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The Department of Health is launching a ‘mass quit attempt’ campaign in October 2012 called Stoptober.


I can think of a number of things to stop in October which are much more vital to life in Britain as we know it today: less government, lower taxes and particularly an end to advocacy groups because they sponge from the public purse.

A resistance measure is planned. It is called #Octabber, ‘tab’, like ‘fag’, being English slang for ‘cigarette’. Blogger Pat Nurse explains:

I first heard about the Govt’s Stoptober scheme aimed at getting us all to do “the decent thing” and quit smoking from Chris Snowdon’s tweets

I liked his idea of launching a counterblast Oct-tabber campaign for people who don’t want to quit and it appealed to many people I chatted to in the real and online world who also took that familiar sigh of despair on hearing of yet another “let’s give those smokers a shove with tax payers’ cash” initiatives – for our own good, of course, because we want it, allegedly.

I put a hastag on it because the idea was born on Twitter which uses that symbol to get a concept “trending” if you use it when tweeting so people can talk about it. I hope Chris doesn’t mind me rebranding it #Octabber.

Artist and designer Lawson Narse devised the graphics for this mass resistance attempt.

Pat, other resistance types and I would not want to discourage anyone from using the coming month to stop smoking — provided they really want to. And, as Pat points out, the NHS has ample resources to help those people to quit.

However, the rest of us involved are pretty sick and tired of the constant nagging to quit. I would like someone to nag ASH and the Department of Health to stop drinking coffee the way they nag us. They’d say, ‘Well, I can’t just stop drinking coffee now, can I?’ I’d say, ‘Yes, you can!’ then accuse them of moral weakness, addiction, being a drain on the NHS (caffeine can be harmful to the heart), damaging their relationships (caffeine lowers one’s emotional IQ) and so on. I’d tell them they have coffee breath which really does stink. And coffee drinkers breathe their fumes all over other people, especially on public transport and in offices. Yes, sirree!

The Filthy Engineer, Nik Lowe, at Oh what NOW set up a smoking poll a few weeks ago. After all, the NHS,  Department of Health, ASH and the rest of the Tobacco Control gang are always telling the public that smokers want to quit, they’re just morally weak, self-centred addicts.

This is Nik’s question:

Do you want to quit smoking?

These were the results on September 19, 2012 (emphases mine):

YES: 3.81% (8 votes)

NO: 88.1% (185 votes)

NOT SURE: 1.43% (3 votes)

OTHER: 6.67% (14 votes)

This is proof positive that we don’t care about Tobacco Control. Furthermore, we are aware of their bogus science as exposed by professors and doctors (Even, Molimard, Grieshaber and Davies).

So, Tobacco Control, stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

As Pat Nurse says in a follow-up post:

for those who really enjoy smoking and don’t want to quit, #Octabber is an alternative. There are two sides to this debate after all and those who don’t want to quit are as important as those who do.

And on an equally serious note she goes on to prove that smokers are second-rate citizens with no real advocacy support (Forest receives a tiny contribution from the tobacco industry and is restricted in what it can do):

Meanwhile, you may recall that last month I floated the idea of taking legal action against the Govt for treating us less equally than other adult consumers of legal products by aiming to remove our right to brand recognition and price comparison under it’s plain packaging plan – or theft of tobacco industry trade marks …

I’d hoped then that we could gain non tobacco industry funding from a consumer rights group to make up the rest but that doesn’t look likely either.

I’ve found that a consumer rights organisation is only a consumer rights organisation for all consumers except tobacco consumers.I shouldn’t have been surprised bearing in mind that we are discriminated against in all walks of life these days and consumer rights groups also live in the pocket of the Tobacco Control Industry.

This is the reply to my appeal for help that I received from Consumers International which is funded by such groups as Which?

Further to our recent telephone conversation I have now had a chance to discuss your request with our Senior Management team and so can formally respond to your email.

“As we discussed we are not a donor organisation; we are a membership organisation receiving subscription fees and so we can only use these funds or the funds that we raise for the benefit of projects and topics that are in line with our member’s work.

“CI does not currently have an international programme on tobacco control; however several of our members do have national campaigns on this issue that would not be in line with your position. Also CI lobbied for and is an observer to conference of the parties of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This is a long standing CI position based on consultation with our international membership and so we would not find support for you within our membership.”

So where next? The only help we’re ever likely to get as consumers would be from the industry that stocks our market but then we’d be instantly dismissed as “being paid by “Big” tobacco to get children addicted” …

It seems that the tobacco control industry only recognises the worth of a person who doesn’t smoke. Despite the fact that millions of smokers have brought up good law abiding kids to be contributing members of society, that they work very hard for their living, pay their taxes, don’t complain, have achieved much and often risen to the top of their professions, have been great, caring parents, they are simply dismissed as worthless by tobacco control which denigrates them as “negative role models” on account of one small aspect of their lives.

I guess a never smoking serial killer, a paedophile, or one who pulls guns on pregnant women are infinitely better citizens and role models for our children than those upstanding members of the community who just happen to enjoy smoking.

And the tobacco control industry wonders why we think they’ve lost the plot.

we have to hope that our Govt listens to real grass roots public and consumer opinion, sees sense, and recognises how the plain packaging issue is a step too far to take in removing consumer rights and will achieve nothing but more harm for those the Govt purports to want to protect.

And that is the point behind #Octabber.

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