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Sunday
Jul192015

Juliette Tworsey: "I'm still a smoker in my mind and in my heart"

A welcome guest at The Freedom Dinner on July 7 was Juliette Tworsey, pictured above with a rather glassy-eyed Chris Snowdon.

Born in Chicago, Juliette moved to New Orleans via Los Angeles with her partner Jules Shapiro. Together they play in a band called Firebug.

I invited them largely because of Juliette's principled stand against the smoking ban in New Orleans.

Sticking her head above the parapet when many others wouldn't, she spoke out at two hearings earlier this year. (I posted about it here: A sad day for freedom of choice.)

I was particularly impressed by the fact that she defended smoking despite having quit cigarettes two years ago in favour of tobacco vaporisers. (I wrote about that too: "I witnessed vapers throwing smokers under the bus".)

It takes a principled person to defend without reward something you no longer do, or have never done.

This was Juliette's first visit to the UK for several years and earlier this week she posted some observations on her blog.

They include comments about The Freedom Dinner, graphic health warnings (on smokeless tobacco products) and the absurd consequences of the UK's tobacco display ban.

If you want to know how others see us it's definitely worth a read. See Freedom calls in London.

If you have 15 minutes to spare you can also hear a rough edit of an interview I did with Juliette and Jules prior to The Freedom Dinner. It includes Juliette's heartfelt comment that, "I'm still a smoker in my mind and in my heart." Click here for more.

Firebug's new album, Homeostasis, will be released shortly. In the meantime here's a video featuring the impressive song 'Wine, Water & Bread'.

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Reader Comments (3)

Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was civis romanus sum ["I am a Roman citizen"]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Berliner!"... All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner!"

Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 16:16 | Unregistered CommenterVlad

Thanks Simon! It's important to know that we are not alone out there in the wilderness of sound bytes and recycled rhetoric. As we all know, standing up for smokers (and now vapers) can often turn out be nothing other than a thankless endeavor, but many of us stand up for what we believe in nonetheless. It was quite the experience to be around so many other like minds. That is a rare experience indeed, one that I will carry with me for a long time. The next time that I get grilled &/or harassed by some know it all fanatic (..about vaping, my views on smoking, etc..) I will remember that there are a lot of people out there who feel just as I do. That in itself is gratifying.

Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 23:25 | Unregistered Commenterjredheadgirl

Lack of money is whittling down overpaid jobs in smoker control. I have found business premises where I can sit comfortably have coffee, smoke a cig. and chat to others all without the aid of the smoke police. People really are waking up to the con. over cigs.
I thought my shopping/lunching with friends was over. now I find business ignoring it and finding rooms for smokers only. It is wonderful. A woman came into a place I was and said she had heard there was smoking and she could smell it. A couple of smokers put their cigs out and we insisted that there was no one smoking it was tobacco sticks burning for the fragrance. We did have a laugh. She left, sent a cheeky letter with threats of all sorts. never seen her again. Laughter it seems is the best remedy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 12:19 | Unregistered Commentermary smoker

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