Any impartial and uninvolved observer of the health issues surrounding smoking could be forgiven for readily believing that the wide and comprehensive case made against smokers and SHS has to be right because of the sheer weight of "evidence" reported in scientific journals, government reports, the anti-smoking movement and the press. The fact that this is reported by scientists and health professionals seems to only confirm its validity and preclude any questioning of its integrity.

The sheer burgeoning weight and number of articles written and reported must surely prove the case? Just peruse Wikipedia for "smoking, cigarettes, tobacco, lung cancer, etc" to see the effort that has gone into the consistency of messaging, completeness of coverage and forestalling of dissenting views. It is clear that this must have been undertaken by a well-funded and well organised team - and is continually maintained "on message" despite rogue contributors trying to express different viewpoints. Also see the impact this movement is having right across the world.

The anti-smoking movement does not take kindly to professional scientific questioning of its views. As mentioned in "Scientific integrity - where has it gone?", it tends to sidestep any factual argument by attacking the character and motives of the questioner, and applies savage political pressure to any associated organisations.

Individuals cannot dent the anti-smoking publicity machine. Those who care about their careers cannot dent the anti-smoking publicity machine. It would take a fair and unbiased Royal Commission or similar to have sufficient resources and credibility to review the enormous volume of literature and derive a more rational and honest interpretation of the data.

Hence, simply put, the anti-smoking movement maintains its hold on public perceptions of smoking through direct political coercion.

All the smokers' rights groups can do is to fight one specific battle and prove that properly ventilated smoking rooms would pose no health risk whatsoever to employees working there. However, these groups have been generally fragmented and lack a co-ordinated strategy - so it will be difficult to recruit recognised scientists to their cause.

Meanwhile, the anti-smoking movement has marshalled all its substantial coercive power, through whatever means available, to try and discredit the solution of "separate indoor ventilated smoking rooms" and take away a legitimate civil liberty from smokers. This is not because SHS is actually dangerous, but because the movement's leaders vehemently dislike smokers and are prepared to impose any restriction they can to prevent them smoking, although they of course purport to do it to save people's lives.
Their main objective now is to "de-normalise" smoking (still carried out by ~20% of the population) and work towards complete prohibition in the foreseeable future.

It appears that the general public, including most politicians, take the information promoted by the anti-smoking movement at face value, no doubt believing that such an august body of assumed professionals would not try to deceive them.

Unfortunately this is not so, and anyone who attempts to get at and understand the facts will also see that it is not so.

While it might be understandable that an impartial and uninvolved member of the public readily accepts the "evidence" of the anti-smoking movement, we expect more from our politicians whom we pay to preserve our rights and freedoms.

It says much about the intellectual accuity and integrity of today's politicians that they (back in 2007) so easily succumbed to the hype - particularly for Labour who arrogantly broke a key manifesto pledge. (220 out of 264 Labour MPs voted for the ban)

There are many Labour voters who will never forgive Labour for their betrayal, and such is their upset at the damage caused to their social lives and leisure time that they will never vote Labour again.

It is difficult to see what the politicians were thinking of! Isn't freedom of the individual an integral part of British culture, and what our servicemen and servicewomen have died for over the years?

Having separate ventilated smoking rooms, as is allowed in many other EU countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal), would have been so logical, and avoided the UNFAIR persecution of around 20% of the population of Britain, with all its attendant distress, costs, hardship, business closures and unemployment.

Where was the Liberal Party's "FAIRNESS" that, in attempts to gain our vote, they are currently highlighting as one of their virtues? (32 out of 38 Liberal MPs voted for the ban).

The majority of Conservatives voted against the ban and they should now, seeing the damage and suffering it has caused, put forward legislation to bring back the FAIR and JUST solution of separate ventilated smoking rooms.

Through all these arguments and deliberations, the anti-smoking movement sails on regardless with plans to repeat its successful approach, based on unproven soundbites and political coercion, to push through further restrictions on smoking. It seems to pay no heed to the collateral damage that follows in its wake, or to have no conscience about the ever increasing distortion of the facts. No doubt the day of reckoning will come, and the leaders of this movement will be called to account. History will give them their rightful place in civilisation's rogues gallery.

Those who have little interest in the smoking debate should not stand by and assume the smoking ban will not affect them personally. The "business model" developed by the anti-smoking movement is already being recast by others into new forms to provide the route to manipulate public opinion and so allow other personal ideologies to be imposed arbitrarily on society.

It is the "standing by" of decent people that has encouraged the anti-smoking crusade in its manipulation of facts and the media, and allowed it to gain such strength.
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** Page last updated October 2011 **