Back in Harness

I would like to say that I was ‘out of harness’ while I’ve been away. In most respects, that has been true enough, but not as regards the tobacco control industry.

When I booked my hotel, I particularly went to a smokers’ site which listed smoker-friendly hotels. Indeed, I was much heartened when I was offered ‘smoker/non-smoker room’ (choosing ‘smoker’, of course). When I got there, I found that in fact there is now no such thing as a ‘smoker room’ – there was a small ‘no smoking’ sign on the dressing table. I went to read the public notices in reception and found that a law has been passed with forbids it. I suspect that this law is not a general one, but is one which applies only locally. It would not surprise me if it were not true that those hotels (probably the majority) which wanted to ban smoking in their hotel rooms to save money on redecorating from time to time, had combined to persuade the local authority to create ‘a level playing field’. The good news, however, was that there was an ashtray on the balcony table. The hotel that I stayed at last year about this time has a strict no-smoking policy everywhere inside the hotel including balconies. Fortunately, I have learned to take my own ashtray, so it still smoking inside and out. The indoor ban didn’t bother me this time either, but one takes reasonable precautions like sitting near the slightly-open patio door.

In these circumstances, a lot depends on the weather. Thankfully, although a couple of days were cloudy and cool, the afternoons were warm and sunny, especially the last two days when the temperature hit 22°C.

So, all in all, it was a pleasant break and – most importantly – I bought thirty sleeves of Coronas super-kings at a price of €41 each, which works out at about £3.50 for 20. Since I also have my home-grown and, ahem, ‘other’, I reckon that herself and I have about 200 days supply of ready-mades.

I made one mistake. I took with me two books to read which were Christmas presents. One was called “Man Walks Into A Pub” and the other was “Alphabetical”. The first was, as you might expect, a history of beer brewing a public houses, and the second was about the origins of the letters of the alphabet and many amusing stories about usage. Both these books were amusing and informative, but the mistake was that they were both factual. I really should have taken one or other of the factual books and a novel of some kind. The point is that a factual book, no matter how interesting it may be, can be a bit hard going in some circumstances, and so changing to a novel lightens the mood. I must remember that. But I also played a few games of chess on my electronic chess set. Needless to say, I won every game. Well, when you are playing against a machine, you are entitled to a few ‘take-backs’, aren’t you?

I took my e-cig, but didn’t use it. I was looking around for other people using them but saw no one. Why should I be the one when on my own in a foreign clime? Despite all the hype, e-cigs still have an awful long way to go. Perhaps that’s why the Holy Zealots and Charlatans in The Tobacco Control Industry want to stamp on ecigs now before they really take hold and become accepted. The Zealots know damn well that, should ecigs become accepted and used in entertainment venues, then their long-term plans to keep the gravy train rolling ‘ad inf’ will be in disarray. The reason is that the number of people who enjoy tobacco will not fall; what will change is the distribution of smoking and ecig use. The quantity of tobacco sold will fall, but the number of smokers will not. The zealots will have backed themselves into a corner as a result of claiming that, “There is no safe level”.

The failure of “No safe level”, in the form attributed to the US Surgeon General referring to SHS, must become glaringly obvious when the Zealots have to cope with an ecig breakthrough on a large scale in indoor places. But that will only happen when ecig users get together and start using them in pubs, clubs, restaurants, libraries, hotels, etc. But, as I have said before, they must get together and ‘attack’ in places where the Zealots have to apply their trumped-up regulations directly: that is, in town halls and such places. Do not put the onus on publicans and restaurateurs. But there are several problems. There are plenty of vapers, but they are widely spread throughout the nation. I don’t know of any formal or informal vaper ‘clubs’ or ‘groups’. It seems to me that most vapers are people who have allowed themselves to be scared to death of tobacco, and are thus acting on an individual basis. They are buying ecigs because of their fear of the supposed health consequences of smoking rather than as a pleasurable thing to do in itself. It is rather like downgrading from whiskey to near-beer, except that the near-beer tastes just like whiskey.

One of the reasons that I fear that Vapers are behaving as I have described is that there are lots of vaper sites but hardly any comments on news and opinions expressed on these sites. What that seems to mean to me is that the manufacturers and distributors of ecigs are organised reasonably well, but the users are thoroughly fragmented.

The only hope that I see is that millions upon millions continue to buy ecigs and not Big Pharma gummy-patchy stuff. I fails to see how the Zealots can actually control the sale and distribution of either ecigs or strong liquids via the internet, whatever laws they persuade the malleable politicians to pass. Nor could they actually in detail control the strength of liquids sold in ecig shops ‘under the counter’. Isn’t it crazy that, in effect, the Zealots have created a situation where cigarettes are now, essentially, sold from ‘behind closed doors’ (aka ‘under the counter’) in supermarkets? When this law applies to small shops, who know what products will be ‘behind closed doors’ (‘under the counter’)?


Generally speaking, the fragmentation of Smokers and Vapers is good news for the Zealots and Charlatans. In the short term, the battle that we have been seeing has been between the Tobacco Control Industry and the Tobacco Industry. Consumers have been left out. In fact, it is consumers who have been made to suffer, just as the protagonists in WW1 were THE REMAINS OF THE ARISTOCRATS falling out over ‘possessions’ in Africa, and, as a result, hundreds of thousands of ordinary people died and were mutilated at the command of THE REMAINS OF THE ARISTOCRATS. My uncle Michael was one – killed on The Somme.

We have a New Aristocracy.

Pygmy Politicians like Cameron, Milliband and Clegg pretend to have control over the New Aristocracy, but they do not. In fact, they are under the control of the New Aristocracy. The complexities of modern-day government are beyond them, even though they are clever people. (One might add that ‘cleverness’ is merely  ‘a combination of instinct and emotion and reason’). It is hard to see a resolution until politicians beg forgiveness for their inadequacies and set up a special court to try the likes of Arnott and her Royal College of Physicians owners for crimes around ‘the keeping of Her Majesty’s Peace’.

There is a long way to go. I suspect that the Zealots expected a quick victory over the Tobacco Industry.  But the Charlatans took over. They want a gradual slowing down so as to minimise the effect on tobacco taxes.

I was in the local co-op the other day and witnessed a person buying a packet of 10 cigs. Despite the brouhaha of tobacco control’s stated harmful effects, it has not demanded an end to tobacco sales. Those words are important.

Zealots have got away with it for ages. They want to feed on tobacco sales while condemning them.


In Benidorm, I observed a curious thing. There was an alley between buildings. it was enclosed. At one end of the alley was a bar/cafe. The alley was enclosed except that the end of the allay was open to the elements. At the bar of this cafe, indoors, Spanish guys were smoking. In fact, I saw the bar staff smoking. I did not stop because I was going to the tobacco shop, but that incident betrays the uselessness of tobacco control.

Who cares?

I don’t feel so well. To bed.




10 Responses to “Back in Harness”

  1. nisakiman Says:

    30 sleeves is 300 packs. With the UK tax take on a pack being something over £6, that’s about £1800 less that the zealots have in the coffers with which to persecute you. 🙂 Starve the beast, as they say.

    • junican Says:

      Absolutely spot on, nisak! Also, I don’t even have to deduct the cost of the trip to Spain because it was in itself a welcome break!

  2. Shel Says:

    Thought I would just let you know the latest thing posted recently on Facebook. An Ecig filter eaten by a dog and it allegedly died. Now I haven’t looked into the story myself, but it did occur to me it was just another blot on the Ecig and smokers. Wondered whether you had heard about it.
    PS hope you feel better soon.

    • junican Says:

      Yes, I read about it. I don’t know whether to believe it or not – TC are such liars. The ’cause’ may be a rationalisation. It sounds like the similar story about an exploding ecig. It turned out that the owner had been messing about.
      By the way, I often use the expression “I don’t feel so well”. It means nothing! It’s a slight variation on Spike Milligan’s epitaph: “I told you I was ill” (In this case, it was more about imbibing a bottle of red and about a fifth of a bottle of vodka….

  3. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Glad you’re back and appreciate the shared adventures!

    P.S. Shel, it was supposedly a bottle of E-liquid, and if it was a large bottle and a high concentration I guess it’d be quite possible. Meanwhile however the papers neglected to cover all of the individual stories of dog-deaths from eating aspirins, Christmas decorations, and antifreeze.

    • junican Says:

      I suppose that trip could have been more adventurous, but it was never intended to be anything other than a chance to wind down and sleep a good bit. Enjoyed it though.

    • Shel Says:

      Yes Micheal I agree, being a Veterinary Nurse I am quite aware of what dangers are out there, but with the all the talk that ecigs should be outlawed the same as cigarettes I found it interesting that adding this snippet of information to a social media site, it was just another form of propaganda to fuel the masses.

      • michaeljmcfadden Says:

        Shel, as a Vet Nurse, you may be familiar with what’s out there in the literature and records. ARE there records kept of “cause of death” sort of stuff for dogs that would indicate how many die per year from eating household medicines or chocolate or antifreeze, etc? That sort of information could help a lot in terms of both putting this story into perspective and also showing how Antismokers use propaganda.

        – MJM

  4. cherie79 Says:

    I have booked a hotel in Ireland that allowed smoking rooms a couple of years ago but sadly no more. I don’t think it is down to any change in the law. As you said just hotels choosing not to allow it, all the ones I know that used to have smoking rooms no longer do.

    • junican Says:

      I’m not surprised about that in Ireland, cherie. I suppose that a lot of arm-twisting has been applied. When I went to Prague two years ago I had no trouble getting a smoking room or finding a pub to eat and smoke in.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: