Is Tobacco Control in the Healthy, Wealthy West Played Out?

I was reading some newspaper report from somewhere today (the USA I think) which quoted some quack professor or ‘doctor’. He/she said that the smoking rate in the USA was now at 15% and that the success was down to the sterling efforts of the tobacco control industry. He was jolly pleased especially with the fall during the past 12 months. That big fall was all down to the efforts of the Zealots. Needless to say, no attempt was made to acknowledge the part played by ecigs. It was all down to the wonderful persecution of smokers.

But what caught my eye was something that he said. It was, words to the effect, “The public health gains are enormous [in the USA], but we must not forget that that the problem of tobacco, which kills bla, bla, is still widespread throughout the world”.

Do you see the vague implication? The speaker would angrily deny it, but the implication is that the job in the USA is done and dusted, and it is the wider world which is now the target. But he really ought not to deny it. The same applies in Australia where it is claimed that smoking is also down to 15%.

I’m sure that we have all heard the phrase “diminishing returns”. As a simple example, as more and more people get TV sets, the demand for TV sets becomes smaller and smaller. Eventually, the only people left without TV sets are those people who simply do not want to watch TV. That is a problem for the tobacco control industry in the USA. At 15%, the smoking population is almost certainly ‘the hard core’. I don’t mean the old smokers who refuse to ‘quit’; I mean those people, young and old, who enjoy tobacco. From my personal observations, both in the UK and in Magalluf, the vast majority of old people no longer smoke. It is young people who have taken up the batten. It is easy to understand why most old people have stopped smoking. It has nothing to do with health. It is because trailing to the shop to buy cigs is a pain in the butt when you are getting on. Also, many old people are surviving on state pensions and cigs are costly. Further, funnily enough, I think that older people find it quite easy to stop smoking if they really want to. It is a matter of ‘costs and benefits’, innit? Suppose that you are getting a bit frail, and walking to the shop is getting hard. What do you do? You say, “Sod it. I’ll do without cigs for tonight. I’ll chew a stick of rhubarb instead”. That is, the ‘cost’ of going to the shop is greater than the ‘benefit’ of cigs. Hardly any old people smoke and many middle aged people have stopped. It is the younger element who are the ‘hard core’. Do you see the implications? They are that the ‘hard core’ is not some sort of determined, red-neck, juice-spitting, old backwoodsman, but is that section of the young population which believes that ‘carpe diem’ (grasp the day) is the best policy. The ‘hard core’ is constantly changing as some youths start to smoke and some older youths stop smoking.

So, with smoking, “diminishing returns” does not mean applying more and more force to stop older people smoking. It means applying more and more force to stop some youths, a small number, from enjoying tobacco. Thus, more and more resources have to be employed to press smoking prevalence down a tiny bit more. Further, young smokers get more canny. They get ‘sources’, therefore even more resources are required to block the ‘sources’. The situation is typical of the sine wave – a force initially has difficulties in moving an object, but moving the object gets easier once the object starts to move, but there comes a point where the force is exhausted, and then the object reverses the pressure under some other force. It is like stretching a piece of elastic. The force stretching the elastic tires, and the elastic then reverses the process.

In the USA, and most Western countries, tobacco control is a spent force. Banning smoking cars with kids? If that was seriously intended to be strictly enforced as the smoking ban in pubs was enforced, then the expenditure on enforcers would be ENORMOUS!! Plain packaging? Who gives a shit about the packets? What is really weird is that the nasty colours and images, which are supposed to deter yoofs, are hidden behind shutters! How gigglesome!

Because of the contradiction of hiding unappealing colours and gruesome images behind closed shutters, I KNOW that the objective was suspicious. It has been a long time in brewing, and may not apply in the UK, but it is quite likely to be intended to spread world-wide and affect bars here and there, in due course, which have cigs on open display behind the bar, as they used to be in the UK. Get a law enacted in the UK or Ireland, and it will become contagious. That is true. It is a disease. The disease is coercion, denormalisation, persecution – and, eventually, prohibition on pain of death. The Zealot will deny it, but it will not be up to them. Big Business, in the form of Big United Nations, Big European Union, Big Pharma and, indeed, Big Tobacco will have taken control of the totally corrupt web.

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But all is not lost. Eventually, today’s youth will kick the Bastards into touch. The unfortunate thing is that the Bastards will sneak off.

PHYSICAL HEALTH is not the be all and end all of life. In fact, it is the least important thing. Witness the health situation of Stephen Hawking. He’s been ‘nearly dead’. physically, for decades, and yet continues to survive. If you look at the mortality statistics, you see what seems to be indiscriminate slaughter. I mean that. Indiscriminate Slaughter. In every ‘disease vector’, there is an age-related function.

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Enough. I tend to get carried away. My simple intention was to show that The Zealots have had to internationalise their campaign, and I see no reason that, say, the UK should finance those endeavours. Let Bloomberg, Gates, etc do so. But do not allow Gates and co to persuade the UK to follow up the Gates’s expenditure with 100 times that expenditure. It does not follow.

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I think that TC in the Healthy, Wealthy West is played out. Yes, it is still spending fortunes on miserable miasmas such as PP, uglification of cig packets and hiding its ugly packets behind doors. I must admit to being very amused by the situation in my local coop. The tobacco display is now shrouded behind glaringly obvious dark green sliding doors with the word TOBACCO plastered on the surface of the doors. That display is behind the counter. And yet, not more than a couple of metres away, is a huge display, not behind the counter, of alcoholic beverages of the most heiniest kind – really horrible stuff like whiskey, rum, gin and vodka.  Further, on open display, is SUGAR and SALT!!!

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I don’t think that more is needed to understand the fluidity of the foundations of public health claims. Zealots claim hard evidence, but that evidence applies to only a few people. The TRUTH is that the truth is random.

 

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9 Responses to “Is Tobacco Control in the Healthy, Wealthy West Played Out?”

  1. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Yes if these idiots in Tobacco Control et al get their way everything will be shuttered off. Its hilarious that cigarettes are shuttered off and now we have PLAIN PACKAGING on something no-one can see !

    • junican Says:

      Such contradictions are of no importance to TC. They have a political agenda and nothing is more important than that.

  2. Jude Says:

    I dispute the 15% claims , I know in my country Australia, people simply are not honest about whether they smoke or not. There is so much discrimination and demonisation, (by government depts, health services, medical professionals, and individuals, such as landlords, employers etc), that people smoke but tell officials and others, that they do not.

    When I was a smoker, I did this too, it avoided the discrimination, as well as the inevitable lecturing and repetition of tobacco control industry propaganda and lies.

    Its interesting, out of my 6 closest neighbours, 4 are smokers, 1 is a vaper, and on 1 doesn’t do either, but he likes a beer or two daily. After talking with them, everyone, (except the guy who didn’t smoke or vape), has lied about their “smoking status” because of the discrimination and demonisation.

    Of the 4 smokers, only one buys expensive “state sanctioned and taxed” tobacco products. Because of the extortionist taxes on tobacco products, and the stupid laws against being able to obtain vape liquids with nicotine, 4 out of my 6 closest neighbours are criminals in the eyes of the state.

    This is what the tobacco control industry has done, caused misery to so many people’s lives, for what? We have more health problems than ever before, and health costs are rising (apparently), our economy is going down the tubes, our pubs and clubs are closing, cafes and restaurants are struggling. Depression and mental illness are rife.

    • junican Says:

      I think that your comment is a nice summary of the situation down-under. It certainly rings true that anyone who smokes only occasionally or only a little daily (such as, say, five cigs a day in the evening at home), will avoid bother by just saying, “No – I gave up ages ago”.
      If 20% of the population were smokers, and still are secret smokers, then the economic affect of that enormous number of people, when they stay at home rather than go out, will be gigantic. We should not be sidetracked by the idea of ONLY 15% smoke. The affect of a loss of business of 20%, in the first instance, is an immediate affect on weekly takings. If your income, weekly or monthly, has been just enough to pay the bills plus a bit of pleasure, then 20% drop in that income will bugger you up – unless you have savings to tide you over. The economic damage of smoking bans is permanent.

  3. Smoking Lamp Says:

    I agree with Jude, the 15% claims are propaganda. Just a few weeks ago the Antis were claiming smoking was on the rise in NYC. Also smoking is allegedly on the rise in France. These statistics are manipulated to suit current political and fiscal objectives. As Junican said above the tobacco control political agenda is more important than any apparent contradictions, facts, or reality. The sooner the tobacco control propaganda machine and its lies are broadly exposed the better!

    • nisakiman Says:

      I’ve mentioned this of a few occasions, but it’s pertinent, and worth repeating.

      I live in a place which is a popular holiday destination for the Brits, and we get the whole range of the social strata, as we have ‘A’ class villa accommodation as well as cheaper package options. As a result, during the summer months I get to see a broad range of Brits relaxing in bars and restaurants – bars and restaurants, I might add, who don’t discriminate against smokers (smoking has never been ‘denormalised’ here – it’s considered to be quite acceptable to smoke) and who completely ignore the stupidities of smoking bans.

      My observations of the Brits at play here, in an environment where nobody casts so much as a disapproving glance at smokers, leads me to estimate smoking prevalence among the Brits here at a minimum of 40%. It’s always possible that people come here purely because of the relaxed attitude towards smoking, but although that might have a small influence I don’t think it explains the numbers of smokers I see.

      Jude is right – in this current climate of discrimination in the west, people lie about their smoking status, and conceal from everyone the fact that they smoke. When they are here, there is no need to feel guilty about it, so they smoke openly. I said my estimate is a minimum of 40%, but that is conservative. It seems to me that more than half the people I see on holiday here are smokers.

      • junican Says:

        Very pertinent, Nisak. But I think that there are people who spend as little as possible on pleasure. You will not see them in pleasure places in Greece or anywhere else.

  4. Ritathomas Says:

    I don’t lie about it, I quite enjoy my piriah status. I was brought up by a puritan and saw no joy in life as a young woman. These people are out of the same mould I can almost hear my mother lecturing me about everything and anything.

    • junican Says:

      I can almost hear my mother lecturing me about everything and anything.”

      I think that you must have been a very naughty girl, Rita!

      But I think that you are correct – what used to be ‘the walk of shame’ to the door of the pub to go out for a cig, is now ‘the walk of honour, courage, freedom and resistance’.

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