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July 09, 2009


David Galea

Why can't a landlord decide whether his pub is a smoking or a non-smoking pub? Modern technology in air conditioning can suck away the smoke from pubs, get some engineers on the job. Anti-smoking laws are selfish laws that pander to the bossiest of busybodies.


No smoking, please! A little smoke goes a long way and interferes with the enjoyment of taste and smell. Landlord of a "smoking" pub has zero respect for his food and drink.

As an advisor to my local PCT, I have access to the detailed statistics for admissions/NHS costs due to smoking diseases. If smokers demand the "liberty", they should be required to insure themselves heavily for private treatment when their lungs and throats give up. As a taxpayer, I do not want to fund smokers' self-abuse and terminal treatment.


Just got back from holiday in Switzerland. No general restaurant ban there, you have a choice. Fags cost 40% less than here (even less if you look at income levels), and yet life expectancy in Switzerland is 2nd only to Japan.
The Swiss people are not treated like naughty children by their Government, and are therefore still capable of taking responsibility for their own behaviour.

Mark Wallace

"It's about time we fought back" - you could say smokers have been too passive...

In seriousness, FOREST are an excellent organisation putting a reasoned, libertarian case against a piece of legislation that defines private businesses (pubs, restaurants etc) as public places. This is a bigger principle that effects us all.

Peter Thurgood

Of course the smoking ban is a symbol of attack on our liberties, and it didn't take Forest to try to convince anyone to believe that either.

No other group, minority or otherwise, would accept the treatment which smokers are subjected to in this country. Smokers are being de-normalised by our Labour Government and their allies, ASH.

Two years ago no one would have believed that such a programme of humiliation, de-normalisation, and outright lies, could ever have been put into place by a British government. It is the type of thing we would have read in the fiction of George Orwell's 1984, or worse still, in the hate filled ramblings of the 1930s Nazi Party.

The smoking ban law is based upon one basic argument, which is that second hand smoke can kill or harm those around it. But, this is a lie! No proof has ever been offered up to substantiate this argument, and of course, it never will.

Forest are calling for an amendment to this unjust law. They are not asking for it to be overturned. They are asking for the law to be amended, along the lines of those of nearly all of the rest of Europe, where premises can decide for themselves, whether to allow smoking or to not allow smoking. That is the only fair way to give everyone a choice, and that also includes staff. If they do not like smoking then they can work in a non smoking establishment. What could possibly be fairer?

Unlike Labour, and its constant nannying, Civil liberties is at the heart of Conservative politics, and I see quite a number of Conservative websites and blogs are already backing this campaign by showing the video and the logo, which urges everyone who believes in freedom of choice to join. What do you believe in Conservatives and freedom or more dark years of Labour nannying and bullying and telling us how we should live our own lives?

Roger Helmer

Clearly Forest is right. Personally I hate smoking. But I'm not going to tell 25% of my constituents that they're second class citizens.

Helen Daniels

Smoking bans are definitely a clear attack on our liberties and I shudder to think what our state has next in line for us.

Choice should always have been provided so that all our citizens are catered for and businesses could continue to survive.

Denormalisation has no place in a so-called 'free' and 'democratic' society.


Petosky, MI is far ahead of everyone. They've been there, done that. Now it's time to get back to sanity by repealing the ban, which they did. All the problems it created are gone, except for the ranting and raving of the ban lobbyists.


Fredrik Eich

"As a taxpayer, I do not want to fund smokers' self-abuse and terminal treatment." - Energetic.

As a taxpayer I don't want to pay for state funded anti smokers. Therefore, when the deep cuts in public spending that are needed come, I think it would be a really good idea if professional tobacco control advocates are the first to get the chop. In the mean time, as I have healthy lungs, I shall tear up my organ donor card, as clearly you believe my organs would be of no use anyway.

Thomas Laprade

A smoking ban means it is against the law to use or permit a legal product on 'private' property.
Prohibition Ear: it was against the law to use or permit a legal product on 'private' property.
Is history repeating itself.
And you know what happened to prohibition do you??
Smoke from tobacco in a decently ventilated venue is a statistically insignificant health risk


Rose Whiteley

The UK smoking ban is a clear attack on the civil liberties of UK citizens. For one thing, the total ban introduced here was contrary to the Labour Party's manifesto promise on the subject.

We should have had a partial ban which allowed choice of the kind introduced in many European countries. Then, folks like Energetic needn't have had his enjoyment of food and drink spoiled, any more than millions of us would have had our social lives destroyed by no longer being able to combine two pursuits we enjoy - socialising and smoking.

As for the notion that non-smoking taxpayers have to fund smokers' terminal treatment ... it's very telling that such an illogical argument should be put forward by a PCT adviser. Firstly, smokers put billions of pounds into the NHS across their lifetimes, much more than they ever use. And secondly, everyone has to die of something. If smoking really curtails life expectancy as drastically as anti-smoking lobbyists would have us believe, doesn't this provide further savings to the NHS and Social Services (nursing home) budgets?

Martin V

Energetic -

Have you ever sampled the delights of La Diva Nicotina, or are you one of those timid fellows that never even tried ?

No matter. You make some rather challengeable points:

First, you claim that a 'little smoke goes a long way' (if only !), and that it 'interferes' with the enjoyment of food. Well, NOT in my case it doesn't ! Smoking positively ENHANCES the experience - rather like the company of an attractive, perfumed lady.

And one would have imagined that the likes of Keith Floyd and Anthony Worrall Thompson had demonstrated a certain 'respect' for food, wouldn't you say ?

But since - like most smokers these days - I respect YOUR freedom, I imagine that you are in favour of either a) a choice between Smoking and Non-Smoking venues or b) a requirement for sensible segregation, supported by the installation of a smoke-extraction system ?

That way, we are BOTH happy - yes ?

Any alternative answer would stongly suggest that you are (I regret to say) just another of those Dreary Fanatics who imagine that they are somehow cleverer than me.

I'm sure that you are not (a fanatic - or cleverer)!

Second,as to your privileged access to the dreaded 'statistics', I hope that you are NOT referring to those used in support of that cunningly contrived nonsense known as 'Smoking-Related Diseases' - you know, the ones which include the death from Emphysema of the 45 year-old man who NEVER smoked in his entire life ?

I'd be obliged if you would share this new, unimpeachable Source of Truth with us. We are QUITE used to dissecting the OTHER sort, thank you.

Third, with regard to your generous suggestion that we smokers 'insure' ourselves against the statistical improbability of extreme self-harm, do you not consider the £8 Billion (net) that we contribute to the Exchequer a sufficient premium - one that YOU (happily) do NOT pay ?

Since this is sufficient to meet the entire annual drugs bill for the NHS, how, pray, will you replace it - should we smokers suddenly experience a mass conversion to your timid Little World View ?

A tax on Yakult, perhaps - or jogging (which damages the knees, rather expensively) ?

Fourth, although you don't wish to 'fund self-abuse' by smokers (nice piece of Nazi phraseology there - 'masturbation of the lungs' etc), why ARE you happy to 'fund' us later on in life as dribbling geriatrics, when EVERYONE knows that Smokers Die Younger (it says so on the packet) ?

Or are you as selective with the Economics as you are with the Statistics ?

Last, if you seek to press a distinction between my 'liberty' (sic) to smoke in my pub with my landlord's permission (it's HIS house - not yours) and LIBERTY, then you are neither intelligent nor humane enough to advise ANYONE - even a PCT.

Nicht wahr, Kamerad ?

Gordon Twinberrow

Smokers pay taxes on tobacco. Non smokers will probably die one day and their terminal illnesses might be a drain on the NHS. If they live longer their pensions will be a greater drain on the exchequer!

Martin V

Gordon -

I read somewhere that in fact ALL non-smokers die eventually.

Vampires are THE exception, of course.

And I believe I've got the 'statistics' somewhere to prove it................


These smoking bans will probably go down in history as one of the greatest marketing scams ever by using tax exempt political action committees calling themselves "charities". They want to "hurry up and pass the bans" before people find out who is paying the lobbyists pushing for them by using our tax money.
Here's the beginning of the ban movement in the USA.


Here are the instructions from Johnson and Johnsons' (makers of cessation products) RWJ Foundation for their tax exempt political action committees. They are getting enough money from the RWJ Foundation, plus using MY tax money. They aren't getting any more money from me.


Dave Atherton


I would be delighted to opt out of the NHS and arrange my own private insurance, but on the proviso that cigarettes are sold at their manufacturing and marketing cost, i.e. £1 a packet. Also I estimate the cost of the NHS treating me (I have only ever been into hospital once for wisdom teeth extraction) minus my taxes = £200,000. Plus I have paid £50,000 in cigarette taxes over 22 years means £250k will buy me all the insurance I need for the rest of my life and a very nice holiday thrown in for good measure.

Also you health zealots really need to pay more taxes too. You cost society throughout your lifetime 29% more than a smoker as this Dutch study confirms.

“Revealed: Why healthy patients cost more to treat than smokers and the obese”

“Based on healthcare costs in Holland, where the study was conducted, a person of normal weight can expect their medical bills from the age of 20 to total £210,000 over the course of their lifetime, while an obese person's costs will be £187,000. Smokers, whose life expectancy is the shortest of the three, cost the least, at £165,000, the researchers from the National Institute for Public Health and Environment calculated.”



Pleased to see the posts detailing the economics of smoking and health, particularly the point regarding tobacco duty and private health insurance. I'm sure David Galea is aware that smokers' organs are used in transplants and smokers's blood is used in transfusions. I ripped up my donor card when I heard similar views to his on a radio debate. Until I can specify that my organs must go to smokers, I shall not be getting a new one. Were all smokers to stop giving blood today, the ban would be amended by the end of next week.

Sean Donnelly

In response to David Galea:
"As a taxpayer, I do not want to fund smokers' self-abuse and terminal treatment".

Just as well we smokers fund it ourselves then isn't it with the amount of tax we have to pay on smoking products. i believe it's something to the tune of £3.60 we smokers put into Government Funds for each £1 smoking related illnesses take out of the NHS.

Must have let that one slip by you with your "detailed statistics for admissions/NHS costs due to smoking diseases"

Smoke on Liberty Lovers!


A little anti-smoking history from over the pond...


Scientific Evidence Shows Secondhand Smoke Is No Danger
Written By: Jerome Arnett, Jr., M.D.
Published In: Environment & Climate News
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) is an unpleasant experience for many nonsmokers, and for decades was considered a nuisance. But the idea that it might actually cause disease in nonsmokers has been around only since the 1970s.

Recent surveys show more than 80 percent of Americans now believe secondhand smoke is harmful to nonsmokers.

Federal Government Reports

A 1972 U.S. surgeon general's report first addressed passive smoking as a possible threat to nonsmokers and called for an anti-smoking movement. The issue was addressed again in surgeon generals' reports in 1979, 1982, and 1984.

A 1986 surgeon general's report concluded involuntary smoking caused lung cancer, but it offered only weak epidemiological evidence to support the claim. In 1989 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was charged with further evaluating the evidence for health effects of SHS.

In 1992 EPA published its report, "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking," claiming SHS is a serious public health problem, that it kills approximately 3,000 nonsmoking Americans each year from lung cancer, and that it is a Group A carcinogen (like benzene, asbestos, and radon).

The report has been used by the tobacco-control movement and government agencies, including public health departments, to justify the imposition of thousands of indoor smoking bans in public places.

Flawed Assumptions

EPA's 1992 conclusions are not supported by reliable scientific evidence. The report has been largely discredited and, in 1998, was legally vacated by a federal judge.

Even so, the EPA report was cited in the surgeon general's 2006 report on SHS, where then-Surgeon General Richard Carmona made the absurd claim that there is no risk-free level of exposure to SHS.

For its 1992 report, EPA arbitrarily chose to equate SHS with mainstream (or firsthand) smoke. One of the agency's stated assumptions was that because there is an association between active smoking and lung cancer, there also must be a similar association between SHS and lung cancer.

But the problem posed by SHS is entirely different from that found with mainstream smoke. A well-recognized toxicological principle states, "The dose makes the poison."

Accordingly, we physicians record direct exposure to cigarette smoke by smokers in the medical record as "pack-years smoked" (packs smoked per day times the number of years smoked). A smoking history of around 10 pack-years alerts the physician to search for cigarette-caused illness. But even those nonsmokers with the greatest exposure to SHS probably inhale the equivalent of only a small fraction (around 0.03) of one cigarette per day, which is equivalent to smoking around 10 cigarettes per year.

Low Statistical Association

Another major problem is that the epidemiological studies on which the EPA report is based are statistical studies that can show only correlation and cannot prove causation.

One statistical method used to compare the rates of a disease in two populations is relative risk (RR). It is the rate of disease found in the exposed population divided by the rate found in the unexposed population. An RR of 1.0 represents zero increased risk. Because confounding and other factors can obscure a weak association, in order even to suggest causation a very strong association must be found, on the order of at least 300 percent to 400 percent, which is an RR of 3.0 to 4.0.

For example, the studies linking direct cigarette smoking with lung cancer found an incidence in smokers of 20 to around 40 times that in nonsmokers, an association of 2000 percent to 4000 percent, or an RR of 20.0 to 40.0.

Scientific Principles Ignored

An even greater problem is the agency's lowering of the confidence interval (CI) used in its report. Epidemiologists calculate confidence intervals to express the likelihood a result could happen just by chance. A CI of 95 percent allows a 5 percent possibility that the results occurred only by chance.

Before its 1992 report, EPA had always used epidemiology's gold standard CI of 95 percent to measure statistical significance. But because the U.S. studies chosen for the report were not statistically significant within a 95 percent CI, for the first time in its history EPA changed the rules and used a 90 percent CI, which doubled the chance of being wrong.

This allowed it to report a statistically significant 19 percent increase of lung cancer cases in the nonsmoking spouses of smokers over those cases found in nonsmoking spouses of nonsmokers. Even though the RR was only 1.19--an amount far short of what is normally required to demonstrate correlation or causality--the agency concluded this was proof SHS increased the risk of U.S. nonsmokers developing lung cancer by 19 percent.

EPA Study Soundly Rejected

In November 1995 after a 20-month study, the Congressional Research Service released a detailed analysis of the EPA report that was highly critical of EPA's methods and conclusions. In 1998, in a devastating 92-page opinion, Federal Judge William Osteen vacated the EPA study, declaring it null and void. He found a culture of arrogance, deception, and cover-up at the agency.

Osteen noted, "First, there is evidence in the record supporting the accusation that EPA 'cherry picked' its data. ... In order to confirm its hypothesis, EPA maintained its standard significance level but lowered the confidence interval to 90 percent. This allowed EPA to confirm its hypothesis by finding a relative risk of 1.19, albeit a very weak association. ... EPA cannot show a statistically significant association between [SHS] and lung cancer."

In 2003 a definitive paper on SHS and lung cancer mortality was published in the British Medical Journal. It is the largest and most detailed study ever reported. The authors studied more than 35,000 California never-smokers over a 39-year period and found no statistically significant association between exposure to SHS and lung cancer mortality.

Propaganda Trumps Science

The 1992 EPA report is an example of the use of epidemiology to promote belief in an epidemic instead of to investigate one. It has damaged the credibility of EPA and has tainted the fields of epidemiology and public health.

In addition, influential anti-tobacco activists, including prominent academics, have unethically attacked the research of eminent scientists in order to further their ideological and political agendas.

The abuse of scientific integrity and the generation of faulty "scientific" outcomes (through the use of pseudoscience) have led to the deception of the American public on a grand scale and to draconian government overregulation and the squandering of public money.

Millions of dollars have been spent promoting belief in SHS as a killer, and more millions of dollars have been spent by businesses in order to comply with thousands of highly restrictive bans, while personal choice and freedom have been denied to millions of smokers. Finally, and perhaps most tragically, all this has diverted resources away from discovering the true cause(s) of lung cancer in nonsmokers.

Dr. Jerome Arnett Jr. (jerry.arnett@gmail.com) is a pulmonologist who lives in Helvetia, West Virginia.

For more information ...

James E. Enstrom and Geoffrey C. Kabat, "Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98," British Medical Journal, May 2003: http://www.heartland.org/article.cfm?artId=23332.

Air quality test results by Johns Hopkins University, the American Cancer Society, a Minnesota Environmental Health Department, and various researchers whose testing and report was peer reviewed and published in the esteemed British Medical Journal......prove that secondhand smoke is 2.6 - 25,000 times SAFER than occupational (OSHA) workplace regulations:


All nullify the argument that secondhand smoke is a workplace health hazard.
Especially since federal OSHA regulations trump, or pre-empt, state smoking ban laws which are not based on scientific air quality test results.
Mark Wernimont
Watertown, MN.
US Supreme court decision 1992 NEVER OVERTURNED...

A U.S. Supreme court decision during the early 1970's ((Lloyd Corp v. Tanner, 407 U.S. 551 (1992)) said a place of business does not become public property because the public is invited in.

So, by that same reasoning. A restaurant or bar is not public property. We need to support small business and stop regulating them out of business.


Though repetition has little to do with "the truth," we're repeatedly told that there's "no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke."

OSHA begs to differ.

OSHA has established PELs (Permissible Exposure Levels) for all the measurable chemicals, including the 40 alleged carcinogens, in secondhand smoke. PELs are levels of exposure for an 8-hour workday from which, according to OSHA, no harm will result.

Of course the idea of "thousands of chemicals" can itself sound spooky. Perhaps it would help to note that coffee contains over 1000 chemicals, 19 of which are known to be rat carcinogens.
-"Rodent Carcinogens: Setting Priorities" Gold Et Al., Science, 258: 261-65 (1992)

There, feel better?

As for secondhand smoke in the air, OSHA has stated outright that:

"Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded."
-Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Secretary, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997

Indeed, it would.

Independent health researchers have done the chemistry and the math to prove how very rare that would be.

As you're about to see in a moment…

In 1999, comments were solicited by the government from an independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke.

Using EPA figures on the emissions per cigarette of everything measurable in secondhand smoke, they compared them to OSHA's PELs.

The following excerpt and chart are directly from their report and their Washington testimony:


"We have taken the substances for which measurements have actually been obtained--very few, of course, because it's difficult to even find these chemicals in diffuse and diluted ETS.

"We posit a sealed, unventilated enclosure that is 20 feet square with a 9 foot ceiling clearance.

"Taking the figures for ETS yields per cigarette directly from the EPA, we calculated the number of cigarettes that would be required to reach the lowest published "danger" threshold for each of these substances. The results are actually quite amusing. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a situation where these threshold limits could be realized.

"Our chart (Table 1) illustrates each of these substances, but let me report some notable examples.

"For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes would be required to reach the lowest published "danger" threshold.

"For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes would be required.

"Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

"At the lower end of the scale-- in the case of Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up simultaneously in our little room to reach the threshold at which they might begin to pose a danger.

"For Hydroquinone, "only" 1250 cigarettes are required. Perhaps we could post a notice limiting this 20-foot square room to 300 rather tightly-packed people smoking no more than 62 packs per hour?

"Of course the moment we introduce real world factors to the room -- a door, an open window or two, or a healthy level of mechanical air exchange (remember, the room we've been talking about is sealed) achieving these levels becomes even more implausible.

"It becomes increasingly clear to us that ETS is a political, rather than scientific, scapegoat."

Chart (Table 1)

-"Toxic Toxicology" Littlewood & Fennel

Coming at OSHA from quite a different angle is litigator (and how!) John Banzhaf, founder and president of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

Banzhaf is on record as wanting to remove healthy children from intact homes if one of their family members smokes. He also favors national smoking bans both indoors and out throughout America, and has litigation kits for sale on how to get your landlord to evict your smoking neighbors.

Banzhaf originally wanted OSHA to ban smoking in all American workplaces.

It's not even that OSHA wasn't happy to play along; it's just that--darn it -- they couldn't find the real-world science to make it credible.

So Banzhaf sued them. Suing federal agencies to get them to do what you want is, alas, a new trick in the political deck of cards. But OSHA, at least apparently, hung tough.

In response to Banzhaf's law suit they said the best they could do would be to set some official standards for permissible levels of smoking in the workplace., scaring Banzhaf, Glantz, and the rest of them to death.

Permissible levels? No, no. That would mean that OSHA, officially, said that smoking was permitted. That in fact, there were levels (hard to exceed, as we hope we've already shown) that were generally safe.

This so frightened Banzhaf that he dropped the case. Here are excerpts from his press release:

"ASH has agreed to dismiss its lawsuit against OSHA...to avoid serious harm to the non-smokers’ rights movement from adverse action OSHA had threatened to take if forced by the suit to do it....developing some hypothetical [ASH's characterization] measurement of smoke pollution that might be a better remedy than prohibiting smoking....[T]his could seriously hurt efforts to pass non-smokers' rights legislation at the state and local level...

Another major threat was that, if the agency were forced by ASH's suit to promulgate a rule regulating workplace smoking, [it] would be likely to pass a weak one.... This weak rule in turn could preempt future and possibly even existing non-smokers’ rights laws-- a risk no one was willing to take.

As a result of ASH's dismissal of the suit, OSHA will now withdraw its rule-making proceedings but will do so without using any of the damaging [to Anti activists] language they had threatened to include."

-ASH Nixes OSHA Suit To Prevent Harm To Movement-

Looking on the bright side, Banzhaf concludes:

"We might now be even more successful in persuading states and localities to ban smoking on their own, once they no longer have OSHA rule-making to hide behind."

Once again, the Anti-Smoking Movement reveals that its true motive is basically Prohibition (stopping smokers from smoking… making them "social outcasts") --not "safe air”.

And the attitude seems to be, as Stanton Glantz says, if the science doesn't "help" you, don't do the science.

Dick Puddlecote

Energetic: As your 'exclusive' has been somewhat trumped by what we sometimes call the truth in this nation of ours, would you care to use statistics which count both sides of the equation in future please, not just one.

By your dodgy way of looking at statistics, everyone in the country costs the NHS and no-one pays anything towards it.

So why not ban all of us from using the NHS. After all, why pay for a service if it can be left unused instead, eh?

Good grief.

Martin V

Dave (Atherton of that ilk) -

Excellent stats on the Costs Of Being Good - for which, many thanks !

The poor Antis are REALLY starting to run out of arguments...............

Time, perhaps, for them to turn their creative zeal towards solving the Lettuce Menace (of which one hears so little these days).

Bunnies - BEWARE !!!!

Martin V

Jredheadgirl -

Thanks for that excellent and detailed post, too.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that:

"My reading of History convinces me that most bad government results from TOO MUCH government".

Spot on, Tom - as usual !

Sadly, a Sense of History is what the mass of the population on BOTH sides of the Pond now seems rather to lack.

Pity: it's a Great Teacher........(whatever Henry Ford DIDN'T say)


What brilliant blogs from Dick Puddlecote and Martin V. You have cheered me up no end. I think you've covered the lot and shut that silly fanatic up. Many thanks.

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