The smokophobes don’t seem to be trying any more. I mean, what message is this even supposed to convey? That a lot of people do something the article’s author disapproves of? There is no other message that I can see. Well, there is one, but it’s not what the article claims it is.
A lot of people spit in the street. I disapprove because I don’t like it but I’m not going to rail against them, remonstrate with them or write articles saying how terrible it is and how they must all be rounded up and shot. Really, it doesn’t matter all that much, I just don’t like it, so I look the other way. Problem solved.
There used to be ‘no spitting’ signs on buses in the old days. I haven’t noticed any lately. Is it allowed now, or have they just been obscured by the five thousand ‘No smoking’ signs that seem to be on every bus? Actually, I have to agree with ‘no smoking’ signs on the new hydrogen-powered buses. That would put all the concerns over any kind of long-term effects right out of everyone’s head. Along with the contents of their heads. What, you think the Government will pay to have those tanks checked for leaks? The Hindenburg Bus is merely a matter of time. I just hope I see it from the outside.
Health concerns of spitting? Spreading germs? Nonsense. In the street you are breathing in what everyone else has expelled from their mouths, noses and other orifices, along with the shed skin cells of everyone who has passed you and whoever is upwind of you, the noxious fumes emanating from the nappy of that larval stage in the pram and all those lovely, healthy diesel particulates the smokophobes don’t want tainted with a bit of burning leaf. Spitting is, to me, disgusting and unsightly but in the open air it causes no real harm. The danger, if any, is as nothing compared to that posed by a passing moped, so I do no more than look away. That’s all it takes.
But back to the silly article and its pointless graph. One line stood out -
The World Health Organisation, America’s Centres for Disease Control and the Canadian Public Health Association created a new surveillance system to gather comparable data on tobacco use around the world.
ORLY? Do tell. They don’t, of course. I have a feeling this new surveillance system is based, in large part, on the old system of asking people if they smoke and how much. In fact I would strongly suspect it is exactly the same system but with a newer and snappier acronym attached. The ‘surveillance’ part is straight out of the world of Panoptica. You must believe you are being watched all the time, even though it is obvious that there are far more cameras than people available to watch them.
In Egypt, for example, hardly any women smoke. It’s predominately Muslim so if a woman admits to smoking she probably risks twenty lashes. Similarly in Japan, it’s culturally very naughty for women to smoke so most of those that do are likely to deny it. In the UK it’s the other way around; girls will claim they smoke when they don’t just because they know it’ll screw up the stats, and because it’s funny to mess with the system. I did it myself at school, years before I smoked my first Embassy.
The smokophobes will say ‘Aha, but all smokers stink, it’s easy to find you all.’
I was at a job interview yesterday. It lasted an hour in a small office. I won’t know the outcome for a couple of weeks because it has to go through a long and tortuous system. At the very, very end of the interview, the interviewer asked me if I smoked.
I have quite blatantly yellow fingers and had used them to hand over all the paperwork I was asked to bring and all the forms I had to fill in while there. I have not had to attend interviews for jobs for nearly two decades, so I was nervous, so I’d puffed down a few before the interview. My only suit is rarely worn so has hung unwashed for months (to clarify, it was clean when hung up and not worn since). If my home is saturated with my vile leaf-burning hobby, then the suit would be one of the most saturated items in my wardrobe. Even with all that, the interviewer had to ask.
I could have said ‘no’ and I’d have got away with it. I didn’t. I explained that I never smoke at work because the nature of the work I have done so far means that any hand to mouth action in the laboratory poses far more immediate dangers than anything the antismokers have made up. So if they don’t want me smoking at work, there is no problem. Smoking is a leisure activity anyway. It’s something that needs free time to appreciate properly and not something that fits in with active working. When I’m busy I don’t think about smoking.
Unless it’s writing, where smoking is an essential component of the process along with booze, especially if you’re Welsh. Ask Dylan Thomas. Oh wait, he died, but then he was so drunk he probably hasn’t noticed yet. His last words were apparently ‘I’ve had nineteen straight whiskies, I think that’s the record’. I have a feeling my last words will be ‘Dylan Thomas? Pfft. Weak-livered amateur’.
So, assuming (and I’m betting I’m right) that the best these antismoking morons could come up with as a ‘new system’ was to give the old system a new name, then all a smoker has to do is say ‘no’ when asked ‘Do you indulge in the vile and filthy habit of burning tubes of leaves and blowing cancerous smoke into the faces of the cheeeldren?’
Plus, of course, anyone buying from Man with a Van or growing their own or taking a trip overseas to stock up will never appear in the official record of tobacco sold in that country and is even more likely to say ‘No’ or ‘Get stuffed’ to any official prodnose.
Which makes the results meaningless, pointless and along with the rest of the article, a complete and utter irrelevance.
Other than that little subliminal message: ‘We are watching you’.
Straight from 1984, that one.
Ignore it. They have no idea who we are. What they are doing is phishing for a response.