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Earlier this year I met someone who works for a ‘tobacco addiction group’.

That’s not a group of smokers getting together for high tea, rather the opposite.

This person works in Oxford in an organisation which is part of or affiliated with the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences in the Medical Sciences Division.

I asked her why she was working there, and she responded by saying what a strange question that was. She then replied, ‘I want to help people’.

I said that was a strange response, considering how many smokers have been hindered rather than helped by the likes of her and everyone else in Tobacco Control.

Before I get into detail, my British readers will be wondering if this woman has ever met Debs Arnott from ASH. No, she hasn’t but has ‘heard of her’.

This woman really does live in a bubble along with the rest of her colleagues not only in Oxford but around the world. She said:

  • Smokers were free to smoke — no one was stopping them;
  • She did not feel that enough smokers knew tobacco and nicotine were harmful;
  • She has not seen the graphic made-up or otherwise falsified (e.g. neck tumour) photos on cigarette packets: ‘Why would I look at those?’;
  • She did not know about the meme — see cigarette packets — that male fertility and libido are supposedly harmed by tobacco; never mind that when smoking was at its peak we had the Baby Boom;
  • She did not know that rented accommodation in the UK is nearly all non-smoking and has been for nearly 15 years;
  • She is happy that all UK hotel rooms are non-smoking;
  • She doubted whether much-touted smoking-cessation prescription drugs caused suicide or depression;
  • She is delighted with the 2007 smoking ban in England;
  • She thinks smokers are clogging up the NHS;
  • She supports the introduction of plain packaging;
  • My better half and I were seen as being okay to smoke because we are ‘educated’ and ‘understand the risks involved’.

We discussed everything point by point. Please interpret ‘discussed’ loosely, as outside of what I’ve just written in bullet points, she had very little to say. I did most of the talking and told her frankly yet politely how wrong she and her ilk were:

  • It’s difficult to smoke anywhere now in the UK unless you own your own home; even then, you hardly dare to smoke outdoors unless you are 100% sure your neighbours are okay with it (think of the children!);
  • London’s powers that be have suggested that the capital’s public parks be ‘smoke free’; renters thinking of stepping out for a crafty gasper will have many fewer places to go if a local law eventually goes through;
  • I asked her if she had considered the employment discrimination against smokers — she hadn’t;
  • I asked her if it was right for an aged old soldier to have to stand outside a private club to have a smoke — she hadn’t thought about it but agreed I had a point;
  • I asked if she had thought about all the lost friendships and vanished camaraderie the smoking ban brought, especially to the elderly — she hadn’t;
  • We are sick and tired of being constantly portrayed as selfish, inconsiderate, morally derelict, stinky, generally disagreeable and that people we meet are surprised to discover we smoke — as was she;
  • I explained that the shocking cigarette packet photos are fake and told her that lungs inside a dead smoker are pink;
  • I told her that most smokers will never get lung cancer, die grisly deaths in hospital and that a fair number of us are on track to see to see our 100th birthday.

I didn’t go on to ask if she favoured dope smoking or hard drugs over cigarettes. There’s a simple reason for that; she couldn’t — or wouldn’t — respond much beyond saying, ‘No, that’s not true’ and ‘Mmm’. She was remarkably tight-lipped.

Overall, she seemed really stunned to be confronted by — gasp — a smoker.

There were a few more things which bear elaboration.

Considering that smokers pay so much in sin tax, I told her that we resented paying her and Tobacco Control’s salaries only to be endlessly harassed and preyed upon — audibly (televisual nagging), emotionally and financially.

She told me I was wrong: how could my better half and I possibly pay her salary when the government contributed to it. I asked her how the government gets its money. She said nothing. This woman went to one of the world’s top universities and does not understand that simple point? Perhaps she does now.

I said that if she really wanted to help people, she really should go into another line of work. I asked her once again, ‘Why smoking?’ All she could say was, ‘I really want to help people.’

At that point, I gave up.

This was a social occasion at a top London venue, incidentally. We were near the main refreshments table. When I turned around, the catering staff had been listening intently. For a moment, it seemed as if they were going to burst into applause.

I said what I had to say. It has been bubbling up for nearly 20 years.

And now, it’s off my chest and my bucket list! Happy days!

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During the tenth month of the year, the NHS runs an anti-smoking campaign called Stoptober.

For the past few years the smoking community in the UK has written essays against the demonisation of tobacco under the hashtag #octabber, ‘tab’ being British slang for ‘cigarette’.

Although Octabber might not be running this year — I am using the tag for my own reference — plenty of us are unhappy with the endless denormalisation and demonisation of smokers in Britain and elsewhere.

Tactics

Non-smokers are probably unaware of all the anti-smoking campaigns that take place under the banner of ‘public health’ — financed by smokers through sin tax on their pack of 18 (no longer 20 for many manufacturers). Never mind that only a fifth of Britons smoke today. The fight here for Tobacco Control, as elsewhere in the West, must continue until no one smokes.

Dick Puddlecote succinctly described how it worked in 2014 — ‘How Stoptober Really Views Smokers’:

The UK’s first state-funded anti-smoking organisation ASH (motto: “denormalising you with your money since 1972”) claim that they “do not attack smokers or condemn smoking”. It’s a debatable point, but the huge tax sponging industry they have spawned don’t seem to share the same mission statement, it appears.

https://churchmousec.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/174a6-stoptober.png?w=376&h=157

My three aunts — two nurses and one personal assistant (executive secretary, for my US readers) — smoked 20 a day. All stopped when they retired. Two are still alive and one died a few years ago, a great grandmother who outlived her non-smoking husband. They all had children. All the children are healthy. Half of them are grandparents. All have led responsible lives.

More from Dick Puddlecote:

I’m sure you’re very reassured that {cough} highly-respected politicians believe ‘professionals’ who post like this on Twitter are model citizens and should be shovelled skiploads of your hard-earned cash.

He ended his post with another 2014 tweet from the NHS’s #Stoptober:

Remember, if you’re doing Stoptober, everyone is behind you! And this time it isn’t because your breath smells like Fireman Sam’s jockstrap.

Rather crude, wouldn’t you say?

However, people will always smoke.

Attack on vaping

Countless numbers of ex-smokers around the world have taken up vaping.

Some of these people wanted to stop smoking cigarettes. Vaping gives them the same inhaling experience and they can often enjoy a few puffs in places where tobacco smoking is prohibited.

Not surprisingly, vaping has been gaining in popularity.

However, vaping has been under attack by health ministries around the world. A China Daily Hong Kong article from October 13, 2015 states that Brazil banned e-cigarettes in 2009, although they are still readily available on the black market. Canada followed suit in the same year but restricted the ban to e-cigarettes containing nicotine. In 2013, Spain banned vaping devices from public places.

The China Daily article describes the popularity of e-cigarettes among young people. In the United States, vaping among high school students increased exponentially between 2013 and 2014. The US National Youth Tobacco Survey data showed that, in 2013, approximately 660,000 secondary school students vaped. In 2014, their number increased to 2 million. Among middle school students a similar increase occurred; there were 450,000 young vapers in 2014 versus 120,000 in 2013.

In Britain — as in France — health ministries wish to minimise vaping altogether and not just for young people. Never mind that thousands of adults have been able to stop or switch from cigarettes to vaping, which, as the name implies, involves vapour not smoke.

In the UK, the government is openly against vaping. For their efforts, vapers are under attack, as Christopher Snowdon wrote recently in The Spectator. With an indoor ban to come in Wales, he writes (emphases mine):

Banning vaping indoors is such a criminally stupid and negligent idea that even the prohibitionists at Action on Smoking and Health are opposed to it. The unintended consequences are utterly predictable. Once people who have switched from smoking to vaping are thrown outside, they may come to the conclusion that they might as well smoke. Meanwhile, smokers who might switch to vaping have one less incentive to do so. The negative effect on health is plain to see, even if we ignore the glaring fact that none of this is the government’s business.

Also:

Vapers have every right to be outraged by this evidence-free attack on a habit that is not only harmless to bystanders but positively beneficial to them personally as erstwhile smokers. This is the important point to remember about so-called ‘e-cigarette campaigners’. They used to be smokers. You know how some ex-smokers can seem a little self-righteous and pleased with themselves? Vapers have taken that sense of triumph and channelled it into promoting – or, at least, protecting – the product that helped them quit.

Vapers did the notionally correct thing, obeying Public Health, only to find themselves on the wrong side now:

As smokers, vapers spent years being taxed, demonised and kicked into the street. Anti-smoking campaigners would never put it in such blunt terms, but their objective is to make smokers’ lives so miserable that they decide to quit smoking. Vapers did quit smoking, often to their own surprise. They did exactly what was asked of them, but instead of being embraced by their old tormentors, they found themselves with another battle to fight.

Our media and medical communities are full of warnings about the ‘dangers’ of e-cigarettes. Whilst Britain’s ASH might side with vapers, however, the daddy of Tobacco Control, Stanton Glantz

has helped bring about the banning of not only the use, but also the possession, of e-cigarettes on his campus in San Francisco.

Many smokers and vapers predicted this backlash a few years ago. It was only a matter of time.

It’s odd that ex-smokers inhaling vapour can cause such ill feeling. Under such restrictions, we should not be surprised if they take up tobacco again.

The end of Britain’s anti-tobacco campaign, Stoptober, comes as a relief.

Its counterpart is #Octabber. Whilst most of my posts this month have not focussed on smoking, they do point to a possible endgame of drug-taking replacing the clear thinking which nicotine provides.

I remember the sensible days when smoking was allowed nearly everywhere: aircraft, offices and public buildings. Ashtrays — large or small — were ubiquitous until the late 1980s. In the 1990s, separate smoking rooms became common. Shortly after the Millennium — at least in Britain — these were done away with and the great outdoors became the smoking lounge. Our near-universal smoking bans were in place a few years later.

The effect has been devastating on pubs, productivity and property rights.

Adults can no longer go out to meet their friends for a drink and a cigarette in some areas; there is no pub anymore, never mind one with a smoking area in back.

Office workers need to walk outside — sometimes a few minutes away — for a quiet smoke. Often, because of the weather, there is no longer the ability to take work to do during a five-minute cigarette break.

Private companies can no longer allow an employee to smoke in a company car or other vehicle. The government has dictated to them, just as it has to those in the hospitality industry, what can and cannot be done within the confines of their own property. Along with this is the constant threat of new legislation which would prohibit smoking in the family car if children were present.

We in the West read that our health services are on overload or at breakdown point. Nonetheless, Tobacco Control rolls on with Alcohol Control not far behind. If I were in charge of any of our governments, the first thing I would do would be to remove the funding from these people. We all know the risks; we learn about them at home and in school. We know we can go to our pharmacists and doctors if we want help to stop smoking or drinking. That’s quite enough.

Agree or disagree with smoking (or drinking), no government should be dictating what can be done on or in private property other than where it concerns trespass, crime, unreasonable burdens on neighbours or domestic abuse.

In closing, here are a few more medical benefits from nicotine.

First, health writer Art Ayers’s research has revealed that studies from 2007 and 2009 have shown nicotine may benefit compromised immune systems with:

beneficial effects on inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and perhaps, H1N1 [swine flu].

He says that the studies show that nicotine produces these benefits by acting on the vagus nerve, which runs from the base of our brains (medulla oblongata) through to the abdomen. The vagus nerve has a significant effect on various physical functions, from those in the brain all the way to the digestive tract.

Nicotine may also help to prevent or diminish the devastation of what are known as cytokine storms. In cases of infection or a compromised immune system:

cytokines signal immune cells such as T-cells and macrophages to travel to the site of infection. In addition, cytokines activate those cells, stimulating them to produce more cytokines.[2] Normally, this feedback loop is kept in check by the body. However, in some instances, the reaction becomes uncontrolled, and too many immune cells are activated in a single place. The precise reason for this is not entirely understood but may be caused by an exaggerated response when the immune system encounters a new and highly pathogenic invader. Cytokine storms have potential to do significant damage to body tissues and organs. If a cytokine storm occurs in the lungs, for example, fluids and immune cells such as macrophages may accumulate and eventually block off the airways, potentially resulting in death.

Ayers writes that nicotine is being studied to see if its anti-inflammatory properties can be used to block cytokine storms, particularly in the case of influenza.

Therefore, smokers, he says, are protecting themselves from infection and disease. However, when they stop smoking, they open themselves up to inflammatory disorders, as nicotine is no longer present.

More surprisingly, perhaps, are the studies which indicate that smoking may actually prevent some types of cancer. Second Opinions, cited yesterday, found two studies which discuss stomach and breast cancer (emphases mine in the body of the text):

Stomach cancer

There is other evidence that smoking might actually protect against cancer. Nitrates and nitrites, commonly found in vegetables and cured meats turn to carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach. Smoking inhibits the uptake of circulating nitrate into the saliva, especially at higher levels of dietary nitrate intake. (11)

Breast cancer

One out of every 250 women has one of the inherited mutated genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2, whose normal function is not yet fully understood. And 80 percent of women with one of the mutated genes will get breast cancer before the age of 70. This means that 3200 women per million will get breast cancer. Dr Paul Kleihues, M.D., Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, WHO reported a study which found that smoking cuts the risk of developing breast cancer by 50 percent in these women. “The protection associated with smoking increased with the amount smoked. . . The risk reduction associated with up to four pack-years (one pack-year equals one pack per day for one year) of smoking was 35 percent, and for greater than four pack-years of smoking was 54 percent.” (12)

So, it’s not all bad for smokers or for nicotine.

Yet, in their war on smoking, the medical community and social policy makers over the past 30 years have encouraged non-smokers to blame smokers for their every ill. Going to the doctor’s surgery (office) or Accident & Emergency results in being asked, ‘Do you smoke?’ prior to any consultation or treatment. Smokers, who pay tax with every tobacco purchase (in the UK, around 75% of the cost of a pack of 20), are being denied NHS operations unless they stop smoking. Many employers condemn smoking, which extends to well-qualified, energetic interview candidates. Even when going away on holiday, the smoker is met with accommodation sites saying ‘100% non-smoking property’. The list goes on.

The end result is that non-smokers view smokers as being morally derelict.

Therefore, it’s high time Tobacco Control were put out to pasture. It’s time, instead, that we find out the truth about the causes of lung cancer — vehicle emissions being a good starting point.

Although not naturally optimistic, I remain hopeful that, just as a number of headlines in 2014 have been hailing the benefits of animal fat on the human body (a swipe at Ancel Keys’s falsehoods which have persisted since the 1950s), that smoking ceases to be demonised in the near future.

Fortunately, certain towns and counties in the US have been repealing their smoking bans. In some cases they have been declared unconstitutional. In others, restaurant and bar owners said the bans were bad for business.

Smoking is hardly the world’s greatest evil.

In fact, it pales in comparison to bullying of all ages, child molestation, child suicide, rising crime, domestic violence, abortion as birth control and the very real rise of tuberculosis (among other diseases) in the West.  Those really are public health concerns.

