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Monday, 10 September 2012


Next month we will see the Department of Health's, NHS's, BHF's, and CRUK's Stoptober campaign coming to a social media network and pharmacy near you.  If you haven't already heard about it, you can follow any of the links in the preceding sentence, or you can read this BBC article.

It would seem that a single No Smoking Day in March, nor even an entire week (in Canada) is enough to get you to stop smoking. We now need an entire 31-day month filled with as much propaganda as possible to "help" you change your lifestyle. How long before we see a No Smoking Year, or No Smoking Decade? 

ASH's Martin Dockerell says:
"You get a surge of people quitting on New Year’s Day and in March on no-smoking day. But there’s nothing for the rest of the year.”
Dockerell is wrong, of course. All year long we are nagged to fucking kingdom come about quitting smoking by ASH (UK) and ASH (Wales) and ASH (Scotland) and how we're killing fetuses, babies, children and women the world over with our second-hand smoke that never goes away and transforms into that magical substance third-hand smoke.  I suppose he forgot that.

If I can make one thing very clear, it would be this:  If you truly want to quit smoking, then quit smoking.  Or try to quit. It's your body, and it's your choice. Victoria Coren has quit smoking.  Her story is a good read. On the subject of people incessantly nagging you to death (which is what you should expect in spades this October), Victoria writes:
Others nagged about it being disgusting, without realising this only increases the smoker's need. If a loved one is openly critical, you smoke more to console yourself. If a stranger is derogatory, you smoke more to keep defining yourself as a carefree liberal compared to this pious finger-pointer. So, do nag people about smoking if you're keen to express your own superiority, but don't pretend it's helping them.
Indeed, Frank Davis, never one to mince his words, responds to this latest "mass quit campaign" thusly:
For someone like me, it’s a matter of honour now to never give up smoking. Even if I get lung cancer, I’ll use my last faint breath to pull on a cigarette. Because to give up smoking now is to surrender to these bastards, and I could never forgive myself for that. Once it was a free choice I could make: now it’s just moral blackmail, and I’ll never give in.
Free choice.  It always about choice. The antis will tell you that nicotine is the most addictive substance on the planet, that Big Tobacco has taken away your ability to choose.  They say Big Tobacco forced you to smoke with their evil advertising, and when that was taken away, it was the packet itself designed to target 6-year-olds, and now it's other subliminal messages.  None of that is true. The facts are, you chose to smoke. And if you want to quit, you can choose to quit.

I'm not going to quit smoking this October, because I do not want to quit.

Neither does Pat Nurse.  To say that Pat is angry at our government and the tobacco control industry would be an understatement. Following a tongue-in-cheek tweet by Christopher Snowdon, Pat has decided to organise the #Octabber campaign, a counter-response to the Stoptober campaign next month.  So if you don't want to give up the tabs (northern England slang for cigarettes), why not give the tobacco control industry two fingers by supporting the #Octabber campaign instead?

We'll  be tweeting the hashtag #octabber throughout the month of October.  No doubt some twat will say we're encouraging children and women to smoke (keeping in mind that the tobacco control industry typically disregards men as victims of big tobacco subliminal marketing campaigns).  We aren't doing that. We're just saying we're not going to quit.

It's your choice.  Do what you like. I'm supporting #Octabber, because I don't want to quit and I'm tired of all of the nannying tyrants interfering with my life.

Here are some images (original created by Lawson Narse, with thanks!) that you can use as badges for your site or whatever you want

500 x 500 px
250 x 250 px
150 x 150 px

100 x 100 px
Update: I've just located Lawson's poster for this campaign -- it's sweet! -- so including it here, too:

If you're on Twitter, you can add a Twibbon to your profile's avatar by going here:

For more on Stoptober, see also:

Don't forget to read Pat's:

And finally, a few months back, one of my regular readers, Tony, commented with a great link to a hugely funny (and mostly accurate) "anti-smoker" piss-take South Park episode.  The bottom player works well. Watch it here: