Smoking Drunks and Couch Potatoes

They are fond of doing surveys here in Ireland to discover how “healthy” we all are.

They did one a while ago and for some reason that eludes me, they called it Wave 1.  Now they have produced another report which is called – you’ll never guess – Wave 2.

Presumably the idea is to discover whether we are behaving ourselves and improving our lifestyles in accordance with the diktat of Public Health?  Apparently things aren’t going too well?

While 90% of respondents know that alcohol is a risk factor for liver disease, only 27% of women are aware of the increased risk of developing breast cancer as a result of heavy drinking”  Fuck me but they’re obsessed with risk! Is that all they ever think about?  It’s no wonder they’re a miserable shower of cunts.

Obesity levelling out but 60% of people still overweight.”  Overweight by whose standards?  And if “obesity” is levelling out then there is no need to worry about taxes on suger?  Yeah!  Right!

84% of people living in Ireland say their health is very good or good although 28% indicate that they have a long-standing illness or health condition“.  In other words, 12% have a long standing condition but are healthy.  Either the questioning was flawed or some people just aren’t obsessed with their health.

37% of drinkers indicate that they drink six or more standard drinks (“binge drinking”) on a typical drinking occasion“.  There are two ways to alleviate this non-problem.  Firstly, stop using the term “binge drinking” – it’s a term concocted by Public Health to try to put us on a guilt trip.  Secondly stop using this arbitrary limit on the amount we “should” drink.  It’s a load of bollox.

I notice in Wave 1 they say that “fewer than 1 in 5 people now smoke“.  So I would assume a figure of 19%?  However in Wave 2 they say that “23% of the population are current smokers“.  Woops?  That’s a bit of a jump up the ladder, isn’t it?  [*snigger*]

While 19% of people living in Ireland smoke on a daily basis, recruitment of new smokers continues at a high rate with 20% of those aged under 25 currently smoking“.  Hold on now….  they just said 23% are current smokers and now they’re saying 19%?  Or do they mean that the 23% smoke currents [or raisins or even sultanas]?  I’m getting confused.  As for the yoof sparking up, well that’s what they get for making smoking an act of rebellion.

18% of the population in Ireland is exposed to second-hand smoke on a daily basis”  Er… “exposed”?  What precisely does that mean?  They walked past someone in the street who was smoking?  And what does it matter anyway as it’s completely harmless.  I might as well say I was “exposed” to a lorry or a tree recently.

17% did not use any form of contraception outside of a steady relationship”  So fucking what? 

Almost half the population is in a social club or organisation“.  What the fuck?  I’m a member of a Credit Union.  Does that count?

Approximately half of the people living in Ireland have had some experience of people with mental health issues”  Only half?  Surely nearly everyone has seen them on television, if not in the flesh? 

They’re called politicians.


The Smokers’ Survey

I received a mail yesterday from Simon Clarke tipping me off about a survey.

Needless to say, I was ahead of the game and had already completed it.

It’s completely anonymous and fair [in my opinion] and the only problem I had was a question on “smoking related diseases” which I found confusing as everything these days seems to be a “smoking related disease”.  That aside, I give you the blurb:

ANTI-SMOKING campaigners like to bombard politicians and the media with ‘facts’ about smokers. 

The most common ‘statistic’ is that 70 per cent of smokers want to quit. More generally they like to give the impression that most smokers wish they’d never started.

Some smokers probably do fall into one or both of those camps and if you want to quit smoking or switch to a safer alternative such as electronic cigarettes, good luck to you. That’s entirely your choice.

But it’s not the full story. Despite the well-known health risks many smokers say they enjoy smoking and have no wish to stop. Sadly their voices are usually drowned out by politicians, the public health industry and even the media who all think they know better.

To find out what smokers really think about these and other issues the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) in Glasgow has designed an in-depth survey.

It includes questions about your experience of smoking and how you feel about the habit. 

It asks whether you feel stigmatised for smoking and what impact quitting would have on you.

The survey also asks about your experience (if any) of NHS stop smoking services and new tobacco or nicotine products such as e-cigarettes.

Most important it invites you to say whether or not you enjoy smoking.

You don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to. All the information you provide will be kept completely anonymous and stored securely.

Depending on the number of submissions we receive the plan is to publish a report that will be free to download and will be made available to a wide range of interested parties.

The Smokers’ Survey,” says Neil McKeganey, director of the Centre for Substance Use Research, “is a way of getting the voices of smokers heard above the clamour for ever greater regulation.”

We can’t do that without your help so if you’re a smoker please complete and submit the survey as soon as possible.

So go on.  It’s painless.  It’s anonymous.  They imply it’s UK based but Irish [and presumably anyone else?] are welcome to compete it.



There shall be no dissent

There is a trend beginning to emerge that I find very disturbing.

It started with the Anti-Smokers who, when holding their policy making decisions openly banned anyone from attending who wasn't an Anti-Smoker.  This of course resulted in an echo chamber full of nodding heads and the inevitable outcome was that policies were extreme, one sided and with no tolerance for any argument whatsoever.

Recently there was another example.  Leonardo Dicaprio [a slit eyed second rate actor with no qualifications whatsoever] called for a ban on all climate "deniers" from holding office.  If you aren't a fervent believer in the Church of Climate Change then you must be gagged and prevented from holding an opinion.

What saddened me about the latter was that there was an article and a poll on the subject and the majority [50%] agreed with this policy. Are there that many who no longer believe in debate or discussion?

One of the marks of a free society is the ability and right to hold opposing views.  People are free to express their views and debate them.  An exclusion of any opposition to any theory or line of thought will lead to that theory becoming dogma.  Once it was held as scientific fact that the Earth was the centre of the Universe and any opposing theory was heresy.  There is no difference between that and the modern trend.  If you don't believe in their religion you must be excluded and your voice never heard.

In a way, this site is a microscopic version of freedom in that anyone is free to hold a view in opposition to mine.  Unfortunately, there is a tendency for people who disagree with me to shun the place and go elsewhere.  Indeed, I did have a prolific commenter in the past whose comments I thoroughly enjoyed, but one day I got a private email saying that if I didn't change my views [on climate change] he would have to stop reading and commenting.  Fair enough.  I was very sad to see him go but I would much rather have debated the subject with him. 

I have my views on things and there are [probably a vast majority] who hold opposing views but all are welcome here.  I don’t lay down any rules that people can’t comment unless they fully agree with my opinions.  I have never banned or deleted any opposition [with one exception but he was just a fucking irritating little Troll!], despite claims in the past that I have done so.

Exclusion of dissent is a very dangerous path.  It leads to erroneous theories becoming "fact".  It stifles progress and turns science into religion.

And suppression of counter arguments is a sure sign they know they may well be wrong.