Thursday, August 14, 2008

Coming soon to the UK

(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)

Meet Mr Bernard Parks, a bigot and a liar. He is a Councilman in Los Angeles who has just proposed a new smoking ban that is, shall we say, extensive. This is how he announced the proposed law in a speech and an official motion:

"Secondhand smoke is the number one cause of preventable health disease in America"

Jesus Christ! What an outstanding lie to start the ball rolling! That is one massive, glistening, purple-headed, card-carrying bastard of a lie. That is in a league of its own as a word-class, unequivocal, piece-of-shit, deliberate and premeditated lie. How big are this guy's balls? Passive smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease? Nurse!

And what exactly is a "health disease"? What other type of disease is there, you illiterate fuck? No wonder the rest of America regards California as a national joke if you're the type of leader they're electing.

"There are no questions regarding the negative health effects."

Bullshit. The "health effects" range between minimal and zero. Even using every shit-house tactic available to them, epidemiologists have never been able to convincingly link secondhand smoke to cancer or anything else.

"Research has shown that inhaling secondhand smoke is more harmful than actually smoking, primarily due to the unfiltered nature of the smoke and its having been cooled by the air."

God, your balls are huge. Seriously though, don't be so fucking ridiculous. If secondhand smoke was more harmful than smoking then it would be nonsmokers who got wiped out by lung cancer, not the other way around. If secondhand smok....no, I'm not even going to debate this. Who fed you this shit? Do you think about what you're saying? The "unfiltered" smoke is diluted by the air into parts per billion long before it gets anywhere near you sunshine, don't you worry about it.

"Smoking and secondhand smoke has a significant cost impact on our current health care system"

Not that old chestnut. Alright then, one more time: Take the money you get from cigarette taxes. Add in the money saved in pensions, benefits and health-care by smokers dying younger. Now take away the money spent on smoking-related diseases. Now, see that massive pile of cash? That's how much smokers are subsidising nonsmokers. If money is your main concern - and you are a fucking politician - then you should be paying people to smoke.

"Smoking is a voluntary addiction..."

What in the name of holy fuck is a "voluntary addiction"? You really are a thick twat, Parks.

"...which is not a right or protected by the constitution"

Hardly anything is specifically protected by the constitution. A free society does not need to explicitly protect activities. A free society assumes that all things are permissible unless explicitly prohibited.

"but secondhand smoke harms an involuntary population, which has a constitutional right to clean air and a clean environment."

Does it fuck. Face it, the constitution says no more about the "right" to clean air than it does about the "right" to smoke. Don't try to have it both ways. Besides, if there was a constitutional right to clean air, the whole population of Los Angeles would have to be air-lifted out of the stinking shit-tip tomorrow. The smog from LA can be seen from the Grand Canyon, for Christ's sake. Get a grip.

"My motion to ban smoking is not an outright ban..."

Thank God for that. For a minute there, I thought you were about to propose some mad, totalitarian piece-of-shit law.
"...but seeks legislation that regulates its usage to specific places that do not have an expectation of involuntary contact with people."

Sorry?

"Wherever people congregate or there is an expectation of people being present, smoking should be prohibited."

WHAT?!! Is this a fucking joke? You want to ban smoking in every outdoor place where people might be present? That is every street, road, park, beach, yard, pavement, car-park and drive in the city. A complete ban on smoking anywhere outside the home. And yes, that is exactly what is being proposed here, a policy borrowed from the nearby city of Calabasas, where smoking is completely banned outdoors everywhere on pain of a $500 fine or a prison term. You fascist fuck.

"All of us have experienced walking through smoke when entering a building and walking in the smoking debris which clutters our environment. Enough is enough. It is time to put a stop to this now!"

Listen, you son of a bitch - the smokers are not standing outside buildings to piss you off. You forced them out there by banning smoking indoors. Until you cunts got involved, they were all happily sitting in their smoking rooms bothering no-one. As for "smoking debris", smokers would gladly put their cigarette butts in ashtrays except you fuckers banned them all because you said they "encouraged" smoking.

"Over the past couple of years I have at every opportunity confronted several hundred smokers about their health concerns and requested that they put their cigarette out and save their own lives."

I bet you have, you self-righteous prick. Classic busy-body, aren't you? I can just picture these poor bastards trying to enjoy a smoke in one of the few places where they're still allowed to do so, only to have some pompous bell-end stroll over with a fake cough and a smug lecture. Fuck you. When will you people learn? It's none of your fucking business.

Defending this horrendous, authoritarian piece of legislation, the fornicating bastard told the press:

"We're not trying to get into people's bedrooms and homes"

No, you're a real moderate aren't you, Parks? (Actually, in California he probably is.) "But we only want..." has been the stock anti-smoking line for years now. "We only want non-smoking sections", "we only want nonsmoking flights" etc. Now, even when they are demanding that smokers be put under house arrest, the cunts are still trying to sound like they're compromising. 

What kind of unspeakable regime needs to reassure people that it's not trying to get into their bedrooms? Doesn't there come a point where even the most small-minded politician takes a look at himself and thinks "What the fuck am I doing? I've become a vicious bully. Where's the rope? Where's the chair?" But they don't. They think "I'm going to lie through my fucking teeth to pass the kind of law that even a tinpot dictator would think twice about." And then they sleep like babies.

Still, that's only in wacky California. It couldn't happen here. It's not like we've imported every anti-smoking policy from America plus a few more, is it?

I'll give it five years.

82 comments:

Roger Thornhill said...

Time to get out a Churchill.

Curmudgeon said...

Brilliant!

Patrick said...

Indeed easy political targets... Much like the middle classses...

Nice blog Mr DK

PaulD said...

Wow. Easily your best, DK. Now how are you going to nail this fucker till he squeals?

leg-iron said...

Five years? I'd give it five weeks, with the current Bannit Brigade in charge. They'll lap up those 'facts' and probably add a few more made-up 'scientifically proven bollocks' of their own too.

The only reason I don't give it five days is that they're on holiday at the moment, relaxing among the credit crunch and the recession that affects everyone but them.

The precedent is already here - tried looking for somewhere to smoke in the grounds (not the buildings, the grounds) of a hospital lately? Or on a windswept, uncovered and empty railway platform?

If you smoke in the street there are no ashtrays or suitable bins and they'll fine you fifty quid if you drop that butt on the floor. They'll extend that to ash soon.

If all these Righteous were tied to chairs I'd smoke myself beige just so I could stub one cigarette out in each eye, of each one of them.

I'd die happy then.

Fidothedog said...

5 years, not with Harperson & Bottler. I give a week before some eco loon in the party starts the fuckers off apeing this mad Americans words.

I can almost picture them together, him and old cyclops bleating on about health.

A total pair of cunts with three good eyes between them.

Diogenes said...

Bravo Mr FS,

Witty, angry, incisive and brutal.

It's why I come here.

Mac the Knife said...

I'd have commented, but you all beat me to it. Oh. Fuck. I have.

Oh well...

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

Commentators Patrick and PaulD might wish to read the section of the post stating: "(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)"

Michael said...

A Leaf Falling in the Forest...


A quiet, contemplative, somewhat philosophical, and softly assertive piece of writing, showing a spirit of calm acceptance and moderation in our quest.

Yet, somehow, with a tender but ineluctable touch, I think your message comes through.

:)
Michael

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

lillymunster (twitter) said...

Welcome to my personal hell. We have plans of CA exodus within 1 year. Imagine owning a small business is SoCal as well. Hell...as a Libertarian, business owning, homeschooling family - and hubby smokes, we are evil incarnate. With the economy tanking, people will want their smokes and drinks.

We are seeing tremendous freedom restricting legislation here with two purposes - control and money. You did hear about the mylar balloons almost being banned here http://www.ibaonline.net/LegislativeIssues/CaliforniaBalloonCouncilUpdate/tabid/114/Default.aspx Let's kill an industry to fulfill a political favor. Wait till the Option ARMs hit spring of 09 and the cities lose even more $ in unpaid property tax, building permits, etc... Heard of any undiscovered lands to move to?

BTW-happy early b-day, smoke a djarum for us.

FoolOnTheHill said...

What a wonderful post, a window into the addicted mind of a smoker.

It is when we - the pure and unafflicted - see into the mental torture that this addiction brings to its victims, that we can feel justified in pushing for interventions such as this to give us freedom from the choking smells wafting from these stricken souls - you see, they are addicts and cannot help themselves - and they smell so bad and don't even know or care how bad they smell.

So what if he had to bend the truth a little - they will thank him in the end, when one day they see the light and become an ardent supported of the move to totally ban smoking, when they become an Ex-Smoker, the real forces in the movement.

You know I walked past one the other day. She must have been more than 20 ft away, but I still got a lung full of her filthy second hand smoke. The addiction was so great, she had no control over herself and was there smoking in public.

Such a shame though that they can't see the harm they are doing and give up voluntarily, instead of making us go to all the trouble of passing laws in order to help them.

Oh, and did I mention how bad they smell? Their clothes, their hair and worst of all their breath. You would have to have double strength beer goggles on to be able to stomach having sex with one of them - poor things.

So come on, bring on the legislation and lets help these poor souls regain their rightful place in pleasant society. After all, some of them are really quite pretty and you could quite fancy them if they didn't make you vomit when they breath on you.

dominicall said...

I'm having hypnosis this weekend so that I can stop smoking - but only on health grounds.

Nonetheless, I'll still defend the right to smoke and will never become one of those fucking evangelical anti-smoking ex-smokers that annoy the fuck out of any smoker.

A great post and as said before by diogenes above, it's posts like this that keep me coming here.

@ foolonthehill: Why don't you just fuck off you cunt if you've got nothing of any value to add to the discussion.

On that note, off for one of my last smokes now, which will be all the more enjoyable knowing that someone, somewhere who still believes the shit that people like Parks spout will be really annoyed about it.

Have a good (smokey) day.

Letters From A Tory said...

We've already got smoking licenses to worry about, so we don't need this kind of nonsense as well.

Old Holborn said...

Foolonthehill.

Just for that, I am going to teach a baby to smoke today.

Rob said...

"Over the past couple of years I have at every opportunity confronted several hundred smokers about their health concerns and requested that they put their cigarette out and save their own lives."

I am amazed he is still alive. I assume he picked his targets very, very carefully.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Very nice post, Mr FS; very nice indeed.

*sparks up ciggie*

Fuck 'em all...

DK

Anonymous said...

Michael Marshall Smith wrote about a society that had enacted this sort of ban in "One of Us".

It was funny in 1999. It's looking more like a prediction now.

Sim-O said...

"Over the past couple of years I have at every opportunity confronted several hundred smokers..."

Sounds like one of them god-awful born-again non-smokers to me.

Anonymous said...

Then I guess I've got about 5 years of liberty left, because I can fucking tell you now the first person to tell me to put my cigarette out when I'm smoking outside is going to get beaten to a bloody fucking pulp. After first having a lit cigarette shoved in their eyeball.

Z.

Neil Harding said...

You wouldn't tolerate an employee coming to work and stinking the place out of piss or shit. You wouldn't tolerate it in a place of leisure either - the owner would turf the smelly tramp out. Why have we tolerated stinking of horrible cigarette smoke for so long? It is disgusting and damages our health. You lot of addicts and half brains have no right to damage my health any more than you already have. So fuck right off and shiver in the cold - you have had it easy for too long. And stop giving your children and family lung disease you selfish bastards. You should all be locked up for the abusers of polite society you are. Well we have had enough and no longer want to be polite - we want to breath clean air - go and pollute somewhere else.

Umbongo said...

"There are no questions regarding the negative health effects."

Ah yes - obviously a graduate of the school of "settled science".

HSLD said...

The twats ugly website crashed Firefox so comprehensively I had to shut it down using task manager.
I only wanted to see how ugly he was ( bansturbators are always prissy faced mirror crackers )

Pogo said...

Mr Harding... I'm a life-long non-smoker and I don't find the smell of cigarettes either particularly strong or offensive - it's certainly preferable to the body odour of the average "green".

There is not one piece of genuine, reviewed research that has produced statistically-significant results showing that ETS is harmful in any way - indeed the 1998 W.H.O. study (the most comprehensive ever done) produced only one result that could be classed as marginally significant, namely that children exposed to ETS had a reduced incidence of "smoking-related" illnesses in later life.

So fuck off and shove your junk science where the sun don't shine.

rob said...

"abusers of polite society"

Ha ha. Coming from you, after a paragraph of straightforward abuse, not to mention the inevitable authoritarian overtones, that is ironic indeed.

I have never smoked, I don't like smoking, but compared to the fascistic authoritarians taking control of every aspect of our lives, I'll take smoker anytime. At least I can take a shower to get rid of any small, lingering legacy of ciggarette smoke. Getting rid of the fascists is a lot more difficult.

kevin the gerbil said...

"Research has shown that inhaling secondhand smoke is more harmful than actually smoking."

Pig's arse, it has. Every schoolboy who has ever smoked has been shown the trick of inhaling and exhaling through the gauze of a handkerchief and examining the rather startling difference for themselves.

In my Aged Ps' day the second hand smoke in cinemas was so dense they could barely see Roy Rogers but not too many non-smokers of their generation have jumped the twig from emphysema etc.

So much "research" these days proceeds along the lines of "If there were an invisible toad on the table, the table would look empty. The table looks empty. Therefore there is an invisible toad on the table." I blame Freud. It should be skewered out of hand.

Wearysider said...

Neil Harding -'blagh blagh blagh .. It is disgusting and damages our health. You lot of addicts and half brains have no right to damage my health any more than you already have.'

I don't smoke, can't stand the smell of smoke, hate my own cloths smelling of smoke after standing talking to a friend who has been smoking.

All that said, you're still a self righteous fucking moron, I might hate the smell of smoke but I despise cretinous shitbags telling us how we should lead our lives far more!

Anonymous said...

They want to ban smoking, nicotine that is, but leave out their smoke of choice, "coke would that be sir". Prohibition was such a great success, wasn't it?

A N Other said...

"We're not trying to get into people's bedrooms and homes" Oh yes they are, nasty little control freaks.

What is it about these people that makes me want to take up smoking (Which I detest) just so I can blow rings of Balkan Sobranie smoke right in their arrogant little faces?

leg-iron said...

Mr. Harding,

You wouldn't tolerate an employee coming to work and stinking the place out of piss or shit. You wouldn't tolerate it in a place of leisure either - the owner would turf the smelly tramp out.

I am sure it does not suit your world view to appreciate that this already happens and has been happening for a long time. I also suspect you'll be delighted when fat people are finally banned from public transport too. Unless they happen to be politicians, who are always mysteriously exempt from their own bans.

Why have we tolerated stinking of horrible cigarette smoke for so long?

Why indeed? Why have we tolerated inhaling traffic fumes on every high street in the land? Why are we still happy to stand under the cover of a railway platform while a hundred-ton diesel engine blasts black fumes at us, but feel the need to persecute the lone smoker at the far end of the platform, fifty yards from anyone and in the open air. Why, I wonder, are we in this state of affairs? Could it be people like you?

So fuck right off and shiver in the cold - you have had it easy for too long.

Smoking, as you apparently have not noticed, is banned indoors anywhere. Including open bus stops and open bus stations and open railway platforms. We are easy to avoid. There are few places left where we can indulge our entirely legal and heavily taxed pastime.

You should all be locked up for the abusers of polite society you are.

Not a bad idea. We could smoke indoors then and the taxpayers can pay for the ciggies.

Well we have had enough and no longer want to be polite

No longer polite? Goodness, what on Earth are you going to be like when you stop being polite? Should I not make you angry? Will I not like you when you're angry?

It won't matter. I don't like you now. It's not because of your stance on smoking either. It's because of what your tone says about your personality.

we want to breath clean air

Where is this clean air? Oh yes, outside. Where the smokers are. And why are they there, Mr. Harding? Why are they congregated outside instead of in some seedy basement where you don't have to see them? Why is that, do you think?

Your thoughts on the chubby ones would be of interest, as would your thoughts on drinkers. I suspect they would be along much the same lines though.

leg-iron said...

Mr Foolonthehill

What a wonderful comment, a window into the diseased mind of the self-important Righteous.

It's okay to make up pretend facts when it suits your agenda, isn't it? How about when the government made up pretend facts about WMD's so they could join in the jollies in Iraq? How about when they made up (and still make up) pretend facts so they can give councils the power to watch you through the cracks? Is that all right too?

This is legislation on the basis of lies and misinformation. That's okay because it's smokers, not you, that are being demonised.

What's next though? What's the next legislation to be based on made-up statistics? Will that one affect you?

You don't like smokers. That's okay, you're entitled not to like things. There are things I don't like too. How many do you think I've campaigned to have banned?

I'll save you the brain strain. The answer is 'none'. Just because I don't like something doesn't mean I feel an overwhelming need to stop others doing it. Not even when those bloody MP3 players are driving me nuts on the bus.

Where, incidentally, I can't return their noise pollution with smoke because guess what - your lot banned it.

Take your nose out of the air now, Mr. Foolonthehill, and admire your smug expression in the mirror. Imagine it on someone else's face and see what you'd think of them.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding, Mr Kitchen. I'm off for a ceegar. Yum.

V said...

great post.
Shame these mad non smokers can't see that all they are doing is moving one adiction to another.
The tobacco industry is being demolished in favour of big Pharma -johnson & Johnson are investing a fortune into anti smoking kits and alternative legal drugs to combat the stress that smokers are currently using tobacco to deal with.

It is a shame that the biggest cause of lung cancer seems to be diesel exhausts - and there is nothing being done to cut that problem - in fact, its being made worse by the forcing of public transport on the urban community.

In 200 years we will hopefully find out that the arguments of non smokers will be considered as daft as those who suggested blood draining was the way to deal with all medical problems.

Shame I'll be dead - the only thing I can hope for is I live longer than the non smokers!

Roger Thornhill said...

V makes a point that irritates me. The Congestion Charge, if it really wants to make central London nicer for poeple, should target diesels. Cabs and buses should be electric and lorries - up to them. Apart from the particulates, just think of the reduction in NOISE!

John A said...

Actually, I am awar of a study of ETS that had a potential result. But...

The researchers were sure that ETS is bad, especially for those who have breathing problems. So they devised a study of a few hundred children with asthma to compare smoking vs non-smoking households, and show whether (well, they expected to show how much) second-hand smoke affected them.

Except it didn't.

Oh, I did say there may have been an actual result, tight? Well, they also correlated asthmatic parents vs children. And then how were the chikdren if both parents were themselves asthmatic. And did some further testing.

And think they have a lead on a genetic component not previously suspected, with possible implications for treatment.

Anonymous said...

Try telling that to Roy Castle. The problem is you're not exactly neutral on smoking are you now?

revinkevin said...

As a non smoker I want t light a fag up just to piss the cunt off.

Pogo said...

"Try telling that to Roy Castle. The problem is you're not exactly neutral on smoking are you now?"

I'll see your Roy Castle and raise you my grandfather - who smoked 40 untipped fags a day from the age of about 14 until he died, not from any "smoking related illness", at the age of 101.

As for me, I don't smoke, never have, but my dislike of smoking is miniscule compared with my hatred of junk science.

Gasdoc said...

Utterly fucking brilliant Mr DK. May I humbly request premission to worship at your feet. And...you well knarked some wanky anti cunts as well. Top work! Have a cigar.

Devil's Kitchen said...

As has been pointed out, this article was not written by myself.

I can only claim credit for recruiting The Filthy Smoker to write at The Kitchen...

DK

PaulD said...

Here we go again... Roy Castle.

Please show me the evidence, just one tiny scrap of authoritative evidence, confirming that he was killed by secondhand smoke. Oh right, his wife thinks he was.

What kind of world are we re-building where policy decisions affecting the social lives of millions of people and the future of thousands of our beloved pubs are determined by the opinion of one hoofer's wife? (and I mean no disrespect to Mrs Castle).

the_bat said...

FoolOnTheHill....

Just for that, I gave my 12 year old a cigar.

Anonymous said...

revinkevin-that's the reason I took up smoking Cigars in my 40's. I used to be a anti-smoking zealot (for which I apologise to all smokers) and had an epiphany one day and actually started to look at the science (one of those Engineer traits I have) and found out that we had been lied to forever.

So now I smoke and fuck em all. Nothing I hate more than sanctimonious shitbags who couldn't see the forest (wouldn't understand what a relative risk really means if it hit them like a hammer) through the trees.

HSLD said...

Roy Bloody Castle - what an annoying twat he was. I was part of his target demographic in the 70's but even as a child his gurning face and manic grin made me think he was an idiot. A scary idiot.

Citing him as evidence that second hand tobacco smoke is deadly is just as scientific as claiming that fucking idiots who can stick a trumpet mouthpiece into a kettle and play a tune on it ( and think that's clever ) are at an elevated risk of lung cancer.

His missis is a gob on a stick, she should keep her fat mouth shut. My dad croaked from a heart attack when I was a teenager and the balance of probability is that his bloody awful working class diet of everything fried in lard did for him. Do I campaign against fried bread ? Do I try and make the lives of people who like eating unhealthy snap miserable ? Of course I don't.

So fuck off Mrs Castle.

Budgie said...

Neil Harding said... "You lot of addicts and half brains have no right to damage my health any more than you already have."

Hitler was rabidly against smoking too.

