Friday, August 08, 2008
Smoking and Brainwashing
I find the current spate of anti-smoking ads on TV quite disturbing, not to say dishonest. The ones I mean are the ones that tell smokers that they cannot possibly give up 'without help', and who's there to help? Yes the government, in the shape of the NHS. You really can't do anything without the nanny state under New Labour!
One thing I object to is the patronising tone of the adverts. It is possible to give up 'without help', I did it last March after smoking 20 a day for 30 years. I know plenty of other people who gave up 'without help' too. Indeed many of us would have given up earlier, but the more the state nagged and whined at us, the more determined we became to continue. And, having recently had my lungs examined, they show no signs of me ever having smoked.
I also object to taxes being wasted on medicines, support groups and whatever other paraphernalia the state funds to help people give up. Let them pay themselves if they really want to give up, it'd be cheaper than buying fags. And if people don't want to give up for God's sake leave them alone to get on with it.
All this government brainwashing has had a truly sinister result that is often overlooked, the vile and ultimately dishonest attitude of so many people to smokers. I've seen people 100 yards away, in the open air, suddenly start coughing and spluttering when I've lit up. Then there are the weirdoes who claim that after being in the company of smokers they have to shower when they get home, and send their clothes to the laundry because of the smell.
We've had friends to dinner since we gave up smoking (Mrs B has too) and they refused to smoke in the house insisting on going onto the balcony for a fag between courses. They thought they were being thoughtful but we really had to convince them, and several bottles of wine helped, that we had no problem with them smoking at the table. We didn't have to shower before bed, or change the curtains next day, because of the stench, but it really highlighted the power of propaganda.
So I still wish FOREST good luck in their campaign.