Wednesday, 18 May 2011

More Home Smoking Ban Possibilities

I'll pre-emptively offer my apologies for again banging on about the subject of home smoking bans, but it's important to nail this smug myth that if they are ever tabled - which is 100% certain, no matter what Tom Harris MP says - they will be unenforceable. Such over-confident apathy was pivotal in confiscating the property rights of publicans, and will be again for private home owners if we're not careful.

I've already advanced some examples of not only the transparency of health groups in working towards such legislation, but also how it will be implemented.

From the US, here's another worrying reminder that if any state wants entry to your home, they will bloody well get it even if they have to change previously unalienable rights to do so.

The law, to date, had been that police cannot enter a home without a warrant unless they had both (a) probable cause and (b) "exigent circumstances" in which getting a warrant would not make sense. In this case, police were searching for a drug dealer who had gone into an apartment complex. Outside of one apartment, they smelled marijuana -- which created probable cause. At this point, they should have obtained a warrant. Instead, they banged on the door and shouted police. At which point they heard a scramble inside, and busted in the door, claiming that they believed the scramble was the possible destruction of the drugs. The argument then was that this noise -- even though it was entirely created due to police action -- represented exigent circumstances that allowed them to bust in the door without a warrant. The Kentucky Supreme Court said that while the noise might be exigent circumstances, since it was illegally created by the police, it could not be used.

Tragically, the Supreme Court -- by an 8-to-1 vote -- has now disagreed, saying that this is perfectly consistent with the 4th Amendment.
Once smoking with chiiildren anywhere in the house is successfully re-designated as ritual child abuse, no amount of Febreze is going to disguise it. That takes time, something you simply won't have. The smoke police will be battering your door down armed with cotinine swabs and SHS geiger counters before you can even think about hiding the ashtray.

And while they're in there, they may as well have a look at what else you've been getting up to, eh?

Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that state prohibition of a legal product in your own home is impossible. For them, it's already at 'possible' status, with just a bit more work required to shift it into the eminently 'do-able' category.

Sadly, while this is going on, a small but significant number of myopic cheerleaders will be ecstatic at seeing one of their most important freedoms - the home is one's castle principle - being torn to shreds. May God rot every last one of them.


Anonymous said...


Similar thigs happening, regarding the fourth amendment,in Indiana according to this blogger;

Gummints all over the world are taking a lot of liberties with our liberties. Question is; how do we stop them?

Mark Wadsworth said...


Apparently, even PR China has succumbed to this 'clamping down on smoking' nonsense.

I daren't even search for a decent link just in case it's as true as I fear.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, the one thing which may stop politicians from moving into home smoking bans is the very fact that, unlike the present “public” ban – which has resulted in an increase in the number of cigarettes being smoked (and thus kept all that lovely lucre rolling in) a home ban, by effectively removing the last place where people can smoke freely and comfortably, would without a shadow of a doubt, reduce cigarette consumption very sharply, given smokers’ inclination, generally, not to break the law (a characteristic which their compliance with the pub and workplace smoking ban indicates very clearly). And this Government, and countless others, simply can’t afford for too many people to lessen their cigarette consumption or, worse still, give up altogether. In this respect they have been firmly hoist by their own greedy petard. Good!

Anonymous said...

There is a calculation involved, Anon. At the moment, people who smoke, say, 5 fags per day are unlikely to be affected by gradual increases in tobacco taxes. They will go on buying their packet of fags for the time being. The number of people for whom it is worth journeying abroad to buy fags is comparatively small. This situation becomes more so if other countries increase their tobacco taxes. Thus, the demand is pretty inelastic. Thus, tobacco taxes will continue to roll in for the time being. This gives the powers-that-be time to 'adjust' the source of taxes. Why do you think that VAT has been increased to 20%? Is it because of 'the debt'? Of course not! 'The Debt' is just an excuse - and they have got away with it! Reducing the debt requires reducing expenditure, not increasing income in a closed system.

So the calculation is that that tobacco taxes will stay much the same, even though the number of smokers is falling. Eventually, the proportion of tobacco tax will be less as new taxes emerge. At that point, tobacco taxes can be dispensed with, and tobacco banned.
That is the calculation.

There is one fault in the logic, and that is that the in-elasticity of demand for fags does not necessarily mean that people will not find other sources - tax free. There may well be a tipping point. We can only wait and see.

Anonymous said...

"Eventually, the proportion of tobacco tax will be less as new taxes emerge. At that point, tobacco taxes can be dispensed with, and tobacco banned."

Yes, I believe this is possible too. The constant propaganda campaign legitimizing a carbon tax on the consumption of air would be more profitable than the tobacco tax as it will affect the entire population, not just a segment.

All those cheerleaders calling for the end of private property rights in the home will be the first ones simply astonished when they eventually find themselves tax burdened to death with the replacement carbon tax - and like chickens with their heads cut off will go running around crying and have no idea - it was their cheerleading to ban tobacco that was at the root of their own self-destruction.

Anyhow, if governments planned on relying heavily on tobacco taxes in the future, then they could have easily changed it from tobacco to nicotine tax and begun taxing NRTs and e-cigs, which they show no inclination of doing, thus carbon dioxide taxes my guess as the one with which they will supplant tobacco taxes.

James Higham said...

Home smoking ban is the line in the sand, the rubicon. Anything regulating the like in the home is under the heading Draconian.

Anonymous said...

SHS is the simple key. Whilst that remains unchallenged this crap will continue. Third hand smoke, fourth hand smoke, inside bans, outside bans, home bans, whatever you want, it's all down to the initial acceptance of SHS. Successfully challenge this and the rest falls over.

The FCTC is little to do with it in this or any other country. It's an excuse. It's just a piece of worthless, unenforceable, paper.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.44 - entirely agree. most effective way to enforce a law is through voluntary compliance because the law is seen as a good one rather than punishment. No legislative measures which prohibit smoking would be seen as necessary were it not for the generally-held perception that smokers are harming others. Given that perception then every prohibition is viewed as desirable. Link child abuse and smoking and people will voluntarily comply in their own homes.

We're half way there, anyway. I've noticed that, since the ban, it's taken for granted that smokers will stand outside when visiting other people's homes even though the smoker had hitherto been welcome to smoke inside. I've even experienced the home owner standing outside his own home to smoke when family visit!


Anonymous said...

Must they ruin all my small pleasures?

I have always loved sitting out in my garden with a cup of coffee and a cigarette, enjoying the sunshine and looking at the flowers.

I would be horrified if anyone thought I was sitting outside because I believed in the alleged awesome powers of secondhand smoke!

Now I'm going to have to grow a higher hedge.


Anonymous said...

A home smoking ban is already in place. This specifically applies to visiting health workers, who are not allowed to enter homes (theoretically) if someone is smoking. (Thus, it is the homeowners fault if the health worker goes away and the person needing the health care is removed from the register (or whatever). Also, is it not a fact that any room used as an office in one's home MUST be 'smokefree' (including 'no smoking signs')? Unenforcable, of course, but always the possible subject of a complaint or even threat of legal action.

How easy therefore would it be to extend this sort of home ban 'where children are present', especially if a ban in cars 'where children are present' has already been implemented?

It will happen, unless the shit hits the fan beforehand for some other reason.