Casbipu was formed in late 2015 after it became clear that the profile of this issue in society needed to be elevated. Smoking mental patients have found themselves on the frontline in a broader war being waged by public health zealots against individual choice in society. Mental patients are convenient fodder for the zealots because they are atomised and powerless. The zealots therefore regard them as an easy target. But make no mistake, if their immediate goal of 100% "smokefree" units comes in, they will move on to the next target. Therefore we have to stand up for the mental patients now to prevent this trend from developing any further. Everyone's freedom is at stake here. So let's make the petition go 'viral', compel the media to report the truth, and have some open democratic debate about the bans - we shouldn't let politicians sneak them in via the back door of decision making by unaccountable quangos like 'Public Health England' (PHE) and the 'National Institute for Health and Care Excellence' (NICE).
Casbipu's online co-ordinator Barry Curtis is a former psychiatric patient himself who spent time in a clinic in 2001. Back then, he believes the style of care was better because the ability to choose whether to smoke helped him regain autonomy, something essential for all mental patients' recovery. He believes that being forced to quit in such a frantic and manic state of mind is intolerably cruel. And if they get away with this, what's next?
Casbipu exists to raise the profile of the issue in society - to that end, we attend debates to make our points, hand out leaflets, and have set up a petition to challenge the bans. Hopefully we can achieve some change before our current window of opportunity is firmly bolted shut.
For Casbipu, what matters is not whether you choose to smoke, but whether you want to live in a society that permits your making that choice, or one that won't let you decide for yourself.