More About ‘Back to Basics’

Has anyone else noticed? Ever since Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of an ‘enabling’ Bill which permits the Government to introduce Plain Packaging and No Smoking in Cars with Children at will, these two subjects have become ‘omerta protected’? No press releases from tobacco control, no discussion of freedom issues, no discussion of trademarks, etc.

How many times have we seen this before?

I have no doubts at all that another conspiracy is under way big time. Sir what’s-it is due to report next month on the effect of PP upon health and only upon health. As we know, he is being assisted by two civil servants nominated by the Health Dept Aristocrats. Whose instructions do you think that these people will be obeying? Sir what’s-it will report that miracles have occurred and quote studies to support his conclusions and, before you know it, both PP and t’other will be law. (Don’t forget that the UK can introduce PP on its own, despite the EU not including it in the directive, because of Subry’s trip to Luxembourg)

Well …., that is the probable but pessimistic likely outcome. There is just a possibility that Sir what’s-it will say that the evidence from Australia is weak and inconclusive and recommend waiting for another year or so. It is possible. Also, whatever Sir What’s-it says, there is still the matter of international trade agreements. In Australia, a court upheld the right of the government to legislate PP, but that is only right and proper – the Government does indeed have the power. But that judgement did not concern itself with international trade agreements.  Further, as regards smoking in cars, it is just possible that someone might do a little cost/benefit analysis. Someone might actually ask what benefit, either immediate or long term, might be expected to ensue, as compared with the cost and dangers of implementation and enforcement. It is possible that someone might point out that “The Emperor has no clothes”, in that it is quite possible to calculate that no benefits to children, in terms of health, will result from a smoking ban in cars. It is possible, but unlikely. It is hard for reason to overcome emotion.


When I returned from my trip (during which time I was incommunicado as regards newspaper reports and comments, etc), I was struck by something that I was – shall we say – subconsciously aware of. That was the almost universal acceptance that smoking kills everyone who smokes. It is true that people preface that statement with “50% of”, but the implication is that ALL  smokers are in the 50% who are killed. Yes, that is nonsense, but that is the impression projected, and it is the impression which seems to have taken root in the minds of the populace as a whole. That being the case, it is almost impossible to consider that the populace might ask questions about how rapidly the 50% (meaning 100%) are killed as compared with the rate of killing of non-smokers and ex-smokers. Are they killed, on average, ten minutes earlier of ten hours earlier or …  etc; and at what age does all this killing occur?

We can see, can we not? that, when we accept the idea that everyone who dies has been killed, which must be true since we would not die unless something killed us, that it is far too simplistic to claim that ‘smoking kills’ any more than anything else ‘kills’. It is in this context that GaryK’s comment on the last post become appropriate:

“Altho it is claimed that smoking ’causes’ lung cancer, never-smokers are only 1.002 times more likely than smokers to NOT die from lung cancer. (statistically insignificant)”

If I might rephrase that to make it clearer (I think!):

“Altho it is claimed that smoking ’causes’ lung cancer, never-smokers are only 1.002 times less likely than smokers to die from lung cancer. (statistically insignificant)”

Thus, for every 1000 people who are non-smokers who are killed by lung cancer, 1002 smokers are killed by lung cancer. Is Gary correct? I am not sure, but I know that he has worked these figures out very carefully.

Erm … Perhaps I have got that wrong. I’m not sure. It is late. It gets complicated. I think that it goes something like this:

Given 1000 people who are killed by whatever. It is likely that some 7% will be killed by LC – that is 70 out of the total casualties. As a process of time, it is likely that smokers will get LC earlier than non-smokers. Thus, say, perhaps 36 smokers might be killed by LC over a couple of years. On the other hand, 34 non-smokers would be killed by LC, but in smaller batches, year by year, over a longer period of time.

I must admit that Gary’s maths confuse me sometimes, but that is only because I am too lazy to follow them through. One of the sad things about the Doctors Study was that it was terminated prematurely. And I think that the termination was deliberate. The cohort of doctors had been followed for fifty years. Only a few thousand of the original forty thousand were still alive. It would not have been difficult or expensive to continue the study for another ten years until all but a few centenarians were left. I suspect that Doll and Peto did not want people to know that, in the end, ALL the doctors were killed by much the same ‘diseases’. Such a result would have provoked questions about ’cause and effect’ dependent upon many other factors other than smoking. That idea was not desirable to The Zealots.


More than anything, the idea of “Back to Basics” is about not accepting any of the propaganda at all. We smokers have to accept that, if laws are passed, we have to cope with them. We need a new paradigm, which is that NO LAWS AT ALL APPLY TO US. We are as Jews in Nazi Germany (if they had only known what was going to happen and had fled). We have been ‘exiled to the outdoors’. Right – we have also been exiled from the tax structure, and  not only as regards cigs. We can lie and cheat just as the tobacco control industry does.

