back to article Pro-smoking website redirected to 'baccy free zone

Hackers attacked the websites of two organisations campaigning against the smoking ban last week, redirecting UK users to the NHS Smokefree site. The attack, which targeted British organisation Freedom2Choose and Forces International, lasted 11 hours. Freedom2Choose webmaster Steven Cross said the redirect appeared to have …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    nothing to see here

    Passive smoking is completely harmless, global warming doesn't exist, the ice caps are not melting, the world is flat... and I have a knack of being able to breath with my head in a bucket of sand.

  2. Elmer Phud

    smoke gets in your eyes

    It's not that they smoke, it's what they (don't) smoke. They appear to be angry - as if they'd not had the first fag of the day. If they mixed the baccy with something extra they'd chill out a bit and there wouldn't be so many 'bad vibes' maaaan.

    Flame as it looks a bit like (a) burning bush

  3. paul clarke

    Passive smoking IS dangerous..

    .. and smokers stink as well.

    Sorry but the truth hurts. Smoking kills period. Both by direct inhalation and by passive smoking. Smokers have a choice, non-smokers do not.

    People have a right to be protected from passive smoke just as much as we do from any other danger or health risk.

    This topic really annoys me. If you do not have the will power to give up smoking because you are weak then don't blame us non-smokers for forcing you to do it away from us.

  4. Barn

    What's funny is...

    They seem to think it's some great conspiracy against them, but it's most likely just someone having a laugh at their expense.

  5. Tony Paulazzo
    Paris Hilton

    Bad joke alert

    >Smoking kills period<

    Boy, the women will sure be happy.

    >People have a right to be protected from passive smoke just as much as we do from any other danger or health risk.<

    Like freedoms repossessed in case of terrorist activities, spied on in case you try to get your brat in a better school, ad targeted so you don't see ads that don't relate to your lifestyle, 20MPH roads so the nasty cars don't hit you...

    Course, global warming, genetic modification, false wars about oil, lies about the Chinese invasion of Tibet and rubbish mountains are ok because big business/government are doing it.

    PH because maybe she has a clue.

  6. david bunn


    If only we had a right to be protected from bigoted pillocks like the three above.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Smoke no longer gets in your eyes

    First thing that I and many of my friends noticed following the smoking ban was that our eyes were no longer sore and bloodshot after a night down the pub. Half the symptoms I'd attributed to alcohol turned out to be a result of the smoke filled rooms instead. The ban has vastly improved my enjoyment of visits to the pub and I think most people would say the same. I can only imagine the benefits felt by asthma suffers and anyone else with respiratory problems.

    It would be interesting to know what the pro-smoking campaigners would think about factories pumping out pollution in their neighbourhood. Would they advocate 'freedom', the factory owner should be able to do what they like and ignore the consequences on the people living around them? Or would they be onto their local MP, Environmental health and anyone else who would listen to demand the factory clean up it's act?

    I'm a liberal, pro-freedom advocate and I don't entirely agree with all aspects of the smoking ban, but banning smoking from _public_ spaces was the right thing to do and anyone who argues otherwise isn't grounded in reality.

  8. Carl

    The point is....

    I'm an ex smoker, so obviously I'm worse than most non-smokers...

    I don't care about passive smoking being bad for you / good for you or whatever because, let's face it, everything you eat / drink / breathe is killing you these days!

    However, what can't be denied is the fact that indoor places such as pubs / clubs / anywhere really are much more pleasant places to be now they are not filled with smoke.

    Smokers, you can (and will) disagree with this as much as you like, but as you spend 95% of your time out in the cold, huddled together, moaning like little bitches about the smoking ban, you're not really in a good position to comment.. ;o)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Harmless eh?

    Try telling Roy Castle that....oh wait... harmless passive smoking killed him... damn.

    Freedom of choice eh? how about MY choice not to smell like an ashtray after being around you. Nobody is stopping you smoking... just sod off and do it outside in the cold where you're not chocking me.

    Bigots? You asshat.

  10. Andrew Kay

    Smokers may be mad..

    ..but at least we won't have to put up with their whinging on here once their fingers and other extremities fall off due to reduced blood flow.

