For Me It’s Personal

Taking Liberties:

Chris Mann, presenter, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: First up my guest Simon Clark joins me this morning in the studio from the Cambridgeshire based pro-smoking pressure group Forest financed by the tobacco companies.

Simon Clark, director, Forest: Indeed, but we’re pro-choice not pro-smoking.

Chris Mann: But that means, in this case, pro-smoking. Presumably you want people to carry on buying and smoking cigarettes?

Simon Clark: No, not at all because I don’t sell cigarettes. I simply want to defend those people who choose to smoke. It’s an adult activity, it’s a legal product, and people should be allowed to do it if they want to.

Chris Mann: It is an odd thing, isn’t it, that people know it’s doing them a lot of harm. We spend so much of our lives trying to live longer and protect ourselves and avoid danger and here is this thing, this very popular thing, that people do knowing that it’s going to potentially kill them.

Simon Clark: Yes, but we do lots of things in life that can be potentially harmful. I mean, you look at extreme sports, people who drink too much, people like me who are overweight because we eat the wrong type of food. The reason a lot of people do it is because they get pleasure from doing it, and one of the things in the smoking debate that people have forgotten about, because we never hear about it any more, is the fact that many people smoke because they enjoy it, they get pleasure from it, and they put pleasure ahead of the potential health risks.

Reading the transcript (there’s quite a lot more), I thought Chris Mann came over as aggressive and bullying, and Simon Clark as very courteous and polite.

I couldn’t help thinking that, in his shoes, I would have very likely hit back hard at Mann. I’d have probably sworn at the little bastard.

But Simon Clark is doing a job, for which he is paid. It’s important that he be courteous and polite. And he doesn’t smoke. So for him it’s not personal. But I’m fighting a war, and I’m a volunteer in that war. And I smoke. To me, someone like Chris Mann is simply The Enemy. And the BBC is The Enemy as well. And for me it’s personal.

I’ll never actually appear on any radio show anyway. A few years back I would occasionally get invitations – usually at very short notice – to speak about smoking on one show or other. I always turned them down.

As I see it now, I’m simply not part of their world any more. I’m not welcome there. I was expelled from it 12½ years ago, and I’m never going back. And I don’t want to belong to their nasty, bullying world anyway. I don’t watch BBC TV, and I don’t listen to BBC radio. I don’t watch any TV. I don’t listen to any radio. I get all my news and commentary from the internet.

As far as I’m concerned, smoking bans are the single most divisive and destructive feature of ‘progressive’ modern life. They split the world into smokers and non-smokers, and pit them against each other. And this is happening all over the world. And I simply live the life of another reviled, excluded smoker, just like hundreds of millions of others.

And I think there’s an explosion coming.

About Frank Davis

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15 Responses to For Me It’s Personal

  1. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Me too Frank and my social life now ruined.

    • Fumo ergo sum says:

      But from a positive perspective, at least you have had a social life (which is, sadly, now ruined). In my personal case, I even did not have the opportunity to build a proper social life in the first place. When the smoking ban came into force here in Belgium in 2011, I was merely 23 years old. So instead of partaking the rite of building a career, finding a partner, buying a house and establishing a family as many people of my age would have done back then (with varying degrees of succes, of course), I actually did put the least of efforts as possible. After all, why should I be interested in this artificial vanity fair where one is supposed to pretend to be happy and lead a fulfilled life, whereas I would be ‘exiled to the outdoors’ at whichever venue I would come? So instead of ‘realizing my full potential’, I actually and intentionally opted for a low-skilled job at a customer service centre so that I have to ‘go out’ (that is, going to work) as little as possible.

      When asked (for instance by my boss) about my future professional prospects, I rather react apathetically and completely disinterested. Since I have an academic master’s degree, I have already been asked to ‘move up’ in the hierarchy. But I always declined these kind of offers, as if they were a Trojan horse. Again, why should I be interested in this vanity fair? Now of course, I do not want to blame the antismoking vandalism for everything bad in my life. I have always been living rather ‘dissociated’ from all the conventions and expectations that society came up with, so even without smoking ban(s), I would still consider the idea of a well-paid top-job to be utterly vainglorious.

      Of course, my overall negative attitude that I entertain in the domain of work also spilled and spills over into my social or private life in general. I still meet with some of my friends a couple of times a year. I then ‘sacrifice’ myself to go to restaurant (‘no smoking’ signs abound…) with them as this is still the most convenient way to meet eachother, but I think that once I got out of my parents’ house later this year, I’ll invite them over my place. It is nevertheless shocking that I did not make any new friends since 2011 (let alone found a partner!), some virtual acquaintances notwithstanding, and for this, the smoking ban is of course directly to blame. I actually do not think I will meet anyone interesting who still wastes away his or her time in government-seized “public spaces” where one is always under the spell of Orwellian behaviour (and thought) control.

      So my situation looks pretty bad, even though I do not ‘envy’ your, Frank’s or anyone else’s situation in which an entire real life social network that has been built over many decades all the sudden evaporates into thin air. The reason why I consider my situation rather bad is because nearly all conditions to lead a happy, prosperous life are present: I am in in a physically good health, I have a job through which I earn a decent living, I have lots of free time in order to pursue other non job-related interests and I still have a couple of good friends as well as my parents who are also still in very good shape. So nearly all conditions to lead a happy life are present… except of course one, a very fundamental one, which those presumptuous, greedy bastards – imposing their narrow-minded lifestyle and virtue-signalling pseudomorality upon everyone – have taken away nearly a decade ago. So here I am, living quasi-isolated in my room which is my bunker, and at age 31 already feeling like an old veteran waiting for this horrible all too horrible war to be over soon.

      • jaxthefirst says:

        I’m so sorry to hear this, Fumo. I have to confess that I didn’t realise that it had hit the younger generation quite so hard. I always kind of assumed that most of us on here despising the ban were all old ‘uns who could still remember when things were much more tolerant and easy-going than they are now and as a result were simply much more fun and much more friendly, but I’d always got the impression (at least here in the UK) that younger people were much more accepting of the ban as just being “how it is.” There’s certainly a huge swathe of young people in this country who have grown up so used to the Nanny State telling them what they ought or ought not to do, say and think that they almost seem to welcome increasing Government initiatives telling them how to live their lives. Neddless to say, they’ve already given up smoking or not started, but now every new State “instruction” – five portions of fruit/veg a day, no more than one alcoholic drink a day, drink more water, eat less salt, eat less sugar, lose weight, exercise more, buy an electric car, recycle everything, give up meat, etc etc – is met with what seems like a chorus of welcome from these young drones, all citing “the children,” “the cost to the economy,” “the cost to the National Health Service,” “the environment,” (or whatever “reason” has been provided to them for these new “initiatives”) as their reason for supporting these coercive measures. Perhaps it’s just that they can’t be bothered to think beyond the headlines these days, or, a bit like people born into Communist Russia, they see it as an unchangeable, unchallengeable status quo, so why bother protesting about it? The old, somewhat defeatist, “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude, perhaps. Like you, I’ve always been someone who marches to something of a different drum from the rest of the society I live in, which is probably why I took up smoking at just about the time that the Powers That Be were busy telling everyone else to stop, and why I’ve continued to smoke unrepentantly even as those instructions have become increasingly threatening, bullying and coercive.

        Also, like you, I too sometimes “sacrifice” myself for a lunch or evening meal in a restaurant for the sake of keeping in touch with people I want to keep in touch with but, since the ban here, I’ve realised how few of them there actually are, so these occasions are therefore thankfully rare because, much like Frank has experienced, the ban did seem to give many of those people that I formerly thought of as “friends” the tacit permission to show their true anti-smoking credentials. In an odd sort of way this might be construed as one of the few good things to come out of the ban as far as smokers are concerned – intolerant people no longer felt the need to show their true colours, even when, rather disappointingly, those true colours often weren’t as nice as you thought they were. But at least the true colours of true friends showed, too, so one could “trim” one’s social circle accordingly. But smoking remains, in my experience, the best litmus-test for what a person is actually like. If they display any hint of anti-smoking sentiment, you can bet your bottom dollar that they come with a host of other unpalatable or, sometimes, downright unpleasant attitudes – it just seems to kind of go with the territory somehow. If, on the other hand, they express tolerance for smoking and a dislike of the treatment of smokers in our society, then they are definitely someone worth getting to know better. This applies to both smokers and non-smokers, because, ironically smokers can themselves be anti-smokers (I call them smoker-apologists) and, equally, not all non-smokers are raving antis.

        I’ve always fondly thought that anti-smoking fervour as a whole was less strong in non-English speaking countries than it is in English-speaking ones (although I realise that you have your nasties over there, too) and that, despite the best efforts of anti-smokers over on the Continent, generally speaking non-smokers were still much more tolerant of smoking than they are here in the UK. Am I right in this assumption? If so, then I am sure that you will find that your social life will take off once you’ve got a place of your own, because you will be able to gather your smoking and smoker-tolerant friends together at home and have a great time together enjoying each other’s company – just like we in the UK used to be able to do in our (now) fast-vanishing pubs and clubs. I really hope so – do let us know how you get on. It’d be great to have a bit of insight as to how all things smoking-related are over there!

        • jaxthefirst says:

          “show their true colours”

          Whoops! I meant “hide their true colours”

        • Fumo ergo sum says:

          “I always kind of assumed that most of us on here despising the ban were all old ‘uns who could still remember when things were much more tolerant and easy-going than they are now and as a result were simply much more fun and much more friendly.”
          –> But even I am already feeling like an old ‘un despite my relatively youthful age. Even I can still vividly recall the good old days of smoky (or even non-smoky) and friendly places where things would be easy-going and laid-back. At times I also try to recollect some faint childhood memories that I still have from the 1990s. There was no (or just still rudimentary forms of) either the internet or the mobile phone, yet I had the impression that people were much more connected with one another than now. And of course, the 1990s may have been the last of a series of smoker-friendly decades, with smoking abound not only in bars, but also for instance in restaurants, malls and airports. As a child I really hated smoking. My both parents smoked then, even in the car with me on the back seat, which would be a criminal offense nowadays. Yet I would still conceive of the 1990s as one of the happiest times of my life. Until recently, I always thought that this was of course due to my very young age back then: as a child, one is supposed to be carefree and playful of course. But I gradually came to think that there was something fundamental imbedded within the framework of society back then – just call it freedom, or decency, or a combination of both – that effectively made it a much brighter time than ours nowadays. Unfortunately, the price of living as a carefree child is that one still is overall ignorant. So I could not notice it then…

          I am not quite sure whether younger generations are more favorable toward smoking bans and/or other forms of behavioral and social engineering, compared with other, older generations. Isn’t it a rather cross-generational characteristic of man to be generally obedient, conformist, uncritically rule-abiding just in order not to be too much of a stand in the way? Back in 1784 – many, many generations before my or our generation would meet this world – the famous philosopher Immanuel Kant already lamented: “If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on–then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me.” Kant was of course attacking man’s laziness or ‘inclination toward evil’, which blocks his ability to think for himself or to evaluate certain claims in the light of evidence.

          I do not think that much has changed since Kant wrote those lines, except for three things: first of all, apparently people at least still read books in late 18th century Prussia. Nowadays, books have been substituted by one enormous virtual book – ‘Facebook’ – which acts as an echochamber where one can ventilate one’s personal opinions and convictions (alternately with some videos featuring cute little cats) ad nauseam. Secondly, there are no ‘pastors’ any longer. We now have all kinds of moralizing, virtue-signalling tv celebrities touting aloud how ‘awesome’ they are. And how ‘awesome’ we all are, by marching together for climate for instance or by making donations for ngo’s dedicated to ‘cancer research’ (completely ‘value free’ research, of course, without hidden agendas or strings attached. Pun intended). And thirdly, of course no one pays any longer to think in one’s place. Companies and thousands of organizations and ngo’s are actually more than wiling to pay the administrators of all kinds of social networks to have their adds promoted.

          So despite Kant’s urge to free one’s thoughts from catchy, easy swallowable phrases, we are still living in a precritical age where true thinking is substituded by whatever that may be fashionable these days. But this does necessarily imply a massively orchestrated rehearsal of whatever discordant melodies the progressivists’ brassband is playing – like North Korea’s children chanting patriotic hymns in front of Kim Jong-un’s portrait, or so. I think that if you keep on parroting the same cries and slogans all the time (e.g., that the climate should be saved, that smoking kills, that Donald Trump is evil, and so on), this simply grows tiresome and tedious over a long time. However, this does not yet mean that one entirely rejects everything that one has been indoctrinated into believing at school – rejecting a proposition is a cognitive act which requires critical examination of the proposition’s content – but rather that one starts to entertain a neutral attitude of indifference toward what one has been taught.

          Indifference, then, could be a good thing since it creates the ability to start critically questioning things. But without the cultivation of a critical attitude it could equally lead to apathy toward everything, which is definitely a vice. Just to give an illustration: according to a survey conducted in early 2018 among Flemish children and youths aged 14 to 25 years, almost half of them indicated not to be interested in politics at all. That is of course a result that flies immediately in the face of the orchestrated media bulletins hailing the unequivocal rise of ‘woke’ transgender-conscious; zero-carbon-emitting youngsters that are ready to take over the world. Or at least our country. At least this survey, limited as it is in number of persons questioned (11,000) and with regard to geographical spread, actually delivers a more ‘Stoic’ image of Flemish youngsters. And I personally think that it is a very good thing that so many young people are turning their back toward the political theatre, since there is nothing noble or virtuous in politics that makes it worth one’s time or dedication: as far as I can see it, politics is the art of offering non-efficacious solutions to non-existent problems. So here we have a situation of “indifference” (toward politics, in this case). As I said, this is potentially a good thing, provided that this indifference turns into something positive, for instance, in a robust ethical or religious commitment which is far more fundamental than the shadowplay of day-to-day politics.

          And with regard to smoking, indifference generally prevails. This is at least the impression I have when I tell people around my age (or younger) that I smoke: they would mostly shrug their shoulders and carry on what they are busy with. Again, this might be a potentially fruitful soil to foster real tolerance, but it may also decay into insensitivity or even intolerance toward smokers’ fate. Only time will be the judge to decide whether the future may look either more liberal, or rather more dystopian.

          Whether the attitude toward smokers is more tolerant on the continent than in the UK is of course a matter of perspective. Continental Europe is quite a huge mass of land stretching from the convivial, smoky Iberian peninsula to the tyrannical Nordic despotic regimes of Norway and Finland. Personally, I can thus only speak about the situation here in Belgium, and the Low Countries in general.

          Belgium always used to be a country where a vitalistic sense for the good life, exemplified by its exquisite gastronomy and world famous beers and chocolates, thrived. Historically, this goes back to the heydays of the dukes of Burgundy who ruled the Low Countries until the late 15th century, and who where famous for their banquets larded with lots of wine and wild pheasants. Culturally, Belgium has always been heavily influenced by France, which has equally always been an ardent worshipper of Dionysos. In my opinion, this cultural influence even went far into Dutch speaking Flanders. Of course, such a bon vivant lifestyle always went hand in hand with a liberal and tolerant attitude toward smoking, and this well into the early 21st century.

          But of course, this tolerant attitude very gradually eroded during the course of time. And I think there are two major political and cultural reasons for this. The first one already emerged right after WW2, when the United States turned out to be an indisputable global powerhouse. As a result, the United States and ‘the American way of life’ gradually came to have a huge impact on our values and cultural landscape, even though this has of course not been a process limited only to Belgium It impacted all (Western) Europe. Now, as long as the Americans brought us Ronald McDonald, Starbucks and even the Marlboro Man, there has been little reason to worry. But in the end, it also brought us antismoking bullying, which is obviously an American invention. And a very evil one. A second cultural feature which is more inherent to the Belgian situation, is the sudden development of Belgium from a nation state toward a federal state in the later half of the 20th century. As you may now, there are definitely considerable political, cultural and linguistic differences between the Dutch-speaking Flemings and the French-speaking Walloons that often give rise to lots of feuds and quarrels. It is often said that only chips, beer and the national football team keeps the country still together. In any case, in order to cope with these differences, Belgium got divided into three different ‘regions’ – Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels – each having its own governments with a constitutionally delineated and expanding set of competences (e.g., culture, education, some parts of employment, etc.)

          In its vainglorious haughtiness to develop itself as an “autonomous” and “competitive” region in “the heart of Europe”, Flanders – or at least its political castes – is trying to shrug off its Catholic and Latin roots that nourished it over the course of many centuries. In a futile attempt to be different than Wallonia, Flanders is nowadays looking North to seek for political and cultural inspiration, which it tries to find with its immediate, closest neighbors: The Netherlands. And that is a very bad thing, since I conceive of The Netherlands as a principal conductor of very nasty forms of ‘Americanism’ – including political correctness, woke culture, bipartisan politics, transgenderism, and of course, antismoking lobbying – that could eventually spread across continental Europe. And which, from time to time, trickles down to Flanders as well – fortunately without real success, up to now. That is because it might be tempting to conceive of The Netherlands and Flanders as one large cultural continuum, since we share the same language (i.e., Dutch). But a common language of course does not necessarily entail a common culture.

          Fortunately, the main keys toward smoking (and antismoking) still lay on the federal (i.e. Belgian) level. And since Belgium turned into a federal country from the 1970s onwards, with 5 different governments for a population of a mere 11 million inhabitants, this means that the search for cohesion with the federal government is becoming more and more difficult, as most federal ministers are acting like representatives of their communities – not as representatives of the Belgian people as a whole. As of today, we actually have no ‘fully competent’ government in Belgium. The one that is currently in charge actually got sacked in December 2018 by the Flemish nationalists that took part in the federal government, and up to day and despite new elections on the 26th of May 2019, we still do not have a new government. Finding an agreement between two communities and about 6 to 8 different political parties that are potential candidates to form the new government is indeed a nearly Herculean work. In any case, the positive side is that due to Belgium’s near-unmanageability, political decision processes always take a very, very long time before a measure get implemented. It is actually the reason why I like my country: indeed, because on an institutional level, Belgium is a broken system that does not work. And to me that is perfect, because I do not want the government to work at all. I want the government to get off my back, and whither away completely.

          Unless the European Union steps in and takes over, of course. This is the reason why we got saddled with plain packaging earlier this year. If it were up to the current federal minister of public health, Ms Maggie De Block (who I actually do not dislike too much), such nonsense would not have come into force. But we had to “comply with “Europe”. Actually, even the 2011 comprehensive smoking ban was initially not endorsed by our politicians. This was actually due to some zealotic non-for-profit organization dedicated to “cancer research” – the “nasties” as you correctly identified them, and who are as much active here as anywhere else on this planet – that initiated a litigation before the Belgian Supreme (Administrative) Court, whined in front of the judge, and ultimately received its all-comprehensive smoking ban from the magistrate. If you can’t have it through democratic, parliamentary debate, then just enforce your will upon everyone through the judiciary, no?

          But I still want to say something about The Netherlands, which is a country in rapid decline during the last couple of years and which worries me a lot, as it may contaminate the situation here in Belgium as well. Until 2008, both The Netherlands and Belgium would be somehow comparable with regard to smokers’ freedom. Then in the middle of 2008, anticipating Belgium with three years, The Netherlands would introduce its comprehensive smoking ban throughout the whole hospitality industry. However, unlike in the UK, the installation of separated and ventilated indoor smoking rooms is still permitted – just as it is still allowed here in Belgium, albeit within the very narrow confinements of the law. This was of course still a thorn in the side of ‘the nasties’ (which bully around without any democratic mandate!) and wanted ‘smokers to be invisible’. So they brought the case before court. Last October, I heard the terrible news that the court ruled in the nasties’ favor, which means that Dutch indoor smoking rooms have to be dismantled and smokers permanently ‘exiled to the outdoors’, as you may already be ‘used to’ in the UK. Needless to say, of course, the nasties here in Belgium (c.q. Flanders) immediately rejoiced upon hearing about the Dutch ruling. They are currently sharpening their knives to bring the case before the Belgian Supreme Court as well – they know the route to it by now… – and I can only hope that they will get the door slammed on their face.

          Of course, this is just a purely symbolic fight, but one with important ‘metaphysical’ ramifications attached to it as well. Because ten years ago, the smoking ban was still defended along liberal ‘Millean’ lines of the harm principle. At least that gave them still an excuse, albeit a flawed one, to impose the ban. Nowadays, the discourse has shifted from ‘preventing harm upon others’ toward ‘striving for a smoke-free generation’, meaning that the whole thing becomes an exercise in unapologetic social engineering. But it will be indeed up to younger generations, including my own, to seize the opportunity to turn the tides.

        • Frank Davis says:

          antismoking bullying, which is obviously an American invention.

          I always find it very strange that the bullying started in the country that gave the world tobacco.

      • Joe L. says:

        I can sympathize. I was two months shy of my 27th birthday when Illinois instituted its statewide comprehensive indoor smoking ban in January of 2008. I was still in the early stages of building my social life. I was writing songs and playing guitar and piano in a few bands in Chicago. When the smoking ban went into effect, I no longer felt welcome in the clubs and theaters I was performing in. Also, due to the smoking ban, all smoking patrons would funnel out of the venue to enjoy a cigarette while one band tore down their gear and the next band on the bill set up their gear. Many times, those smoking patrons would spark up conversations and remain outdoors to have another cigarette and finish those conversations well into the next band’s set, which significantly limited a lesser-known or touring band’s exposure to potential new fans. I became so disenchanted and jaded that I quit performing entirely later that same year.

        I was very social and outgoing in my 20s, but because of smoking bans and the stigma which the Tobacco Control bullies have attached to me, I have spent my 30s as an antisocial recluse. I feel like I was robbed of the past 12 years of my life and counting. It’s personal for me, too.

        • Fumo ergo sum says:

          Joe, I feel sorry for the way you and probably hundred of thousands of other smokers across Illinois have seen their social lives ruined overnight. It must indeed be a devastating experience if these bars and theaters form the bedrock of your social life, or might even have been venues to earn a modest living as a performing musician. However, you say that you were performing in Chicago. I assume that you also live in or near Chicago? Would it then be an option to go out to other relatively nearby states like Wisconsin or Indiana that might be more benign toward smokers (not that I know the situation there at all, of course)? Or would this be rather pointless, assuming that the fifty states of the US actually represent fifty shades of smoke-free?

          It must be really sad to see your thirties passing by without really enjoying or experiencing it. I just entered my thirties, but I am afraid that the course of events will unfold quite similar as yours. Perhaps “fortunately” for me, I have always been rather living ‘inwardly’ than ‘outwardly’, which means that I can easily cope with long periods of being alone. But ultimately, continuous aloneness will ultimately degenerate into loneliness, even for me. There is quite a difference between seldom going out, and not going out at all. Not even on occasions such as my birthday or New Year’s Eve. I then sometimes read those headlines in the news about politicians hopelessly trying to tackle “the problem of loneliness and social isolation”. Which can only make me sneer, of course…

          In any case, I hope for you that things in Illinois (and all over Northern America) will turn for the better. The least I hope is that Donald Trump’s embarrassing increase of the minimum tobacco purchasing won’t be enforced in your state.

  2. Vlad says:

    Some chutzpah on Chris Mann to be so aggressive and bullying when he’s an out of shape slob…we could replace cigarettes/tobacco in that transcript with whatever he enjoys eating most and see how he likes being on the receiving end of a sanctimonious finger-wagging lecture…

  3. Clicky says:

  4. Emily says:

    I have a lot of respect for Simon Clark and what he does. He’s very well spoken. Had to laugh out loud at this part –

    Simon Clark:
    Well, I think they are quite sensible. They realise that if you are to get more people to quit smoking you’ve got to come up with something that is equally and perhaps more pleasurable than smoking.

    Chris Mann:
    What about fresh air?

    Antismokers always sound like such prigs!

  5. Mark Jarratt says:

    Agree, again! And why is it that anti-tobacco zealots, often paid with money extorted from smokers, seem to believe anyone speaking up for individual choice and autonomy is immediately discredited if they have ever received funding from tobacco manufacturers and suppliers?
    Isn’t that evidence of a blatant double standard, and hypocritical? Anti-tobacco advocates such as ASH are richly rewarded from public funds for relentless government sanctioned bullying of smokers and interfering in free markets to meet their divisive and damaging prohibitionist objectives, but
    advocates of personal autonomy are expected to work for free (or maybe “fresh air” if such air exists).
    The bushfire smoke here in east coast Australia has caused similar mass panic as the government anti-tobacco propaganda: people walking around with mostly useless face masks, and sales of also mostly useless air purifiers at record levels (don’t the prohibitionist fascists claim smoke can travel through solid walls?). Predictably, the usual health cultists are fabricating claims about harm from bushfire smoke as comparable to tobacco smoke, omitting as usual any references to dose and duration of exposure, or permissible exposure levels used for work safety guidance.
    That’s deliberately misleading, and lying by omission, par for the course. 🏌️‍♂️

  6. Smoking Lamp says:

    Chris Mann exemplifies the typical antismoker. A biased, activist disseminating antismoker propaganda. This type propaganda is used to justify the persecution of smokers and force prohibition. In short, Chris Mann and his lot are hate mongers and their commentary hate speech.

  7. essef says:

    Banned on NHS Scotland property since 2017, do catch up with us “progressives” up North here please!

  8. Philip Neal says:

    Sir Roger Scruton has died. He was an occasional cigar smoker and a qualified defender of smokers’ rights. This piece about the World Health Organisation and its shift, under Gro Harlem Brundtland, towards lifestyle modification backed up by international conventions binding in national law is well worth reading. Also this review of the last year of his life, in which he rebounded from a left-wing character assassination but shortly after was diagnosed with the cancer which would kill him.

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