Thursday, 10 June 2010

Give it a rest.

Look, antismokers. You can whine and complain all you like. We smokers are banned from every public place. You are not exposed to us in any pub, restaurant or biker-laden transport cafe. You are not exposed to us in any train, plane, bus or taxi. Not in any office building nor in any shop, not even a tobacconist's. You do not 'go home stinking of smoke' because we are not allowed to be in the same room as you. You are not forced to take the radical step of washing your hair or clothes, something you regard as a terrible chore forced upon you by the smokers, because we are never in any room with you.

You have the entire length of every windswept railway platform to enjoy your diesel fumes, as well as those goods trains leaving a trail of cement powder and coal dust, uncontaminated by smoke. You can stand in the open at a bus station and inhale those lovely traffic fumes uncontaminated by a wisp of smoke. We are banned from smoking there. We are now banned from many parks and public gardens too, so all those asthmatics can enjoy the metric tonnes of pollen in the air without worrying about a tiny trace of smoke.

Still it's not enough for the deranged control freaks out there, is it? No, they have to follow us home and ban us there too. They have to pretend that the smoking ban has worked with deceit and with pathetic attempts at 'science' that claim to show the smoking ban has prevented heart attacks.

You know what that graph shows to a real scientist? It shows, very clearly, no effect whatsoever. The rate of decline in heart attacks passes through the smoking ban as a straight line, totally unaffected in any way by the experimental variable applied to it. Any graph like that in any branch of real science screams 'This has had no effect whatsoever. The variable applied to this experiment is therefore completely unconnected to the test subject'.

That graph proves, to a real scientist, that the smoking ban has had no effect on heart attacks. I'll go further. It strongly suggests (but does not, in itself, prove) that smoking does not cause heart attacks. The smoking ban has had no effect. So where is the massive decline? If smoking caused heart attacks, that line would have dipped from the date of the ban and would now be declining faster. A real scientist would now be re-examining the link between smoking and heart disease because that data strongly suggests that there isn't one.

I'm a self-employed scientist. There aren't many of us. It's not easy outside the comfort zone of the easy-money university life and if I did my science the way those smokebusters do theirs, I'd be back on the streets by now. Their science and their conclusions border on the insane. Whoever is paying for that 'work', you were robbed. I could have made up a story for you for half the price and it would have had some imagination in it too.

They are grasping at straws with third-hand smoke. More rubbish science from more rubbish scientists, producing more rubbish reports with conclusions that were obviously written before the experiment started. Cretinous journals publish what fits their agenda and to hell with rigorous experimental construction.

Science thinks that those who study ghosts and demons bring science into disrepute. In reality, it does not depend on what a scientist studies, it depends entirely on how they do it. Even some of the paranormal guys are incensed by the pathetic state of mainstream science now. So am I. More and more, it comes down to 'I am a Scientist therefore my word is True'. It is no different to 'I am the Shaman so you have no choice but to believe'. Not different at all. Even New Scientist, a magazine that used to be worth the cover price, recently moaned that people were not believing the Pronunciations of Science without question. For Klebs' sake, this is not a religion!

You are supposed to question what science says. That's how it works. You are not supposed to accept anything at all without question. Not one word. Nothing. Question it all, that is the Scientist way. Question nothing and believe what you are told is the Scientologist way. They are not the same thing. Science is well on the way to Scientology in many areas now. Just believe, for We know Best.

Stand near an 80-year-old smoker and you will die at once. Pass a smoker in the street and you have minutes to live. If you have nitrous acid in the air in your house, it will turn a trace of nicotine into a tiny trace of something that might be dangerous. If I had nitrous acid in the air in my house I would open all the windows and call a boiler serviceman. That stuff is much nastier than smoking. Yet you lot believe it all. Without question. Without a thought.

No wonder you're all mad. Yes, that's blamed on smokers too. If you experience second-hand smoke it will drive you insane. It isn't the constant insistence that it's a crazed addiction, nor the constant terror handed out by the Dreadful Arnott that has driven you into the padded room. No, it's a little bit of dried leaf in a paper tube. It has driven you insane.

Rubbish. You antismokers were nuts to begin with. You could not possibly get any more deranged.

