Dehumanisation Agenda 2.0

“Plain packs” translated into plain English

From today, after one year of phasing in, all UK cigarettes and rolling tobacco are sold in the now familiar drab greenly brown standardised packaging; along with all other tobacco products they also bear the ridiculously sized “warning” labels with imagery captured straight from an authoritarian’s perverted dreams and some of the wording being so disproportionate and demanding, it starts to lose credibility. The new packaging is so inadequate at being informative that it no longer even states the milligrams of tar and nicotine.

To add injury to insult: by law from today all [new stock*] cigarette packs will be sold for no less than £8.82. Obviously, this is not going to make smokers smoke less, but just make them poorer, because they are already smoking the minimum amount.

None of this is anything to do with good intentioned public awareness, or help for smokers, but everything to do with spite on those who will not get with the program.

There are many different brands of tobacco; each with slightly different tastes. The meaning of the packaging branding is to visually represent what is on the inside on the outside. Not only does this help smokers decide which brand they want, it does even to some degree externalise the personality of the smoker. Up until now there was: the traditional pub drinker Benson & Hedges Gold smoker; the office working hipster Marlboro Gold smoker; the sociable bingo lady Superkings Menthol smoker and the distinguished gentleman connoisseur Dunhill International smoker.

Now there is just: the dirty, disgusting and stale Benson & Hedges Gold smoker; the dirty disgusting and stale Marlboro Gold smoker; the dirty disgusting and stale Superkings Menthol smoker and the dirty disgusting and stale Dunhill International smoker. The new packaging not only misrepresents what it contains but also the consumer. The anti-tobacco lobby argue that doing away with brand images is a good thing, as it may put people off smoking. This means forcing the consumer to portray themselves in a false negative light for choosing to have the product inside. The punishment of humiliation for not getting with the program. In other words, smokers may quit smoking not for their health but for their acceptance in mainstream society meaning smokers are under duress to quit.

What has been deleted today, is another part the old culture which allows each of us to think, choose and be ourselves. But that is it, those in government and the anti-tobacco lobby hate culture and individuality. It is not anything to do with health or saving lives. It is about inadequate people projecting their inadequacies on everyone else in order to make themselves feel more adequate in comparison.

While the UK smoking bans artificially changed mainstream culture, making it “socially unacceptable” to be smelt smoking, tobacco disgusting packaging will aim to artificially change mainstream culture again, making it “socially unacceptable” to be seen smoking. The following step will be to make it “socially unacceptable” to smoke, or ever talk of smoking in conversation, again through artificial means. This can also be known as the totalitarian tiptoe and in this instance, it is accepted through social engineering or to put it a better way: brainwashing. Even smokers are joining the program, franticly dancing around back and forth on public pavements as they smoke in an attempt to dodge the non-smokers that walk past, with no memory of the sane parallel world that existed not so long ago. Maybe in future only a complete monster would eat a chocolate bar in the presence of children or McDonalds will have to have its windows blacked out with warnings on the outside and we will all have to do our mandatory hours at the gym each week. This may all sound ridiculous but the ridiculous has already happened.

While it is not so easy to change the law, governing our behaviour, we can still break all of the unwritten rules governing our behaviour by ending our participation in the madness. It is about time we stop worrying what others may think and just say that the emperor is wearing no clothes even if it does infuriate everyone else.

* Updated 22 May 2017

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Smokers – Use Your Vote!

Freedom2Choose is not aligned with any political party.

It is election time so all the parties will be sending their representatives out and about to talk to the electorate. They want to be elected so this is the one and almost the only time they will actually listen to what people say.

MPs always try to justify their actions based on what electors have said on the doorstep. They often say that issues cannot be of any importance if nobody raised them on the doorstep. Don’t give them that excuse.

Ask each and every one the following question:
“What will you do to stop the persecution of smokers?”

In an ideal world you’ll want to research the subject in great detail and have all your responses ready. BUT THERE IS NO NEED. They won’t want to engage in detailed discussion, will almost certainly be clueless and you’re not likely to persuade them of anything there and then anyway.
All you need to do is raise the subject and state your feelings.

Why not discuss this with other members of your household and find out what questions they want to put to the parties? Sometimes it can be much easier to ask someone else’s questions than your own. Try pinning the list of questions to the inside of the front door. That way, whoever answers the door will have plenty to talk about.

Bear in mind that if there was a Smoker’s party that every smoker voted for then we would probably win a majority in Parliament and form the next government. We are a force to be reckoned with. All we need to do is to speak up!

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Important Notice

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Smokers may lose the right to Council Housing

Some may be aware that those in prisons and mental hospitals in parts of the United Kingdom have lost their right to smoke. We have condemned this prohibition in previous articles, not only because it is completely inhuman but because it had set the precedent for full tobacco prohibition on everyone. If they lose their human rights, so does everyone else. Some may also be aware that by federal law smoking will be banned in all public housing across the United States of America. Those caught smoking in or near their own accommodation three times will be turfed out on the streets.

Authoritarians in this country are a little less bold and a little stealthier with tyranny. They wait for another country to introduce something first, then use that other country as an excuse, as well as many other excuses, for introducing it here. Just as the UK has followed the Republic of Ireland on the workplace smoking ban and Australia on cigarette and roll up tobacco disgusting packaging, some now want the UK to follow the USA by banning smoking in all council housing for all new tenants. This will most probably be followed by all tenants in council housing. Though technically they could still smoke when not in their council estate, in practice this would mean they have two choices: quit or be homeless. This policy has nothing to do with smoking and everything to do with saving money. It seems every time those in power have a dilemma they can use tobacco control to solve it. People not putting in enough hours at work? Bring in a smoking ban and close the pubs down. The Treasury is short on money? Bring in minimum pricing on cigarettes. Not enough doctors to perform operations? Leave the smokers to die. So of course, if councils are short on housing, just turf the smokers out. Like always they give the feeble excuse “this will help smokers quit” or “it’s for the children”; if this is help then what is punishment? Why not just put the smokers in the gas chambers now? Often when people warn of coming tobacco prohibition it is dismissed and laughed off as propaganda from scaremongers. The reason for this answer given, is that people will always smoke, so it will never be made illegal. People always smoked in pubs; people always smoked in prisons; people even smoked on planes while other people had no issue, once upon a time. This is not about what people do. This is about that what certain people want, certain people get, by whatever tactics, lies, excuses or means. Tobacco prohibition is not planned to come in overnight. It will pick the population off sector by sector, person by person. ASH, PHE, WHO and company are an alliance of hungry lions picking off the buffalo one by one while the rest of the buffalo keep walking until there is no buffalo left. Then they will move onto the zebras.

This will not stop at smokers or smoking; without any resistance, it will never stop. Tyranny has never in history stopped of its own free will. ASH will never one day decide and say “you know what, we are happy now with what we have achieved and we think taking it any further will just be a step too far.” Only other people can do that.

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The Long March to Prohibition

Until the 1980s there were around 10,000 specialist tobacconists in Britain. These were like Aladdin’s caves, not because of mythical glitzy packaging but because of choice.

Many smokers just stuck with major brands but these specialist tobacconists stocked a vast range. They even used to prepare and sell their own blends. So much of the best and most (locally) popular tobacco was in largely unmarked jars. Cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, rolling tobacco. Varieties from the Middle East, the Orient,  America and Africa all contributed to the fragrant aroma that infused the whole shop.

By 1990 almost all of them were gone.

Three things put them out of business. Firstly, of course, the rabid anti-smoking lobbyists with their hatred and propaganda. Secondly, the big tobacco companies who took over all their smaller competitors and rather than adding the smaller brands to their own range, simply eliminated them to remove competition (and choice). Thirdly, the supermarkets which from around 1980 started undercutting the real tobacconists whilst only selling the most profitable brands. Brands that were almost indistinguishable from each other aside from the packaging and which were uniformly bland.

The big tobacco companies also moved to using expanded tobacco to reduce costs and began using additives such as ammonia to provide at least some semblance of taste.

