If You Don’t Quit, We Won’t Operate?

Disturbing story (already mentioned in comments):

Scotland’s second largest health board has defended the practice of asking smokers to quit before they access certain treatments.

Vascular surgeons at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary (ERI) said they would not take GP referrals for non-emergency patients unless they had stopped smoking.

Doctors and NHS Lothian argued that medical intervention could be avoided if people simply stopped smoking and changed their lifestyles, adding that smokers could face extra complications in surgery.

…Consultant vascular surgeon Zahid Raza said that patients who did not present as a medical emergency would not be seen unless they made lifestyle changes.

It’s caused something of a storm:

However, Dr Jean Turner, from the Scotland Patients Association, said she was “extremely disappointed” by the stance.

“I’m really quite shocked. You should not refuse to see anybody and certainly not penalise patients who are smoking,” she said.

“It is very God-like and highly unfair to refuse to see people referred from general practitioners and if I was a GP I would be very angry. It’s not for a doctor to make a judgment. Doctors are there to see if they can help and relieve symptoms.”

Patients have been complaining to their MPs, according to the Express:

… patients have reacted with fury at the decision by the Vascular Surgery Service at the ERI to start refusing GP referrals from people who fail to ditch their smoking habit.

Some have even written to local MPs demanding they be seen by surgeons after being told of the decision.

Dave Atherton is on the story on Breitbart,

But has the story been misreported? In the comments under the article in the Scotsman, the surgeon at the centre of the furore, Zahid Zraza, writes:

Unfortunately I am the doctor that this story relates to. Please let me explain the situation and the misrepresentation that has occurred.
The vast majority of our patients are smokers or ex smokers. The vast majority I operate on are in this group. To be seen by a Vascular Surgeon, there is around a 2 month wait for a routine appointment. Around 90% of patients with poor circulation in their legs (claudication) do not need an operation. They will improve by changing their lifestyle. These patients can be managed by the GP’s in primary care very effectively. If the small proportion of patients do not improve then, of course the Vascular Unit shall see them, irrespective if they smoke or have stopped. This policy is evidence based as smokers who have bad leg circulation who undergo a bypass in their legs will run into huge problems with their bypass grafts blocking off. Some of these patients go on to lose their legs as a repeat operation is technically more challenging and less successful.
The policy (which is not new) does not refuse to see patients who smoke. It is a way to allow GP’s to send patients to a Vascular Surgeon who fail to improve and their walking becomes steadily worse. This effectively means that we see patients much sooner and can treat them more effectively.
I hope the readers appreciate that I am not refusing treatment to my patients but trying to improve the referral pathway to see patients sooner and for those who would not benefit treatment; to be managed in primary care.
I would like to reiterate that most of the patients whom I operate on with arterial disease in their legs are smokers and the method used to mis quote me by the media agency is very unfortunate and does not reflect the position of the Edinburgh Vascular Unit and the surgeons. I hope this clarifies the position. (emphases added)

That seems fairly clear, because if his patients are smokers, then clearly they can’t have given up smoking. But then somebody must have demanded that patients give up smoking, if they’re now writing to their MPs to complain. Who was it if it wasn’t Zahid Zraza?

And when are they going to be fired?

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76 Responses to If You Don’t Quit, We Won’t Operate?

  1. cherie79 says:

    So you can arrive here having paid nothing, be a drug addict, have AIDS, never paid any tax or NI, be an alcoholic, or a drunk injured violently and no problem? Yet after a lifetime of taxes you are to be punished for using a legal product that generates a huge amount of tax ! I would think this would be against human rights legislation. I will be paying tax until I die and, if house prices keep rising, afterwards too. I am due for my four year scan this month and I think they would like to discharge me as I still smoke! Don’t know what bothers them more, that I won’t stop or I haven’t stopped and am still fine! I will let you all know when I get the results on 5/9. My great GP is retiring next month, says he has had enough and he didn’t become a Dr. to tell people how to live, advise maybe but that was all. He can see the way things are going and would not be surprised at any refusal to treat smokers and obese people with more to come, soon be able to close the NHS at this rate!

  2. junican says:

    The guy has not refuted the complaints at all. He says:
    This policy is evidence based as smokers who have bad leg circulation who undergo a bypass in their legs will run into huge problems with their bypass grafts blocking off.
    In that sentence, he claims that ALL smokers suffer from that problem, which is almost certainly a lie. So, regardless of the rest of the bumph, he is actually saying that he does what the complainants have been complaining about – refuse to do the operation on smokers, because the bypass will become blocked off.
    Further in his response, he says: “I hope the readers appreciate that I am not refusing treatment to my patients but trying to improve the referral pathway to see patients sooner and for those who would not benefit treatment; to be managed in primary care.” Does that not mean that non-smokers will be seen sooner, and that smokers will not be operated upon, but will have to put up with ‘primary care’?

    But the panic is obvious. Chickens are coming home to roost.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      There was another disease they claimed that was solely caused by smoking I forget the name of it but its the same thing here. The fact is after I researched it for 2 days it turns out its more than likely an INHERITED disease or a inflammatory disease and it affects only about 1 in 8000 smokers………………It doesn’t take much more than a first grade edumication to see its just another handful of mud slung on the wall to see if it sticks!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Cousin it appears its coming home to roost all over the world. Im noticing countries WHINING about the massive losses due to blackmarket activities in tobacco and its costing them ZIllions the way they are crying………..

  3. cherie79 says:

    Years ago my husband had intermittent claudication, he was advised to walk more and cut down on smoking and that was all but that was under private insurance through his work. His death a few years later was not smoking related. At least he didn’t live to see the demonisation of smokers.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Cheri we cant being him back but by god we will make the Nazis pay thru public humiliation for their laws against us all and the treatment weve all gotton………………

      On to another battle that’s how we win!

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Think this will bring some shame on the Nazis Cherie

        Congratulations to everyone who ever survived a single cookout! LOL

        Barbecues poison the air with toxins and could cause cancer, research suggests.
        A study by the French environmental campaigning group Robin des Bois found that a typical two-hour barbecue can release the same level of dioxins as up to 220,000 cigarettes.

        Dioxins are a group of chemicals known to increase the likelihood of cancer.

        The figures were based on grilling four large steaks, four turkey cuts and eight large sausages.”

        Even the UK/AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY has relay for life BBQ cook-offs……….oh the Hypocrisy of it all!

        • cherie79 says:

          I am still at a complete loss to understand how, in 10 short years, smoking which was considered perfectly normal has suddenly become the cause of every illness and death! Even my never smoking friends are bemused, smoking never bothered them before and it has ruined their social life too as we are not interested in going to pubs now and the never smokers say the atmosphere has gone. I always found smokers are much more sociable and I miss the old pub discussions we used to have. It is one thing to discourage young people but do they really expect people who have happily smoked for many years to accept being treated like lepers? Sadly it seems to have been accepted by the majority and a lot of smokers too. I loathe these fanatics.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Now Cherie I wouldn’t say they accept any of it,if that were the case then why did UKIP just kick the arse off the nannyNazis……….

          As shown below here by Roobee:

          The move is a major blow to the government, which has vowed to implement the plan before the election.

          Its not the government that’s in fear its the NAZIS in fear as they know UKIP is going to sack their asses in the elections……..That certainly shows the public has not accepted their de-normalization plans at all! In fact it shows they abhore the social engineering laws!

        • carol2000 says:

          cherie79, they had already been at it for 50 years before your eyes finally opened ten years ago. “It is one thing to discourage young people but do they really expect people who have happily smoked for many years to accept being treated like lepers?” When you condoned them telling lies to young people to discourage them from smoking, you condoned them telling lies about US, and all the rest follows. What you did was like helping to saw off the branch we’re all standing on.

        • cherie79 says:

          I agree up to a point Carol but, like most people, I did assume smoking was not good for you though I had no intention of stopping myself. At times I wished I had never started as they put more and taxes on tobacco, my kids never smoked, entirely their choice as we smoked I could not be a hypocrite about it. While I quite agree that most of what we hear is utter nonsense I doubt that most people will believe us as you said 50 years is a long time to be brainwashed! I hope my grandchildren don’t start for financial reasons and it will make their life easier. The oldest is 6 and already being told in school how bad it is so what chance is there of any truth ever coming out. He asked if I would die? Dreadful to put these ideas into a small child’s head I thought.c

        • carol2000 says:

          “The oldest is 6 and already being told in school how bad it is so what chance is there of any truth ever coming out. He asked if I would die? Dreadful to put these ideas into a small child’s head I thought.”

          Shame on you for putting up with them brainwashing your (grand)children, for giving up without even trying to tell them that the anti-smokers lie through their teeth, for not inflicting the outrage they deserve on those arrogant school people! This is why they get away with it all! They don’t own your kids, or YOU for that matter, so stop acting like a serf and start acting like a citizen! A first-class citizen, not a second-class one!

  4. jaxthefirst says:

    “Who was it if it wasn’t Zahid Zraza?”

    I’d wager it’s the Scotsman just trying to stir up a bit of trouble – god, with rags like that, who needs trolls!!? As one of the commenters points out, the real story is thoroughly misrepresented by the Daily-Mail-style shrieking headline. But if my memory serves me correctly, doesn’t the Scotsman have a bit of “form” in the anti-smoking arena? Written by Scottish drones for Scottish drone readers’ consumption. No doubt they’re also busy jumping on the “Scotland’s got a terrible drink problem – ban whisky!” bandwagon, too.

    “And when are they going to be fired?”

    Probably never. If a journo works for a rotten-to-the-gills anti-smoking paper that wouldn’t know an objective opinion if it marched up wearing a namebadge and introduced itself, then none of the higher-ups will bat an eyelid at this rather obvious attempt to flog the dead-horse that is anti-smoking hysteria back to life.

    But, then, most of these “ban smokers from using NHS services” stories tend to be pretty quickly rebuffed and then buried, largely, I suspect, because if they were to ban smokers from using NHS services exactly like anyone else does, the legal implications are huge.

    Unlike the Scotsman Alan Auld, suing for the loss of his social life – much though I admire his proposal and support anyone making any legal stand against the anti-smoking bullies who have infiltrated our “authorities” – re-claiming NI subs is a much more viable legal proposition for an action because (a) it’s compulsory, (b) no mention is made to anyone on entering the “payment system” that the “insurance” won’t cover you if you smoke (or get fat, or drink), (c) no reduction in premium is given for this reduced level of cover, (d) it’s very accurately calculable, so that a very precise figure could be sued for, (e) if successful, the amount re-claimable would likely be very substantial – substantial enough to make a legal claim well worthwhile (a quick tot-up of one’s NI contributions over the last year x one’s length of working life to date will give anyone a very rough idea of the kind of sum which could be sued for) and (f) if successful it would open the door to potentially millions of similar claims from smokers (and, possibly from other groups, too, e.g. the overweight) – even if they haven’t been refused any treatment, simply because they, too, would have been defrauded into paying for an insurance policy which, in effect, didn’t offer them the cover which it pretended to. Could run to many millions of pounds for the Government to shell out to smokers – and they’d really hate that! (as a consolation prize, though, at least then the antis would be able to say truthfully that smokers cost the Government money – ha, ha, ha!). But seriously, that’s the real reason why any suggestions are quickly refuted, then swept swiftly under the carpet.

    Just watch this one wither on the vine …

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    What they are describing sounds more like people with very bad DIABETES………..NOT SMOKERS!

  6. legiron says:

    It’s already started for the drinkers..
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2722088/Drunks-face-charged-ending-A-E-proposals-considered-Northern-Ireland.html

    Commenters want it extended to smokers, the obese and anyone else they don’t like.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Perhaps they should just put a sign up that says ” WE ONLY PROVIDE SERVICES TO CORPSES” This policy saved the NHS from bankruptcy!

  8. Whether true or not, Breitbart has picked up the baton from The Scotsman, adding,

    Despite the best endeavours of the anti smoking lobby, what is little known is that the only objective research done into the lifetime costs of treating smokers compared to other lifestyles was completed in 2008 by the Dutch Health Ministry.

    The results calculated by actuaries found the lifetime cost from the age of twenty was the following:

    Healthy: €281,000

    Obese: €250,000

    Smokers: €220,000

    Yes, smokes (sic) are 22 percent cheaper to treat throughout their lifetime, mainly from premature mortality.

    That’s not to mention the (alleged) extra huge savings in pensions and care home costs for all the smokers who croak from a “smoking-related illness”.

    If the story is not true, as the consultant claims, did the Express fabricate the bit about people who were denied treatment going to their MPs?

    Makes you feel like shaking the truth out the lot of them…

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Slim truth in smoking and obesity costs

      A leading actuary has lampooned health lobby figures on the costs of smoking and obesity as being extravagantly inflated and based on suspect methodology.

      “The numbers are all over the place,” writes Geoff Dunsford in the September edition of Actuary Australia. And they are “big numbers” – the implication being that they are too big.

      “Obesity costs $58.2 billion,” he exclaims, “that’s around twice the cost of age pensions!”

      The sheer size of the numbers, argues the Sydney actuary, perverts government policy. It can lead to poor spending decisions. The credibility of the numbers from the health lobby is therefore critical to government policy.

      The press and the public have been led to believe that the costs to the system are higher than they really are so the government can “justify use of taxpayers’ money on measures to reduce its prevalence and prevention”.

      Dunsford looks at three public health issues: obesity, smoking and depression.

      1. “….obesity …. drains the national budget each year by $58.2 billion”, (Sun Herald report, March 13, 2011).

      2. “…smoking … costs our society $31.5 billion each year”, (Nicola Roxon, media release, April 7, 2011).

      3. “Depression-associated disability costs the Australian economy $14.9 billion annually”, (beyondblue website)

      In the first case, the newspaper story was based on an Access Economics report for Diabetes Australia titled, “The growing cost of obesity in 2008: three years on”.

      Access Economics estimated the cost of obesity to Australia at $58.2 billion. And sure enough, this enormous headline number promptly bobbed in the press.

      On Dunsford’s analysis, however, the figures are flawed, skewed by the “non-financial” estimates to make obesity seem a lot more costly to the taxpayer than it really is.

      The costs break down as $3.9 billion for the health care system, $4.4 billion in “other” costs relating to lost work days, taxes forgone and other productivity losses.

      Then there is the big one: $49.9 billion in “non-financial costs”. This relates to “burden of disease” or the personal cost of obesity. Dunsford asks, “how come this is included in a total in an announcement which appears – at least superficially – to represent real money costs?”

      The “burden of disease” numbers are calculated by working out “years of life lost through disability and premature death” and Access came up with $6.35 million for the value of a statistical life (VSL) and $266,843 for the value of a statistical life year (VSLY).

