Conceding The Argument

Interesting that, according to the video below from Taking Liberties, in 1948 82% of adult British males smoked.

Brillo chairs a micro-debate about the BMA’s proposal that anyone born after 2000 should be disallowed from buying tobacco. He kicks off by saying that alcohol and sugar are “bad for our health”, so why single out cigarettes for a total ban? Dr Vivienne Nathanson replies, “Because cigarettes are never good for you,” and adds “Smoking kills 50% of all smokers.” Simon Clark says, “We totally accept that smoking is a serious risk to people’s health.”

Nathanson mentioned children a lot.

So at the outset, it has been established that Brillo (aka Andrew Neil, and a cigar smoker last I heard), Simon Clark, and of course Dr Nathanson are all agreed that smoking is bad for people’s health.

Simon Clark then makes the rather weak point that “adults have to be allowed to make the decision” (presumably to kill themselves). He then makes the stronger point that the BMA proposal is totally impractical, and would create a huge black market in cigarettes.

Clark really only managed to land a blow on the BMA when he shifted off the topic and said that the BMA had also passed a proposal to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places, and the BMA was “becoming a temperance society,” and “bringing the medical  profession into disrepute.”

Finally Nathanson said that under their proposal it would only be illegal to buy, not illegal to smoke. She said that “the habit of smoking is very strongly linked to your ability to buy.”

The latter must be true of almost everything. My burger and chips ‘habit’ is very strongly linked to my ability to buy burgers and chips. Same with my tea ‘habit’. And my car habit, and my trousers and shoes habit.

But going back to it being illegal to buy, but not illegal to smoke, it’s already illegal to smoke more or less everywhere except outdoors and in your own home, and there are moves to close those ‘loopholes’ too. So in practice, by the time it becomes illegal to buy cigarettes, it will also be illegal to smoke them anywhere either.

And these days the antis are always saying that “smoking kills 50% of smokers”. How do they know? The truth is that they have no idea whatsoever. It’s just a number somebody has dreamt up.

Anyway as ever in these debates, once it has been conceded that smoking is bad for you, the war is lost, and it’s thereafter a matter of retreating more or less rapidly before the triumphant antismoking zealots.


About Frank Davis

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74 Responses to Conceding The Argument

  1. Some other Tom says:

    If smoking kills 50% of all smokers, then essentially it’s a coin flip. And if it is merely chance, that seems to me that for half the smokers, smoking has no risk or danger or impact, which pretty much undermines the whole argument that ‘cigarettes are never good’, or every warning they’ve ever put on a pack or pouch of tobacco.

    I’d even go so far as to say they are very good for me. I’ve enjoyed every cigarette I’ve smoked and they haven’t killed me. I personally would attest to the fact that smoking is a wonderful compliment to living.

    Of course he (Clark) is going to concede that smoking is dangerous. The only way a ‘pro-smoking/liberty’ advocate gets any air time is by immediately conceding that it is, indeed, just as dangerous as claimed by the anti smoking nutters…

    I guess the only saving grace is, I don’t tune in any more. I am just going about my days as a grain of sand…

  2. Marie says:

    Thats really a charming lady ;)

  3. carol2000 says:

    Yes, this is a perfect example of how we’ve been systematically sold down the river by media-selected supposed “smokers’ rights advocates.” I call idiots like Clark “Official Anti-Smoker-Approved Fake Opponents” of the anti-smokers. They make sure they have no possibility of winning the fight by conceding the most important point to the anti-smokers right at the very beginning.

    But this is a pathetically lousy attempt to refute them: “And these days the antis are always saying that “smoking kills 50% of smokers”. How do they know? The truth is that they have no idea whatsoever. It’s just a number somebody has dreamt up.” It’s the flailing of an ignoramus, because they have abundantly publicized the false premises and disreputable methods they use to concoct that figure. As I keep pointing out over and over, they deliberately use defective studies to falsely blame smoking for diseases that are really caused by infection. That includes the single largest cause of supposed smoking-related deaths, namely heart disease. The whole reason those bastards have gotten so far is that nobody has yet been allowed to point a finger right at their fraud and wrongdoing.

    Where Simon Clark says, “We totally accept that smoking is a serious risk to people’s health,” that worthless argument merely says instead, “We don’t accept that smoking is a serious risk to people’s health, but we have no good reason whatsoever for it.” BUT WE DO HAVE GOOD REASONS, and it’s time to start using them.

    • roobeedoo2 says:

      The point is that Simon Clarke is paid, just as the fuckwit zealots are paid. It’s how they ALL earn a living, funding their own personal lifestyle choices. If he went in tooled up with the facts, he’d be out of a job too and then how would he earn a crust.

      Brillo is good at dissecting green nonsense but would fear for his job if did the same for tobacco because … Everyone knows smoking is bad for you – how many generations have had that drummed into them, from the earliest age, at school? It’ll be like he starting by saying the sky is green and the grass is blue. He’d be discredited as ‘mad’, and maybe not out of a job but at least no longer fronting a ‘top political show’. It’s not fair, but then nothing is in life and that’s the point too.

      No, the only media worth its salt on smoking is the internet, and specifically blogs. It’ll take time to reach the tipping point but it gets closer every day; have heart, every new fuckwit pronouncement ensures that.

