Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Here we are again. Now in it's third year, Stoptober, Nanny's do as we say October campaign is back again in a bid to force us all into the perfect size 10, non drinking, non smoking, tofu-eating, water-supping perfect human specimens to, presumably, ensure we can become 150 year old burdens on society. However, this year on Twitter, it seems to be targeting all sorts of undesirables from smokers, to drinkers to the overweight - and jumping on the bandwagon a month in advance is the long-running Movember and new Govember campaigns, for those who like to grow moustaches and goatee beards.
Nothing has changed for Tabbers and we are here again to say we love our tabs and we're not quitting despite the Govt repeating this campaign aimed at trying to force a change of behaviour via a community push in a sort of "You're either with us or against us" kind of way.
However, #Octabber is about much more than just a statement from informed adult consumers who want to be left alone in peace without harassment to enjoy a legal product of choice. We resent the waste of tax payers cash on such silly gimmicks which do not have the effect the professional healthists brag about. Thousands/millions (insert outrageous stat for effect) of smokers do not quit during the month and you only have to check out the #Stoptober hash tag to see that it's mostly health professionals, local authorities, alleged charities, and other tax funded, Big Pharma and corporate funded organisations that are getting excited about it. After all, their jobs depend on coming up with such propaganda and they are as dependant upon smokers for their living as the tobacco companies.
Despite the ever increasing hate campaign, marginalisation and stigmatisation of smokers, calls to ban them from outdoor public places, that they have every right to use, moves to remove yet more private property rights with car bans and home bans on the horizon, it seems we are still increasing in numbers with new figures that show one in five people still smoke.
The new paid for #Stoptober Twitter campaign was launched early and even after ploughing in cash that could be better used towards funding cancer drugs, for example, the subject still doesn't trend on the social networking site. More people were talking about the latest UKIP defection and former Tory MP Brooks Newmark's private parts than quitting or smoking. Most people couldn't care less about the issue but what is pitted against consumers each year with this campaign is the power of the state and corporate funded bodies flexing their muscles against the little people.
Perhaps the bottom line is that people don't like to be bullied and they will kick back. Smoking is now, more than ever, the torch of freedom and more of a contentious and divisive issue than its ever been between those that smoke and those who hate smokers. Non smokers, are generally tolerant people who would back inclusive moves to give tobacco consumers their own pubs and clubs. They believe that in truly fair, tolerant and inclusive societies, everybody's needs, wants, desires, and aspirations should be taken into account.
Until the Govt begins to listen to us, #Octabber will be back year on year.
We had hoped to launch the same sort of campaign as we did last year with Tabbers' Tales but we don't enjoy the same kind of resources as the anti-smoker industry. We could get one smoker per day for a year to tell their stories of why they're fed up at this unprecedented attack on their chosen and long lived lifestyle but sadly, we won't get the same time to blog this year so we'll leave over to you to say what you want in the comments. Moderation is on because paid anti-smoker astroturf trolls get sent in to be disruptive and this is not a place for them or the awful abuse that usually comes with them.
When we launched this campaign we stated that the anti-smoker propaganda that claims most smokers want to quit is untrue. Most of us love smoking and enjoy tobacco. We've never yet met a smoker who smoked because they wanted to quit. We support progressive moves in the industry to make the product less risky, either by the expansion, acceptance and encouragement of ecigs as a safer alternative to smoking (as long it isn't an enforcement on those of us who will always love the traditional culture of enjoyment of tobacco), and investment in the new generation of cigarettes which the Govt, if it really wanted to reduce harm caused by smoking, would eagerly embrace and promote. It should not now, or ever, support smokerphobia in the same way that it doesn't support any other kind of hate group like homophobics, xenophobics or Islamophobics
We are and remain totally against any bullying, coercion, community campaign, ban, junk science "study", or untrue propaganda , such as smokers cost everyone else more money. - we don't - which is aimed at making us quit through forced marginalisaton.
Enjoy #Octabber this year as last and the year before that. Have your say, and tell the Govt what you think. If you tweet, you could promote the #Octabber hashtag or be sure to also tell those parties currently losing political support hand over fist because of laws and regulations that treat adult consumers as children that #WeSmokeVapeWeVote
We're off to enjoy a nice home grown tab and a cup of tea with a homemade piece of cake. It doesn't get more organic than that. Meanwhile, there are plenty of blogs for smokers/vapers and tobacco lovers to enjoy throughout this month and we list some of them here.
There are a lot more free-choice and anti-Nanny State bloggers with a passion for both smokers' and vapers' rights out there and all of the blogs linked above carry links to them. Blogging and dropping in for a chat while having a drink and smoke has, for many of us, become the new, if virtual, pub. So few of us have been at a real bar since the spiteful, exclusive, and politically motivated blanket smoking ban hit us on July 1, 2007.
Sunday, 27 October 2013
UPDATE 29th October : THE BOSS IS BACK
Leg-iron kindly agreed to post the last two Tabbers' Tales up on the We're Not Quitting Page in the Beleaguered Consumer's absence but he was unable to access it so posted the updates here on the home page. Big thanks are due for his help in keeping things going.
A link to the now deleted day 28 and Day 27 posts on the home page can now be found HERE
BC wasn't able to update the last two days of the campaign herself as she was shopping in a more civilised EU country for tobacco products (she discovered a lovely Irish Coffee cigarella and bought a few of those as well as her usual brand of hand rolling tobacco.)
Shopping abroad in countries that treat smokers as human beings is something she has done since 2007 in protest at the blanket ban and the UK Government wasting her cash on propaganda campaigns that aim to turn tobacco consumers into lepers. She isn't the only one judging from the number of tobacco tourists she met on the trip.
#Octabber aimed to mirror the 28 days of Stoptober by uploading daily tales from tabbers who don't want to quit but are angry at the continual propaganda, harassment and abuse they get because of such publicly funded quit campaigns.
They are the highest tax paying consumers. They deserve to be heard and they deserve to be taken into consideration when designing laws against them.
Big thanks are also due to all those who took part in and supported #Octabber. We not only reached our target but exceeded it and unlike Stoptober, we will continue to the end of the month.
News will follow in Smokevember - November to those of us who still know the real language of our monthly calendar - about what happens when the #Octabber campaign ends.
All together now - We're Not Quitting so leave us alone or expect a huge fight on your hands.
Saturday, 26 October 2013
Sunday, 6 October 2013
Tobacco consumers who choose not to quit in October have been showing their defiance and anger at their social exclusion over at the We're Not Quitting page of this campaign.
These Tabbers' Tales will run every day during the 28 days of #Octabber to show that not all smokers want to quit, those that enjoy their hobby should be considered when designing legislation, rather than attacked by it, and they demand the bullies in public health back off.
So follow Tabbers's Tales every day and if you are an adult tobacco consumer who doesn't want to quit, and is fed up at the abusive propaganda using the hateful Denormalisation tool, which attacks the person and not the product, then get in touch and tell your story about why you love your tabs and why you're not quitting. Email the Beleaguredactivist@gmail.com
You can also find #Octabber on Facebook.
Monday, 16 September 2013
To prove that Stoptober isn't the only gimmick to come up with a silly name, we thought we'd have a go ourselves and before we knew it, #Octabber was born. Up north we call our cigs tabs - hence Oct-tab-ber. The # precedes it for those willing to promote and share it on Twitter with a view to getting people talking about it and aware of it.
We are not awash with tax payer cash so we don't have the luxury of TV advertising campaigns, social media promotions, web or newspaper advertising that is afforded to Stoptober. We get no funding from anyone and that includes the Tobacco Industry. We are simply independent grass roots consumers fed up to the back teeth of anti-smokerism since war was declared on us in 2007.
#Octabber says that we love our tabs and we have absolutely no intention of quitting, not now, not ever, no matter how much pressure is applied by those paid to coerce us into abandonment of a legitimate adult product which for some is a lifetime culture.
We are the highest UK tax paying consumers. We have already paid our healthcare dues, and more, but we get absolutely nothing back in return except what feels like harassment via continual public campaigns. Figures continue to show that we pay more into the system than is spent on alleged "smoking related" illnesses.
National Nagging used to be just one day of the year and now we get a whole month with added corporate bullying from big names like Nike and Boots jumping aboard The Thug Bandwagon.
We don't want our taxes to fund this kind of propaganda - or to boost the fortunes of private business. We want the £13.1 million pounds of our money currently poured in to fund anti-smoker campaigns, to be used instead to improve the health service via direct patient care. Channel 4 News recently reported that we are five times more likely to die in a British hospital because of underfunding. Now we see where the money goes astray.
The Stoptober message is also socially divisive. It appears to say "if you're not one of us then expect to be excluded and ostracised." One of our followers watching the ad said : "knowing you won't quit as they turn their backs to the camera, smirking, feels like being pushed into a corner by a bunch of playground bullies who then walk away after nicking your pocket money."
Government is being misled by anti-smoker industry claims that almost all smokers want to quit. We don't. Many of us would like our hobby to be more affordable and less risky but this issue is no longer about health. It is about political ideology, smokerphobia, and cold hard business profit.
If it was really about saving lives then government and private business should support progressive research, as opposed to junk science and gimmicks. That is the way forward. This is the technologically advanced 21st Century after all and not the middle of the Dark Ages where sinners are punished until they repent. A safer product is possible and consumers want it.
Current tobacco industry research is an excellent first step in this evolution. The enforced anti-smoker "Quit or Die" approach is putting the lives of future generations at unnecessary risk and we resent it. Over regulation of the product can only drive poor consumers underground to the dangerous, contaminated, and criminally run black market.
Anyone who argues that tolerance, research and education are more effective in reducing the health risk associated with tobacco smoke, and disagree that prohibition is the only way forward for tobacco consumers, is smeared dismissed and attacked by a "cause" which has long since lost its way.
We hope that #Octabber explains what we are all about and displays at least some of the anger we feel. You don't have to choose Stoptober. It isn't compulsory no matter how it feels. You can find friends and a safe haven here. Next time an unwelcome approach nags you to quit your tabs then be sure to tell them that you won't be joining Stoptober because you support #Octabber.
Good luck to anyone who does choose to quit smoking during October, or any other month of the year. Quit or smoke, it's your choice. Expertise, experience and evidence tells us that Nicotine Replacement Therapy - ie - patches, gums, and other chemical alternatives to smoking don't work. Abstinence is more effective. For those who love smoking but don't like the smoke then there are also e-cigs - the most effective quitting method ever and a much cheaper alternative to tobacco - if not quite as nice.
Feel free to post comments of support or your own Stoptober/#Octabber experiences but be warned that this is not a place where smokerphobics are welcome. Moderation is a must. They often have a compulsive addiction to dropping in to post photos of the fake black lung or personal abuse because that's how they roll.
Meanwhile, our message is simple. Leave us alone, we've had enough, and we're not quitting. Instead we will hold October in remembrance of adults and children both here and abroad who have been murdered by smokerphobics, driven to their deaths by smoking bans, and bullied into suicide because of harmful public scaremongering campaigns.
Incidentally, what is Nike and Boots' employment policy now they are aboard the anti-smoker juggernaut? Will it include job discrimination against adult consumers who are being dispossessed of the right to work..
UPDATE 27/9/13 More about #Octabber HERE