Anti smoking is dangerous — 29 Comments

  1. They have to do something to justify their funding. ASH are if I can remember correctly funded by the government. I imagine this leads to some interesting conflicts as I would presume that in part ASH’s funding would come from the tax on tobacco to begin with.

  2. Bloody hell! What possible justification can there be for government funding of that shower? That is crazy.

  3. Imparitality I suppose. This way they can claim big revenues from tobacco but by part-funding an anti-smoking lobby group they can claim that they have no vested interest.

    ASH are a registered charity so any government funding would be classified as donations.

  4. Robert – I cannot see how they managed to get charity status. Their policies are one step short of racism. If smokers got ‘minority status’ they would be screwed!

  5. I’m an ex smoker and while cigarettes now disgust me I do respect others decisions to do whatever the fuck they want.

    What gets me about tobacco is the companies, one anti smoker once told me that these companies also own the companies that make the patches and gum to help you quit, so they get you either way. The quiting aids contain more nicotine than a whole packet of fags, so you get hooked even more, not less.

    I don’t like the fact that they are allowed to legally advertise an incredibly addictive drug like nicotine.

  6. @GD – They are a charity who it appears only can say “€2 increase”. But as they are affiliated with the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Heart Foundation that gives them their ‘charitable’ status. They aren’t being terribly charitable when they try to take €2 out of my pockets every budget though.

    Nevertheless If one of them jumped out in front of my car I would imagine I would get the same joy running them over as I would if they were a member of the green party.

  7. Ah I dunno . . I’d like to give up frankly but a nicotine patch costs more than the smokes and like Maxi says, they have a highter nicotine content than the nurrells. ASH needn’t worry, the Government is ‘pricing’ us out of the market anyway. .

  8. I agree about the pipe. There is something definately soothing about a chap puffing contentedly on his pipe. I stopped smoking (cigarettes) on Feb. 27th. 1980 at My then 6 year old son had a coughing fit and told me I stank. Haven’t smoked since. Then guess what – the little b***er started smoking himself at 16!
    Not me though…. 29 years smoke free. Not that I’m boasting… Oh all right then – perhaps just a teeny bit smug..(!)

  9. The smoking issue is a bit of a conundrum…

    Anyone got a figure for the annual cost to the exchequer of dealing with smoking-related illness, versus the annual revenue generated? Even if the revenue exceeds the cost, this is a short-term gain, because even if smoking were outlawed tomorrow and this revenue stream lost, the monetary drain of dealing with the ongoing health issues for years in to the future would continue. So, can you honestly say that smoking doesn’t harm anyone else? In a very real sense, smoking damages our children’s futures.

    I’m all for freedom of choice, but I don’t think the government should be footing the bill for treating smoking related illness. I know it is only a small step from saying the same about obesity-triggered diabetes or lifestyle related heart disease, but, you know, with personal choice comes personal responsibility.

    A life insurance policy won’t pay out in a case of suicide, so why should the public health system bear the cost of smoking, which is, in the final analysis, a long, slow suicide?

  10. well now, I would be wondering what the cost of the drink is in lives, families, jobs, health care, compared to the puffing?
    I’m damn MADD that ASH is trying to SDI my CHOICES.

  11. Dead from 30 minutes of tobacco smoke? That’s the last time I meet a pipe smoker for coffee.

  12. I’m not suggesting for a moment that smoking does not harm your health but what about the damage caused to our health by living in a city environment with all the associated vehicular pollution – yet our government is hell bent on herding us all into towns and cities. No one-off housing in the country side in case we spoil the appearance of the mountains for occasional visitors.
    I believe our children are running far greater health risks in cities than a “30 minute exposure to drifting tobacco smoke”.

  13. My asthma has deteriorated significantly since the opening of the M50 and the massive increase of traffic along our road. The Co Council now wish to dual the remainder of Church Road, changing a tree lined avenue into a four lane car park of vehicles fighting to get onto the roundabout – I think I should start Action on Smoke and Health!

  14. I just coughed a little reading your post, maybe we need to ban smokers from blogging… or at least cordon off an area for you somewhere on the internet (we could scatter some empty beer kegs and bags of rubbish to make you feel at home) We need to protect the pure lungs of the morally righteous!

  15. Wooooooah there!! I go away for a wee while and come back to a discussion on quitting. I knew that would happen.

    My original question was regarding the mandate that ASH seem to think they have to spout their bigotted rubbish. The issuse of quitting is a different thing altogether.

    One of the “facts” they spout about though is the billions spent by heath services on “smoking caused diseases”. How do they know? How do you quantify the cost of smoking to the health service? It is impossible to say with 100% certainty what causes an illness. I grant that a person with lung cancer who smokes 60 cigarettes a day is more than likely to fall into the category, but there is still no conclusive proof beyond statistical probability.

    Also there is the pertinant question on how the figures are gathered. If I report to a hospital with a broken leg, they will ask if I am a smoker. Does that leg then go down as a “smoking related” disease?

    Francis – I think you may be falling into this trap of “how much smoking costs the health service”. As I say, it is impossible to quantify, just as it is impossible to quantify how much damage traffic fumes, alcohol, or even radon gas cost. King’s Bard and Ian are right. Traffic produces staggering volumes of toxic gasses into our environment, which I would consider to be several thousand times more damaging than any “passive” smoking.

    I am all on for forming ATH. [Action on Traffic and Health]. An insane idea, but no worse than ASH?

    SAm – Please feel free to open your window while you read this.

  16. From the moment we are born, we die a little every day.

    Death is the only certainty in life. We choose our poison, be it cannabis, opiates, tobacco, alcohol or the polluted air we breathe.

    I have never heard of anybody stabbing anyone else just because they had smoked a Silk Cut. Alcohol on the other hand literally causes murder and mayhem in our society, with children in their teens presenting themselves at our psychiatric hospitals suffering from alcoholism. What about the long term cost to our state and society of drink?

  17. Granny – You wrote that on your laptop just across the room from me [you could have just said it – it would have saved on the postage?] and I had to suffer your obnoxious and lethal cigarette fumes while you wrote it. Spot on about the alcohol though.

  18. @Gran(ny|dad) – tell you what; you keep your pipe and cigs and I’ll keep my cans.

    I’ve never smoked, never intend to, and don’t enjoy the smell of cigarettes, but there /is/ a good smell from pipes.

  19. KV depends whose pipe you’re smellin..
    Granny I have to admit on a flight to Bangkok I have felt like stabbing someone over the Himalayas for the want of a smoke..

  20. We have the equivalent ‘health nuts’ here in US.According to where you live & the activists for the ban in that area.I smoke like a chimney!Not proud of it,just a fact.I live close to Houston,Tx,one of the top rated polluted cities in the nation.You’ve already mentioned the traffic,we also have gazillion chemical plants & other polluting factories.They have relaxed the EPA rules for the same,yet have banned smoking nearly everywhere.Most of the bars & restaraunt owners weren’t too happy with the new ordinances.(me too) My hubby’s aunt died of lung cancer,Never smoked nor was around it much.She lived on a farm most of her life,then they moved to the city. She had never been sick a day in her life until a couple of years in what the city calls fresh air.There has been so much conflicting reports on smoking who the hell knows the truth of the matter. I believe the very first scientist/Dr. reporting on it falsified his tests & reporting(look it up)Sure, it’s probably not good for you but if you avoided everything they’ve said causes cancer & other health problems you’d be like a vegetable just rotting in the drawer.

  21. That’s what gets me about these anti smoking nutcases. The get fixated about smoking and completely overlook even more serious and real threats to peoples health.

  22. Isn’t it obvious? It’s all a smokescreen.

    My Granny smoked Sweet Afton, seriously strong cigarettes with no filter on them. She lived to 96 and never had any health problems.

  23. Its all part of the recent wave of paternalism that swept the west in particular over the past 10-15 years.

    International organisations like the World Health Organisation use a network of health professionals to work behind the scenes and push national governments into committing to nonsensical but nice sounding legal changes.

    If you are a government health minister and you are confronted by WHO officials who ask you what you are doing about smoking there’s always the fear that they’ll run off to the media and you’ll find officials saying things in the press like ‘The Minister doesn’t care about children’s health’ if you say something like its people’s personal choice.

