Peripeteia

On Dick Puddlecote’s recommendation, I read this. I’ve added emphases in the following passages:

…The reality is that we have only recently left the opening phase when it comes to tobacco product use, and the tobacco control people discovered, “Hey, wait a minute, I don’t know how to play this game when my opponents are acting freely. I just memorized some opening scripts. Help!” In particular, they are discovering that their script — which goes: propagandize, vilify and punish all product users in any way you can think of, and assume you will get impunity for doing so — no longer works in the e-cigarette era.

This brings us back to Bates’s post, in which he catalogs the “endgame” proposals. Most of them consist of punishing tobacco product users even more, by forcing prices to rise or the quality of the products to be lowered. Bates points out both practical problems with these plans (black markets, and such) and the ethical dubiousness. By what right do the endgamers presume that imposing such force on free people is acceptable? We have no idea. They never say. Never. They just pretend that their tobacco control enterprise does not face major ethical challenges. They act as if they have divine mandate.

That brings up the Islamic State analogy. Bates invokes Islamic State’s anti-tobacco approach a couple of times. Now one might worry that bringing up the Islamic State in a political debate is 2015’s version of invoking Nazi Germany, which is almost guaranteed to hurt your credibility. But Bates pulls it off because it is a direct analogy. He points out that punishing people for choosing to use tobacco is exactly Islamic State’s approach, and it required horrifically harsh punishments, and yet they still could not make it work. Yet the endgamers are so out of touch with reality that they think this is a good approach. Indeed, Ruth Malone (editor of Tobacco Control) among others, took to Twitter to praise Islamic State for pursuing beheading-based anti-tobacco policies, and lamented when they backed off. When you start feeling all right about “this choice might kill you, so we must stop you from making it, even if we have to kill you ourselves to do so”, it is probably time to rethink your life’s work.

It goes on:

Tobacco control tactics consist primarily of punishing (i.e., intentionally hurting) people — via taxes, place restrictions, social vilification, imposed shame, etc. — despite the professed goal of helping those same people.

I added the emphases because I’ve said myself enough times that smoking bans and tax hikes are ways of punishing smokers, and it’s refreshing to see somebody else saying the same thing.

But, because the author is in Tobacco Harm Reduction, he goes on to suggest…

…encouraging everyone to use low-risk products so that the downsides are eliminated while everyone remains happy.

And this was where I parted company. Because Tobacco Harm Reduction supposes that there is something harmful about tobacco. And I increasingly think that tobacco is completely harmless. And is not only completely harmless, but has many benefits. Which is why people smoke.

Ten years of antismoking blitzkrieg haven’t had the effect of making me worry more and more about smoking (as it did with many of my former friends), but has instead had the effect of making me worry less and less.

There’s much the same effect with alcohol, sugar, salt, butter, and all the rest of it. I worry less about them too. The more these people shriek about the dangers of smoking, drinking, eating, the less I listen to them.

And once you know that these people are busily thinking up ways to demonise, exclude, and punish smokers – which is a terrible thing to do -, is there really any need to even bother to look at any of their ‘research’? Or, to put it another way, was it really necessary, after Auschwitz,  to pay any attention whatsoever to Nazi racial theories, or set out to refute it, once you know where it led.

As far as I can see, nobody ever tried to refute Nazi racial theory, because it simply died a death after it became clear where it had led. Nobody continued to teach or argue for it. A few months ago, I did a web search for Nazi Racial Theory, and found… …nothing.

And I think exactly the same is going to happen to Tobacco Control. Once it becomes clear just what an enormous social, economic, and political crime they have committed in their witch hunt against the quarter of the world’s population who are smoke tobacco, Tobacco Control’s antismoking research (and its present impunity)  will go the same way as the Nazis and their racial theory. They will vanish overnight.

There just needs to be an event that is the equivalent of the day when allied troops captured Dachau, and what had been hidden made headline news around the world, and prompted the authoring thereafter of countless memoirs of inmates’ experiences. It will be an event – a turning point – that will draw the world’s attention to something that has been going on under their noses for a very long time, and it will bring a long-overdue revulsion.

 

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About Frank Davis

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21 Responses to Peripeteia

  1. Smoking Lamp says:

    Re: “Ruth Malone (editor of Tobacco Control) among others, took to Twitter to praise Islamic State for pursuing beheading-based anti-tobacco policies, and lamented when they backed off.”

    The antismokers are really sick. They are indeed intent upon propagandizing, vilifying, and punishing smokers. Their mission is nothing less than racist repression. I agree it will all fall apart, and the cracks are now becoming evident. Unfortunately they are–for now–evident to those that follow the issue closely. For the mass, they are brainwashed and believe that smoking causes all cancer. You can see that now ingrained view in the comments to almost all articles about smoking and smoking bans. You can also see the underlying hatred that has been sown.

    There have been a few wins for choice (Westminster, MA, the Commonwealth of Kentucky) but there have been many more recent losses. Tobacco Control believes it is now in the endgame for smoking; it is time to turn the tables and make it the endgame for Tobacco Control.

