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Frank Davis

Banging on about the Smoking Ban

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We once were an happy crowd
Another report drawn from comments here a couple of days back. This one is (probably) from The Free Corps:

We once were an happy crowd

Ernie. Disabled .Parks his wheelchair behind a
wheely bin to keep out of the draught

John .86 Far East Veteran huddles in a doorway
with two other Veterans

Doris 82, Widow .Stays n 7 nights a week now

Meryll 72 Widow .Friends dont go out anymore

George 82 Manchester Reg. isolated

Jeff 74 Lancs Fusiliers, Non smoker. Friends dont come out any more

Beryl 78 misses her friends at bingo stays in

Joan widow 59,Pat 64,Helen 74 widow, local shut

Jud Ex Para Suez Drives round looking for friends

Me 67 smoker(55 years) used to be 7 nights a week
in the pub ,now once a fortnight

Waiting for the rebels to start kicking ass.

Is anyone listening

Well, I'm listening.

And that's another 12 people whose social lives are casualties of the smoking ban. And this is just one report from one person. Repeat this all over the country, from district to district, village to village, town to town, city to city, and there really must be millions of people like this. Seen from that perspective, the smoking ban is a disaster.

By any measure of well-being, having friends and regularly meeting up with them must count as an important health benefit. A circle of friends provides advice and assistance. People who live alone have no-one to turn to in the event of accidents or illness. They must fend for themselves as best they can. Which must mean that people who are on their own are "at risk" in ways that people who belong in vibrant communities are much less at risk.

We're constantly being told of the health risks of smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke. But what are the health risks associated with living alone, outside of any community of friends? It's probably good exercise to walk to the local pub. I'll bet that living alone probably kills people off quicker than booze or cigarettes or chocolate ever could. Social isolation must be at least as toxic as secondhand smoke.

So the smoking ban is (looking at it very optimistically) helping people to live longer by reducing their exposure to tobacco smoke. Since people aren't going to pubs so much, maybe it's also (looking at it optimistically again) helping them to live longer by reducing their exposure to alcohol too. And also by reducing their exposure to people with coughs and colds and flu in pubs. But then, on the other hand, it's killing them off quicker by destroying their social lives, and fragmenting supportive social networks. It's a bit like prescribing people some expensive drug with one hand, and cutting off their phones with the other.

Does anybody look at the social consequences of smoking bans? Apart from measuring whether there are more or less heart attacks after smoking bans are introduced, is anything else measured?

Probably not. If the effect of the smoking ban is being assessed at all, it's probably only in terms of measurable physical health of communities. How does that get measured? I haven't been to see my doctor for 3 years now. I've pretty much dropped off the health services radar. I bet lots of other smokers have too. Which is, of course, another adverse health effect of the smoking ban.

The UK smoking ban is supposed to be reviewed this year. But I imagine that, as is usual with smoking and tobacco, the only people who will get a hearing will be antismoking organisations like ASH and the Royal College of Physicians. Studies showing supposed reductions in heart attacks (e.g. by Jill Pell) will be recycled. Nobody else will get a look in. Smokers won't be allowed any say. And the ban will be pronounced a great success by the controlling antismoking organisations. I have a notion that it already had been.

What's to be done? There must be some way through this mad bureaucracy.

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Please keep going. You are doing the correct thing.

banging on about the smoking ban

We know we are all ostracized & the repercussions are cruel. Should the big tobacco companies be lobbied on account of the additives in cigarettes e.g. Formaldehyde, Benzene & Hydrogen cyanide? Smoke itself should not be a problem but I think the chemicals are. Smoke itself is all around us e.g. cooking, BBQing, bon fires, fireplaces, primary heat etc. etc. People are into organics now & anti-msg, anti-aspertame, anti-margarine & things that are unnatural, so I'm sure it would help if these additives were removed from cigarettes. We are all as we get older becoming hermits on account of this ban & I know this is not the way I wanted to end my life being denied a pleasure to me that I have done all my life (since 16 anyway) & denied the social activities that I looked forward to. I have considered myself a good, honest, hardworking, tax paying citizen all my life & now feel like a 2nd class citizen. Go figure!

Frank - you've already provided the answer: smokers are now non-persons and anything to do with the ban is to be viewed only from the perspective of non-smokers.

Heard on the radio this morning someone in New Zealand saying that smoking there will eventually be confined to the home because it's becoming increasingly unacceptable to non-smokers to catch drifts of smoke from smoking pedestrians. I very much doubt that non-smokers are kicking up a fuss - but the anti movement will certainly be doing it on their behalf.

The only solution I can think of is smoker militancy with mass protest and smokers being very vocal in criticising the ban and its damage. Forest has time, commitment, money and organisation yet hasn't managed to effectively fight the control lobby. We smokers, ourselves, need to fight back but it would be effective only if we were mobilised en masse - and therein, I believe, lies the problem


Being alive is not the same as living

Whether or not isolation decreases life expectancy (and I'm sure you're right that is does), merely continuing a physical existence (breathing, heart beating, cellular renewal) does not mean the person is living a life, only that they are alive. And that is a pretty worthless thing compared to living.

That said, given smokers are supposed to die young(er) (as it says on the back of my tobacco), there seem to be a remarkable number of folk in their 70s and 80s (and 90s?) who persistantly smoke and refuse to kick the bucket in order to support the 'truth' about the dangers of smoking.

Keep going with this, Frank. And I'll see if I can't get some of the exiles round here to add their stories.

PT Barnum

Re: Being alive is not the same as living

It would be good if you can get some more testimonies.


Humans are known to be social animals and the policy of social isolation appears to be deliberate.

In 2007 When people turned to the media to find out what was going on, they were informed that 70% of the public wanted rid of them.

