Wednesday, July 1, 2009

WHAT da fuck gives YOU da right?

I've been smoking since I was 15. Women, they come and go. Tobacco stays. I'm not into beer or whisky, not even the occasional Shandy. Alcohol I can live quite happily without. But I'd fight to the death for my right to light up and enjoy a quiet, untroubled smoke. Without being forced to look at gruesome, ugly images conjured by the world's greatest hypocrites - the World Health Organization.

That's right. The same scam that brought us Herpes, AIDS, SARS, cock & bull flu. They have the power to quarantine you if you so much as sneeze as you go through the airport scanners. They can order schools closed, borders sealed, entire cities evacuated. WHO says it cares about World Health. Yup. Health is BIG business. One of the biggest. After warfare.

I can't remember exactly when these so-called Government Health Warnings first began to appear on cigarette packs. Perhaps in the early 1990s (when George Herbert Walker Bush announced the New World Order). But I sure miss the good old days when all you saw on a pack of cigarettes were cheerful, positive statements like: "Where Particular People Congregate" or "Finest Virginia Blend" or "By Special Appointment to Buckingham Palace, Purveyors of Fine Tobacco Since 1828" or simply "London. New York. Paris. Vladivostok."

Don't these pompous idiots in white smocks realize the great evil they are helping to perpetrate by bombarding us with such negative thoughts and images? If they genuinely desire to promote human health, wealth and welfare, shouldn't they use their collective clout as medical professionals to campaign against patently lethal things like nuclear weapons, depleted uranium, industrial pollution and warfare?

Assuming the Health Authorities are truly sincere about discouraging people from smoking, don't you think they would achieve far better results if they went with upbeat, positive advice on every pack of cigarettes instead of manipulating and reinforcing people's fear of disease and death? A far more acceptable Government Health Warning might read:


Now if they could persuade the tobacco companies to quit putting toxic additives into their commercial blends just to make their cigarettes burn faster - and forbid tobacco farmers from spraying their crops with pesticides - that would be a laudable effort I'd happily support.

Indigenous peoples have enjoyed tobacco for thousands of years. They regard smoking as a sacred ritual. Tobacco represents the plant kingdom, growing from the fertile soil of Mother Earth. When tobacco smoke passes into the lungs it is charged with love from the heart chakra. As the smoke is exhaled, it is blessed with a sense of gratitude for life's pleasures, small and great, and offered as a fragrant incense to Father Sky. This is the sacred meaning of smoking when performed as a conscious ritual. Done this way smoking cannot harm you. Indeed, it can be viewed as a universal form of prayer, honoring the mystical connection between Heaven, Earth and Humanity.

When governments take on the role of nannies, their insincerity and hypocrisy invariably shows. If your government genuinely cares for you, it will channel every effort towards eliminating war from this planet. War not only kills millions of innocents, civilians as well as soldiers - it also contaminates the environment and causes massive damage to ecosystems (think about Agent Orange, radioactive fallout, unexploded bombs and landmines!) The number of war casualties since the beginning of recorded history exceeds by far the number of people who have succumbed to diseases related to smoking. So how come there are no Government Health Warnings printed on every military uniform and painted on every tank, jetfighter and aircraft carrier?

How many people have been killed every day on the roads since the invention of the automobile? Why doesn't the government introduce a law requiring car manufacturers to emblazon every new vehicle with grisly images prominently displayed on the bonnet?

Would you pay RM3.5 million to charge around in one of these?

[Vomit-inducing images supplied by Delan Goh]
I'm aware that smoking and non-smoking are emotional issues, not too different from respect or disrespect for organized religions. The views I offer are entirely subjective. Militant non-smokers are bound to get uptight when they read this post. Just as hardcore Umno members get all rigid whenever they see the phrase Ketuanan Rakyat.

My own honest opinion about smokers and non-smokers is that I've always felt a lot more comfortable and relaxed around people who smoke - whether cigarettes, pipes, cigars, bongs or reefers. My non-smoking friends, as a broad category, tend to be more disciplined, ascetic, fastidious, judgmental and strong-willed (read "somewhat anal" :-). They're the ones who get up with the sun and go jogging and enjoy munching on raw celery. Not that they're actually healthier than my smoking, non-jogging friends... just more uptight and self-righteous about maintaining their precious daily routines.

I used to really enjoy travel, in happier days when you'd be asked at check-in counters, "Smoking or non-smoking? Window or aisle?" Aircraft seemed to have more legroom those days (nope, I haven't grown taller; but as planes get bigger, legroom appears to shrink, mainly because profit-greedy accountants and marketing slicks now run the show). After being served a meal, the smokers at the back of the plane would unfasten their seat belts and light up. Often, conversations with strangers sitting across the aisle would begin at that point. True, non-smokers often complained that their clothes reeked of stale cigarette smoke after the flight - but at least the atmosphere in the planes was a great deal more cheerful and pleasant, especially before the word "terrorism" was invented by the CIA's spindoctors. And your clothes will reek of stale smoke coming out of a pub anyway... unless smoking is banned throughout the world... and drinking too (or else a couple billion nerve-wracked tobacco addicts suffering cold turkey will be tearing up the pavements on berserk drunken binges).

Next will be oral, anal and non-procreative sex. Mark my words, all ye would-be-banners of simple pleasures. One of these days you'll find yourself accosted and detained for grinning too broadly whilst some eager young stud is sucking you off under the table... and you'll end up having to service a prison blockful of hardcore criminals (mostly from Umno/BN, be warned!) for the next 20 years with no weekends off.

You call that PROGRESS
Smoking can cause your dick to get big and hard - that's what I call a warning!

(First posted as a comment on Malaysia Today)


adpuncak said...

What this New World Order (The Elite) don't like a situation like the 70's where people all race and boundaries get together and fight the power .Why do people in the 70's unite together is because they are psychedelic (the use of Natural Weed)LOL
Just think why all the government in the banned the use of Drug

art harun said...

LOL!! I was expecting someone to do this soon. And of course it has to be You, Bro. I don't quite see what the point is about putting those images on the packet. The warning "merokok membahayakan kesihatan" too. People get killed on the roads while driving like maniacs and they still drive. People also get maimed going to footies matches in Italy and they are not going to stop doing so. Shit, people get killed just by carrying handbags nowadays but would that stop people from doing so?

The approach is all wrong. Showing those images would do nut to stop people from smoking. I was a smoker. I suddenly decided to stop and smoked my last ciggy at my 40th birthday dinner. Boom! Just like that. NO reason. NO nagging. NO stupid images. Nothing! In short, I just decided to "tak nak".

Like you, if I "nak", those images ain't gonna do shit to change my mind.

Napalm said...

I've only smoked one cigarette in my entire life but I agree with you that SARS, Ahini and smoking are blown out of proportion.

People are dying at the National Service camps. Will they be closed down?

sickput said...

Smoking is a dirty habit.
those smokers dump their finished cigarettes in on pavements, urinals, roads etc.
They defy national law prohibiting smoking in enclosed spaces.
The smoke from the cigarretes cause annoyance to non-smokers. Leaves your clothes all smelly.
If you have to smoke the way you mentioned, then grow your own tobacco.

Anonymous said...

if smoking is you must do, more vitamin C is you must take.
a healthy smoker you would become; at least.

~ master yoda ~

What A Lulu said...

other than the disciplined, go jogging and eat celery, i think you have described lulu quite well.

btw, did you read the news about the 78-year-old businessman who died of a heart attack while allegedly in the midst of foreplay with a transvestite? mebbe they should make posters out of that to warn ppl against sex with transvestites

Anonymous said...

Agree with u , myself am a smoker . WTF the gobermen wan? Follow the NWO blindly ah....! Motor vehicle make tons of smoke no komplen , factori emit poisonous gas oso do know?
These are the cost of mordenisation and industrialisation. Yes , the BIG korporation and Gobermen are the main culprit....smoke curut oso they say can die...???
for non smoker please be more understanding and do not criminalised those smokers like wat's happening in chinchiapor....! wan to smoke must go 1 corner....smoke oso must wif chinchiapor label n tax ...!
All these are PROPAGANDA ala amarika...!!!

Starmandala said...

There have been periods when I felt that I'd be much better off (financially and physically) as a non-smoker. When I was 25 I decided to quit smoking abruptly to celebrate my 26th birthday. Guess what my darling sis-in-law gave me as a present all nicely giftwrapped? Yup. A whole carton of Dunhill :-) Anyway, I totally admire people like Art Harun who without fuss or fanfare are able to abruptly quit - and are goodnatured enough to not make a big deal of it or become a fanatical crusader against "secondhand smoke" (is that more hideous and hazardous than secondbuttock fart? :-)

Sickput said: Smoking is a dirty habit. Like eating pork and hugging dogs, you mean? How about picking your nose and flicking in public? Passing gas in crowded lifts? Perhaps the dirtiest of all habits is to keep denying and dismissing everything one is accused of, even when it's absolutely clear that one is a congenital liar!

If you have to smoke the way you mentioned, then grow your own tobacco. Sickput, I'll grow my own tobacco when you grow your own rice, deal? :-)

Lulu - Sex with a transvestite at 78 sounds like a wonderful way to go... damn, at that age sex with ANYBODY would be welcome!!!

Anonymous said...

Secondhand smoke effect is not a joke.. do you know how long it had taken to prove that smoking cause cancer.. money is in smoking, not in not smoking.. they're making a killing out of us.. pun intended.. people like things that make them feel good sure.. understood... anyway.. most people in health also dont agree with the method of showing the graphic images.. yes, we dont believe it is effective.. yes, there are better ways.. unfortunate that our MOH chose this method.. but yes, smoking is harmful to health.. oh and yes, were also concerned with the other issues you mentioned.. anyway again, first we grow our own tobacco, then we grow our own rice, then we treat our own illnesses.. now thats progress..

M said...

I absolutely agree. When I quit, its because I want to, not because I'm being forced to. Anyway, I already know the day I'm quitting. When my wife comes back and tells me we've got babies on the way, thts the day I smoke my last stick.

And my favorite comeback to all those who say smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. It merely increases the risk of causing cancer. The same way travelling in an aeroplane increases the risk of you dying in an air crash.

@Sickput: People throwing ciggy butts everywhere does not mean that smoking is dirty. It means those people are uncivic concious. If they weren't smoking, they'd be throwing all manner of sweet wrappers around.

Anonymous said...

I can only come up with one summation to our governments response to issues."knee jerk reponse jerks"

I have been a smoker for the last 27 years, I dont smoke in no smoking zones,in front of children, non smokers or domestic animals.

I mean, what next? carry gruesome pics on Mc Donald wrappers to deter fast food overindulgers?

Customized ciggarette cases have been selling like hot cakes recently.

Allow me to share a series of Smokophobia forwards I received by email some time back (not sure who the author is)in 3 parts.

What is Smokophobia? (Part1
Smokophobia is an irrational fear and intolerance of smoke and smokers,
particularly directed against those who are oriented toward tobacco smoke.
Smokophobia is one of the most prevalent and "popular" forms of bigotry in
our society. In fact, it is a mental illness that afflicts literally
millions of people, all of whom irrationally fear those who smoke.
Smokophobia is so entrenched in modern Eurocentric cultures that even
seemingly intelligent non-smokers have a hard time seeing it for what it is.
Examples of smokophobia include:

The many laws passed against smoking, restricting when and where smokers can
partake of their inhalational preference. (Smokophobes have tremendous legal
and political clout!)

The countless hate-filled "public service" commercials that make smoking
seem "unhealthy" or "unclean."

The "health education" programs in public schools that scare impressionable
young children and create dark images of death and disease linked to
smoking. (But we're not talking about Nazi Germany or the Inquisition: this
still happens in 20th century America - even in seemingly "modern"
communities like Boston and San Francisco.)

The blatant segregation of restaurants, hotel rooms, and public
transportation systems into two classes: non-smoking and smoking, with
smokers clearly being treated like second-class citizens.

Efforts of "well-meaning" friends to encourage smokers to quit - as if one's
identity as a smoker were a simple matter of choice!

Frequent lies from all sources claiming that smoking "causes" cancer and
other diseases, neglecting that fact that everyone is at risk for cancer.

Strong parental opposition to safe smoking education in schools. These
parents often forbid their children to ever even try smoking - afraid that
their child might discover he or she is a smoker.

Vijay Kumar Murugavell

Anonymous said...

Part 2

Levals of smokophobia

) Extreme smokophobia. You view smoking as sinful, wrong, or "a crime
against nature." You think smoking is unhealthy and kills thousands of
people. Smoking is viewed as something to eradicate, even if it requires the
force of government to do so. You see smoking as a stupid, harmful "choice"
made by others. Tobacco companies are thought to be motivated by "greed."
Hateful intolerance. While you may recognize that some people naturally are
smokers, you still find smoking repulsive and refuse to be in the same room
as smokers. You don't want smokers to baby-sit your children. You aren't
troubled when smokers have to leave their workplaces to smoke outdoors -
even if it's bitter cold outside! And taxing cigarettes makes perfect sense
to you.

2) Well meaning ignorance. You recognize the right of others to smoke, but
feel that they are hurting themselves and others by doing so. You may be
willing to associate with smokers, but fear breathing too much "second hand
smoke." Smoking is viewed as an act of rebellion or immaturity, possibly
even "an addiction."

3) Limited tolerance. You accept others who have found their identity as
smokers and recognize their right to smoke. But you don't want them smoking
in your home - and you secretly hope that none of your children prove to be
Informed tolerance. You understand that smokers are people just like you and
accept them as productive members of society. You recognize that lung cancer
can afflict anyone and is not simply "caused" by smoking. You understand
that persecution of smokers can cause so much stress that they are
susceptible to serious health problems, including lung cancer. You know that
inhalational preference is affected by genetics (an obvious fact, since
children raised by smokers are much more likely to be smokers themselves).

4) Enlightenment. You realize that smoking is a natural and delightful
experience for those with that orientation. You advocate smokers rights and
embrace the smoking lifestyle as a valid and wholesome expression of the
full human experience. You are not afraid of finding out that you or your
children are smokers. You are even willing to take a puff or two to find

Isn't it about time you enlighten up and rid yourself of smokophobia?

Anonymous said...

Part 3

Have you hugged a smoker today?

Am I Smokophobic?
Many non-smokers are, but to different degrees. You may be smokophobic if you display any one of the following symptoms. The more symptoms you have, the more extreme your phobia is.
Warning signs of smokophobia:

You are afraid to even try smoking a cigarette (or anything else) because you think you might get "addicted."
You are uncomfortable sitting next to smokers, fearful that their smoke might "harm" you or make your lungs "unclean."
You would be uncomfortable having a smoker baby-sit your children.
You think that smoking causes cancer and kills people.
You think that lung cancer is primarily a "smokers' disease."
You think that states should be allowed to pass laws against smoking.
You feel upset when you see a smokers' pride parade.
When you see a burning building or a hotel fire, you immediately wonder if a smoker is to blame.
After spending time with smokers, you feel a compulsive urge to wash your clothes lest others think you, too, are a smoker.
Please, if you are a smokophobe, seek help immediately. Don't let your ignorance and fear contribute to any more unnecessary deaths of smokers!

AnnA said...

Hahaha @ smokophobia... nice name :P


Anyway I wish to add;

Simple facts. The authorities are very manipulative hypocrites. They give all these reasons actually to get greater tobacco taxes from smokers.

If they are so concern, why is it still on sale? Nah... they are only looking forward on revenues. Hence this stupid idea about creating smokophobia on general public for extra taxes.


I am a smoker for 30 years :) and I'm at 42 now. I have no problem and I am still very active.

I would say that sugar is riskier for health than to cigarette smokes.

I agree with you once again, Antares :)

Dr. Adrian Wong said...

Sorry but this has got to be one of the stupidest pro-smoking posts I've read in some time. Seriously, are you for real?

No one is against your right to smoke yourself to death. That's your right. However, smoking is hardly the PERSONAL choice many smokers make it out to be.

Everywhere I go, I see smokers puffing away. I am FORCED to breathe in the smoke even though I choose not to smoke. Heck, I have to walk circles around them just to avoid getting poisoned. So, what about MY RIGHT to clean, healthy air?

Frankly speaking, if I were the Health Minister, I would BAN the damn things. What are ciggies good for anyway? They do nothing but kill people and the country pays the price of smoking-related illnesses and death.

Again, if you choose to smoke, by all means, go ahead. It's your life. But please do it in the comfort and privacy of your room or car. Please have a thought for other people who do not care for your cancer sticks. We really would love to live a longer, healthier life. Thank you.

Starmandala said...

Vijay, your 3-part thesis on Smokophobia is so instructive and entertaining I think I'll reformat it as a stand-alone blogpost, do you mind? Thanks, buddy, for once again shining the candid light of clear intelligence on a notoriously cloudy issue!

Anna, you're quite right about how much money governments rake in by constantly increasing the tax on alcohol and tobacco, using false piety and projected guilt as leverage. Take away the exorbitant govt tax and a pack of 20s will cost you anything from RM2-5, depending on quality, brand status and packaging. These "kneejerk response jerks" are clobbering us on the head with bad vibes while robbing us blind through legalized theft.

AnnA said...

Dear Dr Adrian

I have one great example about having cancer to ask you.

I don't think LKY is a smoker nor his wife but why LHL has 'had' cancer? LHL even has an albino child. These are big people having healthy living isn't it? And I don't think they smoke.

TWA1161 said...

Whoa.....excellent post, bro. I couldnt agree with you more on the issue. I'm a smoker with 17-years of experience. Very recently I had the pleasure of re-bashing these militant non-smoker in a heated debate on 'Is smoking evil?'. It was only 'heated' because I smoked all through the discussion. Well, it a was a stressful situation. What irked me most with these militants was that they started using religion in their attacks when they were out-debated. I guess that's how militants operate generally. They brought to my attention that Majlis Fatwa had declared smoking is haram and how Muslim smokers are not respecting that fatwa by continuing with their habits. The way I see it, it's not the smokers who are disrespectful but rather the government is not really taking that particular fatwa seriously. If it's haram as they say, then our most islamic government is the one whose suppose to be taking the pro-active action. Maybe a shariah act to punish those errant muslims for smoking. A total ban for muslims from buying tobacco products, just like how we banned alcohol and Magnum 4D (disregarding how effective that move really was). My point is that the post-Hadhari government should show us that they're dead serious, and just maybe we, the muslim smokers, would lay down our 20-packs and lighters in exchange for a much healthier habit, like excessive sugar intake through chewing gum to counter nicotine withdrawal syndrome (until someone haramify chewing gum that is). But what puzzled me most on this haram thingy is that why does these militants do nothing when they see a halal-certified establishment selling these haram stuff? Take for instance the mamak restaurants. 99% of them do sell cigarettes. And they're obviously muslims. I bet every muslim patrons would go berserk if they start selling bacon. But nothing when they sell cigarettes which is also haram (according to the Majlis Fatwa). I think at the very least a complaint should be filed to JAKIM or whoever is in charge so that their Halal tag be revoked. Or is there different degrees of haram that I'm not aware of? So if they're accusing us of not being respectful to a fatwa, then they are also guilty of the same crime for keeping quiet on muslims selling haram-ed goods. Meanwhile I hope they just STFU.

I am all for Dr Adrian being the Health Minister. I hope his noble intention to ban the damn things will someday be materialized. Maybe Dr Adrian could write to our currently worthless Health Minister on his ignorance about the dangers of smoking. I too have the same dilemma as Dr Adrian. I don't drive and I hate motorized vehicles. They're loud, pollute and cause deaths in my opinion. I try to stay away from these killing machines unless the situation forces me to ride one (e.g being escorted into a police van). Like the good doctor, I'm also forced to breathe the emitted CO that I chose not to inhale (or even paid for, unless car exhausts can pump out something more menthol flavored with a little bit of clove, then probably I wouldn't mind so much) besides having to listen to unbearable engine noise and the risk of sudden death when hit by a drunk driver. Unlike Dr Adrian, I can't walk around in circles around speeding cars to make them go away. Somehow I feel that is stupid and a dangerous thing to do. I wish they would ride their vehicles in the comfort of their own room but apparently highways and roads are being built in public places. And what's with these hybrid cars these days? Isn't that the same as stamping 'Light' on cigarettes boxes?

Oh mr Antares, I'm adding you to my Facebook friends, if you don't mind. You're my hero now. If only I don't have a biological father, I would've adopted you.

art harun said...

Dr Adrian, do you think that by prefacing your comment with an apology, the rudeness of your opening line could somehow be mitigated? You are a doctor for God's sake. Are you? Can't we discuss the issue in a civil manner?

I started smoking when I was 14. And as stated in my previous comment, I smoked my last ciggy on the eve of my 40th birthday.

Initially it was tough. But after about 3 months all urges to smoke were gone. Now I don't have any problem anymore.

The thing is, being a former smoker, I understand the needs for smokers to smoke. Smoking is a hyabit as much as it is an addiction. I do not know which one is more potent, the habit or the addiction.

I believe those who view smokers as lepers who must be quarantined are over reacting. Second hand smoke? Well, unless they blow the smoke into your face, I think we could all just blow it away. Even without the second hand smoke, the air is full of toxic.

Adrian Tan said...

Great thoughts! I've just got to share this on my blog. :D

Got to know of this post via Malaysia Today.

Dr. Adrian Wong said...

@ AnnA,

Not smoking does not mean you will be cancer-free. It REDUCES your risk of certain cancer and other health problems. Don't forget there's always SECOND-HAND smoke.

But it's your choice whether to smoke or not. I'm NOT asking you not to smoke. I'm just asking you not to SHARE it with me. :)

@ art harun,

Rudeness? Sorry if my frankness offends you or Magick River, because I'm being frank, not rude.

If this is a matter of opinion, then he would be entirely within his right to postulate whatever he want. However, the fact of the matter is smoking has been proven to be detrimental to health. That's not an opinion. It's a fact.

We should not continue to lie to ourselves about how bad cigarettes are. Why bother to cover the images if you TRULY believe it's sheer nonsense? Why complain about such "futile" attempts to scare you if you TRULY believe that the WHO, Health Ministry and doctors are all lying?

And no, I do NOT think that smokers are lepers. I think they should have the freedom to smoke. It's your choice. However, that freedom should not come at the expense of non-smokers.

I have been "chased" off lifts and toilets by inconsiderate smokers who consider those their smoking domains. Seriously, why should my freedom be curtailed by these inconsiderate smokers?

But coming back to the issue that Magick River posted, why complain about anti-smoking campaigns really? Is the government banning you from smoking? So what if they print a gross picture on the box? It's not like THAT is going to give you cancer, right?

@ TWA1161 - Any good Health Minister would know how much smoking costs the nation. Ultimately, it pays to reduce smoking in the population, which is why you see so many countries trying their best to limit public smoking. Of course, THIS government makes a lot of money from the sale of tobacco, which is why they won't ban it.

Of course, as far as civil liberties go, you should have the right to smoke all you want. To qualify my earlier post, I do not mean a complete ban but a ban on public smoking.

Love your sarcasm, but you CAN enjoy smoking in the privacy of your home/office/car, can't you? :)

AnnA said...

IMO, it is more on a diet that affects our health.

=^.^= said...

y smoke harmless tobacco when u can smoke "dangerous" marajuana

M said...

@Dr. Adrian Wong, I see where you're coming from. Personally, I try to avoid smoking around my friends who are non-smokers, especially if we're seated at the same table.

I try to blow the smoke away from their direction as well but it doesn't always work. Nevertheless, they continue to hang out with me.

By your rationale, fire fighters should have the highest rates of cancer in the country since they're exposed to such voluminous quantities of second hand smoke.

Taking TWA1161's example a little further, I detest people who play extremely loud music in their cars. Studies have shown that extremely high levels of noise induces corresponding levels of stress and we all know that the more stressed you feel, the HIGHER your chances are of getting an episode of cancer/heart attack/stroke.

What happened to my right to enjoy a quiet night out?

The main reason I believed that many people are against the government's anti-smoking campaigns is because they introduce measures like this on the one hand yet do not make sure that the requisite enforcement is provided. Kinda like my mum telling me not to eat out of the cookie jar but looking on nonchalantly as I proceed to devour everything in it. Why waste money like that? Why not provide more facilities for the public? Jogging trails, bicycle lanes, parks and the like. Or improve the transport system. Why waste 115 million on a Tak Nak campaign when the billboards just end up getting defaced?

art harun said...

