The Grim Reaper Society

Keeping the human population down for over 600 years

Grim at the Georgia Straight office, May 5, 2008The Grim Reaper, accompanied by Airspace Action on Smoking and Health, will conduct yet another protest in front of the Georgia Straight office, 1701 W. Broadway in Vancouver, on Friday, May 30… the day before the WHO’s World No Tobacco Day 2008.

Vancouver-based Airspace Action on Smoking and Health — Canada’s leading all-volunteer anti-tobacco organization — has had a running battle with the Georgia Straight for more than a decade now. At issue: The Georgia Straight‘s unrepentant insistence on running tobacco ads, whether they be for chewing tobacco or for some supposedly “new” — and “improved?” (???)– cigarette brand.

The federal Tobacco Act is clearly part of the problem: It’s so full of loopholes that you could drive a stolen semi loaded with contraband cigarettes through it! Be that as it may, while the Straight may not be violating the letter of the law, it is clearly violating the spirit and/or the intent of the law. Additionally, Canada ratified a World Health Organization treaty; the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control a few years ago. Again, while the enforcement component of that treaty is not as effective as it should be, any and all tobacco advertising is in clear and blatant violation of that treaty… and the Georgia Straight knows it!

Bottom line: The Georgia Straight, like the tobacco industry, has freely chosen to put its profits ahead of the comfort, health and safety of its readers/customers.

Please call your MP and urge her/him to take a stand and get tough on tobacco advertising. Then call the Georgia Straight at (604) 730-7000… and let them know you’re not impressed with their tobacco advertising. And last but not least, please seriously consider donating to — or becoming a member of — Airspace Action on Smoking and Health.

May 2008
Posted in Tobacco by admin at 12:00 pm | No Comments »

Grim Reaper at Joe Jackson concert in VancouverOn May 5, 2008, the Grim Reaper and members of Airspace Action on Smoking and Health protested a Joe Jackson concert, held at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia.

Why was Airspace protesting this event? So glad you asked.

We learned about Joe Jackson and his “allegiance” to the tobacco industry a few months ago. At that time, Airspace president Errol Povah attempted to contact singer/songwriter Jackson (via his website), to challenge him to a public debate on any and all aspects of smoking/tobacco control. While Povah didn’t get through to Jackson, directly, one of Jackson’s reps did the talking for him… and made it clear that Jackson had neither the time nor the energy — nor the inclination — to debate the issue, “now or ever.”

We urge you to check out Jackson’s website — — and click on the “SMOKING” link at the top of the home page. As you will see, Joe is not just your average, run-of-the-mill smoker; he’s clearly a puppet of the tobacco industry. He denies getting paid by the tobacco industry; we have no way of proving otherwise, but obviously, we have our doubts about that. In any case, whether Jackson likes it or not, he’s a celebrity and a role model… and as such, he should be ashamed of himself for so aggressively promoting such an addictive, disease-causing, debilitating and deadly product…the only legal product which kills when used exactly as intended by the manufacturer!

As we stated in our hand-out — or “Program!” as we called it — we didn’t seriously expect any Joe Jackson fans to, after reading our material, change their minds about going to the concert… and leave. But we do encourage everyone to think about the issue… and Jackson’s role in promoting a product which is, ultimately, responsible for one of the biggest drains on our “in-crisis” health-care system.

Here’s an e-mail we got from one now-former Joe Jackson fan:

I attended the concert in Vancouver, last nite… had I been aware of Joe’s position on smoking, I would not have attended. There can be no excuse for supporting this vile and sickening addiction. I’m thankful to Vancouver Airspace for enlightening me on Joe’s position … I will not buy any of his music until he comes clean.

Feb 2008

An editorial in the Boston Herald: Monsters in the boardroom.

Here’s what it says:

The makers of Marlboro cigarettes, Altria Corp., plan to spin off a company to make and sell cigarettes overseas, beyond the reach of American law, courts, regulation and public opinion.

What creates not just a place in hell for these people, but a special place in hell, is that many of the cigarettes they plan to sell will be even more dangerous than today’s.

One such cigarette is “Marlboro Mix 9,” a high-nicotine, high-tar smoke offered in Indonesia since July. According to The Wall Street Journal, the new company will be particularly interested in expanding sales in China , whose 350 million smokers prefer “the stronger taste of full-tar cigarettes.”

Or how about this clever little coffin nail, “Marlboro Intense,” half an inch shorter than the regular kind. It reportedly is aimed at giving “seven potent puffs apiece” to “customers who, due to indoor smoking bans, want to dash outside for a quick nicotine hit but don’t always finish a full-size cigarette.”

How long such a company can stay in business is anybody’s guess, but apparently the organizers believe it will be worthwhile. European countries are following the United States in outlawing smoking in many public places and it will be only a matter of time before the rest of the globe wakes up to the enormous health costs of the smoking habit and seeks to reduce them.

What would we think of a company that arranged to sell foreigners some harmless but addictive little pleasure (think gumdrops) daily but 20 years later for some, 25 for others, 30 for still others and so forth, coerced gumdrop-eaters into taking a revolver loaded with one bullet, spinning the cylinder, putting the muzzle to their temples and pulling the trigger?

We’d think it was a moral offense of the worst kind. This is not an exact statistical analogue to the dangers of a lifetime of smoking, but the risks are in the same ballpark.

