Opportunism

Dr Siegel has been going mad today at the New Jersey anti-smoking band known as GASP. GASP means ‘Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy’. They want smoking banned on beaches and the usual stuff. What amuses me is the self-importance which they grant themselves by assuming the title ‘Global’. Obviously, they had to think of a word which started with a G so that they could use the acronym GASP. That alone fills one with suspicion that this organisation is on a par with BRAKE, the anti-smoking-in-cars organisation. As far as I know, BRAKE is a one woman organisation. According to one of her pronouncements, she believes that, a) it is not possible to drive a car without having both hands permanently on the steering wheel, and, b) that when a person smokes in a car, he cannot see through the windscreen because of the ‘fog’ of tobacco smoke. Having said that, a google search suggests that GASP is actually a much bigger version of BRAKE (typical American!), receiving funds from the usual suspect foundations and the Centre for Disease Control and the New Jersey local authority. Clearly, like ASH, it is nothing more than a lobbying and publicity group.

What Dr Siegel has been complaining passionately about is the fact that GASP want legislation to ban smoking on beaches while merely being a bit upset about smoking in casinos. But perhaps, beneath his indignation about the priorities of GASP, what is really upsetting Dr S is that this miserable lobby group is far more powerful than he is. GASP has made it plain that it regards e-cigs as dangerous, and that they should also be banned on beaches, which is absolutely contrary to Dr S’s scientific enquiries. Thus, Dr S is tearing his hair out. He even used the phrase “pissed off”, which is most unlike him. He said that casino workers must be ‘pissed off’, but the reality is that he was referring to himself.

Actually, I don’t blame him. On GASP’s website there appears this statement:

The New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act exempts casino gaming floors, so we continue to educate on the need for 100% smokefree gaming floors to protect casino workers and patrons in Atlantic City and elsewhere.”

New Jersey receives enormous revenues from the casinos. New Jersey funds GASP. GASP will not therefore go all out to protect casino workers and patrons from SHS. Instead, it will ‘educate’. Why bite the hand that feeds? Shout about banning e-cigs on beaches, but only whisper about smoking in casinos.

Isn’t this GASP attitude typical of the opportunism of the Tobacco Control Industry in general? Why should they be so opportunistic if it is not for the purpose of perpetuating their own existence? And is that not also a common trait with politicians? The TCI and politicians have a mutual objective, which is to continue their own existence. Not much else matters. I think that Dr S sees this very clearly, and that this is the reason that his own efforts about the desirability of harm reduction, and particularly e-cigs, fall on deaf ears.

But Dr S is still absolutely adamant that SHS is dangerous. I do not know why he continues to hold such extreme views, especially in view of the Enstrom and Kabat study and the WHO study by Boffetta. It is a pity that Dr S is spoiling his own credibility by adhering to the theory of miasmas.

One wonders who exactly is being more (or less) opportunistic. But that does not matter much. The reality is that the whole of the Tobacco Control Industry has become opportunistic. No principles are any longer trustworthy. There may still be people who believe that smoking is extremely dangerous (like Clive Bates, Dr Seigel and Carl Phillips), but they have been excommunicated from the money-making racket for heresy.

But we smokers must still hold fast to the anomalies in the anti-smoking evidence. We have, for instance, the unwillingness of the experts in the McTear Case to bring to the court their evidence that smoking causes lung cancer. Note that it is the unwillingness which is the important thing. The council for McTear knew damn well that the Court would require such evidence, but, instead, it relied upon ‘appeal to authority’. Judge Nimmo Smith saw through that, and kicked the argument out. We also know that there has never been any evidence at all of a person actually dying or becoming ill directly as a consequence of SHS. The likes of Dr S rely upon computer models and such (aka, statistical possibilities). These models do not take into account the myriad of confounders. They have a one-track ‘mind’, and are designed to be so.

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Tomorrow is The State Opening Of Parliament. It is on BBC1 starting at 10.30 am, in which the Queen will ‘speak’ and reveal The Cabinet’s legislative programme. I shall put the alarm on, but that does not mean that I shall actually engage at the crack of dawn. There will be lots of parading about before the Queen ‘speaks’.

I fully expect the Cameron/Clegg/Miliband axis to include PP because it is in ALL their interests not to antagonise the Medical Establishment. The fact that the Medical Establishment, in this matter, has no actual input as to whether or not PP will do what it is supposed to do (deter youngsters from smoking) is immaterial. If the Axis believes that PP will neutralise the Medical Establishment, it will go for it, purely opportunistically.

“Politics is the art of the possible”, said Disraeli is someone. “The art of taxation is to pluck the goose with the least amount of hissing”, said Disraeli or someone. Art is the antithesis of science since it is entirely emotional, and therefore, by definition, unscientific. It is therefore no surprise that the axis takes the easiest way.

But do we really give a shit about PP? I don’t. The colours of fag packets and the obscene pictures mean nothing to me. If I want to fly to Spain, the colours and logos on aircraft do not matter a damn. I want the aircraft to work properly, the cost to be reasonable, the flight times to suit me, the duration of the flight to be as short as reasonably possible and the ‘formalities’ to be as little as possible. The colours and livery of the aircraft have no other function, as far as I am concerned, than to enable me to recognise the aircraft’s owners. Despite their different liveries, they are all the same. They all make a public announcement that, “Smoking is NOT allowed on this flight and there are smoke alarms in the bogs, nor is the use of e-cigs. You are PROHIBITED from drinking your own alcohol – you can only drink alcohol is you buy it from us at outrageous prices. If the aircraft hits a mountain or the ground prematurely, then stay where you are and be incinerated. If the aircraft ditches in the sea, then you will be provided with a balloon, which is under your seat. When you find it, after you have recovered from the impact, do not be confused. It is very simple. Just a) unfasten your seat belt, b) DON’T put on the oxygen mask which will obviously fall down from above, c) ignore the screams, d) despite the panic all around you, calmly don the balloon, e) DON’T BLOW UP THE BALLOON INSIDE – wait until the aircraft has sunk, e) make way for the cabin crew – they are more important than you, f) don’t forget that our PRIMARY CONCERN is your safety. If all the above boxes are ticked, then the airline is not responsible because it has followed EU rules and regulations TO THE LETTER.

Most of the above is comical, but so is PP. It is comical to hear politicians talking about ‘the long term’ since they want to pluck the goose NOW. What advantage, electorally, does the axis have in antagonising not only smokers but e-cig users? Perhaps their calculations of re-election have decided that the numbers involved are too small to matter. The next general election is only a year away. In the meantime, who decides whether or not the EU Foreign Minister can use the UK’s Air Force to bomb Syria?

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The mind boggles, but the axis leaders giggle and laugh.

 

 

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2 Responses to “Opportunism”

  1. beobrigitte Says:

    “The New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act exempts casino gaming floors, so we continue to educate on the need for 100% smokefree gaming floors to protect casino workers and patrons in Atlantic City and elsewhere.”

    Erm…. isn’t gambling supposed to be addictive?

    • Junican Says:

      In the collective mind of Tobacco Control Zealots, nothing else matters. A person can be a drug addict, an alcoholic. obese and a gambler, but he is addicted ONLY to tobacco. If he dies at the age of 60, it is because of tobacco – the rest are immaterial. And every other possible ’cause’, like genetics, is of no significance. Except, of course, when the zealots have to prove their assertions in court. In that case, when they fail, the failure in no way changes THE TRUTH of their statements, Their authority descends from a form of papal infallibility. THE TRUTH is revealed in the Holy Bible of Tobacco Control – the Doll and Hill ‘Doctors Study’

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