Ah well, all socialists are the same.

Rob Farrington said...

@Neil Harding:

I'll be kind and won't ask you to provide details of the evidence that second hand smoke from my cigarette would affect your health even though you'd be breathing in a tiny amount compared to the smoke that I've breathed in directly from approximately 150, 000 cigarettes (based on smoking around 20 a day for 20 years), compared to the pollution that you'd breathe in from walking down Oxford Road in Manchester, for instance.

I know that smoking is bad for me. I also know that even after 20 years of treating my lung tissue as a reserve tar filter, I'm still capable of running a few miles without collapsing and needing an oxygen mask.

Yes, I want to give up because it's a destructive habit that costs me money. Yes, I know that I face an increased risk of lung cancer in the future. But don't you think that you're being a little hysterical at the thought of catching a whiff of smoke that might waft your way from those smokers crowded in the pub doorway?

So smokers smell, to paraphrase you, 'all sort of icky', and that's a problem for you? Well, I'm allergic to many aftershaves and perfumes, and they make me sneeze unless I've taken a 24-hour antihistamine.

Please stand up for my civil rights Neil, and campaign for the Boots fragrance sections to be closed down immediately. The last thing I deserve when purchasing a present for a loved one is to be embarrassed when I suddenly sneeze a great load of snot over the pretty and totally innocent girl behind the counter.

Jones said...

How about this from the Statist camp? Threatening to take people's children into care because they're overweight.

Knuckle under, emigrate or revolt. Those are your choices.

HSLD said...

"Ah well, all socialists are the same "

Absolutely. I haven't ever been confronted properly by one of these bansturbating weirdo's.

I think that has got something to with the fact that socialists are metrosexual pussies who are well aware of the fact that their sneering opinions would quickly lead to a sound beating if expressed wherever the despised working classes gather.

One of my happiest memories is reducing a 'local government worker ' to tears. The guy was espousing his right to trespass on land I rented and was willing to back up his arguments with any amount of " all property is theft " rhetoric until I grabbed him by the throat and banged his head into the wall.
Then he started crying like a little girl.

All we have to do with these wankers is stand up to them.

Rob Farrington said...

hsld, I wish I'd seen that!

I guess most of us have seen that story in the Metro today about the nanny staters treating people who had rescued a young girl who was drowning like shit because they'd 'broken the rules'.

Fucking bastards, all of them.

Rob said...

Yes, councils must be spending so much money winching fat people out of buildings. What a load of bollocks.

Here's what will happen:

The councils (those fucking useless twats who couldn't get real jobs) will gain the power to enter your home and remove your children if they are 'obese'. The definition of who is 'obese' will be steadily reduced until it is meaningless. There will also be lots of unfortunate 'errors', where the 'well-meaning' gauliters take children who are overweight but not obese. In the several months it takes to get them returned (if at all), the kids will have suffered months of real, actual abuse and neglect, not the pretend stuff the councils claim to be worried about.

Still, those adoption targets have to be reached somehow, bonuses and salaries are on the line!

FoolOnTheHill said...

@leg-iron, contrary to what you might have presumed, I am NOT a bansturbator -- BUT...

For a time I was one of the minority - a non smoker, and I had to put up with going to the cinema and coming out clothes and hair reeking of smoke and hardly able to see through streaming eyes and lungs that felt like sandpaper. I had to put up with eating to the stink of fag smoke, I used public transport and endured the closed atmosphere so thick that you were getting a free smoke and work meetings that were so foggy my head would spin.

Yet despite this, I do not believe that it is in any way right to ban people from smoking - BUT...

Smoking is very anti-libertarian - it imposes itself upon other people who do not smoke and do not wish to be included in the enjoyment of those who do wish to smoke.

The addiction of smoking seems to be so overarching that it destroys any consideration for others, the smoker has to have their regular 'fix' and to hell with anyone else.

What should be the Libertarian response to such a situation? I do not agree with mobilising the bansturbators to build yet more Nanny State around us, so should I simply resort to one on one? You smoke, you pollute my air and spoil my right to enjoy public space without nuisance, so I come over and smack you 'til you stop - there lays anarchy.

How then shall we deal with people who are so controlled by their addiction that they CANNOT - WILL NOT be considerate of others?

If we want Libertarianism to work, then you will have to tackle the hard problems like this one or you might as well give up the dream now and just agree that smacking the minority is an easy route for the majority to get their own way.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Why do people get SO worked up [in both camps] about a persons right to put leaves in their mouth then set fire to them ?
[to borrow from Bob Newhart's 'Mad' Walter Raleigh routine].

Is it about personal freedom, or more to do with the anger/frustration of thwarted addiction ?

If we set the bar at passive smoking when it comes to potential health risks [to others] then we better prepare to draw up a VERY LONG LIST of activities that have a comparable risk profile.

Mind you, according to some authorities there IS a casual relationship between passive smoking and lung cancer:
http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/36/5/1048
As well as coronary heart disease:
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/340/12/920

If just a few people are killed by the accumulative effects of passing smoking does this justify 12 million smokers in the UK being subject to a bit of Californication ?

Budgie said...

FoolOnTheHill said... "For a time I was one of the minority - a non smoker ... "

Yes, so was I. Years ago I could not see the point in spending vast amounts of money to smoke something that was so unpleasant. Even though "everybody" smoked.

However, unlike FOTH I always found smokers to be most accommodating to my wishes for a smoke free environs, when asked nicely.

One of the interesting points in "Downfall" was when, after Hitler had shot himself, everyone in the bunker appeared to get out a cigarette and start smoking.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Perhaps because Hitlers oberstgruppenfuhrer's did not have the type of information that we can take for granted today about the dangerous link between smoking and disease ?

Pogo said...

"Charge Nurse"...

"Is it about personal freedom, or more to do with the anger/frustration of thwarted addiction ?"

In may case, personal freedom as I don't smoke, and never have. Also a cry for honest science...

"Mind you, according to some authorities there IS a casual relationship between passive smoking and lung cancer:
http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/36/5/1048"


Hmmm...

(1) It's a "metastudy", ie a trawl through a selection of other work rather than any original research.

(2) The results, despite the hubristic conclusion drawn by the authors that it "overwhelmingly supports the existence of a causal relationship between passive smoking and lung cancer" are drawn from Risk Ratios that are so low as to be totally, statistically insignificant (varying from 1.15 to 1.31)... Where any statistician worth his or her salt will tell you that you need RRs of about 3.0 or greater to imply significance to anything less than a true double-blind study). So, in my not-so-humble opinion it's a piece of junk epidemiology.

"As well as coronary heart disease:"

... which is also a metastudy drawing conclusions from insignificant RRs.

Whereas, the W.H.O. 1998 study, which was a proper research job, and the biggest that's ever been done, found no significant links. It was buried very quickly as it had produced the "wrong" answers.

HSLD said...

@Foolonthehill

It's nowhere near as complicated as you make out. Here in Spain the bars and restaraunts have smoking and non-smoking areas. A simple solution and everyone is happy except for the health nazi's
It suits me very well as I smoke rollups and find the smoke from manufactured cigarettes quite unpleasant, not something I want around me when I'm eating.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Excellent points pogo - I certainly have no wish to be drawn into a "my research is bigger than your research" type argument - perhaps we can say that there is still a lack of definitive evidence to formulate social policy ?

I have only one additional observation to make.
Lets say that scientists are completely wrong about the dangers of passive smoking but the the introduction of a ban reduced the number of UK smokers from 12 to 11 million, say [because continuing became too much of a hassle].

Surely we can say with CERTAINTY that a percentage of the 1 million quitters would have been saved from lung cancer, ischamic heart disease or lower limb amputation [especially amongst ateriopaths with type II diabetes].

I'm not saying I would support ban, and I certainly have sympathy for hospital workers who sometimes have to nip out in the pouring rain [while at work] to feed their cravings, but it certainly would produce one or two health benefits.

Of, course I have already anticipated the argument that true freedom means is the freedom to lose your legs but if a prospective amputee was given a choice [just as the surgeon was polishing his knives] between freedom and a ban how would he or she call it ?

pagar said...

"Smoking is very anti-libertarian" says Fool. Absolute nonsense.

The effects of smoking can only be reasonably said to impose on others in an indoor environment.

Whether or not smoking is allowed should be at the discretion of the owner of the property.

Simple really.

Budgie said...

a & e said... "Perhaps because Hitlers oberstgruppenfuhrer's did not have the type of information that we can take for granted today about the dangerous link between smoking and disease?"

Fabulous comment. I nearly fell over with laughter.

The thought that Hitler's henchmen, if they'd only known of the dangers of cigarette smoking, would have hesitated to smoke for health reasons - whilst being pounded, in Hitler's bunker, by Russian artillery from less than a mile away - is too much to bear.

Anonymous said...

Charge Nurse:

"Of, course I have already anticipated the argument that true freedom means is the freedom to lose your legs but if a prospective amputee was given a choice [just as the surgeon was polishing his knives] between freedom and a ban how would he or she call it ?"

They would call it however they call it. Some might go one way, and some the other. And it would be wrong if the ones who called for the ban got to make the decision for everybody else.

Consider me another non smoker who feels like lighting up in response to this rubbish.

FoolOnTheHill said...

@Pagar. The effects of smoking can only be reasonably said to impose on others in an indoor environment.

So now a non smoker is deemed to be incapable of deciding what is reasonable for them to like or dislike -- It is to be deemed unreasonable for a non smoker to find the smell of cigarette smoke offensive when outside.

And who has decided for non smokers that this element of personal choice be denied them? Well, presumably a smoker who can't wait for his next fag and deems it unreasonable of anyone to dislike something he needs so badly.

That is about as lopsided a solution as the non smoker stubbing out your fag using your face to rub it against the wall. In a Libertarian world neither is a working solution.

The smoker thinks it is unreasonable to complain about a little bit of smoke, while the non smoker thinks it is unreasonable not to show a little self control and light up where it only involves the smoker.

Is this simply an example of an irreconcilable situation? And where we find irreconcilable differences, the majority has the say and the minority shut up and abide by the democratic decision to outlaw the smelly addiction.

Longrider said...

I don't smoke. I don't drink. I don't shoot. I don't hunt and I'm not fat. But, by god, I'll man the barricades with these folk against the puritan fascists like Neil Harding without hesitation. Yes, I am perfectly capable of deciding that cigarette smoke doesn't bother me one jot.

Neil wouldn't know polite society if it poked him in the eye with a sharp stick. What he hankers for is not a polite society but an ordered one; one that knows its place and obeys the strictures imposed upon it by its all-knowing, all-wise and all-powerful masters - people just like Neil Harding, in fact. I'd slit my own throat rather than live in such a society...

Pogo said...

"Charge Nurse": "perhaps we can say that there is still a lack of definitive evidence to formulate social policy ?"

