Why Are They All So Nasty?

They all seem to be such nasty people in Tobacco Control.

Everything they do is nasty. Smoking bans are nasty things: exiling people to the outdoors is a very nasty thing to do to anybody. And the No Smoking signs that come with smoking bans are nasty, bossy, bullying things. Banning smoking outdoors is an even nastier thing to do: it’s nastiness piled on top of nastiness. So-called “plain packaging” is nasty: it boils down to writing insults all over the products smokers buy.

Is there anything these people do that is ever nice? Does Deborah Arnott look after lost puppies? Does Stanton Glantz play Santa Claus at Christmas? I can’t think of a single nice thing that any of them have ever done.

In fact, I can’t even imagine them being nice to each other. I can only suppose that at their numerous conferences they’re always slyly and cleverly insulting each other almost as much as they’re insulting and demeaning smokers.

What causes such nastiness? One explanation is that they’re all so absolutely certain about what they believe. They never seem to have any doubt. They know that Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, and they know it with complete and perfect certainty. And because they’re so certain, they can’t even begin to entertain the idea that they might be wrong, and that other people might be right, or even that other people might have a point of view that’s worth listening to. No. They’re right, and everyone else is wrong. And everyone else needs to be educated by them, in a one-way megaphone flow of knowledge.

“Smoking Kills”, it says on my tobacco packet. It’s a statement of complete and perfect certainty. They could have written “Smoking Might Kill”, which would allow that smoking sometimes might not kill you. But no, they can’t have that, and so they come up with the the absolute cast iron certainty of “Smoking Kills”, No question about it. Not a shadow of a doubt.

I’m never that certain about anything. Everything I think is hypothetical. In fact it seems to me that all thought is necessarily hypothetical. What if this? What if that? I’m never quite sure of anything. And I think that for as long as I go on thinking about anything, I’ll never be certain about anything.

Over the past couple of days I’ve been setting out some of the ideas I’ve been having about ice ages: That hill forts were islands that emerged from slowly melting ice sheets. That megalithic structures like standing stones and barrows and dolmens held up overlying ice sheets. Both those ideas are hypotheses. It could be that the ice sheets were just heaps of slush that no stone could ever hold up. In fact it’s likely that slush is exactly what the ice sheets ended up as. And so neither of these two hypotheses has any sort of certainty attached to them. They’re could-be, maybe sorts of ideas. They’re dunno, not-sure sorts of ideas.

A year or so back, while I was buying some tobacco in a shop somewhere, I remarked to the shop assistant that all the warnings on cigarette packs were a bit over the top. And she replied saying that the warnings were perfectly right, and smoking did kill. And as she said it she gazed at me with steady, big, blue, perfectly certain eyes. She had no doubt about it whatsoever. None. And I wondered how she could be so perfectly certain. Had she been initiated into some secret knowledge that had been kept from poor, sad, sorry, uncertain people like me? Is certainty communicated with an assured level gaze? When people are unsure, their eyes shift around. When they’re sure, their eyes remain fixed. For certainty is fixity. Perhaps this is how fixed certainty is transmitted from one person to another: what is being said to them is said with such certainty and conviction that the certainty and conviction is transmitted from the speaker to the listener, and the listener becomes convinced as well. The listener becomes spellbound. And somebody had told that shop assistant one day that smoking killed, and had said it with such complete conviction that she had believed them, and had believed it ever since.

The odd thing about these antismokers with their perfect certainties is that the reasoning on which their beliefs have been erected is of a probabilistic, statistical character. And in probability theory there is no such thing as perfect certainty. There is only extreme improbability. Or, as one famous scientist once said, it’s possible that a kettle could boil of its own accord, without a gas flame being lit under it, but it’s very highly improbable. But perhaps some of these statistical thinkers start to think that, when something becomes very likely, it becomes absolutely certain. On one of my growing collection of tobacco health warnings, it’s written: Smoking causes 9 out of 10 lung cancers. And I suspect that whoever put that on the packet thought that it was as good as saying that smoking causes all lung cancers. And that’s where they get their certainty from: rounding up 9 to 10.

But once they’ve achieved perfect certainty, they can then be as nasty as they like. They know they’re right. They know that “the debate is over” (another expression of certitude). And that’s why they see their job as one of communicating their certainty to poor, dumb smokers. And that’s why they have such boundless contempt for them. As they see it, smokers need to be told, and told over and over again, until they finally get the message. And if it’s necessary to drive them outdoors to help ram home the message, then that’s just what needs to be done. The last thing they’ll ever do is listen to any smoker, because listening supposes that someone may have something to say that is worth hearing, and the convinced antismoker already knows everything he needs to know.

Perhaps this seeming strength of  antismokers – their certainty – is their greatest weakness. Perhaps their perfect certainty is eggshell thin.

About Frank Davis

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21 Responses to Why Are They All So Nasty?

  1. irocyr says:

    Nah Frank. Although some of them may have been brainwashed and believe it, I think the higher ranks are just sustaining their careers. The money is good and easy. And if they were so certain and convinced, they would have pushed harder for prohibition or at the very least a legal age for use and possession. Either way, I don’t know how they sleep at night !

  2. beobrigitte says:

    They all seem to be such nasty people in Tobacco Control.
    Although the healthist advocates follow Tobacco Control’s blue print, they haven’t achieved the level of Tobacco Control’s nastiness – as yet.
    To them all it appears perfectly fine to incite hate towards anybody who does not wish to live the life style they so desperately want us to live.
    I can only assume that they are the most scared people in this world – fear not only clouds your rational mind, it also leads you into making rather selfish decisions.
    To me it seems idiocy to dangle the carrot of “living longer” in front of people’s noses. Firstly, we get almost constantly told that: 1. the planet is overpopulated with humans and 2. that old people are a drain on society’s funds. How does e.g. Deborah Arnott envisage her age at 80+ years? There is no guaranty that she will be of sound mind and physically able to run her household.
    Tobacco Control decides for all of us because Tobacco Control is scared of what eventually comes naturally for us all – death, and because they are scared we are being told to be scared, too. So it’s best to treat smokers as third class citizens, hide them (us) from public view.

    Perhaps this seeming strength of antismokers – their certainty – is their greatest weakness. Perhaps their perfect certainty is eggshell thin.
    I believe it is – because their certainty is based on fear.
    Someone recently said: “The less you fear the more you enjoy being alive”.

    What if all the healthists peddle more fear and no-one listens to them?

  3. virtualbarman says:

    I think brainwashing as irocryr said…

    I’ve argued with many anti-smokers on various forums over the years and something becomes clear – they have a consistent set of ‘values’….

    Hate smoking
    Hate Trump
    Hate Farage
    Hate Brexit
    Love Immigrants
    Love NHS
    Love any Nanny State imposition on their lives

    And when you argue with them you realise they all get their ‘news’ from the same sources, the BBC, The Independent (hahaha), Guardian, Yahoo, etc. One bloke I used to argue with (until banned) would even cut pages out of ‘his’ newspaper, highlight the bits that supported his point of view and then scan them in so he could post them as definitive evidence that he was right…

    And any source that disagrees with their viewpoint is attacked – not the argument, just the source.

    The fact is that these people will NEVER see, hear, or read anything that doesn’t conform to their world view. There is no arguing or convincing them.

    I’m not sure what he answer is…

    • Frank Davis says:

      Another one of their values, and perhaps one which would explain some of the other values you list, is:

      They believe authorities.

      They particularly believe long-established authorities. e.g. BBC, Independent, Guardian, the government, the EU, the UN, the WHO, the BMA.

      And maybe that’s where they get their certainty from. It’s not really their certainty: it’s someone else’s certainty. They place their trust in authorities. And they hate people who don’t trust or believe these authorities.

      • Joe L. says:

        They place their trust in authorities. And they hate people who don’t trust or believe these authorities.

        And I believe that hatred stems from a fear of discovering that the authorities that they have long believed and trusted have been misleading them if not outright lying to them. Their entire belief system would come crashing down. Rather than dealing with the consequences, they deny the possibility and agressively defend their beliefs.

  4. smokingscot says:

    IMO the one that comes closest to their real mindset is the chap in NZ who suggested sterilising Maori mothers who smoke in front of their children.

    No Sir, I kid you not.


    • Latus Dextro says:

      Speaking of NZ, several years ago I was presenting to their National Health Committee on an unrelated subject. The discussion moved to how to present a particular public message and someone said, “what we need is a message like ‘smoking kills’.” I went into bat leaning into the wind, and said, “no it doesn’t.” Pin dropping silence. I went on to say, “it may raise the risk of a number of ailments, but it does not kill. Were it guaranteed to kill, it would indeed be hard to find a smoker. Suicide is not a usual behaviour.” More pin dropping silence. The chair of the committee then leaned forward and said, “well we won that one didn’t we.” At the same time it was clear that adopting a similar lie for our project was out of the question. Why? Simple. Because no one would buy it.
      The imprimatur to lie about smoking was tacit by the late 1970’s. Thereafter, it was open slather to marketeers, the overpaid sloganista and the policy-based evidence mongers. The cult of virtue signalling healthism got underway. Lycra and aerobics was in. Now, thoroughly institutionalised it is also the province of the UN, health and safety, the Left Globalista and sundry others exponentially bent on control. In fact, it’s now almost politically incorrect to die from anything other than in your sleep, or during a gym workout. If you die and you are overweight or a smoker, the “I told you so” chorus reaches a crescendissimo of self-righteous faux-indignation. Phuck-you. I am 90 years old and I have the right to die freely and without judgement.
      In a notionally free society, those who wish are free to engage in constraining activities. There is no opposite position. There are few people seeking yet greater freedom. The tendency therefore is to drift in the direction of constraint until the next tiresome revolution or war.
      I think we’re approximating peak constraint. Let us pray there is no war, only a decisive reassertion of freedom as recently expressed by the US & DJT, Brexit, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Bavaria, and the Visigrad nations. But we’re skating on very thin ice.

      • RdM says:

        As a recent pensioner in NZ, glad to hear from you!
        (Only discovered by accident, looking back through old articles!)
        You certainly seem to be “On the right side” !

        Was that a Health Select Committee?
        I wonder when, and on what Bill or consultation?

        It’s surprising that so many want to take up the ‘Tobacco Template’ when clearly it hasn’t been ‘won’ at all… and ‘unforeseen consequences’ are abounding and increasing.

        But considering the shallowness of consideration by MP’s and unwillingness to investigate or check the ‘evidence’ presented by single issue pressure groups – tobacco, alcohol, sugar &etc. – because it’s all so “sciencey” and”we don’t have the resources” and “we’re too busy” to check … and it’s accepted at face value;- perhaps not so surprising.

        Thanks for your response!

  5. Oi you says:

    It’s almost like a mental illness. Delusional, sociopathic, narcissistic? I’m sure a shrink would label it as something like that. What about Narcissistic Personality Disorder with sociopathic tendencies!? Only they are willing to kill people to achieve their social utopia. There is a distinct leaning towards eugenics now. Rather like the Nazis, they want to cleanse society of anything that pollutes or gets in the way of their aims.

    What gets me most is that they truly believe they are building a brave new world. Not one which the rest of us will ever be invited to live in, mind. It’s just for them.


  6. Smoking Lamp says:

    I agree with may of the comments above. Antismokers are driven by fear of death and rejection. They want live forever and be part of the in crowd. That’s why they loudly trumpet the accepted party line. Their statements are virtue seeking artifacts of conformity. Never mind the case they seek to conform with was once a deviant minority of extremists. They are in the majority now and a combination of narcissism and groupthink replaces objective facts. Intolerance replaced tolerance; and for the controlling class power and profit reinforce their mindset.

    The evidence used to demonize smoking does not add up in many ways. The studies that do present negative effects are usually meta-analyses that cherry pick their results and reject all dissenting findings. The buses and confounding factors in these reports renders them near objects of faith rather than objective science. That is why the antismoking elite holds their meetings in private, eschewing transparency and brutally attacks anyone that dare dissent or show the flaws and gaps in their alleged data and analysis. On the topic of nastiness, I suspect the masses that have become brainwashed react from fear. They don’t like their worldview to be challenged because that returns the state of fear that accompanies uncertainty. Religious and political fanatics are driven by that fear of losing their privileged position in their chosen social order. They get nasty and violent because they can’t tolerate the possibility that they are wrong. They miss the obvious fact that if you have to brutally quell all dissent to your position you are likely wrong in the first place. This fallacy is pervasive throughout tobacco control.

    The intensity of their attacks appears to be growing in intensity as the ‘evidence’ they used to justify bans starts to fall apart. As so-called smoking-related diseases rise in non-smokers (including lung cancer and asthma) they run the risk of their shell game being exposed; that imposes and urgency on imposing bans. At the higher levels hey have a lucrative empire to protect and at the lower levels the fear of embarrassment fuels the desire to double down on intolerance and thus the alleged broad support for smoking bans. The support for bans is illusory as it is nowhere as broad as the antismokers insist which fuels their need to suppress dissent.

    The certainty of their position is indeed a fragile egg shell. It has been broken before (after the fist round of smoking bans in the early 20th Century) and will be broken again. Exposing their lies and exaggerations will hasten the demise of the intolerant worldview that forms the foundation of their persecution of smokers.

  7. Smoking Lamp says:

    Maybe the cracks are starting? Just saw this from Scotland In South Ayrshire the local council is seeking to lift a three-year old outside smoking ban because of the economic harm to pubs.

    See “Ban on smoking outside cafes could be ditched” at the Daily Record. The article states:

    “A law banning smoking outside cafes could be binned within weeks. South Ayrshire councillors will launch a bid to scrap their own controversial rule, the Post can reveal.We told last week how the three-year-old policy is being labelled a threat to small businesses.”


    • churchmouse says:

      Thanks for the link.

      I hope the repeal goes through. As the article says, there are plenty of amicable solutions.

      • Joe L. says:

        There have always existed plenty of amicable solutions to both outdoor and indoor smoking. The problem is Tobacco Control has never wanted to be amicable. Their goal is make life as difficult as possible for smokers (and vapers, because they resemble smokers) and they couldn’t care less about the collateral damage they cause to businesses, communities and families in the process.

        That said, I also hope they pass the repeal, and it becomes the catalyst for similar repeals of smoking bans worldwide. Tobacco Control must be destroyed.

        • churchmouse says:

          I agree 100% with all your points, especially your conclusion.

          ‘The problem is Tobacco Control has never wanted to be amicable.’ Tell me about it (i.e. don’t). We smokers know only too well.

  8. jaxthefirst says:

    I still believe that all their certainties are temporary, mainly because they are largely built upon sand. The ultimate enemy of all those who lie is time, particularly those whose lies have a predictive element, as anti-smokers’ do. It’s one of the reasons why religion took a downturn after being the “ultimate authority” for centuries. Because, over time, false promises and predictions will, quite simply, stubbornly refuse to come true. We’re already seeing this with the dramatic rise in lung cancers in never-smokers, correlating as it does almost exactly with the drop in the number of people smoking and, as an inevitable result, less ETS around to blame it on – leading to the uncomfortable question (if only someone was brave enough to ask it) that maybe, just maybe, far from causing lung cancer, smoking (including ETS) might actually have been preventing it in many people, which it now can’t do.

    But even if people can’t bring themselves to admit there’s a connection (mostly purely to protect their pride – no-one likes to admit that they’ve been taken in by a confidence trick), at the very least they must inevitably begin to see that the connection between smoking and lung cancer, if it exists at all, is actually far less concrete than they’ve been brought up to believe, simply because they’ll know so many never-smokers who have got it. Already I know several people who have spoken of recently-departed or diagnosed non-smoking acquaintances of supposedly smoking-related diseases, along the lines of: “It just goes to show that you never know what’s round the corner, doesn’t it? Bill never smoked in his life and yet he still goes and gets lung cancer!” Although that sounds like an innocuous comment, it’s actually one small step away from the mantra, and every long journey starts with just one step as they say. I also believe that that’s one reason why all of Tobacco Control’s latest ideas turn out to be something of a damp squib these days, far from the heady days of breathless excitement every time some new smoker-persecution was announced. People are now, whether they admit it or not, starting to rumble them.

    Anti-smoking’s days, like the days of the ultimate authority of the Church, cannot help but be numbered. That’s what happens when you lie to people and make promises which you can’t possibly keep. Essentially, given enough time, the truth will always “out.”

    • churchmouse says:

      Except I am concerned about PM May’s plans for increased NHS contributions:


      ‘The Prime Minister acknowledged that the public will have to pay “a bit more” in tax in order to fund the extra £394 million a week going to the NHS in England in 2023/24.’

      That, for sure, will be raised through even more tax on tobacco.

      (Not all of us go on ‘baccy trips overseas.)

      • beobrigitte says:

        Under the plans:

        – NHS funding will grow on average by 3.4% in real terms each year from 2019/20 to 2023/24

        – By 2023/24 the NHS England budget will have increased by £20.5 billion in real terms compared with today – an extra £394 million a week

        – An additional £1.25 billion each year will cover pensions pressures

        – Extra cash will be made available to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland under the Barnett formula.

        Mrs May did not reveal how all the money would be raised, but said Chancellor Philip Hammond would set out the details “in due course”.

        Considering the consistently decreasing rate of smokers over 5 years
        I do wonder why the NHS (government) is so worried when smokers die “prematurely” (no “bed blockers”, savings on pension pay out etc.).
        What exactly is the NHS (government) spending it’s money on? On managers who do not understand the concept of care? On the ever increasing number of youngsters long term signed off work due to mental illness? On NHS staff suffering from burn-out syndrome? On over 55 year old NHS staff being “nudged” out of their jobs?

        WHERE in all this do smokers fit in?

        That, for sure, will be raised through even more tax on tobacco.

        (Not all of us go on ‘baccy trips overseas.)
        Baccy trips overseas will come with a legal limit of tobacco in your luggage. The extra cash made by people having to buy expensive tobacco will be required for extra staff and equipment in order to fight the black market.

        Fear of not accumulating own wealth within 4 years in power leads politicians to terribly short-sighted decisions?

    • RdM says:



      Anti-smokers, Anti-Tobacco, Tobacco control have often talked and written of hoping to achieve a “tipping point”.

      Brainwashing non-smokers to hopefully become “anti-smokers”.

      Perhaps the tide is already turning back, can be seen to be so more widely…

  9. Rose says:

    Meanwhile, in the last week a large dam has broken and the British public have seen for themselves that “no medical use” for cannabis is an official lie.

    “The long-awaited decision by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) keeps intact a 1970 law that lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, one defined as having no medical value.”

    “the UK government, saying they have “consistently refused to allow medical cannabis in the UK on the basis that it has ‘no therapeutic value'”.

    After having no seizures for 300 days on a clinical trial in Canada, shortly after his medicine is confiscated at the airport, he starts having seizures again and ends up in hospital, as the whole country was watching via the BBC news, the response was swift.

    Cannabis oil row: Epileptic boy has supply returned after Home Office u-turn
    Jun 16, 2018

    “AN EPILEPTIC boy has been given back his medicinal cannabis oil in a major u-turn by the Home Office after it was confiscated from his mother at customs.”

    “In a statement, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This morning, I’ve used an exceptional power as home secretary to urgently issue a licence to allow Billy Caldwell to be treated with cannabis oil.
    “This is a very complex situation, but our immediate priority is making sure Billy receives the most effective treatment possible in a safe way.
    “We have been in close contact with Billy’s medical team overnight and my decision is based on the advice of senior clinicians who have made clear this is a medical emergency.
    “The policing minister met with the family on Monday and since then has been working to reach an urgent solution.”

    Now I freely admit that I know nothing about cannabis, but I’m convinced that it does have medicinal value just from watching the result of it having been taken away and the rapid recovery when the medicine was given back.

    Cannabis oil row: Billy Caldwell discharged from hospital

    “A boy with severe epilepsy, who was admitted to hospital after his medical cannabis oil was confiscated, has been discharged.
    Billy Caldwell, 12, was treated with the drug in hospital after the Home Office granted a 20-day licence for the use of the banned substance.”

    What happens after that when anti-cannabis has had time to get it’s excuses in, I have no idea.

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