Imagining Non-Existent Dangers

H/T Smokingscot and Joe L for this Express quote:

Mr Selbie said: “It’s now hard to believe that back in 1974 almost half of adults smoked. But now an end really is in sight and we have a real opportunity to virtually eliminate all the harm, misery and death caused by smoking.“

I couldn’t help but think that this Selbie chap inhabits a different universe than I do. What he really seems to me to have been saying was more like this:

Mr Selbie said: “It’s now hard to believe that back in 1974 almost half of adults smoked. But now an end really is in sight and we have a real opportunity to virtually eliminate all the fun, happiness, and vibrant social life associated with smoking.“

Because I think that’s what he’s really doing.

For I don’t know of any harm or misery or death that has been caused by anyone smoking, at least in any of my circles of friends or acquaintances. In my personal experience, smoking is harmless both to me or to anybody else who smokes, and to anybody (children or animals included) who happens to be near anyone who is smoking.

In a flat I shared many years ago, the house cat would spend many, many hours sat on my knee in my tiny little smoke-filled room. She was almost a fixture, and would patiently wait for me to return whenever I went to take a leak, and would be waiting with one paw raised ready to jump back up when I returned, indifferent to the cigarette I’d then light a bare few inches above her head. And she lived to the age of 22 – a good age for a cat.

And when any smoker I knew stopped smoking, I never noticed any consequent health improvement in them – largely because they were in perfectly good health already.

As far as I’m concerned, the antismoking mindset is entirely one of imagining non-existent dangers in smoking. The same sort of mindset is evident in global warming alarmists who imagine non-existent dangers in carbon dioxide. The underlying mindset is one of imagining non-existent dangers everywhere. And so I can only suppose that the Selbies of the world live in world in which everything is fraught with peril, and even if they make themselves a cup of tea, they’re worried that they might scald themselves with boiling water, or accidentally gouge lumps of flesh out of themselves by injudicious movements of a teaspoon, or dislocate vertebrae while reaching down to pick up a pint of milk from the bottom shelf of the fridge. They must live in a state of constant fear of more or less everything, as far as I can see.

I don’t want to know such people. I think they are toxic people, and they pollute the world with their imaginary threats.

And they are highly selective about the imaginary threats they see. The smoke from a single cigarette wafting down a few storeys in a tower block they perceive as being a danger to everyone for miles around, but when a whole tower block clad in plastic catches fire like a Roman candle, they dismiss it as unimportant:

Public Health England moved to dampen fears about ongoing poisons in the air and a spokeswoman said there was “minimal wider risk to public health as a result of the smoke plume”. She said all smoke is toxic and could have affected those close to the scene but that no additional or unusual chemical fumes had been detected.

But what about the number of packets of cigarettes or tobacco that went up in smoke in that awful inferno? Didn’t that add the necessary additional or unusual chemical fumes to make it into lethal secondhand tobacco smoke? When I lived in Devon, and regularly lit garden bonfires, I always added the contents of a few ashtrays to the blaze to ensure that the smoke plume billowing across the surrounding fields would kill off most of the insects and birds and foxes and deer and cattle in them. I regarded myself as performing a public fumigation service, and would occasionally wonder if I might demand a modest fee for it from surrounding farmers, should they have themselves survived.

And if “all smoke is toxic” that will of course include the smoke of every car or truck exhaust, and every candle in a dim-lit restaurant, and every incense thurible in a Roman Catholic church.

Pah!! Pah!! Pah to the lot of them!!

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About Frank Davis

smoker
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44 Responses to Imagining Non-Existent Dangers

  1. nisakiman says:

    For I don’t know of any harm or misery or death that has been caused by anyone smoking, at least in any of my circles of friends or acquaintances. In my personal experience, smoking is harmless both to me or to anybody else who smokes, and to anybody (children or animals included) who happens to be near anyone who is smoking.

    Same as that, Frank.

    I often find myself questioning comments on articles where the commenter states that he’s lost x number of family members to lung cancer or whatever, always of course because they smoked. I point out that to lose one member of your family to LC is very unlucky, given that it’s quite a rare disease, but to claim to have lost three or four (and I’ve come across a lot of commenters claiming this – always virulent antis, of course) stretches the bounds of belief. Naturally the response is bluster and TC soundbites.

    But like you, I don’t know anyone who has suffered as a result of their smoking. All four of my kids were brought up in a smoking environment, and the various pets too, and none of them have had any adverse effects from it. Which is exactly what I would expect.

    The ‘dangers’ are, as you say, purely in the imaginations of the believers of TC propaganda.

  2. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Selbie has proved himself by his utterances to be a complete idiot and a nasty control freak to boot.

  3. Two things…
    1) Re: “And if “all smoke is toxic” that will of course include the smoke of every car or truck exhaust, and every candle in a dim-lit restaurant, and every incense thurible in a Roman Catholic church.”

    The “Church I grew up in,” i.e. St. Saviour’s Parish in Brooklyn, was built somewhere back around 1900ish and the walls were covered with very dark and mysterious religious paintings. Well, they WERE dark and mysterious until some point in the 1970s when the church underwent extensive cleaning to get rid of decades of candle-soot buildup! Then it turned out that the paintings were actually bright and vibrant!

    And this note from “Brains”:

    “Research by the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan revealed that the level of an incense chemical believed to cause lung cancer was 40 times higher in a temple than in places where people smoked tobacco! … churches that use it, notably the Catholic Church, said use was so minimal that any risk to congregations was inconsequential (Alan Samson.NewsMax08/20/01)”

    2) Regarding London’s Grefell fire tragedy, a note from “Brains” regarding 9/11 in NYC:

    ===
    NY — A vast choking plume of smoke from the … World Trade Center has engulfed much of lower Manhattan…. Federal health officials say the fumes…pose no serious hazard to the millions of people breathing them…. (According to the EPA) “The good news for the residents of New York is that the air, while smoky, is not dangerous. There are dangers of smoke from the fire, of course, but it is not something we would classify as toxic.” — LA Times 09/15/01
    ===

    Right. Thousands of computer terminals and tens of thousands of tons of toxic insulation and building materials and plastic stuff out the wazoo, but “it is not something we would classify as toxic.”

    The portion of the main plume visible in this pic is roughly 25 miles long: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/09/09/article-2035503-0DCA0F4000000578-48_964x712.jpg

    It was just a little over a year later that Mayor Bloomturd banned smoking in NY bars to “protect the employees.”

    – MJM

    • RdM says:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/70903751/fire-likely-to-burn-for-days

      Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Alistair Humphrey said the fire at Burwood Resource Recovery Park was unlikely to cause any health issues at this stage.

      “The fire is being fuelled by untreated wood and is not dangerous from a public health point of view,” Humphrey said.

      “However, any kind of smoke is undoubtedly a nuisance and people should avoid exposure where possible by staying indoors and closing windows and doors.”

        • Joe L. says:

          So giant plumes of thick black smoke from inorganic building materials such as insulation and plastics (and synthetic rubber, in the case of the tires) that engulf entire towns are deemed harmless and nothing more than a “nuisance,” but miniscule amounts of white-blue smoke from organic plant material is regarded as one of the deadliest substances known to man. It amazes me that people continue to accept this contradictory, hypocritical bullshit.

      • ““The fire is being fuelled by untreated wood and is not dangerous from a public health point of view,” So I guess Humphrey would fall in with the school that says smoking “untreated tobacco” isn’t dangerous then? Interesting. I wonder what the rest of Canterbury’s Medical Office of Health thinks about that?
        -MJM

        • RdM says:

          Interesting figures here! (and info throughout the site)
          http://woodsmoke.3sc.net/wood-vs-cigarette-smoke

          Wood smoke is terrible… there is a single residential use dwelling in a row of ground level shops about five storeys below my balcony who have installed a wood burner… when it comes straight up, or toward me & neighbours (prevailing westerlies), it’s unbearable for more than a few seconds outside, especially when starting up. And they’re smoking er burning “good” natural wood, dried cut rounds with the bark still on… !

          Humphrey seems an interesting character who has led a colourful life… I wonder even if he’s been a smoker himself!
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/9488731/Health-leader-hits-back-over-nitrates

        • Amazing! 1kg of wood puts out the same CO as 6 *MILLION* cigarettes?

        • RdM says:

          Thanks for looking, and commenting, Michael.

          It relates too to the barbecue aspect
          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3106039.stm
          A study by the French environmental campaigning group Robin des Bois found that a typical two-hour barbecue can release the same level of dioxins as up to 220,000 cigarettes.

          I don’t have the link to that study but I’m sure it’s easily found. (it’s old news I know.)
          I should be taking notes, using Zotero or so or some such, building up a database.
          Life can be all a bit overwhelming in itself, let alone having the anti-tabacers on top!

          I should search out your email;- some other things I’d like, love to discuss with you.
          But apart from more considered email discussions, what about a video appearance?
          Considered dropping in ahem appearing in appear.in? (Loose as it may be yet!?)

          Cheers for now, & best wishes! ~ RdM

  4. Emily Wieja says:

    Speaking of imagining non-existent dangers (or more likely more social engineering) – the Providence, Rhode Island city council has now overridden the mayor’s veto of the downtown smoking ban:

    http://turnto10.com/politics/elorza-extremely-disappointed-providence-city-council-overrides-veto-of-smoking-ban

    It is interesting to note that the ACLU, who have been largely silent about the treatment and rights of smokers, weighed in, saying “Our concern is this is really an ordinance not about public health but about kicking people out of Kennedy Plaza for who they are.” but I suspect that what “who they are” is referring to is the homeless, not the larger class of smokers themselves.

    • nisakiman says:

      “Our concern is this is really an ordinance not about public health but about kicking people out of Kennedy Plaza for who they are.”

      The way the article reads, it is definitely the ‘homeless people’ who are the concern of the ACLU. This seems to be a classic case of cognitive dissonance, since kicking out smokers is equally a case of ‘kicking out people for who they are’, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if there were no homeless people to be found in Kennedy Plaza, you wouldn’t hear a peep out of the ACLU. Because smokers are now by definition ‘non-people’.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      It;s time to boycott businesses in Providence and to support any smokers seeking to vote out their bigoted city council.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Supporters have said the ban is aimed at protecting the public from secondhand smoke.
      Digging up the passive smoke lie again…. passive smoke must have gotten a hell-of-a-lot more “dangerous” than when this anti-smoking nonsense started because now there is “danger” from a smoker OUTDOORS. Wow!

      O/T
      This morning as I was extending my water pipes in the kitchen I listened to some weird report about how societies will continued to be fragmented. I didn’t pay much attention as I was making sure all connections on the pipes were REALLY tight and that I hadn’t missed anything. Just as I stood up and thought that I’d give switching on the mains again, I heard: “… in future it will be good to be part of a community. Alone, no-one will be able to survive.”
      On my way to the mains stop tap I thought that I’ll stick with the smokers’ community in that case. All the others will be too pre-occupied with being scared of something or the other.
      (The plumbing worked wonderfully after turning on the stop tap and I sent a huge Thank You to heaven :) )

    • Exactly. Smoking bans allow discrimination against the “Undesirables” without having to specify the Undesirables in question. When they were first coming into Philly they were used to bump the tramps out of the underground transit areas in the winters without getting a lot of bad press. And a local McDonald’s manager in the mid 90s pointed out to me that they no longer had to deal with the coffee-nursing, heavy-smoking senior citizen and “on the wagon” war vets who used to take up tables on hot and cold days. I’ve often wondered how many fell off those wagons when they returned to Legion and VFW posts and how many just ended up staying at home alone and vegging in front of their TVs till they passed on. :/

      – MJM

  5. Vlad says:

    gogd.tjs-labs.com/pictures/pall-life-08-02-1937-999-M5.jpg

  6. Vlad says:

    Teenagers should stop rolling their cannabis joints with tobacco if they don’t want cancer, an expert has warned. Ian Hamilton, a weed researcher based at York University, suggested youngsters should instead smoke the drug on its own if they want to get high.

    Tobacco is linked to 17 types of cancer, including lung, throat and bladder – and is deemed to be the most preventable form of the disease. But no such links to cancer have ever been found with the herb, meaning users are risking their long-term health by mixing it with tobacco.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4581560/Teens-stop-rolling-cannabis-joints-tobacco.html

    I guess this ‘researcher’ couldn’t tell the difference between his ass and his assets.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      I guess he missed the fact that the composition of cannabis and tobacco smoke is nearly the same.

      • Lamp, yes, they never want to admit that. How they can consider themselves scientists is beyond me.

        • Joe L. says:

          The majority of the pro-legalization-of-cannabis crowd conveniently ignore this fact, as well. I’ve encountered people who claim that smoking tobacco causes cancer while simultaneously claiming that smoking marijuana cures cancer.

