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Tobacco plain packs – a protection against the “Silent Salesman”

January 16, 2012

This morning I was pleased to help launch Europe’s first major campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of glitzy tobacco packaging to children.  The Coalition Government will shortly launch its consultation exercise on whether to follow the example of Australia and introduce the plain packaging of cigarettes.

The roof top events space of Bristol’s new M-Shed Museum was the setting for a one day conference of public health professionals from across England.  I pointed out to delegates that downstairs in the Bristol at Work gallery was the only place where you could now find a cigarette vending machine, donated by lmperial Tobacco.  These machines, which provided easy access to cigarettes, could be found in almost every pub in England until last October.  Since last October they’ve been consigned to history.

The next step on the way to comprehensive tobacco control will come in April with the ban on the open display of cigarettes at tobacco kiosks in supermarkets.  So when you’re buying your Easter eggs, lottery tickets or just visiting customer services you will not be able to see the rows of branded tobacco products.

But once the pack of fags has been bought people will still be exposed to the subtle marketing techniques of the cigarette companies.  Tobacco plain packs will offer protection against the antics of the “Silent Salesmen” of Imperial, Phillip Morris and the other multi-nationals who own the still all too familiar brands.   Over the last decade in Britain and around the world all the other marketing and advertising avenues have been blocked – the design of the cigarette packet is the only tool left to the companies to push their brands and together recruit a new generation of young smokers.

The primary aim of the campaign to introduce plain packs of cigarettes will be to protect children and young people from the subtle marketing techniques of the brand owners.  They’ve become adept at designing packs that might appeal to teenage girls, for instance boxes in the shape of lipstick tubes.  Boys may be tempted by the sliding compartments of boxes that look like smart phones or I-Pods.  Names like “vogue” or “sobranie cocktail” where the cigarettes as well as the packs are given an upmarket look might appeal to those who fall for products that are “reassuringly expensive”, to borrow a phrase from another branded product.

Plain packs would be the same size, same colour, same font for the product name and nothing else other than the health warning.   The Silent Salesman would not just be mute, he’d look very dull and lonely.

Those of us who support plain packs being introduced in Britain do so in order to prevent the cigarette companies from recruiting new addicts.  Hardly anyone takes up smoking as an adult.  Most of the new customers for the industry are teens.  As one expert put it this morning, “smoking is a paediatric epidemic driven by the marketing of the tobacco industry.”

I’m proud that Smoke Free South West is spearheading this awareness raising campaign and that it was launched in my constituency.  You can find out more by looking at http://www.plainpacksprotect.co.uk/  and signing up for updates. The campaign is being supported by a wide coalition of health bodies, including Cancer Research UK , the British Heart Foundation and the Royal College of Physicians.  The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, which I chair, will building support in Parliament for the campaign.  Further impediments to the antics of big tobacco’s army of silent salesmen will help stop another generation of people becoming trapped into the addiction of this most terrible product.

Note – people in this topic might also want to read https://stephenwilliamsmp.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/tobacco-control-why-im-proud-of-the-coalition-government/ and https://stephenwilliamsmp.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/protecting-children-from-smoke-in-cars/

UPDATE 13 March 2012 – I have written to the Govt to ensure that review of “red tape” regulation does not compromise tobacco control http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/the-pm-his-prosmoking-aide-and-a-dirty-war-over-cigarette-packaging-7563261.html

1,408 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2012 4:34 pm

    Your research is flawed. My three siblings took up smoking as adults…And, so did my daughter…

    • Simon Chapman permalink
      January 19, 2012 9:51 pm

      Good one Lynda! I know some people who have played Russina roulette several times and never died. Anyone who reckons its dangerous doesn’t know hat they are talking about.

      • January 19, 2012 11:45 pm

        I think generational lifelong smokers know far more than smokerphobics who base knowledge on hate and nothing more. You are not a scientist neither do you smoke. You are a social engineer who wants to world in your own image.

      • Frank J permalink
        January 20, 2012 9:02 am

        She is talking about the ‘attraction’ of plain packaging to the ‘cheeeldren’ or didn’t you read the piece properly? i.e. they didn’t take up smoking as children. They were adults who decided for themselves, an alien concept to your like, I appreciate. Sheesh!

        Some of your comments on here really do question your ability to comprehend or analyse.

      • Fredrik Eich permalink
        January 20, 2012 10:53 am

        “I know some people who have played Russian roulette several times and never died.” Simon Chapman.
        Yes, you are right, smoking is just like playing Russian roulette. When I got captured by the VC in Nam, my guards offered me the choice of playing Russian roulette or smoking cigarettes. I rather sensibly, I am sure you would agree, chose cigarettes. Apparently, decades later, after I died they could not quite work out whether my age related cryptogenic disease that caused my demise was in fact related to the cigarettes or not. No such problem with Russian roulette.

        It’s a good job that film “The Deer Hunter” did not feature death by cigarette smoking because I don’t think audiences would be able to wait long enough
        for the climax, after all us modern smokers enjoy a fantastic life expectancy. All the more time to enjoy smoking and boozing with. Although, I could possibly add another ten years to my life by giving up sex and becoming a eunuch but hey, give it enough time and Stephen may make that choice for me, seeing as it the job of politicians to prolong peoples lives whether they want it or not.

      • Kin_Free permalink
        January 21, 2012 4:32 pm

        Indeed smoking may be dangerous simon, but Let’s look at some raw figures, before anti-tobacco statisticians have ‘adjusted ‘ them for ‘clarity’!

        In the last 50 years or so, smoking prevalence has reduced by roughly half in the USA BUT Lung cancer has increased 31% in EIGHT recent years;
        Lung and Bronchus cancers in USA
        NEW Cases;
        2000: – 164,100
        2008: – 215,020
        (ref. American Cancer Society – these figures have since been removed from the ACS website)
        US population increased by 8% over the same period.

        Quote; “The majority of lung cancer diagnoses in the United States now are either in people who never smoked or in people who have quit,” (Dr. Bruce Johnson of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Boston) – Nov 2010.

        Taking this a bit further;

        Male smoking rate;
        USA; around 25% (or less)
        China; around 60%

        All cancers male (age adjusted);
        USA – 407 per 100,000
        China – 205 per 100,000
        (Pfizer 2008)

        Note the USA has less than HALF the male smoking rate of China, BUT nearly DOUBLE the cancer rate!

        or how about this, even more, stark contrast;

        Indonesia; Male smoking rate, @ nearly 70% with an all cancer incidence rate @ only 95 per 100,000 !
        ie. Less than ONE QUARTER the cancer rate in USA (407 per 100,000). USA smoking rates are ONE THIRD that of Indonesia! (Pfizer facts: The Burden of Cancer in Asia – 2008)
        (Bear in mind that life expectancy in Indonesia is less than USA, suggesting that cancers are in fact age related rather than smoking related)

        I will let the reader use their own powers of rational deduction to interpret these facts and work out the implications. I think it is worth pointing out however that tobacco related ‘science’ has been corrupted by money, vested interest and political ideology over many decades, culminating in Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco CONTROL, signed by many countries in 2003/4, where any scientists should be left in no doubt about what will happen to them if they dare to produce anything that contradicts the current anti-tobacco consensus science.

        ps. Simon Chapman, are you really anti-tobacco’s top ‘expert’ in Australia – the best they can produce?

      • Oliver Francis permalink
        April 16, 2013 3:10 pm

        SORRY ALL – mr chapman is talking about sample data vs actual data…

        He is being sarcastic about the sample of 3 people taking up smoking in adulthood as a rule that mr williams’ research is unfounded.

        He is mocking lynda by saying he knows lots of people who have survived russian roulette and therefore makes the logical (from the sample of the people he knows) / illogical (in practice) that russian roulette is safe.

    • jon322i34 permalink
      June 17, 2013 9:12 am

      @lyndaphillips2

      yes because your siblings and kids = every child between 14-17 years old in the world.

      NOTIFY THE PRESS.

      Get your head out of your ass please.

  2. Douglas Smith permalink
    January 16, 2012 4:38 pm

    Do you really have no more pressing matters than this?

    Is this a hot topic among your constituents? Are they concerned about it?
    I’m guessing that things like public transport, closure of the runway at Filton, regeneration of stokes critters, or even the Costa Coffee shop at the voting of my road are bigger issues.

    • jon322i34 permalink
      June 17, 2013 9:11 am

      This is important. Smoking compared in europe compared to au/usa/nz is disgusting.

      ban smoking in parks/beaches/5 yards from buildings.

      anything that stops 14-17 year olds from smoking is a GOOD thing. do you really think the tobacco companies have public health in mind or profits? lol

  3. david permalink
    January 16, 2012 4:48 pm

    Wow, next you’ll be telling us about the ‘success’ of NRT (98%+ failure over twelve months – governments own figure)

  4. January 16, 2012 4:50 pm

    Correct me if I am wrong but do not heroin, ecstasy crack and cannabis come in plain packets, does not seem to stop them making it attractive to people. The forbidden fruit becomes sweeter.

    The main reason for this post is that in 2009 the following academic institutions researched smokers attitudes to hard hitting health warnings and by implication due to the coverage of a packet, plain packaging. The net result was surprising, it encouraged smokers to want to smoke more:

    New York University, Department of Psychology, 6 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, United States
    b University of Basel, Department of Psychology, Missionsstrasse 60/62, CH-4055 Basel, Switzerland
    c University of Würzburg, Lehrstuhl für Psychologie II, Röntgenring 10, D-97070 Würzburg, Germany

    The results were surprising due to the psychological condition know as “Terror Managment,” from Ernest Becker who argues that “.. all human action is taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death.” Here is a summary from Jerry Fink and the 3rd quote is from the paper.

    “A 2010 New York University study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (46,1) found that the anxiety evoked from the graphic images on cigarette packages could actually cause an increase in smoking…”

    “…cigarette package images may cause people who already smoke to smoke more, as cigarette smoking is closely linked to one’s sense of self. Adolescents and young adults are particularly prone to coping in this manner. When presented with the threat of mortality, teens and young adults who already smoke may become more entrenched in their smoking habits in an attempt to bolster their fragile and developing sense of self.”

    ” Results suggest that to the degree that smoking is a source of self-esteem, later attitudes towards smoking become more positive if the warning message is mortality-salient. On the contrary, if the warning is terrifying but not mortality-salient and relates to the source of self-esteem, smoking attitudes become more negative with higher smoking-based self-esteem.”

    http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=43740&cn=1310

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103109002285

    • Simon Chapman permalink
      January 19, 2012 9:49 pm

      Dave, if illicit drugs were advertised, beautifully packaged & cheap as chips perhaps they might sell a whole lot more, no? And if the study that excites you above was anything but nonsense, I wonder why all the tobacco companies don’t climb over themselves to ensure that pack warnings are as terrible as possible? “anxiety evoked from the graphic images on cigarette packages could actually cause an increase in smoking…” — I’m sure the companies would be very upset to learn this. You should get onto them mate.

      • Fredrik Eich permalink
        January 20, 2012 11:16 am

        Simon, drugs are very often branded for precisely the reasons that cigarette packets are branded, it’s to give consumers more confidence
        that they are getting what they pay for, quality and assurance of a reliable supplier. The other great thing about drugs is that due
        to their legal status they are not covered in anti-drug pornography the way cigarettes are covered in anti-smoking pornography. No chance of anti-drug campaigners being able to share pretty pictures of dead people on power point presentations at their anti-drug conventions.

      • January 21, 2012 10:47 am

        Simon, I have done some preliminary research and will be blogging about it later on today. It appears that drug consumption in the UK among school children 12+ to early 20s is higher than tobacco consumption or is at least on a par. It seems the elicit trade’s plain packaging is no hindrance. Here is a taster.

        “In 2006, 17% of pupils reported taking drugs in the last year, a fall from 19% in 2005”

        “For 15 year olds, 52% reported ever being offered cannabis with 18% having ever been offered cocaine and ecstasy.”

        http://www.ic.nhs.uk/webfiles/publications/drugmisuse07/Drugs%20misuse-England%202007%20with%20links%20and%20buttons.pdf

    • jon322i34 permalink
      June 17, 2013 9:15 am

      @daveatherton

      and if heroin, ecstasy, and crack were sold in stores on every corner in nice pretty packages…do you think sales would increase or decrease?

      do you even think before you write replies on here?

  5. Charles permalink
    January 16, 2012 4:50 pm

    I don’t believe that any child has bought their first cigarette(s) from a shop or a vending machine. I believe that every child who starts smoking is given it’s first cigarette(s) by a friend.

    • Oliver Francis permalink
      April 16, 2013 3:12 pm

      #nailedit

    • jon322i34 permalink
      June 17, 2013 9:18 am

      @Charles

      ok, so better to do NOTHING to decrease smoking rates. Let’s just let the tobacco companies do whatever they want. While we’re at it let’s go back to letting them advertise in television and print media.

      Instead of coming up with alternatives you just bash what others are trying to do. Good points there Charles!

  6. tug permalink
    January 16, 2012 4:51 pm

    Another Pointless exercise set up by anti tobacco, the smoke free campaign has been a very costly failure to the Taxpayer and the only result from “smoke-free” has seen our Great British Pubs and Clubs being killed off by the ill thought out Smoking Ban. Since 2007 all the “claims” made by the anti smoking lobby have proven to be False. It is time for some common sense to be shown. Lifestyle choice is just that, Choice, the Public are sick of the “Nanny state”.

    • jon322i34 permalink
      June 17, 2013 9:20 am

      @tug

      “the Public are sick of the “Nanny state”.

      Actually the public is sick of second hand smoke everywhere.

      “Great British Pubs and Clubs being killed off”

      Money is more important than health?

      Good analysis there.

  7. January 16, 2012 4:52 pm

    Correct me if I am wrong but do not heroin, ecstasy crack and cannabis come in plain packets, does not seem to stop them making it attractive to people. The forbidden fruit becomes sweeter.
    The main reason for this post is that in 2009 the following academic institutions researched smokers attitudes to hard hitting health warnings and by implication due to the coverage of a packet, plain packaging. The net result was surprising, it encouraged smokers to want to smoke more:
    New York University, Department of Psychology, 6 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, United States
    b University of Basel, Department of Psychology, Missionsstrasse 60/62, CH-4055 Basel, Switzerland
    c University of Würzburg, Lehrstuhl für Psychologie II, Röntgenring 10, D-97070 Würzburg, Germany
    The results were surprising due to the psychological condition know as “Terror Managment,” from Ernest Becker who argues that “.. all human action is taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death.” Here is a summary from Jerry Fink and the 3rd quote is from the paper.
    “A 2010 New York University study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (46,1) found that the anxiety evoked from the graphic images on cigarette packages could actually cause an increase in smoking…”
    “…cigarette package images may cause people who already smoke to smoke more, as cigarette smoking is closely linked to one’s sense of self. Adolescents and young adults are particularly prone to coping in this manner. When presented with the threat of mortality, teens and young adults who already smoke may become more entrenched in their smoking habits in an attempt to bolster their fragile and developing sense of self.”
    ” Results suggest that to the degree that smoking is a source of self-esteem, later attitudes towards smoking become more positive if the warning message is mortality-salient. On the contrary, if the warning is terrifying but not mortality-salient and relates to the source of self-esteem, smoking attitudes become more negative with higher smoking-based self-esteem.”

  8. January 16, 2012 5:08 pm

    I see in the last 5 years you smoking rates of 16-19 year olds was 24% in 2004, dipped down to 21% in 2007 and post smoking ban are up to 24% again. And yes that is a URL from Cancer Research you see before your eyes. You have to paste it into Google as URL’s on Stephen’s blog go into moderation.

    info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/lung/smoking/#age

  9. DonkeyKong permalink
    January 16, 2012 5:27 pm

    I thought this was the Liberal party? Why are you wasting your time as an MP trying steal companies’ branding IP? daveatherton is right, it won’t affect smoking rates and will simply make counterfeit tobacco packets a much easier business…
    Go and join the Labour Party if you think this is a valid use of your time as an elected representative (although I imagine many of them will find this as ridiculous as I and many others do…

  10. January 16, 2012 5:34 pm

    @DonkeyKong

    It is not only that but under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules it maybe illegal under Article 20. So you will a long drawn out legal battle costing the tax payers £millions.

    “Article 20

    Other Requirements

    The use of a trademark in the course of trade shall not be unjustifiably encumbered by special requirements, such as use with another trademark, use in a special form or use in a manner detrimental to its capability to distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. This will not preclude a requirement prescribing the use of the trademark identifying the undertaking producing the goods or services along with, but without linking it to, the trademark distinguishing the specific goods or services in question of that undertaking.”

    Add www. to the URL. wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/27-trips_04_e.htm#art20

  11. January 16, 2012 5:34 pm

    The other major flaw in this argument is that people do not START smoking because of glitzy packages. The tobacco companies do not like this measure because it prevents DIFFERENTIATION. For the antis who don’t understand what this means, i’ll spell it out:
    Firstly, a non-smoker has seen packets anyway. They know what a cigarette is, what it does and what it looks like. For every reason people decide to want to smoke, the packet isn’t it.

    What the packet CAN influence is the brand. So, if someone decides to start smoking but isn’t sure what brand to get first, the packaging can influence them. That’s differentiation. That’s what every competitor in every industry does: differentiates from other companies. Saying Imperial et al don’t want it proves that it will stop people smoking is akin to saying Dell would be angry if each computer had to be the same aesthetic because it’d mean people would no longer buy computers. All it would really mean is people wouldn’t have any reason to choose one over another in terms of looks. Same with cigarettes. People will opt for the cheaper brand for instance, which will annoy Philip Morris because Marlboros are expensive.

    The only other thing that will happen with this is people will get creative. Cigarette tins and cases have been around forever, and people will buy more, decorate them, customise them, and make them unique. This will make smoking more distinctive and individual than at any point in its history.

  12. Chris permalink
    January 16, 2012 5:40 pm

    “So when you’re buying your Easter eggs, lottery tickets or just visiting customer services you will not be able to see the rows of branded tobacco products.”

    And what a tremendous advancement for liberty and enlightenment that will be. Thank you “Liberal” Democrats.

  13. Bill Brown permalink
    January 16, 2012 6:07 pm

    Another MP falls victim to the Pharmaceutical industry sales pitch.
    More rent seeking, ego stroking, feel-good legislation that serves no purpose beyond being able to say “look what I did”.

    Here’s a better idea, lets put all the Anti-Liberty forces in the same plain suit, …then we’ll know who to avoid for our own well-being, and who to point at when we say. You did this to our country.

  14. Gregster permalink
    January 16, 2012 7:12 pm

    You do know what liberal means, don’t you?

  15. Phil Button (Dr) permalink
    January 16, 2012 7:14 pm

    Glad to see tremendous support for your worthless plan Stephen! I don’t think I’ve had such a laugh for an age as I read my esteemed friends educated responses. You plonker!

  16. Angel permalink
    January 16, 2012 7:23 pm

    If the Liberal Democrats want the “evidence-based” drug policy they say they want – why don’t they wait for the Australian laws to kick in later this year and get some REAL evidence?

    Why? They are terrified that the Australia plain pack wont cut smoking rates (why would it?) , or slow take up amongst “young people” – and then it will be almost impossible for the UK to follow suit… best to get in there quickly and get the legislation onto the books before it’s shown not to work.

    Couldn’t all these £millions spent on lobbying under the guise of research be put to better use?

    Pretty shabby Mr Williams. Not very liberal. Not very good use of your time or our money.

  17. Anthony Williams permalink
    January 16, 2012 7:28 pm

    Never read such a load of old twaddle in all my years, get a grip Stephen or better still get a life.

  18. Bill Carlyle permalink
    January 16, 2012 7:29 pm

    There is no evidence for the plain packaging stopping children smoking or starting in the first place. Yet more expense for the shopkeepers to “hide” the forbidden fruit and to send them into closure. Another complete waste of time and money, another inconvenience for the smoker!

    With all the efforts being targeted at smokers, why don’t you just advocate that all smokers should be line up and shot on sight! Then all the non-smokers can dig further into their own pockets for the £11 billion of taxation that will be lost. Who ever pull the word “liberal” in Liberal Democrats, never knew its true meaning.

    I despair for this country and the low calibre of MPs that we have send to London to govern us – a complete waste of space!

    • Henry Crun permalink
      January 19, 2012 10:10 am

      It is not a parliamentary democracy at Westminster anymore. It is a parliamentary kakistocracy – government by the least able.

  19. Derek Launch permalink
    January 16, 2012 7:49 pm

    Since when have easter eggs been sold at tobacco kiosks? A sad attempt at linking kids with cigarette sales for adults, shame on you and Sobranie Cocktails have been on the market since the seventies, you make it sound like this is a recent ploy by tobacco companies. They could have been banned in the last illiberal anti-smoking legislation, why weren’t they? Could it be because there is no evidence that they recruit young smokers? I think you know the answer.

  20. David permalink
    January 16, 2012 8:34 pm

    If you look very carefully at this comment thread you’ll notice that every single entry is negative, both to this and all other repressive measure aimed, if we can drop the hysterical “think of the children” pretence for a moment, at bullying people who smoke into ceasing their lawful and legitimate habit. What will you do about it: will you pause, will you reverse, or will you just carry on anyway trashing the freedoms for which your party laughingly claims to stand?

    Smoking is less unhealthy than oppression. You and your kind are the ones who should come with the warning.

  21. January 16, 2012 8:55 pm

    Another article from one of the pompous elite who think they know best. Let’s have a few economic facts. From the Government’s own figures the cost to the NHS of smoking related diseases is £2.7 billion/year. Wow you say. In that case smoking should be curtailed. However the Anti-smokng zealots never tell the other side of the story. Revenue on tobacco brings revenue to the treasury of £11 billion. It would seem to me that if this money was allocated to the NHS, then smokers are subsidising the healthcare of non smokers.

    Makes you wonder why we vote idiots into parliament. Then again most of the 650 would find it difficult to hold down a proper job.

  22. james permalink
    January 16, 2012 8:56 pm

    This campaign will not reduce smoking prevalence.
    Stephen stop wasting your time and precious taxpayers money, on such a completely pointless exercise. Arguments that you are protecting children by using grotesque colours on cigarette packs don’t stand up scrutiny. This would be just another assault adult on smokers, using the children as an excuse.
    Why don’t you redeploy these bully state tactics, to fat people or drinkers now because smokers have had enough.

  23. S. Donald permalink
    January 16, 2012 8:59 pm

    “The primary aim of the campaign is to protect children”
    Sorry, from where I,m standing a six year old child might have dreamed this whole idiotic idea up. It lacks Evidence. It makes our MP,s appear stupid and it lacks any good old fashioned common sense.
    I would suggest as an MP you should be concentrating on helping all the small businesses thrive instead of deliberately creating more problems.

  24. January 16, 2012 9:04 pm

    There is no point in brandishing statistics and reasoned argument at this person. He won’t deviate from his course until every smoker is shuffling down dark streets wearing a hoodie and looking for a car to break into. That’s where denormalisation ends, and these proposals are “the next logical step” in achieving what he sinisterly calls “comprehensive tobacco control” – similar to the “control” now exercised on illegal drugs – which are bought and sold in plain packaging by criminal.

    I have always believed myself to be a respectable member of society. This man is intent on taking away my self-respect. He is a Liberal.

    • Frank J permalink
      January 17, 2012 7:09 am

      Exactly. He’s a waste of time, prejudiced from the start. Don’t waste any breath. One thing I hope I never am is as bigoted and plain stupid as your average anti.

  25. January 16, 2012 9:08 pm

    My generation of child smoker could buy a packet of cigs easily from the shop back in the 60s. My children’s generation could not. Cigarettes became more expensive, regulations tightening up sales to young people, and a comprehensive education programme meant only one of my four children grew up to be a smoker – and, like many say here, she was given that first cigarette by a friend in school.

    You may call it “addiction” when smokers continue to smoke but, like it or not, people like the taste of tobacco and enjoy smoking. It is a legal product after all. You should learn to live with adult smokers instead of trying to punish them for failing to take up your choice not to smoke.

    Now, thanks to over regulation such as the tobacco display ban, and intended plain packaging, life will be easy for man with a bag who roams estates for organised criminal gangs, who won’t even have to bother with counterfeiting, selling ridiculously cheap but highly contaminated and unregulated cigarettes to children who, In Ireland at least, help him sell it.

    It means my grandchildren are less safe than I was as a child over 40 years ago . And you call this “progression”?

    The once good work of Tobacco Control has been sacrificed for the long term aim of control of the tobacco market and our children today are simply the pawns to achieve it.

    To say that this is “for the children” is at worst dangerous and at best an insult.

    Cigarette brands are aimed at adult consumers. To believe they are overlooked in favour of 10- 12 year olds is frankly hysterical and bordering on tobaccophobia.

  26. Brenda permalink
    January 16, 2012 9:10 pm

    It must have been that ‘glitzy’ packaging that caused me to start smoking at 12.

    The white packaging and the small picture of a ship on ‘Senior Service’ cigarettes was just too appealing and I had to try one !!!

    What a load of crap this “major campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of glitzy tobacco packaging to children” is. Another excuse to waste the taxpayers hard earned cash. Although I expect that some ‘profit’ will be made somewhere and some jobsworths will continue getting paid by the poor taxpayer.

    Pathetic comes to mind.

  27. January 16, 2012 9:19 pm

    Errr you have to be 18 to buy cigarettes and show ID. 18 is an adult in case that has passed you by.

    Now you want to have plain packaging on an item that’s hidden from sale and can’t be advertised?????? Reality check please

    l’ll let you into another secret … none of my friends and family purchase any tobacco products in the UK. We purchase them legally in the EU. Yes, they are duty paid but the UK gets none of that duty, the country where we purchase the product does. Wonder how you and your ilk put us in your stats? We are off your radar entirely and there is a growing number of us.

    Do your worst … we enjoy the laugh.

    • Lyn permalink
      January 17, 2012 1:18 pm

      Well said Smoking Hot and bang on. We too buy our tobacco products legally in the EU and pay the EU tax. We are robbed enough from our hard earned cash to want to give this pathetic excuse for a government a penny more than we have to!

      As for packaging being classed as ‘advertising’ then hadn’t they better start on all the deadly alcohol and the obesity causing foods? Chocolate bars, for example, far more likely to be bought by kids, should surely be in plain packaging so as not to entice the kids to be attracted to the glitzy and colourful array on the shop shelves.

      Any LEGAL product sold has a brand and that brand is expected to be seen on the packaging, whether it be food, drink, electrics or any other commodity. How in God’s name can anyone, however moronic, class this as ADVERTISING to attract children? When I started smoking in the very early 70’s all I was concerned with when I bought my cigs was the cost – which were the cheapest. I think it was a toss up between No 6 and Sovereign. I found I didn’t like No6 so stuck with Sovereign – Simple!

      The biggest advert these days for the kids to start smoking is seeing all the smokers out on the street since we have been banned from indoors; and regarding adults not starting smoking – I have met quite a few that have started BECAUSE of the smoking ban! So, my ignorant, stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

      To think that this is an example of an MP scares me to death and certainly gives me even less confidence in the Health of the this country that was once Great, but no longer deserves the name.

      As someone else hear said: ‘Get a Life and leave ours alone’.

    • Neil McIntee permalink
      January 18, 2012 7:22 pm

      I haven’t bought cigarettes in this country since the UK joined the EU. I pay the tax, but not to ‘Her Majesty’s’ treasury, and the Border Control Authority’s ‘guidelines’ on the quantity of tobacco products us taxpayers can bring into the country for personal use are not only derisory, they are illegal.

  28. Charles permalink
    January 16, 2012 9:30 pm

    Stephen Williams voted for the smoking ban which killed our pubs and clubs, and now he wants to kill our corner shops which are essential to the elderly in bad weather.

  29. james permalink
    January 16, 2012 9:32 pm

    This would achieve little more than yet more wasting of precious taxpayers money and furthering the anti tobacco, smoke haters cause.
    Call yourself an MP ? ?

  30. January 16, 2012 9:48 pm

    “….in order to prevent the cigarette companies from recruiting new addicts”.

    Stevo, bigots usually can’t tell that they’re bigots. But there’s the bigoted language. Smokers are portrayed as just “addicts”. It’s a term that’s been used since the mid-1800s by fanatics. Once “addicted”, the “addict” is depicted as incapable of coherent contribution, their entire existence tainted by this one habit – a “persona non grata”. This is a “definition” conjured by the antismoking fanatics; it tells of their derangement; it is bigotry in motion. And the fanatics gather at conferences and in committees speaking of “the addicts” in the third-person, pontificating on how to “solve” the “smoker problem”. So poorly does one who smokes figure in the fanatics’ minds that the fanatics claim that not one more new smoker should be endured, all steps reasonable in exterminating the smoking/smoker blight on society. And they do this because government empowered/enabled them back in the 1980s.

    “Let’s ban advertising”, squealed the fanatics. That’s not it. “Well, let’s ban displays”. That’s not it. “Well, let’s completely vandalize the pack, making it an antismoking billboard”.

    Stephen, you should be able to see where this is heading. The fanatics already want smoking banned outdoors. A person smoking is the “advertising” that “tempts” The Children™ to become one of the “pathetic” smoker “write-offs”. Therefore, all visible smoking must be eradicated.

    Stevo, you should be ashamed that you’ve jumped on the antismoker neurosis/bigotry bandwagon, that you’ve let your mind become addled by the fanatics’ inflammatory propaganda. Not content with just riding the bandwagon, you want to help it become further out of control. Politicians should be protecting the public from dangerous fanatics.

  31. Xopher permalink
    January 16, 2012 9:51 pm

    Smoking rates reduced quite steadily until you anti-tobacco campaigners grew to become a powerful lobbying group and one of the most counter-productive wastes of public money imaginable. Millions spent with insinuations but no promises of reducing smoking rates!
    You actually promote smoking through your exaggerations, propaganda, lies, alchemy and legislation. The simple outcome —- maintained and even /increased smoking rates.
    Even medieval lepers were treated better than the objects of your hatred.
    Maybe you could actually achieve something worthwhile if you reversed your expensive vilification project and accepted that smokers, at no cost to the public purse, can be accommodated within a society not controlled by your, oh so righteous, money grubber friends in Tobacco Control.

  32. January 16, 2012 9:51 pm

    Stevo, before you jump on bandwagons, you should learn a bit of history. The background to the current antismoking fanaticism can be found here:
    Add www. to the URL. rampant-antismoking.com

    Also, antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid history, much of it pre-dating the more recent concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”:
    Add www. to the URL. americanheritage.com/content/thank-you-not-smoking
    Add www. to the URL. historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=5339http://www.bmj.com/archive/7070nd2.htm

  33. nisakiman permalink
    January 16, 2012 9:52 pm

    Why don’t you just admit it, Stephen. You really haven’t a clue. The whole article above is just parroted propaganda from the pharmaceutical industry funded lobby groups like ASH. It will be (like the ban on smoking in ‘public’ places) a complete waste of time and money, will cost thousands of people their jobs, it will have no impact on youth smoking rates, and will further add to the burden on businesses up and down the country.

    And to what end?

    Liberal? Don’t make me laugh…

    • John S permalink
      January 17, 2012 12:25 am

      The All Party Parliamentary Group, of which Steven is a member, is just a front for ASH. They provide “research” and “administrative” functions for the Group.

  34. Parmenion permalink
    January 16, 2012 10:10 pm

    Plain packaging for cigarettes will inevitably lead to increased price competition which in turn will lead to increased low price cigarettes. Plain packaging will also facilitate the market entry of generic, low-priced tobacco products. These consequences bear the substantial risk of actually leading to increased consumption of tobacco products.

    “Were products to be in plain packaging, essentially markets would be made generic, which means everybody would be competing on price. There would be no incentives for companies to invest in quality and there is also a risk that it might actually increase illicit trade.” John Noble, British Brands Group, November 2010

    “Contraband cigarettes are regularly sold in clear plastic bags…. Their lower prices make them especially attractive to youth.” Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, Update, December 2009.

  35. January 16, 2012 10:13 pm

    Mmmm do l see ‘comment moderation’ on the horizon?🙂

  36. January 16, 2012 10:23 pm

    “The use of tobacco, in any form, is a dirty, filthy, disgusting, degrading habit….
    You have no more right to pollute with tobacco smoke the atmosphere which clean people have to breathe than you have to spit in the water which they have
    to drink.
    …. use of the filthy, nasty, stinking stuff [tobacco]”

    Stevo, sound familiar? These are the sorts of sentiments that are common amongst contemporary antismokers. Interesting is that the quote above is from an anti-tobacco billboard (photo circa 1915) on the road leading into Zion, Illinois, USA. When considering the sentiments appearing on the billboard, it must be remembered that this was many, many decades before the concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”.
    Zion City was a “utopian” community established in the early-1900s by John Alexander Dowie representing a so-called “Christian” sect (Christian Catholic
    Church). Tobacco, alcohol, and gambling were banned within Zion.

    Add www. to the URL. wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullimage.asp?id=55422
    DO NOT Add www. to the URL. yeskarthi.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/1915-anti-smoking-sign-zion-illinois/

    Serious, dangerous fanaticism/extremism was rife in America right up to WWII. The Temperance (religious leanings) and Eugenics (physicians, physicalists)
    Movements, both having dictatorial tendencies and a delusional emphasis on and obsession with physical health, wreaked considerable damage in America.
    The EM was by far the most influential in America and eventually produced catastrophe in Nazi Germany with global consequences. The Temperance and
    Eugenics Movements shared the anti-tobacco sentiments in the quote above. While they attempted to change society with destructive consequences, Dowie chose to create his own “protected” community.

    • January 16, 2012 11:03 pm

      W.G Voliva wrote that sign and put it up before any science was done. Oddly, the message hasn’t changed in all this time. He was a flat earth believer and put up a reward to anyone who could prove him wrong. He lived on a diet of buttermilk and nuts and believed because of it he would live to be 120. He died in his 70s of cancer.

      • January 16, 2012 11:40 pm

        “Wilbur Glen Voliva turned out to be a tyrant and dictator, running Zion as his own personal fiefdom. He remained the head of the Zion Christian Catholic Church until his death in 1942.”

        Add www. to the URL. forensicgenealogy.info/contest_121_results.html

  37. Gary Rogers. permalink
    January 16, 2012 10:51 pm

    We need the Smoking Ban “amended” it’s people like you turning this country into a “Nazi state” smoking is legal, you take enough of smokers in TAX.

  38. Duncan Stephenson permalink
    January 16, 2012 10:58 pm

    Another nail in the cough-in for the tobacco industry hopefully and this proposal should be welcomed. The brightly coloured packaging which most companies use betray the poison that is contained within them. All cigarettes are harmful, irrespective of their particular brand and anything that might stop on continue to make smoking socially unacceptable should be applauded.

    • January 16, 2012 11:04 pm

      Oh do grow up.

      • January 16, 2012 11:08 pm

        Oh – and if course I am sure you do know that the “poison contained within” is added only if it is on the DoH approved list – or are you saying that the DoH puts “poison in organic tobacco?”

        I am being ironic, just in case that doesn’t translate here, but your logic is astoundingly naive.

    • January 17, 2012 9:28 am

      Duncan here are the tractor stats on ACTIVE smoking.

      Smoking and ill health is dose responsive , i.e. the more you smoke the more it will affect your health. Certainly overall smokers generally live 7 years less than non smokers, 68% of lung cancer cases are smoking induced, 90% of emphysema cases I have always read are smokers. Although I have read some other papers recently which suggests it could be lower. ASH’s assertion that half of smokers die from their past time has some but not complete credibility. Certainly there are heavy smokers where it has no affect on their health whatsoever.

      However there is a “safe” level of active smoking, up to 5 cigarettes a day. Those who do not exceed 5 a day do not run any higher risk of lung cancer, heart disease or emphysema. Also the last stats from the NHS say that 14% of middle and upper class people smoke and 28% of working class. A confounder on smoking could be poorer people live in an environment and have a diet that is inferior to the others. Someone on a council estate is far more likely to come across poor hygiene than someone living in a 4 bedroom detached house.

      The tractor stats on PASSIVE smoking.

      It is unlikely that few, if anyone has contracted lung cancer or had a heart attack from breathing on second hand cigarette smoke. Those who assert this are misleading us on a Biblical scale.

      • Frank J permalink
        January 19, 2012 8:21 am

        David: 68% of Lung Cancer cases are smokers. You cannot, absolutely, say ‘smoking induced’ as that particular proof for some reason is missing. Of course it also neglects to mention whether they are ‘active’ or ‘ex’.

        I mentioned the ‘active’ and ‘ex’ to my Dr. He didn’t like it but couldn’t respond.

  39. John S permalink
    January 17, 2012 12:37 am

    Steven, We are told we have a childhood obesity “epidemic” in this country. The first things which greet kids in corner shops and at supermarket tills are displays of brightly coloured, kiddy-tempting displays and packaging of sweets, starchy snacks and sugar-loaded drinks. Yet you continue to flog the proverbial dead horse of tobacco, with counter-productive results. Your efforts are admirable but completely misdirected. Think of “the children”.

    McDonalds are a major sponsor of the Olympics. Twenty years ago, tobacco companies were major sponsors of sporting events.

  40. Kin_Free permalink
    January 17, 2012 1:03 am

    What I cannot understand is why you Stephen, and people like you, are unable to realise that you are being manipulated by a sick group of fanatics, who in turn are being exploited to increase pharmaceutical profits. Are these sick minds intellectually superior to yours Stephen? God save us from fools!

    • Frank J permalink
      January 17, 2012 11:42 am

      “are unable to realise that you are being manipulated by a sick group of fanatics,”

      Presumably because he’s one of them.

  41. January 17, 2012 2:22 am

    So the ‘All Party front group for ASH ET AL’ have spoken again! This group, composed mostly of peers (God Bless ‘Em!), have decided that the demolition of the small shopkeeper, just like the demolition of pubs, is a price worth paying to advance the growth of counterfeiting! Wow! Think about it – the counterfeits will be in plain packets behind closed doors. Who will know the difference? Ah, but, you say, the Borders Agency is cracking down on the import of ‘illicit’ tobacco! Well, no. Only illicit legal tobacco. They cannot stop loose tobacco, which can easily be packed in ‘baked beans tins’ or such. IDIOTS!

    THE SMOKING BAN MUST BE REPEALED! NO FURTHER ATTACKS ON PEOPLE WHO ENJOY TOBACCO MUST BE CONTEMPLATED! DEVIOUS BUT BLATANT PERSECUTION MUST END!

    Since ASH ET AL are corruptly being funded by Drugs Companies, and since ASH ET AL are paying the expenses of the All Party Front Group, isn’t the All Party Front Group itself corrupt from top to bottom?

  42. January 17, 2012 2:38 am

    Eh. Mr Stephenson! You forgot to mention ‘disgusting, filthy, stinking’. I trust that you have now taken a shower and washed all your clothes. But your fate is sealed in any case. The thing is that tobacco smoke converts into electromagnetic waves and travels along wires and through space. It then damages your DNA and condemns you to A PAINFUL LIFE EVERLASTING!!! Since only smoking causes ‘premature’ death, all non-smokers do not die ‘prematurely’, which obviously means that when a non-smokers is about to die, that death will not actually happen since it would be ‘premature’.

  43. January 17, 2012 9:43 am

    Stephen,
    I have a question regarding smoking bans in cars – for the sake of The Children™. The few “studies” that there are indicate that there is a temporarily elevated reading for specific constituents (e.g., particulates) of tobacco smoke. There is nothing “profound” about such studies. All they demonstrate is the obvious that there is evidence of [remnants of] smoke where smoking occurs. So what?

    There’s no point linking such “car studies” to smoky bars. The [questionable] argument for SHS risks concern long-term (e.g., 30, 40, 50 years) exposure. These [peak] car exposures are very short, e.g., seconds or a few minutes. So the critical question becomes – what is the demonstrated hazard of very short exposures? There is no demonstrated hazard in the “car studies”. What is the “hazard” associated with momentary elevations in particulates?

    The antismoking fanatics are playing their confidence tricks again. Just indicate that these peak car exposures are similar – for a MOMENT – to a smoky bar, as if this somehow indicates hazard. It indicates no such thing. But the fanatics hope that no-one notices that the “hazard” claims are vacuous.

    So, Stephen, what do The Children™ need to be “protected” from if there is no demonstrated hazard?

  44. January 17, 2012 10:17 am

    thanks for all the comments so far. Some entertaining, some abusive, many from the usual suspects and front groups for the tobacco lobby. There haven’t been many serious points for me to answer. A few people have denied the link at point of sale with other products that might appeal to children. They clearly go to different shops to me. In supermarkets or corner shops the tobacco kiosk is usually behind the counter displaying confectionery. Other family activities such as photograph developing, lottery tickets or the customer service desk are normally co-located. But the display ban, from April for large shops and next year for small ones, will deal with this issue. The plain packaging issue is what happens to the cigarettes once they leave the shop.

    • January 17, 2012 10:24 am

      You said “..many from the usual suspects and front groups for the tobacco lobby.” As you know I am David Atherton of Freedom2Choose are you saying or implying that I have or am remunerated, paid, expensed or receive grace and favour from tobacco companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, nominees or proxies.

      Can I have a yes or no this question.

      I believe you have libelled me and others in your post.

      • January 17, 2012 10:54 am

        Dave,
        That claim – those disagreeing with the antismoking supremacist group (which apparently is omniscient) are “addicted Neanderthals” or “fronts” for the “evil” tobacco empire – has been core operating procedure for the fanatics for the last few decades in this crusade, as it was used early last century in America and Germany. The fanatics never tire of using the claim, no matter how asinine it is. But that’s fanatics for you!

        One of these days they’re going to be held to account for such claims in a court of law. I’m sure that Stephen – a good little disciple of the antismoking cult – would really be amused then.

    • John S permalink
      January 17, 2012 1:53 pm

      I have no connection whatsoever with any tobacco company or even any “freedom of liberties” group. I await your apology, Stephen.

    • January 17, 2012 5:51 pm

      “The plain packaging issue is what happens to the cigarettes once they leave the shop.”

      So why mention how they are on sale, in ASH’s words put into your mouth, alongside chiiiildren’s sweets.

      If you are going to lie and misrepresent to force through the Smokerphobic ideology, at least try and remember why you said it in the first place.

    • Jon Campbell permalink
      January 30, 2012 7:36 pm

      stephen williams.. ‘front groups for the tobacco lobby’ go on name names, this rates right up there with ‘some people say; as an argument.

      Why not try representing your constituents rather then antagonising them, and why the hell are you in a Liberal party when you quite clearly arn’t Liberal?

  45. January 17, 2012 11:03 am

    Oh Dave, really! Rather odd for someone employed by the Freedom Association to start chucking round accusations of libel. Thought you might be in favour of debate and free speech. I didn’t single out anyone in particular but clearly you are sensitive….

    • January 17, 2012 11:28 am

      Well, to whom are you referring? If you are not referring to anyone specifically, then why are you making the claim?

    • January 17, 2012 1:40 pm

      Of course I believe in free speech, and in fact a stream of foul mouthed abuse would not of bothered me. My blog says “..vigorous debate is encouraged. Comments are unmoderated but I will delete libelous, racist and homophobic comments.

      Any anti smokers are welcome to wish me a lingering or quick death from lung cancer, tell me I smell worse than a pig sty, and that I kill and eat babies. I support the right to offend and happy to bear the responsibility to be offended.”

      I have never deleted one comment save someone who was posing as someone else to cause mischief.

      What I object to is the deliberate smearing and false accusation that my opinions are fed, controlled and directed by tobacco companies or associates. It is completely untrue.

      I have never been paid for all the work I put in except ironically by Pfizer who invited me to debate in Amsterdam whether smoking was an addiction or a habit. I sincerely pay my way out of my salary.

      I am like many smokers a very social person. As a smoker I took the increasing restrictions with good grace, work, cinema, buses and trains etc. You have no idea how much I resent the pub ban, as the anti smokers have severely compromised my social life. Stephen, the nearest I can explain to a non smoker is every time you go to dinner you eat your main course outside in all weathers. It only takes about 15 minutes and you will be with other diners, not that much of an inconvenience surely?

      Just to clear a couple of matters up an employee on Facebook sent me a Freedom Association request which says I am employee. I will take this down as it is incorrect. I have however spoken at Freedom Association events and good friends with Simon Richards. I am employed by eXplanoTech who are a wireless telecoms software house and recruitment company. It is my only source of income, apart when I have a win in a poker tournament.

      Here is my LinkedIn profile. linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=tab_probs=1

      I am very flattered Stephen that you went to the trouble of researching me down to my Facebook page, I must be doing something right.

      • January 17, 2012 2:23 pm

        “Stephen, the nearest I can explain to a non smoker is every time you go to dinner you eat your main course outside in all weathers. It only takes about 15 minutes and you will be with other diners, not that much of an inconvenience surely?”

        David Atherton – since the smoking ban that is exactly what I have done which is why I no longer go out and enjoy a meal in company as non-smokers do.

        One of my favourite restaurants before the ban had two establishments across the road from each other. One was smoking and the other non smoking. The smoking restaurant has since closed because people who feel as strongly as I do about forced social exclusion will not support such blatant discrimination by supporting this ban.

        The ban was a spiteful act to further force through public disgust and further humilaition of people like me that the Govt has been happy to take tax from since the age of 8. And even now they are stating openly it is no longer about health but hate and forcing the smoker to be socially unaccepted. What right have they got to do that to someone who has been a smoker almost all of my life and accepted all of my life except for this last four years?

        But of course Stephen – and his very close friends in ASH – know that they will get plain packaging because the Public Humilation Dept run by Anne Milton is as bigoted as they are in promoting a world in future made up of perfect size 10, untanned, non-smoking, alcohol free, water drinking vegetarian citizens.

        I completely resent any accusation that I am paid to protest about my treatment by the tobacco industry which has largely thrown its adult consumers to the dogs in Public Health with the false notion that this appeasement can somehow save the last of its business.

        Whose side are you on Stephen – big business or the little person? It certainly seems to me that you prefer political lobby groups than you do your own constituents unless they share your choice not to smoke.

        And, I no longer donate to CRUK or the BHF and I know of many others who have stopped donating too even some non smokers because they want to fund research not propaganda.

  46. Xopher permalink
    January 17, 2012 11:06 am

    To one who is one of the usual suspects of front groups for the funded anti-tobacco lobby, you make great claims supported by peer review only from fellow group members.
    To quote one of your own in response to Health Committee questioning – “Quite honestly, I do not think that study stands up to any scientific scrutiny whatsoever, leaving aside the conflict of interest in the funding which to me is tantamount or comparable to a research study on organised crime being funded by the Mafia”
    .-All the accepted medical evidence and especially that of ASH and Cancer Research UK must also be considered as having a conflict of interest since their very existence depends on Government and Pharmaceutical funding and proving the case for Tobacco damage.
    Shame on you. As a representative of the people you fail to choose to represent a fanatical minority.

    • Xopher permalink
      January 17, 2012 11:10 am

      Last sentence should read ‘You Choose’ rather than ‘Fail to choose’

  47. January 17, 2012 11:23 am

    Perhaps the MP would like to indicate exactly who he was referring to as a front group for the tobacco lobby. You shouldn’t make such sweeping accusations without knowing exactly who you are talking about, and why. (He could also read calmly enough to realise that Dave Atherton is not ’employed by the Freedom Association’, but is Chairman of Freedom to Choose, a voluntary position.)

    It makes perfect sense to me that both confectionery and tobacco should be sold at the point of sale. Both items need to be under the eye of the sales staff as they are easy to steal … can you imagine boxes of 20 next to the baked beans? The fact that ‘family activities’ share the same sales space as tobacco doesn’t mean that kids will start smoking (fewer kids smoke than don’t smoke) any more than it will make smokers take up family photography.

  48. Anthony Williams permalink
    January 17, 2012 11:28 am

    Stephen, Sir Peter Tappsell said in the house last year that Taxation without representation is not Democracy, where in all this are the rights of 15million smokers who add 11 billion pounds in Tax to the treasury represented, ASH and the pharma industry has your Parliamentary committee, Who represents the smoker. As far as I can see NO one, therefore would it not be equitable to remove taxation from Tobacco or at least to have a level playing field with the rest of the EU.
    I am a non smoking pensioner with no links to the Tobacco industry, who believes that the denormalisation of smokers is totally wrong as it is a legal product.

    • January 17, 2012 12:53 pm

      I think your numbers are a bit iffy! 15 million smokers is about a quarter of the entire population, including infants….

      • January 17, 2012 1:11 pm

        Stephen he maybe right.

        16 year old people and beyond make up 80% of the population so those who are 16+ are 80% of 60 million = 48 million.

        21% of 48 million = 10,080,000 people

        A further 7% smoke pipes, cigars, imbibe snuff and smoke E cigarettes. = 3,360,000

        Additionally and I quote from a survey done by Sainbury’s insurance company. “There are some 3.02 million Brits who class themselves as “non-smokers”, but admit to having the occasional cigarette or having a “puff” of someone else’s cigarette, according to research by Sainsbury’s Life Insurance.”

        I make that 16,460,000 people who will smoke this year.

        Please add the necessary www. for provenance.

        .easier.com/91574-non-smoking-brits-occasional-cigarette.html

        ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_332_en.pdf

  49. January 17, 2012 11:31 am

    Stephen, this is my first encounter with your blog. With all due respect, you sound very much like a fanatic, someone who has swallowed the propaganda package hook, line, and sinker, someone able to parrot the standard, well-worn slogans, intent on bringing forth the smokefree “utopia”. Extraordinary is that you believe yourself to be a liberal democrat. Stephen, not only will you not bring forth the smokefree “utopia”, history shows that the mentality you are caught in will bring forth much thick, acrid smoke that has nothing to do with tobacco.

    Stephen, fanatics suffer particular deficits. They typically have no grasp of history, or of scientific enquiry, or of coherent argument. They jump headlong into the same errors and catastrophe as their fanatical predecessors, having learned nothing useful from the past. Allow me to give you a gentle push in the right direction. You seem to be utterly unaware of what occurred earlier last century in America and Germany. You seem to be unaware that Public Health has been used as an instrument of persecution and fully government-supported. And it was medicos (and lawyers) that were the leaders in the “world-fixing” insanity. The “argument” is always the same. “Evidence” is contrived that demonstrates that particular social/ethnic groups are a “burden” on society; that they are disease carriers and spreaders; that they must be segregated for the betterment of humanity: It is a constant fear and hate-mongering. It turns out that the “world fixers” are the great danger. And, along the behavioral dimension (e.g., tobacco, alcohol, diet), contemporary Public Health is sounding very much like that of early last century.

    Stephen, you really should look into what a bigotry bandwagon would look/sound like.

  50. January 17, 2012 11:34 am

    Let’s nail this silly sequence of points about the “anti-tobacco lobby” being funded by the govt and big pharma. This will come as news and something of an insult to the millions of people (myself included) who make regular donations to Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and other health charities. It denigrates the millions of hours of time donated by people who volunteer in the charity shops that are now on every high street.

    People are concerned about cancer, heart disease and respiratory conditions. That’s because most people know someone who’s life was cut short by these illnesses. Premature death is caused by smoking. It is a rational response by me and millions of citizens to want to reduce the rate of smoking. I would like Britain to have the lowest rate of smoking in the world. I think this is an aim that is shared by the vast majority of British citizens including my constituents in Bristol West.

    Tobacco control is popular. That’s why the tobacco lobby and their friends are running scared.

    • January 17, 2012 11:43 am

      Why are people concerned about heat disease, particularly in a fairly cold climate such as that of the UK?

    • Xopher permalink
      January 17, 2012 12:03 pm

      “This will come as news and something of an insult to the millions of people (myself included) who make regular donations to Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and other health charities”
      We are all concerned about cancer etc BUT —-Research YES – Political lobbying NO — YOU insult all those who believe their donations are being used for research .
      Many people, myself included, have stopped contributing to CRUK etc due to their massive propaganda spend.
      It’s a shame that what should be a worthy cause has been high-jacked.
      and as far as “Tobacco control is popular” dream on. The effects of such fanaticism damage the very fabric of our communities.

      • Mr A permalink
        January 17, 2012 6:42 pm

        “Tobacco control is popular.”

        That’s why 15% of our hospitality industry has disappeared in 4 years – people just can’t wait to get to those lovely tobacco-free pubs. Given a choice, many smokers and non-smokers choose not to go at all.

        I suppose it’s also why ASH raises a colossal £11,000 a year from voluntary donations. It’s one of our most beloved charities!

        Stephen, if you really can’t see a conflict of interest between an organisation that lobbies Government on an issue being funded by other organisations that profit from its actions, whilst other voices are discredited, then I despair.

        I suppose you’d think that a Car Driver’s “charity” that was funded by Texaco and Shell that lobbied Government and produced anti-bus “research” would be similarly reliable and trustworthy? I pray you actually do your own research into the Tobacco Control movement, or even better, read the blog of Dr Michael Siegel, a tobacco-control advocate for several decades and Professor of Public Health, who now seems to spend much of his time discrediting what ASH and their ilk get up to in a vain attempt to restore scientific credibility to the movement. Have you actually read what they are coming out with? Smoke travelling down electrical wires? Smoke travelling through walls? No “safe dose”, in contravention of the first law of toxicology, making a wisp of smoke uniquely more dangerous than arsenic or cyanide?

        You don’t even need scientific training to see this is PALPABLE NONSENSE!

        There is a reason ASH only gets £11,000 a year, you know. And I bet CRUK and BHF would get a hell of a lot less if they advertised how much they give to ASH each year, too….

    • January 17, 2012 1:46 pm

      Good to see Pfizer donating too, to Cancer Research.

      “CANCER RESEARCH UK will be supported by AstraZeneca and Pfizer in a multimillion pound initiative to examine how genetic tests to improve cancer diagnosis can be best rolled out across the NHS.”

      info.cancerresearchuk.org/news/archive/pressrelease/2011-02-01-stratified-medicine-programme

    • Parmenion permalink
      January 20, 2012 5:58 pm

      “Tobacco control is popular. That’s why the tobacco lobby and their friends are running scared”

      Just because something is popular, doesn’t mean that its right..

    • Radical Rodent permalink
      January 21, 2012 8:08 pm

      Having read your article, and your replies to many of those critical of your desire for control of individuals’ thoughts, I am confident in saying that you are neither a liberal nor a democrat. Is it possible that you could fall foul of the trades description act?

      Get your head out of your backside, and take a long, hard look at your outright bigotry.

      (For your information, I am not employed or subsidised by the tobacco industry; I have never smoked, and have never understood why anyone would want to – that said, I do not think that I have any right to interfere with another person’s choices, provided that they do not directly impinge upon any of my choices.)

  51. January 17, 2012 12:03 pm

    “The plain packaging issue is what happens to the cigarettes once they leave the shop.”
    stephenwilliamsmp

    You mean those cigarettes that go into handbags, pockets and cigarette cases etc? Perhaps ASH have told you that all smokers wear them on open display?

    Get a life!

  52. January 17, 2012 12:05 pm

    all those people contribute to BHF and CRUK in order to fund tobacco control? silly me, I thought it was to develop treatments for cancer and heart disease. Premature death is caused by smoking? perhaps, when it isn’t caused by something else e.g. genetics, environmental factors of all kinds.

  53. January 17, 2012 12:37 pm

    Stephen, you’re throwing a bit of a hissy fit. Are you aware of the origin of the heart foundation, the lung association, and what is now known as the cancer society, and the circumstance under which they were created? Why do we even need dismembered body-organ and disease groups? Are you aware that the American Cancer Society was making the claim in the 1930s/40s that a cure was just around the corner if only they had more money? For all of the billions of dollars that have been pumped through the cancer societies over the last century, where are the promised “cures”?

    There are indeed genuine people within these organizations, but these organizations can also be used for ideo-political and financing manipulation through the constant play on the primal fear of disease and death. I would certainly consider it an insult to the volunteers working in charity shops that the CEO of the American Cancer Society, for example, a supposed “volunteer” in a “charitable, non-profit” organization, is on a $1.2 million package per annum – pp.57-65
    Add www. to the URL. cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@finance/documents/document/acsd-005945.pdf

    • Anthony Williams permalink
      January 17, 2012 3:26 pm

      Apparently a really good cure for Cancer was found in the 1980,s Cesium Chloride and it proved to be very effective in 95% of patients who had never been subjected to either Chemo or radiotherapy and 50% of those who had, but it was blocked by the American FDA as the big Pharma companies would lose millions on the Chemo treatments.
      While there is money to be made in promoting a certain treatment there is no incentive to find a cure.
      Exactly the same can be said of NRT products they know they do not work long term 98.4% failure rate which ensures repeat customers = profits.
      This may also explain why the FDA are trying to ban the new tobacco harm reduction product the electronic Cigarette because this device actually works.
      Once again I am not a smoker and have no affiliation to any Tobacco company.

      • Frank J permalink
        January 17, 2012 5:20 pm

        Article 5.3 of the FCTC says that if you don’t agree with Tobacco control you must be a Tobacco agent and are, therefore, to be ignored. In pushing for a tobacco free world, no account is to be taken of the views of smokers, retailers or manufacturers. Article 8 states that this drive must also discount all effects on ‘Health and Law’.

        Wonderful thing the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, signed by Blair’s Govt. Of course, nobody knew until it had been signed for very obvious reasons. The first constitution of a ‘post democratic society’. (to
        borrow Mandy’s words)

        I’m sure Stephen knows all about it. Ann Milton is very aware of our
        ‘obligations’ to it as well.

    • Henry Crun permalink
      January 19, 2012 10:24 am

      Mr. Williams, perhaps you can explain why it is that CRUK has well over £100m in assets and their chief executive earns an annual six figure salary.

  54. January 17, 2012 12:40 pm

    “Premature death is caused by smoking.”

    Stephen, although used ad nauseam, it may come as a shock to you that this statement is not correct. There are hundreds and hundreds of factors – many cross-correlated – that are linked to “premature” mortality. To single one out as “the cause” is delinquent. If you read the Godber Blueprint, you’ll notice that the provision of accurately-stated statistical information wasn’t good enough for the fanatics. They wanted more hard-hitting slogans. They – THEY – decided in the 1980s, in advancing the agenda, to use the most inflammatory terms possible, e.g., kill, poison, death, that go far beyond the implications of the underlying statistical information.

    Further, Stephen, are you claiming that a person living to age 82 has lived a “better” life than someone living to age 77, say? No-one would deny you that you can believe that you would like Britain to have the lowest rate of smoking in the world. But could you explain why your belief should be imposed on everyone? No-one would deny you that you can believe that longevity or statistical probabilities are the “be-all” of living. But could you explain why your belief should be imposed on everyone?

    “Tobacco control is popular.”

    A bigotry bandwagon is very tempting to shallow, immature minds. It tells us that societies around the world aren’t faring too well when the shallow hold the reins of political power.

    • DerekP permalink
      January 25, 2012 1:17 am

      Good post.

      If they had proper scientific evidence (that is reproducible and statistically sound) for their claims the anti-smoker bigots could use that, but they don’t have it so the bigots fail.

      They use propaganda, but people see their lies so the bigots fail.

      They use illiberal laws which they have concocted far beyond any manifesto pledge, but people see they are being abused and bullied, the law and politicians are brought into disrepute, so the bigots will fail when smokers vote for a party which will treat them fairly.

      Just remember to keep a record of which bigots tried to forcefully impose their lifestyle choices onto you.

      I am not a smoker, but my parents were, so I can understand some of the pain and damage such bigoty does.

      Neither am I a member of any pro-tobacco industry or lobby group, which I mention as this MP made a sweeping disparaging statement implying those who don’t agree with his scientifically unfounded views are shills.

  55. Anthony Williams permalink
    January 17, 2012 12:52 pm

    There was a footnote to the Article on the University of Californias total smoking ban, maybe others should take heed.
    ” Whilst no one can argue that it is a bad idea to encourage smoking in places where young people are finding their feet and developing habits that might last them a lifetime, a problem that is due to hit home in another decade or so, is when the cancer rates fail to drop and the spotlight turns to the myriad of toxic chemicals, insecticides, air-born contaminants, plastics, glues, paints and even cosmetic and food additives that are known to be highly carcinogenic. There should be plenty of interesting lawsuits – the question is whether these companies can survive, once public enemy number one is out of the picture”.
    Look at the bigger picture Stephen instead of a microscopic view.
    Fact Cancer rates have increased over the last 50years even though smoking has declined from 75% to 20%. so already we see that cancer rates have failed to drop.

  56. January 17, 2012 1:44 pm

    This might well backfire.

    First, the reason the tobacco companies object is because, without a brand identity, they would be forced into competing on price; their customers would benefit and their profits would suffer.

    Second, young people in particular will buy cigarette box covers. I remember their being popular back in the 70s and 80s. Bear in mind also, that young people tend to do what adults disapprove of. Since the advent of smoking bans, smoking prevalence has increased in several countries, including Scotland, where it has increased even among young people.

    The best way of removing children from the influence of smoking would be to allow smoking clubs for over 18s only. Far more people, including myself, walk around the streets smoking than did prior to the ban.

  57. January 17, 2012 1:53 pm

    Stephen, the people commenting on here have no connection with the tobacco industry. They are usually, like myself, ordinary citizens enraged that they can no longer congregate outside of their homes to enjoy a coffee or a drink and smoke and chat. When you get a substantial minority who no longer feel part of society, you have problems. I am one of those mentioned above who no longer donates to CRUK. I also ripped up the donor card I had carried for 35 years after hearing, once two often, a doctor suggesting smokers should not be the recepients of organs. You may not be aware that 41% of the lungs transplanted in the UK come from smokers – healthy young risk-taking males who die in road accidents.

  58. January 17, 2012 1:54 pm

    ASH International (USA) and Pfizer co-operation as stated in this Pfizer document. ASH International now fund ASH UK and Pfizer directly fund ASH Interntional.

    “Global Strategies that advance cancer and tobacco-control efforts Mid-term report of the global health Partnerships Program February 2010.”

    “Pfizer Foundation Global Health Partnership”

    “Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) International, EMRO”

    “Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) International, AMRO”

    pfizer.com/files/philanthropy/ghp_compendium.pdf

  59. January 17, 2012 2:00 pm

    correction: “once too often.”

  60. January 17, 2012 2:02 pm

    Another correction: “recipents.” Have to put in the corrections because I’m writing under my real name.

  61. January 17, 2012 2:02 pm

    Sorry, “recipients.”

  62. January 17, 2012 2:07 pm

    “There haven’t been many serious points for me to answer.”

    I can see quite a few serious points that you fail to address. You don’t have a visual impairment as well, do you, Stephen?

    • January 17, 2012 6:01 pm

      Including why Tobacco Control fanaticism has created a more dangerous situation for my grandchildren’s generation after working well to protect my children’s generation from starting to smoke.

      I can only assume that it’s not about health or the children

  63. January 17, 2012 2:37 pm

    @Stephen

    You have no understanding whatsoever of the real world. All this hiding displays and plain packaging is a complete pointless waste of time.

    How about warnings on cigarette packets saying ‘You ARE going to DIE from this product’ ?
    Sounds good eh, Stephen? That’ll work won’t it? …. well, no.

    A small independent tobacco company used DEATH as it’s marketing strategy. ln no uncertain terms it told their customers that they WILL DIE by buying their product! No ‘maybe’, no ‘chance of’ … they stated categorically that you will die!

    They were quite succesful until the big tobacco companies (not ant-smoking groups/measures) forced them out of business. Take a look at one of their ads and now tell me if any your ridiculous measures can come close to the message ‘You WILL DIE from buying and using this product’?

    What did the public do? … they bought the product!

  64. John S permalink
    January 17, 2012 2:40 pm

    “In supermarkets or corner shops the tobacco kiosk is usually behind the counter displaying confectionery.” According to the fattie-bashing fanatics, this is the first generation of “the children” who will have a life expectancy less than their parents. Yet, their parents are more likely to smoke or to have smoked. “The children”, we are told, are more likely to be or become obese and DIE. What is contributing to this? Could it be that “lethal” and “toxic” confectionery? Hide it away! And the alcoholic drinks! And the sugary non-alcoholic drinks! And the red meat! And the pre-processed meals! And those starchy snacks! Hang on a minute! What are on open display two shelves above the Beano? Porno mags!!!

  65. Ray permalink
    January 17, 2012 2:49 pm

    Call yourself a Liberal. Not in any sense of the word as I understand it.

    Your selfrighteousness is only eclipsed by your ignorance and total disregard for anyones freedom of choice.

    A point proven by the opinion of vast majority of posts on this Blog. Most of which,because they disagree with your ill informed and narow minded view, will of course be ignored.

    I take it you must smoke as “glitzy tobacco packaging” is still around and must have been in your childhood…………………. or were you capable of free thinking back then and decided that smoking just wasnt for you.

    How dare you and others of your Ilk assume to decide what, when and how I choose to live my life.

    LIBERAL. NOT IN MY LIFETIME.

    • January 17, 2012 6:04 pm

      “glitzy tobacco packaging” – indeed – according to the warped logic of tobacco control, the sight of dying babies, dead bodies and diseased throats currently on packaging is sooo glamourous isn’t it.

  66. S. Donald permalink
    January 17, 2012 3:17 pm

    Firstly can I confirm this is the first occasion that I have visited your blog. I might also confirm that I am merely a concerned pensioner and not someone who is lobbying for the Tobacco Industry. Found that bit quite funny.
    As a smoker for 50 years, I think I qualify as having more experience than you, as to why people buy cigarettes and whether glitzy packets influences children or adults for that matter.
    They make no difference and this initiative is a complete waste of time but an added burden to the Retailer.
    Secondly perhaps you would like to answer a couple of my questions.
    Your profile suggests that you would like to see an end to bullying.
    What term would you use to describe the constant harassment of smokers as instigated by Ash and possibly yourself?
    and
    Are you not ashamed of your personal involvement in the legislation which has virtually destroyed the pub trade, the working man,s clubs and the bingo industry?

  67. Phil Button permalink
    January 17, 2012 3:52 pm

    @Ray I’m with you, very well and precisely said.
    @Stephen I’m not in the pay of big tobacco.
    @Everyone except Stephen: This is what I call a proper turnout of good people. It makes me proud to be pro-choice AND a smoker!

  68. Derek Launch permalink
    January 17, 2012 5:00 pm

    Aah, the old ‘front groups for tobacco’ canard. A sure sign the proposer’s argument is bankrupt and/or he/she has no credible rebuttal to objectors.

  69. Junican permalink
    January 17, 2012 5:09 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me that people who are concerned about the level of certain health conditions find it necessary to force others to adopt lifestyles which they believe will reduce that level. Suppose that ‘the others’ simply do not want to have their lifestyles changed? Therein lies the serious flaw of the eugenicist argument.

    Another massive flaw is the implication that the avoidance of premature death is much the same thing as the avoidance of death altogether. If the enjoyment of tobacco was completely eradicated, what would people die from? Inevitably, it would be cancer, heart failure and especially pneumonia (look at the death stats for pneumonia – 27,000 per an, almost all in very old age). These conditions very largely strike when the human body is ‘winding down’ to its end. Avoiding ‘premature’ death in very old age is largely pointless.

    I would also like to make the point, regarding plain packaging and the display ban, that ‘protecting children’ is a red herring, and deliberately so. The real intentions are: a) to make the sale of tobacco products as unprofitable and troublesome as possible, and, b) to close down the multiplicity of points of sale. ASH HAVE SAID SO!

    NB. I have no connection with tobacco companies or any such whatsoever.

  70. January 17, 2012 5:17 pm

    Where’s my cheque from the TC’s?

  71. January 17, 2012 5:24 pm

    Seems according to our esteemed host smokers cannot have an opinion unless they are being paid by tobacco companies … what a joke!

    The way he’s going, all the evidence points to him being in the pay of White Van Man! Smugglers will be clapping their hands with joy. Every action this lot has done, not forgetting the UKBA, has increased White Van Man’s customer base.

  72. Mr A permalink
    January 17, 2012 6:13 pm

    Counterfeiter’s charter.

    And fake fags won’t just be sold by friendly newsagents and supermarkets. They’ll be sold by unscrupulous folks who, by the very fact they sell illegal merchandise, are criminals and won’t think twice about selling to children.

    So here we have a move to increase the ease of counterfeiting and to put the market in the hands of criminals.

    Brilliant.

    Throw in how much this ridiculous measure will cost and we have an absolute gem of an idea here. Unbelievable.

  73. nisakiman permalink
    January 17, 2012 6:16 pm

    Looks like you’re losing this debate big time Stephen. You haven’t yet made any convincing arguments. You have resorted to the “front group for Big Tobacco” myth, and you have not addressed even a fraction of the points brought up by the posters of comments here. In fact, your proposal is completely without merit, and you lack the means to defend it.

    With tobacco control being so incredibly popular in your constituency, I’m wondering where all your supporters are. There are a lot of comments here, and to date I’ve counted one that supports (half-heartedly), your proposal.

    But of course, you won’t let a lot of dissenting voices dissuade you from your chosen path, will you. After all, they’re only smokers; untermenschen, filthy, stinking low-lives. They have no place in society anyway, do they Stephen. Only the pure, non-smoking chosen ones have an opinion that is worth listening to, isn’t that so, Stephen?

    So you will plough on, regardless of the fact that you are carving out Orwell’s dystopian society in your own lifetime. It won’t be until you are old and incontinent that you will become fully aware of the damage you have wrought on society.

    And then, of course, it will be too late…

    Oh, as an addendum, I have never received any kind of remuneration from any tobacco company. My interest has more to do with what should be natural liberty (remember that word, Stephen?) than it has to do with smoking.

  74. Cecilia Farren permalink
    January 17, 2012 6:21 pm

    I support Stephen Williams. Well done. Methinks most of these shrill commentators do protest too much. The tobacco industry has fought so hard to stop putting cigarettes out sight and to stop unglamorous packaging that it seems to me that Stephen is clearly on the right track. Why else does it evoke such indignation? Tobacco company spokespeople have admitted that packaging is the way they can market their toxic tabs. It seems odd that medicines, that do our health good, come in plain packaging, in small amounts and on prescription from a doctor. Packs of cigarettes, that cause ill health and death to half its users, are sold in sweet shops on open display, in twinkly, glittery eye-catching boxes with gimmicky openings. I want my children grandchildren to remain smokefree and see it as normal not to smoke or see cigarettes promoted in a fancy way. So for all those who say ‘Get a life’ to you, I say, keep up your campaign so that my family will have a long and healthy life ahead of them.

    • Henry Crun permalink
      January 19, 2012 10:35 am

      Ms. Farren, when do us smokers have to start wearing yellow stars on our coats? You know, so the self-righteous can point us out to their children and tell them not to associate with us.

  75. Mr A permalink
    January 17, 2012 6:51 pm

    So here we see the hypocrisy of this whole situation – scores of people damning the idea, with only one advocate, all of whom are unpaid by any outside organisation connected to tobacco or tobacco control.

    Oh.

    And Cecilia Farren, of ASH South West – funded by Big Pharma and taxpayers’ money.

    • nisakiman permalink
      January 17, 2012 10:04 pm

      Touché.

    • Derek Launch permalink
      January 17, 2012 11:27 pm

      And with a nice line in selling smoking cessation products, did you say?😉

  76. January 17, 2012 7:01 pm

    Oh Cecilia … what nonsense you talk. Medicines are medicines. Tobacco is a consumer product. I take it you don’t want your kids to be medicine junkies either. Apart from being rude to your opponents you have said nothing. except that tobacco companies want to promote their product legally. And when the branding becomes illegal they will find cheaper ways to do it.

  77. January 17, 2012 7:19 pm

    “Why else does it evoke such indignation?” Because Ms Farren it is unnecessary and intrusive, and is not aimed at protection of children but bullying those of us now adults who started smoking in different times as children.

    What you did in turning around a mostly smoking population to non smoking was a most admirable thing but in as much as other people’s “right” to smoke should not have been “inflicted” upon others who chose not to, your “right” not to smoke should not be inflicted on (thanks to your work) well-informed adults who still chose to smoke all things being considered.

    People also find it offensive because as stated above by one anti-smoker commentator, it isn’t about health but further stigmatisation of law-abiding, contributing, adult smoker members of society as “anti-social.”

    Again I ask what right do you have to do that to people who still smoke because they have not quit as you would like them to?

    With its misleading campaigns, public bullying and harassment, downright untruths, silencing of ordinary dissenting voices, its war to control the tobacco market, Tobacco Control which you support has become the very thing you used to hate.

    • January 17, 2012 7:21 pm

      And sadly, as I pointed in my original comment, my grandchildren – and yours – are in more danger from smoking in the 21st Century thanks to over regulation than our children and ourselves were in the 20th Century.

  78. Charles permalink
    January 17, 2012 7:31 pm

    Instead of hiding tobacco products why not have them sold at a separate kiosk as in my local supermarket. That way they will not be next to sweets etc.

  79. Phil Button permalink
    January 17, 2012 7:38 pm

    Oh dear Cecilia, do you not like it when others are shrill? I think it’s about time my shrill comments were heard over your shrill campaigning. The anti-smoker’s shrill voice has protested quite enough and I would dearly like to silence it, but I have no choice but to exercise my freedom of speech in order to counter your shrill lies. You presumably will be campaigning for plain packaged alcohol soon, as the link between alcohol and death is indeed absolute. I have to protest shrilly that medicines no a great deal of harm and certainly do nothing for “health” (whatever that is), but never mind they pay your salary so that’s different.

    I wish your family a long and “healthy” life. God help ’em should they decide, as adults, to start smoking. No Christmas presents for them heh!

  80. Smithers permalink
    January 17, 2012 8:11 pm

    Cecilia, you really are a silly woman, just5 because YOU object to something, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it should be banned!
    Quote: “Packs of cigarettes, that cause ill health and death to half its users….” Guess what Cecilia. 100% of NON smokers die just as 100% of smokers do!
    Quote: ” I want my children grandchildren to remain smokefree …” then educate, educate & educate Cecilia-don’t dictate! But if a child or dare I say it, an adult decides to sample a cigarette, a pipe, a spliff or a shisha pipe, then they will try it whether you like it or not!
    Your problem cecilia is quite simple-you cannot live & let live. We are not all smokers, we are not all drinkers, we are not all fatties, nor skinny’s, nor living in luxury from state handouts, nor living in poverty at the other end of the state handout pay-scale but we all have one thing in common – and that is freedom of choice! Some choose to be drinkers (through enjoyment) some choose to be smokers (through enjoyment) and some even choose gluttony and enjoy fatness but it is their choice. Yours is to bastardise tobacco and all that goes with it but that doesn’t mean you can impose your views on millions of others lives if they choose not to follow your path.
    I almost wish I were a smoker Cecilia, so to be able to tell you how pleasurable a cigarette may be but I am not so i won’t lie, cheat & scam others as you and your sickly entourage do on a daily basis.
    Good luck with your plain packaging but it won’t make a scrap of difference you silly woman excepting that all these TC measures have seen a 2% increase in tobacco consumption (TC🙂 ) in Eire! And of course we have to think of all the wonderful profits being made from illegal tobacco……oh lordy me!

    • Lyn permalink
      January 18, 2012 11:17 am

      Excellenty put Smithers – I should thank you for your support, however if I do that you will probably be smeared with being a Tobacco Mole!

      The 2% rise in tobacco consumption is probably a lot greater due to the thousands that now purchase their tobacco products in the EU, swelling, as mentioned before, the government coffers of other EU countries rather than Britain’s.

      Celia – if you do not want your children/grandchildren exposed to tobacco why did you and your ilk work so hard to get us all thrown out on the streets to smoke? Hoisted by your own petard, perhaps?

  81. January 17, 2012 8:15 pm

    Cecilia: “I want my children grandchildren to remain smokefree and see it as normal not to smoke or see cigarettes promoted in a fancy way.”

    By all means. Cecilia, you’re quite free to form your own community with like-minded fanatics – a là Dowie and Volivia – somewhere in the woods, a place that smokers and sane people generally would enthusiastically steer clear of. If you showed me where it is on a map, I would be happy….. nay, ecstatic….. never to set foot in your smokefree “utopia”. That way the fear and hate-mongering and mind-numbing sanctimony can be confined to you would-be gods.

    “It seems odd that medicines, that do our health good”

    Cecilia, not surprisingly, you obviously haven’t heard of adverse drug reactions (properly-prescribed drugs), which in America are estimated to cause 100,000 deaths per annum, i.e., iatrogenic. These are not statistical “deaths” associated with a lifetime’s use, as in tobacco. They are adverse reactions that can occur in minutes in all ages, producing fatality or disability.

    But then, Cec, I suspect that you haven’t heard of all too much, comfortably ignorant in the shallow antismoking recesses of your mind: “Reasoning” must be so easy when information, history, science can be mangled at will, brutalized beyond recognition, to accommodate the ill-considered, simple-minded beliefs. Cec, I bet that you and Stephen weren’t even aware that anti-smoking/tobacco has a long, sordid history, typically based on a plethora of inflammatory lies that produce social division and upheaval. But why should that matter to your antismoking godships who are obviously benevolent and omniscient – people that have it all figured out, with their finger on the pulse of the universe.

  82. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    January 17, 2012 8:16 pm

    Wow. I did’nt realise so many people read this blog, and almost all smokers. Well I don’t actually think plain packaging will make much difference, but as the tobacco industry as always been, to put it nicely, “suspect” in the way it has portrayed it’s products, then if it causes them the most minor of inconvenience it will be worth it.

    • January 17, 2012 8:33 pm

      If its about revenge then be honest and say so and don’t hide behind the children or health.

      I don’t read Stephen’s blog but as an adult consumer affected by such legislation, the subject of smoking and tobacco is of interest wherever it comes up. I think I am entitled to say what I think and as a child smoker who has watched this issue develop over almost 45 years now, then I think my opinion is valid and of value in this debate into whether plain packaging will protect or harm in the long run.

    • January 17, 2012 9:01 pm

      Ahh. Another guardian/owner of The Children™. Paul, surprising is that only a few antismokers have managed to tear themselves from cocktail-sipping at some Pharma-sponsored antismoking awards-function to provide Stephen with some immoral support, to drag out the well-worn “slogans”. I suspect that Stevo has been on the horn to [C]ASH, asking for a presence or guidance on how to respond to questions that don’t appear in the WHO FCTC parrot manual. Maybe the [C]ASHites demand an appearance fee.

      BTW Paulie, thanks for the standard “it was worth it” routine. You know….. By promoting irrational belief, fear and hatred, by creating social discord, division and upheaval, if we inconvenience the Evil™ tobacco empire, if we Save® one Life©, spare one of The Children™ from becoming one of those degenerate “smokers”, then it was all Worth It®.

  83. January 17, 2012 8:33 pm

    ‘worth it’, Paul? is this you weighing up the advantages and disadvantages? what qualifies you to say that the inconveniences suffered by customers and shops and near certain price war that will follow are prices that are worth paying. You won’t be inconvenienced, I dare say. I love it when people say that other people’s inconvenience and discomfort is a price worth paying for what they think is a good idea.

  84. January 17, 2012 8:47 pm

    You should feel quite proud Stephen, you’re getting a masterclass in democracy in action. Your comments are from people who are sick to the back teeth of being told, and in many cases forced, how to live their lives.

    We are not livestock, leave us alone!

  85. January 17, 2012 8:53 pm

    lib·er·al (lbr-l, lbrl)
    adj.
    1.
    a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
    b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
    c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
    d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.

    a. FAIL
    b. FAIL
    c. FAIL

    Seems that you might need to find another party to support. Why not try the communist party? Certainly your thinking is more akin with it.

    PS. I’m not funded by the tobacco industry either.

  86. January 17, 2012 9:04 pm

    Belinda, l totally agree but it l doubt you’ll get any of our representatives thinking like that. They believe they ‘know’ what’s best for everyone.

    • Xopher permalink
      January 17, 2012 9:35 pm

      Justine – They know they know best because their Degrees and ‘advisory’ careers are testament to their superiority.
      I remember one such who was accepting lap-dog praise about how much work she and her husband had done on their barn conversion when I was heard (through the thin smoking room door) to say quite loudly “Rubbish! She hasn’t done a thing – she’s simply paid capable people to do it.
      We

  87. January 17, 2012 9:18 pm

    Having read the above article again, (Just to refresh my memory) I can see why my hatred of the elected dictatorship we have now, endures. When you look at the last two decades and wonder why voters have stayed away from the poll booths, this article is a case in point.

    Every day we are being assaulted by an interfering, scientifically illiterate elite, who rely on lobby groups to further their careers. I find it strange that various charities have to be funded by the taxpayer, (It is the taxpayer that pays) to get their message across. If the case is so overwhelming these charities would not require taxpayer funding.

    I’m glad to note that Alcohol Concern and ASH have had their sucking on the public teet, withdrawn. How can an organisation such as ASH get millions from the taxpayer yet only receive £11,000 in private donations? If the public was concerned they would have donated, would they not.

    This article is by yet another MP trying to better himself in the political elite.

    Bring back politicians of stature that will actually do the will of the people. All we have now is political wannabees who just jump on the latest bandwagon.

    What happened to common sense and serving the people they represent.

    • January 17, 2012 10:49 pm

      actually, I believe in tobacco control. I don’t need ASH to convince me. It’s one of my longest held political opinions and has been made clear in every election in which I’ve stood for the last 20 years.

      • Xopher permalink
        January 18, 2012 12:32 am

        We’ve had control of tobacco for many years and consumption has reduced BUT now we’ve got Tobacco Control that has expanded it’s remit to include social engineering. It doesn’t work.
        The very best message was “If you smoke leave a bigger tip” – Gentle but effective (but unaffordable at today’s prices). A far cry from that of your friends who have used every demonic device available to no positive effect except that of providing employment for an ineffective, expensive empire of academics and ‘experts’ dependent on government and pharmaceutical funding.
        Ask your friends how much each ‘free quit kit’ costs, recognise the failure rate for NRT and then explain to us all how this is a good use of public funds.
        Ask your friends if they include the (approx £45,000 per smoker) state pension savings for all those 7 year premature smoking deaths when they calculate the cost of smoking to the economy.
        As an historian you should be capable of analysing evidence and as a tax advisor you should be capable of recognising mathematical irregularities AND as a politician you should be open to the commonsense views of the electorate.
        The ‘thefilthyengineer’ is right — Fail, Fail, Fail.

      • Frank J permalink
        January 18, 2012 8:05 am

        “It’s one of my longest held political opinions and has been made clear in every election in which I’ve stood for the last 20 years.”

        So they only vote for you as you’re vehemently against smoking? speaks volumes for your constituents.

  88. Soren permalink
    January 17, 2012 9:26 pm

    I gather that Stephen Williams likes to see comments from people that stand against him, and that he can brush aside with complete arrogance. He can play the ‘me biggest gorilla’ role as he likes, when it comes to the smoking issue. For the power hungry and arrogant, that is too big a temptation to resist.

    • January 17, 2012 10:47 pm

      actually if people make factually based comments I try to respond.

      • david permalink
        January 18, 2012 12:27 am

        This from someone who wrote ‘I wonder how many smoking parents were aware of the heightened risk to their children’s health? The BMA did similar tests and found the intensity to be a wopping 23 times a smoky bar.’

        You know, the most worrying thing about this is that the chair of All Party Group on Smoking and Health, someone in a position to influence government policy (and parents), actually thought the BMA had done some tests’.

        It has to said, there are people commenting here that almost certainly have far greater knowledge of tobacco issues than you ever will.

      • Parmenion permalink
        January 18, 2012 12:30 am

        Ok then, respond to this…….

        .At a World Health Organisation conference in 1975, former British Chief Medical Officer Sir George
        Godber announced that:
        “It would be essential to foster an atmosphere where it was perceived that active
        smokers would injure those around them, especially their family and any infants or
        young children who would be exposed involuntarily to ETS.”
        Antismokers then started actively looking for ‘proof’. One of the first studies they seized upon,
        in 1981, was that of Prof Hirayama in Japan, which showed a possible risk from ETS. Although
        the risk was trivial, the methodology was dubious, and the director of Hirayama’s own Institute
        cautioned against taking the study too seriously, it was seen as ‘encouraging,’ and ETS studies
        started to proliferate rapidly. By 1990 the well-known American antismoking activist Stanton
        Glantz was able to declare:
        “The main thing the science has done on the issue of ETS, in addition to help people
        like me pay the mortgage, is it has legitimised the concern that people don’t like
        cigarette smoke. And that is a strong emotional force that needs to be harnessed and
        used. We’re on a roll, and the bastards are on the run.”

      • Parmenion permalink
        January 18, 2012 12:36 am

        ….and by the way, I’m not in the pay of big tobacco, I’m just a lowly bricklayer from Sunderland who is sick and tired of being classed as “abnormal.”

  89. January 17, 2012 10:05 pm

    So will this be followed by plain packaging for beer and candy? Maybe removing brand names and substituting letter strings would help too?

    “Hi! I’ll have a six pack of XQZ beer today. The HTW beer didn’t quite sit well with Choco # 17B Bar last night.”

    And all the McWhopperies with their golden arches and happy faced clowns could be forced to redecorate into “little brown boxes” by the roadside known only as “Burger Joint Type 1” and “Burger Joint Type 2” etc.

    Sounds like a plan to me!

    – MJM

  90. January 17, 2012 11:58 pm

    Your highness, Stephen, believer of great things, you “believe” in tobacco control (anti-smoking/tobacco). You also seem to believe in the Bogey Man (aka the Silent Salesman). You obviously then believe in denormalization/stigmatization/leperization of those who smoke. I take it you’re OK with elderly patients having to walk off entire hospital grounds to have a smoke – in whatever weather. And I suppose you’re just dandy about denying fostering/adoption to those who smoke.

    In countries (e.g., America) a little more ahead than the UK in the Godber Blueprint, they are now up to large-scale outdoor smoking bans and employment discrimination against smokers. This is all obscene social engineering that has been seen before. It is a progressive segregation where the areas available for smoking are eventually reduced to nil, and those that refuse to conform are progressively punished. Smoking, the sign of “neo-leprosy” in the fevered imaginings of the antismoking mentality, must be removed from public sight, lest one of Cecilia’s lineage, for example, is reduced to a neo-leper. This is the direct, repugnant consequence of the demonstrably-deranged antismoking mentality.

    You see, Stevo, plain packaging is really not such a big deal. But it is the latest in a long series of salami-slice steps predicated on a long series of inflammatory lies by the Tobacco Control social engineers. So, Stevo, the comments on your blog are not just a reaction to plain packaging. They are a reaction to the one-sided, vulgar, inflammatory antismoking blather-fest that has been foisted onto the public over the last few decades.

    The question you fail to address, Stephen, O Wise Seer, is why this cultic belief of yours should be imposed on everyone? Only more perverse than this “health fascism” that you seem to revel in – “for the greater good”, of course – is that you’re a member of a liberal political party!! How’s that for turning the entire framework upside-down. Another poster has provided a definition of liberalism, a definition that you obviously do not comprehend and directly violate.

  91. January 18, 2012 12:09 am

    Stephen. I was once a born again fundamentalist pentecostal evangelist. I was able to make very authoritative statements, and could be very convincing. My knowledge was based on the inspired writings contained in the worlds best selling book.
    Any argument or criticism of my doctrine came from the devil. Whoever disagreed with me, even if they were educated people with sound argument, they were speaking filthy lies, they were wolves in sheeps clothing, they were inspired by evil.

    Stephen. I am an atheist. I also enjoy smoking. I, and many friends and online contacts, have researched in our own time, and taken on board independant, peer reviewed facts and common sense. Why? Because we are being attacked by the Church of Smokefree. Just like my past experience, much of their argument is based on personal, manipulated doctrine. Any of theire doctrine which holds any value is distorted and exagerated.
    Just as any argument or criticism against Christian fundamentalism is seen as the work of the devil, any argument or criticism against the Church oif Smokefree is seen as the work of the Tobacco Industry.

  92. John S permalink
    January 18, 2012 12:22 am

    “I don’t need ASH to convince me.” – That says it all, Stephen!!!!

  93. January 18, 2012 12:44 am

    I don’t actually know you, Stephen Williams, being a few thousand miles away in Philadelphia, and it’s pretty clear that I strongly disagree with your point of view on the smoking issue…

    But I will give you one thing Stephen: you’re willing to let folks freely express their disagreements and argument with you here on your blog. Despite anything else, that gets a lot of credit in my book. Very few on your side of the fence have that much conviction in their beliefs: In my view most of them are liars and they know they’re liars and they’ll run from an honest debate faster than a little girl from a pack of tarantulas.

    And if you actually look up some of the information and claims you see here and put enough thought and effort into it to try to defend against them … well, then even more credit will be due to you.

    Have at it and invite your colleagues to join in. Might get bloodier than one of your futball games, but hey, blood and guts makes for good reading!

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

    • Xopher permalink
      January 18, 2012 1:08 am

      Thank you Michael; I’m sure that you’ll agree with many smokers that smoking is not that good. Even smokers encourage the reduction of smoking prevalence!!!!!
      I’m sure you will also agree that the tactics/evidence/influence of Tobacco Control has undermined non-smoking encouragement.
      Like all fanatics Tobacco Control has created a ‘them and us’ war when society should evolve from an ‘us and us’ involvement.
      I thank you for your understanding of us addicts (sorry I’ve been brain washed I tried to stop typing at the word us).

      • January 18, 2012 1:26 am

        Er, I can’t actually say I’d encourage the “reduction of smoking prevalence.” I enjoy smoking. I enjoy seeing other people enjoy smoking. Is it good for them? I’d say probably not … it’s even somewhat dangerous. But so is playing sports. Or, for that matter, WATCHING sports! There was a study done just last year indicating that sitting on your butt for a couple of hours to watch a game on the telly may be the heart-equivalent of a pack of smokes, and I think there was another done showing a significant increase in heart attack deaths in the home towns of either the winners or the losers (I forget which) after a big season-ending game. (No, I’m NOT kidding about that, although I simply read about the study, not the study itself.)

        – MJM

      • John S permalink
        January 18, 2012 1:35 am

        Didn’t some Chinese study on ETS and lung cancer back in the 1990’s find that owning a colour TV increased the risk of lung cancer by around 150% and owning a fridge by over 200%?

  94. January 18, 2012 1:01 am

    Perhaps Cecilia is right. Note where she says, “Tobacco company spokespeople have admitted that packaging is the way they can market their toxic tabs. It seems odd that medicines, that do our health good, come in plain packaging, in small amounts and on prescription from a doctor.”

    Maybe there should be a level playing field. Make tobacco companies advertise their goods on radio and television, right along with the various Big Pharma “drugs.” Just as doctors give out “free samples” of drugs to patients who haven’t tried them, have the tobacco companies do the same. Does the government subsidize medications? Let them subsidize tobacco as well.

    Are medications taxed? Of course not (at least here in the US) — Let’s demand a level playing field for tobacco. Ever wonder how many pence a pack of smokes might cost without the taxes? What would be the current base price of a pack in the UK right now if all tobacco taxes were eliminated? Before Obama brought in his SCHIP tax on smokers on the backs of the little children a Kilo of tobacco ran about $25 (15 pounds?) How does that compare with what the average British citizen is paying nowadays?

    The tobacco companies may still object to plain packaging when you force these reforms on them Cecilia, but don’t despair! Fair is fair after all, right?

    – MJM

  95. January 18, 2012 1:04 am

    I was a heavy smoker until at the age of 42 (I am now 74) I had a full Myocardial Infarction:10 days in Intensive care at University College Hospital in London and six months off work. I have never smoked since.

    • January 18, 2012 1:15 am

      “I was a heavy smoker…”

      What, you were over 150kg?

    • Xopher permalink
      January 18, 2012 1:21 am

      I also was a heavy smoker until I had a major op BUT was it due to an early dose of rheumatic fever, a resultant inability to ‘enjoy’ competitive sports, sedentary employment, a love of bacon and pork products, the pleasure of camaraderie in my local OR smoking?
      The only advice was to give up smoking!
      Whatever happens, I’ve enjoyed the journey and a message to our concerned medicos — Sort out the failures and errors in the health service (how many undisclosed payouts of billions for medical cock-ups) before you criticize and demonize me.

    • January 18, 2012 3:41 pm

      I say good for you John – but your decision not to smoke should not be enforced on others who chose to smoke.

  96. January 18, 2012 1:13 am

    Stephen, I’m interested in how you will “spin” the results on your comments board to The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health. I take it you’ll refer to some appropriate section – Agenda-Driven Drivel 101 – in the WHO FCTC propaganda/parrot manual for guidance.

    I’m guessing it will go something like this:

    Dear members of the All Farty Eugenics Group on Antismoking Engineering, I am pleased to announce that, from a great contribution to my comments board, we are very much on track for human betterment. Even the many smokers making comments believe in the “cause” and are honoured to be reduced to third-class citizens. They are particularly ecstatic about being exiled from the indoors and are very much looking forward to being exiled from the outdoors. Although I considered it a step too far, they kept insisting that they be banned from more and more of “normal” society, and think that the addition of employment discrimination is a nice touch. They also made a proposal that we should accord due consideration – the possibility of treatment camps for smokers serviced by a dedicated railway system. OK. That’s enough work……time for lunch. Pass the lobster and the caviar.

    Am I close?

  97. John S permalink
    January 18, 2012 1:16 am

    When the UK wins its first medal at the Olympics, the names or logos of the major sponsors will be prominently displayed in the background at the medal awarding ceremony. Stephen, if you really believe in this unproven “Silent Salesman” (“salesperson” surely!) hypothesis, what message is that giving “the children”? To be successful at athletics, you must pig out on Big Macs and Cadbury’s Flakes, washed down with several cans of Coca Cola?

  98. January 18, 2012 2:20 am

    Let me get this right. Is Cecilia whatsit the same person who is the CEO of ‘Common Purpose’? I feel sure that I am correct, but it is late and I must to bed. I will check tomorrow.

    I I am right, however, Cecilia has been a ‘prime mover’ in the persecution of people who enjoy tobacco for the last thirty years. If I am right, she believed in the UN’s ‘Millenium Goals’. That is, the elimination of poverty and disease from the World. Funny how these worthy goals translated into the persecution of people who enjoy tobacco, especially in the comparatively disease and poverty free Europe and USA. Odd, that, do you not think? The wonderful UN millenium goals became an attack upon Europeans who enjoy tobacco, rather than poverty, disease and deprivation in Africa, Asia and other places.

    the worthy ‘Millenium Goals’ were perverted before they left the ground. How sad! Imagine how much good work could have been done if all the money paid in salaries to ASH ET AL and the con-men of climate change had been spent as they should have been! Quelle Domage!

    But Mr Williams will ‘carry on regardless’. But his campaign and crusade will fail. One, because it based upon lying propaganda, and, Two, because it will turn out that free people will do as they wish, notwithstanding the stupidity of ‘the majority’. We free individuals will, eventually, bring the gravy train to a stop. And then we will start a witch hunt. There will be no hiding place for the persecutors. We are determined.

  99. January 18, 2012 8:32 am

    I smoke, not a lot, but I enjoy a fine cigar now and again. I know the health risks, I know the pleasure that I get from a good cigar. As an adult, I am quite capable of deciding whether the pleasure is worth the risk to me.

    It is a mockery of the term Liberal, to suggest that the State has the right to dictate what I can and can’t do with my own body. JS Mill would turn in his grave at the thought.

    Where will this “health nazi” approach end?

    Why stop at tobacco, next alcohol will have to be sold in plain bottles and anything with more than 0g of fat in a brown paper bag.

    Whatever happened to the right to live your life by your own decisions without being dictated to by Nanny State politicians?

    I don’t need looking after, I need leaving alone!

    • January 18, 2012 8:56 am

      Murray, while on the one hand I do not want to encourage you to smoke, however if you absorb the nicotine in your cheeks and gums rather than inhale onto the lungs you run absolutely no further increase in risk of lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease. You also do not run any higher risks of oral or oesophageal cancer too.

  100. January 18, 2012 9:05 am

    Hat tip Rose2.

    Dr. Michael Siegel is a Public Health official in Boston, USA. He testified against tobacco companies in the 1990s which led to them paying $billions in damages. Michael additionally believes that second hand smoke can cause lung cancer and heart disease. He was once a member of Global Link a secretive anti smoking group where membership is by invite only. He was expelled from the group for disagreeing with the increasing illiberal legislation, much on it based on dubious science. Here are his comments.

    “If you take part in secondhand smoke policy training in the tobacco control movement, chances are that you will be taught that all opposition to smoking bans is orchestrated by the tobacco industry, that anyone who challenges the science connecting secondhand smoke exposure and severe health effects is a paid lackey of Big Tobacco, and that any group which disseminates information challenging these health effects is a tobacco industry front group.

    Consequently, the a chief strategy of tobacco control is to smear the opposition by accusing them of being tobacco industry moles. And in no situation should one say anything positive about an opponent, even if true.”

    tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/04/in-my-view-brainwashing-in-anti-smoking.html

  101. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    January 18, 2012 10:06 am

    If a person wishes to smoke, thats up to them. I’m not anti smoking. But the article is about recruiting new smokers, espescially children. My beef is with companies who mislead, use untrue propaganda, all to sell more of their products. There are countless cases and the tobacco industry is a good example.

    • xopher permalink
      January 18, 2012 10:44 am

      The best example is the Pharmaceutical Industry! – They even get Government to promote smoking cessation products with a 95+% failure rate!
      What many forget is that tobacco companies do not need to promote their product to youngsters – playgrounds and peer pressure are the reason the majority of youngsters begin to smoke.

    • January 18, 2012 3:48 pm

      And countless Big Pharma companies that do the same in giving misleading messages to sell their often corrupt products like Champix. . But this isn’t about tobacco companies – this is about the consumer’s right to purchase without harassment a legal product. As a former child smoker, I can assure you that plain packaging will have no effect on how many young people take up smoking.

      I have seen man with a bag in my home town and I know that all this will do is force contaminated tobacco use underground – but I guess that’s Ok as long as it’s chav children who use it and not the nice middle class privileged sons and daughters of those in Tobacco Control

  102. January 18, 2012 11:10 am

    Paul Bemmy Down

    The article is about plain packaging and “my beef is with ‘companies’ who mislead, use untrue propaganda, all to get more funding to protect their salaries”

    Here is some factual truth for you. l started smoking at school along with my friends. Never ever did we go by brand names and “glitzy packets”. We had very little money so we begged, stole or borrowed most of the time. Our favourite target was young working guys. We’d ask for a cigarette and a cigarette only. We wouldnt ask for a Marlboro or any particular brand, the brand was unimportant. All that mattered was the cigarette. When we could get enough money to buy some we’d buy a packet of 10. Again not by “glitzy” packaging but by price! We got the cheapest we could get!

    Youngsters still do the same today. That’s the facts Paul, thats the truth Paul. The only difference between when l started to smoke and kids today is when we bought cigarettes we got them from shops. Gov raised the age from 16 to 18 to buy cigarettes so who filled the void? White van man, thats who, and with the extortionate tax that is now on cigarettes it is white van man that profits. Every piece of legislation and action by gov and ASH looks as though it has been written by white van man to increase his business.

    His products aren’t on display either!

    • January 18, 2012 11:28 am

      That brings back memories Justine. Me and my mates did exactly the same. None of this will reach this MP and ASH in their ivory towers though where all opposing views and facts are totally ignored. The joke is that this MP says he is a Liberal hahaha, yeah right.

  103. Tim F permalink
    January 18, 2012 11:22 am

    Stephen,

    I’m sorry I can’t come at this from an extremist position, but hopefully moderate points of view are welcome on this blog too.

    As I understand it, the measures won’t stop the many existing keen smokers (like those on your blog) from continuing to buy cigarettes, it’s just that the cigarettes will come in dull looking packs. Not an enormous afront to our civil liberties if you ask me. Surely this is just closing the last loophole of the general ban on cigarrette advertising agreed years ago?

    I’m not sure it will make much of a difference to smokers who are trying to quit. As I understand it, a high proportion would like to give up, but struggle to. But anything that helps those who want to stop (and doesn’t line the pharmaceutical companies pockets!) would surely be welcomed. It certainly took me a few years.

    I started smoking as a kid myself because it was ‘cool’ to do so. I suspect that’s true of many people. If I worked for a cigarette company, and I knew that it was mostly young people who started smoking (i.e. were my best source of potential new customers) you could bet that I’d be doing my utmost to make my products & packaging as attractive to them as possible. Now that I’ve got 2 young children of my own, I’d support any measures which made smoking seem less attractive to kids. I doubt that changing the packaging alone will achieve this, but it seems to me to be an entirely reasonable step to take, and one that I’d support.

    If, when they’re adults, my kids decide that the risks of smoking are worth it then fine, their choice – but I can’t say I’d want them to become smokers, and I suspect most parents would say the same.

    • January 18, 2012 12:01 pm

      Not an enormous affront to civil liberties? How big does the affront have to be for you to oppose them? This is how you lose your civil liberties, a little at a time. lt started with tobacco advertising and look where we are now. Open your eyes for gods sake!

    • January 18, 2012 5:33 pm

      “I’m sorry I can’t come at this from an extremist position”

      All smokers want is to be left alone in peace without harassment – and that’s “extremist” ?

      Ye Gods!

  104. Ramsey Soudah permalink
    January 18, 2012 12:19 pm

    I would expect nothing less of a lib-dem mp. Your arguments FOR plain packaging hold no weight whatsoever or importance to anything relevant. Putting cigs in plain packaging will just hold up queues at supermarkets whilst the poor assistant trys to fathom out where the hell the Bensons are!.. Seriously, is this what MPs are paid for, to meddle in useless campaigns whilst far far more important issues are at hand? Smokers ARE human beings too you know, we are not scum, you guys have already removed our rights to go into pubs, restaurants, our place of work and a million other places and treat us like lepers rather than doing the decent thing and providing places for us to go and keep both US and the anti-brains happy… Just look at how many people on this blog are against you,, you should be ashamed..

    • January 18, 2012 5:38 pm

      No – it’s aimed at further humiliation of the smoker to make those impatient people behind them in the queue angry enough to have a go at them. It’s about promoting public bullying of the smoker.

      Added to that is the purposeful, spiteful way the print on the product list has been designed to be so small it isn’t even of the standard required for people with sight difficulties.

      Ultimately, Tobacco Control hopes shops will get fed up with this and complaints from non-smokers held up in the queue, that they will stop selling the product. After all, there isn’t much money in tobacco thee days for retailers because most of the cover price is tax.

  105. Simon (not Simon Clark) permalink
    January 18, 2012 12:33 pm

    Isn’t it funny how these right-wing ‘libertarians’ accuse anti-smokers of bigotry and make repeated offensive Nazi references? They may be crowing at how much negative response you’re getting Stephen, but they’re not representative. It is, as you say, all the usual suspects jumping up and down, and -judging by their ability to get people to sign their petition to reintroduce smoking in pubs, (less than 5000 in 5 months) – there really are very few of them. It’s quite sad how angry they get at government trying to help them get out of the clutches of the drug that’s killing them, but when they’d go for thatt over food given the choice, and staying home or standing in the rain to get another fix over socialising with friends, they’re probably a lost cause.

    • Fredrik Eich permalink
      January 18, 2012 1:46 pm

      Simon (NSC),
      I am quite sure that when the smoking ban is repealed, millions of people will take up the option of smoking inside in preference to the situation now, which is a choice of stay at home or subsidise the life style choices of others. If you want your smoke-free fix, fair enough, pay for it yourself, and leave me to spend my money at places where smoking is permitted.
      Thanks.

    • david permalink
      January 18, 2012 2:11 pm

      I think you’ll find that a great deal more than 5000 have opted to stay at home (goes a long way to explain the loss of c.10,000 pubs post ban). Besides, the vast majority are unaware of any petitions. Nor have they bothered to find out how they, their families and friends were deceived re passive smoking. And now the sheep are threatened with outdoor, car and home bans. No doubt ‘liberal’ Stephen will also support the latter. Bound to, given that he’ll be briefed by those who are already gearing up for demands to ban smoking in the home. We know exactly how TC operates. Advice first then,failing compliance, legislation.

    • Lyn permalink
      January 18, 2012 3:32 pm

      “It’s quite sad how angry they get at government trying to help them get out of the clutches of the drug that’s killing them, but when they’d go for thatt over food given the choice, and staying home or standing in the rain to get another fix over socialising with friends, they’re probably a lost cause.”

      No, we are just human and have the right to be treated like human beings. As for smoking killing us, something will kill us all in the end – you could go out in your car or get on a bus or a plane and die – today! Whilst waiting for the inevitable, however, I prefer to enjoy my life and smoking, for me, is part of that enjoyment and something that no-one else has the right to take away!

    • January 18, 2012 3:56 pm

      And as I have pointed out to your before Simon (nsc) – give us your side’s funding and you’d soon see how quickly that number would go up. If only we had the same kind of access to prime time TV, offices the length and breadth of the country to promote it, as Big P promotes its products through smoke free “shops”.

      The truth is we are the experts – those of us who are lifelong and experienced in knowing what makes people start smoking and what makes them quit.

      As I explained before the Nazi analogy is because Tobacco Control is using the Nazi war on smoking template which it studied in the 1990s. It is a relevant comparison because of this and how you can applaud any Nazi ideology like enforced smoke-free really says more about you than those who would point out that nothing about the Nazis even smoke free is worthy of consideration. That way bigotry lies.

  106. January 18, 2012 1:03 pm

    And now I hear that all the comments like mine are paid for by the tobacco companies. I wish.

  107. Smithers permalink
    January 18, 2012 1:05 pm

    To people such as Simon (not Simon Clark) and Stephen, our host for this weeks entertainment I often wonder if they listen to themselves bleating on about SHS, 3rd/H/S etc and ever contemplate just how much they are being manipulated by such as the WHO? We must remember that the World Health Organisation are laying down tobacco policies whilst thousand are dying on a daily basis in Africa. With the vast amounts of money donated to the WHO from each country, why haven’t these people got water, irrigation, means of self sustainability-what do the WHO do for them? Very little apparently!
    I wonder why this report has been buried for so long? Just look at the first few lines and you’ll soon realise why:- “This document is not issued to the general public, and all rights are reserved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Service
    of Ecotoxicology (ECOTOX) of the Department of Public Health,Geneva.”
    http://www.bvsde.paho.org/comun/airefile/mvr.pdf

    You see Simon/Stephen, the WHO don’t want the general public to know about the increasing dangers of traffic pollution as that would undermine their anti tobacco stance. Simples!
    Closer to home we find that Cameron &Co are moving the goalposts all the time to avoid the massive £300m fines to be imposed for our diabolical Air Pollution situation! Who needs to smoke to die of lung cancer or some other form of the disease. Why are we ‘presumably protecting’ our youngsters from pretty designs when they can simply walk out onto any street and draw in lungful after lungful of highly polluted ‘air’? It rather debases all the arguments of the anti tobacco lobby (Cecilia Farren take note please). During the first year of the ban I do believe that cancer rates increased somewhat-4% males & 3.75% females-so what, in actual fact, did the ban achieve-apart from empty pubs & clubs?
    When you dig deep enough, it’s amazing what grubby little secrets you can find!
    And next week at the ‘Bristol Palladium’ we present………………….!

    • Lyn permalink
      January 18, 2012 3:38 pm

      Excellent, Smithers.

      To add, in all the decades that smoking prevalence has been decreasing, cancer rates have been increasing – really logical then that it is smokers and smoking that, somehow, is the cause of so many!

      On the other side, the generation who are now living longer than any previous generation are those that grew up during the height of smoking prevalence and most of them smoked at some point in their lives and many still do – if they can afford it. So, how old could they live to if they had never smoked or been brought up in a smokey environment I wonder?

  108. January 18, 2012 1:05 pm

    Do you pick cherries for a living Simon? Justine made valid and factual comments that l agreed with. No Nazis in sight on the virtually all of the comments.

  109. January 18, 2012 1:06 pm

    Dear Mr Williams,

    Please rest assured that I do not work for a tobacco company, nor am I associated with any pro-tobacco lobby groups or organisations. I am an ordinary citizen with no special interests other than my own and my fellow citizens’ rights to be free to choose our lifestyles. Considering how much tax we pay, I’m absolutely outraged that government is determined to dictate and legislate our lifestyle choices.

    And can we be clear about something, please? There is no such thing as a premature death. It is simply the time of one’s death, regardless if one lives for one hour or 100 years, whether one dies of lung cancer or from a horrific accident. Indeed, do tell us what is the acceptable age of death? When should I die, and what should I die of? Could you answer that question, please, sir?

    Cigarette packaging does not encourage anyone to smoke — not children, not adults. I know of no smokers who were wooed by the “subtle” marketing campaigns on a cigarette packet. And I would wager that you do not know anyone either. There is no evidence that cigarette packets encourage anyone to do anything. Tobacco companies hope their packet designs will encourage existing smokers to switch brands — it’s a flawed strategy, because smokers are the ultimate brand loyalists. This is more to do with flavour of a smoke, not the packet. Price is also an issue. As taxes on tobacco relentlessly and unfairly increase, poorer smokers may choose or be forced to choose low-cost brands. None of this has anything to do children smoking due to packet designs.

    Teens take up smoking for many reasons. None of those reasons have anything to do with packet design.

    So what will plain packaging achieve? For starters, it will not reduce the smoking rate. It will likely increase it. Additionally, it will make it incredibly easy for counterfeiters to sell their low-grade cigarettes to unsuspecting buyers — those counterfeit cigarettes will harm many more people than any legitimate. Plain packaging will increase the illicit tobacco trade. As a result, the UK will see less tax revenue from tobacco products. And let’s face it, the government is quite keen to take as much money from us a possible. In summary, plain packaging will not reduce smoking rates, but it will increase crime and will cause great harm to your constituents.

    I understand that no-one will be able to change your mind about this, and I am certainly not trying to do so. I am simply warning you that by “punishing” tobacco companies (which is exactly your goal here, and it’s incredibly disingenuous to trot out the “protect the children” argument — for that is and shall always be a job for a child’s parents), you are going to cause a great many issues that are entirely unavoidable. You will be personally responsible for them. You will be responsible for and underground market for legitimate, branded tobacco products that do not collect any duty, and you will be responsible for the black market of illegitimate, counterfeited brands that will cause great harm. You have been warned.

  110. January 18, 2012 1:25 pm

    one hundred and sixty two comments yield six instances of the word nazi, one in simon (Nsc)’s post, one in Andrea’s and one in mine (this one). Hardly overkill, and in no instance was it directed at a person, only at a policy. Simon echoes Stephen’s accusation of ‘tobacco front groups’ by calling everyone ‘right-wing libertarians’, another attempt to paint everyone in the same colour.

    • January 18, 2012 3:59 pm

      And one in mine above in response to Simon (nsc) to try and explain why it is used and believed to be relevant.

  111. January 18, 2012 1:31 pm

    It appears you have been over to Taking Liberties to complain about Nazi jibes. The use of Nazi out of 161 comments is 5. Two are used in the context of “health Nazis” and three
    as a reference with non pejorative attached, health fascism once. I have even checked for “facism/facist” sic. So it seems you are back to spinning.

  112. January 18, 2012 1:38 pm

    “Social Stigma around Smoking may be Causing Smokers not to Disclose Smoking Status to Health Care Providers

    Washington, DC – New results from a national survey show that one-in-ten smokers (13%) in the United States did not disclose their smoking status to their health care providers (HCP), who are among the most important resources that a smoker could have in quitting successfully. Furthermore, social stigma around smoking may contribute to why smokers sometimes keep their smoking status a secret from their doctors.”

    www. legacyforhealth.org/4973.aspx

  113. January 18, 2012 1:44 pm

    The USA does like to lead on tobacco control and this paper from as long ago as 2005 rather confirms that the denormalisation of smokers is all part and parcel of tobacco control.

    I hope you are pleased, Stephen.

    “Accepted on: Sep 2, 2005

    Tobacco Control, Stigma, and Public Health: Rethinking the Relations

    Ronald Bayer, PhD, and Jennifer Stuber, PhD

    “Although such restrictions have been imposed on the act of smoking, they have inevitably had profound impacts on smokers themselves and their social standing. In any city, smokers can be found huddled outside office buildings no matter how inclement the weather. Firms boldly announce that they will not employ and may even fire smokers because of the additional cost of their medical care, or because smoking does not project the “image” they wish to present to the public.

    “Commenting on the rise and decline of the cigarette and smoker in America, medical historian Allan Brandt, who in the early 1980s, on the eve of the AIDS epidemic, so carefully examined the stigma associated with sexually transmitted disease, wrote,

    In the last half century the cigarette has been transformed. The fragrant has become foul. . . . An emblem of attraction has become repulsive. A mark of sociability has become deviant. A public behavior is now virtually private. Not only has the meaning of the cigarette been transformed but even more the meaning of the smoker [who] has become a pariah . . . the object of scorn and hostility.”

    ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2005.071886

  114. Kin_Free permalink
    January 18, 2012 2:06 pm

    For goodness sake, have a think Cecilia! “Stephen is clearly on the right track. Why else does it evoke such indignation? “. Here’s a hint or two Cecilia;

    ‘Anti-tobacco’ consists, in the main, of liars and cheats who are sucking the blood of smokers and the very life out of decent society. In the UK alone, they have bankrupted hundreds of businesses, increased unemployment by thousands, and seriously injured/killed a number of the most vulnerable in society, particularly the ill, aged, infirm, AND children, with intent to cow the rest of society using fear and coercion. There are many other adverse consequences, too numerous to list. Do you really think that this would not ‘evoke such indignation’ in those aware of this? Do you honestly think that these tactics and the extensive harm they cause, will ever be accepted by decent people? Suppression or intentional degradation of any section of society may be successful for many years but it will NEVER be accepted, inevitably it WILL fail, and those responsible WILL be called to account.

    Bearing in mind the crass, and clearly incorrect suggestion, that those who have challenged the anti-smoker deception on here are tobacco company shills, why did you (or for that matter the other two antismoker supporters who have commented) not disclose your vested interests and biased position?

    Are you really “Cecilia Farren, of ASH South West – funded by Big Pharma and taxpayers’ money.” ?

    I suspect that many anti-tobacco activists did at one time believe they were following a noble cause in preventing ill health and defending the vulnerable from the ‘evil tobacco barons’, but it should be clear by now that this is no longer the case and probably never was. The noble cause has turned drastically awry and is, in addition to all the other adverse consequences, causing far more ill health than it prevents. Money corrupts and this is what seems to have happened within the anti-smoker industry. Anti-tobacco is now swimming in cash that is used to swamp the public with anti-tobacco propaganda, lobby gullible MPs, and stuff the pockets to overflowing of those willing to compromise and ignore their personal moral compass.

    By the way, I have no connection with any tobacco company!

  115. Kin_Free permalink
    January 18, 2012 2:15 pm

    Paul naively believes (or intends to maliciously perpetuate the illusion) that the latest measures proposed are purely for the benefit of children. Give your head a slap Paul, it has nothing to do with children! Time to realise that children and the emotive response of adults towards children are being exploited. The exploitation of children was, and still is, a major ingredient extensively utilized in advancing the anti-smoker agenda. They did not invent this psychological tool, it been used for many years to facilitate the curtailment of freedoms of adults, as demonstrated in this quote:

    “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
    (Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler; 1943)

    Stephen has ‘believed’ in tobacco control for 20 years. In actual fact I naively believed in it too – 20, even 10 years ago, but now I know better. When the evidence changes, I change my mind; what do you do Stephen? I am aware that your knowledge/expertise on this subject, as with most MPs, is probably no better than the average lay-man, your comments would tend to confirm this. MPs depend upon advice from ‘experts’ so, if they are given incorrect advice but accept it in good faith, then they are unlikely to be held accountable for the adverse consequences that follow from their actions, based upon that advice. The comments here, although only scratching the surface, have questioned the advice you have been given Stephen and MADE YOU AWARE of the ‘possibility’ that that advice IS incorrect.

    As the chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health I should not need to point out the possible consequences of failing to verify anti-tobacco advice by not seeking out ALL the available information. You must remember that, as an MP, your responsibility is to the public NOT to some wealthy single issue lobby group, however well they have infiltrated the halls of power! Remember too that this has little, if anything, to do with ‘health’

    • Xopher permalink
      January 19, 2012 1:50 pm

      K_F.
      You wrote that “As an MP, your responsibility is to the public”. Stephen has the specific duty of representing ALL his constituents.
      Tobacco control is only a small part of his and his party’s manifesto and, at the last election, he gained 26,593 votes. It is vital that he should also take note of the wishes of ALL those who did not vote for him or for his tobacco policy and remember that it is the wishes of the electorate may outweigh his own.
      The total electorate for Bristol West was 82,728. Is he willing to go against party lines and support the 56.000 who did not vote for him??????
      With a rebellion rate of only 0.3% it’s clear who he represents.

  116. Kin_Free permalink
    January 18, 2012 2:21 pm

    Please remove my reference to ‘liars and cheats’ above, and replace with ‘undesirables’. I would not wish to be accused of hyperbole.

  117. Shewi permalink
    January 18, 2012 2:23 pm

    As a fellow Liberal I do not see the incompatibility between plain packaging and a restriction on anyone’s actual ability to smoke. I am a ‘non-militant’ ex-smoker who is fully respectful of an individual’s right to take part in a legal activity. Plain packaging doesn’t restrict anyone’s smoking behaviour or choices around tobacco use. It does however, restrict the tobacco industry’s only remaining way of peddling a product that will kill half of half of those who use it and leave many, many more with life restricting health problems. I have never heard of any smoker welcoming the news that their child has taken up smoking and one of my main reasons for quitting was the knowledge that my smoking was in all likelihood increasing the chance of my children following suit. As the vast majority of adult smokers take up the habit under the age of 18, I personally welcome any measure that continues to de-normalise smoking and reduce the chances of our children starting in the first place. I would see this very definitely as an anti tobacco company issue and not an anti smoker one.

    • January 18, 2012 2:49 pm

      A Liberal happy with de-normalising smokers! Take a look at thefilthyngineer’s comment (9.18pm 17th Jan) Shewi and then in regards to the children look at Justine’s and Andres’s posts (11.10am & 11.28am today). Therein lies the truth my dear Shewi … that’s if you want the truth that is!

    • John S permalink
      January 18, 2012 2:54 pm

      Isn’t “de-normalise” a word normally associated with social engineering and eugenics?

    • Xopher permalink
      January 18, 2012 3:18 pm

      Those most affected by plain packaging will be the tobacconist/counter operative/evil sales person/death dispenser (delete as appropriate). The packaging is a useful tool for the easy identification and selection of the requested product.
      But that’s OK because you won’t be inconvenienced.
      Surely the next stage is to remove the name of the product and the name of the manufacturer from the packaging just in case one child somewhere in ASHton Gate might be attracted by interesting/glitzy words.

  118. January 18, 2012 2:39 pm

    Shewi.

    Have you not considered that the Tobacco companies may be rubbing their hands with Glee. Look at the savings in costs they will make in not haven’t to spend a fortune on their cigarette package design. And I see the whole “We must save the children” mantra is being trotted out again. That is for the parents to do. Children are not the property of the state. Yet.

    • January 18, 2012 2:53 pm

      FE, White Van Man and the Chinese Counterfeit Gangs are singing and dancing on their way to the showroom to order a new Porsche/Mercedes/BMW …. 🙂

  119. January 18, 2012 3:01 pm

    Tim F: “I doubt that changing the packaging alone will achieve this, but it seems to me to be an entirely reasonable step to take, and one that I’d support.”

    So, Tim, you think that more than just changing the packaging needs to be done. What do you have in mind? Maybe a well-worn, garbage-filled, 44-gallon drum bearing the sign “cigarettes”, complete with oil and dog-urine stains, can be positioned near the cash register of retail outlets. Those wishing to purchase cigarettes grab a used brown-paper bag and rummage through the garbage in search of loose cigarettes. Having found the required number of cigarettes picked clean of junk, the purchaser approaches the cash register for checkout. Does this sound a chord with you?

  120. nisakiman permalink
    January 18, 2012 3:08 pm

    “We all know that people who resort to deploying the Nazis have already conceded in their own minds that they can not win the debate by rational argument…”

    As pointed out above by several people, your Nazi jibe has no basis. What you have totally failed to do is engage with any of the arguments put forward by commenters here. That is called debate, and you seem to be avoiding it. So tell me, Stephen, where is your “rational argument”? We are all waiting, agog, for you to demolish with your razor-sharp reasoning all the points that people here would really like to debate rationally if you would but give them a chance. Instead you have posted an empty, sarcastic comment on another blog. That’s not exactly what I would call rational argument.

    Simon Clark has offered you a public debate on this subject. Do you have the courage of your convictions to accept this challenge? That is, after all, the “rational argument” you referred to. I will await with interest to hear what your reply is. You didn’t dare engage with Dave Atherton, realising doubtless that his knowledge of the subject is far more comprehensive than yours, so I rather expect you will also squirm out of any debate with Simon Clark. We shall see.

    On a more positive note, to your merit you have allowed the comments here to stand, which does suggest a degree of honesty in your approach. But will you be honest enough to admit that you are wrong? Because you are. In many ways and for many reasons. Idealogical grandstanding is not a good basis for legislation. You should know that.

  121. January 18, 2012 3:18 pm

    Sorry, I’m late to the party, folks.
    I’m a left wing libertarian.
    I’m not funded in any way by the tobacco industry.
    I work for my own business.
    I don’t get paid for being anti-smoking.
    I don’t get paid for being a politician.
    I don’t “believe” in smoking: it’s not a creed.
    But I am a smoker, and I REFUSE to be denormalised.
    If all these comments were votes, Stephen would have lost his deposit way back.

  122. Jay permalink
    January 18, 2012 3:19 pm

    Seems to me that the people who are exploiting the children are tobacco control activists themselves. Children are shamelessly used in tv propaganda to appeal to smoking parents’ sense of guilt and, at school, are terrified into believing that they are imminent orphans if their parents smoke.

    I think that others have covered the poor rationale behind plain packaging and I, too, believe that it’s a tactic in tobacco control’s stigmatisation process.

    And if you think, Mr Williams, that those who are commenting on your blog are but a few obsessives then consider that this thread had attracted more than ten times the usual number of comments. If we’re not representative then those who’ve commented on your other threads are certainly not. I wonder why you bother.

    • Anthony Williams permalink
      January 18, 2012 3:25 pm

      They for the most part are child actors, paid to take part in adverts, just as the graphic images on the packs are computer enhanced.
      We know these things we have the internet, or maybe that is next on the prohibited list.

  123. Anthony Williams permalink
    January 18, 2012 3:21 pm

    Air pollution on UK streets is contributing to tens of thousands of early deaths each year and the Government is not doing enough to tackle the problem, according to a report published today by the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee.

    Report: Air Quality
    Environmental Audit Committee
    The MPs warn that Britain could face millions of pounds in fines if our cities continue to breach EU air quality targets supposed to protect public health.

    Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee said:

    “Air pollution probably causes more deaths than passive smoking, traffic accidents or obesity, yet it receives very little attention from Government or the media.”
    “In the worst affected areas this invisible killer could be taking years off the lives of people most at risk, such as those with asthma.
    “The large EU fines we face, if we don’t get to grips with this problem, should now focus Ministers’ minds.
    “Much more needs to be done to save lives and reduce the enormous burden air pollution is placing on the NHS.”
    According to evidence presented to the inquiry, air pollution could be contributing to as many as 50,000 deaths per year – as it makes asthma worse and exacerbates heart disease and respiratory illness. Averaged across the whole UK population it is estimated that poor air quality is shortening lives by 7-8 months. In pollution hotspots it could be cutting the most vulnerable people’s lives short by as much as nine years, the report says.

    Despite these considerable impacts on public health, very little effort is being put into reducing air pollution levels compared with efforts to tackle smoking, alcohol misuse and obesity, the report says.

    Air pollution from road vehicles causes the most damage to health, the MPs conclude. A dramatic shift in transport policy is required if air quality is to be improved, they add.

    This is a real problem you should concern yourself with Stephen, not a mythical one as it effects all of your constituents, Especially the Children who are almost at face level with this pollution

    • nisakiman permalink
      January 18, 2012 8:27 pm

      “Despite these considerable impacts on public health, very little effort is being put into reducing air pollution levels compared with efforts to tackle smoking, alcohol misuse and obesity, the report says.”

      That’s because health has nothing to do with it. It’s ideology, pure and simple.

  124. January 18, 2012 3:43 pm

    Just a point on “Nazi” references. Antismokers typically invoke “Godwin’s Law” to disqualify/ridicule the comments of anyone making a Nazi reference. As with many other issues, antismokers have mangled Godwin’s Law as well. GL is a point of humour, indicating that the longer a discussion goes, the higher the probability that a Nazi reference will be introduced, usually without basis. GL is not a criticism of uses of the Nazi reference where it is relevant to the discussion.

    In the case of antismoking, the Nazi reference is entirely relevant. Anti-smoking/tobacco (and anti-alcohol) makes an appearance in Nazism. And, it didn’t just pop-up out of thin air. It is central to the eugenics framework, and eugenics was a foundational layer of Nazism:
    Add www. to the URL. bmj.com/archive/7070nd2.htm

    Eugenics is a peculiar fascist framework; it has [only] biological health – racial and behavioral – as a central tenet. The citizenry, which is viewed as a human “herd” and the property of the State, are expected to conform to [biological] health edicts, even to coercion, as their duty to the State. The [unfounded] promise of the eugenicists was that, under their control, disease, poverty, and crime would be eradicated. Rather, in that it entirely disregards psychological, social, and moral dimensions, the framework brought out the worst in people along these dimensions, e.g., bigotry, racism, cruelty, brutality. Also notable is that the Nazis didn’t invent eugenics; it was popularized decades earlier in America.

    The current antismoking crusade, the Godber Blueprint, was put into motion by the standard eugenics personnel, e.g., physicians, biologists, statisticians, behaviorists. It has the same absolutist, social-engineering intent that is eugenics. It uses the same vulgar eugenics methodology of denormalization/propaganda to achieve its questionable goals. Post-WWII, the word “eugenics” is rarely used given its negative connotations. The obsession with physical health that emerged post-WWII has been referred to as “healthism”. Yet, healthism is really the behavioral dimension of eugenics. The antismoking crusade, which is a part of the “healthist” push, is also eugenics in motion. It is the eugenics framework that has made antismoking a societal ideal with a view to the eradication of tobacco use.

    With antismoking well along, healthism (eugenics) is attempting to extend its reach to other behaviors it wants control of, e.g.,
    DO NOT add www. to the URL. dickpuddlecote.blogspot.com/2012/01/precedent-what-precedent.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DickPuddlecote+%28Dick+Puddlecote%29

  125. January 18, 2012 4:10 pm

    And now in the land where Smokerphobia began, the USA, the programme moves on towards segregation and downright hatred of a purposefully denigrated group . This is what Tobacco Control and that “Nazi” ideology has done to smokers http://patnurseblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/21st-century-niggers.html

    However, it really doesn’t matter what any smoker says here on this blog or elsewhere. After all, we are merely the voters and we don’t matter. Hate is hate and fuelled by phobic fear such bigoted prejudice is now deeply embedded. The Govt has signed up to it and actively promotes it.

    As the LibDems are losing three out of every four of their voters, I think that as the fair minded public begins to wake up, then we will see the last of the LibDems whose only chance at running Govt has let just about everyone down.

  126. January 18, 2012 4:20 pm

    John S: “Isn’t “de-normalise” a word normally associated with social engineering and eugenics?”

    Nazism was a particularly virulent manifestation of eugenics. Nazism denormalized quite a number of groups/behaviours. The most notorious and destructive denormalization was that of the Jews. Long before the genocide, Jews were banned from parks and other public places – even entranceways to buildings. The “justification” was that they were a public health threat; they were depicted as disease-carriers and spreaders.

    Denormalization is really de-humanization. A behaviour or group is depicted as a threat/burden to normal society that, for “the greater good”, must be eradicated. Regardless of its target, denormalization proceeds in the same way. Consider smoking. Tobacco smoke has been manufactured into a bio-weapon like phenomenon that can now drop anyone dead with one whiff. Smoke has been banned from the indoors and now it is being banned from the outdoors. Unfortunately, tobacco smoke does not occur independently of a smoker. So, what is directed at the smoke is ultimately directed at the smoker. A smoker is depicted as “diseased” simply because they smoke. The smoke then causes other diseases in the smoker. By smoking in public, the “diseased” smoker is spreading disease – secondhand smoke: The smoker is a disease carrier and spreader. And, the act of smoking is “contagious” to others in that nonsmokers may take up the habit and therefore fall to the “disease” of smoking.

    The denormalization has degenerated to “thirdhand smoke” where “remnants” of smoke on a smoker’s breath and clothing and where smoking has previously occurred are a disease “threat” to “innocent, normal nonsmokers”.

    It is this denormalizing mentality that is very sick. It is a constant fear and hate-mongering. Whereas those who smoke would see themselves as normal people who happen to smoke, eugenics concludes that [only] because they smoke they are not normal people; in fact, it views them as such “abnormal” people that not one more of them should be tolerated.

    One would think that the very idea of denormalization would set alarm bells ringing. But not so with fanatics who typically have a poor grasp of most things, including history. The fanatics speak of denormalization in glowing terms.

  127. January 18, 2012 6:40 pm

    I don’t blame Stephen Williams for jumping on this excrement filled band-wagon, he is just as gullible as all the other politicians, no I blame the Tobacco Companies for not fighting their corner with any conviction. Pubs and retailers thought the ban wouldn’t destroy their business, but that is exactly what has happened, and now the damage has been done.

    This draconian ban has driven a spiteful and poisonous wedge between decent and honourable people which will have a mighty backlash. They just don’t know it yet.

    Stephen Williams has nothing to offer; he has no expertise in this area, and therefore cannot enter into any realistic scientific or medical debate of any worthwhile kind. There are many on this thread that can ask questions that nobody in the field of Tobacco Control can answer (I include myself in this group), because quite simply they rely solely on propaganda which is bereft of residual scientific fact.

    He is nothing more than a brownie-point scoring dud.

  128. January 18, 2012 7:13 pm

    I urge you to read this paper from Professor Carl Phillips who is the former Professor of Public Health at University of Alberta. Here he explores how dissenting scientists who dispute the anti tobacco movements assertions are marginalised, criticised and intimidated into silence. It is basically about honest science.

    “But when core values and principles of epidemiology are attacked by quasi-religious zealots, many epidemiologists seem quite willing to join the zealots. There is certainly no united front in defense of the science.”

    “Enstrom cites the reign of terror over biology under Stalin as one example of politics trumping science. Though the Soviet case is rather extreme (we North Americans who dare question the scientific orthodoxy only have our careers threatened; not our lives, at least so far), it is not the most extreme. Many cultures were hobbled for centuries because of religious adherence to pseudoscience, and damage to people’s health was one of the many results.”

    .ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2173898/

  129. January 18, 2012 7:38 pm

    Tobacco Companies have direct access to 12 million + smokers but don’t use it. A simple card in each packet would reach every smoker. You may see movement from the Tobacco Companies if this plain packaging is brought in. Trademarks are supposedly protected so l’d expect High Court actions from the TC’s suing for megabucks.

  130. January 18, 2012 7:46 pm

    I am still trying to figure out what the real objective of plain packaging is. We know that the display ban has nothing to do with children at all or health, but is an attempt to cause tobacco selling to be troublesome and unprofitable to small shopkeepers, and therefore to persuade them to stop selling tobacco, and therefore reduce the outlets. So what is the real objective of plain packaging? Why is this matter being pursued with such zeal, when there are so many drawbacks to the idea and the potential benefits so unrealistic?

    I really do not know.

    But this thought occurred to me. Is this a case of salami slicing a salami slice? That is, is plain packaging a precursor to gaining control of the whole packet? For example, would the ‘next logical step’ be to reduce the permitted length of the packet? In other words, you can have any length of cigarette you like, but the packet must be no more that, say, 5cm long. Oh, and not more that 5cm wide or 1cm deep. Once Tobacco Control get legal control of the design, they also get control of the size and shape.

    Um……interesting.

  131. January 18, 2012 7:52 pm

    In a letter you wrote to Andrew Lansley (cc’ing Debs Arnott in) you said that the UK spends £300 million on tobacco control. I was down at my local doctors and asked apart from patches and gum supplied by pharmaceutical companies do the quit advisers have any tools available, the answer was no. There is a peer reviewed method of giving up and by a factor of 53%. The cost is £7.00 from Amazon or free from your local library. I will let Deborah Arnott of ASH tell you how good it is. Why if you go to ASH’s website is this not mentioned?

    “In November of last year, Deborah Arnott, Director of ASH claimed that specific success rates quoted by AllenCarr Easyway were “plucked out of the air” and “basically made up.” She made these comments whilst on the BBC Radio 4 “PM” programme during a piece concerning the death of Allen Carr, founder of Allen Carr’s Easyway organisation.

    Deborah Arnott’s comments referred to two independent studies conducted by eminent experts in the field of smoking cessation which had already been published in peer reviewed journals indicating a 53% success rate for Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking Clinics after 12 months.

    Following a complaint by Allen Carr’s Easyway International, Deborah Arnott and ASH now acknowledge that it was wrong for Ms Arnott to have made the comments relating to the 53% success rate and have issued an unreserved apology.

    ASH has agreed to pay the legal costs incurred by Allen Carr’s Easyway.”

    allencarr.com/133/ash-apologise-to-allen-carrs-easyway

    • January 18, 2012 7:59 pm

      Nothing to do with this at all is it? Here is a letter from Action on Smoking and Health from 2001 written by Clive Bates.

      “ASH has worked closely with both Glaxo and SmithKline Beecham staff and always welcomed the active collaboration. I hope to continue this with the merged company. We have worked with GSK under the auspices of the WHO-Europe Partnership Project on tobacco dependence and at various one-off opportunities. ASH was instrumental in securing greater government commitment to smoking cessation products in the NHS National Plan and we have helped with PR for both Zyban and Niquitin CQ.”

      “The GSK forerunner companies have been champions of such collaboration, with partnerships with WHO-Europe (which includes ASH), Cancer Research Campaign, British Medical Journal and others.”

      “ASH has a small shareholding in GSK and I will be attending with others to question you and the Chairman on this situation.”

      ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_635.pdf

      • January 18, 2012 8:03 pm

        Or this for example

        “Pfizer provided support to ASH Wales towards the cost of the ASH Wales Conference in 2009 and 2010.”

        pfizer.co.uk/sites/uk/our_responsibility/Documents/Patient%20Group%20Interactions%20Dec%2009%20-%20Nov%2010.pdf

  132. January 18, 2012 8:29 pm

    ASH and our host seem to be of the opinion that if you say it enough times it must true about SHS. Are they actually doing more harm than good by squandering large sums of money on something that has little basis in fact?

    I was recently diagnosed with a peptic ulcer. I remember in the past when it was it was touted in the past that this was down to stress. I was amazed to learn that it was not.

    Here is the timeline to modern day treatment.

    History of Ulcer Diagnosis and Treatment

    The road to a cure for ulcers has been a long and bumpy one. Recent news that ulcers are caused by a bacterium and can be cured with antibiotics has changed traditional thinking. Physicians and consumers have not been informed of the good news.

    Early 20th Century
    Ulcers are believed to be caused by stress and dietary factors. Treatment focuses on hospitalization, bed rest, and prescription of special bland foods. Later, gastric acid is blamed for ulcer disease. Antacids and medications that block acid production become the standard of therapy. Despite this treatment, there is a high recurrence of ulcers.

    1982
    Australian physicians Robin Warren and Barry Marshall first identify the link between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and ulcers, concluding that the bacterium, not stress or diet, causes ulcers. The medical community is slow to accept their findings.

    1994
    A National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference concludes that there is a strong association between H. pylori and ulcer disease, and recommends that ulcer patients with H. pylori infection be treated with antibiotics.

    1995
    Data show that about 75 percent of ulcer patients are still treated primarily with antisecretory medications, and only 5 percent receive antibiotic therapy. Consumer research by the American Digestive Health Foundation finds that nearly 90 percent of ulcer sufferers are unaware that H. pylori causes ulcers. In fact, nearly 90 percent of those with ulcers blame their ulcers on stress or worry, and 60 percent point to diet.

    1996
    The Food and Drug Administration approves the first antibiotic for treatment of ulcer disease.

    1997
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with other government agencies, academic institutions, and industry, launches a national education campaign to inform health care providers and consumers about the link between H. pylori and ulcers. This campaign reinforces the news that ulcers are a curable infection, and the fact that health can be greatly improved and money saved by disseminating information about H. pylori. Medical researchers sequence the H. pylori genome. This discovery can help scientists better understand the bacterium and design more effective drugs to fight it.

    Can my host here, hand on heart, seriously consider himself suitably informed on the issue of SHS?

    Seeing that it took nearly a century, to get the treatment right for peptic ulcers.

    The host might also look into what chemical in tobacco smoke actually causes cancer, if at all. I’ve yet to find any answers to that. Let’s spend the millions wasted on useless tobacco cessation programmes and denormalisation tactics, to actually find the cause of the cancer.

    Then again what do I know? I’m just an Engineer who has to deal with facts..

    • January 19, 2012 1:36 pm

      H. pylori is found in 80%+ cases of colon and bowel cancer. It was always thought that smoking was a risk factor for cervical cancer (CC) with a statistically significant relative risk (RR) of 2.72. That is if you found 100 women with CC you would find 272 smoking women with CC.

      The real cause of cervical cancer in women is solely Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types 16&18, genital warts to you and me. So the anti smokers made a song and dance trying to prove causation with correlation and made idiots of themselves.

      Why are people critical of Cancer Research, here they are admitting that smoking was discounted, but still spin to keep the illusion up.

      “The authors concluded that even though smoking was not a risk factor for HPV, smoking acted with HPV to cause cervical neoplasia (see also Smoking section below).”

      What I think is the correlation is that smokers tend to be risk takers and bon vivants. It is their lifestyle in either having multiple partners and/or have unprotected sex is probably the correlation.

      info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/cervix/riskfactors/

  133. January 18, 2012 8:43 pm

    Junican, re your comment Jan 17 at 2.22 a.m. and the ‘peers God bless ’em’: I do wonder whether this is an example of the undermining of the independence of the House of Lords in recent years. I’ve tried to look up the full membership of this All Party Group. I suspect that most of the Lords are Life Peers. It looks like it from those mentioned on its Executive. Oh and the Parliamentary website describes All Party groups, in part, as ‘informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament … many groups involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.’ No official status. Perhaps we need to be more aware of that.

  134. andy5759 permalink
    January 18, 2012 9:12 pm

    Why not do it? After all this is a free country, so you can ban anything you want.

  135. January 18, 2012 9:19 pm

    I have been wondering where all Mr William’s friends from ASH ET AL are. Perhaps they have been warned off for fear of making fools of themselves.

  136. John Coles permalink
    January 19, 2012 8:59 am

    You ghastly little pious creep – do you have nothing better to do? If I could get close enough to you, I’d kick you liberal ass. But that’s not possible, so I’ll choose a cigar, enjoy taking it out of its wonderfully ornate wrapper, light up and metaphorically blow smoke in your face.

  137. Henry Crun permalink
    January 19, 2012 10:06 am

    Mr. Williams what you propose is neither “Liberal” nor is it “Democratic”, so please tell us what are you doing as a Liberal Democrat?

    You should resign and cross the floor to the socialists in the Labour Party. When are you going to realise that all people want is to be left alone. We do not want to be told what to eat, what and how much to drink, not to smoke and how many times we should be exercising per week. Your anti-smoking, anti-alcohol, anti-obesity and environmental policies are all based on junk science. Stop listening to the lobby groups posing as charities and do some reading and research of your own.

    On the subject of plain packaging for cigarettes, I think we can safely say that the packaging is certainly not glitzy. Most of the pakcakges are either single colour or have two colours and the branding is obscured by false messages declaring that smoking kills or that smoking next to someone else is harmful to them. Smoking does not, in itself kill anyone. More people die due to lack of oxygen and smoke inhalation during a house fire, than die as a direct reult of smoking a cigarette. Smoking is a contributory factor in some cancers, not the only factor. Second-hand and even third hand smoke (as some so-called scientists would have us believe) is no more harmful than walking down a busy street inhaling exhaust fumes.

    I’m assuming then that you and the your coalition partners have sorted out the deficit and debt problems the country is facing. No/ The what the hell are you doing fussing about whether cigarettes are in plain packaging or in a red, blue, or green box with writing on the front?

    • Lyn permalink
      January 19, 2012 1:27 pm

      Absolutely agree Henry Crun.

      To add to your final comment, unless these pious idiots get off their backsides and start working in the REAL WORLD of POLITICS and, as you say, sort out the deficit and debt problems of the country, there won’t be anything left of the country to ‘protect’ the ‘children’ from!

      I cannot fail to be amazed how this country is still going as if any business in the land was run the way governments of recent years have been ruining (sorry running) this country they would have gone bust many times over!

      It is about time the politicians started concentrating and working (if they are capable[?]) at what they were elected and are paid to do!

  138. Smithers permalink
    January 19, 2012 11:51 am

    Dear Henry Crun,
    Quote: “…you and your coalition partners have sorted out the deficit and debt problems the country is facing. No?”
    Mr Crun, do you really expect us to relieve this country of the dire financial state left by Blair & Brown (B****x & Braindead)? Oh no no no dear chap, we have far more important things to do such as kidding people into living longer so that we cannot afford them when they are old & fragile. But we are considering shipping all people over the age of 70 to a specially built unit where they may spend the rest of their days happily inhaling sarin gas. If this doesn’t relieve the financial stress on this country enough then we will lower the acceptance age to 65 as that way we won’t have to pay any pensions whatsoever. The welfare state really has become burdensome of late!
    What you don’t realise Mr Crun is that I haven’t a clue how to financially rescue this country but while I am in receipt of an MPs allotted salary I really do need to be seen to being active in Westminster by my constituents and as (I can safely guess) 75% of them don’t smoke I think my 38% of the Bristol West vote at any election is quite safe. (tfft !)
    You see Mr Crun. it doesn’t matter whether I believe you, ASH, Peter Kellner or indeed the Lord God himself, I am ensuring that my family don’t suffer economic failure! I mean to say Mr Crun, I am a very important person you know, therefore I MUST be payed (by the peasants actually-what a wheeze !) The anti smoking bandwagon is a vast and well funded enterprise and even though Nick C himself likes a puff or three (cigarettes that is!) he realises too that the smoking debate is a marvellous attraction to take peoples minds off the real problems of this country. The economy.
    Yes, I really do appreciate that we may have squandered approx £19bn on this cleansing programme but then you see Mr Crun, you haven’t a clue just how much revenue is coming in the back door from the pharmaceutical industry, as all you muppets continually use the NRT products which have a marvellous 1.6% success rate. Well, you can’t fault that really, as it is better than our financial recovery rate at present Mr Crun-splendid! And of course you must remember that every death via Chantix et al, is one less smoker to be costing the NHS.
    We will be passing on the same message to those dirty, filthy drinkers as well! I mean to say just look at all the S.H.A.G (Second Hand Alcolholic Gas) they emit every time they have the audacity to pass wind-at both ends. It is inevitable that we must rid the nation of these drinkers as all alcohol related NHS costs are double that of smokers. And then we will really start on the obese, the overweight etc as they are costing the NHS even more than the drinkers-and look at all the S.H.A.G they produce, stuffing their faces 24-7; where do they find the time to sleep? Of course, our BMI index will not relate to MPs as we spend much time sitting around debating what to do to you lot.
    So you see Mr Crun, the nations finances matter not a jot. I am on a roll here and fully intend to woo my constituents (if need be) to keep my non flatulent parliamentary bottom in my parliamentary seat, wage war on all things ‘cleansable’ and keep drawing a very nice salary thank you, while you miserable surfs bemoan your misfortunes.
    Yours sincerely
    faobo
    Mr Stephen Williams MP-PM, what’s the difference?

    • Lyn permalink
      January 19, 2012 1:33 pm

      Smithers, if that were not so close to the probable truth it would be absolutely hilarious!

  139. Simon Chapman permalink
    January 19, 2012 7:18 pm

    Stephen — the great majority of these posts are from a sad little bunch of extremists in the UK pro-smoking lobby, a bunch you could get together in a about 10 phone booths (just check out the feeble numbers of people who follow some of their tweets and the even fewer who contribute to their blogs.) Do not mistake this for public opinion. They mainly talk to themselves and get certifiablly priapic when they think anyone pays them a moment’s attention.

    • January 19, 2012 7:59 pm

      Is this the same Professor Simon Chapman who was caught dishonestly spinning his way out of a paper that did not show any correlation between passive smoking and lung cancer. I quote Professor Chapman.

      “..look at Table 7 in the way any journalist would … a reasonable conclusion will be that the idea that there is ANY lung cancer caused by ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) in Australia will be seen as a huge joke.”
      ” I think we had better get out a thesaurus and find a lot of words to express the words ‘conservative estimate’ in hundreds of different ways…. We are looking down the barrel of a MAJOR public relations problem …”

      members.iinet.net.au/~ray/ETS1.jpg

      members.iinet.net.au/~ray/ETS2.jpg

      • Simon Chapman permalink
        January 19, 2012 9:17 pm

        As I replied to Atherton on his own playpen some time ago when he got excited about my 1995 fax: (this was in the Canberra Times on April 22, 1997, following an article the day before):

        Alan Gale’s report and your headline (“Passive smoking results were doctored, documents say” (CT April 21) defames all the members of the NH&MRC’s working party in its claim that we “massaged” research results and deleted those “which did not suit recommendations”. The ordinary reader, and especially our colleagues in public health research throughout Australia and internationally would be highly likely to form the view that we were scientifically dishonest and engaged in deceptive practices that should bring us into gross disrepute within our professions.

        Gale bases his claims on a fax I sent to other members of the group in 1995 where I raised two concerns about an early working draft chapter. First, I argued that “fractional” annual deaths (ie: death rates of less than one per age band) would prove difficult for journalists and the public to understand. When Gale interviewed me for the article, I put to him the simplest of questions that sought to test his ability as a journalist to decipher what “0.5″ deaths per annum meant. His struggled reply was incomplete, thus demonstrating my point. There are many perfectly correct ways of expressing the same data in more comprehensible forms, and my fax urged nothing more than that we should realise that the table would cause unnecessary confusion. I subsequently argued in the committee that we should recast the data in a more understandable way (for example one death every 9 months).

        His claim that this means we then “doctored” the data is grossly offensive, damaging to our reputations as researchers and wrong, as the publication of the final report will reveal. It
        is standard procedure for all draft papers to undergo changes and editing. Often these are to improve clarity.

        Second, I pointed out that our very conservative methodology estimated there to be some 93 annual deaths from ischaemic heart disease caused by passive smoking in Australia, whereasa recent American estimate put the US figure at 62,000. Since then the US Environmental Protection Agency has published an 8 volume report http://www.calepa.calnet.gov/) showing some 65,000 deaths. I advised the committee — correctly — that our report would be therefore “out of step with every international review’s conclusion on this subject”. Without offering a shred of evidence, Gale then implies that the committee somehow as a consequence of this then “deleted” or “doctored” material. In fact, the final report includes the same very conservative estimates which resulted from our only considering domestic (spousal) exposure data in people who have never smoked. We did not factor in workplace exposures, nor deaths among ex-smokers.

        My fax rehearsed the sort of questions that we were likely to get from those who were familiar with the much higher US mortality estimates. If we had really wanted to “massage results to suit recommendations” why then would we have persisted in using our ultra-conservative methodology which was guaranteed to produce low estimates of deaths?

        Significantly, Gale’s article was run in the week that two private member’s bills on passive smoking are due to be debated in the NSW parliament. The Canberra Times should know
        better.

      • January 19, 2012 11:29 pm

        Just a simple question from a “booth-dweller”…..

        Simon, when you are lying, are you aware of it, or is it entirely subconscious?

    • Jay permalink
      January 19, 2012 8:39 pm

      “… a sad little bunch of extremists…just check out the feeble numbers of people who follow some of their tweets and the even fewer who contribute to their blogs.”

      I think that you are rather insulting our host who has averaged the following in comments: June 2011 – 9; Oct 2011 – 13; Dec 2011 – 13. There was a spike in Nov 2011 (40) but, hey, it was those pesky pro-smokers again peddling the extreme opinion that legislation shouldn’t be passed on junk science and objecting to the BMA lying that there was actually any science at all, not even junk science.

      “…get certifiablly priapic when they think anyone pays them a moment’s attention”

      ….because the tobacco control lobby has engineered that we are ignored. And there are many smokers (and tolerant non-smokers) who are angry but they don’t blog or comment.

      • January 19, 2012 11:56 pm

        But they do read the blogs as the stats reveal – but then Mr Chapman wouldn’t know that. Then again, when did he ever let facts get in the way of his own bigotry?

    • January 19, 2012 9:09 pm

      Professor Simon Chapman said “just check out the feeble numbers of people who follow some of their tweets and the even fewer who contribute to their blogs”

      They do say Australians are English people who have had too much sun. For the record Professor Chapman is subscriber to my blog and he has also blocked Chris Snowdon from his tweets.

      Chapman is a sociologist not an oncologist or epidemiologist. A discourteous dunderhead is kind, a megalomaniac and junk scientist more fitting.

      • Simon Chapman permalink
        January 19, 2012 9:21 pm

        Dave, I subcribe to your blog in the same way that people can’t help looking at car crashes. What’s your training in, BTW?

      • January 19, 2012 9:28 pm

        “I subcribe to your blog in the same way that people can’t help looking at car crashes.”

        That is sincerely funny.

        My training is in statistics and standing outside smoking in the cold in the snow and the wind.

      • Simon Chapman permalink
        January 19, 2012 9:36 pm

        So you’d have a PhD in “statistics” maybe? A list of peer reviewed publications with lots of citations? Or perhaps instead a bachelors degree which included an introductory methods unit, but an elaborated conspiracy theory about how no one appreciates your peals and treats you like Galileo?

      • Xopher permalink
        January 19, 2012 9:31 pm

        His initial comment was really quite sad for one who holds himself in such high regard – a simple slagging off followed by a super little medical reference — So, so clever from a professional bleeder of the public purse.
        However sad our democratic system may be, at least Stephen W was elected to voice opinion (shame he voices those of his NICE friends rather than the Bristol West electorate).

    • January 19, 2012 10:16 pm

      Funnily enough Simon I have been accepted by two universities to do a PHD in in the causes of lung cancer in smokers and non smokers. I will be paying particular attention to role of benzo(a)pyrene (BAP) in p53 mutations and whether the rare cases in non smokers is the result of exposure to second hand smoke or wood/coal smoke, car exhausts, industrial pollution or even BBQs.

      Assumptions: Population of Australia 2007 21,200,000
      Lung cancer deaths in 2007 in Aus 7,626

      LC rate per 100,000 = 35.97 approx = 36

      90% of LC deaths are smokers, hence LC rate non smokers = 3.6

      If you look at the IARC/WHO database Pfeifer and Hainault 10% of non smokers have the guanine to thymine, p53 mutation. This would give SHS LC rate of 0.36 per 100,000 per year, about 1 person per 300,000 people. About 71 people a year.

      HOWEVER, BUT, BUT BUT.

      The guanine to thymine transversion is also seen in coal miners from argon exposure who are non smokers. The IARC in their zeal to prove that BAP is the cause of LC have overlooked that BAP is also produced in far higher quantities in wood/coal smoke, car exhausts, industrial pollution or even BBQs. My provenance for this is er, Professor Simon Chapman.

      In your letter to tobacco control you cites these papers:

      “Ott and Seigmann[8] and Wallace and Ott[9] provide data on fine and ultra-fine particle emissions from different sources: “Controlled experiments with 10 cigarettes averaged 0.15 ng mm-2 … ambient wood smoke averaged 0.29 ng mm-2 or about twice those of cigarettes and cigars … In-vehicle exposures measured on 43 and 50 min drives on a California arterial highway gave PC/DC ratios of 0.42 and 0.58 ng mm-2 … Interstate highways had PC/DC ratios of approximately 0.5 ng mm-2 with ratios above 1 ng mm-2 when driving behind diesel trucks. These PC/DC ratios were higher than the ”signature” value of the cigarette (0.11-0.19 ngmm-2)measured in a large Indian gaming casino with smoking.” [8]

      When it refers to “ultra-fine partiles” I assume you are referring to PM2.5 of which BAP is one. By your own omission you imply that non smokers ingest far more BAP from wood/coal smoke, car exhausts, industrial pollution, candles and BBQs.

      It is quite possible that no one in Australia or the world has ever contracted LC from SHS and the very most it is is 71 per year out of a population of 22 million. This would be the equivalent of 210 in the UK, 3,000 people die on the roads every year in the UK, so crossing the road or driving your car is 15 times more dangerous than SHS?

      Sorry it is late here and I hope my maths and decimal places are in the right place. My PHD I hope will let us at last have a honest debate.

      All I want to do is have a cigarette in peace in a bar.

    • January 19, 2012 11:29 pm

      Oh really – so where are the people from Bristol in support of this? My experience and interest in this issue has shown one thing. Simon Chapman only ploughs into a debate when he feels his ideology is under threat.

    • Frank J permalink
      January 20, 2012 7:48 am

      The assumption being that everybody outside the ’10 phone booths’ supports it? So that’s why we have to have the threat of heavy fines and imprisonment if you don’t comply, is it? because everybody supports it? Fool!

    • Fredrik Eich permalink
      January 20, 2012 1:20 pm

      “a bunch you could get together in a about 10 phone booths”
      The tobacco control industry could not get this level of unpaid online activism for toffee.

  140. Ken permalink
    January 19, 2012 7:37 pm

    Stephen. I am a non smoker, so cigarette packaging is not terribly relevant to me. I cannot believe this is the most pressing problem facing the UK at this time. Cigarette smoking is a legal activity, so why don’t you leave those who wish to indulge in it to do so, it is their right. There are already laws in place to stop the supply of tobacco to the under 16’s, by all measn enforce them, but do not follow on down the Labour nanny state path of introducing more laws and more bans.

    • January 19, 2012 11:30 pm

      well said ken. That is the bottom line here. These proposals will make no difference and will put children in far more danger.

  141. January 19, 2012 8:35 pm

    I think that Simon Chapman betrays the errors of dictators down the centuries. First, there is his believe that a minority has no rights, and, secondly, that therefore it is acceptable to persecute said minority, and, thirdly, that said minority has no right to defend itself and should accept the wishes of the dictator. He also elevates the standing of ‘public opinion’ to the status of something akin to a court of law, even though that opinion has been manipulated by propaganda of the most vicious and destructive kind. He also fails to mention that he and his ilk are themselves a tiny minority. who just happen to have got their mitts upon a stack of cash and propelled themselves over a long period of time into governing positions within the State. Yes. Persecution is the right word.

    • January 19, 2012 8:54 pm

      People like Simon Chapman are akin to the religious zealots of the past who considered the old lady in the village selling herbal remedies to cure illness as a witch. Simon says that ” the great majority of these posts are from a sad little bunch of extremists”.

      Simon. Every smoker I’ve talked to has felt the same. You only see the one’s that blog about it. I suggest you go out and properly poll smoker’s views. You might find that piano wire, lamposts, and anti-smokers crop up with monotonous regularity.

      • January 19, 2012 11:32 pm

        As I said elsewhwere. We ask for the riggt to be left alone in peace without harassment from people like Chapman – and that’s extremist? Really?

        Look in the mirror Mr Chapman – you will extremist staring at back at ya.

  142. January 19, 2012 9:42 pm

    So Simon Chapman is trying to stifle discussion again by belittling citizens interested in the issue that disagree with him, is he? What is it that he called them the last time? Oh yes, clowns I believe. So much class for someone who pretends to care for people. To his credit, at least Stephen Williams didn’t make this discussion disappear…yet.

    http://cagecanada.blogspot.com/2011/09/you-can-run-but-you-cannot-hide.html

  143. January 19, 2012 10:01 pm

    Well, well. What an honour it is to have Simple-Simon Crapman make an appearance. This is the man that helped change the fortunes of the antismoking fanatics back at the 5th World Conference on Smoking & Health back in 1983. The Simple one introduced the fanatics to “tricks & tactics” to advance the “cause”. His fifth-rate war manifesto, “The Lung Goodbye”, was enthusiastically received. Crapman preached framing antismoking as the war between mythical good and evil. And, you guessed it, Crapman and his buddies were the mythical “good” battling the “evil” tobacco empire.

    In that same literary [giggle] piece, Crapman introduced his buddies to what may be termed “the Chapman Trick”. It is a trick that has been used incessantly for the last three decades – even by governments – because it is so effective. Unfortunately, it is effective because it is deceptive, and has been instrumental in concocting tobacco smoke into a phenomenon akin to sarin gas.

    For those not familiar with the Chapman Trick, only one of Crapman’s contributions to science [giggle], here’s a description. We’ve all seen some variation of this “information”:
    Acetone (nail varnish remover), Ammonia (cleaning agent), Arsenic (ant poison in the USA), Benzene (petrol fumes), Cadmium (car battery fluid), DDT (insecticide), Ethanol (anti-freeze), Formaldehyde (embalming fluid), Hydrogen Cyanide (industrial pollutant), Lead (batteries, petrol fumes), Methanol (rocket fuel), Tar (road surface tar).
    This trick was suggested by Simon Chapman (an antismoker) at the Fifth World Conference on Smoking & Health (1983) while presenting his “manual of underhanded tricks & tactics”:

    “A glance through any copy of the Smoking and Health Bulletin of the U S Department of Health and Human Services shows an entire indexed, section on ‘Tobacco Product Additives’ . Citations are included from patent office registrations of new chemical applications to tobacco processing and from the specialist chemical literature. Both these sources are virtually unintelligible, let alone normally accessible to the average person but are rich in potential for anyone willing to translate them into news items with popular interest . Polysyllabic chemical names should be checked through a reference book that lists common usages and toxicological data for chemicals . Look for usages that will connote revulsion or concern . For example, well known chemicals found in tobacco include cadmium (as in car batteries), ammonia (as in toilet cleaners), cyanides, formaldehyde and so on ……” (p.15)
    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/gjq72f00

    The Chapman Trick is to associate trace levels of particular chemicals in tobacco smoke with industrial-type uses of the same chemicals that involve extraordinarily larger quantities of these chemicals. It violates the toxicological maxim that “the dose makes the toxicity”. It plays on the public’s ignorance and fear, knowing that people will typically read from right to left, e.g., there is ant poison in cigarettes, there is embalming fluid in cigarettes, there is road tar in cigarettes, etc. The only purpose of this trick is to deceive. It is intended to promote outrage or revulsion in, particularly, gullible nonsmokers at whom it’s directed. This trick has been used, ad nauseam, since the mid-1980’s because it is highly effective. It is highly effective because, like most antismoking propaganda, it is inflammatory and false: It outrages BECAUSE it is misleading. Its ONLY PURPOSE is to mislead, i.e., inflammatory propaganda.

    • John S permalink
      January 19, 2012 10:26 pm

      Maybe Chapman should Google “Paracelsus Alchemy”.

      Or if that is beyond him, I will quote from the Royal Society of Chemistry website:

      “While there is no such thing as a safe chemical (either naturally occurring or man-made) in respect of the potential to cause adverse effects under all conditions of exposure, it must be realised there is no chemical that cannot be used safely by limiting the dose or exposure.”

      • Xopher permalink
        January 19, 2012 10:53 pm

        Thank goodness the Royal Society displays an element of commonsense, if it was up to Chapman he would be banning many products containing trace amounts of these substances. Surprisingly he fails to mention that many are in baby products, mother’s milk, baby’s clothes and are even components of such natural products as their urine. I was going to call urine by it’s more colloquial name but Chapman has turned taking it into a fine and rewarding art.

    • January 20, 2012 12:01 am

      Again, I’ve said elsewhere – the only chemicals in tobacco sold in the UK are those on the Dept of Health’s approved list. So who is putting in these chemicals that Mr Chapman speaks of? Big Tobacco or Big Tobacco Control?

    • January 20, 2012 12:19 am

      I don’t think anyone gave a damn about the war on tobacco companies but it crossed the line of moral decency when the guns were aimed at the consumer – those the anti-smoking movement claims to “care” about and want to “protect.”

    • Mike Nemenyi permalink
      January 20, 2012 9:50 am

      If not exactly lying, those are the actions of an amoral obsessive. How he has the nerve to preach from his high horse beats me!!!

      • January 20, 2012 10:08 am

        I would think that the Chapman Trick is lying by omission – a coherent context has been removed and baseless associations presented. It is intentionally manipulating an unsuspecting public into false, inflammatory belief to advance the agenda.

  144. January 19, 2012 10:19 pm

    Crapman was there from the early days of the Godber Blueprint. He has been instrumental in the denormalization of smoking/smokers in Australia, always bringing a flair for manipulative lying to the endeavour. Crapman was also instrumental in having “fire safe” cigarettes (FSC) made mandatory in Australia. The only problem is that these cigarettes were never health-tested before introduction, a responsibility lying squarely with health advocates. FSCs are an unfolding disaster that at some point will bite Simple-Simon and his buddies in the vicinity of an orifice, and rightly so.

    Only more recently, there were more shenanigans from the antismoking fanatics in Australia:
    DO NOT add www. to velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/peter-lavac-whole-story.html

    Crapman is well-acquainted with both ASH and NSMA, whose members perpetrated the folly, an attempt to further promote mental dysfunction and bigotry in the nonsmoking public. Maybe Crapman could comment on this latest contribution by the fanatics to science and public health.

  145. January 19, 2012 10:31 pm

    Dr. Chapman, you wrote, “Stephen — the great majority of these posts are from a sad little bunch of extremists in the UK pro-smoking lobby, a bunch you could get together in a about 10 phone booths”

    Just imagine how many there might be if they had the same sort of funding that your side has Dr. Chapman.

    Your comment on phone booths is interesting though. I was recently analyzing some antismoking research done in 2007 where they repeatedly exposed rats to smoke concentrations equivalent to 1,000 smokers in a phone booth. They did this three times a day to the rats and then discovered that the po’ li’l fellers didn’t recover from surgery as rapidly as the rats who weren’t so tortured. A Dr. Kenneth Mogell made the acute observation that, “This study shows that even if you are not a smoker that secondhand smoke has effects well beyond what we might have thought!”

    Let’s see, at a thousand per phone booth, I’d say that’s a fairly decent number of folks to be termed “a sad little bunch of extremists,” would you agree?

    – MJM

  146. January 19, 2012 10:38 pm

    Guys I am very sorry for posting this twice but I think my analysis is something Prof Chapman and the anti smoking people badly need to address.

    Funnily enough Simon I have been accepted by two universities to do a PHD in in the causes of lung cancer in smokers and non smokers. I will be paying particular attention to role of benzo(a)pyrene (BAP) in p53 mutations and whether the rare cases in non smokers is the result of exposure to second hand smoke or wood/coal smoke, car exhausts, industrial pollution or even BBQs.

    Assumptions: Population of Australia 2007 21,200,000
    Lung cancer deaths in 2007 in Aus 7,626

    LC rate per 100,000 = 35.97 approx = 36

    90% of LC deaths are smokers, hence LC rate non smokers = 3.6

    If you look at the IARC/WHO database Pfeifer and Hainault 10% of non smokers have the guanine to thymine, p53 mutation. This would give SHS LC rate of 0.36 per 100,000 per year, about 1 person per 300,000 people. About 71 people a year.

    HOWEVER, BUT, BUT BUT.

    The guanine to thymine transversion is also seen in coal miners from argon exposure who are non smokers. The IARC in their zeal to prove that BAP is the cause of LC have overlooked that BAP is also produced in far higher quantities in wood/coal smoke, car exhausts, industrial pollution or even BBQs. My provenance for this is er, Professor Simon Chapman.

    In your letter to tobacco control you cites these papers:
    “Ott and Seigmann[8] and Wallace and Ott[9] provide data on fine and ultra-fine particle emissions from different sources: “Controlled experiments with 10 cigarettes averaged 0.15 ng mm-2 … ambient wood smoke averaged 0.29 ng mm-2 or about twice those of cigarettes and cigars … In-vehicle exposures measured on 43 and 50 min drives on a California arterial highway gave PC/DC ratios of 0.42 and 0.58 ng mm-2 … Interstate highways had PC/DC ratios of approximately 0.5 ng mm-2 with ratios above 1 ng mm-2 when driving behind diesel trucks. These PC/DC ratios were higher than the ”signature” value of the cigarette (0.11-0.19 ngmm-2)measured in a large Indian gaming casino with smoking.” [8]
    When it refers to “ultra-fine partiles” I assume you are referring to PM2.5 of which BAP is one. By your own omission you imply that non smokers ingest far more BAP from wood/coal smoke, car exhausts, industrial pollution, candles and BBQs.

    It is quite possible that no one in Australia or the world has ever contracted LC from SHS and the very most it is is 71 per year out of a population of 22 million. This would be the equivalent of 210 in the UK, 3,000 people die on the roads every year in the UK, so crossing the road or driving your car is 15 times more dangerous than SHS?
    Sorry it is late here and I hope my maths and decimal places are in the right place. My PHD I hope will let us at last have a honest debate.

    All I want to do is have a cigarette in peace in a bar.

    • Xopher permalink
      January 19, 2012 11:15 pm

      Maybe Simon and his friends will Peer Review your study – rolf

  147. January 19, 2012 10:47 pm

    So, Crapman, the esteemed professor of propaganda, has had a long career in antismoking, up to his eyeballs in the manipulative junk. Well might Crapman be guarded, he has much to answer for. Touch on any of the delinquent conduct and Crapman, like any of his mythically “good” buddies, come out squealing “tobacco industry conspiracy”. Let anyone question their despicable methods, and Simple Simon lets loose with the “ad hominems”. “Don’t you know that I am a professor of poop”, screams Crapman: “Only I know the Truth® because I made it up”.

    Sadly, contemporary “world-fixer” fanatics like Crapman are exactly like their fanatical predecessors. They wreak havoc in imposing their deranged world view. The current crop of world-fixer-uppers weren’t familiar with the fanaticism of early last century. Being already entrenched in all the dysfunctional methodology, as they were made aware of the fanaticism of this earlier time-period, it has been interesting how the current fanatics have attempted to distance themselves from their predecessors. “Just because we think and act like them, we’re very different to them”, explain the current fanatics. That’s it! How’s that for some profound scholarship.

    Well might Crapman and his “good” buddies increase the volume of their squealing. Their “esteemed” careers are being found out, recognized for the agenda-driven, mentally-unstable folk they are. Come on, Simon, give us some of that inimitable spin, that academic blather, maybe even in a rock-n-roll format.
    DO NOT add www. to dickpuddlecote.blogspot.com/2011/11/cringing-things-prohibitionists-do-in.html

    • January 19, 2012 11:15 pm

      Let me help you along, Simon (from the song Leader of the Pack), you know the song..……

      We saw him [Simon] on our TV screens
      The smartest? shyster we’d ever seen
      That’s why we fell for
      The Leader of the Crap

      [background cheers]

  148. January 19, 2012 11:08 pm

    I see that Chapman has been trying to use both the ad hominem attack on Dave Atherton AND the appeal to authority at the same time. This is exactly the same trick as Arnott tried to use against him. “But you’re not an expert, are you Dave?”

    ‘Experts’ are precisely the people who are ‘experts’ at distorting facts to fit their agenda. They get away with it precisely because they are ‘experts’. Mr Williams would be advised to be very suspicious of ‘experts’. Mr Williams might himself have ‘a gut feeling’ about smoking, but he ought not to use that feeling to intimidate and persecute smokers whilest using propaganda to divide the nation – propaganda devised by ‘experts’ such as Chapman (Professor of Sociology).

    Chapman is trying to wriggle out of his own clear statement that ‘Table 7’ shows that potential harm from SHS is infinitesimally small. He cannot do it because he said it.Of course, he is ‘an expert’. He is also particularly nasty.

  149. Derek permalink
    January 19, 2012 11:11 pm

    Goodness me you have some very unpleasant rude people in the UK writing responses on this blog.

    Good luck with your efforts Mr. Williams.

    I come from the ends of the earth – a small place called Tasmania, where we care about the health of our people, and take measures to reduce the attractiveness of smoking, and remove it from public places where it can cause harm to others or be a nuisance.

    You must be very brave to deal with such levels of abuse and nastiness. It is a pity people cannot just use calm and logic.

    • January 19, 2012 11:18 pm

      And you must be…… Simon’s PR agent, perhaps?

    • January 19, 2012 11:22 pm

      Well Derek are the comments as nasty as these they have appeared on newspaper blogs?

      “Smoke in your own home. Get cancer. Die.

      Just keep it away from me, that’s all I ask.

      daviduk84
      12:27pm

      et’s have free loaded pistols for use by these smokers there too so that they can end their pathetic lives in a dignified way and save us and our already burdened health systems a lot of problems.

      tjtwatterjones
      10:49am

      “But what about the rights of smokers?”

      They have the right to die. That’s it.

      davycrockett
      11:20am

      “SMOKERS. DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! [repeated 30+ times]”.

      “Pubs have become infinitely more pleasant places since the smoking ban. […] they can certainly survive without smokers. I hope the cold winter kills a few more off in fact”

      I like watching recent American TV police shows where the guy who smokes gets shot. That’ll teach him.”

    • Xopher permalink
      January 19, 2012 11:35 pm

      “—- Tasmania, where we care about the health of our people, and take measures to reduce the attractiveness of smoking, and remove it from public places where it can cause harm to others or be a nuisance”
      Good to notice how effective your unasked for Tobacco Control intrusions have been —- Smoking rate -2001 was 24.4% -2008 was 24,9%.
      Truthful information helped smoking rates to fall dramatically in the later half of the 20th. Century before Tobacco Control declared open warfare on law abiding citizens.

    • January 19, 2012 11:35 pm

      Abuse and nastiness? That’s the Smokerphobic’s forte – they pump that out in main stream ads. perhaps if I called you a filthy, selfish, ugly, child abuser then you would know what nastiness is. This is not Tasmania so why do you comment?.

    • Parmenion permalink
      January 20, 2012 12:03 am

      I come from the ends of the earth – a small place called Tasmania…….
      .
      You must be very brave to deal with such levels of abuse and nastiness. It is a pity people cannot just use calm and logic.

      Well, Derek….unfortunately for me, I don’t come from the ends of the earth…I live in the real world, in the UK, where the levels of abuse and nastiness towards those of us who just want to be left alone to enjoy our legal pastime, are there for all to see
      If you read the majority of these posts, you will see that 99% of them are, indeed calm and VERY logical..

  150. January 19, 2012 11:12 pm

    S. Chapman writes: ”the great majority of these posts are from a sad little bunch of extremists in the UK pro-smoking lobby, a bunch you could get together in a about 10 phone booths (just check out the feeble numbers of people who follow some of their tweets and the even fewer who contribute to their blogs.) Do not mistake this for public opinion.”

    Yet from a study conducted by his own people, here is what was found: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2011/04/27/tc.2011.042986.abstract

    ”Results Of 117 relevant news items, 41 included 1818 reader comments. 1187 (65.3%) comments contained no reference to plain packaging, and mainly addressed a tobacco tax rise announced at the same time. The comments about plain packaging were more than 2.5 times more likely to oppose than support the policy. The dominant argumentative frame, comprising 27% of oppositional comments, was that plain packaging would be ineffective in reducing smoking. Online reader poll results showed equal support for and opposition to plain packaging.

    Conclusions The results of this study can be used by tobacco control advocates to anticipate opposition and assist in reframing and counteracting arguments opposed to plain packaging”

    And public opinion be damned!

    And this was from Australia yet, a country that breeds and raises anti-smokers!

  151. January 20, 2012 12:33 am

    [tick….tick…..tick……tick]

    Still waiting, Simon.

    O Simon, my perception has been left with the taint of disappointment. The antismoking bully had entered the scene. I was fully expecting some of those razzle-dazzle “explanations” – some of that spin par excellence, some of those logic-defying incoherent analogies, some of those mind-numbing antismoking “slogans” and clichés, some more of those infantile put-downs – in edifying us (booth people) on our “misunderstanding” of the Chapman Trick, or FSCs, or the Lavac Incident – for starters.

    Or do you need to convene a committee meeting of your [mythically] “good” buddies – the co-perpetrators, perhaps over cocktails, karaoke (you get the [rare] opportunity to “sing” again) and considerable back-slapping, to engineer some “fallout containment” strategies?

    Come back, Simon, O wonderful, omniscient social engineer. Was it something I said?

    • January 20, 2012 1:49 am

      Be fair magnetic, the $358,800 grant doesn’t stipulate that S. Chapman should engage in debate. No, he only has to spy on ”pro-tobacco” messages in the internet and put up F/B and other pages to chat with like-minded TC advocates on how to counter the ”tobacco industry” messages. How expensive can it get to put up F/B pages, a ”supersite” or two, and communicate with like-minded individuals? Let’s see… oh wait a minute, we do it for $0 !

      http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/national_register_public_health_research/29771

  152. January 20, 2012 1:18 am

    I would like to comment about ‘additives’ in cigarettes, (not pipe, cigar and hand rolling tobacco, and when I say cigars, I do not mean cheroots, or mini cigars). The tobacco companies have had official legislation to control the tobacco in cigarettes. Back in the 1930’s, the average tar content of a cigarette was 35mg. These were not king size or filtered. The nicotine content, (that is the harmless chemical which creates phsycological addiction) is naturally linked to the tar.
    Tobacco companies, aware of a threat to their business, (business is business, especially a succesful one, so you modify it if there are apparent dangers in yoiur product) voluntarily reduced the tar yield. They even developed a ‘safer’ cigarette, ready for the market in 1979…but the neo prohibitionists didn’t like it, they wanted it eradicated totally, and got it stopped.
    I think it was 2000/2001 when they were instructed that no cigarette could contain more than 10mg of tar, which is 0.9mg of nicotine. Now then, let us use common sense, you don’t need science for this one. If you have a factory produced cigarette, and you have to reduce the amount of tobacco in it to comply with the tar allowance, how do you ‘fill it out’…you have to add something.
    To sum up. Tobacco Control ordered the tobacco industry to reduce the tobacco in cigarettes, then accuse them of adding things, which they had to do to comply with the legislation.

    • January 20, 2012 1:46 am

      So…despite the addition of substances at the insistence of Tobacco Control (which had not been thoroughly tested for carcinogens) STILL NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON CAN BE PROVEN TO HAVE DIED AS A RESULT OF SHS!

      Chapman lies and lies again and lies again.

      Not only that, but NOT A SINGLE PROOF EXISTS THAT NORMAL CHILDREN SUFFER ANY DELETERIOUS EFFECTS FROM SHS. NOT ONE.

      Chapman lies, lies and lies again.

      And what about this guy, recently in the news, who claims that smokedrift ’caused’ him to get lung cancer? He is a zealot and conspired with another quack professor zealot to enact a confidence trick.

      Lies, lies, lies.

      But that’s ok since only a few people can see the lies. The masses can continue to be conned by propaganda issued by ‘experts’ in propaganda.

      And Mr Williams, purported to be a Member of the most August Parliament the world has ever known, accepts the word of these quack professors and doctors without question! And thus systematically destroys our pubs and clubs, demands the persecution of the poorest amongst us, intends to decimate small shops, indoctrinates children, and wastes our money on ASH ET AL. Brilliant, Mr Williams! Well done! Your voters will cheer you in the streets!

      Of course, when the brown stuff hits the spinning thing thing, Chapman will….quitely disappear with his ill-gotten gains.

    • January 20, 2012 1:47 am

      Antismoking, a superficial, delusional mentality, has a very limited repertoire. It insists, at times under threat of litigation, for inane, ill-considered policies and changes. When the fallout or contrived fallout comes, the fanatics disavow any responsibility, and blame the “evil” tobacco industry, i.e., just another tobacco industry “conspiracy”.

  153. January 20, 2012 1:30 am

    All UK tobacco manufacturers have agreed only to use ingredients in tobacco products for consumption in the UK that are approved and within permitted limits in accordance with a list held on the DH website: http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/scoth/dh_095371#_4.

    • January 20, 2012 1:48 am

      Pat, additives were never secret. Look at the Chapman Trick reference from 1983 – “A glance through any copy of the Smoking and Health Bulletin of the U S Department of Health and Human Services shows an entire indexed, section on ‘Tobacco Product Additives’”.

      Additives were already listed with the US Dept of H & HS, and there for anyone, including Chapman, to look at…… and abused, e.g., Chapman.

  154. January 20, 2012 2:00 am

    I am still wondering why the ASH ZEALOTS have not appeared here to defend their MP Chairman of the ….erm…what is it?….the cross-party fake parliamentary committee? Could it be that, when they cannot fall back on propaganda such as ‘disgusting, filthy, stinking’, they know that they have no real argument to support the persecution? For persecution it is, and deliberately so. It is no accident that the zealots demand price increase in tobacco products. These price increases are deliberately aimed at the poorest amongst us. King James wanted to reduce the level of tobacco imports, but not so much that ‘the better sorts’ could not have it – at a price which they could afford, of course.

    The more time advances, the more the corruption of Tobacco Control becomes evident. There is no doubt.

    • John S permalink
      January 20, 2012 2:32 am

      Maybe the self-serving parasites are realising their lucrative careers are under threat and are filling in their CVs to join the Anti-Alcohol and Anti-obesity gravy trains.

  155. January 20, 2012 2:18 am

    Hey! does this Simon Chapman snide twerp have a blog of his own? Seen his pic and he certainly should be plain packaged with a paper bag over his head. Yuk!

    Did he give up on his AIDS campaign or couldn’t be arsed when they wouldn’t pay him? Mind we were all going to die of AIDS back then, weren’t we according to the ‘experts’?🙂

    • Frank J permalink
      January 20, 2012 7:50 am

      And since then, Avian Flu, Swine flu, BSE, you name it, it was going to cut swathes through the population. Some ‘experts’, eh?

    • January 20, 2012 12:26 pm

      Shamefully, Tobacco Control studied stigma against people with AIDS/HIV to see how it could be used to exclude smokers from healthcare. Truly disgusting. I seriously do wonder if Stephen knows what he supports.

      Promotion of health information with regards to smoking is an admirable cause – propaganda with a view to creating hate, prejudice and fear against smokers would be illegal for any other minority and would be called hate crime.

  156. Smithers permalink
    January 20, 2012 9:09 am

    There’s only a reincarnation of the Bubonic Plague left for them to dally with then!

    • Frank J permalink
      January 20, 2012 9:46 am

      Wait for it, wait for it! If there’s public funds in it, they’ll even flog ‘bad airs’ and witchcraft.

  157. January 20, 2012 9:42 am

    ‘Stephen — the great majority of these posts are from a sad little bunch of extremists in the UK pro-smoking lobby,’

    ‘Methinks most of these shrill commentators do protest too much.’

    ‘thanks for all the comments so far. Some entertaining, some abusive, many from the usual suspects and front groups for the tobacco lobby. There haven’t been many serious points for me to answer.’

  158. January 20, 2012 1:38 pm

    Fredrik Eich wrote, “The tobacco control industry could not get this level of unpaid online activism for toffee.”

    Heh, they couldn’t get it for even a lot more than toffee Fredrik. If their money line was yanked they’d pretty much all disappear except for a few lonely nuts. If I may quote from one of my favorite books…. ;>

    ====

    Few people, however, make the automatic leap to the realization that a good bit of the power and money that keeps workers, lawyers, and high-salaried CEOs employed at Crusading organizations flows directly from the perceived impact of and contributions raised by such advertising: it is not as altruistic as it appears at first glance. Indeed, when some funding cuts for New Jersey’s Antismoking efforts were being considered recently, Paul Wallner of the Medical Society of New Jersey said “Everything stops. There is no money.” despite the fact that NJ BREATHES (a local Crusading group) was still slated to get $14 million for its activities in 2002 (Ralph Siegel. Associated Press 01/08/02).

    When fourteen million dollars is referred to as “no money” there is clearly something very, very wrong.

    ====

    So yeah, evidently a LOT more than “toffee” is needed to keep them going.

    – MJM

  159. January 20, 2012 2:04 pm

    Hey, the cigarette firms are certainly doing the business by the looks of it here, paying people to write angry blogs about civil liberties. You know who you are, taking your blood money and pretending to be just ordinary smokers.

    Don’t know how you can go home and look your children in the eye at night.

    • Frank J permalink
      January 20, 2012 2:18 pm

      No, 1/10 for that effort. Must try harder. Idiot.

    • Fredrik Eich permalink
      January 20, 2012 2:30 pm

      Paul,
      If you have any evidence that any of us are paid big tobacco shills please show it to us or keep your paranoid fantasies yourself.
      Thanks.

    • January 20, 2012 2:34 pm

      You have a way with words Anonymous Paul. Care to put your name behind them, get nice and specific in your claims, and stand up to a libel suit? Or is your liver the color of a lily?

      Michael J. McFadden
      Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

    • January 20, 2012 4:30 pm

      What an idiot. Would you care to look into that? Hey – contact me privately, come on over, and I’ll even show you my bank balance. You will see not one penny comes from any tobacco company and indeed I’m almost skint thanks to you Smokerphobic bigots forcing me out of work due to hate crime propaganda.

      Foul, foul, people who have no defence to their lies other than “You must be paid by Big Tobacco” when you are all creaming off undeserved tax that you steal from smokers to fund your wealthy lifestyles and hate campaigns. You are disgusting.

  160. January 20, 2012 2:09 pm

    If, as Dave Atherton claims, Simon Chapman has in some way refused to engage in debate with Chris Snowdon, this is surprising. Chris is a serious author who has never claimed smoking is without risk.

    Stephen, if you really want to save lives, research snus, the Swedish oral tobacco product, whose export to the rest of the EU was banned when Sweden joined. Chris’s book is a good place to start. Sweden has both the lowest incidence of male lung cancer and the lowest male smoking prevalence in the developed world. The “Quit or Die” campaign which Simon Chapman and his ilk have been responsible for, with smoking bans and denormalisation campaigns supported by a junk science house of cards published in journals such as The Journal of Tobacco Control and the bmj, has only resulted in smoking prevalence remaining constant in England since the smoking ban, Not much quitting but plenty of dying.Thousands of publicans have lost their life savings, some have committed suicide, smokers have had their leisure time ruined, patients in secure mental hospitals have been banned from smoking. And we are “the sad little bunch of extremists”?

    • January 20, 2012 4:32 pm

      It’s not about health hence Chapman and his team don’t want to engage in rational debate with anyone.

  161. January 20, 2012 2:23 pm

    Paul,
    Prove that any of the comments here were written with tobacco industry blood money or retract your libel. Surely you can do it for at least those who use their real name, I being one of them.

  162. January 20, 2012 2:40 pm

    Golly I’ve hit a nerve. Does it irritate you when people expose web trolls as third parties paid for by the industry?

    • Fredrik Eich permalink
      January 20, 2012 3:07 pm

      Paul,
      Here is a quote from Simon Clark (Forest) from days ago

      “neither I nor any of my colleagues commented on Stephen’s blog.”

      Got it?

      Show us your evidence.
      Put up or shut up.

    • Xopher permalink
      January 20, 2012 3:16 pm

      Golly gosh Paul, you certainly got a way of placing comments with no evidence at all but, for the truly inept, it’s par for the course.
      Stephen Williams at least thinks he’s got evidence although we’ve researched it and found it (to be kind) ‘wanting’ in fact and substance.

    • January 20, 2012 4:34 pm

      You are a liar – and worse a coward as well. Put up your real name and retract!

  163. January 20, 2012 2:49 pm

    you’ve exposed nothing, Paul. Are you going to substantiate your allegations or retract them? Who is being paid to say what by which companies?

    • January 20, 2012 3:15 pm

      There you are, see? One ‘defender’ has appeared. And what does it have to say as a contribution? Nothing! Well done, ASH ET AL! Your ‘defender’ has done the very best he can. He has claimed that we are all tobacco company shills. That’s it. That’s all. Brilliant!

  164. January 20, 2012 3:07 pm

    Anonymous Paul, the Tobacco Industry long ago gave up on the UK. It didn’t even bother to protest about the smoking ban. The people writing these comments have nothing to do with the Tobacco Industry. Our only wish is some sort of amendment to the smoking ban to allow non-residential premises where smoking is permitted. I have no wish to see more people smoking and would advise people not to take up the habit. That so few Members of Parliament have any scientific or statistical education enables anti tobacco campaigners such as Simon Chapman and ASH UK to bamboozle committees such as the one Stephen is Chairman of, and have undue influence on Government policy. I too am using my real name.

    • January 20, 2012 4:38 pm

      My wish is simply to be left alone in peace to socialise with like-minded people and to be treated as equally as anyone else in the UK – and for the hate campaigning by paid activists like Paul to stop. I don’t give a stuff about Tobacco companies. I’ve started growing my own.

      Neither does the Tobacco industry care about me or any other smoker – they threw us to you well paid dogs years ago.

  165. January 20, 2012 3:19 pm

    Interesting strategy by MP Williams perhaps here. Perhaps he’d like to make this entire thread of commentary “disappear” and needs a good excuse for doing so.

    Mr. Williams, if indeed this “Paul” thing is your creation, you might want to be aware that the evidence isn’t as easy to erase as you might at first think. See:

    http://www.icyte.com/saved/stephenwilliamsmp.wordpress.com/556018

    And, if I were you, I’d avoid doing anything that might erase the “paper trail” leading back to Paul’s IP. Given this notice then you yourself could conceivably be implicated since any “Gee, I never thought about that when I erased it.” defense is now gone.

    – MJM

    • January 20, 2012 4:39 pm

      If you can find his IP MJM then perhaps that can identify him with regard to action for libel

  166. January 20, 2012 3:32 pm

    Lots of links to FOREST as well, an industry funded front group. Oh well nothing fishy going on there!

    • January 20, 2012 4:42 pm

      If only Forest, a legitimate consumers’ rights group, enjoyed the funding ASH gets from Big Pharma, either directly or indirectly, and Govt, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. At least Forest is open about it. ASH and it’s charity front groups are mostly dishonest and do not allow the public to see how they are being conned for the sake of favours from the Pharma industry.

  167. January 20, 2012 3:32 pm

    Can I say again that I am firmly of the opinion that there is a hidden motive behind the plain packet agenda which has nothing to do with children. The hidden motive is to get legal control of everything about the cigarette packet. If this legislation is passed ‘for health reasons’ (which are the the only reasons that can possibly interfere with international law), then ‘health reasons’ can be used to legislate the size and shape of packets. That is the reason for the enormous effort being put into this business.

    • January 20, 2012 3:37 pm

      By the way. Best just to ignore ‘Paul’ – he is simply a troll, out to try to change the subject. Ignore completely.

  168. January 20, 2012 3:34 pm

    whatever else Paul is, he is a wind-up merchant. Now that we have (thanks to Michael McFadden) saved everything we need for a libel suit he’s probably best ignored!

  169. January 20, 2012 3:34 pm

    Blimey Junican, who do you imagine you’re triumphantly squaring up to as you tap away at your keyboard in your office or dining room? Are you trying to sound like Voldemort, or a fearless Viking warrior, or was it just accidental?

    • nisakiman permalink
      January 20, 2012 6:26 pm

      Paul, you have brought nothing to this thread. All views are welcomed on this subject, but all you’ve done is to try to provoke, like a sulky teenager pushing his long-suffering parents..

      If you have nothing to offer other than insult and scurrilous accusations, I would suggest you don’t waste anybodies time and patience further.

      • nisakiman permalink
        January 20, 2012 6:28 pm

        That should have been “anybody’s”.

  170. January 20, 2012 3:39 pm

    See what I mean?

  171. Fredrik Eich permalink
    January 20, 2012 3:48 pm

    Paul, precisely how does links to Forest back up your baseless assertion

    “Hey, the cigarette firms are certainly doing the business by the looks of it here, paying people to write angry blogs about civil liberties.”

  172. January 20, 2012 4:17 pm

    I’m still waiting for my cheque from the tobacco companies, Paul. They must have sent in the second class mail.

  173. January 20, 2012 4:48 pm

    But I will say this about Stephen Williams, he has allowed this debate on his blog and I don’t believe that he will delete anything. I do believe, however, that his beliefs are so strong that he doesn’t hear a word we say – hence he has not replied even to legitimate concerns about how plain packaging will drive child smoking underground and make smoking far more dangerous than it ever has been before.

    • January 21, 2012 9:51 pm

      I have not deleted any of the comments here. I am in favour of free speech – even when some of the comments are grossly offensive to me personally. And I’ve replied to lots of the comments, not just this one!

      • John S permalink
        January 21, 2012 9:58 pm

        I am still waiting for your apology for accusing me of having connections to the tobacco industry, other than enjoying their products, or belonging to any “freedom to smoke” group. You too have been offensive and insulting.

      • January 22, 2012 12:52 am

        And I acknowledged that.

  174. Peter Thurgood permalink
    January 20, 2012 5:09 pm

    Mr Williams, About three years ago I started a campaign to get the Government (then Gordon Brown) to agree to force the tobacco companies not to use any harmfull additives in their products. I posted my campaign up on the then Government’s website, after also pushing as hard as I could with all the other pro-smoking websites. At the end of the day my campaign bit the dust after atracting just a 100 or so signatures. I eventually received a reply, allegedly written by Gordon Brown himself, saying he disagreed with my proposal and it would be far too costly to change the law to force the tobacco companies to adhere to this. Governments, and especially Brown’s old Government could spend our money like water on other stupid projects and end up bankrupting this country whilst doing so, but they couldn’t bring in a law to make smoking safe – Why? Because this whole smoking-ban lie is not based upon health at all, but Control of our lives!

  175. Mike D permalink
    January 20, 2012 7:03 pm

    “..many from the usual suspects and front groups for the tobacco lobby.” Lots of people from freedom2choose here.

    “Allow Freedom2Choose says new anti smoke-ban group” is the headline of an article from when freedom2choose was founded.

    The article says “The Freedom2Choose group, the brainchild of cigarette vending machine operator Rod Bullough, hopes to persuade the Government to seek alternatives to an “undemocratic” ban”

    So freedom2choose was founded in 2004 by someone in the tobacco business, but claims not to be a tobacco lobby front group?

    Can someone explain? Perhaps one of the many freedom2choose members who have posted on this thread could help. It should be good for a laugh!

    Let me get you started. “It is true that freedom2choose was set up in 2004 by a tobacco supplier to fight smoking bans, but we are not a tobacco lobby group because…..”

    I can’t wait.

    • January 20, 2012 7:20 pm

      … because we were not founded in 2004 but in 2007, by which time the original organisation was no longer active. We had nobody from the tobacco funded campaign freedom2choose. Our current organisation has only ever had private members’ contributions to fund it and a very small amount of non-tobacco-related advertising.

    • January 20, 2012 7:38 pm

      Paul I am the Chairman of Freedom2Choose and we were formed on the 31st of October 2007 as a legally constituted group. I am one of the original signatories. We have never, nor do we currently , nor do we seek to receive funding from tobacco companies, affiliates, proxies or subsidiaries. Directly or indirectly.

      Is there any part of no you do not understand?

      • Mike D permalink
        January 20, 2012 7:55 pm

        Why choose exactly the same name as an organisation set up only 3 years earlier by someone in the tobacco industry?

        I haven’t said you receive money. I would expect any front group to distance itself from tobacco funding.

        So why, out of ALL the possible names that you could have chosen, did you choose to copy the name and the purpose of a group set up by a tobacco company only 3 years earlier?

      • January 20, 2012 8:15 pm

        That’s right, Dave. Mike D has a point [giggle]. Dave, you had the entire dictionary to choose from. Why didn’t you call your group iroquois3galaxy, or daybreak5salad, or toenail7chamomile, or, say, logrolling8artichoke?

      • January 20, 2012 8:46 pm

        Mike D wrote, “I haven’t said you receive money. I would expect any front group to distance itself from tobacco funding.”

        Interesting. And how would YOU define “front group” then Mike? I believe the traditional definition involves two elements: (1) secrecy, so that people don’t realize it is truly the background organization pulling the strings and dictating the dial on, and (2) being financially supported by that background organization.

        Currently I don’t know of any organization that fits that definition in the area of tobacco tobacco activism. There are several organizations such as FOREST that have open funding from tobacco companies, and there were organizations in the last century that had tobacco company connections that were downplayed or hidden from public knowledge; but at the current time, aside from any small income that might come from people clicking on ads on a particular website, I don’t know of any activist group that is at all dependent upon tobacco funding.

        Of course when one looks at the background of the various anti-smoking groups, and realizes how much of their funding comes from pharmaceutical related interests, it’s hard to see why tobacco funding should actually be avoided by free choice activists. Perhaps we should be to begin appealing to the governments to provide us funding similar to what they provide to the anti-smoking groups. The source could be the same: Big Tobacco money laundered through taxation and the government. I think that with equal funding the “level playing field” would suddenly undergo a very radical change and the smoking ban cockroaches would go skittering back into their corners.

        – MJM

    • January 21, 2012 12:36 pm

      Here is a letter written to Ms Sheila Duff Of ASH in October 2008 by Belinda Cunnison

      ” Dear Sheila Duffy

      Thank you for your letter.

      First, there is no connection, and has never been a connection, between our organization and that headed by Rob Bullough and backed by the tobacco vending company Duckworths. We are self-funded, by membership subscriptions, public donations and an insignificant level of website advertising.

      I appreciate that the coincidence of names is unfortunate but when your briefing paper ‘Myths and Realities’ speaks of ‘campaigns of disinformation that can be traced back to the tobacco industry’, we take these with a very large pinch of salt given the false conclusions that your researchers have allowed you to infer about our own organization. Have you passed this nugget of ‘disinformation’ to anyone else? ”

      Ms. Duffy’s curt reply was:

      “Thank you for your letter. I note the points you raise but feel at this point it would not be constructive for us to engage in further debate.”

      freedom2choose.info/news1.php?id=867

      Previous F2C’s had the following, now defunct domains.

      freedom2choose.org spitefully the domain was bought by an anti smoker

      freedom2choose.co.uk

      We are freedom2choose.info

  176. January 20, 2012 7:20 pm

    Another ‘ad hominem’, but a bit cleverer in this case. Nothing to do with the subject matter at all. Ignore completely.

    I have just been looking at the introductory paragraphs of the intro to the WHO Treaty on Tobacco Control. I noticed this sentence:

    “…..in contrast to previous drug control treaties, the WHO FCTC asserts the
    importance of demand reduction strategies
    as well as supply issues.”

    ‘Demand reduction strategies’! What could those words mean, if not ‘attack and persecute people who enjoy tobacco’ in order to reduce demand?

    The plans to persecute smokERS were already in place in 1999.

  177. January 20, 2012 7:29 pm

    Here is another quote from the same document:

    <Non-price measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, namely:
    􀂃 Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke;
    􀂃 Regulation of the contents of tobacco products;
    􀂃 Regulation of tobacco product disclosures;
    􀂃 Packaging and labelling of tobacco products;
    􀂃 Education, communication, training and public awareness;
    􀂃 Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and,
    􀂃 Demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation.

    Note particularly the fourth item in the list.

    This blueprint is being followed to the letter. I wonder if Mr Williams knows that he is just a ‘useful fool’ – a puppet on a string.

  178. January 20, 2012 7:51 pm

    “Touch on any of the delinquent conduct and Crapman, like any of his mythically “good” buddies, come out squealing “tobacco industry conspiracy”.”

    —-

    Paul, you sound like one of Crapman’s mythically “good” buddies. You’ve ridden in on your little mule, ready to deal with the “unbelievers”, twirling the puffy “shill” accusation. Is that all you’ve got, mule man? The only thing you’ve accomplished is that it’s now difficult to tell which is the ass. Or maybe you’ve made it easier for everyone with no need to distinguish which is the ass.

    Paul, it seems that YOU are the representative of the “hit nerve” brigade. With no intention (or competence) to address any of the issues raised, what got you so riled up, head pounding, that you couldn’t keep your fingers from the keyboard, couldn’t resist making a few stupid comments? Getting a little hot under the collar, Paul? Too many questions of your cultic beliefs and the supremacist clique? Too little respect for shysters and fake moralizers? Too much delinquent conduct exposed? Maybe an avenue to questionable funding is being jeopardized? Squeal away, Paul, “Hee Haw”. We’ve heard the asinine, antismoking trash before.

    Oh, is that Mike D also riding up on his little mule? Another ass!!

    Any more asses?

    • January 20, 2012 7:59 pm

      Could all members of the antismoking group “Asses Я Us” please refrain from going over old, baseless ground. Address the issues, or redirect your mule. Maybe instructions delivered to the mule have a better chance of being understood.

  179. January 20, 2012 7:59 pm

    One area that ASH is coming in second is the internet and blogs. I see another person does not have the integrity to post in their real/full name or identify where they are from. To know the coincidental name of Freedom2Choose from a vending machine manufacturer and the current group requires specialist knowledge. Only someone from ASH or the Department of Health would know that.

    I assume like Mr. Williams it is yet another concerted smear campaign which demeans public paid officials.

  180. Smithers permalink
    January 20, 2012 8:17 pm

    Mike D says: “The article says “The Freedom2Choose group, the brainchild of cigarette vending machine operator Rod Bullough, hopes to persuade the Government to seek alternatives to an “undemocratic” ban”
    So freedom2choose was founded in 2004 by someone in the tobacco business, but claims not to be a tobacco lobby front group?”

    Cigarette vending machines are/were only one part of the vending machine empire run by Mr Bullough. It is a family business, not a ‘tobacco only’ funded vending machine business and has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘tobacco funding’ or fronting for so called Big Tobacco. 10,000 newsagents protested against the suggested ‘tobacco display’ law but that does not mean that all 10,000 were funded by Big Tobacco. In actual fact, Ken Patel shied away from any association with BT. No matter what any individual says or thinks against the Smoke Ban law, they are automatically tarnished with the “in pay of….” banner.
    Incidentally, could Paul ?????? be that loathesome creature known as Pal Hooper (ASH-Warwickshire) who suddenly appeared as an ‘expert’ on shisha pipes for the Dept of Health?

  181. Mike D permalink
    January 20, 2012 8:23 pm

    Google is really powerful.
    I found an article showing that freedom2choose was founded by a tobacco supplier in 2004.

    Belinda and Dave Atherton then said that freedom2choose was founded in 2007.

    According to Forces “Freedom to Choose was founded in 2005 to oppose the introduction of a blanket smoking ban in the UK.”

    So was the 2005 freedom2choose the tobacco supplier one?

    Seemingly not. The article continues “We are a not for profit organisation funded solely by donations from our members” and gives a link to freedom2choose.info

    • January 20, 2012 8:43 pm

      Mike I will give you 2 options here.

      I will lay you a bet of £10,000 that Freedom2Choose was formed in 2007 and has not received a penny from tobacco companies.

      If not you will have 24 hours to retract and I will ask for Mr. Williams for your IP address and email address and put it in the hands of our solicitors.

      Can you post the URLs of your “research.”

      • Mike D permalink
        January 21, 2012 11:31 am

        My first response was not accepted so I’ll try again. I have no doubt that a version of freedom2choose was formed in 2007 and doesn’t receive a penny from tobacco companies, so I won’t be taking your bet.
        Would you like to disprove/bet that there was/wasn’t a freedom2choose formed in 2004 by tobacco seller Rod Bulloch?

        Can I also suggest that you google the phrase ““Freedom to Choose was founded in 2005 to oppose the introduction of a blanket smoking ban in the UK.” In the search results you will find this claim on the Forces website, and also on the International Coalition Against Prohibition website.

        I’ll post the links separately as they may have been the reason my first response wasn’t published.

      • John S permalink
        January 21, 2012 2:30 pm

        “tobacco seller Rod Bulloch” – I take that you and your fellow rabid fanatics consider anyone who sells tobacco as the “enemy”. Is this the reason why you are so determined to close thousands of local shops by introducing this and similar legislation?

      • January 22, 2012 12:55 pm

        (Deep, deep, yawn and sigh) As it happens the elements of Dave Atherton and Belinda’s Freedom to Choose did exist in 2005, but the group was indeed, not formally constituted until 2007. How do I know? I wrote their constitution.

        The fledgling unconstituted organisation, however, was created by Bob Feal- Martinez and others from the hospitality industry in 2005 in order to combat damage to that industry. Initially, we had no knowledge of Rob Bulloch’s group, as even then it was something of a non-entity, hence the name Freedom to Choose was picked by coincidence. By the time we discovered the existence of the Bulloch group we had already, through one of our former members – Loraine McGregor – worked closely with members of the house of Lords to oppose a smoking ban and, in addition, decided to to pursue a judicial review of that ban and therefore, changing our name was hardly going to be practical.

        So that’s why you have all this confusion. However, it still doesn’t alter that fact that the the Ron Bulloch organisation and the the Freedom the Choose
        everyone knows today are completely different organisations – always have been and always will be.

        How do I know all these things? Because I was there when they happened.

  182. January 20, 2012 8:38 pm

    Freedom2Choose as a concept does not start and end with smoking in a pub. but the right of consenting individuals to live their lives free of as much state interference as possible.

    One hobby of horse of mine is gay rights. I maybe controversial but I believe Parliament should pass an act where gay and lesbian couples, with the consent of the individual vicar, Rabbi, Priest or Iman etc, should be allowed to marry. However dissenting voices should be heard and not howled down as bigots.

    The spin machine of the Liberal Party reached its nadir in the 1983 in the Bermdonsey by election. For Labour was Peter Tatchell who still now is a well known gay activist and Simon Hughes. I have downloaded this from Peter Tatchell’s blog. Tatchell was the victim of a barely concealed homophobic campaign from the Liberals and I quote:

    “Simon’s election leaflets described him as “the straight choice.”

    “The Liberals fought a very dirty campaign during the Bermondsey by-election.

    “Some of their male canvassers went around the constituency wearing lapel stickers emblazoned with the words ‘I’ve been kissed by Peter Tatchell’, in a blatant bid to win the homophobic vote.

    “On the doorsteps they spread false rumours that I was chair of the local gay society – no such society existed.”

    “This endorsement comes from Peter Tatchell, the former Labour candidate, who was defeated by Simon Hughes in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election – regarded by many commentators as the dirtiest and most violent election in Britain in the last 100 years.

    To Peter’s credit he writes:

    Mr Tatchell, now a member of the Green Party, says it is “time to forgive and move on.””

    The ultimate hypocrisy?

    Simon Hughes is gay too.

    I think the spin machine at the Liberal Democrat party is in evidence here too.

    petertatchell.net/politics/simonhughes.htm

  183. January 20, 2012 8:40 pm

    Dear Mr Williams.

    Can you please confirm to me that ASH has lost it’s Government funding? In reply to an E mail sent by me, they asserted that they now no longer receive funding from government. (E mail can be forwarded on request). Surely if they were so important to the government why has this funding been rescinded? Could it be back peddling by the cabinet, who realise that they may be onto a vote loser in the next election. The power of the internet against these illiberal measures is slowly gaining ground. This is a forum that ASH cannot control. Considering that 20% of the electorate smoke I suspect the PM may be worrying that this bloc has considerable voting power and will be loath to antagonise them more.

    I as a long time conservative refused to vote for any of the three main parties at the last election as I could see from the manifesto promises, that an overturning of the smoking ban was never going to happen. Your deputy prime minister, who offered us a referendum on smoking, and then once gaining a position of power, U turned has, shown to so many of the electorate, that those words were empty promises, just there to garner votes.

    I suggest you do your home work rather than listen to lobby groups. The populace are not stupid and are beginning to question the Westminster bubble, status quo.

    Regards

    The Filthy Engineer

    • Xopher permalink
      January 20, 2012 11:00 pm

      The Government may not overtly fund ASH but we can be sure they will pay ASH to carry out studies and provide ‘data’ for them and also for ‘essential’ secretarial services to the DoH and various Government ‘Health’ committees.
      Technically the cash will not be a grant BUT……….. asking a biased Charitable organisation to provide information to the exclusion of others runs close to Political Lobbying especially when it is invited to the offices of Government decision makers whilst also benefiting from funding from organisations/companies that gain profit from that Charity’s influence.

      We are fortunate to have the calibre of politician that would never be so gullible as to support the use of public funds to purchase and promote products that have a failure rate of over 95% nor would they support advertising that suggested better success rates for users of products than those of people who achieve the intended outcome without any assistance from the product.

      Public funds are, to say the least, stretched thanks to unthought-out Political Bandwagons and poor decisions by MPs in the recent past. Our current ones promised change – They promised they would repair previous damage and reduce harmful legislation or was that a pre-election fib?

      • Anthony Williams permalink
        January 21, 2012 11:13 am

        If their lips moved when they said it it was a fib.

  184. January 20, 2012 9:04 pm

    Mike D, “Google” may be “powerful” but the googler, not so much. Just as a point of research, you should have attempted to verify the Forces statement before making allegations. Not all information is necessarily correct. Information with third parties may have been wrong to begin with, or entered incorrectly, with no “conspiratorial” overtones. Proper research is about verification.

    But, Mike D, since you have ventured onto the comments board, attempting to make who knows what point, would you care to address some of the delinquent antismoking conduct highlighted on this board that has not been addressed, even by Crapman? For example, the Chapman Trick, FSCs, and the Lavac Incident. Others may also have questions for such a profound googler as yourself.

    To use your words, “It should be good for a laugh”, “I can’t wait”.

  185. John Watson permalink
    January 20, 2012 9:17 pm

    Is this a debate on Plain packaging or not, all I can see is a lot of people who oppose plain packaging and a few people from ASH trying to divert the discussion away from plain packaging which is clearly a lost cause!

    No wonder that ASH and those who support them are held in such high contempt if this is the standard of their debate.

  186. RTS permalink
    January 21, 2012 12:15 am

    Getting back to the issue at hand…
    The attractiveness of the packets is irrelevent. No matter how pretty they are, when you tear it open and spark up your first fag you’ll discover how truly awful the contents taste.

    Aquiring the taste takes quite a lot of time, a lot of coughing and even some gagging (and in the early days something to wash away the taste after you actually manage to choke the cigarette down).

    Owning a carboard box with nice colours is not enough of an incentive to subject yourself to this.

    I thought that being a lifelong non-smoker you might not know how much effort is required to start enjoying smoking and hence why you think plain packaging will have more than zero impact.

    Incidentally, I notice a deviation from the standard MO on this one. They haven’t trotted out the family member of a dead person to speak out for them. “I begged our Jimmy to stop smoking for years, but he kept telling me he couldn’t coz the packets were just TOO gorgerous.”

    Last thought; does anyone actually know anyone (and I mean a real person, not a statistic) who started smoking because of the packaging?

    • January 21, 2012 1:06 am

      “Last thought; does anyone actually know anyone (and I mean a real person, not a statistic) who started smoking because of the packaging?”

      I understand that there is one such person. He is apparently kept in a vault at [C]ASH headquarters. No-one, other than [C]ASHites, has ever seen this marvel. The public has been asked to trust the [C]ASHites that said vault-person, the pack fancier, exists. Now who could argue with such trustworthy folk as the [C]ASHites.

    • January 21, 2012 1:41 am

      No – not a single one and everyone I know smokes.

      • Mike D permalink
        January 21, 2012 11:39 am

        “Pat Nurse permalink

        January 21, 2012 1:41 am

        No – not a single one and everyone I know smokes.”

        Everyone you know smokes? Do you not know a single non-smoker?

      • January 21, 2012 6:03 pm

        Fair point Mike D because three of my four children don’t smoke but I don’t have any friends who are non smokers. I recall once having this discussion with an anti-smoker. I was sincerely shocked that everyone he knew (he said) was a non smoker and he didn’t know any smokers (apart from me and his mother). Everyone I knew (adult friends) were smokers. We both just concluded that we mixed in different circles.

        I fear that thanks to the bigotry and discrimination pushed by the Smokerphobic ideology that I am unable to find employment and certainly my opportunities to earn a living have been severely compromised by the hate campaigning of Smokerphobic groups. As I am also unable to go out and socialise I guess my contact with more non-smokers is even more limited.

        But the question was did anyone I know who smokes ever begin because of plain packaging and as all the adults I know who smoke never did, I guess I phrased that answer wrong. But the truth is my life has been surrounded by smokers.

      • January 21, 2012 7:32 pm

        Doh – I meant, of course, “glitzy” as opposed to “plain packaging”. :>)

      • Mike D permalink
        January 22, 2012 11:20 am

        Pat, do you not think that living in a bubble of only having friends who smoke is likely to give you rather biased opinions? I’m not all that sure of what proportion of my friends smoke, it isn’t important to me, but I’d guess at 25-30%. I think smoking status is a pretty trivial part of what defines a person. Surely things like values, integrity, tastes, common experience, etc are more important things on which to base friendships,.

        If you choose to surround yourself with smokers with a persecution complex this will surely influence your views.

        None of my smoking friends have a persecution complex. I don’t think I’ve ever met a smoker with the sort of persecution complex that we see writ large in most of the posts in this discussion.

      • RTS permalink
        January 22, 2012 12:04 pm

        Its not a complex if you’re actually being persecuted.

        Given smokers are, as we speak, being denied employment and medical treatment there is grounds to claim persecution.

        It might not be widespread today which is why its easy to either avoid it or be ignorant that its going on, but it WILL get harder to avoid/ignore as time goes on.

      • Lyn permalink
        January 22, 2012 6:00 pm

        I lost my job in January 2009 because I am a smoker. When I asked advice from various solicitors about unfair dismissal I was told that as it was smoking related I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on as the government want people to quit smoking, whatever the cost!

        None would take up the case.

      • Mike D permalink
        January 22, 2012 9:17 pm

        Lyn, get some better legal advice. What the government wants is not grounds for you to lose an appeal. The law doesn’t work like that, and you need to get a decent lawyer to represent you and fight your corner.

        RTS “Its not a complex if you’re actually being persecuted.”
        Claiming that buying your cigarettes in a packet without pretty colours on it is ‘persecution’ sounds really petty.

        As I said before, none of the smokers that I know have a persecution complex.

      • Lyn permalink
        January 23, 2012 11:37 am

        Mike D I approached every legal company I could find on the internet that dealt with employment law and unfair dismissal and they ALL told me the same!

        It seems that it is a little like going to court against the UKBA if you have had your legal tobacco supplies confiscated at customs – no legal firms will take them on as it seems it is a foregone conclusion that as a smoker you have no legal rights! Unfortunately UKBA are able to intimidate too many people into handing over their legal goods and they know that they have precious little chance of even getting to court with an appeal – to do so they need a lot of available cash to stump up should they lose the case!

      • Mike D permalink
        January 23, 2012 12:55 pm

        Lynn
        Were you dismissed purely because you were a smoker? Or had you breached a rule about where or when you could smoke?
        I tend to think your case is more complicated than the former if you can’t find a solicitor to take you on.

        UKBA case law on personal allowances is not relevant to employment law.

        You should either keep looking for a solicitor to represent you, or accept that your dismissal was not simply because you happen to be a smoker. Some of my friends smoke and work in explosive conditions in a factory. Their company just insist they leave smoking materials in their lockers. They know they will be dismissed on the spot if they are found with matches or a lighter in the factory.

      • January 23, 2012 12:59 pm

        @Mike and Lyn

        I work in recruitment by coincidence and in the UK a company is entitled to state in a job advertisement that only non smokers will be considered and has full discretion to set the smoking policy at work.

        Smokers have no employment rights in the UK.

      • Lyn permalink
        January 23, 2012 5:18 pm

        Mike D – Due to the smoking ban I suffered a deep depression, but was only off work for 6 weeks and in order to undergo CBT therapy reduced my working week to 4.5 days, so as not to inconvenience the company I worked for.

        I was PA to the CEO and MD. My hours were discussed and it was agreed between myself and the CEO after the therapy and I was back on 5 days that I would benefit from finishing early so I worked through lunch as I could not afford to lose income through reduced hours.

        The MD then decided that there should be no smoking whatsoever during work hours, not even when we had to walk across a main road from one office building to the other, which happened a few times a day, quite legitimately. I could not manage to go the whole day without having a smoke and had previously never abused the situation, mostly having a smoke when I was required to to visit the other office building and at most taking 5 minutes once or twice a day outside my office building for a smoke. At times, even my main boss, the CEO, would say, Lyn, go have a smoke.

        I spoke with the MD (at the time the CEO was off with personal problems) and explained that as I worked through lunch I would struggle not having a smoke all day, He felt that the hours I was doing suited me best but as I felt it would be difficult to cope without a smoke then it would be best if I left as his new smoking policy was non negotiable.

        So, no there was nothing else, except the fact that I had suffered a deep depression and was still working my way through it, however, this had not been affecting my work.

      • Mike D permalink
        January 23, 2012 9:39 pm

        I’m sure you will be able to find a solicitor who could win against a company that denied you a lunch break. This clearly breaches the law, unless you work less than 6 hours a day.
        Contact ACAS.

      • Mike D permalink
        January 24, 2012 12:12 am

        David Atherton, Chairman of smokers rights group freedom2choose says “Smokers have no employment rights in the UK.”

        Not true.

      • John S permalink
        January 24, 2012 12:18 am

        Are you sure you’re not on overtime, Mike D? Or do you get paid for each comment you post?

      • Lyn permalink
        January 24, 2012 11:26 am

        David Atherton, Chairman of smokers rights group freedom2choose says “Smokers have no employment rights in the UK.” Not true.

        Yes it is true Mike D – ask those of us who have been on the receiving end!

      • Mike D permalink
        January 24, 2012 5:42 pm

        Lyn, I’ve told you that ACAS should be able to advise you if you have a genuine case of unfair dismissal. You said you were unable to take a break to smoke at lunchtime. If you work for over 6 hours you are entitled to a break of 20 minutes, not to be taken at the beginning or end of your shift.

        To be honest you seem to be more keen to exploit your situation to further the tobacco industry’s rights to keep pretty packets than you do about getting a proper resolution.

        Is it true that smokers have ‘NO EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS’?

        No, that is a lie.

      • Lyn permalink
        January 24, 2012 6:07 pm

        Mike D if you had read my response you would have seen that the I did not take a lunch break as due to the depression it was more beneficial for me to finish early, but I could not afford to lose any pay. Therefore the company, in that respect, accommodated me. I do know employment law in that respect as I used to be in HR.

        The fact was, that knowing about my illness and being happy to accommodate me in the hours I worked and knowing that I was a smoker, by bringing in this smoking policy they knew my position would be untenable – it was therefore because I smoked that I lost my job.

    • Fredrik Eich permalink
      January 21, 2012 1:44 am

      Well, we are led to believe that the reason why women but cigarettes is because the boxes
      come in pretty colours and the cigarettes are thin.

      Blatent, sexist, anti smoking claptrap.

      • Anthony Williams permalink
        January 21, 2012 11:15 am

        Totally sexist, maybe pink suits his lifestyle.

      • Xopher permalink
        January 21, 2012 12:22 pm

        And who paid for it????
        Obviously someone from an organisation with too much funding and it probably cost more than we allow half a dozen pensioners to live on for a year (or Prescott’s lunch allowance).

  187. January 21, 2012 2:36 am

    If, for a moment, we think in big, philosophical terms, there is no reason whatsoever that people, who wish to do so, should not enjoy tobacco. The enormous, worldwide, massively expensive and totally useless anti-tobacco movement IS A FRAUD! YouGov surveys are FRAUDULENT. ASH ET AL is a fraud! The BMA, RCP, CRUK, BHF are frauds! Why? Because they all depend upon faulty statistics, and they know that. They are all corrupt from top to bottom.

    The Australian and New Zealand governments are especially corrupt, because they have spread lies upon lies. All their lies are based upon false philosophical ideas. The enormously fraudulent philosophical idea which CHAPMAN ET AT are promoting is that EVERONE must conform to an ideal which they ONLY are capable of deciding.

    STINK, STINK, STINK.

    • January 21, 2012 2:58 am

      Just passing on a message from S. Crapman.

      Good one Janucin! I know some people who play Russian Roulette in Moscow. If they bet on “red” and “odd”, they tend to win. But is that a good reason not to bet “black”. Think about it. It’s certainly helped me to understand things. It’s like urinating in a pool – or on a Roulette table. Who doesn’t get contaminated? Who doesn’t win? Roulette and pools is what it’s all about. That’s dangerous.

      S. Crapman

    • January 21, 2012 3:09 am

      I don’t know Junican. Canada is right up there with Australia and New Zealand. Where there is lots of pharma influence, there is deep corruption.

      • John S permalink
        January 21, 2012 3:22 am

        And exploitation of naive, science-ignorant politicians!

    • Anthony Williams permalink
      January 21, 2012 11:18 am

      I know many smokers who subscribe to YouGov polls but I have never come across one who has been invited to a poll on smoking, they cherry pick pollsters to come up with the desired results.

  188. January 21, 2012 6:37 am

    Mike Daube (wonder if that’s Mike D), a rabid Australian antismoking fanatic – a careerist like Crapman, has appeared on Australian TV indicating that the idea of “smoker licenses” will be put to the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health to be held in Singapore later this year.

    World Conference Programme
    Notice a few sessions on the “endgame” (prohibition)
    DO NOT add www. to. wctoh2012.org/nav-confprogramme.html

    Crapman has also advanced the “licensing” idea in Australia:
    Add www. to. theage.com.au/victoria/now-butt-out-new-push-seeks-to-outlaw-cigarettes-20110521-1ey2s.html

    • Mike Daube permalink
      January 21, 2012 8:05 am

      Thanks magnetico1. I’m not “Mike D” as you suggest. If I want to comment I do so under my own name – which you don’t seem to have the courage to do.

      But I do agree with the comments made by Simon Chapman, which no doubt won’t stop you from abusing us with the kind of cheap nastiness that is easy from behind a pseudonym.

    • Jay permalink
      January 21, 2012 8:47 am

      Hope he’s not trying to pass it off as his own idea – it was mooted in the UK a few years ago by Julian Le Grand.

      During their discussions of the idea, one thing’s for sure: not one moment’s thought will be given to the effects on the lives of those whom they wish to license. They care not one jot about the misery they already have or will inflict. Uppermost will be whether they can sell the idea to governments bearing in mind that consideration must be given to the considerable revenue generated by smokers which would diminish since there can be no point in a license which doesn’t control consumption.

      And all this based on zealotry, vested interests, lies and the astonishing arrogance that they are entitled to demand that other people forfeit their right to make their own decisions.

  189. January 21, 2012 10:07 am

    1.
    Ah. The Daubster, enjoyer of the media spotlight and mover and shaker amongst the Public Health social-set, makes an appearance. It’s good to see that the extreme-of-the-extreme fanatics, the “rabid ones”, are keeping an eye on this blog.

    Well, Mikey, if I may call you that (the other options may not be quite as flattering), I didn’t questionably install myself into a “world-fixing elite” making decisions for all. I didn’t set about denormalizing/stigmatizing/leperizing a significant portion of the adult population. I didn’t make a career out of it that I would have to put my name to in order to attract a paycheck. YOU DID. It is you and your elitist, deranged buddies that promote mental dysfunction and bigotry with reckless abandon, and even with glee it would seem. All seems to be acceptable “collateral damage” in the fanatics’ quest for the tobacco-free “utopia”. [I notice that you’re now also in charge of the assault on alcohol – another eugenics favorite]

    Mikey, you’re very much like your fanatical predecessors. Fanatics are so rigidly fixated on their questionable goal that they are unable to comprehend much else. Utterly obsessed with their “world fixing”, anything is deemed legitimate for its accomplishment – the end justifies the means; the inflammatory lies come thick and fast in the manipulation of the public, the media, and politicians. And when politicians succumb to the fanatics’ seductive promises then there is much damage to come.

    There is more than ample evidence from the current “crusade” and the history of antismoking that antismoking fanaticism is a mental disorder with at least this cluster of dysfunctions: acute fixation (monomania), obsession with control (megalomania), self-absorbed (Narcissism), and a “god complex” – delusion of grandeur, delusion of benevolence, delusion of omniscience. This cluster of dysfunctions is held together by pathological lying.

    So, Mikey, concerning cowardice, I would venture that you are the coward. You are the [paid] fear and hate-monger. It is you who are unfamiliar with the history of fanaticism and its methodology, and therefore unable to discern when enough is enough; fanatics don’t know when to stop – that’s another part of the mental disorder. It is you who was unable to get your erratic thinking in check, opting for the easy [paid] path of unbridled enactment; you are the cheap, sanctimonious, anti-smoking/tobacco supremacist. And there are quite a few others like you.

    • January 21, 2012 2:47 pm

      Isn’t it amazing that the zealots want to put a face and a name to a smoker (are you even a smoker?) when it is only convenient to them. The rest of the time we are nothing but faceless statistics, cash cows, addicts with no right to thought or speech and prohibited from every official discussion!

      • January 21, 2012 4:20 pm

        Very well put.

      • January 21, 2012 6:18 pm

        And targets for Govt funded abuse due to hate campaigning by the likes of Simon Chapman. Pot/kettle/Black Mike Daube.

  190. January 21, 2012 10:09 am

    2.
    Mikey, your fanatical predecessors did much damage earlier last century in America and Nazi Germany. Ken Burns’ documentary “Prohibition” documents some of the damage done in America from the “noble experiment”. At the end of Prohibition, the sanctimonious fanatics that still pushed social engineering were met with a question that can well be asked of you, Mikey, and your fanatical buddies – “Who do you think you are?” So, Mikey, who do you think you are that you can use society for your social-engineering experiments, however “noble” you have concocted them to be? Who do you think you are that you gather with your buddies, pontificating about those who smoke in the third person – a dehumanized object in the distance – as a “problem” that must be “solved”? Who do you think you are that, through fear and hate-mongering, you should turn ordinary people into a reviled third-class citizenry, if not even criminals? Who do you think you are that the objects of your “benevolence” must sit there in silence, accepting all the bigotry, control, and extortion that are tossed at them? Who do you think you are that you deem it perfectly acceptable to sow the seeds of discord, social division, and economic hardship through your baseless, poisonous slogans? Who do you think you are that all must be made to conform to your [medicalized] world view?

    Mikey, who do you think you are? Really, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? God? Mikey, it may come as a shock to such a massive ego but you ain’t God, not even a god – not even remotely close. It is you who should be apologizing – profusely – to many that your vanity and stupidity got the better of you, even believing yourself to be a god.

    Mikey, you are the promoter of multi-dimensional damage. Yet, you, the demonstrable supremacist, have the gall to claim that I – me – am abusing you with a cheap nastiness. For heaven’s sake, man, have you no scruples or sensibility whatsoever. I’m making some considered comments on a blog. You and your buddies have been wreaking global havoc for decades.

    Over the past 40 years, Tobacco Control, if it existed at all, could have searched for better medical treatments and overseen the tobacco industry in searching for lower-risk cigarettes. Instead, TC was hijacked by the extremists, the world-fixer-uppers, e.g., the Daubster, Crapman. With their derangement at the helm, we have stalled treatment, more hazardous cigarettes (FSC), an assault on scientific integrity, and mental, social, moral, and ideo-political dysfunction galore. It’s beyond tragic. Daubster, take a bow for your “great” work.

    Mikey, you and your buddies should be concerned that more and more, smokers and nonsmokers alike, are becoming familiar with the shenanigans of antismoking fanaticism. And they’re obviously angry at the [paid] bigoted manipulation.

  191. January 21, 2012 11:29 am

    The local Bristol newspaper This is Bristol does not seem too impressed either.

    “As much as I applaud any attempt to stop kids taking up smoking, sadly I think they’re barking up the wrong tree here.

    I honestly don’t think cigarette packaging is as glamorous in the eyes of these kids as it’s being made out to be. I think that’s a red (smoked) herring. A straw poll of my smoker friends revealed that when they started smoking secretly as teenagers, attractive packaging had nothing to do with it. Rather, they saw older, cooler kids, rock stars and actors smoking and thought if they smoked, they’d be cool, too.”

    “Even if they are, if printing ‘SMOKING CAUSES DEATH’ on the packet doesn’t put them off, is plain packaging really going to?”

    “But not only do I think the plain-packaging brigade are just playing into the nicotine-stained hands of smugglers flogging putrid foreign fags, even if the Government goes for plain packaging for PR points alone, while it continues to make many hundreds of millions of pounds every year from cigarette duty, it has no real incentive to stop young people starting smoking. So the Government backing this initiative would be nothing but a smokescreen.”

    http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Plain-packet-crusade-s-red-smoked-herring/story-14984244-detail/story.html

    • January 21, 2012 6:23 pm

      For what it’s worth, and I am sure that truth doesn’t matter to these people, I never started smoking to be “cool”. I started because as the youngest of five kids in a single parent, and very poor, family I wanted to grow up sooner than I should have done and smoking as an adult pursuit was one way of trying to achieve that.

    • January 21, 2012 9:45 pm

      sorry to disappoint you Dave but that’s not a piece of journalism. It’s a comment on the letters page by “Girl Friday”…. who doesn’t seem to rely on evidence for her opinions. The Evening Post actually ran two positive stories about the launch on Monday. They’re also running stories about people trying to quit smoking throughout January.

      • RTS permalink
        January 22, 2012 12:11 pm

        “…who doesn’t seem to rely on evidence for her opinions.”

        Hello Kettle, this is Pot. You’re black.

        There’s no evidence worth commenting on to suggest plain packaging will have any meaningful impact on youth smoking rates. Given that plain packaging requires legislation that will erode the rights of all companies (not just tobacco companies – if the gov claims to right to dictate branding of one company it claims to right to do it any company) you’d think you would have good, solid evidence… which you don’t.

  192. January 21, 2012 12:23 pm

    Stephen, if you’ve read the Godber Blueprint ( rampant-antismoking.com ), you should be up to speed with the World [Eugenics] Conferences on Tobacco or Health. This is where the “world fixer” fanatics have gathered for more than four decades to reinforce each others considerable mental dysfunction, massage each others massive egos, and “strategize” the themes to be pursued in the 3-4 years to the next Conference.

    Well, it’s that time again. Time for another Conference. Time for the neurotic bigots to congregate into a hotspot of derangement. Let’s look at the fun times ahead.

    “We have planned a conference programme that sets the agenda for advancing the global tobacco control efforts. Throughout the Pre-conference (19 – 20 March 2012) and the Main Conference (20 – 24 March 2012) programmes, there will be exciting and interesting opportunities to:
    Build up our capacity through the sharing of best practices, experiences, knowledge, research and latest trends;
    Celebrate our successes;
    Renew our commitment to fight the global tobacco epidemic; and
    Connect with each other for future collaborations.”
    DO NOT add www. to. wctoh2012.org/nav-programme.html

    And there’s a wonderful “social programme” too:
    “All delegates are invited to relax and dine at the welcome reception. From catching up with old friends, to savouring of Singapore’s local fare, this is a night not to be missed for all!”
    DO NOT add www. to. wctoh2012.org/nav-social-programme.html

    The delegates have wonderful opportunities for social activities:
    Universal Studios Singapore®
    City Tour
    Full Day Sentosa Tour
    Night City Tour
    Night Safari Tour
    Tyrants of History Tour

    Now, Stephen, I’ve got to tell you that it is repugnant – obscene – that this collection of misfits, a self-installed “elite”, most funded by Big Pharma or taxpayers (mostly extorted from smokers), gather to renew old “friendships”, sip on cocktails, have a good ol’ bit of backslapping and award-giving, and take in some of the city sights as they conspire to further “leperize” a significant portion of the adult population. These “world-saving” buffoons have no clue – and that’s if they gave a hoot, about the multi-dimensional damage they are creating worldwide. It’s about time some placard-wavers made an appearance at these conferences – something like “EUGENICS BIGOTS NOT WELCOME”.

  193. January 21, 2012 12:51 pm

    Freedom2Choose as I have mentioned were constitutionally approved on the 31st October, here is a copy of it. If you go to page 5, third paragraph down it says:

    “The constitution was approved by the Association on the 31st day of October 2007, and amended at the Annual General Meeting held on 15th October 2011.”

    I hope we can now move on.

    Dave Atherton
    Chairman
    Freedom2Choose

    freedom2choose.info/docs/F2C_Constitution.pdf

    • Mike D permalink
      January 21, 2012 1:24 pm

      Yes, you approved a constitution for one iteration of freedom2choose on 31st October 2007, but the group (in some form) clearly existed before that.

      Look at your own website, which carries articles from almost a year earlier – eg
      “A Little Bit Of Anything Does You Good
      Steve Cross
      November 20th 2006”

      “Memetic Aphorism
      Colin Grainger
      November 18th 2006”

      “James Repace Shows his True Colours
      Loraine McGregor
      2nd December 2006”

      “Myth 2
      Colin Grainger
      3 December 2006”

      “Numbers, numbers, numbers….
      Colin Grainger
      3 December 2006”

      You haven’t said why you chose to keep the name of an organisation started in 2004 by a tobacco supplier. I’m not implying anything, I’m just curious why, out of all the names available, you were so keen to use one that had been used for the same type of campaign only a few years earlier.

  194. January 21, 2012 12:52 pm

    My, it’s become a cosy comments board. We’ve had Crapman and the Daubster make an appearance. The only one missing is, say, rabid-antismoking “royalty” himself – Stan “The Mechanic” Glantz. Stan, of course, is the “go to” man to produce the junk studies that advance the agenda. He was responsible for the original economic study, although he’s not an economist, that concluded that smoking bans don’t hurt [any] hospitality businesses. And who could forget his [cherry-picked] Helena “heart-attack miracle” study that concluded that the rate of heart-attacks drops following, and due to, the implementation of smoking bans. Beautiful!! And, exploring the heights of scholarship [giggle], Stan is currently working on a WHO-inspired film-censorship venture – and who better-qualified than an antismoking mechanic – where he wants all films depicting smoking to attract an “R”-rating.

    And Stan even made an appearance in London in 2001 to lobby the UK government for smoking bans, claiming, of course, that they were wonderful for business.
    DO NOT add www. to. 85.18.251.150/10e/roadshow.htm
    Add www. to. ash.org.uk/ash_9ps8vjxq.htm

    I’m sure that there are many in the UK that would have to be physically restrained from expressing their gratitude to Stan for the effect the bans have had on their business.

    So if you’re out there, Stan, your “supremacist highness”, feel free to drop in and say hello to the “lepers”.

  195. nisakiman permalink
    January 21, 2012 1:14 pm

    <i?"…Stan is currently working on a WHO-inspired film-censorship venture…"

    I’d love to see his face if he goes to see “Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy”. In deference to the realities of the era, just about everyone in every scene is smoking.

    • January 21, 2012 6:30 pm

      sadly if these people get their way then like the Nazis burned books they didn’t like, peolle like bigoted smokerphobic Stanton Glanz would consign such great films to the dustbin never to be seen by another single living person just because they personally object to smoking scenes. Philistines come to mind.

      It doesn’t matter if “research” shows that smoking in films has no effect on people choosing to take up smoking, they will just pervert it to suit their own aims and they can because they get paid handsomely to mislead and distort.

  196. January 21, 2012 1:25 pm

    To all you anti smokers largely paid from the taxpayer, you just don’t get it, do you? It maybe galling that there are millions of smokers who know full well the risks of smoking who like me altruistically give up their spare time and wages to fight for our cause.

    I thought the best way of fighting anti smokers was to learn as much as possible, knowledge is power. If you want a frank comment from me about tobacco companies, post 1954 when the Hill/Doll later Peto paper on UK GPs and smoking first came out, the way tobacco companies tried to rebut for over 3 decades quite obvious link between lung cancer and smoking to my mind is quite wrong.

    While two wrongs do not make a right, but pharmaceutical companies who fund directly and indirectly anti smoker campaigns and organisations have been equally poor. Pfizer’s varenicline marketed as Champix and Chantix is associated with depression and 200 suicides. Pfizer knew of these side affects in 2006 but suppressed the results. I particularly object to my taxpayer’s money spent on nicotine replacement from Big Pharma (BP) when it is so ineffective. E cigs, Allen Carr’s Easyway and Swedish snus are scientifically proved to be more effect. In Sweden snus is so successful that Sweden has half the smoking rates and half the lung cancer rates, yet remains via the EU illegal elsewhere in the EU. This is the result of BP lobbying.

    Tobacco control is not about saving lives.

    You have no idea how I resent the smoking ban. You have no idea how I dislike being told by the state how to live my life on private property using a legal substance.

    You bigots and authoritarians are like heroin junkies, addicted to bans and restrictions with no end to your big stick.

    As a student of history when ever you get a rise it is followed by a fall. Sooner or later you will decline. I hope I have done my bit.

    • January 21, 2012 6:40 pm

      well said David Atherton. Whatever the tobacco companies did, and I am no friend of theirs, I always knew there were risks in smoking. The bullies in the playground in the late 1960s told me so in cat calls of “cancer stick”.

      It’s why I truly despair as a very well informed adult that govt ploughs billions into anti-smokerism to come up with slogans such as this when it has been the bullies’ call for decades.

      I resent the smoking ban because it’s not about health but further denigration of a social group to force the end result of a smoke free world and the exclusion of people they despise because they won’t buy into this ideology.

      I am saddened that such bigotry is encouraged in what is supposed to be an enlightened age. We are going socially backwards.

      Smoking doesn’t have to affect anyone else if we had choice and that is the bottom line but this isn’t about choice. It is about enforced ideology and a very unlevel playing field to achieve that aim at any cost.

      Take away their funding and the whole thing would fall apart because most people don’t support it. If they did, Govt funding would be unnecessary because the public would donate willingly to their cause. Before Labour came to power in 1997, smoke free groups in England were dying on their feet.

  197. Jay permalink
    January 21, 2012 2:13 pm

    “15th World Conference On Tobacco Or Health”

    An insight into the mind of the zealot. Tobacco OR health – can’t have both, despite the fact that non-smokers suffer ill-health and smokers do not all suffer from smoking-related conditions.

    The strap-line is “Towards a Tobacco-free World” which conveniently glosses over the fact that tobacco doesn’t smoke itself and which should really read “Towards a Smoker-free World”. To what lengths is the zealot prepared to go to eradicate smokers?

  198. January 21, 2012 2:17 pm

    Inquirind mind wants to know why all the fuss and waste of time from MikeD re Freedom2Choose origins? Even if (and I am not saying I know) the present F2C took over where a vending machine operator left off, what does this have to do with the tobacco industry? Is MikeD telling us that even tobacco retailers should be muzzled in this issue since they are making a living distributing tobacco? What about those who make lighters and matches? What about the cleaning personnel at BAT’s? What about the delivery trucks that distribute tobacco? Back in the 70’s I was working for a transportation company to which the tobacco industry was giving their business to arrange deliveries from their warehouses to distribution centers. Oh please, please, please, don’t take my freedom of thought and speech away from me. I promise it will never happen again!

  199. January 21, 2012 3:59 pm

    Let’s try the good old logical sequence ‘if A equals B, and B equals C, the A equals C’

    Where to start?

    Smoking causes bad health.
    One puff on a cigarette is ‘smoking’.
    Therefore one puff on a cigarette causes bad health. QED.

    Lots of teenagers have an occasional puff on a cigarette.
    One puff on a cigarette causes bad health.
    Therefore lots of teenagers suffer bad health. QED

    Cigarettes come in glitzy packets.
    Glitzy things are attractive to teenagers.
    Therefore teenagers are attracted to cigarettes. QED

    Glitzy packets contain cigarettes.
    Lots of teenagers suffer bad health form one puff on a cigarette.
    Therefore glitzy packets cause bad health in lots of teenagers. QED

    It is a bad thing that lots of teenagers suffer from bad health.
    Glitzy packets cause bad health in lots of teenagers.
    Therefore glitzy packets are a bad thing. QED

    The Government is obliged to stop bad things.
    Glitzy packets are a bad thing.
    Therefore the Government must stop glitzy packets. QED

    Can anyone see any faults in that logic?

  200. January 21, 2012 6:57 pm

    Hmmm – I see you don’t have my related blog post on your “trackback” list so I post a link here for anyone who wants to read it.

    http://patnurseblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/reality-fantasy-and-downright.html

  201. January 21, 2012 8:19 pm

    Mr Williams will not stop. You see, Tobacco Control have targets to meet. They need to reduce smoking prevalence by 2% plus a bit annually. How much it costs is irrelevant since they do not pay. That is why they are content to spend £84,000,000 (on big pharm products alone – not counting all the salaries of participants) on products with a 95% failure rate. All that matters is the 2% plus a bit.

    People reading this ought to take a look at Freedom 2 Choose blog. There is a report there about statistics compiled by Primary Care Trusts (aka Tobacco Control) about people who ‘set a quit date’ and succeeded in quiting. But success in quiting is assumed (on the basis of self-reporting) after only four weeks! But they go further in their quest to ‘prove’ success:

    “A client is counted as having successfully quit smoking at the four week follow-up if he/she has not smoked at all since two weeks after the quit date.”

    So a person can carry on smoking for two weeks after the quit date before the quit date kicks in! And, if the person does not smoke at all for the two weeks after the new quit date, he/she is counted as having quit permanently! Talk about crazy statistics!

    • david permalink
      January 21, 2012 8:52 pm

      Not to mention newspaper and TV advertising costs.

      I did a back of a fag packet calculation re Scottish stats. I estimate that a successful quit at 12 months costs the taxpayer around £8000 per person. This would be up to £2000 more if loss of tobacco duty is factored in. Add advertising costs and this figure would be well into five figures.

      What an utter waste of public funds.

    • January 21, 2012 9:34 pm

      people who quit smoking live longer. They have more productive and fulfilling lives. And yes that means they pay more taxes – on their earnings, vastly outstripping the lost duty and VAT on cigarette sales.

      • John S permalink
        January 21, 2012 9:45 pm

        For just four weeks?

      • John S permalink
        January 21, 2012 10:29 pm

        “People who quit smoking live longer. They have more productive and fulfilling lives. And yes that means they pay more taxes – on their earnings, vastly outstripping the lost duty and VAT on cigarette sales.” – For the “average” smoker, those extra years will be post-retirement (based even on the “facts” fabricated by the likes of ASH). I thought the LibDems were in favour of raising the income tax threshold, not reducing it to below the level of the state pension!

      • January 21, 2012 10:30 pm

        “(P)eople who quit smoking live longer”

        True

        Tractor stats. Those who quit before the age of 30 return to normal mortality.

        Those who quit before 40 regain 9 out of their 10 years lost mortality, 50, 6 years and 60 I think is 2. Check out Hill/Doll and Peto paper

        Quitting means you are a net gain to the treasury.

        Utter rubbish.

        The Dutch Health Ministry published a paper in 2008 where they looked at the lifetime costs from age 20 of to death of healthy, obese and smoking people, and I quote:

        “Dutch researchers have confirmed what fat smokers have waited years to hear – that healthy people are actually a greater burden on the state, because they live longer and oblige the taxpayer to deal with the cost of “lingering diseases of old age like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s”.

        “That’s according to the Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and Environment, which found that while “a person of normal weight costs on average £210,000 over their lifetime”, a smoker clocks up just £165,000 and the obese run up an average £187,000 bill.

        The team’s findings, published in the Public Library of Science (PLoS), are based on modelling “three hypothetical populations from the age of 20, to see how much they would cost in medical bills throughout the different stages of their lives”

        This Czech Ministry of Health last year conducted an academic review of costs versus taxes from smokers and I quote.

        “ČTK |
        15 AUGUST 2011

        Prague, Aug 14 (CTK) – An analysis the Czech Health Ministry has made shows that Czech smokers pay in consumer taxes and VAT dozens of billions of crowns more than what their treatment costs, the Czech Television (CT) public broadcaster Sunday quoted Health Minister Leos Heger (TOP 09) as saying.

        “About six billion crowns is spent on the treatment of smokers’ diseases in the system of public health insurance annually while the tax on tobacco products brings in the state budget about 60 billion,” Heger said.”

        .theregister.co.uk/2008/02/05/healthy_tax_burden/

        praguemonitor.com/2011/08/15/minister-smokers-treatment-costs-one-tenth-taxes

      • January 21, 2012 10:31 pm

        they would have to lead _vastly_ better and more profitable lives to make up any deficit in tobacco revenue considering how few succeed in quitting using NHS help (8 per cent at 12 months according to NHS Scotland).

      • January 22, 2012 1:01 am

        If those who chose to continue to smoke are living unfulfilled lives it is because the vile propaganda targeted against them is aimed at making their lives miserable through public humiliation and exclusion. I still don’t understand why you can’t live with smokers who really don’t want to bother you or anyone else but do what to be treated equally and fairly. Why is that so wrong in a modern, fair and equitable society?

        If people wish to quit smoking that is their choice and I wish them good luck. All I ask is that I’m left alone in peace to socialise with my own kind and I completely resent being treated as Public Enemy No 1 because I choose not to quit.

        For lifelong smokers like myself the health issue is not as back and white as you would believe. And when it comes to the choice to quit that is down to me, and my family, and it has nothing to do with the state or publically funded hate campaigns designed to force me to take on board the views of those I have never met nor will ever meet.

      • John S permalink
        January 22, 2012 1:35 am

        Anti-Tobacco – the modern KKK. “They” stink. “They” are an inferior sub-class. We will suffer “them” and allow “them” into our establishments but only if “they” conform to our superior standards. (Same again, darling. Lovely t*ts! Not many of them to the pound! And one for the smoker in the leper pit. Thank God they don’t allow smokers – and gays – in this pub.)

      • January 22, 2012 1:18 am

        “And let’s not blame those of us who care about public health outcomes for the jobs lost in the cigarette industry.”

        Not much comfort to those banned from applying for jobs advertised to “non-smokers only” and not much comfort to those not able to afford all the things their children need – even food – because they’ve been forced out of work thanks to political ideology. .

        Dunno if you’ve ever tried to live on the dole. it is a miserable hand-to-mouth existence and it is unfair to hound people out of work because “those who care about health outcomes” believe they can push, bully and force people out of earning their own living.

        Social engineering is what is going on here and why all of the people opposed to it have commented. What next when they have been forced to become unemployable – banning them from even claiming the dole you’ve forced them to claim? I really wouldn’t be surprised.

      • RTS permalink
        January 22, 2012 4:37 pm

        Stephen Williams MP Wrote “And yes that means they pay more taxes – on their earnings, vastly outstripping the lost duty and VAT on cigarette sales.”

        False in fact.
        You are referring to smokers who can tick the follwing boxes;
        1. They die of a smoking related illness
        2. They die before retiring.
        3. They were a tax contributer rather than a tax consumer – those on benefits and public sector workers can all be exluded from the calculation.

        If they cannot tick ALL of these boxes then their death COSTS the state money and in reality the overwhelming majority cannot tick all the boxes.

        Whilst eliminating smoking is a laudable goal it does not excuse pretending there’s an economic incentive. There isn’t, point blank. If every smoker in the country quit tomorrow the state purse would take a fairly hefty hit, immediately in the form of lost tax reciepts and long term in the form of increased pension payouts and medical costs.

      • Jon Campbell permalink
        January 30, 2012 8:38 pm

        ” They have more productive and fulfilling lives.” i was very happy and fulfilled untill tobacco control decided to go ball out to make me miserable.

        “And yes that means they pay more taxes – on their earnings, vastly outstripping the lost duty and VAT on cigarette sales.”.. WOW, we really are income streams or cannon fodder for people like you arn’t we.

  202. January 21, 2012 8:48 pm

    Mr Williams, when vending machines were banned over 500 people lost their jobs. That’s 500 families, hundreds of children deprived of a living as a result of the obsession that you and others have with smoking.

    And although the courts upheld the decision they had this to say about the evidence:

    “…statistics used by the DoH to justify the ban were ‘little more than guesses’, the judge said”

    Perhaps you’d like to frame a few words for these people, to explain to their children how their mum or dad lost their job because you don’t like smoking?

    • January 21, 2012 9:32 pm

      Simon, it’s not a question of whether I personally like smoking. The evidence is that smoking hugely increases your chance (and those around you) of dying prematurely. That’s the real family tragedy. I think children would prefer to have a live and healthy parent than one who happens to work in the cigarette industry.

      And let’s not blame those of us who care about public health outcomes for the jobs lost in the cigarette industry. I am a Bristol MP. Imperial used to employ thousands of people in the city making cigarettes. They still make billions of cigarettes – but in countries with cheap labour costs.

      • January 21, 2012 10:07 pm

        Let me dissect what you have said.

        The evidence is that smoking hugely increases your chance…. of dying prematurely.

        True

        (….and those around you)

        Utter rubbish.

        This is one of the biggest scientific and medical frauds I have researched. The two nearest examples are Galileo being sent by the Catholic Church in 1633 to permanent house arrest for suggesting that the earth went round the sun, rather than vice versa. Or Florence Nightingale being publically being berated in the Lancet for wanting clean wards in the Crimea.

        I won’t mention Dr Josef Mengele but I will Dr. Trofin Lysenko who is the byword on scientific fraud.

        “Melvyn Bragg and guests delve into the dark world of genetics under Joseph Stalin in discussing the career of Trofim Lysenko. In 1928, as America lurched towards the Wall Street Crash, Joseph Stalin revealed his master plan – nature was to be conquered by science, Russia to be made brutally, glitteringly modern and the world transformed by communist endeavour”

        Screen shot time on your post Simon, jobs in Bristol are not important then?

        Malawi has come into the spotlight as 70% of its foreign earnings come from tobacco exports, let the the UNICEF tractor stats.

        “Primary school net enrolment/attendance (%), 2005-2009* 91%”

        % of routine EPI vaccines financed by government 2009, total 100%

        Immunization 2009, 1-year-old children immunized against: TB, corresponding vaccines: BCG 95%”

        “Immunization 2009, 1-year-old children immunized against: DPT, corresponding vaccines: DPT1ß 97%”

        In Malawi, tobacco saves lives. Also it seems free trade and the tobacco companies have greatly improved the lives of Malawians.

        unicef.org/infobycountry/mal … stics.html

      • Xopher permalink
        January 21, 2012 10:41 pm

        With an average life span of around 80 Years and the saving of a minimum £6,000 State pension + allowances these smokers are not ‘costing’ the Country but saving it money vastly outstripping any loss of duty and VAT from cigarette sales
        The many fewer deaths that may be genuinely attributed to smoking before retirement may reduce tax income from their earning but, as recent figures show, they would free an equivalent number from unemployment and state dependency and additionally provide tax from their new-found earnings.
        Scrutiny of these facts and figures our expensive Tobacco Control empire feed to their operatives and the public creating ‘Science by Press Release’ soon shows the that Scientific rigour takes a poor second place to epidemiological rigging.
        As for ‘fulfilling lives’ are concerned you might consider that ever increasing number of citizens living in poverty: 13.5 million people in 2008/9 an increase of 1.5 million on 4 years previously. They must feel really fulfilled.

      • January 21, 2012 10:46 pm

        I only have to be away for half the day and the junk science returns.

        “Junk science has replaced honest science and propaganda parades as fact. Our legislators and judges, in need of dispassionate analysis, are instead smothered by an avalanche of statistics—tendentious, inadequately documented, and unchecked by even rudimentary notions of objectivity.”

        – Robert A. Levy, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute; Adjunct Professor of Statistics for Law, Georgetown University Law Center and Rosalind B. Marimont, former mathematician and scientist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly the Bureau of Standards) and the National Institute of Health.
        From: Lies, Damned Lies and 40,000 Smoking-Related Deaths. Regulation 21 (4)

        .cato.org/pubs/regulationies.pdf

      • January 22, 2012 1:04 am

        The truth is that Smokerphobia is more harmful to those around you. I can guarantee that I have never hurt a single living soul in my lifetime – neither did my parents, my grandparents, or my great-grandparents.

      • DerekP permalink
        January 25, 2012 10:13 pm

        Sorry, but Dave Atherton’s link to Robert A. Levy’s quote no longer works.

        Currently the correct link is (needing 3Ws of course):
        .cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv21n4/lies.pdf

        A broader relevant quote from that same link which our political REPRESENTATIVES should bear in mind is:

        “The war on smoking started with a kernel of truth—that cigarettes
        are a high risk factor for lung cancer—but has grown
        into a monster of deceit and greed, eroding the credibility of
        government and subverting the rule of law. Junk science has
        replaced honest science and propaganda parades as fact. Our
        legislators and judges, in need of dispassionate analysis, are
        instead smothered by an avalanche of statistics—tendentious,
        inadequately documented, and unchecked by even rudimentary
        notions of objectivity.”

        I hadn’t read that before I made my comments regarding ‘junk science’ and propaganda, but then it has largely become self-evident and is a contributor to why our politicians are held in such low esteem.

  203. January 21, 2012 10:48 pm

    Please note that the late Alvan Feinstein was a sceptic on the harm of SHS and was quoting a colleague from the World Health Organization.

    On the 1993 EPA Report: “Yes, it’s rotten science, but it’s in a worthy cause. It will help us to get rid of cigarettes and become a smoke-free society”.

    – Alvan Feinstein, Yale University epidemiologist writing in Toxological Pathology.
    – Cited in Colby (1999)

    .lcolby.com/colby.htm

  204. January 21, 2012 10:49 pm

    “The world must protest the ongoing deceit and the squandering of public monies for rigged and incompetent ETS studies. And people should feel offended by the complicity and sham paternalism of health authorities and of profitable tax exempt charities. Such an officially imposed tyranny has no place in countries that claim and presume to be free, enlightened, and just. We are not children, nor bumbling simpletons who need to be deceived for our own good — a deceit that is doubly grating when the wilfully flawed surgeon general’s report on ETS runs against statutory requirements of “ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by a government agency.”

    – Dr Gio Batta Gori, Former Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Causes and Prevention, Acting Associate Director, Carcinogenesis Program, Director of the Diet, Nutrition and Cancer Program, and Director of the Smoking and Health Program
    From: Stoking the Rigged Terror of Second Hand Smoke, Regulation, Spring 2007.

    .cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv30n1/v30n1-5.pdf

  205. January 21, 2012 10:54 pm

    “Of those chemicals present in ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) only a very few can be classified as toxons or carcinogens. Some basic physics, a bit of chemistry and a series of rather simple mathematical calculations reveal that exposure to ETS is hardly a dangerous event. Indeed, the cancer risk of ETS to a non-smoker appears to be roughly equal to the risk of becoming addicted to heroin from eating poppy seed bagels.”

    – Michael.R. Fox, Phd. Chemist, Richland W.A (1999) Toxic Toxicology: Putting Scientific Credibility at Risk. Littlewood & Fennell: Independent Public and Health Policy Research.

  206. John Watson permalink
    January 22, 2012 12:07 am

    Could I ask you Mr Williams when you last left your office and asked your smoking constituents why they smoke the brands they smoke?

    They will tell you that they like the taste, they will tell you that the brand is economically viable for them, they will not tell you that they like the pretty coloured boxes!

    If asked why they started they will tell you ; that their friends smoked, that they were curious, that they were underage and all the adults were doing so. They will not say they started because they liked pretty coloured boxes.

    If asked why they continue to smoke most smokers will say it relieves stress, that they can think more clearly, that they actually enjoy it! Some will say that they want to give up, that is fair enough if that is their choice I certainly will not condemn them for that unlike the anti-smoking lobby who revel in such condemnation. Again they will not tell you that it is because they like pretty coloured boxes.

    How do I know all this Mr Williams? Well sir I am an authority on smokers and smoking, I know how they think, I know how they resent the tax which pays for the treatment of 3 non smokers for every smoker on the NHS. I understand why they chose to abandon pubs, who wants to drink in an establishment where they are treated like lepers? Forced by law into shelters that are not legally fit for pigs! Especially when they can buy cheap beer, visit friends to watch the big match and smoke in comfort like the civilised human beings they are. Why they go to Europe and give Belgium and Holland tax revenue for cheaper tobacco. Why many would now rather avoid duty altogether by buying from the black market than pay the anti-smoking lobby to bully them.

    All I ask is to be treated just like every other citizen in Great Britain, that I may socialise with my peers in smoking venues where non smokers have the choice as to whether they want to enter or go to a non smoking venue, I am sir a human being, not something to be despised by the misinformed, or by bigots and as a citizen of Great Britain I demand the equality that is my birthright, Neither ASH nor any politician has the right to deny me that, yet you and some of your colleagues seek to do so, it is sir, neither right nor honourable, it does not befit a Right Honourable Member of Parliament to treat the citizens whom he or she represents and works for in such a manner.

    As I said, I am an authority on smoking because I smoke, I know that many smokers and in fact, many tolerant non-smokers will agree with what I have told you, a few may not but most will and some of those are your constituents.

    • January 22, 2012 1:20 am

      I think it’s obvious they don’t give a damn what smokers who chose to continue to smoke think or feel. They care only about those who chose to quit.

      • January 22, 2012 5:14 pm

        Pat.

        They don’t even care about them. They care about nobody at all.

  207. January 22, 2012 12:14 am

    I’m afraid Dave, Simon, Junican, xopher, et al. Stephen has found himself as a politician, in a position of, in his own mind, importance. These people will never relinquish that power whatever you say. All they seek is influence whether it be antismoking, antidrinking or whatever is the soundbite at the time. They have convinced themselves that they have to climb the greasy pole of politics by whatever means. They’ll use any means possible. After all it’s not as if like the rest of us, he’s worked in the real world that we live in.

    Resume:

    “Stephen was interested in politics from a young age. While studying at the University of Bristol he was President of the SDP/Liberal society, and an active member of the local party. He has also served on Avon County and Bristol City Councils, elected as Councillor for Cabot ward in 1993 aged 26. He was leader of the Bristol Liberal Democrat group from 1995 to 1997. He was the Liberal Democrat candidate for Bristol South in the 1997 General Election, coming third with 13.4% of the vote, before being selected to stand for Bristol West in 2001, where he achieved second with 28.89% of the vote. He then won Bristol West in 2005, taking the seat from Labour with 38.3% of the vote, in what was described as one of the biggest swings to the Liberal Democrats of the 2005 General Election. This made him the first Liberal MP ever for that constituency and the first to be elected in the city of Bristol since 1935.”

    That says it all. I would suggest that he stands down as politician at the next election, attempts to get a real job, and then re-enters politics with an understanding of the real world that the rest of us have to live in.

    I can assure him then in my own experience as an ex servicemen, when the bombs are dropping around you, death from SHS is the least of your worries. What pissed me off most of all was the nonsmokers were smoking my cigarettes to calm their nerves. (Bye the way. As far as I know, they’re still alive.)

    My wars can be supplied on request.

    As Leg-iron would designate you. “One of the righteous”

    http://underdogsbiteupwards.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/1657/

    • January 22, 2012 10:48 am

      That’s an extract from the political section of one of the numerous profiles of me. It summarises what I have done in politics. You’ve left out the 17 year career in tax and business consultancy from 1988 to 2005. Unlike many MPs, I did work in a succession of “proper jobs” before becoming an MP and all of them were in the private sector. You’ve also left out all the personal information and background.

      • January 22, 2012 10:53 am

        Stephen, you are quite right I think you worked for PWC and Grant Thornton. As someone who works in recruitment, kudos for you as I know how difficult it is to get a job there.

  208. John S permalink
    January 22, 2012 1:06 am

    Narurally, Anti-Tobacco are deniers of the “fobidden fruit effect” – until they can exploit it to provide “evidence” for whatever they are trying to ban in the future!

  209. January 22, 2012 1:34 am

    1.
    Stephen, I would like to thank you for keeping this comment board open and allowing people to express their thoughts, however at variance they may be with yours; it is a very rare opportunity indeed. And I would like to thank you for at least responding – at times.

    “people who quit smoking live longer. They have more productive and fulfilling lives. And yes that means they pay more taxes – on their earnings, vastly outstripping the lost duty and VAT on cigarette sales.”

    Stephen, just that one statement is loaded. Firstly, “people who quit smoking live longer” is a statistical statement of probability; it is an average. There are no guarantees. There are many that have no interest in leading “statistical” lives. Longevity is also a very grey area. Once a person gets into their 50s, the creaks, pangs and pokes come with greater frequency. As people go through their 60s, 70s, and 80s+ impairment becomes more pronounced. There are some good days and some bad days. As the physical system further deteriorates, there is compounded disability. Certain debility doesn’t heal, e.g., arthritis, it can only be attempted to be managed. People find themselves visiting the doctor with greater frequency and on a multiplicity of medication (which poses its own risks). The bad days become more frequent. For many, memory begins to fail. Perception of time is very different. As a nonsmoker dying at whatever age, they won’t be thinking about X extra years they had as a nonsmoker, and the antismoking fanatics won’t be at their bedsides telling them that they are now experiencing the “benefits” of not smoking.

    This is the deterioration of the physical state. It’s been occurring since time immemorial. The demise of the physical system can be protracted; exiting this world can get very ugly. There would be few that have “happy” encounters with someone else’s mortality or the idea of death generally. Until the physicalists took over, people didn’t see the meaning of life as trying to live as long as possible. They lived their lives according to a variety of multi-dimensional principles, and whatever came, came.

    I asked in an earlier question if someone living to 75 has lived a “better” life than someone living to 68, solely on the basis of longevity. Stephen, you (and your physicalist buddies) are claiming “yes”. Physicalists are forced to. That’s the only dimension they have to work with. They have stripped away every other dimension of the human condition and stand in pitiful judgment of everyone solely on how many years they’ve lived – life reduced to arithmetic. There was a questionable adage that only the good die young. The physicalists are pushing the equally questionable adage that only the good die old or oldest.

  210. January 22, 2012 1:36 am

    2.
    And in the physicalist madness come the inflammatory slogans. The greatest discrepancy in longevity, smokers v nonsmokers, begins in the 60s and peaks through the 70s, 80s+. A smoker dying at age 70 is referred to as “premature”. They are referred to as dying “younger”. “Younger” refers to the other end of the longevity scale. Rather they have died not as old or as older. In other slogans they are even referred to as dying “young”. There are even antismoking adverts that portray, as typical, that very young children are “at risk” of being left motherless, fatherless, or orphaned due to their parents’ smoking. It’s not true; it’s inflammatory trash. The extremely-high likelihood is that “children” will be shipping their old parents off to a nursing home, whom they might visit once or twice a year.

    Remember, too, that smoking is but one risk factor amongst many. For example, for heart disease alone there were over 400 identified risk factors – all of poor predictive strength – at last count.

    So, Stephen, let’s get back to our 60, 70, or 80 year old smoker. A person who smokes may be content with their lives, happy in the thought that they have upheld particular principles with integrity, even through what may have been difficult circumstances. But to the simple-minded superficiality of physicalism, none of that matters, judging all only on “years lived”, declaring that smokers have somehow let someone down – fallen short, led an “unfulfilled life”.

    Well, Stephen, it’s those that have stripped away all but the physical dimension and longevity, those who have stripped away the multi-dimensional art and detail of living, stripped away what makes humans human, that are the deranged ones. Which brings us to “productive and fulfilling lives”.

    Productive and fulfilling according to whom and by what criteria. Again, we can see that the physicalists have only their contrived “numbers” game. And even using the sickly superficiality of physicalism, the proclamations are fraudulent. For example, in simply economic terms, those who smoke are not “costly” to the health system, e.g.,
    DO NOT add www. to. velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2010/03/do-smokers-pay-their-way.html
    DO NOT add www. to. dengulenegl.dk/economic_studies_cost_of_smoking_2011.pdf

  211. January 22, 2012 1:38 am

    3.
    There was a presentation in the 1980s (see Godber Blueprint) at one of the World Conferences concerning the “cost of smoking” to the health system. There were no studies to that point. The presenter, who was partial to antismoking, concluded that smokers were not an additional cost. He also pointed out that these sorts of studies are highly arguable in that they rely on so many questionable assumptions. Obviously, the fanatics didn’t receive this presentation too well and simply disregarded it. For decades, they have been proclaiming that smoking/smokers are a burden to the health system, even though study after study over that time indicate that it is not true.

    Through this fraudulent claim, the fanatics convinced governments to hike tobacco taxes to “cover” the extra medical services. Governments are only too happy to oblige; it means more money in the coffers. And the fanatics always insist that they should be given a cut of the extra taxes to continue “educating” the public, keeping them in comfortable employment. In the last decade, tobacco taxes have been hiked many times into the realm of compounded extortion. So inflated are the taxes that it’s impossible to hide the charade any longer.

    Consider a recent “cost analysis” in Australia. Net health costs of tobacco-use was estimated at $318,400 (p.67). The net revenue from tobacco sales was $6,700,000 (p.38). The revenue from tobacco is 21 TIMES the extra cost of treating smokers. Even the extent of this “extra medical cost” is arguable, but we’ll leave that for another time. The difference is obscene.
    Add www. to. nationaldrugstrategy.gov….ile/mono64.pdf

    Governments and the fanatics that advised them aren’t going to come out and admit that they’ve severely overcharged smokers to the point of robbery. Given that the fantasy that smokers cost the health system can no longer be maintained, the fanatics do what they do regularly – they change the “argument” (storyline), i.e., shift the goalposts. NOW they argue, smokers [way] more than cover their additional health costs, but there are “other costs”. And the above report concocts around $32,000,000 of “other costs”. There isn’t time to consider how all these “other costs” are entirely arguable. However, the absurdity of the claims attracted some rare criticism.
    Add www. to. theage.com.au/national/economists-challenge-healthist-view-of-smoking-alcohol-risks-20111221-1p5nl.html

    Shifting the “storyline” or goalposts keeps the ideological fanatics happy (and they usually call for additional funding to help “educate” the public), Gigantic Pharma is happy because it can keep peddling and profiting from its essentially useless NRT wares. And the government is happy because it can claim that it needs to extort even more taxes from smokers. There is now a lucrative antismoker industry that did not exist 30 years ago. From part of the extortionate taxes, it is smokers that are financing a considerable portion of it: They are being forced to pay for their own persecution. It is a very sick, self-serving system. It can well be referred to as racketeering.

  212. January 22, 2012 3:09 am

    So, Stephen, what can be said from the above. What should be clear is that simple, erroneous, single-sentence claims that violate multiple principles/ideas are very easy to make. Attempting to untangle the mess they create can be very time consuming. For example, “there is no safe level of tobacco smoke”, “smokers die prematurely”, “smokers are addicts”, “the Chapman Trick”, “smokers are a burden to the health system”. Very simple to make these claims that are inflammatory and agenda-driven, and that are used to push questionable perspective and policy. And the fanatics are really good at these baseless, one-line slogans; they have many of them; they are constantly concocting them. They couldn’t care less if slogans are truthful. Their only interest is in their effectiveness in manipulating the public, the media, and, particularly, politicians into antismoking policy.

    Then we have “for people who care about public health”. So, Stephen, although you and your buddies believe you have a monopoly on “care” and “health”, the superficial physicalist framework you are entrenched in is anything but healthy. Consider the plight of smokers, those who do not conform to supremacist edicts. They used to have a social life, their smoking was a background phenomenon. They had all sorts of friends. Then came the antismoking assault. They are depicted as “lesser” humans, potentially Saved® only by quitting smoking. Their outlets for engaging in normal society have all but been removed. They have been ostracized, leperized. Consider elderly smokers. They have lived a law-abiding, tax-paying life. They have raised children. Now in their old age, they have been made “abnormal”. It is an assault on the psyche. Consider the plight of smokers in nursing homes that have suddenly been told that they are no longer permitted to smoke in their apartments. They can only smoke outside in the freezing cold or face eviction. Consider university campus bans where students, particularly young women, are forced under fear of expulsion to venture many hundreds of meters in the dark to smoke in a designated outdoor area. Their immediate health is being jeopardized to play some deranged statistical game as to what may or may not occur 40, 50, 60, 70 years from now. Consider elderly patients who are forced to walk off entire hospital grounds in all weather to have a cigarette. Consider involuntary mental patients, who are not criminals, that are physically or chemically restrained rather than allow them to have a cigarette. Consider those who used to frequent their local pubs and bingo. Since the bans, they just stay home, i.e., alienation which is an independent risk factor for ill health. The pubs, a hub of community life, have been decimated and the community life with it. And what about nonsmokers who have been brainwashed into the irrational terror of smoke/smoking/smokers to advance the bigotry bandwagon?

    It is long overdue to take a serious look at those that have created these ghastly situations. That they claim that they are “health promoters” and “care” about people’s health is testimony to their derangement. In chasing questionable statistical markers for longevity, they are brutalizing the act and art of living in the here and now; in attempting to “protect” people from what may be in 40, 50, 60, 70, years and which is ultimately unprotectable, they are jeopardizing people’s immediate multi-dimensional health; while they have people obsessed with disease and death, they are making every moment of living miserable. They are sickly, self-interested supremacists producing sickly, perverse circumstances.

    Stephen, your declaration that you and your advisors “care about public health” and that those that do not agree with you must not care about public health is vulgar. There are metaphysical perspectives that would view the lives of Crapman, Daubster, et al as an utter waste with an eventual very-severe cost; they are fanatics that have spent not a moment on scrutinizing their beliefs, have done nothing to transcend their superficiality. Crapman et al might respond that they do not subscribe to these metaphysical systems and couldn’t care less what those beliefs are. To which the reply would be that, indeed, Crapman et al can live their lives as they see fit and believe what they will. But Crapman et al do not afford anyone such a contrary view. They do not say that their view will not be forced upon anyone, that all are free to live their lives as they see fit, even though it may be at variance with Crapman et al. Quite the contrary. Crapman et al believe that only they know care and health that must be imposed on all: Anyone who disagrees with them is “obviously” wrong. In that is the dangerous, superficial fanatic.

  213. January 22, 2012 7:34 am

    Patsy, you wrote, ” if these people get their way then like the Nazis burned books they didn’t like, peolle like bigoted smokerphobic Stanton Glanz would consign such great films to the dustbin never to be seen by another single living person just because they personally object to smoking scenes.”

    They’re moving slowly but surely on this, trying to build up a public image of “parents are horrified when they take their children to a movie and see someone light up a cigarette!” You’ll get repeated crazy statements by people like Glantz and his friends working off of multimillion dollar SmokeFree Movies grants trying to equate 2 or 3 minutes of onscreen smoking with a terrorist dumping large amounts of Plutonium into London’s water supply. Eventually they know that the power of repetition and exaggeration WILL move public opinion to the point where they can demand R and X ratings for movies that even show a background glimpse of an ashtray in a scene (Believe it or not, that can be defined as a “smoking event” by these psychotic bean counters!)

    They won’t outright BAN the old movies … just “improve them” by removing harmful images of drug addiction.

    Wait’ll you see how great the new 15 minute version of Casablanca is!

    – MJM

  214. January 22, 2012 11:08 am

    If Stephen Williams and the readers out there want proof that tobacco control is not about health look no further than this article I received today from the British Medical Journal, Tobacco Control blog, co written by Dr. Anna Gilmore. Dr. Gilmore was also co-author of a paper which said that the smoking ban had not led to the closure of pubs. That is the level of biased and inaccurate papers that emanate from her PC.

    “How online sales and promotion of snus contravenes current European Union legislation”

    Snus are 4mm square pouch that looks like a mini tea bag packed with tobacco and hence nicotine. It is placed on the upper gum and cheek. In the EU it is only legal in Sweden and ironically it was one of the conditions of entry to the EU that they stayed legal too.

    Opponents of snus say that it leads to a oral cancer and maintains an “addiction” to nicotine and Gilmore’s paper complains that in the EU it is being circumvented by internet sales.

    Sorry for the strong words but this opposition from the EU and the anti tobacco movement is a stain and disgrace. Snus are one of the most effective ways to not start smoking and one of the most effective ways to quite smoking. Sweden has half the smoking rate of the UK and half the lung cancer (LC) incidence. The current annual LC rate for the UK is 47.8 per 100,000 and Sweden 25.5 per 100,000.

