The Ever-Widening Smoke-Free Zones

Only a couple of days ago, in The Genocidal Programme of Tobacco Control, I wrote:

Someone recently told me, for example, that in some places in London, which had smoking bans inside and for several yards outside, he had concluded that the only place anyone could smoke a cigarette was in the middle of the road. What more dangerous place is there than the middle of a road?

Exactly this is now happening in some of out hospitals. H/T Rose for this Telegraph report:

Hospital smoking ban forces patients onto dangerous roads, says trust

An NHS hospital is refusing to ban smoking on its premises because it believes doing so would put patients in danger of speeding vehicles.

The bosses of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals in Dorset are defending their use of designated smoking areas despite pressure from Government health officials.

The trust said it had previously tried a ban of smoking on its grounds, but that this had only forced smokers dangerously close to the adjacent main road where cars and lorries frequently travel at 50 mph.

“Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the campaign group ASH, said: “Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable premature death in Britain killing nearly 100,000 people a year compared to less than 2,000 who die from road traffic accidents.

“The single most important change that smokers can make to improve their health is quit – Bournemouth should be doing more to support quitting not facilitating smoking.”

So ASH boss Deborah Arnott wants this Dorset hospital to drive smokers off the hospital grounds onto the streets outside, and into the path of speeding vehicles.

The first thing to remark is that the 100,000 smoking-caused deaths is an imaginary number. It’s a projected estimate of expected deaths. It is the product of a mathematical calculation of the form ax² + by³ + cz = 100,000, where a and b and c are constants, and x, y, and z variables. Establish the value of these various numbers, and perform the calculation, and out pops the magic number: 100,000. There are no actual deaths. There are no real dead bodies lying in morgues with their cause of death identified as smoking.

By contrast, the deaths from road traffic accidents are very real deaths.  They are not the product of mathematical calculations. There are actual bodies in morgues, with their cause of death firmly established beyond any doubt.

In this manner, a phantom menace is being used to exacerbate a real menace.

Another remarkable feature of this story is that Deborah Arnott – who probably has no medical qualifications whatsoever, and probably couldn’t tell the arse from the elbow of a mangled road traffic accident corpse – has set out to tell a hospital how to conduct its internal affairs, and how to improve the health of its patients – in this case by driving them out onto the streets outside the hospital grounds.

What’s also remarkable is that, in many UK hospitals, smoking is now banned not just inside the hospitals, but also in the grounds outside them. There is no medical justification for this (there is never any medical justification for any smoking ban). It is simply that once a smoking ban has been established somewhere, it becomes easy to extend it to adjoining areas. First it’s no smoking inside the hospital, and then within 10 yards of the doors of the hospital, and then it’s 50 yards, and finally the smoking ban extends to the entire hospital grounds – and beyond.

And, in fact, in some cases, there are calls for smoking bans to extend not just throughout the hospital grounds, but also onto adjacent streets beyond the jurisdiction of the hospital.

And this is probably the reason for Arnott’s wrath. Because it is probably ASH’s intention that smoking bans must be extended from inside hospitals to their outside grounds, and then to adjoining streets and houses. It won’t just be no smoking within 10 yards of a hospital door, or even 100 yards, but instead one mile or 10 miles or even 100 miles. In this manner, smoke-free zones will gradually extend, in an ever-widening stain, around every single medical facility in Britain – all in the name of “health”. Prominent signs will warn drivers and pedestrians that they are now entering a smoke-free zone. Similar zones will gradually extend around schools and nursing homes. So when local Dorset hospital administrators thwart the extension of smoking bans, they’re thwarting not just the national goals of ASH UK, but also the global ambitions of the WHO, who are determined to wipe out what they describe as a global tobacco epidemic. Deborah Arnott is probably already taking up the matter at the very highest levels of government, and also in the WHO and UN and maybe even the World Bank, from whom orders will eventually emanate to overrule the recalcitrant administrators of this Dorset hospital.

For once smoking bans have been extended in an ever-widening cordon sanitaire around schools and hospitals, they can be utilised to introduce further bans within these ‘-free’ zones. They will not just become smoke-free, but also alcohol-free, sugar-free, salt-free, fat-free, fast-food-free, and carbon-free – where, as is usually the case with Tobacco Control and healthism generally, ‘freedom’ has come to mean its own negation, and become constraint.

It will become possible to install lifestyle management regimes inside these ‘-free’ zones in order to completely regulate and control all behaviours, not just smoking. They will be porn-free, Christianity-free, Conservative-free, gun-free, book-free, laughter-free safe spaces.


About Frank Davis

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31 Responses to The Ever-Widening Smoke-Free Zones

  1. Roobeedoo2 says:

    Smoking bans have and remain the thin end of the wedge – the main tool Healthists use to divide (& conquer). The ‘fat end’ of the wedge inevitably follows… Milton Keynes is going to have a public consultation on fast food exclusion zones around schools:

    Have you see how many schools there are in Milton Keynes?

  2. Timothy Goodacre says:

    My policy Frank is that apart from pubs and restaurants where i have no choice is now to ignore all bans. Smoke as much as you can in public. Be highly visible. These bastards have ruined my social life in the pub now they get no more tolerance from me. Fight the bastards all the way !

    • Vlad says:

      One more reason to stop buying their junk cigarettes and switch to RYO or pipe/cigars!

      BTW, I’ve noticed the new packaging of cigarettes, with increased medical porn on both sides and brand name written on the bottom instead of the top. In these conditions, putting cigarettes behind shutters is actually a good idea…right now when I look at the display, the only thing visible is the medical porn…

    • smokingscot says:

      Philip Morris has been pouring money into IQOS heat not burn “cigarettes”

      and have even gone so far as to say they may quit making conventional cigarettes.

      The article shows there’s a far greater profit margin from these products that involve extensive use of plastics and some simple electronics. And they sell for £45 for the battery pack and £8 for 20 “cigarettes”.

      Their share price was butt sliding for years, and only picked up when trump took office.*

      (to get a clear view, please click on the 5 year button).

      By comparison BAT has seen a gradual increase in price for the past 5 years and Imperial Brands has been a stellar performer (much to my irritation – ’cause I don’t have any!).

      Another weakness with PM is they were way behind the curve with rolling tobacco, with their first ever foray into rolling tobacco in the UK market in Sep 2014 – Marlboro.

      I get the impression the directors at PM are not working for the benefit of shareholders, certainly not when compared to our lot, with BAT coughing up a cool $49 BILLION to buy Reynolds Tobacco in January of this year!

      Now that’s what I see as managing a business!

      All I’m seeing here is PM trying its best to ingratiate itself with the tobacco controllers – and hope fervently they can leverage their heat not burn concoction.

      PM shares are IMO not investment grade.

      • Vlad says:

        Happy that I mostly used to be a JTI (Camel, Winchester) and BAT (Kent) customer…rarely bought a L&M or Marlboro (PM) for variety…I don’t know exactly why, but I remember years ago when I noticed PM’s website – read as if it was written by ASH and this put me off.
        Nevertheless, I now believe factory made cigarettes have to be avoided…the other BT companies are no angels, PM is just the worst of the bunch.

  3. Lollylulubes says:

    I’m pleased this hospital is standing up to them. Having to go all the way to outside hospital grounds for a cigarette or even a vape, especially in the dark, will bring other risks for the safety of patients in wheelchairs, with drip stands, on crutches and for staff and visitors, especially women. It was never about health and it’s all based on lies in TC. It’s time they were outed.

    I’ve just been directed to this interesting piece about passive smoking and squeezing out a dissenter in Australia from years ago.

  4. Vlad says:

    In the beginning (1970s) they only wanted smoke-free elevators…

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      I recall. That was actually reasonable, especially in crowded elevators. Smoking section were also a reasonable accommodation. Reason soon died as the Goober plan became their blueprint toward prohibition.

      • Rose says:

        Godber was not alone

        It’s all getting a bit, which came first the chicken or the egg.

        Marc Lalonde
        A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians

        “The ultimate philosophical issue raised by the Concept is whether, and to what extent, government can get into the business of modifying human behaviour, even if it does so to improve health. The marketing of social change is a new field which applies the marketing techniques of the business world to getting people to change their behaviour, i.e. eating habits, exercise habits, smoking habits, driving habits, etc.

        It is argued by some that proficiency in social marketing would inevitably lead government into all kinds of undesirable thought control and propaganda.”

