12 2 mins 14 yrs

The relentless advance of the Nanny State becomes apparent today in the news that Zanulabour will announce that cigarettes are to be banned from open display in shops and supermarkets in a fresh attempt to cut the number of smokers.

Alan “Postie” Johnson, the Health Secretary, will announce that the prohibition will be implemented in supermarkets in 2011 and small shops in 2013. It is understood that ministers decided on not implementing the ban instantly because of a desire to ease the impact of the move on small business during the recession. The Health Secretary will also announce, however, that a move to ban cigarette vending machines in pubs has been dropped in favour of a plan for the machines to operate only by the use of tokens. People would have to show they are 18 in order to be given the tokens. The machines will also have stronger warnings on them telling young people of the dangers of smoking.

In the guise of concern for our health, they take our freedoms. In the name of concern, they strip our liberty. I do not smoke, nor do I believe it is a wise choice for anyone else BUT I do believe people should have the right to choose whether they smoke or not and the idea that government is dictating these issues concerns me. Put another way, IF smoking is SO bad, why not just ban it completely and be done with? Or, is the prospect of losing all those huge tobacco revenues addictive to government?

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

12 thoughts on “UP IN SMOKE….

  1. All this ‘division two’ type news, grabbing the headlines, – I wonder just what devious stunts our Masters are trying to hide this time?

    Could it be yet another crony bank, or industry, getting a bail-out? or perhaps some hidden debate on entry to the Euro? – you can bet that there is something going on, – it used to be ‘no smoke without a fire’, – now it is ‘No Mandelson without a cunning stunt!’…- or have they all gone Christmas shopping, – to boost the economy, you know!. They say John Lewis is busier than normal!…

  2. Some of these steps – including restricting the use of vending machines– I agree with.

    They’ve been banned in the US for a time now. Most here would remember when they were a common sight in both restaurants and in bars.

    The proper model with tobacco is the proper model to be taken with marijuana and most other drugs. Legalize it, tax it heavily, and make sure that only adults use the stuff.

  3. Phantom –

    Why tax it? What’s the philosophy behind that?

    Why do I have a financial obligation to the State when I buy 20 Bensons?

  4. Pete

    We won’t agree on this

    If the government has any role in health care –which it always will– and cigarettes impair the users’ health — which is the case – the friendly government tax man has the right to recoup some of those costs, and to use the money to fund smoke cessation programs, etc

    Plus as cigarettes are bad for users and for society, there is a legitimate desire to suppress their use to a certain extent.

    I am entirely consistent. I want the identical approach used as respects ganja and with cocaine!!

  5. Here’s an interesting factoid – President =elect Obama is a smoker; he promised not smoke in the White House, if elected. He recently indicated that he had not yet quit. So, he’ll be smoking on the balconies, and persona non grata when/if he visits the UK.

  6. Phantom –

    Nope, we won’t agree but I’m not in the mood for a tiff. Genuinely I want to know how I incur a debt to the collective when I buy fags.

    That is the insinuation afterall. Since smokers pour far more money into the State coffers than they cost, if it’s about redistributing costs according to liability then I expect my cheque any day now.

    But it’s not about that at all. If the State was concerned for our health (which is none of the State’s business beyond not harming us) and smoke cessation policies, the State could simply ban smoking.

    Granted, the Treasury would forego alot of tax money and politicians would lose votes, but what could be *ehem* more important than our health?

    No, the simple truth is that it’s about empires. Political and bureaucratic empires need money and the smokers are easy to shake down.

    Besides, if health is the concern the State can start doing something about the men the STate itself damaged through exposure to atom bomb tests, the requirement to take anti-radiation pills in the Gulf and all the rest of it. Politicians can at least feign concern about the health of those cases before it butts into my business.

    Bah.

  7. Hypothetical I know, but what would happen if smokers behaved like the motoring public who have suddenly decided to stop buying new cars?
    I know it is impossible to imagine that the habitual love affair people have with their car should suddenly stop, and no government on earth would believe that such an absurdity could ever happen. Eh?

    Human beings are very resourceful, and they also have their limits too. This government witch-hunt of a large section of the population has nothing to do with health and everything to do with social control, esp. the control of the male population.
    If you can get them demoralised by forcing them into being social pariahs (‘snoutcasts’), banned from pubs and all other social gatherings, then you have them on the retreat on many other issues. It’s pure social Marxism, starting with the easiest targets.
    It won’t work because, being resourceful, everyone knows SOMEONE who has fled crumbling Marxist Britain to live on the near Continent, and they bring in plentiful supplies of baccy.
    Why, there’s even a Frenchman who speaks passable English at my local, and he has an endless supply of first class Golden Virginia.

    Long Live America!…who first gave us this harmless leaf.

  8. I think that in most places loose tobacco is disproportionately cheaper to the cigarettes.

    So you could revolt by "rolling your own". Percy will be giving a demonstration later in the week.

  9. Pete,

    "Genuinely I want to know how I incur a debt to the collective when I buy fags.

    That is the insinuation afterall. Since smokers pour far more money into the State coffers than they cost, if it’s about redistributing costs according to liability then I expect my cheque any day now."

    The flaw in the argument is the premise ‘smokers pour far more money into the State coffers than they cost’. Perhaps it is true if you restrict it to the healthcare costs. But collectively smokers ensure that there will be another generation of smokers. How do you assess that? What price do you put on someone else’s life, someone else’s child’s life, or your own child’s life? There is no objective answer.

    Of course you could say that the liability should not be passed on to the consumers of tobacco, who are literally addicts (and I am a smoker myself). But it’s not like it’s a secret that they are addictive.

    Anyway, what’s objectionable with all these proposals is not that they contravene some principle or they are inherently unfair (they don’t and they aren’t), but the sheer malice behind them. I see they have also started sticking graphic pictures on the packaging. Just makes me consider buying a cigarette case for the first time in my life.

  10. Frank O’Dwyer –

    But collectively smokers ensure that there will be another generation of smokers.

    Eh? How? I don’t see how that works at all.

    How do you assess that? What price do you put on someone else’s life, someone else’s child’s life, or your own child’s life?

    Even if a liability somehow falls on me and you could quantify it, still, how do I incur a debt to the State?

    Look, I understand the argument that my income taxes are required to pay for the doctorsnnurses and schoolsnhospitals. That’s the deal – I pay and I can use’em.

    But I can see no such causality, none at all, between me buying 20 Bensons and running up a debt to the Treasury.

  11. Pete,

    "Eh? How? I don’t see how that works at all."

    Well for example the children of smokers are more likely to smoke. And surely people are generally more likely to smoke in a society where they see the generation ahead smoking. It is seen as a more acceptable thing to do and there is a whole infrastructure set up to serve it. You can’t point at any one person and say they are at fault for it, but surely smokers collectively have some responsibility for it.

    "Even if a liability somehow falls on me and you could quantify it, still, how do I incur a debt to the State?"

    The state is just allocating (some proportion of) the costs to the smokers – the alternative where the state does nothing is that the smokers (and the tobacco companies) allocate all of the costs to everyone else.

    It is also supposed to be some kind of deterrent to smoking of course, though it obviously doesn’t work as people are addicted. How many people do you know who said they’d quit when smoking went over £2 or £3 a pack or whatever (same with alchohol and the price of a pint). It’s now on the way to £6 and no doubt those will be seen as the good old days when it was less than a tenner before long.

    It does help when you actually quit tho…cos then you realise you could run a motor or have a bloody good holiday every year for the money spent.

Comments are closed.