Clouseau Regrets

If I have one big regret in life, it’s that I never saw the smoking bans coming. And, in retrospect, I should have seen them. After all, medical experts had been saying for years that smoking caused lung cancer. And I did actually notice the first salami-slice smoking ban on London Underground in 1970 or so, but it ran no alarm bells. I also noticed the multiplying bans on London Transport and British Rail. But they didn’t ring any alarm bells either.

And when I read in the Independent in November 2004 that the BMA’s Sir Charles George was calling for a public smoking ban in England, I remember thinking “Well, that’s never going to happen!” Although the alarms did actually go off that time, and set me thinking a bit. But I didn’t really believe that there would be a pub smoking ban. Particularly when no political party was suggesting such a thing. So I ignored the alarm bells. And when the Labour party broke its manifesto promise, and called for a free vote in parliament on a smoking ban, I was convinced that  MPs would vote against any ban. They were sensible people after all, weren’t they? And even when MPs voted strongly in favour of a ban, I thought that protests from pubs and restaurants would water it down. And when no protests materialised, it was only on 1 July 2007 that I finally realised that it actually was going to happen. And had in fact happened.

I suppose I simply regarded smoking in pubs as a sort of unalterable fact of life. Like roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Or the Grand National at Aintree. I simply couldn’t imagine pubs without smoking.

But there had been plenty of other signs and omens which I had also ignored. When I was 17, and my parents were in Brazil, I lived in the household of the antismoking Dr W. I’d never come across an antismoker in my life before, and I so regarded him as a lone, harmless nutter. It never occurred to this Clouseau that – a bit like rats or ants – if there was one antismoking nutjob doctor about, there might be quite a few more floating around somewhere. And there were. The medical profession was crawling with them.

And then there was the slow decimation of my smoking friends, as one by one they gave up smoking. When I took up smoking at around age 20 (largely thanks to Dr W), pretty much all my friends smoked. But 30 years later this had fallen to 10% or 20% of them. Did Clouseau notice that? Well, he did, but it didn’t alarm him one bit. He just went back to sleep. Although he did get rather alarmed when ex-smoking or non-smoking friends started banning smoking in their own homes (long before 2007).

If I’d sat down one day in, say, 1995, and added up the signs and omens, I think I would have realised that there was a process unfolding. The multiplying incremental smoking bans, the steady reduction in the numbers of smokers, the private household smoking bans. Everything was getting in line for something much bigger. It was just that public smoking bans were unthinkable to me. And remained unthinkable until they came into force.

But if I had managed to foresee what was likely to happen, could I have done anything about it? Well, yes, I could have. I could have begun to mount the sort of resistance that I mount now. It would have been a lot harder, because back then I hadn’t actually read any tobacco research. But I could have at very least been dismissive of the fear of smoking that was gradually mounting among my friends. And I wasn’t at all dismissive. I used to cheerfully accept my friends’ worries.

Resistance should have been mounted 20 or 30 years ago. And in some ways, mounting a resistance now is a bit like finally waking up to the fact of Occupation, when there are Nazi tanks neatly parked in the town square, and Nazi party members in town hall, and Nazi flags fluttering on the flagpoles.

But resistance has to start somewhere. And it’s better late than never.

And in some ways, the first task is to blunt the air of invincibility and inevitability that the antismokers have acquired over the past few decades. I read recently somewhere that it was “inevitable” that tobacco would be completely prohibited sometime fairly soon.  And while people think that something is inevitable, they won’t resist it. And a lot of people do seem to see total prohibition as inevitable. I suspect that lots of politicians cave in to the antismokers because they think that they’re unstoppable.

There was no real resistance to antismoking 10 years ago. But there is a Resistance now. And it’s a  nascent global resistance. It’s just not a very effective resistance. But there are some notable members of it – like Nigel Farage and UKIP. But the fact that there is a resistance at all, where once there was none, signals that the antismokers are not quite in such total control as they once were, and their further encroachments aren’t quite so inevitable as they would like everyone to believe.

If there are any further regrets that I have, they’re all regrets of the same sort. Of not taking notice of gradual changes in public opinion. Of being completely oblivious. For example,  environmentalism of one sort or another was a fringe enthusiasm in the 60s and 70s, and now that also has metamorphosed into yet another juggernaut. And that should have been predictable as well.

Perhaps everything should have been predictable?


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64 Responses to Clouseau Regrets

  1. Smoking Lamp says:

    I too didn’t believe the bans would proliferate they way they have. First the indoor bans and now the outdoor bans. It is time to expand the resistance and turn back the tide toward prohibition!

  2. marieengling says:

    I have been thinking back as I read your post, Frank, and I think, I met the first sign in 1972. I was a guy, who got angry, because I started to smoke before he had finished his dinner. And he was just eating very slowly and very much. Eating and eating. ;)

  3. waltc says:

    I just went to the bookshelf and double-checked the copyright date of a book I picked up at a flea market maybe 15 yrs ago. A Consumers Union “Report on Smoking” 1963 (!) in which (1963) long before shs was invented, your Royal College of Physicians was recommending bans on smoking in public as a way to make smoking socially unacceptable and keep it “out of sight, out of mind ” 1963. Before the first US Surgeon General’s report. A decade before Godber dreamed his dream of a smoker-free planet and wished for the magic wand of something along the lines of shs to make it come true. The war started behind the closed doors of a non-smoke-filled room long before any of us knew it: gleams in the eyes of patient madmen.

