Rapidly Shifting Opinions

I’ve been thinking today how my opinions about the health risks of tobacco have changed over my lifetime.

I used not to have an opinion about it. But occasionally I’d encounter rather scary articles in newspapers or magazines about top doctors issuing warnings on cancer and smoking. And cancer was a really scary disease. So these articles would give me the willies, and I’d go and read something else instead.

I don’t remember having any discussions with anyone about it. But I think pretty much everyone felt the same way I did. They didn’t want to talk about it, because it was scary. I don’t know what it is about cancer, that it used to fill me with nameless dread in ways that no other disease ever did.

But I didn’t know anyone who’d actually got lung cancer. I didn’t even know anyone who knew anyone who’d got lung cancer.

The first antismoker I ever came across was Dr W. And I rapidly decided that he was insane. He hated tobacco with a ferocious intensity, but never offered a single rational reason for such hatred. I sometimes think that such people have also experienced the same nameless dread as I did – except, unlike me, they never shrugged it off. Dr W was probably the unhappiest man I’ve ever met. He was incapable of smiling. And he scared the wits out of me even more than cancer did.

Which was in part why I took up smoking not long afterwards, reasoning that if the nutty Dr W was so opposed to smoking, it must be pretty harmless. But for Dr W, I might never have taken up smoking.

But I was still a bit worried, and a bit scared, and I wasn’t surprised or distressed when friends gave up smoking.

Some years later I got talking to an old friend about it – a smoker like me – and asked him if he thought smoking caused lung cancer.

“No,” Mike said. “It doesn’t. But it wrecks your lungs.”

He was the first person I ever encountered who didn’t believe the lung cancer scare. But he was a highly unorthodox man, in almost every possible way, and so I wasn’t too surprised.

The simple truth of the matter was that I’d not thought about it all very much, or even at all, and so I believed pretty much what everybody else believed. Because that’s generally what I believe when I haven’t thought about something.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people not thinking very much about things like tobacco. Why the hell should they? There are plenty of other things to think about. We can’t all think about everything. Most of the time, on most subjects, we’re on autopilot, and most of our opinions are ones we’ve acquired secondhand. I’d guess that 99.99% of my opinions are secondhand opinions – things I’ve read somewhere or heard somewhere. I still tie my shoelaces the way my mother taught me.

Things only began to change in 2004 when I first heard of the prospect of a smoking ban, and the perils of passive smoking. And since I’d spent my whole life wreathed in smoke, I couldn’t believe there was any peril at all in that. Inhaling smoke from a cigarette, yes, but not somebody else’s wafting smoke. I was immediately sceptical.

And I’ve been getting ever more sceptical with every year that’s passed since. And I’ve thought about it a lot. I’m now more or less inclined to think that not only is there no threat from passive smoking, but there’s also no threat from active smoking either. I’ve become almost completely sceptical about all claims made against tobacco.

A graph showing my changing opinion would be like one of those global warming hockey sticks. More or less unchanging throughout most of my life, and then going through the top of the page in the last few years.

And the same seems to have been happening with a lot of other people. Most of the people reading this blog are likely to be newly deeply sceptical of most tobacco health scares too. And ten or twenty years ago, they probably were hardly sceptical at all. And, like me, they may not have thought about it much either. They can correct me if I’m wrong.

Which is very interesting. Because it means that, after decades of “everybody knowing” that smoking caused lung cancer and almost every other disease too, and just at the moment in time when the war on smoking has ratcheted up to blitzkrieg levels, lots of people are ceasing to believe a word of it.

One of the most interesting and surprising things that’s coming out of my own personal survey of smokers is that nearly 80% of them have come to distrust experts, and in many cases to deeply distrust them. I hadn’t expected that.

Nevertheless, this is still a minority – albeit a growing minority – of the population. I’d guess that most people still believe the experts and the doctors. And clearly the government does. And the mass media too.

So what’s going on in most people’s heads? The answer is probably: not much. No more than was going on in my head about it all for the first 55+ years of my life. They haven’t thought about it. And, like me, they believe what everybody else believes.