Dr Adrian, nobody, I think, is lying to him or herself. I think it is well established that smokimg increases the risk of cancer. And I think smokers are aware of that. And they don't deny that fact, being a scientifically proven fact.

But so does eating barbeque or satay grilled on charcoal. But people still do eat barbeque as such. In the smoking world, the problem gets a bit more serious because of addiction.

The crux is how to make them stop? By printing gross images? By printing "merokok membahayakan kesihatan" on the packet? Remember "pandu cermat jiwa selamat"? What happened? Our roads are still open graveyards.

There must be other more effective ways. Don't ask me. I don't know how. Antares is also articulating the hypocrisy of it all too. How much of the high taxes imposed on the ciggies are used to "cure" addiction, I wonder.

And yes. Second hand smoke does affect people. But getting out of a lift when a guy smokes? Or cursing someone who smokes in a restaurant? Are you going to drop dead if you didn't? Cummon! If they break the law, perhaps you can speak with them. Or report them.

Why so emo?

TWA1161 said...

ummm I do enjoy smoking in my home and office but in a car? That's like saying I CAN enjoy smoking while strapped onto an electric chair. Haha I guess you're just teasing me Dr Wong. Do you think you can really enjoy inhaling smoke free air while you're on an IV drip of liquid nicotine and tar? That's how I feel about smoking in cars.

Ban on public smoking is not uncommon. I believe the UK and France have already implemented it. Although I'm a smoker, should there comes a time where smoking in public places prohibition is implemented in Malaysia, I would abide by it without question. What's questionable currently is how much sincerity do our glorious government project when doing these so-called anti-smoking campaigns? They say smoking is bad and you must utter the words 'TAK NAK!' whenever you see a pack of cigarette, yet they still allow sales and to top that off they're making absurd amount of money through its taxes. Oh look those group of people are dying, let's make some profit out of it. That is like selling overpriced food to the famine victims in Africa. I mean the government should do something solid to address the issue. So far, their efforts are laughable. On the gross pictures on cigarette boxes, I would not be surprised if a well connected someone somewhere is making money through printing tenders and whatnot rather than the graphics are there to sincerely scare the daylights out of smokers. As any good Health Minister would know how much smoking costs the nation, a better Finance Minister would know how much its profits are. Unfortunately for the non-smokers, the latter apparently out-weights the former.

I sympathize with your predicament of having being chased out off lifts and toilets. To me, smoking in lifts is simply rude. I bet they're the same people who revs their cars while I'm trying to have my peaceful evening naps. Thus, they're not 'inconsiderate smokers' as you put it, they are inconsiderate people. I'm sure we all have our fair share of encounters with this type of individuals, albeit in one form or another. Just the other day someone parked his/her car in a no-parking area which I need to pass through in order to buy cigarette. It pissed me off to no end. It is common knowledge that a parked car can explode spontaneously as seen in Iraq and Pakistan and I consider walking next to an exploding car is not a very healthy thing to do. So I had to take a longer alternative route to get my daily fix. Those inconsiderate car-owners. I hope they're happy with themselves.

Anonymous said...

sheeeshh antares, did you wake up from the wrong side of the bed?

Dr. Adrian Wong said...

Art Harun,

Magick River actually equated smoking as a sacred ritual, instead of a habit that is detrimental to health. It doesn't sound to me that he actually believes that it's bad for health since when tobacco smoke passes into the lungs "it is charged with love from the heart chakra". LOL!

Why can't he just admit that smoking is bad but he made a personal choice to continue with it? Embellishing it with poetic references to nature and sacred rituals won't change cigarettes for what they are.

As much as I would like for my friends to stop smoking, I don't think it's possible for many. Oh, some will stop, even immediately, but that's usually after they find out they have lung cancer or something as scary. If there's a will, there's a way. Unfortunately, too many don't have the will power.

While I think the government isn't doing enough to stop public smoking, I do think it is important for POTENTIAL new smokers to be informed about the dangers. How do we do that?

Education in schools is important, but it can't trump peer pressure. Also, kids tend to follow what their parents do. So, I do think that printing such pictures on the boxes of cigarettes work. At the very least, the smoker is made aware of the dangers of smoking.

Although you may think it's not working, the fact that you are all so riled up about it is evidence that it is at least effective in generating publicity about the dangers of smoking.

Even vendors are worried enough about the effects of such starkly disturbing pictures. Otherwise, why would vendors go to the extent of making and selling special sleeves to cover up those images?

Of course there is hypocrisy. This is Malaysia!! :) On one hand, it costs the country a ton of money in health costs. On the other hand, it provides jobs and revenue to the government. But no matter what they do or don't do, it's obvious that smokers will continue to smoke no matter how much you tax them or scare them.

Although many people think they are doing this to convince smokers not to smoke, I think it's actually more important to do this to reduce the number of NEW smokers or at least inform them of the grim facts.

