A Big Interest In Home Growing of Tobacco in Australia

Perhaps I am doing a tobacco control industry trick by using statistics from a source about one thing to justify claims about another thing.

A couple of years ago, I did some searches and found out what the law in OZ was on growing tobacco plants. I then wrote an essay describing those laws. An Act was passed in 1911 which forbade the transport of seeds and tobacco plants around Australia. 1911! That Act could not have been about health, could it? In effect, that Act made home growing illegal since tobacco plants growing in gardens would have given the game away that seeds had been transported. I was unable to find a reason for that Act. I made an assumption that there was a thriving industry in tobacco plantations, and that the owners of those plantations were wealthy ‘aristocrats’ who wanted to protect their wealth, and they they got that Act passed. I have no idea if that is true. Another possibility is that conditions in OZ were ideal for tobacco plants to grow in the wild, and that they were growing all over the place, which argument augments the aristocratic demand that their plantations must be protected.

Anyway, that essay has been quite popular in OZ and has received a pretty constant stream of hits month by month at around 50 per day. A year or so ago, the essay had a sudden upsurge in hits, taking the numbers up to around 300 for a couple of days. Somehow (can’t remember) I found out why that upsurge occurred. Someone on a blog in OZ had seen it and mentioned it.

On 3rd May, the hits on that essay rose to about 450; on 4th May, about 400; today, about 300 – over 1000 hits in three days.

I suppose that I should just put it down to someone mentioning the essay again, but ….erm…. can we not do a TCI trick?

“Research has indicated that interest in home growing of tobacco plants in OZ has suddenly blossomed by 900%. It is not known why so many people in OZ are interested in growing those plants. A spokesperson for ASH OZ [defunct] said: “Interest in tobacco has almost completely disappeared from OZ, as recent statistics have shown. It can only be that people are interested in growing those plants for ornamental purposes. There is no evidence that people want to grow those plants to make their own tobacco products. More research is needed“.

But it is hardly likely that interest in the law concerns just rather pathetic little flowers on a huge weed. So, there is no harm in concluding that people are interested in growing the plant for other reasons. One might reason that the massive increases in tobacco taxation, and the promise of more to come, are concentrating the minds of poorer smokers. Would people see the plants and report the growers? Maybe, but they would first need to know what a tobacco plant looks like. In any case, the plants will grow happily in a polytunnel. A friend of mine has a polytunnel which measures some 4 metres x 4 metres, and she can grow 100 plants in that area. Personally, I think that 100 is too many in that area, but it can be done, if the soil is rich in nutrients, the plants are open to lots of sunshine and the big, lowest leaves are harvested as early as possible. My point is that there is no need for the plants to be visible to all and sundry.

There is something wrong with OZ. The lawmakers there act as though OZ is the Wild West. “Wanted Dead or Alive. Bounty $50” would not be inappropriate. Maybe OZ is like the Wild West in some respects. It is a huge continent with only a relatively small population. I suppose that only draconian laws with draconian penalties work – short of ‘wanted dead or alive’ these days.

If you google ‘the Australian law on growing tobacco plants’, my essay is at the top. What does that show? In TCI parlance, it would mean that it is tremendously popular. In reality, it merely shows that hardly anyone is interested.

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5 Responses to “A Big Interest In Home Growing of Tobacco in Australia”

  1. Jude Says:

    There is to be another tax hike in Australia, so it doesn’t surprise me in the least that there is growing interest in growing 🙂

    The point is, that many people here, (if they were of the nasty type that like to tattle tale on others) , wouldn’t have a clue what a tobacco plant looks like, for the very reason that they have never seen one growing. I’d bet money on no one recognising them if I grew them among the flowers and vege in my own garden. My back yard is very private, could be a nice little sideline. I’m already considered a criminal for being a vaper, may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. Now, where to get some seeds from???

    • junican Says:

      Jude, I have sent seeds to people in the UK, free gratis, but I am not sending them the Australia! Check the internet. But you already know that….
      You are right – no one knows what tobacco plants look like. But they are unusual in that they are so big and have such big leaves. My neighbours asked what I was growing, and I told them. I also told them that it was legal!

  2. Yvonne Says:

    I personally find Australian nanny-statism oppressive. As for anti-smokers!
    I don’t smoke but measure a country’s freedom on rules related to smoking and freedom to travel without congestion charges..

  3. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Australia is now the worst nanny state in the world. Even worse than the UK.

  4. junican Says:

    Oz has gone down a peculiar road. I think that that is not an accident. the Oz government was ‘set up’. It was easy meat to be manipulated. But it is only a matter of time before the shit hits the fan. The unknown is ‘what direction will the shit come from’.

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