In this regard, PP is irrelevant, as is ‘smoking in cars’. The stakes are much greater than either of those. The Government is creating a new outlaw class, in addition to the poorest people who have already been outlawed. The problem is that they do not see it.


Would it not be wonderful if Cameron, Milliband and Clegg came to their senses? It amazes me that they cannot see, collectively, that Public Health has been distorted into a useless parasitic boil on the body politic. But perhaps it is understandable in view of the ructions in Ukraine etc – much more exciting and fun than mere local persecution of smokers.



16 Responses to “More About ‘Back to Basics’”

  1. garyk30 Says:

    Thus, for every 1000 people who are non-smokers who are killed by lung cancer, 1002 smokers are killed by lung cancer.

    Ahhhh, no.

    I was showing the NOT DYING ratio.
    For every 1,000 smokers that do NOT die from lung cancer, there will be only 1,002 never-smokers that do NOT die from lung cancer,

    Doll’s data shows that “for every 1,000 smokers that DO die from lung cancer, there will be about 67 never-smokers that DO die from lung cancer.

    The ‘paradox’ is in the erroneous belief that 15 times as many deaths to smokers equals 15 times as many non-deaths for never-smokers.

    Admittedly, my ideas do not come out in print as clearly as one could hope. 😦

    • junican Says:

      I knew that my statement was incorrect, Gary, but I couldn’t be bothered because I was tired!
      Relative risks distort reality. ‘Fifteen times worse’ sounds awful, but only if the reader is unaware of the extent of the absolute risk. This is particularly obvious in relation to cot death. In 2010 (for which I have figures) some 130 cot deaths occurred. TC did research and found that smoking parents had double the chance of a cot death. What was ignored was that there are around 700,000 live births per an in the UK, so cot deaths are extremely rare. The chances of a cot death occurring are some 5400 to 1 against. Couple to that is the well-known problem of babies being placed on their tummies to sleep as a big factor, and, more recently, the seratonin problem. And what about the poverty angle?
      It is these sort of seriously dodgy tricks which are giving science a bad name.

  2. garyk30 Says:

    Another tobacco paradox

    Altho smokers have a higher IHD(heart attack) death rate than never-smokers, the never-smokers have a higher probability of dying from a heart attack.

    This paradox comes from the difference between IHD death rate and the IHD percentage of total deaths.
    death rate per year;
    never-smokers = 6.19/1,000 people

    smokers = 10.01/1,000 people.

    Smokers have a 61% higher death rate than never-smokers!!!!

    IHD as a percentage of total deaths:

    Smokers = 10.01/35.4 = 28%
    that is 28 IHD deaths per 100 total deaths

    Never-smokers = 6.19/19.28 = 31%
    that is 31 IHD deaths per 100 total deaths

    Never-smokers are 10% more likely to die from a heart attack than are smokers!!!!

    For an even greater paradox, let’s compare never-smokers and heavy(25+/day) smokers.

    heavy smokers = 11.11/45.34 = 24%
    that is 24 IHD deaths per 100 deaths.

    Never-smokers are 29% more likely to die from IHD than heavy smokers!!!

    Obviously, smoking does not ’cause’ heart attack deaths; because, smokers have a lower probabillity of dying from IHD.

    Or one could say that this way, when comparing total deaths:

    Smokers have a 1 in 4 chance of IHD death compared to a never-smokers 1 in 3 chance of such a death.

    • garyk30 Says:

      Oddly enough, light smokers(1-14/day) at 9.10 IHD deaths per 29.34 total deaths, have the same 31 IHD deaths per 100 total deaths as the never-smokers.

      Another paradox

      The more you smoke, the lower your probability of dying from a heart attack. 🙂

  3. Bolton Smokers Club: More About 'Back to Basics... Says:

    […] Has anyone else noticed? Ever since Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of an ‘enabling’ Bill which permits the Government to introduce Plain Packaging and No Smoking in Cars with Children at will, these two subjects have become ‘omerta protected’? No press releases from tobacco control, no discussion of freedom issues, no discussion of trademarks, etc. How many times have we seen this before? I have no doubts at all that another conspiracy is under way big time. Sir what’s-it is due to report next month on the effect of PPupon health and only upon health.  […]

  4. cherie79 Says:

    I think it is too late, the non smoking or worse, ex smokers, are thoroughly brainwashed and unless the propaganda stops, unlikely, I can’t see things changing. It doesn’t matter what we say, after the cancer I chose to continue to smoke, but few accept that I just want to. I have to be addicted or in denial. I lost 3 of my lung cancer e friends last year and ironically they were all never smokers. Maybe it is just me but I can’t get worried about how I will die, still think we are all date stamped so no point.

    • garyk30 Says:

      More power to you!!!!

      I know how I will die.
      Lung failure to provide enough oxygen to the heart is what is going to do me in and in about 6 to 7 years.

      Little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with COPD.
      COPD is unstoppable in progression.

      I intend to smoke, drink too much and raise Hell as long as I can.
      I refuse to ‘fade away’ into the grave.

