The horror… the horror…

In a modern remake of ‘Apocalypse Now’, Marlon Brando might utter those words in response to the news that tobacco companies are advertising something they are allowed to advertise because it’s not tobacco.

It’s not even their invention. Quite why they are spending so much to advertise something smaller companies have been selling for ages seems strange, but in big-company budget terms they are probably doing it on the cheap.

They are not trying to entice children to take up vaping. That is ridiculous. What they are doing is something that boils my piss because it is something all big companies do. What they are doing is attempting to overshadow and then wipe out small-business competition. When they’ve done it, they can put their prices up or stop bothering with Electrofag and get the ex-smokers back on the baccy.

I’ve seen big supermarkets do it to small local shops time and again. They sell a wide range of paint cheap until Local Paint Shop folds, then they sell white and magnolia only. They wiped out Local Lightbulb Shop, who sold lightbulbs for all manner of ancient and strange devices, then settled into the ‘main market’ range. They sell bestseller books at prices no real bookshop could possibly match and when Local Bookshop died, they put the prices up. Tesco, here, now sell a range of ‘local books by local authors’ at prices that would have kept Local Bookshop alive if they had been able to match Tesco price on even one Harry Potter book.

They don’t sell any of mine so screw ’em. I don’t want them selling mine. The author’s cut of the price is whatever is left after printer, publisher and bookseller have made their profit. Selling books in Tesco might make you famous but it won’t make you rich. I want it the other way around.

The tobacco companies hate Electrofag and would love to see it eradicated. They aren’t bothered by the Pharmers’ patches and gum because they don’t work so are no threat at all. Electrofag is a real threat to tobacco companies. Even I, a dedicated bonfire-in-the-face sort, have a range of electrofags to play with. They are great gadgets and for those who want to stop real-smoking, they are the best way to do it.

Electrofag is also a serious threat to the health lobby. The health experts are concerned – of course they are. They are not concerned about health. They are concerned that their gravy train could be derailed if there was a version of ‘smoking’ they cannot blame for all known ills, and which means they can’t sell patches and gum containing the only thing Electrofag contains.

It might also mean they have to do some work. As it is, the papers give us daily reports of people who were sent home diagnosed with migraines, only to die days later of brain tumours. Also all those reports of ‘I can’t understand how I have cancer, I have never smoked’. I’m not going into a long explanation of cancer aetiology, I don’t care enough any more. You’re going to die and I am sick of explaining why. As to how to avoid it, it’s not hard, you work it out. When you get old it’s just going to happen. If you smoke they’ll catch it far earlier than if you don’t, soon only smokers will be alive and you antismokers did that. Isn’t life funny?

I advise all never-smokers, if they visit the doctor with something they think is really bad, to claim to be ex-smokers. When the GP says ‘do you smoke’, never say ‘I have never smoked’ because that wipes a whole raft of terrible illnesses fromn the GP’s mind.

Say instead ‘Oh, I gave that up five years ago’ and watch the GP’s eyes light up. They will then test for smoking-related diseases and these days that’s all of them, even dandruff. You will get an MOT the likes of which you have never seen before. Every cell in your body will get a makeover and the big difference between you and the never-smoker who proudly boasts about it is that in your case, they are looking for cancer. Actively looking for it. In every bit of your body. They won’t miss a single wart and they will triple-check every mole.

Say you have never smoked and they start from the premise that whatever you have, it can’t be cancer.  Even if you have an unsightly lump the size of Liverpool hanging off your neck. Can’t be cancer if you don’t smoke. ‘It’s just a big lump, nothing to worry about, have an aspirin and get out of the way. I have a smoker scheduled next’.

Do they get paid extra for adding to the ‘smoking related diseases’ databases? I have no idea, but it really would not surprise me.

We have entered the antismokers’ ‘Sloppytember’ nonsense. I thought they had forgotten about it this year but at last night’s Smoky-Drinky there was a TV ad. In this ad, lots of Righteous puffed into a big balloon with many puff-holes and with no regard for hygeine at all. See, if a nonsmoker put their mouth there before that’s okay. It is now impossible for a nonsmoker to have any disease at all even if they are dying of it. Even rolling this balloon along the street and getting total strangers to suck on its teats is just fine and dandy.  Feckin’ idiots. Still, natural selection and all that, eh?

I’d like to see a similar balloon filled by smokers – take a drag and puff it in – rolled up to ASH headquarters and popped. We’d wipe ours with alcohol swabs which the Righteous are not allowed to use in case it addicts them. It can have that effect on the brain-use-challenged.

Maybe we could do this in Octabber? We do have Halloween in our bit, which we can have some fun with. They have nothing of consequence in theirs.

The horror…the horror… the fun to have…



23 thoughts on “The horror… the horror…

  1. ” ‘It’s just a big lump, nothing to worry about, have an aspirin and get out of the way. I”

    So true. Lost a good mate to that ‘practice’ . That egg sized lump couldn’t possibly be cancer in a 20 year old, fit, vegetarian, life long non smoker whose life style could have been an advert for washing powder it was that ‘clean’….made a shaolin monk look rockstaresque. Even his fucking Birkenstocks were organic jute and fair trade.

    If I had turned up at the doctor’s with that lump in my leg then they would have cut it out in the waiting room and chemo’d me on the spot before Air Ambulancing me to the nearest Cancer Clinic simply because I smoked 60 a day. Him, my mate, didn’t even ‘qualify’ for a biopsy.


    • Oh yes, the “Doctor, I keep getting really bad headaches…” and the reply “Well take some paracetamol and fuck off pestering me” routine.

      My wife stopped smoking, about 5 years ago. Went through this routine, until she started speaking out the side of her mouth, slurred speech and her eyes began blinking rapidly.
      I thought she’d had a mild stroke, so went down the Docs with her and told them “Look mate, something is not right here!!”. I practically had to threat them with physical violence.

      So up the hospital we went, turns out she had a type 4 tumour about the size of a duck egg in her brain. A week later she had most of it excised as some of it was in an area that controlled motor function, and 6 weeks of radiotherapy. I fucked them off with the chemo, as that seems to kill off more than it cures, and it now seems this was a good move as the tumour “Appears” to be shrinking.


  2. Ha – unintended consequences for the antis. Still, justification for antis’ claims that smokers are a burden on the NHS, despite the fact that most so called smoking related ailments probably aren’t.

    But smokers do now face serious competition from those alcohol and food abusing upstarts. Probably wise to cover all bases…

    (I guess you automatically qualify for the first:))


    • I probably also qualify as a food abuser because I only use real butter, use lots of salt, and ignore the whole ‘five-a-day’ crap unless chocolate raisins count. I think they count as two because chocolate is a vegetable. So are chips. Hmm, maybe I am getting five-a-day, if you count onion rings and bhajis too.


  3. Sorry to be late to the party, LegIron, but after 20 years without a garden Ive recently bought a house with a big garden. Can you point me somewhere that tells me the basics of growing and using my own tobacco?



  4. You are right about getting a proper dx if you smoke though my LC was found by accident. Since successful surgery 3 years ago I have had bone scans, brain scans, PET scans and CT scans. Even when I had to go to A&E once with a bad chest infection it was great, as soon as they looked at my records I was taken right away. I only wanted some antibiotics until I could get to my Dr. on the Monday but I had blood tests and an x-ray before they would give me them. Meantime two of my frinds, never smokers, were dx with everything except LC until it was too late


  5. “The tobacco companies hate Electrofag and would love to see it eradicated”

    You’re way out with this. I’ll tell you why from my own experience.

    Years ago when we first started, we could take on drivers and – as long as they had the requisite licence – they could start the next day. We could also buy vehicles and pretty much start them earning money the day they turned up.

    We’ve only been going 20 years but the regulations have become unbelievably heavy, increasingly since about 2005. We now can’t start drivers straightaway as there are other things to do first. If they deliver anywhere where kids can be, they need a CRB clearance … which takes up to 3 months. The vehicles require ridiculous checks even if they are straight off the EU regulation heavy production line (yes, we have been fined for not submitting vehicles to checks even when they have had only delivery mileage on them). We’ve suffered retrospectively installed VED charges and enviro-lunacy which means we must dispense with trucks we bought on the understanding that we could run them for 15 years … but now can’t. We buy newer vehicles with the latest Euro engines, but the rules change so much that every bit is a gamble. Manufacturers manufacture entire lines on the understanding that govt rules on emissions are set in stone, only for govt to change the standards with little notice.

    All we do now is follow restrictive regulations and see our profits nosedive and our chances of providing new jobs disappear.

    Now, if a new technology came along, or a new industry which was on the same lines as our own – with hugely more attractive profitability but less of the ridiculous hassle – we’d be on it like a shot.

    Tobacco companies are more regulated than any companies in the entire world, and are seeing their product being destroyed by pathetic legislation written by idiot politicians with there being no way for them to fight back or object due the the FCTC.

    So, they buy e-cigs just to kill them off? Oh come on, don’t be silly.

    If we had an exit strategy out of the business we’re in, we’d take it. E-cigs are a massive opportunity, with a proven track record of profitability and growth. And half of the tobacco industry’s enemies are now arguing vociferously in *favour* of them.

    Put yourself in the position of a tobacco company, what’s not to like about selling them? Why would you invest millions into e-cig companies – which are roundly approved of by all but the insane – just to kill them off so that you can go back to selling tobacco which the world and its massively-funded anti-smoking idiots hate?

    It really is a business no-brainer.

    By the way, if your readers know anyone who wants to swap a transport business with 100 employees for a nice cushy chain of 10 card shops with a better percentage net profit and lesser regulation, do let me know. 😉


    • Canals?

      At the rate they’re regulating everything on the roads canals will soon be the only way to move goods… and no doubt, it wouldn’t be long after when most of the barges appear to be Romanian registered too.


    • You could be right. I’m looking at it from the other perspective – the big boys don’t mind the mad regulations because they can afford to comply and their smaller competitors can’t.

      So the way I see it is that the tobacco companies will support all the legislation on electrofags, they are used to dealing with it all anyway, and the current crop of smaller companies will be wiped out. Then, even if tobacco is finally banned, they’ll simply squeeze the juice out of their crops and sell it that way.

      They’ll then become Big e-Baccy and the antis will start all over again.


      • Ah, I see, that’s different to how I understood your point.

        Yes, there may be a bit of that, but that’s just the way business works. It’s clear that big tobacco are seeing the long term attraction of being e-cig suppliers instead, and over time I expect their economies of scale will lead to cheaper products rather than more expensive, so as a consumer I’m not too worried. I wouldn’t think all current e-cig suppliers will disappear though, some of the more organised ones will succeed and prosper or – depending on their owners’ ambition – sell out and retire on a lump sum of £millions.

        I’d say the more likely industry to squeeze the opposition then kill e-cigs entirely would be pharma … they like selling things that don’t work. 😉


  6. I suspect that what the tobacco companies are intending to do is much as you have described, except that they’ll be aiming to buy the patents on e-cigs – now, whilst the e-cig companies are still small enough to be bought off – and then gradually stop producing them at all. There’s an urban myth which used to do the rounds that the big oil companies did the same with some type of non-petrol-fuelled car of some kind or another – can’t remember the details – but it was widely trashed (maybe by the oil companies themselves) as complete rubbish. But, given the scenario which you have very accurately described here, it wouldn’t surprise me if they’d done it and then just pretended that they hadn’t.

    But, hey, who’d have ever thought that all those virtuous vapers would find themselves in even worse straits than real smokers, i.e. enemies of both the Healthists and the tobacco companies? Which is ironic, given the self-satisfied attitude of many (though not all) vapers towards real smokers. Maybe they should have joined forces with us when they had the chance. Can’t say that we didn’t warn them …


    • They’ll have a problem with the patents. Electrofag started out in China and the Chinese don’t give a damn about other countries’ patents. I’ll bet the Chinese will sell the patents and carry on making them anyway.


  7. Thanks for the link re baccy plant growing. (Junican at Bolton Smokers Club).
    RB is entering the fray at just the right time of year. The critical thing at this time of year is preparation of the growing area. Double digging (described in the essay) is the ideal way to prepare. Very briefly, you dig a trench one spade depth across one end of your plot and put that soil on one side. Then you dig another one spade depth in the same trench and put that soil on one side. Then you dig a second trench alongside the first, overlapping the first a little, and dump the first spade depth of soil in the BOTTOM of the first trench. Thus, any weeds etc get buried. The second spade depth goes on top of the first trench. Proceed the length of the plot, and the stuff from the first trench goes into the last.
    It sounds like hard work, but it isn’t I would expect to do my ‘Plot 1’ (5 yrds x 2 yrds) in an afternoon. But there is no rush. Oh … And leave the plot rough so that frost can get deep into the soil. Also, this winter (around December) I intend to spread manure over the surface about 2″ deep and let the weather wash it in. I do not intend to rake the surface till about March.
    I understand that you can get manure free from horse riding stables – even ready bagged, provided you take it away yourself.


    • My soil is heavy clay. The best results I get are in cheap buckets, driled for drainage, filled with cheap own-brand compost and stood in cat litter trays of water. Feed them with tomato feed and they do fine.

      It depends on your soil. My garden soil is crap.


  8. #Octabber has its own webpage now for anyone interested. There is an adult content warning that comes up but you can just click that you accept you are a grown up who wants to read a page for grown ups and then you’ll go straight to it. Tobacco is an adult product after all and we can’t have the hysterics moaning it’s only been set up to get the “poor Chriiiiiiiildren addicted.”

    Ideally, it would be great to post up a case study each day from (adult) people saying why they love their tabs, why they won’t quit, and why they’re fed up of anti-smoker propaganda. Volunteers can leave a message on the #Octabber blog or direct message on the FB page.


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