Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Smoke it

My recent post about the success of the smoking ban mentioned a reception by Forest, the pro-smoking group at a private members club in Belgravia. And today they're having a champagne tea party for MPs in the Commons. Kind of bears out what Libby Brooks is saying in today's Guardian.

The article on Amsterdam's smoking ban, and its impact on coffee shops, is quite entertaining, especially this quote: "It's absurd. In other countries they look to see whether you have marijuana in your cigarette, here they'll look to see if you've got cigarette in your marijuana."


1 – 200 of 241   Newer›   Newest»
samantha said...

Oh dear Kerry, I was very disturbed to see that you think it amusing that people are allowed to smoke dope in the bars in Amsterdam. I am a non smoker, but I am also a non doper, and I disagree with you and your thoughts on people killing themselves like this.

Pat Nurse said...

Having read Ms Brooke's piece, I have to say, as someone from the lower classes, that I'm appalled she thinks we're too thick to make our own choices and our masters in the upper classes should morally make them for us. How dare she? I wonder when she last left the Guardian offices, and her middle and upperclass mates, to actually find out what real life on the streets and estates in Britain is really like and what people, poor maybe, but quite capable of making their own decisions, really think - especially about people like her who think they are so much better!.

sickofbritain said...

Before speaking in public a representative of any government should avail themselves of the resources available to them and get their facts straight.
Heart disease mortality has been decreasing steadily on a year by year basis since the late 1950's. Nothing to do with smoking bans and everything to do with improved medical care. I expect the trend to begin to reverse itself soon as medical care in the UK is now steadily reducing in quality. Won't the resulting rise in heart disease mortality be embarrassing? In Canada and California they have even more draconidan anti smoking legislation than the UK. In both Canada nationally and statewide in California the incidence of all cancers is rising at a rate of 1% per year. No benefit from smoking bans to be found in that is there.

Terry said...


The continual demonisation of a minority group has finished your govt. I have spoken to many non smokers who are sick to death of your oppression of a minority group. You bring in a ban based on PASSIVE smoking, only to follow up with a plan to eradicate smoking. People have had enough, you've now started on alcohol, next food. Your party are despised and will be ousted at the next election. I have always voted Labour, no more. The obsession your govt has with smoking is frightening. Knife crime and youth disorder out of control, and all you can do is to demonise smokers. Why have many European countries allowed some exemptions? I can only conclude they are more civil than our Orwellian govt. You must realise Labour are finished, let's hope the Nanny State goes with it.

Kerry said...

Samantha - I think you misunderstand me. I was commenting on the ridiculousness of the situation, i.e. that they've banned smoking tobacco but are still allowing cannabis to be smoked. I don't see how you can judge from that what my 'thoughts on people killing themselves like this' are. As it happens, I have on previous occasions expressed concern about the mental health consequences of people smoking cannabis, particularly now that much stronger strains are more widely smoked. I have met people suffering from cannabis-induced psychosis (or certainly where cannabis use was a major factor) and support the reclassification of cannabis from a class C to a class B drug for that very reason.

Forgive me for being somewhat sceptical of the fact that four comments arrived in very quick succession opposing the smoking ban. And from people who have never posted comments before. Would it be cynical of me to suggest that Forest might somehow be involved?

As for evidence, I posted a link to an Observer article towards the end of June, and I think a link to the 'Smokefree England: One Year On" report, which you can find on the Department of Health website.

Terry said...


This is nothing to do with Forest it's my thoughts. Please don't be patronising. Do you accept the ban was based on PASSIVE smoking, not eradication of smoking. Do you accept a minority group have lost their social lives and feel demonised. We cater for many religions, we cater for gay people, why are you against smokers having their own bars? Why are this govt actively encouraging hatred towards smokers?

Finally do you accept the obvious, Labour are finished.

Let's look at moving fags under the counter. Right it helps prevent young people being attracted to them. What will you do with all McDonalds outlets? Obviously with an obesity problem you will need to hide these outlets to prevent temptation.

DaveA said...

I trust you are well well Ms McCarthy. With respect, you are sadly misinformed on many aspects of smoking and the science. Firsly on heart attacks I will leave it to Dr. Amanada Sandford of ASH and her comment on heart attacks following 30 minutes of second hand smoke (SHS). "ASH (UK) endorses your conclusion that bad science can never be justified. ASH, unlike some organisations, has never asserted that a single 30-minute exposure to second-hand smoke is enough to trigger a heart attack, and we are not aware of any UK health advocates who have done so."

The Scottish "17% reduction" was actually 8% in line with previous reductions, eg 1999-2000 was 11%. I approached the author Professor Jill Pell, who declined to release the report.

While I am here I will quote the conclusions of a study over 39 years into passive smoking conducted by Professor Enstrom and Dr Geoffrey Kabat. It was peer reviewed bhy the British Medical Journal and published in 2003.

"Conclusions The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect. The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed."



Terry said...


I would be grateful of a reply to my points.

Kerry said...

Afraid you'll have to wait. I'm in Bill Committee for the rest of the afternoon and voting till late. I'll do a round up at the end once the comments have stopped coming in.

Rob said...

So the smoking ban was brought in to protect bar staff (though the HSE, Julian LeGrand, Alan Johnstone and everyone else who knew the science didn't believe there was a danger), yet it has been a success because more people attempted to quit cigarettes? Why have you changed the goalposts?

And does this mean, Kerry, that you'll admit the smoking ban in Ireland has been a failure, as the number of smokers has risen since the smoking ban?

Are you also aware that attempting to quit is different to quitting?

Are you also aware that some people (I'm middle class and well educated, despite what Libby Brooke thinks) know the risks and don't want to quit?

Are you saying it's been a success that over 1500 pubs closed last year compared to 200 the year before, not to mention the bingo halls and working men's clubs?

Is it a success that those thousands of bar staff that you're trying to protect have been sacked, or lost their homes?

Is it a success that so many people's social lives have been ruined? Mine has, and I'm young(ish)... what about our older generation?

Do you not care about them? No wonder you think our government is a success, if failure is your criteria for success!

And finally, what is your problem with having smoking and non-smoking pubs, or smoking rooms at the very least? Other than the fact that they don't discriminate against smokers in the way you would like.

david said...

I'll freely admit here that I followed a link from Forest, but that said, it does not mean I'm incapable of thinking for myself, and it's patronising to think that.

I'm an ex Labour Party member and I live in a safe Labour seat in Newcastle. May 1997 was a day I still remember as one of the best of my life. We had the chance to create a more free, more just society; for Labour to do what Labour should be doing on the UK, European and world stage. Instead, what did we get? An illegal war, ID cards, unfettered intrusion in to our lives by practically any public body, grovelling to the Mail and the Sun, PFI, tax changes that make the poorest poorer, a repressive new law seemingly every week, internment without trial, and perhaps Labour's greatest achievement of all, No Smoking signs in bus shelters.

I have always voted Labour, I thought I always would. Now, I will not vote Labour and can't imagine I ever will. If people like me think like that, Labour is in deep trouble, even here. And believe me, an awful lot of those people that Libby Brooks appears to think are too stupid not to smoke and need help from clever middle class people are going to vote against Labour because of precisely that attitude.

I'm posting here because I've had enough, simple as that, not because Forest told me too.

Frankie said...

My mate Kev said I shoud get online to help out our Kez, so here I is.

The smoking ban is a great success, and I say that as a smoker straight up. The air inside the George up on Wells Road is much cleaner these days. And its much easier to get a seat if you know what I mean.

The ban has helped me cut back a lot on the fags. Just like the price of beer is helping me to cut back on the beer. Stans to reason that 98% of mokers and drinkers are grateful to the Labour govment for this. Nobody really minds standing outside in a houling gail to have a fag, particularly the older folks like our Stan (who died last week gorblessim)

So keep it up, Kez! 99% of the country is behind you. Haert attacks has gone down by 88%, and everyone is 106% healthier. Every little helps I say.

DaveA said...

Frankie can you explain why Amanda Sandford of ASH said the smoking ban HAD NOT reduced heart attacks.

"ASH (UK) endorses your conclusion that bad science can never be justified. ASH, unlike some organisations, has never asserted that a single 30-minute exposure to second-hand smoke is enough to trigger a heart attack, and we are not aware of any UK health advocates who have done so."

robert woods said...

As a smoker and ONCE a loyal labour supporter, i am disgusted at the way this labour goverment (dictatorship) has treated smokers in bringing in this undemocratic and vindictive ban. Whatever was wrong with having smoking bars/clubs and non smoking venues, then an individual could choose to enter it or not. We do not need nanny state labour treating us like silly little children, when we are adults who can choose for ourselves where we work and socialise. I really do not think politicians as yourself, have any idea whatsoever just how much you have angered and totally upset your once loyal supporters by going against your manifesto of which would have exempted private clubs etc and other establishments. This ban is cruel and vindictive and smacks at state control at its worst. I can assure you that you do not have a cat in hells chance of winning the next general election. This law needs ammending now to allow for choice for all. Shame on you all.

discusted labour party member said...

Kerry, you need to get a life, the labour party has attacked its main supporters ( the working classes ) with the ban. I will be surprised if they win another election within the next 20 years.

The idea of grouping together minority groups in order to form a majority is commendable but when you then allow those minority groups to domineer and demand things that lose you your core people all that remains is these minority groups who cannot even form a minority group of their own. You have ripped the heart out of the working classes and are still doing so every time we see an elderly person standing on the doorstep in order to have a freedom that he or she has worked thier whole life to sustain. You can imply things about the effects of the smoking ban until the cows come home but in reality the people see it in there communities and environments. You should hang your head in shame but you will not do because you have none.

Mat said...

As a Labour & Co-op Party activist for more than 30 years, may I offer you some comradely advice? Try putting a letter in your local paper asking Labour (and more importantly ex-Labour) voters to comment on the smoking ban. You might be surprised by the results. My experience is that, amongst our core support, the deliberate breaking of our manifesto pledge (to introduce a partial smoking ban, not a total one) is one of the biggest vote losers I’ve seen since the Winter of Discontent. Many traditional Labour supporters feel this is just more evidence that the Party has been taken over by middle-class bullies!

If your aim is to reduce “involuntary smoking,” then what possible, scientific argument can there be against, for instance, allowing separate, unstaffed smoking rooms, with state of the art ventilation? This way, no-one would ever have to breathe in second-hand smoke who didn't want to, adults living in a democracy would be able to make their own choices, and at the same time vital community resources - village pubs, working-men’s clubs, bingo halls etc - would be able to stay open.

Mat Coward

masmit said...

Dear Ms. McCarthy, I, too, have arrived here as a result of reading the Forest material. So what?

When you demonstrate the willing credulity about passive smoking and the benefits of your vindictive and totalitarian smoking ban, sadly so typical of the political/administrative class, why wouldn't we smokers wish to avail ourselves of the opportunity to express our displeasure and disagreement to you?

Dismissing cogent arguments on the basis that they come from people who have been alerted to your article by Forest would be absurd.

Still, that's the looking-glass world of the anti-smoker...

Duffy said...

I totally oppose the smoking ban and the misery it has brought to the thousands of people who have lost their jobs and businesses. The solution to prevent all of this happening was to give the choice to pubs of whether they wanted to have smoking or non smoking venues. Like many of my friends and colleagues, we will never vote for a Labour government who are dictating to it's people on how they should run/ruin their lives. The 'new' Labour will soon also find themselves out in the cold with the elderly and infirm smokers, as they will not be in power following the next election. It's UKIP for me from now on, at least I will have a vote on what I can or can't do.

MRab2 said...

Why would it be cynical to assume Forest has something to do with you getting a rash of posts. The Pro-choice movement (note; NOT Pro-smoking, in the context of pro/anti smoking pro smoking would mean, by definition an aim to get people to take up smoking) is ever so slowly getting organised, and it's going to continue to do so.
The ban was never advertised as something to encourage people to quit smoking, just as well, since it's NOT part of a politician's remit to delve into the personal habits of their employers (i.e. the public, the great unwashed, us) and doing so is nothing short of offensive.
So let's consider what the ban was supposed to do; protect employees from chronic, long term exposure to ETS. To that end, can you explain to me why the 50% rule extends to cover places people don't work? Namely smoking shelters. I realise that people go in to them to sweep up and empty the ashtray but there's no reported health risk associated with a few minutes worth of exposure each day.

Nosher said...

This repressive government has two obsessions : terrorism and smoking. While neither is any real threat to our lives they both serve as a front to introduce ever more repressive legislation taking away out precious civil liberties. Since 7/7 thousands more have died on the roads yet we now have 48 chargeless detainees for anyone the police the don't like the look of. The Japanese, Greeks, Spanish and Koreans all smoke more than us and all live longer. Anyone who knows *anything* about smokers knows that we will not quit because the Nanny state tells us and the sooner this repressive government realises this obvious truth the better. Prohibition of alcohol in the USA was a proven disaster yet some people are too stupid to learn from history.

Val said...

Matt coward earlier has said it all and asked very very legitimate question I wonder what is your answer.
By the way I am from Ireland and I have seen fiorst hand the damage inflicted on rural Ireland by the disappearance of the small town pubs quite dramatic believe me
But I wonder if it makes any sense sayong it to someone like you I am not sure that you would understand!!

Rolf said...


Can I give you some (genuinely humble) advice for how to win the next election? Differentiate yourself from the Conservatives and even the LibDems by announcing your party as the one of tolerance. Then start by giving smokers the right to choose for themselves whether to manage, own, be employed by, and be customers of, establishments that allow smoking. Concentrate on education rather than prohibition: most of us smokers don't know for example that half of us will die of a smoking related disease.

Michael P said...

Hi Kerry. I fail to see how you can be proud of a policy that was in the top three reasons why Labour was anniliated in the recent local elections. Has the party got a death wish?

If you believe all the lies that you are told is that why the country went to war? Are you still proud of that? I have been a socialist all my life but could never vote for a party that has brutalised human rights and is constantly interferely in the lives of businesses and individuals with a smugness and arrogance that defies belief.

sarn said...

i for one will never vote labour again the way smokers are treated is terrible. labour are dictators and millions of smokers will never vote labour cant wait till the election.

Frankie said...

Hey listen DaveA, our nephew Viv died of lung cancer a couple of years back. He'd nevr smoked in his entire life, except the waccy baccy which everyone knows is harmless' but he did work in a very smoky bar in Kual Lumpur for a month in in the late seventys, and he reckoned that's where he got it. What else could have done it? Passive smoking is what done it I reckon if you know what I mean.

Our Stan (he passed away last week gorblessim still owes me a fiver) smoked like flippin chimney all his life never got it dont ask me why but he broke a leg falling out of bed Thursday previous, and died the next day just before the ambulance arrived. Would he have died if he hadnt been a smoker I ask you????

Anonymous said...

Hi Kerry

Your post and Brooks's article imply that opposition to the ban is limited to the upper classes and the libertarian right. If this is not your intention, feel free to correct me.

I too came here via Forest. Perhaps, as you infer, Forest are a bunch of conservative toffs - fair enough. However, I'm from the democratic Labour left, I live in working-class Salford and I feel that the blanket ban is extreme, prohibitionist, based on social snobbery and seeks to undermine the very sense of community that your government is always going on about.

I have to add that I worked in the bar trade for two and a half years and never met a single person who supported a full ban.

I heard there's a review of the Health Bill coming up in 2010 - is this true? I'm hoping the outcome will be some kind of sensible compromise solution, such as smoking and non-smoking pubs.

Whatever, I would be happy if we dumped this miserable piece of legislation.

Gazzer said...

You seem to think like most of your MP's that this argument has already been won. So you will be quite shocked to learn that most normal people find that you have gone too far. I for one, will be encouraging people to vote against any standing MP who voted for the total smoking ban. On the basis that it was not thought through, it has demonised law abiding citizens, it has demolished the British Pubic House trade, closed Clubs , closed Bingo Hall's, Putting many thousands on the dole. Your Party have changed Great Britain for the worse. In fact I sometimes think that your basis of government is based on Adolf Hitler’s Book Mein Kamph. You seem to think that if you keep saying that it is all working to plan it will. You are so out of touch with the real world that you all deserve to have a trip down the dole offices and perhaps then meet the people who you were voted in to represent. Incidentally if any person reading this blog would like to know which way their MP voted go to Hansard Archives and look up Division no 164 which was the smoking vote.