Did you know that most smokers will never contract lung cancer?

Experts and media economical with the truth

Studies on the subject are, not surprisingly, hard to find, but every now and then, a small item appears in a news article, such as this one in Time magazine, dated April 2, 2008 (emphases mine):

… what about the 80% of smokers who don’t develop lung cancer? Are they just the lucky ones?

The article goes on to say that lung cancer and smoking depends on a genetic variant which researchers in Europe and the United States studied:

While the variants were associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in smokers, that genetic predisposition is not destiny.

However, this is not new. A 1985 article from the Los Angeles Times, ‘Researcher Admits that 80% of Smokers Don’t Get Cancer’ begins as follows:

A researcher who testified in a $1-million wrongful death suit that smoking causes lung cancer later admitted “perhaps 80%” of smokers do not contract the disease.

Dr. Michael B. Shimkin acknowledged under cross-examination Wednesday that “most people who do smoke–even heavy smokers–do not get lung cancer.”

Shimkin refused when pressed by R. J. Reynolds Co. attorneys to set the number at 90%, but said it is “a heavy number, perhaps 80%. . . . This is one of the many questions in medicine, why some of us have resistance to this and others do not.”

Another doctor, James P Shiepman, MD, did his own private research on many of the anti-tobacco studies available on the Internet. His short but informative essay, based on 50 hours of research, is entitled ‘Smoking Does Not Cause Lung Cancer’. I recommend it to everyone.

Those seeking actual tables from the WHO and Center for Disease Control can examine his table of risks per demographic at the bottom of the page.

Excerpts from his essay follow (emphasis his in the third paragraph):

… the risk of a smoker getting lung cancer is much less than anyone would suspect.  Based upon what the media and anti-tobacco organizations say, one would think that if you smoke, you get lung cancer (a 100% correlation) or at least expect a 50+% occurrence before someone uses the word “cause.” 

Would you believe that the real number is < 10% (see Appendix A)? Yes, a US white male (USWM) cigarette smoker has an 8% lifetime chance of dying from lung cancer but the USWM nonsmoker also has a 1% chance of dying from lung cancer (see Appendix A).  In fact, the data used is biased in the way that it was collected and the actual risk for a smoker is probably less.  I personally would not smoke cigarettes and take that risk, nor recommend cigarette smoking to others, but the numbers were less than I had been led to believe.  I only did the data on white males because they account for the largest number of lung cancers in the US, but a similar analysis can be done for other groups using the CDC data.

You don’t see this type of information being reported, and we hear things like, “if you smoke you will die”, but when we actually look at the data, lung cancer accounts for only 2% of the annual deaths worldwide and only 3% in the US.**

He takes the media to task for misusing words, particularly ’cause’ (emphases his in the second paragraph):

Look in any dictionary and you will find something like, “anything producing an effect or result.”18 At what level of occurrence would you feel comfortable saying that X “causes” Y?  For myself and most scientists, we would require Y to occur at least 50% of the time. Yet the media would have you believe that X causes Y when it actually occurs less than 10% of the time ...

If they would say that smoking increases the incidence of lung cancer or that smoking is a risk factor in the development of lung cancer, then I would agree. The purpose of this article is to emphasize the need to use language appropriately in both the medical and scientific literature (the media, as a whole, may be a lost cause).

Yet, his own scientific world does not dispute the media’s message; they say the same thing. The aforementioned articles from Time and the Los Angeles Times focus more on the anti-smoking aspect than the fact that only a small percentage of smokers will ever get lung cancer.

Shiepman follows his essay with a section called ‘The Untold Facts of Smoking (Yes, there is bias in science’. Among the facts are these:

4. All cancers combined account for only 13% of all annual deaths and lung cancer only 2%.**

7. Second hand smoke has never been shown to be a causative factor in lung cancer.

9. No study has shown that second hand smoke exposure during childhood increases their risk of getting lung cancer.

11. If everyone in the world stopped smoking 50 years ago, the premature death rate would still be well over 80% of what it is today.1 (But I thought that smoking was the major cause of preventable death…hmmm.)

He concludes:

Yes, smoking is bad for you, but so is fast-food hamburgers, driving, and so on. We must weigh the risk and benefits of the behavior both as a society and as an individual based on unbiased information. Be warned though, that a society that attempts to remove all risk terminates individual liberty and will ultimately perish. Let us be logical in our endeavors and true in our pursuit of knowledge. Instead of fearful waiting for lung cancer to get me (because the media and much of the medical literature has falsely told me that smoking causes lung cancer), I can enjoy my occasional cigar even more now…now that I know the whole story.

At the bottom of the page is this (italics his):

For those of you who actually read the whole article…

As long as I’m being controversial by presenting both sides of the story, do I dare tell you that a woman is three times more likely to die from an abortion than from delivering a baby (WHO data).

Why lung cancer rates are increasing — despite smoking bans

A British health site, Second Opinions, has an in-depth article on the puzzling rates of lung cancer from the 20th century to the present. Many people wonder about the strange rise of the disease among non- and never-smokers in an era where smoking is banned nearly everywhere in the West.  ‘Does Smoking Really Cause Lung Cancer?’ which appeared at the Millennium is required reading.

The article looks at the research done by the late Dr Kitty Little who worked for 50 years as a research scientist both in Oxford and in Washington, DC. She spent the first decade of her career studying the effects of radiation on the body for the Atomic Energy Research Establishment. She went on to Oxford Medical School practising orthopaedics. She then spent time in the United States working with their armed forces as a pathologist. When she returned to England, she worked at the MRC (Medical Research Council) on DNA and the causes of dental caries. She also wrote a textbook at Oxford about bone pathology and bone cancer. Dr Little died in 1999.

In 1998, Little wrote an article called ‘Diesel Smoke and Lung Cancer’ (see aforementioned Second Opinions link). In short, she concluded (emphases mine, unless otherwise indicated):

  • tobacco smoke contains no carcinogens, while diesel fumes contain four known carcinogens;
  • that lung cancer is rare in rural areas, but common in towns;
  • that cancers are more prevalent along the routes of motorways;
  • that the incidence of lung cancer has doubled in non-smokers over past decades;
  • and that there was less lung cancer when we, as a nation, smoked more.

A summary, accompanied by excerpts, of her research into the 20th century history of lung cancer follows.

It should be noted that the effect of smoke in the lungs was first debated in 1306 by the English Parliament when coal began to be used as fuel. Tobacco had not yet reached Europe.

Lung cancer rates started to rise in the 1930s, inexplicably eclipsing the incidence of other cancers. The pattern of lung cancer cases was equally unusual. In South Africa, cities with frequent breezes (e.g. Port Elizabeth, Cape Town) had lower rates than urban areas with little to no wind (e.g. Durban, Johannesburg).

Another factor was that most cities had already experienced decades of urban smoke. Why the sudden explosion of lung cancer in the 1930s?

In rural South Africa, lung cancer rates were lower, even where much of the population — both men and women — smoked. Rhodesia, which had a high percentage of smokers, had very little lung cancer.

The culprit appears to have been the introduction of diesel-fuelled vehicles which appeared at the beginning of the 1930s, first in the UK, then South Africa and New Zealand a few years later. British immigrants to other parts of the Commonwealth began contracting lung cancer before the populations of their host countries did. This included non- or never-smokers.

Little concluded:

Statistics such as these that have been quoted provide almost complete proof that diesel smoke has been the cause of the rise in incidence of lung cancer, but statistics on their own can never provide complete proof. One also needs confirmation from an investigation into the biological mechanisms involved. This includes seeking to identify the carcinogenic agent or agents responsible.

Urban smoke and cigarette and tobacco smoke contain a chemical, 3:4 benzpyrine, that is weakly carcinogenic. However, it oxidises very easily, and has never been shown to cause lung cancer – conditions in the lungs would favour rapid oxidation to harmless compounds. There is, however, evidence that diesel smoke contains at least four strongly carcinogenic compounds. (4) It has also been shown, from field observations, that local concentrations in some traffic conditions can be very high. (5)

In 1950s Britain:

it was quite clear that the increase in lung cancer had been due to diesel smoke, and that cigarette and tobacco smoke had nothing to do with it. Yet on 27th June 1957 the anti-smoking campaign was launched, (6) with the Health Education Council being formed to help push its propaganda. (The Health Education Council, and its successor the Health Education Authority, have been primarily concerned with promoting bogus medical propaganda).

By the early 1960s, this anti-tobacco campaign resulted in fewer Britons smoking. Nonetheless, lung cancer rates continued to rise, particularly among men who worked amidst diesel emissions — notably garage attendants and lorry drivers. The solution for the former was to introduce self-service filling stations.

By 1970, lung cancer rates continued to rise as road traffic increased along with the amount of diesel emissions. Towns near motorways and cities with heavy traffic had a higher incidence than those communities in a cleaner environment:

Thus, in the Abingdon and Faringdon district lung cancer deaths rose by 65% in 1970 as compared with previous years. (7)

Regardless, the British medical establishment continued to press on with the message that smoking tobacco was deadly:

There was no attempt made to check if any doctor with an early lung cancer had some other condition recorded as a cause of death. One such case would have been sufficient to invalidate the conclusion.

Little’s research points out that researchers and physicians have completely ignored the effect of diesel smoke — now increased over the past 15 years with family vehicles running on the fuel:

This invalidates all their results, since statistics always seem to give an answer, but it is only the correct answer when all the relevant variables are taken into account – and the effect of diesel smoke is undoubtedly relevant. It is interesting that lawyers issued instruction on how to confuse a court should an action for damages resulting from diesel smoke be initiated. (9)

The fact that many of the cases of lung cancer involve non-smokers became something that could no longer be ignored. Therefore, as diesel family cars came onto the roads, an attempt has been made to implicate “passive smoking”. Evidence already quoted shows that this suggestion must be false. Not only does tobacco smoke not contain a carcinogenic agent that could cause lung cancer, but the high levels of smoking, in this country before diesel was introduced, and in South Africa and elsewhere in places where diesel had not been introduced, never resulted in lung cancer from “passive smoking”. If the suggestion was valid they would have done.

Little concluded her article by condemning the Tobacco Control industry:

Since the effect of the anti-smoking campaign has been to prevent the genuine cause from being publicly acknowledged, there is a very real sense in which we could say that the main reason for those 30,000 deaths a year from lung cancer is the anti-smoking campaign itself.

Second Opinions also examined American research on the rise of lung cancer. Dr David Abbey studied 6338 non-smoking men, aged 27-95, who lived in California between 1967 and 1992. In 1999, he published his results which centred on vehicle emissions and lung cancer in non- and never-smokers (emphasis in the original):

PM10 exposure was strongly associated with lung cancer, raising the risk by 2.38 times. PM10 exposure was also associated with all natural causes of death in men and with an increased mortality from non-malignant respiratory disease in men and women. PM10s are particles of less than 10 µm in diameter exhausted from Diesel engines. David Abbey, leading author of the study noted that men who spent longer outside were at greater risk than men who spent most of their time indoors.

In addition, ozone exposure was implicated in increased risk of lung-cancer mortality in men, and sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ) exposure was independently associated with increased risk of lung-cancer mortality in both men and women. These too are found in vehicle exhaust emissions.

Today’s ‘cleaner’ diesel is still problematic with regard to lung cancer. Abbey discovered:

these may be even more harmful … “recent studies on the short-term effects of atmospheric particles on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases have shown that PM2.5s and even smaller particles are more important than PM10s.”

It is to be hoped that the lies about tobacco which have been foisted on the world over the past 60 years — from Sir Richard Doll’s 1954 study onward — will soon be exposed.

The real cause of our lung cancer rates is likely to be vehicle emissions. More experts need the bottle to break out of the conventional mould and research this, particularly with the continuous decrease in the number of smokers and venues where smoking is allowed.

ASH — Action on Smoking and Health — would do well if they could kindly tell the public what their organisation’s attitude is towards legalisation of drugs.

Because ASH never say anything anti-drug. If I’ve missed something there, please let me know in the comments below.

It would be helpful if a journalist or perhaps a smokers’ advocate could ask ASH the following and make it public:

1/ Would the ultimate end of tobacco smoking — doubtful, in reality — bring about their advocacy of illicit drugs?

2/ Do they support — sotto voce or otherwise — current moves to decriminalise marijuana?

3/ Do they agree with British Professor David Nutt‘s views on drugs?

Smokers should be told the truth about where their tobacco taxes are going. Currently, that is on ASH’s smoker demonisation programmes. But what happens in future?

Unlike many libertarians — and some smokers — I fully object to decriminalisation of illicit drugs and will be writing more about why next week.

The dope many smoked at university 25 or 40 years ago is no longer the bulk of what is available today. In fact, I read several years ago that middle aged and older people going to Amsterdam’s ‘coffee houses’ for the first time will be advised not to smoke several types on the menu: ‘This isn’t what you smoked in the 60s and 70s.’

That is because it has a hallucinogenic effect.

I’ve written before about an ex-skunk addict and the trouble today’s dope created for him and his marriage. That post also has two other first-hand stories about people I knew who had involvement in drugs.

Just to round things out, I knew another guy in the 1980s who found it very difficult getting off drink and drugs. He really couldn’t consume anything remotely addictive. He went sugar-free and tobacco-free, after which he became rather hyper with unpredictable moods. At that time, he was separated from his wife who was expecting their first child.

I pray that things worked out for them in the end, however, there are millions like him who endure years of agony trying to get clean. They miss their highs, their drug-induced experiences and the excitement that surrounds illegal drug taking.

It’s an uphill battle. Whilst some people survive drugs, many others find illegal substances ruin their lives.

Tobacco Control’s current ‘safe’ messaging for drugs — which also tells us there ‘is no safe amount of tobacco’ — is highly irresponsible and misleading.

This month’s posts will largely concern increasing statism, health care control, church participation and the attendant peer pressure upon all three.

Some posts you might agree with, others might merely give pause for thought. In short, can we be certain that all we are told by governments and ‘experts’ is true?

And what about the personal conduct of the personalities behind morals and good causes? I explored two recent scandals yesterday.

Why October? Because this is the third year of the NHS’s Stoptober anti-smoking campaign. Yes, Britain has had a comprehensive smoking ban since 2007, which includes nearly all hotel rooms, sometimes entire hotel or B&B premises. It also mandates smoke-free company vehicles. Smoking cessation helplines have been in existence long before that and still continue.

We are all aware of them. Isn’t that enough, small ‘l’ libertarians ask?

No, anti-smoking campaigners say. There must be more, much more: plain packaging, restrictions on smoking in the car and so on.

Anti-alcohol campaigns running throughout the year use the same lines which once were ‘uniquely’ applicable to tobacco. Britain’s non-smokers who enjoy a glass of wine with dinner could well find that minimum pricing will make that gustatory and digestive pleasure cost that much more.

To counter this anti-smoking industry which is here to stay, a number of British bloggers participate in #Octabber as a contrarian voice for personal liberty for adult smokers. None of them is promoting smoking and not all are smokers. They are, however, asking governments to leave smokers alone. Seventy-five per cent of the price of a pack of cigarettes (19 or 20) goes to the British government. Should that not suffice?

#Octabber campaigner Pat Nurse explains in her 2014 post on the subject (emphases mine):

Here we are again. Now in it’s third year, Stoptober, Nanny’s do as we say October campaign is back again in a bid to force us all into the perfect size 10, non drinking, non smoking, tofu-eating, water-supping perfect human specimens to, presumably, ensure we can become 150 year old burdens on society. However, this year on Twitter, it seems to be targeting all sorts of undesirables from smokers, to drinkers to the overweight – and jumping on the bandwagon a month in advance is the long-running Movember and new Govember campaigns, for those who like to grow moustaches and goatee beards …

However, #Octabber is about much more than just a statement from informed adult consumers who want to be left alone in peace without harassment to enjoy a legal product of choice. We resent the waste of tax payers cash on such silly gimmicks which do not have the effect the professional healthists brag about. Thousands/millions (insert outrageous stat for effect) of smokers do not quit during the month and you only have to check out the #Stoptober hash tag to see that it’s mostly health professionals, local authorities, alleged charities, and other tax funded, Big Pharma and corporate funded organisations that are getting excited about it. After all, their jobs depend on coming up with such propaganda and they are as dependant upon smokers for their living as the tobacco companies.

Despite the ever increasing hate campaign, marginalisation and stigmatisation of smokers, calls to ban them from outdoor public places, that they have every right to use, moves to remove yet more private property rights with car bans and home bans on the horizon, it seems we are still increasing in numbers with new figures that show one in five people still smoke

We are and remain totally against any bullying, coercion, community campaign, ban, junk science “study”, or untrue propaganda , such as smokers cost everyone else more money. – we don’t – which is aimed at making us quit through forced marginalisaton.

My problem with all these campaigns is that none of us really knows enough about the people behind the organisations promoting them. Certainly, we know names and see the leading personalities from ASH, to name one, on television, however, it would be helpful to know more about their worldview, their career progression and what the end game of anti-smoking and anti-alcohol movements actually is.

Churchgoers who think such public health campaigns are a better organised renaissance of temperance and clean living might be disappointed to find that, in time, they could progress to a push for legalisation of illicit, dangerous drugs.

Professor David Nutt is one such campaigner who is at least open about his intentions. He was an advisor in the preceding Labour government to the Ministry of Defence, Department of Health and the Home Office until his editorial ‘Equasy’ which appeared in the Journal of Psychopharmacology:

In February 2009 he was criticised by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for stating in the paper that the drug ecstasy was statistically no more dangerous than an addiction to horse-riding.[22] Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Nutt said that the point was “to get people to understand that drug harm can be equal to harms in other parts of life”. Jacqui Smith claimed to be “surprised and profoundly disappointed” by the remarks, and added: “I’m sure most people would simply not accept the link that he makes up in his article between horse riding and illegal drug taking”. She also insisted that he apologise for his comments, and asked him to apologise also to ‘the families of the victims of ecstasy’.[23]

That same year:

Prof Nutt was sacked by the then health secretary, Alan Johnson, from his post as chair of the government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for publicly stating that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than LSD, ecstasy and cannabis. Despite his dismissal, his forthright views on drugs have rarely been out of the headlines and he has continued to campaign for a more rational government policy on drugs that takes into account the actual harms caused by them.

His website makes his position on illicit drugs quite clear.

More adolescents are indulging in recreational drugs at the weekend. I’ll have more on them later this month.

For now, let us contemplate a world where mind-altering drugs could gradually take over our society as the norm, rather than tobacco and alcohol.

#OCTABBER-250 (2)This is my closing post for #Octabber 2013.

If the NHS proceeds with a third Stoptober in 2014, all being well, I shall endeavour to participate once again in #Octabber.

My thanks to Pat Nurse for bringing the resistance to life once again with many first-person reflections.

Points to keep in mind going forward are as follows (all the posts mentioned below are on my Recipes / Health page):

1/ The science behind the dangers of second-hand smoke is questionable. Leading health researchers explain that those who are not anti-smoking have no work; therefore, they have no choice but to continue to perpetrate the Big Lie until such time as they can comfortably air their views independent of the Tobacco Control movement:

Bogus science at your expense: Professor Philippe Even debunks so-called danger

Bogus science at your expense: Professor Robert Molimard discusses ‘manipulation’

France’s Professor Molimard warns against Big Pharma in Tobacco Control

Bogus science at your expense: Professor Romano Grieshaber speaks out

Naziantismoking2/ The continuous drubbing of smokers over the past few decades has denied them housing and employment. This also affects ex-smokers using Big Pharma’s nicotine substitutes:

Smokers, quitters and employment

3/ It is perfectly acceptable to speak of smokers in a manner legally prohibited for other groups of people; no one objects to their demonisation:

