Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Make Tobacco Illegal

I do mean what the title says, make tobacco illegal.

Scotland is praised for being the first in the UK to ban smoking in public places. It came into being under a Westminster labour government and the Scottish government at the time, a labour/libdem, pushed it through. Why hasn't that act been compared with Margaret Thatcher's use of the Scots for her poll tax? Scotland was used as guinea pigs then but because it did not affect those who smoke or drink or even don't pay the absurd fee to the BBC, it has been ignored. It was used in exactly the same manner for the smoking ban but of course nobody noticed because it affected less of the population. It was a 'pilot' scheme using Scotland in the same manner Mrs Thatcher used Scotland for the poll tax.

The Scots are the pilot scheme of such Westminster ideas.

Today, a medic has proposed that smoking should be banned in cars. He goes on to say:

  • One in five of all Sudden Infant Deaths (cot death) – 40 per year
  • Over 20,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infection
  • 120,000 cases of middle ear disease
  • At least 22,000 new cases of wheeze and asthma
  • 200 cases of bacterial meningitis
This is why I suggest that tobacco should be illegal. Let's call their bluff. Yes I smoke but I smoke responsibly along with millions in this country.

To imply that 40 babies a year die because of passive smoking puts hundreds of parents and families into the most serious state of guilt that they'll ever experience along with the other statistics quoted. I'm furious that such implications have been made without detailed evidence being available. It's appalling that a medic can make such a statement without serious evidence which has never been available to the public.

So many parents who have never smoked or who have had the sense to smoke away from their babies and who have experienced a cot death in the past 50 years or so will now be racked with guilt. How dreadful when these folk had to experience finding their baby dead when it was loved and cared for to bits. Many who never smoked will be thinking who entered their home and smoked. The distress for parents who have had 'cot death' babies must be unbearable today. The whole scenario doesn't bear thinking about because I'm sure, if tobacco was banned, the numbers would be similar to what they are today - that is if the statistics were based on similar evidence.

How are these statistics compiled?

No responsible parent these days smokes cigarettes in the same room as a baby or even young child. I will expand that to an elderly member of the family who, as is medically proven, has reduced lung capacity.

If smoking was to be made illegal then the figures above would disappear. The government would be far richer with taxes from fines of people like myself, who seldom has passengers in my own vehicle, yet I'll be easy meat for the 'car smoking' lobby.

It is not my intention to stop smoking in my car should I wish to do so. On the occasions when I have passengers I refrain. Fine me. Next it will be parents who 'allow' their children to become overweight. Don't think it will stop there because it won't. The parents of children who are classed underweight will also be fined.

So let's just ban tobacco altogether. Let's see how the government's coffers survive. Presently, the production costs in a packet of my preferred cigarettes is 41p, yet in supermarkets I pay well above £5.

I'm truly angry with the double standard of governments and also some of the people who don't realise how much of their freedoms are being withdrawn just because they believe that smokers are evil. Believe me smoking was an easy target - it had only around 40% of the population who indulged. Now particularly the Scottish government are insisting the cost of alcohol should increase yet they continue to support the habit of drunks being sent to jam up A & Es and not stuck in cells and fined for their breach of the piece behaviour.

Make tobacco illegal. Then let us see the statistics of cot deaths reduce by 40%, plus of course all the other statistics reduced by the figures quoted. I have no doubt that these numbers will stay much the same.

It won't happen. We know that. Yet people will believe these numbers, parents of cot death babies will be further haunted by their 'mistakes' and tobacco will continue to be legal because, on a packet of 20 cigarettes, £4 goes towards the treasury. Of course there's less taxation from obesity but the Righteous continue on their pilgrimage. These people must show the proof of their allegations before declaring such figures.

We must call their bluff and the only way to do that is make tobacco illegal. If this doesn't happen then the Righteous will take over the lives of all of us. Believe me it will happen and not just to do with smoking; that's only the beginning.

Editor's note: Apologies for the spelling error in the title. It has now been corrected. I must have had my head in Spain where outlets are called Tabac. That's my excuse!


Observer said...

I hadn't actually thought about it from that point of view subrosa. I just thought yeah yeah another dig at smokers.

The science behind it is mince. I googled a bit and the smoking rates in this country have dropped dramatically from their peak post WW2. Respiratory diseases in children have risen as adult smoking rates have diminished.

They're lying.

And it is quite shocking that they don't care what guilt they induce in bereaved parents when they do that.

I also found out while googling that about 70% of smokers had a self imposed ban on smoking in the car when non smokers are there anyway. Personally I don't know anyone who would light up with a baby or young one on board.

Most countries where they do have a ban on driving with minors in the car have a policy of on the spot fines. More money for the govt. Go figure.

At the same time as they are making smokers into whipping boys they are not delving into the real reason why childhood respiratory illness is rising.

Observer said...

Smoking when driving with minors in the car I meant.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

What is ghastly and truly grates is the way mainstream media toadies up to the promulgators and is so uncritical of all the made up tosh that's punted by these self regarding, self promoting righteous egoists screeching about booze n baccy n McDonalds.

Somewhere out there there's a compromise to be had as you suggest. However the repetition of the deluded fantasies streaming from these noisy pustules of unhinged prejudice as far as I'm concerned is just hardening my attitude - woe betide anybody trying to push this sort of malarkey in my physical presence - they'll get the full hairdryer treatment.

subrosa said...

Observer we're on the same hymn sheet (or whatever opinion you prefer).

My thought is to make tobacco illegal then we can compare figures.

Those who want to smoke will smoke and privately but to deny anyone the right to smoke in their car is next to denying anyone the right to smoke in their home.

Then of course they'll be denied the right to having 'non-greens' homes and cooking non-healthy foods. It won't stop at smoking, believe me.

subrosa said...

Tortoise, I think the days of compromise are passed. I do think we should insist government make smoking illegal.

They're receiving £4 in tax from a packet of 20 cigarettes yet they say we're killing thousands, if not millions.

Make it illegal and see how the figures pan out.

My anger is directed at that fact that parents who have suffered a cot death now have another guilt trip upon them. Shame on the medics without giving detailed evidence.

Dramfineday said...

Mmmmmmmm ... finger trouble my post hasn't made it but to recap: I always ask the following question - please give me the name of the person(s) who have become ill, contracted something, or died from your scenario. If you cannot give me a direct link to your data, then it is conjecture.

tris said...

Please don't make it illegal. It subsidises me hugely.

And please allow them to smoke in pubs again. The sorry sight of bedragled, pinched, cold, miserable, drunk people on pavements outside pubs is horrible, and with my sore lung, I have to cross the road every time I comne to one (which in Dundee is a lot of road crossing!!)

Jim Baxter said...

Dounreay, Gruinard, Holy Loch, Faslane...

subrosa said...

Exactly Dram, it is conjecture. All I suggest is that we make it illegal then we can prove these figures are rubbish.

subrosa said...

Tris, do you even grill meat or fry onions? Let me assure you than these cooking methods and others are far more dangerous to those who are have breathing problems than you entering any home or car where anyone has smoked.

I speak on behalf of an emphysema suffering friend. His problem he says was driving a lorry for years and the emissions from others.

I'd like tobacco to become illegal to show that the figures don't add up.

subrosa said...

By the way Tris, not all smokers are bedragled, pinched, cold, miserable drunken people. Many are law abiding and rather pleasant people. Unfortunately because you sterio-type them you''ll never meet others.

subrosa said...

Jim thank you. I didn't go there because my post would have become a lengthy missive.

scunnert said...

A couple of months ago a driver here was fined for smoking in their car while a minor was present. The minor was smoking as well but that isn't illegal. The science behind the "dangers of second hand smoke" is horse pucky.

subrosa said...

But we now have the second an third hand smoking lobbies scunnert. Make it illegal then the figures will speak for themselves.

Of course even though I finish with smoking I will continue to have facilities for those who wish a smoke. That's my choice.

Mesmer said...

No responsible parent these days smokes cigarettes in the same room as a baby or even young child

I am sure that many smokers who used to smoke in the same rooms as their children or babies now don't because of the propaganda they have been fed.
And now, here in Canada and in the western world in general, asthma is a disease significantly on the rise. Could it be that 2nd hand smoke protects children from asthma? I really don't know!

The 2nd hand smoke study done by IARC (WHO) which found no statistically significant correlation of lung cancer with non-smokers living with smokers DID find a statistically significant protective effect against lung cancer for children living with smokers.

My only point is this, Subrosa, that I believe that this 2nd hand smoke "science" is B S and by you saying what I have put at the beginning of this post you are aiding these disgusting liars.

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

subrosa said...

Perhaps the question you have to ask Mesmer is 'has smoking increased so much in Canada to justify the increase in children who suffer from asthma?'

I doubt it. I too consider the 2nd hand stuff as BS and would like to prove those those spin these statistics as liars.

Sophia Pangloss said...

Ye know, it's aw jist part o' the Plan. Thae high-heid yins want tae atomise us, make it difficult for us tae even go oot in public, or even sit in oor cars. They want it that way so's they can control us easier. We'll no go up the street an' see whit a pig-sty they've made o' the country. They'll be happy when we're aw' sittin' in boxes, plugged intae the internet. We're hauf-way there awready.

D'ye no agree rosa that life wid be an awfy lot easier if we just tried a wee bit o' compromise. Why aw pubs? Why aw resturaunts? Why no leave a few? Gie a fixed number o' smokin' licences? So that we can aw be happy.

Ye know, ah used tae really look forward tae Tuesdays. Ah wid get up, put ma face oan an' fix ma hair, get oan a bus tae the post office, pick up ma pension, get some messages and pay ma club, then nip intae the Central Bar. Ah ken whit ye're thinkin' and no, I never. Aye it's rough but theboys are aw flannel, they widnae really touch ye. Ah used tae love sittin' in the corner wi' ma sweet stout, listenin' tae them shoutin' an' singin' their sweery songs. Ah would sit there an' go through a whole 10-pack o' Berkely menthol.

They took aw the fun oot o' ma life. Noo ah jist sit at hame oan a Tuesday an' greet.

Ah'm fine the rest o' the week.

tris said...

SR: I didn't mean to imply that all smokers were like that. What I said was the ones standing outside the pubs in Dundee were. Almost to a man (or woman). They are hunched in the cold and the rain, looking unutterably miserable. I just want them to have someplace warm to go, and as I never go into pubs then the smoke won't bother me.

I don't think that people should be allowed to smoke in restaurants
though. But the most food that is served in pubs around here is a packet of cheese and onion.

From the time that I came out of hospital in Edinburgh, and was confronted with a band of smokers at the door, I have to say the smell of cigarette smoke has made me feel sick and tighens my chest, so I really need to steer clear of anywhere where there is smoke. Indeed my doctor told me to. That includes not being behind a bus when it pulls away or anywhere else that the air is smoke polluted. Bonfire night no more!

All my meat gets cooked in the oven, and that doesn't seem to affect me in that way.

muddypaws said...

Given that there is a known genetic link to lung cancer even from those who don't/haven't smoked perhaps we should be screening?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Mesmer said...
Could it be that 2nd hand smoke protects children from asthma? I really don't know!

Now it may be my memory playing tricks here, but was that not one of the things the anti smoking fascists used to try and portray smokers as nutters, back in the early days of this madness; They pointed out how doctors in the 40s bzw 60s, advized asthma patients that smoking HELPED (against) the condition?

In fact there were news paper adverts, (in the days when they were still etched on copper plate to print), that used the fact in their ciggarette adverts.

Could not possibly be that the doctors those days were actualy CORRECT, could it?

subrosa said...

Super comment Sophia and possibly relates to quite a few folk.

I've never been a pub person but I can see what folk get out of their locals.

subrosa said...

There are other causes of chest problems indeed Tris but they're quite ignored in the great scheme of things these days. It's all the fault of smokers with their second hand/ third hand/ fourth hand smoke.

subrosa said...

Now there's a sensible idea muddypaws. Of course nobody really wants that to be publicised, much better to hit the smoker.

subrosa said...

I have a friend Furor who lost her voice when she stopped smoking. Her doctor advised her to have a couple of cigarettes a day to see if that helped and it did. She has one after lunch and one after tea and has done that for the past 15 years.

Pogo said...

I'm an old git, and when I was young almost everybody over the age of about 15 smoked - often heavily - yet I don't remember any of my school friends and acquaintances suffering from asthma.

The (perhaps dubious) statistics tell us that there has been a dramatic increase in childhood asthma since "I were a nipper" yet smoking rates have declined quite markedly over the same period. A basic test of correlation would indicate that smoking v asthma either has a negative causal link, or, more likely, no link whatsoever. Prof Brignell of "Numberwatch" fame took a closer look at the subject in one of his books, his suggestion was that as:- (a) one of the major known triggers of asthma is the housedust mite, (b) a happy breeding ground for said mite is in carpets, and (c) the increase in the incidence of fitted carpets matches quite closely the increase in asthma, there's quite possibly a strong causal link between them.

It's certainly a far more feasible link than "secondhand smoke".

subrosa said...

Pogo, I don't dispute smoking is harmful to the smoker, but as you say, I'm certainly not convinced second hand smoke causes so many illnesses.

The only way to prove it does is to make it illegal. Then we'll see the truth.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Mesmer: "Could it be that 2nd hand smoke protects children from asthma?"

Oh yes indeedy. There are quite a few studies which have concluded exactly that.

The whole SHS scam is a contortion of twisted facts, blithe assumptions and distorted junk science. Really. People should stand trial and I'm not joking.

DaveA said...

Hi Subrosa, I am the blogosphere's resident bore on the harmlessness of passive smoking. If I post too much just tell me to eff off, firstly SIDS.

Smoking as a cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is entirely unproven.

"Feb. 2, 2010 -- Lower levels of the hormone serotonin may help explain why some infants succumb to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a new study."

These two blame suffocation and air pollution, not PM2.5 which includes tobacco smoke.

DaveA said...

On asthma children exposed to second hand smoke (SHS) have statistically significant reductions in asthma.

On asthma most of the evidence points to protection from passive amoking as these Swedish and New Zealand studies demonstrate.

“Children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7)

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates an association between current exposure to tobacco smoke and a low risk for atopic disorders in smokers themselves and a similar tendency in their children.”

“MedWire News: Parental smoking during childhood and personal cigarette smoking in teenage and early adult life lowers the risk for allergic sensitization in those with a family history of atopy, according to the results of a study from New Zealand. Writing in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Robert Hancox (University of Otago, Dunedin) and colleagues explain that "the findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the immune-suppressant effects of cigarette smoke protect against atopy." 11422156

DaveA said...

My take on the RCP report, some parts they have lied.

"I have just been reviewing the "evidence" that ther RCP has offered. There are few references to medical papers except one. The Rose 1985 "Sick Individuals" paper does not cover childhood infection but is about epidemiological aetilogy (etiology) a posh word for causation.

Also on the Powerpoint slide below from RCP's "case" on they plot a graph of various infections between incidence and socioeconomic status. The less affluent you are the more likely you are to smoke (15% vs 30%), but also the more likely to live in less hygenic homes. Smoking could be more of a marker of relative poverty.

Firstly middle ear infection has a very small non statistical inverse relationship between smoking and incidence. I.e. the more second hand smoke the less likely you are to contract middle ear infection.

Asthma incidence in a smoking home again has a non significant raised risk of 1.25. But as these homes children are twice as likely to be exposed it just confirms that SHS protects children from 37.5% by the RCP's standards.

Meningitis is bacterial or viral infection and just cannot be put down to smoking. If you look at some of the most deprived estates in this country with heroin needles, rats, rubbish etc it is far easier to put meningitis down to infection from the environment, the same for wheeze and lower respiritory tract infections.

So in conclusion it is junk science and the RCP is guilty of venal publication bias.,5,Socioeconomic status

DaveA said...

On lung cancer in children there are 34 papers published, 3 show a raised risk, 11 show a protective effect, 20 are statistically insignificant, page 4.

The most famous one is the World Health Organization's 1998 report, which suggests statistically significant protection.

"Results: ETS exposure during childhood was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer (odds ratio [OR] for ever exposure = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.64–0.96). The OR for ever exposure to spousal ETS was 1.16 (95% CI = 0.93–1.44). No clear dose–response relationship could be demonstrated for cumulative spousal ETS exposure.”

DaveA said...

On lung cancer and SHS there are 83 separate studies. 16% show a raised risk, 14% suggest protection and 70% show it is not a risk either way. The most famous is the Professors Enstrom and Kabat's 38 year study, peer reviewed by the British Medical Journal and published 2003, it said:

"Conclusions 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."

"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."

The last study I am ware studied is the 2006 Neuberger into lung cancer in Iowa women which shows a statistically significant protection effect.

"A significant inverse association was found for those with some college education (OR=0.63, 95% CI=0.48-0.81) and for those with adult passive smoke exposure at home (OR=0.37, 95% CI=0.26-0.54)."

DaveA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaveA said...

Sorry bad English.


This is the whole point of lung cancer. In non smokers it is and/or the GPC5 or EGFR protein gene mutation that cause lung cancer while in smokers it is the Transprotein gene 53 (p53). The body's DNA is replication and smoking causes the p53 gene to mutate, rendering its purpose of stopping the multiplication of cancer cells. As they are completely different diseases Roy Castle was not killed by passive smoking.

These conclusions were reported in The Lancet, “Genetic mutations seem to be more common in patients with tobacco-associated lung cancer than in never smokers. Current evidence indicates that the two types of lung cancer are biologically distinct.”

subrosa said...

Many thanks for your comments Dave. Very interesting content.

What annoyed me about the whole thing was the cot death statement. Imagining non-smoking parents who have lost a baby to cot death being accused in such a way. Way out of order.

DaveA said...


Thanks for your reply. On SIDS this comment is very telling.

"In the U.S., SIDS deaths have declined by more than 50% since 1990. Experts say that's partly due to practices believed to minimize the risk, such as putting infants to sleep on their backs rather than their stomach and avoiding soft bedding, which could lead to asphyxiation."

Smoking rates in the USA in 1990 were 28% and have declined to 23.5%. So a drop of 4.5% in smoking has led to a drop in 50% in cot deaths?

I am deeply worried that medicine has become politicised and trendy social dogma is more important than hard scientific facts.

Smoking trend URLs

subrosa said...

Thanks for the information Dave. I thought the figures would be around that range because I've studied them over the years.

Related Posts with Thumbnails