Transcript 22 Sep 2012

The following transcript of a recent Tobacco Control Industry meeting has come into my possession. I don’t have a list of the participants. It’s incomplete, but is nevertheless informative.

Transcript of Forum on Blogosphere Counter-Measures.

Richard Doll Building 22 Sep 2012.

S.G. Okay, guys. Let’s get started. We’ll be serving coffee shortly, and I’ll be asking you for your opinions preference-wise there soon. But for now I’d like to start out by sketching out the problem we’ve got here. And it’s that over the past few years a number of blogs have appeared on the world wide web that are critical of Tobacco Control. I usually refer to them as “smokers’ rights organisations.” And their numbers have been rising steadily. And they also have growing numbers of readers. They’re becoming quite influential. I’m sure you’re familiar with some of them.

A.S. Like Velvet Trouser, Iron Leg?

S.G. Yeah, that’s one of them… The meeting we’re having today is to discuss a range of possible counter-measures that we might take against these smokers’ rights blogs. Yes, LB?

L.B. What I find shocking – truly shocking – about many of these blogs is their complete lack of respect for authority, and their utter contempt for the efforts of smoke-free campaigners like ourselves. It’s completely unacceptable, in my view.

S.G. I share your opinion. Yes, DA?

D.A. And the inappropriate language they use. Some of them use lots of F-words and C-words.

L.B. And A-words and B-words and D-words and E-words too, quite often. With both English and American spellings of the A-word.

S.G. Yes, I’ve noticed that too. I’m gonna list a few of the suggestions that have been made so far. And the first suggestion is that we just get these blogs closed down by the appropriate authorities. We can discuss these suggestions at greater length later. Another suggestion is that we associate them with the industry by describing them as Tobacco Industry stooges or front organisations. A third suggestion is that we sabotage or disrupt them.

D.A. DD tried doing this in England, with limited success.

S.G. I know. A fourth suggestion is that we set up rival counter-blogs. Those are the four principal suggestions that we’ve got right now. If anyone has any more ideas, I’d like to hear them. This is the forum for such ideas.

R.W. If I may, I’d like to run an idea up the flagpole.

S.G. What flagpole?

R.W. It’s an imaginary flagpole.

S.G. Okay. So run your imaginary idea up your imaginary flagpole.

R.W. I think we should say that there’s a significant health risk from reading pro-smoking blogs.

S.G. I see. Sorta eighth hand smoke or something. Do we have any research that indicates such a risk?

R.W. Not yet. But we could have a new study by next week.

S.G. How come?

R.W. We could just ask a few people whether they think reading pro-smoking blogs is bad for people’s health. And then we say, “9 out of 10 people say pro-smoking blogs pose health risk.”

S.G. I see. But what if 9 out of 10 people don’t say that.

R.W. You have to ask the right people, obviously.

A.S. I’d like to run another imaginary idea up the imaginary flagpole.

S.G. It’s gonna get pretty crowded up top of that flagpole. Go ahead.

A.S. It follows on from RW’s idea. We should have health warnings put on these blogs.

S.G. Like, “Reading stuff like this can cause heart attacks”?

A.S. Something like that. It could be a background image behind the text. Writing behind the writing.

L.B. Why not on top of the text?

S.G. We’d be violating freedom of speech.

L.B. Okay, then why not an audio warning, with someone saying out loud, “Reading this stuff can cause heart attacks.”

A.S. Shouting out loud, not saying out loud.

L.B. Shouting at them might cause heart attacks too.

S.G. I think both of those are good ideas. But let’s go back to the first four suggestions.

K.R. I think that tying them to Big Tobacco and discrediting them that way is the best route. I do it all the time already. And it seems to me that they must have big money behind them. Some of them put out stuff every day. Don’t tell me that these dickwads are…

D.A. Language!

K.R. My apologies. Don’t tell me that these D-words are doing it for free. I don’t do anything for free. I don’t even tell my children bedtime stories for free.

E.M. Don’t you? I do. Or at least I did when they were little. How much do charge them?

K.R. I charge them credits. They gain credits by eating their greens and getting good grades at school and keeping their weight down. They can spend those credits on bedtime stories and trips to the movies and so on.

E.M. How fascinating!

D.A. I’d like to discuss the idea of counter-blogging. I think it would be a good idea if we had blogs which sang the praises of smoke-free life.

L.B. And fat-free, sugar-free, and salt-free life.

K.R. It’d be damn expensive. And since Prop 29 went down, we’re broke.

D.A. Language!

B.F. How do you write a blog about how great smoke-free, fat-free, sugar-free, and salt-free life is? Like, “I went to the park today and there was no smoke in it, just like yesterday and the day before.” It’d make pretty dull reading.

D.A. You wouldn’t have to write about the same thing every day.

B.F. So, like, “I went to the supermarket today, and there was no smoke in it, just like yesterday and the day before.”

D.A. I think you have a very negative attitude.

S.G. Okay, guys. Coffee’s ready. What size cups do you want? Small, smaller, or smallest.

B.F. You don’t have large or medium?

S.G. No.

B.F. Can I have a small cup then. With cream and sugar. And a chocolate chip doughnut, if you’ve got one.

L.B. Cream! Sugar! Doughnut! You’ll have a heart attack.

S.G. I’m afraid we don’t have any cream or sugar or doughnuts. We’ve been sugar-free and fat-free and milk-free for years.

D.A. I assume the coffee is decaffeinated.

S.G. Yes, it is.

B.F. How the hell am I supposed to wake up with decaffeinated, sugar-free coffee?

D.A. Language! And you should be wide awake by now. It’s nearly 8 a.m.

B.F. I didn’t get to bed until 1 a.m. last night.

D.A. How dreadful. I was in bed by 9 p.m.

B.F. With KR telling you bedtime stories, no doubt.

D.A. What an outrageous and improper suggestion! How dare you!

S.G. Guys, guys! I don’t have any doughnuts. Can we please get back to the the question of what to do about these pesky blogs.

B.F. What’s the point in drinking decaffeinated coffee? I bet it isn’t even coffee.

D.A. It isn’t actually. It’s made with acorns. Sun-dried Californian acorns.

B.F. See! I told you!

S.G. About the counter-blogs, has anyone tried one yet? I th

That’s where it breaks off. I’m hoping to get hold of the rest of it in due course.

About Frank Davis

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18 Responses to Transcript 22 Sep 2012

  1. lfb says:

    It would laughable if it were not so true!

  2. raymond barfoot says:

    dear frank , somebody really ought to tell these people that acorn tea contains cyanide and very low levels of potassium is a sure sign of stupidity to imbibe a beverage that has those two elements in them anyhow.still i suppose it wouldnt harm a lying blimp like s.g. he imbibes all that b.s. all the time hence he has immunity to it.great satire post anyway you see it. raymond barfoot

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    How about a real one!

    John Davidson Where can I find the latest second hand smoke and breathing study in its complete form. Secondhand Smoke in Cars, Bars Impairs Breathing Within 20 Minutes There seems to be no link to the actual study nor do they indicate the actual levels of smoke induced in the chamber.
    2 hours ago · Like..American College of Chest Physicians Hi, John. Here is the abstract. Hope it helps!
    CHEST Journal | Article
    PURPOSE:Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) is a significant threat to personal, …
    occupational and public health. Research has indicated that exposure to SHS within a car or bar can lead to very potent levels of exposure, with particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5), commonly used as a mar…
    See More.2 hours ago via mobile · Like..John Davidson THanks!
    25 minutes ago · Like..American College of Chest Physicians You’re welcome. Have a great evening!
    16 minutes ago via mobile · Like..John Davidson Some experts claim smoking in cars exposes non-smokers to high levels of second-hand smoke which has 23 times more toxins than a busy smoke-filled room. Previous studies have revealed at least three in ten smokers light up in their cars when there are other people present.
    The same critique can be applied here. There is no standard exposure in a room, which can vary in size, occupancy, air insulation and all other factors pertinent to exposure to contaminants. More significantly this reporting shows no awareness that the British Medical Journal apologised around a year ago for claiming that cars were 23 times more toxic than a bar. They issued an alternative statement: ‘the concentration of toxins in a smoke-filled vehicle could be up to 11 times greater [yes, 11 times greater] than that of a smoky bar’ (see this link). Quelle coincidence!

    The background to the story popping up last year was an announcement of a study carried out by SCIA (link above), which announced the dangers of smoking in cars, where concentrations of toxins were higher than the ‘safe level’ of outdoor air exposure recommended by the WHO. This is discussed here in some detail (thanks to Michael J. McFadden for assistance), but this part, concerning the relevance of outdoor exposure levels to measuring secondary smoke in cars, is the most damning:

    While it is true that according to agencies such as the US EPA that urban, automotive, and industrial air pollution has been shown to be unhealthy or even dangerous when it reaches higher levels for periods of 24 hours or more, it is also true that the EPA doesn’t set standards for FPM 2.5 for shorter periods because there is no sound medical reason to believe that shorter episodes of such exposures actually pose a threat to health. When the SCIA takes readings during car journeys that typically last less than several hours and tries to apply the EPA’s 24 hour standards to those readings, it is explicitly violating the very guidelines of the EPA itself. [These guidelines outlined in the linked post above]
    The Scottish Indoor Air Centre’s aims are somewhat distressingly focussed on SHS levels, declaring that its priority:

    1. Increasing our understanding of exposure to secondhand smoke in homes and cars (particularly with respect to children’s exposure) and its health effects; exploring possible interventions to reduce exposure in these microenvironments. We believe that the provision of real-time exposure data to smokers is likely to be a very effective mechanism of behavioural modification. [Emphasis added]
    It is fully involved in the National Lottery-funded project Refresh and ASH Scotland in their bid to encourage smoke-free homes. Hence its emphasis on behavioural change.

    The Scotsman is to be applauded for not supporting this move. There is no reason to support it.
    Freedom-2-Choose (Scotland): Scotsman declares smoking ban in cars ‘a step too far’.
    Blog describing the work of Freedom to Choose (Scotland). Educating the general …
    public, and particularly the general public in Scotland, on matters where freedom of choice is under threat…. “When health is equated with freedom, liberty as a political concept vanishes.” (Dr. Thomas Szasz, The Thera…
    See More.15 minutes ago · Like · Remove Preview..Write a comment…..RecommendationsSee All.Write a recommendation…
    PublicPublicFriends (+)CustomGo BackPublicFriendsCustomGo Back.
    RemoveJohn Davidson
    Where can I find the latest second hand smoke and breathing study in its complete form. Secondhand Smoke in Cars, Bars Impairs Breathing Within 20 Minutes There seems to be no link to the actual study nor do they indicate the actual levels of smoke induced in the chamber. 2 hours ago…Likes.LikeUndoCDC Tobacco Free
    Government Organization..LikeUndoThe American Journal of Managed Care
    Health/Medical/Pharmaceuticals..LikeUndoEuropean Society of Cardiology
    Non-Profit Organization..LikeUndoOneBreath
    Non-Profit Organization…American College of Chest Physicians
    6 hours ago.Did we mention? Free coffee at tomorrow’s opening session! (“I love Atlanta” coffee mug optional, but completely encouraged!)

    Unlike · · Share.
    You and 2 others like this..John Davidson I dont believe OSHA is to worried about 500ug/3
    11 minutes ago · Like..John Davidson The actual standard to use is OSHA’S

    The EPA standard is to be used for OUTSIDE ambient air quality and it is the average over a period of 3 years.

    The proper standard to compare to is the OSHA standard for indoor air quality for respirable particulate (not otherwise specified) for nuisance dusts and smoke. That standard is 5000 ug/m3 on a time-weighted average (8 hours a day, 5 days a week) and is intended to be protective of health over an average working life of 30 years!
    11 minutes ago · Like..

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Anyway Frank as you were creating an actual funny meeting,these guys are going on about it and I hope I threw a nice monkey wrench in their meeting if they dont erase it first!!!

  5. Marvin says:

    Obviously a spoof, but a good one, sounds like Leg Irons work to me or maybe it’s Franks own ;)
    Anyway, lets play guess the contributors…

    SG = Stanton Glantz
    DA = Dreadful Arnott
    LB = Linda Bauld
    DD = Our very own troll, Dicky Doubleday

    I’m buggered with the rest – Oops sorry – I used a ‘B’ word

    • smokingscot says:

      Must be a spoof.

      They didn’t fly in the resident expert from Australia – SC. Nor the giant intellect from Scotland – SD.

  6. waltc says:

    “…a new smoke-free policy has led some to abandon their detox treatments entirely.”

  7. nisakiman says:

    As lfb says, it is unfortunately all too plausible. I can actually imagine that similar meetings with much the same dialogue do indeed occur in TCI circles.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    K.R. I think that tying them to Big Tobacco and discrediting them that way is the best route. I do it all the time already. And it seems to me that they must have big money behind them. Some of them put out stuff every day. Don’t tell me that these dickwads are…

    DD but if we tie them to big tobacco they just might get Big tobacco money and then be able to conduct there own studies,create actual news releases and create the mindset that we are Big Anti-Tobacco out to toss parents in jail for smoking around children ! Why…..they might even be able to tie us to Hitlers anti-tobacco agenda using his same ethics and approach. In this political climate with all the other anti-measures our brethern are pushing we might all be unemployed including a freemans political unity party taking over in the government like UKIP!

    No no we must just leave these small bloggers alone……………… Now lets get down to the brown shirt rally.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    You just cant make this shit up! Relay for life is the American cancer society the ones bought off by Big Pharma and the same ones who spend millions paying for legal services to protect the smoking bans they illegally lobbied for! BTW this is my local news paper!

    TAKNG NOTES: A look at what’s going on in the field of education
    Relay for Life pig kiss planned for Monday

    Alvaton Elementary School Principal Mark Rathbun will kiss a live pig at 1 p.m. Monday at a school assembly as part of the Relay for Life effort at the school. The kiss will be in front of the student body, faculty and staff, a release noted.

  10. prog says:

    Perhaps something will emerge in the wake of the recent break ins. Heck, you might even be a suspect Frank – ‘where were you on the evening of such and such M. Davis?’, ‘do you know Puddlecote Le Carnard and Jambe de Fer?’.

  11. margo says:

    Be very afraid. What have we learnt so far? This:
    Whatever we can imagine, however unlikely, is already happening – or will happen – somewhere in the world.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      NC voters say ballot cast for Romney came up Obama on machine…

      GREENSBORO, N.C. –The Presidential election is just around the corner and voting issues have already become a problem in Guilford County.

      On Monday, several voters complained that their electronic ballot machine cast the wrong vote. All the complaints were made by people who voted at the Bur-Mil Park polling location.

      One of the voters, Sher Coromalis, says she cast her ballot for Governor Mitt Romney, but every time she entered her vote it defaulted to President Obama.

      “I was so upset that this could happen,” said Coromalis.

      Guilford County Board of Elections Director George Gilbert says the problem arises every election. It can be resolved after the machine is re-calibrated by poll workers.

      “It’s not a conspiracy it’s just a machine that needs to be corrected,” Gilbert said.

      After the third try, Coromalis says she was able to get her vote counted for Gov. Romney but was still annoyed.

      “I should have just mailed it in,” Coromalis said.

      Elections officials say the machines have been fixed as of Tuesday, and no problems have been reported since.

      Early Voting ends November 3.

  12. prog says:

    Sounds as if this was probably a technical error – a pre-rigged machine would have altered the numbers of votes apportioned to each candidate….

    Ron Paul had popular support yet inexplicitly lost a number of ballots.

  13. Junican says:

    Do you want a real set of minutes which are much the same?
    Here are the minutes of a recent meeting of the Scottish Tobacco Control Alliance:

    Click to access STCA%20CoGroup%20Notes%20220812.pdf

    Read them and marvel at the difference between the propaganda of ASH ET AL and reality.

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