My No Smoking Minute

Taking Liberties yesterday:

In case you missed it, yesterday was No Smoking Day.

What a surprise. Nobody told me. Did I miss anything?

Did everybody stop smoking for the day? And then start smoking again the next day?

But a whole day is quite a long time to stop smoking. I’m not sure I could manage a whole day. An hour maybe. And a minute certainly.

They should have No Smoking Minutes just like they have One Minute Silences when someone dies. It would be easier, and much more practical. After all, they don’t have One Day Silences, do they? Bit much to ask people to keep quiet for a whole day.

So to make up for missing No Smoking Day, I’ve just held my own No Smoking Minute.

It wasn’t very difficult. And, just like they say, my health had improved no end after just 30 seconds. I could almost feel the oxygen surging through my blood vessels to replace all the carbon monoxide and Polonium 210 and road tar. And furthermore I made constructive use of the No Smoking minute to roll myself my next cigarette.

But in fact I quite naturally have lots of unscheduled No Smoking minutes every day. Add them all up and I reckon I have at least one No Smoking day a month.

Maybe that’s why I’m in such good health. It’s the cumulative effect of all those health-restoring No Smoking minutes I have every day.

And if I actually stopped smoking completely, I’d no longer get the benefit of those restorative No Smoking days and hours and minutes. My health would probably deteriorate very rapidly.

I really don’t think I want to take that sort of risk.


About Frank Davis

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47 Responses to My No Smoking Minute

  1. Harleyrider1978 says:

    All I got was the damn flu. I didn’t stop for a minute. But I did give several nazis a hard time this week.

  2. jaxthefirst says:

    Funny how No Smoking Day has simply vanished back into the woodwork since (I think) the BHF took it over after it lost its funding an as independent group (tee! hee!) It’s become like all those other obscure “days” that people suddenly say to you: “Hey, did you know it was Left-handed People’s Day today?” when you had absolutely no idea that it was, or what you were supposed to do about it (Celebrate, if you’re left handed? Be extra nice to left-handed people, if you’re right-handed? Do both if you’re ambidextrous?) And before you know it, “the Day” is over, until the next time someone says to you: “Hey do you know it’s ….” Which is good news, really. No Smoking Day deserves to be relegated to total obscurity and completely ignored. Which was, without knowing it, precisely what I did!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      My kid is left handed more or less and was giving him a 9mm auto I had for his birthday.
      Problem is its a right handers gun. Poor kid trying to cup it left and chamber it is backwards to him. So I guess we may end up getting him a amendextrious gun, See whats up soon.

      • Rose says:

        Harley, I am righthanded and left eyed, imagine trying to fire a rifle.

        At the moment it’s driving me nuts just trying to cut a thin piece of D shaped wire in half longways with a piercing saw.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Ya I saw the left eye thingy with my kid too.
          Perhaps you should let a jeweler cut the wire.

        • Rose says:

          Just finished, Harley.
          The solution was to paint the side I was looking at with matt black ink to stop the reflections from the silver, then I could focus properly on the line I was cutting.

          Now it’s a ring : )

  3. Cecily Collingridge says:

    Forget NSD. Following up my new year resolution to pick a smokers’ day of action, the date for your diaries is Monday 16th May (as suggested by Roobeedoo). I’d suggested we award someone (yet to be determined – nominations welcome) as nicotine nazi of the year. I’ve yet to come up with a design for said award but I’ve been toying with the idea of a 3-D brain with scalpel sticking out of it (inspired by the cover of MJM’s book – if permitted). A day of action could take many forms. I’m calling it Smokers’ Day Out (‘day out’ taken from the women’s ‘strike’ in Iceland years ago, done to show they had value to society) but I intend to be visible somehow even if this year it lands up being a one-woman movement. Little acorns and all that.

    • Barry Homan says:

      National Choke-out Day. The day when all smokers refuse to buy anything, boycott the entire planet for a day.

      • Cecily Collingridge says:

        I’m not too sure about changing the name this way, Barry. ‘National’ limits it geographically and ‘Choke’ could easily be misinterpreted and misused by the opposition and be counter-productive.
        I chose Day Out because in Iceland, when a strike was first proposed it was felt to be too confrontational and when it was renamed it secured near-universal support – something I hope we could replicate. Never underestimate the power of language. Smokers are all ages, shapes and sizes and have been marginalised a long time. Many may not have a lot of confidence. It takes courage to stand up and be counted and actually DO something but it doesn’t have to be big to count. It is just as important for smokers in remote rural communities to be engaged as urban dwellers. Big rallies in London are not always the answer or a mark of success.
        A Day Out could encompass any legal organised protest rally or a simple picnic or coffee morning in someone’s home to meet other smokers in the local area to socialise and organise or once a year carrying a placard against bans – sharing a photo on social media.
        I have no idea if there an appetite for civil disobedience? or would that jeopardise the venture? This could include lighting up in a bar/restaurant/council office or on hospital grounds/railway platform or sticking ‘smoking allowed’ or ‘lift the ban’ over no smoking signs (or remove them) in the neighbourhood.
        I like the idea of flexing our economic muscles by refusing to shop. However, it may need to be selective rather than a blanket measure depending on what kind of action individuals or groups wish to take which may involve travel costs.

        • Barry Homan says:

          This is not the first time I’ve proposed the idea, Cecily. I’m not an activist, say, like Audrey Silk or Chris Snowdon. My original intent was always to drop the idea at people’s feet, and hope somebody would pick it up and run with it – I would take no personal credit. Something just had to be done.

          Don’t like the name? Then change it, for mercy’s sake. Think over a strategy, make some kind of plan – yes, National could work if the idea originated in one country – like the UK. If it flies, then expand it to Continental, Trans-continental, Global, what have you.

          Remember Ghandi’s Day of Prayer?

    • kin_free says:

      I Agree with smokers day of action but not sure about nicotine nazi awards Cecily. It would depend on how it is handled, but most NNs would be flattered and it would boost their ego if they were given an award by the opposition, however UN-flattering it was. Much like those youths given ASBOs (Anti-Social Behaviour Orders) in British courts. They were often seen as badges of honour to be worn with pride – something to brag about. I have my own typical nicotine nazi on-line stalker (and he’s German!) by the name of bertl, (whom I now automatically think of as ‘the nutter on the bus’ - ). He almost always appears when I make a comment in the media using my BEOW discus identity, but he has no idea how much he flatters and boosts my resolve! The more frustrated and abusive he (or other anti smoker nutters) get, the more I like it and believe I am making a difference!

      I WOULD however, like to see awards for those who have done the most to expose the antics/lies/propaganda etc. of nicotine nazis. Such an award(s) would serve to raise awareness in the wider world if it was given enough exposure on blogs, twitter, facebook etc.

      The ‘New Edelweiss Pirates Award’ maybe? In case you don’t know who the original Edelweiss Pirates were;
      There are many who deserve that award but my initial two nominations would be;

      1)Frank Davis;
      His blog is active day after day and he writes from the heart on subjects that are almost always relevant, succinct and well argued. His views on the anti-smoker deception are most closely aligned with mine – and many others I suspect.
      2) Harleyrider;
      I’m sure he would forgive me for describing him as a bit ‘rough around the edges’, but his output and commitment to fighting nicotine nazis, in many ways, cannot be faulted. His comments appear on nearly every story that is in any way related to smoking. He has done the most in recent years to raise awareness of anti-smoker mendacity etc. amongst the wider public – worldwide!
      Any more nominations or seconders?
      Come on Frank, you may have been nominated, but your blog is well known and well read – is it possible do another on-line poll on this subject? Lets celebrate OUR commitments and achievements in fighting bigotry etc.

      • Frank Davis says:

        is it possible do another on-line poll on this subject?

        What would the question be? Typically there’s a question and a range of optional answers. Not the best format for nominating people.

