Normal is Natural

Fifty years ago, it was perfectly normal and natural for my father to come home after work, pour himself a bottle of beer, light a cigarette, and sit in an armchair in the living room reading a newspaper.

And, as far as I’m concerned, what was normal back then is still normal today. And, what’s more, it always will be.

No amount of “de-normalisation” of smoking is ever going to change that. My normal can’t be de-normalised. My norms are fixed.

All that has happened with smoking bans is that smoking indoors has been made illegal. People are being forced to not smoke, on pain of being heavily fined. But making something illegal isn’t the same as making it abnormal. Perfectly normal things can be made illegal.

Tobacco Control seems to believe that all they have to do is create and maintain the semblance of normality for it to become the new normality. But creating the semblance of normality is itself a kind of fraud or illusion. It is itself something abnormal.

It’s perfectly possible to use the law to make any number of things illegal. It’s possible to make not just smoking illegal, but also alcohol, salt, sugar, and meat, so that restaurants will be filled with people eating only vegetarian meals washed down with water. But that won’t make vegetarianism normal. It will just enforce vegetarianism for as long as the laws remain in place.

If this sort of social engineering worked, it would mean that prisoners who were fed on bread and water for the 20 year term of their imprisonment would only ever want to eat bread and water after their release. And if they were kept in small airless cells wearing striped uniforms and slippers, after release they’d rent tiny cells, and buy themselves striped uniforms and slippers. They’d re-invent their prison. But this doesn’t happen. Instead they go back to living the same way they used to live, eating the same foods, and wearing the same clothes.

Smoking bans don’t create a new normality. They simply suppress a pre-existing one. And as soon as the straitjacket of the force of law – the prison regime – is removed, the old, underlying normality will rapidly re-assert itself. Just like an untended garden will very rapidly revert to a wilderness. It requires constant hard work by a gardener to restrain a garden, to keep the flowers growing in artificial flower beds, and hedges growing in hedgerows. There’s never a point when the restricted garden plants know where they are and aren’t supposed to grow, and keep to their allotted places.

True normality requires no external restraining force to maintain it. Normality is the wilderness where plants find their own natural balance. Normal is natural.

Sooner or later it will be realised that de-normalisation simply doesn’t work, and that the pre-existing normality always re-asserts itself in the end, and that the effort to prevent it is wasted.

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About Frank Davis

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54 Responses to Normal is Natural

  1. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Spot on Frank it’s not normal for prohibition to be here, it’s abnormal to have legal normal things outlawed and to have abnormal things legalized like gay marriage.

    • edith482 says:

      Spot on! As it would appear that you are an American at least you do not have to suffer the appalling BBC and its childishly obvious attempts at brainwashing. All done at the taxpayers expense of course!

  2. slugbop007 says:

    Social Engineering is the New Normal. We must continue working hard to De-Normalize it. Otherwise, it will continue to spread its insidious, poisonous, anti-human tentacles.

  3. Tony says:

    I’m reminded of this quote from Petr Skrabanek’s book “The Death of Humane Medicine and The Rise of Coercive Healthism”:

    “I don’t smoke nor drink. I don’t stay out late and don’t sleep with girls. My diet is healthy and I take regular exercise. All this is going to change when I get out of prison.”

  4. Tony says:

    While I’m remembering quotes, here’s another that seems relevant:

    “It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” – Thomas Jefferson

  5. Bemused says:

    Denormanisation is the only tactic acceptable to the tobacco control industry and their paymasters big pharma. It ensures the slow road to prohibition and maximises both entities cash flow.

    Just witness the next steps floated last week. ASH pushing for smoking bans in all cars at all times regardless of the presence of children and the Scottish Gorvernment banning smoking in all hospital grounds and declaring their intention to extend bans to all beaches, public parks and sports pitches. Anywhere a child might see smoking.

    And of course, vaping is considered a threat to both denormanisation and big pharma profit therefore ensuring its inclusion in all future denormanisation steps.

  6. Rickie says:

    The problem is Frank there is no sign whatsover of a desire to go back to what was smoking normality, surely this long after the smoking ban there would be some evidence of this.