  11. Ste Bell

    Hitler is a myth

    I am always heartened when I see comments such as above, made by desperate spokesmen of ASH. They are rattled and have to resort to abuse and weak attempts at humiliation because they are unable to properly argue against the real facts about smoking control. Are you feeling the pinch, are your pathetic attempts to manipulate the argument failing?

    Now try arguing that Hitler was a myth, the holocaust never happened nor did racial discrimination, apartheid, slavery and your dad was never an active member of the KU Klux Klan. - Keep trying, surely you can come up with some better abusive comments than the pathetic ones above .

    Have a nice day y'all.

  12. arran
    Thumb Down

    what ever happened to

    freedom of choice? do we ban drinking? fast food? cars? microwaves? all of these can kill, for instance i lost a family member ue to a drunk driver who plowed her down, do we ban alcohol because of its nock on affects? - no.

    your all a bunch of righteous cretins frankly - forcing your life choices on others and when you get your own way, wanting more, more, more.

    I'm sure you are all very happy about the smoking ban in mental health institutes after all it means now the mentally ill will be able to go crazy locked away in a much quicker time frame, as smoking for most is the only crutch they have, the only thing thet can rely on - forget the damage mentally that is doing to the people detained in these wards.

    oh and im a non smoker by the way

    nightclubs and bars now smell of stale sweat and farts, i preferred the smoke frankly..

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Balance reporting or Bigotry?

    Well its nice to see such balanced and objective reporting.

    A technology publication chooses to ignore the fact that a serious cyber crime has taken place and instead decides to preach a vile diatribe of anti-smoking rhetoric.

    I wonder how this would have been reported if the crime was perpetrated by the victim in this case?

    Would the fact that freedom of speech had been violated and a fraud committed been conveniently ignored in a publication catering for the IT industry?

    I think not!

    Before you criticise and attempt to ridicule, you should consider providing evidence for your claims.

    Try reading the studies into passive smoking.

    6 out of 7 do reveal no harm.

    The studies that point to harm, reveal less harm than that from

    Cooking with Olive Oil or drinking coffee.

    Should i now expect to read you advocating bans on Starbucks, and open hatred of those who dare to cook in a restaurant you visit.

    You’ve been conned by the ban being a benefit to health the same way Microsoft has conned the world into using inferior Operating Systems, when better solutions exist for both.

  14. Spleen


    "Smokers have a choice, non-smokers do not."

    What utter shit. Unless someone has kidnapped you and locked you in a room, then proceeded to light up, of course you have a choice. You can choose not to hang out with smokers, to ask them not to light up in your home, and to visit establishments that are wholly or partially non-smoking (if smoke is as annoying as anti-choice campaigners claim, going non-smoking is a viable business strategy).

    The issue is not that you have no choice, it's that you are too weak or lazy to exercise your choice and find it easier to get the state to take others' choices away from them.

  15. david bunn

    Typical ignorant anti

    Anonymous coward - spot on with the tag.

    I see from your posts on other topics that you support freedom - only, apparently, when it suits you.

    Incidentally, before you start slagging off those who oppose the ban, do a bit of research, you might learn something.Can't you come up with a better example than Roy Castle - he self diagnosed.

    Thank god I'm not a regular here, how do you others put up with this kind of bore?

    There's nothing worse than an ignorant, hypocritical windbag.

  16. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Balance reporting or Bigotry?

    I must say, it always amuses me when people with already manifestly psuedonymous names post anonymously. It's like dead-bolting your opinions.

    I really couldn't comment about the cancer-causingness or otherwise of passive smoking (I'm sure several others are lining up with bags of counter-argument stats right now), but I think more research is needed into how nicotine makes its consumers so terribly thenthitive. There could be a cure for low self-esteem staring us in the face, if we would but look.

  17. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    As a non-smoker ...

    ... I also disagree with the degree of control now being imposed.

    Before this total ban came in, the previous measures (having separate areas for smoking and non-smoking) actually increased my exposure to smoke ! Since nearly everyone I had any interest in talking to in the canteen used to sit in the smoking area, that left me with the choice of going in the smokey area and having a conversation, or sitting on my own. previously, and this could very easily have been imposed as a more flexible and less draconian option, I had the option of sitting upwind of the smokers and so being able to join in the conversation while not breathing their smoke.

    All it required was a rule about all places having a smoke free area and suitable airflow controls - it would have worked much better.

    It's interesting to note that the authorities chose to introduce the total ban in an underhand way - make smokers go outside when the weather is warm and many of them would have been outside anyway ! No doubt there have been figures produced somewhere to show how effective it was.

  18. who would think

    Free thinker

    I must say, it always amuses me that anti-smoking comments never seem to be anything other than insulting and inane.

    The assumption must be that if they attack people's characters and add the odd mention of smell here and there, they have an adequate substitute for a scientific basis and reasoned argument.

    The article is refers to attacks on pro-choice advocates - not pro-smoking. Who advocate freedom for customers, businesses and workers to choose to be in a venue that allows smoking. What is wrong with that?

    It has nothing to do with forcing anyone to do anything against their will, or using any illegal product.

    If you dont like smoke you choose to go to a no-smoking establishment, if you dont mind or like smoke, you should be able to choose to do the opposite.

    How can these options seriously be denied to anyone in a free country?!

  19. Will Leamon

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    The fascists have won - time to move on. Open a pub in the backyard or living room and just take it all home. And in a way they're doing us a favor. Booze is cheaper at the liquor store and we don't have to sit around with a bunch of lame-asses who'd rather sit and complain instead of dance, sing and fun. And we can smoke the weed too!

    Non-smokers trust us we'd rather be a million miles away from you as well. You're a bunch of wimps who have nothing to bring to a party.

  20. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Ladies and Gentlemen

    Gosh, Will, that's some serious profiling going on there. I didn't realise you could tell so much about a person just on the basis that they happen not to smoke. I mean, if the world were that simple, I could extrapolate that 100% of people who do smoke are rampantly self-centred individuals with a laughable lack of self-awareness and amusingly disproportionate sense of their importance as figureheads for personal freedom, and avoid them en masse accordingly. Alas, it looks like I'll have to keep on tediously evaluating each person according to their idiosyncratic qualities, good and bad. Hey ho. At least I don't have to do the washing with a mangle any more.

  21. who would think

    Free thinker


    How do you feel about the self-importance of anti-smokers?

    Those that think that there should be no indoor hospitality for smokers.

    Pubs and clubs are closing at an unprecedented rate. Where are all the non-smokers filling venues as promised by the ant-choice lobby pre-ban.

    Not content with denying smokers with a comfortable public place to socialise, they dont bother to freqent these places themselves.

    When they do, invariably they stick around just long enough to decide what a lovely clean environment it is in pubs now, then realise the place is empty and/or devoid of atmosphere.

    The ironic thing is that the real indoor toxins remain unchecked and more able to thrive, now that ventilation systems are lying unused.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Re: Ladies and Gentlemen

    Sarah, what disturbs me is that the majority leaving anti-smoking comments do perform exactly that extrapolation.

  23. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    RE: Re: Ladies and Gentlemen

    My extrapolation could beat up your extrapolation.

    Can't We All Just Get Along? Certainly I feel better-disposed towards smokers these days now that I'm not obliged to breathe their noxious by-product any more.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    lol @ Paul Clarke

    As a favourite comedian regularly said 'I have some bad news, non Smokers die every day.' Sorry to burst your bubble, but you won't live forever!!

    You guys are hilarious, you frequent this site on a daily basis and criticise the government for removing civil liberties but defend the removal of a smokers right to smoke if they do so choose!

    Whats that word again?? Hypo..?!?!

  25. Anonymous Coward


    Getting along? Now where's the fun in that?

    God I wish I still smoked. Maybe I wouldn't be so angry ...

  26. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: lol @ Paul Clarke

    Tsk. Anyone's civil liberties end where they start to impinge on others'. I know, I know - pesky ethical grey areas, eh?

  27. who would think
    Dead Vulture

    Ignorance is bliss


    Perhaps we would get along better if we had our own venues.

    Can you define the noxious elements of tobacco smoke?

    How do these elements exceed their workplace exposure limits as decreed by HSE?

    Name one public place in UK whereby Second hand tobacco smoke exceeds these safety limits.

    Let me help you here. There arent any.

    What you are advocating is a smell being made a criminal offence.

    This is what we have here. Why doesnt this apply to perfumes(carcinogenic). Spirits(Carcinogenic) Vehicles(in car parks, garages and other enclosed spaces(carcinogenic)? The list could go on and on.

    You see its a basic fact of toxicology- The dose makes the poison.

    And despite what ASH and their sponsors say(there is no safe level of SHS)it is impossible outside of a laboratory for SHS to reach hamful levels.

    Judging by the above article and some of the supportive comments from what is a website for professionals, i can only assume that intelligence offers no barriers to ignorance and bigotry.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    RE: lol @ Paul Clarke

    "Whats that word again?? Hypo..?!?!"

    ...thermia. It's what you get standing outside smoking in winter.

    Right, that's it. Far too much time wasting here. Mine's the extra warm, slightly burnt one.

  29. who would think
    Dead Vulture

    pesky ethical grey areas

    Easily solved:

    Adopt the Spanish system where bar owners can choose to allow smoking, so long as they make it clear to customers on signage at entrances.

    That way you choose to enter or go elsewhere according to your preferences.

    No civil liberties impinged.

  30. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: pesky ethical grey areas

    Yes, I agree, that system's a lot better. (If you look closely you'll see I never actually wholeheartedly espouse the ban - just because I can see the benefits personally doesn't mean I think it's perfect.)

  31. paul clarke
    IT Angle

    @all who digged @ me

    I respect your opinions and your choice to die a horrible death from Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, throat cancer etc etc etc.

    So I take it you will respect my choice to stand on top of a table and wazz all over you?

    I don't like my clothes smelling of burnt tobacco any more than you would like to sit there covered in urine.

    As for "he does not smoke so he must be weak" - FFS will you please read your posts before you post comment. Billions of pound are spent every year treating diseases caused by smoking. You simply can not give up with out someone "helping" you. With out nicotine patches, without extra special treatment. So who is weak?

    I do not allow smoking in my house, and everyone who comes here respects that. I do not allow smoking in my car, again all my friends respect that. I am a responsible adult and ensure that the air that my children breath is free from all the carcinogenic poisons released by smoking.

    If you truly believe that smoking causes no harm to you or others that breathe in the smoke then you should firstly have your PC taken away from you as punishment for practising to be stupid so much.

    The ban on smoking in public was the best thing this government ever did. Next I would like to see a levy of £5 per packet of fags and £3 on those stupid disposable lighters. This then should be used to pay for a reduction in VAT on PC parts!!

  32. Anonymous Coward


    go suck an exhaust pipe

  33. Spleen

    Something that is being missed

    How annoying smoking is to others - that is, it smells funny, stinks up your clothes, etc - is totally irrelevant to the issue of whether it should be controlled. Totally. With only five seconds thought you can conceive of half a dozen behaviours that are more annoying than smoking - inappropriate and repeated use of profanity, shouting, insults, etc. All of us at one point have probably found ourselves in a group with someone who exhibited one or more of those. Yet all of these things are legal. We do not need protection from arseholes - we are quite capable of simply refusing their company in the long term - and we do not need protection from smokers for the same reason.

    "Anyone's civil liberties end where they start to impinge on others" is a totally meaningless thought-terminating cliché. If this was truly the case, your right to freedom of movement would end the moment you walked onto a busy street, as exercising your freedom of movement to walk through a particular space prevents someone exercising their freedom of movement to walk through the same space at the same time. If it applies to smoking it also applies to shouting, insults and swearing.

    The only justification for a ban is if passive smoking is not merely annoying but dangerous, and the medical evidence for that is extremely dubious.

  34. david bunn

    Lor save us from buffons

    Was pissing over people ever an acceptable social pastime, Paul? Perhaps you like to do it in private....

    You say you do not allow smoking in your house or car and your friends respect that. Don't you mean - they have no choice? Perhaps these would be good places to tell them how much you hate them.

