Various News Items

H/T Harley for this Independent piece by Nigel Farage on smoking. Part of it is about plain packaging, which he thinks will encourage counterfeit cigarettes. But most of it is about e-cigs. It seems that he’s been trying an e-cig, and thinks they’re very good, and that the government should keep their noses out it. It was all perfectly sensible stuff.

I suppose the main interest for me was that it’s about the first time I’ve seen his views set out in print. And the first time I read it, I thought that I read something about pubs needing smoking and non-smoking bars. I certainly had the impression that he’d said that plain packaging wouldn’t stop smokers smoking. But all there is about cigarette smoking is the title: Government plans to curb smoking are not only wasteful but unworkable. – an argument he appears not to actually make in the body of the piece.

Furthermore, he seems to accept that smoking is harmful.

Nicotine itself is not a particularly harmful substance. The other substances which go into cigarettes are the harmful ones which cause health problems.

And that smokers need to be helped to quit smoking.

If government really cared about stopping us smoking… they would ensure e-cigarettes could be accessed as a genuine way to help smokers kick the habit

It’s undoubtedly the way most people seem to think, but for myself I’m more and more inclined to think that it’s not the nicotine that matters, but the smoke (why else do NRT products not work?), and that smoking tobacco is no more harmful than any other enjoyable pastime.

But the article seemed to attract strong approval from the Independent’s readers, with about 250 “strongly agree” as against about 30 “strongly disagree”.

Anyway, I hope Farage isn’t going to become a vaper, and quit smoking, and forget about us unreconstructed smokers.

Another item (also H/T Harley) was about a head teacher who’d banned smoking outside the school gates:

Susan Papas, who was asked to take over Selsdon Primary School, south London, after it was heavily criticised by inspectors, has been targeted by an anonymous group of parents who have started a petition entitled “Get the bitches out”.

Many abusive messages have been left on the headteacher’s blog but Mrs Papas has vowed to stand her ground because she said smoking around young children was setting a bad example.

This was rather promising. Sounds like some smokers are getting angry. And that’s what they should be.

Finally, H/T Rose, and article in  the Lancet:

A principle behind the new NICE guidance is that no concessions are made to smokers who use secondary care services, no matter what their level of mobility or freedom might be. So, for example, the guidance recommends that those compulsorily detained in psychiatric units should not be allowed to smoke tobacco, and that no designated smoking areas or staff-facilitated smoking breaks are to be provided in any type of secondary care. Instead, smokers should be offered licensed nicotine-replacement therapies, or varenicline, or bupropion as appropriate, and support from a smoking cessation adviser during their hospital admission. Intensive stop smoking support, including exhaled carbon monoxide measurements, is recommended for those in acute, mental health, or maternity services.

What are “exhaled carbon monoxide measurements” for? Is that a way of testing whether someone’s been smoking? What a lot of bastards these people are. Are they going to refuse treatment if people don’t quit? If they do, that’s blackmail. It ends:

Tackling smoking in secondary care could prove to be a further big step towards a tobacco-free country.

What business is of theirs to set a goal of a tobacco-free country? How arrogant of them. Why does anyone pay any attention at all to a bunch of shithead doctors in the BMA with plans for a tobacco-free world? It’s up to the electorate of a country to decide what sort of world they want, not an arrogant bunch of fascist doctors. A tobacco-free world is no goal of mine.

About Frank Davis

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21 Responses to Various News Items

  1. cherie79 says:

    Honestly they leave me almost speechless! Especially as most of the Drs. and nurses I know smoke, I am just waiting to be refused treatment because of smoking, as it is still a legal product, and a very lucrative one, so it could not be legal. several times in hospital I was told I would have problems after surgery I had none and I heal very quickly – much to their annoyance!

  2. Re. Rose’s piece in the Lancet. I wrote a lengthy comment (below) after she posted the link.

    I imagine the CO measurements will be to check who’s been smoking, the same way as we were given random alcohol breath tests at the clinic, but that was for a good reason….

