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Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Tasmanian Endgame

Sometimes I try to imagine what the world might be like if the tobacco control industry succeeds in eradicating smokers.  My mind races with various scenarios and possibilities, almost all of them negative, totalitarian, and tyrannical -- a Public Health dictatorship, evil and unforgiving. These imagined scenarios are always followed by more questions, and some of the obvious ones that come to my mind are:

Would it be like Nazi Germany's failed quest to create its genetically-superior race of people by exterminating everyone who failed to live up to their standards of eugenics?  Every time I see some hateful motherfucker from the hell on earth that is the Public Health movement say that smokers cost the NHS or other health services money, I think of this Nazi propaganda like this:

Nazi eugenics propaganda
Propaganda for Nazi Germany's T-4 Euthanasia Program: "This person suffering from hereditary defects costs the community 60,000 Reichsmark during his lifetime. Fellow German, that is your money, too." from the Office of Racial Policy's Neues Volk.
Source: Wikipedia (image now deleted from Wikipedia)
You need only substitute "suffering from hereditary defects" for "suffering from nicotine addiction" in the caption above. Socialised healthcare, to a large extent, ultimately fosters the misguided belief that some people are simply not worth treating because it costs society money.  But eugenics, which was conceived by Charles Darwin's cousin, Sir Francis Galton, first took root in American universities before finally being warmly embraced by Nazi Germany, believes that some people are genetically inferior and not worth treating at all.  We are not quite at the eugenics stage yet -- or are we?

But if the world does not end up like Nazi Germany, then would it be more like the failed War On Drugs, a world where people are arrested for the mere possession of tobacco products for personal use and jailed with truly dangerous criminals?  After all, if nicotine is equally dangerous as other drugs like heroin, then surely it's only a matter of time before tobacco is added to the list of illegal drugs (or made available only from a pharmacist to licensed smokers) with laws enforced by a paramilitary SWAT team, which is only too happy to invade your private residence and gleefully shoot your spaniel.

SWAT Team preparing to kill all filthy smokers?
"A neighbour smelled tobacco smoke, Bob.  Grab the dog and lock and load."
Of course, many in the tobacco control industry know that proposing outright prohibition of tobacco will lead to a backlash of negative opinion and hurt the industry's cause.  Prohibition will cause the industry's public health funds to dry up too. Musn't allow that to happen! Livelihoods are stake. So the plan is to introduce piecemeal legislation over time and whittle away at the public's resolve whilst the tobacco control industry continues to suck taxpayers dry in order to create new invidious ventures into public health advocacy.

If ever attempted, prohibition will fail, as it always does. But abolition of all tobacco products is another matter entirely.  If tobacco does not exist, then it cannot be used by anyone. Abolition is the endgame (or end-date thinking).  Where better to test the murky waters of abolition than down under in Tasmania?

The endgame of abolition begins with age-based selective prohibition: anyone born in the year 2000 or later will not be able to purchase cigarettes. It simultaneously aims to re-engineer cigarettes to make them unpalatable.  It further aims to make cigarettes more difficult to obtain. And finally, it aims to indoctrinate an entire generation with as much government-controlled anti-smoker propaganda that taxpayer money can buy.

Read all about this sinister plan here in the BMJ's Tobacco Control blog.  Here's an excerpt:
The proposal forecasts a reduction in retail outlets or other mechanisms for reducing availability. As Tasmania already has a licensing system, and effective enforcement for retail sales, this can be tackled.

The great novelty of Mr Dean’s proposal is that it incorporates two key elements that have been proposed as elements of planning for a tobacco end-game. These are mandated product modification to make cigarettes less addictive and/or palatable and the birth-date bases proscription of tobacco purchase and use that would forever prohibit the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after the year 2000.
To make this happen, you need a majority of public support. To get that support (or at least soften people up a bit) you need the mainstream media on your side. As we already know, the media cannot be trusted to be fair and impartial. The media is content to provide only one viewpoint to its viewers and readers, as evidenced by the following Al Jazeera broadcast.  Not a single voice of opposition is presented here (WARNING! Contains brief but horrible graphic imagery of super nanny NYC Mayor Bloomberg):

There's a problem, though. This campaign of hate doesn't abolish tobacco, although that is certainly its goal. It's a confidence trick: Give some people the illusion of fairness with a built-in grandfather clause whilst claiming you are protecting the young children. It's a ruse evilly designed to appear utterly reasonable to the closed-minded, so long as they wilfully fail to consider that other things, say, cannabis and other drugs, have been illegal for decades and the kids are still using those despite the laws.

They know damned well that kids are going to have access to tobacco somehow, whether it is given to them, or whether they work in shops that sell tobacco, or whether the kids simply steal it or seek out the illicit market.  The tobacco control industry is counting on it.

In order to move a little closer to the abolition stage, the tobacco control industry only needs to show that A) Tasmanian kids are still able to get tobacco products from older people or by travelling to other Australian states, and B) that tobacco availability elsewhere in the world is harming Tasmanian children.  And that will kick off a further chain of events leading to abolition, and the WHO will be leading the charge insisting that every child must be vaccinated against nicotine addiction.

The only way to keep everyone from smoking is to make tobacco wholly unavailable.  This is the endgame, but they know that it can never happen voluntarily. They will force their lifestyle rules upon all of us relentlessly and tirelessly.

They will attack the hard-working tobacco farmers and through regressive taxation and penalties force the farmers to stop growing tobacco, ultimately stealing the farmer's land.

Simon Chapman is a hateful bastard

They will attack retailers, big, medium and small, and insist that the retailers are responsible for killing babies.

They will attack and accuse celebrities, athletes and anyone in the public spotlight who smokes for glamourising smoking.

They will attack every institution, organisation and group that advocate for personal choice. For your body belongs only the the state, and you must do only what the government tells you to do.

Always dissatisfied that nothing ever works, tobacco control will muster its armies and come for the individuals next.

They will not let smokers have children (nor adopt children) if you smoke.

They will not let you smoke in your own home, which you own, because smoke-drift will enter the house's electrics, travel down the wires and kill people up to five miles away.

They will not let you work, and certainly never let you become a teacher, or a nurse, or a doctor because your smoking could harm and infect the children's minds. Companies will test their employees for tobacco use and those caught will be sacked and may never be able to find suitable employment again.  Suicide rates will increase dramatically.

If a hapless child ever sees any adult smoking, in real life, on the Internet or even in a film on TV, that child will be deemed tainted and taken away to be reprogrammed by the state.

Any parent who smokes in their car (or even dares to smoke outside their homes) might be violently arrested for child abuse -- a happy idealised world full of kids who are ripped from their mother's bosom and their father's arms by balaclava-wearing paramilitary tobacco-enforcement teams.

