The Path of Least Resistance

Nobody much seemed interested in hunting down Margo’s dentist. Jax probably had it about right:

Like a lot of people (although not you ballsy lot on here, who are much braver!), I take the line of least resistance when dealing with medicos of all kinds, including dentists.

I’m not going to criticise this mentality. Idle Theory is a least action account of human conduct. People do what’s easiest. It’s what should be expected of them. Jltrader added:

Dentists are actually required to give smoking cessation advice so complaining to the NHS, GDC or MPs brainwashed enough to vote for display bans and plain packaging won’t get you anywhere.

Which is probably perfectly true.

But it also seems true that if Tobacco Control doesn’t meet any resistance, it will be encouraged to press on with further measures. And that’s exactly what it does. After getting their public smoking ban they’ve successfully campaigned for tobacco display bans, car smoking bans and plain packaging. And they’re after a complete outdoor smoking ban, of course. They never stop.

As long as smokers simply retreat before them, they’ll carry on advancing.

What happens when retreat ceases to be an option? Nannying Tyrants closed down his blog a year or two back, and announced he had made The Great Escape. He’d left England. He didn’t say where he’d gone.

I think that’s another example of retreat. In fact, it’s headlong retreat. He’d taken the path of least action.

But what happens when his new country of abode adopts the same strict antismoking laws as the UK? I remember reading that when the UK smoking ban came into force in 2007, the musician Mike Oldfield (of Tubular Bells fame) did the same thing – and moved to Spain. But Spain brought in its own equally draconian smoking ban in 2011. Has he moved somewhere else again since?

What happens when there’s nowhere to go? What happens when they’ve finally got you cornered, and there’s no way out?

Maybe that’s the point where the path of least action is no longer to flee (which has become impossible), but instead to fight. A hunted animal will flee from its pursuers until it’s finally cornered, when it’ll very often turn round and fight.

I can see a time coming for smokers when retreat will simply no longer be an option, and they’ll have to turn and fight.

We can’t expect politicians to do it for us. Politicians are only going to be as determined to do something as their voters are. And if their smoking voters just retreat before every new antismoking edict, why should they not retreat also? As long as nobody is complaining loudly about it, they’ll carry on nodding through every single new atrocity that Tobacco Control proposes.

Cherie wrote:

As far as Drs. go I tell them from the start I want no lectures, at my age I am entitled to be left alone and I have no wish or intention to stop smoking, so far they accept that. Of course whatever kills me it will be ‘smoking related’ unless the insanity passes.

I think everybody is hoping that the insanity will soon pass, like a thunderstorm or something. But what if it doesn’t? In my reply, I wrote:

This is one of the reasons I’ve turned against the NHS. I’ve realised that, once they no longer have to keep their customers happy, they become little tyrants. In fact, that may well be exactly where the insanity starts, and why it’s not going to end any time soon.

I phoned my local NHS dentist today. It was closed yesterday: they don’t work on Mondays (Nice work if you can get it!). And today I was told that treatment could only be done on Thursday, on a first-come first-serve basis in response to phone calls received first thing that morning. Why they couldn’t book people in before Thursday wasn’t explained. So everyone has to phone at 9 a.m. on Thursdays. The phone’s probably engaged all morning. Or maybe just not answered at all. Who needs customers?

So it looks like my local NHS dentist only works on Thursdays. And much the same must go for the rest of the staff, who’re hardly likely to show up if no dental treatment is being provided.. And they’re all most likely on full time wages.

It’s the same with my local library. It used to open every day. Now it only opens twice a week. Who needs readers?

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About Frank Davis

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47 Responses to The Path of Least Resistance

  1. jaxthefirst says:

    Yes, I admit it is the coward’s way out, and I have much admiration for those people who are much more direct with their doctors or dentists. I do, however, console myself with the thought that whenever the question is asked of me verbally – as it has been on a few occasions, I always make a point of saying to whoever’s asking that, no, I don’t smoke, but I’m very tempted to start. Coming from (what they think is) a non-smoker, that statement does always make them start with surprise, and they always ask why. To which my reply is always along the lines of making the point that they’ve been going on about it so much, for so long, and they’re so preoccupied with it that I’ve become convinced that smoking must be really, really good. Otherwise they’d just leave it alone. I have, on occasion, also dropped in the occasional really-useful scientific factoid (usually courtesy of something I’ve pick up from Rose on here!) indicating that their “settled science” actually isn’t as settled as they like to think it is. And, of course, the social aspect is always a useful one to drop in: “Since the ban, all my smoking friends nip outside for a ciggie and end up out there for half an hour having great conversations with other smokers, whereas I’m stuck inside minding the bags and fending off the local bar-bore.” There’s rarely a measured response to any of this – usually only a rather whiny entreaty for me not to start smoking.

    I’ve always maintained that to win this fight we actually need non-smokers on our side – something which doesn’t seem very likely at the moment, most non-smokers being pretty disinterested in the plight of their smoking friends, if not actually actively working against them. So … if we can’t find some tolerant non-smokers to join us in our corner, perhaps we should just “invent” some, in the form of ourselves.

    • Rose says:

      I consider Public Health England’s SmokeFree and Smiling 2014 required reading.
      Then if a dentist starts the anti-tobacco lecture you can truthfully say
      “Ah yes, is that from PHE’s SmokeFree and Smiling? I’ve already read it.”

      As these things are usually circulated privately, that should surprise them into silence.

      I’m so glad I found that yesterday thanks to Margo, without whom I would never have looked. : )

      Here it is again.

      Public Health England

      SmokeFree and Smiling
      Helping dental patients to quit tobacco

      Second edition [the first being 2007]
      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/288835/SmokeFree__Smiling_110314_FINALjw.pdf

    • beobrigitte says:

      I’ve always maintained that to win this fight we actually need non-smokers on our side – something which doesn’t seem very likely at the moment, most non-smokers being pretty disinterested in the plight of their smoking friends, if not actually actively working against them.

      I beg to differ – my non-smoking friends are on my side. They all say that “as-long-as-it-does-not-get-like-a-jazz-cellar”, they don’t mind. They all have ashtrays at home to offer to smokers (albeit in a designated, most comfortable room used for “entertaining”) and state that a host NEVER kicks people out the door. To not cater for smokers goes against their social consciousness.
      The former smokers are a different kettle of fish. That’s why I don’t call them friends anymore.

  2. legiron says:

    It’s not going to pass if it isn’t challenged. Or at least defied. When they ban smoking in the home and outdoors, what then?

    I will defy any ban on smoking inside my home or outside it. As long as enough of us do that so they can’t prosecute us all, the tide will start to turn. Antismoking will become uneconomical and the Puritan shrieking will start to grate on the lawmakers’ ears.

    Make it cost more than the tax take from smoking and that will get the politicians interested. Nothing else will.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Good points!
      I am all for defiance. Let the anti-smokers blabb and blabb; at the end of the day it is MY property they are trying to invade.
      I drive my car with no passenger and I smoke in it. IT IS MY CAR. How do the anti-smokers justify a smoking ban when distracted by carrying chiiiiildren in a car is the greatest road traffic accident risk?

      My home and outdoors. My home is MINE! I paid for it 25 long years. I put down the rules. End of, no discussion. Outdoors; wasn’t it the “passive-smoke-damage” that the (in England) Labour government was “preventing”? Explain this concept please to the outdoors.

      Make it cost more than the tax take from smoking and that will get the politicians interested. Nothing else will.

      Couldn’t agree more. This ONE SINGLE SMOKER has not bought tobacco in England since January 2014. How much tax has ONE SINGLE PERSON withheld? Work it out!

  3. Nika says:

    I recently 100% reverse-ostracized all of my friends and family (including my only daughter and grandson) when the last one went Smoke Nazi. My my my! did their Facebook pages go all aflutter or what! No one took me up on my offer to email them scientific research, articles, etc. exposing the junk science behind this crusade, the massive Prohibition-like economic and social damage it has caused, etc. Instead, they all think that I have gone crazy, wonder should they send the police over to do a wellness-check on me, etc.

    This was the most intelligent and sane thing I have ever done. The rush and relief that I feel from finally coming loudly out of the closet have been incredible. I am closing my Facebook account now.

