A New Line of Enquiry

Pretty much the only reason why I ended up writing to the chief executive of Sandwell hospital yesterday was because he was the only member of the board of trustees who had an email address.

The other members were named, pictured, and brief CVs provided. But no email addresses were provided for any of them. There was no way of communicating with them directly. The chief executive was, in effect, their prison warder. You could speak to him, but not to them. They were being held incommunicado.

Which was odd. Was it an inadvertent mistake? It didn’t look like it. It looked deliberate. But why did they need to be kept incommunicado? What was so dangerous about publishing their email addresses?

I wondered if I could get hold of their email addresses by other means. Pretty much everyone in the NHS seems to have an @nhs.net email address, so they probably had them too.

I didn’t find any of their email addresses, but as I meandered through ‘NHS-world’ I came across doctors and nurses who quite obviously cared a lot about their patients.

And I suddenly realised that OF COURSE most people in the medical profession care about their patients!! That’s their vocation, after all. But the chief executive of the hospital wasn’t a doctor. He was a managerial professional. If he wasn’t running Sandwell hospital, he’d have been running some government department or company or boot camp.

I think I’m beginning to see  how these smoking bans may get introduced. It’s probably not that the doctors and nurses want them (although some may), but rather that the non-medical professional hospital managers want them. And the hospital managers are most likely appointed by the NHS senior management, which will also consist of managerial types with no medical background. And they probably all get their orders from central government. Orders, for example, to impose smoking bans.

It looks to me like there may be two cultures in the NHS. There are the caring doctors and nurses. And there is the uncaring management.

And, if it exists, this could prove to be a useful cultural division. And instead of contacting the heartless, sadistic management like I did yesterday, I’d be better off looking for genuinely caring medical professionals, and asking them what they think of smoking bans. And I bet that, if they really do care about their patients, they probably hate all these cruel and spiteful bans. Anyone who had a heart would.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if there are lots and lots of them. And we smokers may have a great many friends and allies inside the NHS. But they’re kept incommunicado. They have no voice. And all we ever hear is the voice of their jackbooted, government-appointed overlords.

It looks like a very interesting line of enquiry: instead of going looking for enemies in the NHS, go looking for friends inside the NHS.

So I may go trawling the internet for caring medical professionals. I’ve already found one or two likely candidates (with email addresses). My idea is to write very nice emails to them, asking what they think of smoking bans in hospitals. Maybe most of them won’t reply. But I’m sure some will. And of those who reply, some will agree with the bans, and some won’t. And they’ll maybe be able to explain what’s going on inside hospitals like Sandwell.

I’ll keep y’all posted.

Not the medical profession, but the universities.

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42 Responses to A New Line of Enquiry

  1. cherie79 says:

    Most of the nurses I know smoke and hate all the anti smoking restrictions forced on them. Not sure about the doctors, I doubt if many would admit to it,

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Cherie my doctor smokes in his office at his practice.I regularly join him for a smoke myself on the way out from the exam rooms. Been that way for 2 decades and now he is retiring the bastard! lol But he will be working the ER 4 days and nites a week. So I guess I will be getting my primary care at the ER for now on………..I aint changing docs after 20 years.

  2. jaxthefirst says:

    Interesting idea, Frank. Maybe you’re right – maybe not everyone working in the NHS is a rabid, swivel-eyed, anti-smoking zealot. I guess that those lower down the pecking order, who have daily contact with actual, real patients are likely to have a much sharper recognition of the fact that many people who don’t smoke, who don’t drink, and who have led “perfect, blameless” lives often fall ill and suffer with horrible ailments just as much as those who have lived life on the wild side and refused to stick to any of the healthy-living “rules.” Some years ago, when the ban on smoking in mental hospitals was only just being discussed, I remember a (non-smoking) psychiatric nurse friend of mine saying that the very idea itself was insanity. In her words: “Smoking is the only thing that inmates do which gives them a break from the pain and, often, monotony of treatment. It makes them feel human again, rather than like a freak, because it’s often the only thing which they are actively permitted to choose to do (or not to do). Everything else – eating, drinking, sleeping, leisure activities, daily tasks, therapeutic treatments, medication etc – are all pretty much dictated to them as to when, how and why. Banning smoking will cause no end of problems to these poor souls.” She didn’t think that the authorities would be daft enough to push it through and believed that they’d listen to the concerns of front-liners like herself – but then, as a non-smoker, she wasn’t then truly understanding of the control-freakery of these people in respect of smoking. I guess she might have learned now.