We fail to see how Altria executives can be distinguished from such monsters.


Boy, oh boy. Grim loves monsters. And a special place in Hell? I’m all for it.

As it turned out, the wusses at Imperial Tobacco’s head office in Montreal cancelled their 100th anniversary celebration, including the unveiling of their “magnificent” ice sculpture, because of bad weather.

However, the weather was nowhere near bad enough to keep the Grim Reaper and his acolytes away. Here’s a couple of pictures:

The Grim Reaper at Imperial Tobacco’s 100th anniversary celebration

Protesters at Imperial Tobacco’s 100th anniversary

Jan 2008

Imperial Tobacco, the Canadian division of BAT and the purveyor of Players, du Maurier, and Matinee cigarettes (three of the Reaper’s favourite brands), is celebrating its 100th Anniversary on Friday, January 11.

They will be having a celebration at their office in Montreal at 2:45 PM. It’s at 3711 Saint-Antoine Street West, and they will be unveiling a magnificent sculpture.

Grim will make an effort to be present for this momentous occasion, despite the fact that most of Imperial’s victims won’t be there. Most of their employees won’t be able to make it, either, since they live in Mexico.

If you want to be part of this celebration, but can’t make it, you can always phone Sophie Alarie of their Corporate Affairs department: (514) 932-6161, extension 2381, or her cell #: (514) 690-0148. If you have a relative or close friend that died of lung cancer, emphysema, or any other disease caused by cigarettes, Sophie will be pleased to hear about it.

Oct 2007
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“I smoke. I’m asthmatic and I’m on a life saving drug because of smoking related problems. I’ve been smoking for about 30 years. I don’t know if it is going to kill me. The first diagnosis said I would be dead by 21. At 38 I was told I would be dead in a year, but that was 7 years ago. The rhetoric on this is not based on truth. Reality is very different, I’m living proof of it. I grew up as an asthmatic in a home with four smokers. Most of the stuff about smoking is mythology. – Warren Klass

Well, now that Warren is dead, at the ripe old age of 52, who is going to take on the job of coming up with all those creative names for non-smokers, such as “Nazi”, “Hitler”, and “Taliban”? Why, the tobacco industry might have to hire another ad agency.

“RIP UP ORGAN DONATION CARDS- (as a smoker your chance of getting a transplant are at 649 lottery levels)
Do Not Donate Blood
Do Not Donate Money, Time or Goods to a variety of Medical Do-Gooder organizations (especially The Lung Association and The Cancer Society)
Let your local paper, MP, or whoever else should be interested in knowing, why you are striking back.
Have no illusions. YOU ARE NEXT” – Warren Klass, January 2002

Ah, poetry to the Grim Reaper’s ears. Who will replace Warren?

Oct 2007
Posted in Tobacco by admin at 11:24 pm | No Comments »

Posted on Oct. 6 by “lastman2004”:

You know I was just reminencing about demanding grim reaper’s skull to make an ashtray out of just yesterday. I’m still waiting for delivery. Fortunately$ yfor him he lives on the west coast in lotus land so I wouldn’t set foot there to pick it up myself.

That’s the problem with these tobacco addicts. They always expect things to be delivered to them, instead of rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.

Aug 2007
Posted in Tobacco by admin at 12:45 pm | No Comments »

Bergman did not invent the Grim Reaper. However, by making him one of the principal characters of “The Seventh Seal”, released in 1957, the Reaper became a household word among film buffs around the planet.

Grim was portrayed by Bengt Ekerot, who died in 1971. Ekerot became an example followed by many more Reapers. The basic idea of “The Seventh Seal” is, Antonius Block, a knight, returns home from the Crusades to Sweden, and sees people dropping like flies from the Black Death. When Block meets the Reaper, he cuts a deal; they will play a game of chess. If Block wins, his death will be postponed for a few years.

At the risk of giving away too much of the plot here, Block cannot possibly win this matchup. Although the story takes place three centuries before tobacco was introduced to Europe, there’s a lesson for smokers here; you won’t beat the Reaper, either.

One more thing; the people of the Middle Ages didn’t know that Black Death was spread by rats. Most 21st century humans know perfectly well that smoking causes disease and death.

Jul 2006

The Reaper attended the 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health in Washington, DC. Here’s his report:

Okay, it wasn’t the real George W. but… During our march to the White House yesterday, Grim ran into an individual who was wearing an incredibly realistic-looking George W. Bush mask. As you can imagine, Grim was absolutely delighted to see his old friend! With media and other cameras snapping and rolling, Grim ran to George, shook hands (simultaneously transferring to George a small token of the nicotine cartel’s appreciation) and “warmly” embraced him. Not that there wasn’t enough heat already! Temperatures are in the low to mid 90s, with extremely high humidity. Add a black (and very heavy) costume to the mix and I think Grim has developed a new weight-loss program: about five pounds per hour!!! Beat that, Jenny!
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Nov 2005
Posted in Tobacco by epovah at 3:45 pm | No Comments »

When I heard that the tobacco industry was running a trade show in Kuala Lumpur, I rushed out and bought a plane ticket. That tsunami last year was good for business, but it’s better to have a long-term source of death and disease.

Below are two of several press clippings from my trip, and links to two more. The same clippings are available as PDF’s at
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