We're banned from everywhere you might want to go and everywhere you'll never go. So if you wouldn't mind just giving it a rest now, that would be nice.

You can't. If there's one thing worse than a bad loser, it's a bad winner.

You want compromise now? Tough. We wanted compromise and you wouldn't hear of it. The time for compromise has passed.

Smokers, we fight for it all or we fight for nothing at all. Our opponents do not want compromise. They want us eradicated.

It's us or them now. There is no longer any other way.

15 comments:

banned said...

Nicely skeptiked but sadly your statement "they have to follow us home and ban us there too" is becoming a self-fulfilling phrophesy.
Here follows a short true story that occured erlier this week.

I was giving my neighbours lad a lift to the home of his estranged girlfriend where he was to look after their baby while she went to a funeral.
He asked to be dropped off at the end of the road so that he could have a ciggy 'coz she gets a bit funny about it'.
I asked could he not go into the garden if he wanted to smoke?

"Nah, she doesn't want me breathing smoke all over the baby if I've smoked for like ages ago".

Taken in, hook line and sinker.

Anonymous said...

Read the Frank Davis Journal for a transcript of a prog on Radio 4 yesterday which I heard.
Basically we know not what we do because we are addicts.
Sorry, I'm too thick to do a link.

Anonymous said...

I do think you're slightly over-egging your own conclusions here. The graph shows that the smoking ban had no immediate effect on heart attack rates. I'd also wager that the smoking ban had next to no effect on how many people smoke, nor how much they smoke.

Since it has already been proven beyond reasonable doubt that secondhand smoke exposure pongs a bit but has no other effect, then you really wouldn't expect the smoking ban to do much at all. At best you might see a slight dip in the amount of washing powder or shower gel sold, but you wouldn't see much else at all.

Here I must admit to a spot of real-time experience of the science of smoking. Years and years ago, I helped validate a method to determine exposure to tobacco smoke, by quantifying the amount of cotinine (the break-down product of nicotine) in the blood of people. To do this I was looking at saliva samples of smokers, non-smokers, and people who lived with and were exposed to a lot of secondhand tobacco smoke (and even then, these were hard to find).

If memory serves, non-smokers had 2 to 10 picogrammes of cotinine per ml of matrix (saliva, which has the same amounts of cotinine in it as blood). Smokers were up in the 200 to 300 range, even occasional ones were up over 100. People who were exposed to lots of secondhand smoke rarely got about 30.

Basically, secondhand tobacco smoke exposure has to be really prolonged and really intense for it to even begin to peek over background levels of pollutants; I'd wager a stroll down a busy city street past a bus or two would be far more harmful than sitting in the lap of an avid chainsmoker. This isn't me talking bollocks, this is actual quantifiable fact as demonstrated by a certain large chemical firm based up in Harrogate.

The smoking ban wasn't based on scientific fact, but on the fact that the public knows that smoking is dangerous, and that most non-smokers think that cigarette smoke really reeks (although I quite like the smell of pipe tobacco smoke). Had the Government actualy wanted to cull the number of smokers, then actively promoting the electronic cigarettes would have worked far, far better.

As a working hypothesis, I would say that most people like mild mind-altering drugs. I do; I like caffeine and alcohol quite a lot, though I'm addicted to neither. Quite a few people like nicotine as a drug, too. People who like nicotine aren't going to want to give it up, so why try to force them to when a harmless alternative exists? Promote electronic cigarettes and the other nicotine delivery systems which aren't damaging, and simply let people choose which to go for; cheapness and lack of harm will quickly kill tobacco burning down to a minor niche market which can then be safely ignored.

Instead, we got NuLabour busy bansturbating madly, the silly, fatuous nitwits. *sigh*

girl x said...

So disgruntled. I agree it's your right to tar your lungs up, and your right to increase your risks of lovely things like oral cancer. I don't know what kind of scientist you are, but anyone who's worked in a publicly funded lab knows there is no such thing as an honest data report -- no one would ever get funding if there were.

Chalcedon said...