      • carol2000 says:

        “The point is that Simon Clarke is paid, just as the fuckwit zealots are paid.”

        The really important point is that Simon Clarke is paid by the tobacco industry to sell us out to the anti-smokers. That’s why I say that the tobacco industry is actually controlled by the anti-smokers.

        • roobeedoo2 says:

          Of course. This is a turf war. We are collateral damage. I’m sure the Tobacco Industry loves that the tax payer foots the bulk of the advertising bill.

        • carol2000 says:

          There is no turf war. The anti-smokers control both sides. And we’re their intended victims, not collateral damage.

        • roobeedoo2 says:

          I don’t disagree that there are anti-smokers controlling both side. But don’t discount the profit motive. That’s why vaping crept through; the Farmer/Pharmers were focused on each other and gaining the upper hand in controlling the method of nicotine distribution – patches or cigs.

          Regardless of whether there are fuckwits on both sides, controlling a state-sanctioned delivery mechanism means making big money, hence turf war.

          Unless you think smokers are being offered up to a deity, as sacrifice:

          I can see that a motive, too, if you want to kick start a new world religion and call it ‘health’.

  4. waltc says:

    Likely more than 50% of all deaths are “caused by” cancer and heart disease both of which are more prevalent with age. So first they decide that if a smoker or even an ex-smoker dies of either it’s because he smoked. (The non or never smokers’ deaths by these means are just inexplicable bad luck) But right there they can rack up a huge smokers’ body count. Then they’ve got a computer program that arbitrarily assigns a % of deaths from all other diseases/condition to smoking. I seem to recall that by that reckoning they claimed that 13% of all cervical cancers were due to smoking (which, if you think about it would mean that 87% weren’t and would seem to make smoking protective) but they stuck with stat long after it was shown that cervical cancer is caused by a virus. They even continued, or may still be continuing, to blame secondhand smoke for causing cervical cancer which I thought gave a whole new meaning to “blow job).

    • nisakiman says:

      (The non or never smokers’ deaths by these means are just inexplicable bad luck)

      No, Walt, those are used both as ‘smoking related’ deaths (because most of them will have at the very least tried a cigarette at some point in their lives) and also ‘deaths from SHS’ (as most will also have been exposed to SHS in their lives). So those non-smoker deaths from ‘smoking related’ diseases are doubly useful to the zealots, as they can use them twice.

  5. Steven simon says:

    If the bma say that fifty percent of smokers die from smoking relating illness,a very precise figure plucked from the air,how do they know that those who died could have died from something else.lung cancer is caused by many many people get lung cancer who have never smoked.remember clarke is told what to say and he will always be associated with the tobacco companies.

  6. captainranty says:

    “smoking kills 50% of smokers”

    Well, we are doing much better than non-smokers. Detailed research tells me that not smoking kills 100% of non-smokers. :)

    If any doctor is foolish enough to tell me that I have lung cancer and that it was caused by smoking, I am going to demand that he explains exactly how he isolated tobacco as a cause and exactly how he ruled out the other 41 causes of lung cancer.


    • roobeedoo2 says:

      Everything you need to know about the Nazis and their choosing abilities:

      They choose poorly

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        Everyone’s seen this film. Why aren’t we making clear the connection between those who seek to irradiate death by 100% (immortality) and their preferred methods of seeking it – bans, propaganda and diktat death.

        This media is already out there, we should use it.

      • Frank Davis says:

        No sound on that video.

        • roobeedoo2 says:

          I had the sound down on the ipad D’oh! Never mind, this kid has edited it very nicely for a school project:

          We’re educated on this type of film, Frank. It’s sad but true. So maybe we should use it for advantage, no?

    • carol2000 says:

      You’re entitled to a second opinion – get one from a doctor who will test for HPV and also CMV, because that could play a role.

  7. John Mallon says:


    As a follower of your blog I am disappointed that you chose to have a go at Simon Clark today for trying to defend smoker’s rights. Like you I would dearly love to see these bans and restrictions thrown out tonight so that I could return to the pub for a pint and a smoke like I have done all of my life. However, as you have so often acknowledged, huge money and power have conspired to put all of this in place and Simon and I alone will not overturn this in a single TV appearance.

    The dynamic in the TV or radio studio is always constructed so that the Forest guest is there to be abused, undermined and humiliated and that is before we start to speak. On breakfast TV one morning the presenter asked the Cancer Society spokesperson to state her case and the women rattled off a litany of lies, fabrications and falsifications uninterrupted. The presenter turned to me then taking just one of the points we’d heard. When I tried to answer, I was bombarded one after another with nine more questions in rapid succession and as I tried to retain my manners and deal with this like an adult, the presenter cut me off and said they had no more time. It was a clear set-up.

    When we challenge the health lies on smoking we are shouted down immediately and once I was simply cut off after which the presenter told the nation that he could no longer listen to my nonsense. So it is a victory for Simon to even get the opportunity to speak in the current climate on tobacco. The other important factor for you to consider is that modern media does not tolerate in-depth debate on any topic so the detailed analysis that you often do would not be tolerated live on air. Instead, short sound-bites are fired about without conclusion. That is the nature of the beast and it’s the hostile environment that Forest finds itself in as it fights to defend your right as an adult to have a smoke. In the absence of Forest there simply would be only one side of the story ever heard. In that context, Simon has been doing a sterling job for years, despite what you think.