    “In 1998, the authors reported on one-year success rates from the first and only clinical trial using smokeless tobacco as a nicotine substitute. That study, which appeared in the American Journal of Medicine, reported quit rates of 31% among men and 19% among women using smokeless tobacco. (“Smoking cessation” was defined as self-reported smoking abstinence for the four weeks before contact.) Prior to that study, most participants (87.5%) had failed to quit with prescription nicotine products, and over one-half (56.3%) had used both nicotine patch and gum. The new research involves six additional years of data involving the same individuals.”

    Does snus lead to any other higher incidence of other cancers? No.

    “Abstract

    Interest in snus (Swedish-type moist snuff) as a smoking alternative has increased. This wide-ranging review summarizes evidence relating snus to health and to initiation and cessation of smoking. Meta-analyses are included. After smoking adjustment, snus is unassociated with cancer of the oropharynx (meta-analysis RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.68-1.37), oesophagus (1.10, 0.92-1.33), stomach (0.98, 0.82-1.17), pancreas (1.20, 0.66-2.20), lung (0.71, 0.66-0.76) or other sites, or with heart disease (1.01, 0.91-1.12) or stroke (1.05, 0.95-1.15).

    In conclusion and if you are reading this Stephen, you wonder why I have such a jaundiced opinion of tobacco control. When public rent seekers such as Dr. Anna Gilmore produce junk science of this magnitude and a regular invitee of your All Party Parliamentary Group On Smoking and health, do you wonder why I have such contempt?

    The ‘quit or die’ approach is putting lives at risk. If harm reduction of smoking is to be achieved a fresh approach is imperative.

    tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2012/01/21/tobaccocontrol-2011-050209.abstract?papetoc

    info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/lung/incidence/#geog

    smokersonly.org/research/seven_year_followup.html

    .ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21163315

  215. January 22, 2012 11:34 am

    “That’s an extract from the political section of one of the numerous profiles of me. It summarises what I have done in politics. You’ve left out the 17 year career in tax and business consultancy from 1988 to 2005. Unlike many MPs, I did work in a succession of “proper jobs” before becoming an MP and all of them were in the private sector. You’ve also left out all the personal information and background.”

    In that case, I apologise.

  216. January 22, 2012 1:01 pm

    Philippe Even was professor emeritus at University of Paris Descartes and the president of the Research Institute Necker, which is why his comments to Le Parisien have attracted so much attention.

    leparisien.fr/abo-faitdujour/on-a-cree-une-peur-qui-ne-repose-sur-rien-31-05-2010-943934.php

    velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2010/06/free-at-last.html

    What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

    PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

    That’ll be the ‘overwhelming evidence’ they keep telling us about.

    It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3,000-6,000 deaths per year in France…

    I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

    Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

    They don’t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor … but not greater than pollen!

    The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

    Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the World Health Organization. The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It’s everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

    Why would anti-tobacco organizations wave a threat that does not exist?

    The anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette prices having failed, they had to find a new way to lower the number of smokers. By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. In good faith, non-smokers felt in danger and started to stand up against smokers. As a result, passive smoking has become a public health problem, paving the way for the Evin Law and the decree banning smoking in public places. The cause may be good, but I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie. And the worst part is that it does not work: since the entry into force of the decree, cigarette sales are rising again.

    Why not speak up earlier?

    As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man.

    Like
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  217. January 22, 2012 1:03 pm

    I’m posting this twice just to make sure this debate is finally put to bed. (The original posting is in response to Mike D.)

    “(Deep, deep, yawn and sigh) As it happens the elements of Dave Atherton and Belinda’s Freedom to Choose did exist in 2005, but the group was indeed, not formally constituted until 2007. How do I know? I wrote their constitution.

    The fledgling unconstituted organisation, however, was created by Bob Feal- Martinez and others from the hospitality industry in 2005 in order to combat damage to that industry. Initially, we had no knowledge of Rob Bulloch’s group, as even then it was something of a non-entity, hence the name Freedom to Choose was picked by coincidence. By the time we discovered the existence of the Bulloch group we had already, through one of our former members – Loraine McGregor – worked closely with members of the house of Lords to oppose a smoking ban and, in addition, decided to to pursue a judicial review of that ban and therefore, changing our name was hardly going to be practical.

    So that’s why you have all this confusion. However, it still doesn’t alter that fact that the the Ron Bulloch organisation and the the Freedom the Choose everyone knows today are completely different organisations – always have been and always will be.

    How do I know all these things? Because I was there when they happened.”

    John Gray
    (Director – TICAP)

    • Mike D permalink
      January 22, 2012 9:03 pm

      Hi John

      You state that you are a director of TICAP

      TICAP’s website says “Freedom To Choose

      Description

      Freedom to Choose was founded in 2005 to oppose the introduction of a blanket smoking ban in the UK. We are a not for profit organisation funded solely by donations from our members, who come from all walks of life and are united in their determination to expose the myths about smoking that are eroding the freedom of British citizens.

      We are a pro-choice organisation seeking accommodation of the needs of smokers and non-smokers alike to allow both to work and socialise in harmony. We can demonstrate that tolerant alternatives to a blanket smoking ban exist, are already working well in many other countries and that the majority of the UK population favour partial restrictions over a total ban.” It links to the freedom2choose.info website.

      So, from what you said in your post, and what your TICAP site says, the current Freedom2choose was clearly in existence and operational in 2005. It seems extremely disingenuous and misleading to now claim that it wasn’t operating until an administrative procedure happened on 31st October 2007. By your own admission it clearly was

      Freedom2choose version 1 was founded by tobacco supplier Rod Bullough in 2004.

      Freedom2choose version 2 came into existence in 2005, and chose not to change its name once you discovered that an organisation of exactly the same name existed, and had links to the tobacco industry. Indeed, Rod Bullough, Head of Freedom2choose v1 was still giving interviews in November 2005 in his capacity as ‘Head of Freedom2choose” (Google “Rod Bullough Head of Freedom2choose” and you’ll find a link to an interview he gave in that capacity to the Mirror for an article on 7th November 2005). So both organisations seem to have co-existed, yet version 2 still chose to cling to the name.
      What is it about the name that is so precious? I would love to know.

      I do believe that the freedom2choose from 31 October 2007 receives no tobacco funding.

      Can anyone answer if the organisation, or any of its members, are receiving advice, information, strategic counselling or similar non-financial support from anyone linked to the tobacco industry, its lobby groups or marketing groups with links to the tobacco industry?
      People have been very good at denying that there is any financial support. To establish its credibility totally, I would have thought they would also want to deny that anyone in the group is getting any form of steer from anyone linked to the tobacco industry.

      I for one am sure they aren’t, but there are some probably some cynics reading this discussion who aren’t so sure. There seems to be a lot of confusion about when you were formed, so why not use this opportnity to declare that your members are wholly free from any form of intellectual influence from tobacco companies and their lobbyists.

      • John S permalink
        January 22, 2012 9:34 pm

        Mike D, Are you getting paid overtime for working on a Sunday?

      • Mike D permalink
        January 23, 2012 7:07 am

        John S, like freedom2choose (v2) I am not receiving payment for this.

      • Mike D permalink
        January 23, 2012 7:13 am

        John S, just out of interest, are YOU getting paid for posting here.

        It seems fair to ask since you’ve raised the subject.

      • John S permalink
        January 23, 2012 9:30 am

        Mike D, I am not getting paid nor do I have any connection with the tobacco industry or any “freedom” group. I value my local corner-shop and do not wish to see it closed as my local pub was.

      • January 23, 2012 9:07 am

        Well Mike you remind me of a 5 year old who thinks there are monsters in the wardrobe.

        “Can anyone answer if the organisation, or any of its members, are receiving advice, information, strategic counselling or similar non-financial support from anyone linked to the tobacco industry, its lobby groups or marketing groups with links to the tobacco industry?”

        No.

        David Atherton
        Chairman
        Freedom2Choose

      • Mike D permalink
        January 23, 2012 5:00 pm

        David Atherton, Chairman of freedom2choose (version 2?, 3? 4?)

        I asked if anyone in your organisation could answer if any of it’s members were getting advice etc from tobacco industry groups on lobbying.

        You replied No.

        Is that
        a) No, nobody can confirm that. ?
        or is it
        b) No, neither the organisation, or any of its members, are receiving advice, information, strategic counselling or similar non-financial support from anyone linked to the tobacco industry, its lobby groups or marketing groups with links to the tobacco industry.

      • January 23, 2012 5:21 pm

        At the time of me writing it appears to be 1.25 am in Perth, WA, the noises from the wardrobe must be deafening. In the morning can I suggest you get in touch with the Centre For Clinical Interventions: Psychotherapy, Research and Training:

        223 James Street, Northbridge, WA, 6003.

        Services include: “Another obstacle maybe the generally elevated wariness or suspiciousness that characterises those with paranoia.”

        They may suggest you start a self help group, NPWDSBs or Normal People Who Dislike Smoking Bans.

        “Mine name is Mike and I am an NPMDSB as only someone who is in the pay of Big Tobacco can be against anti BT measures, please help me.”

      • Mike D permalink
        January 23, 2012 9:20 pm

        You are in a fantasy world if you think I’m an Australian.

        Typical that you resort to insults rather than taking an opportunity to clearly state that members of your organisation are not taking advice on lobbying from people connected to the tobacco industry.

        Why the obsession with payment? People don’t have to be paid to be puppets.

      • January 23, 2012 9:26 pm

        I am reluctant to engage with someone who is not giving their full name and interest in this debate.

        Also is there any part of no you do not understand

      • Mike D permalink
        January 24, 2012 12:08 am

        I’ll take your ‘no’ to mean you refuse to take this opportunity to state that nobody in your organisation is taking advice on lobbying from people connected to the tobacco industry.

  218. January 22, 2012 8:40 pm

    Stephen,

    Now you have read the comments from people that have really researched the subject. have you any slight doubt that you might be wrong in your assertions. After all you’ve not actually rebutted any of the commenters points on this blog post, have you? If I was you I would be seriously be checking the facts and questioning what I’d been told.

    But then again, I’m just an Engineer.

  219. Rick S permalink
    January 22, 2012 9:54 pm

    “people who quit smoking live longer. They have more productive and fulfilling lives.”

    Well, I can understand why Stephen Williams is an MP. Anyone with an encyclopedic knowledge of the achievements, aspirations and psychological well-being of every single smoker and ex-smoker on the planet is clearly someone not to mess with.

    • Lyn permalink
      January 23, 2012 11:41 am

      “people who quit smoking live longer. They have more productive and fulfilling lives.”

      I agree Rick S. I, for one, have a much more productive and fulfilling life as a smoker, far more so than as a non smoker!

      As for giving up? As with anyone, the only way to succeed is to really WANT to give up. If the heart and MIND are not into the idea, no amount of willpower will work, never mind any amount of NRT or counselling.

  220. Smithers permalink
    January 23, 2012 7:55 am

    Stephen, do you wish to keep babbling on about useless measures when we have this supposed situation?
    [quote]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-16631926?

    Lung emergencies at 10 year high[/quote]

    With smoking rates supposedly dropping like a stone then it only leaves this dimwit government to consider air pollution!
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/11/britain-300m-fine-london-air-pollution

    Any comments on a real problem Stephen? Any more moving of goalposts concerning non payment of fines to the EUSSR? Why worry about pretty coloured boxes when we are ALL getting ‘black lung’!

  221. January 23, 2012 10:41 am

    I know many considerate smokers. And I would credit the “anti smoking propaganda” that Dave Atherton and his Freedom 2 Choose mob hate and resent so much as being resposible for this. Before 2007 people including myself did not think twice about lighing up around others. I for instance used to smoke around my pregnant wife to my eternal shame, not dreaming about the chemicals I was exposing her to. Have you ever looked at the contents of real cigarettes and considered they contain arsenic, lead and formaldehyde, as well as radioactive substance polonium 210? And then tried to convince yourself the smoke doesn’t harm others? Madness!

    They would go back to the good old days where bar staff and anyone else unfortunate enough to be sitting nearby them on a bus/ plane/ office/ restaurant have to be exposed to these chemicals for their precious freedoms.

    Did any of you watch the Aldey Hey documentaries where a 20 a day smoker sat there with his asthmatic son with gromits and dismissed the evidence around smoke? It’s you folk who are the experts in pseudo science, as are the tobacco industry funded “civil liberarians” such as Forest who quite clearly wouldn’t be in it, fighting your selfish cause unless there was a great big fat tobacco industry paycheck at the end of it. Funded now from getting African kids hooked. Nice !

    Freedom and rights depends very much on which side of the fence you are sitting.

    • January 23, 2012 10:54 am

      Paul: “Have you ever looked at the contents of real cigarettes and considered they contain arsenic, lead and formaldehyde, as well as radioactive substance polonium 210? And then tried to convince yourself the smoke doesn’t harm others? Madness!”

      Paul, you obviously don’t read other posts. You really should. You’re using the Chapman Trick which has been referred to in an earlier post. When you get past your sanctimonious episode, feel free to go and read it.

      • January 23, 2012 11:04 am

        Just to be sure, the [smokefree] air we typically breathe has many of the same chemicals as in tobacco smoke, and more, and in higher concentrations.
        Add www. to epa.gov/ttn/atw/nata/mapconc.html

        Again, these chemicals are typically at trace levels and are not problematic.

        If you do a google search, you’ll find similar chemicals in raw food and from cooking, and in drinking water.
        Do NOT add www. to water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm

    • January 23, 2012 11:06 am

      Paul this paper comes from 1991 and looked at the amount of chemicals given out by cigarette smoke. The basis of the experiment was a room 100m3 sealed and unventilated. The narrative is chemical, output and the number of smokers required to reach danger levels. Let’s start with polonium.

      Polonium, 0.4Csi and you have to be surrounded by 750,000 smokers

      Toluene 1 1,000,000 smokers

      Benzene 0.24 13,300 smokers

      Nitrogen Oxides 2.8 1,780 smokers

      Shall I go on?

      prevention.ch/20465909330950.pdf

    • January 23, 2012 11:08 am

      Paul it looks like ASH have sent you to put a few comments on. In the 1950s when smoking was at its highest, about 52% of the adult population smoked, now it is 21%. How come asthma and atopy (general allergic reactions) have risen by a factor of two or three fold? This is from the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

      “50 years of asthma: UK trends from 1955 to 2004″

      “Abstract
      Trends in asthma indicators from population surveys (prevalence) and routine statistics (primary care, prescriptions, hospital admissions and mortality) in the UK were reviewed from 1955 to 2004. The prevalence of asthma increased in children by 2 to 3-fold, but may have flattened or even fallen recently.”

      thorax.bmj.com/content/62/1/85.abstract

      Here is the Mishra paper from 2008 which demonstrated that exposure to cigarette smoke actually reduces asthma.

      “To ascertain the effects of nicotine on allergy/asthma, Brown Norway rats were treated with nicotine and sensitized and challenged with allergens. The results unequivocally show that, even after multiple allergen sensitizations, nicotine dramatically suppresses inflammatory/allergic parameters in the lung including the following: eosinophilic/lymphocytic emigration; mRNA and/or protein expression of the Th2 cytokines/chemokines IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-25, and eotaxin; leukotriene C4; and total as well as allergen-specific IgE.”

      jimmunol.org/content/180/11/7655.abstract

      This is a 3 generation study from Sweden into asthma and exposure to passive smoking.
      “Children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7)

      CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates an association between current exposure to tobacco smoke and a low risk for atopic disorders in smokers themselves and a similar tendency in their children.

      .ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11422156

      This study is from New Zealand.

      “Smoking linked to reduced allergic sensitization By David Holmes 21 January 2008 J Allergy Clin Immunol 2008; 121: 38-42

      “MedWire News: Parental smoking during childhood and personal cigarette smoking in teenage and early adult life lowers the risk for allergic sensitization in those with a family history of atopy, according to the results of a study from New Zealand. Writing in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Robert Hancox (University of Otago, Dunedin) and colleagues explain that “the findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the immune-suppressant effects of cigarette smoke protect against atopy.” The authors write: “We found that children who were exposed to parental smoking and those who took up cigarette smoking themselves had a lower incidence of atopy to a range of common inhaled allergens. “These associations were found only in those with a parental history of asthma or hay fever.” They conclude: “The harmful effects of cigarette smoke are well known, and there are many reasons to avoid it.” Our findings suggest that preventing allergic sensitization is not one of them.”

      .medwire-news.md/48/72330/Respiratory/Smoking_linked_to_reduced_allergic_sensitization_.htm

      • DerekP permalink
        January 25, 2012 8:47 pm

        Sorry daveatherton, but your final link was missing the letter ‘l’ from the end thus resulting in a 404-error.

        The correct link is, after adding the 3Ws of course:
        .medwire-news.md/48/72330/Respiratory/Smoking_linked_to_reduced_allergic_sensitization_.html

        I’m just surprised that the MP didn’t point that out after following up on it, interested as he is in scientific evidence and Liberal ideals.

    • Fredrik Eich permalink
      January 23, 2012 4:24 pm

      “Have you ever looked at the contents of real cigarettes and considered they contain arsenic, lead and formaldehyde, as well as radioactive substance polonium 210?” – Paul

      Paul, have you ever looked at the contents of real food?

      Acetaldehyde (apples, bread, coffee, tomatoes)—mutagen and potent rodent carcinogen

      Acrylamide (bread, rolls)—rodent and human neurotoxin; rodent carcinogen

      Aflatoxin (nuts)—mutagen and potent rodent carcinogen; also a human carcinogen

      Allyl isothiocyanate (arugula, broccoli, mustard)—mutagen and rodent carcinogen

      Aniline (carrots)—rodent carcinogen

      Benzaldehyde (apples, coffee, tomatoes)—rodent carcinogen

      Benzene (butter, coffee, roast beef)—rodent carcinogen

      Benzo(a)pyrene (bread, coffee, pumpkin pie, rolls, tea)—mutagen and rodent carcinogen

      Benzofuran (coffee)—rodent carcinogen

      Benzyl acetate (jasmine tea)—rodent carcinogen

      Caffeic acid (apples, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cof-fee, grapes, lettuce, mangos, pears, potatoes)—rodent carcinogen

      Catechol (coffee)—rodent carcinogen

      Coumarin (cinnamon in pies)—rodent carcinogen

      1,2,5,6-dibenz(a)anthracene (coffee)—rodent carcinogen

      Estragole (apples, basil)—rodent carcinogen

      Ethyl alcohol (bread, red wine, rolls)—rodent and human carcinogen

      Ethyl acrylate (pineapple)—rodent carcinogen

      Ethyl benzene (coffee)—rodent carcinogen

      Ethyl carbamate (bread, rolls, red wine)—mutagen and rodent carcinogen

      Furan and furan derivatives (bread, onions, celery, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, coffee)—many are mutagens

      Furfural (bread, coffee, nuts, rolls, sweet potatoes)—furan derivative and rodent carcinogen

      Heterocyclic amines (roast beef, turkey)—mutagens and rodent carcinogens

      Hydrazines (mushrooms)—mutagens and rodent carcinogens

      Hydrogen peroxide (coffee, tomatoes)—mutagen and rodent carcinogen

      Hydroquinone (coffee)—rodent carcinogen

      d-limonene (black pepper, mangos)—rodent carcinogen

      4-methylcatechol (coffee)—rodent carcinogen

      Methyl eugenol (basil, cinnamon and nutmeg in apple and pumpkin pies)—rodent carcinogen

      Psoralens (celery, parsley)—mutagens; rodent and human carcinogens

      Quercetin glycosides (apples, onions, tea, tomatoes)—mutagens and rodent carcinogens

      Safrole (nutmeg in apple and pumpkin pies, black pepper)—rodent carcinogen

      All very scary.

      • John S permalink
        January 23, 2012 5:03 pm

        And radioactive bananas and other foods rich in potassium! All potassium and potassium compounds contain traces of the naturally occurring radioactive K40 isotope. Before the Anti-Tobacco alchemists took science back to the Middle Ages, this was demonstrated in schools using a banana and a Geiger counter. Such a demonstration today would probably result in mass hysteria in the classroom.

      • Fredrik Eich permalink
        January 23, 2012 5:43 pm

        John S,
        Well I found this quote.

        Food ingestion also represents the major route of naturally occurring Po-210 intake. Additional data collected by Spencer and her colleagues7 in-dicate that 77.3% of an adult male’s daily Po-210 intake is supplied by food, 4.7% by water, and 0.6% by air. Inhalation of cigarette smoke provides more Po-210 (17.1%) than drinking water and air combined.

        Damn those smoke-free restaurants are dangerous places, best ban them. To protect the staff and the children, naturally.

    • John S permalink
      January 23, 2012 5:13 pm

      “Have you ever looked at the contents of real cigarettes and considered they contain arsenic, lead and formaldehyde, as well as radioactive substance polonium 210?” – And just how do you think these femtoscopic amounts of these chemicals get into cigarettes? They are absorbed by the tobacco plant from the environment, as they are by ALL plants including your “healthy” five-a-day fruit and veg. BTW “Lethal” formaldehyde is naturally produced in our bodies as a part of our normal, everyday metabolism.

    • Parmenion permalink
      January 23, 2012 6:31 pm

      Paul:- “Have you ever looked at the contents of real cigarettes and considered they contain arsenic…..”

      There is a well known maxim in toxicology that “the dose makes the poison.”
      A scientific study showed that a person would have to spend an hour in a small room with 165,000 smokers, to inhale as much arsenic that you’d get in a large glass of water!
      But of course, I wouldn’t expect you to know this, as tobacco control are very good at what they do, and what they want the general public to know, and not know.
      It’s only by looking into things deeper, that you start to realise that folk are being misled and misinformed on a massive scale concerning the “dangers” of SHS.
      They tell you, for instance that there’s 4000 chemicals in SHS, and try to make it sound oh, so scary….but what they don’t tell you is that only six of these are human cacinogens, and are no danger whatsoever!!…remember (the dose makes the poison!)
      It will probably surprise you “normal” human breath contains over 3000 chemicals……….unless you’re a tobacco control zealot spouting constant bull**** in which case the numbers are far higher!!!

  222. January 23, 2012 11:03 am

    Sorry, not really interested in whatever a Chapman Trick is. Bottom line – many angry smokers – want to smoke wherever they want to and don’t like efforts to stop children smoking.
    You claim to represent smokers but you only represent people acting in the interests of tobacco industry shareholders, whether you are funded by them or misguided into thinking you are protecting civil liberties.
    If you want a cause worth fighting for, go and find out. There’s plenty out there rather than defending the most profitable corporations on eath.

    • January 23, 2012 11:18 am

      Paul: “Sorry, not really interested in whatever a Chapman Trick is.”

      Says it all. If it gives you a sense of superiority, just keep blathering the propaganda, Paul. And keep at your mind-reading as to what smokers want and don’t want; you’re bound to get something right eventually purely by chance. And you’re back on the mule, Paul, twirling the puffy “shill” accusation again. Paul, are you having a bad day?

      “There’s plenty out there rather than defending the most profitable corporations on eath.”

      Sorry, Paul, but you’re mistaken there as well. The two largest industrial complexes, which dwarf the tobacco industry, are 1. the military industrial complex, and 2. the medical industrial complex (including the gigantic pharmaceutical cartel).

  223. January 23, 2012 11:19 am

    Firstly Paul I do not believe you are/were a smoker.

    One of the biggest stains from the anti smokers is blaming second hand smoke (SHS) on for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or cot deaths. It seems despite 20 years of nasty propaganda we finally have the reason. As usual science triumphs.

    “SIDS Linked to Low Levels of Serotonin

    ScienceDaily (Feb. 2, 2010) — The brains of infants who die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) produce low levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that conveys messages between cells and plays a vital role in regulating breathing, heart rate, and sleep, reported researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.”

    “The researchers theorize that this newly discovered serotonin abnormality may reduce infants’ capacity to respond to breathing challenges, such as low oxygen levels or high levels of carbon dioxide. These high levels may result from re-breathing exhaled carbon dioxide that accumulates in bedding while sleeping face down. The findings appear in the Feb. 3 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

    “We have known for many years that placing infants to sleep on their backs is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of SIDS,” said Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., acting director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute that funded the research. “The current findings provide important clues to the biological basis of SIDS and may ultimately lead to ways to identify infants most at risk as well as additional strategies for reducing the risk of SIDS for all infants.”

    .sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202171811.htm

    • Mike D permalink
      January 23, 2012 11:54 pm

      “One of the biggest stains from the anti smokers is blaming second hand smoke (SHS) on for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or cot deaths.”

      Actually Dave, one of the most disgusting pieces of lying that pro-smoking lobbyists (amateur and professional) do is to try to pretend that smoking isn’t linked to Cot Death and SIDS. Here is good advice from an organisation whose only aim is to reduce the numbers of parents suffering this terrible tragedy; the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths.

      Smoking
      Evidence from a very large number of studies worldwide consistently demonstrates that maternal smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of SIDS. The risk appears to be dose related. For example:
      Risk of smoking
      Cigarettes per day Odds ratio
      1-10 2.6
      11-20 2.8
      >20 6.9

      Cigarettes per day Odds ratio
      1-9 4.25
      10-19 6.49
      >20 8.56

      It has been suggested that if maternal smoking during pregnancy were eliminated, the SIDS rate would be reduced considerably – by 27%, 30%, 50% and by 30-40% in a population where 30% of mothers smoke. If these estimates are applicable to the current position in the UK, then over 100 babies a year could be saved, if no pregnant woman smoked.
      Smoking during pregnancy is also associated with low birth weight, a factor linked to SIDS, but data from research studies shows that this does not explain its importance. Smoking still contributes to SIDS when allowance is made for a range of confounding factors such as maternal age, parity, marital status, education, breast feeding, sleeping position, family situation and sex of infant.
      Some of the studies of SIDS and smoking during pregnancy make reference to the effects of smoking after birth on the risk of SIDS but it is difficult to distinguish between the effects of smoking during pregnancy and exposure to passive smoking after birth. There are studies which do link SIDS to exposure to passive smoking after birth. Studies also demonstrate an increased risk if the father also smokes. Considering mothers who smoke only after their baby is born shows that postnatal smoking is an independent risk factor but the small number of such mothers makes these studies difficult. The risk of SIDS is greatly increased by bed sharing when either parent smokes, even if they do not smoke in the bed. Parents who smoke should avoid sharing a bed with their infant.
      FSID’s advice to parents is not to smoke during pregnancy or after birth; this also applies to fathers. Keep the baby out of smoky atmospheres. More detailed advice can be found in the FSID/Department of Health leaflet ‘Reduce the risk of cot death: an easy guide’.

      • January 24, 2012 8:44 am

        “Fiddling those smoking figures again

        Anti-smoking campaigners’ use of statistics has become ever wilder”

        “This recalls the fashion some years back among anti-smoking campaigners for blaming passive smoking for the soaring incidence of cot deaths. The only snag was that the years between 1970 and 1988, when cot deaths shot up by 500 per cent, coincided with the very time when the number of adults who smoked in Britain was falling most sharply, from 45 to 30 per cent. To anyone but a fanatical anti-smoking campaigner,
        this might have suggested that “environmental tobacco smoke” was unlikely to be the chief cause of cot deaths.”

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/7530949/Fiddling-those-smoking-figures-again.html

  224. Smithers permalink
    January 23, 2012 11:31 am

    Paul-yet again you are talking utter drivel! Children who want to try a cigarette will most certainly find a way of sampling a cigarette. Conversely, those who have no interest in smoking/cigarettes whatsoever will not try a cigarette.
    Your statement : “want to smoke wherever they want to and don’t like efforts to stop children smoking.” is also utter drivel. The fury of the smoking brigade is mainly due to the fact that Blairs administration failed to allow choice for smokers & non smokers; ie, allowing licensees choice would have been a start. Many pubs would still be open for business thus many ex licensees saved the indignity of ‘signing on;, losing their home, poverty & bankruptcy. You are obviously one of those silly people who thinks that total obliteration is the only answer but look ahead to the future of this country and try to be realistic. Having already wasted approx £19bn on this idiotic crusade (which has not seen any great reduction in smoking prevalence), how much more do YOU think we ought to waste? At the end of the day pretty coloured packets etc make absolutely no difference-flavour (apparently) does and I don’t know one smoker who advocates his/her children or any other children to take up smoking!

    “… the most profitable corporations on eath.” Now i would have thought that the pharmaceutical industry weren’t too far behind-given the massive funding, to buy favour, they dish out!

  225. January 23, 2012 12:29 pm

    Dave Atherton – I did not mention cot death which has small (but still significant) numbers of smoking related mortalities compared to the very large number of respiratory conditions in children. I thought my post was clear in talking about gromits and asthma….perhaps you’d benefit from reading properly.
    You’ve been quite clear in threatening others who disagree with you with legal action, yet are quite happy in calling other people a liar.
    By the way, love the website. You must all be so proud of your shoplifting chef friend! I can only imagine the way you CRINGED when that came out!!!!

    • January 23, 2012 1:09 pm

      Paul, take a deep breath before you blow an antismoking gasket.
      Think happy thoughts.
      Sing along with me, Paul:
      Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur,
      Ta-ta ta-ta taa taa [don’t know the words], purr, purr, purr.

      Better?

      How about this?

      Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear;
      Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair;
      Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t Fuzzy….. Wuzzy?

    • xopher permalink
      January 23, 2012 1:27 pm

      Cheap snide remark. Maybe we should all be so proud of our troughing friends in Parliament who even complain about their subsidised food bought with their generous expenses . Or maybe those who enjoy a generous income when producing headline grabbing statistics that prove to be total garbage when compared to official annual statistics.

    • January 23, 2012 1:47 pm

      Antony Worrall-Thompson is a Patron of Forest, not Freedom2Choose.

      However while criminals should face the full majesty of the law and Worrall-Thompson was quite wrong, he has been a good friend to smokers.

      As Jesus said, you without sin may cast the first stone. To err is human, to forgive divine.

  226. Smithers permalink
    January 23, 2012 3:56 pm

    Paul dear boy, you really are a card! You’ve debased yourself completely by referring to “AWT”, trumpeting his shoplifting as a slur on anti prohibitionists but you obviously didn’t do as i have, and that is to check which organisation AWT has sworn allegiance to! SOPAC is an offshoot of FOREST and absolutely nothing to do with “freedom2choose” according to my miniscule research but then I may be wrong on that-very doubtful indeed!
    However Paul, trawling the internet has given me the opportunity whereby you can partially atone for one of your numerous sins as one website ( http://smokersjustice.co.uk/ ) are looking for donations to keep a man, who has seen the legal process use every twist & turn to thwart him, from spending 47 days in jail for smoking a legal product of which the government happily steals in excess of 80% of the purchase price! I’m sure with all your public spirited finances Paul you’ll be more than happy to chuck £50 in the pot!🙂
    And you still haven’t answered my previous comments either! intolerable of you dear boy.

  227. January 23, 2012 4:01 pm

    I have no problem being a friend to smokers. Having smoked (a few a week and more with booze rather than regular) and still with a lot of friends who do so, I dislike people who turn their nose up at them and make unkind remarks. My eight year old son is currently going through the zealot stage because of the smell and I have had to chide him for making comments at people smoking in doorways, as neither myself nor my wife believe in lecturing 8 yrs olds about public health. Smoking does smell but you don’t realise this until you stop.

    However, I do have a problem with smokers whose right to smoke their chosen product is not in question, but whose role in life is to try to stamp on iniitatives aimed at turning young people off smoking because they feel their rights somehow oppressed. Would the tobacco companies spend so much money on branding if it didn’t work?

    • Fredrik Eich permalink
      January 23, 2012 5:05 pm

      Paul,
      I remember when I was a kid my parents buying plain packaged food from the super markets, you know the really cheap stuff. As a kid I had no problem identifying what plain package biscuits came in compared to plain package bog roll and helping myself to the biscuits. I did not think to myself “those biscuits come in plain packaging I don’t think I’ll bother eating them”. I just ate them anyway. Yummy.

    • January 23, 2012 5:42 pm

      There are so few outlets that tobacco companies may legally use to promote their products now. I’m guessing of course but I daresay any accountant employed by tobacco companies will advise tobacco companies to spend just in order to reduce their tax liability.

      I don’t think that the mere fact that tobacco companies spend money on something means that it ‘works’, still less that it ‘works’ exactly as anti-tobacco activists would like to think that it does. Even if it ‘works’ I doubt whether it ‘works’ solely to encourage the young to smoke. It didn’t tempt me when I was young.

      • Mike D permalink
        January 24, 2012 6:57 am

        Belinda, if you really believe that tobacco companies just make the packets pretty to avoid paying tax, why are you objecting to this proposal?

        In effect you’re just arguing for everyone to pay more tax to subsidise the tobacco industry.

      • January 24, 2012 9:35 am

        Mike D, I simply don’t understand how you get from a to b.

        Brand packaging is an integral part of presenting products to the market. It’s not done to tempt kids to take up the product, be it baked beans or maltesers. That is not its purpose though of course some kids find bright colours attractive but this doesn’t mean that they will like to consume the product. Its done to make abundantly clear to consumers which product it is, and it is absolutely their business to know what they are buying. Design is the way to make this clear to the naked eye.

        It is surely clear that without distinctive design features to distinguish the products, the main driver will be price.

        I have no idea where you think I believe everyone else’s taxes come into it. But you’re wrong anyway.

      • Mike D permalink
        January 24, 2012 5:32 pm

        “Mike D, I simply don’t understand how you get from a to b. ”

        Simple, I read your silly comment.

  228. Xopher permalink
    January 23, 2012 4:52 pm

    Paul wrote – “but whose role in life is to try to stamp on iniitatives aimed at turning young people off smoking because they feel their rights somehow oppressed”
    You just haven’t got it!
    There’s hardly a single piece of anti-smoking legislation that has achieved what it suggested it might. For all the hassle caused by the ban there’s been no reduction in smoking levels; in fact quite the opposite.
    Price hikes have created a larger black market of smuggled and counterfeit tobacco products.
    Free NRT patches for the young has created a craze of an extra high when wearing a patch and smoking as well.
    Etc – etc.
    Initiatives and fine words are one thing but when it is blatantly obvious that there is no independent, unbiased evidence in support of a measure or that many downsides have been ignored there needs to be dialogue. Tobacco control will not allow this and put themselves above democracy.

  229. January 23, 2012 7:11 pm

    Has anyone noticed? Paul, the troll, has succeeded! In the first place, he is getting lots of attention, and, in the second place, he has changed the subject several times – a classic troll trick. Better to ignore completely, but, if you must answer him, do so in the third person. It is true that tobacco smoke has a fragrance, but it is not the fragrance which non-smokers do not like (although they think that), it is the irritation. But irritiation only occurs in ‘smoke filled rooms’, it does not occur in decent sized rooms with ventilation. Prior to the full ban in Spain last year, it was quite noticeable in the pub which I frequent there that lots of people smoked, but there was no haze at all. But what we notice about Paul the troll’s last comment is the thinly disguised re-introduction of ‘the stink’.

    The debate is: “Do the colourings on (hidden) tobacco packets cause young people to take up smoking?”

    Since there is no rational argument that says that this is true, then we must seek for the real intentions in Tobacco Control for this measure. My opinion is that they want control legally established of tobacco packets. The control of tobacco packaging has been one of the aims of The Framework Convention from the beginning:

    Non-price measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, namely:
    􀂃 Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke;
    􀂃 Regulation of the contents of tobacco products;
    􀂃 Regulation of tobacco product disclosures;
    􀂃 Packaging and labelling of tobacco products;
    􀂃 Education, communication, training and public awareness;
    􀂃 Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and,
    􀂃 Demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation.

    From the Framework Convention, Foreword Page v:

    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2003/9241591013.pdf

  230. January 23, 2012 7:45 pm

    The WHO (in collusion with Big Pharma and possibly with Big Tobacco as well) has it all planned out including the shift of tobacco sales to the black market who.int/tobacco/en/atlas38.pdf

    But as Pr. Robert Molimard, who has studied tobacco and tobacco addiction throughout his career, has wisely opined :

    ”The problem is that if the tobacco industry exists it is because it responds to a demand. If tobacco has spread around the world since Christopher Columbus, during an era when there was no other means of advertising than word of mouth and when tobacco was cultivated by primitive means, it is because there is something attractive about the product that causes people to crave for it. The industry responded to the demand, it did not create it. If the industry were to disappear, the demand would remain and would require to be fulfilled. And it would be fulfilled. Multinationals would be investing their money in tax havens, where they would fund an offshore production in some underdeveloped nation. Cigarettes would be distributed through organized criminal networks, fueling underground commerce and auxiliary crimes in the process. No quality control could ever be achieved. Control could only be dealt with through the police and corruption would inevitably creep in. For these reasons, the fundamentalist anti-tobacco crusaders are a true danger to social balance and public health.”

  231. January 23, 2012 7:47 pm

    The link for the above is : cagecanada.blogspot.com/2010/12/beliefs-manipulation-and-lies-in.html

  232. January 23, 2012 10:12 pm

    MikeD, as usual with Antismokers you play cleverly with words while hoping to lure your opponents into a trap. Thus: your question to DaveA asking him to confirm that none of F2C’s members “are receiving advice, information, strategic counselling or similar non-financial support from anyone linked to the tobacco industry, its lobby groups or marketing groups with links to the tobacco industry.”

    Two points on this:

    1) Obviously Dave has no way of absolutely confirming that no one who has ever joined F2C and sent them ten pounds or whatever receives any financial support from groups like newssellers or pharmacies that sell smokes etc and could, loosely, like a vending machine guy, be labled as “a marketing group with a link to the tobacco industry.” If Dave answers, “No.” and you’re able to dig out some crazy example like that, then you could go on parade and flaunt how you caught the leadership of F2C “lying and covering up its paid tobacco connections.” You know quite well what you’re doing Dave, and you may think it’s subtle… but it’s not subtle enough.

    2) Even without the question of financing, you could play a similar card with your insertion of “receiving … information … from anyone linked to the tobacco industry.” This could, if stretched and distorted by an Antismoker such as yourself, include someone reading “Smoking Kills” on a pack of cigarettes since that is indeed “information from the tobacco industry.”

    “Oh, Gee! I would NEVER make such crazy claims!” you might say, MikeD. Perhaps you’d stick with saner claims like saying that two minutes of smoking in a movie is “the same as dumping a bunch of plutonium in the water supply.” Of course THAT statement was made by someone far more ‘responsible’ than an anonymous internet poster… it came from “Dr.” Stanton Glantz, the “Dr.” of mechanical engineering, and the recipient of on the order of tens of millions of dollars of antismoking grants.

    Mike, I think you are suffering from something called ASDS: “AntiSmoking Dysfunction Syndrome.” You can read more about it and get some hints on recovering from it at:

    http://wispofsmoke.net/recovery.html

    Best of luck with it, and try not to give the guys in the white coats too hard a time. You can explain how you’ve “helped” them by forbidding them and their patients from smoking on the psych hospital’s grounds and maybe they’ll give you “special treatment.”

    – MJM

    • Mike D permalink
      January 24, 2012 12:02 am

      Can David not speak for himself?

      And why do pro-smoking lobbyists (amateur and professional) think that everyone who doesn’t agree with you is mentally ill?

      This discussion is about a proposal to remove branding from cigarette packets. And pro-smoking posters are willing to try to obscure the very well evidenced link between smoking and SIDS/Cot Death in their desperate efforts to block this measure.

      Do you, MJM, believe that there is no link between smoking and SIDS/Cot Death?

      • Fredrik Eich permalink
        January 24, 2012 1:29 am

        This discussion is about a proposal to remove branding from cigarette packets. And pro-smoking posters are willing to try to obscure the very well evidenced link between smoking and SIDS/Cot Death in their desperate efforts to block this measure.

        SIDS is cryptogenic.
        What has that got to do with plain packaging?
        Babies can hardly recognise any kind of packaging let alone plain cigarette
        packages.
        What is the link?
        You are conflating the aims tobacco control industry with cryptogenic cot deaths.

        Show us your evidence between plain packaging and SIDS.
        Thanks.

      • January 24, 2012 1:58 am

        A TROLL!!!

      • January 24, 2012 2:59 am

        MikeD ignored the vast majority of my post and points, as expected from a troll, but I found this interesting: “And why do pro-smoking lobbyists (amateur and professional) think that everyone who doesn’t agree with you is mentally ill?”

        Not everyone Mike. As you’d know if you’d read my book, Antismokers come in many stripes, colors, and smells. Some are simply greedy, some are just brainwashed, some have various degrees and types of mental illness, etc. you struck me as one of the type suffering from ASDS, thus the suggestion.

      • January 24, 2012 9:41 am

        there are a few problems with the cot death hypothesis: including this:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/7530949/Fiddling-those-smoking-figures-again.html

        ‘This recalls the fashion some years back among anti-smoking campaigners for blaming passive smoking for the soaring incidence of cot deaths. The only snag was that the years between 1970 and 1988, when cot deaths shot up by 500 per cent, coincided with the very time when the number of adults who smoked in Britain was falling most sharply, from 45 to 30 per cent. To anyone but a fanatical anti-smoking campaigner, this might have suggested that “environmental tobacco smoke” was unlikely to be the chief cause of cot deaths.’

      • January 24, 2012 9:43 am

        why do people who don’t agree with tobacco control think everyone who disagrees with them is either a right-wing libertarian or a ‘stooge’, paid lackey or otherwise ‘useful idiot’ in relation to the tobacco industry?

        Doesn’t make for very constructive dialogue, does it?

  233. January 23, 2012 10:16 pm

    Paul, you ask, “Would the tobacco companies spend so much money on branding if it didn’t work?” in relation to “young people smoking.”

    You could pose a similar question with regard to Guinness Stout, Harp Ale, Budweiser, and Dom Perignon Champagne. Do you think any of them might object to “branding initiatives” that would force them into being “Beer X” and “Bubble Wine Q” in nice brown packaging? Do you think their objections would be because they wanted “young people” to drink?

    You live in a strange world Paul.

    – MJM

  234. January 24, 2012 12:19 am

    Again, as regards the ‘Framework Convention….’, I discovered that it was signed by an official from the Foreign Office, which suggests to me that no minister of the UK actually gave much thought to it. I wonder if the Treaty would have been signed if the Government had known at the time just what was involved – the loss of sovereignty, the persecution, the cost, the unintended consequences. AND ALL FOR NOTHING! Few people who enjoy tobacco have stopped enjoying tobacco, even though they might have stopped smoking in theory (usually for financial reasons). Despite all the hysterical claims of ASH ET AL, smoking prevalence has gone up. Despite the claims of the Border Agency to have confiscated billions of fags and tons of tobacco (supposedly ‘smuggled’, when they are, in fact, the ‘bona fide’ purchases of travellers in the EU), smoking prevalence has gone up. Tobacco Control interpret this to mean that the screw of persecution must be tightened further and even more billions of pounds spent (mostly on their salaries).

    I call on politicians everywhere to grasp the nettle. Refuse to believe that children are harmed by SHS – it is simply untrue, except, remotely, those children who are already ill, in which case the parents will already be aware of the problem. Where is the need for State interference?

    Here is an excerpt from the Royal College of Physicians report (2010) on ‘Passive Smoking in Children’:

    4.1 Introduction
    4.2 Methods
    4.3 Sudden infant death syndrome
    4.4 Lower respiratory infection
    4.5 Wheeze and asthma
    4.6 Middle ear infection
    4.7 Lung function
    4.8 Meningitis
    4.9 Confounding
    4.10 Summary

    That is just and excerpt from the report contents (no need to go into detail here).

    I have highlighted two items.

    Sudden Infant Death.

    A new report has found that ‘Sudden Infant Death’ is most likely to be caused by a) seratonin deficiency (seratonin is involved in the auto-breathing mechanism), and b) re-breathing CO2, when a baby is lying on its tummy, due to bed-clothes acting like a mask.

    Tobacco smoke irrelevant.

    Meningitis.

    Deaths from meningitis are extremely rare:

    http://www.meningitisuk.org/meningitis/disease/surveillance/disease-trends.htm

    Looking through the causes of death ONS statistics, I did not find a single death from meningitis in 2010. Also, meningitis is caused by either a virus or a bacterium. How can smoke cause a viral or bacterial infection? In very, very rare cases, it is remotely possible that tobacco smoke had a minor part to play in creating the conditions for the infection (remember that we all carry the bacteria around with us all the time, but are rarely troubled by them), but, there again, the stats are so uncertain that any number of other conditions could apply at the same time. For example, did any researchers check for the simple fact of dampness in bed-clothes?

    No, smoking has nothing directly to do with meningitis.

    Asthma.

    For heavens sake! As smoking prevalence has declined, asthma prevalence has increased! Besides which, there are studies which have shown that asthma is significantly less present in children whose parents smoke!

    So the reality is that the WHO, Tobacco Control EU, ASH ET AL, etc are just fabricating evidence. How are the getting away with it? Well…the reason is that there is no organisation charged with responsibility to hold them to account. None at all.

    What is the answer?

    In my opinion, a commission ought to be set up to look into this very important matter – from all perspectives (after all, some 10,000,000 people are currently being persecuted in the UK), but without any members of ASH ET AL, or Big Tobacco or Big Pharm being members of the commission. Nor any health zealots. A couple of judges, a couple of physicists, a couple of statisticians, a couple of engineers, etc. NO HEALTH ZEALOTS.

    Tobacco Control fixed things up so that they had a clear field to do their worst. But, as Marx (or was it Lenin or someone else?) said: “There is thesis then anti-thesis then synthesis”

    • January 24, 2012 3:07 am

      Junican, I was doing some research a while back on an Australian study supposedly relating children developing “Brain Fever” to either second or thirdhand smoke. The report basically warned against letting smokers touch your children unless you’d put them through the decontamination showers first.

      I had to dig a bit, but eventually got some numbers on the problem and, if I’m remembering correctly, found that, even if their claims were 100% true, they were talking about one child out of every three MILLION developing this problem! And this risk is being presented to the public as being serious enough to warrant denying those three million children years of warm loving hugs from their evil smoking parents.

      That’s the kind of evil that we’re fighting out there.

      – MJM

  235. Xopher permalink
    January 24, 2012 12:28 am

    Well Stephen, your blog has certainly gained a lot of attention.
    We’re not nutters. We’re concerned citizens who hate exaggeration/spin especially when it comes to initiatives from paid anti-smoking zealots benefiting from an ever increasing financial bandwagon. We believe the proposed measures will, at best, have no effect but unfortunately, like many previous demands will be counter productive.
    As an ex teacher I can assure you that many PHSE lessons were met with ridicule yet as a sinful, not now allowed an opinion, smoker I explained from a position of experience that smoking might not be a good option. I was a damned sight more effective than the propaganda they ridiculed.
    Thanks to ASH etc and the Framework of Tobacco Control I am now the enemy in their war against tobacco and not allowed an opinion.
    Gentle sensible advice lowered the smoking rate from the post war height yet the massive use of billions of pounds to fund smoking hatred has reversed that decline.
    As a student of history you should know that compulsion is an illiberal and ineffective tool used by dictators to little effect and as a current MP you must accept we have no financial capacity to fund such idealism.
    Thank you giving the enemy the chance to put alternative views to yours and I hope you, unlike Tobacco Control, will realize that an informed public can add to discussion even when we are ‘reliably’ informed ‘the discussion is over’ and more importantly play a useful part of this Country’s development.
    BTW when did ‘the discussion’ take place? No smoker I know was involved.

  236. John S permalink
    January 24, 2012 1:37 am

    Stephen, considering that MPs are perceived to be expense-fiddling, “nose in the trough”, generally corrupt and self-serving, shouldn’t you have to wear a paper bag on your head and a khaki-coloured, ill-fitting shellsuit? And shouldn’t you be known as “Parasite #378”? We can’t allow “the children” to have aspirations to become a politician, can we?

  237. Mike D permalink
    January 24, 2012 6:43 am

    Some disgusting inferences by the tobacco trolls/lobbyists that smoking has nothing to do with SIDS/Cot Death.

    The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths are extremely clear about this – since the vast majority of parents took advice to sleep their babies on their backs the numbers of these terribly tragic incidents fell, but smoking vastly increases the risk of it happening.

    The Foundation believes that a further hundred fewer cases would happen in the UK if parents didn’t smoke when pregnant and kept their babies free from exposure to smoke in infancy.

    What relevance has this to plain packets? None.

    But it has significant relevance to the credibility of the people posting on here about the evidence that plain packets will or won’t be effective in reducing the number of kids who’ll start to smoke.

    If the tobacco trolls/lobbyists are prepared to either lie or post their gross misunderstandings about the links between smoking and SIDS/Cot Death, how can anyone trust their opinions on plain packets?

    • January 24, 2012 8:58 am

      Just in case you missed it.

      “Fiddling those smoking figures again

      Anti-smoking campaigners’ use of statistics has become ever wilder”

      “This recalls the fashion some years back among anti-smoking campaigners for blaming passive smoking for the soaring incidence of cot deaths. The only snag was that the years between 1970 and 1988, when cot deaths shot up by 500 per cent, coincided with the very time when the number of adults who smoked in Britain was falling most sharply, from 45 to 30 per cent. To anyone but a fanatical anti-smoking campaigner,
      this might have suggested that “environmental tobacco smoke” was unlikely to be the chief cause of cot deaths.”

      telegraph.co.uk/comment/7530949/Fiddling-those-smoking-figures-again.html

      • Mike D permalink
        January 24, 2012 3:01 pm

        Dave Atherton, Chairman of Freedom2choose. The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths don’t have an ax to grind – you and your pro-smoking cronies do.

        That’s why you seem happy to try to obscure the facts about the impact of smoking on SIDS/Cot Death.

        FSID are confident that their evidence shows that 100 cases could be prevented each year in the UK if people followed their advice on smoking in pregnancy and aound babies.

        100 babies that will continue to die each year if people believe you instead of them.

    • January 24, 2012 2:31 pm

      Perhaps MikeD feels that the National Public Affairs Director of the SIDS Alliance, Phipps Y. Cohe, is a tobacco troll? Here’s an excerpt from a letter he sent on December 4th, 1996to John Banzhaff, the founder of ASH on our side of the ocean.

      ====

      The sensational heading for one of your recent Internet reports [07/30] “Smoking Parents Are Killing Their Infants” has gone too far. The fact is, researchers still do not know what causes SIDS…Insensitive generalisations about SIDS broadcast through print or the electronic media serve only to perpetuate the public’s misconceptions…Your literature states that smoking ‘kills more than 2,000 infants each year from SIDS.’ Any published figures are sheer speculation, or guesses, not grounded in actual experimentation…we respectfully request that you adjust your message as far as SIDS is concerned.While we support your cause, we can not do so at the expense of the tens of thousands of families we represent. Thank you for your consideration of our concerns. A copy of our latest information brochure is enclosed.

      We welcome your reply

      ===

      The SIDS Alliance of course got no satisfactory reply from the Antismokers, nor did they change what they had said on their website. The truth means nothing to them. Abusing our love of our children is far too important a weapon in their arsenal.

      – MJM

      • Mike D permalink
        January 24, 2012 5:30 pm

        Michael
        Don’t you have anything new on this issue, and from the UK? USA is a different country. Since 1996 a lot has happened and the numbers of cases in the UK have fallen significantly.

        Have a look at what the modern UK organisation says on the subject then come and tell us that there is not a problem with mothers smoking while they are pregnant.

        Have a look at what the modern UK organisation says on the subject then come and tell us that there is not a problem with people smoking around babies.

        I dare you.

    • John S permalink
      January 25, 2012 12:56 am

      From the introduction to a SIDS-ETS epidemiological study:

      “Epidemiological studies have identified a large number of factors that are associated with
      SIDs.Other than prone sleeping position, these factors include the use of soft mattresses, overheating, head covering, season, having had a recent illness (gastro-intestinal
      as well as respiratory), complications of pregnancy, low birthweight, premature birth, not
      being immunised, male sex, central nervous system abnormalities, lack of breast-feeding,
      using a pacifier, sharing a bed with the parents, intrauterine growth retardation, alcohol
      consumption and illicit drug use by the mother during pregnancy, young age of the mother,
      no pre-natal care, size of family, race, the mother’s education, and socio-economic status.”

      More recent studies have suggested increased risks associated with the mother’s caffeine consumption, maternal depression (both pre-and post-natal), lack of air circulation, air pollution (other than ETS), twin births……………………

      How does the funding and level of other resources for research into all these other suspected factors compare to those provided from the overflowing Anti-Smoking coffers? And, on that subject, what were the corresponding figures for “claiming” cervical cancer as a “smoking-related” condition against those for research into the HPV virus?

  238. January 24, 2012 9:31 am

    1.
    Over the last three decades, antismoking fanaticism has produced many abominable claims. And right up there in the abominable category is the claim that SHS “causes” SIDS.

    SIDS in particular presents a peculiar situation. Unlike other mortality, it has no identified disease precondition. It is a syndrome defined by exclusion rather than demonstrable, specific pathology. When no other pathology explanation is possible, it is labeled as the unexplained category of SIDS: “SIDS is defined as the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough case investigation, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history…”

    If there is any “positive” in the circumstance is that SIDS is rare. There has been much research into SIDS producing a very long list of risk factors. The problem is that, given that SIDS is rare, is that, in Relative Risk assessments, the baseline is small, barely above zero. Even RRs of 5.0 – or even 10.0 or more – don’t necessarily mean anything because they are multiplications of a tiny baseline.

    The implication of SHS in SIDS is extremely poor. For example, the incidence of SIDS in Japan is extremely low despite there being a high incidence of smoking and SHS exposure. Further, the incidence of SIDS in the West began to increase as smoking prevalence was decreasing.

    There are far, FAR more mechanistically plausible causes of SIDS than SHS, e.g., accidental smothering while the infant is sharing a bed with parents. In the case of accidental smothering, underlying causation, in mechanistic terms, is completely understood. In such cases, SIDS is not SIDS. There is clearly definable underlying causation that has nothing to do with a “mystery” syndrome.
    Add www. to knoxnews.com/news/2007/dec/22/scripps-study-sids-focuses-accidental-suffocation/

  239. January 24, 2012 9:32 am

    2.
    The idea of SHS “causing” SIDS has been pushed by antismoking fanatics. Advocacy/activist groups (including the Office of the Surgeon-General) can essentially say whatever they want, however outrageous. They are not held to account because no-one is compelled to pay attention to any of their claims. But the fanatics keep pushing these causal claims as if they are definitive.

    Pushing the idea of SHS “causes” SIDS is particularly repugnant in attempting to force antismoking conformity. In the case of SHS and SIDS all sides of the causal equation are, and remain, unknown – even after [baseless] “causal attribution”. According to the antismoking fanatics, an unknown attribute(s) of highly-dilute remnants of tobacco smoke produces an unknown condition through an undefined process that results in mortality. Such a proposition is only delusional – preposterous. This is not causal explanation: It is derangement. It is nothing short of staggering that such claims are even given cursory consideration let alone incoherently elevated to the status of “definitiveness.”

    There is a respect for grieving parents where, for example, accidental smothering is suspected. There is an attempt to protect them from further grief by not belaboring the causal point, if mentioning it at all. But not so the antismoking fanatics. If they suspect that smoking had occurred somewhere in the vicinity of a SIDS case, they come out firing, utterly sure in their “causal understanding” of the situation, fingers wagging, obsessed with making as many repetitions of blame as possible. Again, this says nothing of the propensities of SHS, but indicates the depth of depravity of antismoking fanaticism.

    We can even go further back to the fanatics’ predecessors and some of their baseless, inflammatory claims:
    “Early in the 1900’s it was some church groups (e.g., Methodist Episcopal Church’s Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals) that considered nicotine as a “killer of babies.” The “controversy” was picked up by the New York Times in two stories. In one story it was claimed that 40 babies from a New York maternity hospital “suffered from tobacco heart caused by the cigaret smoking of their mothers.” In the other it was claimed that “sixty percent of all babies born of cigaret-smoking mothers die before they reach the age of two, due primarily to nicotine poisoning.” (Journal of the American Medical Association, 1929, p.123) The American Tobacco Trust was viewed by the church board as “conscienceless baby-killers” that by promoting cigarettes to women were directing a “lying murderous campaign.””

  240. January 24, 2012 9:36 am

    Mike D, while you blather about “disgusting inferences”, let’s consider your conduct on this comments board. You have contributed absolutely nothing of value to the discussion. You have not addressed one point of antismoker duplicity that demonstrates a pattern for the current derangement of plain packaging. Rather, you have slithered in and out, flinging [baseless] accusations of “tobacco industry connection”, opting to repeatedly push this baseless line even after your inane questions were reasonably addressed. It should be obvious to a pumpkin that you’re using the standard antismoking tactic – smear the opposition as “shills” of the [evil] tobacco industry and, therefore, anything that said “shills” say about plain packaging – or anything – should be dismissed as another tobacco industry “conspiracy”. It is your conduct that is repugnant.

    If this stupidity wasn’t enough, you then lowered the depravity-bar once more, if that’s possible. You take-up the emotive SIDS issue, accusing anyone questioning the antismoking [propaganda] view as “disgusting inferences by the tobacco trolls/lobbyists”. You then cite an advocacy group’s view of SHS and SIDS (although you provide no link), a group which is obviously caught in the antismoking hysteria of the time, as definitive evidence for a “causal” association.

    And why has Mike D gone down this track? It is the act of a fanatics’ utter desperation. Let’s have one more shot at smearing they who dare question the antismoking faith, surmises Mike. There’s Mike D’s puny mind working in overdrive. Well, claims Mike D, “If the tobacco trolls/lobbyists are prepared to either lie or post their gross misunderstandings about the links between smoking and SIDS/Cot Death, how can anyone trust their opinions on plain packets?” And he hoped that would be the last comment on this board. Pathetic!

    Mike D, it is YOU that has been making the disgusting inferences, ad nauseam. There have been many examples posted on this board of the delinquent, self-serving, fraudulent conduct of the antismoking brigade. You can attempt to smear away. It ain’t going to make any difference. The evidence is clear – the antismoking conduct is perverse. Anyone reading this board should get a good insight into the depraved antismoking mentality that has dictated proceedings for the last three decades. Question their sick conduct and they go scurrying. Others return in their place attempting to smear the questioners as tobacco industry “shills”, an “affliction”, a “tainting”, that supposedly renders all their questioning void. Well, Mike D – and your buddies, you haven’t had a leg to stand on in your vulgar smear campaign. You’ve been shown up for the foolish, morally destitute person you are.

  241. January 24, 2012 1:36 pm

    Every move you make brings tobacco to the forefront of childrens’ minds. They must think it’s wonderful stuff if so much fuss is made about it, and it is kept under the counter. It was realised in the last century that a conspiracy of silence about sex made it an ever more attractive forbidden fruit to youngsters, and that the solution was to treat the subject in a frank and honest way. But anti-smokers wouldn’t understand that, would they?

  242. January 24, 2012 2:16 pm

    Belinda wrote, “why do people who don’t agree with tobacco control think everyone who disagrees with them is either a right-wing libertarian or a ‘stooge’, paid lackey or otherwise ‘useful idiot’ in relation to the tobacco industry?”

    Belinda, as Dr. Siegel has pointed out from his years of working as our version of “The Insider,” and also as testified to by the various planning handbooks you can find on the net, it’s a planned propaganda trick. Americans don’t like “big evil conniving corporations,” particularly not when those BECCs threaten “The Children.” As you can see in the present battle about plain packaging, “The Children” are thrown forward as the crux of their argument.

    And that’s one of the things that has always most roused my anger at the Antismoking Crusade: their use and abuse of our love for our children: you see it either blatantly or simmering just beneath the surface in every campaign that’s poured out of their “World Conferences” of the last 35 years.

    For that abuse alone people should reject them.

    – MJM

    • January 24, 2012 2:50 pm

      It seems that the fanatics own The Children™, Youth©, TRUTH®, Health™.

      Oops….. I forgot, they also own Benevolence®, Infallibility®, and Omniscience©.

      Ah, sorry….. there’s more. They also own CARE®, Saving Lives™, and MORALITY®.

      And….. a few more. They own GOOD™ and Protect©.

      Just one more. They also own THE MONEY’S ALL MINE™.

    • January 24, 2012 3:39 pm

      And the irony of it all? Not one of them calls for a legal age to possess and use tobacco. They mislead the public thinking that there is a legal smoking age referring to the law that kids are not allowed to buy tobacco or rather adults are not allowed to sell it to them. As if not being allowed to buy it has ever stopped kids from getting their hands on tobacco through their older peers or siblings or even their parents! The bottom line is that if there was an official legal smoking age, which is the first coherent thing a government can do to prove their good faith that it’s all about the children, the crusaders would lose their precious ”for the children” card that they like to wave every time they want to institute a law.

      • January 24, 2012 7:43 pm

        Well said. It’s a no brainer, isn’t it? And the same could easily be applied to alcohol as well.

        Children are being used as political pawns. Tantamount to abuse (for want of a better word).

  243. Talwin permalink
    January 24, 2012 4:29 pm

    For God’s sake, Mr Williams, just mind your own business and leave us alone. And, were you to ask, no, I don’t smoke.

  244. Mike D permalink
    January 24, 2012 6:08 pm

    Q Why was freedom to choose set up?
    A “It was set up by Feal-Martinez in 2005 who was a Swindon publican, and he is still is as far as I am aware. I think he wanted to do something that was quite separate from FOREST. This was 2004, 2005 when the pub smoking ban was due to come in. Like a lot of the people, before we had taken the smoking ban in good grace, because there was always the pub where you could go and have a smoke in – I think that was the straw that broke Bob’s back to get himself motivated to start a campaign to stop the ban at the time, which obviously failed, and to hopefully get it amended now.”

    So can we now trace the origins of Freedom2choose back to 2004?

    ” I am the Chairman of Freedom2Choose and we were formed on the 31st of October 2007 as a legally constituted group.”

    Both quotes are the words of Freedom2choose Chairman David Atherton

    • January 24, 2012 6:35 pm

      see John Gray’s comment, 22 January.

    • January 24, 2012 7:36 pm

      No, we cannot meaningfully trace the origins of Freedom to Choose back to 2004, although I cannot account for a wish that may have been going through someone’s mind. Freedom to Choose begins as a fledgling organisation in 2005!!!

      I also reiterate for the purposes of responding to your angling, Mike, our Freedom to Choose has absolutely nothing to do with Rod Bulloch – period!!

      I wonder, do you have a problem with the English language?

  245. January 24, 2012 8:08 pm

    Mike D, try moving your head to the right, and then to the left, and then forward and backward. You need to get blood-flow back to your brain.

    I suppose we should thank Mike D, the mule-rider, the ass aboard the ass, the smear twirler. Mike D, you really have a serious problem. You are a silly, little man that pursues the baseless for inflammatory purposes regardless of the facts. You have simply consolidated my earlier unflattering point. You seem to be so entrenched as an antismoking cultic disciple that at some point you would need considerable de-programming.

    I personally am not affiliated with freedom2choose, or any other group for that matter. I am a private citizen, as I suspect many others on this board are. I have indicated antismoking duplicity as others have which demonstrates a self-serving, deceptive pattern of conduct. You have not addressed one of these points that have nothing to do with whatever you have made of freedom2choose in your one-track fantasy world. You have attempted ONLY [baseless] smear, and more than once. You should be ashamed that you have allowed yourself to deteriorate to such a delusional state. Seriously!!

  246. Mike D permalink
    January 24, 2012 8:20 pm

    Belinda, only 4 days ago you said “we were not founded in 2004 but in 2007”

    Dave Atherton says it was 2004, 2005 and 2007.

    Dave Atherton also said “I will lay you a bet of £10,000 that Freedom2Choose was formed in 2007”

    I wish I’d taken that bet!

    • January 24, 2012 8:48 pm

      Hey Mike…. Mike… over here, Mike,

      Give it a rest. Please. PLEASE. I beseech you (in kneeling position). Have mercy on us. You’ve demonstrated your stupidity. Then you’ve demonstrated your incredible stupidity. Do you really want to go for demonstrating your astronomically incredible stupidity?

      So what? What does any of this matter to the issues raised on this board that have nothing to do with freedom2choose? Are you daft, man? Get a grip!! Splash some water over your face. Or should I be addressing your mule that is far better at communication?

    • January 24, 2012 8:59 pm

      Formally we were founded in 2007. Before that we were not an organisation. That in my mind is what ‘founded’ means. Prior to 2007 John Gray’s recollections are clearer than mine.

      • Mike D permalink
        January 25, 2012 2:59 pm

        Belinda, David Atherton (Or Dr DaveA as he likes to portray himself elsewhere) said “I will lay you a bet of £10,000 that Freedom2Choose was formed in 2007″

        Not founded, ‘formed’

        The amount of dodgy information that comes out from freedom2choose members is astonishing.

        Is your chairman David Atherton a Doctor? If not why does he call himself DrDaveA on the Guardian site, where he posts a load of medical looking evidence?

        He’s also said on here:-
        “daveatherton January 23, 2012 12:59 pm

        Smokers have no employment rights in the UK.”

        This is not true.

        Freedom2choose members also seem obsessed with denying that smoking in pregnancy is linked to a proportion of cases of SIDS/Cot Death. The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths disagree.

        Freedom2choose members also seem obsessed with denying that exposing babies to smoke linked to a proportion of cases of SIDS/Cot Death. The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths disagree.

        Can we trust ANYTHING that freedom2choose members bring to this debate?

        If there is a genuine problem with removing the tobacco industry’s right to pretty packets, why do members of this group need to resort to being misleading or dishonest?

      • John S permalink
        January 25, 2012 3:17 pm

        Mike D, Is spamming your profession? How much does it pay? Who pays it – the taxpayers?

      • Mike D permalink
        January 25, 2012 8:10 pm

        John S
        January 25, 2012 3:17 pm
        Mike D, Is spamming your profession? How much does it pay? Who pays it – the taxpayers?

        I am entirely free, the taxpayer (or anyone else) pays me not a penny for this.

        I’d say there was some pretty heavy tobacco industry investment in this response to Stephen, wouldn’t you?

        How many normal people want to preserve the tobacco industry’s right to pretty packets? Not many I’d suggest. Stephen’s blog posts normally attract a handful of comments, even though he posts a lot of things that are of importance to his constituents. Then he posts about pretty cigarette packets and a plague of lobbyists (amateur and professional) arrive like locusts, some of them telling porkies (eg Smokers have no employment rights in the UK)

      • John S permalink
        January 25, 2012 8:50 pm

        Mike D, Change the record! The “guilt by association” argument, even IF the association could be proved, would be thrown out of every court in the country (not ALL countries, but then not all countries are democracies!). Provide some hard EVIDENCE of your accusations. Better still, respond to some of the specific points that have been directed at you – or are all Anti-Tobacco methods and propaganda indefensible, both morally and scientifically?

  247. January 24, 2012 8:52 pm

    To go back to the original theme of this post, the people who win are the Tobacco companies. I was wondering why they backed off from their challenge to this legislation?

    “For the tobacco industry, as with any other, one of the prime considerations is to how to save money without affecting quality. When it comes to cigarette packaging, any small amount saved on each pack, when multiplied by a year’s production, can have a very profound effect on the bottom line.”

    http://www.meinfo.co.uk/2006/12/11/reducing-cigarette-packaging/

    The law of unintended consequences strikes again.

    1. Make a token gesture.
    2. Receive bonus from shareholders for increasing company profits.
    3. Ability to lower price of cigarettes to gain more custom from the younger generation.

    QED

  248. January 24, 2012 9:21 pm

    Belinda. Don’t get me wrong. The righteous have been hoisted with their own petard. Children will be encouraged by their peers to smoke, as it always has been. The Tobacco companies will gain ground through lower costs, and I shall light up another cigarette as I press the “Post Comment” button.

    Personally I would like to be left alone by the bullying health fascists who revel in making sure that the future generation will be doomed to a grey life, devoid of pleasure, unless it is state permitted. We are moving rapidly to a totalitarian state that Marx would be envious off.

    • January 24, 2012 9:27 pm

      PS. Stephen< I hope that you are still following this post. A slight doubt in your mind?

    • Xopher permalink
      January 24, 2012 9:38 pm

      TFE – you wrote “Children will be encouraged by their peers to smoke, as it always has been. ”
      Sadly they are also attracted, possibly more so, by the incessant MSM ‘marketing’ of smoking as a nasty to be cured with NHS help – TV, radio, newspapers and periodicals, website and Google amongst others – they can’t get away from it.
      Anti-smoking has created the highest possible profile imaginable for an activity that they say should be avoided and, human nature being what it is, an activity that must be tried.
      The influence of plain packaging is as nothing compared to that of the incompetence of our ever growing smoking cessation empire.

      • John S permalink
        January 25, 2012 12:20 am

        And what did the smoking ban achieve? The smokers are now outside the pub in full view of “the children”. “The children” notice the comradery of the smokers, laughing and having a good time, and think “I want to join that gang. They seem so much more fun than the sour-faced tut-tutting prudes who pretend they have a bad cough whenever they go anywhere near them”.

  249. January 24, 2012 9:23 pm

    Here’s another example of antismoking shenanigans involving the eminent propagandist, the Daubster.

    There is no scientific basis for plain packaging. So what do the antismoking fanatics do? Make it appear as though there is a scientific basis, i.e., confidence trickery.

    “Four former Australians of the Year have signed a joint letter to federal MPs, urging them to support legislation to mandate plain packaging for cigarettes.
    They are among 260 professors, from medical and health faculties throughout Australia, who say plain packaging of cigarettes would help reduce the appeal of smoking, particularly to children and young people.”

    So what? These are all people/groups committed to the antismoking cause. What they believe has nothing to do with the underlying science, if there is any underlying science. Their [antismoking] BELIEFS have nothing to do with science re plain packaging.

    Enter the Daubster:

    “Professor Mike Daube from the Public Health Association says the scientists are backing plain packaging because of the compelling evidence and the potential for improved public health.
    “So with 20 years of evidence, including the tobacco industry’s own market research, showing how effective tobacco packaging can be for influencing young people, it is no wonder so many leading health experts back plain packaging,” Prof Daube said in a statement.”
    Do NOT add www. to news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8289296/leading-australians-back-plain-packaging

    “Compelling evidence”? Puhhh-leeeez!!! All of it is antismoking hearsay. But by ensuring that the words “scientists” and “experts” appear in the article, it fosters the impression that [antismoking] scientists support the move because of a coherent scientific basis. If scientists and experts support it, then surely that makes the case for plain packaging “rock solid”. Yet their status as scientists in other areas and the basis for plain packaging are two very different things, particularly when the scientists and experts are also antismokers. And, look, there are 4 Australians of the Year (3 just wouldn’t have been enough) standing for the “cause”. Surely that means that the case for plain packaging is “super rock solid”.

    This political activism, this confidence trickery, fostering the impression of “science-based” is delinquent, pitiful. These so-called “eminent’ folk should be ashamed of themselves, especially the Daubster.

    • Xopher permalink
      January 24, 2012 9:53 pm

      EXPERTS!!!!!!!!!
      Basically troughers who gain the ear of politicians and other influential people.
      Each new expert has a new solution to what they identify as a problem.
      In the area of education we seem to see a new method of teaching basic literacy every couple of years accompanied by new recommended reading schemes delivered through new sets of reading books produced in association with the ‘expert’.
      So called experts – more trouble than they’re worth because they can’t see outside their own blinkered world and dispose of far too many ‘babies with the bathwater’.
      Without doubt this sums up the effectiveness of our anti-smoking experts who cause society so many unnecessary problems.

  250. January 24, 2012 9:58 pm

    I have just taken another look at Mr William’s press release. I do not believe for a moment that it has been written by him personally. The indications are that it has been written by ASH’s press release writer. All very easy for him and his (fake) Parliamentary Group. ASH do all the secretarial work, write the speeches, pick up the bills (paid eventually by us), All he and the other members of the Group need to do is polish their halos.

    • January 24, 2012 10:12 pm

      It would seem that the Government are slowly distancing themselves from ASH and it’s propaganda. I wrote an E mail last November to ASH asking what funding they get from central government. Their reply was, that they’re funding had been stopped from that source. However they did admit to getting funding from Cancer research and the British heart foundation. Although they might have been trying to give the impression that they were not getting direct government funding they may well have been funded by roundabout sources.
      I have of course submitted a FOI request to try to ascertain where this funding is going. For instance. Is Cancer Research funding ASH through the backdoor of received government grants?

      • January 25, 2012 12:10 am

        Right approach, FE. Keep pestering them. So should we all. If we must be persecuted, let’s at least make it cost them.

      • John S permalink
        January 25, 2012 12:27 am

        Or even worse that ASH is funded by bona fide donations to CRUK and BHF by the public, who gullibly believe that their hard-earned cash is being used for genuine research

    • January 25, 2012 6:03 pm

      Junican – utter nonsense. I am the only person who writes this blog – indeed that is the whole point of it. It’s not a Lib Dem, Government, charity or anybody else’s official site. It is my views and an opportunity for anyone to comment on them. I’ve never had a speech written for me, though many MPs do work that way. The group that I chair is not “fake” – it actually has real live MPs and Peers as members. It’s not a figment of my imagination or perhaps your nightmares. Put away your conspiracy theories and engage with the issues!

      Smoking leads to poor health. It’s entirely rational for Parliamentarians to want to reduce its prevalence.

      • Parmenion permalink
        January 25, 2012 7:12 pm

        Smoking leads to poor health. It’s entirely rational for Parliamentarians to want to reduce its prevalence.

        That’s fair enough, but it’s the way that the tobacco control zealots are going about it that really rankles with people.

      • John S permalink
        January 25, 2012 7:51 pm

        Smoking MAY lead to poor health. Even according to the Anti-Tobacco propaganda, less than half of smokers will die of a “smoking-related” condition. If you do some research on those people who live to over 100, a surprising number of them indulge in unhealthy, even “lethal”, habits.

        Whatever happened to “evidence-based policy making”? Where is the EVIDENCE that this legislation will have any impact on the number of “the children” taking up smoking later in life? More to the point, where is the EVIDENCE that this legislation will not decimate our corner shops in the same way that the smoking ban closed thousands of pubs, working man’s clubs, British Legion clubs, snooker halls and bingo halls?

      • Parmenion permalink
        January 25, 2012 7:36 pm

        Stephen, you’re obviously an intelligent person. Me, I’m just an ordinary bloke…a bricklayer who likes to smoke.
        The smoking ban has completely ruined my social life, and that is the reason why I started to investigate the nature of this ban.
        As an MP, I would like to think that you, also, have looked into the reasons behind the ban.
        The best article I read, was a real eye opening experience for me. “Smoke, Lies and the Nanny State” by Joe Jackson sums it all up perfectly.
        I would be grateful if you could take 10 minutes of your time to look it over, and to make an honest appraisal of it.
        http://www.joejackson.com/pdf/5smokingpdf_jj_smoke_lies.pdf

        Cheers…David Copeland.

      • Anthony Williams permalink
        January 26, 2012 12:38 pm

        Stephen, I agree with you, smoking does lead to poor health for the smoker, but that surely is up to the individual if he/she wishes to self harm, but there is no absolute proof that SHS is in any way dangerous, any more than airborne pollution is.
        What I do not understand is the unremitting attacks on those who choose to smoke, other than a drive to own the nicotine market by Big Pharmaceutical companies who are funding most of this on going battle.
        Plain packaging Yes but why is this not being applied to Alcohol or chocolates/sweets as these are just as harmful and as costly to the public purse, in terms of Alcoholism and obesity.
        I believe the simple answer is that as yet the Drug companies have not come up with a Choco patch or a alko patch but when they do then the continued harassment of people will continue.
        I am not a smoker, but I will defend the rights of those who do and who in the process give enormous amounts to the treasury, that I would otherwise have to pay in extra tax.

      • Lyn permalink
        January 26, 2012 1:12 pm

        Stephen, many things in life can lead to poor health, but banning them all would lead to certain death as most, if not all, are necessary for life to exist. The Victorians regulalry took arsenic – they didn’t drop dead taking it as it is the dose that makes the poison and as, with medecines prescribed regularly by doctors, many contain substances that, taken in excess, are highly poisonous and would kill – hence the ‘dose’ prescribed by the doctor!

        Many people today are sick and tired of governments trying to fit square pegs into round holes. None of us are the same because we are INDIVIDUALS. This means that we like different things in terms of food and drink, the jobs we do, what our goals are in life, etc. In fact, if we didn’t then we would not still be in existence! We need to be different to tackle the miriad of problems that life throws at us otherwise none of the challenges of life would have been resolved.

        These life challenges do not include trying to mould people into clones of what some see as the ‘perfect’ package. This is why the resistence to bans that affect the choices of individuals, when those choices are to do or partake of something that is legal, never mind the fact of whether or not it is something that raises billions for the treasury.

        Just like square pegs will not fit into round holes, people will not be manipulated and squeezed into lifestyle choices that the paranoid wish to impose, simply because WE do not fit! The fit becomes far tighter too when the basis for this manipulatation is totally flawed and based on lies that even a child can see through and on top of that is solely about making money for the huge pharmaceutical industry and at the same time bleeding the public purse dry.

        ‘Cloning’ to produce the ‘Perfect’ being has been tried before and failed miserably – it will continue to fail because we are individuals and we cherish that fact.

        One final point: it is because we are individuals that some die young and some die old; some can lead an exemplary and healthy life, never smoking , drinking or eating anything but healthy produce, early to bed and early to rise, etc and still die in their 30’s and 40’s or earlier – Why? Because that was in their genetics. The same as some can lead a totally debauched lifestyle and live well into their twilight years – their genetic make up was such that short of getting run over by a bus or shot or caught in a burning building, they were always going to live a long life, whatever they did. Some are destined to live sickly lives and some are not, it is all down to genetics.

        Very simply, Stephen, THAT IS LIFE!

      • Parmenion permalink
        January 26, 2012 6:40 pm

        Exactly right Lyn
        .
        Bruce Lee was said to be the fittest man in the world. He died aged 32
        Fulla Nayak, an Indian woman, smoked cannabis and cigars every day of her life, starting when she was 8 years old. She died recently…………….aged 125🙂

        http://networkedblogs.com/sqAvl.

  251. January 24, 2012 10:43 pm

    ”But plain packaging will not instantly cut smoking rates, he (Simon Chapman) cautions. “We’re not expecting plain packaging to have much impact on existing smokers. It’s a policy about the next generation of kids who are coming through, so we would expect to slowly starve the industry of new customers by de-normalising and de-glamorising their products.”

    Read the full article on Chapman and plain cigarette packaging here http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jan/24/simon-chapman-plain-cigarette-packaging-activist?fb_action_ids=2467006762015&fb_action_types=news.reads&fb_source=other_multiline

    He wants to starve the industry? This would be too funny if it wouldn’t have such tragic consequences. What he wants to starve is the ”bigger” tobacco makers as he himself admits : ”Replace those colourful packets with nothing but a plain colour, the manufacturer’s name and a massive health warning, and many people will stop buying the premium brands, he argues.” How’s stopping people from buying the premium brands going to help the chiiiiiiildren™ ? A cigarette is a cigarette is a cigarette whether it’s a premium brand or a less popular brand. The only thing it is going to cause, as some have noted here, is make it easier for smugglers to sell crap to the chiiiiiiildren™, much like it’s happening in Canada where contraband tobacco without any quality control whatsoever is sold around schools for as little as $10 for 200 cigarettes. Pure junk is found in such tobacco, such as rat droppings, floor sweepings and bugs but the kids smoke them! But little does Chapman care, as long as Philip Morris or BAT’s profits are hurt in the process as if these giants didn’t have other plans for their tobacco plants, like recycling to pharmaceutical nicotine for instance bat.com/group/sites/uk__3mnfen.nsf/vwPagesWebLive/DO52AEMG/$FILE/medMD8FNE7K.pdf?openelement

    • Xopher permalink
      January 25, 2012 12:12 am

      bat.com/group/sites/uk__3mnfen.nsf/vwPagesWebLive/DO52AEMG/$FILE/medMD8FNE7K.pdf?openelement – absolutely bloo*y brilliant BUT
      This cannot be so because Tobacco Control devotees know they are the way, the truth and the light. Big Tobacco are nasty. They propose an irrational scenario and are telling big biased porkies with this website.
      We in Tobacco Control are perfect in thought, deed and self-interest bankrolling.
      Divert public attention to money grabbing bankers, politicians,union officials and purveyors of death who line their own pockets – We though are nice ‘cos we’re doing it for the cheeeeeuldren.

    • Xopher permalink
      January 25, 2012 12:48 am

      Iro Cyr wrote “But plain packaging will not instantly cut smoking rates, he (Simon Chapman) cautions.”
      They’ve learnt by their previous failures!

      Were ASH involved in writing parts of various Public Service Agreements such as the Spending Review in 2004 –
      “3. Tackle the underlying determinants of health and health inequalities by:
      reducing adult smoking rates to 21% or less by 2010, with a reduction in prevalence among routine and manual groups to 26% or less”
      What a glorious encouragement for almost unlimited public funding for anti-smoking measures such as the smoking ban and a spectacular failure to deliver?

      Stephen, it’s a fair bet that, without the intervention of your friends, smoking prevalence would have reduced rather than missing the above funded dream by a mile.

      • John S permalink
        January 25, 2012 1:15 am

        And how much taxpayers’ money has been wasted and how much government revenue from closed pubs, etc. have been lost on this glorious failure?

  252. January 25, 2012 2:56 am

    John S wrote, “Neither am I a member of any pro-tobacco industry or lobby group, which I mention as this MP made a sweeping disparaging statement implying those who don’t agree with his scientifically unfounded views are shills.”

    The problem we face in this sort of argument/atmosphere is that IF you ARE an “active citizen” who wants to have their voice heard, and then, to further that, you join a group like F2C, the Antismokers will try to disparage the power of what you say simply by saying “Well, he’s a member of a lobby group so of COURSE he’s saying that!”

    It’s as though members of Greenpeace had their arguments dismissed simply because they’d joined Greenpeace in the first place!

    Of course it’s actually even worse, since the Antis throw in the language/debate trick of conflation: constantly using phrases like “INDUSTRY and lobby groups” or “Big tobacco spokespeople and their allies.” In both cases, “innocent” people are made to look as though they and their views should simply be made equivalent to and subsumed under one’s views of an “Evil Capitalist Child-Murdering Industry.” and whose arguments should be instantly dismissed out of hand because they’re “just like” the ones used by “people who get paid to say these things.”

    We need to remember and constantly publicize that for almost all of our groups (with the few exceptions of those who openly and happily accept tobacco funding in order to better get their word out: e.g. FOREST) we are nothing but angry and frustrated non-funded citizens who seek, through books, letters, internet postings, council testimonies etc to get our words and thoughts to a public overwhelmed by the big-money podiums of a highly funded and well-organized antismoking lobby. It’s also important for us to remember and do our best to point out that the visible funding of that lobby is just the tip of the iceberg: the thousands of researchers and full-time staffers working for funded organizations that have “Reducing Smoking” as one of their organizational goals. Imagine if every college campus had a “Student Smoking Group” set up and given facilities, materials, and funding by BAT or Philip Morris … and then look at every campus that has a “Student Smoke Free” group given facilities, materials and funding by the Campus “Student Health” programs partly supported by taxes or by grants from the NicoGummyPatchyProductPushers.

    We are involved in what are truly called “Ciitzens Lobby Groups” — which are quite different than “Industry Lobby Groups” — and we should be proud of that involvement and make the difference clear every step of the way.

    – MJM

    • Mike D permalink
      January 25, 2012 8:27 pm

      It looks more like astroturfing to me.

      Although early attempts at astroturfing required paid professionals, the internet has created a large community of single issue groups which attract many conspiracy theorists to their membership.

      All a guiding hand (amateur or professional) needs to do is keep the paranoia bubbling under then tell the membership where to swarm, and prime them with some things to say. All for free, thanks to the internet.

      An early astroturf group was established by the tobacco industry in the 1990s

      The National Smoker’s Alliance (NSA) was a group formed in 1993 to protest U.S. anti-smoking legislation. The NSA was a public relations created front group funded by the tobacco industry, which operated nationally from 1994 to 1999 to advocate for adults using tobacco products without vigorous regulation or increased tobacco taxes. An early example of astroturfing, the NSA employed stealth marketing tactics to give the appearance of grassroots opposition to anti-smoking laws.

      One of the NSA’s members included famed talk show host Morton Downey, Jr.; however, he gave up smoking after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 1996; he died of the disease in 2001.

      In 1999 tobacco company Philip Morris announced that it would withdraw funding after the NSA made an ethics complaint about John McCain.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Smokers_Alliance

  253. January 25, 2012 7:59 pm

    Hello, Mr Williams.

    I don’t normally like quoting sentences from a comment – that’s what trolls do. But I feel that this sentence is somewhat patronising:

    Put away your conspiracy theories and engage with the issues!

    I have rarely strayed away from the issues in the comments that I have made here.

    There is no conspiracy theory, but there is a conspiracy. Read AGENDA 21 and The Millenium Goals and note that there is no mention in those documents of Tobacco. And yet, within a year of the Millenium Goals (being all about alleviating poverty and disease in the third world) being approved, out came the fully-fledged Framework Convention on Tobacco Control – starting in the wealthy, mostly disease and poverty free nations of Europe. That, Sir, is conspiracy.

    As regards your Group, I use the word ‘fake’ in much the same sense that we describe organisations such as ASH as ‘fake’ charities. That is, ‘pretending to be something which it is not’. Parliamentarians will know that this Group is just a loose collection of individuals with no official standing. Not really different to me and my mates in the pub. But ordinary people do not know that. Why does your group have cosy meetings with ASH and receive reports and studies from ASH, and then make profound pronouncements? And then there is this statement from your press release:

    The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, which I chair, will building support in Parliament for the campaign.

    Can you not see that this can be interpreted as blatant lobbying on behalf of ASH, which itself is a lobby group for Big Pharm?

    If you say that you wrote it yourself, and assuming that it did not go through some sort of ‘approval’ process, then I apologise. But there are certain words and phrases which seem to be common to ASH press releases. The word ‘glitzy’, for example, has been popping up a lot in press releases in the last few weeks. Let us look at that word.

    I used to know a very nice lady from the pub. Don’t see her much these days since the smoking ban emptied the pub. But I nicknamed her ‘Glitzy’. Why? Because she turned up one Christmas with glitter on her face and in her hair. Here is the Cambridge Dictionary definition:

    having a fashionable appearance intended to attract attention

    “There you are, you see!”, I hear you cry, “Intended to attract attention!” But then you insert the words, “….of children” and spoil it all.

    But the really important thing is that you guys have taken a perfectly likable, amusing, innocent word and tried to turn it into a nasty word.

    Finally:

    Smoking leads to poor health. It’s entirely rational for Parliamentarians to want to reduce its prevalence.

    No it isn’t entirely rational. On the contrary, it is irrational. It is irrational because the Government is raking in billions of pounds per an from smokers. And, no one can buy tobacco unless they are adults, and adults can decided for themselves. And, the methods being used are propaganda, persecution and denormalisation in its filthiest sense.

    • Mike D permalink
      January 25, 2012 8:30 pm

      junican, is it ‘rational’ for a load of shouty people to swarm to a thread like this to protest in favour of the tobacco industry’s right to have pretty packets?

      • Parmenion permalink
        January 25, 2012 8:36 pm

        Its not everyday that I get a chance to put my views to an MP who holds an opposing view to my own, on a subject which I have a great deal of interest in. So yes…it’s perfectly rational.

      • Mike D permalink
        January 25, 2012 8:53 pm

        Parmenion, you have a great deal of interest in the tobacco industry’s right to pretty packets?

        You need to get down to the pub mate.

      • John S permalink
        January 25, 2012 9:02 pm

        Mike D – “You need to get down to the pub mate.” The smoking ban closed my local!

      • Xopher permalink
        January 25, 2012 9:16 pm

        MD- you have set yourself up as judge and jury on promotional aesthetics – please then provide us with your list of who and what you can allow to be ‘pretty’ and, of course, all those you condemn to your ugly bin.
        A definition of ‘shouty’ may also provide interesting from one who harps on so monotonously.

      • January 25, 2012 9:25 pm

        Mike D

        Yes it is Even though we have no connection with Tobacco Companies, it has become apparent from the persecution that we have to fight against people like you every step of the way. And it isn’t just about tobacco, it is about every other ‘denormalisation’ process on the horizon.

      • Parmenion permalink
        January 25, 2012 10:07 pm

        Mike D….Parmenion, you have a great deal of interest in the tobacco industry’s right to pretty packets?
        You need to get down to the pub mate

        To be honest Mike, I couldn’t give a toss what type of packet my cigarettes come in. What does bother me though, is the unjust smoking ban
        I used to be a regular at my local cinema…not now though.
        I used to go tenpin bowling…not now though.
        I used to follow my local football team, where I REALLY needed a cig to calm my nerves!…not now though.
        ……and as for going to the pub, well, Sunderland hasn’t got the warmest of climates so now I check the weather forecast before venturing out.
        This means nothing to you, I know, but this ban has totally ruined my social life.
        Hope you and yer pals are happy with yourselves…

  254. January 25, 2012 9:14 pm

    Cute “bait and switch” scam trick there Mike D. You start off with saying:

    “It looks more like astroturfing to me.

    Although early attempts at astroturfing required paid professionals, the internet has created a large community of single issue groups which attract many conspiracy theorists to their membership.”

    and then go on to talk at length about an