“For the Children”

I know, I know – we have again and again derided the claim “For the Children”. Zealot MPs use it all the time to persecute smokers.

It is astonishing that there has never been a voice demanding a definition of the word “CHILD”. Never have I seen such a demand. To make things worse, ASH ET AL have deliberately obfuscated the facts by referring to “children and young people”. What is clever about that phrase is that children are, by definition, ‘young people’ so that it is verbally incorrect to say ‘children AND young people’. The use of that phrase immediately introduces confusion.


I have been watching a video of an interview between Prof Robert West and Vapour Trials this evening. You can see the interview here:

David Dorn is a splendid chap. He has gone far beyond what an ordinary vaper might do. He has travelled all over the place, making the case for vaping. He is devoted and committed. But he sometimes comes across as a most ardent anti-tobacco zealot, such is his enthusiasm for vaping.

The interview with West was interesting in that West supports e-cigs. I watched and listened very carefully. What I saw and heard was encouraging from the point of view that West seemed to be advocating ‘freedom to choose’ what e-cig to use and what strength of nicotine liquid. But, again, the question of “For the children” arose.

The problem with “For the children” is that it cannot be argued against, especially by politicians. But that relies upon failure to define. And yet the definition is simple. I was listening to an radio broadcast about a year ago. This anti-tobacco zealot was going on and on about “For the children”. She was stymied when the respondent asked the simple question, “Whose children?” When the Zealot went on about the harm to children, the respondent asked, “Whose children are we talking about?” The Zealot became hysterical because it could not get its brain around the idea that children are not some sort of amorphous, jellyfish-like mass. They do not exist in a vacuum; they have parents. It is a serious error by anti-smoking zealots to dictate to parents about smoking while ignoring every other ‘sin’.


There are serious difficulties which politicians ought to have seen right away when claims of “For the children” were first mooted. Alarm bells should have rung. For decades, the sale of tobacco to ‘persons’ under the age of 16 was forbidden (whether it was enforced or not). Recently, that verbotten was raised to 18.

The significant problem, in our understanding, is that there is no way to describe an 18 year old as ‘a child’. Nor is it particularly helpful to describe such a person as ‘a young person’. 30 year olds are young persons, if you compare them with 90 year olds.


The verbal tricks of the Zealots needs to be countered. My opinion is that there need to be definitions. For example, I would suggest this:

1. A “child” is one up to and including the age of 12.

2. An “Early teen” is one from 13 up to and including the age of 15.

3. A “Late teen” is one from 16 up to and including 17.

4. A “young adult” is one from 18 up to and including 24.

These definitions are essential because of the rapid development of youths.


Many of our problems in the modern world arise from the nature of politicians. It is not that they are stupid, but rather that they are lacking in knowledge. Thus, they are open to bad advice. Thus, it is their duty to ensure that they receive advice which is not biased. What does it say about the Sec of State for Health if he surrounds himself with advisors who are biased? On matters concerning tobacco, how can he gain a dispassionate view if he excludes neutral and pro-tobacco people?

But the exclusion of such people is entirely based upon the “For the children” argument. And it is for that reason that it is essential to define “children”.

I think that the Zealots have recognised that their claims about SHS harm no longer can be justified. They have, in effect, abandoned that idea. It has served its purpose. What they are majoring upon is a long-term ideal of ‘penning in’ smokers and not allowing youths to get into the pen. Inadvertently, the politicians, as a result of their short-term, ignorant acquiescence to tobacco control zealots, are driving youths into the cocaine, heroin, amphetamine pen instead.

Any intelligent person can see that there is no such thing as premature death. The reason is quite simple. It is that there is no way back. In the case of ‘premature ejaculation’, it is possible to try again and learn ways to delay, and this applies to almost all ‘premature’ events. But death is irreversible. It cannot be hastened or delayed since it is a single event. It is similar to conception – either sperm hits egg or not. There is no half-way.  Sometimes, an individual might stop breathing and his heart might stop. He is not necessarily dead since he might be resuscitated. He is only dead when all such attempts to resuscitate fail. You cannot be half dead.


Fundamental change is needed. Cameron, Milliband and Clegg cannot do it. They are stuck in a timewarp. They do not see that the EU is a copy of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. It could have been brilliant, but its advocacy of totalitarian fascism has denied that possibility for ever.


7 Responses to ““For the Children””

  1. The Last Furlong Says:

    I didn’t like “Smokers aren’t as happy as non smokers” Scientifically, you cannot make such a statement unless the study was done in the Forties or Fifties when smoking was the done thing. I was a very happy smoker, until prohibition and propaganda came along! Nice post – thank you.

    • junican Says:

      Specious statements like that are common. Frankly, they are meaningless since ‘happiness’ is a constantly changing emotion. At this moment, as I type this, am I happy? Well ….. No. I am neither happy nor unhappy. Happiness is not an emotion which comes into play when thinking and typing. I think that I could describe my emotional state at this moment as ‘content’with undertones of annoyance at the rainy weather which is delaying my planting out. The idea of quantifying such an ephemeral emotional state is comical in its naivety.
      Thanks for the compliment!

  2. artbylisabelle Says:

    Reblogged this on artbylisabelle and commented:
    Across The Pond……. we are connected regarding E-Cigarettes and more.

  3. mikef317 Says:

    In the U. S., did tobacco companies advertise to children? Hell yes – if you consider college students children. Tobacco companies ran ads in college newspapers. Depending on varying legal ages of adulthood (18 to 21) they had promotions in “adult only” establishments like bars (pubs). But were the Merchants Of Death lurking around grade school playgrounds, handing out free samples to the kiddies? I think not.

    Did tobacco companies use cartoon characters? One did – Camel cigarettes; most did not.

    God only knows if these links will post or work. If not, search “Joe Camel” and “tiger in your tank”. The second link is a series of images, all showing the friendly tiger who wants you to buy Esso (Exxon) gas for your car. (A real tiger would like to eat you for dinner.) How many kids, I wonder, pestered their parents to buy Esso gas because of the friendly cartoon tiger? Probably as many as took up smoking because of Joe Camel ads.



  4. mummy Says:

    I was divorced with two children at age 18. I went to work just before my 15th birthday. That was all a long time ago when we grew up quicker.

    • junican Says:

      That is why the Zealots can get away with describing 15 year olds as ‘children’. The world is a different place now, but, in the 1950s and 1960s, many ‘young people’ started work around the age of 15. They had money (but not much!) and were able to buy fags. Yes, tobacco companies targeted that group, but, in those days, there was nothing wrong with it. It was just simple commercial imperative – perfectly acceptable at the time.

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