Stop Pretending

Writing about the US political scene last night, I started out by saying that the UK smoking ban had changed my outlook on life in all sorts of ways, and moved me from left of centre to right of centre. I’d like to try to explain why that smoking ban mattered so much.

The smoking ban, as ASH’s Deborah Arnott accurately predicted, “exiled smokers to the outdoors.” It would probably be just as true to say that they were expelled from society. Smokers ceased to be welcome anywhere at all. They became marginalised.

The result is that I for one no longer feel that I’m no longer part of the British culture in which I grew up, and take almost no part whatsoever in it. It’s not just that I only ever go to pubs in order to sit outside. It’s also that I don’t go to art galleries, museums, cinemas, or theatres. I never attend any public meetings of any kind. I never go visiting places further than about 25 miles away. I never stay in hotels. I don’t watch television or listen to the radio. I no longer travel by train or bus or plane. Why should I, when I’m no longer welcome in any of them?

I used to have a wide circle of friends. They’re all gone now. The smoking ban immediately took away the principal venues – bars and cafes – where we used to meet. Furthermore, many of my friends implemented their own home smoking bans, so I soon wasn’t welcome there either. There was no longer anywhere to meet. Friendships of 30 or 40 years duration began to die one by one.

And also, while I used to be an ‘inclusive sort’ of guy, welcoming immigrants and persecuted minorities (like homosexuals), I found myself changing my mind about that. Why should I want all these other people included in society, when I myself had been so thoroughly excluded?

I no longer give to charities, since I’ve found out that many of them (e.g. ASH, CRUK, BHF) are active in the persecution of smokers.

I also no longer have a doctor. Fortunately for the last 10 years or so I’ve never needed one. Now I think: Why should I want to go and see people in the profession that has been leading the witch hunt against people like me? I no longer trust them. The distrust has extended to science in general.

Once I used to be a bit ‘progressive’, and could imagine a bright future. Now I think that the past was a better place, and that Britain was much better before 1 July 2007 than it has been since. I’ve become a bit of a conservative, and much keener to preserve institutions that we have (the monarchy, Christianity, democracy) in the face of what now seems like mindless vandalism.

I now judge people and institutions solely by whether they’re antismoking or not. I became anti-EU when the EU parliament voted for a European smoking ban. If I vote for UKIP it’s because Nigel Farage is a smoker. If I don’t like Hillary Clinton, it’s because she’s an antismoker. The moment I discover that anyone is virulently antismoking, they’re dead. I don’t want to know such people. I wouldn’t even want to be in the same room as them.

I spend most of my time at home. I don’t need a job, and I don’t want one, because I wouldn’t be welcome there either. My principal contact with the world is almost exclusively through the internet, because they haven’t managed to ban smoking on that yet, and so I’ve not yet been made unwelcome there.

All in all, the UK smoking ban (and other smoking bans elsewhere in the world) have had a shattering impact on my life (while at the same time having no effect whatsoever on my smoking habits: I smoke just as much as I ever did). I am profoundly no longer part of the society around me. And it’s all because of the smoking ban.

If there’s any difference between me and the other 10 million smokers in the UK, it’s probably that I completely reject all the pseudoscience that’s been used to demonise smoking. I don’t think there’s any health justifications whatsoever for smoking bans. I don’t even think smoking is unhealthy. In fact, I think that smoking is good for you. But most smokers believe what they’re told by their persecutors about smoking, and meekly assent to their shabby treatment, and suffer in silence. I guess I’m just someone who doesn’t unquestioningly accept whatever ‘experts’ tell me. Most people don’t seem to be able to do that. And also most smokers like to pretend that they’re still respectable members of society, when they’re not. They’re actually just as unwelcome as I am. I just don’t pretend to myself (or anyone else) that I’m welcome, when I know I’m not.

Being a smoker in modern Britain is like being a Jew in 1930s’ Nazi Germany. The exterminations only started in the 1940s. This also was a ‘public health’ measure.

And I think that this rejection and exclusion of fully 20% of the population (in the UK alone. It’s much more than that elsewhere) is a crime. It’s a crime against humanity. And I hope that the people responsible for it are one day brought to justice.

Smoking bans may not be hot political issues right now. They never get much in the way of media coverage. But given the colossal damage they do, I think that sooner or later they’re going to get the attention they deserve. But for that to happen, smokers are going to have to stop pretending that they haven’t been expelled from society. And the media and the politicians are going to have to stop pretending that smoking bans are a great success, when they actually cause colossal political and social and economic damage. People can’t go on lying to themselves and lying to each other for ever.

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About Frank Davis

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76 Responses to Stop Pretending

  1. slugbop007 says:

    As Bill Clinton used to say, ‘I feel your pain’. Bill Clinton was also the guy who really got this movement started with his Master Settlement lawsuit. The cigar smoking/Monica Lewiski loving hypocrite. I was at O’Hare Airport in 1997. Smoking was banned there. The glass ceiling is about two hundred feet high. Smoke rises. What a joke. Bill was giving a righteous speech on the TVs all around the airport. I felt like I was living in Orwell’s 1984. His wife, Hillary, used to look quite chic and stylish, now she looks and acts like a harridan.

  2. Lepercolonist says:

    With strong leadership organized smokers impact at the polls would have to be addressed. We can definitely swing an election.

    • John Watson says:

      I think that the results of the last election demonstrated that there is a measure of support for smokers out there, after all UKIP with its manifesto pledge on smoking gathered a significant amount of support (they actually did far better than I thought they would) despite only winning the one seat. I also think Lepercolonist is right and that the swing he talks of has begun, I also suspect that bloggers like Frank, Dick Puddlecoat, Chris Snowden et al have an impact on the internet, they provoke discussion that is no longer heard in the pubs and cafe’s, they contest the media spiel and while these discussions can become heated they are good for society, they stimulate progress where the media retard progress, they make people think for themselves where the media does not. It is too early to say whether Nigel Farage is a strong enough leader but he is popular, as
      UKIP is becoming popular and if perchance they increase their number of seats then maybe there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. Twisted Root says:

    Yep. Fuck ’em.

  4. nisakiman says:

    I don’t think there’s any health justifications whatsoever for smoking bans. I don’t even think smoking is unhealthy. In fact, I think that smoking is good for you. But most smokers believe what they’re told by their persecutors about smoking, and meekly assent to their shabby treatment…

    I came across this article yesterday, which is basically every anti-smoking claim and soundbite on steroids. And some.

    I was going to comment, but was overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. I would have been hammering away at the keyboard for hours.

    When we are faced with this level of hyperbolic propaganda, it’s no wonder it is so hard to make any headway. And I guess everything written in that link is an article of faith to all in the Tobacco Control movement – they believe it all, regardless of how outrageous it is.

    • jltrader says:

      Whenever an article starts with ‘Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally.’ you know you’re in for BS galore.

    • garyk30 says:

      I, for one, choose to believe the first of this article’s rants.
      Line 3 reads:
      ” As many as half of people who use tobacco die from the results of this use.”

      This statement leads us to these conclusions:
      1. When a smoker dies, there is at most a 50% chance that death was caused by smoking.

      2. At most,only 50% of smokers’ deaths from lung cancer are caused by smoking.

      3. At least 50% of the deaths that are claimed to be caused by smoking were not caused by smoking.

      4. There is at least a 50% probability that all of this article is useless garbage.

    • Rizla01 says:

      Been a smoker since aged 17 back in the day of Weights & Woodbines, then No6, Marlborough, etc. I grew up in the ‘Got to go sometime’ and the ‘I know ol’ Fred who died when he was 195 and he smoked all his life’ or the ‘I’m invincible, it wont affect me’ brigade and I always enjoyed my fags – but not for me the girly tailor-mades.

      If you REALLY want to enjoy your fags, then roll yer own! If you want to be a man, Roll yer own. If you want to save money, Roll ups win and if you want real flavour then tailor-mades simply dont cut it. The sheer pleasure of creation prior to lighting up and choosing the thinnest of fags for taste over economy is a luxury not afforded to the smoker of the manufactured variety.

      So, hopefully that thinking of mine demonstrates that I REALLY enjoyed my smokes for all my life so far.

      I am now just 1 week away from retirement, have no mortgage and a few bob behind me. I can at last do all those things that I have been putting off doing. I can realise all of my dreams now. Life will be great from here on in, as I enjoy cycling, hiking (Not jogging) and long walks. I will be able to see all my Granddaughters grow up and leave school and watch them as they proceed through to their chosen careers and even perhaps, make me a GREAT granddad.

      Lovely dreams, eh? – Then my world ended!
      A short while back I was diagnosed with COPD and now ALL of those plans are completely and utterly fecked.

      All of my dreams will now never be realised and if I am still around in 10 yrs I will be in a pretty bad way, I expect – Or NOT, just maybe, if advances in medicines that I now take every single day, have a positive effect. (?) I am also far more likely to get Cancer and that will be an even quicker end. An end, which if nothing else intervenes (Motorbike accident Etc) will see me drowning in bed.

      Trust me there is no history of Chronic Bronchitis or Emphysema in my family. I have never worked in an industry where I could get affected thus. THIS IS CAUSED BY SMOKING.

      I am/was one of you guys. I knew better, too. I was willing to throw the same dice.
      Just realise, you lot. Some of us do get to throw the double six!

      • margo says:

        Sad to hear you have COPD, Rizlao1. Yes, it MAY have been caused by your smoking, BUT I have a close neighbour who has been getting worse and worse from COPD for years – and she has never smoked in her life. (Just saying!)

      • Frank Davis says:

        We all throw the double six eventually, whether we smoke or not.

        And I’ve smoked roll-ups for 40 years.

