Saturday, May 27, 2006
As a smoker who does not wish to give up and could not be better informed of the risks, these pictures will provide some seriously needed light relief from the ugly and unimaginative black and white text warnings. They will add a bit of colour. I think they should be on the front of the packet as well as the back. They will also provide some excellent subjects for "smirting" conversations. Another way to break the ice in doorways or at hospital perimeters when I am forced to meet new people. I can see some further social integration opportunities coming up. How kind of the government.
Posted by Gasdoc at 4:42 pm
PS. OK I got it a bit wring because Simon Clarke was interviewed at 11.25 and did a great job. I don't know if his invitation was at his request though.
Today on BBC News 24 at 10.30am the presenter interviewed an ASH spokesperson (Amanda Sandford) as part of a news item reporting plans for pathological images to be displayed on cigarette packets next year.
Amongst other bigotry this spokesperson said " tobacco was unique in that it killed 1 in 2 of its users". The presenter made no challenge to this assertion and no representative from smokers, the tobacco industry or Forest was interviewed.
There is a website article on the BBC site http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5017616.stm.
I have emailed the BBC's Newswatch program. I copy my rant below and provide the url for their web email form for you all to express your views.
You just interviewed an ASH spokesperson who answered a question relating to why cigarettes deserved different treatment to other legal harmful substances. The ASH woman said tobacco was a unique product because it "killed 1 in 2 of its users". This is an absolute lie and your interviewer made no comment or probing of this absurd statement.
Where was the spokesperson for the tobacco industry or for smokers or for Forest?
This kind of bias in reporting civil liberty issues is quite astounding and means that the BBC is run by anti-smokers. It is not appropriate for the BBC to demonstrate any bias. The irresponsible group ASH and its lies should be grilled alongside the deceitful charities the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK as to why they find it necessary to peddle complete fabrications about the risk of tobacco.
The inclusion of any health warning notice or now picture on any product should be universal or not at all. Cigarettes are enjoyed by many and marketed by a business. Why are these two groups rights completely ignored in the current mood of smoker persecution.
It is high time this issue was treated in a fair way with discussion and interviews presented in a balanced way. I am a doctor who enjoys smoking. I am aware of the real risks and fed up with being targeted by evil prejudice and propaganda. I have no intention of stopping smoking, however difficult the WHO and ASH think they can make it for me. I also know for sure that I am doing NO harm to anyone else at all despite the biased media presentation of the information available on so-called "passive smoking"."
Dr Phil Button
Associate Specialist in Anaesthesia & Pain Relief
Posted by Gasdoc at 10:22 am
Saturday, May 20, 2006
They have at last managed it! For some 6 months the smokers at The North Hampshire Hospital Basingstoke have tolerated the evangelism associated with the forthcoming on-site smoking ban. We joined in with the excitement of the thought of being forced to walk to a perimeter around the hospital for our breaks. It was soon going to be summer and we had already purchased our patio furniture and mini-bar. Dr Button was looking forward to getting his shooting stick out and perching by the smoke free signs at the entrance.
However the new wallpaper of glossy signs were becoming too informative and we began to realise what they were doing!! The lovely smokefree signs had been joined by a remarkable "countdown to smoke free sign" which was changed each day to indicate that there were only "x" days to go. These could simply be removed.
The 3 banners that greeted staff and patients at each entrance were striking and staked into the ground, 3ft by 8ft, exclaiming the joy of the new coming. They posed a bigger problem and CCTV meant that any anonymous medical man would have to consider wearing his hoody and a balaclava as well as putting out his signature Black Russian Sobranie.
So the meticulous planning the thousands of pounds and the many meetings designed to make it all go smoothly notwithstanding Ada Jones gracefully foregoing her hip replacement for a few more months had been to no avail. The smokers had become angry. Never before known but yes we had realised what was happening and were already planning our fire setting detail.
Well done Mary and Donna our DOH puppets.
