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Sunday, May 25, 2008


The High Court has dismissed three judicial review claims brought by patients (represented, in two cases, by Paul Bowen) detained at Rampton High Secure psychiatric hospital challenging a complete ban on smoking anywhere in the hospital introduced in April 2007.......

The Exemption Regulations introduced an exemption from this requirement, but it is only time-limited. From July 2008, all psychiatric hospitals will be required to be smoke-free

This seems to me to be a clear instance of the anti-smoking health fascists being engaged in a purely vindictive ban.

Whatever the health effects there is no dispute that smoking eases tension & for people locked up for years in asylums tension is clearly a greater & more immediate problem than lung cancer. Even were the passive smoking claims not fabricated this ban is clearly going to have no medical, or at least no positive medical effect.

There must be many people in such hospitals whose main pleasure in life is a smoke.

This would be what the Americans call a cruel & unusual punishment if it were not for the fact that people in asylums, unlike prisoners, are officially not being punished for their affliction but being "helped" by the "caring professions".

Meanwhile an exception to the smoking ban has been made for prisons. Clearly the reasoning is that prisoners are often unfriendly gentlemen whom you wouldn't like when they are angry & that allowing smoking helps keep a lid on the place, while the insane are usually vulnerable, weak & not really able to defend themselves.

One sign of a sick society is that those in power do not have enough control to enforce laws on everybody & instead enforce them capriciously only on those they can reach. [Another example is a proposal on the BBC today that anybody dropping litter from their car get 3 points on the licence (which is supposed to be about safety but the PC brigade will twist any rule) but that if you kill somebody while driving disqualified, for the 3rd time, you will only get a 3 year ban (possibly also some jail) because they know such people would ignore a lifetime ban.]

Note that I am not saying prisoners should also suffer a smoking ban - they shouldn't - but that this ban is a very cruel one particularly here when enforced against some of the weakest & most vulnerable in society. This is a genuine instance of evil - it serves no useful purpose whatsoever & is being done by our rullers & the lobbyists they defer to just because they can.

Do they plan to supply these people with nicotine in any other way? Patches, chewing gum....?
Good question - no mention was made of it & I don't know.

If this was being done for a serious medical reason then such substitution would be sensible. If it is being done purely because they can then it won't.

I have emailed my local MP with this suggestion & will let everybody know if there is a response.
A mental-hospital nurse from a US state where this policy is in operation told me that putting mental patients on nicotine patches gives them nightmares. As soon as the patients are out of the hospital they light up a cigarette. Schizophrenics use cigarettes for self-medication and denying them this relief is sheer cruelty.
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