    Just as an aside, there used to be a blog (“pro-smoking doctor”) which was very good, but he hasn’t written for some years now, sadly. Probably gave up the smokes and moved – as they all do – to the “dark side.” I also remember a while ago reading an extremely good article on a blog called “nurses for reform” about the (then) proposed display ban, but it now seems to have vanished from their site. Another extremely anti Big Pharma doctor blog is Dr Kimber, who was linked here by your good self a while back. I haven’t yet been able to work out his stance on smoking, because his big “thing” seems to be the Big Pharma statins/cholesterol scam that’s raging at the moment. But he displays a welcome cynicism towards Big Pharma and its money-grubbing machinations. So maybe there are a few out there – who knows?

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Jax I guarantee you theres an army of doctors and professionals and scientists and all the rest ready and able to spil the beans on the whole damned business. But Like Prof Evin stated,you cant go against the official dogma or you risk professional assassination……

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank my own step daughters a nurse who just left a bit ago and she smokes in fact about every nurse at the hospital smokes and the health Nazis are right across the street from her hospital she works at in town. Oh it says smokefree campus on the sign right beside it sits an ashtray and another at the front door. At the ER is another ashtray and butts littered all about.

    But your right these people pushing these bans are not medical staffers their managerial gestapo.

    They get their not by their ability but by appointment thru political channels or non profit pushing. That’s how it works here.The bowling green head Nazi at the health dept isn’t even a nurse or anything. She only has that 6 week crash course in tobacco control and lobbying…………She has an office with 2 helpers yet she is in control of the health dept………..

    Its pretty much the same way at every Kentucky county level health dept. In fact last year a black fellow up near Louisville who was a bog time lobbiest for smokefree Kentucky had been the head of the health dept for 4 years when funds were discovered missing he quietly disappeared from the scene and out of the blue shows up as the new director of the health dept in Deland fla 4 weeks later!

    He gets a hero’s welcome from all the staffers at his new leading roll job there.

    Like I say you hit it on the head,these people are hand picked and their staffs to all be group players politically and philosophically. Besides all being propagandist artists and cleverly trying to figure out how much power and control the can legally or illegally get away with. They even have legal societies that tell them what they can and cant get away with. Even then they tell them what to do if they run into a hot spot of opposition and even hunt down the right judges should a case go to court to make sure they always get the right outcomes………….

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    They actually posted my comment on the AHA board………….


    Guess it helps pretending to be a op ed writer on public health issues.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      — jack listerio

      As a media public health writer I find it quite odd the AHA would go as far as condemning cities that don’t have a choise over statewide tobacco pre-emption laws. In fact its pretty silly. Nashville Tenn has a wonderful brand new convention center with plenty of hotel space available within walking distance of the convention center.

      Has the AHA gone so overboard on the anti-tobacco issue as to now be openly Prohibitional and fanatically controlled that they think they have the power to put down cities that have no power over such laws.

      Im considering writing a few op eds on this subject in the cities you have mentioned in your above article. Im sure Nashville would love to know they are a targeted and victimized city simply because state law allows a few places to have smoking whle everything else is Non.

      In fact I may just write about how the ACS,ALA and AHA were created by Mr. Rockefellor at the end of the last round of Prohibition in America.

      It seems the AHA thinks they are the almighty and can force their views upon anyone without regard to free choise or free trade.

      While trying to get people to stop smoking is an admirable cause using the power of criminal law to justify your crusade its truly becoming a tyrannical way of dealing with smokers. May we soon see the AHA pushing for laws against peope with obesity from being fed in restaraunts next or perhaps they will choose alcohol and sugar prohibition laws next. Itd be ashame to know a small child somewhere was enjoying a ice creame without your approval,ehh!

      Take some advice AHA you did better when you simply went with advertising and teaching about smoking hazards,then came your criminal laws defacto prohibition for a free person simply enjoying a smoke in a venue the owner will allow. That’s the American way not criminal laws for doing an activity that is highly taxed and is legal!

  5. Tony says:

    It may be instructive to see what happens when real disease and illness become problems. I suspect the anti-smokers will finally be recognised as the sick, twisted, obsessives that they are. Whatever view people take on the current EU immigration /refugee crisis, it looks as though there are some very real medical concerns arising in Germany at the moment. A resurgence of serious illnesses that had been eradicated decades ago, and on a large scale.

    I don’t know how reliable this article is but it looks well researched. Perhaps the fact that John Bolton (ex US ambassador to the UN – he of the big moustache) is chairman of the Gatestone institute would suggest a right wing bias. Anyway, here it is:


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Tont I have seen John Bolton at Sen Rand Puls campaign rallies 2 times while he is right wing he isn’t a wing nut. The man actually speaks the truth and seems very trustworthy. Besides that he has an occasional cigar as I saw him light one up in Louisville at a campaign gathering for RAND.

  6. waltc says:

    Good idea to look for friends. Maybe you can light a fire there, get them to speak up and/or out against the bans. In nyc, smoking is already banned at all hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, indoors and out; Several in my neighborhood (with no legal authority that I know of) also try to ban it on surrounding public sidewalks with big street signs which are, of couse, ignored.

    As for friends among nurses, I’m sure there are many but also be prepared for virulent enemies. Somewhere on my computer I saved some nurses’ blogs in which large numbers of nurses describe smokers–at least the ones they catch “sneaking” a smoke or going outside to “legally” do it– as disgusting stupid slime, and think they should be kicked out and left to die their stinking deaths.

    OT, global warming deniers now officially charged with RICO racketeering in “progressive” NY state, though the same Wall St Jnl article expressing horror seems to think it’s ok that tobacco companies were similarly charged


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Walt if you step back and look at the whole scenic painting of the political agendas floating about the world……….your story suggests that the globalists are shaking in their boots as that RICO against so called deniers will do nothing except turn people str8 to the logical conclusion its a massive witch hunt now……….

  7. Supergran says:

    My daughter is a high-grade nurse, my son a manager over the porters in same hospital. They both smoke as do a shedload of nurses and doctors and they have not been able to smoke anywhere in or around the hospital grounds for a couple of years now. But of course, they manage to find hidey-holes occasionally. My daughter had a period of time where she had to actually drive out of the hospital for a cigarette and was traumatised because she really COULDN’T afford the time, taking her lunch on the go (busy busy). They HATE the rules. As do most people (although I’ve not asked what the “antis” are like – but then, we absolutely KNOW that don’t we?? The world is going mad and I wanna get off. The very worst thing I have heard or will ever hear is the banning of smoking in or around mental health facilities. Of all the vulnerable people in all the world they are the most vulnerable and sad. And those bastard “antis” need to think “But for the grace of God go I.” Mental illness cares not for age or gender. Doesnt matter if you’re rich or poor. Can happen to absolutely anyone so LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But yeah, Frank, all I can say is
    NEVER HAVE SO MANY BEEN RULED BY SO FEW. Bastards, the lot of them.

  8. slugbop007 says:

    May we soon see the AHA pushing for laws against people with obesity from being fed in restaraunts next or perhaps they will choose alcohol and sugar prohibition laws next. Itd be ashame to know a small child somewhere was enjoying a ice cream without your approval,ehh!

    The prohibition of obese people from entering restaurants has already happened in the USA.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      actually slug that Mississippi law was never passed,I use it to point just how fanatical these people have become with the bans and everything else. You see if they had called me on the restaurant ban on obese people being denied service I could have whipped out the 2008 bill that was set to do it. The people who introduced that bill were only doing it as a public outcry over smoking bans and to show just how ridiculous its all become. I actually spoke with the legislator who wrote that bill and he told me how he and the governor conspired together with others to show just how fanatical things could get. Oh ya they achieved their goal as it went national in the news for over 2 months in 2008.

      But the point was made and likely as not that one simple show of political guts stopped similar laws the Nazis from pushing it elsewhere altogether because we know they would surely do it.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      slug that’s a failure from the beginning. Butts are to small to be used as a commercial source of supply to do anything with. To costly to even collect em much less process them as in just weeks to a few months they bio degrade into top soil!

      • slugbop007 says:

        Funny that you should say that they biodegrade so quickly, the 1999 BMJ article that I posted earlier claimed that they could take up to 25 years.

        • tony says:

          I experimented with some cigarette ends (filters) a few years ago. They appeared to degrade within a few weeks (6?). I commented about that here and someone corrected me, pointing out that they are not technically biodegradable but need about a month to photo degrade in sunlight first.
          That could match my experience. One month photo degrading in sunlight followed by two to three weeks biodegrading.

  9. slugbop007 says:

    This was taken from a report in 1956. The last paragraph is telling. After many studies the Amercian Cancer Society stated that … ‘It does not hold that smoking causes cancer of the lung. It does not propose to tell the public not to smoke’.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
      November 2004.

      “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

      In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

      The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  10. jltrader says:

    German ex-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt dies at 96 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34778565 No doubt his chain smoking killed him and he’ll be counted as a premature death by ASH.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    A senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he floored it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little gray hair he had left. “Amazing,” he thought as he flew down I-94, pushing the pedal even more. Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a state trooper behind him, lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, “What am I doing? I’m too old for this,” and pulled over to await the trooper’s arrival. Pulling in behind him, the trooper walked up to the Corvette, looked at his watch, and said, “Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a reason for speeding that I’ve never heard before, I’ll let you go.”
    The old gentleman paused. Then he said, “Years ago, my wife
    ran off with a State trooper. I thought you were bringing her back.”

    “Have a good day, sir,” replied the trooper.

  12. slugbop007 says:

    This is from a BMJ report in 1999:
    You can already see that they are beholden to the WHO in the manner that they tackle this problem. They prefer to denounce rather than come up with viable solutions like the Vancouver City Council has done.

  13. slugbop007 says:

    There are far worse toxic substances than cigarette filter tips fouling up the oceans of the world.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Slug guess where 60-70% of Americas human waste ends up being dumped into and all the ground water………….the oceans! In fact the world over that’s where it ends up treated or untreated. Now what was the WHO ranting about cig butts for.

  14. harleyrider1978 says:
  15. lleweton says:

    I’m sure there are many with medical qualifications, doctors and nurses, who deplore the persecution of smokers. Sadly I fear that they feel as gagged and powerless as the rest of us in the face of the takeover of their calling by social engineers who would not be qualified to issue a prescription for aspirin. But doctors and nurses have to earn a living and, I suppose, toe the line. If I were a doctor I would speak out especially, for the need, as well as the right, of psychiatric patients to have a smoke. All people, well or ill, including the persecutors, live in the shadow of death. Surely it is their individual right to choose how they live their days. May someone among our true healers be listening.

  16. slugbop007 says:

    Sorry, it wasn’t the BMJ report that claimed 25 years for a cigarette to biodegrade, it was this yobbo.

    • tony says:

      That guy is completely off his head (probably does write for the BMJ then). He doesn’t seem to even realise that tobacco is a natural plant. Bizarre figures like one tree lost to make 300 cigarettes or 25 years to biodegrade.

  17. roobeedoo2 says:

    Does anybody else see the cigarettes and colourful cigarette packet in Frank’s clip? A pen, whilst the interviewer holds up the book. A stick of chalk and blackboard rubber on the cover of another book.

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