I think that could be described as "classic British understatement"... :-)

"but the the introduction of a ban reduced the number of UK smokers from 12 to 11 million, say [because continuing became too much of a hassle].

Surely we can say with CERTAINTY that a percentage of the 1 million quitters would have been saved from lung cancer, ischamic heart disease or lower limb amputation [especially amongst ateriopaths with type II diabetes]."


I'm sure that's true... But, smoking is a perfectly legal activity and surely by now everyone knows that it's not good for your health. But if you extend that line of thinking, should you ban all "extreme sports", motorcycles, mountain climbing etc etc.? Where do you stop?

Pogo said...

"Longrider"... Re "the barricades". Shame you don't drink, I'd happily buy you a pint or several for those sentiments!!

leg-iron said...

Foolonthehill-

Your approach to smokers seems excessively violent. How would you react if I went around belting MP3-player-users or loud mobile phone chatterers, instead of my usual approach which is to move away from them?

If I visit someone who doesn't smoke, I don't smoke in their house and I'll ask if it's okay before I smoke in their garden. It's their property, their rules. If they say they'd prefer I didn't, then I won't.

I don't smoke in pubs, on public transport or any other premises because it's banned. I don't like the rules but it's not my property so I have no option but to follow them. Incidentally, those who imposed the rules don't own those properties either. I note you have no problem with that.

Your approach seems to be rather less conversational. If you were to see me smoking in a public open space, one of the few places where smoking is not (yet) banned, it seems your argument would be delivered with your fists.

Which of us, in your view, is the unreasonable addict? Me, with my addiction to smoking, or you, with your addiction to ordering people to conform to your rules, with added violence, in any place you choose to apply them?

Gawain Towler said...

Not satisfied with the speed in which individual countries are introducing comprehensive bans (particularly Germany whose Constitutional Court has had the temerity to rule the ban unconsitutional) the EU is planning to bring in a Smoking Ban Directive this autumn.
An instructive PQ and answer can be found here,
http://englandexpects.blogspot.com/2008/07/nobody-died-of-pasasive-smoking.html

Key quotation
" The nature of the epidemiological evidence on all risk factors, be they chemical or other, is such that it does not allow to identify the victims at individual level but only populations".

and here is how they plan to go about the process.
http://englandexpects.blogspot.com/2008/07/natural-justice-from-tranzis-you-must.html

pagar said...

"where we find irreconcilable differences, the majority has the say and the minority shut up and abide by the democratic decision to outlaw the smelly addiction."

Fool, I don't know if you see yourself as a libertarian but I can tell you you're not. The point about libertarianism is that it purports to supercede the imposition of laws that interfere with individual freedoms when such laws are imposed by any authority, democratically elected or not.

And if I light my cigar in the street or in the middle of a field and you come to a spot within a yard or so of me so that you can inhale the smoke and then tell me you don't like it I will politely suggest you go somewhere else.

Or I might tell you to fuck off.

FoolOnTheHill said...

@legiron
Your approach seems to be rather less conversational. If you were to see me smoking in a public open space, one of the few places where smoking is not (yet) banned, it seems your argument would be delivered with your fists.

No legiron, I do not think that is an acceptable action, but many do and have said so on this post.

My question is how do we handle a situation where one side or the other is NOT reasonable?

FoolOnTheHill said...

@pagar

And if I light my cigar in the street o in the middle of a field and you come to a spot within a yard or so of me so that you can inhale the smoke and then tell me you don't like it I will politely suggest you go somewhere else.

Or I might tell you to fuck off.


And if I stand in the middle of a field, enjoying the fresh air and you come to a spot within a yard of me and lamp up and I tell you I don't like it, then what might you tell me? Some smokers are considerate, many are not.

How do you find a resolution when consideration is not on the plot?

Anonymous said...

Mate, I just read your blog. I'm sorry and all that but you are a fucking idiot - " Cloud Watcher " for fucks sake, and that obviously fake tearjerking story about the little boy giving blood to save his sister - that belongs in a chain email

leg-iron said...

foolonthehill-

'Reasonable', in this context, can only apply to interactions between individuals.

There are many husbands, but only a few who are violent to their families (same for wives, in the interests of equality).

There are many users of MP3 players and phones, but only a few who are inconsiderate enough to use them at insane volumes in public.

There are many who like a drink, but very few who would then drive.

There are many smokers, but very few who would push someone onto the tracks for asking them to stop, in a place where it's not allowed.

What you're asking for isn't a 'reasonable response from smokers as a whole' because you already have that. You had that before the smokers became the new lepers. Most of us would avoid exposing others to our smoke and always have. Now we are banished from any uncovered area and from many uncovered ones too.

Yes, there are inconsiderate selfish bastards out there. There are those who bellow into their phones, who subject us to the indecipherable ting-ting-ting of their headsets, who drive around plastered, who drive, indeed, as if they own the road when sober.

There are those who would stand under the no smoking sign and light up. I've seen them. In that case, the reasonable response you might expect from a non-smoker might be, in the first instance, to point out the sign and inform the smoker he/she isn't allowed to do that there. Most, you will find, will apologise and put it out/move to somewhere it isn't banned. Some will react with abuse.

That scenario rarely happens. The non-smoker's idea of a 'reasonable response' is more often to start in with abuse from the outset. Then decry the smoker as abusive when they respond in kind.

