Taken For A Ride

I expected to wake up today with a full head cold. Instead, when I woke up, my cold had gone. Completely gone. I was astonished. But it seems to be what ‘colds’ are for me these days. One day my nose is streaming; next day it’s stopped.

And so today I’ve been thinking with a clear head – about governments.

I sometimes wonder whether it’s governments that initiate smoking bans, and get pressure groups like ASH to provide the ‘independent’ advice that they want. But for the most part almost all the evidence suggests that it’s pressure groups like ASH that push smoking bans, and governments are driven by Tobacco Control pressure groups that include ASH, WHO, BMA, RCP, and all sorts of other NGOs.

And I also wonder how these pressure groups manage to get governments to introduce smoking bans. And the answer, it would seem, is that they tell governments that there will be tremendous benefits and zero costs from such bans.

It’s not very hard to guess what governments are told. First they’re told that smoking is the cause of more or less every disease known to humanity, and that if they can just get people to quit smoking, they’ll all live another 10 or 20 years longer. And then governments are told that most smokers – 70% of them – really want to quit smoking, and the slight extra incentive of a smoking ban will be just the ticket to achieve that. And then, when governments express concerns about whether smoking bans might damage hospitality businesses, they’d be told that, on the contrary, the departing smokers will be replaced by all the non-smokers who’ve hitherto been staying away from smoke-filled pubs and cafes (plus all the smokers who are now joyfully quitting smoking). Far from emptying, pubs and cafes will be busier than ever. And, in addition, governments would be told that worker productivity would rise as worker health improved and people stopped taking smoking breaks. It was win-win all the way. There was no downside. None at all. And every promise would have been supported by academic studies with graphs and tables and confidence intervals, all nicely printed in colour on glossy paper – the kind of thick glossy paper you instantly believe in.

And if government had any doubts about it all, absolutely everybody they consulted – ASH, WHO, BHF, BMA, RCP, RWJF, etc – would tell them exactly the same thing. And if somebody didn’t, it was simply because they were paid liars for Big Tobacco.

So governments went ahead with smoking bans – particularly since more or less all other governments were doing so, and politicians are herd animals.

But absolutely every single one of Tobacco Control’s promises were false. Smoking probably isn’t the cause of any disease at all, never mind all diseases. Most smokers don’t want to quit smoking. There weren’t any eager new non-smoking customers to replace them in pubs and cafes. And so on.

But Tobacco Control wasn’t in the least bit interested in the truth. Tobacco Control was offering governments a once-in-a-lifetime, sure-fire investment opportunity. But to achieve the promised miraculous results, they obviously needed a lot of government money to set up outreach programmes, fund media campaigns, educate the public, and so on. And the bigger the end pay-off, the more money was needed up front. And as Tobacco Control talked up the benefits, and discounted the costs, it began pocketing huge amounts of money.

Because Tobacco Control is simply a gigantic scam. It’s the South Sea Bubble multiplied by the Dutch Tulip Craze plus Bernie Madoff squared.  And it’s suckered more or less every single government in the world. It’s taken them all for a ride. And when the promised miraculous returns don’t appear, Tobacco Control is just going to walk away from it all, a few hundred billion dollars the richer.

Because none of the promised benefits are emerging. Smokers aren’t quitting smoking, and public health isn’t improving, and worker productivity isn’t rising. Instead, as smokers stay home and stop spending, the economy is stagnating, and the hospitality trade is suffering. And the bans have also caused considerable social fragmentation. And angry smokers are switching their votes to smoker-friendly parties (such as UKIP). And public trust and confidence in governments and ‘experts’ is plummeting. What was sold to governments as a sure-fire win-win bet has actually turned out to be lose-lose.

And I suspect that some governments are beginning to recognise that the smoking bans that they so eagerly rushed to implement are actually proving to be complete and utter disasters.

But because politicians are herd animals, none of them will dare admit it’s a disaster until other governments admit it too. So they’ll keep their mouths shut until some government somewhere overturns their own smoking ban, and starts the ball rolling sheep moving in a new direction.

For a while it looked like Bulgaria might be the first to do this, but the Bulgarian parliament voted down a proposed amendment to their smoking ban earlier this month. All the same, most likely it’ll be some eastern European country which will be the first to repeal their ban, because with far higher smoking prevalence than in the UK or USA, the economic and social damage caused by smoking bans is bound to be proportionally higher. The Russian smoking ban that’s currently being phased in is likely to be even more disastrous than most, given 60% male smoking prevalence. The Turkish full smoking ban, introduced in 2009, may also partly underlie the rising unpopularity of the Erdogan government.

(Meander, the book I’m currently reading, is set in modern Turkey, and was published earlier this year, and was probably written in 2012, and frequently mentions smoking and ashtrays in Turkish restaurants and tea houses – which suggests that Turks have been widely flouting their 4-year-old smoking ban.)

Sooner or later, the breaking point will be reached. It’s just that no government wants to be the first to admit the failure that more and more of them are staring in the face. They’re probably all looking for a way out of the mess which allows them to save face (always of prime importance for politicians). But once one sheep has made a run for it, the rest will likely follow close behind.

