Why Do No ‘Libertarians’ Admit to ENJOYING Tobacco?

I hope that I am not going to be up until four of five o’clock in the morning thinking about this! In a way, this post has come about indirectly from the ‘50% of smokers are killed by tobacco’ mantra.

I was reading Simon Clark’s post about the progress of PP in Ireland:


It seems that the health minister’s PP proposal was ‘talked out’ for the time being, and that that particular Zealot will probably be replaced before that matter raises its ugly head again, possibly in September. (As a curiosity, it seems that New Zealand has also shelved the idea of PP for the time-being)


Contrary to the thinking of many, I quite admire Simon Clark. He is batting on a very sticky wicket, but tries his best to uphold ‘libertarian’ attitudes to the enjoyment of tobacco, while avoiding the HUGE trap of defying the consensus on tobacco harm. If he denied the ‘consensus’, he would be ridiculed. To do that requires some significant skill.

In the above post, SC applauded the speech of Finian McGrath. SC gave a link to the speech:


(Scroll down until you see his name)

Finian did his best, as a smoker, to suggest that the attractions of tobacco are such that PP will have no effect. Indeed, he said what a lot of people have been saying, which is that the proposal cannot do other than increase ‘illicit’ tobacco, since the packaging is much easier to copy.


But there were massive ‘fault-lines’ in his speech. The ‘fault-lines’ are illustrated thus:

“I must declare a special or vested interest in that I am a smoker or, in other words, a person who is addicted to cigarettes.”

By making that statement, he has already condemned himself, and nothing else that he says matters. HE IS AN ADDICT.

I totally accept that smoking is not good for one’s health, but nor is excessive eating or binge drinking.” 

Translated, that means ‘that I accept that I am just as rotten as a disgusting, lardy fatty and/or a drunkard’.

But, to be fair, he makes some telling points about intellectual property rights – not that the TCI gives a shit about them – the TCI, as driven by the WHO FCTC, does not give a shit whether or not Irish taxpayers are punished – they just want legislation.


Why could he not have said: “I am a person who ENJOYS tobacco, but I accept that there MAY BE dangers”. That makes a lot more sense than what he actually said. He could also have gone on to say: “But I am not sure, since just as many non-smokers die from ‘tobacco related diseases’ as do smokers”.


To wind up this short post, I was greatly amused by the words of the very next speaker:

“I welcome the opportunity to speak on the Public Health (Standard Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014. I compliment the Minister on bringing this measure forward and confirm my support for the legislation. It is important to remember some key facts and figures in regard to smoking and the effect of smoking on the health of individuals and the public generally.

Smoking kills one in every two users.

The sheer ignorance is astonishing.







7 Responses to “Why Do No ‘Libertarians’ Admit to ENJOYING Tobacco?”

  1. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    While the Doll/Hill figure about the 1900/1910 cohort may carry some weight in the history of the 50% figure, I think it’s also just been a case of advertising impact growth. I say that because I can remember a time when they used to claim either 1 in 4 or 1 in 5, and then 1 in 3 before they started in with the 1 in 2. As people got bored with the smaller figures they just kept making them larger by shifting things around so that they could rank more deaths as “tobacco-related.”

    – MJM

  2. Samuel Handley Says:

    A true “Libertarian” would not desire any legislation either for or against tobacco. All such efforts are beyond the scope of any legitimate legislature. Governments got their greedy hooks into regulating private businesses and the private behaviors of individuals by making themselves, in violation of their charters, the providers of “health care”. To be free from being told how you are to live; what you can and can not do that might affect your “health” you must take from their hands all control over and funding for medical services of all sorts. So long as they “pay for” (with taxes stolen from people) your medical treatments they get to choose for you what you must do to reduce your burden on the system.

    • junican Says:

      It’s only in the recent past that ‘the cost to the NHS (and thus the taxpayer)’ has appeared. Clearly, it has been part of the pre-planned attack on smokers, with a rabble-rousing intent. Previously, the NHS just got on with the job. For years, the Zealots have been placing their people in important positions within the NHS. It is always these people who are quoted in the press and there are enough of them to spread the quotes around to make it look as though ALL the NHS are anti-smoker.
      I used the word ‘libertarian’ loosely (as indicated by the inverted commas!) to mean anyone who smokes and is against attacking smokers. NO WAY should such a person give the opposition ammunition by saying anything bad about smoking.

  3. T-NM (@smofunking) Says:

    Unfortunately, and especially since the introduction of the smoking Apartheid, smokers are now expected to feel guilty about indulging in a perfectly legitimate pastime. That’s right, a pastime not a habit, and one that’s still enjoyed by millions of people worldwide.
    However, I’m not denying that for some people smoking can be habit forming, especially when you read comments from people saying that they don’t enjoy smoking and wish they could stop but if we still lived in a more tobacco tolerant society, would they all still feel that way or have they become victims of modern day social conditioning?
    As for the enjoyment of smoking, anti-tobacco propaganda now dictates that it must be impossible for any right thinking person to take any form of pleasure from a product that is apparently designed to kill you. As I often say to people, if smoking was really as poisonous as the zealots would have you believe, all smokers should be dead within their first year.
    Interesting point about Simon Clark. As you say, he’s in a position where he has to walk on hen’s menstrual waste shells when saying anything that appears to be remotely positive about tobacco.
    It reminds me of the stance taken by some online e-cig/vaping businesses who state that their products are not for sale to non-smokers, which is clearly something they can’t enforce but all the while there are so-called health experts trying to either ban or suppress their usage, they no doubt feel the need to make such a statement in order to distance themselves from the ‘gateway to smoking’ accusations.

    • junican Says:

      Have you ever over-indulged in ‘alcohol beverages’ and woken up the next day feeling crap and said to yourself that you’ll never do it again? Right ……
      The important thing is that your expression ‘never again’ is your second preference! Your first preference is that you enjoyed the fun but wish that you did not feel crap. Further, one might ask why people want to give up smoking. My personal experience, on the odd occasion that I tried to stop smoking, has always been a combination of finances (the most important factor) and some vague feeling of unease about smoking which I cannot explain. It was certainly not that was experiencing illness. or similar. Perhaps it was, even then, a long time ago, that the propaganda was influencing my subconscious.
      Re SC, he never says anything positive about tobacco as such! All he can do is try his best to defend the right to smoke for adult individuals.
      I agree about e-cig sites. They backed themselves into a corner by themselves emphasising stopping smoking rather than enjoyment of the product.

  4. One crying in the wilderness Says:

    The Libertarian Set are sadly a bunch of well meaning,well spoken gilded lillies,their cries for freedom ,hardly heard,muted angst and
    whispered fury.When the call for action is made ,they flutter ,shedding feathers in their well swept cages,cowering in their
    much loved isolation.Sometimes the media allow a solitary trumpet to blow a few notes as long as know one knows the tune.
    Nice chaps ,I’ve met many at Conferences etc,but too much to lose to be combatants,the need for lifes lower end more apparent than ever.

    • junican Says:

      I enjoyed your prose, One c…..! But I’m not sure what you mean. I guess that you are saying that ‘libertarians’ are, sort of, middle class and have too much to lose by being belligerent, whereas the ‘lower classes’ have little to lose.
      You may be right, but we must remember that the Zealots have protected themselves very well. They cannot be got at directly. MPs take the blame (but then disappear mostly at the next General Election). The ‘lower classes’ might well feel aggrieved, but a lot of them are not in contact with sites like this, even if they are computer literate. Besides, they too have been vaguely and subconsciously ‘got at’.

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