By Colin Grainger
We link to an essay by Joan Bakewell in The Independent.
Ms Bakewell writes thoughtfully and we hope you agree with her thinking. The essay stands firmly as it is, so I will not add my own thoughts.
I would, however, like to point you at the comments. We have two examples from observers.
One mired in stupidity and ignorance:
"There is no way that people should be allowed to put carcinogineous [sic] smoke in the air that other people breathe. The same goes for all forms of public behaviour; noise, visual offence, smell and movement".
And yet you are completely happy for vehicles to spew out the equivalent of 10,000 cigarettes per mile traveled? You don't campaign for coal, wood, or cooking to be banned?? You will happily stand next to a barbeque vomiting a million times more carcinogens than a pub full of smokers??? Who decides what "noise, visual offence, smell and movement" constitutes an offence? I pray to sunny Jesus and all the saints that it isn't you, you obnoxious little shit.
The other, is brilliance of a type rarely seen:
"Smoking was at a peak around 1945, since then smoking prevalence has reduced by over 50% as a result of the propaganda that Joan mentions. A whole generation has known nothing else but that constant and increasing bombardment of propaganda so that it has become 'normal', 'natural 'and now unquestioningly accepted. Most are not even aware of the persuasive nature of an agenda that was first set in place by polluting industry to protect their interests those many years ago. That agenda has since been aggressively adopted by a few smoker haters and the pharmaceutical industry that has led to the oppressive World we now inhabit.
Just to emphasis Joan's point, it is immediately apparent that the first comment on this story is made by someone who has either been totally sold on the propaganda which he/she blindly repeats, or is probably part of one of the groups that seeks to perpetuate that propaganda. It is so very important to them to criticise anything that is at odds with smoking denormalisation.
'They' tell you that smoking causes innumerable cancers and 'quitting' will reduce the amount of cancers, YET we know that cancer prevalence is increasing at a phenomenal rate, reaching epidemic proportions. Almost one in two men and nearly one in three women can expect to succumb to some form of cancer in their lifetimes! (Dr Samuel Epstein)
'They’ tell you that smoking causes 90% of lung cancers YET in the US alone in 2006 nearly 180,000 were diagnosed with that disease. Compare that with 50,000 in 1950 and you can SEE that lung cancers are also increasing at a phenomenal rate -despite the reduction in smoking! ” Never before have so many Americans been diagnosed with lung cancer. Never before in modern history have Americans smoked so few cigarettes” (Søren Højbjerg)
'They' tell you that passive smoking cause’s child asthma YET, you guessed it, child asthma is now a major problem! Compare with the 1950's, when all children were subjected to far more passive smoke than today, it was a relatively rare condition.
Surely this information should make people suspicious of the propaganda? Should we not be asking WHY the rhetoric does not match reality? This disparity, of course has already been identified by anti tobacco proponents, hence the need to move the campaign on to other lifestyle choices such as what we eat and drink to explain the shortfalls.
Should we not be investigating other known causes of cancers that have been sidelined and marginalised as a result of the anti-smoking campaign such as asbestos and diesel fumes? Isn't it time people started to look at these issues from a common sense perspective? Scientists will tell you their statistical studies have shown correlations with smoking and ill health - common sense, and a view from a wider perspective tells another tale – look to the wood rather than the trees!"
I hope you enjoy the piece.
Or not, if you are a member of the outgoing Labour government.
During your upcoming wilderness years, you will wonder why it all went wrong. Know this: the venomous smoker ban of 2007 and the damage it wrought should feature at the top of your list.
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