Is ‘Tobacco Control’ Low Hanging Fruit for Cost Cutting?

Just the thought of it raises my mood. (I must thank X for the idea in a comment on my last post). I mean – giggle – Smokers have been ‘low hanging fruit’ for ‘theft by taxation’ for decades. And, to make it worse, the stolen money has been used, quite blatantly, to persecute them further.

Chris Snowdon has drawn attention to a Survey:

That survey seems to be aimed at ‘Professionals’. I suppose that it is looking for serious comments.

But what serious comments can you expect to receive when the survey question is:

1. If public spending is cut due to pressures on Governmental budgets, it is acceptable that less funding is available for the healthcare system.

The ‘question’ is nonsense. Healthcare costs do not depend upon pressures on Governmental budgets; they depend upon needs.

But the questions get worse and worse. Here is an example:

4. Any revenue generated through fines on sales of illicit tobacco products should be spent on the treatment and care of cancer patients.

The childishness of that question is obvious. ‘Fines on sales of illicit tobacco products’? Stop tickling me! I mean, what is the cost of the investigation of some individual shopkeeper who has a few packs of illicit cigs? I’d bet a pound to a penny that the investigation costs are fifty times greater than the loss of revenue. But what is most amusing is that non-smokers will be paying for some 80% of the investigation costs! Tee Hee, giggle giggle and LOL. You see, Customs Officers have FAR MORE important things to watch out for, such as guns and ammunition. We collectively pay for that protection, and that collective payment includes everything else that ‘Border Force (or whatever it is called these days)’ engages in. It is also comical that serious offenders of all kinds are sent to prison and looked after at great expense – nothing to do with ‘Fines on sales of illicit tobacco products’.

But the Survey gets even worse.

7. The dedication of tobacco tax revenue is likely to be an effective way of funding the healthcare budget.

So, the ‘authorities’ steal money from smokers to cut the costs for non-smokers, even though non-smokers eventually cost the taxpayer more?

But worse and worse:

10. The Government should consider implementing strong hypothecation of tobacco taxes, dedicating revenue for cancer care and treatment.

I have not heard the word hypothecation before. I do not know where it has come from or what it means. Mt spell-checker does not recognise it.

Frankly, I am beginning to think that this survey as a delayed ‘April Fool’s’ joke. You cannot implement a hypothesis, since that word indicates only some sort of guess. How can you implement an imaginary guess?

But, hang on a minute. Even if you ignore the stupid vocabulary, you might ask why the taxes that smokers pay should be spent on ‘cancer care and treatment’ in general. Why should smokers pay for the cancer care of non-smokers?

And so it goes on. I cannot imagine one person who might try to complete that Survey who is not a mindless emotional wreck.

And this is the important thing. Such Surveys show how utterly useless TC is, and how it is a waste of money. Financial support for TC should be ended immediately – in all its forms, including the FCTC. Claims that smoking causes massive use of NHS services are ephemeral. There is no proof and never has been. But TC is massively expensive, not only in itself, but also in the consequences of Smoking Bans. ASH England might cost only, say, half a million pound per an, which is chicken feed in UK Budget terms. But its malevolence has spread over all every facet of human behaviour. And that is by propaganda. Propaganda costs a lot of money. Witness the costs of Stoptober. Hundreds of thousands of pounds were paid to certain celebs to say things on TV. They did not have to DO anything – they just had to say things.

It becomes clearer and clearer that such costs to the taxpayer are unjustifiable. You see, cutting out waste cannot work via budgets. Cutting out waste needs attention to detail. Customs Officers would be better employed, for the time being, in opening the ‘suitcases’ of the likes of ASH ET AL and looking for fraud. There is undoubtedly plenty of it. How can it be otherwise since these quangos are a law unto themselves? ‘Charities’ used to be worthy causes run by kind and worthy people. Now they are commercial enterprises run by charlatans.

If it were true, then I think that it would be a wonderful reversion. Instead of smokers being low hanging fruit, it would be the persecutors of smokers who would be so.

I look forward to the day.



8 Responses to “Is ‘Tobacco Control’ Low Hanging Fruit for Cost Cutting?”

  1. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Fully agreed as usual Junican! Well done!

  2. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    This constant bullying of smokers by vicious public health creeps funded by us would never be tolerated against any other group. Its a great shame no one has come forward to lead a public campaign to support the many people who enjoy tobacco and have no intention of stopping.

    • junican Says:

      Public hysteria is very rare. The last time that I remember involved the poll tax. Old ladies marched. What was amusing was that the people who marched (old ladies) were almost certainly persons who would have their costs reduced by the poll tax.
      Organising a ‘public campaign’ costs a lot. TobComs could fund such campaigns. Why do they not?

  3. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Hey, we’ve had LOTS of people who’d be up for leading such a campaign, but no one has had the sort of funding that would be needed to have anything more effective than web pages and a few isolated conferences gathering people.

    The US Tobacco Companies got hamstrung by their Master Settlement Agreement in 1998, and most Smokers Rights Groups have made what may be a very big mistake in accepting the limitation put on them by the public slurs and accusations of the Antis and specifically refused to get involved with any BigT funding — in retrospect that may well have been one of our greatest mistakes. Many of us thought the bars/restaurants/casinos would provide a solid base, but unfortunately most of their resistance died away shortly after ban impositions as the most vocal ones tended to be the ones most dependent on smokers and thus the first ones to die and close after bans came in. Even the ones that did NOT get forced to close ended up taking such an economic hit that they had no real money to put into campaign.

    If you want to see some of the sites for the various groups, just check out the sidebars of groups/blogs here at Junican’s in the right hand column or the more extensive list at Frank Davis’s at (You’ll find Frank has gathered over a hundred links in our area, though some of them (e.g. WattsUpWithThat) are a bit questionable.)

    There are a good number of us out there, working in our myriad and various ways, and we’ve had a fair number of localized victories over the years — but we’re fighting a megahydra that routinely chugs along on an annual budget of hundreds of millions of dollars year after year after year.

    – MJM

    • Timothy Goodacre Says:

      Thanks for your detailed reply ! My stance now is defiance and if i break the law too bad. I wont be stopped from smoking in parks etc.
      Its a great shame that smoking pubs cafes etc on the Danish model havent come about in the UK. That is down to the UK total non tolerance of smokers.

      • michaeljmcfadden Says:

        Find a few like-minded folks near you and coordinate an action in some place where a ban is enforced but where most people might agree that it’s unreasonable. By working together in a group, even a small group, you can accomplish far more than working as an individual when it comes to civil disobedience!

      • junican Says:

        When the smoking ban was introduced into the UK, the ‘powers-that-be’ had everything set up to squash dissent. Magistrates and the press hung anyone who dare to rebel out to dry.
        I agree with MJM – Smoker Groups should have begged Big T for funding. Why not? Would ASH have funded them? The was a simple answer to ASH complaints about such funding, which was, “Will you fund us then?” Another oddity is that smoking millionaires did not put their hands in their pockets and help out. Except in Holland? I’m not sure if it was Holland. Certainly, a millionaire thereabouts helped out and his money stopped some of the more outrageous regulations.
        Isn’t it weird how billionaires like Gates, Rockefeller, etc, are always puritanical?

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