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Saturday, 24 November 2012

Damned No Matter What You Do

Remember when the tobacco control industry said smoking bans were vital public health measures to protect people, particularly non-smoking women and children, from second-hand smoke?  Remember that?  I do.

Well, they lied.  But I know that you knew that already.

The ultimate goal for the tobacco control industry is to annihilate every last tobacco company, big and small, so that the only legitimate supplier of "clean" nicotine products is Big Pharma.  But as the battles are waged all over the world, it is we ordinary civilians who are under constant bombardment. The laws passed are designed to have a greater effect on us than they do for tobacco companies. The idea behind the Public Health religion's crusade is to increasingly make it more difficult for Big Tobacco to have willing customers, and one way of achieving that aim is to change the norms of society itself.  In practice, it is a massive effort to denormalise society -- to change something that is absolutely normal for millions and millions of people into a despised and feared activity.  Forcing society to conform to the beliefs and tenets of Public Health, in other words.

And those who do not conform, those who do not convert and accept the gods of prohibition into their hearts and minds, those who fail to spread the gospel accordingly or dare question its legitimacy, are iniquitous heathens who must be tortured and vilified at every opportunity.  This is the New Inquisition.

And this is its mark:

The grand cathedral, the holiest all of the temples of Public Health, is the headquarters of the World Health Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland. Shielded from public scrutiny, the WHO is where new and ingenious methods for torturing the unconverted are devised.  The WHO is The Source of All Evil.  It is a place where Grand Inquisitors of the New Inquisition lay down roots and tentacles to greedily slurp up the nutrients that sustain them throughout their careers crusading for Public Health. But in this dark and secret place, the WHO Secretariat of the FCTC refines the scriptures for the True Believers in order to keep the faithful on message and to guide them accordingly on their relentless crusade to save everyone from themselves.

So let us have a look at a few recent scriptures prepared by the Convention Secretariat.  By doing so, we will learn what to expect from the New Inquisition over the coming years.  We will see just how evil their intentions are.

Our first document is the Control and prevention of smokeless tobacco products.

With the war on smokers going rather well (i.e. smoking bans under Article 8 (protection from tobacco smoke)), the zealots are most concerned that smokers will seek out alternative sources of nicotine that do not fall under pharmaceutical regulations, e.g. Smokeless Tobacco  Products (SLT), such as snus or dissolvable lozenges. This is unacceptable in their view, so something must be done to stop it, or at least regulate it to make it difficult for any company who wishes to supply SLT to consumers:

Click image to enlargify

In this paragraph, we can glean quite a few insights. However, note the highlighted sentence. If you thought the smoking ban was about protecting people from tobacco smoke, you would be wrong. It's about forcing smokers to quit.  In their minds, if they keep taking away the places where you can smoke, you will eventually be forced to quit.  This is all part of the endgame.  But if you switch to using smokeless tobacco products like snus when you are out and about, you are still a bad person and you are not helping their cause.

But smokeless tobacco products aside, the New Inquisition greatly fears the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), more commonly called e-cigarettes. Let us now look at another document prepared by the Convention Secretariat, Electronic nicotine delivery systems, including electronic cigarettes.

So far, it seems the crusaders know next-to-nothing about these "dirty" and unacceptable alternative nicotine products:

Lack of knowledge aside, something must be done. Because these devices not only frighten them, they are also in direct competition with pharmaceuticals. The only acceptable use of nicotine is "clean" nicotine provided by Big Pharma. Therefore, e-cigarettes must be banned, or barring that, regulated in precisely the same way as tobacco products, e.g. bans on advertising, promotion and prohibiting use in public places.

And the lack of evidence that vaping is potentially harmful to the user or the non-vaping public doesn't matter either. Just ban it.
Why would they do all of this before even looking into these products.  Perhaps these two paragraphs will shed a little light on the matter:

As you can see above, it doesn't even matter if the products contain nicotine or tobacco extracts.  E-cigarettes must be banned because they resemble cigarettes and this undermines that whole denormalisation part of the crusade.  Anything that looks like smoking is harmful and therefore should be given no quarter. Ban it. Ban everything.

And finally, just so you understand Big Pharma's role in all of this, note that nicotine is an "active" pharmaceutical ingredient. 

So, in the coming years, we should expect to see bans on smokeless tobacco products and e-cigarettes happening in all the places where they are currently available and on sale. This is the territory where the crusade is heading. But other battle fronts remain. There are still many battles to be fought against smokers, namely plain packaging, and bans on smoking in cars and in your homes. These are coming. They will happen.

Yes, I fully expect the Public Health crusade to succeed, and I believe that all of these bans will happen as part of the New Inquisition.  Because the hard-to-swallow truth is that we will let it happen. We will let them do it to us because it's easier to complain about it than it is to take action, to make a stand.  Most of you already believe that even speaking out against it is pointless.  Am I right?

For too long both consumers and tobacco companies have tried to appease the zealots by making concessions, but we have been tricked and deceived by our own sense of fairness. We accepted their denormalisation regime as a matter of course, because many of us wrongly believed that we were harming others, that we were bad people, and we felt ashamed for our habits.

We have already lost every battle because we didn't bother to fight them. We cannot even agree on what should be fought for, because we are presently disunited.

We could, however, change our destiny if we wanted to do so. We could unite. We could find just one thing to agree on (even temporarily, because I know that some of you think it's unimportant and do not care) and make a stand against it, against the True Believers of Public Health.  In the UK, we have the plain packaging battle to fight.  This is not a fight for the tobacco companies -- this is not a fight to protect Big Tobacco's interests or rights.  This is a fight for ourselves, and our way of life. For freedom from the prohibitionists.  This is a battle that we could win if we stand together and speak out against it. We have already partially succeeded, but there is still a bit more work we must do now. The battle is not yet over.

All it takes is a very small amount of your time to write to your MPs -- even if you have already signed a petition, write to your MPs.  Just one letter or e-mail. That's all you have to do.  If you aren't sure how to do that, contact me by e-mail only and I will do everything I can to assist you.  Maybe we win. Maybe we don't. In the eyes of Public Health, we are damned either way. There is no point in making it easy for them. But we cannot win anything at all if we do not even try to fight, we will only lose if we do nothing.

Still, I wonder if even this is asking too much. Perhaps too many people think that someone else is going to do it, and what difference would your letter make anyway?  But if everyone thinks that, then no one will do it. And we will lose for lack of trying. Again and again. Like we have done for years.

As always, it is entirely up to you. Make the choice and do what you like. But please, if you do nothing at all, if you expect others to do it on your behalf, if you believe your voice doesn't matter, then be considerate and spare me your complaints in the future when the New Inquisition has taken everything else from you.