The Diminishing Pain Inflicted by Tobacco Control

Sometimes it is a good idea to step back and look at the big picture. This year, 2017, will be the tenth anniversary of the smoking ban in England – 1st July, to be precise. I can look back to 2007 and remember events with a reasonably good recollection.

Friday night at the Red Lion was a really good fun night – lots of young guys and girls looking reasonably smart. There was a band on every Friday. For a couple of months after 1st July 2007, the weather was reasonably pleasant, and so the smokers tended to sit outside, drinking and smoking and having a laugh. Not all the time, of course, but there was always a group when you went outside, and everyone was welcome to sit down and chat. That was a really good point about that scenario. You didn’t have to know the people who were sitting around. Just sit down and light up. Very soon, you were involved. But as Autumn drew in, the numbers began to diminish until no one was sitting outside. In the following year, 2008, that scenario did not reappear in the summer months, and, gradually, the fun crowd disappeared. Friday night died, the bands were cancelled, and it became just another night with hardly anyone in the pub. Finally, this year, that pub was taken over. The new owners built a doorway halfway down the bar, which had the effect of reducing the ‘pub’ aspect of the pub by 50%. The crazy part about it though was that you could walk into the main room on one side of the doorway and exit that room on the other side! Even so, for all intents, the Red Lion ceased to be a pub. It became almost entirely an eatery. I now no longer use that pub, and have transferred my ‘loyalty’ back to the pub across the road, the Hulton Arms. It no longer does food. It is just a pub. But it is a ‘proper’ pub. It has a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. Not a big clientele, but enough to get by on. Funnily enough, the best night is Friday, when there is a karaoke. The owner have done their best to accommodate smokers by building two shelters on each side of the door at the back on the carpark. They are covered and have seating and heaters. As far as I can calculate, the shelters must be only just inside the 50% open rule to avoid being classed as ‘substantially enclosed’. At a guess, I would say that they are 51% open and 49% enclosed.

Quite a long introduction!

The smoking ban was the worst possible thing that the Zealots could do. Forget, for a moment, that it was based upon ‘science’ which proper scientists would have laughed out of court – second hand smoke danger. The human body has evolved over a vast period of time to be able to withstand a moderate amount of air pollution, not least of which is to be able to cope with a certain amount of smoke in the atmosphere. Until recently, sources of heat in homes of all sorts were open fires. Further, cooking took place on open fires or via heat from open fires. I remember the first house that my parents bought. It had an oven built into the fireplace. The heat from the fire warmed the oven. No temperature controls, of course. The only way to control the oven was by controlling the fire. After a couple of years, they ripped out the oven and had a ‘modern’ fireplace installed, whatever that meant around 1948!

The ‘science’, or rather mathematics, used by the Zealots was that of ‘differences’, a bit like calculus. If the normal air pollution is stated as level ‘one’, then tobacco smoke increases that level to ‘ten’, which is ten times worse than ‘one’. But what such ‘science’ leaves out is that a level of ‘one’ is unutterably minuscule, and that ten times one is still utterly minuscule. The Zealots also leave out timescales. I full smoking has little discernible affect for thirty years, why should not SHS have no discernible effect for three hundred years? That is the Achilles heel of TC. TC has produced no convincing evidence of SHS danger. A huge study by Enstrom and Kabbat showed no little discernible effect of SHS danger among spouses of smokers and non-smokers.

As far as I am concerned, and I think it is the same for many other smokers, the smoking ban was the peak of a sort of Laffer Curve. We could put up with all the puritanical lecturing, and even tax rises, but the smoking ban was the first direct, physical attack. It was the first application of mental and physical torture. Even worse, people that we thought of as friends, publicans, were forced to be the torturers. They themselves were tortured into becoming torturers.

Everything since has been for show. Shutters, medical porn, high taxes, smoking bans in hospital grounds – all are for show. Readers might be surprised that I have included high taxes in that list. My reasoning is that the higher that tobacco taxes go, the more that some smokers will move to TOTALLY untaxed sources. Do you see what I mean? Not moving to lower taxed products, but moving to TOTALLY untaxed sources. Human nature dictates, and high profile prosecutions will not deter human nature. In fact, it is totally possible that such prosecutions might cause people to seek out sources which they did not know existed.

We old farts do not know the sources, but you can bet a pound to a penny that the younger element do know about the sources. It has always been the case. Those who have nothing to lose can take the risks. And that is something that TC avoids. The poorest people and young asset-less people have the least to lose.

So we have a situation where TC has done it worst, on flagrantly ‘unscientific’ and ‘witches brew’ grounds, via the smoking ban. Sure, they talk up things like hospital grounds bans and park bans and beach bans, but they have been reduced to grasping at straws to perpetuate themselves. They wish to be immortal.

The latest excreta that TC has produced (ignore the actual politicians involved since they are simply putrid turds) has been to stop the ‘free movement’ of agricultural products. That is contrary to the wishes of the Elite to remain in the EU. If you want to remain in the EU, then you must do what other States do. That is, there must be no impediment to ‘free trade’. The trade in tobacco must be unencumbered since it is an ‘agricultural product’.

OK. The Irish Gov thought of such a thing but put it away. The idea that ‘raw tobacco’ (dried tobacco plant leaves) is special as compared with ‘raw grape juice’ (grapes) makes no sense.

And yet the Zealots in the UK have engineered a clause in the recent Finance Act, pre-brexit, to demand importers of ‘raw tobacco’ must register, which citizens of other EU States do not have to do. The Zealots managed to slip that regulation into the Finance Act.

That regulation is harmful to smokers. We have every right, as free individuals to pursue our hobbies. We have THE RIGHT to import oriental tobacco. Imposition of duties on that import must be justified. But I do not mind duties provided that they are not onerous and unfair. But Customs refuse to say how hobbyists can pay the duty. And yet, hobbyists are not acting illegally.

So we come to simplicity. Simplicity is always the best.

TC has done it worst. It now tries to confuse things by post-truth and false news. I am surprised that the MSM have not seen the the uselessness of preaching to the converted.

But what is wonderful is that the millions of pounds granted to ASH ET AL are obviously totally wasted.

Who is responsible for the waste of money?

The fact is that TC wastes more and more money since all those who might be terrified by the ‘the science’ are long dead. That is, people who had been smoking for 50 years who suddenly stopped and pegged out.

The reality is that TC leaches have grossed out. They grossed out several years ago. The only reason for their continuing existence is ‘political correctness’.



4 Responses to “The Diminishing Pain Inflicted by Tobacco Control”

  1. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Yes Junican political correctness is a cancer. You should be able to import tobacco leaves paying a nominal rate of duty. As for pubs i only support pubs with positive attitudes to smokers. Other places get no support from me. I cancelled my membership of CAMRA after it failed to support smokers.

    • junican Says:

      Importers already have to be able to show that VAT has been paid in the exporting country. They then have to pay VAT on their own sales.
      What a racket!

  2. Vlad Says:

    In Romania the medical porn on packs was introduced during summer 2008. Only in March 2016 was smoking in pubs banned. If I were to pick one, I’d say that the packaging destruction of all tobacco products is worse. Not only was it beautiful art, but every time you buy something, you’re reminded of the ‘public health’ Nazis and their propaganda. I still can’t understand how both these things have been made into law in countries that call themselves ‘democracies’ and pride in protection of property rights. Utter disgrace.

    • junican Says:

      Indeed, Vlad. But the medical porn is more or less invisible to me because I open a packet of fags without inspecting it.

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