    When has there ever been a protest against the smoking ban, not counting the one and only pub meeting at stony stratford, minor political issues like Fox Hunting dwarf smoking issues with real people doing the lobbying, not paid lobbyists.

    The public have no desire for your kind of normailty and in another 50 years that isnt going to change. The fantasy of “come the revolution” the world will be magically transformed into a smokers paradise without anyone doing anything about anything has become your norm.

    • Rose says:

      If that is the case Rickie, why do you bother to come to the backwoods of the internet to tell Frank so.
      Surely we can safely be ignored.

      • prog says:

        Rickie claims to speak for all. Again.

        Still, good to see that his grammar has improved (albeit slightly).

      • smokingscot says:

        @ Rose.

        – Because it’s been banned from virtually every other blog.

        – Because it hates being banned. (Funny that; loves to dish it though).

        – Because dumping its load in places like Guido isn’t as satisfying (he chucks out several posts a day – and commentators there would crème it).

        – It’s prime purpose is to dominate the threads – and it’s been spectacular today.

        – The one thing it needs is its comments to remain. Junican understood that and deleted the lot, ditto Granddad.

        (By the by, it comments here using other handles. It I no longer believe is one person).

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      Then what’s the problem with lifting the ban and letting pub landlords themselves decide if they’ll allow smoking on their premises, Rickie? The majority won’t because they won’t want to lose the clientele that they’ve worked hard to developed and keep over the last 9 years.

      If what you confidently state is in fact true, then ‘smoking pubs’ (pubs that set aside an area inside for smoking) won’t get any traction. However, they would cater for those of us that would like to go to the pub but don’t anymore specifically because of the smoking ban. You know, like how non-smokers used to boycott pubs before the ban.

      It would be like having a level playing field, one of the arguments put forward for having the ban.

      Point of order though, Stony Stratford wasn’t about smoking in pubs – a local politician proposed banning smoking outdoors in that town. That’s what the demonstration in Stony Stratford was about.

      https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/stony-resistance/

      That’s a bit naughty of you.

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Paris over a million protested the ban yet it wasn’t covered by the media and in Bulgaria too even in Moscow they marched against the bans.

      In1895 states passed bans some lasted 20 years others just a few. By 1917 political times changed and all the bans started getting repealed. Your idea people are happy with bans is BS and history proves bans are always repealed. That stubborn 20% just won’t quit or go away will they.

      • Harleyrider1978 says:

        Btw thanks for the biggest worldwide black market in tobacco the world has ever known. The poor and middle classes appreciate it.

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        Harley, You are right. Bans are often opposed. In NOLA, the majority at the City Council meetings opposed the ban. In NYC, CLASH has conducted nay protests over the years, etc. The problem as you rightly note is that this opposition is censored and dissent suppressed. Mass deletions of comments on web sites, falsified poll results, etc. If I recall, It was just last year when a majority of persons polled in the UK stated a preference for smoking rooms in pubs.

    • Frank Davis says:

      When has there ever been a protest against the smoking ban,

      There were several shortly after the imposition of the ban. One of them was held in Glastonbury, which I contemplated attending. And those were just the ones I knew about.

      The public have no desire for your kind of normailty and in another 50 years that isnt going to change.

      The public never get asked, so there’s no way of telling. When they were asked just prior to the ban, 70% were in favour of some provision for smokers. Now there are just paid lobbyists like Deboral Arnott who purport to speak on behalf of the public.

      And who is to say what the world will be like in 50 years? Nobody knows.

      Furthermore social engineering projects like smoking bans are quintessentially exercises in ignoring and overriding public opinion. The UK smoking ban wasn’t achieved democratically (The Labour party had only proposed bans in pubs that sold food). And the same is true pretty well everywhere else.

      The EU (social engineering) project is yet another exercise in ignoring and overriding public opinion.

    • edith482 says:

      Correction ‘Rickie’ the media especially the BBC do not publicize criticism of the smoking ban. The smokers group FOREST and Freedom2chose ARE grassroots organisations. I am a member of both and I am NOT a paid lobbyist. I note that you have the audacity to claim you speak for the public and can also predict the future ! As you are clearly an anti-smoker what are you doing on this site anyway?

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      That was done before 1895-1917 all the bans were repealed. I’m sure those prohibitionists thought their bans would never be repealed either. It’s over the ban movement is a dead duck just waiting on repeal right now.

  7. smokingscot says:

    Completely Off Topic (but Frank doesn’t have a TV and y’all may be interested)

    Alternative For Germany has scored very big in the three State elections they held yesterday. 12% in one and darned near 15% in the other two.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/anti-refugee-party-surges-german-regional-elections-160314050246167.html

    The party was only formed in February 2013 and no it’s not about the economic migrants being shovelled over by Turkey. The party has at its core a desire to withdraw Germany from the Euro.

    It seems that after 70 years, some Germans no longer feel the need to continue paying for events initiated by their grand parents or, in the case of the Euro, their politicians.

    Good on them. I see they scored about the same as UKIP would have, had they been able to contest under proportional representation.

    And another one that’s not getting the publicity it deserves. The Dutch have managed to get enough signatures to force a referendum on ANY further moves to even negotiate with Ukraine. They do not want to see the EU expand further East, something I agree with.

    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/03/no-vote-makes-gains-ahead-of-dutch-ukraine-referendum/

    It takes place on 6th April.

    Now can they please manage to force a referendum to stop giving Turkey a back door into the EU? Please, pretty please!

    The little people doth use the system brilliantly!

  8. Rickie says:

    I don’t think its right for workers to be subjected to SHS while working in pubs because a Landlord thinks its ok, I agree pubs don’t want to lose clientele and back that up with if you are lucky a tatty old pub chair for smokers to share outside in what they call a smoking area…..they don’t want smokers back or they would have done something to keep them by spending money on outside areas in the first place

    Social engineering projects!!, don’t you mean health advice projects, this silly theme of some kind of James Bond (Spectre) evil organisation hell bent on controlling the worldwide scientific community and actually managing to do that because the truth about dangers of smoking really are all lies is about as loony as it gets.

    The simple reason why there has been nearly no protests over the smoking ban over 9 years, even though I could list a dozen well organised lobby groups that take part in direct action, have comittees, have campaigns on local current issues in Norfolk where I live, is that smokers are just seconds away from being outdoors to have a fag.

    Who the fuck is going to protest against stepping outside for a fag….bloody well nobody has up till now, there really is no protest against it, the pro smoke lobby is Simon Clark(non smoker) who does it for a fee and who else???

    How will the situation change in 50 years?….no chance is there, and your worst enemies Frank are ex-smokers who thank god they managed to beat the addiction and make the most noise about being addicts.

    The world of pro smoking lobbying is a few blogs with the vast majority of the followers hiding behind false names, and even then its a very tiny number who bother with pro smoking issues.

    The real public don’t care about smoking bans
    The online community is in hiding and tiny
    Governments around the world support smoking bans.
    Tobacco industry does nothing regarding bans
    smokers are silent.

    The truth is obvious but not wanted because of the horror that their favourite pub is smoke free indoors, its all about smoking in pubs, its always been about smoking in pubs, if smoking in pubs had been excluded then blogs/books/Forest/Spectre/conspiracies/Puritans would not have exsisted.

    Millions die from smoking but its smoking in pubs that really anyone who reads this blog gives a fuck about.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Social engineering projects!!, don’t you mean health advice projects, this silly theme of some kind of James Bond (Spectre) evil organisation hell bent on controlling the worldwide scientific community

      It’s called the WHO. And it is indeed an evil organisation hell bent on controlling the worldwide health community. In fact, it does a pretty good job of it already. And the project of making the entire world stop smoking is very much a social engineering project. There’s no other way to describe it. It isn’t just worthless “health advice” they use. They employ bans, taxation, sick pics on cigarette packs, display bans, and much more. All of it aimed at changing the way people behave.

      The simple reason why there has been nearly no protests over the smoking ban over 9 years, even though I could list a dozen well organised lobby groups that take part in direct action, have comittees, have campaigns on local current issues in Norfolk where I live, is that smokers are just seconds away from being outdoors to have a fag.

      Except that WHO-supported antismokers like you are pushing to have even smoking outdoors banned.

