I read a piece by my good friend John the other day.
He went head to head on radio with Luke Clancy, one of Ireland's fanatical anti-smokers. It is well worth a listen and is only eleven minutes long.
Clancy spoke first and when he was confronted with a report that all this "denormalisation" and over the top advertising was alienating smokers making them less likely to quit, he floundered. He floundered badly and quickly tried to get onto safer ground by waffling about the price of cigarettes. He then claimed the report he was reading was a different report.
Basically he stumbled through the interview, blustering and side tracking until he eventually tries to reach his safer grounds by wiffling on about the cheeeeldren and how the majority of smokers support the Draconian messages.
What struck me most about this interview was how extremely uncomfortable Clancy was. They were talking about stigmatisation but he wanted to talk about the "horrors" of smoking. He has a one track mind and the interview was off that track.
I have a strong theory that these people [for want of a better word] really don't have a clue what they're talking about. Clancy and his ilk go to conferences which are basically religious retreats where they are taught the latest mantras to preach to the unfaithful. They learn off their "smoking kills one in every two smokers" and "smoking costs the health service X billion a year" and all their other well worn clichés, and like the faithful at a religious retreat they learn the mantra by rote without ever actually questioning the meaning.
The more I think about t the more obvious it becomes that the Anti-Smokers are actually following a religion. They have a blind faith in their teachings, but when those teachings are questioned they are at a loss for an answer. An uncomfortable question must be sidetracked and steered back to safe territory where they can start back into their mantras.
If one of their sacred prayers is questioned the response is usually along the lines of "we all know that blah blah is the truth" [which we don’t] or "countless studies have shown blah blah". In the interview, Clancy was told unequivocally that his claim of smokers costing the health services billions was a load of bollox and he was given the figures [nice one, John!] where the gubmint makes 1.2 billion a year from smokers, yet they only cost the health service 550 million. This, as far as Clancy was concerned was heresy as it contradicted everything he had been taught. His answer incidentally was that we have to take into account loss of working hours [not a cost to the state] and the “hundreds of thousands [?] out on disability".
I saw a thing recently on the Tobacco Control website. They state quite categorically that "The cigarette is the deadliest artefact in the history of human civilisation." This is not stated as an opinion, it is stated as incontrovertible truth in a pseudo-scientific paper and is therefore equivalent to the Pope preaching ex cathedra. It brooks no argument despite being laughably false. Have they not heard of nerve gas? Are they totally unaware of guns? Has the nuclear bomb escaped their attention? Do they seriously believe in the rubbish they are spouting?
I began to think then of all the other "truths" the Tobacco Control Industry spews out on a daily basis. Do they really and honestly believe all their numbers that die each year from cigarettes? Do they honestly think that non-smokers run any risks at all from a whisp of smoke, despite generations having somehow survived this apparently deadly phenomenon?
This religion is funded by gubmints and Big Pharma, and the edicts pour forth from on high. They faithful are expected to learn those edicts and preach them to the great unwashed. They don't have to understand them, and they must never question them for they are Gospel according to Tobacco Control.
And thus ends the lesson for today.