"An opinion poll published by anti-smoking group ASH reveals that 70 per cent of the public support smoke-free legislation"

Combined with a public campaign of defamation, if people had internet access and looked at the comments to see what other people were thing, they were met with a barrage of insults.

Astro-turfing being almost unheard of in this country until 2005, people may well have believed that people really did secretly hate them and become very withdrawn.

Would this be any use?
Its painful reading but compiling this helped me to understand what happened to us.

The Denormalisation campaign


We are forgetting that the smoking ban has one very important benefit.
The few people that now visit the pubs and other venues now do not have to wash their hair and clothes as they no longer smell of smoke.
This surely is the major consideration ?

I assume you have your tongue firmly planted in your cheek.


Of course not Frank !!
Some other important considerations are that the young babies don't cough now while they are having their nappies changed on a bar stool and the smell of smoke doesn't overwhelm the smells of the delicious happy meals coming from the kitchen of the pub.
Most important of all is that the ban on smoking in pubs has given much needed employment in the councils for environmental health officers (EHO's). What other jobs could these poor qualified people find ?

We once were happy

Thanks Frank for the mention (Free Corps)If health has dominion over freedom, we are as a nation,damned and forsaken.
Freedom is what our species yearns for,our
ancestors have bled for,our mothers and fathers have sweat for. We who cling to freedom are indeed many ,but we are divided,we are isolated ,
we bathe in a cesspool of apathy,an abyss of
disinterest.We corps of the free are only a far
flung army of privates and junior NCOs.
We await the commanders ,the knights,the cavalry
those who wil direct us,who will lead.
The righteous have no rules of engagement,they
have no sruples,no pity for the old or the poor,
they have only contempt. So let it be,the ends
justify the means,no holds barred.
Health and safety was not an issue on the Somme
One day soon ,we will be free ,once moer

The Free Corps

Re: We once were happy

No trouble. Thanks for posting it.


More solitude for the old

LONDON (Reuters) -British pubs group Mitchells & Butlers has hired advisers to sell hundreds of pubs to raise 500 million pounds so it can focus on its food-led brands, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

More burgers ,baguettes and screaming brats
for some poor old buggers.

And whats the Express concerned about
Display bans causing High street tobacconist closures,,,,,so help me.

Free Corps
Ready when you are.

Hope you don't mind but I've reposted your appeal for stories on my blog. Hardly anyone goes there (I don't have time to update it often) but there are some good links to increased attacks on gays (perhaps because they're now forced to stand outside gay bars rather than be inside? Hmmm, that's a good idea, although of course the media won't put 2 + 2 together) and also an increase in drink spikings where girls leave their drinks inside while they have a smoke outside. Plus a couple of recent attacks and murders that were directly related to people being outside rather than being inside, where it is safe.


Of course I don't mind. Thanks for re-blogging it.

Of course I've heard about increased attacks on people outside bars (I reported the rape of the German visitor to London a month or two back), and increased spikings of drinks. There are also attacks on smokers at bus stops and train stations. There are probably a lot of related misfortunes.


I received one of the usual peppy rah rah type of e-mails from our local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion the other day asking members to turn out in support of our veterans & so forth and so on about how much they do for our veterans at which point I saw red! I sent a rather curt message back using adjectives such as condescending, mealy-mouthed & used a few nasty nouns as well. What about our "smoking" veterans?
Next day I received a phone call from the President wondering if my remarks were directed at him & carried on for a half hour blowing his own horn about his family's 1000 year military service & I was only a member by association (that being because my father served in the Danish forces) & that doesn't count but my grandfather founded a legion right out of the Veterans Hospital after World War 1 & I have been a loyal member. He did say that they had lost over 100 members due to the smoking ban but then further went on to say how he was well respected in the community and had some leverage at City Hall & he would see what he could do. I said it would be so nice to see someone from our Legion actually fight for our smoking veterans for a change. They are all such "Uncle Toms". Do you think I will hear back? I think not & of course will cancel my membership.

Re: We once were happy

What about our "smoking" veterans?

They're completely forgotten. And yet, most likely most of the veterans were smokers. After all, tobacco was part of soldiers' rations in both WWI and WWII, on both sides.

We've just been commemorating the Dunkirk evacuation with fly-pasts and songs. Yet I wonder how many veterans of Dunkirk are shivering outside pubs tonight, or at home alone. The hypocrisy of it sickens me. With one hand these people are applauded. With the other, they are shoved outside.


Re: We once were happy

I also hate hypocrisy more than life itself==it is so prevalent to=day it sickens me. At the time my grandfather formed a legion of veterans the vice de jour was alcohol, & this of course then was a "dry" legion. "Lips that touch wine will never touch mine". I would dearly love to post a pic of a 1919 poster (scary) which would make anyone drink & apparently it did. Prohibition didn't work then it won't again.


wanted for treason blair, prestcot ,brown, straw, flint, reid, Hewitt, collaborators and their enforcers. the price is working stubbing out blairs legacy and labours war of mass destruction imposed on liberty, respect, tolerance, equality, identity, compassion, democracy, integrity, united kingdom. who gave who the right to impose persecution, bullying, abuse, and the deaths of innocent people under their controlled democracy are traitors have no elusions, they are accountable for this so this is your better united kingdom. as in war you pay the price for liberty.its not what we want its what thay gave in memory of anthony mcdermott who was bullied and persecuted into suicide and hanged himself and all others. so this is your new healthy united kingdom to all parties protect demands liberty and movments reinstated, no liberty no peace, lest they forgot. no compromise. this is an afront to our forfathers from protect health before wealth the sun news paper Friday ,February 3,2oo6 bullied by is work mates over the smoking ban on liberty and hanged himself. And for all this to come home to


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