Monday, 23 August 2010

Did the last pin just fall?

Way back in the mists of time, the message was that smoking was bad for the smoker. Smoke, and you'll die in horrible pain.

When we stubbornly stayed alive, some to considerable old age, the smokophobes had a rethink. The smoker's argument - that it's our lives we risk, what's it to you? - was hard to refute. So they tried something else.

There was a whole series of adverts on 'if you smoke, you're all smelly and nasty and nobody likes you so there'. to which the smokers' response was 'Well, we have enough friends and we don't want you pompous asses in our gang anyway.' That didn't work either.

The 'smell' one was used to make those first inroads into non-smoking areas. Some people don't like the smell and we smokers thought, fair enough, give them a smoke-free place. Big mistake, as it turned out.

Since nothing they said to smokers had any effect, they changed tack. 'You are harming other people!' 'You are killing your friends!' 'You are harming the cheeeeldren!'

Smokers saw through it, mostly. Smokophobes didn't, or rather they didn't want to. This was the perfect way to enforce ever-harsher controls on people who just happened to like something they didn't like. It wasn't about health, it never was. It was always control. As for truth - what does truth have to do with anything? Personal preference trumps truth in every form of Righteous mind.

So we hear of the dangers of second-hand smoke, which nobody has ever died of, nor has anyone been proven to be affected by in the slightest. Then third-hand smoke, which isn't even smoke. Plans are afoot to 'prove' that third hand smoke causes open sores and skin problems - even though there have been no cases of this, nor even cases that could be tenuously linked to this, anywhere, ever. They will prove it nonetheless.

On cigarette packs, we have 'meth mouth' claiming to be the effects of smoking. We have a coalminer's lung pretending to be a smoker's. We have an old person's hands to illustrate 'premature ageing'. We have a corpse which proves only that everyone dies of something. We have a list of chemicals that are found in all forms of burning plant materials. We have claims that smoking causes impotence, and that it damages sperm. Yet look around the places where smoking is prevalent and count the children - if you can. There are loads of them and they aren't wheezing. The asthmatics are concentrated elsewhere, in those pristine, dust-free non-smoker show houses where they grew up with an immune system that had nothing to do but attack its own body.

All of it lies, and smokers all know it. We've been smoking the stuff for years. We have lungs that are deemed suitable for transplant. We have teeth. We don't age any faster than anyone else. We aren't dead. And we can still produce children, those of us who can stand the things. Who are these ridiculous images aimed at?

They are aimed at the smokophobes. They are ammunition. Those who don't like the smell can now pretend that smoking causes everything from dandruff to rabies and use that to justify their dislike.

Lie upon lie upon lie, told so often that many of the smokophobes genuinely believe it now. They will believe absolutely anything. I'll bet I can convince one of these drones that second-hand smoke carries rabies, imported in contaminated tobacco that was chewed by rabid bats. I'll have a go, next time one of them whines at me. In fact, I'll include a description of a tobacco plant which will resemble a huge Venus flytrap with a cough. If it eats bats, it can get rabies. Easy. Actually, it's sickeningly easy. These people think they know how smoking works but don't know the difference between a plant and a mammal. They call smokers 'idiots'. Well, that's doctor idiot to you, matey.

The 'health' part was dropped long ago even though the medics persist with it. The second and third hand smoke arguments are failing too. All they have left is their original complaint, the original reason for the first non-smoking areas.

They don't like the smell. That is it. That was the first pin put up and is the final pin to knock down.

So, smokers smell. We reek of tobacco smoke so that the Righteous cannot bear to be near us. In which case, I have a couple of questions.

Why do doctors ask you if you smoke? Surely it's obvious from the great green cloud of fumes exuding from every smoker as soon as they come through the door? So why ask? Do doctors have no sense of smell?

'Hey, my doc's got no nose.'

'No nose? How does he smell?'

'He doesn't. He has to ask.'

So, doctors can't smell us.

Why is there all this research into smoker testing with devices for determining cotinine levels (which salad-loving non-smokers will fail)? Why are they necessary? If we smell of smoke all the time, surely any Nazi-inclined employer can tell as soon as we walk through the door, and don gas masks and treat the room with formalin after dismissing us? Why do they need the test? Why does it have to be so sensitive? Why is that appalling reek suddenly so difficult and expensive to find?

The smoke smell is a lie. The 'I have to wash my clothes and hair' is the bleating of a five-year-old told to wash before supper. Smokers don't stink. That's why you can't identify us unless we are actively smoking. That's why we can disappear in a trice.

That's why doctors have to ask and that's why smokophobes need the tests. Smokophobes can only complain about the smell of smoke if they know the smoker has been smoking. If they don't know, they make no complaint because there isn't a real smell. Try it yourself. Announce you're going out for a cigarette and see the reaction when you come back in. Announce you're going somewhere else - anywhere - then go out for a smoke and see if the smokophobes notice.

