Cause and effect

I have a little quiz for yiz all.

I saw a wee headline in the paper yesterday -

Less asthma in children since smoking ban

Now there are a couple of points to bear in mind here.

Firstly the "researchers" seem adamant that there is a connection.

Secondly, remember that the ban applies only to the workplace such as pubs and offices.

So on that basis which of the following is true?

A.  All children are in the habit of nipping in for a quick pint on the way home from kindergarten.

B. All children have office and factory jobs outside school hours.

C. Children are no longer allowed to smoke in class in primary school.

D. Smoking parents now have to drink at home and the extra smoke is curing the asthma.

E. The "researchers" are once more talking through their arses and are saying anything for a quick headline.

Now bearing in mind that E can't be the answer, as we all know that "researchers" know better than us and are as honest as the day is long, and that A, B, and C are unlikely, then I can only think that D is the right answer.

But then who am I to suggest such a thing?

Which do you think is the right answer?

The smoking ban ten years on

Most people must be aware by now that this weekend sees the tenth anniversary of the smoking ban here in Ireland.

The tenth anniversary of the Bully State, and the beginnings of a worldwide pogrom against smokers.

The Irish Times are devoting quite a few column inches to the subject which makes some quite interesting reading.

One of the first things that struck me was the very small number of people behind this move.  This wasn't as a result of any demands by the public at large.  This wasn't part of any government manifesto.  This was the wet-dream of a tiny number of rabid anti-smokers, led of course by Luke Clancy [a professional anti-smoker].

Anther item is the open admission that the research the whole move was based on was flakey at best -

Clancy – "The tobacco industry came in and said second-hand smoke isn’t really harmful to nonsmokers, that this is do-gooders trying to make trouble. But [the group] rejected the tobacco-company insistence that passive smoking wasn’t bad for you."

So the research that showed no harm was dismissed because it came from the tobacco industry and for no other reason.

Sara Burke – "There was a fantastic official in the Department of Health, [...] who just decided to make this happen – to get all the international evidence – to come up with a clever way of implementing it and get political support."

To put this another way – to make it happen the evidence was tailored to suit the cause.

Reading through the whole piece one realises that this was a tiny number of fanatics pandering to the egos of a small number of politicians.

Of course the media are pumping out all the usual rhetoric and propaganda – that 4,000 lives have been "saved" [if 4,000 would have died from passive smoking then active smokers must be dying at the rate of half a million a year?] and that smoking rates have declined since the ban [ignoring the fact that the rates were declining before the ban and that the annual rate of quitting has decreased in the last ten years].

What they don't tell us about is the decimation of the hospitality trade.  They claim that's due to supermarkets undercutting drink prices [which they did long before the ban], the tougher drink-driving laws and the recession [which didn't happen until four and a half years later].

They don't tell us about the loneliness and isolation amongst the elderly [in particular in rural areas] where the only means of social interaction was denied.

They don't tell us how this ban gave the green light to the righteous to chastise and pillory ordinary people who are going about their perfectly legal business.

They don't tell us that based on the "success" of this ban that the Health Nazis are not only threatening to direct the law into our private homes and cars, but are also turning their sights onto other areas of the population who are deemed to be "unfit" [non-Aryan?].

And the real benefit after ten years of the ban?

People say their clothes don't smell as much.

The children are dropping like flies

An article appeared in the papers last week.

Could I let it pass?

Nah!

Passive smoking causes ‘irreversible damage’ to children’s arteries

So this means that the children brought up in the last century at all at high risk of heart attacks and strokes and must be dropping like flies by now?  But how come they are the longest living generation yet?  My generation and the generations before and after were all reared in a world where second hand smoke hadn't yet been invented and the air was thick with cigarette smoke.  According to all the studies we should all be long dead but despite all their predictions, we are living longer. 

The research, which lends weight to campaigns for smoking to be banned in private cars and homes

So here we have the probable aim of this "research".  They don't give a damn about the cheeeldren – it's another step towards banning smoking in our own private homes.

Smoking causes lung cancer, which is often fatal, and is the world’s biggest cause of premature death from chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

Damn!  And here was I thinking that sugar, salt, carbohydrates and alcohol were all the biggest cause.  I suppose it all depends on which trough the researcher's snout is in?

On top of the 6 million people a year killed by their own smoking, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says another 600,000 die a year as a result of exposure to other peoples’ smoke – so-called second-hand or passive smoking.

Yadda yadda yadda.  Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.  Someone should tell those 600,000 that "passive smoking" has never been proved to be a risk to anyone.  They'll be very disappointed to discover they died for nothing.

Of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer, the WHO says – and creating 100 percent smoke-free environments is the only way to protect people fully.

I do wish they'd make their minds up.  is it 4,000, or 5,000 or 6,000 or what?  It keeps changing.  Possibly the number depends on the accuracy of the measuring equipment which has to be extremely sensitive to detect those chemicals which are in barely traceable [and certainly harmless] quantities.  Most of those chemicals can be found in just about everything we eat or in the water we drink anyway.  As I have pointed out before, the anti-smokers great favorite – formaldehyde – is used in vaccinations.  They don't like to talk about that though.

About 40 percent of all children are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home, and almost a third of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke are in children.

Considering that the average smoking rate is generally around the 20% to 25% level, how come 40% of all children are "exposed"?  Do smokers have disproportionately large families?  And they tell us that smoking decreases fertility?  And no death in any man woman or child has ever been attributable to second hand smoke.

Researchers from Finland and Australia looked at data from 2,401 people in Finland 1,375 people in Australia who were asked about their parents’ smoking habits.

And here we have the "scientific" method behind this research.  People were asked a series of [probably very loaded] questions and the whole “research” hinges on the reliability of people’s responses.  If I were asked about my parents smoking habits I wouldn’t be able to give anything more than a vague answer.  My mother did smoke but quit [I don't know at what age] and my father smoked all his life but I couldn't tell you the brand, or how many he smoked a day.  At best I could give a very vague estimate but that is hardly scientific?

Since children of parents who smoke are also more likely to grow up to be smokers themselves, and more likely to be overweight, their heart health risks are often already raised, she said, and the second-hand smoke adds yet more risk.

I thought nicotine was an appetite suppressant?  People quit smoking – they tend to gain weight.  Get your facts right, woman.

I wonder who paid for this crap?

Just asking…..

History repeating itself

I am not surprised at them voting in the UK for a ban on smoking in cars.

It's all part of the movement designed to stigmatise, vilify and outcast smokers. Don't fool yourself into thinking it has anything to do with children.

Next they'll ban smoking in all cars whether children are present or not, and presumably then they'll attack the privacy of our homes.  After all, the precedent has been set for encroaching on our private property.

What comes next is anybody's guess but if history is anything to go by, the next move will be to compel all smokers to wear a badge on their sleeves declaring they are a smoker?  After all, anyone who smokes is infested and infected with third hand smoke which, as we all know is as deadly as smoking a cigarette itself.*

As the string of diseases, ailments and natural catastrophes caused by smoking increases by the day [did you know that smoking causes homosexuality?] they will soon have to forcibly move all smokers into designated areas for the sake and health of society.

And after that?

The cattle trains?

It has happened before.

* Do read Dick Puddlecote's excellent deconstruction of the fabrications behind this little lie.

Why you should care

I have just added a new little badge to the side.

Support the Plain Packs -Plain Stupid campaign

So why should you care about plain packs?  You're a non-smoker so it doesn't affect you?  Or you are just not bothered what your smokes come in?

This plain packs move affects everyone.   If you smoke, drink or eat any food whatsoever, it affects you.

How?

Plain packs are the wet dream of the health fascists.  They have come up with the idea that packaging cigarettes in identical drab boxes covered in lurid images of diseased bodies is somehow going to "nudge" people into a "healthier lifestyle".  So far, Australia is the only country to try this experiment and it has failed abysmally.  The only effect they can report on is a marginal increase in calls to a quit-line.  The real story is that smoking rates are virtually unchanged, but there has been a massive increase in counterfeit cigarettes leading to a huge drop in tax revenue.  So there is a good reason for non-smokers to worry – Revenue are going to have to try to make up that tax shortfall and that will hit everyone.

Probably the biggest reason why everyone should be concerned is the Slippery Slope.

If the Tobacco Lobby get their way on this one then all the various other lobby groups will wade in on the coattails.  Already there have been calls for all drinks [including your favourite wine] to be plastered with images of diseased livers and for large "health warnings" to be placed on food.  Do you really want to live in that drab humourless colourless world where you are constantly nagged from every shelf in the supermarket?  If plain packaging for cigarettes comes in, then so will the rest.  That is a cast-iron guarantee.

But what about the chiiiildren?

What about them?  There is no proof whatsoever that any child starts smoking because he or she is attracted to the packaging.  Kids start smoking because they are offered one by a pal, or they sneak a few out of their parents' packs.  It has absolutely nothing to do with packaging.  And anyway this move has nothing to do with children and everything to do with stigmatising a large minority of people for no reason other than to satisfy a few health fascists and to bolster the ego of an obsessed Minister for Health.

Don't say I didn't warn you.