      The reason that most smokers don’t protest is that they don’t think there’s anything they can do about it. That’s the reason I was given again and again and again. They’re powerless. Aside from that, they hate smoking bans as much as I do. Going outdoors really means being “exiled to the outdoors” just like Deborah Arnott accurately predicted, and that is deeply socially divisive.

      The world of pro smoking lobbying is a few blogs with the vast majority of the followers hiding behind false names

      And plenty don’t hide behind “false names”. Rose, MJM, Walt, and many more come to mind. And if you go read comments in newspapers, you find that most of them are hiding behind “false names”.

      And there are more and more blogs and forums cropping up all over the world. Nine years ago there were next to none.

      And these days even blog gets regularly translated into German

      Millions die from smoking but its smoking in pubs that really anyone who reads this blog gives a fuck about.

      The last bit is true, because pub smoking bans is what created their social exclusion.

      But I no longer believe that “Millions die from smoking”. I don’t think anybody has ever died from smoking. I no longer believe anything any of the epidemiological experts say about smoking, drinking, eating, carbon dioxide, or pretty much anything else. It’s a complete loss of faith.

      Anyway, I have no wish to debate with you. The debate is over. And it’s been over a very long time.

      Clearly you were lying when you said back in January that you’d not be bothering me any more. I will take steps to keep you to your word.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        FCTC GAG ORDERS TO KEEP THE PEOPLE QUIET and have no debate the same as banning commenters…………

        fctc gag order guidelines

        11. The broad array of strategies and tactics used
        by the tobacco industry to interfere with
        the setting and implementing of tobacco control mea
        sures, such as those that Parties to the
        Convention are required to implement, is documented
        by a vast body of evidence. The
        measures recommended in these guidelines aim at pro
        tecting against interference not only by
        the tobacco industry but also, as appropriate, by o
        rganizations and individuals that work to
        further the interests of the tobacco industry.
        12. While the measures recommended in these guideli
        nes should be applied by Parties as
        broadly as necessary, in order best to achieve the
        objectives of Article 5.3 of the Convention,
        Parties are strongly urged to implement measures be
        yond those recommended in these
        guidelines when adapting them to their specific cir
        cumstances.

    • Fredrik Eich says:

      “.they [publicans] don’t want smokers back” – Rickie.
      Er, not according to publicans.

      “Smoking ban: Majority of licensees want smoking legislation amended for pubs”

    • Fredrik Eich says:

      “Smoking ban: Majority of licensees want smoking legislation amended for pubs”
      http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Operators/Other-operators/Smoking-ban-five-year-anniversary-and-its-impact-on-pubs

    • waltc says:

      The protest, luv, was the massive unorganized individual boycotts that closed down… how many thousands of pubs?

    • audreysilk says:

      On the day the Volstead Act went into effect, making it illegal to manufacture, distribute and sell alcoholic beverages, the Treasury Department’s chief agent in charge of enforcement, Col. Daniel Porter, declared, “There will not be any violations to speak of.”

      Morris Sheppard, the congressman from Texas who co-sponsored the original amending legislation in 1918 predicted in 1930: “There is as much chance of repealing the 18th Amendment as there is for a hummingbird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail.”

      So eat hummingbird, Rickie.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Social engineering projects!!, don’t you mean health advice projects, this silly theme of some kind of James Bond (Spectre) evil organisation hell bent on controlling the worldwide scientific community and actually managing to do that because the truth about dangers of smoking really are all lies is about as loony as it gets.

    JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
    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.

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) could not even produce evidence that passive smoke is harmful inside, this is what they wrote prior to the smoking ban in article 9 OC255/15 9 “The evidential link between individual circumstances of exposure to risk in exempted premises will be hard to establish. In essence, HSE cannot produce epidemiological evidence to link levels of exposure to SHS to the raised risk of contracting specific diseases and it is therefore difficult to prove health-related breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act”. The reason the ban was brought in under the Health Act 2006, and not by the HSE, because no proof of harm was needed with the Health Act 2006, and the HSE have to have proof, seems the DM has lost rational thought about anything smoke related.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Epidemiologists Vote to Keep Doing Junk Science

      Epidemiology Monitor (October 1997)

      An estimated 300 attendees a recent meeting of the American College of
      Epidemiology voted approximately 2 to 1 to keep doing junk science!

      Specifically, the attending epidemiologists voted against a motion
      proposed in an Oxford-style debate that “risk factor” epidemiology is
      placing the field of epidemiology at risk of losing its credibility.

      Risk factor epidemiology focuses on specific cause-and-effect
      relationships–like heavy coffee drinking increases heart attack risk. A
      different approach to epidemiology might take a broader
      perspective–placing heart attack risk in the context of more than just
      one risk factor, including social factors.

      Risk factor epidemiology is nothing more than a perpetual junk science machine.

      But as NIEHS epidemiologist Marilyn Tseng said “It’s hard to be an
      epidemiologist and vote that what most of us are doing is actually harmful
      to epidemiology.”

      But who really cares about what they’re doing to epidemiology. I thought
      it was public health that mattered!

      we have seen the “SELECTIVE” blindness disease that
      Scientist have practiced over the past ten years. Seems the only color they
      see is GREEN BACKS, it’s a very infectious disease that has spread through
      the Scientific community with the same speed that any infectious disease
      would spread. And has affected the T(thinking) Cells as well as sight.

      Seems their eyes see only what their paid to see. To be honest, I feel
      after the Agent Orange Ranch Hand Study, and the Sl-utz and Nutz Implant
      Study, they have cast a dark shadow over their profession of being anything
      other than traveling professional witnesses for corporate hire with a lack
      of moral concern to their obligation of science and truth.

      The true “Risk Factor” is a question of ; will they ever be able to earn
      back the respect of their profession as an Oath to Science, instead of
      corporate paid witnesses with selective vision?
      Oh, if this seems way harsh, it’s nothing compared to the damage of peoples
      lives that selective blindness has caused!

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Millions die from smoking but its smoking in pubs that really anyone who reads this blog gives a fuck about.

    Not 1 Death or Sickness Etiologically Assigned to Tobacco. All the diseases attributed to smoking are also present in non smokers. It means, in other words, that they are multifactorial, that is, the result of the interaction of tens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of factors, either known or suspected contributors – of which smoking can be one.

    Here’s my all-time favorite “scientific” study of the the anti-smoking campaign: “Lies, Damned Lies, & 400,000 Smoking-Related Deaths,” Robert A. Levy and Rosalind B. Marimont, Journal of Regulation, Vol. 21 (4), 1998.

    You can access the article for free on the Cato Institute’s wesbite, Cato.org. This article neither defends nor promotes smoking. Rather it condemns the abuse of statistics to misinform and scare the public. Levy, by the way taught Statistics for Lawyers at Georgetown University Law School. There is also a popular law school class called How to Lie With Statistics.

    death by medicine” is by far the larger concern. These deaths are real, real people with real families not some defective “public health” mafia computer generated stats (SAMMEC) where no real deaths or people are counted….

  11. Rickie says:

    American college of surgeons (2015)

    Half of all smokers will die from tobacco-related illness. For every smoking-related death, another 20 individuals will suffer from a smoking-related disease. Tobacco causes one in 10 deaths globally. Worldwide, lung cancer accounts for nearly one-fifth of all cancer deaths, with 1.8 million new cases developing annually.

    Clicky, have you got a nice picture/video of Amanda Holden?

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Where’s the proof biatch. Since there is none it’s why you use the choise word related as you have no proof and never did.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Its didn’t matter if a state had more smoking or less deaths from cancer trended precisely together and note the age of deaths 75-85! Right at the normal age of death of 78.8 years.

      The ranking goes for all cancer deaths/mortality:

      Per 100,000 population CDC NUMBERS/ smoking rates from tobacco free kids

      Kentucky at 207 Adults in Kentucky who smoke* 29.0% (971,000)

      Miss. 200 Adults in Mississippi who smoke* 26.0% (579,300)

      West Virginia 196 Adults in West Virginia who smoke* 28.6% (420,500)

      Louisianna 196 Adults in Louisiana who smoke* 25.7% (888,300)

      Arkansas 193 Adults in Arkansas who smoke* 27.0% (601,400)

      Alabama 190 Adults in Alabama who smoke* 24.3% (893,100)

      Indiana 187 Adults in Indiana who smoke* 25.6% (1,259,300)

      Maine 186 Adults in Maine who smoke* 22.8% (241,400)

      Missouri 184 Adults in Missouri who smoke* 25.0% (1,149,600)

      Delaware 184 Adults in Delaware who smoke* 21.8% (153,100)

      South Carolina 182 Adults in South Carolina who smoke* 23.1% (831,200)

      Lung and Bronchus. Invasive Cancer Incidence Rates and 95% Confidence Intervals by Age and Race and Ethnicity, United States (Table 3.15.1.1M) *†‡

      Rates are per 100,000 persons. Rates are per 100,000 persons.

      Note the age where LC is found…………..OLD AGE group incidence hits the 500/100,000 at age 75-85

      AGE it seems is the deciding factor……….

      http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/uscs/… Cancer Sites Combined&Year=2010&Site=Lung and Bronchus&SurveyInstanceID=1

    • garyk30 says:

      “Half of all smokers will die from tobacco-related illness.”

      Only 50%, marvelous, never-smokers have 84% of their deaths from tobacco related illnesses

      ‘.Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years’ observations on male
      British doctors’
      Richard Doll, Richard Peto, Jillian Boreham, Isabelle Sutherland

      Deaths per 1,000 per year

      Never-smoker rate was about 19 deaths per year of which about 16 were from the diseases ’caused’ by smoking.

      16/19 = 84%

      • garyk30 says:

        “Half of all smokers will die from tobacco-related illness.”

        Soooo, only 50% of smokers’ deaths are caused by smoking.

        When a smoker dies, there is only a 50% chance that it will be caused by smoking and a 50% chance it will not.

        It is very weak to say that ‘smoking kills’ when there is a 50% probability that it won’t!!

    • garyk30 says:

      Heavy smokers and never-smokers have almost precisely the same chances of NOT dying from those diseases caused by smoking.
      Doll’s doctor mortality report.
      http://www.bmj.com/highwire/filestream/400720/field_highwire_article_pdf/0/bmj.38142.554479.AE

      The table on page 3 shows this:
      Lung cancer deaths per year.
      heavy smokers(25+/day) = 4.17/1,000 = 995.83 did not die.

      never-smokers = 0.17/1,000 = 999.83 did not die.

      999.83 divided by 995.83 = 1.004.

      Never-smokers are only 1.004 times more likely than heavy smokers, to not die from lung cancer!!!

      When you have to go to 3 decimal places to find a difference, that difference is, for all practicality, non-existent.

      Other results:
      mouth/throat cancers = 1.001 times more likely to not die.

      all other cancers = 1.002 times.

      COPD = 1.002 times.

      other respiratory = 1.002 times.

      heart attack = 1.005 times.

      stroke = 1.002 times.

      other vascular = 1.003 times.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Britain beware: Australia’s data on plain packs isn’t reliable

    If the British government is still looking to Australia as a template for its own plain packaging rules, it would do well to take a more measured approach to implementing and evaluating the effects of its decision. David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt are still Conservatives, for who the rights of companies and citizens are ostensibly held in high esteem. At least in Australia, it appears that doing away with the former has not been the silver bullet public health advocates promised. Even so, it is no stretch to think those same advocates will continue working until cigarettes themselves, and not just cigarette branding, are legislated out of existence

    http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2016/03/14/cameron-beware-australia-s-data-on-plain-packs-isn-t-reliabl

  13. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Who the hell is this idiot Ricky and what is he doing on our site ? Everyone knows that smoking should be allowed in pubs again. Pubs have been killed off by these no smoking morons who rarely ever went to pubs and certainly don’t now. The Danes have the right idea. They allow bars to have a smoking room provided the landlord wants it, the bar is less than 40 sq metres and that room is unstaffed. You get your drink at the main bar and carry it through. Consequently these bars are packed most nights. Pity the UK couldn’t have done the same but we allow these anti smoking zealots to dominate.

    • Barry Homan says:

      I live in Denmark. The bars that have smoking ARE staffed. If the bar has less than a 40 (or is it 30?) sq m serving area, then the proprietor can allow smoking. I visit my smoking pub quite often, when I go into town. This is the current way it is in Denmark. The health nazis have not gained much ground here (yet).

  14. Rose says:

    Who the fuck is going to protest against stepping outside for a fag

    I do, a separate room, no problem, a shelter 50% open to the elements, out of the question.
    So, like so many others, I withdrew my custom from most places in 2007.
    Yes, thousands of pubs have shut down, but as we are variously informed, that was the recession, a change in culture, the price of beer etc.

    Still, as I don’t drink and considering the new advice that there is no safe level of alcohol for which the cancer risk is nil, I may have done myself a favour, can’t have all those drinkers breathing carcinogenic alcohol fumes over me.

    But I’m sure you wouldn’t mind stepping outside Rickie, just to protect the barstaff and teetotallers like me.

    • Cecily Collingridge says:

      ‘Stepping outside’ implies everybody is able. The needs of the elderly, the infirm or disabled are not taken into account. Walking and standing can be difficult and painful – if you have arthritis, for example.

      I was taught to respect my elders. Now that I am older and weaker, I find respect has gone out the window because I am invisible to policy makers and commentators. Even smoking booths (where provided) tend to lack seating, again illustrating the bias towards catering for the able-bodied.

      • Rose says:

        Good point, Cecily.
        One of the main reasons I started arguing back was because a dear friend couldn’t possibly “just nip outside”, standing up and walking was difficult enough and the thought of such a happy and outgoing person being slowly and painfully “exiled to the outdoors” was more than I could bear.

  15. nisakiman says:

    Dickie Doubleday. He’s been trolling quite a few blogs for the past few years. He tried to cause Longrider big problems a couple of years ago by contacting his clients, (fortunately Longrider turned the tables on him), and also tried to invade the late, great Captain Ranty’s site. He spends an inordinate amount of time trying to take over other peoples identities so he can post his bile in their names. He’s a thoroughly wretched excuse for a human being who gets his kicks from being generally obnoxious.

    • garyk30 says:

      Happy Pi Day!
      This is a special one that only happens once a century.

      The first six digits of Pi are 3.14159; so, 3/14/16 approximate the first 5 digits and can only happen once a century.

      • Cecily Collingridge says:

        Love it!

        • Cecily Collingridge says:

          … maybe not. It depends on which convention you follow for writing dates. It might be a cultural no, no.

      • Tony says:

        Oh no, I missed it. Or maybe I didn’t. As Cecily points out, the convention for writing dates is different in the UK which is where I am.

        So I can look forward to Pi day in about 6 weeks time on 31/4/16.

  16. harleyrider1978 says:

    Closing bars with smoking bans to reduce opposition is only the beginning. http://www.alcoholfacts.org/RWJfoundation.html

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Financier of Temperance

    The temperance-oriented Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) “seeks to drive adult beverage consumption underground, away from mainstream culture and public places.” 1 It attempts to stigmatize alcohol, de-legitimize drinking, marginalize drinkers, and create a de facto quasi-prohibition of the leg…

    alcoholfacts.org|By David J. Hanson, Ph.D.

  17. audreysilk says:

    Frank, it’s quite a coincidence that I find you posting about this: “Normal.” Because I’m about to embark on a campaign about exactly the same thing. I’ve been contemplating it for well over a year. Wording (e.g. slogans) demands conciseness and once it is done it cannot be undone. So the pressure to get it right is enormous. That’s just one of a few factors that have delayed initiating my plan. My eyes lit up when I got the notice about this post and hoped to find material — things I haven’t thought of and/or might be better than what I have considered. It’s a long way of me saying that you’ve indeed given me more things to possibly work with, beginning with this line/truth: “True normality requires no external restraining force to maintain it.” It’s going on my “consider” list. Hope you don’t mind if it ultimately gets stol…. errr borrowed.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Help yourself to whatever you want. No need to even mention me.

      That essay was the product of about an hour of thought anyway, rather than an entire year.

      I’m sure there’s plenty more to be said.

  18. Pingback: Smoking Is Normal | Frank Davis

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