    • roobeedoo2 says:

      It’s a Trojan Horse, you already explained why. Find a better way to fight rather than hand over victory by accepting these ‘opportunities’ or ‘gifts’.

      Nobody knows where this phrase really originates from

      And yet we accept it when we also know from the story of Troy that an inspection of the mouth would have helped the Trojans make a better choice in whether to accept that particular gift.

      There are no sacred cows here. Including me, so tell me why am I wrong to think you start with a victim mentality on this matter. Come on, I want you to make your arguments better, sadly they are currently pants; no offence whatsoever.

    • margo says:

      Forest was the first ‘support site’ I ever found as a smoker. I was grateful for its existence and I still am.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Margo, you do have a point. I, too, found Forest as a first ‘support site’. However, I have nothing to concede. I am approaching pension age in quite adventurous spirit and ability. (Looking into base jumping – need to learn sky diving, first, though…)
        Been smoking since the age of 12……


    • Frank Davis says:

      John, if you had been reading my blog regularly, you would know that I regularly take a pop at Forest spokesmen like Simon Clark – and always for the exact same reason: conceding the argument.

      And I’m quite sure that you’re right about the whole thing being a set-up. But if that is the case, why bother to go on the show at all?

      as I tried to retain my manners and deal with this like an adult

      You’re too well-mannered. What is needed is for people to drop ‘adult manners’ and go for the throat. People like Vivienne Nathanson are little shits who need to be kicked out of the medical profession. Everything they say is a lie. All the figures they toss around – e.g. “50%” – are fabrications. And they are doing enormous social and economic damage as they destroy communities and bankrupt pubs and persecute millions of people. They are destroying our society. And they need to be treated like the vermin that they are.

      In the absence of Forest there simply would be only one side of the story ever heard.

      But Forest always concedes that smoking is bad for you! And so they leave people with the impression that even the opponents of Tobacco Control agree with them about more or less everything. So viewers only ever get one side of the story.

      It really would be better if Tobacco Control were left to themselves on air, with no ‘balance’ in the show at all, than for them to be met with token opposition. That way, people would maybe start to see how unbalanced it all really is.

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        Radio is a better medium – pull faces, pick teeth or noses in their faces, let’s hear how they debate humanity with slick sound bites. But we should never concede the victory with the first words offered.

      • Rose says:

        But Forest always concedes that smoking is bad for you!

        It is very irritating indeed.
        My one concession has been to change to additive free tobacco, I could see the logic in not inhaling unnecessary chemicals.
        Later, I discovered that the unnecessary chemicals were only there due to previous American anti-tobacco meddling, which eventually reached here.

        I should be very interested to know what diseases these anti-tobacco zealots die of and how they rationalise it to themselves.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      John could be we all think its time the Radical Revolutionary came out in someone with ties to the media outlets and challenged them on their JUNK SCIENCE and claims.

      This Blog has exposed enuf of their JUNK SCIENCE over the last 7 years to hang every TC advocate out there spreading their lies and propaganda and hate.

      How do you feel to be a criminal if you smoke,to know people have died due to the smoking bans and some even outright murdered for smoking…………….

      Millions worldwide losing jobs and businesses over bans that cost them their lively hoods!

      You need more reasons than to be a VICTIM of all this BULLSHIT!

      The man in Nashville singer Wayne Mills a personal Friend of my dads murdered for smoking!

      NASHVILLE, Tenn. -A singer died after he was shot in the head following an altercation at a bar in downtown Nashville early Saturday morning.Police confirmed Jerald “Wayne” Mills, 44, of the Wayne Mills Band, died from his injuries on Saturday evening.The shooting was reported around 5 a.m. at the Pit and Barrel bar at 515 2nd Avenue South near Lea Avenue. The bar was closed at the time of the shooting.

      The preliminary investigation reveals Mills began smoking a cigarette in a non-smoking area of the bar and the owner, Chris Ferrell, became upset.

      Now ya think we should go out and start shooting anti-smoking Bigots for a change to get even for whats happening to our kind or what, just sit back and let em keep creating fear of nothing SHS and then just smoker hatred to keep on COOKING US LIKE JEWS IN AN OVEN!

      We are fucking people,human beings not ASH’S or CANCER UK’S bytches to be slapped around and beta up at a whim by whomever…………If anything we should be down at ASH headquarters dragging the Nazi Scum out into the street and hanging them at WESTMINSTER for public display! To show the world what happens to people that create HATRED against their own people!

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        John do you seriously think TC and their kind will simply stop at making smokers criminals and outlawing our rights.

        Hell no they will be after everybody and they’ve got their best laws already written I guarantee you like this one:

        Mississippi Legislature
        2008 Regular Session
        House Bill 282

        Description: Food establishments; prohibit from serving food to any person who is obese.

        Principal Author: Mayhall
        Additional Authors: Read, Shows


        Now would you sit back and allow this to happen to your WIFE KIDS PARENTS GRANDPARENTS………………GO FIGURE AS ITS ALREADY HAPPENED TO US SMOKERS!

    • carol2000 says:

      “As a follower of your blog I am disappointed that you chose to have a go at Simon Clark today for trying to defend smoker’s rights.”

