“There is no such thing as bad publicity”

So goes the ‘saying’. What I think that this ‘saying’ means is that, if you want publicity, bad publicity is a good thing – or, at least, better than no publicity at all. For example, Nick Hogan is a hero of ours. He often speaks at events. He is, from the point of view of PETS (People who Enjoy Tobacco), a celebrity. But the publicity which made him a hero of ours was entirely bad from the point of view of the population at large. He broke the law, therefore he must be a baddie. He profited by breaking the law therefore he must be a baddie. He was sent to prison, therefore he must be a baddie. But, as far as we know, this bad publicity has done him no harm.

On the other hand, people like Gary Glitter seem to have suffered – or have they? How do we know that Gary Glitter is not performing all over the world in ‘speakeasies’?

The reason that this matter of ‘publicity’ came into my mind was that I have been hospital visiting again. I have already mentioned the big notice which states that “THIS IS A SMOKEFREE SITE”  – whatever that may mean.  I have also mentioned the placards which say much the same thing. I have also mentioned the fact that notices saying “No Smoking” appear everywhere in profusion within the hospital. I have also mentioned the amusing take on this on the TV programme “Mock of the Week”, where the question was asked, “Why do we need all these “No Smoking” signs everywhere? We do not have “No stabbing” signs everywhere.

The main entrance to the hospital has placards and no smoking signs, but there are other, smaller entrances. I discovered a simple entrance (just a simple door) nearer the place I wanted to go to. Unbelievably, on the doors and walls around this entrance, there were three “No Smoking” signs. One was  on the door itself – the usual sign; one was a metal board saying that the site was a ‘smokefree’ site, which was fixed to the wall of the left of the door; the other was a similar sign on the right of the door. Thus, around only that one entrance, there were three publicity notices for smoking. The fact that they said “NO smoking” is irrelevant – they ‘publicised’ smoking. Thus we have everywhere publicity for smoking. No wonder that Tobacco Companies are not unhappy with the situation – their wares are advertised everywhere by the very people who wish to annihilate them. So EVERYWHERE, wherever you go, SMOKING is advertised and publicised. What amount of money would, say, butter manufacturers give to see signs saying “BUTTER is banned in these premises” outside and inside every shop, hospital, library, pub, theatre, church, school, garage, etc, etc. WOW! What magnificent publicity for BUTTER! And, to top it all, not a penny has to be paid for the publicity!

Which brings me to the point.

Lansley (and Milton) should be drummed out of office, never to re-appear again. The reason? Because they have been publicising widely the very product which they wish should ‘have no part in British Industry’ [if I may paraphrase]. 

What brilliant thinkers they are! They say, “Let us publicise the enjoyment of tobacco as widely as possible and at great expense, and thereby reduce the incidence of the enjoyment of tobacco!” Any intelligent youth, seeing these notices saying “No Smoking”,  MUST come to the conclusion that ‘Smoking’ is extremely enjoyable. 

Thus Tobacco Control MUST come to an extremely sticky end eventually. The more that they shout about the evils of  smoking, the more that they publicise smoking. 

It is a repeat of PROHIBITION in miniature.

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