    Billions of ponds are also spent on diseases caused by alcohol and obesity. Just what is your point?

    Er, I think you will find that there is a levy of about £5 on every packet of twenty. High duty used to be the sole reason people smoke the smuggled variety. Now its also because they don't want to pay tax to a government that's betrayed them.

    And why is a disposable lighter stupid? Are the refillable sort cleverer?

  35. Mark Harrop


    Who says anything about giving up smoking? You can shove yer patches where there's no sun - should l want to give up smoking, or anything else for that matter, then it ought be my choice.

    You 'antis' ought be aware that the smoking ban is a vehicle to get us all stepping in line - haven't you noticed increasingly intrusive interventions into most aspects of what should be our private and social affairs? Publicans are now becoming proxy coppers and we're slowly but surely sleepwalking into an over regulated "society' at the behest of politicians with some very dodgy habits of their own.

    I don't want my 'filthy' habit to impinge on others that's why we should have choice in the matter - smoking or non-smoking establishments. Everybody happy? Hmm . . .

    As for being wazzed on - you can pay a lot of money for that.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ arran

    " for instance i lost a family member ue to a drunk driver who plowed her down, do we ban alcohol because of its nock on affects? - no."

    It may have escaped your notice that drinking while intoxicated _has_ been banned. Drinking is still legal. Smoking, is also still legal, but not in a place where it can cause harm to others. If we are going to have complete freedom then drink driving can be legalised again, can't it?

  37. who would think

    Intellectual debate

    I'm still yet to read an anti-smoking comment here that is above playground standard.

    With the exception of Sarah, who now seems to appreciate the other side of the story.

    Where is the scientific evidence about passive smoking harm?

    Where is there a good reason for banning smoking at the expense of choice for property owners and customers?

    In response to the comment about the cost of smoking to the NHS.

    Sorry- wrong again.

    The cost to the NHS for treated smoking related illness is quoted at £1.5 bn a year.

    Tax on tobacco reaps the exchequer about £10bn.

    So in effect smokers subsidise the health service. And this doesnt even include the tax paid by tobacco companies.

    So Paul next time you receive free NHS treatment, thank a smoker!

  38. Jim
    Dead Vulture

    As an ex-smoker...

    I can honestly say that the total ban on smoking in public places is horribly nannyish.

    Yes tobacco smoke makes you stink and is possibly harmful to all around but why a total ban?

    There is the argument that smokers would force their mates to frequent smoking rather than non-smoking establishments. Sounds like non-smokers are a bit weak willed here.

    Another argument is that owners of non-smoking establishments will be less popular and not sustain their business. Well how about the equivalent of an on-license for smoking as well as drinking. That way a smoking establishment costs more to run. You could even limit the number of licenses available in any geographical area.

    You see there are many options that maintain a level of freedom and choice for all parties but it seems that far too many want the government to push their choice.

    Oh, and I managed to quit without any need for nicotine replacement or other source of assitance if you are interested.

  39. IR

    They're out to get us!

    I find it pretty funny that the owners of the websites think there is some sort of conspiracy against them from one of the official bodies, rather than some random guy who thought it would be a laugh.

  40. Belinda

    Another hacking has occurred

    Someone seriously doesn't like the simple truths on that site: it's gone down again:

  41. Mark Harrop

    pfff . . . some more.

    What do you antis think of the suggestions mooted to put limits on the information highway? ie. what we can and can't look at and discuss - for our own protection, of course.

  42. Mark Harrop

    That's just nasty!

    The following cut n pasted from Smokefree England site which is where you get redirected when trying to visit -

    "The vast majority of smokers have respected the law, and those around them, by not lighting up illegally in public places.

    However, If you have encountered problems with people breaching the law you can take action by phoning the smokefree compliance line on:

    0800-snidey-miserabilist-tw@t ('sorry' - had to get that off my chest)

    Your call will be answered by a call centre operator, who will then forward the information to the relevant local councils to follow-up as appropriate."

  43. Marius Poenar

    Current smoker

    Mates, would you bloody cut it the hell out already, you're getting ridiculous !

    Smokers and non-smokers too, you're both just as bad, at least the ones posting here !

    I'm a smoker - i smoke somewhere around 10 ciggies a day.

    I like smoking, and i like to smoke - i keep smoking because i love it.

    But, I also love being able to go into a restaurant and eating without choking from cigarette smoke, or going into a pub and having 1-2-4-11 pints without getting feeling like i just escaped from a house-fire.

    I love sleeping without waking up with raspy lungs from smoking in the same room during the day.

    Yes, i'm a smoker, and i love the smoking ban.

    I do think you brits are a taking it a bit too far - but that's not a problem, you're taking every thing too far, including paranoia, and sometimes stupidity.

    For example, the same ban is in effect in Finland - but in Finland you can find a bloody ashtray in front of almost every building bloc or building.

    In Helsinki-Vantaa airport, you have a smoking room - blocked from the rest of the airport, and heavily air-conditioned - but inside.

    In UK, you have to go hundreds of meters to get to a bloody ashtray, and you have to go through security twice to have a smoke in Heathrow.

    That's the problem, really - you just didn't implement anything to make smokers feel like people. Sinners against society, having to do some penance to smoke - ok. But not people, not in UK.

  44. Andre
    Thumb Down

    There's another angle

    What about the rights of the pub-owner? If I own a pub, it's mine. It should be up to me if I allow smoking or not. If I lose business because people don't like the smoke, then that's what free enterprise is all about.

    Some say it's partially to protect the employees. What if they don't mind? There's lots of jobs with hazards.

    Quite simply, if people don't like a particular pub for any reason - including it being full of smoke - then they have the right to avoid that pub. Nobody's forcing them to go there.

    Quite the contrary actually - pub owners are forced to disallow something when they may not want to - in THEIR place of business.

    Gradually, freedoms are being replaced with political correctness.

    It's not about the freedom of the non-smokers. They always had the freedom to come and go where they pleased. If a shop sells overly smelly cheese, they don't have to shop there. If the owner loses enough business from the non-smellers, he will stop selling smelly cheese, or go titsup. But it should remain HIS right as the owner to make that call.

  45. Marius Poenar

    @ Andre

    It's still a vice - and you should pay for indulging your vices - including the money you already pay to get the "fix" (tax on tobacco).

    I'd say something like this should also be implemented for alcohol, to stop people that drink too much to be a bother for people that didn't drink - but i really have no idea how something like this could ever be implemented, so this is just a Carlsberg induced idea for now.

  46. Moss Icely Spaceport

    @ Harmless eh?

    ....."where you're not chocking me"

    Sounds nasty!

    What are we talking about again?

  47. Alex Barwick

    What a load of Bollocks

    I a site that is devoted to IT we have degenerated into discussing the rights of individuals to smoke or not to smoke in public places and not the fact some git has hijacked two web sites and I think there has been only two posts actually decrying this action. Shame on you all. I think we all have our own opinions about smoking and this is not the place to discuss the pros and cons of it, but is the right place to discuss the hijack. By the way I am a smoker and if it had been a non smoking web site I would have been just as pissed off at the debate that has just gone on about about pro smoking sites.

  48. dave

    Anti Smokers

    Everyone should have the choice to smoke or not smoke. I think that the anti-smoking lot should remember the blue eyes/ brown eyes experiments you probably did at school.

    Please, anti-smokers invest in some free thought before you start going round imposing your will on others.

    get back to the daily mail site to read how the poor are spending your tax £s and immigration is totally out of control


  49. Bill Fresher

    What are blue eyes/ brown eyes experiments?

    I'm curious.

  50. Miami Mike

    Free skydiving lessons!

    Just light a cigarette in my airplane.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    New E-Petition to allow smoking in specific venues

    Smokers and non-smokers alike I suggest you sign up now or shortly you won't have a pub to go to - they have accelerated closures to 4 a week thats without bingo halls, working mens clubs, ex-servicemens clubs.

    Send an email to all your mates and tel them to do the same. This isnt just about smoking its time the people voted against government bullying with their feet.

    I notice that because such an uproar has been created about the 10p tax rate they are going to review it - do the ame here

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