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Smokers let off the wind of change

Public flatulence was not what he had in mind when, 51 years ago, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan warned his South African audience: “The wind of change is blowing through this continent…”

The speech signalled the Tory government’s intention to grant independence to many of Great Britain’s colonies. One of the beneficiaries of this policy was landlocked Nyasaland, which in 1964 became Malawi.

The country has now moved back into the media spotlight – last enjoyed through a spate of Madonna adoption stories – with an announcement that the Minister of Justice wants to make farting in public illegal.

Strict enforcement of a public No Smoking ban would bring greater all-round social and health benefits than sniffing out raspberry-blowers in what is reportedly the world’s most tobacco-dependent economy. However, farting could be a softer option – and a better revenue-booster if fines are to be imposed. While some 75 percent of the population depends financially on tobacco farming, the encouraging news is that Malawi’s citizens are not heavy smokers. On the other hand, beans are a major source of their dietary protein…

THE BOTTOM LINE: Should anyone think that this Blog has strained too hard to make a spurious link between flatulence and smoking, the truth is that smokers and non-smokers are both likely to break wind. The American Cancer Society confirms that farting is a possible side effect from quitting smoking, mainly following the use of certain medications, while the American Gastroenterological Association says that farting can be caused by swallowing air – while smoking! What’s the answer? 1. Do not impersonate a goldfish! 2. Let hypnotherapy help you become a non-smoker.