    As for stifling it in its cradle, I think it was already too late 25 years ago. The first bans came to NYC in 1988, based loosely on the flimsy, purposely misinterpreted. agenda-driven and press-hyped SG report of that year and the tireless work of a rich local zealot who’d retired from Wall Street with a moral mission. By c. 1991-2, smokers rights groups started popping up in the US, making our case, scientific and otherwise. I caught an SR spokesman on an episode of the then- respected TV news show, “Nightline”, got in touch with him, and, through him, met some of the SR pioneers, including the fabled Martha Perske. (Bear with me; there’s a point to this.) When the next round of local bans was proposed, she and I tried to lobby local pols, naively armed with information but the true lesson from that effort came from one nice councilman, a phlosophically weary religious Jew with a yarmulke (no stranger to genocidal crusades) who looked sadly at us and our Evidence, shook his head slowly and said, You may be right, but this is a brushfire that’s out of the gate and nothing will stop it till it runs out of things to burn and eventually consumes itself. He posited that that would be a long time coming. No; none of us stopped trying–from the earliest days we testified to deaf ears and closed minds before city councils (how I met Audrey and, I think, Michael) state assemblies and the US Congress, appeared on radio and tv talk shows, wrote fine (even published) Letters to Editors, and Clash tried the first of several canny lawsuits, but the fire, unstoppable, kept burning ever-brighter and consuming more turf.

    Sure, keep fighting so you can look yourself in the mirror but also bunker down, cultivate your own garden, save your sanity, and wait for the time, place and chance when buckets of cold water, tossed from every rooftop, might stand a chance. If, it so happens, you live that long.

    • Frank Davis says:

      a phlosophically weary religious Jew with a yarmulke (no stranger to genocidal crusades) who looked sadly at us and our Evidence, shook his head slowly and said, You may be right, but this is a brushfire that’s out of the gate and nothing will stop it till it runs out of things to burn and eventually consumes itself. He posited that that would be a long time coming

      I guess that he’d seen it all before, and recognised the signs. Antismoking and antisemitism are branches of the same nasty tree. That was another thing I under-estimated: the human propensity for irrationality. It never goes away.

    • Your right it is a political crusade not a medical one as that’s just a tool to the message.
      It happened before and many many times. The SHS myth wasn’t created in 1975 by Godber but by Hitlers own henchmen and a medico from 1935 or abouts. But even before that in the 1800s certain religious fanatical doctors were calling the smoke certain things akin to the fraud perpetuated today as passive smoke.

      The if you live long enuf attitude constitutes a personage who gave up fighting years ago. Ive been at it daily for 7 years non stop and never ending. You will find if your in the fight daily everywhere the Nazis wont fight back anymore they fade from sight when we show up. Its come down to they cant even defend their direct smoking claims any longer.

      Mr Ghandi in India another associate last week simply stated the facts there was no proof smoking caused any disease.

      It made the Nazis go viral,somebody dared defy the agenda and at a high level in government even on the health and welfare committee………he was remoed by the prime minister from his post as chair of it. That shows just how weak and afraid the Nazis are to the outrageous claims they have made thru the years.

      Exposure of fraud is their greatest fear or they simply went beyond even caring at this point in time.

      Trust me Joe Public is pissed off as this isn’t just about smoking anymore its about all lifestyles and with that a war on everyone began. That’s where junk science and political collusion run afoul of each other.

      Heres the past and it took about 20 years for it to go away.

      Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later.

      1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. “Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity” (Dillow, 1981:10).

      1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.

      1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. “You can’t do that on Fifth Avenue,” the arresting officer says.

      1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: “Business … is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do.”

      1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.

      1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking.

      A lifetime to watch it disappear nope not by a longshot…………theres more smokers today than ever before and they know it.

    • RdM says:

      A Consumers Union “Report on Smoking”

      I don’t know about 1963, but check out these pages, dated 1972 internally, but ?
      Drenched with anti propaganda, addiction & cherry-picked studies
      Part III – Nicotine

      Also NB Wikipedia on CU
      “Consumers Union’s predecessor, Consumers’ Research, was founded in 1926.[4] In 1936, Consumers Union was founded[5] by Arthur Kallet, Colston Warne, and others who felt that the established Consumers’ Research organization was not aggressive enough. Kallet, an engineer and director of Consumers’ Research, had a falling out with F.J. Schlink and started his own organization with Amherst College economics professor Colston Warne. In part due to actions of Consumers’ Research, the House Un-American Activities Committee placed Consumers Union on a list of subversive organizations, only to remove it in 1954”

      Who knows whether “Uncle Joe” had an influence campaign running there, but in the current convoluted scheme of things, recent criticisms are intertwined elsewhere…

      • RdM says:

        Frank;- too many links, awaiting moderation:

        Sorry, messed up the quote tags there, too:

        A Consumers Union “Report on Smoking” was meant to be in italics, then not except the quoted “Wikipedia bit”. Maybe you can fix. Done by hand, missed a closing/opening etc!

  4. smokervoter says:

    Of all the stupid thangs leftover from the Seventies organic food has got to rank right up there near yoga in my book. The belief that everlasting life can be obtained by eating carrots and broccoli grown by sociology PhD’s down at the smarmy Community Garden on high street rather than by 4th and 5th generation real farmers out in the boonies is pure bunk. To add insult to injury, organic produce typically costs about four times the conventionally farmed variety.

    Anti-smokers, extreme environmentalists and snot-nosed, picky eating foodies all deserve one another. I’d exile them all to an unused section of Australia and call the place Dullsville.

    It was in a hippy health food store in Santa Cruz, California (circa 1972) that I first saw a sign that read “Thank You for NOT Smoking in Our Healthy Place” Mind you, you could smoke anywhere and everywhere back then.

    Why healthy eating may be the new eating disorder

    “They may be ‘plunged into gloom’ by eating a piece of bread, become anxious about when their next kale, chia or quinoa hit is coming, or eat only at home where ‘superfood’ intake can be tightly controlled.”


    “Clean eaters may follow similar regimes, removing gluten, dairy and even meat from their diets.

    You might overhear a discussion about ‘superfood green smoothie’ recipes after a yoga class that also happened to ‘cleanse your gall bladder’.”


    • Frank Davis says:

      Yeah, that’s another one. “Organic food.”

      As if ordinary farm produce is inorganic.

      • Frank Davis says:

        But do they need to be shipped to an uninhabited region of Australia? I’ve heard that the entire population of the Earth could fit on the Isle of Wight (area 380 squ km, 150 squ miles). Why not one of those almost-entirely-uninhabited islands off the coast of California? Like Santa Cruz Island (similar area)? Or to be exact, Prisoners Harbor on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island. They could have their own SmokeFree city there, chock full of recycled organic health food malls, no cars allowed, bicycles only. It would be just like heaven. And, just like with heaven, they’d never be allowed back to the mainland.

        • nisakiman says:

          I understand Alcatraz is currently vacant. And you can even see California from there.

    • smofunking says:

      My personal preference for organic food has nothing to do with a Methuselah complex, I’m just not an aficionado of chemical pesticides, although I’m well aware that they are not without their benefits in many places.

      One thing I’ve learnt as a smoker is to try and avoid pigeon holing others, especially when we’re all perceived as helpless addicts who are desperate to give up their anti-social habit by the ANTZ, Public Health and the ignorant.

      • smo the chemicals have a half life and can only be used up to only so many weeks or days prior to harvest. Then the are washed meticulously at the canning or sorting areas.

        Ive picked potatoes,apples.peaches and cropped tobacco and in no instance was any pesticide that I know of allowed to be used 2 weeks or sooner before harvest.

        Tobaccos the same way. Then age further destroys the pesticides ability to stay a pesticide as many today are being made to break down into natural components from what I have heard to be come a secondary like fertilizer in the ground itself.

        But Ive only just heard that in mention from a Kentucky farm agent.

        • smofunking says:

          It’s not so much what effect the pesticides may have on me, but the so-called ‘pests’. Unfortunately, much of society tends to look at pests the same way as some do smokers. Wouldn’t be surprised if the amount of pesticide residue left behind can vary considerably.

      • Officials Declare ‘Eating Healthy’ a Mental Disorder

        In an attempt to curb the mass rush for food change and reform, psychiatry has green lighted a public relations push to spread awareness about their new buzzword “orthorexia nervosa,” defined as “a pathological obsession for…

  5. Pat Nurse says:

    Perhaps I am one of the few who saw bans coming as far back as the 80s, given the bit by bit approach. However, I did not see the hate campaign against smokers that has followed since 2007. I thought we’d be kicked out of pubs, cafes and clubs but never imagined that my very right to exist as a person now defined by what I do would be under threat.

    • Frank Davis says:

      In my experience, the hate campaign is almost entirely top-down, institutionally driven. I never encounter it on the streets. I’ve never seen anyone waving their hands or tutting. But I suspect I’ve been lucky.

      Most of my (former) friends became antismokers, very gradually, but usually very mildly. None of them hated smokers. They just “didn’t like it now”, when once they hadn’t been bothered at all, or had been smokers themselves.

      • If the bans were all repealed tomorrow most everbody could careless we were back smoking again especially here in Kentucky. Nobody cares and whats more more and more people simply look at a sign and IGNORE it. Its not an isolated incidence there are reports of it everywhere in stories every week.

        Mostly its from whining anti smoking advocates to broke in money to buy a story line so they write a opinion piece on it and hope like hell its gets published.

        Ive even had a few publicshed myself and boy the responses were overwhelming when a tad of fact gets put in their faces………..

      • Stephen says:

        Exactly! You never encounter it on the streets, in-person. Granted, I’ve known a couple of rabid anti-smoking types, but they were always the fringe element. Nobody took them seriously.

        Great site, I just stumbled across it yesterday! :)

      • Pat Nurse says:

        I find it sad that some of my non smoker friends who didn’t really care about smoking before 2007 suddenly became terrified of it more and more as each year went on to the point of paranoia now in some cases, and screaming “child abuser” in others. I agree the hate campaign is top down but all social hate campaigns against deliberately stigmatised groups has always come from top down as a way of leading stupid and bigoted people forward towards an ideological aim. It doesn’t help that every case I hear lately of an old person who dies of a lung or heart related disease is told it is because they were around smokers in the 70s and 80s – and they believe it.

        This does not explain why people who have never smoked nor been around smokers die of the same kind of lung and heart disease. As fewer people smoke, the tobacco control lies can exaggerate further and say anything because fewer people will have their own experiences to compare it with. They’ll believe what they’re told because they know no better. It would be good if people actually looked at the evidence and made their own minds up. Some do of course but others are happy to believe scaremongering propaganda because it fits their own prejudices or because they don’t smoke and won’t smoke so why should they care?.

        They should be asking why is cancer, heart disease and respiratory problems like asthma worse now than at any other time in history despite the fact there have never been fewer smokers. They should be aware that prejudice against smokers is killing non smokers too who die of the same human illnesses. Lung cancer, for example, is not exclusive to smokers and we know it has a genetic factor but it is underfunded, and research is limited, because of the belief that only smokers get it and they deserve to die because they did it to themselves.

        The hate campaign is another bit by bit approach, with public support born from unfounded fear, which is gearing up for the end game – criminalisation of the consumer, jail and huge fines for the smoker (to get back lost quitters’ tax), and of course destruction of the industry.

        Bigots have to have someone to kick and smokers are handy to abuse with Govt support and money in this socially regressive century where everyone is looking for a scapegoat to blame for everything that is going wrong.

        • One problem Rose the ones pushing the junk science and bans are also the same ones pushing socialist economic changes that crashed the world economy and destroyed the ability of private enterprise to make the profits that paid the revenues for their insanity social changes and anti-smoking Nazism ideals.

          In other words their own policies is what destroye themselves not only now but 80 years ago.Hitler would never have broght Germany up from the wermar economy of depression without the aid of American dollars feom we know who. Tobacco makes 200 billion a year in America flat out cash cow……….no other revenue source is as secure.

        • cherie79 says:

          Must agree Pat, I have said before that I was dx with lung cancer nearly five years ago , no symptoms at all, purely incidental finding. Had surgery and, fingers x have been fine since. Apart from a brief time before and after surgery I never stopped smoking, my choice. What I have learned from the LC forum that very many never smokers, young people and those who gave up decades ago get LC. An example is my friend who has stage 4 LC has never smoked nor has anyone in her family, as a nurse she was not exposed at work either. If you have lungs you can get lung cancer and they won’t spend the money to find out why, much easier to blame it all on smokers.

  6. mikef317 says:

    A plague of MD’s. (Magnetic could probably embellish this considerably.)

    In 1950, in England, when Doll (MD) and Bradford Hill published their first paper that linked smoking to lung cancer, in the U. S., Ernest Wynder (MD) published his paper on the same subject. In my opinion this was the start of the current “scientific” war on smoking. These two papers. Wynder was a life-long anti-tobacco crusader, and a pioneer in the experiments that painted mice with cigarette “tar.”

    In the U. S., the Surgeon General is often referred to as the “nation’s doctor.” (By people associated with the SG.) In 1962, then SG Luther Terry (MD) appointed a committee to study the relationship between smoking and health. Of ten people, EIGHT were MD’s; one was a chemist, and one a statistician. Two years later they produced the famous (infamous?) report. (There had been a previous report in England – from the Royal College of Physicians – more MD’s.)

    The SG committee consulted with something short of 200 “authorities.” If you review the Acknowledgments page of the report, overwhelmingly, most are MD’s.

    The link between smoking and lung cancer (and every other disease you’ve ever heard of) is statistical. (Don’t scream xx toxins and “known carcinogens” in smoke – tell me which of these evil chemicals causes lung cancer.)

    In the 1950’s, many doctors decided that they were experts in math, and rather than treating individual patients, they set off to apply their vast knowledge to nations of people, or better, to ALL people, worldwide. (A few doctors really were experts in math, and many [most?] of these opposed the jihad. Professional mathematicians were largely silent on the subject of tobacco; those who commented were generally critical of the “smoking causes” theory, and were mostly ignored or condemned by public health authorities as being paid shills of Big Tobacco.)

    If you think statistics on smoking “prove” anything, study statistics, or ask a mathematician rather than an MD or public health bureaucrat. Do this, and maybe you’ll begin to think in terms of “statistical malpractice.”

    It is interesting that Doll’s mentor, Bradford Hill (an honest-to-God statistician of some repute), retired and lived for many years, but never spoke about smoking or any other scientific subject. Perhaps he saw what was being done to mathematics, and knew that any critique would only get him branded as a paid shill of Big Tobacco.

    Most people “know” that the Surgeon General’s report “proved” that smoking causes lung cancer. But how many of “those in the know” have read the report? (Did it say, “smoking causes lung cancer”? Would you like to bet money on that?)

    Speaking as someone who has read the SG’s report, after some pondering, I came down to a single question – is this 1) a scientific study, or 2) a medical diagnosis?

    MD, MD, MD, MD, MD…. Are doctors scientists? Do they think like scientists? Do they follow the scientific method? Doctors spent several thousand years letting blood to treat their patients. But today’s doctors, of course, are scientific. Really? Want to bet? Read the SG’s report before you do. It is 387 pages of pseudo-scientific drivel.

    The cause of disease is insanely complicated. Most doctors (think general practitioners) probably know the limitations of their knowledge. (My doctor certainly does.) Eminent Authorities and Public Health Bureaucrats are something else. (Something mentally ill? Endlessly crusading to declare their opinions the only true opinions.)

    A plague of MD’s? Or the Doctor’s Disease? The conviction (despite all evidence) that doctors know the truth, and know how every single person in the world should live their lives. For health, of course. And to save the children.

    The case against secondhand smoke relies entirely on the case against primary smoking, and that was only “proven” in the minds of MD’s playing with numbers. The crusade was always (and still is) for (unspoken) prohibition.

    A plague of MD’s.

    Readers should dispute (or at least question) the MD’s undisputable truth. This is not just about smoking – it is also about all other crusades – against fat, salt, sugar, soda, red meat – whatever the sanctimonious MD’s have declared bad for your health.

    • Frank Davis says:

      In the 1950’s, many doctors decided that they were experts in math

      This is indeed something rather noteworthy. Richard Doll failed his university entry mathematics exams, and became a doctor instead. Ernst Wynder was a doctor (and raised in childhood in Nazi Germany). I sometimes think that there’s a special “medical” branch of statistics, which is quite different from what’s taught in university mathematics departments, a bit like astrology is different from astronomy. All the “proofs” of harm are statistical. It’s number magic.

      What do professional mathematicians think of it all? What do Professors of Mathematics think? They seem to be silent. But maybe they’re silent in the same way that a lot of physicists are silent about Global Warming. Too dangerous to speak up if they want to keep their jobs?

      • Edgar says:

        ” … a lot of physicists are silent about Global Warming. Too dangerous to speak up if they want to keep their jobs?” Maybe. Another possibility (not necessarily excluding the one you mentioned) is that the physicists’ silence arises because they do not pretend to have the answers. Ask a physicist to provide a long-term prediction for the evolution of a highly nonlinear dynamical system involving a many-dimensional phase space and the honest response would be ‘You’re guess is as good as mine: that is, it would be worthless.’

    • Epidemiologists Vote to Keep Doing Junk Science

      Epidemiology Monitor (October 1997)

      An estimated 300 attendees a recent meeting of the American College of
      Epidemiology voted approximately 2 to 1 to keep doing junk science!

      Specifically, the attending epidemiologists voted against a motion
      proposed in an Oxford-style debate that “risk factor” epidemiology is
      placing the field of epidemiology at risk of losing its credibility.

      Risk factor epidemiology focuses on specific cause-and-effect
      relationships–like heavy coffee drinking increases heart attack risk. A
      different approach to epidemiology might take a broader
      perspective–placing heart attack risk in the context of more than just
      one risk factor, including social factors.

      Risk factor epidemiology is nothing more than a perpetual junk science machine.

      But as NIEHS epidemiologist Marilyn Tseng said “It’s hard to be an
      epidemiologist and vote that what most of us are doing is actually harmful
      to epidemiology.”

      But who really cares about what they’re doing to epidemiology. I thought
      it was public health that mattered!

      we have seen the “SELECTIVE” blindness disease that
      Scientist have practiced over the past ten years. Seems the only color they
      see is GREEN BACKS, it’s a very infectious disease that has spread through
      the Scientific community with the same speed that any infectious disease
      would spread. And has affected the T(thinking) Cells as well as sight.

      Seems their eyes see only what their paid to see. To be honest, I feel
      after the Agent Orange Ranch Hand Study, and the Sl-utz and Nutz Implant
      Study, they have cast a dark shadow over their profession of being anything
      other than traveling professional witnesses for corporate hire with a lack
      of moral concern to their obligation of science and truth.

      The true “Risk Factor” is a question of ; will they ever be able to earn
      back the respect of their profession as an Oath to Science, instead of
      corporate paid witnesses with selective vision?
      Oh, if this seems way harsh, it’s nothing compared to the damage of peoples
      lives that selective blindness has caused!

      • Don’t fret over list of cancer ‘risks’

        “We are being bombarded” with messages about the dangers posed by common things in our lives, yet most exposures “are not at a level that are going to cause cancer,” said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society’s deputy chief medical officer.
        Linda Birnbaum agrees. She is a toxicologist who heads the government agency that just declared styrene, an ingredient in fiberglass boats and Styrofoam, a likely cancer risk.
        “Let me put your mind at ease right away about Styrofoam,” she said. Levels of styrene that leach from food containers “are hundreds if not thousands of times lower than have occurred in the occupational setting,” where the chemical in vapor form poses a possible risk to workers.
        Carcinogens are things that can cause cancer, but that label doesn’t mean that they will or that they pose a risk to anyone exposed to them in any amount at any time.

        Now,Im glad to see the ACS admitting to the dose response relationship finally!

        So now we understand why the following is factual:

        are hundreds if not thousands of times lower than have occurred in the occupational setting,” where the chemical in vapor form poses a possible risk to workers.

        Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Vol. 14, No. 1. (August 1991), pp. 88-105.

        ETS between 10,000- and 100,000-fold less than estimated average MSS-RSP doses for active smokers

        OSHA the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded


        • 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

      • Theres a million more we could all add to the list I started below

  7. jaxthefirst says:

    I think it first dawned on me that the blanket ban was going to be imposed when that weasel Blair announced oh-so-grandly that he was giving MPs a free vote on the matter. As soon as I heard that, my heart sunk. I knew that the holier-than-thou masses who infest the House of Commons would dutifully vote for a blanket ban. Couldn’t miss a chance to throw a big, hard punch at the latest and most-fashionable hate-group, now, could they?

    It was probably also at that time that I finally lost any last vestige of trust in any of our politicians to do anything good, right or with any shred of integrity or humanity. I’d studied each of the major parties’ manifestos before the previous election and knew full well what the Labour one had promised, and up until then I – like many people, I suspect – genuinely believed that the majority of members of the major parties at least agreed with what was said in their manifestos and would at least try and stick to it, even if in the end it didn’t prove practically or economically possible or if some of their MPs “rebelled” against it and snookered it.

    But that moment was like a light switch coming on in my brain – one of those “Of course!” moments. I realised that that bit of the manifesto was just put in there in an attempt not to alienate the people that Blair knew he’d need to vote for him in the next election; to make him look like the “reasonable sort of guy” that he was always claiming to be. He’d be able to blame the total nature of the ban on the whole of the rest of Parliament and escape the blame himself, when he’d actually wanted a blanket ban all along. And I guess it was that, plus the barefaced, gleeful, enthusiastic prejudice displayed by the vast majority of MPs at the time, that made me realise what a truly nasty bunch of power-crazed bullies we really have running our country. Now, with – literally – just one or two notable exceptions, I despise the lot of them. Which is only fair, in view of the fact that pretty much all of them clearly despise me!

    It’s just a shame that the rest of the country didn’t come to the same realisation for a few more years, because it gave Labour and the EU a few more vital years to bring our country close to ruin. No wonder we eventually kicked Labour into touch – the general public are always a bit slow on the uptake, particularly now that most of them have given up smoking and so increased their proneness to gullibility, but they do catch on eventually, and I think most have now realised what truly venal, authoritarian people populate the Labour party.