My contention is that the big tobacco companies have been key players in this long march to prohibition. Particularly since the MSA. The global anti-smoking industry probably gained numerous major footholds in the tobacco companies, using entry-ism, principally at board level where they could be a major driving force.

Electronic Cigarettes and heat not burn devices in many ways represent the end game. The world’s largest tobacco company, Philip Morris, openly boasts about its plan to eliminate tobacco altogether.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, a majority of smokers have been their own worst enemies by capitulating to this at every stage. Some of them even wax lyrical about e-cig vapour with its sickly (to my taste) sweet, artificial flavourings. Maybe they’ll love ‘heat not burn’ too (or even ‘scratch n sniff’). If these devices were additional choices there’d be no grounds for concern but many devotees actually adopt anti-smoking propaganda to support their preference and actively campaign against smoking.

It has taken decades to wreak such destruction and it is truly shocking that so few people have any inkling of what has been lost. The best way to explain this is probably by analogy with alcohol which is heading rapidly down the same path.

Consider the wide variety of wines, whiskies, brandies, vodkas, beers and ciders to name just a few. Imagine these being reduced to a few generic options. At first you’ll still get alcoholic drinks with a choice of wine, beer or whisky flavours. Then, diluted (expanded) alcohol would predominate through cost. Then the generic flavourings would be phased out and replaced by a single bland flavour. Vaguely reminiscent of the whisky, wine, beer (insert your personal preference here) of old. All of them at once that is.

A pretence of choice would remain in the form of branded packaging but this too would be banned in time.

In the final days of the alcohol industry, a substitute would be introduced. No pretence of the flavours of old but instead, artificial flavourings such as cherry, raspberry and mint. Wine cellars and the like, would have to be fumigated to eliminate any lingering aromas.

Ultimately, even this alcohol substitute would only be available on prescription. A system that would be phased out as the last of the sad addicts died.

At least that appears to be the prohibitionist’s plan.

But their predecessors of a hundred years ago overreached and their whole empire came crashing down. They were reduced to making grovelling public apologies to all for the harm they had caused. They were lucky that prosecutions did not follow that time.

This time, with any luck, the end of their long march will be in a court of law followed by a quick march to jail.

More background here:

A video on the modern cigarette manufacturing process:

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Looking Back, Looking Forward, a New Year Review

March 26th saw the 10 year anniversary of the United Kingdom’s first draconian smoking ban in Scotland brought about by the ‘Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005.’ This was put in place based on the myth of “second hand smoke” with the urgent need to create smoke free pubs that non-smokers would come flooding into. Since the ban Scottish towns and cities have been forced to adapt to a Mediterranean style terrace culture in freezing cold weather. Sheila Duffy, chief executive of Ash Scotland who campaigned for the ban described the law as a “real victory.” Is that a victory in the sense that the ban was successfully enforced, resulting in the closure of over 1200 pubs across Scotland? She also said, “There is still a long way to go on Scotland’s journey to being tobacco free but the success of smoke-free public places should inspire us that we can get there.” In other words, she will not be satisfied until there is total prohibition on tobacco, which gives away it was never anything to do with “second hand smoke” to begin with, only the end goal.

April 11th is the day Britain leaped further away from the civilised world. That was when Cardiff Prison began the introduction of a full smoking ban due to be phased in prison by prison, starting in Wales then followed by England and Scotland. Previously prisoners could only smoke in designated smoking cells or an assigned smoking room. Despite the public misconceptions, prisoners were never exempt from the smoking ban as those areas are not public spaces but are residential. There is another public misconception that only “bad” people end up in prison while the rest of the public are completely immune. While it could be argued that premium cigarettes are a luxury, rolling tobacco is not. As is well known, prisons offer a few incentives to bring order, good behaviour and rehabilitation. Without tobacco those incentives are as useful as beds of nails made from the finest gold. The purpose of a prison is not just to punish but to rehabilitate, using the carrot and the stick. With no reward to take away there is no deterrent and with no deterrent there is a prison population with nothing to lose. It is not just an issue of how inmates behave while in prison but how they will behave after their release. It is thought that around 70% – 80% of inmates are smokers in Britain.

May 20th saw the introduction of the new EU Tobacco Products Directive, making it law across the EU for all combustible tobacco packaging to be covered in graphic warnings that take 65% of the front and back. This is accompanied with the UK introduction of standardised packaging for all cigarettes and rolling tobacco. A one year transition time has been allowed up to May 20th in the new year, so some branded cigarettes are still on the shelf for the time being.

On June 23rd, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Concerning tobacco, this could mean an end to EU tobacco legislation, though not for UK tobacco legislation. Tobacco could become duty free in EU countries, though available in much smaller quantities. Whether on that day you were in celebration, in despair or unmoved we must all endeavour together to attain our liberty.

On December 5th under the ‘Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Act 2016’ Scotland joined England and Wales by banning adults from smoking in all private motor cars while in the presence of anyone under the age of: not 12, not 16 but 18, despite the legal age of smoking (not purchase) being 16. Those caught smoking face a fixed penalty fine of £100, which is double the amount of England and Wales. Let us not forget, like the home, the family car is a completely private domestic space where government has no right to intrude on such trivial matters and that children belong to their parents, not the state or anyone else. Parents should be free to choose how their family unit is run, including whether or not it is ok to smoke in front of their children.

Recently, on December 17th, we held our Freedom2Choose Annual General Meeting in London. Many things were discussed including the need to up the game. It is noted that some members feel we may have lost our way. Though it has been a difficult year for Freedom2Choose, the year ahead is more promising. There we welcomed two new members to the committee. It has also been agreed that Freedom2Choose will pay for the development of a brand-new website during the coming year. This would not have been possible if it was not for the support our members and followers have given us over the years and for that we are very thankful. It is vital that we keep pushing back on our infringements on liberty as this goes a lot deeper than just the right of choice to smoke or not to smoke, because if we lose those rights then we lose the rights to everything else.

To all our members, followers and supporters we wish you all a very happy new year!

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F2C AGM 17th December 2016

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Freedom2Choose’s AGM will be held on Saturday 17 September at the Pavilion End Pub, Watling Street, London, EC4M 9BR. The formal meeting (members only) starts at 2.00pm and will be very short, maybe 10-15 minutes. There will be informal and lively discussions afterwards and friends and supporters are welcome to join us. Do come along and look for us round the pub (or outside if you’re a smoker ) if you can make it – we haven’t bothered to book a room for 10 minutes. The pub closes at 8.00 pm and some of us may then drift elsewhere…

Map here (the nearest tube station on a Saturday is Bank and the pub is 5 minutes walk):
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Bullying, Confusion and Partial Prohibition

Today marks the United Kingdom’s introduction of larger and more grotesque graphic health warnings on standardised packaging for cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco, with the banning of some cigarettes. This is the toughest set of anti-tobacco control measures since the United Kingdom smoking bans from 2006 – 2007 (2008 Isle of Man) though cigars and pipe tobacco are exempt.


Tobacco packaging health warnings were first introduced in the UK in 1971 on the side of cigarette packs, followed in 1991 with EU regulations that transferred the health warnings to the front and back of tobacco packs in large font, making it clear and visible to all consumers. By 2003 those warnings were replaced by much bigger and bolder warnings taking up 40% of the front and 50% of the back of all tobacco products, warnings that were more than clear to even the most long sighted of people. Though, in 2008 it was felt that smokers were somehow not understanding the warnings so the bold font on the back of tobacco packaging was replaced with grotesque pictures, just in case adult consumers misunderstood the implications of health problems. Surely by this point there could be no debate about the possibility of any tobacco consumer, new or regular, not understanding the messages. Now EU health warnings are going from stern, to bold, to then a little abusive, to now just the ridiculous, as they will now have to cover 65% on both the front and back of cigarette and hand rolling tobacco packaging, plus 50% on the side of cigarette packs. Not only are these new warnings basically the packaging itself, but they also have to be even more grotesque picture warnings, front and back. Cigarette packs sides will now read “Smoking Kills Quit Now” which is not a warning, but a command. This gives away what this new legislation is really about, which is not to inform or warn consumers but to shout obscene abuse at them. Yes we all know the dangers of smoking, but most actions carry danger including driving, eating, drinking and even exercise, and most actions in life are not necessarily a bad or good thing but just a thing that comprises both good and bad effects and it is up to the individual to judge how to achieve the correct balance through their actions, not the state.
This European tobacco legislation is accompanied by British tobacco legislation, which takes control of the remaining 35% on the front and back of cigarette and rolling tobacco packaging. This remainder is now filled in with dull olive green, with the exception of the font. Although brand names are allowed they all have to be in the same standard off white font. Even cigarettes will have to have a standard appearance. By default this makes the “health warnings” the new branding. The so called justification behind this, is it may prevent one or two children a year from taking up smoking, even though there are already laws to stop children from smoking. We could also prevent a few accidents by putting speed bumps on the M1, let cars go no faster than 10 mph, have a curfew from dusk till dawn and a ban on DIY and cooking. Who this will really affect though, is the adult consumer who needs that branding to get a feel for the product before purchasing. Also, like it or not, we like to identify with brands, from the clothes we wear to the cars we drive and it should not be any different for tobacco which is a legal product. Nobody would accept it if they go to watch a film at the multiplex but the posters only said the name and genre of the films, so why should smokers be treated differently.
If these two measures are not enough, by law from today, production of flavoured cigarettes and 10 packs for the UK market will cease today. Menthols are due to be banned in 2020. This will mean a reduction in consumer choice or, a better way of putting it, the introduction of partial prohibition. 10 packs have been very handy to the hard up and the occasional smoker. 10 packs can also help encourage those who are trying to cut down. Flavoured and menthol cigarettes have given smokers consumer choice. Not everyone wants the same meal every day and not every smoker wants the same smoke every day.
So how did this happen and what will the implications be? Part of this legislation was first put in the pipeline by the previous Labour government to be implemented in their next term if they were to win the 2010 election, but they did NOT, so the proposal was abandoned. In a democratic society that would mean the public have voted, marking the end of the matter. The problem is fundamentalist groups never know how to take no for an answer or even compromise. So with the tyrants throwing all their toys at the government a U-turn was made for a parliamentary vote on the legislation. The Conservatives were split, only two “Liberal” Democrats voted no and just three Individual Labour MPs voted no, achieving a yes percentage that would put third world dictatorships to shame. All of UKIP voted no and the one and only Green voted yes. Though the legislation starts from today, retailers will be allowed an extra year to clear their branded tobacco stock, so the grotesque packs and pouches will not reach consumers instantly. Despite the legislation at present having minor effects on consumers the long term implications will hit smokers very hard directly and indirectly. Awareness for public health is the official reason given for the radical legislation but the reality behind it is to use the grotesque packaging as the new yellow badge Star of David, designed to intimidate, humiliate and dehumanise its consumers in public. Smoking levels may drop a little in the long term, but it would be for all the wrong reasons, which in no way could be classed as a success when bullying and intimidation is involved, because public health with a great big stick is in no way healthy.  We already know this is nothing to do with health. They are trying to ban anything that even looks like smoking or anything that provides any freedom of choice.


Only when they have been shut down and tolerance and reason restored, can health improve naturally. While still allowing choice for smokers.
Article edited on 24th December 2016
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Carol Ann Cattell 1948 to 2016

It is with great sadness that we have to report that Carol Cattell passed away quietly in her sleep on the 4th April surrounded by her family. Her children Sam and Jo paid tribute to their mum by saying “We were incredibly privileged to have this wonderful woman as a friend and our Mum. Thank you for everything.” One can only begin to understand the pain that they are feeling.

Carol had been a member of Freedom To Choose (F2C), for over six years. A true supporter of choice in lifestyle choices, her presence was always an inspiration to F2C. Carol lived in both Greece and Yorkshire and the only complaint I ever heard her voice was the oppressive Greek summers! Although their far more relaxed smoking attitudes was a big positive!

I met Carol a number of times and she was a warm, intelligent and hugely entertaining lady. I will never forget when she popped in to visit my partner and me as we went through numerous bottles of red wine and the obligatory packet of cigarettes.

We are all heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sam and Jo.

Rest in peace Carol for you have touched so many of us.

Dave Atherton

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Campaign against Smoking Bans in Psychiatric Units


As some of you will know, over the years full smoking prohibition has been creeping its way into mental hospitals. We covered this creep from its first case in the United Kingdom in 2008 when Rampton Mental Hospital banned patients from smoking at all. Resident patients defending their human rights took their case all the way to the Court of Appeal, but very unfairly lost. This completely biased ruling set the precedent for full smoking prohibition. Now due to a demand from ‘Public Health England’ (PHE) and the ‘National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’ (NICE) NHS mental hospitals across the country have taken full advantage by completely banning smoking on their grounds, effectively forcing patients to quit against their will. This pointless and sadistic policy has also been fully encouraged by anti-smoking “charity” ASH and “mental health charity” Mind.

There is good news though. Just when the likes of ASH and so called mental health charity Mind thought they had got away with it, a new backlash has come about in the form of ‘Campaign against Smoking Bans in Psychiatric Units’ (CASBIPU). We fully back this campaign all the way because the issue of smoking is not just about choice and leisure; it is also about the human rights of a person knowing what’s best for them. While many smoke for enjoyment, many also smoke because it is therapeutic in alleviating anxiety, which is especially true concerning mental health issues. Obviously ASH absolutely hates the idea that tobacco is used as medication, as that truth would destroy their relentless crusade to get tobacco banned outright. ASH and Mind are desperately trying to argue the case “it’s for their own good”: not only is that insulting to those with mental health problems, it is also a completely pathetic argument in every sense.

Obviously this policy will greatly amplify patients’ symptoms on arrival to hospital, in turn keeping them locked up longer, further amplifying their symptoms. They will probably smoke twice as much when they get out, just to recover from the trauma. This will also lead to increased violence on wards and increase the chance of ward suicides. Understandably those suffering a mental breakdown will now avoid seeking help. Another interesting point is that in convention III, article 26 of the Geneva Convention it states “The use of tobacco shall be permitted” which means mental health inpatients are being treated worse than prisoners of war.

Moving on to Mind, they are a “charity” too big for their boots which instead of helping people with mental health issues bullies them, which is not surprising considering some of Mind’s origins stem from advocating eugenics. Ironically Mind with the slogan “For better mental health” promotes the Human Rights Act 1998 on its own website, which includes prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, right to liberty and security, respect for your private life and family life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and the right not to be discriminated against, but fail to mention it does not apply to them. They also state “Our policy work influences government so that people with mental health problems can get the support they need and the respect they deserve”. What Mind deserve, along with their allies, is an end to their government funding, a complete boycott from the general public, followed by their own incarceration.

Meanwhile we applaud SANE, a genuine mental health charity, for speaking out against this sadistic measure.

So why should the general public be so concerned about this? If they can do it to innocent people who happen to have mental health problems, they can do it to you. ASH is just using this sadistic and evil experiment, to then bring it onto the masses. It is quite clear from this that ASH and their supporters want full tobacco prohibition at any cost and if they do get what they want, they will not stop there. It is said that, when you trade liberty for security you lose both, or liberty for health in this case. We have always been criticized for calling the anti-smoking movement a bunch of Health-Nazis, which is a bit unfair on them, as they are not really Health-Nazis, but just Nazis. The fact is, using the most vulnerable to experiment on against their will, does resemble eugenics. Let us not forget that the original Nazis were also very anti-smoking based on their eugenics program of building a super race. Even the modern anti-smoking movement has slipped up openly stating that smokers should be refused treatment and left to die, a Dr Mengele culture that is also resonating against drinkers and obese people. You can support CASBIPU by signing their petition linked at the bottom below.


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