When Prejudices Combine

Breitbart UK:

British government officials are urging all low and medium security mental health units to go ‘smoke free’, effectively forcing patients off cigarettes. Clinical experts warn that making patients quit against their will is illegal, contravening the Mental Health Act and setting a precedent that could see all sorts of health procedures inflicted upon mental health patients against their wishes.

I would imagine that a smoking ban in mental health units might be very distressing for patients who are already deeply distressed. Furthermore, getting them to stop smoking means forcing upon them a form of ‘treatment’ that might run counter to psychiatric opinion. It’s a bit like requiring hospitals to sterilise patients (q.v.)  at the same time they perform unrelated operations on them. The additional intervention may increase the likelihood of complications.

None of this matters to antismoking zealots, of course.

Ms Yates also appeared on the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 later that day, confirming that patients at her units are prevented from smoking upon being admitted. “What we’ve promised to our patients is that within thirty minutes of their admission, if they’re a smoker, we’ll make sure we have the nicotine replacement ready and waiting for them. Our cupboards are full of patches, inhalators, lozenges, whatever people want,” she said.

But not e-cigs, of course.

She insisted that “All of the evidence we have now is suggesting that smoking not only harms people’s physical health but is detrimental to their mental health and wellbeing”. But when Vine confronted her, asking “What evidence?” she was unable to answer. Instead she generalised, repeating that there is “quite compelling evidence suggesting that quitting smoking enhances people’s health and wellbeing”, and underscoring the need for “cost effective treatment”.

And H/T Smokingscot for this story from New Zealand:

A suggestion by a Palmerston North city councillor that Maori women be sterilised to stop them smoking in front of their children has outraged councillors and Maori health advocates.

Councillor Bruce Wilson was speaking at the community wellbeing committee this week about a proposed smokefree policy covering the central city around and including The Square.

He said if the aim was to stop adults role-modelling smoking behaviour, and given 41 per cent of Maori women smoked, perhaps they should be sterilised.

The comment drew a shocked response from other councillors, and he quickly said he was not advocating the idea.

He also said it was not something he would say to the media.

However, a Manawatu Standard reporter was in the public gallery.

Wilson yesterday made an unreserved apology for the “inept” way he had expressed his frustration about ineffective policies to reduce the harm tobacco caused.

Maori Party co-leader and Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia said the comments were “absolutely appalling”, and the media had a responsibility to report them.

This looks like a novel case when two (maybe three) prejudices have combined: Antismoking, racism, and compulsory sterilisation.

Compulsory sterilization refers to governmental policies put in place to control a country’s population or as a form of eugenics (improving hereditary qualities of a race or breed by controlling mating) to prevent certain groups of people from reproducing. Compulsory sterilization is no longer enforced in any country.

For a while I was wondering what everyone was up in arms about. Forcing sterilisation on smokers? Forcing sterilisation on Maoris? Or forcing sterilisation on anybody?

As best I can make out, the uproar was over forcing sterilisation on Maoris. As far as I can see, if Bruce Wilson had merely called for the forced sterilisation on smokers, the measure would probably have been unanimously adopted. It was calling for Maoris to be sterilised that triggered the racism alarms.

As best I understand, the use of sterilisation as a form of eugenics had its heyday in the early 20th century, and fell into disrepute after its use in Nazi Germany. I’m surprised that the eugenics alarm wasn’t triggered as well as the racism alarm.

No chance anyone being outraged about the treatment of smokers, of course. That’s all the rage the days, just like racism and eugenics were a century ago. But when the full horror of the global antismoking pogrom is eventually revealed, in about 50 years time, I have no doubt that antismoking will come to be regarded as being as obnoxious as racism and eugenics.

What the hell. Here’s Fleetwood Mac on tour in 2015.


About Frank Davis

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17 Responses to When Prejudices Combine

  1. cherie79 says:

    Every time I think it can’t get worse it does. I am still bemused how all this happened in such a short space of time, can’t beilieve how easy it was to brainwash so many, quite alarming really, if it can be done with smoking what’s next? I know they are trying with sugar and alcohol but although that will be harder they never give up.

  2. Smoking Lamp says:

    I can’t help asking: Does science influence the agenda or does the agenda influence science?

    • Frank Davis says:

      The agenda influences the science.

      In fact, the agenda determines the science.

      And it’s not science any more.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Political Science created but for one purpose as always the same as why a king picks his countries religion or whatever else………….full and utter control

  3. magnetic01 says:

    “What we’ve promised to our patients is that within thirty minutes of their admission, if they’re a smoker, we’ll make sure we have the nicotine replacement ready and waiting for them. Our cupboards are full of patches, inhalators, lozenges, whatever people want,” she said.

    It should be noted that voluntary patients are presenting for a particular mental condition. They are not presenting for smoking cessation. Involuntary patients are classified as such by a court order that requires them to undergo treatment for a particular mental condition. There is nothing in the court order about smoking cessation: Smoking is NOT why they have been classified as a mental patient. The facility is obliged to only treat the condition deemed by the court. It must also be remembered that involuntary mental health patients are not criminals.

    If an involuntary patient is asking for a cigarette, they obviously don’t want to quit. Forcing smoking cessation on them is going beyond the scope of treatment permitted for the patient and violating informed consent (either patient or court). It’s bureaucrats and antismoking activist bigots terribly messing with vulnerable patients. Mental patients are not some experimental quantity whose entire lives are at the complete disposal/whim of psychiatrists/bureaucrats. There is very serious misconduct occurring here. The problem is that an ideological crusade – the smokefree “utopia” – now trumps the humane treatment of patients. It is a cruelty inflicting further distress and anguish on mental patients masqueraded as “duty of care”, i.e., iatrogenic.

    Moreover, the “authorities” typically claim that patients are “treated” with “nicotine replacement therapy” (NRT) as if this makes their position any more tenable, that NRT somehow “solves everything”. In addition to the above concerns, NRT is next to useless for people without mental conditions that are wanting to quit smoking. NRT is entirely useless for those that do not want to quit, let alone that they might also be in a highly distressed mental state. Mental patients who smoke, already in a highly distressed state, are being forced to quit smoking “cold turkey”. This NRT “treatment” only generates sales for pharmaceutical companies. Why would anyone subject mental patients to this politically/financially-motivated assault? Why aren’t those in the mental health hierarchy aware that NRT is useless? Why do bureaucrats value the mental health of patients below maintaining an ideological (antismoking) stance? It is those running mental health facilities that are demonstrating some serious mental issues. And it wouldn’t be the first time that mental health authorities have used/exploited mental patients in a malicious and criminal manner; the provision of treatment for mental patients is littered with dark periods where the obscene conduct of the “healers” defies sane description.

    In chasing a questionable ideological agenda, a cruel streak has again been allowed to proliferate within the mental health hierarchy; it’s another “dark” period. A mental patient that smokes is now confronted with a perverse, frightening, and destructive cult mentality in the health system that is fanatically intent on forcibly “converting” the patient into a nonsmoker. It is entirely beyond the scope of necessary/mandated treatment that further compromises the mental health of patients. This obscene situation is in urgent need of scrutiny, asking how an ideological agenda has been allowed to derail the humane and legal provision of mental health services.

    • jay says:

      You hope, don’t you, that just one patient subjected to this will, on release (and that was the word that first came to mind and not ‘discharge’) sue the pants off the NHS :0

    • nisakiman says:

      Well said, and my sentiments exactly.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    BTW Im outtta pocket for awhile………………….But I aint licked

  5. waltc says:

    And isn’t it just as cruel, inhumane, counterproductive and unnecessarily stressful to subject non-mental patients entering a nonmental hospital to go cold turkey? If I’m there because I’ve been mugged, run over by a truck, am facing an operation or a dire diagnosis, why should I be further stressed and tortured and deprived of my usual reliable relief or gratuitously drugged as a substitute for it? Hard to make the case that this was ever about Health.

    As for Magnetico’s observation that “smoking is NOT why they’ve been classified as a mental patient” I can only add “Yet.”

  6. caprizchka says:

    Reblogged this on caprizchka and commented:
    Only compliant or degraded people should be allowed to reproduce. Non-compliant persons who are not yet degraded must be degraded. A non-compliant person, who is not yet degraded, is exemplified by a scientist who denies anthropogenic global warming, a white person who dares to smoke, a policeman who arrests or shoots a nonwhite person, or a man who refuses a woman anything. These are the new “undesirables” targeted by today’s Brown Shirts, who also, incidentally, are products of the Prussian style school of “educating” children. Obedience is “smart”. Disobedience is not just “undesirable” but “evil”.

  7. smokervoter says:

    Since there’s a snapshot of Christie McVie on the screen:

    I was a little disappointed that they didn’t include “Got a Hold on Me” on the setlist. A fantastic song with a terrific beat. And she is the quintessential icy (good icy, i.e. unattainable) British thoroughbred woman. Love the way she wears her blonde hair, like a Helen Mirren with extraordinary musical talent.

    I know a guy who smokes (and votes) and plays a fairly decent guitar who had the nerve to embellish Ms. McVie’s “Got a Hold on Me” with a guitar track.


  8. smokingscot says:


    Seems the Kurdish People’s Party managed to get past that insidious 10% threshold (the highest of any country anywhere in the world I’m told). They’ve got 12%.


    Absolutely BRILLIANT!!

    Smashed the hopes of Erdogan to continue being a total tosspot and, with a reasonable degree of political acumen, get greater autonomy, perhaps even start rebuilding Kurdistan.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    anybody got a pain reduction for ribs and sternum pain besides grin bare it and wait 2 months.

    • Barry Homan says:

      sure wish I could help, harley

    • nisakiman says:

      Try smoking a little weed. Helps relax you and is also a pretty good analgesic. Couple of shots of whisky too, and you should be fine. Not going anywhere, but more comfortable, at least

    • cherie79 says:

      I found the combination of paracetamol and Ibrobrufen worked very well, the nurse said they worked together, I think it was two paracetamol and one 500 Ibrubrufen four times a day. It worked for me anyway, hope it helps,

  10. jaxthefirst says:

    One of the reasons that smoking is so prevalent in mental health institutions is that one of its main functions to smokers is what’s known as a “displacement” activity. We all – smokers or non-smokers – use displacement activities in our daily lives when we are faced with situations which are either mildly or extremely stressful. Typical (non-smoking) displacement activities might include taking off one’s glasses and cleaning them when posed with a difficult question in a meeting, picking at a loose thread on a piece of clothing, or standing up and looking out of the window. Slightly more radical displacement activities might involve going to the loo (i.e. completely removing oneself temporarily from a stressful environment), or going to get a cup of coffee or tea at the vending machine or in the kitchen.

    But for the best possible displacement activity, smoking wins hands-down. This is because it offers several features which many other displacement activities don’t offer. Firstly, it takes a degree of minor concentration in the preparation for the activity, which gives the smoker a minute or so’s reason to disengage from the stressful activity without actually disengaging from it totally (a vital element for a successful displacement activity); secondly, it offers enjoyment and pleasure – a bit of “me time” at a time when it seems, sometimes, that no-one else is interested in giving you any enjoyment, even if that isn’t their intention; and thirdly, it’s short enough to be possible to undertake on a fairly frequent basis. The smoking ban has actually made it more effective in this respect, because smoking now also involves completely removing oneself from a stressful situation – which in and of itself can be a displacement activity all on its own. So now, smoking offer two displacement activities for the price of one! Other suggestions made by well-meaning people to escape stressful situations just aren’t as easily achievable or as successful as smoking. How, for example, can someone stop every couple of hours or so to do a half-hour session of relaxing yoga??! Yoga may be good for overall relaxation, but it’s not much use in the middle of a busy working day for the daily hassles and bothers of working life. Smoking is.

    Of course, there are other displacement activities which some people use successfully and so don’t need to try smoking, but the problem is that everyone is different, and what serves one person well as a displacement activity (going for five-minute walk outside, for example), just won’t work at all for some people. And some just won’t be practically possible, as per the yoga example. It’s even arguable that the current surge in road/air/office/computer etc “rage” could be directly linked to the majority of people (and particularly ex-smokers), not having discovered effective displacement activities which work for them. Being under such unrelenting social pressure not to smoke – or not to go back to smoking – the best and most effective displacement is thus denied to them, and so the stresses and strains of everyday life build up over time, rather like a pressure-cooker, with no release. It might also explain why ex-smokers are so irritable and grumpy all the time – there’s nothing worse than knowing that a solution to the daily stresses and strains of life is out there, but feeling that you aren’t allowed access to it! But I digress …

    So it’s perhaps not surprising that people in mental institutions tend to smoke more than the rest of the population. This is because, due to their highly emotional and sensitive state of mind, they find it harder than most people to cope with stressful situations. Often they can’t even cope with situations that the rest of us don’t find stressful at all, and when confronted with those situations – in a therapy session, for example – they’ll really need that short disengagement to be able to cope and take the hard steps necessary to learn to manage their condition. And because smoking is far and away the best and most effective displacement activity that there is, then it’s no surprise that these very vulnerable and sensitive people use it more than most – because they need displacement activities probably more than the rest of us, and to put no fine a point on it, they need the best one going. And that’s smoking.

    Which is probably why this ghastly woman’s one-eyed obsession with (and, given her work within the mental health field, disgracefully superficial view of) smoking is so spiteful and hideously uncaring, but, unhappily, not untypical of the shortsightedness around any issues connected with smoking which seems to be so prevalent in our so-called “caring” professions these days. It’s just amazing that people in these fields, dealing as they do with highly individual and complex cases on a daily basis can honestly think that a “one size fits all” approach can ever hope to be helpful when, to be candid, “one size” very rarely fits “all” under any circumstances, least of all when dealing with vulnerable individuals suffering from distressing and, often, frightening illnesses. Shame on her, and shame on all who endorse her heartless viewpoint.

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