Recollections

I’ve been remembering today the reactions of smoking friends to smoking bans.

I haven’t been back to Spain since the Spanish smoking ban came into force in early 2011. But mi amiga in Spain wasn’t at all bothered about it like I was. Yet she smoked just as much as I did. Why wasn’t she bothered? And why wasn’t she bothered, particularly when she was a lawyer? Shouldn’t lawyers be the first to object to bad laws?

The answer, I think, may have been evident on the very first day I met her, when I arrived at El Prat airport in Barcelona one day in 2001, when smoking bans were still unimaginable. When we got to her big white BMW in the car park, and I climbed in next to her, she opened the window and started frantically waving her hands and apologising for the faint odour of tobacco smoke in the car. I hadn’t even noticed it, and remarked that I wouldn’t have been bothered by it anyway, because I was a smoker too. After that, we both used to smoke in her car wherever we went.

But the little episode stuck in memory, and 10 years later I wondered whether there was a clue there to why she accepted the Spanish smoking ban so easily. And the clue was that she was already apologising for smoking 10 years before smoking got banned.

If that was one clue, the other clue was that, living with her mother, she adhered to her mother’s ban on smoking indoors. So whenever she wanted a cigarette, she’s head outside into a little patio. Or she’d walk all the way round the block with her dog.

The truth of the matter was that, 10 years before the Spanish smoking ban, she was already completely conditioned to accept informal smoking bans, and also very ready to apologise for smoking. She’d given in already. They could have brought in the ban 10 years earlier, and she wouldn’t have objected.

There was a similar circumstance with one of my English friends. In one married couple I knew, the wife was a never-smoker and the husband an always-smoker. Then one day she banned smoking in their flat, and it was the same business of traipsing outside to the garden. I remember thinking that, in his position, I’d have regarded her ban as grounds for divorce. And in fact, a few years later, they did get divorced.

But he was another smoker who’d given in to the informal antismoking mafia of the time. When the UK ban was announced, he told me very earnestly one day that he was looking forward to the ban, because he was hoping the ban would make him stop smoking (in the event, it didn’t). My former good opinion of him promptly fell through the floor. And I already didn’t think much of his craven surrender to his wife.

Another smoker, who probably never thought of herself as “a smoker”, was my landlady of many years. The very first time I met her, at a party, she was sitting smoking a cigarette very elegantly and statuesquely. But I never saw her buy any cigarettes. She always cadged them off other people, I think. At least, she subsequently cadged hundreds (maybe even thousands) of cigarettes off me. One of my vivid later memories of her in her very large Georgian house, was how she would come knocking at my door after some trying visit to her elderly and cantankerous father, who lived in another flat in the house. She was always desperate for a cigarette after one of those visits. She’d sometimes smoke two while telling me what a curmudgeon he was, and how incredibly demanding. Yet as she accepted my cigarettes, she’d always be saying, “I shouldn’t really…” as she reached out for them.

Perhaps no surprise that a few years later she banned smoking in her flat too. I guess it went with all the organic food she bought, and the feng shui, and Save The Whales.

One bizarre smoker I knew only smoked when he went to his local pub where, after the smoking ban came into force, he’d stand outside with all the other smokers. And yet he banned smoking in his own house!  While still keeping packs of cigarettes in his jacket pockets ready to smoke outside his local pub! I never did figure out all the contradictions in that.

But the simple truth of the matter is perhaps that many smokers had already mostly completely surrendered to antismoking pressure from their peers. They were apologising and retreating long before there was even the glimmer of a public smoking ban.

Yet somehow or other I felt very little peer pressure. I’ve sometimes wondered whether there was some book I’d not read, or some documentary I’d not seen, which everyone else had, and which had scared the wits out of them. But I don’t think there was one. There was instead just the relentless antismoking scare stories that had been slowly ratcheting up in the media for decades. It all slowly got to them. Yet it didn’t get to me.

But then, I was unusual in that I started smoking in defiance of the dismal antismoker, Dr W, in whose house I once lived. I didn’t start smoking because all my friends did. Or because my father smoked. I started smoking after meeting my first antismoker, and realising that it was hatred of smoking, not rational science of any sort, that underpinned  his beliefs. I lost my fear of smoking. So I’d already been inoculated against antismokers long before they showed up in numbers.

And I haven’t changed. Back in my student days, when I’d just started smoking, I preferred the company of smokers (of whatever substance they happened to smoke) and drinkers. They were the fun people to be with. They were party people. It took an effort to spend time with the people who didn’t smoke or drink or keep good record collections.

