Monday, 16 September 2013

WELCOME TO #OCTABBER



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

32 comments:

  1. About time the fightback started. I'm supporting #Octabber and I will spread the word. Thanks.

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  2. Word spreaded here(I think Iv,e just invented a new word)and to celebrate I,m off to Europe on the 1st of October to take advantage of out wonderful Trading Agreement and avoiding UK Tax....win,win.

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  3. Enjoy your trip. I must say, I've never travelled as much around Europe as I have since I was priced out of buying tobacco in the UK. Now I go abroad every 6 months for a quick shopping trip and sightseeing day and still save more than if I'd bought the equivalent amount of tobacco here. Laffer Curve comes to mind. Still, if they insist on using our money to fund silly campaigns what do they expect.

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  4. Great at last smokers have found a voice!!

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  5. Great start! Resistance to stupidity has never been more needed in this septic isle.

    Please do all you can to promote pure leaf - easy to find suppliers on 't net - which is available without duty paid (therefore at approximately 1/8th the cost in shops - that's 1/8th, not 1/8th off, hard to believe but true). I believe it's our duty (!) to starve the beast of tax, especially until the vilification of smokers stops.

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  6. I'm from Canada, and I'm all over this. Thank you! It's about time there was an organized effort to stand up for our rights.

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  7. I have one for the smokers graveyard. A few years back, a woman who went for a smoke died of exposure outside a Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. It was said she was found by the utility buildings, approx. 500 yards from the hospital. She got lost and confused of direction during a brutal snow storm. What the news failed to mention was the new law, which stated you HAD to be 500 yards away from the Hospital to have a ciggie. This woman put her life in danger, and died as a result, by abiding the law.

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  8. We will not be denormalized!
    Canadian Tobacco Lover

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  9. Thanks Rae - Frank Davis keeps the Smoker's Graveyard so he might want to add in the latest case of a consumer driven to their death by a spiteful ban.

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    1. "Smoker's Graveyard" is the best way to knock the "power and control" types off the Ban Wagon.
      Especially, via the "Class Action" lawsuit.
      There is a legitimate legal principle of "duty of care" that can, and should be used, effectively to put a stop to this viral "BAN mania"

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  10. Never retreat, never surrender. http://www.flickr.com/photos/90896760@N08/sets/72157634578551377/

    lncidentally, the best way to stick it to the Gov and the Tobacco Companies (who just sat back and did nothing) is to use tobacco leaf. Grow it yourself or buy it ... at £1.50 for 50g!

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  11. Well done Pat. I knew you wouldn't abandon the blogosphere for long on this subject. I feel as you do. Persecuted for consuming something that I have been using for over 45 years.

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  12. Nice to see you too FE. I've been a follower of SH's philosophy these last few months - ignore 'em and disobey where you can. I might put up a post about stealth smoking in public, which has nothing to with e-cigs, and maybe a boycott page to ensure people spend their hard earned cash elsewhere than at smokerphobic companies. It could also be a spot to name and shame those firms that discriminate against staff and jobseekers who smoke in their own free time.

    Send me links and info when you're made to feel particularly unwelcome - like at Starbucks which now demands you buy their coffee but fuck off 500 yards away to drink it. Let me know if you spot when the next ugly case of smokerphobic job discrimination turns up and pass the word so that other people can too.

    I don't get so much time to blog lifestyle politics lately but I'll try to pop in now and again.

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  13. SH - those leaves you sent me were very, very nice. Highly recommended.

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  14. I've enjoyed smoking for around 40 years. My attitude prior to 2003 was “OK, I suppose I should stop smoking one day for the sake of my health”. But when the New York smoking ban came in I decided it was time I did some research into the subject.

    What I found was truly shocking as I'm sure everyone here knows.

    My position now is that I will NEVER give up smoking. Even if I find, one day, that I don't enjoy it, I'll simply not smoke as much or at all. I will never give up or quit though.

    The true affliction and addiction I've discovered is that of the anti-smokers and I think they need our help. Perhaps we should launch a “quit anti-smoking website” with links to resources where they can receive confidential advice and assistance with quitting. These already exist in the form of e.g. freedom2choose, Frank Davis, VGIF, DickPuddlecote, Leg Iron, Forest and many more.

    Tony

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  15. All of the above have a better sense of humour than me but they do help to lighten the burden of perpetual anger.

    Personally, and I do wish that someone would fund research into it, I think extreme anti-smokerism (as opposed to being anti-smoking) is a mental health condition that might be related to a dysfunctional behaviour disorder such as OCD (to give it an layman's umbrella term) or narcissism.

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  16. Hello, Pat -- Thanks for this.

    I'm doing a series on the subject in October. Good to see such solidarity.

    Best wishes
    Churchmouse

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  17. Good news Churchmouse. Let me know what you're doing and when and I'll link to it here.

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  18. Thank you -- much appreciated!

    My series will start late (11 p.m. BST) on September 30 and continue through the same time to October 4 (inclusive). Another post will appear on October 6.

    More posts will appear after that, but those will probably be mixed in with eugenics and history. Some will definitely be smoking-related, but others will profile bad health policy from the 20th century to the present.

    Again, thanks for all the work you do. You have been a favourite in our household since 2007 via FOREST-related sites.

    Churchmouse

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  19. Alehander Haydoukov24 September 2013 at 13:11

    Thank you. I take hope for the future in such open-minded and freethinking people. I am a Bulgarian smoker and of course not going to allow anybody to decide instead of me or to put a chip into my head.

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  20. Glad to see you back Pat, I tried to post under my usual name but wordpress is telling me I don't own it! I have no intention of stopping, even lung cancer didn't stop me, 3 years now and so far I am fine. I will not be bullied nor will I answer their questionaires about smoking. I have not bought any tobacco product in this country since the ban and I never will. One day just maybe they will leave us alone and let us have our own pubs etc.

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  21. Just checking to see if I can comment using my wordpress id

    Frank Davis

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  22. Hi Pat, happy to see you back. You energize me :-)

    Here are my reasons for not wanting to stop smoking:

    I will not stop smoking because first and foremost I thoroughly enjoy it. Secondly if I didn't smoke, I would have to resort to dangerous medication to get the much needed levels of concentration and relaxation that I get out of smoking. Thirdly, I am far too self sufficient to have anyone dictate what is best for me. Last but not least, the anti-smoker cartel, including the medical and scientific establishments, have exaggerated the risks of smoking so much that I now question even the parts that might be true on the health hazards of smoking.

    I have paid enough in ''sin'' taxes to have earned the right to have a say in the matter and I will fight until my or their (whichever comes first) end to expose the corruption of all those involved in professional anti-smoking and bring some common sense and humanity back into the issue. I hope to live long enough to see the prosecution of the chief propagandists and liars in the anti-smoking movement.

    Iro


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  23. Thanks Iro. It's very odd isn't it that as the highest tax paying consumers we get absolutely no say what-so-ever in decisions made for us by people. frankly, who hate us. I always think its akin to the UK's far right racist party the BNP being installed into our Home Office to run immigration and be responsible for race equality.

    Those who jump aboard the anti-smoker bandwagon should realise that they may be next so they need to make a stand with tobacco consumers to say Enough's Enough or who next?

    I hear that mentally unbalanced health phobic in NYC, Bloomberg, has banned McDonald's from opening restaurants or take aways in that once great city. When I first heard, a little smirk of "told you so" ran across my face because here in the UK, McD's was the first to ban smokers from its premises.

    Worse - staff even refused to wipe a dirty and wet table outside for smokers and expected us to sit in the rain and wet without any care.

    But as much as I would like that bigoted company to get some of what it gave to us, I also think that we should all support consumer choice no matter what the product and whether we personally like it or not.



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  24. .. and as I note elsewhere, the story about McD's is a satirical one - who would know the difference thee days as the healthist issues around people's lifestyles have got about as ridiculous as they can be.

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  25. First post for 2013 up on my site:

    http://churchmousec.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/octabber-redux/

    Churchmouse

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  26. Nice post Churchmouse. There are so many worthy health causes that could better use that NHS money nicked by Stoptober and other anti-smoker campaigns and gimmicks.

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  27. I love moderation. Stoptober abusive trolls, presumably paid for with NHS money too, have begun to bully us already. #Octabber is a refuge from the thugs so abusive comments will not get through. I guess they are too stupid to read as the post clearly says : " ..this is not a place where smokerphobics are welcome"

    As they have no idea about biological science, but prefer junk guesstimate studies to support prejudice, I think perhaps they are too illiterate to read, so I'll make it very clear. Abusive Smokerphobics are UNWELCOME here.

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  28. Pat, now I am being told that "I do not own this identity" - DO I REALLY HAVE TO POST ANONYMOUS????

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  29. Who are you? No, you don't have to post anonymous. There has been reported problems between Wordpress and E Blogger when posting a comment but I have no idea how to fix it.

    If you want to leave a Tabber's Tale - or a more general comment - use anon if it's easier and then your name. That's the only solution I can think of.

    Only abusive antis or vile smokerphobics are banned. Smokers, tolerant vapers and non smokers are all very welcome.

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  30. Totally brilliant. Well done Pat, its great you are blogging on this subject again

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