Legal disclaimer

The opinions expressed by the authors on this blog and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Freedom2Choose organisation or any member thereof. Freedom2Choose is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the blog Authors.

Monday, 4 April 2011


Give me your feckin' money, now!

 An F2C Triblogology (Part3)

In parts 1 and 2 of this Triblogology we looked at how ASH was created and how it changed from what was originally intended in 1971 to being a propaganda lobbying group, and we analysed its sources of income over the past five years.

Today we will look at what ASH’s methods and money (over 86% of its income was grants last year, including government grants and therefore our taxes) have achieved.

Policy and consequences

First, ASH achieved the enactment of the Health Act 2006: the total indoor smoking ban in England which started on 1st July 2007. This was achieved by a concerted political lobbying campaign on the back of disputed claims about second hand smoke and protecting the health of bar workers and other staff. ASH even said it was a myth that businesses would suffer.

Business won't suffer, honestly! 

The consequences of this were stark, over 8,000 business losses costing over 100,000 jobs in exchange for not one single life saved! No one can deny that this ill-conceived legislation has played a huge part in the destruction of the hospitality industry. It is of course not the only factor (just as smoking is not the sole alleged causation of cancer, asthma or emphysema as much as ASH would want you to believe that it is so!).

It has also reduced civil liberties, the freedom of association for smokers, and has increased loneliness and depression amongst smokers and non-smokers alike (see our previous Loneliness blogs).

The division of a nation and promoting hatred

Secondly ASH has encouraged discrimination against a substantial minority group (smokers are estimated still to be about 25% of the UK adult population) via questionable research and polls, and by slick public relations. The “trial by press release” and “denormalisation” of smokers has resulted in some sickening comments by those who blindly believe ASH propaganda. At least two murders and several serious assaults including the rapes of a nurse and a student occurred because the current law places smokers at risk of attack by predators.

Here are some of the arguments and vile comments put forward by those who support ASH: some who follow this topic will have seen it before or even like myself experienced it firsthand, and some of you may not even be aware that it is happening in your name (after all, ASH claims to represent both non-smokers and smokers).

Anti-smoking propaganda has also had an effect in the world of computer gaming: a game called Sniper, where the targets are smokers!

ASH’s research, reports and polls

Thirdly, ASH uses research and polls to justify its propaganda. But all pollsters can affect the results by phrasing questions in a particular way that will give a client the answers needed, as Deborah Arnott admitted in her oral evidence to the The House of Commons Health Committee for its report on Smoking in Public Places.

How else can we explain the following?

A poll of 1,000 people in 2004 found that 73% of those polled supported banning smoking in all workplaces, including pubs and restaurants. The poll was conducted by BMRB on behalf of anti-smoking lobby ASH and Cancer Research UK.

However, a poll published in 2003 found that only 17% of people agreed that smoking should be banned in pubs, clubs and restaurants. The poll was also undertaken by BMRB, but this time for the TMA (Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association).

Of equal interest are the polls conducted for ASH by YouGov, whose president serves on ASH’s board of trustees.

The Department of Health gave ASH £191,000 for its Beyond Smoking Kills report (which also found a “high level of public support” for a range of tobacco control measures) and you can see here how the result of the consultation has been manipulated to favour the Department’s original proposals, which included a ban on display and a ban on cigarette vending machines.

ASH’s solutions

Finally, for more than a decade ASH has supported medical intervention, including the use of a variety of pharmaceutical smoking cessation products, such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and Zyban. In 2001 its then Director, Clive Bates, wrote to the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline:

“ASH was instrumental in securing greater government commitment to smoking cessation products in the NHS National Plan and we have helped with PR for both Zyban and Niquitin CQ.”

ASH also includes guidance on Chantix on its website: a drug about which many concerns have been expressed and which John Watson wrote about in detail on this blog last month.

Unfortunately, the majority of modern studies show that even with the help of a combination of support groups, counselling, nicotine replacement and drugs the quit rate is very low. The most optimistic results show that at the end of a year it is at best 7% - 8%, and by the end of four years this reduces even further to 5%. This is a failure rate of 95% .

