Stand up, be counted

Ah social media. Both a boon and a burden. I had the dubious pleasure to be introduced to another anti group yesterday which set me to headbutting my desk repeatedly.  I posted a (relatively) short blog yesterday which covered some of their tactics.

Unfortunately for them, the ever lovely big*sparkles*Shannon, found this little gem buried in the rough.


Cue more head/desk action on my part. Given the diabolical nature of @sacstand I just had to have a nose around, just to see what other mischief these folks were up to.  It does seem that the entire site went up in November 2013, so it is pretty old and doesn’t appear to have had any updates to it.  Either that means they can’t be bothered to maintain it, or they believe that the information contained on the site is sufficient to secure more funding.

Prepare the armies
Prepare the armies

The first page I spot is this little beauty.

In August 2007, the STAND project of BREATHE California received funding for the ATTACK project from the Public Health Trust, a program of the Public Health Institute, to create, produce, and disseminate a toolkit for countering tobacco industry marketing techniques aimed at young adults, ages 18-25.

So, in 2007 these folks ‘received funding’ from public health to create a toolkit to counter the tobacco industry marketing techniques.  This website appears to be from 2013, and they are posting stuff from 2007. Seems legit.  As far as I can tell, the Attack Project is still alive and kicking, which no doubt includes continuing to stigmatize smokers as often as possible.

STAND (Sacramento Taking Action Against Nicotine Dependence) recruits, trains and maintains a team of college students to ‘go the streets’ on college campuses to help students quit using tobacco. These Street Team (ST) members help other students kick the habit. They go to where other students hang out and bring free smoking cessation help to fellow students.

So it isn’t just hide-bound office flunkeys propagating this nonsense then, they actually ‘recruit’ (by that I mean indoctrinate) other students to “take action”.  Not content with public health nannying smokers, but now other students are doing it too.  This can’t be ethical can it?

E-cigs, oh sigh...
E-cigs, oh sigh…

This gets very old, very quickly.

E-cigs are battery-powered devices filled with liquid nicotine that is dissolved in water and propylene glycol.  Many of them look like real cigarettes, with a white cylindrical tube, brown filter, and red or blue glowing tip. The main difference is that e-cigs do not contain tobacco.

Uh, what? Nicotine dissolved in water. OK, I’ll grant this page is a little out of date, but c’mon folks if you are going to put information out, at least make sure that it is freaking accurate.

Young adults view e-cigs positively, and half say they’d try them if offered by a friend. E-cigs come in flavors such as chocolate, caramel, cherry, strawberry and even bubble gum—flavors also appealing to kids.

Oh yes, beating the “think of the children” drum. Again. I suppose folk believe that if this is said often enough it’ll become fact. Oh wait.


Nicotine in the blood is linked to a decrease in blood flow, which can lead to amputation of limbs, impotence in men and heart disease. Nicotine also increases ‘bad’ cholesterol, causes asthma attacks, and has been connected to lung tumors.

Quick, sound the alarms! Nicotine is baaaad! Right. Just FYI folks, I’m male, I smoked for 20 years, I now vape. Impotence is not part of my vocab.


Everything in that text, is pure and utter bantha poo-doo. No other way to put it.


They obviously haven’t seen that ‘second hand smoke’ is actually just a public health myth.


A post like this wouldn’t be complete without highlighting a call for regulation now would it.

Regulatory agencies and some health experts are asking questions about the possible side effects of inhaling nicotine vapor, as well as other health risks e-cigarettes may pose — both to users and to the public.

Think I’ll just give the short answer to the “questions” they are asking. There’s minimal risk to the user, and ZERO risk to bystanders. How many freaking times do you have to be told?

In a rare display of self-restraint, I decided to send a lengthy, yet detailed e-mail to the program manager which I started composing last night. I finally finished it about lunchtime (yes, I should have been working, but bollocks to it) and sent it off, but not before I saved it as a PDF:

[pdf-embedder url=””]

It is well passed time that these entities are told straight up, stop stigmatizing and demonizing real people.

Update 10/4/15

After sending the e-mail (see PDF above), I resigned myself to being ignored, after all that is what these types of folk do isn’t it.



So you can imagine my surprise when this dropped into my inbox this evening.

“Thank you for contacting us and expressing your opinion”

You can almost hear the “you bastard” tacked on the end of that can’t you?

“We appreciate the feedback”

Yes, I’m sure you do. No doubt any and all concerns I’ve raised with them will be completely ignored.  Doubly so as I don’t actually live in Sacramento.

“review it in depth to determine how, or if, it can help us in our program”

In other words, you’ll look at it for about thirty seconds before completely dismissing everything I said as anecdotal.

“Again, thank you for reaching out.”

Not sure about you, but I read :

“Please fuck off and leave us alone”

Well quite.  Don’t worry Carol, I will be keeping an eye on sacSTAND and will send another mail over if I feel you’ve ignored me. So, reconvene in about a week then?

6 thoughts on “Stand up, be counted”

    1. I’ve not received anything as of yet, and I’m not particularly hopeful that I will either. These types of folk don’t appreciated being told off.

      If I am graced with a response, I’ll be sure to post about it!

      1. I’m not really expecting you to get a response either, or even if – a meaningful one. I know these PH types typical response from back when we mailed the FPH about the whole Ashton debacle.

        1. That and the Dame “Backbone” Sally debacle. It’s proving to be a common theme isn’t it?

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