The Cancer Metastasizes

Tobacco companies are warning other companies what’s coming down the track:


MT popped along to the unimaginatively-titled International Food & Drink Event this week, a giant trade fair at London’s ExCel, where supermarket buyers trawl for the next big thing in FMCG. Among the cheese makers, brewers and olive oil bottlers was a less likely exhibitor: Japan Tobacco International.

Of course tobacco is technically a fast-moving consumer good, but the maker of Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut, one of the ‘Big Five’ tobacco firms (along with Altria, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands and Philip Morris) wasn’t there to flog cigarettes to supermarkets.

Instead it’s hoping to show food and drinks companies that they’re next in the regulators’ firing line. Its stand, decked out like a nightmarish carnival, carried warnings that promotion bans, taxes and plain packaging could leave unhealthy food and drinks as restricted as tobacco.

Once a normal product no less accessible than a tin of beans, cigarettes have slowly been enveloped by a straightjacket of promotional regulations as society’s tolerance for tobacco has waned – in the West at least.

I have for some time been contemplating a world in which everything is covered with warning labels.

Imagine, for example, going into an art gallery, and finding that all the paintings in it have been defaced with large warnings pasted on top of them:

Something that was rather beautiful is made ugly. It’s made ugly and smelly.

Someone else’s opinion is it is being superimposed upon it. It’s as if a book is published, not with glowing reviews on the back cover, but with damning criticisms on the front cover. And not just on the front cover, but written in the margins (and perhaps between the lines) throughout the entire book.

And this is what Tobacco Control is doing to the world. It is making it ugly and nasty and smelly and poisonous. And the tobacco companies are warning other companies that this will very likely happen to their products too, as they also are in their turn defaced.

Tobacco Control is poisoning the world.

And I got my first “plain” pack of cigarette papers yesterday. I’d been wondering whether “plain packaging” would be extended to cigarette paraphernalia like papers and matchboxes and lighters. The answer, it would seem, is that, yes, it will be.

My “plain” cigarette paper pack actually is a completely plain muddy brown. It came inside a “plain” pack of tobacco. There’s no health warning on it. No picture. There’s nothing at all. Not even the manufacturer’s name (most likely Rizla).  I wondered if the cigarette papers inside would also be muddy brown, but they were the usual white. I wonder how long that will last?

Rather like smoking bans around hospitals, “plain” packaging will extend gradually from cigarette packets to papers, matchboxes, lighters, ashtrays, and other paraphernalia – like a cancer metastasising  from one organ to another.

Perhaps it will even extend to fashion? Imagine a beautiful blonde woman in a long mud brown dress, on which a large health warning has been superimposed: This woman may break your heart.

About Frank Davis

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45 Responses to The Cancer Metastasizes

  1. Pat Nurse says:

    There is an army of feminists demanding a high heels ban so, yes, warning may be extended to fashion too. “WARNING – These high heels may break your neck, cause discomfort, misshape your feet and your legs.” The enemies of the new state will be those who look attractive while the boring and plain puritans want everyone to look as ugly and soulless as they do.

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Just saw where Amelia Earhart the lefts crazy feminist role model of the day actually was a passenger with 2 men when it was said she flew non stop over the Atlantic!

      Then she cracked and wrecked 12 of those twin engine planes she was suppose to fly around the world in!

      Still a ballsy lil chick but somebody shoulda put caution student pilot landing signs up!

      But then plain packaging would have stopped that

    • Frank Davis says:

      a high heels ban

      I knew a man who didn’t like women in high heels. An early example of an antihighheeler? I love girls in high heels. But I also love them in Doctor Martins – Tank Girl style – too.

    • I don’t believe it is accurate to describe Tobacco Control activists as “puritans.” I don’t know if puritans were anti-tobacco, but they were not anti-alcohol and they were of strong religious conviction. Tobacco Control activists, it seems to me, are, for the most part, anti-God, globalistic, promoters of “reproductive rights,” “marriage equality,” and a powerful enough state to indoctrinate its citizens in whatever it believes is “enlightened” living. Puritans would never be part of what Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of, i.e. a “scientific-technological elite, which, I believe, Tobacco Control and much of Public Health are examples.

