Home Town News

H/T Rose, for this story:

Bristol is now the first city in the UK to ban smoking in some public places.

It is trialling a voluntary smoking ban in two areas in the city but businesses in the area can decide whether or not to follow suit.

Bristol was for many years my adopted home town. It was where I was at university. It is (or rather, was) a laid-back, easy-going town. London friends used to visit just to relax. That all changed with the smoking ban. It now seems to have become Anti-Smoking Central in the UK.

I don’t know what a “voluntary” smoking ban might be. But it looks like a way of introducing soft bans which gradually evolve into hard bans. They’ll be able to put up No Smoking signs, but initially you won’t get fined. The fines will come a few years down the track.

But that’s not the only story out of Bristol. The article continues:

New research reveals the huge strain smoking puts on relationships.

The study, conducted by Smokefree South West, found more than four out of five people (83 per cent) have encouraged a friend or loved one to quit smoking.

More than half of the 1,000 people surveyed in the region said that the fact their friend or loved one still continued to smoke made them feel anxious (57 per cent), with more than one in ten (13 per cent) complaining that their worry kept them awake at night and nearly two out of five people (17 per cent) stating that the habit caused friction in their relationship.

The study found that one in three people (29 per cent) had stopped encouraging their loved one to quit as they were scared of starting an argument and 65 per cent had resorted to extreme measures to force the change, such as guilt-tripping their loved one (28 per cent), chopping up their cigarettes (seven per cent), hiding them (17 per cent) and refusing to buy them (19 per cent).

Mrs Andrews said: “We know that most smokers want to quit but often put it off until it’s too late to avoid serious damaging disease or early death.

“We all know smoking kills but somehow we think it will kill ‘other people’ not us.

“For those who are close friends of a smoker or who love them this can be very hard and even frightening to live with.

“Smoking has a dramatic emotional impact on friends and family members, on top of the well documented damage caused by passive smoking, which is especially harmful to children who breathe it in more rapidly.

“The message is simple, if you don’t want to quit for your own health, then take that step to do it for the health of your family and your relationships, as your loved ones are desperate to help you quit, but often feel powerless to do so.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t think that somebody who guilt-trips their “loved one”, or hides or chops up their cigarettes, can really be said to “love” them in any meaningful way.

I’ve never had anyone do these anything like this to me, but I wouldn’t tolerate anyone behaving that way for even 10 minutes.

But what really got me was the way the blame for conflict was neatly foisted onto the smokers: “New research reveals the huge strain smoking puts on relationships,” and “Smoking has a dramatic emotional impact on friends and family members…” No, smoking doesn’t put huge strain on relationships, nor has it any dramatic emotional impact on anyone.

For it’s not smoking that causes conflict: it’s antismoking that does that. Smokers and non-smokers got along fine in Bristol for over 40 years. A lot of my friends there were non-smokers. There was no division at all. The division only started to open up when people who’d got frightened of tobacco smoke started banning smoking in their own homes – something which first started happening around 1990. And it intensified tenfold when the UK smoking ban was imposed in 2007. That was when I started losing friends in Bristol, one by one. Partly because there was nowhere congenial to meet them any more. And partly because many of the non-smokers had gradually metamorphosed into mild antismokers (although none of them ever lectured me).

It’s smoking bans contrived by virulent antismokers that set people against each other. It’s not the smokers who start the arguments, or who hide or chop up their property. It’s not the smokers who get up on their high horses and start lecturing people.

If this study by SmokeFree South West (.xlsx file) inadvertently shows anything at all, it’s the truly immense social damage that antismoking campaigns cause. Because without all the antismoking campaigns, all those people would have been getting along fine. If anything, the study does a better job than the ISIS survey in revealing the extent of the damage that has been done.

I’m lucky. I never got lectured. And I never got my cigarettes hidden or chopped up. It must be horrible to have friends, partners, family doing things like that. And doing it week after week, month after month. It would be like living with Deborah Arnott.

And it’s why I’m increasingly of the view that smokers and antismokers simply can’t co-exist. They’re like matter and antimatter. And, if this madness doesn’t stop soon, the best thing that smokers can do is walk away from it, and go form separate communities. Or find an Israel for smokers.

I have lots of happy memories of Bristol. And a few sad ones too. But I don’t think I’ll ever go back now. It’s become a hostile, alien place.

P.S. H/T Harley, Bristol smoking ban flouted on Day One


About Frank Davis

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54 Responses to Home Town News

  1. Bristol’s smoking ‘ban’ flouted on first day of voluntary measure

    Bristol yesterdaybecame the first city in the UK to ban smoking in outdoor public places but not everyone seemed keen to follow the voluntary scheme.Some smokers continued as normal while campaigners installed signs in two busy outdoor spaces – Millennium Square and Anchor Square.The pilot scheme will see smokers asked to stub out cigarettes when in the two areas, but it will be up to individual bars and restaurants if they choose to comply.The project by Smokefree South West follows a…

    I guess the story was so horrible the Nazis got them to pull the story altogether

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    harleyrider1978 says:

    February 3, 2015 at 12:43 am


  2. Smoking Lamp says:

    Well it looks like the Antis are going full Nazi censoring and manipulating data. As we saw with the Silversurfrer poll they will delete comments and change the results of polls when things don’t support the prohibitionist line. Yesterday the poll was 75% for bringing smoking back into pubs (with 6700 votes cast); a day later the result becomes 39% for and 61% against (with 3211 votes cast). Over half the votes (3489) deleted. Absolute deception and information operations are fueling the tobacco control persecution of smokers. After all as the intro to the poll said “The smoking ban came into force in the UK in July 2007 and to most of us no smoking is the norm now in all public buildings. They couldn’t have their propaganda refuted in their own poll could they?