Lisa G said...

What does it say about our society when local authorities say that stopping people smoking is a greater priority than assualt? Never mind fiddling about harrying people for dropping a cigarette end, and MPs spending their time gloating about the smoking ban, let's put a bit more time and effort into tackling violence in our communities.

Gremlin said...

Adolf Hitler, the "great Austrian saver of the Aryan race", only tried to impose a smoking ban to Germany (& Austria). He failed. What happened then you know from history lessons.

Frankie said...

Never met anyone who supported a complete ban eh, Max? You cant have met our Wolfie who used to come down the George and shout at us smokers, quite rightly too.

Wolfie had been waiting 60 years and more for a smoking ban. He had always hated smoking from his years in north Africa watching films in smokefilled cinemas in Tripoli - in between fighting of courst. Lovely guy, He hated Monty, and actually met the Desert Fox several times while on active service. He got shot up by a Spitfire in Benkarzy, and was never the same again - although he always said he preferred a hail of bullets to passive smoking any day. Poor burgir died two days after the smoking ban came in. Of happiness his doc said.

alndvs said...

My wife and I stopped going to the pub and did not renew our social club membership when the smoking ban came into force. We now smoke at home. I am now making home made wine and beer and it is great and so cheap. We do miss a game of bingo though. We will not visit any pubs clubs or bingo halls any more as it is the only way we can oppose this ban. I think your information on how many smokers have given up is wrong, where did you come by this information, I hope it was not ASH.

Adeimantus said...

You seem to regard FOREST and their supporters as a bunch of antediluvian irritants that everyone wishes would go away (and I imagine you lazily suspect them of being tobacco industry stooges). However, they occupy a highly principled position: one involving the very principles of British liberty. I’m not talking about our ‘right to smoke’ - this would doubtless elicit from you the stock response of “What about our right not to breathe your smoke?”. No, FOREST have never campaigned for you being forced to breathe others’ smoke. They have merely campaigned for the retention of traditional principles of tolerance, compromise, utilititarianism, doing what’s fair to the greater number, whilst adhering to basic British freedoms. And now, it’s about defending us from a growing and irrational demonization in the popular mass media.
So whilst you associate FOREST with a cross between the Childcatcher and Nick-o-Teen, I associate them more with Bentham and Mill, and other luminaries that have defended democracy and freedom in this country. Incidentally, the smoking ban is assuredly not a sign of ‘democracy in action’ for reasons I can give you at great length if required.
By campaigning on the one – unfashionable – issue, FOREST deserve more respect not less. Who sticks their head above the parapet where no personal gain can be conceived? Could it be for principle? Damn right, and in my view, laudable principle. So please, when you frame your reply to all these irritants who have invaded your blog, frame carefully.

Anonymous said...


I don't think I met your friend - which is a shame as he sounds like an interesting guy. Like I say, I can only speak for my own experience and I've lived and worked only in the North of England - although there was a George pub in Stockport I used to go to.

My point was that the anti-smoking lobby continually said that the ban was to 'protect workers' when in my experience bar workers don't want that protection - such as it is.

Lyn said...

Yes, I too am here because my attention was drawn to your blog by Forest. It is my choice to write a comment here and as the comments on the ban in general so far received have covered my own thoughts and feelings I thought you should know what a devastating effect it has had on me as an individual!

I have suffered mild depression most of my life and my cigarettes are my 'sanity sticks' - without them I suspect that control of my depression would have been reliant on drugs.

Once the vote was in for the total ban it caused me so much distress that I suffered the worse bout of depression ever, was off work, was agrophobic, caused my husband a great deal of stress and worry, attempted to take my own life on a couple of occasions and started to have regular panic attacks. All that before the ban had even started!

I am now back at work, on reduced hours - this is 2 years later. I am still on medication and was lucky enough to attend a CBT course at the end of last year/beginning of this. In order to attend, however, I had to reduce my working hours further which cost me money I could not really afford!

Due to the medication and the stress I have also now put on 3 stone in weight over the past 18 months, which is not making me at all happy and it just seems that no matter what I do, I just cannot shift the weight.

Even if I wanted to give up smoking, which I have never wanted to do, the likelihood of my weight going up even further would definitely be a deterrent!

With regard to all the figures that the government put out along with the NHS, ASH, WHO, etc, I can no longer believe any of them as so many produced over the last few years with regard to smoking and SHS have been proven to be outright lies, it is not safe to trust any of you anymore. This is something else that affected me very badly - the lies that we are all being fed by government and those that are pulling your strings and it sends me into a panic. It was worse in 2006 and 2007, it is getting slowly better, but it takes very little for me to drop back down into that black hole again and a great deal to climb back out.

It would just be nice to be told the truth and for government, both national and local to remember that they are OUR SERVANTS and NOT OUR MASTERS and start to treat us all with the respect that we deserve. Until then, very little, if any, respect can be expected in return.

If I had the finance I would have left this country in 2006 for one far more civilised than this country now is.

Proof is there that the total bans do not work and so it leaves me to believe that really the government to not want people to stop smoking because they need our taxes too much. The proof is also out there that many people who live to a ripe old age with few if any health problems, are also the ones who smoke and like a drink!

welsholdie said...

Amazing. Stop smoking and health benefits are instantaneous. Get ill and as sure as God made little fishes it will have as its underlying cause your grandfather"s smoking in your presence 50 years ago

andy said...

Hi Kerry

I'm not from FOREST but think mutch the same way as most comments above mine.

I wonder, would you consider meeting(im local to you), so i might present a considerable amount of evidence that contradicts your justification for supporting the ban?

I can provide credible evidence on everything from facts about passive smoking and smoking prevalence, to economic and social impacts of this legislation.
Not forgetting of course the vested interests behind smoking bans and how control of the nicotine market depends on them.
I am another lifelong Labour supporter, who will never again vote for a party that has the economic principals of neo-con America and the social policies of Orwellian Oceania.

If meeting is not preferable, perhaps you would consider reading something originating outside of the health lobby or your party line.
If you must stick to the health lobby then please consider the WHO Multicenter case study on Passive smoking that had results that werent intended for public consumption.

David B said...

One year on, and it is particularly disturbing that members of parliament are relying on biased, misleading and even false information to justify the 'success' of the smoking ban. This merely serves to further undermine the credibility of this government in the eyes of a significant section of the electorate, including tolerant non-smokers like myself.

Schabbs said...

Kerry, what annoys me most of all is that in Labour's last election manifesto there was a pledge to allow smoking in wet pubs and you and most other Labour MPs voted against allowing this.
Most EU countries have restrictions in place now but only the UK and Ireland have complete indoor bans. Italy and France, two of the most restrictive still allow smoking in blocked off areas where the waiters are not allowed to enter. Admittedly, not many bars have this facility but it is still available. Holland and most of Germany is allowing this type of thing too and in these countries there's a far higher proportion of these compromise bars. Belgium has the system we were going to have in your last manifesto, ie smoking is allowed only in bars that don't serve substantial meals.
So why aren't you allowing a compromise solution here? I feel you are dishonest by telling people they'd have a choice between smoking and non-smoking pubs at the last General Election and then changing it once elected.

Basil Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael West said...

I personally haven't entered a restaurant or pub since the ban. Beer is so much cheaper in Supermarkets and booze shops, but I do miss the "old" atmosphere in pubs or a smoke between courses.

Maybe I am wrong but doesn't cigarette taxation help fund the NHS. I can give you the same old stories about parents living to 86 (actually a bigger burden on the NI system). I want to smoke with other people who want to smoke and a waiver system should be in place (like the legal system where you can't sue tobacco manufacturers if you feel you have been effected by their products). A total ban is predatory. answers plz

Anonymous said...

Oh Kerry, how can you and your party who were formed to look after the rights of the common man betray them so brutally.

one of the reasons you abnned smoking was that smoking and second hand smoke kills, thereofore I challenge you to produce any autopsy reports that states that smoking or second hand smoke is the primary cause of death. if this cannot be proved then this law can only be fraudelant as it would be based on a blatent lie perpetrated by a charity (ASH) who should not be deciding policy anyway.

finally I waould remind you that DEMOCRACY from the greek, DEMOS KRASIS, definition POWER OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE.


Basil Brown said...

The article on Amsterdam coffee-shops going out of business is "entertaining", is it? Whilst I agree this law is absurd, I see it as a logical extension of the prohibitionist mentality, as perpetrated by never-to-be-re-elected NuLabor.

Prohibitionism has no respect for grassroots cultural tradition. It thinks it Knows Best [often, as here, justified using shadily-financed , agenda-driven, conclusions-first "research"]. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who have financed the majority of the anti-smoking hysteria, find their own prohibitionist-culture ties in nicely with their slight interest in flogging everyone nicotine-patches.

Can you not see that, despite the shrill voices from ASH declaring this debate "closed", that it's very much alive? That "the science" isn't as clear-cut as you'd have people believe? That the majority of research on ETS has found no evidence of harm? That patron-saint of the antismokers, professor Sir Richard Doll had enjoyed a long financial relationship with polluting industries, including asbestos manufacturers and Monsanto?

Declaration of Interest: I came here via a FOREST link. So be as cynical as you like, but don't doubt their readership's integrity or intelligence. And yes, just to pre-empt what you may otherwise treat as a startling revelation, we all know how FOREST is funded. Just a shame the anti-smoking industry are less than forthcoming with who their financial backers are and what their real motivations are.

The English smoking-ban a "success" is it? High compliance-rates secured using £2500 fines against landlords does not mean people are happy about it. The mood is more like fury. I mean, on top of all the sleaze, the astonishing decision to bomb Iraq, the financial-mismanagement of the economy, flogging our gold-reserves at a record market-low then spinning this as somehow a "good deal", the revolting sight of Labour members cheering Gordon Brown when he announced a doubling of taxes for the poorest, tricksily abandoning a manifesto-promise for a referendum on the EU ConstiTreaty, charging ahead with ID cards... on top of ALL THAT, you hit us with a smoking-ban and 1,500 British pubs close their doors forever. Pensioners, war-veterans losing their social-hub. Proud to have been part of all that, are you?

I think we have a right to be cynical, Ms McCarthy. And, wouldn't you know, the chickens are truly coming home to roost.

BB [ex Labour Party member, ex-labour voter]

Chic said...

It's quite obvious what most people are talking about here Kerry. What angers us smokers is the manipulative way in which the ban was introduced, it was (they said) to "protect" others, when in fact it's designed and engineered to denormalise smoking. It's the WMD syndrome again, and it's just another reason why you and hopefully many of your fellow MP's will loose at the next election.
It's interesting to note that the Big "M" is an offficial sponsor of this years Olymics . . . but that doesn't seem to concern anyone, it's no better than having a major tobacco label, but that would never do! Make the most of it Kerry, I doubt you'll be in the house for too much longer.

Frankie said...

I hope you lot dont think that our Kez is going to anser any of your posts, or read any of the stuff you read.

Our Kez is made of sterner stuff than that, and she keeps her fingers well stuck in her ears like a good girl should.

I know. My mate Steve met her. Did she listen to a word he said? Of course not. I bet her dads right proud of her. Steve certainly was. Ive got no time for anyone who pays a blind bit of notice of me, Steve said. And he spoke for everybody.

What are the doing building a flippin bandstand outside the George, thats what I want to know. Do you, Kez?

Anonymous said...

Ms McCarthy makes sweeping statements about the smoking ban, posts them on a blog on which she invites comment, the gets snitty because the comments do not agree with her view ( what temerity!) and may come via FOREST - a pro-choice organisation seeking to protect smokers from the deciet based assault by ASH and their like ( funded in part by the nice people who make Nicotine Replacement products) on their rights to use and enjoy a legal substance.

Ms McCarthy's government makes more money from tobacco than the companies that produce and manufacture it - so who is aligned to the tobacco business more - HMG or FOREST?

Of course, being an MP, Ms McCarthy knows everything better than ANYONE.

She knows that the people who RUN the Bingo Clubs, Pubs and Social clubs are WRONG to say they have haemoraged customers since the ban. She knows that Price Waterhouse are WRONG to uplift their prediction on pub closures from 2000 to 5000 in the next 5 years, but if this was right, it would be WRONG to say is largely as a result of the ban - no it's the credit crunch - stupid. (But wait, hasn't it always been observed that thick,underclass smokers somehow always manage to afford our fags and beer even when we're scrounging the dole?) She knows that reports indicating a higher incidence of children reporting to doctors and hospials with respiratory problem since the ban is WRONG because the ban has not meant that smokers have abandoned the pubs and clubs in droves and are staying at home and smoking there instead. So we are left with a puzzle. The leisure industry is minus tens of thousands of customers and the money that goes with them, but Ms McC knows - because she is not just any MP but a NuLabour MP - that we smokers are not staying home. Presumably then, we are all at the library, eagerly awaiting Ms McCarthys 'flat earth' lecture.

Kaban said...

As an ex-smoker, I welcome the ban on a purely selfish level, seeing as I find myself pretty sensitive to the smoke. I can as a result sympathise with legislation that encourages - not forces - non-smoking areas in public spaces. The total banning of smoking everywhere though, that is a travesty and an act of violence against the people. Just because some people don't like the smell, like I hate the smell of coffee, doesn't mean the government should cave in to their outrageous demands simply because they shout loud enough and get big business (eg pharamaceuticals) to pay for some very Mickey-Mouse statistics. This is simply another example of this government's lack of backbone and whimsical, not thought through decision making.

Nitro said...

First it was to protect people from SHS, now it is to stop people smoking, a mixture of weasel words hiding your EU promise to reduce the level of smoking.

The cost of the smoking ban runs into billions of pounds a year, lost revenue on the 400,000 smokers is £623,420,000 alone, in some form or another every working tax payer is paying over £100 extra tax.

People would rather spend that £100on the extra costs of fuel.

Labour have victimised, old people war veterans, mentally disturbed patients.

I can not wait to see the back of Labour they deserve to be on the dole and join our hospitality workers who have lost their jobs due to pub, club and bingo hall closures.

David B said...

Dunhillbabe wrote - 'Ms McCarthy's government makes more money from tobacco than the companies that produce and manufacture it - so who is aligned to the tobacco business more - HMG or FOREST?'


In fact, after deducting the c.£2M cost of treating so called smoking related diseases, HMG still clear about £8M net profit. Pity they then go on to squander it....

David B said...

For £M read £B....

Terry said...


Please answer this.

If you are protecting bar staff from passive smoke, why do you allow people to join the Police force the Armed Forces etc. Now I don't believe in the passive risk, but let's go along with you. You are saying people cannot choose to work in a smoking pub because of the risk, BUT they can join the Police, Fire Brigade, Armed Forces. Now shouldn't you ban these professions for their safety, or ARE YOU GOING TO SAY, THEY KNOW THERE IS A RISK JOING THESE PROFESSIONS AND IT IS THEIR CHOICE. Bit of a dichotomy isn't it?

PaulaH said...

I'm amused that you feel Forest is the only reason paople might feel obliged to comment on this absurd situation - yet more accuations against smokers as if we are unable to think for ourselves. The smoking ban is ridiculously draconian, if similar discriminatory measures were taken against people indulging in other legal pastimes (driving perhaps? Certainly kills more people directly and indirectly than smoking ever will) there would be an outcry (my example backed up further by the protests about fuel tax) but because it is smokers the discrimination and demonisation is not only tolerated but encouraged.

PaulaH said...

I also wanted to add that the statistics about people who have given up since the ban have been massaged to show what the governement wants them to show - the supposed increase in people who have quit smoking includes anyone who gave up for "at least a month" last year - for all we or they know every single one of those people might now be smoking again!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Kerry, you're in Bill Committee? What are Labour banning today?

It's interesting to note that you find it slightly absurd that tobacco smoking is banned in Holland but not cannabis. Though I fear you probably think that because you want BOTH banned rather than just the one. Personally, I find it ridiculous that the millions of people who enjoy smoking aren't allowed any choice by an increasingly naive and gullible bunch of nannies that are posing as responsible Government in this country.

I'm not a Labour voter, my constituency is a straight fight between LibDem & Tory. The Tories almost bankrupted me in the early 90s and I never thought I'd vote for them again. However, the need to get rid of this disgusting Labour government is so very strong that I shall be gleefully putting my X in the Tory candidate's box in the next election & for every election in my lifetime. We have a very good Lib Dem MP, and I mean VERY good. However, the good of the country as a whole comes first and your sort should NEVER be allowed to form a Government again. Not only do you pass laws that seem to suggest that you have declared war on your own peole, but you then have the gall to boast on blogs such as this about how very glad you are that you have marginalised and made sub-human, about a quarter of the voting public!

Please keep ignoring the smoker vote, as it will make for a whole generation, at least, of happy Election results as you fall to political oblivion. It must happen I'm afraid as you are unfit not only as a Government, but also as decent human beings.

Communities are being destroyed, divisiveness is being fostered and encouraged by you and your cronies ... and you are PROUD of it!

You believe the 'projections' spouted by statisticians who are being paid to produce the statistics by single-issue groups with a financial interest ... yet totally ignore the REAL figures such as 1,500 businesses destroyed and 78,000 jobs lost since July 1st last year.

I remember the Palace of Westminster being populated by wise elder statesmen who had the interests of the public at heart and passed legislation for the good of ALL British citizens, with dignity and decorum.

Since the arrival of the career politician, that ideal has been lobbed out of the windows into the depth of the Thames.

Good luck with your voting tonight - which new crime are you creating?

Marley said...

Since when did nullabor have the right to disrespect, abuse, bully and threaten more than 25% of its electorate. In it's 1997 manifesto "The vision - We are a broad-based movement for progress and justice. New Labour is the political arm of none other than the British people as a whole. Our values are the same: the equal worth of all, with no one cast aside; fairness and justice within strong communities." a promise of the equal worth of all."
Hmmm. Providing they don't smoke. Your Party words.

ARTICLE 3 of the human rights act Oct 2000 states
You have the absolute right not to be tortured or subjected to
treatment or punishment which is inhuman or degrading. Now excuse me for thinking that pushing disabled or elderly people outside into the cold, wet and often windy climes of this country is blatantly inhuman and to be forced into the glare of all and sundry to be ridiculed and scoffed at (not to mention verbally abused, threatened and begged from) is positively degrading. On the one hand your party expect (not request) social inclusion of all, regardless of age, sex, creed or
colour and on the other you exclude 14 million people who legally smoke tobacco, creating a huge rift in social cohesion. I would be most grateful if you could explain this strange anomally.

mark.harris said...

I run a website which is calling for amendments and exemptions to the smoking ban.
Many, many people have emailed me over the last year to say they will no longer vote Labour because of the ban and its social and economic impact.

Anonymous said...

This thread reminds me of that episode of I'm Alan Partridge when he upsets Norfolk's Farmers - "Quacking plums and smoking pigs"

Don't take any boat trips Kerry ...

Michael said...

Ms. Kerry, I look forward to seeing your responses to the questions raised here when you are done with your Bill in Committee today.

Let me add another point that you need to address. As you must be fully aware, the "40% drop" was a simple "headline lie" designed to push an agenda and fool the public. The actual drop was 3% (2% if you remove the outright wacky (or outright fraudulent?) results that came out of a single hospital. Since larger drops were seen twice in recent years before the ban, wouldn't it make more sense to conclude that the ban has increased rather than decreased heart attacks?

It will be good to see a responsible MP address this question as well as some of the others raised here rather than just duck out. I will do my best to see that your response gets proper attention and respect for its content.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

Kerry said...

Given that these comments are still coming thick and fast - and I suspect many more will come when people log into their emails tonight - I'm not going to respond until the deluge stops.

I haven't seen the Alan Partridge episode, but given that I've just turned down an invite to the National Pig Association's parliamentary launch of "a report highlighting public sector procurement patterns of pork and bacon", (nothing like researching your target audience, is there?), I suspect it won't be long before they're onto me too.

shaftmonde said...

Dear Kerry,
I am astonished that you are actually proud to be associated with such a divisive and intrusive law.
Like some others here, I can thank Forest for bringing your blog to my attention. It's a good job someone is watching out for antismoking extremists who wish to impose their own world view on the population at large; extremists who listen only to vested interests such as ASH, who owe their very existence to producing antismoking propaganda, and funded by you.Yes you.

It must be terribly irksome to you that such a group as Forest exists to balance the arguments.

Is there a language problem here? Why is Forest continually referred to as a pro-smoking group?
Forest is NOT a pro-smoking group, it is a pro-CHOICE group.

'Choice' = option, pick, selection. It's not really difficult to understand. (Except to this government)

Choice means having the option to frequent either a smoking or a non-smoking environment according to one's preferences. You will find that, apart from a few rabid and vociferous antismoking zealots, most people don't care very much, whether they are smokers or nonsmokers.
But smokers care very when they are made the object of 'smokism' which is no different from sexism, ageism or racism. It's the same mentality.

Frankly, I don't know which way I will vote in the next election. I only know that I will go with whatever party offers a return to free will, yes, even the BNP.
But will never again be the Labour party.

Terry said...


I fear you will respond with doctrine. I will continually repost this until you answer.

If you are protecting bar staff from passive smoke, why do you allow people to join the Police force the Armed Forces etc? Now I don't believe in the passive risk, but let's go along with you. You are saying people cannot choose to work in a smoking pub because of the risk, BUT they can join the Police, Fire Brigade, Armed Forces. Now shouldn't you ban these professions for their safety, or ARE YOU GOING TO SAY, THEY KNOW THERE IS A RISK JOING THESE PROFESSIONS AND IT IS THEIR CHOICE. Bit of a dichotomy isn't it?

Ex Labour Voter said...

Dear Kerry;

I was not directed to your blog via the FOREST website, but by a friend who was so outraged by your comments, he forwarded your blog link to me to ask for my own thoughts.

I am not an activist or a tobacco-company apologist by any means; however assuming that you do ever take the time and trouble to read these posts and reply to them, it would be very much in your career interests to spend a few minutes actually LISTENING to what we - the people who voted for you to represent us - are literally screaming out to you and your colleagues.

Ignoring for a second the appalling lies and the junk science surrounding the myths which you continue to perpetuate even in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary, please focus instead on this:

No matter what the "rights & wrongs" of the scientific and medical arguments might be, the bottom line is that the Labour Party have shamefully destroyed the very concept of democracy in PRECISELY and EXACTLY the same way that the Nazis did.

I've no doubt that you'd simply laugh at the very notion of being called a Nazi Kelly; however I would challenge you to explain to us all in what way you think you are "different" or "better" than that.

You have aliented and marginalised the millions of grass-roots supporters you once had, by abusing public {and also of course pharamaceutical} money to overwhelm us all with avalanches of misinformation repeated over & over again in the hope that if you say it often enough, it will somehow become truth.

And to some extent it's working, but still: is this something you can genuinely say you're proud of?

Despite what you claim, pubs, bingo halls, restaurants, and social clubs are closing in their droves at rates which are unprecedented, heart attack rates certainly have NOT somehow magically declined as a result of the ban, tobacco sales have INCREASED, supermarket and off-licences sales have DRAMATICALLY increased, and all as the result of the ill-judged measures which YOU supported and put into place, and now seek to "fix" by imposing even more bans.

My parents and grandparents FOUGHT {and many gave their lives} for the very freedoms from oppression which you now so flippantly wave aside, while simultaneously wholeheartedly supporting the so-called rights of other groups which by dint of their minority status, you feel should be protected from all forms of injustice, hurt feelings, and perceived persecution.

Sad that this doesn't include the 24% of the electorate who are smokers {not to mention their friends and families}, but then it's "for their own good", right?

You have already made life a living hell for millions of your {previous} supporters by denying them basic social opportunities, all on the self-congratulating basis of "knowing what's best" for us, and now you are hell-bent on invading and controlling every other area of our lives because YOU just happen to know that the one and only thing we all aspire to in life is being "healthy" according to the definitions which YOU will kindly provide for us.

To hell with anyone enjoying or having a quality of life. Using ridiculous {yet on the surface, quite reasonable} catchphrases such as "helping" and "encouraging" us to "choose" a "healthier" lifestyle {a favourite buzzphrase used endlessly by your previous Messiah}, you have quite cynically and effectively removed any element of choice whatsoever from each and every individual in the country - THAT is what ordinary people like me object to, and THAT is why you and your colleagues will pay heavily {as they already are} at the polls.

Stop interfering in personal lifestyle choices, stop dictating to us what we should and shouldn't think, eat, drink, smoke, and participate in, and get back to what was once your core values of representing the people on the issues which REALLY concern and worry us, and which would once again unite us in a common cause.

PS: Quite apart from the social and moral aspects, should you ever find yourself in the unlikely position of seeking to learn the TRUTH about the medical and scientific arguments you support so strongly, I will be more than delighted to provide you with more qualified references than you could reasonably be expected to absorb even if you WERE prepared to take even a cursory look at the evidence.

And it may surprise to you discover that these references don't originate from tobacco-funded research, but from the very same "respected" sources {e.g. The World Health Organisation, British Medical Journal, American Cancer Journal, British Heart Foundation, etc} which you and your colleagues are so fond of misquoting.

Please feel free to ask - if you haven't forgotten how to, that is. It would give you a massive advantage over your peers, and perhaps give you an insight into the actual worth of those spurious "surveys" where a remarkable 80% of respondents are over the moon about the smoking ban.

E.g: In their latest online poll concerning public support for banning the display of tobacco products, ASH give voters only two options: "Yes", or "Not Sure".

What happened to the "No" option?

PPS: In the absence of being given any coherent alternative, 86% of voters on the ASH website so far have clicked on "Not Sure".

Wonder if we'll be given the same "Not Sure" option on the ballot papers? Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest..........

Paula said...


I cant grasp how you lot in government can be so delusional to think that any of us, your employers, believe a single statistic that you come out with. I find it interesting that in my experience more people are smoking now as a result of the ban than there were before. People WILL NOT be told what to do by a nanny state government. Labour will be out soon, hopefully sooner than 2010 and good riddance to you all. You've destroyed this country with your interference of our natural rights. I for one am looking into emigrating for the good of my children - there's nothing left for the British here anymore. No doubt you'll be deluded enough to think that all these posts are from a minority, don't kid yourself (or is that a requirement of the job?), even non-smokers hate this ban.

Frankie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew said...


From a non-smoker the whole idea of what you have done has completely crippled pubs for starters. This has taken away one of Britains best assets. The old, the young, all of us, are no longer able to meet up and relax after a hard days work - earning your wages and expenses. I hope you sleep as well on a night as all those that miss their meetings with their friends and all of those that are going out of business. Between you all you have destroyed this country with your nannying, idiotic legislation. We are sick of it and its driving a lot of people to emigrate. Well done - if destroying what was once a great country was your aim - you've achieved it.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"Given that these comments are still coming thick and fast - and I suspect many more will come when people log into their emails tonight - I'm not going to respond until the deluge stops."

And thus Kerry dismisses all the heartfelt responses as somehow whipped up by some demon via an e-mail list.

Smokers and tolerant non-smokers are all ill-educated and should be roundly ignored obviously. Kerry and the rest of the Labour 'Class of 2005' are hugely experienced and know much better. They have their finger on the pulse of working class pub-goers ... why only the other day Kerry drove past a community pub on the way to the gym so she is eminently qualified to be smug about their social lives being ripped apart.

Lost: One Labour Party, last seen heading to the Kings Road for a bit of shopping.

colin said...

Ms McCarthy,

My Press Team and I wrote to you a short while ago. (Actually, we wrote to ALL MP's). So far we do not seem to have had an answer from you.

No matter. I am prepared to issue a challenge here.

I will meet with you, or ANY MP willing to discuss the smoker ban in a full and frank debate. I am able to demonstrate the truth on the science, the finance, and the morality. We see the vindictiveness every day, and we can share REAL stories of economic and social damage. That government agency, ASH, repeatedly refuse to meet with us. Like you, they are terrified of the truth. I am also prepared to meet with any members of SCoTH who do NOT have financial dealings with the pharmaceutical companies. (For information, that would be 2 out the 16 member. Does that come as a surprise? That the Labour government was persuaded by a group of "scientists" who stood to gain a fortune if a ban was enacted?

Shades of "sexed" up intel reports on WMD? We thought so.

The longer you, and the other 500 or so MP's who voted for the ban, ignore the pain and damage you have caused, the longer your Party is going to suffer.

As has already been said, smokers vote. ALL of them, (now that you raised the legal age for tobacco purchase to 18), and they react at the ballot box. Quietly, and forcefully, but decisively.

I was wondering what you would say to the 78,000 people who lost their jobs, and in many cases, their homes as well, thanks to this ban? I wonder how "protected" they feel? Are you even aware that a further 280,000 jobs are at risk if present trends continue? Or are they acceptable casualties?

Continue to ignore us, and you can warm the opposition benches for years. We have the power to make it so.

The choice is simple: do the right thing and amend the ban, or enjoy the wilderness years.


Colin Grainger

Campaign Chairman
Freedom to Choose.

Frankie said...

Nother one that coildnt post, hahaha:

I don't think that there's much left to say in view of the foregoing comments but, as I now live in a state of quietly simmering rage, I intend to vent my spleen before that too, is banned.

I think that the blanket ban was one of the most disgraceful pieces of legislation enacted by a government. Not only was it in breach of a manifesto promise, its ostensible justification - protection against the dangers of ETS - is laughable. Since the danger defies common sense, it is hardly surprising that the studies that purport to prove it are so disreputable that within the discipline of epidemiology some people have the courage to express their disquiet. And, boy, do people need courage to speak out against the powerful, zealous and ruthless tobacco control coalition which has no hesitation in smearing the reputation of dissenters.

Even if there were any real danger, a solution was possible if it were assumed that adults are capable of evaluating risk and exercising choice and that, in a free society, they should be allowed to do this. Instead, the ban is a prime example of the infantilisation of our society by a government that believes that the State knows best and has the right to impose its will.

I believe, however, that 'passive smoking' was simply a ploy used within the overall strategy to 'denormalise' smoking as part of the drive to reduce smoking prevalence to WHO targets. The basis of my belief lies in an address given to the WHO in 1975 by a British GP who suggested that the way forward would be to foster the impression that smoking not only harmed smokers, but those around them...

I'm sympathetic to the view that it is a laudable aim of government to educate the public. I certainly don't believe that a government that spearheads a campaign of demonisation of a particular group in an attempt to meet targets deserves to be re-elected. If smoking is so, so dangerous that the elderly have to stand in the street, that in-patients who are mentally ill have to cope with involuntary quitting and the terminally ill, in their last weeks in a hospice, are denied the comfort of smoking, then the government whould have the moral decency to forego the huge financial contribution that smokers make to the Treasury.


Kin_Free said...

Having read most of the comments on this post I have to endorse just about every one of them. This one piece of misguided legislation is the biggest mistake that any parliament has produced in my lifetime and probably long before that too. There are other issues that have affected the popularity of your party but these are only peripheral.

Yes, smokers are in the minority and it is easy to understand how you may have thought it would be easy to denormalise and bully them into quitting. After all, the majority of the electorate are non-smokers and they should have embraced this 'historic' drive for a healthier society. Yet, while it has brought out a minority of abusive, aggressive and self-satisfied anti-smoking bigots, a substantial amount have not embraced it at all.
Could it be that they have seen the blatant misrepresentation of statistics, the crowing by official sources, about how 'successful' the smoking ban has been, seemingly on every level, while experiencing something totally different in their normal day to day lives. The question is then asked is; "What next", "Who next".

My question to you is this; when you say you were proud to have voted for the ban and say how well it has worked, how did you come to that conclusion?

Were you not as informed as you should have been in your position as MP, less informed, it seems, than the commentators here on this post?

Are you the proverbial 'King with no clothes' who has been led on by your official advisors or 'tobacco control' organisations and merely repeating what you have been told?

Heaven forbid the alternative position where you may have been party to the spread of such misinformation, or party to what Deborah Arnott (ASH) quoted in 2006 as; “Literally a confidence trick”... "to create the impression of inevitable success" [that] "creates confidence and demoralises the opposition."

Or is there another reason that I have not mentioned?

Please re-assess your views by reference to unbiased sources. You may a member of parliament, but you represent the people, and a lot of those people are far from happy.


colin said...

Thanks Frankie.

I amended my original post.

Nigel Saint said...

Hi Kerry

congratulations, you've attracted the travelling hordes of freedom2choose and forest followers who steam in every time anyone posts anything supporting the ban.

you've probably rumbled Frankie as a spoof supporter of the ban, but Simon Clarke of Forest seems to know them and confirms this on his blog

they'll get bored and move on soon, just ignore them.

Kin_Free said...

Bearing in mind the quantity of comments and the clear depth of feeling and disgust that is being directed at your party, might I suggest that you send a copy of these comments to every member of the Labour Party.

They need to know what the electorate are saying and can help you reply to each post.

Or can we expect a bland, properly draughted 'official' response on advice from the 'tobacco control' pressure groups?

If that is the case - dont bother - we have heard it all before.

Blad said...

And all this time Kerry has her fingers in her ears and she's going: "la. la, la, la, la, la". This is because Kerry thinks she's an expert when her knowledge is very one-sided. In any research the government undertook regarding smoking bans, any counter ban voices were just ignored.

I notice too that all these politicians are very good at screwing the pubic in some way or other whilst lining their own nests. On the scale of human development they rank even lower than traffic wardens.

And no, I didn't come here via Forest. I came here via the Austrian Smokers' Rights Network. So, as usual, it seems that people the world over have all the parliaments pegged.

Frankie said...

Who sez Im a poof supporter?? I am not a poof supporter!!!! I cant stand poofs. I live on Somerset Road, just up from the George Ill have you know.

Dick Puddlecote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Opressed said...

In the Labour Manifesto there were to be smoking venues and non smoking venues: so what happened to this election promise. In short Labour blatantly renaged on this point so why should anybody trust anything you say about the success of the smoking ban.

pete the heretic said...

The smoking ban a 'success'? History teaches us that if those whose voices are heard most loudly keep spouting the same old lies for long enough, then, eventually, a substantial number of people will be fooled into believing it...

colin said...

Notice that Nigel doesn't refute one single point raised?

How predictable.

Dick Puddlecote said...


Considering you seem to be of the opinion that people posting here are somehow organised to change your opinion, can I respectfully suggest you read the linked document detailing fully how you were conned into your vote by those with a vested interest? They boast quite a lot about how they managed it too.


"Page 1 - Objective: To examine how a Government committed to a voluntary approach was forced by effective advocacy to introduce comprehensive smokefree legislation."

You weren't the only ones, the British Beer & Pub Association was told that they would be sued into the middle of next week if they didn't support the ban. (Page 12)

"Extra pressure was put on employers in the hospitality trade to go smokefree by threatening them with the possibility of employee legal action under existing health and safety law. ... these initiatives had a significant impact on the hospitality trade which was their desired aim."

They also boast about manipulating the media against John Reid when he made a comment which ... gasp! ... sided with his working class constituents (what a strange concept!). (Page 14)

John Reid stuck to the Labour manifesto and proposed the partial ban that we all voted for but, according to ASH (page 15)

"From then on the coalition immediately started to undermine the proposals and to build the case for comprehensive legislation to include all pubs and bars."

Nothing like democracy in action is there? Especially when you also read on page 17 that

"The only debate was about pubs and bars where public support was about 50/50."

Oh? not a huge majority at all? Yet ASH were telling Labour what to do and YOU voted for it? And you are proud?

And what was the move that made you go for it? The one that pretended there was masses of people champing at the bit for a blanket ban ... the employees of the 'coalition' were told to do so.

"Cancer Research UK, the biggest cancer charity in the UK in particular substantially increased its campaigning activity. It involved its 1,000 fundraising committees, volunteers in its 620 shops and 3,000 staff and scientists in letter-writing and Christmas card campaigns to MPs."

And thus a manifesto proposal that the electorate voted for was turned into a blanket ban that they didn't.

And you think that a link on Forest's site which points angry people (not funded my £millions) here is somehow wrong and nopt indicative of smoker opinion?

Your party listened to all the heavily-funded lobbyists but dismiss those with an opposite view.

Smoking pubs & non-smoking pubs. Regulated air quality. separate smoking rooms. All are conducive to choice and would accommodate 25% of the public.

But if you prefer to gloat and treat smokers as an under-class, knock yourself out. Just don't expect to be in Government too long.

Oppressed said...

The ban has been enforced for 12 months and it's still a big talking point. We need a referendum and while we are at it lets have a EU referendum at the same time: saves money. Oh I forgot another manifesto point renagde upon by The Labour Gov.

Oppressed said...

The ban has been enforced for 12 months and it's still a big talking point. We need a referendum and while we are at it lets have a EU referendum at the same time: saves money. Oh I forgot another manifesto point renagde upon by The Labour Gov.

westcoast2 said...

Kerry, remember you have lost some freedom as well.

What would enable you to change your opinion on the smoking ban experiment?


Schabbs said...

Yes, oppressed. Like the EU manifesto pledge, they also changed their mind on the smoking in wet pubs pledge. And before that on the University fees pledge.
Who can believe a word they say anymore.

Martin V said...

Kerry -

I'm sure you're NOT the bossy, scientifically illiterate, and rather self-righteous little prig that many others here have suggested.

But, please TRY and understand, Dear, that it isn't YOUR JOB TO TELL US WHAT TO DO !

You're not ? Excellent: then kindly read on...............

I'm sure you mean well - but then so did that nice Mr Goebbels (you know, the one that suggested that smokers were 'almost' as bad as Jews)- but just look what a pickle he and his friends got THEIR country into !

Now - here's an ORIGINAL suggestion, and one that you may care to 'run by' (I love these Old Cockney expressions !) your colleagues:

Let's have SMOKING and NON-SMOKING establishments.

Simple, isn't it ?

Ah, I hear you say, but how do we DECIDE which should be which ?

Simple: an annual LOTTERY, organised at LOCAL level - the 'prize' being a SMOKING LICENSE, which will be awarded to HALF those who choose to apply for one.

Thus, at any one time, at least half of ALL local establishmenst will be 'smoke-free' (as you so poetically describe it).

And, yes - THE STAFF will be able to choose, too (just as they chose NOT to be North Sea trawlermen, coal miners, or SAS Troopers).

And the Public would then be able to express ITS true sentiments in the matter: no more having to rely upon the half-baked propaganda fed to you by the Ugly Sisters at ASH, and Liam Donaldson's Health Gauleiters.

Result: I and my Bohemian fiends would once again be able to indulge our favourite vice whilst relaxing to some cool blues or jazz in a smoky nightclub, and down the street YOU and your rather more health-conscious friends can do whatever YOU do in the surgically sterile atmosphere you obviously find so congenial.

And if the ban is as 'popular' as certain people (who, I wonder ?) would have you believe, then -obviously - the hugely UNPOPULAR Smoking Establishments would either seek to have their licenses revoked, or be forced to close.

No need to worry about THE STAFF (see above)

No need to worry about THE CHILDREN (irrelevant)

No need to worry about PASSIVE SMOKING (volenti non fit iniuria)


Isn't Human Happiness one of the reasons YOU went into politics ?

Of course, YOU may be one of those who consider that Health is 'more important' than Happiness - just like that nice Dr Goebbels.

But, I ASSUME your intention IS to 'facilitate' Human Happiness, and NOT to forge a new Master Race !

So, come on, Kerry: WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY IDEA (at least, in principle: we can sort out the details later)?

Happy Humans - or Obedient Humans: which do you REALLY prefer ?

Or - to put it another way - are you sure you joined the RIGHT party ?

PS: My suggestion IS a SERIOUS one !

Michael said...

Kerry, I believe the call for a referendum is a valid one (though it's questionable whether freedoms should be removed and granted by such things) but if you decide to move for a referendum it should be a *proper* referendum.

What do I mean by "proper"? Simple: the ban was voted in on the basis of protecting "those who have no choice" about exposure to smoke in a particular pub, its workers. It was recognized that members of the public could always choose smoking or non-smoking venues as they wished, but ASH et al kept flying the flag of the poor trapped choking worker who could find no other job in all of England other than as a waitress at Smokey Joe's Cafe.

Have a referendum... but have it covering ONLY those workers who can validate that they worked in pubs at the time the original ban came in. Would the mechanics be tricky or cost a bit of money? A bit perhaps, but no trickier or more expensive than running an entire population wide vote, and the results would be a lot more honest in terms of representing the population the ban was supposedly based upon.

ASH et al claimed that workers were *pleading* for a ban. If they were telling the truth they should be very happy to support such a referendum.

Do you think they will be? I don't. I believe they were lying through their teeth and they KNEW they were lying through their teeth.

I think you know that too.

The big question is simply this: Will you stand up against such lying?

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

George Speller said...

Kerry - of course Forest is involved in the number of comments you got - they run a mailing list and thousands of people read it. You'll be using that dirty "O" word next - orchestration. OK, whatever. Anyway: comments about passive smoking are becoming extremely rare, have you noticed that? That's because the whole thing was an invention - designed to provide the ONLY ethical basis for the smoking ban - third party injury. Since the ban got through most pro-banners are keeping a bit quite about ETS as they now want to hide their guilty secret. I'm sure you'll agree that it isn't Government's job to protect people from themselves. Don't you? So there's no justification for the anti-social illiberal legislation. No, sorry, none. My health is my business, not yours or anyone elses. And, yes, I've already paid the extra cost - if any - of healthcare.


Blad said...

And all the time Kerry is going "la, la, la, la, la, la" with her fingers in her ears....

helend498 said...

Your government has lost millions of votes because you did not keep to your original manifesto statement in 2005. You have lost their votes forever. They will never trust you again after the persecution that you have put them through. Enjoy your life on the back-benches

helend498 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
adrianmh said...

We are waiting for the next election. You think we will all forget about the Smoking Ban and will have accepted this spiteful legislation by 2010?
I can assure you we will never forget the way New Labour has victimise us smokers. I feel sure you will come to realise the penalties for alienating 22% of the electorate!

hettie said...

Hello Kerry,

The three comments supporting you and your stance could only come up with the advice to ignore the Forest crowd. I would say it's not the best advice. Below I summarise the concerns raised by the comments and you can see for yourself that it's not all hot air, and people are entitled to a thoughtful response from their elected politicians as they are voters in the first place, some of them are your own voters. Therefore, whether they come from forrest or were alerted through a friend is inconsequential.

A short summary of the gist of the comments

1. People want choice. Labour promised them a choice and then went back on that.

2. People are concerned for old and vulnerable smokers such as war veterans, OAPs and the mentally ill.

3. People are appalled at the rate of pub, social club and bingo hall closures as they know from experience that these establishments bring people together and are part of the fabric of community as important social networking venues.

4. The "science" justifying the ban is just not convincing. However, only people with basic statistics knowledge (probabilities, significance level, confidence intervals, hazard ratios etc) are able to evaluate papers. No journalist seems to pay attention to these concepts, except the Guardian's Ben Goldacre, whose badscience blog is always a good read.

5. People can see that Big Pharma hugely benefit financially from a ban and a government lead drive in getting people off cigarettes and onto their product.

I suggest you have a look around on Dr. Michael Siegel's blog, who himself is still a strong supporter of the workplace ban. He presently is fighting for the reputation of the anti-smoking crowd (Ash et al), but each time he applies the scientific method in looking at what comes out of TC comissioned research he feels worse and worse.


With best wishes


hettie said...

Apologies for the spelling mistake. My excuse is that I'm an immigrant from Central Europe.

sarn said...

kerry we will never forget the way you have treated smokers tough on crime tough on cause of crime what have we got lawless streets but you persecute smokers no vote on eu forcing id cards on us even tho you cant be trusted losing our child benefit details illegal war but what do you consentrate on smokers which is legal we have had enough of being told what to do by your nazi regulation.. never will i or anyone i know vote labour

Northern Lights said...

You should all have a cigarette and calm down...in the meantime...

''Adeimantus'' - You might want to consider re reading JS Mill.

Dick Puddlecote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dick Puddlecote said...

We would do Northern Lights but Kerry and her ilk want us all to stop whether we want to or not, it's not up to us anymore.

Labour know better than us, see?

Besides, you should be worried about their stance too seeing as you are posting so late.

The Labour 'health curfew' will be coming soon. Lack of sleep can cause cancer doncha know.


Perhaps today Kerry was voting on the internet being switched off at midnight. Labour are so very caring towards us aren't they?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Samantha. I think it's terrible a politician having a sense of humour, they should all be evil joyless battleaxes like Mrs. Thatcher. Shame on you Kerry for writing a post which had poise, humour and worst of all assumed that readers were adults!

Surely as a New Labour politician you should know that British people need to be told what to do, just like the naughty children they are?!?

Julie said...

My Life through this smoking ban has completeley changed smoke and drink at home

Julie said...

If this works it has taken along time to leave a comment, I wonder how many people have given up!!

I feel that the smoking ban has changed my life, more so than any where at work (smoking breaks banned in April, can not even clock out morning or afternoon)At least whilst i oppose the smoking ban i can step outside, this liberty has been taken away at work. If we dont do something now our liberties will be eroded further.

Terry said...

This was a comment from Nigel Saint

Hi Kerry

congratulations, you've attracted the travelling hordes of freedom2choose and forest followers who steam in every time anyone posts anything supporting the ban.

you've probably rumbled Frankie as a spoof supporter of the ban, but Simon Clarke of Forest seems to know them and confirms this on his blog

they'll get bored and move on soon, just ignore them.


Terry said...

Excuse spelling mistake, should say CONSIDER.

Mein Furer said...

Why cant the government explain that for the last 50 years asthma and other lung disorders have been on the increase whilst smoking has been on the decrease?
I can tell you its nothing to do with passive smoking its Vehicles?
more cars more polution more health problems.
Why are you too blind to see this???
Now your saying health problems are on the decrease yes becaure in 1992 vehicles where fitted with anti pollution exhausts aka catalytic converters.
You can sit in a car and smoke 200 cigs in a day and only come out with maybe a dry throat.
You sit in a car with a hose from the exhaust and your dead in minutes cant no one in government understand this explanation.
I now am UKIP. Labour is dead

Adeimantus said...

Just curious Northern Lights, but which part of J S Mill do you think I should re-read?

Anonymous said...

So it seems Kelly that George Orwell's book 1984 was not fiction after all - we now have Big Brother watching us in reality.
I as a smoker of 72 years am weary of comments I receive , being criminalised for amoking even in my own home, bullied and sworn at by non smokers and such.
I lived as a child thro the 1926 strike - was a nurse in WW 2
and now feel completely ostracised socailly because of thei ridiculous smoking ban

Terry said...

I will leave everyone with this thought. While convicted criminals can still smoke, mental health patients have been denied this. These people have been forced to stop smoking. This is a barbaric situation. Kerry try and be an individual, you only have two years left. Do you really believe these thoughs on your blog are from just a few like-minded individuals. You will find all smokers thinking the same, and many non smokers.

Anonymous said...

Nigel Saint

I think that some of these comments are a bit over the top - comparing Labour to the Nazis etc -but do you think commentors should be ignored purely because they came here via a Forest email?

I think the problem with the anti-smoking lobby is that they tend to equate compliance with active support.

frederique said...

With all my respect,
The question here is:
To maybe safe 1 life (I said maybe because it was never been proven)
- You are putting people and family out of jobs and to bankruptcy.
- You put people out, in the street and I my knowledge 3 have die or be rapt… so they maybe more.
- You manipulated them to go through everything to try to quid even taking medicine that could keep them or put in deep depression…

So my questions are:
Do you use your common sense?
Did you have study the subject???
Is it a financial reward somewhere for you to stand up this way?
Or the worst: Are you so unhappy in your life that you want to make other’s life unhappiest -than your?
- Charitee bien ordonne commence par soi meme ….So your life is so perfect and so hygienic that you that to wish to control other

frederique said...

With all my respect,
The question here is:
To maybe safe 1 life (I said maybe because it was never been proven)
- You are putting people and family out of jobs and to bankruptcy.
- You put people out, in the street and I my knowledge 3 have die or be rapt… so they maybe more.
- You manipulated them to go through everything to try to quid even taking medicine that could keep them or put in deep depression…

So my questions are:
Do you use your common sense?
Did you have study the subject???
Is it a financial reward somewhere for you to stand up this way?
Or the worst: Are you so unhappy in your life that you want to make other’s life unhappiest -than your?
- Charitee bien ordonnee commence par soi meme ….So your life is so perfect and so hygienic that you that to wish to control other's life....

Wendy said...

Poor Kerry I feel I ought to give you some support - it might make you feel better to know that my Granddad was made to stop smoking by his GP and the age of 98 - well it must have been good advice because he then went on to live to 99! Grandad was probably working class because he smoked untipped woodbines, I am probably middle class because I smoke a very expensive gold brand however for the first time in my life you have forced me and my friends to smoke in the street because of your draconian laws - granny would turn in her grave. I came to this site via forest which is a prochoice group and I joined their site not just because I am banned from smoking in pubs, but because I am forced by law to display non smoking signs in the windows of my premises - well actually I dont display it Kerry, and I have had visits and threats from the enforcement officers - strange really when I have struggled to get a police officer to visit following two different crimes on my premises this year. VOTE LABOUR - I DONT THINK SO !!

Terry said...

I sent Kerry an email saying


Why do you have a blog about smoking that you refuse to reply to?

Here is her reply

If you'd actually read what I'd posted, I said I would reply when everyone else had had their say. I actually do have a job to do!

hklovejoy said...

Three thoughts :

- Where are all the non-smokers who said they would go to pubs more once a smoking ban came in? Not in any of my locals, whose outdoor space - if they have any - is packed, while inside there might be 2 or 3 miserable punters wondering where everyone is.

- In my experience, only a minority of smokers/tolerant non-smokers bother to make their voices heard (a consequence of being made to feel like pariahs?), so to get a truer picture of how Britain feels about the ban you could probably multiply the amount of feeling in these blogs by 10 or more....

- As a well-travelled friend said the other day, "WHY would anyone want to live in this country, who didn't have to? It's SO much more fun everywhere else."

hklovejoy said...

Three thoughts :

- Where are all the non-smokers who said they would go to pubs more once a smoking ban came in? Not in any of my locals, whose outdoor space - if they have any - is packed, while inside there might be 2 or 3 miserable punters wondering where everyone is.

- In my experience, only a minority of smokers/tolerant non-smokers bother to make their voices heard (a consequence of being made to feel like pariahs?), so to get a truer picture of how Britain feels about the ban you could probably multiply the amount of feeling in these blogs by 10 or more....

- As a well-travelled friend said the other day, "WHY would anyone want to live in this country, who didn't have to? It's SO much more fun everywhere else."

Schabbs said...

I have some questions for you Kerry:
1. In the late 60s we had 26 million smokers and now less than half that. Given that smoking is blamed for many cancers, why has the chances of getting a cancer risen from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3?
2. Given that smoking causes more ills and deaths than all other preventable causes put together, why are our hospitals still full even though the number of smokers has halved since the 60s?
3. Why did you vote for the full smoking ban when your manifesto clearly pledged to allow smoking in some pubs and private clubs?

jack beveridge said...

this banning law, no smoking in so called public places, has nothing whatsoever to do with public health.anyone with half a brain should know this by now. it is infact an exercise in `social engineering`. they want to change the way we live our lives, to their specifications. in the old days this was called ``communism``
we now have a so called democrocy which is starting to rule and dictate what we do and think every second of the day. the biggest culprit of the lot is this terrible and so called EEC parliament. a load of unelected wannabees who are trying to create a european state, country, which infact does not exist. this ban originated from the EEC. no british govt. would implement such a ban on its own as they would have guessed what the end result would be, as labour is now starting to find out to its cost.
in power for 50yrs in Scotland. voted out at the last election. who would have thought it possible? this will soon be replicated south of the border, England. or i should say the westminster govt. how can the labour govt. get out of this?
quite easily, i suspect, by blaming it all on the EEC.
too late im afraid, the damage has already been done. they will be ousted.
this is by far the most damaging legistlation which has ever been imposed upon the british public. they have destroyed millions of peoples social lives and closed down thousands of social local community centres, pubs, clubs etc. they have hit the hardest the people who have supported them all their working lives and they will not be so fogiven as im sure they want to believe. it will soon be payback time and the populace will embrace that and vote accordingly.
goodby labour, for a very long time.

~~whileuwait said...

Dear Madame,
I would like to respectfully add a comment from the USA.
Yes, I found this site through the american smoker's rights groups.
We are 22% of the population here.
Bans here will be found to be UnConstitutional- usurping private property rights. The "dangers" of SHS,in public, well ventilated areas are grossly exaggerated. thank you.

Frankie said...

Hey Kez, theyll never stop coming, so youll never have to reply!!! Ha ha ha. Heres another that got stuck inthe door:

Dear Kerry,

If you are not already aware New Labour are on the way out. By implementing the smoking ban one year ago, you have alienated your core voters - the working class - who Labour is meant to represent. The worst thing about the smoking ban is that to went against the 2005 manifesto that was going to allow choice of smoking and non-smoking venues.

The science of passive smoking, SHS, ETS or whatever you want to call linking adverse effects on non-smoker's health is weak and in most cases a scientific fraud.

Pubs are closing at a record level of 4 per day and destroying a much loved amenity over the centuries. Labour has been instrumental in this happening with the introduction of the smoking ban. Your party has caused much misery to smokers and wilfully discriminated against this sizeable minority. Along with New Labour's other nanny state initiatives, this sizeable minority will be pushing many Labour MPs out to pick up your P60's in less than two years time.

I am an ex-Labour supporter, but will never vote Labour again as long as there is breath in my body.

Bill C

david said...

I suspect it'll be easy to dismiss the comments on here as the work of "fanatical" Forest supporters (especially those that bring up Nazis/Communists - they really aren't helpful, because it makes it easier to ignore the more thoughtful comments), but I think there genuinely is anger about this ban, and it will undoubtedly cost Labour thousands of votes.

The thing I hear most is anger or bewilderment at the sheer spite of the law - not for us the attempts at compromise that the Dutch, French and Spanish got: no, we get 50% open "shelters" (that may as well not be there), no smoking signs on churches (churches!) and bus shelters, publicans being asked to act as unpaid police and being fined for not doing so.

Kerry (and the other MPs who voted for this), I think you're confusing compliance with support, and believe me you will lose votes in the next election, and it it will cost you seats. A few minutes in any of my local CIUs will tell you that (not somewhere many New Labour MPs spend their time), and a chat with any of the local Labour party activists will confirm it.

It's like 42 days detention - you might pick a few votes up from the rabid lock-em-up brigade (or the rabid anti smokers), but you'll lose many, many thousands more from those who value liberty, those who just plain hate being told what's good for them, and those that weirdly object to being treated like pariahs and the dregs of society. Dismiss this if you want, but I live in Labour's heartland, and if the comments about this ban I hear daily are followed though, you really are in deep trouble. It's never going to play well with the core Labour vote (remember us?) that a Labour government brought in a law that killed working men and womens clubs, pubs and bingo halls. Never forget, we're still here, we ain't happy, and we still vote.

Terry said...

I have emailed Kerry with one of my questions which was

Please answer this.

If you are protecting bar staff from passive smoke, why do you allow people to join the Police force the Armed Forces etc. Now I don't believe in the passive risk, but let's go along with you. You are saying people cannot choose to work in a smoking pub because of the risk, BUT they can join the Police, Fire Brigade, Armed Forces. Now shouldn't you ban these professions for their safety, or ARE YOU GOING TO SAY, THEY KNOW THERE IS A RISK JOING THESE PROFESSIONS AND IT IS THEIR CHOICE. Bit of a dichotomy isn't it?


Labour, washed up, afraid to answer questions, completely out of touch with voters. I would think there's a good chance they are finished for good.

Pat Nurse said...

Well the good news yesterday was that my modem at home wasn't working, so unfortunately I couldn't spend the twilight hours reading comments from angry smokers.


kerry has the above to say on today's blog entry. It appears she doesn't like "angry smokers".

She also slags off Forest again and doesn't seem to recognise that it is Pro-choice group not pro-smoking and it is one of only a very few organisations that speaks up for a minority group victimised so badly by an unfair law.

Forest is also quite moderate for which Ms McCarthy should be grateful. Other pro-choice organisations are not quite so polite.

Terry said...

Kerry writes

Obviously the last 24 hours or so has been a lesson in the perils of the Google alert. How many times have I blogged about the smoking ban before without attracting a single comment? But ridicule a certain organisation for holding a champagne tea party... (What is that? Champagne or tea? Champagne and tea?)

What is this Slueth or something. No it's not Milo Tindel and Andrew Whyke, this is real people Kerry, not a group you seem happy to ridicule.

Terry said...

I'll rewrite, trying to work and post at the same time.

Kerry writes

Obviously the last 24 hours or so has been a lesson in the perils of the Google alert. How many times have I blogged about the smoking ban before without attracting a single comment? But ridicule a certain organisation for holding a champagne tea party... (What is that? Champagne or tea? Champagne and tea?)

What is this Sleuth or something? No it's not Milo Tindel and Andrew Wyke, this is real people Kerry, not a group you seem happy to ridicule.

tim85 said...

If Ms. McCarthy supports the smoking ban on the grounds that it protects staff from the purported threat of environmental tobacco smoke, then I am sure she supports the recently introduced HSE restrictions on loud noise (although I haven't noticed them being enforced yet):


As the article indicates, a worker may not be exposed to an average of 85 decibels throughout a shift. This would mean that thousands of nightclub staff are being exposed to unacceptable levels of unadulterated noise on a weakly basis. They are being 'passively' deafened, not to mention having their risk of suffering a heart attack increased. The effects of noise on the human body are well documented, and the debate is over.

As we know, workers are unable to consent to elevated risks for heart disease, or any disease. Therefore I am sure Ms. McCarthy will support a crackdown on nightclubs, orchestras, etc. flouting HSE guidelines. After all, it's for the benefit of staff.

This brings me to my next point. If the evidence regarding passive smoking is so indisputable, I am sure Ms. McCarthy will join me in my calls to have electricity pylons removed from within 100ft of houses and other such domiciles. As I am sure she is aware, the RR (Relative risk), extrapolated from numerous epidemiological studies for contracting lung cancer / heart disease as a result of passive smoking is around the level of 1.25 (25% increased risk). The risk of contracting leukemia from electricity pylons, corroborated by numerous epidemiological investigations, is a more statistically significant 3.0 (200% increased risk).

It is strange how the medical and scientific consensus regarding electricity pylons has not reached a firm conclusion. The evidence seems overwhelming, when one compares them with the relatively nugatory risks associated with passive smoking. It's odd that electricity pylons within a certain distance of houses haven't been banned. It's also uncanny that many of them are located in socially deprived areas.

Rose said...

Dear Kerry,

I'm a lifelong active Labour party supporter who hated every day of Thatcher/Major rule, and 1 May 1997 (or 2nd really I suppose to be accurate) was one of the best days of my life.

My husband and I have both resigned our LP membership as a direct result of the smoking ban.

While I 100% support the rights of non-smokers to enjoy a smoke-free atmosphere, you didn't need to bring in a total smoking ban to achieve this.

You've ruined my social life and those of millions like me, for no good reason - you could have given us CHOICE which is what I thought Labour was about. I used to feel irritated when people talked about the "Nanny State" under labour but now I realise they were right.

Kerry, if you don't start listening to your voters, and one time loyal party members like myself, you will lose the next election and go on losing. Please, please stop taking away our liberties and bring back personal freedom and choice.

westcoast2 said...

Kerry wrote:
Well the good news yesterday was that my modem at home wasn't working, so unfortunately I couldn't spend the twilight hours reading comments from angry smokers.

Does this mean Kerry hasn't read the comments? Has Kerry just "moved on"?

If she had read the comments she may have realised they were from a variety of people, (people who smoke and people who do not).

There was a wealth of information on the Social, Economic and Scientific aspects of the SBE.

There were also many questions that really desrved some answers.


Terry said...

Everyone be patient. I have just had an email from Kerry, she didn't answer this

Please answer this.

If you are protecting bar staff from passive smoke, why do you allow people to join the Police force the Armed Forces etc. Now I don't believe in the passive risk, but let's go along with you. You are saying people cannot choose to work in a smoking pub because of the risk, BUT they can join the Police, Fire Brigade, Armed Forces. Now shouldn't you ban these professions for their safety, or ARE YOU GOING TO SAY, THEY KNOW THERE IS A RISK JOING THESE PROFESSIONS AND IT IS THEIR CHOICE. Bit of a dichotomy isn't it?


I am going to read them all.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Hi Kerry

Seeing as you see so much success in the spiteful ban that you helped create, and no downside whatsoever (needing further proof of over 1,500 pub closures for example), I'm going to give you a little help in seeing the information that you have quite clearly missed (or been shielded from).

I'm sure you wish to be well informed so you are able to make balanced judgements in your responsible job. So, to start ...

"Sharp Rise in Noise Complaints since July 1st 2007"


All those people you have made happy by putting the noise that used to be INside pubs ... OUTside.

The Labour answer? As usual, FINE someone, and again you have chosen the pub owners. They'll be thrilled to bits I expect.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Sorry, I didn't mention that this will be a daily thing. No need to thank me, I only wish I'd known you were so badly advised before as I could have given you a story that highlights the failure of the ban experiment every single day in the past year.

Happy to help. :-)

david b said...


You must not let your personal views on smoking cloud the issue. The methods employed by anti smoking lobbyists to collate and present their passive smoking agenda are seriously flawed. Please do not insult people’s intelligence by swallowing all their propaganda. After all, those who govern should not be, nor seen to be, naive and gullible.

The introduction of the smoking ban was just one battle in the protracted war against tobacco. The primary reason for it was not to protect non smokers, but to reduce the level of tobacco consumption. Ironically, evidence from other countries shows that bans such as this merely serve to increase tobacco use. Be aware that it is illegal to legislate on the basis of a hidden agenda. This is why anti smoking groups such as ASH will never accept that passive smoking is harmless.

In the unlikely event that it is ever proven irrevocably that SHS kills, champagne corks will be popping at ASH HQ. These people should welcome the fact that SHS is harmless. Of course, this will never happen.

Julie said...

Mat 03.07.08

Could not agree more!!!!

Kerry read, open you eyes, open your heart

colin said...

Lest you think that the "blood on the carpet" are mere droplets, I thought I would bring you the very latest losses to date (04/07/08).

You should note that the Irish Vintners Association recorded 35,000 job losses within the first two years of their ban. The Morning Advertiser reports job losses of 78,000 so far.

Look at the destruction you caused:

1904 pubs closed in England and Wales since 01/07/07. Source: BBPA

493 pubs closed in Scotland. Source: SLTA

81 Bingo Halls closed. Source: The Bingo Association

77 WMC's closed. Source: CIU

All pub numbers change at midnight: add 4 per day for England and Wales, add 1 per day for Scotland.

The figure for Ireland is 1953. Source: Irish Vintners Association. They continue to lose just over 1 pub per day, FIVE YEARS INTO THEIR BAN.

How many taxi firms, restaurants, cafes?

How many small companies that supported the above (plumbers, joiners, electricians etc)?

I appreciate that you are in the business of "spin".

I'd like to see you "spin" your way out of this......

Dick Puddlecote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dick Puddlecote said...

Hi again Kerry

In your blog post about 1 year after the smoking ban you say that 80% of people think that the smoking ban is a good thing. Where did you get this information from? Was it a survey sponsored by an anti-smoking lobby or a pharmaceutical company? And how many people were surveyed?

The reason I ask is that the ONS surveys for the three years prior to the ban coming in all pointed to around a 65%/35% split for some restrictions in pubs (not all favouring a total ban).

You're a member of Facebook aren't you? Well, there is a long-running 'race' there with two groups, one that DO want smoking back in pubs & one that don't. The Don'ts number 60% and the dos 40% which is fairly in line with the ONS studies. And the amount of those surveyed in the Facebook race is about 750,000, quite a representative total.

Even without considering that many smokers (the underclass ones that are always talked about by you lot as suffering health inequalities that you wish to eradicate for their own good) don't have internet access as much as the posh people that you ridicule at Forest, this is still nowhere near 80% and seeing as smoker numbers are about 22% of the adult population at the moment. This means that there are a hell of a lot of non-smokers that think the ban is rubbish too.

Still feeling good? Still think the ban has nothing to do with Labour's devastating poll showings?

Remember that 11% lead on July 1st last year? You'll be talking about it in 40 years just as England football fans talk about 1966. ;-)

Julie said...

Yes David I agree, i work with peole who predominantly have mental health issues, who do not have internet access. Where is ther voice heard!!!!! Ruined lives!!!!! Riuned bus where is it going to end!!!! and remember I loved!! my job,manager and coleauges (missplet). My comapny has baned smoking breaks, i feel owned and abused. LOOKING FOR ANOTHER JOB

Schabbs said...

A survey was done several months ago on Teletext. The question asked was 'Should a restricted number of pubs be allowed a smoking room if the landlord agrees'. The result was that 84 per cent agreed.

It should be obvious, even to Kerry who has strong anti-smoking views, that the vast majority of non-smokers do not object to separate smoking rooms in certain pubs as long as they are separate rooms.

The 80 per cent figure supporting the smoking ban, that is often quoted, refers to the smoking ban in general.

Even I support many of the other areas where it has been banned.

Martin V said...

Kerry -

If you manage to read even half the comments on this site, you should appreciate by now that you and your pro-ban fans HAVE MADE A BIG MISTAKE.

Have the courage to admit THAT - and you will win an enormous amount of RESPECT (no need for any Blairite 'Csar').

All it takes is: Common Sense - and Common Humanity (qualities which you seem - temporarily, one hopes - to have abandoned).

For God's sake, WAKE UP !!

Ex Labour Voter said...

Nigel, when you wrote:

I think that some of these comments are a bit over the top - comparing Labour to the Nazis etc,

I’m afraid I have to disagree with you completely. The comparison is not only entirely appropriate, it’s frighteningly accurate to the point where even non-smokers should surely be hearing alarm bells ringing.

To this day I remember vividly the exact hour when – as an 11 year old on holiday at my uncles’ house – my perception of the world around me was suddenly and brutally changed forever, and that was the day when I innocently picked up a book from the library in his sunhouse.

The book was called The Scourge of The Swastika, and I still clearly recall my sense of utter shock, nausea, and frank disbelief at what I read and saw within those pages.

First the absolutely horrific images of the most unimaginable atrocities being inflicted on emaciated and defenceless people, and then the equally stomach-churning and graphically descriptive content of each chapter.

At every stage Nigel, I frantically searched the front and back covers in a vain attempt to find some kind of evidence that none of this was real – that it was a work of fiction by someone who was incredibly sick and twisted.

But no. Even when I later went to our public library at home in an attempt to convince myself that the Holocaust couldn’t possibly have happened, the evidence was right there in front of me, in so much detail and clarity that there was no question that this was one of the most terrible and shameful eras in human history.

So OK – you’re perfectly entitled to ask what possible analogy there could be with our own present-day governments’ apparently altruistic mission to “improve the health of the nation”, and it is this:

To drum up support for his personal hatred of smoking {not to mention Jews, other non-Aryians, homosexuals, etc} Adolf Hitler commissioned “research” which he demanded would prove not only that smoking and passive smoking was harmful, but that it represented a very real and substantial “threat” to every single German citizen.

And as laughable as the conduct and ‘findings’ of this so-called research was, nevertheless it was given so much funding to overwhelm the population with whole avalanches of anti-smoking propaganda, that this – and also the generation of fear and hatred of Jews and other “impure” races – led to a national sense of what I can only describe as ‘righteousness’ and the belief that the elimination of these sub-classes was, in the long run, for their “own good” and the good of the German people.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the Nazi war on smoking and the prefabricated “evidence” they manufactured can do so here:

I’m not Jewish, and I’m sure I’ll now be flamed by others on this forum for my admittedly poorly-informed and amateurish interpretation of how the German people themselves {but of course not all} actually came to convince themselves that what they were doing and/or were witnessing could possibly be by any stretch of the imagination “right”; however to the present day I still find myself struggling to understand how on earth so many people could seemingly accept such appalling levels of barbarity and the infliction of mindless cruelty on their fellow human beings.

The answer, or so it seems to me, lies in firstly convincing the masses that what they are doing or tolerating is not only “morally right”, but actually beneficial - and this is precisely what we’re witnessing here in the UK right now.

By their own admission, ASH have conceded that for a smoking ban to be successful, it "would first be necessary to nurture and promote a perception of actual harm from passive smoking".

By the very clever {not all that clever, actually} device of distorting scientific facts, statistics, and evidence to suit their agenda, the government and their publicly-funded lapdogs ASH {curiously, still operating under the guise of a “charity”} have very effectively created exactly the climate of fear, revulsion, and outright hatred for the sector of society they wish to control. {More correctly though, I should say ONE of the sectors of society they wish to control. Many more are already underway}.

And if that statement too seems a bit “extreme” or “over the top”, then let me ask how it has come about that suddenly it is regarded as ‘socially acceptable’ for complete strangers to openly criticise, berate, victimise, and even threaten smokers for participating in the perceived “crime” of sitting outside a pub smoking a cigarette?

What utter hypocrisy, when firstly we are doing nothing “wrong”, and secondly we have no choice other than to sit outside in the cold and leave the warmth and comfort of the premises to the few non-smokers who choose to go there, but still aren’t happy that they have to suffer the intolerable sight of people having a cigarette with their drink.

{And it should be noted - many of these are the self-same, self-congratulating people who think nothing at all of having a couple of drinks before driving off in their infinitely more polluting cars. Yes, you can bet I certainly do report them}.

Sadly, we have allowed ourselves to be controlled and manipulated by the very people we voted into power to represent us, and have all too readily given up our rights to a system of true democracy.

If it were the case that the majority of people in this country truly wanted this draconian ban, then fair enough – majority opinion should certainly prevail.

However that’s not what we actually have any more.

Instead, OUR money has been pirated to sponsor a campaign cynically designed to convince each and every one of us that the Labour Party Knows Best, and they have the “evidence” to support what they claim is “right”.

The problem is, their ‘evidence’ just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and while they witter on about the “civil rights” of REAL criminals and enemies of the state, they’re perfectly comfortable to pour millions of pounds into convincing us all that the biggest threat to all of mankind is not simply smoking, but even encountering a whiff of smoke.

It’s a relatively long read; however I can do no better than to highly recommend a book called “In Defense of Smokers” {American spelling} by Lauren Colby, which is freely downloadable.

I would challenge even non-smokers to spend just half an hour of their allegedly long lives to read through Laurens’ short book, and still remain convinced that the present witch-hunt against smokers has a single shred of credibility, never mind foundation in scientific fact:


Lastly for now, I’d like to address the comments of some people who have asserted that Kerrys’ blog has been “hijacked” by a bunch of pro-smoking activists who will “go away” if we’re ignored.

I would warn you that you ignore us at your peril, Kerry.

Far from being an “activist” who is on some kind of organised crusade, I am – very much like, I suspect, most of the people who have posted comments here – nothing more than an ordinary member of the public who has simply had enough of your ever-growing interference into my life.

I’m spending so much of my own personal time posting these comments for NO other reason than that I feel so strongly you’ve overstepped your mandate to govern us in a fair, reasonable, and democratic manner.

So you have a job, and you’re busy Kerry. Poor you. I don’t really have time for all of this either, and I have a job which demands that I’m on-call and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That’s not a complaint – just an observation, since it was my own choice to pursue my present career.

However when I witness the blatant discrimination being encouraged and promoted against smokers even above and beyond the “requirements” of your hated legislation, even I – as a previously compliant {and dare I use the word ‘passive’} member of society, even this law-abiding citizen has been moved to say “Enough”.

Bad enough that I am regarded and treated {with full government support and backing} as an anti-social criminal within my own community: I am also now discriminated against in my workplace.

As a smoker, I am no longer permitted to leave my place of work even – for example – to go to the bank or the Post Office during working hours {a right still granted to non-smokers during their legitimate breaks} in case I might be using the time to have an illicit cigarette.

And next – as has already happened in the USA – no doubt I’ll be required to take a carbon monoxide test to make sure I haven’t smoked in my own time, in my own home, over the weekend.

Together with the now “routine” GP tests for liver enzyme function {just to check you haven’t enjoyed more than the government recommended intake of pleasure-enhancing fluids}, the modern trend for prescribing lifelong statin medications to reduce blood pressure {Mmm. Sensible.}, and the new focus on ridiculing and alienating “fat” people who are unfortunate enough to have a Body Mass Index which doesn’t quite fall within government-approved guidelines, we’ve already given away our rights to decide for ourselves what our life aspirations should be.

Like it or not, we really are just a few small steps away now from having every waking minute controlled by our “betters”, as we’re steadily relinquishing even our innate sense of self-identity to the wishes and demands of our elected representatives who we’ve allowed to make all of our decisions for us.

All you anti-smokers might be quietly {or not so quietly} smug for now, but wait till it’s YOUR personal freedoms of choice which are being forcibly taken away from you. You certainly won’t have long to wait in today’s Britain, and only the most myopic of fools can now believe otherwise – your personal beliefs and opinions count for absolutely nothing, in deference to the “greater good” of political correctness, Health & Safety Regulations which preclude even getting out of bed {although staying in it is also fraught with unacceptable risks}, and an ever-growing mountain of rules, laws, and bans which are of course only there to “protect” you from your own stupidity and recklessness.

And God help you if you don’t happen to have the mandatory blonde hair and blue eyes.....

Over the top, Nigel? Would you describe yourself as being adult and mature enough to make an informed decision for yourself, and at which point - and I'd genuinely be interested to hear this from you - would you personally "draw the line"?

Would it be when they introduce legislation banning you from cycling {far too dangerous, albeit carbon friendly}, sailing, mountain climbing or rambling, skydiving, driving your car, or playing football or rugby?

Just how far are you prepared to go to "protect" people from their own natural human instincts for adventure and shock horror - taking informed risks?

Or are you right behind the Nu Labour mentality which comes up with the "protective" innovation of banning kids from playing conkers in case they hurt their little fingers or have someone's eye out? Oh - and better cut down all those nearby trees too, in case they find a few chestnuts to play with and subsequently sue the school.....

You couldn't make it up Nigel, and exactly like my encounter with that book I read forty-odd years ago, I really wish it wasn't true.

Sadly it is though, and yet while we have the means and the power to stop all of this madness, the best we can seem to do is have a rant at each other on internet blogs.

Kerry, I really do hope you're listening.

Martin V said...

Ex-Labour Smoker -

Absolutely spot-on !!

Yes, our autonomy is being eroded on all sides - as ever, by a TINY minority.

The parallels with the techniques of Nazism are NOT overly dramatic, of course. The problem is, I fear, that that ghastly episode in European history has lulled people into a fall Sense of Freedom - the idea that we are only REALLY threatened once the men in jackboots come knocking in the early hours to haul us off to the camps.

We now live in more subtle times, alas.

What kind of face SHOULD Evil wear in this age of ours' - but one of Faux-Compassionate Concern For The Wellbeing Of Society (for which, of course, certain selfish individuals will HAVE to make 'sacrifices') ?

And I, too, can wholly recommend Lauren A Colby's BRILLIANT 'In Defense Of Smokers'.

He also is a LAWYER, but - unlike Kerry, it seems - he is meticulous about checking his SOURCES first.

I feel, however, that we mustn't be TOO hard on poor little Kerry. She belongs to that generation which attended University in the late Eighties (during the dark days of the Thatcher Terror !)- a generation of pampered, neurotic, timid little conformists (already heavily propagandised at school) - many of them too scared to dance too closely to one another for fear of contracting Herpes (in lieu of something worse).

Well, instead of merely wrinkling their little noses in a show of fashionable distaste (the Middle Classes can be SO gullible) at the sight of A Man Smoking A Cigarette ("Don't look at him, Tabatha - he'll probably go away soon"), they are now in a position to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

I like to think of it as The Prigs' Revenge.

But, I have a question to ALL 'ex-Labour' people out there: why did you have to vote THREE times for these NuLab dimwits and mini-tyrants BEFORE the penny dropped ?

Sadly, I fear the New Conservatives will not be much better, and as for the (not the) 'Liberal' Party.................

Steffijade said...

Hello Kerry,

I'm another lifelong Labour supporter, having been born and brought up in the socialist republic of South Yorkshire (my father was even a labour councilor in the 70's).

However, I will never vote for Labour again unless there is a rethink on this draconian blanket ban on smoking.

Even if the claims regarding second hand smoke can be properly backed up, which I doubt, the ban is costing people their livelihoods and infringing on peoples' right to choose how they live their own life.

When the next election comes around, don't be suprised if once loyal Labour supporters that smoke, tell you where you can stick the ban by voting you out of office.

I have a message for you and your fellow Labour MPs:
To paraphrase another deluded politician... Go back to your constituencies and prepare for opposition.

Nigel Saint said...

Dear Ex Labour Voter

If you'd bothered to read what was said, you'll see I never said "I think that some of these comments are a bit over the top - comparing Labour to the Nazis etc"

All that tirade should be directed against the person who actually said it.

Please try and disagree with the right person in future.

martinbaz said...

You can twist any facts and figures to support the smoking ban. From my point of view the ban is flawed. Everywhere I go you see hundreds of people smoking and drinking on the streets rather than in pubs (drinkers on the streets - bad news for law and order). And here we have a total ban whereas the Labour Party Manifesto was to introduce a partial ban (which more smokers would have been happy with), so there is deceit there. And we have a law enforced that smoking is illegal on private property so there is dictatorship/ Nanny state at work there. This law is a big vote loser and I as millions of others are, itching to punish the Labour Party as a direct result at the next election. Call an election and disappear please.

vincent1 said...

Was this ban every really about health?
Ask yourselves, are these the words of sane men? or dictators?
Since restrictions of smoking are one of the most effective -- and virtually the least expensive -- way to it is no surprise that there is growing support for smoking restrictions, even if no nonsmokers' health is being put at risk by the smoking, suggests Banzhaf.PROFESSOR JOHN F. BANZHAF

Weyco and Banzhaf

Your Goverment has overdone the lying kerry. Those who cannot speak for themselves, the mentally ill, the elderly, who cannot get to grips with these "new fangled machines" ect, what about their voice Kerry.

UKIP will get my vote in the future, because I have no confidence in those that appear glued together, Labour,conservatives, and more illiberal than liberal.
Smokers have been villified and are often called "stupid" well it appears we are not as stupid as people say. At least the smoking ban woke us up to your EU fiasco as well.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Nigel: Those of us whose lifestyle choices are at odds with the financial targets of the pharmaceutical industry have suffered so much abuse in the past year that it's understandable if we get tetchy, please don't take it as personal. It's the ones that voted for the bullying of smokers that should shoulder the blame ... whoever they may be. ;-)

Hey, this is but one day of very mild discomfort for you and Kerry. Imagine 365 days of constant vilification, derision, ostracism, exclusion and extreme prejudice whipped up by politicians and well-funded pharma lobbies, that issue press releases almost by the hour condemning all 10m+ of us as something that needs to be eradicated from civilisation. It's not a picnic you know.

Steffijade: Labour to prepare for opposition? Do you think they will poll THAT well then?

mark.harris said...

Kerry,one of my web site readers brought up a good point that i would like to mention.

"the most basic on internet searches can find some very different and relevent scientific findings on the effects of SHS. Indeed the aurguments that ASH use can be disgarded at best as scaremongering and at worst questions ASH's motives with regard to their sponsors. If Joe public can easily and quickley find these facts then an MP or researcher can too. I hope you and your government friends take time to research this matter on a very basic level. Or perhaps banning the internet might be the next step? The smoking ban does indeed stink and a straw poll at my working mens club has found that lifetime Labour voters will never vote labour again."

shaftmonde said...

Dear Ms McCarthy,
I almost feel sorry for you for opening this can of worms and offering yourself as an aunt Sally.
Like many others here, I'm just a 'Joe Soap', a nobody, who chooses to smoke not because I need to but because I like it.
Not being affiliated to any smoking-related business, having no particular axe to grind, and as a conscientious law-abiding citizen, I received an unwarranted fist in the face by your government - with your help, causing the breakdown of three friendly social groups I was associated with (Two sporting and one arts based), not to mention the personal insult to my dignity.
So it's only to be expected that your blog is attracting a bit of attention; I don't suppose that you will actually read these posts or follow any leads. Far easier to dismiss us as disgruntled cranks.
There are millions of people who respect facts rather than dogma, and who will be expressing their feelings as soon as they are given a chance.
Nevertheless you deserve credit for at least broaching the subject.

JPBoxster said...

MP Kerry McCarthy, you are a DISGRACE. You have dishonestly painted the smoking ban as "a success" demonstrating your bias, ignorance and deceipt for what's really happend (do you think citizens are idiots?).

Deceipt 1 - your bankrupt Party had no public mandate to ban smoking. You did not consult the public or even debate the matter of a total ban or get public approval. Labour acted undemocratically listening to minorities (extremists) like ASH UK, when polls showed over 70% of the public DID NOT support an all out ban.

Your manifesto cannot be trusted by people hereafter and is now worthless since Brown argued in Court "manifesto pledges are not a reasonable democratic expectation" when he was taken to court for deception regards your manifesto stating there would be a referendum before further integration with the unanswerable creeps at the EEC.

Deceipt 2 - the Labour party believes it is legitimate to interfere wih peoples lives, bully our civil and human rights, interfere with consumer products and increase taxation without consultation and implicit agreement of the British public based on junk science and with unrealistic objectives (to increase peoples life span or improve health). You answered a question nobody asked!

It shows Labours contempt for democracy to dictate through legislation rather than allow Landlords and people to decide for themselves. It shows Labours arrogance in power using it against 10 million smokers by a Party elected with fewer votes (70% of the public disagreed with he ban). It shows Labours corruption that you listen to small, extremist groups and unaccountable organisations (EEC and UN) and beauracrats rather than 10M citizens in your own country.

Labour have turned democracy for all into opression of all by a handfu of irresponsible loons. You have failed to uphold your public office and its democratic principles in favour of unelected minorities.

Deceipt 3 - you mention ONLY the "success" of the ban. Surely any responsible MP (or adult) should take a balanced or fair view? You fail to mention over 2,000 Pubs, Clubs, Bingo Halls and restaurants have shut because of the ban. 10,000 staff, who the banners claimed to want to "protect" have lost their jobs as trade is down 20-30%. You are either veinly attempting to deceive the public or yourself about "success". It's a miserable economic and social failure.

The Scallio et al Study Govt listened to claimed venues would be full of happy non-smokers. Nothings further from the truth. A new Price Waterhouse survey shows the smoking ban is the No.1 reason for closures and will be for the next 2 years. The economic vandalism in Britain was fully evidenced in Ireland a year before with pubs and clubs shutting and people losing their jobs and livelihoods.

Deceipt 4 - the case against second hand smoke (SHS) is a health fraud of global proportions. Even by extremists ASH UK's slanted view the medical evidence shows the danger of SHS regards lung cancer is 10 per 100,000 in non-smokers or 12.5 cases per 100,000 living with a smoker. Namely 00.012%. Study after study shows passive smoking poses no health risk of any public health risk. Indeed drinking coffee, a can of Red Bull or a glass of milk carries more risk.

Deceipt 5 - are the heart attack figures you peddle. Cancer Research UK has refused to provide the basis of their study because it is junk. The same garbage in the Scottish heart attack study banded about by their Ministers (and you repeated) have also been proven as absolute trash (and included in The Times Top 10 Junk Science claims of 2007).

Deceipt 6 - SMOKERS LIVE LONGER. The oldest person in the world was Madame Jeanne Claument of Ayrles, France who lived to 121. She enjoyed gourmet food, cheap local red wine, port and strong French cigarettes. Her Doctor tried veinly to get her to give up aged 117. The oldest man in Britain is Henry Allingham, 112 last month, who's tip for longevity is "cigarettes, whisky and wild women". Smoking increases your chances of cancers from 99.999% to 99.88% lifetime risk. Wow!! Smokers live longer than non-smokers and it takes decades of smoking to increase risk.

Your Party is now moving the goal posts on the smoking ban from "protect non-smokers" to false claims about the "success" in making smokers give up. The Irish ban increased smoking after the ban. You have deceived the country as to your reasons as Labour did over Iraq (WMD, then regime change).

You have NOT consulted the public on your no smoking policy and therefore have NO public mandate, no public consent and no democratic or constitutional right to persue a policy against smokers.

The risks of smoking take decades. In contrast Labours NHS hospitals have a 1 in 300 chance of damaging your health for something other than you were admitted for. Smoking is considerably (massively) less dangerous than Labours NHS hospitals that ban smoking from premises (52% of NHS staff do not agree with this draconian - the politicisation of health - NHS policy).

The NHS Quit programme promotes the Pfizer Champix/Chantix quit drug which has caused 50 suicides, traffic accidents, has been banned from use by plots and by the Truckers Association in America because it causes mental depression, suicidal thoughts, muscle spasms, heart seizures and has over 3,000 negative side-effects.

Smoking may never damage your health. An NHS Quit programme could ruin it in days!

Labours NHS management is pompous, arrogant and borders on negligence. The NHS under Labour is a health hazard.

When people are fined £75 for dropping a sausage roll (bio-degradeable and harmless) how accountable and liable are Labour for the destruction in the Brewery industry? Is peddling one-sided irresponsible garbage propoganda undermining the integrity of public office? Are your lies acceptable?

You are a disgrace.

Answers on a postcard to

The Unaccountable Dept.,
Iraq/WMD Dosier,
Junk Health Science,
Junk Climate Science,
Labour Party Centralised State Office.

Ex Labour Voter said...


OK - I apologise unreservedly for misquoting you.

I'm sorry you felt that what I wrote was a "tirade", but yes: I will indeed try to confine my comments in future to replying to the appropriate people, and I'm genuinely sorry for upsetting you - I assure you it was by no means intended.

ChrisB said...

Do not adjust your mind - reality is at fault.
All these comments are simply a figment of your imagination.

Seriously though they are created by tobacco crazed people who are unable to view the world as objectively as yourself and whose views are tainted by their payments to Big Tobacco.

Of course, I jest.
You willingly believed the information the anti-smoking movement and WHO provided despite its funding by Government, the DoH and the Pharmaceutical companies - IT WAS BIASED, tainted and distorted.
The DoH who organised the whole business made their opinion quite clear when, despite a continued fall in tobacco usage, your party stood tall behind a publication with a blatant lie as its title "The Smoking Epidemic".
The DoH ran a Consultation and distributed the document to around 250 'Stakeholders' who were with only a handful of exceptions funded anti-smoking groups. Are the people not 'Stakeholders' in that which affects their own lives?
Even one of your own Ministers ensured that the ONS Household Survey results were mysteriously unavailable to Parliament until just after your final vote. They were available much earlier this year!!!!! The promoters of the ban obviously preferred the statistics from an ASH/CRUK commissioned survey by YouGov.
You were swayed by the CMO, Sir Liam Donaldson, who had a bit of a paddy and threatened to resign if his opinion was ignored. It was he who rejected a major study that had received minimal funding from the Tobacco Industry and stated "I do not think that study stands up to any scientific scrutiny whatsoever, leaving aside the conflict of interest in the funding which to me is tantamount or comparable to a research study on organised crime being funded by the Mafia." So it is obviously right and proper to accept as gospel all those studies funded by pharmaceutical companies and anti-smoking advocates that were the basis of the SCoTH report published by a committee apparently made up of members who, with only one exception, appear to have received payment from the pharmaceutical industry.
AND you listened to experts such as Dr Allan Hackshaw, Deputy Director of CRUK, who in response to a question about bingo and smoking claimed "Smoking with their friends outside is no less a form of social interaction than smoking inside." Obviously a comment made from intimate knowledge of the activity and supported by the closure of so many bingo halls.
You listened to bias that condemned people given no voice or credence by those who stood to benefit by the ban. Have we a massive smoking cessation empire pushing pharmaceutical NRT products? Have we a massive smoking cessation empire being encouraged to promote the highly lauded pharmaceutical product Champix a drug with such serious side-effects that it has been banned for many American employees?

Did you study the final RIA before you voted? Did you notice that it was seriously flawed? Try reading it again and then justify a broadsheet claim of a 1.6 billion cost for implementing and supporting this ban against the 30 million stated in the RIA? Did you note that any costs to the hospitality industry were not there? And much more!

Can’t you see YOU WERE CONNED. You willingly damaged so may people’s lives for what? Obedience, political ambition, an idealistic dream………….
You ignored our world and encouraged extremists to further condemn and demonise many millions of British citizens. You encourage them and pay them to promote lies and exaggerations through media campaigns. You promoted unsound ‘science’ and hatred.
You opened a can of worms when you became one of the few MPs who provide previously tolerant citizens an opportunity to make their views public. For this ....
I commend you.

peter.horler said...

Dear Ms McCarthy,
I must say you are a very brave lady and for that you have my admiration. But you will not have unnoticed the amount of anger and frustration by the posters on this site regarding this dreadful smoking ban.
The government has caged lions and tigers who have to be put on display as if in a zoo. But not for much longer and if your govt. has any sense it will review this ban soonest.
However,once I have my new property with all its own facilities I will invite yourself and fellow MP's to my home to see for yourself how people know how to relax and enjoy themselves without harming no one. And if you leave smelling of smoke I will happlily pay your hotel bill.
Peter James
Age 51 Accountant.

Antony said...

The smoking ban has led to people being placed in ridiculous situations when trying to socialize, the social fabric of this country is being destroyed by this stupid legislation.
It really needs to be looked at again, however, ASH will be right on the bandwagon again with more bad science and lies to prevent any changes. How sad that politicians wont take the time to examine there outrageous claims about second hand smoke and will happily sit back and watch hundreds of businesses be destroyed.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"I do not think that study stands up to any scientific scrutiny whatsoever, leaving aside the conflict of interest in the funding which to me is tantamount or comparable to a research study on organised crime being funded by the Mafia."

Wow! Did Liam Donaldson really say that about Enstrom/Kabat? Well one lives and learns ...

... but he found nothing wrong whatsoever with believing SCoTH research where 14 of the 16 board members have ties with pharma companies who have a huge vested interest in stopping smoking through their patches, inhalers and gum?

What an odd man. Methinks he had his own agenda, and I'm not sure that it was trying to ascertain the truth somehow.

Mat said...

I see that many of the people responding to this blog are, like me, lifelong socialists. Anyone wishing to read a socialist’s view of the anti-smoking campaign might like to look at my pamphlet, “Forty Lashes.” It’s free at

Perhaps it’s time someone started a new pressure group: “Socialists Against the Total Smoking Ban.”

Mat said...

Apologies for my poor computer skills! The url for Forty Lashes should be


John said...

I'm disappointed, but not really surprised, to read such nonsense from an elected representative. Yes, Forest alerted us to this blog - in order we might attempt to correct the truth/fantasy ratio here.

My local will be out of business in a few months - a friend and I were the only people in the public bar, at 10:20 on a Thursday evening. Sometimes, before the ban, it was hard to get through the door !

80% support the ban ?! I'd be grateful to see your evidence for this. None of my non-smoking friends support a total ban (or else they're being kind and not telling me to my face, which I doubt).

I'm a middle-age, middle-class 'white' man, so I don't really expect fair treatment from this 'government'. But listen to your own party workers, who now say Iraq and the smoking ban were the reasons for the recent local election results.

John Bowen

Adeimantus said...

Is the time right, Miss McCarthy, for you to print out the top twenty most articulate and heart-felt responses here and pass these to your colleagues, with the message: "Colleagues...as you know, I can't abide smoking, and I wholeheartedly supported the complete ban...but these responses from the public have convinced me that we should think again about what we've done".

If, on the other hand, you are not in any way convinced to do so, then it would be a sad day indeed. Perhaps it would be the day when we re-defined the term "McCarthyism" from Reds-under-the-bed paranoia to, instead, the kind of twee, airbrushed, irretrievably deluded view of society exhibited by most of the ranks of New Labour.

Reading the above, it does sound harsh, and I feel a bit bad about it, not wishing to 'get personal'. On the other hand, you are an MP - you have broad shoulders. The level of anger exhibited here should not itself be 'airbrushed'. I have spoken to numerous of my friends and acquaintances, smokers and non-smokers alike...with a few exceptions, I have to say the opinions by and large reflect the above. If you didn't listen to this, you won't listen to anything, and as you know, an MP is supposed to listen

Pat Nurse said...

I very much agree with the last comment. If Kerry isn't listenting, why don't we repeat all of the above messages to every Labour and Conservative MP's blog and website. Perhaps one of our elected representaives might just hear our voice.....?

ChrisB said...

Dick wrote
"I do not think that study stands up to any scientific scrutiny whatsoever, leaving aside the conflict of interest in the funding which to me is tantamount or comparable to a research study on organised crime being funded by the Mafia."

Wow! Did Liam Donaldson really say that about Enstrom/Kabat? Well one lives and learns ...

(Health Committee report vol 3 Evidence 57 in reply to Question 441)
Questions 444/5 provided another amazing answer
Chairman: You were presented last November with the Scientific Committee on Tobacco Health’s (SCOTH) Report.
Professor Sir Liam Donaldson: Yes.
Q445 Chairman: Has that been challenged by anybody?
Professor Sir Liam Donaldson: No, it has not. That is one of the expert reports that I was referring to.

A blatant untruth ignoring all those who have an alternative view accepted by a Committee whose members appear to have considerable connections with cancer charities and anti-smoking groups.

The whole report is a fantasy/fantastic 9delete as appropriate) read displaying incredible hatred, bias and unfounded assertions paid for by the target of their hatred and with a complete disregard for any opinion conflicting with the need for a legal ban.

I really don't know who they think we are but I am determined to reject all efforts to castrate individuality from the British people.
It may come a a shock to some that smokers do not promote smoking. The newly righteous fail to realise that 'the people' put measures in place to provide for their needs and to protect the vulnerable. The majority of joyful smokers were kept inside adult venues yet our legislation has promoted them into full view of those we try to protect.
ASH etal have made so muh noise about smoking ensuring that it is never out of the headlines and has essentially promoted a forbidden fruit that many young people will be unable to ignore.
It's not surprizing that such blinkered hatred should be the cause of them shooting themselves in the foot.

Martin V said...

Mat -

You said:

"I see that many of the people responding to this blog are, like me, lifelong socialists".

Well, it was 'socialists' of the German variety who started all this nonsense.

Now, I'm sure you're a decent, Freedom-loving sort of bloke like most of us. But when we give the State power to IMPROVE our lives, we also grant it power to IMPOVERISH them.

Is this not what is happening now ?

In my experience, MOST people - whatever their formal tribal allegiance (now looking increasingly pointless, anyway) - are both LIBERAL (in the sense of 'Live and Let Live') and CONSERVATIVE (in the sense of 'If It Ain't Broke - Don't Fix It').

We - the People of this nation - somehow need to take back from this corrupt oligarchy of self-serving dimwits the power to order our own lives as WE see fit.

I have no idea as to how we may achieve this objective, but it is -I believe - an objective that should unite ALL of us who believe that Freedom is more important than Good Order, and Happiness more important than Perfect Health (not that I'm against either a well-ordered society or a healthy citizenry).

Otherwise, we shall all be soon living in a Children's Home (where Health and Good Order are guaranteed) - or a Fourth Reich (but without the jackboots and the whips).

Martin V said...

Dick Puddlecote -

There is one word to describe 'Sir' Liam Donaldson:

GIT !!

He just happens to be a very well-paid (and influential) one............

Surely no-one is fooled by a 'Sir' in front of someone's name these days.................are they ?

Basil Brown said...

Re: Liam Donaldson's dismissal of the Enstrom/Kabat study.

In fact, this study was financed by the American Cancer Society. When this long-term study of 118,000 people produced the "wrong" result for it's anti-smoking backers [i.e. no evidence of risk-elevation], they refused to publish it. Only the final $75,000 publication-costs were paid by "Big Tobacco". Without this, the report would never have seen the light.

Jim said...

Just a brief note to wish you and your colleagues well re your coming spell in opposition. May it be a very long one.

Terry said...

Another question I have for the elusive Kerry.

Is it BARBARIC to force self admitted mental patients to stop smoking. Now Kerry, this only requires a YES or No.

peter.horler said...

I sincerley hope Ms McCarthy that you read every single one of these postings. After all, they our the people whom your government is sopposed to represent and listen to.
I hope you are reading,listening and taking notice.

Peter James Horler

Frankie said...

I wish you lot would Leave our Kez Alone. Youv broken her modem now. Why dont you Labour Tom Watson or Tory John Redwood. They both voted for the ban.



Like I say I like the ban. Standing outside On a rainy day like today, you get 3 pints for the price of 2.

Schabbs said...

Frankie, what's this about John Redwood voting for the ban?

He didn't.

Frankie said...

Yes the barsted did!