        • kin_free says:

          The options are many and it could become too complex, so need to keep it simple as possible. There could be several categories where those nominated could be voted for. eg off the top of my head; Best New Edelweiss Pirate Blog; Best New Edelweiss Pirate on-line commentator; Best New Edelweiss Pirate scientific exposure… Having said that I think it probably should be kept to just one award initially if considered feasible at all. I have made two nominations for overall ‘New Edelweiss Pirate Award’- other readers could also suggest their nominations then a poll would list say four, five or six … of the most nominated. They could then be voted for in a poll. Just an idea!

      • nisakiman says:

        That’s a very interesting link, kf. I’d never heard of the Edelweiss Pirates before, which is somewhat remiss of me.

        It’s a great idea to have an award like that, and I think it’s an inspired choice of name for such an award. I also have to say I approve of your initial nominations.

        Yes, Harley is a one-man army when it comes to countering bullshit articles and comments. I tend to comment in many diverse places around the world (although not as prolifically as Harley by a long shot), and I nearly always find that Harley under one of his many noms de guerre has beaten me to it! :-) I don’t know how he finds the time!

        • Harleyrider1978 says:

          Let’s just say I made a promise to an old lady smoker back in 1980 that I’d fight the bastards if they went to smoking prohibition like she said to me that day. She saw what was coming long before any of us did. But then I went thru 3 of SG loops lectured I was told then every claim was bs by all the doctors and surgeons. I hate nazis telling any of us how to live or what to think. But then I guess I’m officially Americas biggest Rebel.

      • magnetic01 says:

        It is also important to note that antismoking was so strongly associated with Nazism that “for the anti-Nazi youth movements – the working class Eidelweiss Pirates and the bourgeois Hamburg Swing Youth alike – the constant cigarette seems to have been almost a badge of resistance and was referred to as a sure indicator of their degeneracy in the surveillance reports produced by the Hitler Youth. Indeed, one of the reasons for the relative failure of activities to prevent smoking in Germany since the war may be that the association of authoritarian antismoking efforts with the Nazi regime remained in popular memory for a long period.” (Smith et al., 1995, p.396)

      • Harleyrider1978 says:

        KF I didn’t write that.

      • Cecily Collingridge says:

        Good point, Kin-free, about nicotine nazi awards not being such a good idea and I approve of your alternative suggestion and nominations.

        I would add Audrey Silk to the list, though (as nominated by Gary later in this thread), whose existence I only learnt through reading Frank’s blog. Whilst NSD came and went without fanfare, March 8th was International Womens’ Day that warranted a mention in my local paper. Readers were invited to submit names of women and state why they had inspired you. A card would be made and put on a display being organised in my local library. I thought of the video of Audrey lighting up after giving evidence and being manhandled out of the room. Unfortunately I had missed the deadline to nominate her but I have put it in my diary for next year… for the international level!

  4. woodsy42 says:

    The problem with the lack of publicity and not knowing about it is that one can’t take pleasure in deliberately ignoring it.

  5. Frank Davis says:

    Stupid bastards!!! (And I wrote and told them so)

    The learning disability charity Mencap has suspended a carer after a picture emerged showing her smoking next to a man loaded with shopping bags.

    • Rose says:

      I think it’s the loading the person she was supposed to be caring for up like a luggage trolley while she takes her ease, that caused the offence.

    • Pat Nurse says:

      The media all reported this horrendous “crime” and yet failed to mention the fact that in Russia a women severed the head of a child and carried it around the Metro. Persepective is everything and on the smoking issue it is completely twisted.

    • Cecily Collingridge says:

      I refuse to jump to conclusions on the basis of a photograph alone. I’m not that impressed by the reporting or the reaction of Mencap. Being in a wheelchair does not automatically remove all autonomy or imply lack of mental capacity. For all I know, the person wanted his carer to have a rest or make or answer the phone and TOLD her to put the bags on the tray in front temporarily if the ground was damp or whatever.

  6. waltc says:

    For the sherr hell of it and because we’re all supposed to be long dead: Willie Nelson. Still Not Dead Again Today ‪#‎stillnotdead‬

  7. Pat Nurse says:

    I have no smoking hours every morning. I smoke when I enjoy it and I don’t when I don’t. I don’t enjoy smoking in the morning so I don’t smoke until I’ve been up at least three hours. So much for “addiction”

  8. garyk30 says:

    I have a ‘non-smoking’ nite every nite and it lasts for at least 8 hours of my sleep,

    Over the span of a week, that gives me at least

    2 no-smoking 24 hour ‘days’.

    The 1 day a year is a silly show.

    I never have to get up in the middle of the nite for a smoke, nor do I dream of smoking; so, my ‘no-smoking’ days are truly ‘no-smoking’.

    As for the award, I nominate Audrey Silk of NYCLASH.

  9. smokingscot says:


    Nice little bit of news from the 5th anniversary. The folks in the contaminated area around the Fukushima nuclear facility can’t sell their crops legitimately because they still show very strong readings from the fallout.

    So they thought along two lines. First to stop any reliance on nuclear energy for anything. Second to use all the contaminated land to start making money again. So they’ve been building solar farms, some pretty big ones too. And it’s catching on.

    And there’s the Scots, leaving Gruinard (and about 0.7 miles offshore) left doing SFA.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    The current anti-smoking campaign
    is not about your health …

    It is all about YOUR MONEY… They want it!

    Black Market Cigarettes

    The big cigarette tax increases many states are imposing combined with federal taxes to fund the SCHIP program will only make black-market smokes more profitable and lead to more cigarette smuggling. People stock up in low-tax states like Virginia and Missouri, truck the cigarettes north and illegally resell them in high-tax states like Michigan and New Jersey. Others buy cartons of tax-free smokes on Indian reservations and sell them elsewhere.

    Those pushing to steal more of your money told us that higher prices for cigarettes would not create a black market. They tried pointing to the higher prices in Europe has not created a black market there. Well, all I can say is they just simply don’t know what they’re talking about. When I was in Germany years ago, for example, I found a HUGE black market for both cigarettes and alcohol. In England, one-half of all cigarettes are sold on the black market. The black market is so common throughout Europe, American legislators are simply closing their eyes to the obvious, and lying to the American public about it.

    In 1996 the European parliament warned that organised crime is now involved in large scale cigarette smuggling. “The FENEX Dutch distributors association estimate that the EU is losing $US775m in excise taxes from the illicit trade,” said a Cape Business News report. “Typically the cigarettes enter ports like Rotterdam destined for countries outside the EU and therefore not subject to duties. Once landed the cigarettes false documentation allows the cigarettes to be distributed within the EU. Some estimates suggest that up to 20% of EU consumed cigarettes are contraband.

    There is already a lucrative black market for cigarettes in the United States and after Congress adds its $1.10 plus tax, the states add their excise taxes, and the tobacco companies add their share to recover its legal costs, etc., you can expect the price of a pack of cigarettes to be somewhere around $5 per pack/ $50 per carton. And you don’t think there will be a huge black market?

    Since the first state cigarette taxes were imposed in the 1920s, black markets and related criminal activity have plagued high-tax jurisdictions. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) admitted there is ALREADY a huge black market for cigarettes in California. It is estimated that nearly 20 percent of the cigarettes sold there are sold on the black market.

    New York state is raising its tax $1.25 to $2.75 a pack, the highest in the nation. New York City charges an additional $1.50, which will bring the cost of a typical pack of cigarettes here to $9. Consumers are responding by turning to the city’s bustling black market and other low-tax sources of cigarettes. During the four months following the previous tax hikes, sales of taxed cigarettes in the city fell by more than 50 percent compared to the same period the prior year. Over the decades, a series of studies by federal, state, and city officials has found that high taxes have created a thriving illegal market for cigarettes in the city. That market has diverted billions of dollars from legitimate businesses and governments to criminals.

    Smugglers have also turned to counterfeiting cigarette tax stamps to disguise packs on the black market. New York state officials announced recently that they had seized $6.1 million worth of fake stamps from a Jordanian tobacco distributor.

    In 1994, as part of a property tax reform package known as Proposal A, Michigan boosted the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 25 to 75 cents per pack, creating a huge gap between the price of cigarettes there and nearby states. Not surpringsly, this spawned a Michigan blackmarket.

    When Canada steadily increased taxes on cigarettes in the 1980s, a black market sprang up and, at one point, it was estimated that as many as half of all cigarettes consumed there were smuggled in. “There are large profits to be made by smugglers, distributors and retailers,” prime minister Jean Chrétien told the Canadian House of Commons in February, 1994. “In 1993 criminal proceeds from tobacco smuggling were upwards of $1 billion.” As the smuggling became lucrative, criminal gangs engaged in bloody turf wars to dominate the market. Eventually, the government was forced to cut taxes to reduce the smuggling and crime its actions had nurtured. [Source: Perspective, “Up In Smoke,” Investor’s Business Daily, July 11, 1997.]

    Surely, these legislators who continue to increase cigarette taxes know this. They can’t all be that stupid. You can bet they know there will be a huge black market and they know when that happens the American public will cry out to them again to clean up their streets from all the organized crime they created. They will eagerly pass more laws to attempt fixing what they broke and of course with it will come even higher taxes for everyone. It’s a sort of socialist spin on ‘job security’.

    • Some French bloke says:

      “after […] tobacco companies add their share to recover its legal costs”

      IOW, not only did the real big shots in Big Tobacco never had to spend a single day in police custody for their alleged “conspiracy in concealing and misrepresenting the” (also alleged) “addictive and harmful nature of tobacco/nicotine” to the public, but they never had to spend a single extra dime on that account either!
      That such a gigantic, Orwellian scam, that this plague of manipulation, dishonesty, and hypocrisy, has been allowed to be visited upon a hapless public teaches all there is to know about the neo-feudal system that is the globalised world-market we’re living in today.

  11. Rose says:

    Also on Taking Liberties yesterday, I mentioned Prohibition.

    I read the news feeds every day and day after day, week after week, year after year now, I read stories like these –

    Haul of tobacco seized across Leicestershire to be recycled
    13 Mar 2016

    “A massive haul of illegal tobacco seized by trading standards is to be recycled as mulch for the garden.

    More than 75,000 cigarettes and 800kg of tobacco has been recovered in nearly 30 raids across the county following tip-offs from the public, legitimate traders and the use of sniffer dogs.”
    http: //

    Two tonnes of illegal tobacco seized across Wales
    12 March 2016

    “Almost half a million illegal cigarettes and nearly two tonnes of illegal hand-rolling tobacco was seized in Wales during summer 2015.”
    http: //

    Illegal cigarettes and tobacco seized in Crewe
    9th March

    “More than 20,000 cigarettes and 5kg of rolling tobacco were uncovered during raids on seven properties in Crewe coordinated by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and supported by the Department of Health.

    Officers and sniffer dogs discovered concealed stashes of tobacco at five of the premises, with products hidden in various areas, including a false wall and a freezer.”
    http: //


    “In early December 1926, New York’s federal grand jury went on record as opposed to the national prohibition laws, arguing, among other things, that they had all by themselves created “a ruthless and dangerous set of criminals.”

    And still the federal sleuths mounted large prosecutions; still the Dry Navy prowled the coast for rum runners; a week before Christmas, President Calvin Coolidge went before Congress to request still another $30 million for enforcement. For all the diligence, there were said to be 22,000 thriving speakeasies in the city – this number came from an assistant U.S. attorney who had quit his job in hopeless despair – and it was estimated that a good 100,000 cases of whisky continued to arrive every week.”

    I suppose when governments lose the public’s trust with bans and denormalisation in clumsy attempts at social engineering, this sort of thing is bound to happen.

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