    So I vote YES: Speak up and keep speaking every chance you get!!! I wish I had NEVER done otherwise, because by now I could have found some real, unrepentant smoker friends to replace the false, snobbish “friends” and “family” that I wasted YEARS on.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      When they wont accept proof from you,you know who is closed minded. Destroying their established beliefs of years in just a few seconds is very traumatic…………to a nazi

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    Hot off the press: “Still legal to puff in lounges, bars as Lafayette City-Parish Council kills smoking ban proposal”

    The Lafayette City-Parish Council voted 5-4 against the proposed bar smoking ban. The ban was supported by the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living. http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/12415481-123/lafayette-parish-council-kills-smoking

    This is hopefully the first step in turning the tide agains rampant anti-smoking campaigns. It also reinforces the theme of today’s posts about the need to counter the anti-smoking machine.

  5. Smoking Lamp says:

    Recently the US Surgeon General called for removing the separately ventilated smoking lounges at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport (See: “Surgeon General Calls Out Atlanta Airport’s Smoking Lounges,” http://wabe.org/post/surgeon-general-calls-out-atlanta-airport-s-smoking-lounges

    Thankfully the Airport is rejecting that call: “Hartsfield-Jackson to keep smoking lounges despite call to get rid of them”
    http://www.11alive.com/story/news/health/2015/05/19/us–surgeon-general-calls-for-tobacco-free-airport-hartsfield-jackson-to-keep-smoking-lounges/27605581/

    This is another rejection of the tobacco control template!

  6. waltc says:

    Unless or until smokers are willing to engage, en masse, in civil disobedience, there’s nothing with political impact that can be done, at least that I can think of. Vote the bastards out? Can’t even marshal enough smoker-votes to do that. Unless or until smokers are willing, en masse, to consistently (eternally) boycott all the “smoke free” places, there’s nothing with traceable economic impact, either. Which means that individual gestures in sticky situations become important –“teachable moments” for the ants encountered in everyday life.

    Fire the dentist, and tell him why. Or I still like my idea of –was it 2 days ago?–of walking in with industrial ear muffs or iTunes in your ear and telling him that if he insists on talking you’ll insist on not-listening. If a host (often an ex-smoker) unexpectedly asks you to “step outside” at a dinner party, step outside and hail a cab. If you decide to go along with a known-in-advance “no smoking in our house ” policy, leave early and say why. . If a guest unexpectedly asks you to not smoke while she’s there in your house, ask her to just “step outside” while you do. That’s teachable as all hell. Don’t let yourself be bullied or blackmailed by family members or friends. If they don’t value you enough to be in the same room (or house) with you because of a cigarette, they don’t value you enough. Deprive them of your company and tell them why. (If it’s really a deprivation for them, they’ll come around; if it’s not, f em.)

    • Barry Homan says:

      “Unless or until smokers are willing to engage, en masse, in civil disobedience, there’s nothing with political impact that can be done, at least that I can think of.”

      “Unless or until smokers are willing, en masse, to consistently (eternally) boycott all the “smoke free” places, there’s nothing with traceable economic impact, either.”

      Ummm…didn’t somebody once mention National Choke-out Day?

    • Nika says:

      I had planned a 2-week vacation to North Dakota (my ex-home state) to see old friends, explore Teddy Roosevelt’s Badlands, etc. Then I learned that all hotels/motels there recently became 100% non-smoking. I cancelled my trip … but I also called about 10 hotels anyway to “make reservations.” When told there were no smoker-friendly rooms, I said “Never mind. I’ll visit Wyoming instead. You’ve just lost two weeks of room income.” Felt very good.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Thumbs up! I do the same wherever I go! On my last visit to the US I had no problem finding a comfortable hotelroom with ashtrays. Right in the in anti-smokers’ heart land!!!

  7. Rose says:

    I was intrigued by this dry socket thing yesterday, I’d never heard of it, so I looked it up.

    “Dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is a painful dental condition that can occur after you have a permanent adult tooth extracted. Dry socket is the most common complication following tooth extractions, such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. If you develop dry socket, the pain usually begins three to four days after your tooth is removed.

    Normally, a blood clot forms at the site of a tooth extraction. This blood clot serves as a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. The clot also provides the foundation for the growth of new bone and for the development of soft tissue over the clot.

    Dry socket occurs when the blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction has been dislodged or has dissolved before the wound has healed. Exposure of the underlying bone and nerves results in intense pain, not only in the socket but also along the nerves radiating to the side of your face.

    Over-the-counter medications alone won’t be enough to treat dry socket pain. Your dentist or oral surgeon can provide treatments to relieve your pain and promote healing.”
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-socket/basics/definition/con-20025990

    After dental treatment, including extractions I’ve only ever asked the dentist how soon I can have a hot cup of coffee.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      yep that’s it……………hurts like freeking hell too…………oil of clove and those small cotton balls in the hole 2 times a day………….fixes it no pain killers needed.

    • margo says:

      I did the same, Rose – had to answer the question ‘What the hell is a dry socket?’ It sounds horrible and I hope I never get one. I like your suggestion about quoting their Smokefree and Smiling rubbish at them.

      • Rose says:

        Well, I suppose it gets it over with, Margo. They know that stealth is no longer an option and that you probably know more about the whole subject than they do, so they can just get on with what they were supposed to be doing, duty done.

      • beobrigitte says:

        I had to “suffer” my (non-smoking) sibling’s moaning for weeks when she had dry socket after having 1 tooth pulled. I just pointed out that I had a cigarette on the way home when having had 8 teeth pulled at the same time and that after 3 days everything had healed. Could it be her not smoking that is an added risk?

  8. John Watson says:

    “What happens when there’s nowhere to go? What happens when they’ve finally got you cornered, and there’s no way out?

    Maybe that’s the point where the path of least action is no longer to flee (which has become impossible), but instead to fight. A hunted animal will flee from its pursuers until it’s finally cornered, when it’ll very often turn round and fight.

    I can see a time coming for smokers when retreat will simply no longer be an option, and they’ll have to turn and fight.”

    That is the natural order of things, it is what every other species of animal on earth does. It is what homo-sapiens did before ‘civilisation’ occurred (the last remnant being war). We all know that if we abuse a dog one day it will bite, it’s natural law (human law dictates that dogs have to die for following the laws of nature). It is then little surprise that people who are arrogant enough to believe they can counter natural law with human law are arrogant enough to believe they can control their fellow humans too.

    In the natural world, there are no police forces, no armies to enforce law, every creature knows its place, knows the laws and abides by them, people however do not which is why we have policemen and armies to enforce human law.

    With that in mind what is the solution for smokers? Frank is half way there, natures law says when you are threatened you either flee or fight, The smoking community is too small to fight in the conventional sense, besides I doubt there is sufficient support for that. So maybe some form of compromise between flight and fight is required, there are smokers in every walk of life, certainly enough with experience to create and run smokers villages each with its own tax infrastructure and local industry and if such villages were within supporting distance of each other then tax levels could be significantly lower than neighbouring non smoking areas, things like refuse collection, road sweeping and maintenance could be cheaper.

    There must be a number of experts in economics and running small businesses’ who smoke and would seriously consider an area where taxation is lower, where there are smokers who want work, where there are places to socialise in safety and comfort. A small group of villages close to each other could share the costs of generating power, water supply, sewerage ect independent of the mainstream and the anti smokers who want only the destruction of a way of life.

    At the end of the day it is a question of who wants to put this situation right? Who has the courage and spirit to make it all work? Who will run to a place and a way of life they believe is worth living?

    • Rose says:

      You might find this interesting, John.

      Smokers don’t vote: 11,626-person study shows marginalization of tobacco users
      19 May 2015

      “A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research shows a new dimension to the marginalization of smokers: people who smoke are less likely to vote than their non-smoking peers.

      “One on hand, the result is intuitive. We know from previous research that smokers are an increasingly marginalized population, involved in fewer organizations and activities and with less interpersonal trust than nonsmokers. But what our research suggests is that this marginalization may also extend beyond the interpersonal level to attitudes toward political systems and institutions,” says Karen Albright, PhD, assistant professor at the Colorado School of Public Health, and the paper’s first author.”

      “The study is the first to link a health-risk behavior with electoral participation, building on the work of a previous Swedish study that found an association between smoking and political mistrust. Voting is a direct behavioral measure of civic and political engagement that at least partly reflects trust in formal political institutions.

      But Albright points out that, like many studies that use statistics to describe the behaviors of a population, the current study creates as many questions as it answers, most notably why smokers are less likely to vote.

      One possibility is that smokers may view political institutions as oppressors, given widespread enactment of tobacco taxes and clean indoor air laws. Somewhat similarly, the stigma associated with smoking may create social withdrawal or feelings of depression or fatalism among smokers, which could decrease voting.”

      “”We’re getting a clearer picture of the ‘what’ and soon I hope it will be time to talk to individual smokers in these populations to start exploring the ‘why’,” Albright says.”
      http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-05/uocd-sdv051915.php

      Ever think we might have been selected as unwitting guinea pigs in some vast social experiment?

      It’s the cold blooded and impersonal way they talk about this developing horror that fascinates me .

      • Edgar says:

        It is a compelling argument: the lack of resistance to TC stems from the denormalization process, which has, effectively, become a dehumanization process. We, smokers, are being externalized. Deborah Arnott’s ‘outdoors,’ that we are to be exiled to, is not merely outdoors, it is outside of human society. The demoralization of smokers is a sure sign of TC’s successful strategies. To counter and to reverse this success, it is necessary to ‘rehumanize’ smokers, to restore some sense of dignity and worth. We might take some notice of how Gay pressure groups brought their complaints of marginalization to public, and political, attention. One of the most successful strategies was ‘Let’s stop hiding’ and thus was born the Gay Pride movement and their famous marches. I propose something along those lines. If we can project the image that smokers are happy, defiant, take-us-or-leave-us individuals who utterly refuse to be dehumanized, it is the antismokers who will be exiled to the outdoors.

        • margo says:

          Very good idea.

        • nisakiman says:

          Yes, you’re right Edgar. I make a point of identifying myself as a smoker when I’m in company, and make it clear that I don’t view smoking as something to be frowned upon. In fact, I invariably launch into a low-key tirade about the lies and deception that we are all subjected to via TC propaganda. It raises a few eyebrows, but since I’m normally the only one with any real knowledge of the subject and can quote all sorts of facts and figures, what I say is generally accepted, albeit reluctantly.

          The gay pride analogy is a good one. “I’m someone who enjoys tobacco. Get over it.”

          Of course, the ANTZ tried to preempt this line by inventing the SHS myth, thus creating the false impression that smokers are harming those around them, something that gays didn’t have to deal with. Until that falsehood is exposed, it will be difficult to progress.

  9. John Watson says:

    Interesting, could that be the first faltering step of smokers seeking independence? A withdrawal from society that leads to a smoking counter-society?

  10. margo says:

    This business of your dentist making you phone at 9am on a Thursday (along with all the other NHS patients who want appointments – yes, you’ll be sitting by the phone till 2pm waiting for the engaged signal to stop). It sounds as if this might be your dentist’s way of phasing out all the NHS side of his business. I think mine is doing the same but by gradually making more and more of the treatments Private Only. I don’t think an NHS patient can get much other than basic checks and fillings now – anything else has to be paid for on a Private basis.
    To fight back or retreat, that is the question. I’ve given it a lot of thought. So far, as an individual I’ve fought tooth and nail, ticked the Smoker box, argued back every time. Consequently, I’m thought of as a ‘difficult patient’ at the doctor’s and as rather an ‘obsessed’ or ‘aggressive’ person by certain other people, although I never start these conversations, and as a ‘bad influence on the children’ by my daughter-in-law – my relationship with my grand-daughter is virtually non-existent because of this, which I think is a great shame. I have very few friends these days, because I can’t be friends with anyone who fusses when I light a cigarette. Whenever I meet a new non-smoking person who makes friendly overtures, the first question in my mind is: ‘How will he/she react when I light up?’ Then they get the test, and mostly they fail it. (It goes: surprise, little disapproving talk, me answering back). I give them two chances, and that’s it. And yet, I’m actually quite a light smoker (at most about 12-15 little thin roll-ups a day, usually) and I’m a fairly considerate one (never in their houses and never in their faces).
    But I don’t think I’m capable of lying about it or hiding away in corners and pretending I don’t smoke, and I don’t want to do this. Plenty do it, and though I wish they wouldn’t I don’t blame them – each to his own. Because being upfront about it is bloody hard. Sometimes I’ve come away from these enforced confrontations so angry and distressed I’ve had to go and cry.
    Anyway, I like the idea of Smoker Villages (John Watson above)!

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Still legal to puff in lounges, bars as Lafayette City-Parish Council kills smoking ban proposal

    Smokers can continue to light up in Lafayette bars. The Lafayette City-Parish Council voted 5-4 late Tuesday to kill a proposed ban on smoking in bars

    http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/12415481-123/lafayette-parish-council-kills-smoking

  12. Pat Nurse says:

    With regard to medics and the question of whether you smoke or not, do as I do. In answer to the question, I say that lifestyle choice is a huge political issue for me so I am not going to say if I smoke, drink coffee, wine, whisky or tea, neither will I say if I go mountain climbing, horse riding or skiiing. If pressed that they must know in order to treat me – and you’d think that we smokers stink so much these medics would sniff us out – I simply say in that case assume what you like but I will give no details of lifestyle choices on the grounds that I may be discriminated against if disclosed.

    This shocks the hell out of them and in fear of being thought discriminatory, they go that extra mile to ensure that I’m looked after and treated as a person and not just someone who smokes. It also means they have to treat the illness and not the lifestyle.

    That said, however, I am rarely ill and tend to try and avoid doctors like the plague.

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Suggested No Smoking Ordinance Gets a “No”

    My Champlain Valley FOX44 & ABC22

    “He requested the board consider enacting a no smoking ordinance that would prohibit smoking in apartment complexes or condominiums,” says …

    http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/story/d/story/suggested-no-smoking-ordinance-gets-a-no/61832/2jhgz8-yrUS7GX5sKByYSg

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    ‘The ban won’t stop me’: People already flouting 12 month smoking ban in Martin Place

    The Daily Telegraph

    On May 11, the city introduced the 12-month trial smoking ban after a survey of smokers and nonsmokers identified Martin Place was a less pleasant …

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/city-east/the-ban-wont-stop-me-people-already-flouting-12-month-smoking-ban-in-martin-place/story-fngr8h22-1227359911185

    • nisakiman says:

      Gawd, Harley, there’s some comments ripe for demolition on that article! I had one deleted, probably because I likened someone to a member of the Stasi (Jane-
      Maybe employers should start deducting pay every time they go for a smoke. I did my own personal survey at work one day and found that the average smoker spent well over an hour a day smoking. What we need is an Australia card so we can positively identify every man, woman and child in this country and ensure they pay all their fines or suffer other consequences through government agencies such as centerlink, RMS, ATO etc.
      ), but they seem to have let the others stand.

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

    The end is coming for anti-tobacco,I believe its finally run its course………….

  16. jaxthefirst says:

    “ … something that gays didn’t have to deal with”

    Oh, I don’t know, Nisa. I can recall the days when people thought that anyone who was gay was likely to seduce and corrupt their innocent (and, of course, all heterosexual, natch) cheeeldren. It was one of the ways they justified being dreadfully prejudiced against gay people, i.e. in exactly the same way they now justify being prejudiced against smokers.

    Well, the gay folk managed to get over it, so maybe we can, too ….

  17. beobrigitte says:

    Nobody much seemed interested in hunting down Margo’s dentist. Jax probably had it about right:

    Like a lot of people (although not you ballsy lot on here, who are much braver!), I take the line of least resistance when dealing with medicos of all kinds, including dentists.

    There is another aspect to this: Hunting this one guy down would change what? Chances are that this guy would join the “Help, I’m a VICTIM” squeals we often hear from the rabid anti-smokers.

    My preferred option would be to get the guy where it hurts him the most – on his purse. I ended up withholding quite a lot of cash of my last dentist here – he was not only quite prepared to give me implants, he stated (after he had called some sort of “expert” to assess my bone) that I was a prime candidate for implants. Nevertheless, he was adament that he was not going to argue my case for the NHS to contribute towards these implants, simply because I AM A SMOKER.

    I never went back there and ignored all letters. About one year later driving past the praxis I noticed that he must have moved on.
    Perhaps I wasn’t the only smoker patient?

    I well and truly have lost all respect I ever had for medics and dentists. I make rare exceptions these days (None made since my last GP retired).
    As far as I know the Polish guy I will be blessing with my custom (as a PRIVATE patient) is a smoker himself. I have seen someone’s implants he has done and was impressed with his eye for detail, so I’m looking quite forward, even though I’m NEVER at ease going to a dentist.

    At the end of the day medics/dentists strife to live well – and retire at a young-ish age. There is a difference between medics and dentists, though in England. Dentists get paid by each patient; medics tend to be on a wage, regardless how many patients they see. They work their way up a pay scale and therefore, as a patient (and potential customer) it is harder to hit the place it hurts them the most – their purse. But it can be done.

    I maintain this constant and resiliant ignorance of the anti-smoker blabb, laugh at their “hard-hitting” ads etc. and light up. We don’t need to hunt people down – we just need to continue as we are. And, of course ask people if they would get the authorities out on people who kick their dogs out in wind and weather. If they say: ‘Of course!’, I tell them that people are being kicked out in wind and weather – on the say-so of fanatics. It is easy to provide a comfortable INDOOR place for smokers and those who do not like the smell of burning tobacco.

    • Nika says:

      After about 30 years of smoking around my daughter, who also smoked in adulthood, she switched to vaping and became THAT weird kind of anti-smoker. She also smokes marijuana in her house, so when I asked why she could do that and I had to go outside, she said “The smell.” That “smell” was tolerable when SHE smoked, but not now when I still do! It’s all in the mind — a power struggle and a matter of disrespect. No more of that nonsense!

    • jltrader says:

      In all fairness, I don’t think your dentist was at fault in this case. I think it’s extremely rare for the NHS to pay for dental implants and they would use any excuse not to approve the procedure. In this instance, smoking would’ve been the perfect scapegoat.

      • beobrigitte says:

        In that case this spineless dentist lost £12000 income. Feels good, I must say.

        • jltrader says:

          Yes, you could debate why didn’t he offer implants as private if both the ‘expert’ and himself considered your clinical case to be a good candidate for them. I can think of 3 reasons: either he didn’t believe it himself or he thought the procedure would be too complicated for his abilities and didn’t want to admit that or indeed his antismoking view clouded his judgement. The fact that he even mentioned the NHS in an implant case sounds like he was being evasive and makes me lean towards the first 2 points.

  18. jltrader says:

    I was watching a Christopher Hitchens video and I remembered that he died of esophageal cancer, just like Humphrey Bogart. Both of them were heavy smokers and drinkers. Everyone knows that this combination is considered to be a big risk factor for this particular type of cancer, but it got me thinking, what does smoking has to do with it ? The smoke doesn’t get into the esophagus ( food pipe) at all. So looking for an explanation I first went to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esophageal_cancer#Prevention which just parrots the official line. Mayo on the other hand seems much more honest and makes more sense http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/esophageal-cancer/basics/risk-factors/con-20034316 but even they listed at the end ‘smoking’.

    • Some French bloke says:

      JL, just look at these figures for cancers of the oesophagus and lung in the UK and France, and try to reconcile them with the declining smoking rates…

      – Oesophagus (male):
      UK 1980: 9.1/100,000
      ” 2010: 16.7/100,000 (+83.5%)
      France 1980: 17.9/100,000
      ” 2010: 10.2/100,000 (- 43%)

      – Lung (male):
      UK 1980: 110.5/100,000
      ” 2010: 63.7/100,000 (- 43%)

      France 1980: 58/100,000
      ” 2010: 72.7/100,000 (+25.3%)

      Note: considering the structures of the respective age pyramids are similar, these crude rates for all ages are quite comparable.

  19. beobrigitte says:

    Another point
    I phoned my local NHS dentist today. It was closed yesterday: they don’t work on Mondays (Nice work if you can get it!). And today I was told that treatment could only be done on Thursday, on a first-come first-serve basis in response to phone calls received first thing that morning. Why they couldn’t book people in before Thursday wasn’t explained. So everyone has to phone at 9 a.m. on Thursdays. The phone’s probably engaged all morning. Or maybe just not answered at all. Who needs customers?

    They do have customers. All will easily get an appointment any other day because they have gone PRIVATE.
    Your local dentists has gratiously appointed Thrursday for NHS and urgents. That’s all.
    The NHS does not pay dentists too well. Dentists, like medics, expect MORE.

  20. Pingback: Global Social Disintegration | Frank Davis

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