Trying to explain insanity

Roof Bloke called around yesterday.

There is a tricky bit of work to be done Up There.  The water cistern sits on top of the flat roof and is encased within a cabinet, and the latter has finally succumbed to old age.  Seeing as it mainly consisted of chipboard and has lasted nearly fifty years I think it deserves a good funeral?  I would have replaced it myself [seeing as I built the original] but when it comes to waterproofing roofs, I prefer to leave it to the professionals.

Anyhows, we went up to the roof so he could take measurements.  He admired my building work and I admired his steel tape and then we repaired to the kitchen for a cuppa.

I don't know how the discussion started but we got onto the subject of smoking.

He apparently gave up recently.  I said fair play and was he now using electrofags?  He replied that he was tempted but that he had heard that they were as dangerous as ordinary fags. 

I asked what he had heard.

He said he had done some searches around the Interweb and that a whole load of sites were saying that they were as dangerous or in some cases even more dangerous than the smoky type.  He even mentioned Popcorn Lung.

I had to laugh, but in a sad sort of way and not an hilarious sort of way.  I explained that all those "studies" about Popcorn Lung and the cries of deadly danger were from the Anti-Smoker Lobby who for some inexplicable reason were dead against Electrofags.  I told him that the "studies" were full of crap, exaggerated and in most cases downright lies.

But that makes no sense, said Roof Bloke.  Why on earth should they be against them if they are so good at helping people quit?

And here's the rub.  How do you explain insanity to a sane person?  How do you explain colours to someone who is born blind?  How can you possibly give an answer when trying to explain the inexplicable?

I told him I didn't know.  Furthermore I said that I doubted the Puritans know.  My guess is that they are furious that they have been blindsided.  They had their nice roadmap set out for a tobacco-free world and that everything would be done their way, when suddenly a device comes along that not only isn't on their roadmap but is far more effective than they ever were at getting people off the smokes.  They could see a future where they weren't needed any more and didn't fancy giving up their fat salaries and research grants.

He thought about this and agreed it made sense in a perverted sort of way. 

As the conversation progressed it transpired that he too is an Anti-Nanny in a huge way, and his bugbear is Big Pharma.  I have a funny feeling we are of similar minds.

He's a nice chap is Roof Bloke.

I don't do this often but I might even let him off the bill for the roof.

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Trying to explain insanity — 14 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, the Puritans have a bigger audience who are listening to, no, hearing, Them instead of listening or believing that there is an alternative viewpoint. It does seem that the “news” is taken as gospel by a lot of people.

    • All the time they scream "health" and "children", the press are going to be on their side.  Mind you, over recent times I have noticed a slight increase in newspaper articles defending smokers.  Maybe the obvious lies of the Anti-Vaper movement are causing people to question the whole circus?

      • It is definitely true that the "public health" people have gotten their brand in trouble with anti-ecig efforts. It remains to be seen how much this slows down their insanity in the long run, but I agree that it has created openings. The difference is really not about the lies. What they said about other tobacco products (cigarettes, snus) for the last few decades was just as dishonest. Frankly what they have been doing re nutrition for 35 years is not much better. The difference is they blinked and let an organized opposition form, one that they had not beaten into submission like smokers. While this has not really increased the creation of quality science on the other side (there has always been some), it has dramatically increased the creation of noise and has amplified the reach of the good science (and the bad science on the pro-ecig side too).

        • For the last coupe of decades people have accepted every "health fact" about smoking.  If a scientist, and thus the newspapers say it then it must be hard fact.  How else could you explain the acceptance of "second hand smoke" being a lethal fact and even the strange phenomenon of "third hand smoke".  They got away with it because there was a certain [if in most cases, a highly twisted] logic to the arguments.

          However they are now coming up with claims which are patently false, such as that e-cigarettes are more dangerous than smoking.  Even the most gullible are beginning to question "the experts" when they can see that millions have taken up the devices with no ill effects.  My hope is that if they start questioning the new stuff, they'll begin to question at least some of the old?

          • Reasonably regularly, with occasional lapses [you should see the size of my feed reader!].  I did miss the one above [proximity to Christmas?] but am currently memorising it for future reference.  Heh!

          • Millions have taken up the devices with not only "no ill effects" but also positive effects. In my case, the constant wheezing that kept me awake at night abated. The "productive morning cough" (i.e., hacking up lugies) totally disappeared. Best of all, I was at long last able to enjoy a good belly laugh without dissolving into a coughing jag.  Dr. Riccardo Polosa published a study about the effects on asthma patients. He saw a reversal of symptoms.

            My blood pressure improved and about 3 years after I switched, they finally tested for cholesterol again and my "bad" (LDL) level had dropped from 155 (in 2005) to 92 (in 2012). Total cholesterol dropped from 255 to 177. No change in eating habits. No medication.

          • Welcome Elaine!  I would imagine the bank balance improved too?  The evidence in favour of electronic devices is overwhelming [to borrow one of Tobacco Control's favourite phrases] and evidence for harm is virtually non-existent, apart maybe from one or two chargers going bang.  It is this complete denial by Tobacco Control that is causing a lot of people to question their ethics and the reason for the ground swell of support for the electronic devices.

            Glad to hear the health has improved!  😉

  2. “I might even let him off the bill for the roof.”

    Ooh, no.  I wouldn’t do that, Gramps.  Not until he proves he’s really taken on board what you’ve told him by taking up smoking again.  After all, it takes more than just one chat to undo a lifetime of brainwashing …

    • To be honest, I don't care if he stays off the fags or not.  He did it for personal reasons which in fact had nothing to do with propaganda or even cost.  The only time I weep for someone quitting is when they do so because they have been sucked in by the Puritans.

  3. What you said above, Grandad, is spot on but, I believe, they are just a 'front group', partly made up of those whose strings are being pulled by wealthy puppet masters – the useful idiots; those who genuinely want people to give up smoking; those who want their end game at any cost and are not prepared to accept ecigs as a compromise, despite the cost to our health.

    However, standing behind them are huge, wealthy corporations, governments and health charities.  The smoking economy is worth a US trillion dollars and in the USA, they also have the Master Settlement Agreements and I think the money is the crux of the matter.    The MSA's are paid by the tobacco companies to the different States for litigation protection and education on smoking, but only about 1% is used for that – the rest is used for many different things within their communities.  Several of these States, including California and New York, have securitized their bonds for very little in return and now face huge interest rates that they can't afford to pay.  Also, as smoking rates drop, the MSA payments drop, too.  They need people to keep smoking … and so do the wealthy and powerful bond holders.

    On top of the $billions that governments, tobacco control and health charities receive from cigarette taxes, the tobacco companies (and pharma's) are duty bound to give their shareholders the best dividends.  Tobacco shares are amongst the very best to invest in and many councils and pensions are very heavily invested.  If smoking rates go down, these dividends are at risk.  They hate kids using ecigs because they desperately need a new generation of smokers.

    If they can't get rid of ecigs, they need to give the monopoly to the tobacco companies and destroy the small independents and the best devices, leaving boring and unappealing cigalikes that are on a par with pharma's cessation efforts – this is what the FDA Deeming Rules and the TPD accomplish.  Pharma are losing NRT sales to ecigs, but now and in the future, they will lose money on smoking related diseases in the $billions.  We know from leaked emails and messages from MPs and MEPs that pharma are furiously lobbying governments for tough restrictions on ecigs and for a level playing field with their  94-98.2% failure rate NRTs.  

    Governments, pharma and the tobacco companies have had a nice scam going for years with the smoke, quit, smoke cycle, so ecigs are an enormous threat

    A really useful and interesting website:  Ecigarette Politics

    • Welcome Lollylulubes! 

      Of course money has to play the major part.  If you remove the cash entirely fro the equation you are just left with the health argument and those who just have a pathological hatred for tobacco. 

      If smoking stopped overnight here in Ireland there would be a sudden and massive hole in the country's budget that would mean considerable tax hikes across the board – very unpopular.  The gobmint knows it is unlikely to reduce the prevalence of smoking much further using standard tactics so it can relax while continuing its policies which in the main benefit the Pharmaceutical industry [which, coincidentally is one of Ireland major exporters!  Any connection there?].  Electrofags break that loop so everyone loses, from the tobacco industry, through the lobby groups down to the "researchers".

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