The depraved fighting the deprived

So the torturing of vapers and the introduction of plain packaging has gotten the green light from the EU.

I'm not in the least bit surprised.

The Tobacco Control Industry is a malignant cancer and has reached its tentacles into just about every corner of politics and law.  It is a mindless beast, blinded by its fanatical hatred not of cigarettes, nor even tobacco but of nicotine itself.  It defies logic and reason and the hatred is purely for the sake of hatred.

I'm not that bothered with the e-cigarette thing.  If I want to purchase something of which the EU disapproves then there is always the Interweb.  I'd run the risk of unregulated products and if I poison myself, it's the EU who is to blame.

Nor am I bothered that much about the plain packaging either.  It's just another snide attempt to humiliate smokers but all it will do is make life far more difficult for the tobacconist.  My packaging will be consigned to the bin where it belongs, after [naturally] I have transferred its contents to a more aesthetically pleasing pouch.

There is an interesting footnote to one of the articles –

Around one in five people in Ireland still smokes but the rate is higher in deprived areas.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this.  Are they suggesting that my puffing a pipe is lowering the tone of the area?  Am I single handedly lowering property prices in the neighbourhood?  Has my little neck of the mountain become deprived because of my little pleasures?  Or is this a suggestion that I should quit if I don't want to join the Lower Orders who as we all know are lager swilling louts who spend all their dole money on the horses?  I prefer stout, have a pension and have never backed a horse in my life, so they're on to a loser there.

Does smoking lower the tone of the place, or do people smoke because they live in a deprived area?  Maybe Tobacco Control should use smoking prevalence to discover which areas need investment to raise the standard of living?  At east then they'd be doing something useful.

The TPD is little short of the equivalent of pulling wings off flies.  It's the school bully prodding you with a compass, just because he can.  It doesn't do anyone any good but they do it because they know they can get away with it.

They wil never force me to quit, as it has become a matter of principle.

There is ony one reason I would ever give up the pipe.

That is when I make the decision.

 

The Deliberately Blinkered Approach

Just a little footnote to yesterday's theme…

So the Royal College of Physicians announces that in their opinion e-cigarettes are a remarkably effective smoking cessation device. 

You would imagine there would be a sigh of relief amongst the various governing bodies?  An unbiased organisation, highly regarded in the medical world has made a pronouncement that should please everybody?

Not so in this backward little country called Ireland.

Oh no.  The RCP could be wrong.  We still don't know if vaping could be harmful in 50 years time.  And there are a lot of people in America and elsewhere who have raised doubts [no matter how ludicrous].

Responding, the Irish cancer charity said that while it recognised e-cigarettes were safer than tobacco, it could not recommend them for use as a smoking cessation device until further research was carried out.

Minister for Children Dr James Reilly said he was “very concerned” about e-cigarettes.

“We didn’t have sufficient information and I didn’t want the ‘perfect’ to get in the way of the ‘good’ in relation to including that in the legislation,” Dr Reilly said.

“But the evidence is starting to pile up now that this is a serious problem.”

Actually the evidence is now saying it isn't a problem, but never mind.  Incidentally, I haven't a clue what the "good" and "perfect" thing is about.

Dr Reilly said he was concerned that e-cigarettes could become a “gateway” to traditional nicotine consumption. “I don’t want to undermine anything we’re doing by not having good, strong evidence, well-researched. I know that there are people in America very concerned about this.”

Er, no.  The report just says that there isn't a "gateway" effect.  And as for the vested interests and lunatic fringe in America…. What can I say?  What about the doctors in the UK who aren't concerned?

So, to paraphrase the Irish attitude –

We think cigarettes are 100% lethal, and while we are told that e-cigarettes are 95% safer, there is still a remote possibility that they are 5% lethal and would therefore prefer people to stick with the 100% lethal ones for a few more decades until we are happy that further research has been carried out.

Or possibly the real truth –

Look, Ireland relies very heavily on Big Pharma as an industry and we wouldn't want to rock the boat.  Also they are very generous in funding qangos so we don't want to offend them in any way.  Therefore we would ask people to ignore the experts and carry on smoking which is, when all is said and done, a huge generator of tax revenue.  And if anyone wants to quit, then ignore those idiots in the UK and rely instead on the useless yokes produced by our pharmaceutical friends.

 

A Billion Lies

There has been a fair bit of comment on the Royal College of Physicians report on vaping in recent days.

People have been justifiably delighted with the announcement that vaping is officially as safe as they have always claimed it is.  

I have read several views on the report but the one that stood out for me was one written by an anti-smoker – Michael Siegel.  While he is a professional anti-smoker, he at least has the saving grace to be honest about it.  One paragraph in particular stood out for me –

It is also a breath of fresh air that helps to clean out some of the stench we have been getting from the completely non-evidence-based rhetoric and propaganda we have been getting for the past six years from anti-nicotine organizations and researchers in the U.S. and from numerous health agencies and regulatory bodies, including the FDA and the CDC.

Now smokers have known for years that the Tobacco Control Industry can be economical with the truth, but here is a report that not only contradicts the TCI but essentially proves that they have been lying all along.  So having been called out on their lies, just how far back in history to we have to go before we see a bit of honesty in their outpourings?

I would contend that it all started with Godber's statement that they must “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”.  Now this wasn't the first lie, but it was a direct call to action to produce "evidence", as is shown by the word "perceived" as distinct from "proved". 

So the lies started then.  We had study after study, where the evidence was manipulated and distorted.  "Good" results were published and "bad" reports were buried.  The Great Lie about second hand smoke had begun.  Having been emboldened by their success they dropped the pretense of using science to back their claims and just stated blatant lies as fact.  How else would you explain such gems as smoke traveling through solid walls and down telephone cables?  How else could they claim that a whisp of smoke in the open air can damage children's health?  Opening a car window blows smoke into the car?

Over the years these lies have become the truth purely by virtue of constant repetition.  How often do we hear of the hundreds of thousands who have "died from second hand smoke" or the thousands of kids who take up smoking because they have seen it in a film?  I am not saying that all anti-smokers know they are lying but those at the top definitely do, unless they are totally deranged.

Then along comes the e-cigarette.

They had no answer to this device which threatened not only their livelihood but also the profits of their masters in Big Pharma.  Their only answer was to spin more lies in the hope that the momentum would carry them over the bump.  E-cigarettes are leading kids into smoking real cigarettes.  E-cigarettes are carcinogenic and are more dangerous than real cigarettes.  E-cigarettes reduce smokers' chances of quitting.  E-cigarettes explode without warning.  The list is long and tedious.

Even after the report was published, we had a desperate attempt at back pedaling from our own Pat Doorley who said that "while e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco products, there are still some concerns around their use, particularly long-term." 

He then goes on to say “The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland recommends that people who need help with smoking cessation speak to their GP or pharmacist to get advice about all treatment options such as nicotine replacement therapies and psychological supports,”  We must keep our paymasters in Big Pharma happy, mustn't we?

They have been called out on their lies in public.

Maybe now people will see they have been lying through their teeth all along?

 

Gerrymandering

There is a lot of debate about abortion rights here in Ireland at the moment [in fact it has been going on for decades].

My stance on the subject is quite simple – it is none of my fucking business.  I am unlikely at my age to become pregnant and therefore I have no right whatsoever to lay down the law for those women who may find themselves in that position.  It's their bodies – they make their own rules.

But that got me thinking.

What about these town councils who ban smoking on beaches or housing associations who ban smoking in their apartments?

Statistically roughly one fifth of the people who impose these bans are smokers which presumably means the rest don't or are lying about it?  A small minority of those that don't smoke are presumably rabid anti-smokers while the rest probably don't give a shit about the subject either way, with minor variations from leaning towards freedom of choice through to "it doesn't smell very nice". 

So any proposal to hound smokers is bound to be carried.  Those who couldn't normally give a shit are probably going to be swayed by the two magic words "health" and "children" so the vote will pass, simply because it doesn't affect the majority.

I wonder what would have happened with the smoking ban here if the vote had been confined to individual pubs or offices?  Would pub owners and their clients have voted for the ban?  My guess is that they wouldn't, and those that did could go smoke free in their own right.  The same would apply to offices, though I imagine there would have been a smaller proportion who would have remained smoker friendly.  But the laws were passed by those who didn't smoke, and probably didn't frequent that many pubs.  The smokers were outnumbered.

One of the great problems with modern society is the concept that the majority know what's best for the minority. 

Let only those who are affected make the decisions.

 

The elephant outside the room

I dropped down for a haircut the other day.

This is noticeable because I'm not due one for a couple of months but there was a bit of a family do coming up, and Herself was getting stroppy about my ponytail.

Needless to say Jacinta from the hairdressers stuck her tits in my ear [looking for a bigger tip] while she washed my mane.  If gossip in the pub is right [and I have no need to doubt it] then those tits have seen more handling than a doorknob in a railway station, so she could forget the tip.  She also had the audacity to say that I was overdue a haircut, the cheeky mare, so I told her that it was only last May and that once a year was enough for anyone.

Anyhows, afterwards I thought I deserved a coffee, and it was a lovely warm spring day so I nipped over to the coffee shop, bought myself one and sat on the terrace outside enjoying my mug and a pipefull of baccy.

I was sitting there minding my own business when a couple of tourists came and sat at the next table.  Now they saw I was puffing on the pipe so they could have chosen a table at the far end, but no – they had to sit beside me.  The glances started.  I could see they weren't happy, but tough shit.  According to the law my place is outside so the corollary must be that their place is inside? 

A short while later a couple of cyclists came in with their revolting Spandex, clacky shoes and banana helmets.  They sat the other side of me so I was now getting dirty looks from both sides.  I ignored them all.

I was sitting there pondering on their miseries when a lorry roared past.  That got me thinking.

I did a little bit of mental gymnastics which I must admit involved a little guess work and a spot of corner cutting.

I assumed the lorry had an engine capacity of around 16 liters.  Being a diesel engine [and not a 2-stroke?] I assumed it displaced 4 liters of exhaust per revolution.  I assumed it was doing around 1000 revolutions per minute which means that every minute it was pumping out around 4,000 liters of exhaust per minute or 67 liters of carcinogens every second.

Now for the other side of the equation.

I assumed the volume of breath I exhaled to be around 0.5 liters.  I assumed about 20 breaths per minute, so that means every minute I would exhale around 10 liters.  That sounds about right?  That comes out at around 0.2 liters a second.  Exhaled smoke is heavily diluted and I don't exhale smoke with every breath, but I'll be generous and say that 10% of the exhaled air was tobacco smoke which means I was breathing out 0.02 litres a second.

So there we have it.  A lorry produces 67 liters of shit that is definitely unhealthy, and I produce 0.02 liters of harmless odour.

And I'm the one getting the dirty looks?