Posted by Gasdoc at 10:03 am
Online polls are notoriously bad. They do not provide useful results. They have a remarkable similarity to the "science" of epidemiology. So as such are a tool recommended for use my the anti-smoking luddites. They can be manipulated on both sides and should be included in "The Health Bill" for a summary ban or indeed perhaps the use of them should attract capital punishment. There's something for a "free" vote! Lol
Posted by Gasdoc at 9:50 am
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Michael J. McFadden has often described the anti-smoker movement as being like a vampire. You can defeat it but it will rise again each time from the grave to continue with its misguided practice and malice. Make no mistake about it then, this vampire deserves to be destroyed. Throughout its dire existence it has pressed for the implementation of smoking bans. Smoking bans have destroyed jobs, businesses, interpersonal relationships, lives, trust between friends, and faith in the medical profession. They have encouraged discrimination against people who smoke in the fields of employment and leisure, and they have denigrated medical science and the future of accurate medical diagnostics as the vampire attempts to attribute every illness under the sun to the effects of environmental tobacco smoke. But the latter is the source of this vampire's power. Without the great lie that environmental tobacco smoke, in the quantities in which we normally experience it, is a deadly toxic substance its campaigns would never have taken flight. So, to destroy this vampire we have forged the stake of truth. The stake of truth is the weapon by which the great lie will be exposed and revealed in the sunlight for all to see.As this is being written, the stake of truth is pressed against the vampire's rib cage over the location of its lying beating heart. Above the stake is poised the hammer of justice ready to strike. So let us strike this hammer and drive in the stake strong and hard and keep on driving it in until this vampire can rise no more. It shall be cast into the darkness from whence it came!
Blad (the Impaler)
Posted by Gasdoc at 7:47 pm
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Well well! Wonders never cease! I have had a letter published in BMA News Review. This is a newspaper style organ delivered with the BMJ. For doctor's eyes only! Here I append the original letter with the printed version in white and the edited out bits in yellow. Bits they have added or altered are in brackets. It gives us all some ideas about what will get printed and what won't. I think that the published letter does represent my views to a point, but you can see I tried from the outset to say things to optimise the chances of getting into print.
At last the voice of common sense has been printed in a BMA publication instead of the sometimes over zealous "health mongerers" view. This term was used in a conference in Newcastle, Australia where David Henry and Ray Moynihan were conference organisers and was excellently reported by our own Owen Dyer. The BMA's stance on smoking is perfectly correct, doctors must be seen to be aggressively behind the undeniable facts (of its effects). The harm tobacco inhalation does to the smoker must be clearly publicised by the (association)BMA enabling and encouraging patients to make informed decisions.
(However) the observed effects of the DOH policy of making all hospitals "smoke free" this year are all too plain to see. (I refer in part to) They are the groups of smokers who will not or cannot give up gathering in the path of everyone entering or leaving the hospital. This occurs at the main entrance or at the site boundary depending on the smokers' determination or need to smoke. The determination is itself fostered by the hateful place where smokers have been positioned by the active promotion of "Passive Smoking" as a proven scientific phenomenon despite dubious evidence. This promotion is allegedly sponsored directly by the Government, Charitable Organisations such as the BHF and pharmaceutical companies who make nicotine replacement products. Big Pharma has taken the tactics of Big Tobacco and are scandalously promoting their products with unscientific claims.
All this means that More people will be exposed to the sight of people smoking and the smell and irritation of high concentrations of tobacco smoke. It also means that people will be exposed to the inappropriate and costly effects of nicotine replacement without there being any real hope of it assisting them to stop smoking.
The methods by which we attempt to reduce the incidence of smoking are failing in Ireland where there has been an increase since the country's ban came into place. We need to reassess our tactics in promoting the smoking message as at the moment current policy and existing and future law are only alienating a quarter of the population and forcing them to stand up for their freedoms. Look what's happening around us in The House of Lords where 90 amendments are proposed to The Health Bill and on the internet where publicans, smokers and non-smokers, and tobacco control experts such as Dr Michael Seigel are outraged by the actions of the anti-smoking lobby.
How does a policy which herds smok(ers)ing out into the open to be seen in high concentrations outside hospitals do anyone any good at all? The correct way forward is segregation and better ventilation. We should be improv(e)ing accommodation for smokers as that will improve conditions for non-smokers. In that way Instead of being seen as locations where smokers collect, hospitals sh(c)ould tolerate peoples' choices and get smokers back inside with ventilated facilities where smoking cessation material would be best placed to assist (them) smoker's to quit.
Dr Phil Button BM DA(UK) DRCOG
Associate Specialist in Anaesthesia & Pain Relief
Posted by Gasdoc at 10:33 am