People seem to be noticing these government failures:

About Frank Davis

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50 Responses to Taken For A Ride

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Hell Yaaaaaaaaaaa!

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoke Hater
    • 2 days ago
    Personally, I think none of Hazard government NOR Perry County government has the guts to enact such a ban. Therefore, I think the only way to get this is to have a statewide ban. Truthfully, even I’m afraid to openly comment on this issue. Folks at the diners across Perry County would hate me if they knew who I was.

    http://www.hazard-herald.com/news/opinion/2892572/Statewide-smoke-free-law-should-be-a-priority

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      When a smokefree Nazis puts out a comment like the above whats left!

      Are they in fear of their life from smokers,they should be lord knows I stare down enuf of them over the holidays blowing smoke at them when they looked my way in local restaraunts………….Daring a confrontation but none oblige.

      • smokervoter says:

        After absorbing the double-whammy of the bar smoking ban and Rob ‘Meathead’ Reiner’s $5/carton tax back in the day, I was seeing red and dishing out some.

        I went out on one or two antismoker hunting expeditions of my own. Or three or four. I’d look for guys with Sylvester Graham face and light one up.

        One word and wham! — out went the lights. Then I’d beat a hasty retreat. Mom didn’t raise no fool.

        I’ve since become, shall we say, more civilized in my older years.

  3. Reinhold says:

    Once again you hit the nail on the head, Frank.

    • Reinhold says:

      the kind of thick glossy paper you instantly believe in

      Precisely! Because only trustworthy organizations use this kind of paper. :-D

  4. Marie says:

    Holbaek municipality in Denmark to introduce a smoking ban during working hours, even for those who work at home.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      ROFLMAO! How do you police an employees home without getting beaten up!

      Janet Reno and Clinton tried to push thru a rule on OSHA regs being implemented within working spaces of homes or even those who worked at home for a business……….

      It was yanked as fast as it was announced………….

  5. Nightlight says:

    I think you are overly generous to politicians and bureaucrats who are imposing bans, denormalization and hypertaxation of smokers.

    They’re not doing it because some zealots called them and convinced them using scientific fraud. There countless zealots advocating for all kinds of causes out there, yet no one in the government is listening to them and remaking the world to their ideals. For experiment, just gather your friends and try reasoning with politicians or health bureaucrats to convince them into your position. It won’t do or change a squat. Why?

    It’s the money, in the case of smoking the pharma money flowing under and above the table, that buys the laws and regulations, not the little diversionary puppet show put up by the advocacy groups and politicians for the oversized children making up the increasing fraction of the electorate. The crooks walking over us daily are all bought off and are merely doing what the guys paying them want them to do. Nobody is duped but us.

    If you want a policies and regulations to change, you got to buy the current crooks the other way, or put in your crooks. Either way, to get there, you need millions righteously enraged folks behind you. But the millions living under “smoking is sin” and “smoking kills” spells are not going to move their little finger. It’s the smokers that need to change first, freed of those paralyzing spells, not politicians or wider public or antismokers convinced with arguments of reason and science.

    Unfortunately, the present smoker groups are talking in the wrong direction, to the wrong audience. They are thus unwittingly playing in the inconsequential puppet show, arguing ETS, e-cigs, liberty and property rights on TV against the designated antismoking loud mouth puppets, as if that’s what moves the crooks in charge of government muscle.

    • margo says:

      Nightlight, I agree entirely.

    • Frank Davis says:

      The crooks walking over us daily are all bought off and are merely doing what the guys paying them want them to do.

      I’m sure this is now to a very great extent true. But I don’t think it was always entirely true. Like Kin_Free below, I think that a good many politicians have noble ambitions, at least to start with.

      Certainly the old UK Labour party of the 1950s and 60s and even 70s always seemed to me to be made up of politicians who represented their constituents, and regarded their primary task as one of providing schools, health care, jobs, and so on. And they were usually as good as their word.

      The situation now in the UK, however, does actually seem to be one in which politicians are bought and sold by the truckload – usually by Brussels. They don’t ‘represent’ anyone but themselves. And their job is to rubberstamp whatever is put in front of them.

      As Tony Benn (a Labour politician who was first elected in the 1950s) put it in a fairly recent speech: “People are managed and not represented. There’s a crisis of representation.”

      Also,the Green movement and others were (and remain) idealistic zealots. And they have persuaded governments, much in the same way as antismoking zealots did. It only seems to become peculiarly toxic when some people see financial rewards (e.g. in state-subsidized wind farms) in the zealots’ proposals, and go along with them for that reason. It becomes a toxic mix of zealots plus big business. (As happened also when pharma companies started seeing big profits in smoking-ban-driven NRT sales).

  6. Rose says:

    Here we go again.

    Government hopes to ‘provoke disgust’ with £3m anti-smoking push

    “The campaign launches on 30 December and centres around a TV ad, created by Dare, showing how smoking “dirties the blood” that then travels around the body affecting the organs, which are shown in a dark close-up.”