      Dunsford argues that it is taxpayers and consumers who will end up paying for all this statistical life.

      “The elaborate details on labels of packaged food products in supermarkets are testimony to the current massive regulations supporting such details, but more are planned by Food Standards Australia NZ and the National Preventative Health Taskforce,’’ he says.

      From there it would only be “a short step” to include take away food and restaurant meals and, already, in certain states of the US, it is a requirement for restaurants to display the calorific value of their meals in the same size print – “including on billboards!”

      ‘‘The cost of administering the regulations (to the government and the food industry, all of which will ultimately be paid by consumers) will be mind-boggling, but with a focus on the desire to reduce the $58.2 billion cost of obesity, such actions can readily be justified.”

      Tobacco figures are smokin’Geoff Dunsford is similarly wary of the costs estimates for smoking.

      Assessing the anti-smoking lobby’s $31.5 billion cost figure – found in “The costs of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs abuse to Australian society 2004-05” by David J Collins and Helen M Lapsley – Dunsford once again shines the torch on the “non-financial” costs and “intangible costs”.

      Of the $31.5 billion, some $19.5 billion are “intangible costs” – that is psychological costs of premature death borne by the smoker and others. Then there are $9.4 billion in “other financial costs” for productivity losses (smoko breaks perhaps?) and $2.2 billion in “non financial costs” such as unpaid labour costs.

      In the Collins and Lapsley report there is a discount for savings to the health system from premature deaths. But this is only $700 million on the $1 billion in actual costs to the health system.

      On the more nebulous costs, estimated by a “demographic approach”, the focus is on the additional number of persons who would have been alive today had there been no smoking deaths over the past 40 years.

      “An estimate of 369,161 was provided to the authors by John Pollard (he had no other involvement with the report).”

      To get to this $19.5 billion, the authors multiply the reduction in the population (369,161) by the value of the loss of one year’s life ($53,267), after adjustments.

      As Dunford points out, this report puts a different value on life than does Access Economics. Whether Access prices obese people more highly than skinny smokers – or Collins and Lapsley believe smokers are worth less than one-third of the value of fat people – we can’t be sure from “the literature”.

      Indeed each report mentions “the literature” and the large variation in assumptions included in “the literature”, although they also fail to explain, he says, why the numbers they adopted were relevant to their particular health problem.

      In addition, the “value(s) of a statistical life” and the “value(s) of a statistical life year” adopted were significantly different ($6.35 million and $266,843 for obese people, and $2 million and $53,267 for smokers).

      Presumably – and these are our words not Dunsford’s – the pricing of a statistical life would also become more complicated when calculating the demographic of people who are both obese and smokers. Do we just average out the $6.35 million and the $2 million?

      Dunsford however does point out the gross hypocrisy in the government’s position on smoking and revenue. Governments reap very fat profits from smokers.

      Subtracting the financial costs of smoking to the health system at $300 million, plus taxes forgone (from statistical smokers) at $2.9 billion, from the $6.7 billion in taxes levied by state and federal governments on tobacco products, leaves $3.5 billion in profit.

      Dunford says the higher welfare payments to smokers could be offset by the pension savings from higher smoker mortality. Still, a $3.5 billion profit from smokers is a tidy amount for the budget.

      When it came to the publicity for the “plain packaging” initiative, it would have been helpful, says Dunstan, to cite the $31.5 billion in “costs to society” rather than a more realistic figure.

      “Indeed, assuming the media release’s (Roxon’s office) expected reduction in adult smoking from the current 16 per cent of the population to 10 per cent is achieved, the reader could be forgiven for estimating the ‘cost’ to fall by … $11.8 billion,” says Dunstan.

      But such an assumption would be wrong as the methodology is flawed.

      “The problem with the … definition of costs is the way in which past drug abuse is incorporated into the costs for a given year,” says Dunsford. ‘‘Indeed, if all smoking stopped, (this) methodology would still generate a large cost of smoking in the next year by virtue of the effect of the past deaths.

      “This is rather counter intuitive! Arguably it renders the methodology meaningless for the purpose of addressing cost reduction initiatives”.

      ‘Burden of disease’ missing

      Finally, Dunsford points out that in the case of the beyondblue calculations, the $14.9 billion of annual costs to society from depression did not include a ‘’burden of disease’’ number. “Does this reflect the often suggested lack of interest by the government in mental health problems? Not so. Burden of disease numbers are available which show DALYs (disability adjusted life years) due to depression are significant – particularly when associated causes of death, like suicide, are included.” he says.

      He estimates that about $33 billion of non-financial costs could be added to the annual cost numbers for the personal impact on the loss of wellbeing from the burden of depression.

      Dunsford’s work is further proof we can’t place much store in lobby group costs claims. It’s more a case of plucking out a big number and working out some methodology to justify it.

      mwest@smh.com.au

    • carol2000 says:

      Hurray for David Atherton and Breitbart for telling the truth! But the link in the article to that Dutch study didn’t work for me. Here’s a better one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2225430/

      • nisakiman says:

        But of course they fail to factor in that the ‘Healthy Living’ cohort are going to be drawn predominantly from the upper social quartile, whereas the smokers and the obese will be over-represented in the lower quartile. Which rather skews the numbers. If their cohorts were subdivided into social groups, I think we would see a more interesting pattern emerge.

        • carol2000 says:

          There weren’t any cohorts in the Dutch study. This was purely statistics-based. It was about ‘does it cost more if people die younger or older, and of what diseases.’

        • nisakiman says:

          With the model we estimated survivor numbers and disease prevalence numbers for three different hypothetical cohorts consisting of 500 men and 500 women aged 20 y at baseline: (1) an “obese” cohort, never-smoking men and women aged 20 with a BMI above 30; (2) a “healthy-living” cohort, never-smoking men and women aged 20 with normal weight (18.5 ≤ BMI < 25); and (3) a “smoking” cohort, men and women aged 20 with normal weight who had smoked throughout their life.

          The cohorts may have been hypothetical, but they still could have been subdivided.

        • carol2000 says:

          That would be redundant. The statistical assumptions they used were from other sources, which already reflected those differences, even more than they reflected any actual differences due to smoking or obesity.

      • beobrigitte says:

        A silly question: are the Scottish Brits?

    • Nightlight says:

      Healthy: €281,000
      Obese: €250,000
      Smokers: €220,000
      ————————–
      These figures should clue anyone wondering why is the sickness industry, especially big pharma, so zealous about eradicating smoking (and smokers) first, then obesity. It is obviously not about few bits in sales in nicotine replacement and cessation drugs from the pharma.

      What for us are the health care costs are the revenues for the sickness industry. That’s what antismoking is all about.

      Tobacco is an ancient medicinal plant without equal and people who are naturally drawn to smoking are instinctively self medicating any of the myriad conditions for which tobacco is therapeutic or protective against (see this post for few links to the highlights of a longer thread “Smoking is good for you”). If these folks are forced to quit by social, economic pressures and abuses we presently live under, their health will undergo meltdown, turning them into highly profitable lifelong customers of the sickness industry (they just love the subscription business model).

  9. The Breitbart article I linked to mentions that, “successive governments not only raised tobacco taxation in excess of inflation but also specifically ring fenced it to be spent on the NHS”.

    The Independent has an article about the tax, now in its 15th year (I assume it’s ongoing), beginning…

    SMOKERS WILL start contributing directly to their own healthcare through an NHS tobacco tax….

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/prebudget-statement-health-tobacco-levy-ringfenced-for-the-nhs-1124870.html

    Any smoker refused treatment surely just has to mention this and that’s the end of the matter? They are surely legally entitled?

  10. XX However, Dr Jean Turner, from the Scotland Patients Association, said….
    “I’m really quite shocked. You should ….certainly not penalise patients who are smoking,” she said.XX

    Oh aye?

    So where is this lying cows support for patients forced to stand in rain snow and hail, just for a quick tab?

    Where was her voice when they were bringing thes plans in?

    • Supergran says:

      Said it before …. and I’ll say it again ….
      Blonde haired, blue eyed, Aryan race.
      No need for NHS then.
      No need for National Insurance either. Bastards

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  12. roobeedoo2 says:

    From today’s Times (paywalled, sorry):

    One of the world’s biggest tobacco companies has threatened to sue the government for billions over its plan to ban branding on cigarette packs.

    In the starkest threat of legal action from the industry to date, Philip Morris International (PMI) said that it was prepared to “protect its rights in the courts and to seek fair compensation” over the damage done to its business by a standardised packaging rule. It said that independent estimates had put the value of the industry’s branding in Britain at as much as £11 billion.

    The move is a major blow to the government, which has vowed to implement the plan before the election. The proposal has already been delayed over fears that it would face legal challenges.

    Ministers now face a race against time to pass the plan into law. They will have to seek approval from the EU, which could take as long as six months. Any court action could delay introduction of the law.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4173198.ece

    • Marvin says:

      That sounds great on paper, sueing the government for compensation, but as another poster pointed out, the government will simply increase the tax (again) on a packet of ciggys to cover the cost of the compo they have to pay. The government has no money and the tobacco companies are not our friends, they have had ample opportunity to defend their customers and have done nothing. Lets hope they lose.

    • I thought the Government were imune from prosecution in this way???

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        I don’t know. We’ve got less than a year before the General Election in the UK. It may force political parties to include specific plain packaging in their manifestos … for tobacco, alcohol, food … this could prove catastrophic, especially as Ukip can make a big play that they will not be bringing in plain packaging, on fags, booze, fast food.

        Funnily enough my MP actually turned up on my doorstep last week (It’s the first time I’ve seen him out door to door canvassing; it’s safe Tory; but they carelessly lost control of the council in May). I was able to say it direct – I would never vote for him or his party again if they brought in plain packaging on cigarettes.

        It’s a tiny thing in the great scheme, I know, but noticing the widening of the eyes, that ripple of surprise … it was the last thing a saw before I slammed the door … it felt so good.