These days, if anything, my attitudes have hardened. I don’t want to know any antismokers. I used to tolerate them once, but not any more. If they don’t want to be in the same room with me, then I equally don’t want to be in the same room as them. It’s the stench of sanctimoniousness. I simply don’t want to know the kind of stupid people who are frightened of tobacco smoke. Or frightened of global warming. Or frightened of any of the rest of it.

They can all go to hell.

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About Frank Davis

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47 Responses to Recollections

  1. When I was in spain 1986 or so it was smoking everywhere. Nobody would even think of such a thing as a ban. I mean its such a part of spain itself. Fortunas were like 15 cents American at the time I tried a pack like to have wiped me out so harsh. Spanish Marlboros were actually made in Russia and imported according to Edwardo our dog catcher on base and a rabid anti-communist he was too……….But they tasted like American winstons……..But every nite at 10 pm everyone was on the streets or in a coffee shop out pushing baby carriages and smoking moms and all.

    The buy me drinking dives were loaded with smokes or any other drug you might want……

    Prostitution everywhere………..and the Disco palaces everywhere.

    The owners would drag me in and force free drinks on me all the time,because I was the military police………….lmao the perks I got in town and around Europe when I went brig chasing.

    Europe and smoking bans,the last thing anyone save hitler or his minions would ever do. Smoking in Europe was the one thing that crossed all cultural and political barriers besides a lil vino!

    • Frank I never ever wrote a ticket for a seatbelt. I was probably the coolest cop ever put on a beat. But there were times I had to use force and I got myself a few bloody cuts to boot but usually just drunks. I had one cold cock me right on the back of the head on the lower ear once. I had to billy club the guy to get him to quit. but hey I was just getting his bar bill paid and giving him a courtesy ride back to the ship when he does it out of nowhere……shit I never turned my back on a drunk again I tell ya that. He was broke and had busted the bar up a bit and I covered the damages and he does that shit to me.
      Anyway I was paid back in cash by the skipper of the USS NASHVILLE the ship he was on out of ship expences. I did that quite often.

      Keeps the peace with the locals an sailors out of the guads hands.

      • Frank Davis says:

        billy club

        English coppers used to carry truncheons. From memory, they were about a foot long and an inch or so in diameter, made of hardwood of some sort. I always imagined that they could quite easily break bones, if used with sufficient force.

        The criminal fraternity back then preferred to use a cosh, which was a bag filled with lumps of lead. I never got hit by either a truncheon or a cosh, but I always imagined that a cosh would have a softer impact.

        UK police have now got a new sort of truncheon, which has got handles sticking out at odd angles, and can be used in a variety of ways. They mostly don’t carry guns – but around airports they often seem to be armed with very substantial pieces of artillery.

    • Smofunking says:

      I was fortunate enough to spend my teenage years in Mallorca, attending the American school in Portals Nous. When I arrived on the island in 1977, there were no age restrictions when it came to smoking and drinking.

      The day I walked into the tabaquería with the intention of buying my first packet of cigarettes was one that I will always fondly remember. Just seeing all these different packages and wondering what each one would taste like.

      I gradually made my way up the price ladder before settling on Fortuna, which cost 50 pesetas (about 25 pence). The only cheaper ones I ever indulged in afterwards were Bisonte, which were like a Spanish version of Camel non-filters.

      Interesting about the Marlboro/Winston comparison as Spanish Winston tasted like they had metal filings in them.

      I did a bit of investigating a while back and it would seem that tobacco age restrictions weren’t imposed until 1982.

      It’s just sad to think that there are so many 13-year-olds who have been and will be denied the pleasure that I was privileged to experience.

      For me, cigarette packaging were like works of art before they were butchered by Tobacco Control.

      • nisakiman says:

        For me, cigarette packaging were like works of art before they were butchered by Tobacco Control.

        Indeed they were. I have very clear memories of the multitude of beautiful designs for the different brands. I compare what the philistines in TC are doing to the works of art that once adorned our ciggies to what the Taliban did to the Buddha statues in Bamiyan, and what IS are currently doing to the ancient city of Nimrud. All driven by a fanatical ideology with no basis in reality. Destruction for destruction’s sake. Wanton vandalism. They just hate. So they desecrate.

  2. They can all go to hell…………………exactly!

  3. CDC TARGETS LGBT SMOKERS AGAIN

    Gay smoking campaign returns

    The Centers for Disease Control is launching the fourth annual anti-smoking campaign targeted to LGBT…

    The campaign, dubbed “Tips from Former Smokers,” or the “Tips” campaign, has spurred about 1.64 million gay tobacco users to attempt cessation, the CDC claims. New information from the surgeon general’s 50th anniversary report on tobacco notes the disproportionate impact of smoking on LGBT people but also links smoking to higher rates of other cancers and diabetes for the first time, the CDC said.

    “LGBT people spend an estimated $7.9 billion dollars each year on smoking, yet we still think of it as a personal choice; it’s time we realize we smoke at such high rates because of systematic targeting by the tobacco industry” said Dr. Scout, director of LGBT HealthLink. “We’re deeply pleased CDC is doing this level of marketing to reach the LGBT population, because the tobacco industry has been doing it for a long time.”

    The CDC said LGBT people smoke about 50 percent more than straight people. The Tips ads will run through mid-August.

    http://www.washingtonblade.com/…/gay-smoking-campaign…/

    • waltc says:

      How in hell has the tobacco industry been intensely marketing to gays and transsexuals? Was it the pink bow in the Marlboro Man’s hair? The faint stubble visible on the cheeks of the Virginia Slims “baby” who’d come along way? Come to think of it, has the tobacco industry been marketing to anyone in the last 15 years? These people are so full of it, it tumbles out of their ears.

  4. High South Canterbury teen smoking ASH figures skewed by lack of respondents

    Timaru Herald

    At first glance the ASH 2014 survey figures appear to show South Canterbury has the highest teen smoking rate in the country, but that may not be true …

  5. marieengling says:

    I remember Spain in 1970. A pack of cigarettes for 35 pesetas. 1/10 of the price in Denmark. :)
    And everyone were smoking.

  6. waltc says:

    On topic: more than half of my once-smoking friends who quit became priggish anti’s . Worse, became fearful of secondhand smoke. I don’t, however, think that while they were smoking, they felt abashed or ashamed. Maybe, as they got older, even in their 40s, they came to fear more for their immortality and wanted to avoid all possible risks to it. Quitting, they were told, didn’t entirely get them off the hook, not as long as anyone else in the world smoked and “exposed” them to a whiff. Then, too, anti-smoking and anti-smoker became the socially-acceptable thing to be, the passport to polite society and right-mindedness.

    • Frank Davis says:

      the passport to polite society and right-mindedness.

      That’s a passport I don’t need, and don’t want. To have that passport would be like having a passport to the Soviet Gulag Archipelago. They can stuff their right-mindedness where the sun don’t shine.

      • nisakiman says:

        Ha! My sentiments exactly, Frank!

        But Walt makes a pertinent point. TC have spent a great deal of time, effort and money to create the situation whereby to be accepted into ‘polite society’ (read ‘politically correct’ society) now, you must be a non-smoker, and better still, profess disdain for any of the ‘outsiders’ who do smoke.

        And most people are herd animals. They want to be accepted, to feel the warm glow of approval from the majority group, because therein lies safety and security.

        • Its easy to be a rebel……………….and fight back.

        • nisakiman says:

          Unfortunately, Harley, for the majority today, it is not easy at all to be a rebel. We are few and far between.

        • Everybodys a rebel,you should have seen the backlash from the bbq cookout guys when I hit them with my cookout comparisons.

          Then after they had their rants about smoking and it was only 2,I said first they came for the smokers with junk science and then I whooped the new EPA regulatory strategy being employed to regulate outdoor grills and cookouts……….they submitted to me after that. And they to became rebels.

        • The Nazis employ submission to higher authority as their game plan saying the CDC SG etc etc says this even.

          I employ to the lower basic animal instinct of humans,their desire to be free and unhindered…………guess which one wins with a crowd ready to grab pitchforks and burn down city hall………..

  7. Bucko says:

    Occasionally we have guests who have never been to our house and they can be quite surprised when I tell them they don’t need to go out for a fag, they can smoke anywhere in the house.
    The non smokers get the same offer, but if anyone complained about smoking, they would be the ones getting chucked out.

    • Rose says:

      Visitors are a problem I rarely have to cope with since I gave up my social life after the ban, I don’t take at all well to organised public humiliation.
      Still, utter mistrust and contempt for politicians was a concept I was unfamiliar with until then but I’m getting quite good at it now.

