I must admit to have been a bit fed up last night with pondering the iniquities of tobacco control, so I decided to enjoy myself for a change.

A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the ‘city’ of Pompeii. Just in case anyone does not recognise that name, it is the town which was buried in AD79 by an eruption of the volcano Vesuvius near Naples in Italy.

It is a strange experience. You drive along modern roads, with traffic lights, cars, buses, etc, turn off the road a few metres, arrive at a coach park, sign in, and then, after walking maybe 50 metres, you enter a world (literally) which is almost 2000 year old. Here is a pic of a street in Pompeii:

I walked on similar streets while I was there.

You might look at that street and think, “It looks like a back alley in Salford”, and you are partly right. The thing is that the mansions of the wealthy had to be well-protected. The walls were high and solid and the entrances were narrow. Behind those walls, however, were self-sufficient fortresses. they had the ‘atrium’, which had a sunken pool to collect rainwater, and they had cottage gardens at the rear. I’m going to give a series of sets of pics of these houses with their (current) names. The names derive from either clues derived from inscriptions in the houses or the appearance. For example, ‘the house of Julia Felix’ comes from the known historical fact that such a person existed, and was almost certainly the person who owned that house, whereas ‘the house of the fawn’ comes only from the statue of the fawn in the entrance area.

Remember that the series of pics is essentially a collage of pic which tourists have taken, and include lots of disconnected pics, such as buses and cars!

House of Julia Felix:



House of the fawn:


Villa of Mysteries (a video):


House of Vettii:


House of Sallust:


(At the bottom of that Wikipedia entry is  a list of other houses – explore at your leisure)


The history of the excavations at Pompeii seems to have been quite sad. Having started in the late 1700s and continuing into the 1800s, there was much neglect by the Italians State. A wealthy philanthropist helped out in the 1900s, and much good preservation and restoration work was done. Even so, it is rather like ‘Yorvik’, in York, being dug out and then allowed to rot in the rain (been there too).

But what, to me, was the most amazing thing is that the people of Pompeii had there ‘fast food joints’, bars, brothels, and political slogan graffiti.

Sadly, it seems that the ‘houses’ are all closed. Anyone who visits Pompeii will have a guide who will follow a rigid itinerary. Of course, a person can wander off on his own with a map, but he will still not get into the most interesting places. Sad that.

Enough of Pompeii.


So what is the most interesting piece of news at this time? It must surely be that MPs have been informed that the use of electrofags indoors in the Palace of Westminster is to be tolerated. Now, there seems to be uncertainty about whether or not MPs can smoke indoors in Parliament. We know that Royal Palaces do not have to comply with the King’s laws unless he specifically says so. That is because, when the King breaks his own law, for that instant in time, no matter how long or short, the King has repealed the law, and afterwards has reimposed it. Thus, regardless of the law as it applies to the rest of the country, in the Palace of Westminster, there is uncertainty. I do not know if there is still a smoking room in parliament.

It seems that the Speaker has yet to agree the rules regarding electofag, but I doubt that he will oppose them. Use of electrofag is to be limited to certain areas (indoors) for MPs. But, as far as I know, smoking has never taken place in the Commons or Lords Chambers. It would be like smoking in church.

Here is the source:


What is important is that the ‘permission’ to use electrofags has been written down. Assuming that the Speaker agrees, then there is nothing whatsoever that the psychopaths in Public Health can do. The fact that use of electrofag is limited to “…..part of the Portcullis House building, their own offices, and Stranger’s – the main pub for MPs.”  is neither here nor there. This ruling is Tobacco Control’s worst nightmare, since it is almost certain that use of electrofags will spread and spread, and there will be no way to stop it. It is THE NEGATIVE of the General Smoking Ban.


Yes, it is possible that electrofag will bring back backy, but not for the reasons that the Zealots pretend. It will not be because of some sort of magic, ephemeral, compulsive miasma from nicotine in electrofag. If it happens, it will be because of enjoyment.

Let’s look again at the Doll graph of smoker deaths compared with non-smokers:


Is there any doubt whatsoever that it was smoking which killed those doctors represented by the line on the left (heavy smokers)? You may say so, but you might also say that it is more likely that persons who swim in the sea are more likely to drown in the sea than those who do not venture into the sea. But venturing into the sea exposes a person to more that the mere water in the sea. There are currents, coldness, serpents, winds, jelly fish, etc. Thus, the enjoyment of tobacco has risks. What the above diagrams illustrates is the extent of the risk, and nothing else. It is not medical; it is just mathematical, and it applies only to one aspect of life. There is no certainty that smokers in the above diagram would not have died before non-smokers anyway.


The Parliamentary decision about electrofag might be a VAST gain for Vapers – or it might not. But it will certainly be important. What it has done is throw a very big log into the spokes of the bicycle of the MSRA, which has said that it will force the regulation of electrofags as ‘medicines’.

But these people are clever, clever, clever. Cleverness is not intelligence. A person who breaks into your house by working out the best way to do so, is clever. But he need not be intelligent. He might just be an animal who uses claws and jaws essentially. He might find nothing worth stealing but be filmed if he enters the house of a person who has internal security.


Good fun.

What amuses me no end is that the ABSOLUTE WORST that can happen to us smokers is that we move to electofag. No wonder that TC is shitting itself.



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