Endgame. What does it really mean? How can it be achieved?  The endgame might lead to all of the above, for evidently some people will not conform, so it can only be enforced by a dictatorial and totalitarian state.

Despite all of the hate and violence that the tobacco abolition endgame will certainly bring into the world, if the endgame happens then someone, somewhere will light up a cigarette anyway. 

Havin' a fag break during the endgame's War on Smokers

Cause and Effect of Tobacco Control

Two separate news articles in Oz say two different things. All by themselves, they're interesting. Put the two together and...

OK, the question I have is:  Could these two articles possibly be related?

The first article on the website is "Tobacco tax revenue falls by $341m":
THE federal government says its anti-smoking measures are likely the reason for a $341 million fall in tobacco excise in the last few months of the last financial year.


"The government's [anti-tobacco] campaign is the right thing to do and it may well be having an effect."

And what might that effect be?  I really couldn't say...

Jump to this article by the Herald Sun, "Tobacco gangs cash in":
Viewed as a high-return, low-risk alternative to hard drugs, bootleggers are using shipping containers and airline crews to smuggle packaged and loose tobacco. Customs documents released under Freedom of Information have labelled it "an issue of growing significance".
So, what does the tobacco industry make of all of this?

Well it seems that they, and the Australian government, think they're doing good. And they would, wouldn't they?  Naturally, the Root of All Evil, Simon Chapman, who inadvertently alerted me to the first article, tweeted thusly in a misguided effort to spin the article into the tobacco control industry's favour:

Simon Chapman - Propagandist

Well, if we're being honest here, of course the government isn't necessarily wedded to tobacco duty.  If duty decreases in one place, the government (eternally short of funds) will increase duty elsewhere.  Like alcohol, for instance.

Anyhow, the first article conveniently glosses over the whole illicit and counterfeit market problem in Australia, which Chapman, bless him, must myopically believe does not exist because Australia shares no borders with any other country, and assumes that the tax revenue is down due to fewer people smoking.

Perhaps the real truth (not the tobacco control industry's or the government's idea of truth) is that more Australians are seeking out the illicit market.  Mayhaps?  Me thinks it are so.

And honestly, why wouldn't they?

Seeing only what the Australian Government wants you to see requires a set of these babies
H/T: J Johnson

Thursday, 27 September 2012

How the Government Lobbies Itself Using Children

Liverpool.  That bastion of creativity in Northwest England that gave us The Beatles, Echo & The Bunnymen, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and ... erm -- OK, why not? -- and Flock of Seagulls, to name but just a few of many famous musical artists who hail from the World Capital City of Pop.  Liverpool has cool architecture, historic gardens, museums and numerous art galleries with priceless artwork and everything.

So what sort of stunning artworks are the up and coming young artists of Liverpool producing these days?  Well, allow me to share a few examples from some super-creative youngsters in a group called D-MYST. These were brought to my attention by Virginia, who writes the Hell Nanny blog, so big thanks to her. I think you're going to love them:

Image Source
Image Source
Image Source
Image source
See what I mean?  Those are -- well, words fail me.  Some real artistic talent there, though.  I'm absolutely gobsmacked. 

Of course, some of you might be a bit put out or angry by these pictures, but don't blame the kids. It's not their fault. They are just doing what they've been told to do by Liverpool's city council, the NHS, a few charities, and some truly misguided grown-ups at a PR firm, all of whom should know better than to purposefully exploit children in pursuit of their agenda of eradicating smokers.

Kids are malleable creatures, easily moulded into any ideological forms we adults could possibly inflict on them. They are like sponges, if you will, and they will soak up their environment and pretty much believe whatever we tell them. Well, all people are malleable to an extent (you can make people believe and do almost anything), but kids are even more impressionable than adults. Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Anthropogenic Global Warming -- they'll accept almost every "fact" or "truth" we adults tell them.  It is for this reason that the tobacco control industry seeks out young children, to socially-engineer them into little hating machines. Get 'em while they're young, they say.

So, we're not blaming the kids.  Not even when the adults let the youngsters put on white masks to hide their faces whilst they march through Liverpool spreading anti-smoker propaganda.  For example, see this photo (I've chosen to blur everyone's faces, except for ones in masks which already hide anyone's identity):

Is it just me, or does anyone else have a problem with adults asking or letting young teen-aged children to put on a mask and march through the streets to get smoking banned on television?

I mean, this is abominable behaviour. The adults in the tobacco control industry are practically ejaculating all over themselves whilst attacking Big Tobacco for using a shiny trade mark on a packet of cigarettes, something which they all say is Big Tobacco "luring children to smoke." And yet these tobacco controllers think it's OK to use kids to do their bidding?

You know what? Even if we accept that kids are mysteriously and magically going to start smoking because of a bloody trade mark and packet design (and I certainly do not accept that, but let's play along for illustrative purposes), I don't see any tobacco companies or any opponents of tobacco control actually using young children to promote any kind of opposing agenda whatsoever.  Could you imagine the outrage if anyone even thought about doing that?

So why the bloody hell are the anti-smokers allowed to use real children, who cannot legally vote, who cannot legally buy tobacco, or buy alcohol, who cannot even work part-time jobs or drive cars for that matter, to promote their anti-smoking propaganda?  Why is this acceptable? Where's the outrage?

It's one thing to educate kids about the risks of smoking, but it is entirely a different thing altogether to teach them to hate people who smoke, to encourage it. It's immoral.

I figure most of you are aware of Grandad's Law, that states: The first person to mention “the children” in an attempt to sway public opinion has lost their case.

Grandad's Law is great. It is pithy and I love it. And I'd like to offer a new law, not quite as pithy, which I hope complements Grandad's, and I will name it Jay's Law 

Jay's Law states that:

Any person, group, organisation or government that uses children to promote and disseminate propaganda designed to encourage societal and/or legislative change for any agenda or cause, regardless of claimed benefits or their intent, shall be considered execrable, evil and tyrannical.

In other words, people: DO NOT TURN CHILDREN INTO HATEFUL ACTIVISTS!  Can I be any clearer about that?  If you do use children in this way, you're evil. You are the worst of society. You are everything that is wrong in this world. There is no getting around this. You are bottom-feeding scum.  If you're an adult and you want to try to change the world, hey, here's a novel idea: do it yourself! Or try to convince other adults to do it. Leave the kids out of it.

I repeat: Do not ever use children to go out into the world and do your bidding. That's just fucking heinous.

So who's responsible for this monstrous disaster of an anti-smoker hate group using children?  Good luck finding out, casual web surfer and citizen. Starting from D-MYST's Facebook page, we learn nothing at all. The About page merely states:
The D-MYST Agency is a group of young people working with marketing professionals on a pioneering health marketing campaign to create the world's first 'virtual' social marketing agency.
And the page provides a link to their web site.

