Et surtout la santé

In the light of today’s atrocity, as an occasional cartoonist, the very least I can do is to re-publish Charlie Hebdo’s last tweet. Particularly since the artist, Philippe Honore, was one of the casualties:

"And especially health"

“And especially health”

Et surtout la santé, “And especially health”, eh? Just before I heard the news from Paris, I’d read a comment by Harley pointing out another barbarity. ISIL’s Al-Baghdadi is indeed very much concerned with “health”. Both ISIL and Al Qaeda ban smoking. Particularly among their own members, it seems:

In a grotesque twist of the saying “live by the sword, die by the sword”, an Islamic State executioner in Syria who carried out beheadings for the jihadist group has been found with his head cut off.

The body of Egyptian-born Abu Zaid al-Masri,  the deputy emir of the feared al-Hesbah (or Hisbah) force in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, was recovered near a power plant in al-Mayadeen city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The corpse showed signs of torture and carried the message “This is evil, you Sheikh” written on it. The severed head also had a cigarette in its mouth. It is unclear who carried out the decapitation but the message was obvious.

Islamic State’s (formerly known as Isis) ban on cigarettes is one of its signature polices. It has imposed a strict set of Sharia laws barring the use of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes in the territories it has conquered across a swathe of Iraq and Syria.

IS has declared smoking “slow suicide” and demands that “every smoker should be aware that with every cigarette he smokes in a state of trance and vanity is disobeying God”.

Hisbah is IS’s religious police who perform the role of enforcing the group’s twisted version of sharia in the self-styled caliphate.

On a day when everyone is (very properly) denouncing the day’s Paris terrorism as an “attack on freedom and an attack on our values”, it ought to be pointed out that the antismoking terrorism visited upon hundreds of millions of smokers by Western antismoking zealots isn’t very different from the antismoking terrorism of Al Qaeda and ISIL. This also is an attack on freedom and an attack on values.

In their hatred of smoking, there really isn’t a cigarette paper between the attitudes of ASH and the WHO and most Western governments to smoking, and the attitudes of ISIL and Al Qaeda to smoking. They are both utterly intolerant, divisive, and bullying.

But I somehow doubt that Al Qaeda’s intolerance of smoking is going to be set beside its intolerance of satirical journalism. For while the latter intolerance is almost universally regarded as twisted and evil, the former intolerance is almost equally universally regarded as enlightened and progressive.

Incidentally, a smoker appears on the latest Charlie Hebdo front cover. It features the predictions by toothless, smoking Michel Houellebecq in his latest novel, Submission, (published this morning) of the coming islamisation of the EU:





About Frank Davis

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32 Responses to Et surtout la santé

    • magnetic01 says:

      C’est la vie [névrotique]

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      That is the trend. They delete pro-choice comments,, especially when you cite studies that refute their claims that smoking causes all disease, that SHS has not been proven to be a threat at the level they claim, and that the ‘miracle’ cures from smoking bans are fraudulent claims. I am not sure how to get a dissenting opinion in if comments are censored. It does show that the Antismokers are afraid of the actual contents of the studies they base their claims on.

  1. magnetic01 says:

    In their hatred of smoking, there really isn’t a cigarette paper between the attitudes of ASH and the WHO and most Western governments to smoking, and the attitudes of ISIL and Al Qaeda to smoking. They are both utterly intolerant, divisive, and bullying.

    Antismoking is “anti”; it’s an extreme, prohibitionist view. It’s always a symptom of a dictatorial mindset. The only issue, then, is the magnitude of coercive measures to conformity. With IS, a brutal, savage bunch, people are ordered not to smoke under threat of having fingers and ears lopped off, if not worse. In the less brutal West, for example, the punitive measures are more “civilized”, consisting of inflammatory propaganda concerning the “risks” of secondary smoke to nonsmokers, pitting a “majority” against a minority, ostracize/de-normalize smoking from normal, mainstream society, the depiction of smokers as a “leper” class that contaminate the “clean”, and fleecing smokers through baseless, extortionate taxes.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Its going to come to a head very very soon……………

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        I’m not sure. I’m also not sure what the outcome will be. Smoking bans are being increased regularly. Now Beshear the outgoing Governor of Kentucky is calling for a statewide smoking ban. Outdoor bans are rampant, Antismoker hate speech is encouraged while pro-choice appeals are censored. The next step could be overt violence directed against smokers (although that is already emerging) How do you see it coming to a head?

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          People voted in November against the nannystate in mass.

          They are pushing to hard and to fast for the bans. Theres a reason.

          New studies are showing up destroying their junk science daily now it seems.

          The senate has held a series of hearings on the blackmarkets from the taxation.

          In ky theres no support for a smoking ban regardless of the Nazis latest paid for polls by their own folks doing them.
          Beshear doesn’t care one way or the other about a ban anyway,he is running his mouth to his people and nobody else. Stumbo says a ban deserves a vote in the house,but I highly doubt that as the senate is firmly against a ban to start with just as the majority of the house is. Stumbo Runs his mouth each year playing to the leftist base but behind closd doors kills it………….

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          This year is a short session of only 30 days. Plus a govenors election in Nov tis year plus other members of both houses have relections this year too. Not all but enough to know their toast if they go for a ban. They always run the media blitz just like each year at this time then you here the ban came out of the health and welfare committee which is run by the Nazis. Then yo get 3 days of press hoopla and then its dead and you hear Susan westrom whining that it wont be brought up…………..Then last year the phone banks will be lit up with over 20,000 callers against a ban just like last year…………Even Ellen Hahn said there was no support for a statewide ban last year along with Westrom. Like I said its all a dog and pony show………

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Liberty KY repeals their smoking ban. one week ago

          “I own two businesses here in town. Both of my businesses are smoke free. I don’t smoke, myself, and that being said, I believe that the individual owner of their business should have the right to smoke in their own business,” he said.

          Johnson went on to add that should a person not want to go into a business where second hand smoke is present, don’t shop there.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Its really quite simple politically the Rabid ant-smoking factions are more than politically aligned with terrorists. They see to many thins the same and as we already Know Bloomberg bought himself a FATAWA for 370,000 dollars a few years back from some Islamic preachers.

    The Nazis are fueling and funding the murder of smokers literally.

    You ask me what we need to win this war. I answer, tobacco as much as bullets.” So said World War I General John Pershing. “If you can’t send money, send tobacco,” George Washington implored Revolutionary War supporters. They understood the importance of morale among our fighting force—a factor that is curiously absent from the anti-tobacco true believers. Tobacco can inspire joy amidst chaos. One need look no further than Cigars Direct, which mails troops stogies free of charge.

    Pershing was also instrumental by pushing the smoking issue back home even further when he said if your against smoking your supporting the Kaiser! Guess what happened after that,the anti-cigarette league fell apart lost all momentum and bans started getting repealed everywhere.

  3. Lepercolonist says:

    IS has declared smoking “slow suicide” and demands that “every smoker should be aware that with every cigarette he smokes in a state of trance and vanity is disobeying God”.

    ‘Fast suicide’ with strapped-on bombs is not disobeying God ? Tobacco
    users are in a trance ?

    You are correct, Frank. There is very little difference between ISIL and many Western governments. Great writing.

  4. magnetic01 says:

    Middle East – Islamic State
    The West – Medicalized State

  5. Rose says:

    Indonesian Clerics Join Smoking Fatwa Row

    “A growing debate in the religious arena over smoking intensified on Sunday, with senior officials from the country’s largest Muslim organization and its top council of clerics deriding a recent fatwa issued against the habit.

    Officials from Nahdlatul Ulama and the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) both took issue with Muhammadiyah, the nation’s second-largest Muslim organization, issuing the religious edict last week, saying it went too far. Both organizations maintained their positions that smoking cigarettes was not haram, or forbidden in Islam.”

    “Muhammadiyah issued the fatwa on Tuesday, comparing smoking to suicide, which is prohibited in Islam. The next day, the organization and antitobacco campaigners jointly targeted cigarette advertising as one of the main culprits behind a spike in underage smokers.

    Over the weekend, however, Muhammadiyah found itself on the defensive, denying that the fatwa was related to a grant it received from a US-based antitobacco organization. The Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, funded by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, lists a November 2009 grant to Muhammadiyah worth $393,234 on its Web site.

    Among the grant’s stated purposes is “the issuance and dissemination of religious advice on the dangers of tobacco use.”

    “The Bloomberg Initiative says on its website,, its program with Muhammadiyah aims “to mobilize public support towards obtaining religious policy on tobacco control and to support FCTC [Framework Convention on Tobacco Control] accession”.

    Muhammadiyah issued an edict banning its followers from smoking on Wednesday, basing its argument on the Koran, which bans Muslims from taking their own lives. It also urged the government and the House of Representatives to ratify the FCTC.”

    I’ve been somewhat irritated by the pious lip service given to the principles of free speech.

    Cameron –

    “Britain will “never give up” the values of freedom of speech”

    “But as we do all these things, we must be very clear about one thing, which is we should never give up the values that we believe in and defend as part of our democracy and civilisation and believing in a free press, in freedom of expression, in the right of people to write and say what they believe.”

    He could have added, except under Article 5.3 of the FCTC where you can write and say what you like, but we are obligated to ignore every word.

    Or aren’t the public meant to know about that?

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      That’s what I was looking for Miss Rose ty

      • smokervoter says:

        Best be careful of the company you keep there Michael Bloomberg et al.

        Just off the top of my head I can name the likes of Nazi Germany, the KKK (and their west coast healthist offshoots, the Kalifornia Korperkultur Klan) and now ISIS, as virulent tobaccophobic movements. What a swell bunch of soulmates.

        Has anyone from the press corps ever publicly confronted him on this venomous grant? Given the worldwide condemnation of ISIS, you would think that to be connected with them would be enough to sink the political career of anyone of lesser financial and power stature than he.

        Bloomberg still has presidential ambitions. Panelist Mort Zuckerman was gushing over that prospect last weekend on The McLaughlin Group.

  6. roobeedoo2 says:

    The Times is reporting the executioner was captured, tortured and decapitated by pissed off civilians:

    ‘The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based group, said that al-Masri’s body showed signs of torture. A cigarette had been stuffed in his mouth — mocking the jihadists’ draconian enforcement of religious edicts, which include a ban on smoking. A note pinned to his torso read: “This is evil, you Sheikh.”

    ‘Activists inside the city of Raqqa who are members of the anti-Isis group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently confirmed the death of the militant, his name and position.

    ‘Abu Ward, a member of the group that publishes information on social media from inside the city, said that the killing was an act of “personal revenge” by civilians. ‘

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Bankrupt government slashing payments to doctors by 43%; medicare patients to be rejected nationwide

    As we’ve warned for months, just because Americans are required to have health insurance coverage under regulations contained in the Affordable Care Act, that doesn’t mean that they will have access to care.

    If you recall, the entire purpose behind Obamacare, according to the president and the law’s backers, was only to insure something like 14 or 15 million people, because at the time the measure was being debated, the vast majority of Americans — well over 80 percent — had health insurance. What’s more, the bulk of those insured had private sector plans, and most were insured through employers; the number of Americans on taxpayer-subsidized coverage, like Medicaid, was minimal.

    Obamacare is beginning to change that dynamic, however, as noted by the administration’s new enrollment figures released a couple of weeks ago: According to CNN/Money, some 8.7 million more Americans are now enrolled in Medicaid as of August than were a year earlier. And Medicaid expansion is at the heart of the Affordable Care Act (though you would think, in a free-market economy, the goal of any health insurance reform effort would be to put more people into private-sector plans, not hook them on a taxpayer-subsidized plan).

    There is no doubt that, because of the Affordable Care Act, more Americans are actually covered under health insurance. The bad news, however, is that the insurance “coverage” is going to be little more than coverage in name only.


    As reported by The New York Times:

    Just as millions of people are gaining insurance through Medicaid, the program is poised to make deep cuts in payments to many doctors, prompting some physicians and consumer advocates to warn that the reductions could make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to obtain care.

    This is how the law was designed to “save money” — by placing more Americans on a taxpayer-supported program, then cutting payments to the very doctors who were expected to see and treat the newly covered.

    The Times continued:

    The Affordable Care Act provided a big increase in Medicaid payments for primary care in 2013 and 2014. But the increase expires on Thursday — just weeks after the Obama administration told the Supreme Court that doctors and other providers had no legal right to challenge the adequacy of payments they received from Medicaid.

    So, not only is the Obama Administration, per the Obamacare law, looking to cut payments to doctors, but the White House is further arguing that doctors have no legal right to question the amount that they are being paid.

    How’s that for a Catch-22?

    Doomed to fail

    Well, doctors are having none of it. Their solution will be to simply stop seeing Medicaid patients, because the administration’s wielding of the Obamacare law is leaving them little financial choice.

    According to a study by the Urban Institute, the Times reported, the cuts to doctors will vary by state, but the average cut will be around 43 percent. So, more Americans are being covered by a tax-supported entitlement that is cutting payments to providers by nearly half; that will result in fewer providers seeing Medicaid patients.

    Primary care family practice physicians — a specialty that typically earns less than other specialties, and one that is already short thousands of providers — will be especially hard-hit by the cuts, according to Stephen Zuckerman, a health economist at the Urban Institute. He goes on to say that cuts of 50 percent or more could hit doctors in states like California, Florida and New York, where there are large concentrations of Medicaid patients.

    Obama has proposed extending the current Medicaid payment schedule in the current budget, but there is no indication that there is enough support among members of both parties for that to happen.

    Doctors’ groups, meanwhile, are already warning that access to care will suffer for patients on federally subsidized health coverage plans.

    Dr. David A. Fleming, president of the American College of Physicians, which represents internal medicine specialists, told the Times some patients would have less access to care after the cuts. As such, it would make no sense to reduce Medicaid payments “at a time when the population enrolled in Medicaid is surging,” he said.

    But the problem is that taxpayers are on the hook for the extended coverage, and at a time when the federal budget deficit is more than $18 trillion — with unfunded liabilities (like Obamacare) raising that amount to more than $120 trillion — it is obvious that the program is not sustainable.

    Learn more:

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    January 8, 2015

    Time to prohibit smoking in cars with children Reply

    by Bob Smyth • Health measures, Research, Smoke-free, Smoking in cars, Young people

    Scotland is moving forward on the road to prohibiting smoking in cars with children on board.

    A Member’s Bill to introduce the legislation has already been launched at the Scottish Parliament, something ASH Scotland has fully supported.

    In addition, the Scottish Government has recently taken a more direct interest in the subject, through its consultation on electronic cigarettes and tobacco control. The consultation asked if it should be an offence for an adult to smoke in a vehicle carrying someone under the age of 18.

    Our clear answer is “yes” – a view reflected by the Scottish public. A 2014 YouGov poll revealed that 75% of Scottish adults agree that smoking should be banned in cars that are carrying children under-18.

    Two of ASH Scotland’s primary aims are to protect people from second-hand smoke and to limit the number of young people taking up smoking.

    Smoking in cars harms both the smoker and others in the vehicle, because of health hazards posed by inhaling second-hand smoke (SHS), to which children are particularly vulnerable.

    One study measured the tiny airborne particulate matter present in air pollutants during everyday car journeys of around 30 minutes. It found the average concentration of particulate matter in the vehicles was around one-third of that found in Scottish pubs prior to the smoking ban. The average levels exceeded World Health Organisation guidance for exposure over 24 hours – by several times.

    Evidence of the harm of inhaling SHS is well established, and exposure to the pollutants and carcinogens in SHS increases the risk of acute and chronic health conditions, hospital admission, and death.

    Children and young people exposed to SHS in vehicles face a higher risk of harm to their health for several reasons: smaller airways, faster rates of breathing, and less developed immune systems all contribute them breathing in larger amounts of particulates.

    Children are also less likely to be able to choose whether or not someone else in the vehicle is smoking or to alter the ventilation in a car.

    There is also the harm of children and young people starting to smoke because they see adults doing it. One study shows children’s exposure to smoking in cars was clearly associated with an increased risk of them being current smokers or starting to smoke. So cutting children and young people’s exposure to smoking in vehicles will not only prevent them from the dangers of SHS, but may also reduce the likelihood of them using tobacco.

    We believe the ban can be effectively enforced by the police. The performance of Scottish police forces in enforcing seat belt and mobile phone laws suggests that this can be done. Having the legislation focus on cars with children bypasses concerns over interference in people’s private lives. Arguing that adults should be allowed to harm themselves is one thing, but leaves us with the clear principle that they should not cause harm to children.

    Our neighbours in England and Wales have already committed to bringing in the ban and Ireland has just passed legislation to do so. We want to see Scotland follow their lead.

    Scotland has consistently tackled the harms caused by tobacco use. Now we must once again take the opportunity to introduce a vital measure that will help reduce people’s exposure to high concentrations of a toxic substance in very enclosed spaces.

  9. Frank Davis says:

    “There is an escalation in the operations against the Hisbah because they are arresting people and insulting their dignity for reasons like smoking,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP news agency.

    The IS police force has confiscated and burned tobacco products and punished those caught smoking.

  10. Rose says:

    “every smoker should be aware that with every cigarette he smokes in a state of trance and vanity is disobeying God”.

    Sounds familiar

    James 1st -1604

    “it rests onely to informe you what sinnes and vanities you commit in the filthie abuse thereof.”

    “a branche of the sinne of drunkennesse,…and the force of the fume thereof that mounts up to the braine”

    “In your abuse thereof sinning against God, harming your selves both in persons and goods, and raking also thereby the markes and notes of vanitie upon you”

    • Rose says:

      “Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, said it’s his work for more gun control — along with his anti-smoking and healthy eating campaigns — that have won him God’s favor and a sure spot behind the Pearly Gates.

      His exact words, made in context of discussing his smoking cessation and anti-obesity pushes, as well as his concerted crackdowns on private gun ownership, to the New York Times were: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

      • beobrigitte says:

        “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
        The guy is clearly pre-occupied with his VIP (of course) place in heaven.
        The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Mr. Bloomberg clearly has no ‘good intentions’ – he torments a lot of people for his place in heaven. He may as well just have bought himself a VIP place there?
        That does remind me of something written in the bible: A rich man will pass through the eye of a needle before he finds himself on the gate to heaven…
        Life’s a b*tch, isn’t it? You make your fortune Yuppie style (burning the 3 am oil; stabbing colleagues in the back to get up the ladder etc.etc.), use your cash and influence to force your ideology down peoples’ throats and when it comes to the gate of heaven, a stupid needle gets in the way…..

        • Rose says:

          : )

          The same thought had crossed my mind.

          King James Bible
          “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

          But I think I prefer your version in this particular case.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Thanks, Rose!

          Only later it dawned on me that my slight modification might upset the more religious commenters. My sincere apologies if I did!

  11. smokingscot says:

    Seems not everyone’s sad that they killed a whole bunch of people who offended them.

    And you guys with Twitter accounts can presumably log into others who are having a grand old time luxuriating in that feeling of empowerment. They are:

    #parisburns and #revengefortheprophet

    It’s the same twisted logic that lead to Chapman and his outrageous comments about Joe Cocker. That gloating over the misfortune of others. Repulsive, sadistic, psychotic.

  12. beobrigitte says:

    In their hatred of smoking, there really isn’t a cigarette paper between the attitudes of ASH and the WHO and most Western governments to smoking, and the attitudes of ISIL and Al Qaeda to smoking. They are both utterly intolerant, divisive, and bullying.

    Both encourage/practise torture on their “enemies”, both dictate a life style in which certain groups in our society become ‘worthless existences’ and both don’t take NO for an answer.
    What we have yet to see is an anti-smoker blowing him/herself up in a group of smokers. But then, that might still to come. After all, the AS (Anti-smoking State) terrorists learn from IS.

    On a day when everyone is (very properly) denouncing the day’s Paris terrorism as an “attack on freedom and an attack on our values”…
    I believe Hollande and Sarkozy delivered such a statement this morning. Nevertheless, they believe the anti-smoking tripe….
    WHY are we losing confidence in what we vote for?

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