Freedom To Choose
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Freedom To Choose Newsletters

May 2013

Sent: 30 May 2013

In this month's issue:

  • Message from the Chairman: Our Own Smoking Spring
  • Update on SHAAP - they apologised to F2C and withdrew their article saying we had tobacco funding
  • Plain Packaging Failure
  • News in brief
  • F2C Articles and official Blog
  • Round the Blogs: Smoking & Children Report; Ranty Re-Resigns; Angry People in Local Newspapers
  • The Last Word: Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird


After 30 years of relentless propaganda by the Anti Smoking Industry, the failure of their attempts to introduce plain packaging into the current government's legislation programme may prove to be the tipping point, and their Waterloo.

In addition, F2C have this month been approached by a mainstream freeview TV producer about an in depth and balanced documentary.

It's a difficult fight and we know we're in it for the long term, but just maybe, with the turn of our long UK winter into spring, we are seeing the beginnings of our own Smoking Spring, and with each spring we must have renewed hope.

Thank you to all supporters for all your work. We're in this together.

Dave Atherton
Chairman Freedom To Choose

UPDATE ON SHAAP: they withdrew their article

We reported last month that an article in an anti-alcohol publication had perpetuated the lie that Freedom 2 Choose is funded by the Tobacco Industry.

It was claimed that the tobacco industry was"...Funding organisations such as FOREST( Freedom Organisation to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco), Freedom2Choose, and retailers’ organisations, to achieve ‘grass roots’ opposition to tobacco control..."

After strong protests and representations from the F2C Executive Committee, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh did indeed apologise and withdraw the article.


The biggest news in May was undoubtedly the failure of Plain Packaging to make it into the government's planned legislation, evidenced by its not being mentioned in the Queen's Speech.

We have only one reaction to this:


NEWS IN BRIEF   (thanks to chas, davidb, sheenadon, Sirob, and tonyw)

Robert Peston's wife tragically died of lung cancer. She'd never smoked in her life. He has written on the scandal of lung cancer research, or rather the lack of it.

BBC Radio 4's You and Yours consumer programme on 6 May was a special on pubs, live from the "Mustard Pot", Chapel Allerton, Leeds. The licensee was asked what was one of the major reasons for the pubs closing and she replied that it was the smoking ban. She had a beer garden where the die-hard smokers could gather, but a lot of pubs had nowhere, so the majority of smokers bought supermarket booze and enjoyed a smoke and drink in comfort, at home! The solution was ventilated smoking rooms, so that both smokers and non-smokers were catered for.

A very good, balanced programme. Listen again here.

Public Spaces Protection Orders.  A very scary article in Spiked.

Smoking shelter being built at West Suffolk hospital..

Smoking ban and cheap supermarket prices blamed as Scotland loses 147 pubs in six months.
Paul Waterson, chief executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Acc. said " the industry has never recovered from the smoking ban and has never had the same influx of people coming in."

The smoking snoopers will make mothers-to-be very very cross.

Welsh smoking rate fall of just 1% since 2007 smoking ban, sparks health experts concerns.


The Barnacles of Smoking, Alcohol and Cyber-Snooping.

In which we celebrate the news that Plain Packaging, Minimum Alcohol Pricing, and the Snoopers' Charter were NOT included in the Queen's Speech.

Outdoor Smoking to be Banned throughout England?

In which we discuss the iniquities of the new Public Spaces Protection Orders

When the Caring Stops.

In which we highlight the appalling effects of the heartless smoking bans on inpatients with mental illness. This is an issue we are going to take further over the next months.


Your caring mental health team: they know what's good for you



Junican from the Bolton Smokers' Club continues with his helpful in-depth look at the Smoking and Children Report. He does the work so we don't have to. He is thorough and very readable - and uses lovely language from time to time such as: 'The Report is not very well organised... Only by thrutching about somewhat does one realise that it falls roughly into three parts...'  We are now competing at F2C to see who can be the first to introduce the word 'thrutching' into a serious discussion. No prizes.

Captain Ranty decides to close his blog yet again. The 46 comments are interesting. Such as: ' What drugs are you on? Every few months you do this. Just grow a pair and either close the damn thing or carry on trying to get people to wake up.'  There are lots of sympathetic comments as well though.

Angry People in Local Newspapers. If you don't know this site then please visit as it's always a joy and brightens up the darkest day. As the writer says: 'I feel sorry for local news photographers. They are hugely skilled and poorly paid, and sent out to photograph miserable people pointing at dog turds. Here, we celebrate their work.'


“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)... There are just some kind of men who - who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

Harper Lee

Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird



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Leith, EH6 6DP

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