Sounds impossible? Well since the smoking ban in Scotland, a year before the rest of the UK, there has been much trumpeting and crowing about how much better life is, how many heart attacks have been prevented, how the air is clean, how nicotine-stained seagulls no longer drop wheezing from the skies and the dogs and babies of the land no longer hack up wads of phlegm every morning. Even the daffodils aren't yellow any more (What? You thought they were that colour normally? Noooo. Everything yellow is because of smokers. I have it on good authority that Big Bird gets through five packs a day). Oh, that song 'Yellow' is just asking for it, don't you think?
A claimed reduction in heart attacks because of the ban. Because, surely, those 70% of smokers who 'wanted to give up' will have stopped and only the die-hards insist on battling on. Except...
Smoking has not reduced at all since the ban (thanks to the good Captain of the Rant in the previous post's comments for the tip-off). So it's okay, you can continue to enjoy yellow daffodils courtesy of the smokers. If you see a white one, report it at once to the Smoker's Hotline and they'll send someone to deal with it.
What a wonderful thing is the imaginary placebo effect. ASH believed that the ban would reduce smoking related disease and rather than relying on a real placebo effect, they made one up. They've also moved the goalposts, it seems.
And eight per cent of Scots admit being heavy smokers - puffing 20 or more cigarettes a day - compared to just six per cent in England and Wales.
When did 20 a day become a 'heavy smoker'? That used to be an 'average smoker' which is why the packs come in twenties. More than one pack a day was always the start line for the journey to 'heavy'. Although now, I suppose we'd have to call anyone on more than one pack a day a 'wealthy smoker'. Note also the use of 'admit' as if it's a crime. Denormalisation continues.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of anti-smoking charity ASH Scotland, said: "These figures show there has been a decline in smoking prevalence with rates dropping from nearly a third of the population in 1998 to just under a quarter in 2008.
"Although this is welcome news, there is much more to be done.
Sheila, the only thing that needs to be done is to take you to a quiet place and pound your face into hamburger over a period of some weeks, using the gentle but regular application of a potato masher. Perhaps that will bring home the one and only thing that smokers demand in this life. Leave us alone. That's really the sum total of what we want, you know. We don't want to get all evangelical and promote smoking, we just want to be left alone to get on with it. Have no-smoking places, fine. No problem. Just let us have our places too. Otherwise, there are many non-sharp kitchen implements in the hands of inventive smokers who are reaching a level of blind fury and guiltless rage you cannot conceive.
You know what? We'll blow smoke at you while we do it, too. You'll be all... yellow.
I smoked a fag
I smoked a fag for you
Upwards the smoke I blew.
The ceiling's all... yellow
No, no, must do that later when I haven't been at the giggle water.
"The smoke-free legislation was about protecting public health and the recent Tobacco Bill was about preventing young people taking up smoking.
It didn't work, did it? Your continuous advertising of smoking has kept sales up. The executives of Philip Morris must piss themselves with laughter every time your mouth opens.
"Only by continuing with prevention and stop-smoking programmes can we continue to drive down Scotland's smoking rates and reduce the harm caused by tobacco to our nation's public health."
Oh dear. More tobacco advertising on the way. The boardrooms of the tobacco companies will need better toilet facilities and they'd better have the heart-zap machine on standby. This will cause more mirth-induced corporate heart attacks than smoking could ever be blamed for.
Public health minister Shona Robison said: "Stopping smoking is the biggest single thing anyone can do to improve their health.
I'd say the best thing to improve anyone's health would be the spontaneous combustion of every member of every parliament in the UK and every member of every fake charity funded by said governments. Second best is getting out of the country, as many ex-pats have already confirmed, here and elsewhere. Giving up smoking is way down my list. But the woman who can't spell Robinson has more nonsense to spout:
We have already made progress - notably by banning smoking in public places,
Which has had no effect at all.
raising the age for buying cigarettes to 18
Which has had no effect at all. When the age limit was 16, ten-year-olds managed to get them. They still do now, by exactly the same means. The only thing you've achieved is to make them more inventive in doing so, which I suppose is no bad thing. At least they are using their brains outside school. God knows they have little use for them inside.
and passing laws that will bring an end to cigarette displays in shops and sales from vending machines.
Which will have no effect at all. On smokers. or on the level of smoking. The only effect detectable in all of this is the destruction of businesses and the loss of jobs. That effect has been dramatic and it has been destructive. They will not see it. The Cause is everything and collateral damage means nothing to them. Were you once employed in the hospitality industry? You're a statistic in a war on smokers that is ASH's Vietnam. They will not win. It's been stalemate for years and still the innocent bystander casualties mount. We smokers are not firing a shot. We don't need to. We are bulletproof. We just want to be left alone but you lot don't get it.
A separate Scottish government report shows that since the smoking ban there has a 19 per drop in heart attacks among smokers.
BUT THERE HAS BEEN NO REDUCTION IN SMOKERS
Try to get it. Really try. It is all lies and it has been a scam to rival the Climatology scam.
Look, antismokers. You have your ideas of what smoking is but you don't do it. I do. Try listening for once.
If it was a simple nicotine addiction, as you believe, then the patches, the gum and Electrofag would have stopped everyone smoking at once. We can get our fix in other ways so we would all have ditched the ash and the piled-up butts and the expensive extra tax and the... I can't resist...
The rollies call
The rollies call to you
They're not temptation-proof
Your fingers all... yellow
All of that would be gone in a flash if it really was simple nicotine addiction. Gone. Yet the success rate for itchy patches and badger-bum gum is about one per cent. Electrofag does better even though hardly anyone knows about it. I was recently smoking outside a venue and met a publican (off duty). He had never heard of Electrofag. Nobody in his pub had ever asked to use one. Even so, Electrofag works far better than patches or gum even though it's not an addiction, as many still believe. Including many smokers. You are not addicted. If you want to stop, stop. That's all there is to it.
What we like is the action of smoking. We like the smoke. It's relaxing to watch it billow into the air. It's fascinating to watch it level into a thermocline that looks like the laser layer over the eggs in the first 'Alien' film. We blow smoke rings and watch them dissolve. Electrofag gets close but the thing missing is heat. It's not hot enough for real smoke. Fix that and we're there. We don't really want to breathe in all the crap that comes from burning leaves. We just want to smoke.
In peace. Without being treated like shit. That is really the sum total of our demands. You can be somewhere else if you don't like it and we won't mount a guerrilla operation to smoke you out. We don't care about you at all. Do whatever you want, live however you want, die in any manner of your choosing. Up to you.
Just leave us alone. Otherwise, the potato masher awaits.
I mashed your face
I mashed your face to goo
And drank the residue
And it was all... yellow.