      I plan on going out shouting “wow, what a great trip!!!”

      • cherie79 Says:

        Me too, I felt if I couldn’t live my life the way I wanted what was the point? I was lucky it was found early, incidentally, no symptoms at all. By the time you get lung cancer symptoms it has usually spread. Anyway so far I am fine, I think that annoys my surgeon, not that he wants me ill but because I still smoke it challenges all his assumptions about smoking. I told him to use me as a ‘control’. Sorry about your COPD, no answers to that yet, seems we share the same outlook enjoy living until we die.

      • garyk30 Says:

        My Doc has not bothered me about my smoking and COPD since I pointed out that Doll’s Doc Mortality Study showed that never-smokers are ONLY 1.001 times MORE likely to NOT die from COPD.

        Yep, for every 1,000 smokers that do not die from COPD, there are only 1,001 never-smokers that do not die from COPD.

        Besides, I will die about the age of 78 and there was always a 50% probability that I would not live longer than that age.

      • junican Says:

        The more I read on this blog and on others, the more astonished I am at the bravery of people in the face of adversity.
        But perhaps I shouldn’t be astonished. After all, my wife has been suffering from multiple sclerosis for about forty years now and never complains about ‘her bad luck’. She has accepted the condition from first diagnosis and just put up with it.
        When I personally was diagnosed with a malignant growth on an eyelid (although I was assured that it was not dangerous) I did not go into a blind panic – I accepted it and started to ‘make arrangements’. Fortunately, it was cut out and successfully removed totally.
        It may well be that the creation of ‘fear of the partially known’ is the biggest crime of tobacco control.

    • beobrigitte Says:

      Maybe it is just me but I can’t get worried about how I will die, still think we are all date stamped so no point.

      Cherie, many happy returns – enjoy life to the full!!!

      I wholeheartedly agree; we are ALL date stamped and there just is no point spending the time we have in fear of fictional danger and hanging out at our GPs, so insecure about our well being that we do need to get confirmed that we are well. I feel fine (tired from being overworked, though) and would like to spend the little spare time I have doing things I enjoy. Health fear is not on that list.

      Creating unsubstantiated fear is what tobacco control gets paid for. It distances itself from the ever increasing number of youngsters who end up depressed, though. I begin to wonder how the government thinks it can pay my due pension; the tax payers of tomorrow are on long term sick leave, some even kill themselves.
      As for me, I intend to take my pension at 60. I have NO WISH to work more years to support this increasing number of depressed youngsters. The government supports tobacco control – tobacco control can start paying for the damage it has done to society!!
      And, my advice to youngsters: light a cigarette and reflect on the fact that you, too, are supposed to have a back bone. You don’t get very far relying on a wish bone.

  5. cherie79 Says:

    What really annoys me is the lung cancer patients who feel, or are made to feel even by their own families, that they brought the cancer on themselves by smoking. It is bad enough having a potentially fatal illness without that, it is beyond cruel. poor souls are trying to stop while having horrible chemo and radiation and adding even more stress and guilt. I told everyone it was my life and I would decide how to live it. My son, a never smoker, didn’t see it that way so I said I didn’t know what he was complaining about, he would inherit sooner! That shut him up and he is ok now. I have never had any fear of dying, maybe that’s why I never panicked about cancer.

    • junican Says:

      I wonder sometimes if it is true that we all have cancer all the time, but our immune systems sort out cancerous cells. Perhaps those who suffer cancer early in life have inefficient immune systems. But all the research effort seems to going into what causes cancer rather than into correcting immune system faults.
      But, in the end, as you point out, sooner or later, your body will wear out.

      • cherie79 Says:

        I think I have said before that stress compromises the immune system allowing cancer cells that would normally be destroyed to survive. My surgeon did once say that all cancers are a failure of the immune system. Mine started after my husbands sudden death and I know of many others who developed cancer after severe trauma and after having an illness that weakened immunity. Sorry if I am repeating myself, but since ‘it is down to smoking’ don’t expect them to look elsewhere, they will never be allowed to be shown to be wrong.

      • junican Says:

        No need for apologies, cherie79. My wife developed MS a couple of years after a severely traumatic MENTAL experience (which obviously I cannot go into). Body, mind, mind body…..

      • beobrigitte Says:

        Hope you both don’t mind if I say that you both are right. According to my (long retired) GP we all develop cancer a few times in our lives without ever knowing. Our immune system, indeed, does deal with it.

        One of my friendshad a Whipple procedure (done for pancreatic cancer) in 1998 and declined chemotherapy after the surgery. She is still around, but she has developed a very progressive form of MS, which has been attributed to her immune system going “overdrive” when fighting the cancer.

        Smoking rates are down – cancer is on the increase! Perhaps this “Yuppie culture”: work-work-work-backstab-colleagues&friends-work-must-go-jogging-compete-at-anything-be-better-than-everyone-else-health-is-important-etc.etc.etc. is the direct cause of a number of illnesses!!

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