      • Rose I aint far behind ya on giving up social life. Bingo and maybe a couple of coffee shops I like on occasion. But its become such a hassle I just sit home thru the week thinking up new ways to cause the Nazis more grief and especially thoughts on treason to the almighty government that’s screwing us all………In every part of life the Nazis have touched nothing is left unscathed no even motherhood.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Bucko, you just describe my household; except that the ashtrays on the tables may be clean, but my tobacco and lighter are next to it. And, sure enough, I will light up INSIDE my house, using the ashtrays for what they were intended.
      My smoking/non-smoking visitors do know this, anyway. I do not have anti-smokers amongst my friends.

    • nisakiman says:

      Goodness me, what a wonderfully enlightened and pragmatic chap that Simon Chapman sounds in the article! But wait a minute – that wouldn’t be the same Prof Chapman who started the Plain Packaging nonsense and wants licences for smokers would it? The one who declared that the ‘slippery slope’ was a figment of our imaginations?

      • The editor didn’t fully investigate chapman Im sure. If he did he brilliantly used chapman against himself. Chapmans only beef with outdoor bans is they can destroy the indoor ban movement in a flash. Just as Dr Siegel said in the NYT article 3 years ago……..they bet all they have gained for stupid outdoor bans and risk losing the indoor bans by doing it.

  8. I was in a row with the wife the other day about this on narcotics and neonatal abstinance syndrome. I told my wife after 2 women in Alabama had been charged with it that thee was no proof of such claims. The this morning it shows up again in another story and they say basically th same syndrome happens in smoking mothers in tenn.

    Turns out after looking at a few of the studies they were done by you guessed it anti-tobacco so called researchers and another arch enemy that sir geroge Godber said should be included in the war on smokers the academy of pediatrics………

    Guess who of all Nazi locals in the world defended these women from JUNK SCIENCE

    New Jersey

    Press Statement: Unanimous NJ Supreme Court Decision Affirms that Drug War Propaganda and Junk Science Provides No Basis for Child Neglect and Abuse Finding Against Pregnant Women

    New Jersey Civil Child Abuse Laws Do Not Authorize State Jurisdiction Over Pregnant Women; Drug Tests Are Not Predictors of Parenting Ability

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Lynn Paltrow 212-255-9252
    February 6, 2013

    Today, in a major victory for New Jersey’s pregnant women and families, the New Jersey Supreme Court announced a unanimous opinion in New Jersey Division of Youth & Family Services v. A.L. recognizing that the state’s child protection laws do not give the Division of Child Protection and Permanency jurisdiction or control over pregnant women and that positive drug tests on pregnant women and newborns do not alone establish neglect. The court also acknowledgd the concerns of leading medical and public health organizations that application of child protection laws to the context of pregnancy can undermine maternal, fetal, and child health.

    In this case, a mother, identified in court records as “A.L.,” gave birth to a healthy baby in September of 2007. The New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (formerly the Division of Youth and Family Services) argued that positive drug screens for cocaine on A.L. and her newborn were sufficient evidence of harm or imminent harm to find that A.L. had neglected her child. A lower court and the Appellate Division agreed, not only finding neglect in this case but also declaring that New Jersey’s neglect law could be applied to the context of pregnancy. Today the New Jersey Supreme Court rejected these claims.

    On appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court, National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW), along with Lawrence Lustberg, Esq. of Gibbons, PC, represented a group of fifty national and international medical, public health, and child welfare organizations, experts, and advocates including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Addiction Science Research and Education Center, and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. Amici in this case argued that the lower courts relied on popular misconceptions about drugs, pregnant women, and child welfare that lack any foundation in evidence-based, peer-reviewed research.

    Lawrence S. Lustberg, Esq. of Gibbons P.C., said, “We are so pleased that the New Jersey Supreme Court, consistent with its long tradition, carefully considered the expert amicus brief and rejected the State’s reliance on scientifically discredited, factually incorrect statements about drug use in pregnancy.” Mr. Lustberg added, “The court recognized, in effect, that drug tests cannot predict parenting ability and acknowledged Amici’s concerns that expansion of the state’s child welfare law to the context of pregnancy would be likely to disproportionately harm low income and minority communities.”
    Expert amici explained to the court that medical research makes clear that numerous substances, conditions, and circumstances raise similar or greater risks to fetuses than prenatal exposure to cocaine. While amici were careful to note that they were not suggesting that prenatal exposure to criminalized drugs is benign, they emphasized that current scientific evidence simply does not support a per se finding of abuse or neglect based solely on drug tests indicating that a pregnant woman used cocaine, or any other criminalized or non-criminalized drug during pregnancy.

    The court agreed, stating: “On its own, the one entry [a medical notation of a positive drug test] does not tell us whether the mother is an addict or used an illegal substance on a single occasion. The notation does not reveal the severity or extent of the mother’s substance abuse or, most important in light of the statute, the degree of future harm posed to the child. In other words, a [positive drug test], without more, does not establish proof of imminent danger or substantial risk of harm.”

    Relying heavily upon information provided by amici, the court emphasized the “the fact-sensitive nature of abuse and neglect cases,” and noted that “[j]udges at the trial and appellate level cannot fill in missing information on their own or take judicial notice of harm.” Instead the Division must prove its case using qualified scientific and medical evidence.

    Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women “It is extremely important that the New Jersey Supreme court today recognized that pregnant women, children and families should not be deprived of their fundamental rights – including the right to family relationships – based on presumptions that are medically baseless.” Ms. Paltrow noted that “The court’s decision protects the rights of all pregnant women and in so doing actually protects maternal, fetal, and child health.”
    The Court concluded that the Division of Child Protection and Permanency may provide services to pregnant women who seek them, subject to “an important limitation: a pregnant woman or mother must consent to the Division providing services.”

    Significantly, last year, a New Jersey trial court, anticipating this decision, refused to assume that symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome in an infant born to a pregnant woman who had followed medical advice and obtained methadone treatment constituted “harm” for purposes of New Jersey’s child welfare law. In this case the mother was represented by counsel from NAPW and the New Jersey Office of Parental Representation. The court considered testimony from two internationally renowned experts in methadone treatment and pregnant women and concluded that the newborns symptoms were not “harm” as contemplated by the law, but rather the anticipated, treatable side effects of federally recommended, Constitutionally-protected drug treatment. The court noted that the question of whether Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is harmful as contemplated by Title 9, the state’s civil child abuse and neglect statute is “a subject that contemplates expert testimony.”

    Ms. A.L. is represented by Clara Licata of the New Jersey Office of Parental Representation.

    The full decision is available here: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/supreme/A2811DYFSvALOpinion.pdf

    The amicus brief filed on behalf of medical, public health and child welfare organizations– including a full list of the amici – is available here: http://bit.ly/TstXFD


    Posted by Laura on February 6, 2013 02:36 PM | Permalink
    http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/blog/2013/02/press_statement_unanimous_nj_s.php

  9. Narcotic Painkillers Common in Pregnancy, Harmful to Baby: Study

    More junk science the same used as on smokers and from literally the same people.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/painkillers-pregnancy-tennessee-smoking/2015/04/13/id/638048/#ixzz3XCn4Jk6J

    I was also surprised by how commonly women smoked in pregnancy, and how much that increased the risk of neonatal abstinence syndrome among those who also used opioid pain relievers in pregnancy.”

    Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a collection of problems suffered by newborns exposed to addictive drugs in the womb.

    • 1. in the 1880 to 1910 opiate use was rampant in America women still had babies at home and they grew up fine

      2. In the pschpdelic 1960s there again drug use was ramapant and smoking galore. Yet 75 million babies grew up just fine.

      There using the same risk assessment bullshit here as the did all the anti-smoking junk studies.

    • Lawrence S. Lustberg, Esq. of Gibbons P.C., said, “We are so pleased that the New Jersey Supreme Court, consistent with its long tradition, carefully considered the expert amicus brief and rejected the State’s reliance on scientifically discredited, factually incorrect statements about drug use in pregnancy.”

      • These dirt bag progressives even attack motherhood and using the same junk science claims. No part of life will the not touch. When we told them your next by us smokers they didn’t believe us now look who is getting fucked now!

  10. Pharmas legal way to directly fund CDC and push the junk science for bans usinf CDC’s name in the process. The backdoor cash laundering connection.

    The CDC Foundation helps CDC pursue innovative ideas that need support from outside partners. The support needed is most often funding, but also can include expertise, information, leadership or connections to specific groups of people. CDC Foundation partnerships help CDC launch new programs, expand existing programs that show promise, or establish a proof of concept through a pilot project before scaling it up. In each partnership, outside support gives CDC experts the flexibility to quickly and effectively connect with the right partners, information and technology needed to address a priority public health challenge.

    http://www.cdcfoundation.org/who/story

  11. Rose says:

    Well, I didn’t know that

    Tory U-turn on smoking ads
    Tuesday, August 10, 1999

    “The Conservative Party has abandoned its previous commitment to oppose the ban on tobacco advertising, as part of a raft of new policies aimed at cutting smoking.

    The move was hailed by anti-smoking campaign group Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) as a major shift in the opposition’s position.

    The group’s director, Clive Bates, told BBC News Online: “It is a U-turn, but when you’re in opposition you’re supposed to sit down and analyse why you did so badly in the last election and come up with some new ideas.

    “I would say it is a fairly seismic rethink on what they would do on tobacco compared to what they did last time they were in government.”

    Mr Bates said the results of the Tory working group on smoking were mainly important for what they did not explicitly say.

    But the clear implication was that the party would not seek to have the European ban on tobacco advertising withdrawn and would no longer campaign for a freeze on cigarette taxes, he said. ”

    “The Conservatives on Tuesday also said they wanted anti-smoking efforts to focus on persuading smokers in their late 20s and early 30s to quit.

    Hard-hitting advertising campaigns highlighting side effects of smoking such as impotence should be targeted at this group, the party said.

    Shadow Health Secretary Liam Fox said stopping smoking among this age group would bring a greater fall in disease and fatality than focusing on teenagers. ”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/416097.stm

    Which is surprising considering their apparent opposition to all New Labour’s following bans.

    • Rose sooner or later the bans and all the BS loses all political support its just how it is.

      That’s why bans only have a political life of so long. There worse enemy is themselves as they are never satisfied with just screwing on section of society they go for the whole societal change move and create enemies even out of their own so called base of supporters in other arenas/agendas..

      Liberalism should be classified a disease of the mind,it has no virtues,no morals,no scrutiny. It has broken up agendas in everthing and a special cause in everthing. These ultimately cross each others trails and infighting results and they end up in court fighting each other and pulling the same hair brained tricks on each other that each has been taught to use.

      In the end they self implode and wonder what went wrong.

      Its simple what went wrong they end up hating each other and making everybody the them too.

  12. Tino Bridgeman‎” Anti smoking exposed – Tobacco Control Out of Control” – Fighting Back

    5 hrs ·

    This might be a turning-point if the ‘evidence’ produced does not support the claim that tobacco causes cancer, and especially something people can turn to to fight smoking-bans.

    Now, Assam BJP MP wants scientific proof that tobacco causes cancer

    “Is there foolproof medical and/or scientific evidence based on thorough research to substantiate this?” said Sharma.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/assam-bjp-mp-rp-sharma-wants-medicalscientific-proof-that-tobacco-causes-cancer/

    • We found that there is no foolproof evidence that tobacco causes cancer. There is no report of any medical and/or scientific research with the Standing Committee about the cancer-causing qualities of tobacco. Suppose tomorrow someone comes out with scientific or medical research that tobacco does not cause cancer, then what will the Standing Committee do?” he asked.

  13. BlueScareBot says:

    Frank, I’m so glad I found your site. I’ve been angry about this nonsense ever since it came into force in Scotland 9 years ago. Am amazed I’ve never come across your blog during my many Google searches on the subject during the time you’ve been blogging.

    I feel the same about you in that I just don’t want to socialise with rabid anti-smokers any more. It’s difficult to identify with people who take pleasure in someone’s enjoyment being withdrawn in such a way. Even more perversely, it’s my strong impression the antis’ pleasure STEMS FROM THE FACT that many smokers have been made miserable by the changes. Most of you will be familiar with the type – hardly ever set foot in a pub before the ban, counted down the days with glee… and still don’t go to the pub.

    I do feel sorry for the small pubs that have been affected to the extent of closure but the licensed trade could have done more, so much more. Their support seemed to disappear overnight. This used to be a country with a sense of defiance, irreverance, one that stuck up two fingers to state interference – the old Sunday trading laws were pretty much defied out of existence with retailers finding every loophole in the law to stay open. What has happened to us? Why has there been so little resistance from a trade that has been hit and hit badly? I loved the story a few years back about the pub that became a ‘smoking research centre’ but never read a follow-up – what happened to this pub? Could there potentially be other ways around it by combining the pub environment with another exemption in the law? I’m thinking the exemption for smoking bedrooms in hotels could be used creatively – an owner could permanently ‘reserve’ a smoking bedroom and use it for ‘private parties’ – alcohol could be taken into the room and of course smoking would be allowed. The occupant of the room (who just happens to be the owner ;-) ) would be perfectly entitled to do this just as I would if I was staying in a smoking room in a hotel. Another workaround I have read of is a London cigar bar which has a cigar shop next door. Thankfully England had the common sense to include an exemption for tobacconists, so cigars can be ‘sampled’ in the cigar shop…

    There is no common sense left in Scotland. The country is in the grip of authoritarian nationalism and it is truly frightening. Every new authoritarian initiative is applauded by the masses – Offensive Behaviour at Football Act (aka the Ruin an 18 Year-Old’s Life for Singing Act), alcohol minimum pricing, centralised, armed police, ID database and perhaps most sinister of all the state guardian law. And because people have been whipped up into a patriotic frenzy and a common enemy identified (obviously the English, or more euphemistically, ‘Westminster’) anybody questioning any of this is a ‘traitor’, ‘anti-Scottish’, a ‘Westminster puppet’. I do not see the Westminster government as much better but at least the people of England do not seem to have the same bunker mentality and blind loyalty to the regime, but I could be wrong. It is surely no coincidence that the only Scottish publican to have openly flouted the ban was Hamish Howitt… in Blackpool! Most Scots seem to love their mean-spirited little authoritarian parliament but I for one am bloody ashamed.

    • Pat Nurse had this or the first part up on her blog back awhile ago I saved it.
      Scotland may seem lost but its lost in a sea of Insanity led by the Insane in the EU and UN.

      Tobacco Control Scotland has admitted it has no record of any deaths or demonstrable harm caused to anyone from second hand smoke as the UK Govt pushes forward the idea of third hand smoke, aka Invisible Smoke, without any evidence at all.

      Bill Gibson, The International Coalition Against Prohibition (TICAP) chairman, was interested to know how many actual deaths and respiratory illnesses were recorded in Scotland from passive smoking, given the reported guesstimate 13,000 figure which is repeated parrot fashion year after year.

      He put in an FOI request and found that there wasn’t one death or respiratory illnesses attributed to SHS or tobacco. Perhaps I should repeat that. Not one death has been recorded in Scotland as definitely related to tobacco smoking or passive smoking.

      The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) could not even produce evidence that passive smoke is significantly harmful inside, this is what they wrote prior to the smoking ban in article 9 OC255/15 9 “The evidential link between individual circumstances of exposure to risk in exempted premises will be hard to establish. In essence, HSE cannot produce epidemiological evidence to link levels of exposure to SHS to the raised risk of contracting specific diseases and it is therefore difficult to prove health-related breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act”. The reason the ban was brought in under the Health Act 2006, and not by the HSE, because no proof of harm was needed with the Health Act 2006, and the HSE have to have proof, seems the DM has lost rational thought about anything smoke related.

      If we did the same the world over we would get the same answer.

      Remember this story from last year:

      B.S. Study: 600,000 People Die Worldwide From Secondhand Smoke Every Year

      grendelreportdotposterousdotcom/bs-study-600000-people-die-worldwide-from-sec

      US Bureau of Labor Statistics Shows Zero Deaths From 2nd Hand Smoke
      Where are the deaths?
      If people who work in bars die from secondhand smoke, why does the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the last 4 years show ZERO DEATHS from exposure to harmful substances or environments?

      statsDOTblsDOTgov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb0259DOTpdf This data is for 2011. (pg38 of 53).
      Notice that 31 people died while working in a “drinking place”(which my bar is classified as). 27 deaths were by violent injuries by persons or animals(?). 2 died by fires or explosions. I don’t know where the other 2 deaths are listed however, there are 0 deaths from exposure to harmful substances or environments.

      So where are these deaths from SHS?

      Notice 2010 under this below. In 2010, there were 28 total deaths, 25 from violence and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.

      In 2009, 32 deaths of bar workers. 31 were violent deaths and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.

      In 2008, 35 deaths of bar workers. 32 were violent deaths and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.

      They aren’t crawling out and dying in the parking lots either. We would have noticed ’em.”
      Sheila Martin

  14. Pingback: Smoking Bans as a Single Political Issues | Frank Davis

  15. BlueScareBot says:

    ‘Yeah but but but… my hair and clothes are so CLEAN! It’s the State’s responsibility to make sure my hair and clothes don’t smell’

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