  2. Did anybody notice in this years legislative state get togethers that Not a peep was heard about a ban in Alabama,south Carolina,texas or Mississippi being brought up hardly at all………….Kentuckys was the usual behind the scene shady deals in the nite and then quickly forced voted without even a warning to anyone in the Ky House and it went str8 to its death in he Ky senate. Point here is in Alabama for like 12 straight years a single woman legislator tried to get a ban passed and every year the senate killed it………….The fact no hoopla has been made in these states is a major league victory for us………….for once in 7-8 years they didn’t make a big media crazed blitz to push bans there in those states. In fact they didn’t do much in Kentucky either save about 14 stories and that was it………….

    • Wyoming nobody brought up a ban either that I know of nor in Georgia.
      Things like this say its winding down,the rush to ban has to be dying on the vine.
      Not everywhere but when we look at West Virginia looking to remove health depts. power of putting in bans and putting it in the hands of councils and then giving state protections to clubs and casinos………Add in Nebraska where the supreme court knocked down the cigar excemption because it gave special treatment to a specific group and then the state turns right around and passes another cigar bar excemption again knowing its against the state constitution it can only lead to everybody being excempted in that state in the end…..

      Im pretty much on cruise control these days weve hurt em and hurt them bad as far as bullshit junk science goes and they know it…………That we can all be proud of, WE FOUGHT BACK.

  3. waltc says:

    Unfortunately, before Dachau can be liberated, there’ll have to be a Dachau. Apparently, torturing the mentally ill in institutions , evicting 90 year old veterans from their homes, denying medical care to smokers, depriving smokers of jobs and orphans of foster homes isn’t yet sufficient. Over at Audrey’s there’s an article in which TC luminary Richard Daynard revives the option of a lifelong ban on the purchase of tobacco by anyone born in the 21st century. That’s the kind of wild dystopian move that’s still considered so completely far out that it could blow up the movement, revealing the obsessive fascism at its heart. IOW, I think TC will only die by its own overreaching hand.

    • Frank Davis says:

      before Dachau can be liberated, there’ll have to be a Dachau.

      I was thinking more along the lines of the US Civil Rights movement, and how various shootings (e.g. James Meredith) seem to have triggered a change of heart. Smokers are being treated like negroes, after all. We now have ‘segregated’ bars and restaurants. In fact, we don’t even have that. It’s complete exclusion from everywhere.

  4. DP says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    A search on Nazi Racial Theory came up with 244,000 results.

    The first sentence in the seventh seems particularly apt:

    “THE RACIAL THEORIES OF THE NAZIS are based on pseudo-scientific “studies” of the 19th century.”

    Re-write:

    “THE SMOKING THEORIES OF TOBACCO CONTROL are based on pseudo-scientific “studies” of the 20th century.”

    http://www.friends-partners.org/partners/beyond-the-pale/english/49.html

    Tomorrow is no smoking day for the Puritans. Time to spark up the first of my three a year habit.

    DP

  5. prog says:

    ‘…encouraging everyone to use low-risk products so that the downsides are eliminated while everyone remains happy.’

    A false presumption that ‘low-risk products’ perpetuate happiness. I for one would not be happy – if they made it almost impossible to smoke I’d lump it, rather than be reduced to sucking on a dummy.

    • Rose says:

      I’m fully in agreement with you, I have no intention of vaping, chewing on gum or any other alleged substitute, if I don’t believe in the nicotine addiction theory in the first place, why would I?

      Make tobacco illegal and I’ll stop smoking it, but ban all the rest of the nightshades too.
      No exemptions.

      • prog says:

        If tobacco was banned, an e-cig ban would probably follow sooner or later anyway. They’d have to heavily tax them first, of course, to make up the lost revenue; a no-brainer, but many think tobacco’s the gold mine rather than the nicotine (herbal cigs didn’t attract duty until recently. OK, not tobacco but it wasn’t really about smoke).

        Obviously, the justification for high taxes has to be health based. And there’d always be experts to provide the evidence, including the equivalent of Clive who’d argue that alternative pharma drugs are safer. Actually, that’s already under way.

        And so on and so on until people’s lives are controlled and made miserable to the point where it’d hardly be worth getting out of the womb.

    • nisakiman says:

      I follow, and am followed by quite a few vapers and vape shops on Twitter. I always state my position on smoking vs vaping (I think e-cigs are really quite cool, but I’ll stick to my roll-ups, thank you very much. And I don’t agree with the “vaping is so much ‘safer’ than smoking”), which leads to some lively discussion. Vapers seem to be convinced that switching to vaping will 1) make them ‘healthier’, and 2) take them out from under the spotlight of Tobacco Control.

      Unfortunately (for the born-again vapers), I think that any health benefits they will get from switching to vaping will be largely psychosomatic (which is ok) and that Tobacco Control will do all they can to herd vapers into the same camp as smokers, regardless of the essential differences between vaping and smoking. To think that TC will turn a blind eye to their antipathy for anything that even faintly resembles smoking is naive in the extreme. What TC hate more than anything is people actually enjoying something they disapprove of. And vaping looks like smoking. And people enjoy it. Ergo, it must be stigmatised and marginalised, and ultimately suppressed.

  6. Tony says:

    Hi Frank,
    Sorry to ask a favour and it is rather off topic but I think someone recently posted some Phd research about smoking when pregnant. Does anyone remember it? There were some quite interesting analyses and data in it.

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