      With “friends” like Simon Clarke, we don’t need enemies. Yes, I know how they set things up and all the dirty tactics they use. But they cannot force him to say despicable things like, “We totally accept that smoking is a serious risk to people’s health.” And they can’t prevent him from challenging the health lies about smoking on the internet – BUT SIMON CLARKE HAS NEVER DONE SO.

    • JJ says:


      I have suggested several times to people who will listen, that what we need is a courtroom style format programme made by an independent film maker who would then approach the BBC or other broadcaster to see if they would screen it.

      With a courtroom style format there would be no wriggle room to avoid answering questions. Many of the main protagonists would be invited to take part ostensibly to give evidence of how well the ban has worked and where it goes from here. They would then be subject to forensic questioning from a well briefed individual ( I would love the job), this means that there can be no talking over other people which happens in a round table discussion, plus there would be no partisan support from an audience. Specific questions can be asked to which there has to be an answer.

      The hardest part of this would be trying to find a company to make the programme in the first place. I’ve emailed several but have never had a reply, except from one which was a Canadian company but I never got back to them, I thought it would be better if it was a British company, perhaps that was a mistake.

      A programme of this nature could be made if there is sufficient will to do so.

  8. It’s a good scenario Simon Clark introduces that in the year 2035 (or 3035 as he mistakingly calls it) a 35 year-old wouldn’t be allowed to buy cigs but a 36 year-old would. And Mr Shredded Wheat points out you’d have to take along your birth certificate (not that the public won’t have been microchipped within the next 21 years).

    As time goes on, you can imagine 69 year-olds hanging around outside newsagents’ waiting for someone who looks 70 or older to ask, “Hey, Mister, can you buy us some cigarettes, please?”

    “No. Sorry. You’re not old enough to smoke.”

    When Michael wrote “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains” it was kind of him to infer that their heads were occupied by said organs.

    As for that woman, you would have thought that people would have had higher hopes for themselves than being meddling, middle class neo-Nazis.

    • margo says:

      I like that image, Stewart, of 69-year-olds hanging about to ask a 70-year-old to buy their fags. Very funny!

    • prog says:

      It would require all smokers to carry ID, possibly a smoker’s licence. By then though, it’d also probably be illegal for the ‘under aged’ to smoke and therefore they’d need ID as a form of deterrent. Anyway, it’s probably irrelevant seeing that the United States of Europe would insist everyone carries ID regardless. Actually, they’ll have dispensed with paper by then – much easier to just chip everyone. Just like pets, but more so…

  9. Smokers Last Stand says:

    Cut the chattering,the whimpering,the twittering,the waffling,the mumbo jumbo,the endless squawking of unseen parrots and gibbering gibbons. Disregard the judas goats who lead us
    like Lemmings down the path to nowhere. Unite ,organise,meet and start to kick ass,as for those
    who would rather appease ,run,hide ,be nice ……………F..k Off you are as guilty as the tormentors

    • beobrigitte says:

      Unite ,organise,meet and start to kick ass

      Just continue to smoke. And speak your mind, ESPECIALLY when talking to other smokers you meet.

      I am not convinced that Unite ,organise,meet is the way to go. As “disorganised” individuals we are much more effective!

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    I never had much respect for SIMON Clark after he tossed a hissy at us calling the Nazis Nazis!

    Never concede anything to the enemy, MAKE EM PROVE IT!

    • roobeedoo2 says:

      No silver screen hero can hold a candle to to Harley. I have an imaginary poster of you on my bedroom wall ;)

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Lord only knows! But to be in their face everyday and in every corner of the world takes a lot of time and devotion. But then Im probably the most pissed off smoker they ever pissed off.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Counter Slogans

    Bolton Smokers Club ⋅ junican

    Smoking is well-known to have a calming and relaxing effect. Non-smoking kills just as many people as does smoking. [Elaboration: ‘Tobacco related …

    • Some interesting stuff there:

      This guidance makes recommendations on individual-level interventions aimed at changing health-damaging behaviours among people aged 16 or over. It includes a range of approaches, from single interventions delivered as the opportunity arises to planned, high-intensity interventions that may take place over a number of sessions.

      The behaviours covered relate to: alcohol, diet, physical activity, sex and smoking. However, the recommendations may also apply to behaviour change related to other health issues.

      “High-intensity interventions?” They sound dead serious.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Doctors should lighten up over lighting up!

    Nothing should surprise me these days when it comes to the harassment of the smoker – after all, it has been going on for years.

    The 2006 smoking ban remains an undemocratic piece of legislation that had at its core the criminalisation of those who lit up in a public place.

    I believe the ban was a vindictive sanction implemented by non-smoking zealots who were more concerned with political point-scoring and headline-grabbing than the nation’s health.

    But this week’s announcement by the holier-than-thou Febreze-smelling doctors of the British Medical Association that they intend lobbying for the introduction of a complete ban on smoking for all those born after 2000 had me spluttering ash and coffee all over my paper.

    The BMA is raging that many still continue to puff away despite the many Draconian measures already in place. They believe that, if this is adopted as policy, Britain will be smoke-free by 2035.

    Whoopee! Our kids won’t ever smoke because they won’t be able to buy fags! Their clothes, their homes, their kids won’t ever smell of stale ashtrays! And think of the health benefits – golly gosh and spank me with a wet slipper!

    No horrible cancers, no heart attacks, no coughing or strokes. And just think about the money saved on the NHS. What a fantastic idea! Meanwhile, back on planet Earth…

    As laudable as this idea may at first sound the practicalities over its implementation and enforcement make it laughable.

    Are they seriously suggesting that, by 2035, 35-year-olds will be asked for proof of age in order to buy cigarettes and criminalised if they smoke, and that all those born in 1999 or before won’t?

    What will happen to those “oldies” who find their packets raided by 21st Century adults? Will they also be huckled by the all-seeing smoke police? It’s Big Brother gone mad.

    With this measure implemented, will the temperance brigade come out bleating for similar restrictions on the sale of alcohol? No? Wake up and smell the coffee!

    Actually don’t – because that will also be banned given its caffeine content. As will sugary drinks and of course fatty foods.

    Then there are those tangoed individuals who self-harm on a sunbed. What about dangerous sports? Driving? Rambling?

    The list of potential bans is as long as it is ridiculous. It would lead to a two-tiered society – the adults who are allowed and the adults who are not.

    A ban on smoking based around what side of the millennium you popped out would lead to yet more erosions of our freedom and liberty. We’re supposed to live in one of the most tolerant nations on Earth, so what’s going on?

    I have smoked for years. I wish I had never started and could give it up. I have tried every anti-smoking remedy available and yet still I continue to puff away.

    It also guts me that one of my kids now smokes and I can only hope he has more willpower than me when he ever tries to quit.

    However, the BMA should lighten up. Their latest intolerant wheeze is ill thought-out, simplistic, costly, divisive and yet another puerile attack on the smoker.

    If they’re really serious, the answer is a complete ban and criminalisation, a stubbing out of those who make, import and sell the dreaded weed, and not the smoker.

    Would they go down that road? Not a chance! What government in their right mind would give up the millions they make from the selling of cigarettes?

    None that I can think of! But will this idiotic ban on smokers born in the 21st Century ever be introduced? Of course it will – you can bet your last fag on that one!

  13. roobeedoo2 says:

    The internet is great. Instead of giving platitudes, we can give them The Platters

    Platitude and Platter have the same root: plane

    A dull offering and a shining one:

    Now laughing friends deride
    Tears I cannot hide
    So I smile and say
    When a lovely flame dies
    Smoke gets in your eyes

    Smoke gets in your eyes

  14. Fredrik Eich says:

    I think if Simon Clark were to challenge the “Smoking Kills” hypothesis, a letter signed by every single organ of the tobacco control industry would be winging it’s way to every editor in the land.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Not 1 Death or Sickness Etiologically Assigned to Tobacco. All the diseases attributed to smoking are also present in non smokers.

      Yet they cant prove a single claim about smoking,so how the hell can they even make broad factless claims………………Simon should called their bluff and simply said PROOF PLEASE!

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

    Twisting the stats reveals sensationalist agenda

    The ONS cancer registration statistics provide an excuse for the Daily Mail to wax hysterical and the BBC to promote plain packaging, writes Chris Oakley.

    It is that time of year again when the cancer statistics are released by the ONS and the mainstream media, spearheaded by the Daily Mail and the BBC, browbeat the public with the latest instalment of their miserable campaign to blame us for dying as a consequence of indulging in things disapproved of by the public health industry. Things that include eating, drinking, smoking of course and going out in the sunshine.

    The Daily Mail seems in absolutely no doubt that it is all our own fault, launching a broadside of terrifying statistics under the headline “Sharp rise in cancers caused by lifestyle: Alcohol, obesity and legacy of sunshine holidays are to blame, warn experts”. It seems to have struggled to find anyone who can be reasonably described as an expert so we are subjected to quotes from “charity” spin doctors with a final word from an evangelical nutritionist representing the scientifically challenged World Cancer Research Fund telling us that “80,000 cancer cases a year could be prevented in Britain if people ate better, kept to a healthy weight and exercised more”.

    We would of course expect better of the BBC whose headline “Sharp rise in skin and liver cancer across England” is less sensational and a more accurate reflection of the main points in the ONS report


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      The BBC goes on to introduce Matt Wickenden, a CRUK statistician and mouth piece, apparently for the political wing, who spews tobacco control clichés and, incredibly, in an article ostensibly about melanoma and liver cancer gets in a plug for plain packaging tobacco:

      “It is vital to reduce smoking rates, and so we’re urging the government to introduce plain, standardised tobacco packaging without delay to stop the next generation taking up the deadly habit that kills half of all long-term users.”

      It is shameful stuff from the BBC and although there are differences in style, it is hard to choose between it and the Mail for lack of integrity. It is telling that the BBC provides links to three charities but not to the ONS report.

      I can sympathise to some extent with the journalists tasked with covering this story because there is a worrying over emphasis in the ONS report on CRUK reviews that themselves are over reliant on data from WCRF meta-analysis and previous reviews.

      That, however, does not excuse their organisations for publishing poorly researched sensationalist drivel and PR on behalf of charity activists.

      The content of the ONS report that reached the public via the mainstream media was written by ill-equipped generalists, influenced by media manipulators from “charities” or QUANGOS introduced as “experts” spinning reviews of other reviews which in turn are based on correlations and assumptions rather than anything that can really be considered fact.

