10 June 2010

My Message To Those Who Oppose The Smoking Ban

A response to Mr Eugenides. Aren't the 1,200 lives saved a year worth something? Does this have to come down to just economics? Both me and the wife would take to the streets if this ban is repealed or altered in any way. It is THE best thing Labour did in office and probably the single most important thing done for health since the 1970s.

If you are worried about pubs, support the minimum price per unit that will hit off-licence sales. Supermarkets have closed more pubs by far. Think of the millions with lung diseases and asthma that can now have a drink without having to cough their lungs up. Think of the millions who were forced to stink of smoke and risk their health against their will just because they wanted a drink in their local or wanted to see a band or dj.

The majority agree with me and the Tories know it, no matter how much the tobacco companies fund them, mess with this law at your electoral peril. You have been duped into believing the millions of PR being spent by tobacco companies who use the same techniques as big oil and big pharma. Open your eyes and see the smoke.


  1. Is second hand smoke harmful? These are the conclusions of a 38 year study from California.

    It is the largest and longest study ever commissioned, lasting 38 years from 1960 to 1998, involved 114,000 Californians of whom 35,000 had partners who were smokers. The conclusions were: “The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect. The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.” And “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, primarily asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, has been associated with exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, but the evidence for increased mortality is sparse.” Just in case it is crossing your mind the 38 years research was funded 95% by American Cancer Society (ACS) and 5% by tobacco companies.

  2. Hi LMP. Could you provide a link to this study please?

  3. Do you believe everything you read from vested interest board members who are paid to jump when asked?

    Even if it is execrable nonsense?

    And ...

    "Both me and the wife would take to the streets if this ban is repealed or altered in any way"

    How would an amendment which allowed smoking in separate rooms where you would never be affect you and your wife?

  4. "How would an amendment which allowed smoking in separate rooms where you would never be affect you (sic) and your wife?"

    Because it would affect me and the wife - smoke in a confined space will travel - you smokers are blind to how much you stink. It is impossible to have separate rooms that don't leak smoke elsewhere in the building. And what about the health of those who work in the pub/club?

    What benefit does anyone get from repealing the smoking ban? It is a minor inconvenience for smokers to step outside for 5 minutes. Stinking of stale smoke, having to wash your hair and clothes every time you go to the pub is far more inconvenient, let alone the smokers cough and lung cancer smokers inflict on us!

  5. "smoke in a confined space will travel"

    Err ... the key word is 'separate' room. Or even separate pub, how about that for an idea, eh? Or does smoke have an unerring ability to move from building to building?

    "And what about the health of those who work in the pub/club?"

    You can stop that charade now, Neil. You have clearly exhibited that your interest in the ban has nothing to do with them. Otherwise, you would have mentioned them prominently in your article.

    You and your wife featured heavily, though, I notice. Couldn't be a bit of self-interest, could it? ;-)

  6. Oh yeah, and please explain the condescending (sic) ... see here for anti-smoker condescenscion.

  7. Neil, here is the link for Enstrom/Kabat.

    You may also like this quote too.

    “Yes, it's rotten science, but it's in a worthy cause. It will help us to get rid of cigarettes and become a smoke-free society" so said Alvan Feinstein, Yale University epidemiologist writing in Toxological Pathology in 1999 on passive smoking.

    Also Neil it is a biological impossiblity to get lung cancer from breathing in other people's smoke. All of us have a P53 gene whose sole purpose is to stop all cancer cells multiplying. The burning of the tobacco produces benzo(a)pyrene a class A carcinogen where 95%-99% is ingested into the lungs of smokers. Our bodies are constantly replicating its DNA and the benzo(a)pyrence causes a guanine to thymine transversion in the helix of the DNA. This mutation renders the P53 gene ineffective to lung cancer cell multiplication. This mutation of the P53 NEVER occurs in non smokers. Instead the epidermal growth factor refractor EGFR or GPC5 genes are implicated. What causes their mutation is unknown.

    The link provided is from the World Health Organization's, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRAC).

    We have been misled by so many people.




  8. OK, seen the sic. See, I tend to ignore such typos, but then I care about working people and talk to them. You're obviously better than that.

  9. DP: Sorry if the (sic) offended, I was copying the quote. No offence intended.

    Of course I am 'self interested' in this. Are you a smoker? I guess that is self interest too, isn't it? There are of course many smokers who like this ban and many non-smokers who are apathetic about it. But overall it seems around 70% of people are happy about it.

    Of course, public opinion should not be the reason for having the ban.

    My article is in response to the tobacco companies brainwashing people with their clever PR and 'astroturfing' groups.

    If you want to look at motives, take a step back a moment and think about the multi-billion pound tobacco companies funding anti-ban propaganda and then think of a tiny charity like ASH. Which is more likely to be thinking of the bottom line here? Tobacco companies are only motivated by profit, unlike ASH.

    This is not the only article I have written on the ban, I have been writing stuff on the effects of smoke on pub workers since 2006. I have not just plucked it out of the air.

    Whether you like it or not, this is a genuine health and safety issue. If you and LMP want to selectively quote findings to try and suggest that smoking does not cause cancer then that is up to you, but the WHO and any other medical scientist you want to point to will categorically state that it does cause cancer.

    And you haven't even addressed the unpleasantness caused to non-smokers who are forced to breath in other people's smoke.

    Like I said, it is a minor inconvenienc for smokers to step outside to feed their drug habit. Whereas non-smokers have to stink of cigarettes against their will. The ban only works when it is absolute, it is very clear what is going on. If you start allowing some pubs or separate rooms, before you know it, smokers would be 'accidently' lighting up everywhere. It would make it much harder to enforce. At the moment it is self enforcing. There is a market failure when choice is limited. Your local pub is your local pub, if it is the only pub in an area, it is little choice for non-smokers to go elsewhere. But the problem is bigger than that. To survive, pubs cannot even lose a small percentage of trade, smokers addiction is stronger than non-smokers aversion to smoke, so EVERY pub ends up as smoking and that is a market failure. So to repeat for health and safety of workers and to address this market failure the ban is needed. There is no perfect solution that allows both smokers and non-smokers to be perfectly happy, the ban is a good compromise. To overide non-smokers wishes when the inconvenience to smokers is so small really is selfish.