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« The NHS and "self-inflicted" illnesses | Main | Sunday Express: amend smoking ban »

Chris Snowdon: online, off message

There's an excellent interview with Chris Snowdon, author of Velvet Glove, Iron Fist: A History of Anti-smoking, on Spiked. Written by Rob Lyons, the interview was conducted at last week's book launch hosted by Forest in London (see above). It appears in the online magazine's Review of Books and begins like this:

I’m sitting in the corner of a bar, talking to author Christopher Snowdon and doing something almost unheard of in Britain these days: enjoying a cigarette under cover. Admittedly, it is a pretty open-air kind of ‘under cover’ in a specially adapted part of the Boisdale restaurant and bar near London’s Victoria station; still, the novelty value is not lost on me.

We are here because Snowdon is launching his book this evening, a history of the anti-smoking movement that has been three-and-a-half years in the making. One of the main reasons he wrote it, he tells me, is because ‘I wanted to read it. I went into the library looking for a history of the anti-smoking movement, assuming there would be one, and there wasn’t.’ Instead, he had to wade through many other books on the history of tobacco, picking out snippets here and there and trying to build up a picture of the chequered history of those who want to see the evil weed confined to the ashtray of history.

Full article HERE.

I've said this so many times that I'm beginning to bore myself, but it's worth repeating. This is a superbly written, impeccably researched book that deserves the widest possible audience. But we need YOUR help.

Publishers here and in the United States declined to publish the book leaving Chris to go it alone. So far he's done most of the work himself. Now it's our turn to help.

Forest has ordered 400 copies and we will be sending them to selected politicians, national newspaper journalists and potential sympathisers. You can help by buying a copy for yourself and a second copy for your local MP or a columnist on your local newspaper (for example).

The important thing is to get as many copies as possible in circulation among opinion formers and decision-makers.

In addition, if you have a blog or website, please write a review and/or tell your readers about the book and how to get hold of it.

Copies are currently available via Amazon HERE and Chris's own website HERE.

Reader Comments (5)

My local MP is Gillian Merron .... She wouldn't care, she hates smokers, she doesn't want to know. The only way of getting through her arrogance is to kick her out at the next election. A better bet for my area, would be to send a copy of Chris's excellent book to the Conservative PPC who will most likely replace her.

June 29, 2009 at 12:22 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

My local MP is Conservative Angela Browning. She wrote to tell me that her father, a smoker, had died aged 50 or so. "Guess what killed him," she added helpfully, as if I could. She's standing down at the next election. I hope that her vote for the smoking ban comes to haunt her for the rest of her life.

June 29, 2009 at 16:37 | Unregistered Commenteridlex

Some suggestions for R5Live presenters you might send the book to:
Peter Allen - old reactionary, probably sympathetic;
Richard Bacon - doesn't like smoking but intellectually curious;
Stephen Nolan - is bothered about his weight and empathises with the denormalised;
Nicky Campbell - was a smoker, probably interested;
John Pienaar - comes over as fairly cynical, probably sympathetic.

June 29, 2009 at 17:31 | Unregistered Commenterjon

I honestly believe that many MPs who voted for the blanket ban were non smokers without empathy, some of whom may have been thinking more about the smell of it than health. Smoking was not part of their personal lifestyle, and they had no interest in it as far as their smoking constituents are concerned.

I think many of those MPs who are ignorant to the facts about smoking and it's 'anti smoking history' would read the book and be educated about what they actually took part in.

There are also MPs who voted against the ban, non smokers like Tom Harris for example, Labour MP for Glasgow East. Lost his job as Transport Minister because he told the truth. Mother smoked and died of lung cancer when she was 70. Writes one of the best blogs in blogosphere. I think people like this would read 'Velvet Glove, Iron Fist' and may even be fired up by it's revelations.

July 2, 2009 at 0:01 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

By the way, I have just noticed that Tom Harris has the Save our Pubs and Clubs banner on his blogsite.

July 2, 2009 at 0:14 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

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