    In response to the Bristol test ban, The Mirror has a poll which asks “Should smoking be banned in ALL public places?” As of the time of this post the results show 31% YES and 69% NO. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/britains-first-outdoor-smoking-ban-5088015

    So now we see once again a clear pattern of deception and manipulation used to further smoking bans. I guess after the mass deletions of posted comments against the Ontario patio bans and the NOLA bar and casino ban it is too much to expect fair reportage about the issue. Looking further back a referendum in California rejected a statewide smoking ban by about 70% Against the year before the state instituted a ban. The prohibitionists, corporate interests, and tobacco control bureaucrats are so confident in the power of their message that they need to lie, cheat, manipulate data, suppress studies that contradict their dogma, and corrupt the democratic process. I post this not because this is new to the regular commenters here, but because there needs to be a record of this suppression.

    • Comments Are Effective

      Posted on January 24, 2014 by Frank Davis

      Via Facebook:

      Commentary accompanying anti-smoking public service announcements (PSAs) in online forums like YouTube has an impact on the PSA’s overall effectiveness. Both negative and positive comments accompanying PSAs degrade the persuasiveness of the videos.

      According to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, viewer commentary on PSAs have become an integral part of a PSA’s overall message.

      “One thing is very clear: It is no longer possible to consider the influence of news or other messages in the public information environment apart from the comments which follow them,” write Rui Shi, a doctoral candidate at Annenberg, and Profs. Paul Messaris and Joseph N. Cappella.

      I guess that means that if you write “Baloney!” under an antismoking ad, it really does make it less persuasive.

      “The detrimental effect of comments […] seems to suggest anti-smoking PSAs would be better off without comments, especially if the PSAs are strong or if the target audience is somewhat ready to quit smoking,” they write. The power of audience participation via social media is clearly a double-edge sword.

      I must remember that.

      But it isn’t really very surprising. I’m very often as interested in the comments under something as I am in the main item.

      And if comments aren’t permitted, I tend to wonder why. I usually conclude that they’re trying to shut people up, or they don’t want to know what anyone else thinks.

      Which happens to be true for Tobacco Control.

      • A researcher in Australia, Marita Hefler, did some research on the influence of “Social Media” on propagating antismoking themes a few years ago. I wrote her a polite and standard, “Courtesy Reprint Request” for my research and writing and she responded that she’d be perfectly happy to send one to me but was curious as to who I was. I responded honestly and…

        … suddenly she was a black hole.

        It took four more email requests before I finally received a curt note that she had absolutely no intention of helping me in my research efforts.by sharing her own research.

        Antismokers are very well aware of the power of media: they looked at the tobacco industry in the 70s and 80s, and then, when they began getting the money and power afforded by Glantz’s California tobacco tax and the MSA funding of hundreds of millions of dollars a year, they began applying what they learned with a vengence. They have probably done more to advance the field of knowledge in how a government can control the minds of its population than any force since Goebbels in WW2 Germany. In the last 20 years, Orwell’s “1984” has moved from being a scary fantasy that was significantly out of reach to being a reality experiment successfully applied to an unpopular worldwide minority group.

        As a peace studies major, nonviolence trainer, and a child of the nights of fear of nuclear Armageddon, I was always against nationalism and libertarianism: Strong World Government seemed to be our only hope for survival. I was swimming in the trap of Plato’s belief in the goodness of a “Benevolent Dictatorship.” Thanks to the Antismokers I eventually woke up and realized that while such a government might be the NICEST government in a “cartoon world” for children, that unfortunately the reality was always likely to be that the dirty and nasty elements would rise to the top and then use that power to cement themselves there. The future, twenty, fifty, a hundred years from now does not look good — and unfortunately I don’t see much of a way to fight it other than the sort of thing we are doing here and now.

        The antismoking movement is a bellwether, a canary in a coal mine, that’s giving us clear warning of what Benjamin Franklin hinted at in saying “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

        – MJM

        • Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely

          Absolute monarchies are those in which all power is given to or, as is more often the case, taken by, the monarch. Examples of absolute power corrupting are Roman emperors (who declared themselves gods) and Napoleon Bonaparte (who declared himself an emperor).

          “Absolute power corrupts absolutely””Absolute power corrupts absolutely” arose as part of a quotation by the expansively named and impressively hirsute John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902). The historian and moralist, who was otherwise known simply as Lord Acton, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:

          “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

          Here I would add Absolute Agenda’s corrupt Absolutely in a world body known as the UNITED NATIONS!

          The text is a favourite of collectors of quotations and is always included in anthologies. If you are looking for the exact “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” wording, then Acton is your man. He didn’t invent the idea though; quotations very like it had been uttered by several authors well before 1887. Primary amongst them was another English politician with no shortage of names – William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham and British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1778, who said something similar in a speech to the UK House of Lords in 1770:

          “Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it”

          Acton is likely to have taken his lead from the writings of the French republican poet and politician, again a generously titled individual – Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine. An English translation of Lamartine’s essay France and England: a Vision of the Future was published in London in 1848 and included this text:

          It is not only the slave or serf who is ameliorated in becoming free… the master himself did not gain less in every point of view,… for absolute power corrupts the best natures.