      Yet from this source we are expected to believe that “Alcohol, obesity, lack of physical exercise, hormonal and reproductive factors were behind 27% of breast cancer cases”?

      To assign that level of precision to such inexact research that is often mere speculation is the height of arrogance and foolishness. It is a sad symptom of an unhealthy, introspective, decadent society in which the judgemental are in the ascendency and health statistics are worshipped as part of doctrine that is increasingly religious in tone.

      I cannot imagine what it is like to be diagnosed with breast cancer but I would urge anyone experiencing the range of emotions that must accompany that experience not to add guilt to the list. The chances are that your condition is nothing to do with that extra glass of wine you may have indulged in on occasion.

  16. harleyrider1978 says:

    If 50% of smokers die from smoking and 100% of non-smokers die too. Does that mean 50% of smokers live forever!

  17. harleyrider1978 says:

    IN PICTURES: UKIP MEPs Turn Backs on European Parliament Opening Ceremony

    The UK Independence Party’s new Members of the European Parliament have turned their backs on the official ceremonies of the opening of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, according to reports on social networking website Twitter.

    Most of the party’s 24 MEPs are believed to have taken part in the protest, standing up and turning their backs while the theme tune to the European Union was played: Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

    It is effectively a ‘theme tune’ (or maybe even a ‘loony tune’) since there is no official anthem of the EU – and attempts to create one were slapped down during the course of the drafting of the Lisbon Treaty.

    The Liberal Democrats’ only remaining MEP Catherine Bearder tweeted, “Shocking disrespect from UKIP and others to turn back on orchestra at opening ceremony,” though she did not say who the lack of respect was for. Presumably, she meant the European Union. As a representative of the United Kingdom, the fact that Bearder may be forgetting where her loyalties should lie so early in this parliamentary session is disconcerting.

    Newly elected MEP Janice Atkinson even tweeted a picture of her spoiled ballot paper, showing that she approves of none of the candidates for the president of the European Parliament.

    UKIP Deputy leader Paul Nuttall MEP told Breitbart London: “We don’t recognise or respect the EU flag or anthem. They are both symbols of our servitude inside a political union which the British people reject.

    “We will do everything we can in European Parliament to oppose the Federalist system which ignores our national democracy and pushes millions of people across Europe into poverty and unemployment. We stand up for our people, not the EU flag and anthem.

    “National democracy and EU membership are incompatible. We will do everything we can to free ourselves from this corrupt institution.”

    They done good!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Id have dropped my britches and mooned the Nazis,but then that’s me

      • garyk30 says:

        I asked for a pic of you as Tinker-Belle; but, that mental image is too much!! :)

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        Adjusts specs…jostles to get a better view…

        Make sure Anna Soup Dragon’s not about – she’ll want to stick a finger up there to see if you like it. She’s got a dirty old mind.

  18. garyk30 says:

    “Half will die from their smoking”

    Death rates are not the same as the percentage of deaths from certain diseases.

    They would have people believe that 4/8th is twice as large as 2/4ths

    Rates per 1,000(smoking ’caused’ diseases)
    Never-smokers = 16/ 1,000 per year
    Current smokers = 30/1,000 per year

    Percentage of total deaths:
    never-smokers 16 per 19 = 84%
    current smokers 30 per 35.5 = 85%

    Below is the source for that “Half will die from their smoking” bit of idiocy.

    Page 9
    What is already known on this topic:
    About half of all persistent cigarette smokers are killed by
    their habit—a quarter while still in middle age (35-69 years)

    (NOTE: This is the same as saying that half of smokers’ deaths are due to smoking and 75% of those deaths are over the age of 69 -GK)

    The rational given for this is that since smokers’ death rates, for the diseases ’caused’ by smoking, per year per 1,000 men are about twice that of never-smokers.

    Thus, about half of smokers’ deaths can not be attributed to other factors and must be attributed to their smoking.

    Indeed, in Table 1, on page 3, we find this:
    1. never-smokers’ death rate for these diseases is 16.2 per year per 1,000 men.

    2. smokers(current cigarette) death rate for these diseases is 30.2 per 1,000 men per year.

    3. total deaths are 19 and 35.5

  19. Rose says:

    I do see certain similarities between the Healthists sugar, salt, tobacco, fat. tobacco, alcohol and other Hell-fire preachers in their desire to control the lives of others.
    No one is allowed to simply live their lives in peace.
    We must either be threatened with a horrible death or a tormented after life and in the case of religious prohibitionists like James the 1st, both.

    I’m sorry if seeing death and sickness every day at work for years has coloured their whole lives with a pall of gloom and terror, but that is not the reality for the rest of us.

    The sky is blue the birds are singing and when I was younger I listened to them far too much and with greater reverence than they deserved.

    So, Vivienne Nathanson can look as glum as she likes in her world without hope or laughter.

    “Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics for the British Medical Association, said: “We have to start de-normalising alcohol – it is not like other types of food and drink.”

  20. beobrigitte says:

    I am taking my reply straight from Junican’s blog post THE STANDARD HUMAN CHILD yesterday: (hope you don’t mind, Junican!)

    The standard human child……

    No child is born with an infirmity without some external cause, be it alcohol, tobacco, diet or whatever. There are no genetic abnormalities because no studies exist about such a possibility, and if there are no studies, there is no problem, otherwise, there would be studies.

