fear of the law,to get willing compliance they should have based them on “cool”

        • truckerlyn says:

          In reply to Rose, I have no problem with people wearing seatbelts and crash helmets, so long as it THEIR choice to do so. That is the crux of the matter, isn’t it – CHOICE? As you said in your initial post regarding seatbelts/helmets, people felt it should be their choice, after all, it is their head/life.

          Sadly, with regard to seatbelts, these can also be the cause of deaths, some do jam and become impossible to get off after a crash and in some cases people are burned alive as a result – that is most definitely the very last way I would want to go!

          Not everything is black and white, as successive governments and control freaks would have us believe, there are countless shades of grey in between!

  5. wobbler2012 says:

    Great blog post Frank. You say you are getting around 1,000 hits a day, that’s very good, are you on Twitter? If not then I suggest you get an account, you will increase hits for sure, DP, Chris Snowdon, Jay (Citizens Unite), Pat Nurse and many others are. As annoying as Twitter can be it’s the way forward mate! Gotta move with the times fella, time waits for no man.

    I searched you (cfrankdavis) and found quite a few links to your blog from the smoking ban inspector story.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I have had a Twitter account for a month or two (cfrankdavis), but haven’t used it, and don’t know how to use it. :-)

      • wobbler2012 says:

        It’s a piece o piss mate, you have 140 characters maximum so you can (for example) tweet your latest blog post (which it automatically shortens the URL to allow you space for a description) and add some keywords or hashtags (#), people will start to follow you, you can follow them and interact by replying to them, or them with you. So say you posted today’s blog you could enter keywords like smoking ban and anti smokers and tobacco control (all examples.) What this means is that if someone searches Twitter for say, smoking ban your “tweet” will be visible and people might click the link and come read your blog. Alternatively you can use hashtags (#) instead, I’m not sure which is best as the keywords will show up anyway, the hashtag thing so far as I can see is a bit of a gimmick, designed by bellends, for bellends.

        On the downside there are indeed a lot of wankers on there for sure (millions of them in fact) but use Twitter it to your own advantage and it can be a very effective marketing tool. Even if you only used it to post your daily blog post anyone that is “following” you will have it appear on their Twitter feed instantly, and if they were to “retweet” your “tweet” then your blog post will become visible to all those that “follow” the person that re-tweeted it. It’s the snowball effect mate.

        We’re not in Kansas anymore mate, I suggest getting onboard, not least because it will increase your internet reach and as a blogger I am sure that that is one of your aims. I used to hate the idea of Twitter but used correctly I find it to be excellent.

        • nisakiman says:

          I’ve not got a twitter account, but as I seem to be morphing into something of an activist (for want of a better word), I’m starting to think that maybe I should get one, if only to spread the message of blogs like Frank’s and sites like tctactics. If I can get the message out to more people, it can only be a good thing, I guess.

          And Frank, I think wobbler is right, you should utilise your twitter account to promote your blog. It’s there; it’s a tool. The time is ripe to start pushing back against the relentless march of the antis. We seem to be gaining momentum as a movement, and we should capitalise on that to maximum effect. The internet is our friend, our medium. It’s our one big advantage. We must use it.

        • Frank Davis says:

          All my posts go onto Facebook already. There’s a WordPress option to re-blog or something. There’s probably one for Twitter too. I’ll have a look tonight. I believe I’ve got a few Twitter followers, but I’ve not posted anything yet.

          Twitter doesn’t tell you much about what you can do with it. When I joined up, it made some suggestions about who I should ‘follow’. I didn’t really want to ‘follow’ anyone.

          I guess I share Leg-iron’s attitude to Twitter. 140 characters is far too little for the likes of me.

          Update: I’ve now set things up to share/publish on Twitter. I have no idea what will happen. Perhaps somebody who’s got a Twitter account can keep an eye out for something from cfrankdavis tonight (assuming I write something).

        • garyk30 says:

          You can do many of these things with ‘Facebook’ and Frank does have an account.

          Facebook also gives you the option of talking/meeting with people via a video link.

          You can have a smoky/drinky for two without the high cost of pub booze and without the possibility of there being kids running around screaming their heads off.

        • wobbler2012 says:

          garyk30, as a marketing tool Facebook is nowhere near as good as Twitter. There is a paid advertising option on Facebook but I can’t see Frank wanting to start doing that lol. He could do a Facebook fan page that would be an idea but seriously, Twitter is where it’s at these days. Of course I am not saying Facebook is dead, far from it, it’s just so much easier on Twitter. Until you actually start actively using Twitter you don’t see the potential of it.

        • nisakiman says:

          Yes, I just created an account after my last comment here. I’m not sure what to do with it yet, but I’ll play with it a bit over the next few days and doubtless it will start to take some sort of form which I can use. I hope.

          It’s a bit like when I got my first computer, running Windows 3.1. I got it because everyone said it was the thing to have, the future.

          But when I had it in front of me, I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. Not just that I didn’t know how to use it, but I didn’t know really what I wanted to use it for. (‘Minesweeper’ didn’t really seem adequate justification for the desk space it consumed.) I just fiddled with it, scared myself to death with all the “You have performed an illegal operation” messages (WTF?) and didn’t really get to grips with it at all. It was only when I got the next one running 95 and with dial-up to the internet that I started to realise the possibilities. I’m sure Twitter will reveal its potential in a similar way. Perhaps! :)

  6. beobrigitte says:

    Great post!
    I was thinking today how much had changed over the past 5 years since the UK smoking ban came into force.

    Only last weekend I actually did experience how much has changed over the last 5 years. I was invited to join a group of youngsters for a birthday celebration in town and – for once – decided that I would do so.

    The first couple of places were ok; it was surprisingly easy to get a seat, which is something I remember having been impossible in the 80s. I was most put out when I was told to leave my drink on a designated table when I went out for a smoke. I guess it’s a way of forcing the smokers back in to the place.
    From then on every venue we moved to I found that when I came back from to the place, my drink had disappeared from the designated table. Only one manager replaced it with a new one free of cost, for which I was grateful. We should have stayed there. The music was very good, staff there were apologetic for having to make us go outside and joined the crowd for a smoke at times.
    Unfortunately we ended up in a place where you do not complain when your drink disappears. Nevertheless, I did, so the manager decided to ask us to leave, although staff behind the bar was sympathetic. I just told the manager that he did not have to ask us to leave, I will gladly do so and only to return when I am treated as what I am – A PAYING CUSTOMER.

    On my way out another bunch of youngsters came up and told me: “That was great!! – You’re right; it happens (the drinks disappearing) all the time and no-one says anything. You just get told that it’s your problem for going outside to smoke”. My reply was: “by saying nothing, nothing gets changed. Yes, it might be a little uncomfortable and there might be ruffled feathers but then, just make sure the opponent’s feathers are in a worse state than yours! Look in my face and decide how long I have walked this planet and how many of us you meet every day. Then start thinking.”

    It’s a pity I will never (??) find out whether these youngsters will start speaking up. I would like to think they will.

    • Tom says:

      That is a story I’ve not heard before, thanks for sharing. So there are vindictive, mean spirited, intolerant, spiteful, anti-smoking ideological business owners in the “hospitality” trade – who are in fact in hospitable as hell and like to torture, punish and belittle their sources of income when it comes from anyone wanting a smoke by stealing their drinks away while they are gone! Going to the pub or out to dine isn’t even worth the trouble half the time anymore, given that sort of attitude amongst the owners who operate in that manner. And the big chains just the same, like Starbucks who adorned their outsides with no-smoking anywhere near their shops even before outdoor smoking-bans became the law, in order to promote and normalize the idea of it – yet that want that smoker’s money to ring up their till. I won’t patronize them anymore either. It would be nice if it were legal to have a smoker’s pub, smoker’s coffee house and smoker’s restaurant instead of it all being banned, with no free choice permitted in the matter. How uncool is that, yet the anti-smoker industry and drones drivel on about how “free” they are making us, free my foot.

    • garyk30 says:

      I take it those ‘youngsters’ were in their 20’s? (big smile)

      Seems not that long ago that ‘yougsters’, to me, were kids in their teens or less.

      Now, anyone 30 or younger is a ‘youngster’ to me.(rueful smile)

      All too many of them,as with their elders, seem to be ‘Sheeeple”!!!

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Great post Frank and Id especially like to thank everyone of you who have been fighting the worldwide bans. If we had money like the Nazis we could make awards to those who fight these bans and every so often like the nazis do for their favorite nazi of the year. Ours would be simply Patriot of the year or whatever feel good thingy we wrote on it. But ours is a war of survival of existence from a nazi extermination plan against us all! Onward to the trenches…………

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    New York Town Agrees to Repeal Tobacco Display Ban
    HAVERSTRAW, N.Y. — The village of Haverstraw, N.Y., will drop a local law that was to ban the display of tobacco products at retail locations, according to a Journal News report. Last night at a special meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a settlement with a group of retailers and manufacturers that filed a lawsuit challenging the ban, which was passed in April 2012 and would have gone into effect this October. The lawsuit claimed the ban violated the First Amendment right to free speech.

    Under the terms of the settlement, the group of plaintiffs, which includes the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS), Lorillard Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., American Snuff Co. LLC, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Brands Inc., and John Middleton Co., agreed to drop the lawsuit if Haverstraw repeals the law.

    The Board of Trustees scheduled a public hearing to discuss a new law to repeal the ban for Aug. 13.

    If the law had gone into effect, local retailers would have provided customers with a printed tobacco menu. NYACS President Jim Calvin previously labeled the law “breathtakingly absurd.”

    http://www.csnews.com/top-story-new_york_town_agrees_to_repeal_tobacco_display_ban-61528.html

  9. Smoking Scot says:

    Maybe a deliberate ommission on your part Frank, but I believe these blogs have achieved a very great deal already.

    1) Looking back at pre ban days I was far more trusting of what the government and the medical professional said. I actually believed most of the reports I saw in the mass media.

    The smoking ban changed all that and, as the number of blogs has grown, I now find I turn to them if I want a thorough analysis of specific events. Certainly with respect to the French elections one was accurate and invaluable.

    I don’t believe I’m alone in a complete rejection of EVERYTHING they (gov’t, medics, researchers and MSM) say.

    2) If guys like yourself are doing anything, it’s “by example”. Lots of people have set up blogs themselves after a period of commenting on others’. Good role model Sir.

    3) I know where Rose and others are coming from and that’s why I started my little thing – 28 March 2007 – and now on URL no. 9 (first five were free hosts… not recommended). I find it cathartic and some of the stuff I research helps in understanding the bigger picture.

    4) Not everyone can fire up and maintain a daily blog. I’m constantly amazed that DP can balance a full time job, family commitments and post every working day. It’s one heck of an undertaking, especially when you comments are encouraged.

    5) It’s not restricted to the English speaking world Frank. I don’t know exactly what you get with WordPress, but my control panel tells me how often the Google translator has been used. A lot. I’d like to think they do that with all the blogs and perhaps learn from what’s happened in Britain. Perhaps they may set up their own web presence and take threads and re-jig them for consumption in Mandarin or Arabic or Polish, etc..

    6) Irrespective of the outcome, every person who sets up a space on the web is, by default, taking more interest in the who’s, the why’s and so on and it can be addictive, providing they have realistic expectations and don’t mess visitors around with poor research and squandering visitors bandwidth (some have monumental home pages. Last five posts, max ‘fer crying out loud).

    But the thing that I find most encouraging are the number of people in their 30’s and 40’s commenting and blogging. That’s why I still bother. I’m not alone, not by a long chalk and it will continue. You say “we will win”. I 2nd that Sir, even north of the 55th parallel we will win.

  10. jaxthefirst says:

    I can well imagine smokers becoming allied with other social groups. Drinkers and fat people are obvious candidates, because both are under attack also. But yesterday I was considering Christians as well.

    I’d like to think that you’re right, and maybe in the long term you are. But at the moment I think that the majority of non-smoking drinkers and non-smoking overweight people and non-smoking Christians – and indeed, non-smoking Jewish people, as you point out regarding the smoking ban in Israel – simply can’t seem to make the connection or see the similarities.

    Maybe it’s deliberate head-in-the-sand-ism, but few of them seem to be able to see that anti-smoking tactics are in any way flexible or adaptable to other areas, when the truth is the opposite – they are infinitely adaptable and have almost unlimited flexibility, because the range of areas for which smoking has been blamed is so enormous – damaging their own health, damaging the health of others, wasting work time, costing the NHS money, costing the economy money, being unsociable, spoiling other people’s houses, being smelly, being unattractive, setting a bad example to the cheeldren. That’s why Puritans the world over love them so much and rush to use them on whichever “vice” they personally happen to dislike. But comments like: “There’s no such thing as passive drinking,” or “at least we (drinkers/foodies) are only hurting ourselves,” or “it’s been shown that a moderate amount of alcohol is good for you,” are invariably offered as the “reason” why it’s quite unimaginable that things might become as bad for them as they have for us – as if there’s no possibility that things will change. Sometimes, their sheer determination not to see what’s unfolding before their very eyes would be impressive, if it wasn’t so desperately foolish and naïve.

    Maybe in time the penny will drop, maybe it’s already starting to, in view of the number of non-smokers in comments sections etc saying, effectively, “enough’s enough,” but even those never seem to allude to the long-predicted “slippery slope” (or “domino effect” or “parallel development” or whatever one likes to call it). And it does seem to be taking a very, very long time.

    Or perhaps, after five years, I’m just getting a tad impatient …

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Judge dismisses second-hand smoke lawsuit against Caesars Entertainment (Las Vegas Sun) By Steve Green, Las Vegas SunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
    July 17–A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit claiming the health of casino employees is in jeopardy because of their constant exposure to tobacco smoke.

    U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance in Louisiana last week dismissed a suit claiming Caesars Entertainment Corp. of Las Vegas was responsible for the cancer death of a dealer at its Harrah’s hotel-casino in New Orleans.

    The suit filed by Denise Bevrotte claimed Harrah’s New Orleans had failed to protect employees from second-hand cigarette and cigar smoke.

    The suit complained her son, Maceo Bevrotte Jr., a Harrah’s dealer for 15 years and a non-smoker, had contracted leukemia because of exposure to smoke at work and then died in 2010.

    The suit had been proposed as a class-action representing more than 1,000 former, current and future nonsmoking employees of Harrah’s New Orleans.

    Vance dismissed the suit on technical legal grounds without the case advancing to the point where a determination could be made on whether Harrah’s had a duty to protect employees from the dangers of smoke and whether it breached such a duty.

    Bevrotte’s wrongful death suit alleged her son contracted an occupational disease as defined by the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act. The workers’ compensation system is her sole avenue to pursue those claims, Vance ruled.

    The judge rejected an argument by Bevrotte’s attorney that whether leukemia is an occupation disease — which would shield Harrah’s from lawsuit liability — is an issue that should have been decided with a trial in the court system.

    Bevrotte’s attorney, Jalila Jefferson-Bullock in New Orleans, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the dismissal of the suit.

    A similar suit seeking class-action status and filed in 2009 is pending in federal court in Las Vegas pitting dealer and union activist Kanie Kastroll against Wynn Las Vegas. That suit doesn’t allege anyone has died because of tobacco smoke in the casino but says the smoke aggravates Kastroll’s asthma and subjects employees to “ingestion of cancer-causing chemicals and toxins.”

    That suit survived an early dismissal motion but is still in the legal-wrangling stage.

    It’s unclear when, or if, Kastroll’s case will advance to the point where a decision is made on whether Wynn has failed to protect workers from tobacco dangers and whether it has a duty to do so.

    Wynn attorneys said Kastroll’s suit can’t proceed as a class-action under a little-known provision in federal law governing “home-state controversies.”

    They said this provision bars federal class-action lawsuits when more than two-thirds of the proposed plaintiff class members are citizens of the forum state.

    In this case, they say, the class-action can’t stand because 99.6 percent of Wynn’s current employees, and 91 percent of its former employees, live in Nevada.

    On top of that, they’ve argued the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, a successful 2006 ballot measure, specifically exempts nonrestricted gaming licensees like Wynn from smoking restrictions imposed on other workplaces.

    In both the Bevrotte and Kastroll lawsuits, the casinos were accused of failing to protect workers by requiring them to deal at tables where gamblers smoke, failing to install adequate ventilation systems, encouraging customers to smoke by providing or selling cigarettes and failing to monitor the health of employees subjected to smoke.

    The casino industry, for its part, says it has improved ventilation and that it’s important for business reasons to cater to customers who smoke.

    Nevertheless, some casino smoking lawsuits have been successful around the country, including one filed by a dealer against the Tropicana Atlantic City that was settled in 2010 for $4.5 million.

    And Smoke-Free Gaming, an advocacy group, notes the new Revel resort opened smoke-free this year in Atlantic City.

    ___

  12. Pingback: New Pastures | Frank Davis

  13. smoky says:

    I was at a very agreeable free-champers party at a work colleague’s smoke free house at the weekend.

    The free champers came as her partner had won a case of it, the rooftop terrace venue as she has an amazing said terrace on her rooftop, anyway as the champers went down, I was the only one smoking constantly, then a girl next to me asked to drag an end, which I let her do, then another guest wanted a drag, then the hostess, demanded a full cigarette.

    By this point my pack was exhausted, and I graciously went to the nearby shop to get more, which they eagerly consumed upon my arrival back.

    Anyway the champers flowed freely, and the only downside to the night was a couple of the younger ladies insisted on venturing uptown to some shit smoke-free bar later, which I did and wished fondly I was on the roof terrace again.

    People are in denial, obviously.

  14. Greg Burrows says:

    Fine post Frank, it has taken six years to get to this level, from the start of the legislation banning smoking, not one of us had any knowledge of epidemiological studies, we started off in the Big Debate the forerunner of F2C info, the first meeting was held in Cheshire in I think May 2007, I thought at that time we would have thousands joining us, the painful tragedy of pub’s and working mens club closure’s, yet hardly any would raise a voice against this fraud, why fight they said you can not win, we are winning because those that instigated this spiteful legislation know that they are criminals because of their fabrication of lies and deceit.
    I came into this thinking that at least some great institutions in the UK were honest and decent, unfortunately my first brush with the ASA in 2007 made me realise that to keep the truth at bay all institutions will corrupt themselves to make sure this cat is held in the bag, well this cat has clawed its way through some of that bag and will eventually claw through the rest.
    Thanks to those who put their neck on the line Hamish Howitt, Nick Hogen, Tony Blows,Ray&Jill McHale and Chris Carter’s case which just shows how high this deception pervades.

  15. chris says:

    The Palestinians are targeted for erasure to make room for the exclusive use of the “right” people. They are thrown out of their homes and denied access to services just for who they are. A concerted campaign to make them disappear by making their lives progressively more difficult is underway and funded by big money interests. Their very existence is considered a threat and they are considered to have no rights whatsoever.
    Sound familiar?

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