    I was detoxed from booze as an outpatient in a large alcohol unit near Glasgow in 1998 (and never returned to it, with God’s grace). I probably saw around a hundred other patients coming and going and I used to watch who smoked and who didn’t. I only recall seeing about four who never smoked.

    The unit is actually a wing of a mental hospital. You could stroll through the corridors of the main building and see the seriously and permanently mentally ill strolling around.

    Back then you could smoke in all the public rooms of the alcohol wing (two very large sitting rooms and a pool room). To ban smoking completely in these places would be an act of barbarity. We were expected to stay for at least four hours a day. Being detoxed is quite a nightmare anyway, as I’m sure are other mental conditions. The pain would be compounded massively for the majority with a complete no-smoking agenda – something which could only be implemented by people who have lost their humanity. If they ever had any.

    The Lancet says that, “more than two thirds of those in psychiatric units smoke” so It could put off many people going for treatment. Maybe that’s part of the plan: to save money. I wouldn’t be surprised if that pool room has since been refurbished and is now the office of some executive on £100,000+ salary. Perhaps some ‘compliance’ officer. Or maybe it’s a board room for the bigwigs to discuss new ideas on how to turn the hospital into more of a POW camp.

    Although, to be fair, and as Dr Dunbar reminded me here a few weeks ago, the profession is now at the mercy of the crazy stuff coming from the Dept of Health.

    And they intend to treat their staff like scum too. To suggest that they are “offered pharmacotherapy or behavioural support” is typical of these sociopathic cultists who all too often manage to rise in the ranks of public ‘service’ yet neither understand nor are concerned with the public.

    Notice how the headline is, “Helping smokers quit…” like we’re to be grateful for their ‘concern’.

    And the acronym, “NICE”, of course, makes us think that their ‘clinical excellence’ is to benefit the patient. Judging by this, it is the opposite, like the ministries in Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the Ministry of Peace is concerned with war, the Ministry of Truth with propaganda and perhaps most appropriate, the Ministry of Love which uses fear to ensure loyalty to Big Brother and contains Room 101, which for many mentally ill people is probably being locked in a room without cigarettes. No joking.

    We’re almost here. Thirty years after Orwell predicted, although in a letter from Aldous Huxley to Orwell after receiving a free copy of ’1984′, he wrote,

    “Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.”

    As his brother, Julian, was a eugenicist and first director of UNESCO, Aldous would have had inside knowledge of things to come and we know schools now exist for infant conditioning and I suspect narco-hypnosis is achieved largely through television.

    How else would they get away with all this?

    • Frank Davis says:

      To ban smoking completely in these places would be an act of barbarity.

      Quite so.

      And perhaps as kin_free suggests below, it’s all about saving money. Drive away patients, and you can meet targets more easily.

    • Rose says:

      Strange isn’t it, these days the advertising of cigarettes on TV and in newspapers is done solely for antitobacco they go for blanket coverage with all the brands displayed at once and with photographs so old that the prices seem very reasonable.

  3. My comment on the story re NICE in the Telegraph;
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10478475/This-hospital-smoking-ban-may-be-bad-for-your-health.html
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/27/ban-patients-staff-smoking-hospitals-nice
    and the Guardian;
    The NHS is well on the way to self destruction because of the spiraling costs that NICE were introduced to control. Is this an attempt to divert attention away from their abject failure, the declining standards of the NHS and the growing public health crisis? Do they think that aligning themselves with a failing anti-smoker movement who are themselves closely aligned with Big Pharma, will absolve them of responsibility? In effect, NICE is joining forces, and bowing down, to corporate Big Pharma, the very people they were set up to keep in check. If you can’t beat em – join em eh!

    So where are NICE going to make savings in the NHS? They are clearly not clever enough to prevent Big Pharma charging extortionate prices for the drugs they produce but they CAN control the demand for NHS services while cynically claiming they are doing it for the health of smokers – Pah!

    We have seen very clearly and they have learned the lessons of how coercive smoke bans have devastated the hospitality trade by ‘discouraging’ smokers and their friends from attending those venues (In effect- excluding them). Pubs have closed in their thousands along with the tens of thousands businesses and workers dependent upon them. Smokers did NOT quit smoking – they just quit going to places where they were not welcome.

    The tactic that excluded smokers from pubs and reduced alcohol consumption will just as easily exclude smokers from seeking and receiving NHS treatment. This may be morally repugnant, even criminally culpable, and it assumes the general public are stupid, but it may (and it is a big MAY) save the government money.

    Today, smokers will not be intimidated and those astute non-smokers who can foresee the future implications are withdrawing their support daily. ASH in Australia is be de-commissioned, funding removed, by their new government, along with a number of other parasitic ‘nanny’ (bully) state organisations that are milking their public money pot dry. The Dutch govt too are acting to kick out their ASH equivalent (STIVORO) on 1/1/14. It is well beyond time that our government took their heads out of the sand and did the same.

    The anti-smoker agenda has done nothing but major harm to health, society and the economy. Apart from that, they are costing the public purse £Millions annually; money that could be used for good! When did anyone in the anti-smoker industry admit they got anything at all wrong? GET RID of them and anyone gullible enough to support them, just STOP handing them our money for them to squander and we will all benefit!

  4. Nightlight says:

    Smokers need a defense group which takes on the most vicious and evil of these busybodies head on, by following the money trail from them back to pharma (which is where it always is), and from pharma back to their profits from suppressing tobacco and other medicinal plants, exposing them publicly for evil crooks and mercenaries that they are.

    There was recently a case (don’t have link or name) of a viciously antismoker school superintendent, who was shut up and made to withdraw the “her” ideas for making smoking restriction even more severe and inhumane to smokers, by the the local newspaper readers pointing out in the comment sections few interesting findings about money trail from leading to her. I think there is an untapped strength in this method which could be taken advantage much more systematically and strategically than few accidental examples. It is a target rich environment.

    (Since the group would be about shining light on the cockroaches, the suitable name for the group could be “Torch” or something to do with light & fire, being also about lighting cigarettes.)

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Beach smoking ban fizzles

    By Lloyd Dunkelberger , Herald-Tribune

    / Monday, December 2, 2013

    TALLAHASSEE

    Sarasota County would be unable to re-impose a smoking ban on its beaches under legislation that state lawmakers will consider early next year.

    Lawmakers have resorted to a scaled-back effort to allow cities and counties to impose smoking bans on public property following a defeat in the 2013 session, when bills giving local governments the authority to prohibit smoking at beaches, parks and other public facilities failed.

    The less ambitious proposal is a sign that supporters of the beach smoking ban do not think they can overcome opposition from restaurant and bar interests or those who consider it government over-reach.

    New bills filed in the House and Senate for the 2014 Legislature would only let local governments ban smoking on playgrounds on public property.

    Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, who sponsored the 2013 smoking-ban legislation, has filed a playground smoking-ban bill (SB 342) in the Senate. Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, has filed an identical bill (HB 309) in the House.

    Last spring, Bradley advanced his bill through several Senate committees. It would have allowed cities and counties to ban smoking on public property, including beaches, parks, playgrounds and other sports and recreational areas. They could also ban smoking at entrances to public indoor workplaces.

    But while Bradley’ bill moved in the Senate, a similar measure, sponsored by Rep. Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach, stalled in the House. In fact, Hager’s bill never received a hearing.

    The legislation had wide support from local governments and health-care advocates, ranging from the American Heart Association to the Moffitt Cancer Center. But the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association questioned the impact of a wide-ranging smoking ban on its establishments. And some lawmakers questioned whether it could lead to hundreds of varying regulations in Florida’s cities and counties.

    Under the bills filed for the 2014 session, which begins in March, lawmakers would only allow cities and counties to ban smoking in “playground areas” on public property where “No Smoking” signs are posted. Smokers would first be warned to stop smoking. If they persisted they would be asked to leave and if they refused to leave could be issued a civil citation, according to the legislation.

    A public playground is defined as a “designated, independent area” on public property “in a community or neighborhood which is designed solely for children and has one or more playground structures.”

    Sarasota County and other communities had prior smoking bans overturned after a series of rulings by the Florida Attorney General’s Office that held county and city smoking bans are in violation of Florida’s 2003 Clean Indoor Air Act, which pre-empted the ability of the local governments to regulate smoking.

    Two years ago, the Legislature gave local school boards the right to ban smoking on public property.

    In its agenda for the 2014 session, the Florida Association of Counties reiterated its support for legislation that would remove the preemption of local smoking bans. But the association, which represents the 67 county governments, also decided “in lieu of a total repeal of the preemption,” the counties would support legislation “granting local governments additional authority to restrict smoking on certain outdoor property.”

    Cragin Mosteller, a spokeswoman for the FAC, said counties were trying to find a way to advance their position.

    “We certainly support our local communities being able to make the decision on whether there is smoking on their beaches or their playgrounds,” Mosteller said. “Regardless, we look forward to working with the Legislature for any movement.”

    http://politics.heraldtribune.com/2013/12/02/beach-smoking-ban-fizzles/

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    The signs are here the end is near…………

    The less ambitious proposal is a sign that supporters of the beach smoking ban do not think they can overcome opposition from restaurant and bar interests or those who consider it government over-reach.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    When the enemy is left with nothing more to say than this;

    aframe21

    Do yourself a favor if you like the idea proposed in this editorial — stop reading the comments NOW. The comments below are some of the most outlandish that I have seen.

    Its pretty well over……………………..

    Its basically the same last statement made in the Wizard of Oz as OZ said pay no attention to that man over there behind the curtain who was just exposed as a FRAUD by toto!

    http://citizensvoice.com/news/adopt-tougher-ban-on-second-hand-smoke-1.1593833

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    VIA TRANSLATOR

    BSP: Banning smoking indoors is not observed, you will need it

    MRF, “Attack” and some gerbadzhii be ready to support the planned changes

    If voting is conscientious bill will pass without problems.” That said Spas Pantchev of “Coalition for Bulgaria” with the information that the amendments to the health libarelizirashti ban on smoking indoors should be adopted by the end of the year. According to him, the DPS, “Attack” and some members of GERD are ready to support the planned changes.

    “The ban is not respected, and if a law does not work, you will need it” categorically Spas Pantchev. He explained that the vote on the Health Act will be as soon as 2014 adopted budget.

    The opposite view was former Health Minister Desislava Atanasova. “Anyone who smokes has a choice. He can smoke wherever he permitted by law places – outside, in your car, home, where nobody minded because that the right to smokers is impaired, there is a decision of the Supreme Administrative Court in the opposite direction about banning in Kyustendil. ”

    In his defense Spas Pantchev recalled that in Germany, the court has restored the right of smokers to smoke. In Switzerland it happened after voting in a referendum.

    http://novanews.bg/news/view/2013/12/03/63270/%D0%B1%D1%81%D0%BF-%D0%B7%D0%B0%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B0-%D0%B7%D0%B0-%D0%BF%D1%83%D1%88%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B5-%D0%BD%D0%B0-%D0%B7%D0%B0%D0%BA%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%BE-%D0%BD%D0%B5-%D1%81%D0%B5-%D1%81%D0%BF%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B2%D0%B0-%D0%B7%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B8-%D0%BD%D1%8F%D0%BC%D0%B0-%D0%BD%D1%83%D0%B6%D0%B4%D0%B0-%D0%BE%D1%82-%D0%BD%D0%B5%D1%8F/?utm_source=index&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=accent

  9. Tony says:

    Developing countries told ‘tax tobacco to save lives’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25192196
    “The call comes in a report, published in The Lancet, which says there is a “once in human history” chance to wipe out health disparities between nations.
    The authors recommend increased investment in global health to tackle killer diseases.
    They suggest alcohol and sugar could also be taxed.
    They give China as an example where a 50% tax on tobacco could prevent 20m deaths and generate $20bn over the next 50 years.”

    The usual rubbish.
    Original Lancet article here:
    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2813%2962105-4/fulltext
    Which includes a video where they also advocate eliminating fossil fuel subsidies.
    Slight problem. There are NO subsidies on fossil fuels although energy bills are VAT rated at 5% rather than 20%. Just a slightly reduced tax rate.

  10. Penseivat says:

    As the only one in my family (of 5) who doesn’t smoke, I have seen at first hand the adverse effects of using the demon weed. We have taken part in half and full marathons as a group for over 10 years and our timings in full marathons have increased dramatically, from 3 hrs 20 odd minutes to 3 hrs 40odd minutes – no doubt due more to the effects of smoking than our increasing ages. To antagonize our local officials who, we are positive, were thrown out of the Stasi for cruelty, we now sit in the public gallery at council and other meetings with (unlit) cigarettes in our mouths. We’re not smoking so they can’t complain and it does wind them up so! The threat of Police action is regularly challenged as is the declaration of ‘closed’ meetings. They will no doubt find some way of stopping us eventually, but in the meantime, we’re having great fun!

  11. Pingback: Real Street » Banning Smoking in Mental Hospitals

  12. This point is also very important and some facts are even counterintuitive; for instance that lung cancer rates were found higher in non-inhalers than in heavy smokers because of “subtle interactions between the amounts smoked, the tar/nicotine yield of the cigarette, and the style of smoking” [ 123 ]. A cigarette smoker typically generates a smoke puff volume of about 50 ml which is diluted with air 10 to 20 fold when inhaled [ 114 , 124 ]. In an early publication, commented upon by Bernstein, Higenbottam et al. proposed that the usual pattern of smoking consists of an initial drag of smoke into the mouth followed, after a variable pause, by a subsequent inhalation of smoke into the lungs. This could minimise the irritant qualities of the tobacco smoke [ 61 ]. In the case of hookah smoking using moassel/tobamel (not tumbak or jurak), it was noted that the users feel that the smoke is very mild – particularly because of the actual water trapping of notable irritants. One direct consequence is that they often inhale considerable amounts of the smoke: randomly varying between 100 mL at least (but less sometimes) and up to 500 mL and sometimes more. These undiluted quantities of smoke go directly into their lungs with no previous stocking inside the mouth as [ 1 ]. This phenomenon may sometimes be observed in some cigarette smokers. Citing Tobin and Sackner (1982) who used a non-intrusive technique (inductive plethysmography), Bernstein reports that the inhaled (in two phases) volumes ranged from 270 to 1,990 mL [ 61 ]. This fact can explain why modern hookah smokers inhale clouds of smoke. They simply do not dilute smoke.

    • Frank Davis says:

      the usual pattern of smoking consists of an initial drag of smoke into the mouth followed, after a variable pause, by a subsequent inhalation of smoke into the lungs.

      That’s more or less exactly what I do. But there’s a slight difference. I draw smoke into my mouth, and then after a short pause inhale smoke into my lungs with my mouth slightly open. This means that the smoke is first diluted and cooled slightly in my mouth, but then it’s again cooled – and highly diluted – by air coming into my mouth.

      If I get it wrong, as I occasionally do, and draw hot smoke into my lungs, I start coughing furiously.

      I smoked a water pipe once, at a coffee bar in Egypt. The smoke is indeed very mild and rich. But I nevertheless smoked it like I smoke cigarettes. So the smoke was probably triply diluted by the time it reached my lungs.

      It’s my opinion that if smoke is in the least bit dangerous to lungs, it is most likely if it’s hot. Hot smoke will boil off the mucous lining of lungs, and directly attack the underlying tissues.

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