If I need help, I'll ask for it. Don't you dare to presume to know "what I need".
Reading opinion pieces on the smoking ban in recent weeks, you’d be forgiven for thinking that “health zealots”, like me, are intent on pursuing a crusade to persecute smokers.
Yes you are a "health zealot" and you are intent on pursuing a crusade to persecute smokers. Obviously others are of the same opinion.
The militant zeal with which we pursue our nefarious ends, namely supporting a 12-year-old, successful ban on smoking in the workplace, has somehow struck fear into a handful of commentators.
Fear? Disgust and hatred would be nearer the mark. You're trying to be sarcastic here, but actually "militant zeal" is bang on.
While our new Junior Health Minister, Finian McGrath’s, contribution on the workplace smoking ban was, at best, misguided, his more relevant commentary on the complexity of smoking, and the supports needed for smokers was unfortunately lost in the fog.
At the Irish Cancer Society we know that smoking is more complex than a simplistic pro- or anti-smoking ban narrative. We know that rather than sermonising, when existing smokers want to quit, they require individualised support.
Oh, and the majority of smokers, like our minister, really do want to quit.
Maybe the majority of smokers might aspire to quit but if they really wanted to they would have. Maybe in your vacuum sealed world you might see every smoker just screaming for help, but that ain't the case. Has it even occurred to you that "the majority who want to quit" might have already done so, leaving those of us who want to be left alone? Of course not. Then you couldn't justify your persecutions, could you? Just fuck off.
Most of us know the dangers of smoking, but it is worth repeating.
Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.
To actually stop unnecessary deaths, action needs to be taken to encourage and help people quit smoking, rather than offering disingenuous platitudes about the smoker’s plight.
You're still trying to "encourage" and "help" me to quit? Listen, you condescending little fuck – I don't want your "help" or "encouragement" especially as it involves trying to turn me into a second class citizen.
A what the fuck is "an unnecessary death"? Have you listened to yourself lately?
Plain packs, when introduced, will further denormalise smoking, discouraging young people from taking up the habit and encouraging some existing smokers to quit.
I am proud that Ireland has consistently led the way in putting these pieces in place. We were the first country to protect all workers with a workplace smoking ban.
Proud that Ireland is near the top of the Nanny State League? Fuck!
In the ten years following its introduction, research estimates that 3,726 lives were saved, while the rate of smoking has fallen from over 30% to below 20% today, saving thousands more lives into the future.
"Research estimates"? Your computer programme churned out a hypothetical figure that suited your purpose over three years ago and you have been quoting it ever since. My computer says you are a bullying little shit.
Show me just one person whose life has been saved and I'll show you those who have actually died as a direct result of your pals' vendetta.
Back home, great progress has been achieved in protecting children from initiating smoking since the introduction of the workplace smoking ban. The smoking rate among 10-17 years old has fallen from almost one in four back then to less than one in ten today.
There has been a law in place for donkey's years banning anyone from under 18 smoking, so obviously those kids were breaking an existing law. Do you seriously expect them to suddenly cave under all your new Nanny State laws?
Successive governments have supported efforts aimed at stopping children before they start. This included a ban on ten packs in 2007, a ban on in-store advertising in 2009, the inclusion of graphic health warnings on cigarette packets from 2013 on, and a ban on smoking in cars with children from the start of this year.
You have been busy, haven't you? Funny how none of the above has had the lightest effect on smoking rates?
Minister McGrath said that he tries to give up smoking every day. He’s not alone. Almost two in every three smokers want to quit. The fact that he, like many others, have been unsuccessful up to now suggests we aren’t doing enough and need to do more. We must offer real tangible supports, not platitudes.
We aren't doing enough! We need to do more! WE NEED MORE MONEY!!!
More importantly, we have to listen to smokers and tailor programmes to their needs. The Irish Cancer Society is currently running a community-based support programme, We Can Quit, which encourages women living in disadvantaged areas to quit smoking.
You have never listened to smokers and never will. And as for women living in disadvantaged [i.e. poor] areas, how does it help to pile extra punitive taxes on them? Fucking hypocrite!
Our programme empowers women to take control of their smoking by offering them supportive space to understand their addiction, build confidence to quit, and to share experiences from each other.
By bullying them and lying to them. You want them to "see the light" according to your twisted fanatical view of life. Naturally it's a great opportunity to flog the shit produced by your sponsors in Big Pharma at the same time?
Rather than stigmatising smokers and telling them that they’re under attack, we must listen to what they need and understand what supports work for them. We need to invest in more former smokers.
Stigmatising smokers and attacking them is precisely what you're at. "Denormalisation" is your ultimate goal. You want us to cower in fear as we hide from public view. You want us to feel ashamed. You want us to be treated like vermin, denied hospitality, healthcare and jobs.
If asking for this makes me a zealot, then call me a zealot.
Yes, I will call you a zealot. You're also a nasty condescending little prick. You presume to know what everyone wants and it is inconceivable to you that anyone should actually take pleasure from smoking. You dwell in that nasty little bubble where all you health fascists encourage one another to dream up new ways of torturing those who don't conform to your miserable idea of life.