The whole 'smell' issue only applies to active smoking. It can only apply to smoking in pubs/clubs/cafes, and there were already non-smoking parts of pubs and even entirely non-smoking pubs before the ban. We each had somewhere to go. It wasn't enough.

The smokophobes insist they have unimpeded access to absolutely everywhere, even to places they don't want to go, and that smokers are coralled and restricted and demonised and attacked. They must have everything and we must have nothing.

That makes us 'selfish' in their Dali-inspired thought processes.

Well, there can't be a lingering smell or they wouldn't need those CO meters or the saliva tests, and doctors wouldn't need to ask. They could just sniff.

The last pin has fallen. There is now no justification at all for this smoking ban. None.

It has been, from the start, an exercise in eugenics. And you, smokophobes, have been the willing Gestapo informants and enforcers for the biggest extension of Hitler's original plan ever seen (so far). You have been duped. You have been taken for fools and you have been lied to. You have been used by those to whom you are nothing but a convenient tool. You think it was your idea and have never questioned how so many had the same idea at the same time. You accepted without question the ridiculous assertions of death and disease that you have never seen evidence for - because there never was any and never will be. You have been suckered.

I have no sympathy. You enjoyed yourselves. You revelled in kicking the underdog, and you stood over him while he bled. You straddled the battered body and laughed. Well, the underdog is biting now.



defender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
defender said...

That's a cracking post

Diesel said...

Point of fact, Dr Iron. There is a definate smell about smokers, and where they have smoked, but only recently following a smoke.

I had to get into a lift yesterday, and I know no-one had been in it for a minimum of three minutes (the time it took me to get to it) and it still smelled of smoke. I know that no-one actually smoked in the lift, as there was a smoke detector and CCTV. There was still a faint aroma over an hour later, but that could have been another smoker.

I also recall before the ban that after going out for the evening to a club, I would pick up my clothes off of the floor the next morning and recoil from the smell. However, once they had finally managed to find their own way to the laundry bin (although my wife always claimed she put them there) and I had a shower, the smell was completely undetectable.

I can also smell a smoker if they come in after having a fag. I cannot, however, smell a known smoker if they haven't smoked in the last 5 minutes or so.

The smoking ban however is demonstratably dangerous. Where I live there are pubs on both side of the street, and a high level of unemployment. As a result, the pubs are full during the day, and most of the patrons are outside the front door smoking. As a result, I have to push my pram into the busy road to get past, which is obviously dangerous.

Final point; I wish I hadn't given up smoking. I wouldn't be so fat now. (There's no point starting again, it won't make the fat disappear, I just won't put more on!)

Anonymous said...

As one who is slowly dying from Bronchitis and emphysema I am very happy with the smoking ban as I can once again visit pubs and restaurants. I have an Uncle who smoked for ten years longer than I and he has not suffered.

That my friends is the luck of the draw.

I stopped smoking fifteen years ago and was declared free from lung didease. Two years later they said they detected the onset and now it marches on, relentlessly.

It is not worth the risk, even if your chances are only one in five, don't delude yourselves.

Certainly you may stop smoking and die of something just as bad but be assured you will not die of something worse

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:07, there is no pleasant way to die. Being blown up by a landmine and dying slowly as your lifeblood drains away is probably pretty awful. Being tortured to death, stoned, hanged, burned, having a brain tumour, being pushed out of a high building, crushed in an accident, buried alive.......
All of the above sound worse than progressive lung disease and not one of them can be caused by smoking.

Anonymous said...

If the photos on the fag packets are in fact wrong, why isn't FOREST or the like asking advertising standards or the like to get involved?

Surely, the tobacco companies would love to be sued over the images so they could point the figure directly at the laws requiring them to show the photos in the first place?

Disclaimer: poorly reformed ex-smoker sick of being the only one in the pub as all the other patrons and the landlord are standing outside.

Anonymous said...

The whole “smell” thing is a massively hyped-up exaggeration, leapt upon by the gullible who have thoroughly enjoyed being told that they must consider it “disgusting,” because it’s given them an excuse to moan and feel superior. I didn’t smoke through the days of the 1970’s, when pubs were really, really smoky and although I could smell it on my clothes the next day, after a couple of hours hanging outside the wardrobe, jackets or coats would be completely aired and non-smoky. If I was sober enough to remember to do this overnight they could be put away in the morning; if not then a brief airing the next day cleared them completely. Shirts and t-shirts etc went straight into the washing bin anyway, and would have done, smoky smell or no smoky smell. Then, as the complainers became more vocal, clearly the pub industry responded with improved ventilation and/or filtration systems, because I remember actively noticing that from the early 1980s onwards (still as a non-smoker), even if I’d been in a pub all evening my clothes no longer smelled of smoke at all the next day, sniff as I might.

I notice the smell of smoke on others now more than I ever did as a non-smoker, because in this day and age it’s become important to me to recognise a fellow smoker because it tells me quite a lot about what that person is likely to be like, which is useful. But it does only last for a short time, which in this respect can be rather irritating. I’ve often regarded sweet-smelling individuals rather casually, even slightly suspiciously (because they may be an anti), on first meeting, only to meet them, delightedly, later in the smoking area. For sure, smokers generally tend to be friendly and open people, as are tolerant non-smokers, but antis come in all guises and many are adept at presenting themselves as nice people, only to reveal their true colours later, so the sniff-test is much more reliable.

My OH, a lifetime non-smoker, says that he’s never been able to smell smoke on other people and doesn’t know precisely even now which of his friends are smokers and which are not, which rather gives the lie to the whole idea that non-smokers are all blessed with a hyper-sensitive sense of smell whereas smokers’ can’t smell a thing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.52,

The problem is, the photos on the packs are all about insinuation and they aren’t making any definite claims. It’s a variant of the old “alleged” disclaimer that publications use to avoid getting sued. If you take a look at any of them, none actually show words along the lines of: “smoking tobacco causes THIS” with an arrow towards the photo. If they did then there might be a case for the ASA to investigate.

As it is, the antis are using their usual tricks of leading people to make the assumptions which they want them to make without actually giving them hard and fast directions to do so. The teeth one is a classic example, because smoking DOES cause teeth to look like that - but smoking meth, not smoking tobacco. But the fact that they’ve put that image on cigarette packets conveniently leads the public to assume (wrongly) that it’s smoking tobacco which was the cause of such dental problems.

Sadly, no-one can be sued for someone else making a wrong assumption unless they’ve stated something as a fact – and an insinuation isn’t a statement of fact. TC organisations can therefore no more be sued for these misleading images than Kelloggs can be sued for using slender and beautiful models in their Special K ads.

Bucko said...

Anon with the lung diseases - "As one who is slowly dying from Bronchitis and emphysema I am very happy with the smoking ban as I can once again visit pubs and restaurants."

You always could visit pubs and restaurants, you just had to choose carefully.

Leg-iron said...

Diesel - yes, the smoke has a smell but the antismoker argument is that we reek of it all the time, which is nonsense. As you say, it doesn't last long.

Which means that they can't tell who is carrying this deadly 'third hand smoke'. That's another one to place in their minds.

Leg-iron said...

Anon 9:07 - this is going to sound harsh, but it is war, after all.

We tried for compromise all along the line. We tried for smoking and non-smoking areas, even separate establishments but were refused. We cannot even set up a smokers' club for smokers only. We cannot even have an outdoor shelter that actually protects from the elements.

We are not in a position to ask for compromise any more because we know that if we do, we won't get it. The 'No compromise' aspect was not the smokers' idea, but it's all that is available. So, no compromise.

You say you have both bronchitis and emphysema. That is indeed unfortunate, it must be extremely rare to get both at once. It must also mean that you suffer dreadfully due to passing traffic. Is that the case?

You say you stopped smoking and were declared free of lung disease. Two years later, you developed lung disease. Why do you assume that smoking caused this, since you had been smokefree for two years before it started?

Also, if your uncle smoked for longer and didn't develop lung disease, then the correlation = causation argument points in a different direction, don't you think?

Smoking is not the only cause of lung disease, not by a long way, but the current witch hunt means that no other causes are investigated or even considered. If you develop lung disease your doctor immediately leaps to the smoking conclusion. Even if you hadn't smoked for two years.

So if your lung disease was caused by something other than smoking, that cause is still out there, untested, uninvestigated, untreated and ready to do it again to someone else. Nobody in the medical profession is interested.

Yes, you can go to pubs and restaurants - those that are left. The local businesses here are suffering badly, it has rained every day since June so the smokers rarely go. It's bad enough being made to stand outside, it's no fun when it's raining and we aren't even allowed a shelter that provides protection.

Smoking and non-smoking pubs? We tried for that compromise over and over. The answer, from the very top, is 'No'.

So when we win, and you find pubs unpleasant places to visit, when you feel excluded and shunned, give a second's thought to this idea -

That is exactly how we smokers feel now.

It's war, Anon. We didn't start it. We tried for compromise all the way. Your side didn't want any.

So we can no longer offer any.

Anonymous said...

After being made to feel guilty for 15 years due to my smoking history (stopped smoking on diagnosis) causing COPD, I have just found out that my COPD was caused by asbestos particles in my lungs from exposure in industry.
Actual CT scan proof of particles lodged in the lung.
Two old work colleagues are in the same position as me with COPD. Both non-smokers.

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