        • Ahhh. I remember such things!

          Germany is totaly different. (Well, large citys any way) MOST people do not even know the NAME of their “Abgeordneter” (M.P) here. The Bezirk in which I live for instance, you can ask as many people as you like who the Bügermeister is, and a good 95% of them will not know.

          Door to door canvassing just does not happen, NOR in 16 years, have I EVER had an election leaflet in my post box!

    • carol2000 says:

      This is just about a narrow commercial interest. They’re still not attacking the anti-smokers’ scientific fraud and they clearly have no intention to do so, because they’re controlled by the anti-smokers.

      • The Blocked Dwarf says:

        “MOST people do not even know the NAME of their “Abgeordneter”-FT

        Yep, I will always remember The Bestes Frau In The Whole World’s surprise, if not shock, after we had moved back to England and I, one morning, had call to phone my MP at home during his breakfast. Mind you, this was back in 1990ish and I doubt I would find my local MP’s home number listed in the Phone Book these days..

        (all credit to my then MP btw, he put down his devilled kidneys, picked up the phone and broadsided -in the way only a tory Norfolkshire’s MP could-the errant department of Health And Total Fucking Obscurity, or whatever they were called back then, into submission. The Uber Chief penpusher then rang me back to apologise and offer me his first born as recompense, such was the lambasting he’d gotten).

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Cops: Neighbor shoots man with BB gun for smoking

    By Kate McCann Correspondent August 12, 2014 12:26AM

    Police say an Orland Park man shot one of his neighbors in the face with a BB gun because he was angry the neighbor was smoking on his own balcony, police said.

    Richard Lisowski, 39, 15121 Quail Hollow Drive, 505, Orland Park, was charged with battery following the July 18 incident.

    The victim told police he went out on his balcony to smoke a cigarette when he heard a shout of “Hey! Hey! Put that cigarette out now!” coming from a balcony three stories above. The victim looked up and saw a man crouching and aiming what he though was a black handgun at him when he heard several loud pops.

    The victim called police when he began bleeding from a wound to his face. Police said the upstairs balcony was screened-in but they could see two small holes in the netting.

    The victim refused medical treatment.

    Lisowski told police he owned a BB gun but had not fired it recently. He also admitted to drinking vodka all day and later conceded he “may have done something stupid if I blacked out,” police said.

    Evidence technicians were able to determine the holes in his screen and a hole in the leaf of a tree were consistent with a BB-gun fired downward toward the victim’s balcony. Because it was dark, the victim was unable to identify Lisowski in a photo line up, but police had Lisowski shout from his balcony so the victim could identify his voice.

    Lisowski was charged with battery.

    http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/29207474-522/cops-neighbor-shoots-man-with-bb-gun-for-smoking.html#.U-oCHjYo59A

    • Marvin says:

      “By Kate McCann Correspondent August 12, 2014 12:26AM…”

      christ, that woman gets everywhere!!!

      • No. It’s Christ who gets everywhere. Everywhere He’s been welcomed in and everywhere else where He’s waiting to be invited in to heal the pain and erase the guilt of past mistakes.

    • carol2000 says:

      That would qualify as a hate crime if a darling of the oligarchy had been the victim. So much for equality under the law.

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Town of Georgia Bans Dogs and Smoking at Beach

    http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/story/d/story/town-of-georgia-bans-dogs-and-smoking-at-beach/35913/LLbLYawRikGNomVPuCgCbA

    Reminds me of the signs in Virginia Beach Virginia DOGS and SAILORS KEEP OF THE GRASS!

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

    How Public Opinion and dedicated anti-tobacco terrorists destroyed good science and a scientific reputation.

    Research on the effects of tobacco smoke and why people smoke is of high priority from a public health point of view. Over the years a substantial part of this research has been funded by the tobacco industry, either in their own laboratories or through grants to scientists at universities or other organisations.

    When it became apparent that certain parts of the tobacco industry had tried to diminish the effects of smoke as well as second-hand smoke, and had particularly questioned the results and conclusions from epidemiological studies showing a relation between passive smoking and disease, there was public outrage which was supported by several international organisations.

    In the wake of this, it has become morally questionable to work with tobacco industry funding and those who had done so have been condemned akin to the actions of the Spanish inquisition. The research process and its findings have been ignored. The mere fact of having been associated with the tobacco industry has become a crime – guilt by association. This concept is also applied retrospectively – the scientist should have known that she/he was acting unethically.

    Nowhere have these developments been more apparent than in the “Affaire Rylander” – the action of anti-tobacco activists in Geneva against a well known and reputable international researcher. This site sets out the background of the Rylander affair and provides evidence to show how public opinion and preconceived ideas can destroy findings based on reputable scientific work.

    Ragnar Rylander
    http://www.tobaccoscience.se/index.html

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      In his testimony Varonier criticized as for not having cited a Swiss study in which he himself participated. This study was published at the same time when our study was submitted for publication. Naturally one cannot cite something that is not known. When later examining the article Varonier referred to, I found that the authors reported that there was no relationship between ETS exposure and bronchitis. These are the same results as in our study – why did Varonier not mention that during his testimony? The reproduction of results in several studies is after all a support for the scientific validity of the data found n both studies.