    • ” no such links to cancer have ever been found with the herb, ” Ass and assets indeed. The European Respiratory Journal would beg to disagree. See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2516340/ where they found 1 joint per day for a year increased lung cancer by 8% while 1 *PACK* of cigarettes/day increased it by 7%.

      I don’t really agree with either statistic (although I do believe there’s some linkage) but a blanket statement that links have “(n)ever been found” is ridiculous.

      – MJM

  7. Dr Evil says:

    Don’t be silly. Taking in to your body a load of foreign chemicals that are not required, just for a few minutes pleasure regularly, is daft. You don’t need to do this. You inflict it on yourself. But you are free to do so, or not. It’s as it should be, a matter of personal choice.

    • Frank Davis says:

      You’re right. I just inflicted on myself a half dozen Polish meat dumplings with tomato sauce and Spanish olives. They’re obviously full of a load of foreign chemicals: Polish chemicals, Spanish chemicals. God only knows how many chemicals there are in dumplings. The black olives were probably full of carbon. And I really didn’t need to do it. It felt good as I was spooning it in, but now I’m feeling bloated and drowsy, and I may have to lie down. Maybe a beer would help.

      • smokingscot says:

        Oh and do be so very careful Frank the boogie man doth pop up in synthetic pong.

        I wouldn’t describe it as a fascinating read (just a quick glance’ll do).

        They say that scented candles and that crap cheap perfume (makes me gag and proves my sense of smell has not vanished). Your detergent, your jammies, your sheets. THEY’RE ALL OUT TO GIVE YOU CANCER!

        https://branchbasics.com/blog/2015/01/fragrance-is-the-new-secondhand-smoke/

        And something rather interesting. They say:

        “The emerging awareness of this very “volatile” situation reveals problems much more pervasive and dangerous than tobacco smoke.”

        How brave, or stupid, trying to tar all the industries that make this junk.

        But there is one that’s wonderfully amusing: air fresheners! Almost obligatory in a snowflakes’ apartment, and they put them in their cars on the air vent outlets and they have them hanging from their rear view mirrors!

        Betya ASH’s got them in their loo (love the ones on the wall that jet out synthetic pong every couple of minutes)!

        • beobrigitte says:

          Smokingscot, hilarious find!!
          Instead of being medicinal, today’s fragranced products are associated with diabetes, obesity, autism, ADD/ADHD and hormone disruption.1 Sadly, the person wearing or using the fragrance is not the only one affected. Synthetic fragrance affects air quality for those sharing the space as well.
          From pure to perverse, it is twisted irony that the word fragrance has now gained infamy as the new secondhand smoke when the etymology of the word perfume comes from the Latin phrase, “per” meaning “through” and “fumus” meaning “smoke”.

          Doesn’t this sound somehow familiar?
          Double whammy for me – love my scented candles and cigarettes.
          How on earth have I managed to live to my age????

          I know…. I shouldn’t be so unkind and laugh about this obviously out-of-her-scull scared Marilee. If she proves that I’m not alive anymore, I’ll read the rest of that utter nonsense.

        • Frank Davis says:

          H/T TBD, I’ve just received from Germany the Papier d’Armenie I ordered a few days ago. You light the paper and let it smoulder until it’s all burned. It produces quite a lot of rather delicious-smelling SMOKE, that faintly reminded me of incense.

        • smokingscot says:

          @ beobrigitte

          Hey nothing like a good chortle at out of her skull.

          Oh and let’s not forget the instigator of this thread, with this:

          ” Taking in to your body a load of foreign chemicals that are not required, just for a few minutes pleasure regularly, is daft. You don’t need to do this. You inflict it on yourself.”

          Love to see “Dr. Evil” go voice his (unsolicited) advice to the folks at Superdrug, Semichem and of course Boots (this rot’s usually available at 3 for 2)!

        • “I know…. I shouldn’t be so unkind and laugh about this obviously out-of-her-scull scared Marilee.”

          She reminds me a bit of the gal from Scientific American I featured in TobakkoNacht’s thirdhand smoke section:

          “I’m a true believer in third-hand smoke, and I’m not even a child. At work I had to share a telephone with a smoker. I developed breathing problems, had a swelling in my mouth, and also had a “suspicious” breast biopsy. I started cleaning the phone off with “Wet Ones” wipes. My swelling went away, plus my breathing problems went away. Still have to be tested again to see if my biopsy is benign, ”

          Sheesh!