        “The spirit of enquiry and skepticism, and particularly the Scientific Method,so essential to research, are, however, a problem in health promotion.
        The reason for this is that science is full of “ifs”, “buts”, and “maybes” while messages designed to influence the public must be loud, clear and unequivocal.”

        “He presented it to the World Health Assembly in Geneva in June 1973”

        Reinventing public health: A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians and its international impact

        “In the 1970s all the English‐speaking developed nations were facing deficits as curative costs rose. Adopting health promotion policies permitted them to shift responsibility back to local governments and individuals while limiting their expenditures.”

        The international impact: the British response

        “Without crediting the Canadian model, this document paralleled it in terms of structure and focus, emphasizing the role of personal responsibility for nutrition, leisure activities, smoking, drugs, alcohol and sexual behaviour.”

        “Indeed, the speed with which these governments moved to adopt the rhetoric of the health field concept may have been prompted by the desire to cut funding but its impact is still being felt. National and international programmes to curb smoking, control drinking and driving and eradicate drug use have all evolved in the wake of the New Perspective. The greatest impact lay in challenging the hierarchical dominance of the biomedical model. By demonstrating the limitations that this posed for prevention, the Canadian document enabled the international public health movement to reinvent its role for the 21st century.”
        https: //

        “The cost of sloth, gluttony, alcoholic intemperance, reckless driving, sexual frenzy, and smoking have now become a national, not an individual, responsibility, all justified as individual freedom,” asserts Dr. John Knowles, the influential president of the Rockefeller Foundation. But one man’s or woman’s freedom in health is now another man’s shackle in taxes and insurance premiums.” Knowles sternly warns that “the cost of individual irresponsibility in health has become prohibitive”

        (Conference on Future Directions in Health Care: The Dimensions of Medicine, Sponsored by Blue Cross Association, Rockefeller Foundation, and University of California (San Francisco) Health Policy Program, New York, Dec. 1975)
        Rockefeller Medicine Men

        Smoking and the sea change in public health, 1945-2007

        “The 1964 Cohen Report on health education exemplified the new approach. It argued that the old local-information-giving approach was ineffective and that what was needed was a greater degree of central publicity, using habit-changing campaigns and social surveys, as well as strengthening the new profession of health educators. The models came from American social psychology.
        The new breed of educators was to be trained in journalism, publicity, the behavioural sciences and teaching methods. Training people would involve both imparting knowledge and inculcating self-discipline, a telling new phrase.

        The new health educator was to be a salesman, persuading people to take appropriate action. Just knowing about the risks of cigarette smoking was not enough: Cohen called tobacco advertising ‘propaganda’ and it had to be countered in the same way.”

        George Godber joined the Ministry of Health in 1939 and after being deputy CMO he became CMO in 1960

        “Godber recollected that he had said in 1962 to Keith Joseph, another of his Conservative ministers, that “we really have to do something about abolishing smoking”

    • Tony says:

      I happened to be in the USA around the time (1983?) or shortly after the ban in elevators came in. My impression and that of others that I spoke to, was that it was brought in to inconvenience and annoy smokers. There was no popular demand for it.

      Bear in mind that elevators were always crowded first thing in the morning and last thing at night but empty the rest of the time. Nobody would turn up or leave the office with a cigarette on the go so the only time it was an issue was when someone was called to a different floor without prior notice during the working day when the elevators were empty.

      But of course it was just a small salami step so nobody raised any serious objection.

  5. Smoking Lamp says:

    This is an excellent essay; it should be widely disseminated. The smoke-free movement is an example of how tobacco control is systematically eroding liberty to impose prohibition–their ‘tobacco-free’ world. They started small (elevators, no singing sections) and then moved large-scale indoor bans culminating in smoking bans in restaurants, pubs and bars. Smoker were ‘exiled outdoors” as the Inquisitor Arnott commanded.

    Soon indoor bans would be joined by outdoor bans as all pretense about health was abandoned and the true goal–persecution of smokers–was uncovered. Now smoking bans are being forced on hospitals (bravo the push back), beaches, parks, outdoor patios, city centres, and small cities and towns. Exile has been extended incrementally as the initial bans were.

    These bans are made to look as if they are local grass roots initiatives but they aren’t they are imposed from the top-down by a global elite. Few if any actual complaints are registered, but in a span of months a single call for a ban becomes global imperative. A combination of hysteria and sock puppet orchestration see to that.

    It is time for smokers to unite and push back against this persecution. Tobacco control must be destroyed.

  6. Ripper says:

    Frank – there are no ‘smoking bans’ in hospital grounds, since there is no outdoor ban on smoking anywhere. These fake bans can, and have to be fought since they are not lawful. Its a matter of ‘their gaff, their rules’ – meaning that if I smoke on my works premises I can be sacked, BUT – it is a privately owned company, so they can ban smoking on their premises if they wish. But a hospital is not privately owned, it is owned by the taxpayer – in other words, you and me. So they can’t demand that you don’t smoke in the grounds. I would be the first to tell Arnott to go blow it out her ass.

    • waltc says:

      Sorry, in ny it’s a law not a hospital whim. And it includes much of the surrounding sidewalk tho no one heeds that part of it.

    • Tony says:

      I believe Ripper is correct about NHS hospitals in the UK though private ones can probably make their own rules.

      • Rose says:

        This appears to be the relevant section in the Health Act 2006, but it’s so vague as to be meaningless.

        Health Act 2006 Chapter 28 page 6

        Part 4

        Additional smoke-free places
        The appropriate national authority may make regulations designating as smoke-free any place or description of place that is not smoke-free under section 2.
        The place, or places falling within the description, need not be enclosed or
        substantially enclosed.
        The appropriate national authority may designate a place or description of place under this section only if in the authority’s opinion there is a significant risk that, without a designation, persons present there would be exposed to significant quantities of smoke.
        The regulations may provide for such places, or places falling within the description, to be smoke-free only—
        in specified circumstances,
        at specified times,

        • Ripper says:

          “Additional smoke-free places
          The appropriate national authority may make regulations”

          The NHS is national, but not an authority. The Council is an authority, but a local one and not national. So who is the ‘authority’ mentioned in these regulations?

        • Rose says:

          Who knows? It was drawn up by New Labour and perhaps they had something in mind but they haven’t been in power since.

        • jaxthefirst says:

          Ripper/Rose – the “appropriate national authority” in the case of this Act is either the Secretary of State for the Environment or the Health Minister (can’t remember exactly which one it is now, but it’s definitely one or other of them). Neither of which are an individual NHS Trust who don’t qualify!

    • Timothy Goodacre says:

      Nicely said Ripper

  7. Flaxen Saxon says:

    I work in a hospital and generally, the public and staff take no notice. As staff we are exhorted to tell smokers to desist. Bugger off, I say! I don’t care if folk smoke on hospital grounds. And if I did I wouldn’t challenge a 200 pound Maori lad. Might turn out as a bad day. Leave folk alone to indulge legal pleasures where and when they like.

  8. Rose says:

    Apparently, smoking in hospital grounds in Scotland is only now against the law through the devolved parliament and will be enforced this year. But that’s from the newspapers, I haven’t found anything official so far.

    Hospital grounds smoking bans are now law
    4 Mar 2016

    “A LAW has been passed making it an offence to smoke in hospital grounds.

    The Health Bill passed by MSPs strengthens the ban imposed by health boards on smoking outside hospitals and in hospital grounds by making it a statutory offence.”

    13 Nov 2016
    SMOKERS who light up near hospitals will face fines of up to £1,000 from next year, the Sunday Herald can reveal.

    The Scottish Government has published proposals for implementing legislation that makes it an offence to smoke in areas directly outside a hospital building.
    In a letter to health board chiefs, it states the no-smoking zone perimeter should extend to a distance of 15 metres from the building.
    Anyone who flouts the ban within the zone will be subject to the same penalties as if caught smoking in a public place – a £50 fixed fine. But, if this is not paid the case will be taken to court, with a possible fine of up to £1,000.

    NHS boards in Scotland currently have no-smoking policies in place for their grounds, but the move to make it an offence is an additional measure to tackle a “small minority” who continue to smoke round hospital doors and windows.”

    Smoking ban at hospital sites
    “Patients told they will not be allowed to smoke while on hospital premises, while staff could be disciplined for flouting rules

    Hospitals have been told to remove smoking shelters and end the “terrible spectacle of people on drips in hospital gowns smoking outside” by introducing an outright ban on cigarettes.

    Nurses should no longer to help patients out of the ward to have a cigarette outside, while staff and visitors should not to smoke anywhere on the grounds of an NHS hospital or clinic, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said.”

    NICE is not Parliament and neither is PHE.

  9. Rose says:

    As for smoking bans on beaches.

    “The seashore (which is synonymous with foreshore) is the area between the mean high water mark and the mean low water mark.

    Below the high water mark, i.e. the seashore and the seabed, generally belongs to the Crown.”

    Crown Property is exempt from Smoking Bans.

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  11. scot says:

    A bit late with this one Frank, as Rose says above the tartan taliban have already decreed it so. Last year my local health authority banned all smoking on “their” (our owned and paid for) premises, and this “experiment” was then taken up as a crusade by the dolts in the Parliament, so its now going to be all NHS property in Scotland. Nice aside about Crown property though…

  12. Frank Davis says:

    Popla online

    Unclean! Never mind the branding ban. PHE wants to ostracise sick smokers

    If ever proof were needed that smokers smoke because they like smoking, then look at the pavements of our more lenient hospitals. Either side of the sliding doors, you’ll see people in wheelchairs, or on crutches and frames, some with mobile drips.

    Plastering health warnings all over their cigarettes of choice hasn’t stopped them. Raising age-limits and taxes, neither. Nor the new branding bans, which around the world are reducing competition between companies and encouraging smuggling and piracy.

    No, they must be treated like mediaeval lepers, hounded off the premises in their back-flapping gowns, forced to hobble onto main roads, where they can add a dose of diesel particles to the tobacco tar in their lungs.

    In fact, Public Health England has just launched a campaign to achieve exactly this end. Perhaps the plan is to induce chills in sick smokers and kill them off quicker. It’s only surprising they don’t issue patients with bells and orders to shout ‘Unclean!’, as they weave through the traffic wardens issuing tickets on expired and outrageously expensive pay-and-display stickers.

  13. jaxthefirst says:

    I’ve never quite been able to understand exactly how the fervent anti-smoking managers of all these different premises expect, exactly, to be able to enforce these “extended” bans. For sure, they can send some official-looking security guard out to tell passers-by to extinguish their cigarettes, but in the event of a flat refusal, what can those security guards actually then do? Without, that is, putting themselves at risk of committing an offence themselves? (Which, when you think about it, is a particularly bad thing for anyone in the security business to have on their CV).

    On their own premises, of course, they can demand that the offending smoker leaves those premises immediately and, if necessary, “escort” them out. But they can hardly order someone to leave a premises that they’re not actually on in the first place, can they? Neither can they demand fines from some total stranger in the street (I’m not even sure that anyone apart from the police and the courts are permitted to impose fines – which is why parking fines are so often actually defined as a “charge” rather than a fine). For security staff to try and take on such a role, in and of itself is an already-defined criminal offence – demanding money with menaces – and it’s one that the police take very seriously. And even if they think they can bluff it, what can they actually do if the smoker in question simply refuses, turns and walks away? They don’t know their name and they’ll probably never see them again – so how can any arbitrarily-decided “fine” be imposed? Similarly, should any security guard have the temerity to touch, or even attempt to touch, any stranger in the street to prevent them from walking off, then that’s another, even more serious, offence they’re committing – common assault. Another one which the police take a very dim view of. And, just for the record, “assault” doesn’t have to involve an all-out fight to be classed as such; just a hand on the arm to prevent someone from moving away is every bit as much an assault as a punch on the nose, if the person whose arm it is hasn’t given permission to be touched.

    These too-big-for-their-own-boots managers need to be very careful that they aren’t encouraging their own security staff to commit offences which could land them in a lot of trouble and, by default, land said managers in similar trouble, too, as “accomplices before the fact” for giving out those instructions in the first place.

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  15. John says:

    I was interested in the quote from the Trust above because as a Bournemouth resident I can tell you that thier statement is incorrect. There is a busy road nearby, but it has a 40mph limit, not 50mph. The 50mph carriageway is well away from the hospital and is not a residential route.

    But to your point, the site is a large open site and the Royal Bournemouth is only a two story building. Banning smoking across the whole site is little short of ridiculous, as any examination of a Google Map will make very clear. Most of the acreage is a car park.

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