Freedom To Choose
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Freedom To Choose Newsletters

December 2012

Sent: 17 December 2012

In this month's more lighthearted holiday issue:

  • 2 for 1 Multibuy.  F2C Chairmen write: A Christmas Fairy Tale, and Greetings from Scotland
  • Once Upun a Time: Christmas Competition Results
  • Drinkuary
  • Dead Smokers Outside the Pig & Firkin in Cumbria
  • Good News in brief
  • F2C Articles and official Blog
  • Round the Blogs - some oddities including Knit Your Own Cigarette Case
  • The Last Word:  Mark Twain on New Year's Resolutions

Warmest wishes to all F2C members, friends and supporters, wherever you are in the world


In a dramatic bid to reverse the Coalition's poll ratings, the recently ennobled Chairman of Freedom2Choose has just been made Health Secretary.  Immediately grasping the task in hand a whirlwind of laws have been struck from the statute book.

1. The smoking ban has been forthwith scrapped.
2. Action on Smoking and Health will not only be deprived of further funding, but have been asked to return the millions of pounds wasted in the last 10 years.  They will also have their assets stripped to pay compensation to the pubs they have closed as a result of the smoking ban.
3. All smoking cessation classes and drugs will be stopped.
4. Nick Hogan will receive a Royal Pardon for being jailed for allowing smoking in his pub.  As well,  Nick’s fellow  publicans Tony Blows and Hamish Howitt will have their fines returned in addition to being paid substantial compensation.
5. Taxation on tobacco will be scrapped.
6. Minimum alcohol pricing is cancelled.
7. A Royal Commission will be initiated to look into the claims of the harm of passive smoking.
8. The UK will be resigning with immediate effect from the United Nations Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
9. Only one small health warning on cigarette packets will remain.
10. Tobacco companies will be allowed to advertise cigarettes after the 10 o’clock watershed.
11. The EU will be told to mind its own business and snus will be legalised.
12. Also a new law will be put to Parliament: that everyone will have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Thank you to all members and supporters for your great work during the year.

Dave Atherton
Chairman Freedom To Choose



The highlight of our year in Scotland was Belinda Cunnison's petition, based on the European Air Quality Standard, to the Scottish Parliament. It has been referred to the Health And Sport Committee and will be looked at early in the new year.
This is an excellent piece of work and it will be interesting to see what kind of arguments are ranged against it.
It's a hard road we travel and I salute your courage in continuing on it; you are a brave small beacon in an ever darkening world and I am proud to be a part of this movement.
Dear members and friends, this is my message to you all at this year's end:
Turn around and give yourselves a pat on the back!
Please continue to be courageous and strong, as I know you will.
On behalf of Freedom To Choose (Scotland) I wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

Michael Davidson
Chairman Freedom To Choose (Scotland)


F2C member davidb was the winner of the random draw: congratulations! And many thanks to member B7 for organising it.

Entrants were asked to supply alternate words for months, days and seasons, after the dreadfully-named Octabber stop smoking campaign.

Here are all the entries.

Ash Wednesday: The day we can flick ash where ever we like.
Bannantyne's Day:  14th February when all lovers of smoking get together in defiance of Duncan.
Burns Night:  25 January 2013 when we all light up whether north or south of the border.
Chooseday: when we choose to do what we want
Joynuary: the Joy of Drink?
Good Freeday:  A moveable feast day in spring when we eat chocolate eggs, drink and smoke.
Junkuary:  The month during which we expose the lies about SHS, miraculous heart attack reductions, and protecting the cheeeldren
March of the Zealots: see here.
MAY:  The month when our esteemed government MAY come to the conclusion that the whole anti smoking rhetoric MAY be absolute bulls--t, MAY be damaging the economy and heads MAY have to roll.
Puncake day
Septyranny:  For those subject to smoking or other oppression in September.
'When Autumn Leaves Start To Fall' : A traditional English folk song about home-grown tobacco harvesting.
Why July TCI? (we were baffled at first too)

And one final entry which baffled us all - the clue is allegedly to do with cigarette brands: '6/10/555 or 6/10/1839'. We still have no idea.


A few days after we launched the competition, we were delighted to see the launch of 'Drinkuary' - a fine counterblast to the puritanical suggestion of 'Dry January' where everyone gives up drinking for a month. As you can imagine, the British reaction to this piece of tomfoolery was hollow laughter followed by sarcasm and deep irony.
Please visit the Drinkuary site if you haven't done so already.



With kind permission from Frank Davis, we reproduce this picture from his blog post earlier this year. One of our favourites ever. His article starts:

'As freezing Siberian conditions gripped Britain, Chief Medical Officer Sir Edward Spleen said he expected “several hundred” smokers to die outside Britain’s pubs each week.

“It’s not enough though. We were hoping for a lot more,” he added. “But far too many landlords have provided heated outdoor shelters for their smoking customers, out of a quaint and entirely misplaced humanitarian concern for these worthless addicts."

Read the rest of his article here.


A ‘smoking bird’ story from Mexico City, where scientists have been looking into the practice that some birds have adopted of using discarded cigarette filters for nesting material. The scientists found that there is an inverse relationship between the number of filters and the number of insect pests sharing the same nest, which they attribute to the pesticidal nature of nicotine. This is borne out by a similar story in the Independent.
This is another story on 2 blue tits that adopted a pub ashtray to build a nest, probably for the same reason.

Could this also explain that outbreak of bedbugs in superclean New York City a couple of years ago?

This month saw the opening of 4 new smoking lounges at Frankfurt International Airport.  Financed by Japan Tobacco International, the lounges form part of 220m of airport space dedicated to the well-being of smokers and are noted for their ‘ventilation, design and comfort’..

Hospital authorities have admitted defeat in their 5 year battle to stop people lighting up in the grounds of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn. Three new smoking shelters will try to entice people away from smoking around the main entrance.

A new battlefront opens in the war on smokers, as ‘vaping’ goes mainstream.  Having bought the Blu brand of e-cigarette earlier this year, Lorillard has become the first tobacco company  in decades to promote its goods on US television.  See the video as well as old TV cigarette adverts from this BBC news report.

New Zealand Fail
Retail figures from New Zealand show that the display ban, introduced in July, has done nothing to reduce tobacco sales and everything to annoy retailers and shoppers. The tobacco control industry says it was never about reducing smoking.  The retail industry says, “The law’s an ass.”.

New Charity Commission Chair blasts fake charities
Grant-dependence and political lobbying come under the scrutiny of new Charities Commission chairman William Shawcross, who thinks there is too much of both.
Worth noting is the article’s reference to the Institute of Economic Affairs study, ‘Sock Puppets.  How the Government lobbies itself and why’,  authored by one of our favourite bloggers, Chris Snowdon of Velvet Glove, Iron Fist.  Well done, Chris!

David Cameron and his new, tame Health Minister Jeremy Hunt have pushed hard for the introduction of minimum alcohol pricing.  Unhappily for them - and happily for everyone else – the rest of the Cabinet is pushing back.
According to a ‘well-placed coalition source’ :  “Minimum alcohol pricing looks dead in the water and the search has begun in Whitehall for an exit strategy which will allow the maximum amount of face saving.”


Lonely Britain: The fastest growing health problem.  Yet another Health Secretary launches yet another campaign against loneliness. We challenge him - and also give readers another chance to look at a member's video on loneliness and pub closures.

Shisha: Standing Shoulder to Shoulder.  It's not just pubs and clubs and cafes that are suffering. We stand alongside and support owners and users of shisha bars.

What Happened to the Scottish Petition?  Links to the progress of this important piece of work.


A few oddities for the festive season:

Your Body May Be Your Temple But It Isn't Mine.  That's the title of the blog itself. Only a few posts, but a great title.

How To Knit Your Own Cigarette Case. For those winter evenings when time drags.

How to Crochet Your own Cigarette Case with attached Lighter Holder. For those who can't knit.

How to make a paper ashtray. Following the handicrafts theme. You may have some old paper lying around, like the Bauld Report.
Health and Safety Warning: Do NOT use this as a real ashtray.


For those who can't knit and don't want plain packs ... take up crochet



"New Year's Day: 
Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.
Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."

Mark Twain



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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