I think that it has gradually been coming about for some time – certainly since last October if not before. I think that observing the youth in Magalluf has been a large part of it. I think that their carefree, worry-free attitude to life is catching. But you have to think it through to some extent.
Let me explain.
It seems that tobacco control is cock-a-hoop because Uganda has passed a ‘tough’ law on tobacco smoking, What is that law? Why, it is banning smoking indoors. That is the ‘tough’ law. The Fanatics are overjoyed. But I’ve been looking at the health situation in Uganda. It is appalling. A snippet from the Guardian circa 2009:
Healthcare a major challenge for Uganda – The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com › World › Health
1 Apr 2009 – A Ugandan’s health and life expectancy is among the lowest across the globe. … going out to remote households and making referrals to public health facilities, … A well-documented problem has been the chronic shortage of ..
The whole article is here:
Another quote from the article:
A Ugandan’s health and life expectancy is among the lowest across the globe. In Uganda, one in every 200 births ends the mother’s life, around 1 million people are living with HIV and although malaria accounts for 14% of all deaths, less than 10% of children under five are sleeping under insecticide-treated nets.
In the UK, there are around 700,000 live births per an. Imagine the outcry if 3,500 of those births resulted in the death of the mothers (1 in 200). There are around 500,000 deaths per an in the UK. Imagine the outcry if 70,000 of those deaths were caused by malaria. And yet the Fanatics are overjoyed by an indoor smoking ban in Uganda.
Can you see my point? These people are so divorced from reality that whatever they say or do throughout the world has no bearing upon my own life or my own thoughts. It does not matter one iota to me if Arnott says that ‘smokefree’ beaches are great. I’ve no doubt that, if push came to shove, she would say that ‘”surveys have shown that Brighton and Hove residents are gasping for beaches to become smokefree so that they can rush down to the seaside and bathe in the wholesome waters, which are jellyfish-free, turd-free and oil-slick-free”. It would not surprise me one bit if the local authority declared one day that, hence forward, as a result of a new bylaw, the seas around Brighton would be salt-free. Why not? If they can declare the atmosphere above the beach to be smokefree, and they can declare the sand to be pollutant free, why should they not declare the sea to be salt-free?
So we can reasonably say that the only reason that the Fanatics are getting their way is that either: a) there is money to be made, or, b) that politicians have taken leave of their senses, or, c) that there is a mystical miasma which has taken the place of tobacco smoke. My money is on a combination of all three, except that c) needs a bit of clarification. The ‘mystical miasma’ is otherwise known as ‘inexplicable wild enthusiasm’. It is the sort of thing that crowds at the British Golf Open Championship exhibit when they cheer and cheer when some guy they do not know and have never met, knocks a little white ball into a hole in the ground and pockets half a million pounds.
When you start to become dispassionate, in much the same way that ‘the youth’ is dispassionate, it becomes easier not to be be dismayed when some silliness, in the form of PP and car smoking bans, is enacted. They do not matter a damn. PP only affects tobacco company competition, and car bans cannot be enforced. I had to laugh, in April, when I last went to Mallorca, when my taxi-man had a crafty smoke in his cab on the way home from the airport. How much more difficult would it be to enforce a smoking ban in cars? In any case, what does it matter whether people smoke in cars and/or a ban is enforced or not? Who the hell cares? Do the MPs who voted for it care? Do they F*CK! They do not give a SH*T! Would they be bothered if PP did not happen? Of course not!! They might shriek about ‘THE RULE OF LAW’, but they would care not one jot about actual PP.
We come thus to the realisation that anti-tobacco is just one more of the many fads which have plagued humanity throughout history. And so I suggest that we should clear our minds. The triumphs of tobacco control are illusory. This is borne out in many ways. First, 25% of tobacco products in Ireland are illicit. The Irish Fanatics brought that situation about by demanding massive tax rises, because, as Arnott said: “We know that tax rises work”. Well, yes, they work very well – in driving people to untaxed sources. Now, the Irish authorities have to spend millions on chasing illicit imports which they cannot even sell! A double negative whammy – cost of customs staff and loss of revenue, along with the cost of the Fanatics, of course.
Has there ever been a time when politicians have not gone along with some minor fad which is not really very important, but which turns out to have nasty consequences after a little while? Did the politicians who passed the alcohol manufacturing ban in the early 1900s realise that the ban would begin the rise of the precursors of cocaine etc? Have our politicians in the UK realised that making the cost of tobacco equivalent to heroin encourages youth to switch from tobacco to heroin?
How can they not see that? Tobacco needs lots of tobacco plants, and they take a lot of space. Making crack cocaine needs only a lab and the raw materials. Easy peazy. Government edicts become more and more silly every day. The latest is the idea of banning ‘any mind-altering drug’. One cannot help but giggle at the exception of tobacco and coffee. Thus, the morass of unintended consequences thickens and thickens. What is most comical is that not one single life will be ‘saved’. It is a mirage.
Friends! Observe what is going on, but do not be disturbed. The influx of illicit tobacco products into Ireland has only begun. Ireland will be swamped,
What seems to be happening is that only those smokers who smoke a little are sustaining the the revenue. I was reading something earlier about the smoking habits of young women. It seems that that particular group is massively devoted to small-scale, light, social smoking. I assume that means only smoking in the evenings a bit – say five cigs per day. I doubt that these girls know, but at that level of smoking, according to the Doctors Study, your life expectancy is probably higher than non-smokers. Do I hear giggles? It is a matter of fact that there is a graph in the Doctors Study which shows that certain smokers outlived non-smokers. Needless to say, no one says anything about that fact. But the important thing is that these young women have it right. The fact is that light smoking has no physical danger but has all the benefits of nicotine in those circumstances. Nicotine relaxes the mind. Alcohol relaxes emotions.
I suppose that we need to bide our time, but more than anything, let the spurious regs, like PP and car bans, flow over us. What matters is the original smoking ban indoors. Nothing else matters, for that law made citizens criminals and made publicans criminals if they did not force smokers outdoors. For the life of me, I simply cannot understand how the whole publican population did not erupt in righteous indignation about becoming unpaid, untrained law enforcers. They had the chance, but failed miserably.
Our political system stinks. I say that, but I am ashamed to say that I have no idea what is really wrong or what can be done about it. I am too old to be bothered. But, because I am too old to be bothered, I shall extract every penny that I can from the system. If tobacco control can extract tax monies, then so can I.
That is where ‘societal morality’ breaks down. In fact, ‘Societal Morality’ broke down in 2007, when publicans accepted the duty to force smokers outdoors. The more that you think about the extension of unpaid, untrained apparatchiks, the more obvious it is that tobacco control is a simple, audacious fraud.
The consequences of political acceptance of magic potions (a la magical reduction of deaths resulting from smoking bans) which were expected to stop the gang-bangs of lorries destined for the UK via Calais, are plain to be seen.
Becoming inured to the Fanatics’ demands requires lying low. Smokers who fall within the definition of ‘light smoking females’ must look after themselves.