Unprotected speech

Bogus science at your expense: Professor John B Davies foresees ‘gas chambers’

Nazi anti-smoking motherhood_smoking Inconvenient History4/ There is a recent precedent for this movement, from the authoritarian ‘far right’ Left (see accompanying propaganda posters), reproduced today by Western countries and the WHO:

Trusting those without vices — a history lesson

5/ Yet, smokers actually save the state money:

Dutch study shows whose health costs are least

6/ That said, no one is obliged to be a cash cow for the state:

Tobacco Control myth busted — ‘the cost of smoking’

Smoking Nazi propaganda poster 1450_1 Forces International7/ But the Left — primary movers in Tobacco Control — are selective when choosing their health causes:

The Left’s selective health targeting

8/ There are many real health hazards today — unlike tobacco, they are violent, debilitating and immediate:

Why doesn’t the UK focus on everyday violence instead of tobacco?

Crime — a real health hazard, sometimes fatal

A health hazard affecting us and our relationships (over-emphasis on sex — not for children)

Adolescent sexual assault — a very real health hazard (not for children)

Some involve prescription drugs:

Clinical trials for prescription drugs

Nortriptyline versus smoking: when the cure is worse than the ‘disease’

Eszoplicone for sleepless nights — how about warm milk instead?

Zolpidem sleeping tablets — read side effects list carefully

Prescription drugs essential to gun control debate — look at Paxil

Psychotropic drugs contribute to mass shootings

SSRIs can affect behaviour — suicide, cutting, drink, drugs, violence

9/ It also seems as if those who decry tobacco — and alcohol — are pushing Westerners towards mind-bending drugs, taking a leaf out of the late Fabian, Aldous (Brave New World) Huxley’s, notebook. He loathed both:

Are we nearing Aldous Huxley’s drug-addled future?

Young people gradually moving towards drugs

Tobacco Control — guiding people towards mind-altering drugs?

Advocacy groups say one type of smoke is superior to another

10/ Tobacco Control is not about health. It is what it says — control. Tobacco Control insiders say that their templates can be applied to any other ‘health problem’ — alcohol, overeating and so on:

Who owns your body?

Richard Daynard and John Banzhaf: Food and Tobacco Control share people, tactics

Something to think about in the year ahead.

In closing, I realise that October has 31 days, however, tomorrow’s post, about the 31st, is a special one — and I don’t mean Hallowe’en. Tune in to find out.

The secular pietists at Tobacco Control throughout the world make much of the ‘cost’ of smoking.

They should be writing more about thanking smokers for the major contribution they make to Western governments in tax.

Tobacco tax and other levies comprise between 75% and 80% of the cost of a pack of 20 or pouch of tobacco, depending on the country.

Therefore, when ASH in the UK write:

Estimates for the total amount spent on tobacco in the UK in 2011 range from £15.3 billion to £18.3 billion.

they do not mention that, assuming tax at 75%, the amount going to the Treasury is between £11.47bn and £13.72bn per annum.

The amount of that money treating tobacco-related diseases is £4.1bn.

That means the rest is used to help other Britons, whether for the NHS, roads, schools or other area which generally improves life for all of us.

Bucko, who has his own site but also writes for Orphans of Liberty, examined the myth of the ‘cost of smoking’ and ‘early death’ the other day.

Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

It is the job role that creates the economic output, not the person doing the job. Sure, one person may be slightly better than another and might achieve better results, pushing the output up a little, but over time, many different people will come and go in the role but the role continues ...

Employers have a budget for training and other investment in employees. Every time someone leaves a role and is replaced by someone else, a bit of this budget is spent. Every time someone receives a promotion or transfer, some of this budget is spent. An employee dying is no different to an employee taking a job with another company, financially speaking.

Also, if a person has been with a company for many years and has been heavily invested in, that person is more likely to be retiring in their fifties than they are to carry on working until state pension age. The more an employer invests in an employee, the more likely that person is to be in a situation where they can afford to retire younger.

The tobacco control industry does not seem to consider early retirement to be a drain on the economy that you can quantify financially, but early death, they do.

If you work, produce and pay your taxes all your life then drop dead at fifty nine from heart disease, you’ve contributed to the system all your life yet taken nothing out. As a smoker you’ve actually contributed a lot more than most.

If you work, produce and pay your taxes but live to the ripe old age of a hundred, there’s likely to become a time when you stop contributing and start taking some back. This could just be taking retirement and receiving your state pension. It could go as far as spending a couple of decades in a nursing home under the care of the NHS. A very expensive proposition ...

The tobacco control industry do not tell us what an early death actually is … we are just told that ‘early death’ costs non smokers over four billion quid.

To the tobacco control industry we are cash cows. We have a duty to live as long as possible and to keep producing. Once our production stops we become a cost to society.

We are not cash cows. We have no duty to live to an old age. We are human beings. When we die it has an affect on the people we have touched in our lives. That’s the only cost.

The economy does not notice.

It will be interesting to see how early or late Tobacco Control spokespeople die and of what. But, then, it doesn’t really matter. At least they didn’t smoke. So, that’s okay.

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