        You didn’t say how old you were, but I’m 67, and all my life I only ever planned on getting to 70 (the proverbial three score years and ten). Only two and half years to go. I have never wanted to live as long as I possibly could.

      • garyk30 says:

        “A short while back I was diagnosed with COPD and now ALL of those plans are completely and utterly fecked.”

        Oh,stop feeling sorry for yourself!!
        I am 72 and was diagnosed with COPD(Chronic Bronchitis) about 8 years ago.
        At present, my lung capacity is about 50% of ‘normal’ and I am going along just fine.

        I do all of the stuff that I choose to do, keeping in mind my general level of fitness.
        Had spinal surgery a few years back and the complications from that bother me a helluva lot more than my COPD.

        Very few people actually die from COPD and death from ‘respiratory failure’ can be far less painful than death from cancer and normally happens at an older age.

        Having COPD is much better than being left crippled and speechless by a stroke.

        Just be certain to get your flu shots and drink a lot of red wine.

        My Pulmonologist tells me that I need not get too worried until my lung capacity drops to about 20%.

        Most of his patients die from causes other than COPD.

        The average total lung capacity of an adult human male is about 6 litres of air, but only a small amount of this capacity, about .5 litre is used during normal breathing.

        My 3 litres capacity does just fine for normal things and I have no interest in climbing mountains or running a marathon.

        I agree totally about the ‘roll your own’ cigarettes! :)

        • Rizla01 says:

          You have COPD and you are still smoking Gary?

        • Frank Davis says:

          I believe he is. And good for him.

        • MerryO says:

          For what it’s worth I heard last week that horses get COPD too. Have you ever heard of a smoking horse?

        • garyk30 says:

          Somewhat more than a pack a day.
          Since I roll them, I do keep track.

        • Cecily Collingridge says:

          I share your attitude. I was diagnosed with COPD (emphysema) 7 years ago. My FEV1% is down to 24. ‘Living dangerously’ takes on new meanings now, such as when I climb a ladder to clip the topiary in my garden! I can’t deny I am now restricted in what I can do physically but I have found plenty of mental activities that more than compensate and there’s no shortage of laughter. Now I have the luxury of time to do some really serious study that I never had the opportunity to do before. I am beginning to be more active in fighting prohibition.

          I still smoke but changed to roll-ups to make cigs smaller and use a holder with cartridges that remove the tar. I plot my annual lung function results on a graph, and contrary to what the propaganda says about those who continue smoking declining faster, I have not found it so.

          Whilst it won’t apply to Rizla, a number of researchers found smoking significantly protects women from endometrial cancer. It’s not just a question of lung cancer risk. I don’t attempt to weigh these things up. Age is a risk factor in itself for all sorts of things and I’m past caring.

          As for my age, I’ve always believed you’re as old as you feel. But one of the delights of having regular lung function tests is that a Lung Age gets printed out on the sheet with all the readings. I can now say I am older than my teeth but younger than my lungs. In fact, with a current lung age of 131 I’m a walking miracle!!!

      • nisakiman says:

        Yes, same as Frank, I’ve smoked (mostly) roll-ups for fifty years, and I’m still in fine fettle. I guess that sometimes you draw the short straw. Life is like that. And it doesn’t really make much difference whether you are a smoker or not. There are millions upon millions of never-smokers who get ‘smoking-related’ diseases. Whether your COPD was caused by smoking is something we’ll never know, since medical science is so hopelessly biased against smoking that no rational diagnosis will be possible. As far as they are concerned, you smoked. Ergo, your COPD was caused by smoking. They won’t bother to look any deeper than that. It’s why research into lung cancer is so underfunded. “Well, it’s the smoking, innit?”

        The anti-smoking zealots have a lot to answer for.

        • Rizla01 says:

          “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation without investigation.” – Herbert Spencer.

      • nisakiman says:

        Oh, by the way, do you know what is really the biggest cause of ‘preventable death’? It’s not smoking. Not by a long shot, not even if you believe the outrageously inflated figures disseminated by the anti-smoking zealots.

        http://www.whale.to/a/null9.html

        • caprizchka says:

          Amen to that. Simply sitting there being shamed by some pinhead “professional” for not being “normal” a.k.a. “like everyone else” has got to take a toll. Stress kills. The very thought of it. Submitting oneself to the “authorities” is about as “healthy” as a wild animal submitting itself to the zoo.

      • smokingscot says:

        @ Rizla

        ” THIS IS CAUSED BY SMOKING.”

        One heck of a statement squire.

        Maybe it does apply in your case however, in fairness, we’d need to know an awful lot more about you, your environment and past activities.

        Unfortunately it seems your statement is wildly exaggerated because it gives the impression that COPD is unique to smokers’, which it is not.

        This article states that between 30 and 50% of people who get COPD are non-smokers:

        http://thorax.bmj.com/content/65/6/465

        I can understand it’s come as one heck of a kick in the gonads in what would seem to be an ideal end game. However I always treat with extreme caution all statements made by medics and those who take upon themselves to repeat verbatim what their specialist said.

        It’s something Archie Macpherson did in 2013 when he came out with the outrageous statement that his kidney cancer was caused by second hand smoke:

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2450696/Archie-Macpherson-Passive-smoking-gave-cancer.html

        And that – as it transpires – is utter crap, given that the smoking ban in Scotland started on 26 March 2006.

        • Rizla01 says:

          Medical research is changing at a perpetual speed and to quote from a 6 year old article as a means to back up your thoughts is stretching the bounds a little, isn’t it.

          More recent research into the ALPHA patients suggest only around 10% are affected this way.

        • caprizchka says:

          “Medical research is changing at a perpetual speed and to quote from a 6 year old article as a means to back up your thoughts is stretching the bounds a little, isn’t it.” Progress! If it’s newer, it’s better! Trust scientists. Scientists are good. No need to pay attention to their methods, funding, ideology, etc.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      It reads like tobacco control dogma. I agree the problem is the majority now believes all of this–including most smokers. The myths and propaganda need to be dispelled. The only way to stop the persecution is exposing the tobacco control lies and exaggeration.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        The more I read about other things like with the statins the more it aka studies come across as normal tobacco control propaganda junk! I kid you not. MAX the dose they yell even if it causes harm to the body. Rather than dose to the level of acceptability and measure of what needs to be attained along with dietary considerations. Yet that’s not what they do,instead its the same as the anti smoking scare tactics,this will happen if you don’t……….Little do they say its always scar tissue that is at fault.

    • RdM says:

      Thanks for the link.
      What seems very weird too is the “About the author” (‘Admin’, with what looks like a stock picture of a woman with glasses reading a paper) in what looks like (bad?) Latin.
      “Duis sed tellus et tortor vestibulum gravida. Praesent elementum elit at tellus. Curabitur metus ipsum, luctus eu, malesuada ut, tincidunt sed, diam. Donec quis mi sed magna hendrerit accumsan”
      Google Translate doesn’t make a lot of sense of it:
      “Duis sed temperature porch of the ground again, and pregnancy. It’s an element of competition at Earth. Chat the fear of himself, of mourning, eu, malesuada that, vitae, diam. But one of great hendrerit Donec quis mi accumsan”

      And you’re right. Every straw seems to have been grasped at.
      Even the “Scottish heart miracle” in the 2nd-last paragraph.
      (repeatedly debunked by Chris Snowdon, most recently here: http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/the-scottish-heart-attack-fantasy.html)

  5. wobbler2012 says:

    I agree with almost everything you say Frank, I know nobody else out there who puts it into words as well as you do, except for the part about smoking actually being good for you, you’ve lost me there. I cannot fathom out no matter how hard I try how breathing in concentrated smoke directly into the lungs can possibly be good for you.

    • The Blocked Dwarf says:

      I cannot fathom out no matter how hard I try how breathing in concentrated smoke directly into the lungs can possibly be good for you.

      Well it removes ‘stress’ and ‘worry’ from your life.Two of the real killers. You see, I don’t worry about e-numbers in white bread, the price of milk, Global Warming,Viral Pandemics, The Stock Market collapsing, Air Pollution, Antibiotic resistant strains, the ice caps melting nor the Zombie Apocalypse. …cos I KNOW what’s going to kill me…

      :P

    • Frank Davis says:

      It’s not that concentrated. When I smoke, I don’t drag the smoke out of the cigarette straight down into my lungs. I draw it into my mouth, and then I cool it and dilute it with an additional intake of air through my slightly opened mouth. If I don’t do it right (and occasionally I don’t) the hot concentrated smoke will make me cough explosively.

      It’s a bit like using a mixer tap, blending hot and cold water. Hot water will scald my hands, but when it’s mixed with cold water, it’s harmless.

      And I think that if there’s anything dangerous about smoking, it’s hot smoke at 700 deg C, which I’m sure will damage lungs.

      If I was going to design a cigarette, I’d build in an air cooling system, so that the smoke is automatically cooled..

      • nisakiman says:

        Like a nargileh / shisha? They really are a lovely smoke. Slow and relaxing. I indulged daily when I was in Istanbul last year. Even my youngest daughter who was with me indulged in the odd puff of mine, and she doesn’t smoke at all, normally.

        Not quite the convenience of a cigarette though. You can’t exactly put a 3ft high water pipe in your pocket…

      • garyk30 says:

        No smoker takes a puff with each breath, we breathe(as adults) about 15 times per minute, about 1 of those inhalations would be cig smoke.
        10 puffs per cig times 20 cigs per day equals 200 puffs/day or 1,400 puffs/week.
        A miner might take 7,200 breaths per 8 hour shift.

        A smokers’ weekly intake of smoke is only 20% of a miner’s daily intake of dust.

        Any way you measure, only a very tiny amount of the ‘stuff’ in cig smoke remains in smoker’s lungs.
        ………………………………………………………………………………………..
        The lungs are constantly exposed to danger from the dusts we breathe.
        Luckily, the lungs have another function – they have defense mechanisms that protects them by removing dust particles from the respiratory system.

        For example, during a lifetime, a coal miner may inhale 1,000 g of dust into his lungs. When doctors examine the lungs of a miner after death, they find no more than 40 g of dust.

        Such a relatively small residue illustrates the importance of the lungs’ defenses, and certainly suggests that they are quite effective.

        http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/lungs_dust.html

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Human lungs ‘brush’ themselves clean of contaminants
          Friday, September 07, 2012 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer

          Human lungs contain a tiny network of constantly moving “brushes” that flush contaminants out of the respiratory system, according to research conducted by scientists from the University of North Carolina and published in the journal Science.

          Scientists have known for a long time that the respiratory system protects itself by means of a coating of mucus, which is sticky enough to trap pollutants and keep them from reaching the body’s cells. When needed, the body can expel this mucus through a runny nose or a cough.

          “The air we breathe isn’t exactly clean, and we take in many dangerous elements with every breath,” said lead researcher Michael Rubinstein.

          “We need a mechanism to remove all the junk we breathe in, and the way it’s done is with a very sticky gel, called mucus, that catches these particles and removes them with the help of tiny cilia. The cilia are constantly beating, even while we sleep.

          “In a coordinated fashion, they push mucus, containing foreign objects, out of the lungs, and we either swallow it or spit it out. These cilia even beat for a few hours after we die. If they stopped, we’d be flooded with mucus that provides a fertile breeding ground for bacteria.”

          But until now, researchers have never understood why the mucus does not stick to or even infiltrate the respiratory cells themselves. The foremost theory, known as the “gel-on-liquid model,” posited that an as-yet-undiscovered watery “periciliary” layer kept mucus and cilia separate. The problem with this theory was always that to the best of scientific knowledge, mucus should eventually dissolve into such a watery layer, not remain separate.

          “We can’t have a watery layer separating sticky mucus from our cells because there is an osmotic pressure in the mucus that causes it to expand in water,” Rubinstein says. “So what is really keeping the mucus from sticking to our cells?”

          “Gel-on-brush”
          To get to the bottom of the mystery, the researchers used modern imaging techniques to examine the interior of the lungs. They found a dense network of brush-like structures that sit atop the cilia. These brushes are composed of protective molecules that keep both mucus and contaminants from getting to the respiratory cells beneath. These molecules also function as a second line of defense against viruses or bacteria that manage to penetrate the mucus.

          Stephen Spiro of the British Lung Foundation said the findings could help significantly improve scientific understanding of lung function.

          “Mucus has a complex biological make-up and forms a vital part of the lungs’ defense mechanism,” he said.

          “Research such as this helps our understanding [of] how this system works, and of the complex mechanisms deep within our lungs which protect us from the atmosphere we breathe in.”

          Rubinstein and his fellow researchers noted that their findings may also explain previously mysterious lung disorders from asthma to cystic fibrosis (CF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These diseases may stem from a collapse of the protective brushes.

          “We found that there is a specific condition, below which the brush is healthy and cells are happy,” Rubinstein said. “But above this ideal condition, in diseases like CF or COPD, the brush becomes compressed and actually prevents the normal cilia beating and healthy flow of mucus.”

          In such conditions, the mucus would then stick directly to the lung’s cells.

          “The collapse of this brush is what can lead to immobile mucus and result in infection, inflammation and eventually the destruction of lung tissue and the loss of lung function,” Rubinstein said. “But our new model should guide researchers to develop novel therapies to treat lung diseases and provide them with biomarkers to track the effectiveness of those therapies.”

      • garyk30 says:

        The smoke you inhale is cool, compared to the burning tip of the cigarette.

        “Acording to McNaly , taking the average time for smoking a cigarete as 9 minutes, the temperature of the smoke in the mouth remains around 30°C. until the last
        2.5 cm., at which point it rises rapidly to 40°- 50°C.”

        http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/16/6/490.full.pdf

        • garyk30 says:

          30 degrees C is 86 degrees F, or, slightly below body temp.

        • Rose says:

          Thanks for that, Gary. I once tried to measure the temperature of the smoke and failed completely, I knew that the smoke was cooler than my coffee which I drink with milk from the fridge, but not it’s precise temperature.

          Observing the ashtray beside me, I seem to stub out my cigarettes before I get that last 2.5cm.

      • Mr A says:

        You see, this is why I don’t believe the studies on low tar cigarettes being as bad (or worse) for you than normal tar cigarettes. Apart from the fact that since 2008 (when I started paying attention) I have never seen an anti-tobacco study that has stood up to scrutiny, there is the fact that that the supposed rationale for them being worse than normal cigarettes was that “you suck on them harder.” While this does tend to be true, one only sucks as you describe – you take the smoke into your mouth then inhale. No-one actually inhales THROUGH a cigarette (unless I’ve been doing it wrong for 25 years). Which is why I instantly discount these studies – it sounds very much like how a non-smoker would think of smoking rather than the way an actual smoker, smokes. On top of that since going lower tar (I can’t get on with e-fags) I feel great. Run half marathons, do sprint triathlons – great! That said, even when I smoked Marlboro reds I never had a smoker’s cough or wheezing on exercise. I’d get the odd “crackle” in my lungs sometimes after a booze/fag bender but nowt else. And I don’t even get that now. I’d love to see Velvet Glove, Iron Fist look at the low tar studies in detail – Chris is always good at debunking them. Unfortunately I can’t find the studies online to do it myself.

      • wobbler2012 says:

        Thanks for the reply Frank, maybe it’s not actually concentrated smoke but that’s still an awful lot of smoke (over time and after thousands of cigarettes) going directly into the lungs, via the mouth. At a push it might be not too harmful but it actively being good for you I still can’t get my head round it no matter how hard I try.

        I smoked myself for about 25 years I’m a vaper now (but still very much a pro-smoking/pro choice person) and I used to smoke A LOT, 50g of Amber Leaf every 3 days. I was an expert! ;-)

    • gainny says:

      Smoking controls my ulcerative colitis.

  6. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    The Blues are Truth, Frank, and since the Smoking Verbot us smokers’ existences (can’t really call it ‘a life’) have become a Blue’s song …*insert Robert Johnston chords* “lost my social life, my enjoyment at driving out with ma family, at going for a meal. Can’t get on health care. Can’t take no job. Ain’t nobody want to take my money. People bad mouthing me , words that ain’t in the bible. Spend my life standing in the rain on cold corners with The Legion of The Damned. Health Hounds on my trail, Hell-eath Hounds on myyyYYYY traaaaiiiiillll”

  7. Reblogged this on The Last Furlong and commented:
    A post from one of my favourite smokers. Although I vape now and don’t smoke I really hate the situation that surrounds smokers and, now,vapers. The smoking ban really needs reassessing.

  8. A reader says:

    There is no such thing as ‘preventable death’. Lying filth.

  9. “I used to have a wide circle of friends”
    You have a far wider circle now.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Bravo Frank excellent summation and I agree completely…………In all political prohibition movements they have their end and it begins as soon as they reach legislative laws of prohibition. From there on out its all downhill to repeals…………Its the same way every time these prohibitionist health Nazis try this shit in history.

  11. margo says:

    Frank, I feel much the same as you.

  12. gdf1 says:

    I feel like I could have written today’s post — it’s exactly the same experience and feelings that I have had. Like Frank, I simply do not go to places that don’t allow smoking. When the smoking ban began I was able to start working from home – so I was lucky there (or worth enough to my employer to arrange that). For me too – no restaurants, no bars, no malls, no hotels, no airports. I suppose the only exception I can think of is grocery stores. I would add that I also used to do a lot of volunteer work – but no longer feel welcome in that setting either.

    In addition, anti-smoking has been terribly divisive for my family – casting a shadow over family get-togethers and so on — and I often wonder how we would have all been different if smoking had never become an issue. (Because I can easily remember when it simply wasn’t an issue).

    I too have shifted far to the right (for example, I began to appreciate the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) and I tend to use a person’s (or politician’s) position on smoking as a proxy measure for their general views on freedom.

    So yeah Frank, I totally feel ya’

    • gdf1 says:

      @wobbler2012
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874106004314
      Abstract
      “All through time, humans have used smoke of medicinal plants to cure illness. To the best of our knowledge, the ethnopharmacological aspects of natural products’ smoke for therapy and health care have not been studied. Mono- and multi-ingredient herbal and non-herbal remedies administered as smoke from 50 countries across the 5 continents are reviewed. Most of the 265 plant species of mono-ingredient remedies studied belong to Asteraceae (10.6%), followed by Solanaceae (10.2%), Fabaceae (9.8%) and Apiaceae (5.3%). The most frequent medical indications for medicinal smoke are pulmonary (23.5%), neurological (21.8%) and dermatological (8.1%). Other uses of smoke are not exactly medical but beneficial to health, and include smoke as a preservative or a repellent and the social use of smoke. The three main methods for administering smoke are inhalation, which accounts for 71.5% of the indications; smoke directed at a specific organ or body part, which accounts for 24.5%; ambient smoke (passive smoking), which makes up the remaining 4.0%. Whereas inhalation is typically used in the treatment of pulmonary and neurological disorders and directed smoke in localized situations, such as dermatological and genito-urinary disorders, ambient smoke is not directed at the body at all but used as an air purifier. The advantages of smoke-based remedies are rapid delivery to the brain, more efficient absorption by the body and lower costs of production. This review highlights the fact that not enough is known about medicinal smoke and that a lot of natural products have potential for use as medicine in the smoke form. Furthermore, this review argues in favor of medicinal smoke extended use in modern medicine as a form of drug delivery and as a promising source of new active natural ingredients.”