    • carol2000 says:

      “Over the years a substantial part of this research has been funded by the tobacco industry, either in their own laboratories or through grants to scientists at universities or other organisations.” That’s a lie. It was a drop in the ocean compared to the funding from government for the anti-smokers. And not only did they never attack the anti-smokers’ scientific fraud, they funded anti-smokers, such as Ernst Wynder and his American Health Foundation, and Ragnar Rylander himself. We can thank him and his cronies for the hate propaganda claiming that nicotine kills the cilia in smokers’ lungs. Anybody who would defend Rylander et al. in the mistaken belief that they’re defending scientific freedom is too dumb to realize they’re walking into a trap. They think indignant rhetoric is good enough! Although this is a solid and legitimate example of how the anti-smokers engaged in racketeering to intimidate scientists from working for or with the tobacco industry, that’s as far as our concern goes. The bottom line is that Rylander and his pals are no friends of ours.

  16. harleyrider1978 says:

    Leggy will love this one

    Nothing you can say or do will stop us drinking, government told

    11-08-14

    BRITONS have confirmed that the state can never come between them and drink.

    As the government revealed plans for warning labels on alcohol and ‘drunk fees’ in A & E, the public confirmed that its relationship with drink was even stronger than how America feels about guns.

    31-year-old Emma Bradford said: “Even if all the drink was put behind a 50-foot electrified fence on an island patrolled by white Alsatians in the middle of a shark-infested lake, we would get to it and we would drink it.

    “Afterwards we would lie around clutching our heads and groan about how it was not worth it, but we would still do it.

    “And again the following day.”

    Plumber Roy Hobbs said: “The only way a label on alcohol would put me off is if it said ‘Does not contain alcohol’.”

    “If God didn’t mean us to drink, why did he give us livers to process it, or the capacity to free up stomach space for further alcohol by vomiting?

    “It’s what they call intelligent design.”

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/nothing-you-can-say-or-do-will-stop-us-drinking-government-told-2014081189437

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      If God didn’t mean us to drink, why did he give us livers to process it, or the capacity to free up stomach space for further alcohol by vomiting?

      Im sorry Im laughing so hard I cant take it…………………………..

  17. carol2000 says:

    Here’s another consequence of smokers’ failure to make an issue out of their blaming smoking for diseases that are really caused by infection, including CMV in heart disease (http://www.smokershistory.com/CMVHD.htm), and in complications of major surgery, sepsis, and burn patients (http://www.smokershistory.com/CMVimmun.html). This is something that ought to make malpractice lawyers see dollar/euro signs. And when THEY get involved, those doctors will start being more respectful.

  18. sheldon594 says:

    Cheshire MEP says it,s time to ease smoke ban on pubs as new figures show 31 are closing every week.
    http://www.middlewichguardian.co.uk/news/11404144._/?

  19. beobrigitte says:

    Dr. Zahid Zraza walks a fine line:

    Further in his response, he says: “I hope the readers appreciate that I am not refusing treatment to my patients but trying to improve the referral pathway to see patients sooner and for those who would not benefit treatment; to be managed in primary care.”

    To decide that I “would not benefit treatment” on the grounds that I am a smoker is a non-valid generalisation. We all are individuals. I am glad that I do not need such treatment.
    In actual fact, medics placing smokers consistently “at the bottom of their list” on the say-so of tobacco control&friends should be struck of.

  20. harleyrider1978 says:

    New figures show 31 pubs closing every week across UK

    James Wallin , 11-Aug-2014

    The pub closure rate has risen to 31 per week, prompting the Campaign for Real Ale to demand changes to the planning system.

    CAMRA has called on the Government to tackle the rising number of pub closures

    CAMRA has called on the Government to tackle the rising number of pub closures

    The CGA – CAMRA Pub Tracker figures reveal the weekly closure rate has risen from 28 in December to 31 at the latest count. London and the South East was the worst hit area, with eight pubs a week shutting their doors. The figures also reveal that 3% of the nation’s surburban pubs have closed over the last six months.

    North and Mid Wales was revealed as the least affected area – with an average of 0.2 pubs a week closing – although this is still down on December’s figure. After the South East, the Midlands was the hardest hit – with seven pubs being lost every week.

    On the back of figures CAMRA has launched its Pubs Matter campaign, which calls on the Government to ensure a planning application is always required before a pub is demolished or converted to another use.

    Tom Stainer, CAMRA head of communications, said: “Popular and profitable pubs are being left vulnerable by gaps in English planning legislation as pubs are increasingly being targeted by those wishing to take advantage of the absence of proper planning control. It is utterly perverse that developers are able to demolish or convert a pub into a convenience store or many other uses without any requirement to apply for planning permission.

    “A pub is an entirely different proposition to a convenience store, estate agent or funeral directors and the planning system needs updating to reflect this fact. It is wrong that communities are left powerless when a popular local pub is threatened with demolition or conversion into a Tesco store.”

    Lobbying

    CAMRA is encouraging visitors its Great British Beer Festival, which starts today, to lobby their MP using specially designed postcards, which can then be posted into boxes around the venue to be sent to the relevant MPs by CAMRA.

    Stephen Langdon is part of a group of locals trying to save the Maiden Over pub in Reading, which has been threatened with conversion to a Tesco supermarket. He said: “We found out just a couple of weeks ago that our valued local pub is shutting. My first thought on learning that Tesco were involved was that they would struggle to get planning permission for change of use – I was stunned when I learned that there was no requirement for this at all.

    “The reality is that our local pub, a genuine community venue and the only public meeting place within a large residential area, is very likely to disappear, and the local community has had scarcely any opportunity to voice an opinion on the matter.”

    For more information about the Pubs Matter campaign go to http://www.pubsmatter.org.uk
    http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/General-News/CAMRA-CGA-new-pub-closure-figures/?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BDaily&c=DVqhORCKo3u0PhYONKLJRW%2FEpEG5y1Aq

    • nisakiman says:

      Didn’t CAMRA think the smoking ban was a jolly good idea?

      • Marvin says:

        Yes indeed they did.

        Also, Tom Stainer, CAMRA head of communications, said….
        “pubs are increasingly being targeted by those wishing to take advantage of the absence of proper planning control”

        No, you daft sod, that should be absence of customers due to the smoking ban.

        Head in sand comes to mind.

        • Supergran says:

          What a prick he is. I remember, they WELCOMED non-smoking. I also remember how shares in pubco’s went diving down. Ha Ha. NOW it seems, they are feeling the “hit” and wanna do something about it! What a load of idots – and – pardon the pun – they couldnt run a piss up in a brewery!! hehe

  21. Fredrik Eich says:

    According Camra 31 pubs are still closing a week.

    http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/General-News/CAMRA-CGA-new-pub-closure-figures

    This is the same organisation that promised 7,000,000 new customers ( http://tinyurl.com/75tbt6t ) when the smoking ban came in. In 2006 the year before the smoking ban a mere 6 pubs were closing a week.

  22. Tony says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-28754947
    A patient at the State Hospital at Carstairs who won a court ruling that a smoking ban at the facility breached his human rights has seen the decision overturned.
    Charles McCann challenged the ban at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after it was introduced in December 2011.
    His case was supported by judge Lord Stewart who said the blanket ban was “flawed in every possible way”.
    But three judges reversed the decision after hospital authorities appealed.

    Mr McCann, who suffers from schizophrenia, has spent 18 years detained in the Lanarkshire institution.

    But Lord Carloway said: “Many persons have cravings for different consumables from tea or coffee, alcohol in a variety of different forms, through to chocolate and other foodstuffs.

    So a court of law has effectively ruled that smoking is not addictive.

  23. harleyrider1978 says:

    harleyrider1777 says…

    The entire anti-smoking agenda from the WHO FCTC treaty forced down every countries throats has been a SHAM built upon JUNK SCIENCE,JUNK CLAIMS OF HARM where no study can produce any harm to anyone from either direct smoking or even second hand smoke much less the THird Hand smoke junk science claims now being pushed around like the plague!

    We all know the bans are nothing but denormalization tactics against the FREE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD. Its not just smokers but every human being being forced to live by the new LIFESTYLE LAWS being forced upon us all. Its why we voted UKIP who has promised to deliver us all from the clutches of the Pharoahs and Hitlers who enslave us to their whims of self righteous living. Stealing are money thru punitive taxation as we slave each day to find a days work to put even unhealthy foods in our stomachs. We have the NHS refusing to treat us if we smoke,or if we are fat or if or if or if……………It never ends the Nannying Tyrants of this world as they take us all to task to live as plebes and Serfs to the country in which we live but all under the Auspices of the UNITED NATIONS and the EU politicos that should be strung from a Nuremberg Galows as Hitlers henchmen were done to. WE ARE FREE PEOPLE NOT SLAVES TO THE STATE NOR TO THEIR SOCK PUPPET TAX PAYER PAID FRONT GROUPS LIKE ASH et al……..

    Is it to say to arms to arms or to say to the polls and vote these dirty rats out that condemn us to live as rats in a gutter to their whims!

    ARE WE NOT FREEMEN

    ARE WENOT FREE WOMEN

    ARE WE NOT FREE TO DECIDE OUR OWN FATES AND LIFESTYLES ANSWERING TO NO PERSON OR DESPOT!

    We are FREE and we are not owned by anyone and its high time we took to the streets and took back the UK we knew a free and individual personage of choise and liberty!

    To the streets Lads and Ladies WE HAVE HAD ENUF!

    http://www.middlewichguardian.co.uk/news/11404144._/?action=success#comments

  24. Pingback: Shared Information: What’s Its Real Purpose? | The Libertarian Alliance: BLOG

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