Saturday, July 30, 2011


I was trying to find the source of this image on the BMJ Tobacco Control site but I'd have to register to read the whole article. A tantalising piece of information about smokers as mushrooms caught my interest and brought to mind a previous newspaper editor who also thought it was Ok to call for attacks on minorities.

It makes me so said to see history repeating. In addition, I frankly despair at the suppression of the voice of our particular lifestyle group. The editor who allowed, and then defended, an appalling article calling for people to be shot in the streets, because her reporter didn't like what they did, should have apologised. Largely, she has ignored individual emails of complaint and commented instead in her newspaper why she felt the article was valid.

I also asked for the legal Right of Reply to allegations made against Freedom2Choose by an anti-smoker but have so far been ignored. "Name and Address Supplied" accused F2C of using propaganda "on web forums around the world denying smoking is harmful and denying links between passive smoking and illnesses in non-smokers and children."

Passive smoking has not been proved beyond doubt to cause harm but it has been seized upon by smokerphobics such as "Naas" to use as an emotional tool to blackmail people into believing it - particularly exploiting children as human shields in their argument.

If it was true that passive smoking killed children and smoking killed one in two smokers, then none of my generation would still be alive and in very good health. We are and we are as mad as hell at being coerced by fake charities because we won't quit.

The Science is not settled. Most SHS studies show what smokers' real life experiences have proved. It has no effect, it irritates some but also offers protection for some children No study shows a clear link between SHS and lung cancer

Naas also alleges that F2C's only reason to exist is "to persuade people to continue to smoke and to ignore advice about not smoking in pregnancy or in the presence of their children." This is absolutely untrue and defamatory of every member of F2C.

The organisation, which is not funded by Big Tobacco or organised by some Big T exec who sits in the shadows, is a collection of real, as opposed to astro-turf, individuals who simply want to be left alone. That's hardly immoral as implied by Naas' tone.

F2C supports those who chose to quit as much as it supports those who chose not to and it fights the corner of those currently being dehumanised, denormalised, abused and excluded. Unlike the anti-smoker activitist, F2C does not tell people what to do with their own children. That is their choice. If they choose to step outside, it's up to them. If they choose to smoke in their own homes, it's up to them. It is not the "right" of any anti-smoker activist like Naas to interfere in private family matters based on his or her own prejudices about where people smoke and what alleged "harm" they are causing.

One would hope that people like Naas would put their energies into fighting real child abuse if it concerns them so much rather than imaginary abuse based on their own phobic fears and loathing of one particular lifestyle group.

F2C also fights for the rights of hospitality owners to regain control of their properties and supports those pub landlords who have been stripped of everything they own, including their standing in their local communities, by a spiteful law that backed bigotry, intolerance and hatred when choice would have been the decent and honest way forward.

As we smokers slept and in consideration gave over many public spaces voluntarily without complaint to non smokers, believing there would always be a compromise in a fair country, the anti-smoker industry was already working on dismissing any future concern we would have.

Tobacco Control intervened to halt smokers being included in Human Rights legislation. TC has never represented smokers and yet managed to persuade governments that it spoke for us and said we don't consider ourselves a group. I think that used to be true but TC has since forced us into such a group defined by what we do - or fail to give up.

Tobacco control also dismisses us and grass roots smokers rights' groups as having been set up by Big Tobacco without giving any evidence except for the fact that such groups exist.

But when former Battle of Britian pilot Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris - of the same generation as many who now shiver in the cold outside of their social clubs - set up Forest in 1979, it was because he was an ordinary smoker who was assaulted by a smokerphobic woman on a railway platform when he lit up his pipe. It wasn't because he was approached by a Tobacco executive to do it in the way that the Royal College of Physicians was approached by Chief Medical Officer George Godber to set up ASH Uk using his position in Govt.

Tobaco control simply lies when it says : "... the tobacco industry created and supported smokers' rights groups (SRGs) in countries around the world to oppose clean indoor air laws and maintain the social acceptability of smoking."

Those groups have developed on their own and the reason they are far behind the anti-smoker industry in terms of "propaganda" is because these are real people - not paid professionals.

And if what Tobacco Control says about Big T "...developing ads to reassure smokers that they were not ‘social outcasts’ because of their smoking." then I say it's a necessity because of Tobacco Control's aim to encourage Govts across the world to treat smokers in exactly that way.

Instead of real health concerns, Tobacco Control only advocates the use of health as an excuse to push forward the real aim of a smoke free world at any cost. As one who has reported many inquests, I can confirm that the presence of asbestos is seen in the lung although the smoker's black lung isn't as obvious or they wouldn't have to use a pig's to scare the hell out of children.

Advocates should also continue to frame smoking as a health issue. Focusing on smoke as a pollutant avoids mentioning the smoker, and thus subverts the tobacco industry's metonymy of ‘smoker’ for ‘smoke.’ Eliminating cigarette smoke from indoor environments is equivalent to asbestos removal, and thus does not involve anyone's ‘rights.’

The very fact that ordinary smokers like myself are dismissed as "inventions" by the tobacco industry or "stooges" of Big T are some of the issues that anger me so much. I didn't even know the tobacco industry had the guts to fight our corner. Voices that appear on this blog and on other blogs I read are like mine. We don't get industry funding and we don't want it for fear of losing the moral high ground. We are ordinary largely lifelong consumers of a highly taxed legal product who are fed up at being treated worse than murderers.

Tobacco Control is out of control, inciting others to call for violence against us via the use of years of untruths and ideological propaganda. It is time this hate campaign against us ended and the anti-smoker industry's wild and outrageous health claims were put back into a proper and realistic perspective by the use of real independent scientists and experts and not those on the side of either Big Tobacco or Big Tobacco Control.