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May 2012

Sent: 30th May 2012


In just over a months time we are due to 'celebrate' 5 years of the smoking ban.

We can also celebrate:
8,000 or 14% of our pubs closing
25% of bingo halls and Working Men's Clubs
Upwards of 150,000 full and part time jobs lost
social isolation, especially of the elderly
characterless pubs
and a nanny state smelling blood.

And now alcohol, obesity: every fake charity wants to get its nose in the trough to tell us how to live our lives. We read that David Cameron wants to introduce 'parenting classes.' The nanny state in literal and metaphorical terms.

While we may be on the back foot for now, Cameron and the other political parties will no doubt feel the backlash of an electorate tired and disillusioned by governments of all persuasions who have nothing better to do than to interfere with our informed choices.

Dave Atherton

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of the Punk Rock band 'The Sex Pistols' fame, despises the smoking ban. In an article for NME he expresses strong views on the subject and tells it exactly how it is. He urges David Cameron to overturn the Health Act 2006 which introduced the smoking ban.

Denial of NHS treatment to smokers and the obese: a survey showing 54% of doctors answering a poll believed treatment should be restricted or refused led to controversy and questioning of the results by other doctors and the general public.

However, this was swiftly followed by letters from other doctors saying that the survey was very limited and that denying treatment goes against medical ethics:

ASH Wales has been given a £850,000 Big Lottery funding to help young people quit. The grant is over 3 years and will give them an increase of over 74% on their previous annual income of (£381,000 end March 2011).

The blogger Dick Puddlecote has commented on the story on his own blog: It might interest you to know that one of the Big Lottery Fund's board members is a lady named Maureen McGinn. There is also a Maureen McGinn who is chair of the board of ASH Scotland, and the pictures provided on both sites strongly suggest that they are one and the same person.

 Board member being from ASH and the biggest award going to its sister organisation in Wales? Isn't that an amazing coincidence, eh?

Britons want to live near a pub, research finds, even if they seldom visit. Three in ten people find pubs more pleasant since the smoking ban. In other words, 70% do not find pubs more pleasant since the smoking ban.

A dozen pubs are still closing every week, says CAMRA. Mind you, they do not mention the elephant in the room.

A sexy photo of Madonna posing naked on a bed smoking a cigarette has sold for  £15,000. The Daily Mail says the picture is absolutely stunning. And, er, here is the link to the news story. With the picture. So you can judge for yourselves.

F2C was accused in a report by ASH of being a stooge for Big Tobacco. Here, Dave Atherton confesses that we are in fact mouth-foaming stooges for Big Pharma.

The Dutch anti-smoking industry had their case to extend the smoking ban to smaller bars thrown out. We were pleased.

Lung cancer is caused by naturally-occurring radon gas, of which there is are high levels in parts of the UK. This is a recent report from radon tests in Scotland.

Lots of good articles on the blogs, as usual, but there is not enough space to list them all.

So here is a short selection with apologies to all superb bloggers not included here:

Frank Dais is looking for volunteers to do a survey:

Survey one
Survey Two

Chris Snowdon has produced an authoritative critique of 'sin Taxes' for the Adam Smith Institute. Very much worth reading the full PDF document:
The true cost of taxing Alcohol, tobacco and other vices.
Why a fat tax would be bad idea.
The full PDF can be found here:

Junican at the Bolton Smokers Club has written brief, (its still 60 pages) summary of the McTear vs ITL court case and the Doll and Hill Hospital Study (1950): Bolton Smokers Club Summary.
(see also side Bar)

Finally, an insight into the tobacco control industry from Simon Clark:
In the course of the debate Chris and I discovered that anti-smoking activists like Gabriel Scally find it really, really irritating to be labelled the "tobacco control industry".
I'll remember that in future


c/o John H Baker 22 Glastonbury House, Priestfields, Middlesbrough, Cleveland TS3 0LF
Tel/Fax 0845 643 9469

Freedom2choose (Scotland):
c/o Michael Davidson, 15, Linksview House,
Leith, EH6 6DP

Tel 0845 643 9552

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