    “PHE marketing director Sheila Mitchell told Marketing Week there is a “fine line” between achieving cut-through and generating complaints: “This is not a ‘return to shock advertising’ [as we know people said of last year’s campaign], because we know that can be a turn off for people.

    Instead we want to provoke disgust, a kind of Pavlovian repulse trigger in people.”
    http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/disciplines/advertising/news/4008979.article

    I’m sorry to say that when I read about this “dirty blood” on the BBC text pages this morning, all it provoked was a fit of the giggles.

    • XX Government hopes to ‘provoke disgust’ with £3m anti-smoking push XX

      O.K, if someone gave me 3 million I would not complain.

      But as “Government” campigns go…. a bit tight fisted, I would have thought?

    • beobrigitte says:

      Government hopes to ‘provoke disgust’ with £3m anti-smoking push

      £3 million to waste on THAT???

      then:
      The push follows last year’s “distressing” £2.5m campaign which drew 165 complaints from viewers but was later cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority.
      and:
      The new activity also follows PHE’s second multi-million pound “Stoptober” initiative. PHE spent “slightly less” on Stoptober marketing activity compared to 2012 but it was “on a par” with last year, ..

      Right.

      Dear Lib/Lab/CON cons.
      If you have this much money to throw out the window/burn in a stove what about the people who are denied life prolonging treatment?
      The “baby-boomers” who have to work many years longer albeit the high unemployment of youngsters who just left university and are in that much debt that they can never afford to start a family, let alone afford a simple “2-up-2-down”?

      And what do you lot do?

      Oh, and another thing:
      This year’s ”smokefree” initiative from the DoH’s executive body Public Health England communicates the “new news” that smoking can be linked to damage to the brain, as well as other major organs such as the heart and lungs as toxins travel through the body.

      Right. I guess, with soooooooooo many “toxins” travelling around our bodies, smokers better do not donate blood.

  7. jaxthefirst says:

    “ … affecting the organs, which are shown in a dark close-up.”

    OK, look out for more pictures of coal miners’ lungs, alcoholics’ livers, obese peoples’ arteries and 100 year-olds’ skin, carefully insinuated to be those of smokers, but never actually cited as such. Also keep an ear open for the usual “xxx can cause xxx to happen” (with no given quantities required for that effect to occur, natch). From the sounds of it, this campaign is going to be the movie equivalent of the pics-on-packs scam – none of which actually go so far as to say that each picture is that of a smoker.

    Interesting, though, to note that they’ve “gone back to their roots” and started back on the old “smoking is bad for you” route. Many of us on here have been saying for a while how much they’ve been scraping the barrel for new ways to force smokers to quit and I think that this return to the old, more successful, campaigns of the past is an indication that they’ve simply run out of ideas altogether. The problem is, the kind of people who believe campaigns like this gave up smoking the last time. We remaining smokers are much more cynical (and knowledgeable) about the integrity and accuracy of campaigns like this. I predict a resounding “fail” this time around. What a waste of yet more money. Anyone who wants to give up will do so, campaign or no campaign; anyone who doesn’t, won’t. It’s as simple as that.

    • Rose says:

      For 3 million quid, I’m expecting some impressive computer graphics.
      After all, we’ve already had fishhooks through peoples faces, tumours growing on cigarettes, and people being beaten to a pulp by an invisible hand.

    • kin_free says:

      “Interesting, though, to note that they’ve “gone back to their roots” and started back on the old “smoking is bad for you” route.”

      That indicates to me that they realise their original propaganda re. Active smoking ‘harm’ is under pressure from people like us! They are withdrawing to protect their original deception.

      I concur with Frank, Nightlight and others in that I no longer believe a word anti-smokers say about active / primary smoking ‘harm’, quite the opposite in fact, never mind SHS ‘harm’. I no longer believe that smoking is a high risk activity but it DOES have many beneficial qualities – those qualities that professional anti-smokers want to crush/suppress eg. cognitive improvement, increased libido, prevention of numerous medical complaints etc. (Nightlight has a long list).

      The SHS deception has been well and truly exposed as a fraud yet the ‘experts’ and their drones continue to deny this. Realistically this is never going to change regardless as to how much evidence they are confronted with, they have too much to lose personally and professionally.

      While we should refer to the SHS confidence trick often, its main purpose now should be to use it to demonstrate the inherent dishonesty involved and to highlight the contradictions in their active smoking ‘harm’, ‘science’ and fallacious rhetoric.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Ive been doing just that doe nearly 3 years……………they lie about everything!

      • Rose says:

        They are indeed going back to their roots with this.

        Cigarettes damage your brain… and smokers have double the risk of stroke death

        “arsenic and cyanide”

        http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/cigarettes-damage-your-brain-and-smokers-have-double-the-risk-of-stroke-death-9028630.html

        Arsenic- Tobacco Link Pointed Out By Doctor – 1960

        “Imagine the fear that swept through the British Isles in November, 1900, when 6,000 millhands and coal miners of the Manchester-Salford-Liverpool districts came down with arsenic poisoning from drinking adulterated beer”

        “At that time, few in the U.S. read the reports with more care than a young hospital intern from New Hampshire named Dr. Henry S. Slatterlee.
        Yesterday Dr. Slatterlee, now 86 and retired from general practice in Newport, N.H. pointed out in a telephone interview two lessons learned from the 1900 beer-poisoning epidemic, of interest to researchers studying the relationship between cigarette smoking, air pollution and lung cancer in 1960.”

        “In 1951 he found American cigarettes had forty times more arsenic than cigarettes made with Oriental Tobacco.”
        http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/action/document/page;jsessionid=BF69727504B82FB89742C124E64A96A5?tid=wgv02a00

        The arsenic in the beer was found to be from the coke fumes generated by malting fires, so Dr Slatterslee assumed the same would be true of curing fires.

        Dr Slatterslee was a bit behind the times as shortly after WW2 the tobacco farmers had switched to fuel oil rather than wood.

        Retrofitting Tobacco Curing Barns
        http: //www.caes.uga.edu/commodities/fieldcrops/tobacco/barn/retrofit/index.html

        However the use of arsenic as a pesticide was real.

        U.S. Department of Agriculture
        Farmer’s Bulletin No.1356
        Issued June, 1923

        “Describes methods for the use of arsenate of lead to control the tobacco hornworm and prevent damage to crops.”
        http: //digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3467/m1/1/

        And is still causing trouble.

        The Apple Bites Back: Claiming Old Orchards for Residential Development

        “LA was introduced in 1892 in Massachusetts for use against the gypsy moth. Two other arsenical pesticides (copper acetoarsenite, known as “Paris green,” and calcium arsenate) also were in use, although LA largely replaced them in the 1930s due to lower cost, greater efficacy, and lower phytotoxicity. Even though arsenic residue was recognized as a problem as early as 1919, LA was the most widely used pesticide in the nation—recommended by the USDA and applied to millions of acres of crops—until the late 1940s, when DDT (considered at the time to be safer and more effective) became available. LA continued to be used in some locations into the 1970s, and was ultimately banned in 1988.”

        “LA and the other arsenical pesticides were designed to be persistent, and it is that persistence that is causing environmental contamination problems decades after their use ended. “These chemicals have just tremendously long half-lives in the ground,” says North Carolina state toxicologist Ken Rudo. “They bind very tightly to the soil.”
        The sheer scope of the phenomenon adds another layer to the challenge of how to most effectively deal with it. “The magnitude of the problem is just staggering,” says Peryea. Millions of acres across the nation are involved. In the state of Washington alone, Peryea says, some 188,000 acres are affected. In Wisconsin, 50,000 acres may be affected, and in New Jersey, up to 5% of the state’s acreage is estimated to be impacted by the historical use of arsenical pesticides. Both New Jersey and Washington have had multistakeholder task forces examine the problem and issue recommendations and guidelines.”
        http: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1551991/

        So following the logic, buying any produce from America, let alone tobacco is something of a risk.

      • Rose says:

        Cyanide

        Why are so many food plants cyanogenic?

        “A disproportionately large number of the most important human food plants is cyanogenic. The accumulated research of numerous people working in several different disciplines now allows a tenable explanation for this observation. Cyanogenesis by plants is not only a surprisingly effective chemical defence against casual herbivores, but it is also easily overcome by careful pre-ingestion food processing, this latter skill being almost exclusive to humans.

        Moreover, humans have the physiological ability to detoxify cyanide satisfactorily, given an adequate protein diet. It appears that early in the domestication of crop plants the cyanogenic species would have been relatively free of pests and competitive herbivores, as well as having good nutritional qualities, and thus ideal candidates for cultivation by the first farmers.”
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9431670

        The infamous vitamin b17

        Laetrile contains cyanide, which is a type of poison.
        Raw almonds
        Crushed fruit stones or pips
        Celery
        Apricots
        Peaches
        Bean sprouts
        Carrots

        Beans – mung, lima, butter and other pulses
        Flax seed
        Nuts

        These foods are safe when you eat them without laetrile because the levels of amygdalin in them are low”
        http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/treatment/complementary-alternative/therapies/laetrile

        CYANOGENIC GLYCOSIDES

        “Because of a lack of quantitative toxicological and epidemiological information, a safe level of intake of cyanogenic glycosides could not be estimated. However, the Committee concluded that a level of up to 10 mg/kg hydrogen cyanide in the Codex Standard for Cassava Flour (CAC, 1991) is not associated with acute toxicity.”
        http: //www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v30je18.htm

  8. As I keep saying, few of the top politicians in the West are there by accident, which is the reason that the agenda is the same in every country, except largely for the Muslim countries, which is the reason for their takeover one after the other.

    Smoking bans, homosexual ‘marriage’, loss of freedoms to save us from ‘The Terrorists’, the climate con – all part of a very highly orchestrated plan, many decades in the making.

    The role I see for the 27,000 fake (largely government-funded) UK ‘charities’ is that they receive instructions from the government and then start astroturfing – creating fake grass roots support – and their ‘experts’ report back with lies like non-smokers will start visiting pubs and people will give up en masse. You just need to ask questions in a certain way in polls to get the answers that you want.

    But it’s global governance, so the rules must be the same everywhere for everything, bit by bit.

  9. timbone says:

    There is another fact. As the never smokers increased during the last few decades, so did the restrictions. Let me give you an analogy. I have no interest whatsoever in football. I do not watch it. My knowledge of what it entails is minimal. If I were in a position to vote on football restrictions, (and I lacked empathy, which most politicians do), then I would believe everything I was told about it, as I have no understanding of it, and would cast my vote according to my party whip.

  10. timbone says:

    P.S. If I was told that these restrictions I had voted for were having the opposite effect to that promised, I would not believe it. Once again, my ignorance of the actual thing itself, and other peoples’ enjoyment of it, would not convince me. I would look for another reason.

  11. kin_free says:

    I agree with Nightlight’s comment in all but the oversimplification of the motivation of politicians. Not all politicians are corrupt or only motivated by money. I’m sure that many politicians DO want to make a difference to society for the good, it is just that many of them have been deceived, pressurised and coerced by anti-smoker nutters and the alleged ‘overwhelming evidence’ – which is nothing of the sort. We must remember that politicians, in general, are no more than laymen who have little expertise in medical science etc. and rely on advice from ‘experts’, senior civil servants etc. I suspect that many are now suffering from abnegation or beginning to wonder how they arrived at this situation where they ARE, to all intents and purposes, at war with the people whom they are supposed to represent, but find themselves ‘hog tied’ and unable to do anything about it.

    Mike Daube (founder of ASH-UK) at the 4th World Conference on Smoking and Health (1979) gives some insight. He highlights the intention to target and pressurize politicians and coerce them into anti-smoker compliance; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/action/document/page?tid=oze32e00

    Referring to speech by Dr. Mahler (Director general of the WHO) re. the lack of political action, Daube points out;

    “Dr Mahler rightly referred to this as a battle, and cited the WHO Expert Committee recommendations which his wholehearted support, from a complete prohibition of all forms of tobacco promotion to action to protect the third world. Perhaps above all he stressed the need for political action and political determination: something he said, that has been grossly lacking so far. You know it is sometimes worth reminding ourselves that all our governments are members of WHO; our ministers and politicians should be made to read Dr Mahler’s words over and over again, and indeed the targets Dr Mahler set us are as much targets for politicians as for ourselves. His speech was inspirational but it would be tragic if we robbed it of its impact by failing to make our governments and politicians face up to all its implications” (p.4)

    Quoting Sir George Godber; “…the responsibility for action lies with governments but they won’t act unless we all pressure them. “They were elected to govern” he said “let them now address themselves to their duty and we ours”.(p.5)

    Daube, of course, wants to make sure that politicians are made aware of who the ‘enemy’ is;

    “Our enemy is not the smoker; indeed we know that most smokers want to give up smoking and get on to health… our enemy is the manufacturer who exploits our youth and spreads this ,modern plague in the third world… Slaughter of innocents… The merchants of death are the tobacco manufacturers… The case for action is overwhelming… We ourselves cannot take the political action but we can make life so uncomfortable for the politicians that they feel compelled to act.” (p.11)

    Deborah Arnott bragged about the ‘confidence trick’ tactics used on politicians in 2006 and made sure recalcitrant politicians knew how they would be mocked as ‘foolish’, ‘incompetent’ or ‘insubstantial’ if they resisted in the future; http://www.theguardian.com/society/2006/jul/19/health.healthandwellbeing

    “Every part of the subsequent ministerial row became public knowledge – provoked, in part, by Ash’s well-informed political briefings”

    “The week before the free vote we made sure the government got the message that we “knew” we were going to win and it would be better for them to be on the winning side.

    “The struggle for smoke-free legislation went from nowhere to victory in a short time. It routed powerful opponents and exposed many of them as incompetent or insubstantial. It shifted public opinion from indifference to overwhelming support. Some ideas reach a point at which their time has come. But some will also often need a vigorous campaign before politicians notice the obvious.

    The same situation applies to much of the remaining ethical, impartial medical and scientific communities who must surely now realise they were duped. Surely they must realise by now that their enemy is not the Tobacco Manufacturers, as they have been deceived into believing, but the general public – who they are supposed to support. Our problem is HOW to motivate the disenchanted within those professions, into action to bring down the anti-smoker fraud.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I suspect that many are now suffering from abnegation or beginning to wonder how they arrived at this situation where they ARE, to all intents and purposes, at war with the people whom they are supposed to represent, but find themselves ‘hog tied’ and unable to do anything about it.

      I think the same. I’m just not sure how they’ve been ‘hog-tied’. Perhaps it’s because they belong to parties which have a party whip. I don’t know.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Its the day the major parties stopped fighting each other everything went to shit. Then they got on the same page on many issues,I gather the graft was just to damn good!

    • smokingscot says:

      Frank’s given a broad overview that I agree with.

      Unfortunately he seems to have overlooked the practical effects of the FCTC treaty. That OBLIGES all governments, that sign it into law, to avoid any contact with those in the tobacco industry.

      Britain has done that (the US has not, though they are a signatory to the treaty) and this is why “they” make such a fuss whenever any MP meets anyone from the tobacco industry – even informally. And scream blue murder if they dare accept free tickets to a flower show.

      “They” are of course perfectly correct; FCTC demands that of our legislators. If they do otherwise then they are breaking the law.

      However it goes beyond that, with Cameron under enormous pressure to get rid of an appointee who used to work in the tobacco industry. In this case, plain packs is the price we’ll be forced to pay, however Cameron has yet to fully grasp that there is no such thing as appeasement. One way or another that fellows head will roll.

      The Press is not a social service. They need advertising revenue and they don’t get it from the tobacco companies. Now a lucrative source of advertising revenue is government. Commercial media knows perfectly well where their bread is buttered and some of the anti-smoking informercials are worth very serious money.

      The point is they’ve mugged the politicians as well as the press and it is no longer possible for the tobacco companies to be heard. They’ve even gone downstream and persuaded race teams to quit accepting sponsorship from Rizla (rolling papers and filters) as well as Swan (matches, rolling paper and filters).

      What has happened in reality is there is no critical scrutiny of any TCI studies. And freedom of speech has been the casualty.

      Ergo any kind of half baked study is now accepted at face value by a group of people who have elevated themselves with job titles, career paths, pension plans and perks to the new hierarchy of Tobacco Control. They have enormous power with zero accountability. That, in my opinion, is a very real danger in any society.

      Behind all this is an individual who has learned to play the legal system like a cheap violin. He set up ASH to enforce by legislation and was the driving force behind FCTC.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Banzhaf_III

      He is working on obesity by taking on the fast food industry, through the courts.

      You’ll see that he has a chair at a University. These can be bought. It costs a lot of money in a prime university, but costs peanuts in the also rans. The Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Control is based in Stirling University and is financed almost entirely by CRUK. Having so called Doctors is one thing, but their research papers carry far more weight with a university address. Here in Britain a total of 12 universities receive funding from the amorphous “Tobacco Control”.

      In the US it’s slightly different. For the most part it’s end of life billionaires who fund chairs and research institutes and such. The fact that Bill Gates and Mike Bloomberg only sprogged daughters is an issue, but their name will live on through their foundations – and boy oh boy does tobacco control exploit that.

      With regard to the only consistent voice against the process and the methods employed – these here blogs – then it behoves TCI to lump them all together as tobacco shrills.

      That lead to their producing their own wiki; goes by the title of “tobacco tactics”. Once your blog or blog handle is on that, then it becomes an offence for any MP to speak with you. No proof required: they say you’re a shrill then that’s it.

      Mr. Davis has elected to use his own name, others a pseudonym. The advantage of the later is the ability to mix with “them”. And of course to have a quiet word with your MP without he or she wishing you’d be gone.

      “They” are cheap, shallow, superficial and – for the most part – perfectly aware that they’re “spinning a yarn”. They’re also astonishingly naive and easy to con, with appalling dress sense to boot. There’s even a pecking order of mobile phones and contracts they’re on!

      Personally I wouldn’t be in the least surprised to find they’ve gone so far as to circulate lists to large organisations of undesirables. Certainly I find it curious that one blogger in Northern Scotland finds it impossible to get a job with a large company.

      Frank speculates how it might be reversed. I never thought the Berlin Wall would fall, though I hoped it would. I never thought we’d ever negotiate with Iran, though I hoped we would. But Iran is relevant. The prime reason – in my opinion – is money.

      Frank has touched on our greatest resource. Our spending power. Their science is, by and large, utter rubbish. The TC industry is phenomenally expensive, intrusive and has resulted in a skew in the real economy. There’s a dreadful misallocation of resources and that will continue unchecked.

      We on the other hand have carved out a completely new set of systems. We’ve got lock-ins we’ve got shed pubs, smokys and we favour non UK duty paid tobacco. And this too will continue unchecked.

      The underlying dynamics are not sustainable, not in the long run. Personally I’m satisfied that the number of smokers is increasing. The way they measure their success is via sales in the UK and about 5% from “other sources”. In that sense you’re perfectly correct – and it applies equally to alcohol – our actions in a curious, perverse way makes it seem that TCI is achieving an enormous measure of success!!!

      While it might at times seem that all these bloggers and their commentators are simply urinating into the wind, they’re not. They’re winning converts at an increasing pace because they see through the hype, they’re exposing the frauds and the personalities involved. And some of whats going on is criminal in the real sense.

      It’s what those new converts do on twitter, facebook, social media as well as in their regular conversations that makes a difference. It’s also quite probable that we’ve helped show others how it can be made to happen, hence the serious interest in the global warming scam.

      But the greatest thing they can do is starve them of tax revenue. Every which way they can!

      • Frank Davis says:

        You’re right about the FCTC. It’s a treaty that the UK signed, and is now bound by.

        Once your blog or blog handle is on that, then it becomes an offence for any MP to speak with you.

        I don’t think that’s true. I’m not paid by any tobacco company. I’m just a voter, and a smoker.

        • XX I’m not paid by any tobacco company.XX

          I, you, we all, can only wish!

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          I cant find it but the FCTC also stops governments from even listening to individuals who might be speaking in favor of tobacco. Its basically a gag order to silence the opposition completely the same was done in the MSA deal where Big tobacco couldn’t say anything against the claims made by the Nazis in America………..

        • smokervoter says:

          You’re a smokervoter. Sorry, I just had to throw that one in.

        • beobrigitte says:

          You’re right about the FCTC. It’s a treaty that the UK signed, and is now bound by.

          This FCTC means very little, it can be left/kicked out by any political system anywhere.
          WHY haven’t we got a government with a backbone???

        • smokingscot says:

          Very many thanks Harley

          “The measures recommended in these guidelines aim at protecting against interference not only by the tobacco industry but also, as appropriate, by organizations and individuals that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry.

          12. While the measures recommended in these guidelines should be applied by Parties as broadly as necessary, in order best to achieve the objectives of Article 5.3 of the Convention, Parties are strongly urged to implement measures beyond those recommended in these guidelines when adapting them to their specific circumstances”.

          Like it or not Frank, you and EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO SUPPORTS YOU ON THESE PAGES, as well as all the other bloggers, are considered as “individuals that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry”.

          It’s pure Banzhaf.

          Tobacco Tactics has been approved, signed off and funded on the basis that they were “strongly urged to implement measures BEYOND THOSE RECOMMENDED in these guidelines when adapting them to their specific circumstances”.

          As I said, it matters not a jot that you and the rest of us are just doing our own thing. Nor that your beef was purely with the smoking ban. Their Wiki was set up for exactly this purpose. They are the judge, they are the Gods they are infallible, they are omnipotent.

          I know this is wrong. In fact any half reasonable lawyer could and indeed should have had that quashed years ago.

          But that’s the FCTC for you. Furthermore it has proven impossible for anyone to find out who signed on behalf of the UK. Took that up with Junican and all he’s come up with is a functionary in the Foreign Ministry.

          So much for transparency, and sadly, so much for the rule of law.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        fctc gag order guidelines

        11. The broad array of strategies and tactics used
        by the tobacco industry to interfere with
        the setting and implementing of tobacco control mea
        sures, such as those that Parties to the
        Convention are required to implement, is documented
        by a vast body of evidence. The
        measures recommended in these guidelines aim at pro
        tecting against interference not only by
        the tobacco industry but also, as appropriate, by o
        rganizations and individuals that work to
        further the interests of the tobacco industry.
        12. While the measures recommended in these guideli
        nes should be applied by Parties as
        broadly as necessary, in order best to achieve the
        objectives of Article 5.3 of the Convention,
        Parties are strongly urged to implement measures be
        yond those recommended in these
        guidelines when adapting them to their specific cir
        cumstances.

        Click to access article_5_3.pdf

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          In America the treaty would be deemed unconstitutional via the 1st amendment. Free speech and the ability to redress from the government besides stopping the ability of the people to communicate with their own government.

          I think we will find the FCTC is in itself unlawful along many lines.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          It’s surprising, too, that any allowance at all is made for withdrawal from the Treaty – most of these international “agreements” make darned sure that once you’re in, you’re in for good. A quick look at any of the EU Treaties and agreements illustrate perfectly clearly how, even if they don’t forbid withdrawal, they certainly write in clauses to make it bloody difficult to escape! Curious.

          Well, if you look at Article 31, which permits withdrawal, the last line of it says that if you withdraw from the Convention, you also withdraw from all associated protocols.

          That’s probably the sting in the tail. And what it probably means is that, if you withdraw from the Convention, you withdraw from about 100 other treaties, some of which may be extremely valuable to you. Like, maybe, the provision of important medicines, valuable epidemic warnings, information on new treatments. And you really wouldn’t want to lose them.

          I’m just guessing, though.

          Frank

          http://frank-davis.livejournal.com/133676.html

        • beobrigitte says:

          Well, if you look at Article 31, which permits withdrawal, the last line of it says that if you withdraw from the Convention, you also withdraw from all associated protocols.

          There is a price to pay for keeping a government in a stable position. When unrest starts no with the FCTC associated protocol means anything.

          From what I gather there is an increasing number of english smokers who are giving UKIP a vote.

  12. nisakiman says:

    Excellent post, SS, you have it in a nutshell.

    The Press is not a social service. They need advertising revenue and they don’t get it from the tobacco companies. Now a lucrative source of advertising revenue is government. Commercial media knows perfectly well where their bread is buttered and some of the anti-smoking informercials are worth very serious money.

    I personally think that the ban on advertising tobacco products was their greatest coup. Although it seemed a relatively small victory in itself at the time, in reality it paved the way for the propaganda machine to swing into full-blown action. If you have the media financially dependent on you, you can dictate their editorial stance. They won’t bite the hand that feeds them, whatever their opinions on the subject. It was the tipping point. Once they had control of the media, everything else was easy. Politicians read the newspapers, too.

    • smokingscot says:

      Thanks

      That nutshell took the better part of a day, but felt it was really important to lay out the legal vacuum in which we’re obliged to operate.

      Thing is FCTC is not absolute. They can make changes to it, as they did in Seoul about 13 months ago. It’s very likely they’ll do so again in Moscow in October 2014.

      In 2012 they were long term and mainly involved shifting money round their system:

      http://blogs.bmj.com/tc/2012/11/27/strengthening-fctc-implementation-an-overview-from-seoul/

      (do please check their twit feed for their sudden discovery that an ex tobacco executive has been appointed in Japan).

      Nevertheless as they’ll feel threatened, certainly in the EU and definitely in the UK – post EU elections in May 2014, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised to see them cry out for amendments to the text to call for active measures to be taken to silence us lot.

      And Andrew Black will be there. He’ll happily sign the UK up to anything; same as he did in 2012.

      http://www.tichtich.com/who-fctc-cop5-seoul-nov-2012.html

  13. smokervoter says:

    The politicians will always err on the side of what a perceived consensus of the virtuous (basically Leg Iron’s the Righteous) consider to be in the public good. Teetotal is morally superior to any level of alcohol consumption. Pristine-lunged never smokers are better than smokers. As a demagogue who are you going to side with, the angel or the devil?

    Rare is the lawmaker with the cajones to buck this setup in the name of personal autonomy. Witness the lonely but highly principled career of one Ron Paul. Even people who violently disagree with his penchant for private property rights give him props for his consistency and integrity, but they inevitably vote for the Do Good/Public Good candidate.

    He got about 12% of the vote in the 2012 Republican primary – the high point of his career nationally.

    The way I see it we need to forge some kind of voting alliance with that illusive 39% of the electorate by appealing to the slightly devilish merits of personal autonomy over the default angelic righteousness of public health and safety.

    • smokervoter says:

      Incidentally, cahones (Spanish) = bollocks (British English) = balls (American English) = intestinal fortitude = fortaleza intestinal (Spanish)

      So, to be PC and rightfully inclusive to the wonderful women commentators on this blog:

      “Rare is the lawmaker with the ovarios to buck this setup in the name of personal autonomy.”

      To be brutally honest this was a slander to the men here; not all spineless, rotten egg legislators are masculine. Can you say Anna Soubry?

      However lest we forget, the brave and illustrious Pat Nurse once stood for election, as did the honorable Audrey Silk run for mayor of New York City.

      Three cheers to the potential women lawmakers out there with the guts to carry our message forward.

  14. Junican says:

    I sometimes wonder whether it’s governments that initiate smoking bans, and get pressure groups like ASH to provide the ‘independent’ advice that they want. But for the most part almost all the evidence suggests that it’s pressure groups like ASH that push smoking bans, and governments are driven by Tobacco Control pressure groups that include ASH, WHO, BMA, RCP, and all sorts of other NGOs.

    There is a piggy in the middle, Frank – The Health Department.

    Some blatant evidence has only recently appeared in the form of the Soubry Affair. We saw the evidence with our own eyes and ears. She had little idea of what she went to Luxemburg for, except to do as instructed. Remember when she said that she thought that the ecig business had been dropped?

    It is the Health Dept (the likes of Andrew Black) which arranges for studies to be made, but the funding comes mostly from CRUK etc. It is they who liaise with ASH to do surveys and issue press releases. Politicians just pass through – note that we have had three junior public health ministers in quick succession.

    By the way, the Framework Convention is not LAW – it is merely a treaty. Parts of the treaty only become law when our Government propose a Bill which then becomes an Act. Parliament can refuse to do it if it wishes.

  15. garyk30 says:

    “Cigarettes damage your brain… and smokers have double the risk of stroke death”

    However, we find that never-smokers have a 20% higher death rate from strokes.

    The 2004 summary of Doll’s doctor study has a chart on page 3.

    Click to access bmj.38142.554479.AE.full.pdf

    We see for the CVD/Stroke Death Rate:

    never-smokers = 2.75 per 1,000

    25+/day smokers = 5.23/1,000

    Thus, they get their ‘double the risk of stroke’ claim.

    But, the whole story is not told.
    Here is the total story:

    never-smokers = 2.75 out of 19.38 total deaths per 1,000 per year.
    2.75/19.38 = 14% of the total deaths.
    death rate of 14/100.

    25+/day smokers = 5.23 out of 45.34 total deaths per 1,000 per year.
    5.23/45.34 = 11.5% of the total deaths.
    death rate of 11.5/100 deaths.

    14 is 22% higher than 11.5.

    WHOOPS, I guess that they forgot(?) to use all of the data.

  16. garyk30 says:

    Here is more data showing that a higher death rate per 1,000 people for a disease does not increase your probability of dying from that disease.

    CVD deaths for light(1-14/day), moderate(15-24/day), and heavy(25+/day) smokers.

    Causality is indicated by a direct exposure to effect ratio.

    light smokers = 3.75 cvd deaths per 29.34 deaths per year = 13 cvd deaths per 100 deaths.

    moderate smokers =4.35 per 34.79 = 12.5 cvd deaths per 100 deaths

    heavy smokers = 5.23 per 45.34 = 11.5 cvd deaths per 100 total deaths.

    The higher your smoking rate, the lower your chance of dying from a stroke.

  17. Pingback: Playing With Fire | Frank Davis

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