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Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Smoking, the debate is over, Isn't it?

Radio Five Live's  Tony Livesey talks about the smoking ban and new measures to stop smokers doing what they do...or don't do. The actual debate about smoking/smokers is around 9 minutes in but do enjoy the rest of the show.  ASH's Martin Dockrell, is a "must listen to" defender of the faith, oh, and he is an ex-smoker.

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If you are an ex-smoker, hate smoking or just plain belligerent on the subject of the smoker I would like to hear your opinion, without malice aforethought, comments are not moderated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poor old Dave. An wide-eyed innocent wheeled in as fodder for the professionals. Ill-prepared, but with entirely reasonable attitudes and solid common sense, he floundered and wallowed when shown just how 'unreasonable' and 'selfish' his views were. He was given ample opportunity convincingly to refute every point made against him, and failed at every hurdle as he just didn't have the ammunition to hand. Just a selection:

• He meekly accepted that by smoking, he was putting his own life in danger -- "its my life". He lost the entire debate at this point, and there is good data to demonstrate this.

• Highest estimate of costs of smoking to NHS: 2.7 billion.
Tax take from tobacco products: 12 billion.
Dave could also have mentioned that included in the NHS costs would be the Dept. of Health subsidy to ASH (including, naturally, Dockrell's considerable salary), without which they could not exist. Never forget that ASH generates so little public support that they need a subsidy in order to survive.

• The BBC filtered the incoming calls until they found an asthmatic. Dave could have suggested that this unfortunate man try smoking: many asthmatics find that it helps. The asthmatic complained that he couldn't 'walk down the street' without walking through clouds of smoke from people at entrances; obviously his asthma was mysteriously impervious, therefore, to traffic fumes -- but Dave had an opportunity here to state that smokers should not be outside doorways, but inside at the bar. He missed it.

• Dave said that e-cigs provided "the effect of smoking without the harmful smoke". Oh great, Dave. So plastic Chinese nano-tech produced without regulation is 'safer' than a rollup. You probably also eat Tesco sausages. Are you, in fact, just a shill?

• Dave failed to make the point that only smokers who have been successfully 'adjusted' actually "want to quit, but can't", allowing Dockrell to wheadle with impunity, and appear generous on behalf of his friends in the drug companies. If someone wants to quit, they will (as is their absolute right). If they don't, they won't.

• So hopeless was Dave's case that towards the end, Dockrell smelled victory (as he had no doubt been assured by the BBC would happen) and therefore was allowed to raise the old "Secondhand Smoke" myth, and poor old Dave could only flounder, clearly unaware or unwilling to mention that this tired old red herring was the invention of Sir George Godber in the 70s ("foster an atmosphere where it was perceived that active smokers would injure those around them") , and has been comprehensively discredited time after time in the intervening years as the fiction that it is.

Frankly, I'm disgusted.

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