Whatever Next?

Via Dick Puddlecote, Clive Bates putting himself in the shoes of a smoker-turned-vaper:

“You told us to quit smoking. You taxed the pants off us; you’ve bullied us with your public information campaigns; you’ve racked up the stigma that we felt. You’ve tried to stop us using these products wherever we can. You’ve hit us with massive societal disapproval. Tobacco companies haven’t done that, government and public health have done that.

So we’ve done the right thing. We’ve got off smoking; we’ve protected our health; we produce a vapour which doesn’t harm anyone; most people aren’t troubled by it.

Just leave us alone! Just get off our backs!”

This seems to have kicked off a bit of a flame war, with Simon Clark and Grandad weighing in. Dear, dear! Whatever next?

I’ve got an e-cig. In fact I’ve got two of them. But I hardly ever use them. I only got them because they looked like something I could maybe use in places where smoking is banned (e.g. pubs). I never had any intention of using them to stop smoking. They were simply an alternative, and the probably the best alternative around.

So I’m not a smoker-turned-vaper. And so I can’t really put myself in their shoes. The only shoes I can ever put myself in are my own shoes. I know exactly what it’s like in my shoes.

So the first problem I have with Clive Bates’ little rant is this: he isn’t a smoker-turned-vaper either. So how does he know what smokers-turned-vapers might think?

Also, what he really is is a one-time ASH director – a professional antismoker – turned faux vapers’ friend. Who does he think he’s kidding? Why should anyone believe a word he says? I have the same problem with Michael Siegel and Carl Phillips and co. They’re all antismokers who’ve re-positioned themselves in the no-man’s-land between smokers and antismokers. And to me that just looks like they’re antis who’re trying to get a bit closer to smokers, so that they can pick them off easier.

But that aside, is this really what smokers-turned-vapers actually think? Do they really think they’ve “done the right thing”? Are they really so angry or surprised that e-cigs immediately got banned too? What else did they expect?

E-cigs look like smoking, and that’s really the only reason e-cigs are being banned. If somebody marketed a hollow white tube, with a tan-coloured ‘filter’ painted on one end, they’d be banned as well, because they’d also look like smoking too.

In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that the real reason that cigarettes are banned is because they look like smoking.

Because (for me at least) one of the main lesson that I’ve learned from this whole e-cig fiasco is that the antismokers aren’t really bothered by any health concerns associated with smoking. They just don’t like people doing anything that looks like smoking. 

I suspect that antismokers don’t like smoking, or anything that looks like smoking, because they think it’s in some way deeply unnatural to inhale anything other than air. And quite a few of them seem to think it’s unnatural to drink anything other than water. Or eat anything other than fruit and nuts. They’re essentially back-to-nature enthusiasts. They have this idea of “nature” and “natural living” as some sort of ideal state. And anything “unnatural” is also “immoral”.

When antismokers say that “smoking causes lung cancer”, that’s just their roundabout (i.e. dishonest) way of saying: “I don’t like what you’re doing, and you shouldn’t be doing it, and we’re gonna stop you doing it, along with all the 12,000 other unnatural, immoral, and just plain nasty habits of yours, like drinking beer, eating meat, driving cars – to name just three of them.”

But that’s just my guess. Because just like I can’t put myself in the shoes of smokers-turned-vapers, I can’t put myself in the shoes of antismokers either. But I’ve come to gradually believe that it’s all one helluva lot deeper than “health” or “cleanliness”. I think the antismoking mindset is actually part and parcel of the whole environmentalist/green movement that’s grown up over the past century, and is part of a deep reaction against modern technological civilisation, and the Industrial Revolution, and Capitalism, and money, and profit, and everything else. It’s too complicated for them, and they yearn to return to a time when we we were nomadic foragers, walking from nut bush to fruit tree to stream, and life was so much simpler. For them, the Original Sin wasn’t to eat any forbidden fruit: it was to invent flint axes and fire. That’s when it all started going very badly wrong. And that happened about 200,000 years ago.

Cigarettes, far more than pipes or cigars, are an iconic industrial product. They’re entirely machine-rolled, machine-filled, and machine-packed. Have you ever noticed that antismokers seldom talk about “the Tobacco Industry”, but instead use the shorthand of “the industry” or even just “industry”? I don’t think this is just shorthand. I think that for them the tobacco industry is the perfect exemplar of modern industrial civilisation, and they don’t like any industry at all. And they don’t like anything modern. And they don’t like civilisation either. They reject everything.

About Frank Davis

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64 Responses to Whatever Next?

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Why should anyone believe a word he says? I have the same problem with Michael Siegel and Carl Phillips and co.


  2. Tony says:

    I’m also puzzled by Dick’s views. Perhaps there’s an element of Stockholm syndrome. It seems a bit like congratulating a criminal because he is kind to his mother, as no doubt many are. Or congratulating a mugger because he decides to mug someone else and not only lets you off (for now) but begs his accomplices to do so too.

    I wouldn’t trust Siegel either but I don’t know enough about Carl Philips’ background to form a view.

  3. Frank, while I share a good bit of your reservations regarding Clive B and Mike S (who drives me crazy with both his constant “surprise” at every instance of multiple-repeated lies/failings of Antismokers AND with his stubborn refusal to accept science w/regard to total smoking bans and the practical remedies of separation, ventilation/filtration, and the happy willingness of most normal, non-brainwashed nonsmokers to share reasonable spaces with their smoking friends), I think you’ve put Carl in the wrong boat. Carl’s been a smokeless tobacco advocate for well over a decade, and while he believes smoking is harmful I’ve never seen him attack smokers or, for that matter, do I recall seeing him advocate any sort of full mandated smoking bans.

    Plus… I’ve met him ‘n he’s a nice guy ‘n fun drinking buddy and doesn’t mind at all accompanying me to smoking pubs. I think you’d like him. Heh, it’s funny, when I first arranged to meet Carl I had this picture image of a tall, stern, goateed science-professor type with severe little spectacles. Nope: not right at all. As noted… I think you’d find him a natural at the pub.


  4. Lepercolonist says:

    Cigarettes as an iconic industrial product is very insightful. What percentage of greens smoke cigarettes ? Probably infinitesimal. Our ancestors have been inhaling smoke from wood fires for thousands of years. I wonder how long these greens would have survived living in the northern latitudes without creating a fire ? Seems very natural for survival.

    • Golly says:

      The Greens appear as the white washed sepulchre of the modern age. What they don’t do with tobacco they likely do happily with marijuana. Nevertheless, given smoking tobacco is hugely under-reported by smokers and over-reported by institutionalised health, I would anticipate about 20 – 25% Greens puff away in private. And any whiff of cognitive dissonance is absent. They always sit comfortably with, ‘do as I say not as I do’.

    • Leper, actually a lot of “greens” smoked cigarettes quite regularly in the 1960s/70s. The whole idea that smoking a cigarette had ANYthing to do with the environment in comparison to cars/factories/energy-production was outright laughable.

      I was doing some figuring recently over on Quora about this whole smoking/pollution thing. I think you might enjoy seeing what I came up with! See:


      and, for a lot more detail and some additional creative thoughts:


      – MJM
      NOTE: If anyone decides to sign up for Quora I think it’s an excellent site for all sorts of interesting information. You should be aware though: it’s an academically-based community and they have pretty much ZERO tolerance for the sort of back and forth fighting, verbal abuse, copy/pastes that are pretty much the norm on a lot of the rest of the internet. They’re basically looking for “professional level” answers to questions — sort of like a Wikipedia of questions and answers.

      Also: signup hint: you can skip through the preliminaries a lot while signing up and go back to fill them in later if you decide to be more active. You **SHOULD** use your real name though: they somewhat tolerate some folks who skirt that rule, but they’ll also remove them upon complaints.

  5. waltc says:

    i tried a ready made disposable one –NJoy– that looked like a real one, glowed red, not some unimaginable color– and tasted ok but not as good as the real thing. Same reason as you–to use in”public”– but the public use was immediately banned in NYC so I didn’t even get a chance, thru occasional use, to see if I’d remotely like to use them more often. . As for The non-disposable kinds, don’t want to lay out the not-inconsiderable cash to try a bunch of them till I’d find something satisfying, don’t want to go thru the hassle of filling and charging, and in the end, suck on something that looks and feels like a medical inhaler or a ballpoint pen.

    But most vapers I’ve observed devoutly believe they’ve “done the right thing.” Going further, some think they’ve also found God, salvation, superior status (they sin no more) and perhaps eternal life –when all they’ve really found is an alternative way to inhale nicotine.

    Like the anti-smokers, the Saved have made a religious cult of it and exhale evangelism. And, yes, I believe they’re totally surprised that as reformed sinners, having done what they were told, they are now not only still treated like the smokers they oh so proudly are not (forced to “just step outside” with the riffraff) , but taxed and despised and threatened with having their source of salvation removed from the market. At the hands of the very people who were just trying to “help” them

    Buckshot: I don’t lump Phillips in with Siegel &Co.. For one thing, he doesn’t want to ban, tax or shame us. I believe his attitude is that, yes, vaping is “safer,” but he just wants to tell us that and then leave us alone to choose as we will. Seigel is a whole other story.

    Interesting that rabid return-to-nature environmentalism, healthism and anti-smoking were all inherent parts of the nazi platform. But I think, while our contemporary Aunts may share those values, their personal motives are simple puritanism and a will to power.

    • Frank Davis says:

      their personal motives are simple puritanism and a will to power.

      But what is “puritanism”? And what is a “will to power”?

      • vapingpoint says:

        Don’t you think “puritanical anti smoking” is SO satisfying to the Ego. Self Righteousness, doing “good”, reviling smokers, makes people feel important. It empowers people personally that way. People who “get off” like that, have mental and emotional problems I think. But if you add financial reward to the mix, you have a self perpetuating system and hierarchy that people can climb in their careers of “doing good”. Then they have power to change the world! What if everything “puritanical” had to be maintained by voluntary work only – what would be left then? Once “puritanical” was preached to demolish the Catholic Church, nowadays, it’s just a well paid job.

    • beobrigitte says:

      but the public use was immediately banned in NY
      Lets go back a few years. Wasn’t it the ultra-super-hyper-dangerous passive smoke “damage” that overrun us all with the idiotic smoking ban?
      So, banning vaping “because it looks like smoking”?

  6. Twisted Root says:

    A flame war on the internet, how terribly exciting (fetches fan and bellows)!

    Once a shit-head tobacco controller always a shit-head tobacco controller; unless someone else pays better.

    I am thrilled for vapers who can now wet their knickers at the sight of a former tormentor advocating for them. The same advocacy skills that give vapers a tingly feeling between the legs are the ones that forged the smoking apartheid which has further impoverished the poor through punitive taxation, devastated an industry and destroyed livelihoods through bans and caused a social disaster through the vilification of a lifestyle choice based largely on fabrications.

    Reason is not a sensible response to sociopathic persecution, so pardon me if I don’t lead off the dancing in the streets.

  7. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Who would want an ecig when you can have the real tobacco in all its glorious manifestations !

    • Rose says:

      Well quite, the people who strongly disapprove will always go for the pesticide element of popular plants as the only reason other people enjoy them as a quick way to demean them. The science is so bad because no one has bothered to look beyond things like nicotine and caffeine. As far as I can make out, nicotine and caffeine are the things you have to put up with to enjoy the rest. It is never wise to rely on the words of ancient prohibitionists as a source of unbiased information, which is why so many studies of the positive benefits of a plant end up with having to admit that they have no idea what plant chemical causes this benefit, but is not nicotine or caffeine.

      April 2010
      “Decaf coffee and nicotine-free tobacco aren’t just for the health-conscious. Giving them to flies with a form of Parkinson’s disease has revealed that although coffee and cigarettes protect the brain, caffeine and nicotine aren’t responsible for the benefit.

      If the compounds that put up this brain defence can be identified, they may offer a preventive Parkinson’s treatment where none currently exists, says Leo Pallanck, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, whose team led the new study.

      “We think that there’s something else in coffee and tobacco that’s really important,” he says.”

      “Normally, dopamine-producing neurons in the mutant flies die off as they age. But a diet featuring coffee and tobacco kept the neurons alive in all the flies tested at 20 days old, whether or not their food contained caffeine or nicotine.

      What’s more, when pure caffeine or nicotine were added to the meals of other groups of flies, their dopamine neurons died off – just like those of flies whose food had no additive at all. “We didn’t see any protective effects at all of caffeine and nicotine,” Pallanck says.”

      Caffeine and nicotine are the plants pesticides, what do you expect?

      Solanesol in tobacco, trigonelline in coffee and both contain nicotinic acid/niacin when roasted or burned.

      But that is the limit of my knowledge as it’s very difficult to find out what other things they have in common. Scientists get paid to do this and I wish they would.

      Nor do they seem to talk to each other.

      Parkinson’s Inhibitor Fingered in Tobacco

      “Researchers suspect smokers have a decreased risk of Parkinson’s because something in tobacco keeps dopamine levels near normal, even if a smoker does start losing dopamine-producing cells. Most likely, this mysterious bodyguard protects dopamine by inhibiting a brain enzyme called monoamine oxidase (MAO) that breaks down the neurotransmitter. Indeed, doctors have long used other MAO inhibitors to treat Parkinson’s. And in 1996, brain scans by a team from Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, revealed that smokers had as much as 40% less of the MAO enzyme in their brains than nonsmokers.

      “Kay and Neal Castagnoli, a husband and wife team of chemists at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, set out to find the MAO-blocking compounds among thousands of other components in tobacco and tobacco smoke. They ground up tobacco leaves and tested representative samples in a test tube to see if they inhibited MAO. From the fraction containing the most potent MAO inhibitor, they isolated a chemical known as 2,3,6-trimethyl-1,4-naphthoquinone.”

      And some get entirely lost.

      Eating nicotine-containing produce like peppers, tomatoes may lower Parkinson’s risk

      “Eating more vegetables in general did not lower Parkinson’s risk, but eating vegetables in the Solanaceae family did. People who ate these types of vegetables lowered their risk 19 percent on average, compared with those who did not eat these vegetables. However, because some people’s overall risk of getting the disease was low to begin with, for some smokers the association was not statistically significant. The protective benefit from the produce was most profound men and women who had little or no prior tobacco use.

      People who ate the most peppers — about two to four peppers weekly — had the strongest risk-lowering association. They lowered their Parkinson’s risk by 30 percent.”
      http: //www.cbsnews.com/news/eating-nicotine-containing-produce-like-peppers-tomatoes-may-lower-parkinsons-risk/

      ( Solanesol )

  8. vapingpoint says:

    I loved smoking – did it all my life. But I vape now. I vape on decent devices that are satisfying. With vaping, I had to “find” them. I didn’t just stick to the blister-pack ego and tank offered to me by the local grocery shop. Vaping for me, has been an adventure – a journey – a hobby. It seems to me, that a lot of smokers switch to vaping, NOT because it’s “doing the right thing”, but because they LIKE the sensation. However, I have in me the emotional scarring produced by the persecution I endured as a smoker. I am an embittered smoker first and a vaper, last. There are others, like me – older vapers, who carry that injury around with us. We are the ones that are less likely to regurgitate anti smoking propaganda. We are the smokers who are still in pain, but who live in limbo-land of not being smokers any more, and want to also promote vaping because it’s NICE. Us oldies, who have watched the assault on us, are like creatures trapped on a tree branch overhanging a raging flood of prohibition. The tree that bears the branch is being undermined by the torrent and we, smokers and vapers are in dire danger of being swept away with it. It is very difficult, especially for young vapers, not to hope that a little raft, like Clive Bates, might get them safely away from the water, whilst us oldies know it’s not the tree or the branch that’s wrong – it’s the water that should be dammed.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I am an embittered smoker first and a vaper, last.

      And I guess that I’m just an embittered smoker.

    • Rose says:

      I can see that vaping would be good substitute for the behavioural aspect, but nicotine is often given credit for beneficial properties that I don’t think it deserves.

      As willing participants in a mass human experiment, the vapers can provide valuable information on what nicotine does and doesn’t do.
      The problems ex-smokers face like weight gain and Ulcerative Colitis are appearing on vapers forums and I need to find out what the proper substitutes are, as I think we have all suffered enough.
      Being a gardener and a smoker, I know where to look.

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      Nice analogy with the tree, raging waters and raft. Unfortunately it seems the majority of vapers are quite determined to saw off the branch we perch upon, to construct the raft, in order to sail away to safety.

      And Clive? Clive is cheer leading from the river rock he slithered up onto.

      • vapingpoint says:

        Yes – I think you are right! Ha ha. The sawers are the ones who vape to “do the right thing”. They are the brainwashed/flawed young who grew up in the noxious anti tobacco environment. They believe! They are as emotionally damaged as us embittered ones. What a dreadful crime against humanity this whole thing is. And then, again, there are the emotionally damaged others who think a whiff of tobacco smoke/vapour will make them ill. Imagine the fear. AND there are the ones who will get sicker quicker with self fulfilling messages on cigarette packs. All this as collateral damage to an ideology.

  9. magnetic01 says:

    From Simon Clark’s blog

    It’s a sad thing to witness a once-valued champion of smokers’ rights going the way of so many smokers-turned-vapers and simperingly worshipping at the feet of anyone who mutters so much as a word of support for e-cigarettes, regardless of their previous credentials. Sad, too, to see him leaping to the defence of his beloved Clive in these comments. Does vaping lead one to lose one’s memory, I wonder? Now, that might be a vaping-related health risk that hasn’t yet been explored!

    But to be honest, Simon, DP’s blog isn’t really worth checking for items of interest to smokers these days, because he so rarely addresses smokers’ problems – even though these, by anyone’s estimation, are still far, far worse than the mere paltry finger-pointing that vapers’ are currently subject to. Now that he’s not one of us any more I guess we’re just not that important in his view – which is, sadly, a very common characteristic amongst many ex-smokers. His blog now is pretty much all about vaping, and vapers, and vapes, with the odd booze or sugar or obesity story thrown in for good measure. The way it’s going, give him a few more months and his blog will be full of out-and-out anti-smoking stuff the likes of which Bates, Arnott et al would be proud to write themselves. Just watch that space …

    Have to agree, Misty. He’s been wobbling the last few months with mostly threads on vaping. He’s been walking a fine line, just barely containing the urge to spout antismoking slogans for which many a vaper has become notorious. But the last few days the mask has slipped and he’s let loose on smoking in justifying his now preferred vaping.

    Maybe his visit to Vape Jam UK had something to do with it. Flashing lights, razzle dazzle, vaping is the way of the future…. a superior product…… look at all the neat gadgetry…. my gizmo has a turbo boost….smoking is for “Neanderthals”. Maybe he was baptized in a vat of e-cigarette liquid, exiting “saved and pure”. What does Dick now have to do with [backward] smokers when he’s seen the light…… the light at the end of the e-gizmo (are there still lights on these gizmos?)?

    And surely Dick must have had an encounter with some of the apostles of “harm reduction” such as Clive Hates that have given their blessing to vaping. Yep, mixing in that company, the evangelical zeal, has got to have an effect. And little Dick returned from the conversion conference all excited. “I met Clive Bates. You should hear what Clive Bates has to say. Clive has a solution for everyone. He’s a changed man. He’s really nice, you know”.

    Oh, Dick. Come back, Dick. You’ve gone to the dark side.

    Looks like DP’s blog is going the same way as Siegel’s – essentially a vaping theme.

    • magnetic01 says:

      Maybe the real DP was kidnapped at the Vape Jam, replaced with an antismoking nut case singing the praises of antismoking nut cases.

    • Frank Davis says:

      DP organised (or helped organise) the Stony Stratford bash. He was the first to speak.

      Nigel Farage was the last to speak, delayed by the flash floods that day.

      Whatever else they may do, I’ll be eternally grateful to both of them (as well as everybody else who showed up)

      And Stony Stratford was about an outdoor smoking ban. It had nothing to do with vaping.

      • Rose says:

        I enjoy reading Dick Puddlecote’s blog everyday, it’s a mine of information, beautifully written and with excellent comments, but I do draw the line at once powerful Tobacco Controllers mimicking the anguish of smokers that they themselves caused.

      • I was working to organise another one just a couple of weeks ago, funny enough, vapers on a FB forum were all keen to go to that Pembrokeshire beach and I said smokers should be encouraged to come too, with which they all agreed. In the end, thanks to a description of the place by West2 at Simon’s blog the idea fizzled out, it’s miles away in the middle of nowhere and the protest would have been witnessed by one man, his dog and a souvenir stall. ;)

  10. Trent says:

    Dicks blog has been a vape fest for a long time, with most attention on his blog given to exposing exposing experts viewpoints/angles over the last decade and how they have changed.

    Liars, cheats, scoundrels, fake charities, these puritans are the lowest of the low and can never be trusted, well of course its all different now he likes what he hears, the whole angle of his blog is experts have fork tongues and can never be trusted.

    Surely his credibilty has been shattered now.

    Clive batesturbating is no surprise to me, Dicks blog lost the plot a couple of years ago in my opinion.

    • As I posted at Simon’s blog earlier … a while ago, I got a lot of stick from many for writing almost constantly for two years about plain packaging, including from many smokers who commented along the lines of “what do I care what box it comes in or about tobacco companies, talk about something else”. Likewise when there was a lot of ‘public health’ pressure in favour of minimum alcohol pricing I wrote almost exclusively on that for about a fortnight. In the recent past, the ‘public health’ abuse of power and lies has mostly been on the subject of e-cigs, that’s why I write about it.

      I’m sure once we know what the next big organised campaign from tobacco control is (because there’s sure to be one) I’ll be back writing about smoking issues again. But at the moment there is an avalanche of misinformation and lies surrounding vaping, should I ignore it?

      • Roobeedoo2 says:

        We won the day on the plain packaging consultation and that is in no small part down to you covering the issue so thoroughly and passionately, and encouraging people (like me) to participate.

        Unfortunately, the government shat and sat on it. Why vapers think they’ll behave any differently to them, I’ll never know. But what the vaping anti-tobacco rhetoric does is continually link vaping to smoking (you’ll never be free) and piss off a lot of smokers who’d like to support vapers more but fear that when the time comes to eradicate smoking (it is the stated goal), vapers will be standing shoulder to shoulder with Tobacco Control.

        Just longer-term thinking, DP – the chimneys didn’t appear until 1942, not ’33.

      • Well said Dick! I strongly echo Prog, Nisakiman, etc. Vaping may not be a central issue for many of us, but vapers and smokers together are FAR stronger than either group separately. Smokers have the knowledge, experience, and long-term drive and history that many vapers lack, and the vapers have organization, finances, and the active energy of a far greater number of angry younger people than the smokers have. Unfortunately most younger smokers have grown up in a world that has successfully brainwashed them into accepting their “unclean” status and we’ve had a hard time waking them up and getting them involved. The Antis’ campaign against vaping is reaching into that community, allying the smokers and vapers there, and will hopefully end up strengthening us all.

        – MJM

  11. Dave says:

    Would you be happy if we had smoking rooms in some pubs? Would that do it?

    • smokingscot says:

      Short answer is no.

      Should we ever get to a point where separate smoking rooms are even considered then I for one will only be happy if they became an exemption to the ban, meaning they could be installed anywhere. Pubs, clubs, restaurants, bingo places, casinos, saunas, brothels, airports, train stations, hotels and tobacconists.

      The decision would lie with the property owner – as it should have from day one.

      Bit like our cousins in Holland and Belgium. (Those in Italy are just a tad too costly for most places in Scotland).


      However even if this comes to pass I wouldn’t give up on writing about tobacco control as well as fake charities and a bunch of other things where public money’s being urinated against a wall.

      Oh and my lists of where people can smoke, well I visit three the places I detail so they’re important to me and maybe, just maybe, helpful to others. So no they won’t stop either.

  12. caprizchka says:

    There seems to me to be a overt anti-masculinity and anti-sexuality element to anti-smoking. This is all part of the “vice” aspect. In “polite” society, men are to be seen but not heard (or smelled). I’ve read about the possible testosterogenic aspects to tobacco (marijuana has the opposite effect). Same with memory enhancement. We’re not supposed to remember when men and masculinity were admirable, right after Prohibition was repealed.

    • Frank Davis says:

      In the past I tended to see smoking as a predominantly male pastime. But I seem to have as many female readers and commenters as male on this blog. And also, round here in rural England most of the young mothers drink beer and smoke cigarettes while their children play around them in pub gardens. There seem to be as many women smokers as men.

      But in the past I lived in cities, and it was it was a lot less common for women to smoke than men, and they were usually the ones who first caught the antismoking bug and introduced home smoking bans. And it was also common for male smokers to give up smoking. So I guess that, over time, there came to be more ex-smokers and non-smokers than smokers. The balance got tipped. Maybe that didn’t happen in rural areas.

      • caprizchka says:

        Masculinity and femininity form overlapping bell curves with individuals, generally, distributing themselves at some point in their intersection. When looking at the characteristics of women who choose to smoke, acceptance of risk–an attribute associated with testosterone–tends to manifest in other ways as well.

        There may be good reason for a woman of reproductive years to refrain from smoking, although there are benefits for certain populations to partake, and that might account for the waxing and waning of the fashion according to demographic pressures.

        Men, of course, tend to pay attention to what women say that they want or don’t want, except of course for those rogues and ruffians who discover that women often want the exact opposite of what they say.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Men, of course, tend to pay attention to what women say that they want or don’t want, except of course for those rogues and ruffians who discover that women often want the exact opposite of what they say.
          The cure for the latter reinforces the former.

      • scot says:

        Thats a hoot Frank, my great-grandmother is reknowned in familial anecdotes for smoking a clay pipe with some foul- smelling tobacco and going to the Jug bar of the local pub for her jug of strong ale every night – apparently she was quite a formidable woman, (I wouldn’t have crossed her) or maybe because she was Swedish!

      • beobrigitte says:

        In the past I tended to see smoking as a predominantly male pastime.
        Even in the long distant past I remember as a smoker there was no such thing. Or, perhaps no-one uttered such a comment in front of me? l don’t know…

        • Rose says:

          In my young world, gentlemen smoked cigars, pipes and cigarettes and ladies smoked cigarettes. I really miss the scent of cigars in hotel foyers, it reminded me of happy family holidays long ago.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Good point, Rose. And, yes, I, too, miss the cigar and pipe smoke at e.g. weddings. Actually, I do miss the ashtrays and cigarettes in bowls offered to guests on tables during such events…. I miss the groups staying together to talk/joke. I miss normality.

  13. margo says:

    Like you, Frank, I got an e-cig just for those times when I wasn’t allowed to smoke (eg a 5-hour train journey). Mine is an “e-leaf”. It’s quite big and it’s silver, and it doesn’t look in the least bit like a cigarette. I think the anti-smoking lot hate e-cigs not because they ‘look like smoking’ (most of them don’t, these days) but simply because they’re a way for smokers to get round the ban. Only complete quitting will do; finding crafty ways round it is naughty and will not be tolerated.
    It’s seeming more and more to me that the whole thing nowadays is about Control. (We’ve long known it’s never really been much about public health).
    It’s all very depressing. What we didn’t need was a bunch of ex-smokers-turned-vapers coming over all evangelistic.
    Still, at least we can console ourselves that we’re less likely to get Parkinson’s.

  14. Rose says:

    Margo,I did consider an e-cigarette so that I could go back to staying in hotels, but I seem to have a mental block against inhaling raw nicotine even stronger than the one I have against eating raw meat or using electrical items in bathrooms.

    When they were first sold over the counter years ago, I bought some nicotine gum to see if they were right. The tobacco plant makes nicotine a bitter alkaloid, to deter grazing animals from eating the leaves and it most certainly worked, it tasted so bitter it was absolutely dreadful, I only ever tried one square but the memory is still with me, I suppose that’s why they use flavourings now.

    • Rose says:

      I suppose heat not burn might be a solution, but thanks to the display ban, we won’t know when they are in the shops

  15. beobrigitte says:

    I’ve got an e-cig. In fact I’ve got two of them. But I hardly ever use them. I only got them because they looked like something I could maybe use in places where smoking is banned (e.g. pubs). I never had any intention of using them to stop smoking. They were simply an alternative, and the probably the best alternative around.
    I, too, have a few e-cigs. And I use them. I never had any intention of using them to stop smoking but to make my tobacco bought elsewhere last longer. It has been a looooong time since I bought tobacco in England. Too much tax on it.
    I also do know people who found ‘alternative’ supply. I hear that market is growing – and booming.

    E-cigs look like smoking, and that’s really the only reason e-cigs are being banned.
    The smoker haters even admit it!!!
    I still do have a question with respect to e-cigarettes: WHERE is this ultra-super-hyper-dangerous PASSIVE SMOKE that caused a labour government to overrun this country (I do not remember a public consultation!) with the so much hated smoking ban?

    Cigarettes, far more than pipes or cigars, are an iconic industrial product. They’re entirely machine-rolled, machine-filled, and machine-packed. Have you ever noticed that antismokers seldom talk about “the Tobacco Industry”, but instead use the shorthand of “the industry” or even just “industry”? I don’t think this is just shorthand. I think that for them the tobacco industry is the perfect exemplar of modern industrial civilisation, and they don’t like any industry at all. And they don’t like anything modern. And they don’t like civilisation either. They reject everything.
    Pipes and cigars are banned in e.g. pubs, too…..
    If they don’t like industry, why doing best what industry does? (Selling mostly nonsense).

  16. prog says:

    Let’s not forget that DP is one of the very few who has got off his arse and stood up for all of us. Many times. Unpaid, uncorrupted.

    • nisakiman says:

      Very true. I may have taken issue with some stuff he’s written recently, but my respect for him is undiminished.

  17. Pingback: Another attack of the Vapers | underdogs bite upwards

  18. Pat Nurse says:

    Stop the Dick bashing. He’s fought for us and with us and more effectively than all of us put together. We can’t do anything about the fact we lost him to the vaping cause but he won’t stay our friend for long if we pull him to pieces just because he’s found a new interest.

    He believes he’s doing the right thing and he does it because he thinks that showing up tobacco control lies on vaping will show up tobacco control lies on smoking.

    I think he’s a bit off the the mark there but his intentions are honourable. Vapers smell smokers’ blood and public health thugs like Bates smell the end of tobacco and so they’re going in for the kill.

    If there were more vapers like Dick, Vaping Point, and a couple of others we’d all be OK and standing together as one on a lonely beach in Pembrokeshire or a bigger one at Brighton every time the ugly issue of more smoker exclusion, especially outdoors, raised its head.

    However, the vast majority are against us because they want us to convert and we won’t. Being happy smokers in good health shows up the propaganda that all smokers want to quit or vape and that won’t do when vapers want to push the idea that we’re all looking for ways to be saved as if we thought we needed to be saved from something when we don’t.

    We are as we are. I fight in different ways now , and more subtle. However, it has to be said, that vapers shafted us, divided the movement we had instead of joining us, and that’s how we lost and for sure both sides have forgotten who the real enemy is, although I will always distrust anyone who quotes tobacco control propaganda or uses casual smokerphobia in pushing the scam of alleged harm caused by SHS to promote ecigs. I’ve always said those vapers were the former apologetic smokers who also shafted us down the years by not putting up the fight the rest of us began.

    They may have “done the right thing” in quitting smoking but for me the right thing is to keep on smoking. No one cares about my health more than me and as a lifelong smoker from young childhood to grannyhood I know the right thing for me and my body is to continue to enjoy smoking. Forcing me to quit or vape could kill me. I won’t buy into that and do the wrong thing by quitting.

    • Timothy Goodacre says:

      Pat you are exactly right. I enjoy Dick’s very erudite writing very much. However i will never vape as i am in love with my cigarettes particularly Tor Turkish, George Karelias, and Sobranie Black Russian. Exquisite smoking pleasure ! Unfortunately under the latest rulrs coming in May it looks like my Turkish will vanish because the volumes involved make it uneconomic for Tor to switch to the ghastly new packs and the Black Russian might similarly vanish. Looks like i will end up making my own ! Take care Pat.

      • Pat Nurse says:

        I make my own and grow my own and I haven’t smoked tailor made cigs since the 1980s. I’m very pleased I switched. I love the whole culture and art of rolling the paper, the feel of the tobacco in my fingers, putting the filter in, and the discovery of new tastes as I find new tobaccos to try on my shopping trips abroad – all paid for with the tax I save by not buying here in the UK. I even have a cig holder for that extra filter. There is so much to love about smoking but those that don’t know won’t ever get it and those that hate it can only see one narrow view.

        I’d never vape not only because I find it foul and not healthy for me personally, but I’d also be wary of the long term effect – something no one knows about. At least these last 50 years we’ve had all and everything and more shoved down our throats in telling us what’s “bad” about tobacco.

        I also won’t vape because I don’t want popcorn lung (whatever that is, it sounds nasty) nor do I want to risk a battery exploding near my face or other part of my body.

        All things considered, I think vapers are deluded with their “ecigs are safer” than smoking propaganda. Time will prove it.

  19. Timothy Goodacre says:

    What’s your favourite tobacco Pat ? Investigating making my own when i can no longer get my Tor Turkish i came acreoss Akropolis Oriental which apparently can be hand rolled. Looks promising !
    Its very nice to correspond with you.

    • Pat Nurse says:

      I don’t really have a preference for brand but I always prefer the light shag tobacco of a mixed Virginia blend than I do the dark shag or harsher blends. This year, I’ve been smoking a local brand from Belgium called Interval. It’s very nice, light, and cool with a smell like freshly mown hay. I’m also happy with the darker Domingo and another local mellow blend called Windmill, when I can get it. You might find that you like the Old Holborn type dark shag if you like the Turkish cigs. It takes a little bit of getting used to rolling your own – not least learning to roll the things just right so they’re not too tight and therefore make the smoking too much like hard work, but I’d never go back to tailor made cigs again even if they were cheaper. I recall Frank wrote a post some time ago giving a demonstration on how to roll your own which you might find useful.

  20. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Thanks Pat, that’s very informative !

    • Pat Nurse says:

      I would say buy the smallest packs of different types that you can get and see which one suits you best.

  21. Timothy Goodacre says:

    I will Pat. It must be a great pleasure to smoke with you.

    • Pat Nurse says:

      Maybe we’ll find ourselves at some event together where we can huddle outside and enjoy a smoke together, although I’m not my most pleasurable if forced outside in the cold ;)

  22. Timothy Goodacre says:

    That would be very pleasant Pat and lets be naughty and sneak somewhere inside !!!

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