Give us the money

I came across an interesting web site the other day.

State Grades

I had some fun visiting various spots around the States and seeing them all get a slap on the wrist.

A couple of things struck me.

The first and most obvious is the choice of phrase "make the grade".  They could have said "how you score" but no – they have set the bar and it's up to the various states to jump over it.  It's back to school time – MUST DO BETTER!!

The second thing that struck me was that areas I had assumed to be no-go for smokers failed abysmally.  New York?  California?  I know there is this weird system Over There where cities and towns can pass their own laws independently from the state but I assumed that as San Francisco is one of the least tolerant cities, that California would reflect that.  But no – not a single "A" and two fails.  Then there is New Orleans where there is a fight on at the moment to ban smoking everywhere in the city, yet Mississippi as a state comes across as an extremely tolerant and smoker friendly state – four Fs.  Even New York manages to achieve only one A.

The main thing that gave me a chuckle though was the list of steps to be taken.  I didn't visit them all, but all the ones I did visit had one thing in common.  It came in various guises but the message is the same in each one –

"Sustain tobacco control prevention and cessation funding"

"Restore funding"

"earmark funding"

"Increase tobacco control funding"

and so on…..

It is really all they are interested in.

All together now……….

GIVE US YOUR MONEY!

The benefits of Nicotine

It is a known medical fact that all diseases are "smoking related".

Everything from Athlete's Foot through to Yellow Fever is on the list and it makes life a lot easier for the Anti Nazis.  If your death is non-accidental then it has to have been a smoking related disease which is all good for business and even better for propaganda.  Even if you have never smoked but die from Bubonic Plague then you must have been in contact with cigarette smoke at some stage in your life [two seconds is enough, as we all know there is no safe level yada yada yada].

I recently was doing a little research into Parkinson's Disease.  Naturally I expected smoking to be listed under the causes but it wasn't.  Something strange going on?

I checked through some of the more reliable sources including the Mayo Clinic, WebMD and our own glorious HSE [which I won’t bother linking to as all they have is fucking blank pages!] and not one of them mentioned smoking.  I thought I was getting close when they mentioned Environmental Factors, but still no mention of the Evil Weed.

I did a little more research and pages started to pop up.

The NCBI threw up an interesting little nugget or two –

Both retrospective and prospective epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated an inverse association between cigarette smoking and PD, leading to theories that smoking in general and nicotine in particular might be neuroprotective.

Then, from MedScape we get the following –

The risk of Parkinson's disease is reduced by cigarette smoking, which raises some unanswered questions.

And from Haaretz

Israeli scientists have identified the genetic mechanism that protects cigarette smokers from Parkinson's disease, which could ultimately lead scientists closer to a treatment for the degenerative disorder.

So here we have a possible [probable] major benefit to be found in Nicotine, but is any further research being done? 

Of course the problem here is that the Anti-Smoker brigade have campaigned tirelessly against Big Tobacco and one of their base mantras is that everything that comes from tobacco is the epitome of evil.  It is inconceivable that tobacco or Nicotine could have any benefits whatsoever, and anyone who suggests otherwise is in the pay of the Devil himself.

Non-smokers should be particularly worried about this.  Not only are they at a much higher risk of lung cancer [the medical attitude seems to be that if you don’t smoke there is no need to check the lungs] but there is a big potential out there for medical intervention in Parkinson's Disease, and presumably also for such lovelies as Alzheimer's.

So if you're a non-smoker and lung cancer gets you, or if you come down with Parkinson's, just give the Tobacco Control Industry a passing thought.

Damn sure they don't care about you.

Please delay your emergency for an hour

Just imagine the scenario –

You are sitting quietly enjoying a mug of tea and a cigarette.  You spouse / other half / whatever is pottering around upstairs when there is a yell and a scream.  You investigate and discover they have fallen downstairs, there is a broken leg and blood gushing everywhere from where the broken bone has pierced the skin. 

This is serious.

You phone for an ambulance.

"Sorry but we cannot attend as you have been smoking.  Open all windows and doors, stay off the cigarettes and call us back in an hour."

I am not joking.

Under the new HSE policy rules, the client is also instructed not to smoke for at least an hour before the visit. The same restriction applies to others in the house, who also cannot smoke while the health worker is present.

I had to read that a couple of times as I didn't believe it the first time around.

There are a few points I would like to make here.

First of all, they keep talking about "risk" to their workers.  Lets' do a quick calculation.  I have been "exposed" to smoke in various forms for my entire life.  When I wasn't smoking, others were.  I have been around for about 569,790 hours, so for the sake of argument, I have been "exposed" to smoke for one hundredth of that time [let’s be conservative], which makes about 5,700 hours where I have been breathing either pipe or cigarette smoke. Fair enough?  And the last time I visited my doctor he gave me my usual clean bill of health.  Yet these HSE workers are going so suffer ghastly repercussions from breathing a bit of smoke for a matter of half an hour or so?  Where precisely is the risk?  It is just a piece of smouldering leaf, for God's sake!

I have been paying taxes all my working life.  I am therefore entitle to full and unconditional attention from the health service.  When I paid those taxes, they never mentioned any conditions whereby I might not be covered.  But now they are changing the rules to exclude me because of a perfectly legitimate pastime?  That is not on.

My home is my castle.  I set the rules here, and no one on the face of this planet is going to change that.  If I decide that smoking is perfectly acceptable here then that is the law in this household.  The Nannies would have it otherwise but they know a smoking ban in the home is unenforceable and unacceptable, but they are trying to sneak their foot in the door by threatening to withhold healthcare that I am fully entitled to.

The smoking ban was originally introduced on the pretext that it would "protect" bar workers who would be exposed to cigarette smoke for several hours, seven days a week.  Now suddenly they are worried about a few minutes exposure?  When exactly did smoke become so incredibly lethal?

The Nannies invented this myth of secondhand smoke and the gullible public let them away with it.  Now they are penalising the sick and elderly with their bullying tactics on the back of this myth.

This is a step way too far.

Ban them

Mobile phones are the leading cause of preventable death in the world.

Studies have shown that one third of all deaths worldwide are attributable to the use of these deadly devices.

The effects of mobile phones are beyond dispute and have proved to cause irreparable damage to the brain from microwaves.  They are more addictive than heroin, causing their hapless victims to function without a mobile phone to hand at all times, even during sleep.  Amongst the more serious side effects are the tendency to step out under buses while texting and causing ten car pile-ups from watching the latest X-Factor episode while driving on a motorway.

Any evidence to the contrary emanates from Big Phone and should therefore be ignored.

Research has shown that the long term effects of mobile phones leads to a reduction in intelligence and is indicated by an inability to spell and to pepper conversations with such expressions as "LOL", "Hashtag" and "OMG".

Recent studies have also discovered the phenomenon of "secondhand phoning" whereby non-phone bystanders suffer from extreme anger at having to listen to long one-sided conversations about how Jacinta has broken up with her boyfriend, the latest agenda for the lunchtime board meeting and a running commentary on where the bus or train is at any one moment.  Outbreaks of anger caused by the suffering of secondhand phoning have led to the destruction of thousands of phones and account for a further estimated one million deaths per year.  Laboratory studies have shown conclusively that secondhand phoning is 8,556% more dangerous than secondhand smoke [which is, after all, just a little bit of smouldering leaf].

Evidence is also emerging that the sight of people using mobile phones is leading to children taking up the habit, and there are fears that these children may use mobile phones as a gateway to "hard radiation" where they stick their heads in microwave ovens.

There was also a recent increase in mental institution admissions after owners of Apple phones became infected with the deadly U2 virus.

Professor Chumpman of some university in California has been known to mutter that "if mobile phones had been invented in the last fifty years they would have been banned outright".   "We must cover the packaging of mobile phones with pictures of walnuts to show these idiots what will happen to their brains" he concluded.