Light green on far right


Schabbs said...

Re John Redwood vote - well, partly right yes. He did vote for private clubs to be exempt from the ban.

Jim said...

Redwood voted against the ban


Basil Brown said...


According to my reading of the Public Whip, John Redwood voted for local authorities to be given the power to create exemptions for private clubs etc., but he was absent from the final vote on the Health Bill as amended. Therefore, theyworkforyou.wotsit list him as being "moderately" opposed to the smoking-ban.


Marley said...

Hello Kerry, another question for your bedtime fairy story, since when was the elected government of this country (even with an unelected PM) allowed to interfere with the way that businesses make money. This rather short sighted law which is not only divisive and undoubtedly the Labour party death knell, it is also commercially biased towards big supermarkets and off sales stores. By removing the very lucrative hospitality industry you shoot yourselves in the foot, place a huge financial burden on those who do not smoke (or drink) and increase the tax burden on the working population yet again.
At the moment only the smokers are truly outraged at your disgraceful
behaviour but wait until the nonsmokers, nondrinkers and overtaxed public finally cotton on. When that penny drops It will land very heavily on your parties antics. Sooner or later the rift between those who choose to smoke and those who don't will heal and they will turn against the ones who caused that rift. "The Labour Party". Be Warned! the truth will out.

Schabbs said...

Re John Redwood vote - BBC link at


Frankie said...

So what if John Redwood voted to exempt private clubs? He voted for a ban in all other public places, including pubs and coffee bars.

And that's all that matters. To me. And every ordinary pub and bar-goer.

"theyworkforyou.wotsit list him as being "moderately" opposed to the smoking-ban."

Like John Redwood only "moderately" stabbed smokers in the back, and thats OK huh?

Basil Brown said...

The only Redwood "Aye" vote was for exemptions. He didn't vote positively for the ban in general.

Agreed he coulda done better tho'. He was re-elected on the 2005 Tory Manifesto, which promised continuation of choice on the matter.

The real issue though, is why such a huge majority of Labour MPs, including our Kezza here, actively voted against their own manifesto-commitment. There is no democratic mandate for the complete ban.

westcoast2 said...


I read the forty lashings pamphlet -a lot of good info (and humerous too).

Came across this
“About 400,000 smokers have kicked the habit in a single year, figures revealed yesterday.” (Daily Mirror, 19 Mar 04).

2004? Can you verify the date as Kerry was claiming that one of the bans successes(see earlier comment from Kerry on evidence - article in observer/report or was it guardian)was 400,000 quitting.

The 400,000 could have been achieved anyway (if that was your aim) without a ban.

Interesting that the other piece of evidence was from the One Year Report where it seems people only 'think' they are healthier and if you ban smoking in private pubs then low and behold there is less ETS in a pub.


Frankie said...

From http://tinyurl.com/39m6m8

"The first vote – to ban smoking in all public places, including licensed premises, whether or not they served food – was passed by 453 votes to 125, a thumping majority of 328. The second – on whether or not to exempt private clubs from such a ban – saw MPs vote by 384 votes to 184 votes to include clubs under the remit of the ban, a majority of 200. There was then a vote in favour of a motion that the amended clause should stand part of the Bill, which was carried by 413 votes to 129."

John Redwood voted aye in the first vote. So he voted for the smoking ban. Just like our Kez. And unlike John Reid or Ken Clarke.

There's no getting away from it.

ChrisB said...

What is important to me is that the ban is an unwanted intrusion into the freedoms of so-called free people and is based on facts about SHS similar to those about weapons of mass destruction.
It is amazing that those who could benefit through greater status or financially were able to destroy the businesses of those who were given no credence during the consultations.
Has anyone noticed a a massive investment in the smoking cessation empire (with a hierarchy and associated remunerations) and, heaven forbid, any high ranking members of ASH gaining honours or a position with NICE?

Was anyone concerned about the possible orchestration of consultation responses when almost half of the 57,000 responses came from a single 'charity'?
Cancer Research UK presented a petition with 17,500 signatures and 7,200 emails. Fresh- Smokefree North East and ASH North West had a postcard campaign that added another 2,800 to give a total from the main sources of 27,500 pro responses. It is hard to imagine that other organised groups such as ASH throughout the rest of the country failed to respond in great numbers. (ASH were sufficiently active to provide almost half the responses to a previous consultation).

Dick Puddlecote said...

Basil Brown: Yes, I knew about the fact that the American Cancer Society tried to kill the biggest study ever about passive smoking because it didn't fit the result they paid to see. They and the anti-smoking lobby then threw personal abuse at the scientists that produced the truthful findings and tried to have them ostracised for actually reporting accurately what the found. The abuse continues to this day. The pharma industry are known for it and studies are killed almost every day if they don't fit what pharmaceutical companies want from them, it's so much common knowledge that it has even been mentioned in an unrelated interview with an NHS executive on radio FiveLive. I'd expect an MP to know of that practice but Kerry apparently doesn't know that & Sir (haha) Liam Donaldson either also doesn't know (which he should seeing as he is involved in health) or he has a vested interest himself. So he's either criminally incompetent or is acting in his own interests and not for the public that he should be serving.

I must say that Kerry seems to me like someone who has been led up the proverbial garden path and isn't experienced or brave enough to look into it herself.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Hey, did someone mention Gordy not being elected?

Oh yeah. A non-elected Prime Minister who was in charge, and voted for, a Bill that wasn't voted for by the public in the General Election of 2005.

And they say Mugabe isn't being democratic? ;-)

Terry said...

Fact: Modem working
Fact: Posting new blogs
Fact: Refusing to answer posters
Fact: Out of her depth
Fact: Waiting for guidance from central office

Fact: Reply will be statement rather than answers.

Fact: Uncaring, untrustworthy regime.

Fact: Have lost core support.
Fact: Destined for the wilderness.

Schabbs said...

Terry, if the answer comes from Central Office, it will be to completely ignore all the questions. Then to say how badly the Tories did when they were in power. Then to ask a completely different question.

This is what Gordon Brown, our unelected PM, does every Wednesday at noon.

Terry said...


This is the reason for her delay. She is completely out of her depth. She doesn't want to close the blog, she doesn't want to agree with any points made, SOS, SOS!! Central Office please help, for God's sake. One can only say, obvious and pathetic.

shaftmonde said...

Guys, guys!
This is Kerry's blog, not a chatroom.
Please do her the courtesy of sticking to the point and making cogent arguments without degenerating into personal abuse. Leave that sort of stuff to the antismoking trolls.
I'm sure she would be more likely to take these comments seriously if we are polite.

Terry said...


Latest Kerry blog. Shame she doesn't feel the same way about smokers. Kerry writes

In Trafalgar Square I got into conversation (incognito) with the guys staffing the Liberal Democrat LGBT stall. I asked whether, given the Tories' abysmal record on gay rights, they'd want their party to go into coalition with them

Frankie said...

Hey, quiet everybody. I think she's just about to write something here!

johnny.savage said...

The recent press report claimed that 234,000 people had quit smoking using the NHS servcies in the 9 month following the ban, equivalent to a yearly rate of312,000. The NHS claim that, for the year 2005/6, just under 330,000 smokers quit using their services. The post ban rate represents a 6% DECREASE on this figure.

Further more the report states that 'In the nine months before the ban, there was a 1.6% fall in the prevalence of smoking across England. But in the nine months after the ban, this fall was the much higher 5.5%'. This suggests that the number quitting before the ban was less than a third of that after it - or around 25% of the 2005/6 rate.

In total, this represents around 300,000 smokers who did not quit before and after the ban, who would had been expected to do so had the 2005/6 continued.

If the 'evidence' claiming the 'success' of the ban is so blatantly fabricated, what credibility can be placed on the 'evidence' supporting the implementation of the ban in the first place?

Frankie said...

Nah, Sorry. False alarm. She was just going to get some Peanut Butter Pretzels from the fridge.

Basil Brown said...

Frankie, you are Hazel Blears and I claim my five pounds.

JPBoxster said...

I don't see MP McCarthy has any possible answer (truth hurts). And McCarthy's very 'on message' with her garbage campaign about the "success" of the ban.

Shows her spots and political ability to work with trash and continue to ignore her constituency and the duties of her public office all with the mind-set smokers are a sub-set ot fumanity and only need to listen to her to become a member of the human race.

Personally I think it's her and her extremist agenda colleagues that need large doses of humanity and treatment under the mental health act for taking up political office to represent the people and end up serving extremist minority agendas.

There's something sick about the 25 year campaign to demonise smoking and even more mentally unbalanced about interfering in peoples lives without either their consent or any public mandate (permission) to do so.

How will MP McCarthy respond to the fact she has totally ignored the reality of the ban?

Wel we're not dealing with honest individuals to start with so what do you expect!!

The questions are too big for straight answers;

- the destruction of businesses
- peoples jobs
- the social damages
- the abuse of civil liberty
- the deceipt about SHS
- the deceipt about medical results
- the deceipt of public office

Labour and its agent provocateurs (ASH, Cancer Research UK, Councils and the NHS) have constructed on the anniversary to continue this strategy to deceive this country - she cannot possbly answer any.

Once you've started lying and dug such a deep hole it'd be tant amount to suicide to provide honest answers. See 25yrs of this campaign against smoking - a history of the worst deceipt and most manipulative and single minded creeps (criminals) around.

So expect a bland, terse statement about health, quitting and protecting public health. Yadda Yadda Yawn.

Then the Blog will be closed before our backlash at her continued denial of the facts and duties to her public office.

Much of their latest campaign is about "compliance". A Law set by an extremist minority in society. We're complying with the creeps and lyers agenda!!

Fact is it's down to us to take Labour, ASH and Cancer Research to Court and/or Judicial Review combined with civil protest to raise the real issues and force the lies, damn lies and junk science to be exposed to the country for the extremist minority and the garbage this is all about.

Force them time after time into radio and TV interviews/debates.
Forest and Freedom to Choose have to co-operate more to ensure we force these creeps peddling their garbage into the public arena and Court where their minority extremist agenda will be exposed. Only then can we say Labour, ASH, Cancer Research RIP

Anonymous said...

let us examing how the figures of 400,000 people giving up smoking were arrived at a poll of 30,000 people gave a set figure this then was predicted to 400,000. then a figure of 40,000 lives saved over 10 years. mmmm a prediction of a prediction. Do you get an astrologer to write these reports or is it pure fiction. Our chief constable (Preston Lancashire) is on record as saying that violence has increased since the smoking ban. Reason people outside enjoying a cigarette are easy targets for the hooded gangs that come out at night.

andy said...


Here's the official figures for pre-ban Kerry. So even if the projections for the year since the ban are correct, there has in fact been a drop in the level of people giving up.
Now since we all know the real reason for the ban is to reduce smoking prevalence, it has quite apparently been a failure.

Never has there been more pressure put on people to quit. Look how they have reacted. Persuasion and choice will succeed over coercion everytime. I hope if dont realise that by now, you soon will. The Irish figures bear out this fact quite clearly.
How about some honesty and integrity now?

Nigel Saint said...

You seem to have many posters on this blog thread from Freedom2choose.

Freedom2choose say they are pro-choice, but it is their policy to oppose any form of nicotine replacement for those wishing to cut down or stop smoking.

One of their darlings, Hamish Howitt in Blackpool, is dispensing nicotine patches from his bar, which displays a massive freeedom2choose cigarette - theres a nice picture here

I think this is a good example of the contradictions with the freedom2choose crowd, they say they are pro choice but they don't seem to want people to give up smoking with nicotine replacement support.

Isn't this the tobacco industry position too?

Terry said...

Mr Saint

I note your only wish is to rubbish people rather than address their points. You have already made a comment a couple of days ago that would be considered racist if it was directed at an ethnic minority.

You wrote

Hi Kerry

congratulations, you've attracted the travelling hordes of freedom2choose and forest followers who steam in every time anyone posts anything supporting the ban.

you've probably rumbled Frankie as a spoof supporter of the ban, but Simon Clarke of Forest seems to know them and confirms this on his blog

they'll get bored and move on soon, just ignore them.

03 July 2008 22:12

andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
andy said...

In response to Nigel Saint's post regarding F2C's policy on NRT:

"The official position of F2C with regard to all alternate methods of delivery of nicotine is as follows;

Freedom2Choose does not support alternate methods of delivery of nicotine (including e-cigs) due to the fact that they are being used as products of coercion to replace the real choices of consenting adults.

Both ASH and The Royal College of Physicians have indicated a desire to force smokers onto such alternate methods of delivery of nicotine in order to remove all other choice entirely which is contrary to the values of Freedom2Choose".

Mr Saint try as you might to paint a dark picture of the pro-choice lobby, you will fail, as you quite plainly have only spin and not truth on your side.

What supporters of F2C do is their choice. And what an individual chooses to do should be up to them. Unfortunately, it isnt the case, as they are not allowed to smoke in public venues, instead their only offered alternative is NRT.

Martin V said...

Mr Saint -

You commented above - by way of support to Mizzzz McCarthy:

"they'll get bored and move on soon, just ignore them."

Two points:

a) We won't !

b) Who, pray, are YOU to tell an elected representative to 'ignore' people with a genuine sense of grievance ?

Rest assured, Sir: we are NOT going away...............

Adeimantus said...

Miss McCarthy, perhaps I can give you a 'heads-up' on a concept which will help you out on this thread. It's called 'libertarian paternalism' (or 'nudging') and is the buzz amongst advisors of both Obama over the water, and Cameron over here. Gordon might be onto it next (you never know), and you can be 'on the inside' from the off!

The principle behind 'nudging' is that you give people choice, but 'nudge' them in the direction of a 'right' decision (look up Thaler and Sunstein). I'm not sure I approve of nudging, being a bog-standard libertarian, but at least it gives you a credible way out of your present disgraceful position, which is that of repressively banning anything out of kilter with your outlook. You could be the first to get into Gordon's good books by coming up with a scheme whereby we allow indoor, ventilated smoking rooms in workplaces, pubs and so on, and save him the next general election!

Ahh, daydreaming again! It's all this hanging around waiting for a reply

Terry said...

She has posted a statement on the most recent blog.

Dick Puddlecote said...

I thought she was waiting till we all stopped till she replied ... we ain't finished yet! ;-)

Funny thing is that Kerry has spent more time on replying to this thread than the Government spent debating the ban itself in the House (3 hours wasn't it?)

Julie said...

Hi Kerry

Thanks for the reply, and whilst I sympathise, no really sympathise for you famili losses from lung cancer I have also lost close people form lung cancer a best friend who was a heavy smoker a cousin also a heavy smoker, but on the other end of the scale my milkman lost his 18 year old son to lung cancer he was bought up in smoking smoking environment. Also my father inlaw recently died from other causes aged 83 he was a life long smoker. Truth is I think when you time is up, your time is up. And moving away from this I would still like to know why not smoking or non smoking then every one has the right to choose. In regards to teenagers the more tabbo a product is made they more they want it!! So go and encourage a new generation of smokers.

Julie said...

Sorry I meant to say my milkmans son was bought up in anon smoking environment

Frankie said...

Another one dragged in from outside:

Nigel Saint,

I'm not part of the freedom to choose crowd (or any other 'crowd' for that matter) but may I respond to your remarks about NRT?

I understand that NRT has a very poor success rate. This isn't surprising since the NRT programme, in fact, keeps quitters 'hooked' on nicotine. After the last patch/piece of gum/ inhaler has been thrown away the quitter still wants nicotine but is more likely to associate it with cigarettes than NRT and is hardly likely to think "God, I'd love an NRT patch"!

If NRT comes in for criticism perhaps it's because the government, in its determined bullying of smokers to quit, is wasting MILLIONS of pounds of tax-payers' money on an ineffective method.

The question has to be asked, too, why smoking cessation clinics recommend only NRT to stop smoking. The Allan Carr people, for example, claim to have a much higher success rate with their methods, at a fraction of the cost yet ASH has been extremely snippy towards them, being forced, indeed, to issue an apology having tried to impugn their reputation. Could it be because, within the witches' coven that is the tobacco control coalition, some reciprocal back-scratching had to be done?

You might also be interested to know that development of a safe cigarette was proposed but was blocked by opponents who were - the tobacco control lobby. Still believe that they're altruistic?


Julie said...


Never for one moment thought they were altruistic!!! Well said

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 241   Newer› Newest»