          Whether it is Lamartine or his anonymous English translator who can claim to have coined ‘absolute power corrupts’ we can’t be sure, but we can be sure that it wasn’t Lord Acton.

    • Smoking Scot says:

      @ Smoking Lamp

      I took a careful and reasonably studied look at how they’ve been doing it here in “support” of plain packs.


      and I mention thus:

      “The trouble is they know perfectly well that any open survey will come to our attention very rapidly, whether it’s some silly thing in the Mail or Sun, or any newspaper – and we’ve got the networks, numbers and incentive to plaster it with the wrong answers.”

      The Silver Surfer poll shows they’ve taken note and are prepared to go to extreme lengths to maintain the veneer!

      • In the past year Ive noticed countless new people coming out and fighting the bans everywhere and some are just common folks like us. Others have degrees backing up their comments. Its no longer Johnny smoker fighting back but a full and very well informed populace nailing their arses now! 6700 pro votes just goes to show them and they noticed ehh! Dumping the numbers an putting back up what they wanted instead of the real numbers……………75% for repeal!

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Update as of now (Tuesday 3 Feb) the results show: 3792 people have voted
      Yes 42%; No 58%. So there is a consistent number of people voting (trend/) for amending the smoking ban even after the removal of prop votes. Let’s see how long this last before it is censored again.

    • jaxthefirst says:

      First poll now standing at 42% / 58% (3809 votes). Regaining ground, so get voting, folks!

  3. “For it’s not smoking that causes conflict: it’s antismoking that does that. Smokers and non-smokers got along fine in Bristol for over 40 years …. If this study by SmokeFree South West (.xlsx file) inadvertently shows anything at all, it’s the truly immense social damage that antismoking campaigns cause. Because without all the antismoking campaigns, all those people would have been getting along fine.”

    Absotively posilutely 100% on the mark Frank. When I first dove into this back around 1976 that was exactly the point I began hitting at: Things had been FINE, with almost EVERYONE, until division, fear, and hatred began getting sown by the early Antismokers.

    Earlier today on a news board somewhere I was writing about my high-school and college experience where, particularly in college, teachers smoked in the classrooms and often allowed students to smoke as well. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE ever had asthma attacks, passed out, went into cardiac arrest, or developed bubonic plague as a result. The first time I met someone who had an asthma attack seemingly connected to smoke was at a smoky gathering in a peace-studies workshop during my graduate school years in the mid 70s. Given the number of people and gatherings I was exposed to where smoking occurred in the 1960s and 70s, the “incidence rate” for such things would indicate that far fewer than one person in a thousand, perhaps fewer than one in ten thousand, had this sort of problem.

    Today we’d likely see psychogenic reactions, reactions that the people experiencing them actually fully believe are real, innate, and purely physical, in perhaps one out of twenty or even more. That’s a rate increase of 5,000 to 50,000 percent in a “disease” actually and likely almost fully “caused” by antismoking propaganda.

    THAT is the real health problem out there today for nonsmokers — and they should be very, VERY, angry about it.

    – MJM

    • The anti-smoking PSYCHOSIS has been studied and found non-harmful and they can seek treatment!

      Toxicol Rev. 2003;22(4):235-46.

      Idiopathic environmental intolerance: Part 1: A causation analysis applying Bradford Hill’s criteria to the toxicogenic theory.

      Staudenmayer H, Binkley KE, Leznoff A, Phillips S.


      Behavioral Medicine, Multi-Disciplinary Toxicology, Treatment and Research Center, Denver, Colorado 80222, USA. hstaudenmayer@comcast.net


      Idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) is a descriptor for a phenomenon that has many names including environmental illness, multiple chemical sensitivity and chemical intolerance. Toxicogenic and psychogenic theories have been proposed to explain IEI. This paper presents a causality analysis of the toxicogenic theory using Bradford Hill’s nine criteria (strength, consistency, specificity, temporality, biological gradient, biological plausibility, coherence, experimental intervention and analogy) and an additional criteria (reversibility) and reviews critically the scientific literature on the topic. The results of this analysis indicate that the toxicogenic theory fails all of these criteria. There is no convincing evidence to support the fundamental postulate that IEI has a toxic aetiology; the hypothesised biological processes and mechanisms are implausible.

  4. Things are looking up you see Conway Businesses were probably threatened by the local health dept to go smokefree or get nailed on their final health inspections like what happened in Mobile Ala,

    Conway leaders not likely to ban smoking in private businesses

    After months of discussions and meetings, including a favorable vote on Jan. 5, a majority of city leaders said they just can’t support outlawing smoking …


    • Smoking Scot says:

      @ Harley

      Methinks this one raises the stakes enormously. Our mate, Professor Banzhaf feels it right and proper that smokers lose custody of their children on account 3rd hand smoke.


      I really thought society had had enough of this when they stopped taking children from aboriginal children in Australia.

      Seems their parent’s crime was so great that their offspring had to be herded up, then placed with white people who would convert them into borderline acceptable white clones.