BTW, although I get out of the lift when someone smokes, I do think he should be the one who gets out. With that said, it is obvious that even these smokers know what they are doing is wrong. Many attempt to hide their cigarettes although it is obvious that anyone with eyes and a nose can see and smell the smoke.

If I'm emotional about this, it is because I'm personally affected by it. Like I said, if you choose to smoke in your own personal space, that's your right. But if you invade my space with your smoke, why shouldn't I get emotional about it?


Even Singapore has banned smoking in bars, requiring patrons to smoke in special rooms that vent cigarette smoke out the back of the building.

Of course, we all doubt the sincerity of our government. There's nothing much they have done without having some kind of kickback. However, I think that printing such pictures on the boxes is the very least the government can do. Even if someone's making money off it, the idea itself isn't bad - just the implementation.

Heh.. Yeah, inconsiderate people la.. but since we are talking about smoking, so inconsiderate smokers. :)

Starmandala said...

Adrian Wong - You come across as the smug arrogant face of institutionalized medical quackery I detest right down to the grime under my toenails. Allopathic doctors have set themselves up as a Latter-Day Brahmin Snake-Oil Conspiracy - a hi-tech priesthood of "experts" spewing high-falutin' mumbo-jumbo and specializing in illegible scrawls who ceaselessly attempt to arrogate more and more power and influence for themselves, since as doctors they supposedly know the secrets of life and death and thus have the right to disempower their fellow humans by disallowing or making it illegal for them to opt for alternative, non-invasive healing techniques.

Such is the power of secretive guilds like the American Medical Association and its professional affiliates to be found in every country. With their covert links to corrupt and greedy pharmaceutical companies owned by political cronies, these Latter-Day High Priests of Health behave EACTLY like the Pharisees of ancient Judea. Kidding themselves that they have chosen "a noble profession" which saves lives, a vast majority of doctors end up fronting for international drug companies.

With limited understanding of the complex interconnections between body, mind and soul, allopaths are trained to only look at symptoms and attempt to treat them, instead of addressing the root cause of all disease (which more often than not will be found in the subtle bodies where emotional memories are stored).

But enough ranting against Big Medicine! Michael Moore has produced a hard-hitting exposé of what goes on behind the sanitized facade of allopathic medicine and I don't have the patience to get into the details here. Years ago I read a book by Ivan Ilich, the renegade Jesuit scholar, where I came across an interesting word, iatrogenic - which means diseases generated by hospitals and established medical practice.

If you were to rage with equal passion against the internal combustion engine and the toxic pollution it has spawned, I'd be the first to pat you on the back and cheer you on. From what you have written thus far, I can only conclude that you're really just a smart alec who hasn't begun to acquire the smallest smattering of wisdom. In short, another tragic product of the Mahathir era.

Dr. Adrian Wong said...

Wow... You sure are paranoid and delusional. LOL! Snake Oil Conspiracy? Secretive guilds? Seriously, are you living in a different world?

When did doctors make it illegal for any patient to seek alternative treatment? Obviously, you have no idea that the patient has the right to decide on his treatment or lack thereof. Yes, that means he can REFUSE treatment and choose any alternative treatment he may prefer. Many do, which makes me wonder... are we talking about the same country or even planet? :)

Oh, I'm a big fan of Michael Moore. However, you are twisting what his work is about. I seriously doubt you understand the purpose of his documentary, just as I doubt you understand the word iatrogenic.

It may surprise you but doctors not only acknowledge that diseases spread in hospitals but they also take steps to prevent it. But then again, you don't seem to understand what doctors do.

To you, they are merely pill pushers. To someone who actually graduated from medical school, I can tell you that it's far more than just "look at symptoms and attempt to treat them". Please la... if that's all we do, I don't think we need 5-6 years to complete the course.

But please don't let me change your mind. It's your right to believe whatever it is you want to believe. After all, I'm just a doctor, one of the evil quacks who have "covert links to corrupt and greedy pharmaceutical companies". LOL! Cheers! :)

Starmandala said...

Adrian commented: Wow... You sure are paranoid and delusional. LOL! Snake Oil Conspiracy? Secretive guilds? Seriously, are you living in a different world?

The answer, Adrian, is "Thank heaven, YES!" :-) I have met more than my share of cocky and smug MDs in my time (usually when visiting others in hospital) and you sound pretty much like another one of these products of the doctor factories. To be blunt, Dr Adrian Wong, your arrogance sucks and I'd turn around and walk out if I ever entered a clinic and saw it was you in charge, even if you were the only clinic in town! But let's not part ways on such a sour note. I grant that you're a young fellow, late 20s or early 30s perhaps - and still have plenty of time to gain a measure of wisdom and depth.

Dr. Adrian Wong said...


No worries. You certainly made my day. I haven't had such a laugh in days. Cheers! :)

Starmandala said...