As a scientist and medic I certainly don't belive all this bollox, I want to be convinced by data and reasoned argument. The trend for myocardial infaction was reducing before the ban and continues at the same rate. This is due, in my opinion, to better diagnosis and treatment of diabetes and the wider use of statins to contril LDL cholesterol. I also think more middleaged men are conciusly being careful about their diet regarding faty foods and salt. And of course smoking. Methaemoglobin is useless and you do get a small amount of CO inhaled. As for secondary smoke there are no clinical trials saying it is harmful and no observational data saying it causes any medical problems except for 'train wreck' asthmatics to use an ugly American phrase. Even then the exacerbation may be wheeze rather than an asthma attack.

Chalcedon said...

Damn typos!! Bugger!

PT Barnum said...

Cigarette smoke (active or passive) causes mental illness? Smokers are smelly, toxic and mad so why has the ghastly product, tobacco, not been banned?

I jest, of course, but these folk really do want it both ways: allow smoking, but hate and condemn smokers. Can't think why. Anyone?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Top post, LI. Ban tobacco, I say, I'm sick of paying them tax on it - bring on the bootleggers.

Prohibition will even make smoking cool again ... look what it's done for marijuana. ;-)

faulksguy said...

I don't smoke any more - but I sympathise with smokers and recognise the stench of institutionalised oppression when I see it. Smokers are the new lepers of society. What kind of Kristallnacht awaits the tobacco classes if these self-righteous morons have their way?

Hairy Ricky said...

I must admit LI, I was one of the non-smokers who looked forward to going home without my hair and clothes stinking of fags. No more streaming eyes at the bar. Well, I was wrong. I look at the state of our pubs and I wish we could go back and look at a compromise. I did think that all we needed was a few 'smoking' pubs or 'smoking rooms', decent ventilation, extractor fans and air-cleaners. We could easily have sorted it without a complete ban.

I had a beer at a bar earlier this year in Luxembourg and couldn't think what was different. Until I noticed a couple stood next to me at the bar smoking. The room was airy and well ventilated. I felt quite nostalgic about it. I actually like the smell of real tobacco in pipes and cigars. Anyway, I signed a recent Govt petition to return smoking to some pubs. They're all dying now and as you've said before us drinkers are next!

This Royal Throne of Kings said...

Hairy Ricky has said everything that I wanted to.

I have never smoked a cigarette in my life and I welcomed the ban.

How wrong can a man be.

Mea culpa.

Mrs Rigby said...

Recently heard somebody being called 'disgusting' and a 'health hazard' for smoking a cigarette in a pub beer garden - that was next to a pavement on a very busy main road.

It was a surreal moment, a true sign of conditioning.

Leg-iron said...

The conditioning affects smokers too. many don't retaliate when publicly humiliated by the pompous. While I don't know any smokers who actually welcomed the ban, I know quite a few who meekly accepted it.

That was because of conditioning. The recategorisation of smokers as subhuman meant that many had accepted their role as some sort of smoking animal rather than a real human who happened to like a smoke.

As the push has continued, these worms have started to turn. Okay, you can fool them that teh smoking ban in pubs was 'to protect non-smokers' but banning it outside? Banning it in the smoker's own home? That is not about protecting anyone, it's simple thuggery.

Let them push. The harder they push, the more will wake up.

Leg-iron said...

Anon #2 - yes, I am pushing the data to get the suggestion that smoking might not cause heart attacks, but I'm not pushing it as far as those who insist that it proves the smoking ban has reduced hear attacks.

I didn't write the rules of engagement for this war. The other side did. I'm just playing by their rules.

What the data does definitely prove is that second-hand smoke does not cause heart attacks. If it did, the line would definitely have declined sharply. Yet ASH have been trying to convince people that Electrofag causes heart attacks (but only in non-electrosmokers).

As you say, it makes no difference to rates among to smokers because we're all still here, under the carpet where we've been swept.

ASH and the Health Nazis don't want to promote Electrofag because it will take profits from the patches and gum and because it looks like smoking.

It's not about health. It's about profit and spite.

selsey.steve said...

A couple of weeks ago I was outside the office, on the pavement, having a much-needed fag when I was approached by a well dressed middle-aged lady who, in terms I would never have expected from one such as she, demanded that I ceased to attempt to kill her by smoking where she intended to walk.
I sad, "Madam, there is a perfect solution to your problem. Please fuck off."
And she did!

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