    The paternalism comes from places like Sweden who have distinctly strange ideas about personal freedom and an almost nazi-like zeal in ensuring the ‘wrong’ choices people make are eliminated.

    Its the same with alcohol. You’ve basically got po-faced puritans often hiding behind medical degrees who have the worst addiction in the world themselves- Telling Other People How To Live Their Lives’.

    It doesn’t matter that the chap who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the link between smoking and lung cancer (Professor Sir Richard Doll) was asked about second hand smoking and his reply was ‘the effects are too small to measure’.

    It doesn’t matter that the TV ads showing children sitting on the stairs breathing out a ball of smoke in the air had to be withdrawn because they were adjudged to be scaremongering and non-scientific.

    It doesn’t matter that the W.H.O Cancer Reports list causes of cancer in the developed word in the followin order;

    (1) Genetic Predisposition
    (2) Pollution in urban areas (factory & car exhausts)
    (3) Lifestyle factors (ie heavy smoking drinking and poor diet among a secondary list of other factors.)

    So. If the medics really want to prevent lung cancer scientifically they must first find a way to switch off genetic triggers for cancer, secondly they must pressurise governments to reduce urban pollution and thirdly must educate and campaign for better lifestyle education.

    The W.H.O know that the first is a research issue- the second is too tough to take on because the auto industry and CBI and other business unions won’t allow tough emission rules to be introduced for factories and vehicles (oh the burden on industry!) so the sexy bit for them is demanding that national governments crack down on the chap having a fag.

    In my case I’m a smoker living in London. The air is full of zinc which is a cancer causing toxic chemical which is known to affect humans and animals. I don’t own or operate a vehicle so any non-smoker badgering me about smoking in London hears me say I’ll give up fags if they crush their car. They hate that, the non-smoking driving puritans. Its kind of sad seeing the office johnnies jogging around the West End of London panting away and giving me the sneer as they pass when they see I’m smoking/

    Thats right, chap. Suck some more of that zinc into your lungs, I silently think, and let’s see who gets lung cancer first. ‘Jog On’.

    There you go.

  24. I forgot to mention that the way the puritans operate through the W.H.O is to look down the list of 180 or so countries which are members, pick places like The Solomon Islands or other tiny nations with not much infrastructure and basically say to them they won’t get UN development money unless they vote for global restrictions on smoking or drinking and of course these many small countries fall anxiously into line at W.H.O/UNHCR meetings and vote the way they are told.

    That way they end up ensuring the the puritan tyranny gets lashed into the health policies of national governments everywhere- I mean, who can argue with the W.H.O on health matters?

    I can but I won’t get the chance and neither will my political representative. Sorry for the long post but its important that people realise where the manipulation is coming from.

  25. I salute you, Captain.

    That is a pretty powerful bit of writing, and I thank you for going to the trouble.

    It would be interesting to do a bit more research on this line of argument, so doubtless you will see me return to the topic.

  26. ASH gets money from the Government, then ASH pays lobbyists and politicians as well paying for advertising in the media which wins them the favor of the press. Through their propaganda they are able to win public support for their absurd taxes which then go to fund ASH, the politicians and the media. Tobacco companies are not allowed to advertise so the media has no interest in presenting a fair view of tobacco, because tobacco cannot pay them.


  27. For the sake of clarity, how about those who maintain that ASH receives government funding produce actual figures for the amounts involved?

    It should be much easier to establish a link between ASH and government funding than, say, something fuzzy like the link between smoking and illness…

    Go on, take a little time to research ASH Ireland’s funding model. You’ll discover that, for once, we can’t blame the government!

    As an incentive, I’ll buy a carton of your favourite cigarette brand for whoever can provide me with the actual figure for the amount on the cheque that the Exchequer sent to ASH Ireland.

  28. Heh! You’re on to a winner there, Francis? Personally, I don’t know whether or not ASH do receive funding from the government, but you can be damned sure that it would be very difficult to uncover if they are.

    You can send me a pack of tobacco though, if you like?

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