But… these days, we’ve just discovered that what everybody else believes is changing very rapidly. Or what some of them believe. And so all the people who believe what everybody else believes must also be becoming just a tad sceptical. After all, their opinions are going to be something like the average of everybody else’s. And the more sceptics and ‘deniers’ like me that they encounter, either online or in person, the more their opinions are likely to inch in my direction. Just going out and polling people with my survey, I’m having a minuscule impact.

So it’s most likely that most people – the people who don’t think about it all much – are actually becoming slightly sceptical. But not yet so sceptical as to reject the received wisdom.

And if that’s happening then there’s quite likely to be a ‘tipping point’ when suddenly all the unthinking people, who drink in everybody else’s opinion, suddenly go from being true believers to outright sceptics.

And it could happen very suddenly. It could happen very suddenly because such people are gauging average opinion, holding a finger to the wind, and because they’re all doing the same thing they’re most likely to all decide at the exact same time that the wind has changed.

So, although the numbers of sceptics is mounting, but public opinion doesn’t seem to be changing much, it may well change, and change very suddenly.

Of course, antismoking professionals are also able to gauge and influence opinion. Antismoking TV and radio ads probably have a small impact (just like the scary newspaper and magazine articles I used to read). And it may in fact be that the antismokers are well aware of the mounting scepticism, and are acting to counteract it. After all, why run expensive ad campaigns to convince people of something they already believe, or get them to do something they want to do anyway?

I haven’t watched TV or listened to the radio for years, so I never see it or hear it now anyway. What I do remember is that antismoking ads were multiplying at the exact same time my scepticism was rocketing.

If the money ever runs out for antismoking ads, chances are that scepticism will increase rapidly, and the tipping point will be reached quicker.

We smokers tend to believe that we’re getting nowhere, and we’re not shifting public opinion at all, because we’re out-gunned by by Tobacco Control’s well-financed media onslaught. But we may be completely wrong. In fact, the reverse might be true, and Tobacco Control is becoming increasingly desperate as it watches public opinion slowly slipping away from it. And that’s why they’re always coming out with new scares, like those Nazi super-weapons launched against an enemy that was winning.

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41 Responses to Rapidly Shifting Opinions

  1. Frank, if you’d like to, you should read two books that agree with you fairly strongly on the smoking/lungcancer thing: Lauren Colby’s “In Defense of Smokers” and Rich White’s “Smoke Screens: The Truth About Tobacco.” Colby’s is available online at the Club and Forces I think, and was originally written in the late 90s. Rich’s is more extensive and up to date and is available through his website and Amazon (not sure which he prefers… write him and ask!) Both highly recommended for that genre!


  2. jaxthefirst says:

    It really isn’t surprising that people don’t believe health scare stories any more. What’s the latest one – too much salt causes stomach cancer? There’s just been so many of them over the last 20 years or so that inevitably even the drone-mentality types who would rather have Experts make their lifestyle choices for them have to make their own decisions one way or the other, because there are now self-appointed Experts in so many areas making so many dire predictions of death and disease, and so often contradicting each other in the process, that it just isn’t possible to do what all of them say at the same time, no matter how much of a goody-two-shoes little drone you are! How do you drink the “moderate” amount which some Experts say is good for you, but at the same time adhere to another group of Experts’ pronouncement that there is “no safe level of alcohol?”

    Needless the say, the trailblazers in all this were the anti-smoking campaigners. I’m not sure that there was such a thing as a “health scare” before they got going with their nasty propaganda – if there was then I certainly don’t remember them, and I’m old enough to remember their first few, and a way before then, even back to the days when tobacco advertising was freely permitted (“Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet,” “That Condor moment,” “Consulate – Fresh as a Mountain Stream”)

    So it’s yet another precedent which they set – health scares. But, like anything which becomes very popular, it’s had its day. People are simply becoming fed up with hearing that something which they’ve been doing and enjoying for years is going to end up killing them and everyone around them (isn’t it odd that there’s never a health scare about any of the rotten things in life that it would be good to have an “accepted” reason to say you can’t do any more?). No pop group stays at the top of the charts forever, no film star stays as the No 1 hearthrob for more than a few years, writers go “off the boil” after a few decent books, fashions come and go, TV programmes enjoy surges of popularity before finding their ratings steadily dropping off. The public has a short memory and is always on the lookout for something new; and health scares – led for over 30 years by the anti-smoking industry – are now, quite simply, very “last season” and people are nothing less than bored by them. Especially now that it’s becoming increasingly clear, even to many non-smoking, erstwhile supporters of the smoking ban, that nothing – no activity, no pleasure, no vice – is off-limits anymore once the “anti-smoking template” is applied.

    • Frank Davis says:

      “Consulate – Fresh as a Mountain Stream”

      I remember it as “Cool as a mountain stream”, but WTF do I know?

      I used to smoke Consulate, before I got in with the biker gangs that smoked Old Holborn roll-ups. I smoked Consulate for years until, one day, very suddenly, they violently disagreed with me, and I promptly stopped smoking them. Maybe they changed the formula or something?

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Since about 1969 or so as a kid I watched the Medical moment become a daily occurance. The one thing as a kid I became aware of was the commercials were making flat out HYPOCONDRIACS out of everyone. My point is a point came when the public becomes immune to the scare tactics and basically quit believing this study says xxxx then a few weeks later another study says the exact opposite. But the people lived and flourished despite these medical moment scare tactics. I firmly believe its always been a conditioning excercise by the public health groups to get us all ready for what we see today!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Something really funny happened at about the same time frame The AMA was basically taken over by the far left,then at the Veterans Hospitals the mission was changed from real doctors treating veterans to a Training mission for upcomming doctors and such. In effect us vets became guinea pigs to train foreign doctors who can hardly speaky american. Then the psychiatric manual changed the act of being gay from a mental disease to nothing. That was the beginning of the gay rights movement. So many things were attacked back in the 60s movements especially poltically in government. Before the 1968 immigration laws were changed we basically always had 80% white legally immigrating to america from european countries then, Ted Kennedy and his bag of nazis rewrote it and changed the racial make up to a more african and hispanic immigration quota let alne all the illegals that were alreayd here.

      I guess where Im going is todays problems can truly trace their beginnings to the 1960s counter culture……………..no diss on the hippies but hey free love has cost us dearly!

      pass the PSYCHO-DELIC DRUGS…………….Im turning up the grateful dead

  4. Woodsy42 says:

    Frank, I wonder how much is a rebelion over smoking alarmism as such and how much is the growing general rebellion over nannyism and all the immoral and self interested ‘experts’ that now rule our lives?
    We have the same alarmism and overhyped claims of danger about energy, climate change, salt, sugar, Islam, cycling without helmets, EU finances, driving speed, kiddy fiddlers, guns, Russian influence, Chinese commercial competition, copyright breaches killing our media industry – you name it and there is a lobby of self interested people telling us how dangerous it is to our person or society, or our kiddies unless ‘something is done’ – which translates as more rules and bans.
    Basically nowadays I believe none of them, they are all greedy, corrupt and self-serving and any truth is obscured.

  5. nisakiman says:

    I was the same as that, Frank, in that I broadly accepted all the stuff about the perils of smoking without question. What did it for me was when they started all this “passive smoking” malarkey. Common sense told me loud and clear that it didn’t compute.

    Some years ago I used to frequent a (pretty international) forum, and I started a thread questioning the whole concept of passive smoking. The thread attracted a lot of comments (in fact it’s still a live thread even now, a few years later), and of course at the time my grasp of the facts was minimal, as I hadn’t really delved into the subject. So to counter some of the arguments the thread was throwing up, I started digging around on the internet. It was only then that I started to realise the degree of exaggeration and misinformation, the propaganda that we were being subjected to.

    Since then, as is fairly obvious, I have become a confirmed sceptic, and not just about smoking but about many other things too. As soon as I read something along the lines of “Experts have said…” I immediately start to question whatever it is they are saying. And I think that we are fast reaching the point of “warning overload”, where even the disinterested man-in-the-street is starting to think “Hold on just a cotton-pickin’ minute, they were saying something different last week…”, and a degree of doubt is entering his mind.

    Tobacco Control are fast approaching that point where their claims are getting so outlandish that your average joe is doing a double-take. Maybe we only need to feed them enough rope to hang themselves with. That seems to be Legiron’s modus operandi. In fact he is inclined to feed them so much rope that they’ll be able to tie themselves up first before fitting the noose! And have some left over! :)

  6. Tuco says:

    People seem too lazy to analyse what they are fed these days.The funniest anti-smoking ad must be the one on the side of packs with the 2 sets of lungs,one set nice bright and shiny and the others in seeming dis-repair.They sure as hell did,nt whip out the shiny ones for a photo op and going to sew them back in .So the message should read you die if you smoke you die if you don,t.No real explanation is given for the demise of the previous owner of the shiny lungs.

    • Rose says:

      A very good point, Tuco.

      Inquiring minds want to know, and did the previous owner of those shiny pink lungs give permission to have pictures of them printed on cigarette packets across the globe?.

      (now locked in an internal struggle for and against posting a link to Burke and Hare)

    • Mr A says:

      In addition, we know from NHS figures that over half the lungs used in lung transplants come from smokers. Are we seriously expected to believe they bang those blackened, tar filled organs into recipients?

      Or are the “blackened” lungs we see either 1) fabricated or 2) belong to people whose lung diseases were not caused by smoking. If not, we need to know why some smoker’s lungs are shrivelled and black, whilst others are pink and perky enough to be used in transplantation. Which is it, medical community?

      • nisakiman says:

        I recollect reading somewhere (I can’t remember where) that a leading US pathologist told a senate hearing(?) that when a pathologist opens a cadaver up to do an autopsy, there is no way they can tell from the lungs whether or not the deceased was a smoker. Blackened lungs occur when they are cancerous (on the outside of the lung, not the inside), regardless of whether the owner was a smoker or not, and when the person has been exposed long-term to certain types of particulate matter, like coal miners for instance. So those blackened lungs you see on the fag packets may or may not have belonged to a smoker, but the claim that “this is what smokers’ lungs look like” is pure fantasy.

      • beobrigitte says:

        The “tar-stained” lungs are fabricated nonsense, considering that there is a limited amount of time in which any organ can be transplanted, the last thing the medics need, is to ask around if the donor was a smoker.

        There is even this (in German)

        in which a forensic medic states that these “tar” lungs do not exist.

        I have no idea how an anti-smoker can be re-assured that the donor of his new lung was not a smoker who just loved his tobacco. My guess would be that the anti-smoker does not care.
        But then, the next “horror” might be waiting for him:
        and he might be turning into a smoker………………….

        • Rose says:

          Invented by James 1st of England 6th of Scotland, because he thought that smoking tobacco was unChristian and wanted to put a stop to the nasty heathen practice.

          (See the British Are the Master of Deceit)

          “Surely Smoke becomes a kitchin far better then a Dining chamber, and yet it makes a kitchin also oftentimes in the inward parts of men, soiling and infecting them, with an unctuous and oily kinde of Soote, as hath bene found in some great Tobacco takers, that after their death were opened.”

          Though you’ll note he was not specific as to which organs were supposed to be filled with oily soot.

          And they still believe it after 400 years.

          “Page 26: “”Smoking Turns Your Lungs Black” – This assertation prompted many questions in the recent Congressional hearings. However, a number of pathologists and other doctors testified that there was no way to tell a smoker’s lung from a non-smoker’s lung. Here is SOME of their testimony……”

          Page 27: “Dr. Duane Carr – Professor of Surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, said this: “Smoking does not discolor the lung.”

          Dr. Victor Buhler, Pathologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City: “I have examined thousands of lungs both grossly and microscopically. I cannot tell you from exmining a lung whether or not its former host had smoked.”

          Dr. Sheldon Sommers, Pathologist and Director of Laboratories at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York: “…it is not possible grossly or microscopically, or in any other way known to me, to distinguish between the lung of a smoker or a nonsmoker. Blackening of lungs is from carbon particles, and smoking tobacco does not introduce carbon particles into the lung.”

          The whole question was summed up well by Dr. Irving Zeidman, Professor of Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania, when he was asked in Congress whether it was possible to tell which of two lungs was the lung of a smoker. He said: “I would estimate that of a thousand pathologists in this country 998 would say, ‘I could not tell,’ and the other two would say, ‘I could tell,’ and those two who could tell either had some divine intuition or were not telling the truth.”

          It would thus appear that at best this claim is not scientifically supportable and at worst, that it is another deliberate attempt to frighten people.”

          Click to access 00007569.pdf

          Michael Abramson is Professor of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine from Monash University in Victoria.

          “Michael Abramson: The lungs of city dwellers are much dirtier than the lungs of rural dwellers. So that if a post mortem examination is performed, you actually see the black deposits on the outside of the lungs of city dwellers and also in the lymph glands in the middle of the chest. And this is true, even in people who haven’t worked in a coal mine or haven’t smoked.

          It’s simply the effect of breathing in fine particles over the years of a lifetime.”

  7. prog says:

    The nudge approach will mean more and more smokers will be targeted (car owners, tenants, those who frequent parks etc). All are aware of the display ban and all would notice the plain packs. It’s in their faces (or couldwill be). Most people will start to wonder why tobacco hasn’t been banned – not to do so would defy all logic, the public are not entirely stupid. When this happens it’ll be crunch point – the Tobacco Control Industry would have to put up or shut up. Ok, we are governed by idiots but when it comes to the nitty-gritty money will take precedence. And with over a 20% smoking electorate it’d be political suicide to ban it. Truth is that TC has not reduced smoking rates on the back of recent legislation and it needed to get rates closer to 10% to really turn the screw. In other words, it’s become the victim of it’s own perceived ‘success’.

  8. Steve Kelly says:

    Smoking a lot, especially cigarettes, over a long term carries health risks. Everybody dies but heavy smokers have higher risks of some particular forms of death. The same’s true about heavy drinkers. Far safer cigarettes — virtually safe cigarettes — could have been introduced thirty years ago. Dr Gio Gori’s US National Cancer Institute research team was making preparations for introducing them to market. But the very idea of safer cigarettes is anathema to bug-eyed smoking abolitionists who took over in the health professions thirty years ago. They killed all sane research and established the party line that, unlike with everything else in life, with tobacco there was no such thing as moderation, that any suggestion of any form of moderation was sin, and that smokers had to be exterminated. ETS or passive smoking is 100% pure junk science propaganda. That’s where we are and where we have to get out of before sanity can prevail again.

  9. Margo says:

    Lovely post, everyone. Once upon a time ages ago, I also vaguely believed the ‘cancer-sticks’ stuff (I first heard that term in the late 50s), because why would you not trust the ‘experts’? The turning point for me came with the phrase ‘smoking related diseases’. I wondered what they were and found they were mostly (at that time, the 70s/80s) cancer and heart disease (there are more now, of course). I looked at my personal experience:-

    From the late 70s onwards, eight of my friends have died ‘prematurely’ (ie under the age of 70) of cancer or heart attacks: two in their 30s, two in their 40s, three in their 50s, and one in his 60s. Of all these, only two were regular smokers. Three-quarters of them DIDN’T SMOKE.

    But the real killer, for me, of the smoking-kills litany is the plain fact that over the last 50 years smoking has declined massively while the chances of any of us getting cancer have just about doubled. Therefore, it seems to me, whatever it is that’s causing this increasing number of premature deaths by cancer, it is not tobacco.
    The only thing I can definitely say against smoking (apart from the ever-rising cost) is that if you do too much of it you cough. And if you cut down a bit, the coughing reduces immediately.

    As for all the other health-scare stuff, I’ve got no grounds at all for believing any of it. My doctor has plain-lied to me twice about smoking (that’s another story), so as an ‘authority’ he has earned my contempt and derision.Thankfully, I’m a pretty healthy person, the kind he doesn’t remember from Adam from one visit to the next.

  10. Steve Kelly says:

    Tell your doctor you never smoked and never knew or saw anyone who smoked. You think smoking is something that was only done in old movies, and never in the real world, to your knowledge. It’s pathetic but that’s what you have to do now because doctors have become as (more?) pathetic than they were in their leech-bleeding skull-drilling days. These days, telling a doctor you smoke (or ever walked by somebody who smoked), is about like telling Dr Mengele you’re Jewish, or half Jewish: it was all the same to him. You were something that should die. Immediately.

    • Margo says:

      I know, but – unlike my doctor – I won’t lie. I figure (maybe naiively) that if enough healthy smokers tell the truth even the medics might start to wonder, eventually.

  11. Margo says:

    I was looking for the real reasons behind American prohibition of alcohol (1920-1933), to see if there were parallels. I found two interesting articles online: http://commendatori.wordpress.com called Hydrocarbons versus carbohydrates (The Real reason behind 1030s Alcool (sic) Prohibition)by David Morris, and http://reason.com/archives/2007/07/31 called The Politics of Prohibition. They both tell of political and economic reasons. Our anti-smoking stuff will also have political/economic reasons driving it; the puritanical, healthist and moralist groups are merely the vehicle by which it is implemented.

  12. Margo says:

    Sorry, I meant 1930s, not 1030s. I expect the money/power grabbers were on one in 1030 as well, though.

  13. Junican says:

    A bit off topic, but this is a post which I have just left at Dick Puddlecote’s place. It gives a possible explanation of the knock on effects of smoking bans:

    When herself and I went to Manchester airport, prior to the ban, we often browsed around the shops a little and she might buy some perfume and stuff while I might buy a book, newspaper, whatever. We often had a sandwich and more than one cup of coffee.
    When the ban arrived, both of us had to discipline ourselves to drive the annoyance at not being able to smoke out of our minds. The effect was also to discipline ourselves in other ways as well. Be cool – sit and wait – watch the world go by – do not impulse buy – just wait. The result is that we check our bags in then go outside for half an hour or so and enjoy a couple of last fags. We pass though the shopping area without stopping and go to a café and have one coffee. The same applies on the aircraft – sit and wait. We take our own sandwiches. She always has a hot chocolate. I always have two little bottles of red wine. We are totally disciplined. On arrival at Palma airport, we might go to one of the two very pleasant cafés there – one is outside and the other is partially inside (none of this 50% crap). Once we arrive at our destination, we go back normal.
    The same applies to the hotel. It used to have a smoking room and we spent quite a lot of time in that room. Now, there is no smoking room and so we rarely spend any money in the hotel at all.
    Without attributing the fortunes of the hotel totally to the smoking ban in the public areas of the hotel (you can still smoke in your room), since the beginning of bans in the hotel, it has started closing down during part of the winter. First, it was December and January, then it become December through to February. Now it is mid-November to mid-March. As bans have been ratchet up, so has the hotel trade declined in Majorca.
    It is almost certainly true, human nature being what it is, that other smokers have disciplined themselves in a similar fashion. Once the discipline has become ingrained, it knocks on in all sorts of other ways.

    • Rose says:

      Once the discipline has become ingrained, it knocks on in all sorts of other ways

      I couldn’t agree more, Junican.

    • beobrigitte says:

      When herself and I went to Manchester airport, prior to the ban, we often browsed around the shops a little and she might buy some perfume and stuff while I might buy a book, newspaper, whatever. We often had a sandwich and more than one cup of coffee.

      Prior to the ban I did the same; browsing the shops, buying some books, settling in in an airport cafe and just generally watching the buzz of the place until it was my turn to go to the gate.
      Now I get to the airport later, check in and go straight to the gate. On the other side I just leave straight away.

      This will change in the foreseeable future:

      Lucky the people who have to travel via Frankfurt!!! Got a few hours to kill there to catch the next flight – I think I won’t mind!!!

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Changing attitudes hell these NAZIS are begging for signatures!

    People urged to sign petition to back cancer charity’s initiative
    Published on Sunday 5 August 2012 14:28

    PEOPLE in the East Midlands have just a few days left to back a major campaign to help stop children across the region from becoming the next generation of smokers.

    Cancer Research UK is issuing a rallying cry for people to sign a petition in support of the charity’s The answer is plain initiative, which calls for cigarette packets to be stripped of their seductive branding.

    The plea comes as a UK-wide consultation on whether all tobacco products should be sold in packs of uniform, size shape and design along with big health warnings – otherwise known as ‘plain packs’ – is due to close on 10th August.

