Smoking In Isolation

Simon Clark has asked me to draw attention to Smoking At Home. Photographer Dan Donovan is inviting smokers to send photos that can be posted on the site. He writes:

As a child, a teenager and a young man in my twenties I sat amongst smokers. My headmaster at my small village primary school would sit in his small office right next to the classroom puffing away during the breaks. Some of my uncles and aunts chuffed away whilst cooking or watching TV, my Grampa would have a Woodbine on the go while telling me jokes and stories.

Throughout my teenage years and through my early twenties smokers were everywhere. I’d sit during lectures at art college where both lecturers and students would light up; bus drivers and passengers, café owners and diners, fellow musicians etc etc all unashamedly seemed to be taking pleasure from smoking tobacco products.

I always enjoyed the smell of burning tobacco and there was a sense of calm around smokers. In my early thirties I started touring the Netherlands and Belgium with my band. I took to the rich aroma from the Dutch hand-rolling brands and was introduced to ‘real’ coffee, what a combo. I started smoking around that time and haven’t looked back.

The calming pleasure of sitting down with a rolled cigarette and a coffee, or maybe a whisky, has become an essential part of my life. I can reflect, focus, enjoy solitude or company in those moments as I put flame to my tobacco. My mental health is all the better for it. The social restrictions and smoking legislation we now live under mean that the only place I can truly enjoy smoking indoors is in my home.

Throughout this ‘lockdown’ period, when everyone is experiencing social restriction and isolation as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, I know smokers will be finding comfort in their pastime. By way of bringing together those who share my love of tobacco I have created this website, inviting others to join me in submitting a photo of themselves smoking at home or in their garden. This isn’t about making a statement but more about embracing a community that is already familiar with social isolation.

About Frank Davis

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36 Responses to Smoking In Isolation

  1. Roobeedoo2 says:

    Frank, maybe you could take a submit a photo of a Smoky Drinky gathering.

  2. Clicky says:

  3. churchmouse says:

    I’m fortunate in that my far better half also smokes, so we enjoy it together.

    During lockdown, a couple living near us also resumed smoking.

    Oh, lockdown, what have you done? ;)

    Although my late grandmother-in-law, a lifelong Londoner, wasn’t referring to smoking when she used to say, ‘The old ways are the best’, that saying could be equally applied to the enjoyment of tobacco.

  4. Lepercolonist says:

    We can educate the non-smokers dealing with social isolation. The anger among the non-smokers is already rising. Talk to the smokers for the full spectrum of emotions dealing with the quarantine. It’s similar to the Kubler-Ross’s model of the 5 stages of grief:

    1. Denial
    2. Anger
    3. Bargaining
    4. Depression
    5. Acceptance

    I heard a psychologist warning us to the dangers of depression during this lock down. Funny, I didn’t hear the MSM being concerned about smokers isolation.

  5. Rose says:

    I was puzzled over the amount of Covid deaths in care homes as they were supposed to be allowed to smoke.

    Half Of Care Home Staff Say Residents Are Banned From Smoking In The Home

    “New figures released by leading care home reviews website reveal that half (49%) of care home staff say care homes are protecting their residents by banning smoking inside the building. A further 16% of care home staff revealed that smoking is not allowed anywhere in the care home or its grounds.

    According to the law, residential care homes are exempt from the smoke-free legislation and can draw up their own fire safety policies.

    The figures, sourced from a survey completed by care home owners, managers and staff as part of the Summer Survey, come in the wake of a recent Government announcement that all mental health inpatient hospitals have to aim to be smoke free by 2018.”

    So that might explain it.

    “Coronavirus is likely to result in a high mortality rate in care homes, England’s chief medical officer has said.
    Chris Whitty said it was hard to prevent deaths in care homes “sadly because this is a very vulnerable group”.
    Current statistics were likely to be an “underestimate”, he added.
    It came as new figures suggested deaths have increased significantly in recent days.
    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Tuesday 1,000 people died in care homes in the week to 10 April.”

  6. slugbop007 says:

    Care home operational procedures need a thorough investigation. Care home patients and their family members, in the U.K. and elsewhere, should get together and file some class action lawsuits.


  7. Doug says:

    In Ontario, Care Homes do not accept residents unless they can prove they have been smoke-free for six months. Residents are not permitted to smoke. The non-smoking residents are now dying almost 90% from COVID. The evidence is clear, non-smokers are 600 times more likely to die from COVID.

    • Rose says:

      It’s such a shame, I do feel sorry for them all. Especially the ones who didn’t want to give up in the first place but were bullied into it.

  8. slugbop007 says:

    I live in Montreal and we have had our share of care home fiascos as well. When you say care homes in Ontario, do you mean both taxpayer subsidized and privately run care homes?


  9. Rose says:

    In fairness, it was not Clive Bates who rendered all pubs unsafe in a Coronavirus pandemic, it was his successor.

    Letter to The Publican re. protecting employees from passive smoking
    7th June 1999

    Dear Editor

    Re: smoking in pubs

    It is true that the Health and Safety Executive is developing a new Approved Code of Practice to deal with passive smoking in the workplace (Pubs face new smoking bans, Code is a blow, 7th June 1999). All the ACOP will do is provide meaningful guidance on how the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) should be applied to tobacco smoke in the workplace. This law already exists and has no exemptions for the hospitality industry. The ACOP will clarify the law and help publicans comply with it.

    A new ACOP would not mean that all smoking must be banned in pubs. The heart of the law is that employers have an obligation to do what is reasonably practicableto reduce their employees’ exposure. That could include segregation,ventilation, banning smoking at the bar or other measures. It also means the ‘do nothing and ignore it’ approach is not an option. The best approach for any pub is to wholeheartedly embrace the Charter agreed by the Government and trade bodies such as ALMR and BII and to do what is reasonable and practical to protect their employees. That is good professional business, and it should not be a cause for alarm, despair or resistence.

    Yours sincerely,
    Clive Bates

  10. slugbop007 says:

    Mr. Bates played his part in the evolution of all the smoking bans that have closed cafés, bistros, bars, pubs and other businesses, not just in the U.K., but all around the world. I’m not letting him off the hook. Ever!


  11. slugbop007 says:

    Here is today’s Velvet Glove article:


  12. Александра Собина says:

    If government says, it should not be truth.

  13. Rose says:

    Gosh, whatever is happening?

    Coronavirus: Can smoking protect against COVID-19? Study supports claim
    Fri, Apr 24

    Smoking ‘may lower coronavirus risk’
    Fri, Apr 24

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Yes they are trying. See this article at the Los Angeles Times: “Coronavirus and smoking: How do cigarettes, pot and vaping affect infections and outcomes?”

      The following quotes come demonstrate the knee-jerk tobacco control response:

      ““It’s now pretty clear that there is data to show that if you are a smoker, you’re more likely to have adverse outcomes from COVID-19, need mechanical ventilation and to die than if you’re not a smoker,” said Richard Castriotta, a doctor specializing in pulmonary critical care at Keck Medicine of USC”

      And recounting propaganda from Stanton Glantz, a tobacco control extremist with a history of questionable research:

      “Stanton Glantz, director of a tobacco research and education center at the University of California San Francisco, called the claims “really fringe stuff,” primarily being pushed by tobacco and vaping advocates. A meta-analysis helmed by his research team that combined data from 12 studies on the topic has debunked them, he said.”

      “Current smokers face double the risk of disease progression, according to a pair of recent studies cited by Glantz. One study from China indicated that it increased the risk by a factor of four. Another study found that of those who died of COVID-19, 9% were current smokers, compared with 4% of those that survived.

      “’And that’s exactly what you’d expect, based on what we know about the biology,’ Glantz said.” [This only works if you ignore all the inconvenient evidence showing beneficial and protective effects of smoking.}

      Yes, the are trying.

  14. Doug says:

    Non-smokers should use the nicotine patch. Please leave the tobacco supply for us smokers.
    Please don’t hoard tobacco and cause a shortage.

    • Rose says:

      Non smokers shouldn’t go near them, they were based on Green Tobacco Sickness by a well meaning neversmoker. It’s bad enough that they were forced on us.

      Green Tobacco Sickness in Tobacco Harvesters — Kentucky, 1992

      “Among the 40 case-patients who completed interviews, the median time from starting work to onset of illness was 10 hours (range: 3-17 hours); most frequently reported symptoms included weakness (100%), nausea (98%), vomiting (91%), dizziness (91%), abdominal cramps (70%), headache (60%), and difficulty breathing (60%). The mean duration of illness was 2.4 days. Thirty-six (90%) had previous work experience with tobacco. Of these, 14 (39%) had previously sought medical care for symptoms suggestive of GTS. Seventeen (85%) of 20 case-patients aged greater than or equal to 30 years attributed their illness to working in wet tobacco, compared with 12 (60%) case-patients aged less than 30 years.

      Age less than 30 years was a risk factor for illness (odds ratio {OR}=3.1; 95% confidence interval {CI}=1.4-7.0). All case-patients and 69 (83%) controls had worked in fields of wet tobacco where their clothes became wet (OR=infinite; lower confidence limit=1.8). Current use of personal tobacco products (i.e., cigarettes, snuff, chewing tobacco, pipe, or cigars) appeared to be weakly protective, but the estimate was not statistically significant (OR=0.7; 95% CI=0.3-1.5)”

      Murray E. Jarvik, 84, professor and nicotine patch co-inventor

      “In the 1990s, Jarvik, along with Jed Rose, then a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA and now the director of the Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research at Duke University, were curious about “green tobacco illness,” a malady striking tobacco farmhands harvesting the crop in the South. That led to research on the potential positive implications of absorbing tobacco through the skin, which resulted in the creation of a transdermal patch that delivers nicotine directly into the body.

      When the researchers could not get approval to run experiments on any subjects, Jarvik, in an article in UCLA Magazine, said they decided to test their idea on themselves.

      “We put the tobacco on our skin and waited to see what would happen,” Jarvik recalled. “Our heart rates increased, adrenaline began pumping, all the things that happen to smokers.”
      No it doesn’t

      He didn’t realise that the curing and aging of a tobacco leaf was essential.

    • smokingscot says:

      @ Doug,

      Very perceptive. Since the article came out, sales of patches and gum have skyrocketed in France!!!! So not only are the masses aware of this phenomenon; they’re doing something about it, albeit without the slightest clue that using too much of the stuff can – and does – kill you.

      Anyway France has responded:

      All we need now is for Trump to mouth off about it and the whole world could go utterly nuts for anything tobacco or nicotine. I say let them stock up on aubergines!

      By the by, I’ve always got a 12 month supply of baccy in the house, methinks I’ll need it.

      • Rose says:

        But be sure to cook the aubergines.

        The Nicotine Content of Common Vegetables

        Vegetable Nicotine in ng/g g per 1µg nicotine
        Cauliflower 16.8 59.5
        Eggplant (Aubergine) 100.0 10
        Potatoes 7.1 140
        Green tomatoes 42.8 23.4
        Ripe tomatoes 4.3 233.0
        Pureed tomatoes 52.0 19.2

        It’s how the CDC attempted to “prove” the concept of secondhand smoke

        Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke Widespread

        “Nearly 9 out of 10 non-smoking Americans are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS, or second-hand smoke), as measured by the levels of cotinine in their blood, according to a study conducted by HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

        The data, reported by CDC in this week’s edition of the “Journal of the American Medical Association,” shows measurable levels of cotinine in the blood of 88 percent of all non-tobacco users. The presence of cotinine, a chemical the body metabolizes from nicotine, is documentation that a person has been exposed to tobacco smoke. Serum cotinine levels can be used to estimate nicotine exposure over the last two to three days.

        “This study documents for the first time the widespread exposure of people in the U.S. to environmental tobacco smoke. This new information will be critical in estimating the extent of related disease and developing effective public health strategies,” said David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

        • smokingscot says:

          @ Rose

          I’m going to assume that

          The data, reported by CDC in this week’s edition of the “Journal of the American Medical Association,” shows measurable levels of cotinine in the blood of 88 percent of all non-tobacco users.

          Means between 0.01 and 0.05% amounts.

          Similar to their claims that fag butts still exude measurable amounts of carcinogenic compounds, by putting more than 1200 butts in a sealed container to get those trace amounts.

          Or placing large numbers of cigarette butts in a small aquarium, agitating the water for 24 hours, the placing two fish into the stew resulted in their almost immediate death.

          (I watched the video and because I used t keep fish, I know you can get exactly the same result if you have too great a temperature difference between the water they were in and the water they entered. That’s why so many of the Goldfish kids got in fairgrounds perished. You place the plastic bag into the fish tank and leave it there for a good hour before cutting the bag open. Never drop them from a great height. Can forgive young children, but not devious shysters in tobacco control).

        • Rose says:

          Luckily it’s something I already knew as a kid, it was in my Mum’s pre war gardening books as a curiosity. As Godber was the son of a tomato grower it was probably something he knew as well and used to good advantage in his never ending campaign against smokers and the invention of secondhand smoke.

  15. Rose says:

    TC seems content with an attrition rate of 50% in smokers, so undoubtedly they will keep pushing their approved nicotine patches and gum.

    Smoking kills one in two of its users.1

    1. Doll R, Peto R, Boreham J and Sutherland I. Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years’ observations on male British doctors. British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Ed.) 2004;328(7455):1519. Available from:

    Which is not what Doll said at all.

    “Among the men born around 1920, prolonged cigarette smoking from early adult life tripled age specific mortality rates, but cessation at age 50 halved the hazard, and cessation at age 30 avoided almost all of it.” R. Doll

  16. slugbop007 says:

    Just read a snippet on the nicotine content of certain vegetables and I saw this sentence that began ‘If we assume’… There is always a lot of assuming going on, usually with few facts to back them up, in written analyses and reports by Tobacco Control drones. One that I read, dating from 2003, loved to begin each new revelation with ‘Let’s assume that’… They began by assuming that only 20% of the population smoked. They then assumed that all 20% were gainfully employed in work places that did not allow occasional breaks. They then assumed that every one of these 20% smokers took illegal smoke breaks at work. They then calculated, don’t ask me how, that all the assumed/illegal smoke breaks by those nasty smokers was costing the Government of Canada billions of dollars every year in lost production. They did not assume how many of the remaining 80% non-smoking workers took illegal breaks.This study was subsidized by taxpayer monies and received very positive reviews.

    I, too, did not like the idea of French doctors using nicotine patches. I would like to know what their academic credentials are and how they were chosen.There is a lot of infiltration going on from Public Health university programs and I would not be surprised if some of these doctors were part of that wave and on the payroll of pharmaceuticals to distribute these products to their patients in normal circumstances.


    • smokingscot says:

      If they tried that sort of idiocy in today’s workplace, they’d find that personal use of mobile phones during working hours is a massive waste of productive time. Best inside the workplace – and it’s contagious! !

      Oh and there are some who develop knackered thumbs, so costs the health service – and there’s no tax take to offset the burden on society!

  17. slugbop007 says:

    Great article from Spiked yesterday:

    Thirty-five years ago Thomas Dolby was ‘Blinded by Science’. Now it appears that a majority of the people have been blinded as well. Science is supposed to reveal, not make us blind.


  18. Clicky says:

  19. slugbop007 says:

    Three anecdotes from my Saturday afternoon in Montreal, one positive, two negative:

    Positive: There were a lot more people on the street today that I frequent the most, Saint Lawrence Blvd. Most of them were in the twenty to thirty years old range. 

    Negative 1: I went to my local grocery and walked a few feet down one aisle to pick up some NeoGuri instant noodles. I was going to exit where I arrived from until one of the shelf keepers told me that it was forbidden to turn around and walk back ten feet. He said that I had to walk all the way to the end of the aisle before proceeding to another aisle. I told him to @$$!@$@#$! and walked out of the aisle I had just entered and continuing several aisles further down to the facial tissue and paper towel section. It was then that I noticed stickers on the floor at the entrance to each aisle, pointing in different directions. They were all one way. If the arrow was pointing towards you, you were not allowed to proceed, you had to walk all the way around to the other side of that aisle and then continue your shopping. So, instead of me and every other shopper taking shortcuts, thus minimizing possible contact, their brilliant new idea obliged all shoppers to walk up and down every aisle that had an arrow pointing in another direction, thereby increasing the potential for even more contact.

    Negative 2: When i arrived at my HLM social housing unit, I noticed a young woman sitting at the table just inside the lobby where all manner of people are now taking turns playing Security Guard. I am pretty sure that she saw me when I walked inside, put down my two grocery bags and inserted my key (that we are forbidden to duplicate) in the lock. There was a woman in a wheelchair just inside and I beckoned her to go out before I walked in. When I finally entered the lobby the young woman asked me ‘where do you live’ in French. I showed her my key and walked to the elevator. I turned around and shouted at her in English if we were now living in East Berlin. What a cheek! She saw me open the door and let the woman go out before I entered, yet she still could not resist harassing me just a touch. In a cheerful voice as well. 

    And that’s how The New Reality begins. Subtly, but increasingly insistent, with new restrictions and impositions added to the mix at any given time by government decree, then embraced by enough people to make it look like a majority decision.

    Our new Premier said last year that he supported Collective Rights over Individual Rights. That made me shudder. What he really meant was Collective Tyranny (they call it Solidarity) over Individual Rights, with him leading the charge.

  20. Александра Собина says:

    WE have arrows too in supermarkets. People does not pay much attention to them now, but at the beginning there was shop assistant directing people where to move next :))

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