ASH’s final solution, of course, as we noted in Part 1 of this ASH blog, is to push for WHO’s plans , which include vaccination to switch off nicotine receptors and cigarettes becoming available only on prescription. Of course, they still want tobacco to be sold so that anti-tobacco groups like ASH can continue to get almost £1million a year from tobacco taxes.


We have seen just how far ASH is willing to go to achieve its aims: cynical political lobbying, the cosy relationships between ASH and its grant givers, the bias in polls, the drip feeding of scare stories in the media and the frenzied reactions of those who support ASH and this draconian legislation.

It is not the first time the world has witnessed the attempted destruction of a minority group based on fear, junk science and the deliberate removal of civil liberties; it will not be the last. The question is: are you, the people, willing to allow it to happen today?

Tell me lies
Tell me sweet little lies
(Tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies)
Writing team for this Triblogology were:
John Watson
Brenda Orsler
Phil Johnson
Carol Cattell
Graphics and edits by John H Baker.


Anonymous said...

Why are we being told that these bans are supported when it's clear that they are not.
YOUGOV are just another government quango.

nisakiman said...

A good summation.

The question remains, however. What the hell can we do about it?

They have the money (our money - WTF?), control over the MSM and the ear of TPTB. They are focused and ruthless. They have an agenda, and they are evangelical about it.

We defenders of freedom of action are, on the other hand, not only in the minority, we are disparate and without funding.

As things stand, we haven't got a chance. We have no public platform from which to get the real facts into the public sphere. We lack a focal point, as in a high-profile MP or whatever, prepared to put his head above the parapet and tell it like it is. And as alredy said, we lack funding, which is, like it or not, the lifeblood of any campaign.

I fear we are an endangered species...

Lysistrata said...


I frequently share your despair, and the more I have studied the lying machinations of this cult and its false science, and realise how many billions of pounds/ dollars/ euros they have at their disposal, the more my despair deepens.

But you and I both know about the long years of struggle for Greek Independence: the "Secret Schools", the guerrilla warfare, and the constant small acts of defiance that kept the flame alight.

Maybe that's what our role is at the moment - simply to keep the flame alight. I believe our time will come.

Eleftheria i thanatos!

auntieban said...

Their lies will catch them out.

banned said...

"nicotine replacement and drugs the quit rate is very low. ... at best 7% - 8%, and by the end of four years this reduces even further to 5%. This is a failure rate of 95% ."
Which exactly matches the failure rate of using methadone to get off heroin. More Government pimping for Big Pharma.

BBC Radio was reporting last week that 5,000 premises gave up their alcohol licenses last year and blithely put it down to "the recession".

Anonymous said...

I asked ASH for details of the YOUGOV polls and they refused to give me them. YouGov is a member of the British Polling Association and, as such, is committed to publishing the details of every poll it conducts, unless commercially sensitive. They have not published the wording and methods of the ASH polls.

Anonymous said...

@ Nisakiman

The question remains, however. What the hell can we do about it?

Now that is the the £6.000.000 question.

The politicians would like to believe that we will just accept it, but actually the are a wide range of legal options open to smokers to make their point.

When it is taken into account that over 50% of pub goers were smokers and that a large proportion now choose to buy their beer from supermarkets (a huge saving) and drink at home where they can smoke with their beverage of choice.

Now that Summer (which is becoming the smokers season) is coming then open air parties in gardens, will become commonplace, denying the pubs more revenue bringing more closures.

It is still legal to invite friends around for a drink, watch sport, watch films or just chat, the Smokey-drinky culture is growing rapidly from this, the only way that ASH and the politicians can stop it is to make holding parties and inviting guests into your own home illegal!

In that regard then, ASH have lost their war on the smokers and the drinkers, the Pub as we knew will die, thousands more who work in the hospitality trade will become unemployed putting more pressure on the taxpayer who pays their benefits.

In the end the politicians will have no option but to amend the smoking ban or face an increasing hostile electorate due to the inevitable tax rises to cope with the spiralling costs of this ban.


Anonymous said...

For all those that DO WANT TO DO SOMETHING about this cruel, offensive ban, I suggest that you get in touch with "Ollie Cromwell" on facebook or check out the same proposed move on "".
Smokers need media backing, media sympathy and kind reporting-it's all been one way traffic so far, but 8,000 closures point to failure of the ban not success.

opinions powered by


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Pages on this blog