      • Frank Davis says:

        I think “puritan” is one of those words which have several meanings, often dependent on whether the first letter is capitalised or not. “Catholic” is another one. With a capitalised first letter “Catholic” means something pertaining to Roman Catholicism, while with an uncapitalised first letter, “catholic” means something like “all-embracing”. Whether Catholics are particularly catholic about anything is perhaps questionable. As indeed whether Puritans were ever particularly puritanical. Since Pat Nurse didn’t capitalise her reference to “puritan”, I assumed she wasn’t referring to Puritans, but to puritanical people who don’t like people doing things like smoking cigarettes, or wearing high heel shoes.

      • Barry Homan says:

        I maintain the view that at its core, when stripped right down, the puritan is just one of those persons who never gets invited to the party.

        • “thy Syder was so well liked that we must needs have more as soone as thou canst”

          Letters from a Puritan to his wife, john and Margaret Winthrop–1618-1638;
          Oh and during their courtship John made no secret of what he’d rather be doing than writing her godly prose…although methinks the pen analogy was a bit naff but as she married him I suppose she liked it.

          It never ceases to amuse that the man who gave the world tobacco and America, John Rolfe was a puritan and a deeply devout one at that.

        • Frank Davis says:

          It never ceases to amuse that the man who gave the world tobacco and America, John Rolfe was a puritan and a deeply devout one at that.

          Surely that should be: “It never ceases to amuse that the man who gave the world tobacco and America, John Rolfe was a Puritan and a deeply devout one at that”?

        • Surely that should be: “It never ceases to amuse that the man who gave the world tobacco and America, John Rolfe was a Puritan and a deeply devout one at that”?-FD

          Yes, should have been a ‘P’., I plead lack of proof reading skills m’lud..infact better still would have been ‘a deeply devout Puritan and a Norfolk one (Oh those East Anglian Puritans!) at that!’

        • Frank Davis says:

          A deeply devout, randy, cider-drinking, fun-loving Norfolk Puritan.

          So why did they all head off to America? Was it because James I was a killjoy?

  2. Vlad says:

    Continue here discussion from previous post:
    @Rose I guess schizophrenics are protected against lung cancer also because they live in their own world, not in the antismoking matrix the rest of smokers live in.
    Re niacin, nicotinamide and other components of tobacco smoke: it’s good to know that the animal lab experiments have been done with cigarettes made entirely of tobacco which don’t resemble what the majority of people smoke today. From Coggin’s review: ”A typical cigarette used is the unfiltered University of Kentucky 1R1 reference cigarette, made in 1969, which under standard smoking conditions has a tar yield of 34.3 mg and a nicotine yield of 2.16 mg.”
    These not only haven’t harm the animals, but prolonged their life and when they were exposed to real carcinogens protected them and consequently smoking animals had less cancers than controls.
    So all this ‘harm reduction’ regarding lowering tar&nicotine level is nothing but a scam….Big Tobacco saved a lot of $$ by using less tobacco, filters and so on and for a while appeased ‘public health’.

    • Rose says:

      Well that went horribly wrong, Frank, could you please remove my first post? It’s in moderation.

      Not a scam, just sheer bad science.

      Ncab Subcommittee Meeting 741101 1974 page2

      “Dr. Wynder felt that regulatory action should cover the entire spectrum of smoking dependent diseases and that if the 1974 average tar and nicotine contents of cigarettes (18.4 milligrams,and 1.27 milligrams respectively) are acceptable to the majority of smokers, there is no reason they should not be acceptable to all smokers.

      The labeling of cigarettes with a precise tar and nicotine content may not be specifically clear to the consumer, and a qualitative label of °light” may be allocated for all cigarettes below 12 milligrams of tar and 0.8 milligrams of nicotine, hoping that the consumer would find a more immediate signal for his choice.”

      “Dr. Wynder also voiced strong concern that legislative attempts at cigarette regulation would have little chance of being approved ,and expressed his favor for recommendations to encourage voluntary regulation by the cigarette industry.”

      National Cancer Advisory Board Release Statement on Nicotine and Tar Reduction 1975 pages 3-4

      “The research conducted by the Smoking and Health Program of the National Cancer Institute and other national and international organizations has identified promising techniques for reducing toxic elements of smoke. These techniques fall into three general categories.

      Changes in Cigarette Construction
      The burning rate and the amount of air mixed with the smoke while the cigarette is being puffed can be altered by the use of cigarette paper of greater porosity, and by providing aerating mouthpieces.
      These methods reduce the amount of tobacco burned during inhalation, and by diluting the smoke recieved by the smoker make it less hazardous.”

      On page 5 they want dilution from “cellulose synthetic tobacco extenders, inorganic salts, clays and kaolin” in reconstituted tobacco sheets and suggest that tobacco can be “expanded, puffed or freeze dried so that less of it is required to fill each cigarette”

      • Rose says:

        Thank you, Frank.

        It just goes to show that icing cakes and commenting on the internet don’t mix.
        Mind you, it could have been worse, I might have posted the recipe for coffee fudge icing instead.

      • Vlad says:

        For smokers it has been a scam resulting both from the bad science used by ‘public health’ and financial interests of Big Tobacco. It continues today with the heat not burn products where the tobacco quantity used per heat stick is half that used per cigarette but the price per 20unit pack is the same.

      • Thanks for bring to light these important documents. Tobacco Control accuses the industry of foisting low tar/low nicotine cigarettes on the public in order to deceive smokers. In fact, the industry was pressured to do so by scientists such as Wynder.

        • Rose says:

          You are very welcome, I researched the subject from beginning to end in 2009.

          It all started with a letter to the President

          US Rules on Cigarette Content Urged by Panel. Ford Demurs
          Washington Oct23 1974

          “The National Cancer Advisory Board has called for Federal regulation of tar and nicotine content in cigarettes in the agencies annual report, which was sent to Congress today by President Ford.
          The President disassociated himself from the potentially controversial proposal.

          In a letter accompanying the report, Mr Ford said, “It should be pointed out that there is considerable dispute as to whether there exist adequate scientific evidence on which to base safe levels of tar and nicotine under responsible regulatory action.”

          And asked for their evidence the NCAB replied –

          “The scientific literature in smoking and health cannot be reported here in detail,because of its vastness.”

        • Rose says:

          In 2009 I was using “tobacco documents” but they are now unreadable, if you type the title of the document into you will find the originals.

  3. nisakiman says:

    My “plain” cigarette paper pack actually is a completely plain muddy brown. It came inside a “plain” pack of tobacco. There’s no health warning on it. No picture. There’s nothing at all. Not even the manufacturer’s name (most likely Rizla).

    So how do you deal with your preferred papers, Frank? That is to say, people have distinct preferences when it comes to papers, as was discussed just a couple of days ago. Red, Green, Blue, Job etc etc etc.

    “Can I have a packet of what used to be Rizla blue, but are now no-name shitty brown?”

    Or have the Great And The Good in Tobacco Control decided that we aren’t to be allowed a choice of papers anymore?

    And since when were papers included in the pack of tobacco? We always bought papers separately because, as said, we have different preferences. Cut corners or not cut corners? Heavyweight papers or lightweight papers? English Rizla Blue or Dutch Rizla Blue?

    I don’t like the direction this is taking at all.

    • margo says:

      There has long been a brand of baccy that includes a packet of papers – I think it’s Cutter’s Choice? – but they never used to be brown. That’s new.

    • Frank Davis says:

      So how do you deal with your preferred papers, Frank?

      I haven’t had to, as yet. I’ve only seen one of these “plain” cigarette papers so far, and it came inside a pack of Golden Virginia (which has long had a custom of including papers under the flap). But if they can get Rizla to print plain cigarette paper packs for one of their customers (the manufacturers of GV), pretty soon I imagine they’ll have to do it for all their customers.

      • nisakiman says:

        I haven’t lived in the UK for 15 years, so things must have changed since then. Presumably the papers provided are (were) Rizla Reds or Greens in GV packaging. Which is a bit stupid really. If I was living in the UK and buying legit GV (both unlikely scenarios, I have to say), I would have a drawer full of unused GV papers, as I don’t like Red/Green papers. I think it presumptuous of GV to assume that everyone who smokes their product will want to use the same papers.

  4. Tony says:

    I’m reminded of a comment left on Siegel’s blog many years ago. It was published as an article here:

    The whole piece is very powerful and well worth a read. Here’s a brief taste:

    Anti-smokers make this world such a miserable place to live in. They portray the world, and life itself, as a dangerous and miserable place, yet they endlessly pursue a longer life. I have never witnessed a movement in my lifetime that is permeated with so much evil, stupidity, and sheer inhumanity, no matter how much rhetoric it spews about trying to prevent suffering.

    Just open your door and look outside. Feel the sun on your face. Listen to the birds. Splash around in a stream or lake. We are privileged to live in a truly gorgeous world. And anti-smokers turn all of this beauty and joy into something more sickening than a black lung.”

  5. Tony says:

    This woman may break your heart.
    I don’t think you’d ever make the grade in the global anti-smoking lobby with feeble warnings like that Frank. You need to get into the mind of these campaigners.

    Think sexually transmitted disease. Think gory pictures. Think horrific public executions.
    …Trouble is my efforts are too feeble as well. I can’t do this, I’m not sick enough.

  6. Harleyrider1978 says:

    You take my great grandmother she was born 1888-1890 year was in question. Her father fought in the civilwar as a radical hell raising cavalryman under a great confederate general john hunt Morgan.

    At the beginning of her childhood in 1895 the first American organized smoking bans began!

    She told me she started smoking at 5 and if the tobacco barn ran out they smoked corn silks in a pipe!

    She lived thru the turmoil of anti tobacco on 1 of 3 tobacco farms they owned in sebree Kentucky.

    No doubt the anti tobacco of the time put a hurt on them financially and made my gr grams a very stubborn yankee progressive hating woman!

    In the years that followed she accumulated 8 tobacco farms by 1917 when tobacco bans were repealed. But she had already set up and ran a smuggling business for the family tobacco raised up to that time.

    Then came 1919 and Prohibition where she opened 2 speakeasy in Henderson Kentucky and Boonville Indiana.

    Her and her husband made whiskey under the old Ohio bridge from Henderson to Evansville Indiana as if the sheriff or revenue agents discovered them they got warned loaded up the still in her husbands fishing boat and simply went to the Kentucky side of the river and set up again thus keeping her illicit bars in moonshine and tobaccos.

    After prohibition was repealed granny went back to just raising tobacco making a decent living and finally condensed down to 2 farms when the depression deepened.

    Eventually her youngest daughter my grandmother married a young man named bright who became a Pentecostal fire and brimstone preacher.

    But the one thing I remember most was at church on sundays when granny lit a cigarette or her pipe or took a chaw in her 80s and even 90s gramps never said a word until she died in 1987 at either 96 or 97!

    We think we’ve had it rough she lived thru it all and here it is again!

  7. Rose says:

    Coffee Fudge Icing

    Sufficient to top an 8″ cake generously.

    50g (2oz) unsalted butter
    2 tablespoons of double cream
    250g (8oz) icing sugar, sifted
    1 tablespoon of Camp Coffee

    Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan with the cream and coffee.
    Add the icing sugar and beat vigorously until smooth and glossy.
    Leave until luke warm and pour decoratively over the cake.

    Taken from the Sainsbury Book of Cake Icing and Decorating
    1981 and completely amended.

  8. smokingscot says:


    Imperial Brands produces Golden Virginia – and they also own Rizla (see 1997).

    Not sure why they chose to plain pack their papers because there’s no restrictive legislation on them at the moment. Maybe just being ultra careful on account they were part of the package you bought.

    Anyhows here’s a look at one of the better places for buying fag papers – and Ezee offer 8 booklets for a Quid!

    and for those who are very forward thinking, they’ve got a staggering deal on unsold Xmas wrapping paper!

  9. Any ‘junk food’ (a total misnomer I know) manufacturer who needs telling what is coming down the line deserves to go ‘tits up’ (an economist’s technical term). The food and drink(s) industry has had a decade to figure out that the slope was infact slipperier than a politician before a Select Committee. The nannies have applied a liberal coating of greased weasel shit to the incline.
    Wake up and smell the prohibited Fair Trade decaffeinated coffee Mr Cadbury, Messrs McDonald.
    The Prohibition will not go better with Coke. Teach the world to sing–le out your product for demonisation …with fries.

    1984 calories daily intake and not a kilojoule more.

  10. jaxthefirst says:

    I guess it’s part of the cunning of the public health lobby that by demonising tobacco – their first “project” – so thoroughly they’ve manoeuvred other product manufacturers neatly into a corner they can’t get out of, because the only meaningful way to object to the tsunami of rules, regulations and restrictions coming their way is to object to those already applied to tobacco, along with all the junk science and manipulated statistics which have been used to support them, but by doing so the brainwashed media, brain-dead politicians and obedient-drone members of the public would howl in fury, point accusatory fingers and label them “pro-smoking,” instantly devaluing any objections they might be trying to make. You can just imagine the headlines: “Major supermarket chain supports smoking,” “Scottish distilleries express support for the tobacco industry,” “Confectionery giant denies Passive Smoking science,” “One killer industry offers support for another.” The PR fallout would be massive.

