twitter: @rolygate

Smokers - Do They Have Any Rights?

Our belief is that smokers do have rights. If they don't hurt others and have paid their way, it is hard to argue sensibly that they don't.

If it is decided for some reason that the number of smokers should be reduced, then the ethically-correct way to go about it is to offer a better solution: allow unhindered access to an unrestricted range of highly-attractive low-risk alternatives.

Smokers most certainly have the right to decide how they will consume tobacco or nicotine, and it is our contention that offering good alternative products is the right way to go about changing consumer attitudes - not force. Not only that, from the Swedish experience we can clearly see it works far better than any other approach. After all, if there are very few smokers left because they mostly moved to low risk alternatives because of preference, and death/disease rates fall in parallel, then it is hard to see why this is not universally considered an excellent idea, especially since smoking prevalence has remained static around 20% for several years in the UK and many other places despite huge sums of money being expended in worthless schemes to reduce it. (You did know that, didn't you?)

In Sweden, there are now about half the number of smokers in proportion to the UK, and numbers are falling steadily. Male smoking prevalence will be 5% at around 2016, but will still be around 20% in the UK at that time.

  • Sweden is the world leader in reducing smoking prevalence
  • Sweden is the world leader in reducing smoking-related deaths
  • Sweden is the world leader in reducing smoking-related disease
  • Smoking will be virtually removed as an issue there, at some point
  • No other country has the remotest prospect of doing that
  • It cost the Swedish taxpayer precisely zero
  • In the UK we spend a fortune on useless schemes that do nothing at all to reduce smoking prevalence
  • More than £200m of UK taxpayers' money is flushed down the toilet every year, supporting ineffective NHS efforts that have zero effect; paying for useless drugs; and supporting the many useless parasites in the tobacco control industry
  • All a completely, utterly useless waste of money - it cost Sweden nothing to get the best results in the world
  • If the UK properly supported and promoted all THR products then it could achieve the best results in the world for smoking prevalence reduction
  • It might even overtake Sweden at some point
  • But this solution is impossible, because too many people (including those in the 'public health' industry) depend on the vast fortunes generated by smoking [1]


Smokers' rights
The only minority group that it is legally permissible to discriminate against and even kill are smokers. It is difficult to see what the legal basis might be for such permission, since it certainly wouldn't be allowed with any other group. However, other groups are not usually the source of unlimited wealth that can be taken off them ad lib; others do not support the economy, several large industries, and numerous NGOs - and this is most likely the reason it is open season on smokers. Apparently, discrimination is OK if it pays well.

The measures taken to milk them of their cash and the farcically ineffective schemes to reduce their numbers are growing year on year. The way smokers manage to survive at all is worthy of admiration. What is not worthy of admiration is the year on year cost increase of implementing all the useless measures, and the growth of the parasitic and utterly ineffective 'public health' industry of rent-seekers who live off it.

As it has proven impossible to reduce smoking prevalence below about 20% in many places such as the UK, perhaps if the genuine goal is to reduce their numbers then a proven solution could be employed instead of the fantasy games currently popular, which only create immoral and unethical pressures on smokers and waste massive amounts of taxpayers' money. The only proven solution is THR, the voluntary substitution of low-risk products for cigarettes by the consumer. As far as the health impact goes, we already know that a Snus consumer is equivalent to an ex-smoker in terms of health outcomes: smokers who quit totally or switch to Snus (Swedish specially-processed oral tobacco) have the same health outcomes in terms of statistically-measurable metrics (and most certainly in terms of clinical significance). There is no reason to suppose that e-cigarettes will prove any different, and an unrestricted combination of the two, accompanied by true information regarding the health issues, is the only potential way known that smoking might be virtually eliminated.

The best part about it is the voluntary nature of the solution: if you give people really attractive alternative options, they switch. That way you don't have the problem of trying to ban something that cannot be banned. It doesn't matter how many laws are passed, people will always have access to cigarettes at the price they are willing to pay - whether legal or not. Laws designed to ban desirable products are almost irrelevant, especially when they are unjust in the first place. When the law is corrupt, everyone becomes a criminal.

Now make your choice

So let's weigh up the options.

  1. Is it better for the taxpayer to pay for an entire industry to waste huge sums of money (the tobacco control industry) in useless, doomed schemes to reduce smoking prevalence that have no effect whatsoever, when we already know they can't work (smoking prevalence cannot be further reduced significantly without using substitution);
  2. Or, is it better to allow consumers to make their own free, unhindered choices and move away from cigarettes, should they so wish, at zero cost to the taxpayer, with the result smoking gradually dies out, as is happening in Sweden?


Only a lunatic or an economic beneficiary of the system would suggest the former. If your political representative backs the proven-worthless efforts of tobacco control - then ask them which category they belong in.




[1] a. We are now seeing cancer organisations deliberately protecting smoking (and promoting cancer) by helping to block THR replacement of smoking. They are forced to do so because their principal funding comes directly or indirectly from the pharmaceutical industry, and it is crucial for pharma to block THR in order to protect smoking.

Just ask your local cancer charity what their policy is on e-cigarettes: if they support unhindered access to ecigs they are THR supporters and working against cancer in the most efficient way. If they support a ban on ecigs, or 'regulation' (i.e. the crippling and removal from the market of ecigs via the regulatory approach) or medical licensing (the de facto ban of e-cigarettes by a ban on any effective ecig-related product), then you can be sure that someone is paying them to protect smoking and protect chemotherapy drug sales. Why would an anti-cancer organisation promote cancer?

b. Recently, the Attorneys General of several US States lobbied the FDA to regulate (remove) e-cigarettes. This action is linked to their receipt and management of the immense MSA payments from the cigarette industry that in effect keep their States solvent. In other words, to protect the MSA payments, they need to protect smoking.