If you now go to their official web site, you'll find out no information at all. There is no contact info. There are no explanations, disclaimers, nor even a warning about using cookies (and this UK-owned site has most certainly stored cookies in my browser -- click here and here to see the proof). There is nothing but this one page with a link to their petition and to a blog:

Skipping the blog link and the petition for a moment, I did a WHOIS search on the site's owner.  Turns out the website is registered to PR firm called Kenyon Fraser.  This is not a surprise, since the Facebook page said D-MYST (which stands for Direct Movement by the Youth Smokefree Team) works with "marketing professionals."  What is perhaps more interesting is Kenyon Fraser's list of clients.  Please click that preceding link, and you will see that the vast majority of their clients are in healthcare, primarily dozens of NHS trusts all over England, but also, importantly, SmokeFree Liverpool and Liverpool City Council among other government councils.

Going to D-MYST's blog, we can see at the bottom of the site that Kenyon Fraser is listed as D-MYST's Marketing Partner. But if you click the link that reads Visit Our Sponsor, that takes you to SmokeFree Liverpool's web site.  Sponsor?  OK, that means SmokeFree Liverpool is funding D-MYST.  Now, you might reasonably think that SmokeFree Liverpool's site would indicate somewhere on the site who owns it or which organisations are heading up SmokeFree Liverpool.  But it doesn't (nor does this site have any cookie warnings despite storing five of them in my browser). And if you did a WHOIS search on the site, you would find it too is registered by Kenyon Fraser. Who else? Right?

The point here is that none of these sites is remotely transparent about who owns them.  However, it's not exactly a secret if you're willing to look. In October 2010, Simon Clark wrote about who funded D-MYST for ConservativeHome in this article  called "The state should stop giving anti-smoking groups public money to lobby the Government."  He wrote:
When the results of the consultation were announced in December 2008 the Department of Health boasted that, "Over 96,000 responses were received ... the largest ever response to a consultation of this kind. Responses overwhelmingly supported removing tobacco displays in shops, and tough action to restrict access to vending machines."

But was there really huge public support for further tobacco controls, as the DH suggested? Of the 96,515 responses the overwhelming majority were pre-written postcards or e-mail campaigns. A total of 49,507 were generated by Smokefree Northwest, 8,128 by Smokefree North East, and a further 10,757 from something called D-MYST.

A simple investigation revealed that all three are publicly-funded. Smokefree Northwest is led by the DH’s regional tobacco policy manager in Manchester; Smoke Free North East is funded by the region's primary care trusts and is linked to an alliance of health, public sector and community organisations; and D-MYST is SmokeFree Liverpool’s youth organisation.

In short, this wasn’t a public consultation at all. It was a public sector consultation.
So it's not like I'm breaking any new ground here.  D-MYST has been around for a little while; it's part of Liverpool's SmokeFree Kids programme, which is run by SmokeFree Liverpool, which is itself formed of  government agencies and other groups as follows:
SmokeFree Liverpool is a partnership which comprises Central, North and South Primary Care Trusts, Liverpool City Council, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, North West TUC, Health@Work, Scarman Trust and Liverpool Health Promotion Service.
So, as usual, we have government lobbying government.  Except it's worse here because D-MYST uses children to do the lobbying work, which of course invokes Jay's Law, and those kids are ably [mis]guided by a PR firm that works mainly with government agencies and primary care trusts. Is there any doubt this firm Kenyon Fraser marketing and PR firm is benefiting hugely from receiving loads of our taxpayer money?

Just to be clear: Our taxpayer money is being funnelled through local government purses and NHS trusts to Kenyon Fraser, so that this firm can help teach our kids to how best to hate smokers, how to be mask-wearing activists, and lest I forget, how to produce those wonderful artworks above.  Beautiful, isn't it?  We are all paying tax for this. You have to sit back and marvel at its genius, like it's the fucking Matrix.

We also have this government-run, government-funded D-MYST petitioning MPs to "Remove smoking from pre-watershed TV programme to protect young people."  The petition, which has 212 signatures so far and was submitted by Kenyon Fraser's employee Lorna Young on behalf of D-MYST, reads (emphasis added):
More than 100,000 smokers die each year, in the UK, from a smoking related disease; two thirds of smokers become addicted before they are 18yrs old. Research shows that there is a close relationship between children’s exposure to smoking on TV and take up of smoking.

As the rest of the country moves towards becoming smokefree, popular pre- watershed programmes continue to show scene after scene with people smoking, often glamourising it and rarely showing the negative consequences.

We call on the Government to protect children’s health and save lives by removing smoking from pre-watershed programmes.
Research? What research?  Glantz's dodgy-ass research?  Please.  And "scene after scene"?  Surely, they embellish.  Scene after scene?  Really? Pish. I don't watch much television, but I'm pretty sure that's a gross exaggeration. Not even all of the old films they play on various channels have smoking in every scene.

Nevertheless, even if it's true that everyone on television is smoking all the time on every channel, and this exposure to smoking could make every last ten-year-old child in Liverpool start smoking themselves, then why does the Root of All Evil, Simon Chapman, say otherwise?  Surely one of the world's leading tobacco control industry advocates would be all over this agenda. But he's not. Maybe because he understands that stuff like this is ludicrous and really hurts the tobacco control industry's cause? (emphasis added):
"Fourth, and most fundamentally, we are concerned about the assumption that advocates for any cause should feel it reasonable that the state should regulate cultural products like movies, books, art, and theatre in the service of their issue. We believe that many citizens and politicians who would otherwise give unequivocal support to important tobacco control policies would not wish to be associated with efforts to effectively censor movies other than to prevent commercial product placement by the tobacco industry."
Hilariously, Stanton Glantz was so steamed by Chapman's paper that last year he felt obligated to write a scathing rebuttal:
Criticism is the key to scientific and public health progress. For this criticism to be productive, however, the critics need to address the actual policy proposals being advanced. When Chapman and Farrelly argue, “The reductio ad absurdum of arguments to prevent children ever seeing smoking in movies would be to stop children seeing smoking anywhere,” they are simply knocking down their own straw man.
I suppose these two men won't be posting any Christmas cards to each other for a few years.  Oh, I quite liked the following bit from Glantz, too, which all by itself tells you everything you need to know about the tobacco control industry:
Finally, Chapman and Farrelly ignore the implications of the fact that governments are now spending billions of dollars subsidizing films that promote smoking [5] or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that this practice be ended [4]. Is silence agreement? Should governments be spending millions on smoking prevention and, at the same time, millions on smoking promotion?
See? It's always about money. Always. And a little jealousy, too. Only tobacco control should get money from government. The obvious difference between these two TCI front men is that Chapman is by far cleverer and able to see the long view for tobacco control as well as its obvious limitations at present, whereas Stanton Glantz is more like a deranged, unhinged, shrill, obsessed lunatic in dire need of a comb and/or some industrial-strength hair product, who has been single-mindedly hell-bent on destroying Big Tobacco and eradicating smokers from both the big and small screens for the last four or five decades.

