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Freedom To Choose Newsletters

March 2013

Sent: 30th March 2013

In this month's issue:

  • Message from the Chairman: Smokers are now officially mentally ill
  • The Return of Hairy Chestnuts!
  • New Bounty on Smokers helps GPs Balance their Books
  • Smokers have Mental Disorders, Eh?
  • News in brief
  • F2C Articles and official Blog
  • Round the Blogs: F2C (Scotland), and Vapingpoint
  • The Last Word:  Vaclav Havel


Tobacco control have been plumping up their taxpayer-funded cushions and have reached a new nadir. Apparently we smokers are all mad.

According to the Royal College of Physicians "One in three of the UK’s 10 million current smokers has a mental disorder. Although 20% of the general population smokes, the figure among people with mental health disorders is 40%, and is even higher in those with more severe mental health problems. Those with mental disorders also smoke more cigarettes, are more addicted to nicotine, and find it harder to quit, than those without."  

If this gambit was used on any other section of the community there would be justified outrage.  I am sure many of you are aware that in Soviet Union and Nazi Germany is was common to marginalise, smear and incarcerate opponents of the regime by inventing psychological disorders. I am not one for hyperbole, but in this case I think the cap fits.

This is evil.

Dave Atherton
Chairman Freedom To Choose


[See also the article below from Frank Davis' Blog]


The man from Norfolk never gives in!

Here's his latest video offering - on the increase in youth smoking.


(From Liberal Vision)

'It is coming up to year end for GP practices and that of course means that they will all be diligently filling in reams of paperwork for the DH in order to secure maximum funding via the QOF. In the doctor’s business journal medeconomics Dr Gavin Jamie gives some top tips on how practices can maximise their points score.

According to Jamie:

It is that time of year when practices are polishing their data and preparing for the annual inspection on 31 March of their QOF achievement.

For many it is a matter of pride, and not simply financial necessity, to get the most points that they can. Here are my top tips.

The DH is now effectively offering GPs a bounty on every smoker they can identify and attempt to “reform”, so it is perhaps not surprising that third on his list of top tips for achieving the warm glow of satisfaction that only comes from a good dose of centralist bureaucracy is upping the practice’s smoking score.'

To read the full article with links, go here.


From Frank Davis' Blog, 30 March.

Via Facebook, more defamation of smokers:

Smoking may be a sign of psychiatric illness, says report, after a third of smokers are found to have a mental disorder

Smoking may be a sign of psychiatric illness, experts say. Doctors should routinely consider referring people who smoke to mental health services, in case they need treatment, they add.

I wonder how they decide what constitutes a ‘mental disorder’? Given that they say that 70% of smokers want to give up smoking, perhaps anyone who doesn’t want to give up smoking is deemed to be insane, and in need of ‘treatment’.

Anyway, it’s pretty clear that the suggestion being made here is that if one third of smokers have a ‘mental disorder’, then they probably all do.

The controversial recommendation from the British Lung Foundation, a charity, comes in response to a major report, Smoking and Mental Health, published this week by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists with the Faculty of Public Health. It says that almost one in three cigarettes smoked in Britain today is smoked by someone with a mental disorder. When people with drug and alcohol problems are included the proportion is even higher.

To read the rest of his article with reference links, go here.


There's a pub at the bottom of my garden.

New report highlights the plight of London pubs.

"Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, is to announce that senior NHS managers and hospital trusts will be held criminally liable if they manipulate figures on waiting times or death rates. "

This of course is something the anti-smoking industry have been doing for years. esp Pell, Glantz & co...(an F2C member comment).

Proposed total ban on smoking in Scotland lights this non-smoking columnist's blue touchpaper.

UKIP plans to stop benefit claimants buying tobacco and alcohol.  Interesting.



The Triumph of Faith over Science: Second hand smoke and sudden infant death syndrome.

Government to Legislate for Plain Packaging: the Guardian leak that implied they would ignore the consultation.

The Statistical Bludgeon: excerpts from Professor John Bignell's excellent essay on the misuse of statistics, and useful links to some of his other work.

A Week in Junk Science: in which we look at some more examples of policy-led evidence.


F2C (Scotland): The Costs of Tobacco Control Action

As Belinda writes: 'There is nothing really to say about the Scottish strategy. They want smoke-free hospitals, prisons, foster-homes and in general to push the notion that tobacco is the only thing worth opposing because tobacco manufacturers are all very bad people who want to make everyone sick, and that really is all that life is about. Happy reading.'

Vapingpoint:  Vapoteurs: Standing Up for Smokers?

The e-cigs debate bubbles on. This appears to be a very reasonable (and commercially independent) blog, in this piece being fiercely critical of the vilification of smokers. We also learned a new word from it: 'vapoteurs'. See what you think.



 “…we never decided to become dissidents. We have been transformed into them, without quite knowing how, sometimes we have ended up in prison without precisely knowing how. We simply went ahead and did certain things that we felt we ought to do, and that seemed to us decent to do, nothing more nor less.”

Vaclav Havel



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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