    And there’s the rub. Because they can’t sit mute about the regulations applied to tobacco and then expect to be taken seriously when the same regulations are applied to their products, for the same reasons, with just a few wording tweaks here and there. That would put them into the same bracket as all those lefty-liberal folks living in the posh, leafy parts of London agreeing that there’s a housing crisis and that the government really should “do something” – like building more affordable housing – but who object like billy-o when the proposal is to build those houses anywhere near them. All of a sudden – hey presto! – there isn’t actually a housing crisis at all! It’s called hypocrisy, and it’s never a very strong position to take in any argument because it’s so easily brushed aside along the lines of: “Well, you would say that, wouldn’t you?”

    I think that many of the newly-targeted industries – and they know darned well who they are – are clinging for dear life onto the idea that (at the moment), their products have so far only been deemed to harm the user, and an “innocent bystander” hasn’t yet been identified, and that all the time that remains the case, there’s the old “freedom” argument for campaigners to get round which will save them. In effect, they’re trusting to nothing more than luck that Public Health won’t find one. But again, denial of the true nature of Tobacco Control’s passive smoking scam will almost certainly be their downfall. If they think for one second that any really determined anti-sugar or anti-salt or anti-booze campaign group are going to eschew what was the single most successful angle of the anti-smoking movement, then they must be living in a different reality from the rest of us. As Godber said all those years ago, all that is needed is a “perception” of harm to others and Bob’s yer Uncle, as they say! The dangers of “passive smoking” are only – and have only ever been – a “perception” – they’ve never been a reality. But because that “perception” has been very skilfully fostered, with lots of people with letters after their name or important jobs saying it, and with lots of scary-sounding statistics being quoted in support, most members of the public think that those dangers are real. So now that’s all that Public Health will have to do in respect of anything else that they don’t like. Foster a perception that drinking, eating sugar, too much salt, junk food (or whatever) harms someone else, and they’ve got carte blanche to demand whatever regulations they please. Just like Tobacco Control has.

    It’s a tricky one, I admit. What are these industries to do? Swallow their pride and start voicing objections to the regulations already in place against wicked Big Tobacco and have a chance of stemming the flow of regulations their way, but risk getting a whole heap of grief for it; or only objecting to the same regulations, in a fairly easily-ignored NIMBY style, when they are applied to their productions and run the risk of watching their entire field of industry being slowly demolished by a group of single-issue zealots who happen not to like the products that they make?

    • Frank Davis says:

      they’ve manoeuvred other product manufacturers neatly into a corner

      I think they have manoeuvred all manufacturers into a corner. For what industry doesn’t give off a little bit of secondhand smoke, here or there? It’s the entirety of Western industrial civilisation that now has a gun being held to its head.

      They’re managing to make “industry” of any sort into something that is poisoning the Earth, killing the planet. That’s why Tobacco Control doesn’t like to be called an “industry”. And I think it’s also why they refer to tobacco companies as “the industry”, or even as simply “industry.” In blackening the name of the tobacco companies, they’re simultaneously blackening the name of every single industry on the planet.

  11. waltc says:

    From time to time over the years there’ve been studies showing that obesity is contagious–caused ostensibly by a virus which the researchers have claimed can be spread thru the air. (Never sit on a bus near a fatty with a cold?) Though that might let pasta and Pepsi off the hook, if it’s properly hyped, it could well make the overweight even more socially undesirable than smokers. For Their Own Good.

    • Rhys says:

      Oh, Walt. The stupidest of those was a study I read in the NEJM some years ago. Apparently your risk of obesity increases not only by being around fat people, but if you have a friend who moved away, then got fat, even if you haven’t seen him since he left, and he sends you a Christmas card – that also increases your risk of becoming obese.

      I wish I was making that up.

      All this medical porn, all the regulations, all the stupid lies, the abject misery created. Do sane societies do this? Covering everything from fag packets to candy bars with horrible images of human suffering and ‘black box’ warnings?

    • Emily Wieja says:

      I’ve also seen suggestions that obesity should be denormalized much like smoking, because the psychological impact of seeing other overweight people around apparently makes it “acceptable”, much like smoking:

      “When a close friend becomes obese, obesity may not look so bad.”

      “If kids see people smoking everywhere, the thinking goes, they’ll grow up believing the behavior is entirely normal and acceptable. And that social influence might as well be just as bad as the second-hand smoke.”

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