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« Zero sum game | Main | Dinner date »

Points of view

God played a little joke on me last night.

I was at Magdalene College, Cambridge (above), to speak at a dinner ahead of the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum that takes place in London this week.

Following drinks outside, we were ushered in to the old candlelit hall (no gas, no electricity), first built in the early 16th century. And there, sitting directly opposite me, was a senior research analyst from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.

What are the chances?

I discovered she has a background in human rights and is also interested in gender issues. If I understood her correctly, smoking is a gender issue because, worldwide, the majority of smokers are men and by smoking they are imposing their habit (or worse) on the women around them.

Anyway, I had an enjoyable discussion with her and a chap who works for Juul Labs, and following my after dinner 'speech' – which emphasised the need to respect those who choose to smoke – things got even livelier with several other guests pitching in.

Summing up, our host Elise Rasmussen made the point that the pre-conference field trip tends to lend itself to more robust discussion because people are more relaxed and tend to open up more.

Sadly, such contrasting views are unlikely to feature on any of the panels at this week's conference which is dominated by those who want to see smoking eradicated from the planet. That's a pity because I think it would liven up some of the sessions.

We are however promised a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT.

Watch this space.

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Reader Comments (2)

Good grief! Claiming women are victims of men who smoke is scraping the barrel a bit. That researcher has no respect for women at all - certainly not if they smoke. Two tolerant non smoking men live with me in my house so what does the sexist researcher have to say about that, I wonder.

If smoking is a gender issue it is because tobacco control targets women for bullying more than men because they know women are easier targets to abuse and upset.

Hypocrisy is strong among the tobacco control mob.

Monday, September 10, 2018 at 10:39 | Unregistered Commenterpat nurse

Once again the persecution of smokers is justified on the basis of spurious ideology and a quest for niches of power. Its time to end the persecution of smokers.

Monday, September 10, 2018 at 19:05 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

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