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.