Well, Adrian, the fact that you can laugh about our acrimonious exchange compels me to modify my perception of you somewhat. Guess you're really an all-right guy once we get past your aggressive capnophobia! FYI I don't subscribe to the belief that certain substances are good or bad for you. It's not what you do but HOW you do it that makes all the difference. Because I approach smoking as a sacrament (the way Rastafarians approach their daily ganja fix) it does my body only minimal damage (true, I have to clear a bit of mucus every day from my lungs). And if my body begins to seriously complain, I'd drop the habit just like Art Harun did. My apologies for being overly harsh in my earlier response. You can have another good giggle that you succeeded in pushing my buttons :-)
Be merry, motivated and well, my friend.

Gerald Wee Eng Kian said...

Wow, such vitriol and fire in one place.

I'd say the above clearly illustrates why I avoid the vast majority of medical practitioners today for the usual bugs. I've nothing against the good doctor, he seems the intelligent sort, just that this place is not the proper forum for a full on medical discourse.

Putting a point strongly across has something I call a "Credibility" curve. That is the level of acceptability someone has is in inverse proportion to how much they want to make the listener understand. Sure it rises in the beginning. However, when it hits militant, fire and brimstone level it goes into "Incredible" territory.

The short of it is, after a while dear doctor, I just don't "get" you anymore. I no longer understand your point/stand because you no longer care that your audience understands you. All that matters is the message, not the people ever getting what is being said. To me, this is even more tragic than lighting up in some corner because it's a damned lonely place to be. More so because people appear to die in front of you when this keeps happening.

The best people/doctors I know of open themselves to criticism and review [they are Toastmasters in my club]. It's not the skill and knowledge that they possess, it is the willingness to be open for people to not only get them, but grok them.

Total understanding. And that's not difficult with a proper platform [not a comments page] and relentless practice.

There's no "Credibility" curve for this feat.

Means being a thinking and feeling human instead of by some arbitrary title like Master, Mr or Dr. For the simple reason that all titles have expiration dates [basically the moment people stop caring].

So please start caring that people understand what you're trying to say. The first real start in getting healthy is not to prohibit everything that's labeled "bad", it's to release toxic behavior. Everything else afterward is easy.

bennyloh said...

They never have plastic bags for wrapping things those days instead leaves were used to wrap "tau kua" "tau geh" "fried kueh tiau" fish, prawns etc.
I would follow my village boys to pluck those large leaves in the jungle and we smoke capstan, rough rider, craven A, 555's etc while doing this, I was in std 4! I went public ( smoking in school uniform)in Form 2 was caught by my judo sensei in Form 5, when I accidentally made cigarette marks on a judo players list( I was the captain)at recess time.
Never mind if big C don't hit you but the first ciggy in the morning squat will jostled your hearts out.
Even in the wee hours you would walk a mile for that if stocks are out. What the f--k for? I was hitting 3X20 Winston then
This is already my 15th year since I last smoke. It's easy to quit, go cold-turkey-lah

Old Fart said...

Ya....I don't think anyone takes notice of these pictures and smoking goes on its merry way as always. I am a non-smoker by the way, and I fly a lot. and nowadays the flights are a lot more enjoyable as there is no more smoking. as much as you feel you got the right to smoke, I am just as adamant about preferring a smoke free environment. But having said that I don't begrudge smokers in my midst, especially at the Wharf, and places like that. So how are we to do it in the politically correct way? I am supposed to shut up and accept it when you light up in my presence. And yet you feel absolutely nothing about violating the air that I breathe possibly knowing that I disapprove....funny. Somehow the violator of the natural order of things appears to have the upper hand in deciding on what might be politically correct here.

Anonymous said...

the title is "WHo DA FUCK GIVES YOU DA RIGHT?"

not about smoking, it's virtues or evil.

read the title of this article again, please...

then stick to the original intention of this artcile. it's questioning the authorities' self-righteous holier-than-thou attitude in displaying gory images on cigarette boxes.

place your arguments and response based on this premise alone.

not about 2nd hand smoke, smoking kills you etc....


Oneofthesedays said...

"If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and loving, you don’t actually live longer; it just seems longer." - Clement Freud

Starmandala said...

Just found this superb poem by Arlene Riley Wilson, titled...


This is the world that man made.
These are the ills that plagued
The world that man made.
This is the doctor prescribing the pills
That treated the ills that plagued
The world that man made.
These are the plants and labs and mills
That manufactured all the pills the doctor
Gave to treat the ills that plagued
The world that man made.
This is the banker with tellers and tills
That backed the plants and labs and mills
That manufactured all the pills the doctor
Gave to treat the ills that plagued
The world that man made.
This is the general with trumpets and trills
Who made the war that saved the bank that
Backed the plants that manufactured all the pills
The doctor gave to treat the ills that plagued
The world that man made.
Here is the mother all forlorn
Whose one and only child was born
To die in the war the general made to save
The bank that backed the plants that made
The pills the doctor gave to treat the ills
That plagued the world that man made.
This is the angel that blew his horn
To comfort the mother all forlorn
And fired the general and closed the banks
And shut the mills and scattered the pills,
Retired the doctor and cured the ills
And ended the world that man made.

AnnA said...

Great poem and so true

el kiwi said...

where the smokers are more welcome: