An Epidemic of Chinese Restaurants

I’m interested in what people in Tobacco Control think. But it’s an alien mindset. And, I think, a completely mad mindset.

Simon Clark reports on ASH Scotland:

We hear that Forest is paying for a survey with the aim “to find out what smokers really think”.

This is a laudable aim – and chimes with an interest of ours. We don’t know enough about who smokers are, what they are thinking or how they perceive the actions of public health interests (or indeed commercial ones).

In particular there is a need to explore how views and desires vary amongst the 900,000 people in Scotland who smoke tobacco – why do some groups smoke more than others? What services or functions are people seeking from smoking? Why does a consistent majority say that they want to stop?

Sadly this FOREST survey will not help us with this.

I don’t think that Tobacco Control has any interest in what smokers really think. Why should they? Tobacco Control wants to eradicate smoking and smokers. So why should they be interested in what smokers think? If you have an infestation of mice or rats, do you want to know what the mice or rats think? Can mice or rats think at all? And who cares what they might think anyway? It is of no consequence at all.

For these people, smoking is a disease. They think that the world is in the grip of a “smoking epidemic”. It’s a disease because people can’t help doing it: they’re addicts. And Tobacco Control is “helping” them.

For them to want to know what smokers think is like wanting to know what typhoid or cholera or malaria sufferers think. Of what value is it to know what these people think? About what?

What Tobacco Control is doing is to take a well-established medical model of communicable disease – typhoid, cholera, malaria, etc -, and extend it far beyond the borders of medicine. They see smoking as a disease like typhoid. It’s a disease that kills people just like typhoid does. And it’s a disease that’s communicated much like typhoid, through advertising, glitzy packaging, peer pressure. From the Foreword of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (my added emphases):

The WHO FCTC was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. The spread of the tobacco epidemic is facilitated through a variety of complex factors with cross-border effects, including trade liberalization and direct foreign investment. Other factors such as global marketing, transnational tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and the international movement of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes have also contributed to the explosive increase in tobacco use.

It’s a bit like someone who’s a car mechanic seeing not just cars as needing servicing, but everything else as well, including trees, animals, people, bridges, houses. And so in absolutely everything they’re always looking for the nut that needs tightening, or the valve guide that needs replacing, or the oil that needs changing – in trees, animals, and plants. Such people take what knowledge they have of some subject – cars – and universalise it to everything else. They approach everything as if it was a car. And Tobacco Control is a mutant form of medicine in which everything is seen as a disease of some sort. “To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail “(Mark Twain).

Because it’s not just tobacco that they see as an epidemic, but also alcohol, fat, sugar, salt, fast food. When they look at the world around them, they see rampant disease everywhere. If a new chinese restaurant opens up somewhere, they see it as part of a growing epidemic of chinese restaurants. They probably see Starbucks as a disease, an epidemic of coffee bars that’s spread all over the world from its origin in Seattle in 1971, with Patient Zero the first guy who walked into the shop and ordered a latte.

They’ve universalised the disease model. It doesn’t just apply to typhoid and cholera. It applies to everything. And now they’re trying to wipe out not just typhoid and cholera, but also smoking and drinking and chinese restaurants and Starbucks coffee bars.

Perhaps it even extends to the political world. Big Tobacco is a disease. And Big Oil too. And Capitalism is a disease, a sort of epidemic that broke out a few centuries ago, and has been raging ever since. So actually they’re trying to eradicate not only smoking and drinking and chinese restaurants and Starbucks coffee bars, but also Big Tobacco and Big Oil and Capitalism. They are all diseases. Global Warming too. And the presidency of Donald Trump as well.

Perhaps it’s why they’re all so health-conscious. Once you start to see disease everywhere around you, you start to take precautions. And when smoking became a disease, and smokers diseased people, then sitting in a roomful of smokers was just like sitting in a roomful of plague or typhoid patients. And not just smokers, but also drinkers and hotdog eaters and chinese restaurant goers.

It’s precisely because smoking is seen as disease that smokers are believed to want to stop smoking, and thereby recover from the disease. The idea that smokers might not want to stop smoking is as implausible as a cholera patient not wanting to recover from cholera. And to the extent that smokers can be persuaded that they are suffering from a disease, to that extent they are bound to want to be cured of it. Same with drinkers. And chinese restaurant goers. And golfers.

What’s deeply poisonous about the mentality underpinning Tobacco Control is that it turns everything into a disease. Smoking. Alcohol. Chinese restaurants. Big oil. Capitalism. It defames everything. Nothing is healthy. All is sickness and disease.

In fact, Tobacco Control is itself a disease. It’s a mental disorder that has reached epidemic proportions. It’s the disorder that comes of seeing everything as some sort of disease or disorder. It’s the disorder disorder.

It’s a mental disorder that reaches the highest levels of the WHO, as evidenced by the way they were holding a week-long conference on the global smoking non-epidemic while the very real Ebola epidemic was killing thousands in Africa. They’ve taken their eye off the ball, because they see everything as a ball of some sort.


About Frank Davis

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22 Responses to An Epidemic of Chinese Restaurants

  1. On the subject of the viral spread of the scourge that are Chinese Restaurants, I happened to go to a nearby town this morning to see the dentist. I parked at the town main car park which is adjacent to a large open space, containing not just grass and other green stuff but a Kiddies Play Area (strangely enough not yet behind watch towers and razor wire fences…perhaps the Town Fathers haven’t been educated by the NSPCC enough?) and a Skate Park. There was a statutory notice posted that the Council are seeking ‘consultations with Stakeholders’ for their proposed ban on dogs and dog fouling in the aforementioned green space. Whilst I applaud on principle the banning of dogs everywhere I know in my libertarian heart of hearts that that is the thin edge, first they ban dog crap, then they ban the ancient Norfolk past time of swigging from 2 litre PETs of Cider and then they ban smoking. But what caught me eye about the proposal wasn’t the banning of shit filled plastic bag hedge decorations, it was the proposal to ban balloons and specifically Chinese Lanterns. (I assume they mean those candle powered greaseproof paper drones?).
    I was unaware that the epidemic spread of Chinese Culture had become such an issue. For surely where Chinese Lanterns are so numerous as to be a threat to the populace, and more importantly The Children, a new Chinese Restaurant will not be far behind…
    I should add that there were, last time i looked, two Chineses in the entire town. Whose staff make up the entire Sino-Asiatic contingent of that 6K town. So obviously a town without herd immunity, ripe for contagion.
    WHO will rid us of Sweet and Sour Labradoodle?

  2. Harleyrider1978 says:
  3. Vlad says:

    brilliant article!

  4. Timothy Goodacre says:

    TC will never experience the sheer sublime pleasure of smoking tobacco ! They just can’t conceive of it can they !

  5. inmate000003 says:

    Frank, just watched Prof. Jim Al Khalili, Order and Disorder,iPlayer.
    He explains how the Universe is travelling from Order to Disorder and how man dips his hand into the stream of disorder,- inevitably heading to Entropy-, to make order of the world around us; to create, to build, to communicate, to make sense of the world, to make life easier (idle theory?)
    It is what we do, we are creative, inquisitive, imaginative and we want to enjoy our short time here.
    However, our betters, the controllers, the government, the EU, the UN, WHO, are Hell bent on defying the Laws of Physics, Human Nature and the inevitability of Entropy (we and everything else in this beautiful universe will revert to disorder and die).
    As you say in your post,TC,see everything as ‘dis-ease’ and wish to eradicate the enjoyment of ‘ease’, but they cannot, they never will, it is impossible.
    As Mr Timothy Goodacre says above: TC will never experience the sheer sublime pleasure of smoking tobacco ! They just can’t conceive of it can they !

  6. Smoking Lamp says:

    Tobacco control is an abomination., They use lies and propaganda to further their ideological preference. When questioned they suppress dissent. Tobacco control must be destroyed.

  7. An epidemic of Chinese Restaurants? Hmmm…. I was just commenting on pretty much that sort of thing over on Leggy’s blog Frank! LOL!

    Re the perception that “Polls consistently show many/most smokers want to quit.” This statement of course is used by the Antis to justify their addiction argument and also justify any and all negative reinforcers (bans, taxes, etc) since “They’re just HELPING the smokers do what they WANT to do!”

    Of course many (most?) of those “want to quit” statements are made either:

    A) because the smoker doesn’t want the lecture about how he/she must not understand the terrible dangers of smoking that they’ll get if they say they DON’T want to quit; or

    B) because the smoker doesn’t want the questioner to think badly of them in today’s smoker-negative social climate; or

    C) because the smoke doesn’t want to get into a stupid argument where he/she is relentlessly badgered to JUSTIFY what they want.

    What FOREST should do in any survey seeking to examine this problem would be to have a number of questions (so this area wouldn’t stick out) with a few of the early ones being the standard “Do you want to quit?”, “Have you tried to quit?”, “How many times have you tried to quit?” etc. types.



    down at the end, the surveyee can be clued in as to the important part of the survey: that the survey is designed partly to determine how accurate these sorts of surveys are in light of the sort of things I outlined in A, B, and C.

    The questions in this “second half” would be designed to make the surveyee stop and think about their honest answers, rather than their reflex answers, and they could be worded in a way NOT to encourage false information, but to extract the true information that I believe a lot of people have learned to even hide from themselves.


    1) “Have you truly and seriously tried quitting smoking because you yourself wanted to quit and stay quit for the rest of your life?”

    2) “Do you think you would be giving up an element of happiness/enjoyment/pleasure in your life if you never smoked again?”

    3) “If you’ve tried to give up smoking, or thought about giving up smoking, is it more because you fundamentally want to quit, more because of concern about how your smoke might affect the health of others, or more because of the monetary costs, the social/family pressures, and the lack of comfortable, enjoyable settings in which to smoke while you are socializing?”

    4) “If cigarettes were taxed at the same rate as other consumer goods — likely cutting their price to about a quarter of what you are currently paying — would you still want to give up smoking?”

    5) “If you were not vilified, isolated, or made to interrupt your social activities to go outside to smoke, would you still want to give up smoking?”

    6) “If both 4 and 5 were true, would you still want to give up smoking?”

    7) “What do you think your chances are of dying directly of a smoking caused disease before the age of 75?”

    8) “If those chances were actually thought to be (some number representing a reasonable percentage number based on a REASONABLE interpretation of the stats out there even if we might not agree that they’re unbiased), would you still want to quit smoking if you earlier said you would? (leave blank if you didn’t want to at all earlier.)

    9) “Have you ever said that you’ve tried to quit, or minimized/under-estimated the amount you smoke when surveyed or asked about your smoking habits?

    10) “If you answered “Yes” to 9, do you think it was more because of A, B, or C above or a mix of all three?”

    Those are pretty much off the tippytop of my pointed head, and I’m sure they could be played with and tweaked and expanded for more info, but a survey coming from FOREST might be the one real chance we’d have in getting accurate information about this sort of stuff: anything coming from a medical study person would immediately bump into the ABC problems. Of course the Antis could claim that smokers wanted to please the FOREST surveyor, but the intro to that last section could explicitly ask the surveyee NOT to answer with such a thing in mind and, if needed, they could also be given the anonymity of stuffing their completed survey, folded, into a lockbox with a bunch of others.

    – MJM, aka GGG (Gallup’s Great Grandson)

    • I was just commenting on pretty much that sort of thing over on Leggy’s blog Frank!
      A post Mrs Leggy will be having nightmares about.

    • waltc says:

      Those are great q’s. How about submitting them to Forest or some other group with the reach to do a large survey?

    • Frank Davis says:

      How and where a survey gets conducted would seem to matter a lot. In the ISIS survey, when I was asking questions it was nearly always one-on-one outside a pub, quite often with beer and cigarette in hand. The same questions, asked doctor-to-patient on some hospital ward, might have evinced very different answers.

      And I somehow suspect that when TC conducted its polls of smokers, it didn’t do so with a beer and cigarette in hand. In fact, I suspect that the surveys were mostly conducted on captives inside hospitals or doctors’ surgeries. And designed to produce the answers that TC wanted.

  8. Just wanted to make sure that I noted the absolute beauty of this paragraph before meandering onward:

    “It’s precisely because smoking is seen as disease that smokers are believed to want to stop smoking, and thereby recover from the disease. The idea that smokers might not want to stop smoking is as implausible as a cholera patient not wanting to recover from cholera. And to the extent that smokers can be persuaded that they are suffering from a disease, to that extent they are bound to want to be cured of it. Same with drinkers. And chinese restaurant goers. And golfers.”

    Well done Frank!

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