      Of course it was a wonderful opportunity for a small number of adoptive parents to sexually, physically and emotionally abuse the youngsters.

      Nevertheless, their crime was so horrendous that Australia continued to do this until 1969 – and even to this day, there are people in Australia who still advocate the use of corrective training. As long as it’s their form of corrective, and carried out by them, using taxpayer money.

      By comparison the offence of transmitting 3rd hand smoke is presumably sufficiently compelling to resurrect the practice

      No you cannot simply smoke outdoors. They’re talking about the all pervasive and utterly lethal 3rd hand smoke that they’ve worked so hard to identify as the leading cause of… (insert illness of choice).

      • The simple claim of residual smoke being harmful is in itself a total destructive propaganda piece to the Nazis who even spout it. It was difficult enuf to even get folks to buy into passive smoke much less nowadays the first hand smoke junk.

        Ive been nailing the first hand claims for about 4 years now everywhere…………..It has had to have an impact! They were challenged and yet ran from the debate even there.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Third-Hand Tobacco Smoke, Deadly

        Really????????? How come my generation is alive and kicking?

        Funnily enough, Stapler (ex-Professor and cheat) states that pride really does go before fall.

        Smokers Could Lose Child Custody Following New Report:
        Tobacco Smoke Residue,

        Glad to Banzhaf’s arrogance is exploding. People will react – be it by by casting their vote – SMOKERS ARE VOTERS!!!! – or simply by finally revolting.

        To take away someone’s children in order to push a great lie is about the dumbest thing the anti-smokers have come up with. I would not be surprised if the anti-smokers themselves silence the idio…. erm … bloke.

  5. Tom says:

    10%. They only need to convince 10%, that smoking outdoors should be banned for a whole host of made-up reasons. But once 10% are convinced, then it will begin becoming normalized belief system and the majority will hop on board due to the fear of being non-conformist and left behind. It is a “confidence trick” – just like what was said explicitly, by the anti-smoking industry, after getting the first ban passed in UK back in 2007. A confidence trick – and it starts with gaining 10%, as the magick number.


    Minority rules: Scientists discover tipping point for the spread of ideas

    “When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority,” said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer. “Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame.”

    So, smokers, to regain rights, need to begin creating their own 10% in response and enough to cause cognitive dissonance in enough others sitting on the fence, to make them feel obligated to conform to there being no smoking bans, for fear of being left behind.

    It is the power of advertising and public relations, where MSM is highly controlled by government paid fake-charity lobbyists and fake-science organizations, where they now have all the funding and sadly, tobacco companies, if they have any, don’t bother spending it where it would do the most good.

    But you need at least 10% to kindle a fire and get the whole thing burning – apparently, as per the scientific study at the link above.

    If not though, then you should prepare to be Californiaized and San Francisconated into outdoor smoking bans, complete with $500 fines and possible community service time.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      This is why they start deleting comments and tampering with the results of polls when a pro-choice message starts getting traction.

    • Frank Davis says:

      The article includes this:

      The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion.

      So they’ve been building computer simulation models of cognitive networks. How do we know whether they’ve got the right model? Only by comparison with the real world. And I doubt they’ve been able to run any studies in the real world. So this isn’t science they’re doing. It’s computer modelling. A bit like what the global warming alarmists do.

      I have a slight interest in this (as an inveterate computer modeller), because some 40 years back I did a bit of thinking about how people formed opinions about anything, and I thought that maybe somebody’s opinion was the running average of what everyone they encountered thought. And that was why, when you’re born in Italy, you speak and think in Italian. And if you’re born into a Catholic family, you usually wind up being a Catholic. And if you live with Liverpool fans, you’ll become a Liverpool fan too. And so on, with everything else.

      One thing I deduced from this model was the exact same thing as the “scientists” above deduced: That if someone has a very firm set of opinions, that opinion will gradually propagate through society, at first very slowly, but then faster and faster, until finally it spreads like wildfire.

      But for this to happen, the holder of the firm set of opinions has to use different rules of opinion formation than everybody else. He has to break the rules. and why should this happen?

      Anyway, if this was a true explanation of opinion formation, it would result in stasis, with everybody eventually having the same views as everyone else about everything. But if history teaches us anything, it would seem to be that diversity of opinion increases with time, rather than decreases.

      • I can think of 2 times in American History that actually unified a nation of virtually the same opinion and each was war. The sinking of the U.S.S. MAINE and then DEC 7TH 1941. Even the Twin Towers on 911 didn’t unify the nation although nearly all wanted some pay back. Even Pacifists must at times join the war effort and even at times war mongers must be pacifists. Yet Opinions are like arseholes they say everybody has one.

        But with Bernays and popular propaganda techniques the cue is Joe publics memory is only about 6 weeks long………………….Hense why the daily dosage of public healthism must be spouted day in day out……….But when people finally see and hear claims so wild and fantastic even they begin to question the messengers story. When what would be considered radical thought ” Challenging the conventional beliefs ” is finally seen to be the truth, joe public should finally come around. But Joe public even when defeated in scope of junk science at the end of the day still allows Joes hatred to be its guiding lite and still maintains an anti attitude about whatever subject it maybe.

        You cutoff the anti-smoking propaganda money and you cutoff anti-smoking altogether.
        But even with tons of money people eventually just get tired of it and the politicians,then it just ends and life goes back to normal for the most part.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Actually, it’s far worse than that. How many scientists do universities churn out year by year, all of whom HAVE to present a paper?
        Science used to look at THE WHOLE picture, not on a grain of sand on a beach. This whole picture just isn’t enough for the number of ‘scientists’ being produced. A PhD costs a lot of money, the financing companies want something in return.
        Sure, a paper about G-C transversion occuring in a form of lung cancer sounds impressive, yet it is just a sand grain on a beach = meaningless.

        While away and stuck inside one day due to heavy snow fall I finally stumbled across a documentary. I only started to watch it as it seemed to have a funny side – cheating youngsters to get good marks in exams.
        As it went on it got a little darker than that. Dieterick Stapel gave an honest interview – and insight into how it’s done at Professor level for status and money.

        Food for thought.

        (The documentary is in German – nevertheless, here the link as I believe it will be pulled, too.)
        The title is “Lies and Cheats”

        (btw, tobacco stash is filled up again :) ) but I have bad news about Austria. If the smoking ban there in 2016 is being dictated nation wide, the tirol people have little chance to ignore it. Since it all seems hush-hush, it is beginning to look this way……
        At least I had the opportunity to show some pub owners what pubs in England look like – I rarely take pictures on my phone and therefore I still have pictures from 2011 being in a pub on it.
        I did show them to the Greek guy there as well – he opened a restaurant there last year with really great food, wonderful service and people now go there. Naturally, there are ashtrays on the tables!
        On my way to the airport we stopped at a shop to get me a few bottles of Austrian beers. In order to stash them safely, I bought a local newspaper. It had an article about unemployment – another opportunity to point out to shop staff that this number is set to increase. (And being a bit of a bitch – sorry, but my wonderful holiday place faces destruction – I did tell the women in the shop that english female students no longer can get bar jobs to keep them above water and therefore are working in sex clubs.)

        Even the “newbs” in our ‘smoke-free world’ have to face that barrell that is going to kill their livelihoods.

        Talking about travelling – Munich airport has COMFORTABLE smoking lounges virtually near EVERY gate! People who know it, check in with plenty of time – and they shop.

  6. Lepercolonist says:

    “I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t think that somebody who guilt-trips their “loved one”, or hides or chops up their cigarettes, can really be said to “love” them in any meaningful way.”

    Absolutely true. They can not be in love. After 10 years of marriage, my wife asked , “Why don’t you just quit smoking ?” I replied, “ Why don’t you lose some weight ?” (She has a weakness for chocolate.) It was stand-off. That’s the last time she ever tried to guilt trip me. We love each other enough to overlook each of our small pleasures

  7. waltc says:

    About my comment yesterday, Frank

    , I was in fact talking about the reasons smokers quit from the late 80’s/early 90’s on when the TC bans, laws and taxes began. People who quit before then quit for their own (usually health or health-scare) reasons and of their own volition.. My point was that all the bans, taxes– and eventually the plain packs, display bans and whatever further irrelevance they propose–have had and will continue to have increasingly negligible, if any, effects. The one thing the angry ants have been successful with is the systematic denormalization but, even then, only because it’s been absorbed and acted on by The People. Most of the quitters of the last 20+ years have been pressured by those “loved ones” and “friends” as your featured article (far from the first of its kind) says.. That and to an extent those “you’re going to die horribly and so are your children” commercials. Which in turn prompt more nagging from those frightened ” loved ones.”

    Speaking of which there’s a new spate of radio spots going on here telling pregnant smokers that their babies will be born months prematurely, grossly underweight, undergo graphically described torture in a hospital incubator and likely suffer serious lifelong defects. There is no legit science to back any of that up ( tho California has tried to rig some) and historically generations of healthy children are living proof of what bunk this is, but as long as it instills guilt and fear ( and by association fear of second and third hand smoke and therefore more social pressure) …well, hey , all’s fair in hate and war.

    PS on that rigged poll.
    Is there any way to expose it to the general public? To let its sponsors know that you know? With screen shots?

    • The myth of smoking during pregnancy being harmful

      Wed, 30 Oct 2013 17:51 CDT

      In about 1999 I was asked to analyze the data of pregnant women with respect to smoking for a major health insurance company. They were running a campaign to get pregnant women to stop smoking and they expected to find interesting data to support their case.

      I used to teach college courses covering the topic. The text books said that smoking causes underweight premature babies. Because of this babies of smoking mothers are more likely to have birth defects. With alcohol, two drinks a day was considered safe, but with tobacco, there was no safe threshold. I thought this was rather strange. You smoke one cigarette while pregnant and you are more likely to have birth defects? Even for a hard core health fanatic that is difficult to believe.

      Here is what was found in the data. Babies of smoking mothers average weight was 3232 grams (7.1 lbs.). Babies of non-smoking mothers averaged 3398 grams (7.5 lbs.). That is about a half pound difference and it is statistically significant. Seven pounds is a good healthy birth weight that does not set off any alarms. Babies are considered underweight if they are less than 2270 grams (5 lbs.). 4.5% of smoking mothers babies were underweight and 3.3% of non-smoking mothers babies were underweight. This difference is not significant. There is no indication here of a health risk from smoking based on weight.

      The other risk factor is length of term. Normal gestation is 253 days. 4% of smoking mothers did not go to term and 7.8% of non-smoking mothers did not go to term. Smoking mothers did better than non-smoking mothers but the difference was not significant. There was obviously no risk from reduced term for smoking mothers.

      Because the non-smoking mothers had heavier babies one would expect more C-Sections from the non-smoking mothers. There were about 20% more. This is significant at the .05 level but not the .01 level so you could argue the significance either way depending on your bias. The data here is limited because only 5% of pregnant women smoked but the trend for smoking mothers was toward less babies retained in the hospital, less C-Sections, insignificantly fewer pre-term deliveries and an insignificant increase in clinically underweight babies.

      This data can be explained by assuming that when pregnant women are stressed, they self medicate to relieve the stress. Non-smoking women tend to eat more causing the baby to be larger and more difficult to deliver. This can also cause other problems. Smoking women tend to light up when under stress. This is less harmful to the baby than over-eating. For this reason smoking mothers tended to have better outcomes for baby and mother. They also cost less for the insurance company.

      You might be interested in knowing that this information was not used. I was told that the medical insurance business is highly regulated by the government. The company was not allowed to tell the truth about these results even though it was better for the insurance company and for the patients.

      I do not think these results suggest that women should start smoking when they get pregnant. I do think it indicates that it is very poor practice to try to get smoking mothers to stop smoking when they get pregnant.
      About me

      I have a Ph.D. in experimental psychology and have worked in both research and teaching. I am a health nut and do not endorse smoking or care to be around people smoking. I was shocked by these results. My bias if any is certainly against these results. However I think it is horrible to withhold information form people and intentionally give them bad advice to advance a political agenda.

  8. Rose says:

    Bristol bans smoking in outdoor public places

    yachtpilot – “Time this obnoxious habit was confined to consenting adults behind locked doors.”

    If yachtpilot wants to quote George Godber, then the correct quote is here.

    “Godber recollected that he had said in 1962 to Keith Joseph, another of his Conservative ministers, that “we really have to do something about abolishing smoking” (having won the approval of the Health Minister Enoch Powell).

    Joseph looked quite shocked and said: “You really can’t expect to abolish smoking.” Godber replied: “No, but I want to see it reduced to an activity of consenting adults in private.”


  9. jltrader says:

    ‘I was devastated. I just couldn’t believe it. I’d always thought of lung cancer as a heavy-smoking, old-man’s disease.
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2936968/Do-low-tar-cigarettes-women-risk-aggressive-lung-cancer.html#ixzz3QfgjmPHp
    How naive/brainwashed can one be to implicate social smoking in this woman’s lung cancer ?

    • petesquiz says:

      ‘The truth is, we just don’t know why some people smoke heavily for years and never get lung cancer, while some occasional smokers do.’ (This quote is from the Daily Mail article from Ian Hunt, a consultant thoracic surgeon at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.)

      Now, to my mind, if you can’t explain why some smokers do and some don’t get lung cancer then how can you be sure that smoking is the cause?

      But as I’m discovering, the anti-smokers don’t let facts get in the way of a good campaign of persecution.

        7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
        November 2004.


        “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

        In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

        The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

        • Judge doesnt accept statistical studies as proof of LC causation!

          It was McTear V Imperial Tobacco. Here is the URL for both my summary and the Judge’s ‘opinion’ (aka ‘decision’):


          (2.14) Prof Sir Richard Doll, Mr Gareth Davies (CEO of ITL). Prof James Friend and
          Prof Gerad Hastings gave oral evidence at a meeting of the Health Committee in
          2000. This event was brought up during the present action as putative evidence that
          ITL had admitted that smoking caused various diseases. Although this section is quite
          long and detailed, I think that we can miss it out. Essentially, for various reasons, Doll
          said that ITL admitted it, but Davies said that ITL had only agreed that smoking might
          cause diseases, but ITL did not know. ITL did not contest the public health messages.
          (2.62) ITL then had the chance to tell the Judge about what it did when the suspicion
          arose of a connection between lung cancer and smoking. Researchers had attempted
          to cause lung cancer in animals from tobacco smoke, without success. It was right,
          therefore, for ITL to ‘withhold judgement’ as to whether or not tobacco smoke caused
          lung cancer.

          [9.10] In any event, the pursuer has failed to prove individual causation.
          Epidemiology cannot be used to establish causation in any individual case, and the
          use of statistics applicable to the general population to determine the likelihood of
          causation in an individual is fallacious. Given that there are possible causes of lung
          cancer other than cigarette smoking, and given that lung cancer can occur in a nonsmoker,
          it is not possible to determine in any individual case whether but for an
          individual’s cigarette smoking he probably would not have contracted lung cancer
          (paras.[6.172] to [6.185]).
          [9.11] In any event there was no lack of reasonable care on the part of ITL at any
          point at which Mr McTear consumed their products, and the pursuer’s negligence
          case fails. There is no breach of a duty of care on the part of a manufacturer, if a
          consumer of the manufacturer’s product is harmed by the product, but the consumer
          knew of the product’s potential for causing harm prior to consumption of it. The
          individual is well enough served if he is given such information as a normally
          intelligent person would include in his assessment of how he wishes to conduct his
          life, thus putting him in the position of making an informed choice (paras.[7.167] to

        • Frank Davis says:

          The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

          Very true. But the firsthand theory is now established as more or less a fact of life for most people.

        • jltrader says:

          Frank, maybe you should popularize on you blog – kind of like Bolton did with McTear case – the statements of scientists, statisticians, doctors and others who testified before US congress as to the flimsiness of the ‘established’ link between lung cancer, heart disease and smoking. I’ve collected tens of such documents from the online library http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/. I would gladly mail them to you if you’re interested.

        • Frank Davis says:

          maybe you should popularize on you blog

          Maybe. I recently added Michael McFadden’s Wall of Hate to the right margin of my blog. Perhaps I could add a link to something like what you’re suggesting. And other people could add to it. I think it’s an important dogma to question, because it’s so universal.

        • jltrader says:

          I sent a confirmation email to the one listed on your About page. Not sure if you still use that one.

        • Frank Davis says:

          I don’t think I can upload pdf files to my blog. Where would be a good place on the web to store them?

        • jltrader says:

          I can’t personally vouch for any particular storage service as I don’t use them, but Dropbox is a name I’ve been hearing for long. I see it has 2GB free space and can be accessed by anyone.

      • Hell Frank they all know me. Im always on seek and destroy missions against the Nazis……..anything and everything is a weapon to be used even the weak unprovable LC claims.

  10. beobrigitte says:

    The study found that one in three people (29 per cent) had stopped encouraging their loved one to quit as they were scared of starting an argument and 65 per cent had resorted to extreme measures to force the change, such as guilt-tripping their loved one (28 per cent), chopping up their cigarettes (seven per cent), hiding them (17 per cent) and refusing to buy them (19 per cent).

    I seriously have to ask if the anti-smokers understand the concept of a meaningful relationship. It seems they have no idea, they just abuse everyone for their equilibrium-esque smoke-free idea of a world only very few of us want to live in.

  11. Rose says:

    The pocket edition.

    Smoking causes relationship strain and high anxiety among friends and family, says new study

    8.37 am

    “SMOKING can cause a huge strain on relationships and high levels of anxiety among friends and loved ones, according to new research.
    The study conducted by Smokefree South-West found that more than half of the people surveyed in the South-West said the fact that their friend or loved one smoked made them feel anxious.

    Nearly one in five people stated that the issue of smoking caused friction in their relationship.

    The figures are released as part of Smokefree’s Be There Tomorrow campaign which aims to encourage people to give up smoking before it’s too late.”

    Odd sort of people to use the trauma they have caused to non smokers as a measure of success.

    • “SMOKING can cause a huge strain on relationships and high levels of anxiety among friends and loved ones, according to new research.

      Really Me and my wife have no problems with smoking never have. One of the daughters does or did. She is a closet smoker herself but she comes to the kool step dads house and all the BS is gone and she cuts loose. Its her Husband whose relisgous wacked out family that has all the problems and the son in law isn’t exactly a Nazi nut or anything but he could sure use a few good lessons in humility…………..

      Live and let live.

      Rand paul just said on tv this morning that the kids don’t belong to the government they belong to the parents…………That’s been a key belief and saying of mine my whole life!

      In todays world weve got parents living with the kids or the kids living with the parents……..

      Theres no jobs paying enuf to meet the costs of living any longer so the family unit becomes the last vestige of survival.

      My kid lives on the 3 acres we had bought up the road. He bought a portable building for 3500 bucks. Its roughly 12 x 32 and we finished it off into an apartment for him with a bathroom and full washer dryer hook ups. I ran electric to it from the Barn/shop building we put up 4 years ago when we had our camping vagabond stage after the economy crashed.

      Ive seen more campers in driveways and back yards all over the place where relatives had to go and stay as they had lost what they had.

      Trust me people need their space, but smoking as a problem is about the lowest issue on anyones mind. They are all simply trying to survive and when its like that more people smoke than ever.

      When you go into survival mode, everything changes including eaten pride.

      The son in law, well guess what happens if he loses his plant/manufacturing job which they have already lost over half their print media contracts and laid off! Wheres he to go when he has 7 siblings back at his parents home and 3 living with them in their 20s.

      Its easy to be a moral busy body and put down those around you when your high on the hog, But wait til strife and hard times hit him!

      He wont be finding any sympathy here.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Rose, you hit the nail on it’s head. But then, the anti-smokers appear to be too pushy to make sense.
      They have hit another problem that is beginning to become obvious – meaningless research results….

  12. Cost-of-Smoking Estimates Were Grossly Exaggerated

    by Christopher Wanjek | February 03, 2015 07:12am ET

  13. Rose says:

    Another excellent policy from UKIP.

    UKIP support the BVA and RSPCA in calling for a ban on non-stun slaughter

    “Research by the British Veterinary Association & FSA research tell us that Halal and kosher abattoirs cut the throats of 2.4 million sheep and goats without stunning in the latest recorded year. This is an increase of 60 per cent increase versus previous years. This trend is unacceptable. UKIP support the BVA and RSPCA in calling for a ban on non-stun slaughter.”

    I had no idea that supermarkets had been sneaking in unstunned meat unlabelled because the government hadn’t forced them into doing it. You would think common decency would have been enough.

    May 2014

    “It has emerged a majority of New Zealand lamb sold in UK supermarkets comes from halal abattoirs in order to ensure it can be sold to both Muslim and non-Muslim nations.”