    • The Blocked Dwarf says:

      I tend to use a person’s (or politician’s) position on smoking as a proxy measure for their general views on freedom.

      You’re not alone in that, pretty much everyone here probably feels exactly the same way.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I think every smoker’s experience has to be much the same, if they’re living similar lives, and they will respond in similar ways.

  13. slugbop007 says:

    The waste from tobacco leaves have enormous potential for recycling. The best cure for Ebola last year was an extract from tobacco leaves. What a waste!
    One young fellow in Montréal gathered up chicken feathers and mixed them with asphalt. It made material more water resistant and durable. Tons of feathers are discarded every year. What a waste!

  14. Joe L. says:

    Thank you, Frank, for eloquently summarizing how I also feel. I can attest that becoming the victim of government-induced discrimination definitely makes one reconsider their views of the entire world around them. It’s hard to imagine how so many smokers continue to pretend that everything is fine.

    • Rose says:

      I did reconsider the world around me and after a short while I noticed that no one’s attitude to me had really changed, it was all the government restrictions that were new and shocking. It was “them” not us.
      It was I who withdrew from the world.

      Just before the ban, as nobody around me seemed to understand what I was saying, I felt it was better to walk away than confuse them further.

  15. cherie79 says:

    Agree with every word. I think when you get to our age you have lived through so many health and other scares that you just ignore them all. I have no wish to live to a very old age and as I’ve made my three score years and ten I am quite happy. I get my five year scan results on 9/11, not a bad omen I hope! I will let you know. As you know I decided to keep on smoking, frustrating to my surgeon and will likely stop me getting further treatment but my choice. Of course they don’t say that but regard me as non compliant.

  16. harleyrider1978 says:

    Government Grant Funding Corrupts Tobacco Research, Holds Back Scientific Inquiry

    August 26, 2015

    Government ought to rely on unbiased scientific findings when making policy decisions regarding important issues. But unfortunately, many government agencies undermine the scientific process by using it for their own purposes rather than to discover the truth, a reality President Dwight Eisenhower pointed out in his farewell address more than a half-century ago. The situation has only become worse since then, with government funding of tobacco studies providing a vivid example.

    Of course we all know tobacco use is harmful, but the important scientific question that remains is how best to help people quit or at least moderate their use and reduce the harm tobacco can do. Unfortunately, federal agencies are shortchanging science about harm reduction in favor of finding ways to force everyone to quit.

    Every year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) doles out $623 million to more than 1,000 university researchers interested in advancing its stated goal of “a world free of tobacco use.” In one such solicitation for researchers willing to fit facts to dogma, NIH set aside $10 million for eight to 10 studies, provided those studies proved useful in helping the government “develop effective ways to limit the spread and promote cessation of smokeless tobacco use.”

    Studies show smokeless tobacco is much less harmful than smoking, and hence it should be part of any harm-reduction strategy governments would pursue. That is the very opposite of what the NIH is doing.

    his is a big problem because academic research has become highly dependent on government subsidies, which can prove very lucrative to both researchers and the universities that employ them. Government grants such as those from NIH cover the upfront cost of scientific inquiry, such as faculty and graduate student salaries and equipment purchases.

    Those grants also cover administrative costs, which the university pockets. For example, a $1 million grant could provide the university itself with $250,000 in revenue for overhead.

    Because NIH grants are so valuable to both researchers and the universities for whom they work, violating the dogma purveyed by government agencies is unprofitable. In turn, little to no tobacco harm reduction research is conducted, because there’s little money in exploring that particular line of inquiry.

    Searching NIH’s Office of Extramural Research for available grants, I found no funding opportunities between January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2015 involving the words “tobacco harm reduction.” Searching for funding opportunities involving the terms “tobacco cessation,” revealed six grants were available, totaling at least $3.4 million or an average of more than $550,000 per grant. Two of the cessation-related grants had no specified upper limit.

    Similarly, government agencies are themselves unduly influenced by the lure of big-money grants. In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarded members of its Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) with between $53 million and $273 million in grants to fund their respective proposed studies, even though other studies were rated higher by FDA reviewers.

    TPSAC member Jonathan Samet, a professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, was one such recipient of government funding. FDA officials called its decision to give agency insiders as much as $273 million in funding “purely coincidental,” declining to explain further to Reuters reporters.

    Government agencies’ dominance of academic funding perverts the scientific process, creating a situation where our knowledge begins with preapproved doctrine, proceeds to cherry-picked data, and ends with confirmation of the state-sponsored doctrine. By funding those studies that advance preapproved policy goals, government subsidization of academic research encourages researchers to twist the facts to fit the dollar signs.

    Given their history of actively inserting policy objectives into the scientific process, government agencies such as FDA and NIH should be removed from the grant-funding business. Congress should rewrite their appropriations accordingly.

    Funding studies expected to advance favored preexisting narratives and funding studies from favorite sons is not “science.” It’s political maneuvering at its worst. To learn more about this issue, please visit the website of University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center Dr. Brad Rodu.

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/08/24/government-grant-funding-corrupts-holds-back-scientific-inquiry/

    http://news.heartland.org/editorial/2015/08/26/government-grant-funding-corrupts-tobacco-research-holds-back-scientific-inquir

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Junk Science – a term used to describe false or misleading research that is offered as real science, but which was not obtained using the accepted scientific method . The term “junk science” is often applied to deceptive environmental and health studies.

      • Joe L. says:

        Nice find on the graphic, Harley. The abuse of the scientific method is one of my biggest pet peeves and this image sums it up perfectly. Money and agendas have completely destroyed the credibility of scientific research, and in the process they are stunting actual scientific progress by cluttering the world with false “theories.” It makes me very, very angry.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Its in every facet of science and medicine………….that’s the truth. Especially with statin drugs and the like………..

  17. Rizla01 says:

    Well I would imagine. Frank, that you are probably just a trite disappointed that you only have supporters of you beliefs on here and that you dont have a more balanced selection of opinions,
    Surely that would be the only way for you to assert your thoughts and opinions in a proper manner – by having them dissected and ripped apart and if your arguments still hold water after investigation, then you have established suitable grounds for support of those beliefs.

    Having said that, I feel that, by having a virtual ‘Death Wish’ (Quote:- ” I never intended living past 3 score & ten and I am 67 yrs old now”), and encouraging others to follow your thinking might be not far short of another ‘Jonestown’ if you are wrong.

    I do, of course, respect your right to express the very beliefs that I myself, once held but I do imagine that there are many very well educated medical students, that do not just believe what they are told, without seeking to DISPROVE the facts which is the methodology used by all scientists in their chosen field and that by now, and especially with social media being so freely available to all, those findings would have been published.

    • Frank Davis says:

      If you were a regular reader, you’d know that my commenters very frequently disagree with me. Today was one of those once-in-a-million days when everyone (or almost everyone) agreed.

  18. Jude says:

    Hi Frank, I agree with your post, as the smoking ban affected me in much the same way. Although I no longer smoke, (couldn’t afford to keep smoking in Australia), I now vape, and love it. What I have found though is that those people who were so anti-smoker, are the ones suggesting that I should now be welcomed back into the spaces that I was exiled from, as they patronisingly suggest that somehow I gave up smoking to please them, or so I could mix with them socially. Its hilarious to see their faces when I tell them that having been exiled from their company, I realise that I don’t actually miss being around them, and certainly don’t miss their nagging and fingerwagging, and have better things to do with my time, than spend time in their company at the places they have sanitised and ruined with their smug puritanism.

    Being exiled actually gave me a excellent opportunity to consolidate my own feelings and thoughts on the type of person I want to spend time with, and to see the supporters of the smoking ban, for what they truly are, small minded, nasty and spiteful people, who believe their rights trump those of everyone else, selfishness and intolerance, personified. In some ways the smoking ban gave me distance from these people, and the ability to put them into perspective.

    I’m a much much happier person now, and I please myself, lol, I do have a little secret pleasure when I see the realisation on the faces of those supposed friends, who nagged, and exiled me when I smoked, that I never needed their friendship, and haven’t missed them one bit. I also tell anyone who starts banging on about smokers now, exactly what I think of them, to their faces.

    The pubs and cafes in my little town are closing at a rapid rate, seems that all those smug anti-smokers can’t go out and have a good time by themselves, without us smokers, and vapers, (vaping is also banned in the pubs in my town), certainly not enough to keep the businesses afloat.

    If I was a smug bugger, I’d give them a big fat “I told you so”. :)

  19. Pingback: Holding the Fort and Sticking Together | Bolton Smokers Club

  20. lecroixkwdjer says:

    Reblogged this on Contra la ley "antitabaco" and commented:
    Este articulo de Frank es tan importante y dice tan exactamente las cosas que pienso yo, que lo comparto aquí. Haré una traducción al español en cuanto pueda. Son pensamientos imprescindibles.

  21. slugbop007 says:

    Just found this article a minute ago. Chinese mixing tobacco plants with grape plants, thus killing the phylloxera aphid.
    https://biocontrolbeat.wordpress.com/tag/nicotine/

  22. MerryO says:

    Excellent Frank. This is “the truth”. All of my experiences, thoughts (and resentments) exactly — except I’ve had to work, and it (antismoking) has wreaked havoc on that aspect (therefore every other aspect too) of my life. Now, I can use this great piece to help me “stop pretending” in a more effective way.

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