Can the Scottish Government REALLY Ban Smoking in the Open Air?===Various Non-sequitures

I’m not sure, but I think that General Bans on smoking are a Westminster matter. Thus, no matter how much the Propagandists try to imply that smoking can be banned in the open air by the Scottish Parliament, the fact is that the Scottish Parliament cannot make open air smoking a criminal offence. It is limited to ‘substantially enclosed places’, just as is England. I know that many football grounds and similar places ban smoking, but that is their choice, and their answer to anyone smoking could not be to call the police, merely because that person is smoking. They would have to eject that person from the ground for disobeying the club’s rules. That is quite different from enforcing a law of the land.

I draw this matter to the readers attention because of a report on the BBC website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-31360682

the headline states:

E-cigarettes to be banned from Scotland hospital grounds

When I saw that headline, I wondered WTF? Not because of the emphasis on ecigs, but on the idea of a ban in the open air. I thought, “Is it correct that the Scottish Government has passed a law banning smoking, never mind ecigs, on hospital grounds?

I remember some time ago seeing a report concerning an attempt by a Scottish hospital to ‘police’ a hospital grounds smoking ban, and that, after a week, all the ‘wardens’ packed the job in because of the abuse which they (rightfully) were receiving.

I have just searched google and can find nothing which suggests that such a law exists.

OK. So what is the BBC article saying? I think that it is the epitome of a ‘puff piece’, if I understand that phrase correctly. The clue to the meaning is in the idea of ‘to puff up’. IE, exaggerate significance. So, by including the idea of banning ecigs on hospital grounds, the BBC ‘puffs up’ the significance of such a ban as though it is actually likely to be the case. At the same time, it vaguely normalises the idea of banning actual smoking in the open air on hospital grounds.

But to see the verbal trickery involved, you need to read the BBC article carefully.

Let us reiterate that there is no law in Scotland banning smoking in the open air. However, the BBC articles says this:

Scotland health board smoking ban policies

Ah ha! No laws involved then – just ‘policies’.

Taking a couple of examples of these ‘policies’.

NHS Lanarkshire: Smoke-free grounds date: 2008.

NHS Shetland: Smoke-free grounds date: 2009.

So the above health boards have had ‘policies’ about smoking in the open air for several years.

I just love this statement from the article:

Under the terms of the Scottish government’s tobacco control strategy, all NHS boards must make their entire hospital grounds smoke-free by the end of March.

Many health boards have already implemented the restrictions while others, like NHS Tayside and NHS Lothian, are in the process of removing smoking shelters.

A spokesman for the government said: “It is a matter for boards to decide how they implement and enforce their smoke-free policies, this includes whether they chose to incorporate a ban on e-cigarettes.

“No specific resources have been allocated. However, the Scottish government allocates around £11m a year to NHS Boards for smoking-related services.”

So, it seems that ‘implementing the restrictions’ means nothing more that removing smoking shelters, and the boards have to ‘enforce’ without teeth, and they will have no ‘resources’. Clever, that.

It’s just more propaganda, isn’t it? Just more of the well-paid charlatans finding themselves something to do. What amuses me is the tortured way in which the BBC has gone about making something out of nothing. I sometimes wonder if the BBC gets revenue from publicising these ‘puff pieces’. If the Government uses the BBC for ‘public information broadcasts’, does it pay for them? It is hard to see why it should not, since the BBC has to pay staff etc. Their organisation does not come cheap. It is one thing to report ‘News’ if it is worth reporting, but a different thing altogether to publish ‘puff pieces’. There is no doubt that the Government pays for anti-smoking adverts on Commercial Channels.

A thought which always comes into my mind when I see articles about ‘smoking on hospital grounds’ is that we do not smoke ‘ON the ground’ – we stand on the ground and smoke in the air. The only thing that is ‘on hospital grounds’ is the soles of my shoes. If I fart, do I fart ‘on hospital grounds’?

Actually, despite my support for vapers, I am quite pleased with the plans to ban ecig use ‘in the air above the ground on hospital sites’ (but only in a reverse propaganda sense!). The more stupid the proposals, the better. The more stupid the propaganda, the sooner the general public will wake up from its slumber. And the sooner the public wake up, the sooner politicians will start to remark, “Well, personally, I do not smoke, but I do think that it is going a bit too far when bans on smoking ecigs are being advocated. Actually, I’m getting a bit fed up with these do-gooders and its about time the government spoke up for my voters ….. erm….. sorry, I mean ‘the general public”

I don’t like to be political on this blog, other than in a general sense, but I do hope that UKIP do well in the GE. They do not have to win many seats. They merely have to take a sizeable share of the vote. If they do, then many seats could change hands because UKIP has eaten into the normal voting patterns and upset the equilibrium. That would be brilliant, because, as we know, the three (or should that be two) main parties have allowed themselves to become mirror images of each other.

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All of the credibility of tobacco control, organised world-wide, seems to depend upon making progress in the direction of a ‘tobacco-free world’ in the foreseeable future, even if that future is a good way away. That is why Chapman has called for a law which would ban anyone born after, say, the year 2000 from buying cigs no matter how old they are. The idea is, of course, extremely silly, but you can see why Chapman has floated that idea. The reason is this:

On the 1st Jan 2015, X number of youths will have turned 18 during the previous 12 months. Many of them will go, “Wee Hee! I can now buy my own cigs and booze! Wee Hee!” and they will do so, with great aplomb. They have become adults. On the 1st Jan 2016, X number of youths will turn 18, and become adults……… The process will repeat and repeat. ASH ET AL have again and again, claimed that anyone who does not start smoking before 25 will almost certainly never start smoking. But they have no actual definite evidence that such is the case. They used to say much the same about the age of 16. The reality is that the sooner a youth is working and earning, the more likely he is to buy cigs. A law which forbid him from buying cigs does not mean that he will not buy cigs. What will happen is that he will have to wait until he is 18 before he can buy them for himself. If the age to buy is pushed to 21, he will still start to buy at 21. If 24, then he will buy at 24.

I hope that you see my point. Teenagers start to drink and smoke as soon as the are permitted to do so. If, in the past, the usual age for a youth to start to smoke was, say, 16 (and he was working and could afford it), that age would be ‘the mean’. Thus, statistics which show that people who do not start to smoke before the age of, say, 20, will never start smoking depend upon historical evidence which showed ONLY that people not inclined to smoke (or drink) did not start to do so. Doll’s ‘Doctors Study’ showed that young doctors did not start to smoke, on average, until they were 19½ years old. Is that surprising? The vast majority would have been students, and thus not very well-off. Thus, the fact that they started at age 19½ shows that they started to smoke as soon as they reasonably could. Thus, anyone who is not permitted to smoke until the age of 25 will start to do so at that age, provided that he is inclined to do so. ASH’s claim that anyone who does not start smoking before age 25 (or whatever) will not start smoking at all is false.

But is there anything that ASH says which is not false?

Eventually, all the lies of the Tobacco Control Industry will rebound. Ecigs are a new way to enjoy the fruits of the tobacco plant, particularly the pleasantly soporific effects of nicotine. But there are also other ways to enjoy tobacco, such as the ‘ploom’ type of ecig which uses actual tobacco but merely heats it rather than burning it. I wonder if it could be possible to adjust such machines to use one’s own stuff? Interesting. Must investigate.

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There seems to be little doubt that tobacco control is panicking. Bans which are not bans in Bristol. Bans which are not bans on hospital grounds. Plain packaging in Australia which has increased youth smoking. Excessive taxation which has resulted in more and more ‘underground’ trade. Vast increases in taxation which have produced no increase in overall revenue – imminent collapse of that revenue. No change in hospitalisations, other than an increase in old-age problems, both medical and physical, and costs (not ‘tobacco related’ per se).

One of the weird things to me is the fact that tobacco companies have not used their financial clout to change the perception of them as ‘evil empires’. I know that some have tried to help in various ways to alleviate poverty. But those efforts have not had the effect of making them seem to be ‘good guys’ – of course. What I am talking about is financing studies which have nothing at all to do with tobacco. They could, for example, finance research into Ebola. Would the BMJ refuse to publish such research merely because Japan Tobacco financed the research?

There is something that is extremely weird about the behaviour of tobacco companies. They say almost nothing and let tobacco control stamp about all over the place. I understand that tobacco control seems not to be affecting tobacco companies’ businesses world-wide (which is why their shares continue to be valuable), but I fail to understand why they do not finance individual smokers who dare to take on The Zealots. For example, it took us smokers to raise the £10,000 fine to release Nick Hogan from prison. But what is important is that Nick Hogan should have had the best legal defence available, courtesy of the tobacco companies.

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Oh dear! Perhaps these companies are not stupid. Perhaps they understand that, like Prohibition of Alcohol in the USA, these things have to be allowed to run their course.

But what is the point of politicians if they just roll over? Is not the whole point of having politicians that they DO NOT roll over? Weird, and largely why our political system stinks.

 

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6 Responses to “Can the Scottish Government REALLY Ban Smoking in the Open Air?===Various Non-sequitures”

  1. garyk30 Says:

    All of the hoopla about banning smoking on hospital grounds is just a ploy to obscure the fact the the real dangers to life are ‘inside’ those same hospitals.

    In the USA, it is estimated that about 100,000 people each year die because of infections they pick-up in hospitals and another 100,000 die because of being given the wrong medicines or the wrong dosage of medicine.

    That is about 4 times the number of deaths that are claimed to be caused by exposure to SHS.

    There are about equal numbers of people exposed to SHS and admitted into hospitals.

    Hospitals should be required to post signs stating:
    “Abandon Hope, all ye that enter herein.
    Admission to this facility is about FOUR times as deadly as being exposed to SHS!!”

    • junican Says:

      I disagree.
      I disagree because nothing can be done about people who are at death’s door. I expect to be there in the not too distant future in view of the fact that I am 75 years old.
      There are no stats which confirm SHS danger within a normal person’s lifetime. That is the crux. What is the timescale?

  2. garyk30 Says:

    The dangers to youth because of smoking is another obscuring of the facts.

    There are no deaths from the diseases ’caused’ by smoking under the age of 35.

    The mean age of death from lung cancer is 72.

    The mean age of death from heart disease is about 80.

    The mean age of death from repiratory diseases is about 85.

    If someone starts smoking at 20, they will suffer no probability of death for at least 15 years and it will be at least 50 years before they have more than a 50-50 chance of such a death.

    There is no advantage to not smoking,Doll’s Doctors Study showed that both smokers and never-smokers have the same,85%, probability of dying from a diseasse ’caused’ by smoking.

    I may have mentioned that before. 🙂

  3. artbylisabelle Says:

    Reblogged this on artbylisabelle and commented:
    Can I shoot down a Drone over my property? LOL Very excellent post.

    • junican Says:

      I take it that you mean an aircraft and not a flying ‘drone’ of tobacco control. In the first case, you can if the drone is Russian. In the second, you can do so if the ‘drone’ looks like a pig.

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