    Here’s something that many Americans — including some of the smartest and most educated among us — don’t know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.

    Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

    None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

    There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

    Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

    There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

    And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity — it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.

    Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class.

    I hear all the time that “unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren’t feeling it.” When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth — the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real — then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t “feeling” something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.

    Jim Clifton is Chairman and CEO at Gallup.


  15. Smoking Lamp says:

    Now a critical piece on the WHO politburo-like decision process:

    Key excerpts:
    –Historically, WHO recommendations have been extremely untrustworthy and not evidence-based
    –“They would sit around and do whatever they wanted to do and direct the world, and be very pleased they directed the world.”
    –References BMJ article: widespread financial conflicts of interests among the authors and sponsors of guidelines have turned many into “marketing tools of industry.”

    Tom Blackwell, “World Health Organization’s advice based on weak evidence, Canadian-led study says,” national Post 1 February 2015 http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/01/world-health-organizations-advice-extremely-untrustworthy-and-not-evidence-based-study/

    In the confusing and fast-changing world of medicine, few voices carry as much weight as that of the World Health Organization.

    But a new, Canadian-led analysis takes a poke at that reputation, concluding the UN agency often makes strong recommendations on how to treat or prevent illness based on weak evidence, potentially leading to patients getting less-than-optimum care.

    The study concluded that 73 of 289 strong recommendations the agency issued over a recent five-year stretch — on topics ranging from maternal health to tuberculosis — were based on low-quality evidence and warranted only conditional advice.

    “Historically, WHO recommendations have been extremely untrustworthy and not evidence-based,” said Dr. Gordon Guyatt, the study’s lead author. “Things have gotten better, but there is still a ways to go. … If the truth is that an intervention is ineffective or minimally effective, [patients and health workers] would want to know this.”

    An official with the agency, however, says the problems are minor and that people have no reason to distrust its advice.

    Dr. Guyatt and other critics suggest the issue extends beyond the Geneva-based WHO. Many other health organizations are likely still issuing advice based on flimsy science, the product of an unstructured process humorously dubbed GOBSAT — “good old boys sitting around the table,” he said.

    Experts on guidelines-writing panels are often influenced by conflicts of interest, whether a bias toward their own prior research or financial ties to pharmaceutical companies and, until recently at least, the WHO was no exception, said Dr. Guyatt, an epidemiology professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

    The goal is to move such panels toward more “evidence-based medicine,” a phrase Dr. Guyatt coined and a ubiquitous buzz-word in modern health-care. It involves putting more weight on better-quality science, with randomized-controlled trials being the pinnacle of evidence.

    Susan Norris, a WHO official who helps oversee the writing of expert guidelines and commissioned the Canadian-led research, said it has identified areas where the process can be improved, and changes are being implemented. But she objected to Dr. Guyatt’s description of some of the recommendations as “inappropriate,” saying the agency remains trustworthy.

    “Incorrect advice is not being communicated,” said Dr. Norris. “WHO’s process is state of the art, in terms of how we develop guidelines. … There’s always room for improvement, but the WHO has made tremendous improvements as the science has evolved.”

    The agency’s guidelines panels also have daunting tasks, she added, trying to make research findings relevant for front-line health workers and patients in a host of disparate countries around the world.

    They would sit around and do whatever they wanted to do and direct the world, and be very pleased they directed the world
    Health organizations began producing guidelines about 30 years ago. The WHO regularly convenes leading international experts to hash out advice, which is especially important in poor- and middle-income countries with less-developed medical systems, said Dr. Guyatt.

    After concerns were raised seven years ago, the agency implemented a system, called GRADE, for rating — and publicly disclosing — the quality of evidence behind the advice it issued. GRADE also permits strong recommendations with weak evidence in certain circumstances, such as when the proposed treatment could be life-saving and the side-effect risk is minimal.

    The WHO is definitely making progress, said Dr. Guyatt.

    The new study, however, found that of 289 strong recommendations in 33 guidelines it issued between 2007 and 2012, 73 were not only based on weak evidence, but could not be justified under any of the exceptions the system allowed.

    One such recommendation, for instance, strongly advised using “uterine massage” to treat postpartum hemorrhage — heavy bleeding after giving birth. Because the advice is backed up by “very low-quality” evidence and could delay more effective treatment, it should have been just a conditional recommendation, the study concluded.

    The guidelines issued by some medical-specialty groups have come under similar scrutiny — and even harsher criticism — in recent years.

    A 2013 British Medical Journal article said the documents can play a valuable role, but that widespread financial conflicts of interests among the authors and sponsors of guidelines have turned many into “marketing tools of industry.”

    “Biased guidelines can cause grave harms to patients, while creating a dilemma for doctors, who may face professional or legal consequences when they choose not to follow guidelines they distrust,” said the article.

    National Post

  16. Smoking Lamp says:

    Another outdoor smoking ban: Stoke-on-Trent

    “Cigarettes to be banned to create outdoor ‘smoke free zones’,” Stoke Sentinel,

    The article contains an on-line poll.
    Results from on-line poll as of this post:
    Yes 368 41%
    No 528 59%

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Clarification: The question in poll above was “do you support ‘smoke-free zones’. The majority (59%) do not support inning outdoor smoking bans.

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