Smokers are such an easy target, aren't we? It transcends all political correctness and allows an outlet for anyone's frustrations. Pick on the smokers - they've been driven outside, now we can complain about them being there. It's legal, indeed encouraged by the authorities, to do this.

All smokers are filthy and inconsiderate. All drinkers are loud and obnoxious. All drinkers then get into their cars and kill people. All fat people eat too much and take too much space. In the interests of health, let's declare them all non-human and make it open season on anyone who does not fit the defined ideal. Don't you want to do that? Haven't you already?

I am human. Not a whole one, but I am one. I am not advocating the banning of anything you want to do. I am not advocating the banning of anything at all. I am not blowing smoke in your face, and I have no intention of ever, ever encouraging anyone to start smoking.

Yet to you I am not human. I am a Thing that Smokes. I must be made to fit in with the Collective or exterminated. For my own good, naturally.

You really don't see where it's heading, do you?

Budgie said...

leg-iron said: "Smokers are such an easy target, aren't we? It transcends all political correctness and allows an outlet for anyone's frustrations."

I have long wondered whether people are born as the bossy type or if there is some other factors. One may be as you say - "frustrations". We are so harassed by the unknowable myriad of rules (and it is getting worse) that we "identify" with our tormentors and demand yet more "bans".

So the bannit mentality could be a sickness - a sort of addiction itself.

Anonymous said...

leg-iron: Right on!

FoolOnTheHill said...

@legiron

Very good post -- Thank You.

Rob Farrington said...

Leg-iron, your last post is the perfect example of the reasons why I have your site bookmarked.

Sorry if that didn't make sense - I'm slightly pissed at the moment. Now, please excuse me - I feel an overwhelming urge to climb into a truck and drunkenly mow down a family of five.

Tomrat said...

Leg-iron,

Brilliant post as usual; whilst I no longer smoke I used to and remember a day when it was seen as a social activity - I no longer smoke because the same activities no longer appeal to me, but I dont decry those who do (though my friends who are I zealously tell them to quit as often as I can; i'd like them around a lot longer if I could).

A curious thing happened this morning; one of those things which will end up only in someones memory or, if possible, on youtube.

The train station at Leeds is a completely non-smoking area- as soon as you enter it you cannot smoke period; however, this morning my train was delayed and I and a friend walked to another line to catch a different train.

This train stops at the furthest platform out - the line is no longer covered and most rational human beings would consider that anyone who decided to spark up in noones immeadiate vicinity was worth leaving alone; a rational decision just to let someone damage their own health whilst avoiding others.

Cept this wasn't a morning for behaving rationally.

A minute after this guy dressed in builders attire lit up he was acosted by a very angry and irate, 4ft nothing women who could only be described as having mental health issues, her reaction was that extreme; had any normal person taken umbrage at this chps smoking they would've asked him politely to put it out and wait till he reach a smoking-permitted area - this women proceeded to verbally abuse this man at the top of her lungs then wrest (yes, wrest) the fag from his hand and stamp on it violently before subjecting him to further abuse and scorn. I've never seen anything quite like it and am not particularly proud of the present chimps in power for empowering such hatred.

Anonymous said...

Dear God,

The usual crap from the smokers to justify their filthy habit in the name of personal freedom, libertarianism, etc., etc. What complete, irrational bollocks!

This is how is how it should be: when in public you should do nothing that may impinge on the person of another, i.e. blowing smoke in their general direction whether indoors or out, shitting in their mouths, pissing on their legs, flicking your snotters at them, etc., etc.

You DO NOT have the right to inflict your filthy habit on me under any circumstances or in the name of any personal freedoms you mistakenly imagine you night have to impact on another human being.

There is ZERO excuse for smoking anywhere other than on your own in a locked room, possibly in the company of other smokers on any grounds. It never ceases to amaze me how often long arguments ensue where smokers demonstrate their complete and utter failure to grasp this fact.

I had to laugh though at "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains" though. Shame we couldn't attempt the same on a smoker.

It's just a pity smoking only kills half the addicts and that it takes so long.

bartleby said...

"You DO NOT have the right to inflict your filthy habit on me under any circumstances or in the name of any personal freedoms you mistakenly imagine you night have to impact on another human being."

Dear God,

The usual crap from an anti-smoking zealot. lmao

So in your world, if I go outside and no one is around and light up a Cigar and you walk over to where I am, I'm now infinging on your rights and I should have to move away or put out my Cigar?

It's a pity that fools such as yourself would wish harm on someone becasue you might get a whiff of smoke.

Another joke of a human. I'm losing patience for humanity.

Anonymous said...

bartleby,

More irrelevant bollocks from another fuck faced smoking cunt. Take your fucking cancer stick and stick up your pre-cancerous fucking colon you diseased mother fucker you.

Whatever happens to you as a result of your poxy habit I just hope it's slow and painful. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Anonymous said...

@bartleby

If you went out alone into a public place, took out your member and started to masturbate, and then a child walked up - should you desist and control your needs until you are in a private place - well, yes of course you should. The same goes for any activity deemed to be antisocial and unacceptable in a public place, irrespective of 'who got there first'.

The issue here is that something that was once deemed acceptable in a public place is now deemed unacceptable and it is coming as a bit of a pain for all those who used to openly abuse themselves in public and now have to realise that it is no longer acceptable.

You don't get to choose on the issue, but you do get to choose to move to somewhere that still finds it acceptable. Bye....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous

Wow nice big words there, did you get abused by a smoker in jail who used you're backside as a sex toy?

Later dude, you really aren't even worth the effort.

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