Monday, July 4, 2011


About a month ago when I first posted the idea of having a protest in Lincoln about the rise of smokerphobia, I was immediately approached by a reporter from the Lincolnshire Echo who said the paper would be interested to cover it.

Someone commented on the post to say the press would ignore us. The Echo reporter responded to say they wouldn't. They were, he assured us, keen to report what we were doing.

They didn't turn up on the day and so I sent the following press release to both the Lincolnite - who was there - and the Echo who said there was no rush on the day so this went off yesterday.

Please find attached a press release from Forest - the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco - about the Privacy International report that shows smokers face a future of discrimination and persecution based on morality and not evidence.

The report's publication coincided with our own local protest in Lincoln City Bus Station on Saturday, July 2, 2011, against some of the outrageous health propaganda currently being pushed by the anti-smoker industry without scientific evidence to back it up which is causing smokerphobic hysteria.

We also object to the power of the anti-smoker political lobby groups on Govt which excludes grass roots smokers unconnected to the Tobacco Industry except for being consumers of a heavily taxed legal product which they are penalised for buying. Many now go abroad to buy legally in Europe in protest at that tax being used for the Denormalisation program which we say is about as ethical for use as a public health tool as water boarding is to interrogation.

We smokers and non smokers who took part in the protest agree with the report that Govt has sacrificed fairness and equality in many aspects of tobacco policy and tolerance is being replaced by a zeal for recriminations.

Our warning that over regulation and over taxing of tobacco is creating crime was also demonstrated during our Lincoln protest when our group was approached by a "man with a bag" in the bus station who offered a suspect black market product. The current measures being taken by Govt will only encourage the black market further and undermine all good efforts made during the last 40 years to educate and protect young people from the risks of active smoking.

Pat Nurse, a member of the grass roots organisation Freedom2Choose, said : "We would like to thank those who took part in the protest, the members of the public who showed interest in what we were doing, and the bus station staff for their tolerance.

You can read a report of how our protest day went here

I have attached a couple of photos that you can use but you must credit copyright to Maureen Whisker and if possible link to her Flickr site here.

We hope you are able to use the press release (embargoed until JULY 4, 2011) and please do ring Simon Clark at the details on the press release if you require a full copy of that report.

* Also attached is a photograph of supporters of the Save Our Pubs and Clubs Campaign, . A delegation from Lincoln attended and F2C represented local pubs and clubs including the Monk's Road Social Club.

This seeks not a reversal of the ban but an adjustment to allow for ventilated smoking rooms and choice for those small smoker pubs without adequate outdoor facilities.

This is The Lincolnite report and it's a shame that they ignored the concern of Privacy International and instead focussed on UKIP's involvement on the day which I think may have negated our cause's message. Please feel free to add your comment. The smokerphobics are out in force.

The Echo, on the other hand, chose to report nothing and when I phoned this morning to ask if they would be doing anything, they told me it is rather too late now which I found odd.

However, if they wanted a new angle I suggested they look at the Privacy International press release (posted in two parts above) and our warning about how Tobacco Control is out of control and putting unregulated tobacco into the hands of children and young people by their zealous over regulation thereby making the product far more dangerous than it has ever was before.

The reporter who was so adamant that his paper would not ignore this news event, assured me it would go on the newslist for consideration but I reckon smokerphobics have a greater chance of getting lung cancer from one sniff of an unsmoking smoker than we have of getting an alleged unbiased publication to allow our voice to be heard.

I am so glad that tomorrow I'll be out of the country and on my way to Italy. The trip is two fold - I'll be visiting my elderly aunt, who has been unwell, in my mother's home town of Cecina Mare and I'll be stocking up on my own personal supply of tobacco after using up what I bought from Bruges last February.

I ran out three weeks ago and I can see now why "man with a bag" in the bus station is so popular. Trying to get a 50g packet of any brand of tobacco is about as rare as tolerance these days and we get ripped off even more in buying 12.5g or 25g which appears to be the limit sold in most shops. It works out even more expensive than the one 50g pouch which sells for between £12 and £14.

I recall that Italy wasn't one of the most friendly tobacco selling countries and it was hard to find in pouches of more than 30g but the price was still a lot better and fairer than it is in the UK.

I will be staying in Pisa which is just a quick train ride to Cecina and I've promised my son that we will take a trip over to Venice for an overnight stay during our trip.

We are only away for a week. Not long enough to be out of this awful bigoted country of smokerphobics but a break will still be nice and once I'm back, I'll be getting ready to join The protest in Stony Stratford.