    The charity believes that plain packs are vital to help discourage young people from starting to smoke, as research shows that the striking logos and distinctive designs of current cigarette packets make them more appealing to children.


    • beobrigitte says:

      Changing attitudes hell these NAZIS are begging for signatures!

      They are also begging for money – the public is becoming aware of what they appear to be using the money for. Anti-smoking propaganda. A lot of smokers have cancelled their monthly £2 donation a while ago, so CRUK started a TV ad/begging
      To be fair, is anyone aware of CRUK actually producing results with respect to any cancer they cannot attribute to smoking or treatment of cancers?

      • smokingscot says:

        Working on that right now BB.

        Got the title. “CRUK is to charities as Al-Qaeda is to religion; an abomination.”

        Should be out around the 8th.

  15. garyk says:

    (OT) Go Great Britain!!!!

    It’s all in how you look at things.
    China leads the Olympic medal count with 61, the USA is second with 59, GB is third with 37, Russian Federation is fourth with 35, and Japan is fifth with 26.

    Medals per capita look like this:
    GB is 1st with 1/1.7 million people
    Russian Federation is 2nd with 1/4.1 million people
    Japan is 3rd with 1/4.9 million people
    USA is 4th with 1/5.25 million people
    China is 5th with 1/21.3 million people.

  16. smokingscot says:

    Sadly I lost a distant cousin to lung cancer in February. In her heyday she smoked and drank and lived life to the full. One hell of a character.

    To our surprise the medics never suggested she quit the fags. She did so herself because she preferred the electronic jobs.

    Point about this is she lived in a large granite building in Aberdeen all her married life (50 years) and lung cancer can be caused by radon gas from the very fabric of the building. Medics in Aberdeen see a lot of this.

    Everything was fine when she heated the place with an open fireplace, however things started to go wrong shortly after she had it double glazed and horribly wrong after she had central heating installed.

    The link is to a very brief BBC archive from 2003 that states “Radon is officially the second largest cause of lung cancer in the UK”.


  17. Frank – Thought you might be interested in this story of resistance from the US: Bar owners rally against smoking ban (http://bit.ly/MXRiyO). One of the commenters says: “No one has the right to make health choices for others and no one has a right to demand rights to the detriment of others.” I’m interested in this question, which is why I’ve enjoyed reading your opinion for years now. Not that I agree with all of it (I smoked for 11 years and stopped because my boyfriend didn’t like the smell), but I enjoy knowing what you think and how your mind works, which you document well in this post. I mention you, BTW (briefly), in a recent post (http://bit.ly/wfwfiH), under anti-authority healthism.

  18. junican says:

    It is great to see bar owners creating a fuss. Would that it had happened in the UK!

    One of the favourite mantras which Zealots like to repeat is, “Your right to smoke ends at my nose”. Clever, but inaccurate. It should read, “Your right to smoke, ON MY PROPERTY, ends at my nose, PROVIDED THAT YOU ARE NOT SMOKING IN THE OPEN AIR” We could thus reverse the mantra and say, “Your right to stick your nose into my business ends at my fist, provided that we are not INSIDE a building which you own” We could also employ the same argument about pissing in swimming pools. If I own a swimming pool, then I can decide who can piss in it. That mantra also falls down because it is impossible to know whether anyone has pissed in the pool and who might have done so, if someone has.

    Tobacco Control Zealots are EVIL. And I mean that precisely. EVIL used to mean ‘sinful’, but the Churches have completely lost contact with the modern world, and can no longer claim to know what the word EVIL means. But we PETS (people who enjoy tobacco) can see EVIL in Tobacco Control. We can see it because we are aware of the distortion and exaggeration in ASH ET AL propaganda, and such distortion and exaggeration is EVIL because it is intended to deliberately encourage individuals to attack each other. There is the EVIL. If there is one single definition of EVIL (among many possible), then deliberately fostering antipathy among people, on false pretences, must be considered to be EVIL. There is no doubt.

  19. Pingback: The Black Lung Lie | Frank Davis

  20. Pingback: Forbidden News » FLASHBACK: Smoking: The black lung lie

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