    There are quite a few genetic abnormalities, just to mention trisomy 21; NONE of them can be attributed to smoking.

    Watching an interview with Vivienne Nathanson is like listening to a stuck record.

    She just spouts jargon and slogans. “50 percent of smokers are killed by it”, “Almost all smokers become addicted before they are 20″ (something like that) she says. “We have to do this; WE have to do that”, she says.

    It’s not that she is slim and athletic looking, isn’t it? And, quite frankly, her weight and (lack of) physical activity is her problem; nevertheless, I believe we are also being told that being fat KILLS YOUNG people!

    How old are these “50% of smokers that allegedly are killed” by smoking? At what age do the other 50% die? Do anti-smokers live forever? (It might seem that way to them)

    The “standard human child” grows up to be a “standard human adult” when forbidden to buy tobacco products? Really????

    Something I did not mention: Adulthood. By 2018 the chiiiildren born in 2000 will have reached ADULTHOOD. They can legally buy tobacco products – unless, of course, tobacco products have been banned by then.

  21. junican says:

    I’ve been reading the comments with much interest.
    I don’t know if the 50% thing was used elsewhere before Doll used it, but the statements that smoking kills 50% of smokers was repeated several times by Doll in the fifth and final report. garyk has given the link to that report.
    I think that it might be worthwhile to take a closer look at his statements, so I’ll try to write a post about it tonight at the BSC:

  22. junican says:

    By the way, I think that there have been some harsh statements about Simon Clark. Let’s just say that I would not like to be in his shoes, trying to defend smokers while trying not to put himself into a position where he could be ridiculed (by totally denying ‘what everybody knows’, for example). He has political contacts and has enough funding to be able to circulate all MPs with information from time to time, which we do not. I think that we should leave him to do his job as he sees it.

    One thing that I would say though (and this is not criticism), I also question the value of giving the media the chance to use you as a punch-bag.
    Why does the media not go to Tobacco Companies to get ‘balance’?

    • Rose says:

      Because the media no longer gets cigarette advertising revenue?

    • Jay says:

      I think that John answered the thing that’s puzzled me for years: whenever I’ve heard Simon being interviewed he’s never taken issue with the danger of SHS myth (very puzzling just before the intro of the ban given that was the ground for its intro). I’ve asked him directly on his blog but never had an answer and I concluded that he sees no point – he just would be laughed out of the room because firstly, FOREST is a non-medical organization and couldn’t possibly be in a position to question the (ahem) evidence and secondly because of the association with Big T; instead he’s focussed on the civil liberties argument and at least he gets invited back into the studio. I think that it must be demoralisaing and frustrating to know that you’re there on sufferance in front of a hostile interviewer with the other side allowed the upper hand. Although I can’t imagine Simon ever saying that smoking isn’t bad for you, I do wish, however, that he wouldn’t say that it’s bad for you: it sounds apologetic and puts him on the back foot and, worse, seems to concede that the other side has right on its side. Having said that, I wouldn’t want to be in the chair and I’m aware that it’s all too easy to be critical on a keyboard. If I were Simon I’d be inclined to retort that critics should contact the media outlets and volunteer to be the next “pro-smoking” spokesman.

      • carol2000 says:

        If FOREST is not in a position to question the anti-smokers’ “evidence” for ANY reason, then the best thing we can do for smokers’ rights is repudiate its spokespersons’ legitimacy, because all they’re doing is helping the anti-smokers pretend that they presented both sides of the issue when they did not.

      • John Mallon says:


        Your observations are very wise indeed.

        All of you will notice the careful use of language that the anti’s employ. They also use mixed topics to confuse the public and as a perfect example, I’ll go back to 2004 and the introduction of the first ban in Ireland. The then health Minister always stated first that the debate was over, ETS kills. Then with mounting passion in his voice he said, “This is causing 3,000 preventible deaths a year in Ireland.” Now, anybody listening back then would have been convinced that 3,000 innocent people dying each year was down to secondhand smoke and hence the support for the ban. The charities all used the same tactic too and the smokers just didn’t know any different and had no defense for what they didn’t know were falsehoods.

        It was too late when the ban came in and I began to find out the truth for myself. Now, to appear in public on the airways and try to get more invites to offer the other side of the story, it is necessary to modify the content and delivery of the messages. I avoid saying that smoking is dangerous or bad for you in favor of saying there’s a risk associated with it. Of course, there is a risk associated with getting out of bed in the morning too but I let the public arrive at that conclusion for themselves. Both Simon and I refer to the “dubious evidence that ETS is a danger.” but to try to get into the arguments why it’s safe in small doses is to lose a media audience. Bald statements that directly contradict the received wisdom merely excludes smokers from the discussion entirely. The media have a vested interest in anti-smoking hence the hostility we encounter.

        However, you are all perfectly entitled to criticize our efforts in fighting this public health tyranny but that will not stop me trying to do something at least. What I see is a heavily funded, well organized foe with powerful backing and they will accept no opposition to their ends and means. I am simply fighting back for the hearts and minds of the people listening/watching using the strategies and tactics that I hope will plant a seed of doubt in the public mind. Unlike Frank’s site, I am not talking to like-minded individuals but instead, to the great brain-washed and it is an unenviable uphill struggle.

  23. harleyrider1978 says:

    Latest “tobacco” stats show minimal decline in adult smoking, uptick in e-cigs continues

    For more specifics, read this paragraph, thanks to Medscape:

    Demographic breakdowns show where tobacco use is more prevalent: more men (26.2%) than women (15.4%); more younger adults (25.2% for ages 25 to 44 vs 9.5% for those 65 and older); more lower-income adults (29.8% of those with household incomes less than $20,000 compared with 12.8% of those making $100,000 or more); more among the less educated (43.8% among adults with a General Education Development certificate and 6.3% among those with graduate degree); more in the Midwest (23.9% compared with the West at 19%); and more among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults (30.8%, compared with 20.5% for heterosexual adults).

    (*There is nothing too surprising in that dataset).

    The authors “credit” the recent, paltry decline in smoking to these factors: increasing tobacco product prices, comprehensive smoke-free laws, high-impact anti-tobacco mass media campaigns, and increasing access to help quitting, in conjunction with Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products.

    ACSH’s Dr. Gil Ross had this comment: “The factors the authors note did certainly help to reduce the toll of smoking during the 20th century — but those days are gone, as is obvious by the minimal decline over the past decade. It continues to astound me how the officials running our nation’s anti-smoking agencies refuse to acknowledge the handwriting staring at them on the wall: the decline in adult smoking is barely different from a statistical chance effect. The CDC and other ‘leaders’ fiddle while millions keep on smoking and a half-million die horribly each year. They have identified the problem: reduced-harm nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes, and have decided that they shall not be moved from their unholy crusade, no matter what the data show, on e-cigs’ safety, on the millions who have switched, on the lack of impact all the FDA-approved products and CDC-campaigns have had. It’s as if they were called to put out the fire of cigarette-related death, and came equipped only with gasoline. Yet, they manage to not only take ‘credit’ for non-existent progress, they have the consummate gall to cite the FDA’s ‘regulation of tobacco products,’ which has accomplished absolutely nothing. Well, time marches on, and I know whose approach will wind up as the correct one within the next few years at most.”

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Well, time marches on, and I know whose approach will wind up as the correct one within the next few years at most.”

      I know which one too,Politicians and the people are getting sick and tired of the TOBACCO CONTROL GAMES……………In a few years the whole bloody Bullshit should be an old memory and back to everyone living normal again!

  24. harleyrider1978 says:

    (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = “//”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));
    Post by Brian Dinius Sr.

  25. harleyrider1978 says:

    The World Bank and Tobacco Control: The Facts

    August 20, 2013

    Tobacco use is the world’s leading underlying cause of preventable death.
    •In the last decade, global deaths from tobacco have increased from 2.1 million to 6 million.
    •Every year 600,000 non-tobacco users, mostly women and children, die from exposure to tobacco smoke.
    •Worldwide, 200 million adult women smoke cigarettes. In 25 countries, girls smoke more than boys.
    •Smoking is responsible for about 20% of global tuberculosis (TB) incidence, and reduces the effectiveness of TB treatment.
    •Between 2000 and 2008, total costs attributable to tobacco in China more than quadrupled, from US$7.2 billion to US$28.9 billion.
    •In Bangladesh, direct costs of smoking are estimated at US$386 million, or more than 1% of GDP.
    •Between 2003-2008, 11.3% of Egypt’s total health expenditure was used to treat tobacco-related illness.
    •In all World Health Organization (WHO) regions except in Europe, cigarettes became much more affordable between 2000 and 2010.

    The World Bank has been a global leader on tobacco control.
    •Since 1991 the World Bank’s policy has been not to lend, invest in, or guarantee investments or loans for tobacco production, processing, or marketing.
    •A 1999 Bank report, Curbing the Epidemic: Governments and the Economics of Tobacco Control, contributed to adoption of the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control.
    •The Bank’s Economics of Tobacco Toolkit helps researchers analyze the economics of tobacco policies in their respective countries.
    •In Russia, the Bank engaged the government in policy dialogue on tobacco control through a report — Dying Too Young in the Russian Federation — which contributed to increases in tobacco and alcohol taxes.
    •The Bank’s strategy for health, nutrition and population identifies tobacco control as one of the key interventions for health outcomes and tobacco tax increases as a cost-effective measure for tobacco control.
    •The Bank is an active observer of WHO’s Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) (pdf).

    The Bank is actively supporting countries to halt and reverse tobacco use.
    •In partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, WHO and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Health, Nutrition and Population Unit of the Human Development Network has launched an initiative to support country tobacco control efforts, with a focus on increasing taxes.
    •During 2012 and 2013, the Bank successfully provided technical assistance on tobacco taxation to The Philippines (pdf) and The Gambia, resulting in tobacco tax reforms in both countries.
    •In 2013 the Bank launched the technical dialogue and a study in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
    •The Bank partners with WHO FCTC’s (pdf) Secretariat missions to assess implementation progress and issues related to Articles 6 (taxation), 15 (illicit trade), recent missions included: Burundi, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
    •The Bank collaborates with multiple in country and global partners, including academia and civil society to ensure coordination at country level on tobacco control and tobacco tax policies.

  26. Pingback: The 50% Claim Debunked | Frank Davis

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