    Of course, the Tories haven’t proved to be much of an improvement as far as smokers are concerned, but back then UKIP wasn’t the force it is now, and if you wanted change you simply had to vote for “the other one” (which, of course, is what happened when Labour got in in 1997 – and what a disappointing lack of change that gave us!). And at least – up until then – the Tories’ record for, if nothing else, being transparent and brutally honest about the objectives of their policies was better than Labour’s. After all, they may have closed pit after pit and carried on regardless, but at least they didn’t say that monetarism was good for the mining industry and that people who complained about it were a tiny, maladjusted minority. And they certainly didn’t post sniggering missives congratulating themselves about the effects of their policy.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I think most have now realised what truly venal, authoritarian people populate the Labour party.

      I hope you’re right, but last I heard Labour may be set to win the election in a few weeks time. and Nigel Farage isn’t doing too well in the Thanet constituency where he’s standing.

      Personally, I think that in the mainstream parties they’re all venal, authoritarian people. And it’s going to make no difference to a smoker like me which one gets in. But the Tories would be least worse, I suppose.

      • Pat Nurse says:

        Labour will criminalise us within five years. Tories will criminalise us within 10. There’s the difference. five more years of Labour and people will be begging for UKIP – or the Tories will wake up and realise how they were used by the anti-smoker industry and go back to being free market, free choice, industry and business loving Conservatives again.

        LibLabCon – no difference so what difference? I’ll be voting for what I want not what I fear less.

  8. For the first time in 12 years no smoking bans were brought forth in South Carolina,Mississippi,Alabama or Texas…………at the state levels.

    • Kentucky ban which barely got by on 1 vote was sent to the senate where it was DOA in committee………..the Veterans committee. Alabamas senate for 12 years killed it the same way………

  9. It also seems Obama has been on a agenda of getting minority preference in getting companys to hire their people of late and just this morning a story came out about the same thing happening with the US military filling it with illegal aliens as a means to citizenship,but to infiltrate the military with no natural citizens meaning they have no reason to fight based upon American values or patriotic call to duty and especially after his last 4 years of purging the military of the white commanders who didn’t tow his leftist agendas.

  10. smofunking says:

    I was also guilty of not taking the smoking Apartheid seriously. I was expecting it to be treated with the contempt that it deserved and to be generally ignored.

    Instead, friends would almost turn apoplectic when I’d subtly light up inside a pub. “What’s the worst that can happen to me?” I’d ask. “Get sent to prison? At least I’d be able to smoke in there.”

  11. Articles: Make the Leftist Media the 2016 Issue

    The enemy of conservatism in America is the leftist establishment – the leftist-controlled institutions of news, education, and entertainment. Take away these big, fat incestuously connected institutions, and the left in America is a circus sideshow and nothing else. Democrat “leaders” like Obama,…

  12. Big Pharma generates $77.5 billion in revenue for every $1 million they give to corrupt politicians

    Learn more:

  13. Finish Boot Camp And You’re A Citizen – Replacing The Purged Military Veterans With Foreigners…

    The Obama regime is nothing if not creative in the ways they come up with to provide foreigners of every description other than Caucasian with a path into the…

    • Yet nearly 95% of front line fighting troops are all white………..

      The Obama regime is nothing if not creative in the ways they come up with to provide foreigners of every description other than Caucasian with a path into the United States. In this case, they get fast-track citizenship. The open door is one that the Obama regime created back in 2009 through the military, prior to the purge of American veterans from the ranks.

      There’s nothing quite like a military force composed of grateful imports of questionable loyalty to constitute the ranks of a fighting force that might be asked at some point to take offensive action against their own nation. The American citizens wouldn’t be such an objectionable target to someone from Iran or elsewhere who passed the test to get into boot camp but really deep down doesn’t care for us at all. Seeing Americans from a disdainful perspective such as that of the occupant of the White House might even assure that they are accepted.

      We can hope that those making the determinations as to who qualifies for the program and who is rejected are familiar with the character weaknesses exhibited by the American-born terrorist Major Nidal Hasan. Like those who are sought by this program, Hasan had a medical degree and spoke an in-demand foreign jihadist language. According to the program requirements, folks like him are vital to the national interest.

  14. Phillip Morris Introduces ‘Marlboro M’ Marijuana Cigarettes

    Phillip Morris, the world’s biggest cigarette producer, announced today that they will join the marijuana legalization bandwagon and start producing marijuana…

  15. Hell we lost one smoking place wafflehouse and picked up now 3 more smoking places……….That’s what happened the customer base went elsewhere and WH has already cut staff and hours of those working. I kid you not!

  16. Policy has killed patients, claims lawyer.
    A lawyer acting for a psychiatric patient will fight to overturn a smoking ban at mental health units in the Court of Appeal this month.

    Barrister Richard Francois told the Herald on Sunday patients’ lives were at risk because they had been told to smoke off the grounds or at the fence line and were unsupervised. Patients in secure units were not able to smoke at all.

    He said he would argue in court that the policy had killed more psychiatric patients than smoking-related diseases.

    He said the smoking ban was at least partly to blame in six cases where people had died since the law was introduced in 2010.

    Last month Nicky Stevens, a patient at the Waikato District Health Board’s Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre, died in the Waikato River after being let out on unescorted leave. It was understood he was left unsupervised while having a cigarette at the fence line and left the centre unnoticed.

    In 2010, Christine Morris was a patient at the same unit when she was able to walk off the premises and kill her neighbour, Diane White.

    Morris had told her psychiatrist only minutes before her escape that she was going to kill her neighbour – but she was still left unsupervised to have a cigarette.

    Francois said those cases highlighted that patients should be allowed to smoke in secure sections within the grounds or in dedicated smoking rooms.

    He added that despite district health boards providing patients with smoking cessation courses, they did not want to quit.

    “It’s crazy. We predicted there would be more instances like this,” he said. “The court didn’t listen. They listened to the health board and they had their experts saying that won’t happen here. And it did.”

    Francois will appear for his client, who has name suppression, in the Court of Appeal later this month in an attempt to overturn a 2013 judicial review that ruled patients had no right to smoke within the grounds of the Waitemata District Health Board.

    His 33-year-old client has a psychotic disorder and is sometimes confined to the intensive care unit which patients are not allowed to leave to smoke.

    The patient has told authorities that when he is forced to stop smoking he “gets irritable and at times angry”, and feels “as though part of my freedom is taken away from me”.

    The 2013 High Court ruling found the DHB had the power to implement a no-smoking policy to protect patients, staff and visitors from smoke and to promote the cessation of smoking.

    It also found the policy did not breach human rights.

  17. Simon Cowell reveals he failed to give up smoking

    Simon Cowell once tried to give up smoking, but failed within minutes.

    The 55-year-old ‘X Factor’ supremo – who has 14-month-old baby Eric with his partner, Lauren Silverman – has revealed he underwent hypnotherapy in a bid to kick the habit, but had another cigarette in his mouth within moments of leaving the session.

    He explained: “I tried once to give up smoking, and the first thing I did when I walked out of the hypnotist’s was light up a cigarette. I actually wanted one more.”

    Simon was recently hypnotised once more, this time by a dog for the auditions of the reality TV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and has revealed he found it to be the “weirdest feeling”.

    He told The Sun newspaper: “That was a very strange sensation. Look, I don’t know whether it was the trainer or whether it was the dog, but it was the weirdest feeling. It’s all on tape.

    “I do start yawning and feeling very light-headed. My last memory was the dog staring at me – and I love dogs – with this really weird look. Then the next thing, the girl is saying: ‘Five, four three, two, one, wake up.’

  18. Non-Smoker Exposure to Secondhand Cannabis Smoke II: Effect of Room Ventilation on the Physiological, Subjective, and Behavioral/Cognitive Effects



    Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug. Many individuals are incidentally exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke, but little is known about the effects of this exposure. This report examines the physiological, subjective, and behavioral/cognitive effects of secondhand cannabis exposure, and the influence of room ventilation on these effects.


    Non-cannabis-using individuals were exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke from six individuals smoking cannabis (11.3% THC) ad libitum in a specially constructed chamber for one hour. Chamber ventilation was experimentally manipulated so that participants were exposed under unventilated conditions or with ventilation at a rate of 11 air exchanges/hour. Physiological, subjective and behavioral/cognitive measures of cannabis exposure assessed after exposure sessions were compared to baseline measures.


    Exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke under unventilated conditions produced detectable cannabinoid levels in blood and urine, minor increases in heart rate, mild to moderate self-reported sedative drug effects, and impaired performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST). One urine specimen tested positive at using a 50 ng/mL cut-off and several specimens were positive at 20 ng/mL. Exposure under ventilated conditions resulted in much lower blood cannabinoid levels, and did not produce sedative drug effects, impairments in performance, or positive urine screen results.


    Room ventilation has a pronounced effect on exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke. Under extreme, unventilated conditions, secondhand cannabis smoke exposure can produce detectable levels of THC in blood and urine, minor physiological and subjective drug effects, and minor impairment on a task requiring psychomotor ability and working memory.

  19. Jon says:

    This whole anti smoking crusade has been a long time in coming, from the first smoker (UK or Spain?) to be arrested because it looked like he was breathing fire (when he was released smoking allowed and legal) to even the Catholic Church at one time coming out against tobacco and this was long before the more contemporary movements espoused by the Nazis and so on. However there is a method here, slowly but surely to add more and more restrictions, You tube or may have the video of a debate between a anti smoker and a representative from the tobacco industry arguing over at the time “reasonable” ban on smoking on domestic flights back in the early 80s. It all started from there, just little slice of freedom from personal choice to private enterprises on a health risk that to this day can never be confirmed using the pillars of “sound science.” For more information on that, Google ” Federal Judge Olsteens” decision on the EPA report of 1991 which was responsible from removing smoking from the workplace which started the downward spiral.

    But lets stop for a moment. Who though the smoking bans would go to apartments or condos? These were considered private domains at one time! But now there is a growing number of tenants in multi unit buildings say they can smell the smoke invading their homes. There are claims that it gets through the walls and one tenant said she could smell tobacco smoke coming from her sink drain and even plug outlets on the wall separating the two units! I even heard of one mother, terrified of the “dangers” of SHS, she would make her kids wear air masks while crossing units that are known to have smokers. Then there was claims that SHS can even rise up through the ceiling from a lower to upper unit. The smoke nazis slowly call for an extension of current ban ordinance to prevent backlash and public outrage.

    Given the nature of how smoking can somehow penetrate walls seems more psycho-somatic which has been honed from decades of social conditioning. If anything, SHS leaking into other units is a product of shoddy construction, as a tobacconist told me after he went to great efforts to prevent SHS from getting into the neighboring unit which complains daily of smelling cigar smoke. Thanks to the anti smoking crowd controlling the argument, countless anti smoking groups and campaigns flood the media cloud, a simple Google on the word smoking will render a wealth of sites from the dangers of tobacco use to even locations of 12 step programs to encourage smokers give up their hobby otherwise known as “kicking the habit.” Companies fining employees for smoking even off the clock or denying them employment outright seems to be of no concern to anyone but, like smoking being banned in private domains, no one would thought it would go to conditions of employment but no one cared in the end, looking away while saying “you shouldn’t be smoking period.”

    The most significant sign of social conditioning is “The Reformed Smoker.” A reformed smoker is someone who will support bans, claiming they don’t wanna leave a bar smelling like an ash tray when in all reality they were smoking there too not long ago before they had reformers enlightenment. I read one article that was written by a proud reformed smoker that he will happily go into some alley or by a dumpster to enjoy a smoke knowing he wasn’t harming or harassing non smokers with his deadly habit. What reformed smokers don’t know or get for that matter is that the technology is here now, air scrubbers designed to remove smoke from an environment, even something as simple as febreeze can get that ash smell out of the air and your clothing or go to a local convenience store and purchase a product called “Ozium” a small yet potent air santizier that with one small shot can clean large rooms of that “smell” so many people have come to detest.

    But crusade against tobacco and smoking is just the beginning. The rights smokers being destroyed will not end with prohibition of tobacco. The anti smokers have always championed healthy lifestyles that frown upon products like sodas or candy bars or other sinful pleasures. I have seen one commercial so far that shows a mom giving her son a 2 liter bottle of sprite telling the views to resist any tax that may be levied on these products that has been demonstrated to be be harmful as well. The healthy lifestyle crowd while vilifying smokers dont seem to go on a media blitzkrieg about the dangers of Coke. Coca Cola and Pepsi products are known to be acidic in nature. Even a small amount from a 12 oz can is able remove corrosion from a car battery or dissolve a nail overnight and no one seems to care that they are putting these chemicals into their bodies, not enough to even push the idea of a mandatory ban on say: 40 Oz cups of soda from a gas station soda fountain. Why arent we demonizing soda drinkers as being a burden to health insurers, after all, more people drink soda than smoke, no one needs a poll or a study to show that.

    I honestly don’t seem a return of even reasonable rights of private citizens as the lord or lady of their domain and able to determine how the business is run or what goes on in their house. The commercials we twenty and thirty somethings saw on TV since we were young were, kissing a smoker is gross. Or the smoker being dehumanized to a lesser animal like a monkey or a fish when they held a cigarette or cigarette packet. fusing such images has been ingrained into our minds to the point now we think its just a crime against humanity to see a pregnant woman have to endure a smoker and yet we can remember smokers and smoke in general being everywhere and how many of us were born with life debilitating diseases from wisps of smoke in a large space like a mall? It doesnt matter as we learned because a lie told 100 times becomes truth and this is coming from a former passionate anti smoker, now a avid cigar smoker. I confess to of signed on to a 2005 ban in Seattle, known to have one of the strictest bans on smoking. I also had asthma and was good at faking a cough or wheezing as Morse Code to tell a smoker to get lost, not because it was actually inflaming my lungs and I dont even remember how I got that idea.

    My lovers of the leaf and briar, our time is over, the majority now rules and they arent lighting up. All we can do is fight for our right to smoke in our homes or smoke shops which no anti or non smoker goes into by accident. If there is a chance for a relaxing of bans, go for it with all you got but dont hold your breath because the anti smokers will say they held theirs long enough.

    • beobrigitte says:

      My lovers of the leaf and briar, our time is over,

      I beg to differ – our time is never over. Things in life go full cycle.

      the majority now rules and they arent lighting up.
      Which majority? PR is one thing – life is another. FACT is, we smokers are still here – and the baby-boomers amongst us live much longer, too. Because they, too are expected to work long past what is regarded as retirement age.

  20. beobrigitte says:

    If I have one big regret in life, it’s that I never saw the smoking bans coming.
    After many years of constant bombardment with ‘smoking-is-bad’, I was not surprised when it was announced that on 01.07.2007 a smoking ban was to be forced upon the public. What did surprise me was that people, despite moaning, didn’t rebel.

    I suppose I simply regarded smoking in pubs as a sort of unalterable fact of life. Like roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Or the Grand National at Aintree. I simply couldn’t imagine pubs without smoking.
    Neither could I. And I still don’t like the smokeless places. No soul in there.

    And in some ways, the first task is to blunt the air of invincibility and inevitability that the antismokers have acquired over the past few decades.
    They worked long and hard copying the Nazi anti-smoking propaganda. They can’t think for themselves to begin with. When the anti-smoking advocates invaded Bavaria I remember thinking: different language – same propaganda babble.
    To be positive: the more disgruntled people are, the more likely they will reject what they previously accepted.

    There was no real resistance to antismoking 10 years ago. But there is a Resistance now.
    You are bloody well right, there is resistance! Do I see the number of smokers in the streets decline? No. Do they smoke more openly? Yes.
    One thing I have definitely noticed; a couple of years back smokers were hiding their cigarettes; only very few would show that they are smoking. Now I do not see smokers hiding their cigarettes anymore.
    However, since lumping the vapers in with the smokers, I do not see many people vaping anymore. The vapers appear to be at the stage of the smokers just after the smoking ban was pushed down our throats. Even at a wake vapers went outside with the smokers. I went up to the social club proprietor and asked if they were going to throw me out for openly using my e-cig.
    I learned that the place had been ‘shopped’ for ignoring smoking and the fine was huge. But e-cigs were ok, I was told. After I openly used my e-cig, a few more people got theirs out their handbags/coats.

    There was no real resistance to antismoking 10 years ago. But there is a Resistance now. And it’s a nascent global resistance. It’s just not a very effective resistance. But there are some notable members of it – like Nigel Farage and UKIP. But the fact that there is a resistance at all, where once there was none, signals that the antismokers are not quite in such total control as they once were, and their further encroachments aren’t quite so inevitable as they would like everyone to believe.
    It takes only ONE country to amend the smoking ban and the anti-smokers are doomed. And they know it!
    The BBC is running a lot of Labour campaigns today – Labour says it wants FAIRNESS. But…. but….. but…… what Labour proposes to do to smokers is fair? REALLY?

  21. Pingback: Behind Closed Doors | Frank Davis

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