But I digress. Let's continue on.

One of the people responsible for the creation of D-MYST is a woman named Helen Casstles. Here she is:
Helen Casstles
Image: Twitter

An NHS employee, she worked with SmokeFree Liverpool for many years, and was (or still is -- it's unclear, presently) the Programme Manager for D-MYST.  If you'd like, you can view her evil machinations the SmokeFree Kids presentation she created several years ago in full  here on the web site (PDF).  Here are just two of the presentation's slides:
This handy slide shows how SmokeFree Liverpool is organised and funded. Nice, huh?

Key word: De-normalising
Ms Casstles is clearly a tobacco control industry representative then. She's even, like, done workshops and stuff, dudes. In fact, here she is in October 2011 doing a Making Smoking History - Protect Our Children workshop with our old shopkeeper pal, Gateshead's Councillor John McClurey.  (You remember Mr McClurey, don't you?  He's that ASH Stooge I mentioned once.) 

But of course, lobbying governments and city councils takes work and a lot of time. Despite one's efforts there is always a risk that you won't succeed in duping politicians into getting children to hate smokers.  There is another way, however, of ensuring that the tobacco control industry's nasty, hateful agenda against adult smokers will prevail (or at least improve the odds): You need to be in government to help that happen.

And guess who got elected to Liverpool's City Council in May this year?  That's right. Helen Casstles. Here she is again:
Celebrating another win for the Tobacco Control Industry. Woo-hoo!
Image source Liverpool Echo
My, she does seem quite happy. Funny that a "veteran public sector worker" and dedicated tobacco controller would move into politics.  Never would have guessed. According to her declaration of interests she gets to keep her job as a Public Health Practitioner for Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, too.

Nice work if you can get it, eh?  Public purse job at the NHS. Public purse job as a city councillor.  Fucking gravy.  But to be fair to her she's not taking any of the usual perks. She declined to accept two tickets to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Summer Pops 2012: The Two of Us: The Lennon & McCartney Songbook show.  Maybe she's not a Beatles fan? Who knows?

And if you didn't have enough links to click on, have a look at some of Ms Casstles's recent tweets:
US gvmt can't force tobacco co's to put graphic health warnings on cig packs, appeals court rules Disgraceful.
Great news from Australia re High Court decision and plain packs. #plainpacksprotect

Is this our lot? Our destiny? A world filled with horrible and faked graphic images on products that the nannying tyrants despise?  Must we tolerate our local and national governments staffed with hundreds of people like Ms Casstles and others in the tobacco control industry who have the dubious legal authority to take our money and give it to marketing firms who then spend it on tobacco (and alcohol) control programmes that use our very own kids as propaganda tools against us, the despised underclass of smokers?

I suppose we can all guess this how will work out for the adult smokers in Liverpool -- that bastion of musical and artistic creativity, the World Capital City of Pop, a city the WHO is proud to call its own for the relentless campaign to eradicate smokers no matter how great the costs to society are.  Denormalisation. It's a comin'. Because that ol' public sector gravy train of hate and prohibition keeps a-rollin' on and there ain't no a-stoppin' it until it's run over every last sinner.

And your children? They are the deceived minions and masked footsoldiers helping to push that train down the crooked track.  Think about that.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hump Day News in Brief

Petition Watch

Most of you already know this, but in case you don't, Belinda over at Freedom 2 Choose (Scotland) has started a petition asking the Scottish government to consider allowing smoking rooms in accordance with EU air quality standards.  You do not need to live in Scotland to sign it -- you can add your real country of residence when you sign, although a few more "Scottish" signatures wouldn't hurt.  Presently there are 134 signatures. 

Meanwhile, the petition from the hateful anti-smoker pressure group ASH Wales, written about here, has managed 121.
* * *

Bulgarian Businesses Going Bust?

One to watch:  Three months after the introduction of a public smoking ban in Bulgaria, businesses have seen their turnover decrease by 50% (emphasis in original):
The Bulgarian restaurant sector is registering record losses over the full smoking ban, according to the Deputy Chair of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, Atanas Dimitrov.

Speaking before bTV Tuesday, Dimitrov said the turnover has slumped by 50% after the introduction of the ban, adding it would not reduce the number of smokers in the country anyway.


The Health Ministry, however, remains unwavering on the ban, with representatives saying that in the last 3 months when it was in effect, nothing "apocalyptic" has been noticed, the society is accepting the ban reasonably, and going back in the other direction would be more detrimental.
Nothing "apocalyptic"? Businesses are losing half of their turnover and that's just fine with the Bulgarian Health Ministry.  I would say that businesses losing lots of money that they were making before the ban was introduced is certainly devastating, just like it devastated the British pub trade.

But if you're in the Public Health religion, the only thing that matters is to believe you are helping people, even when the facts disprove your faith.  Yes, let's put people out of work so that they can live forever, or starve to death. I do not think that starving to death is a smoking-attributable cause of death yet. Yet.

All I know is that the tobacco control industry cheerfully destroys businesses and gleefully ruins people's lives. They are helping no one except for themselves. They are evil. How any of them can sleep at night is beyond my comprehension.

H/T Laurel O'Neill and J Johnson 
* * *

The Dark Art of Divination

Speaking of evil bastards in the tobacco control industry, Dick Puddlecote reports on a series of uncanny coincidences here. It seems that the tobacco control industry in New Zealand somehow knows a lot more about what will happen here in the UK than we do, and most uncannily the Root of All Evil is privy to information all the way back in June that we "fucking plebs" were not.  It stinks to high Public Health Heaven.

But hey, I don't need no stinking crystal ball to tell me what will happen, because I understand how the tobacco control industry works, and I know that so do you.  Britain's Department of Health will proceed to discount or ignore the opposition to plain packaging, because the fix is in. The consultation has been rigged from the start, and barring some kind of miracle, there is absolutely no doubt that these rotten, hateful bottom-feeders from hell that are living off the public purse will proceed with their evil machinations to denormalise adult human beings by implementing plain packs, despite the overwhelming public opposition to it.

Expect it.

A typical Tobacco Control Industry Bottom-Feeding Monster
The true face of  the Bottom-Feeding Tobacco Control Industry
Image via DreadCentral

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Six Months Later

I have been doing this blogging thing for only six months but already it feels like a lifetime. Kind of.  In comparison to others who have been slashing away at the keys for years, I'm still a blog n00b; barely an indistinct blip on the blogosphere's radar screen.  I have gained a few on-line friends since I started this and I've pissed off a number of people, too -- always a bonus, although a few were unintentional.  There have been some ups and downs, a lot of frustrations, a little bit of joy here and there, and I've learnt quite a bit about the totalitarian technocrats ruining our lives, as well as a little about some of you since I started this gig.

I do want to thank all of you very much for adding me to your blogrolls, linking to this blog in your posts and tweets, and most especially your comments (many of them very kind).  All of these things are like gold to bloggers.  I truly appreciate it. If you have added me to your blogroll and I haven't already added you to mine, please let me know so I can rectify that.

OK. Some stats. This blog doesn't get huge amounts of visitors. To date I've had 45,000 page views split among a little over 7,500 unique visitors. These past six months I've learnt that 60% fewer people read this blog on weekends, and it's often better to put up a post an hour or so before lunchtime (here in ol' Blighty) during the working week to get maximum page views for a post. I don't often manage to post by then.

As for gauging what sort of posts interest or engage you, blog page view stats can be misleading, partly due to a good amount of Russian referral link spam and partly due to the number of people image searching on Google using queries like "Hitler," "old lady middle finger," "gun company logos" or "smoking hot Arab woman" and a host of others that should have led to porn sites rather than here.  Well, I aim to please... even accidentally.

Out of 170 blog posts, these are the top 10 (in order, as of this writing):

Big Tobacco Control's Intimidation Tactics**

Into the Black**

The Utter Desperation of Stephen Williams MP

How to Spot Another ASH Stooge

Professor of Prohibition

If Only We Could Ban Everything

Super Twat of the Month - June 2012

Meet Your Democratically Elected Nannying Tyrants

Steve Taylor - An Incomplete History

Taxes (Part 1)

(**Update: Shortly after publishing this post, my blog post "Into The Black" moved into first place among the top 10.)

Most of the traffic to my site (about 70%)  is from referrals from others' blogrolls or from links in their posts.  So, with huge thanks, the top 10 referrers are (excluding search and social media traffic):

Additional thanks to John TiltDave Atherton, Chris Snowdon and to everyone else for their links and tweets to this blog, which altogether has brought quite a bit of traffic here, too. Also thanks to the fine folks at Hands Off Our Packs!

The vast majority of readers, unsurprisingly, hail from the United Kingdom (76%), followed by the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Germany in much smaller percentages.  Recently, New Zealand traffic has increased, likely due to their current plain packaging consultation.  Greece, Denmark, Cyprus and Turkey also get a nod for coming to this blog regularly.

(Please note: This site does not track IP addresses -- the above country stats are derived from Google Analytics, so I have no idea who you are, nor do I have any inclination to track any of you down.)

So... interesting times....

In the last six months we have seen the Public Health hate campaigners ratchet up their propaganda war to denormalise smokers even more. But it is no longer only about smokers -- these public health asshats are going after everyone they don't like now. Drinkers. Eaters. Big Soda. Big Meat. Big Anything and Everything. That slippery slope or "domino theory" that they have claimed doesn't exist? It exists. In spades.

If you peer behind their thinly-disguised veil of health hate, you might see that it's never been about health, and increasingly to me it looks like it is more a class war against the poor, as it always was in the past.  You see, these soulless sacks of human waste in Public Health and in our governments honestly believe that the poor are too stupid to make their own decisions. They have made careers out of dictating and legislating how people should live their lives. They say they want to protect everyone, especially the poor, but it's a lie. They want to control you. They seek only to oppress people whilst enriching themselves; they look down upon all of us, sneering from their ivory towers, callously justifying their faux morality and deceitful actions as necessary for the greater good.  Yet, they do not liberate anyone. Instead they seek to shackle all of us to a life devoid of freedom, enjoyment and happiness: a grey, dull and miserable existence where everyone does precisely as they are told.

Many of the leaders in the Public Health religion, though they believe otherwise, are pure evil. Others in their flocks have been grossly deceived by the propaganda and indoctrinated whilst at university or earlier, unaware that they are being used to further an agenda of hate. It's the modern crusade against the infidels, the unbelievers.  We have all seen how easy it is for them to dress up their crusade as being one of kindness and compassion. But it is nonetheless a campaign of evil tyranny against those who do not believe in the gods and tenets of Public Health.

The Public Health zealots know that to succeed they need to capture the minds of young children, so they tirelessly preach their gospel in schools until the children accept this faith blindly and unquestioningly. And for those who grow up and wilfully refuse to partake of the sacrament, they create laws to enforce compliance.  Resistance is futile. "Believe only what we tell you," they preach. "Do only what we say and immortality is yours."  They need everyone to be afraid of everything, so that the masses will seek out their counsel and part with their gold.  Fear is their weapon of choice, and these hateful bastards wield that weapon handily against an unsuspecting, uninformed and unarmed population. They squeal with unbridled delight over their conquests, but they have only but begun to bludgeon all of us into submission. They march ever onwards, destroying anyone or anything that stands between them, leaving misery and hate in their wake. "Protect the Children!" is their battle cry, and it confuses and mutes the politicians, binds the hands of the media, and deafens an increasingly frightened public.

Well, that's my take on all of this. I could be wrong. You are always welcome to disagree with my views, which is something you cannot do on the Public Health side of things.

Anyway, it is my sincerest hope that this blog is both informative and entertaining. There are some incredibly awful people out there, but it's always good to be able to have a few laughs at their expense.  There are some truly good people out there too, fighting against the hate and championing the causes of liberty and freedom.  I have a good idea about what is going to happen next here in the UK, as do all of you. I suspect we'll have plenty more to moan about, unfortunately.  Yet I also hope that my suspicions turn out to be wrong. I would like that very much.  I suppose we'll see what the next six months will bring.

Monday, 24 September 2012

ASH Wales Totally Deluded

A few moments ago, I saw this tweet by ASH Wales:

I then clicked on the link in the tweet and saw this (click to enlargify):

That's right. 98 signatures so far. They've been doing this "protect actors from second-hand smoke" petition for a little over a week now. If we assume that all of the signatures are Welsh (and we cannot assume that at all, but we will accept that they are all Welsh for illustrative purposes), then "What a response!" is either incredibly hopeful or entirely deluded.  Why?

Wales has a population of 3,006,400 as of 2010 (it must be at least 3,006,450 by now). 98 signatures out of 3,006,400 people equals 0.0033% of the Welsh population in favour of supporting a smoking ban on actors and studios.  Yep, 98 people out of 3,006,400 Welsh equals "What a response!" at ASH Wales.

So are you thinking that the people at ASH Wales are total fucking idiots?  I am.

Luckily for ASH, the public won't be allowed to have a proper vote, like Switzerland.

ASH Wales are LOSERS!
ASH Wales: Losers!
Image via Blowing Smoke

Sunday, 23 September 2012


I've just read this opinion piece over at The Student Journals web site titled "Plain packaging on cigarettes won't help."  Written by Michael Allen, who is studying politics and international studies at Warwick, the article attempts to make the case against plain packs by asking whether we should allow a paternalistic government to intrude on our lifestyle choices and by drawing comparisons to fast food and alcohol ads.

While I am delighted that Mr Allen believes plain packaging "won't help" reduce smoking rates, and I am very pleased to see honest, factual statements such as "No one starts smoking because they like the look of a cigarette packet," some of the opinion piece irks me for regurgitating some of the Public Health religion's propaganda as though these were facts. They are not facts, although I understand the point Allen is making with the comparisons. I have no desire to make an issue out of the inaccuracies nor blame Allen for possibly believing in some of it. Nevertheless, I decided to blog about this when I read these lines near the end of the opinion:
Young people are becoming more and more savvy when it comes to advertising. They can see through the obvious marketing ploys that were effective on the generation before them. 
I know what he means to say: Kids aren't stupid, and we don't need to patronise them and assume they're easily swayed by marketing practices. We don't need to overprotect them. I just don't think he said it right.

Here's why: Young people of all generations have been able to see through obvious marketing ploys. My generation (which is Generation X) was equally savvy in our youth -- we were not fooled nor tricked by advertising and marketing techniques any more or less than Allen's generation is now. Perhaps some kids were deceived, just like some young kids today may be. My parents were Baby Boomers and they were no more susceptible than I or you.  Any assumption that a particular generation is somehow better able to see through advertising techniques is incorrect and misguided

Thank you, Bill. Well said. :)

Many teenagers and some young adults believe that older adults do not understand what it is like to be young. I may have believed this too, I suppose. It is the one of the great follies of youth to believe that you are somehow different than those who came before you and that nobody outside of your generation can possibly understand what it's like for you. Yet adults do understand exactly what it's like. They may not know (or care to know) what the latest popular teeny trends are, or who the coolest teeny bands are these days, but adults know what it's like to be a kid because they were once kids. I know, unbelievable.

When we were young, a lot of us thought we knew everything about everything. Our heads were filled with ideals about saving the world, fixing this national crisis or that international crisis, or becoming rich and famous actors or musicians. We went to schools, colleges or universities and we believed what our educators told us about the state of the world, only to find out later through hard-earned life experience that some of those educators deceived us. Truth be told, we didn't know squat about how the world really works, of course. We probably still don't know much more if we were being honest with ourselves. 

I suppose our only advantage is that the older we get, the more perspective we gain and the better able we are to make informed decisions. Well, some of us perhaps, and obviously not enough of us do. And yes there are some adults who think that kids today are somehow totally different than how we were like. They aren't. Not really. Kids will be kids. It is the great folly of adulthood to believe that each new generation is somehow less prepared for life.

Times change, attitudes change, marketing techniques change to suit current interests and demographic profiles, and technology certainly changes.  But the growing up part hasn't changed at all. We all went through it, and with luck some of us possibly learned a little along the way. 

We always knew that companies were trying to sell us their crappy products with their bullshit advertising. In reality, we ignored the ads (but we liked the funny ones because they made us laugh), for many of the kids of my day just wanted the same stuff that other kids had, particularly the popular kids. We rebelled and often disregarded the advice adults gave us, just like previous generations had done. We knew that smoking had risks. We knew that drinking had risks. We knew that drugs had risks. We certainly knew that fast food and fizzy drinks were not the healthiest food choices we could make. We did not care.

David Bowie explained it well enough in his song Changes way back in 1971, the year I was born:

And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through

Today's kids, they are products of the environment that adults create for them, for better or worse, and these kids are just as smart or dumb as we ever were.  I think it's a mistake to believe otherwise.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Both the Scotland Herald and the BBC are reporting that smokers and fat people cannot receive IVF in Scotland.  The Beeb says:
The health board said it would no longer provide treatment to couples if either of them smoked, or if doctors considered the woman to be overweight.
The Herald says:
NHS Fife is thought to be the first in Scotland to stipulate both partners must be non-smokers, as well as the female having particular body mass, before they will even be considered for the treatment.
We have come so far down the dirty, slippery path of denormalisation that we're now firmly on the road of the dehumanisation phase of anti-smoker tyranny.  Smokers and fat women cannot receive treatment that any other person is entitled to have.  Essentially, smokers and the overweight are not allowed to breed.  I cannot help but wonder when the NHS will target drinkers.

Full disclosure:  I do not believe that anyone has a right to spawn. Some people cannot have children, due to no fault of their own. They were dealt a shite genetic hand in life, and I do feel for them. I also think it is rather awesome that we have medical technology to help those people. But that doesn't mean everyone is entitled to have children, no matter what governments say.

However, since the government does say that everyone has a right to children, then it is utterly wrong and inhumane to exclude smokers and chubby folk whilst everyone else gets a shot at IVF. We either have a NHS that treats everyone equally, or we have no NHS at all.  Discriminatory refusal to treat one group of people over another is evil and fascist.

The people at NHS Fife responsible for this new policy are hateful scumbags. I hope they all rot in hell.

large woman smoking
Sign of the times: Denormalisation = Dehumanisation
People like this woman are not entitled to healthcare, IVF, or common decency and respect
Image via

Monday, 17 September 2012

Into The Black

No matter how many times former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and other ministers say that the government has an "open mind" about the plain packs consultation, the evidence to the contrary continues to add up.  Dick Puddlecote has pointed out just how open the government really is in numerous blog posts -- here are only a few of the many posts he wrote:

How To Rig a Public Consultation
How To Rig the Evidence for a Consultation
If You Disagree, You Will Be Silenced
How To Rig A Consultation By Excluding Relevant Government Departments

Last Friday, the Department of  Health (DH) published a freedom of information request (FOI) to the public in respect of the plain packs consultation.  I became aware of it on Saturday morning, and Simon Clark has today written about it here.

As I read through the FOI on Saturday morning, I thought it odd that the name of the Tobacco Programme Manager had been redacted from the documents. It seems that only senior civil servants' names can be released in any FOI due to privacy concerns or something like that.  Naturally, I immediately searched the web for "Tobacco Programme Manager Department of Health" and came up with the name Andrew Black in numerous references. Not exactly a private matter or secret then if it's all over Google.

"What is Andrew Black's specific role in the plain packs consultation?" you might ask.  In his own words (taken from a letter he wrote to Simon Clark on 14 June 2012 included in the FOI):

"I am the Tobacco Programme Manager at the Department of Health (DH). Within my remit, I have responsibility for the tobacco packaging consultation that is currently underway. I will also have responsibility for the analysis of consultation responses and for supporting ministerial decision making on tobacco control policies in the future."
So, Andrew Black, a junior civil servant, has the very important responsibility of managing the plain packs consultation, analysing the responses, and reporting his analysis to the government. Can we presume that Black will do so in a fair, unbiased way, with a truly "open mind"?

I don't know. I know what I think is likely based on what information I can find about Andrew Black, but I cannot say with any certainty either way.  Looking into Black's history, he is clearly a tobacco control industry advocate.  For instance:

Here is Andrew Black in November 2010 giving a presentation called "Why We Must Tackle Tobacco Use to Improve Public Health."

Here he is again giving a short presentation on smoking and harm reduction at the UK National Smoking Cessation Conference in 2011.

Andrew Black at UKNSCC
Andrew Black, Dept of Health Tobacco Programme Manager giving a presentation on harm reduction
Image via UKNSCC

Black is mentioned here on the Tobacco Free Futures web site (formerly Smokefree North West (taxpayer funded) and obviously a major plain packs supporter) as one of several speakers that "will lead discussions on how to end the tobacco epidemic in the North West" on an article called "The end of smoking in cars to protect children and young people?"

Andrew Black also co-authored this article for the journal Addiction called "Beliefs about the harms of long-term use of nicotine replacement therapy: perceptions of smokers in England." And this is strange, because we also know that Andrew Black's educational background is in geography, communications and management (which just goes to show that the tobacco control industry considers anyone -- such as Stanton Glantz -- who wants to eradicate smoking as an acceptable academic). Black's bio from the Tobacco Free Futures web site says:

Andrew Black Bio
Until October 2007, Andrew led the Department’s Smokefree Legislation Team. Andrew has also worked in other fields with the Department of Health including medicine regulation, social services inspection and was the private secretary to the Health Minister Lord Warner.  Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Andrew studied geography at the University of New South Wales and has post graduate qualifications in communications and in management. Andrew is also a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and Royal Australian Air Force College and served as a Royal Australian Air Force officer for ten years.
Further searching shows that Andrew Black is on the Advisory Board for UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies along with the other usual suspects in the tobacco control industry:

And there is quite a bit more, but I think you get the point by now. Perhaps his title at the DH should be renamed to Tobacco Control Programme Manager. This seems more apt to me.

Nevertheless, if the government truly wanted an honest, transparent consultation, would it wilfully install a known supporter (member?) of the tobacco control industry to oversee it?  Can we trust that the analysis will be fair and impartial and not wholly rigged by the tobacco control industry from conception to conclusion?

In closing, can we really trust this man?
Andrew Black
Andrew Black
Image via Facebook

Update: Dick Puddlecote has more on Andrew Black here.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Open Discussion: To Cross-Border Shop or Not?

My previous post has attracted some interesting comments from both Smoking Hot and SadButMadLad.  You can read them all starting here.

Both gentlemen make very good points -- starve the taxman by legally buying your tobacco products abroad (EU), or buy them locally (UK) to ensure that sales figures here remain steady to show that tobacco control industry legislation doesn't actually work. With thanks to both, here are excerpts of their comments:

SH: Starve them all out by never buying UK tobacco products. Purchase your smokes abroad. Anyone that buys their smokes in this country are paying for their own harassment ... period. [...]

SBML: That would be playing into their hand because they (TC) can then show the falling sales figures and say "Look our methods do work". What you need to do is keep buying from your local shop to show that display bans don't work. [...]

So should you cross-border shop or not? 

Please read all their comments, and then feel free to offer your opinion here in this thread.  I'm not taking sides. Let's keep it civil...


Friday, 14 September 2012

Believe or Be Cast Out

An article published in the Nelson Mail, a New Zealand paper, suggests that the tobacco display ban is not working to reduce sales of cigarettes after two months.  To be fair, two months hardly seems long enough to judge the effect on any kind of prohibitive legislation -- a year would be more interesting, and two or three years even better.

Nevertheless, the quotes by retailers are illuminating:
Victory On The Spot owner David Ranchhod said the new rules hadn't made a dent in tobacco sales, because people who smoked “know what they want to buy”.

“They just think it's a big joke really - what the Government is doing. It's like a dictator trying to change people's minds. It's just ridiculous," he said.
Well, yes on both counts, Mr Ranchhod. It is ridiculous, and the health fascists in your dictatorial government are trying to change people's minds and behaviour.  Have a gold star, sir, but they will have at you for your failure to believe in their faith.  Because they and many others believe that just looking at something makes you want it.

Consider Mr Andrew Swanson-Dobb's statement comparing chocolate to tobacco:
"I know if I see chocolate, I want more of it. If I don't see it, I'm going to have less of it. I think the less we see tobacco advertising or tobacco products in society, the less people will want it."
This is a crap analogy. I have known quite a large number of people who crave chocolate nearly all the time without seeing it.  You do not need to see something in order to want it or even crave it. You simply need to know that something is available, and if it's not readily available, you will probably go look for some. Indeed, I've worked with people who scoured the entire multi-storey office building to determine if any chocolate biscuits were about.

Paradoxically, if something is unavailable, you are likely to want it even more than if it were in bountiful supply.

In the Public Health religion, it's easy to conflate seeing a product with desiring a product. But like any other religion, this gospel isn't true for all of the people. I can look at something all day and not want it, even if I love it.  I can even want something that I can see, something within reach, but not indulge my desire.  It's called willpower, or self-control. I can make a choice to abstain.  Am I alone my ability to do this?

The Public Health zealots would have you believe that everyone is incapable of exercising self-control, that all of your choices have already been made for you.  It is the religious equivalent of negative destiny, and only by opening your mind, body and everlasting soul to the one true god of Public Health can you avoid the temptation of desiring anything that they believe is harmful -- so long as you hide these harmful products from view.

Out of sight, out of mind is the main tenet of the tobacco control industry. For those who have faith, it probably works to some degree. But it does not work for everyone. It will never work for everyone.

Still, the health fascists are disappointed that there has been no reduction in sales in only two months.  Like those seduced into a religious cult which believes a comet in the sky will herald the end of the world, the flock of Public Health zealots believed cigarette sales would decrease almost instantly upon a display ban in  New Zealand. And if there is no evidence of an instantaneous decrease, then believe your acts are helpful anyway.
Labour's health spokeswoman Maryan Street said she thought retail outlets would see a reduction in sales. The lack of displays helped those who were struggling with nicotine addictions, because they were no longer confronted by tobacco products all the time.

“That's got to be helpful. As for the nanny-state accusations, I have always believed that the law changes people's behaviour, and that attitudes come next. You can't compel people to feel differently about things or to have different attitudes, but you can compel them to change their behaviour and that usually results further down the line in a change of attitude. The restrictions on smoking are a prime example of that."
That quote above is frightening. Is it not? This is what denormalisation is all about. To compel you to change your beliefs. To force you to accept the gospel of Public Health under penalty of law.

These are evil people, pretending they care about you and children. They are using the laws that they create and their positions in government to make you see the light and believe.  They do not care about you at all, however. They only care about their own personal belief system, and anyone who doesn't follow their commandments are sinners and heathens, unworthy of a place in society. 
H/T Carrick Graham on Twitter

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Irish Doctors Hate You Too

May the deity of Public Health forbid smokers ever get injured in Ireland, for they shall not be treated with courtesy nor respect.  A hospital in Letterkenny, Donegal hates smokers so much that they're going to force them to stand in the street, practically.

No smoking in the car park. No smoking anywhere on hospital grounds.  It's a bit of a walk to the pavement and the nurses aren't allowed to go with you. You're on your own, if you can make it there and back. 

Traverse the gauntlet if you dare, smokers
 "But Elaine Robinson, the hospital's specialist in smoking cessation, said that as a healthcare institution it can no longer be seen to promote smoking," the BBC's article says.
Emphasis added in the above quote.

So, allow me to understand this properly: Letting people be grown-ups and doing what they want to do is promoting smoking? Are you fucking mad, lady?

Ms Robinson is not alone on her insane quest to eradicate smokers, though, and she has Dr. Santhosh David and Martina McDaid to keep her company on the road to prohibition, as this Donegal Daily news article suggests (emphasis added):
Martina McDaid, Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse, LGH, states; “We are serious about treating tobacco use as a care issue, as an addiction, and not as a lifestyle choice, and we provide support and treatments for people who want or need to quit here on campus and in the community.
"For those who are not ready to quit on admission, we will provide treatments to assist them to manage their addiction during their hospital stay."
Interesting choice of words. Looks like you, smoker, do not have any choice in the matter. They will take care of forcing you to quit, or you can stand alongside the N56 (if you make it that far) and breathe clean, healthy exhaust fumes.  Because they care about your health.

Well, that's Ireland scratched off my list of potential holiday destinations.

Do not get ill in Donegal
Welcome to Denormalisation

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wednesday Wibblers

Eradication Plans revealed in Australia -- click to enlargify:

This is parody
Australian Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek today laid out her approved plan for eradicating smokers
 * * *

Reframe the argument and the facts when faced with overwhelming opposition to plain packs and say you have unanimous support anyway:

Ailsa Rutter - Definitely Cute, Certainly Dangerous!
"There has been unanimous support from the NHS and local authorities in the North East, as well as a range of other organisations [...]" - professional antismoker Ailsa Rutter, FRESH NE

* * *

One more Sheep Minion sadly added to the blog post of shame.

"Plain packaging is a widely recommended solution and I am keen to see this introduced" - Dame Anne Begg MP

Monday, 10 September 2012


Next month we will see the Department of Health's, NHS's, BHF's, and CRUK's Stoptober campaign coming to a social media network and pharmacy near you.  If you haven't already heard about it, you can follow any of the links in the preceding sentence, or you can read this BBC article.

It would seem that a single No Smoking Day in March, nor even an entire week (in Canada) is enough to get you to stop smoking. We now need an entire 31-day month filled with as much propaganda as possible to "help" you change your lifestyle. How long before we see a No Smoking Year, or No Smoking Decade? 

ASH's Martin Dockerell says:
"You get a surge of people quitting on New Year’s Day and in March on no-smoking day. But there’s nothing for the rest of the year.”
Dockerell is wrong, of course. All year long we are nagged to fucking kingdom come about quitting smoking by ASH (UK) and ASH (Wales) and ASH (Scotland) and how we're killing fetuses, babies, children and women the world over with our second-hand smoke that never goes away and transforms into that magical substance third-hand smoke.  I suppose he forgot that.

If I can make one thing very clear, it would be this:  If you truly want to quit smoking, then quit smoking.  Or try to quit. It's your body, and it's your choice. Victoria Coren has quit smoking.  Her story is a good read. On the subject of people incessantly nagging you to death (which is what you should expect in spades this October), Victoria writes:
Others nagged about it being disgusting, without realising this only increases the smoker's need. If a loved one is openly critical, you smoke more to console yourself. If a stranger is derogatory, you smoke more to keep defining yourself as a carefree liberal compared to this pious finger-pointer. So, do nag people about smoking if you're keen to express your own superiority, but don't pretend it's helping them.
Indeed, Frank Davis, never one to mince his words, responds to this latest "mass quit campaign" thusly:
For someone like me, it’s a matter of honour now to never give up smoking. Even if I get lung cancer, I’ll use my last faint breath to pull on a cigarette. Because to give up smoking now is to surrender to these bastards, and I could never forgive myself for that. Once it was a free choice I could make: now it’s just moral blackmail, and I’ll never give in.
Free choice.  It always about choice. The antis will tell you that nicotine is the most addictive substance on the planet, that Big Tobacco has taken away your ability to choose.  They say Big Tobacco forced you to smoke with their evil advertising, and when that was taken away, it was the packet itself designed to target 6-year-olds, and now it's other subliminal messages.  None of that is true. The facts are, you chose to smoke. And if you want to quit, you can choose to quit.

I'm not going to quit smoking this October, because I do not want to quit.

Neither does Pat Nurse.  To say that Pat is angry at our government and the tobacco control industry would be an understatement. Following a tongue-in-cheek tweet by Christopher Snowdon, Pat has decided to organise the #Octabber campaign, a counter-response to the Stoptober campaign next month.  So if you don't want to give up the tabs (northern England slang for cigarettes), why not give the tobacco control industry two fingers by supporting the #Octabber campaign instead?

We'll  be tweeting the hashtag #octabber throughout the month of October.  No doubt some twat will say we're encouraging children and women to smoke (keeping in mind that the tobacco control industry typically disregards men as victims of big tobacco subliminal marketing campaigns).  We aren't doing that. We're just saying we're not going to quit.

It's your choice.  Do what you like. I'm supporting #Octabber, because I don't want to quit and I'm tired of all of the nannying tyrants interfering with my life.

Here are some images (original created by Lawson Narse, with thanks!) that you can use as badges for your site or whatever you want

500 x 500 px
250 x 250 px
150 x 150 px

100 x 100 px
Update: I've just located Lawson's poster for this campaign -- it's sweet! -- so including it here, too:

If you're on Twitter, you can add a Twibbon to your profile's avatar by going here:

For more on Stoptober, see also:

Don't forget to read Pat's:

And finally, a few months back, one of my regular readers, Tony, commented with a great link to a hugely funny (and mostly accurate) "anti-smoker" piss-take South Park episode.  The bottom player works well. Watch it here: