Today we report, with unspeakable sadness, on the tragic and sudden loss of our friend and mentor, Gian Turci.
Gian suffered a massive brain haemorrhage followed by the systematic failure of his major organs and he died last night.
Gian was my mentor, and we spent many hours on the phone together.
Mostly with me listening and him talking. He was a brilliant man, and a
fantastic teacher. His background was in Engineering but when he moved
back to Genoa from Canada he became a translator. This gave him the
freedom to complete his contracts and also give superhuman effort to
the cause. Thankfully, he used his great intelligence and his wit, to
wonderful effect against those liars that he had spent the last 12
years fighting. His ethics were of a standard I couldn't hope to match,
and because he set high standards for himself, he wanted the same from
his enemy, the anti-smoker cultists. Within hours of a new "study"
emerging, Gian would dissemble it. He hated junk science with a
passion, and would spend thousands of hours explaining why it was junk
to thousands of others. Gian was for many years the CEO and President
of FORCES International. He and his team rightly struck fear into the
hearts of the zealots. Gian knew that they lied years ago, and continue
to lie to this day about not only second hand smoke, but smoking
itself. With infinite patience he explained to us why, using his black
and white engineering mind. He knew that if an experiment could not be
repeated with the same results each time then it is trash. Gian
explained to me and many others why this is the case particularly with
second hand smoke.
Despite Gian's disgust for the anti-tobacco crowd, he was very well
respected by people on both sides of this war. In turn, he was
respectful to them. That isn't to say that he did not have some
stunning fights with them. And it wasn't only the sycophants that
suckle at the teat of Big Pharma that he fought with. Gian told me
about a couple of humdingers he had with Big Tobacco too.
I could write all day about this great man, but I won't. If you knew
him or talked to him, then you know exactly what I am feeling, and,
like me, you will probably be remembering his fantastic sense of
humour. With Gian, you were never more than 60 seconds away from a
laugh and a joke.
Many years ago I was going through a spiritual phase. You know, the
old "What's it all about? What's the purpose of it all?" routine. My
self-search led to to some great books and I recall reading that when
we are born, the angels weep, and when we die, they rejoice because we
are returned to them. I kind of like that. Although I fear a little for
their peace and quiet now that Gian is home.
Death, of course, is the final price we pay for having lived. To
Gian, and to me, it was all about quality of life, not quantity. If
more people grasped that simple concept we would all live far happier
lives. If the very best you can do with yours is to interfere with the
pleasures of others, be prepared to answer for that one day. I, and
millions like me, want nothing more than to be left alone. We harm
no-one. Gian fought for over a decade to get the truth out to as many
as he could. He did not need faith, he did not have to believe. He
knew. He knew that anti-tobacco is a house of straw. I am just so very
sad that he won't be here to see it destroyed, totally and utterly.
When people die, we should not mourn their death but celebrate their
lives. A fine theory but I am going to ignore my own advice and mourn
the loss of my friend. Our thoughts, the thoughts of many, many
thousands of people, are today with Gian's wife Anne. We grieve with
you Anne. We send our love, our thoughts and our prayers. You know,
more than any one of us, just what a great man he was.
We will remember him always.
Goodbye, old friend.