          – MJM

  8. garyk30 says:

    Name all of the things politicians say that we should be afraid of , and then, consider this:

    “In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.” — Coleridge

  9. beobrigitte says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the antismoking mindset is entirely one of imagining non-existent dangers in smoking. The same sort of mindset is evident in global warming alarmists who imagine non-existent dangers in carbon dioxide. The underlying mindset is one of imagining non-existent dangers everywhere.
    Is it imagining non-existent dangers or is it that frightened people (politicians are people, too, even though at times it is hard to believe that) are much easier to control than the happy-go-lucky ones?

    And they are highly selective about the imaginary threats they see. The smoke from a single cigarette wafting down a few storeys in a tower block they perceive as being a danger to everyone for miles around, but when a whole tower block clad in plastic catches fire like a Roman candle, they dismiss it as unimportant:

    Public Health England moved to dampen fears about ongoing poisons in the air and a spokeswoman said there was “minimal wider risk to public health as a result of the smoke plume”. She said all smoke is toxic and could have affected those close to the scene but that no additional or unusual chemical fumes had been detected.
    No additional or unusual chemical fumes had been detected? Really? Considering the contents of an average household this is a miracle!! Also, I do wonder how many packets of cigarettes fell victim to the fire. (Remember, it takes the sight of a smoker in the streets for an “expert” to screech “Danger!!!!” in the mass media.)
    Btw, the BBC reported the anger of residents of the building. The cladding used for that high rise was £2/panel cheaper than the fire safe ones. Is the government (local + national) short of cash?
    Perhaps it is high time to kick out the leeches i.e. ASH and use this money for USEFUL purposes?

  10. Dirk says:

    German ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl dies aged 87.
    In 2015, Wolfgand Blau, a journalist working for The Guardian, wrote: he sent me to the other side of the room to get myself a pack of cigarettes. Not one cigarette, but a whole pack – it was little surprise to learn that he was estimated to have smoked one every seven minutes throughout his life. In his office, in a building where no one was supposed to smoke any more, Schmidt had a very large porcelain bowl filled with dozens of packs of menthol cigarettes.(https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2015/nov/11/helmut-schmidt-my-chain-smoking-father-figure)
    And here http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/air-smoking-by-german-chancellor-270047 the haters: COLOGNE, Germany – Anti-smoking groups have attacked German public broadcaster ARD for allowing former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt to smoke on-air throughout an interview on one of the country’s leading talk shows. The politician, chancellor of Germany from 1974-1982, is a notorious chain smoker and is rarely seen without a cigarette on his lips.

    Schmidt cheerfully puffed his way through an on-air interview broadcast by ARD Sunday night. He even commented on his habit, attributing his mental fitness at such an advanced age to “lots and lots of cigarettes.”

    For Germany’s anti-smoking lobby, that went too far. The group Forum Rauchfrei have filed a formal complaint against ARD director Monika Piel, accusing her and her channel of violating anti-smoking legislation, which forbids smoking in the workplace. The group claims Schmidt’s puffing put the health of the studio crew and audience at risk.

    This isn’t the first time Schmidt has been targeted by anti-smoking groups. Shortly after smoking was banned in public buildings in Germany, the ex-chancellor was charged with bodily harm for smoking at an event in a theater in Hamburg. The charges were later dropped.

  11. Dirk says:

    Sorry for the confusion. There are indeed two Helmut, both smokers, both ex-chancellors.

  12. junican says:

    One day soon, a ‘State’ will refuse to pay its contribution to the FCTC. In fact, lots of ‘States’ have never paid a penny. They signed up but never paid their dues. One can imagine the conversation, “Sign the Treaty! You will receive benefits! Not signing the Treaty is stupid!” It is the big contributors who are important. Japan is one, but Japan does not enforce strict compliance.
    Why is Japan continuing to waste its citizens money on such a corrupt organisation whilst ignoring its blandishments?
    It has always been obvious, when you think about it, that unaccountable organisations will become corrupt. What is really important is that the UK, USA, France, Germany, etc, have been asleep.
    What can be done?
    It is simple. The WHO should be forced out of Geneva and into Somalia, or some such place. Let us see then how many ‘experts’ want to live there. Let the UN be relocated to Venezuela or Bolivia or Liberia.
    They need to be forced to put their money where their mouths are.

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