Friday, 7 March 2014

A Sign From The East

On Wednesday, Simon Clark posed a question.
Does this study threaten smoking in the home?
It's fairly obvious what's going on. This [study is] the first (latest?) move towards a de facto ban on smoking in the home.
Of course. It was always somewhere along the prohibitionist timeline after ad bans, smoking bans, display bans, plain packaging and banning smoking in cars, which is why I'm still confident of proving Tom Harris MP wrong about his insistence that politicians are not crazy.
But the Department of Health recently held a consultation on whether the smoking ban should be extended into people’s private vehicles and homes. Now, I know this caused a great deal of perfectly understandable outrage among a lot of people. So let me make this clear: the government will not, under any circumstances, legislate to stop people smoking in private. It would be a crazy move and, believe it or not, ministers are not crazy people - they’re politicians and they recognise political realities.
And if they did attempt to legislate in this direction, I would risk the wrath of those who don’t believe Scottish MPs should vote on English matters by voting against it. 
But as I say, I won’t need to, because it’s not going to happen.
He's already wrong if he included cars in his definition of 'private', but it's a moot point because homes will be included soon. Admittedly, we're not near that point in this country ... yet, but some geezer in Hong Kong is quick out of the blocks.
An anti-smoking activist and community-health specialist has urged the government to ban smoking in cars and even homes to protect children's health. 
Professor Lam Tai-hing was speaking after a new study, published yesterday, showed that second-hand smoke can make children prone to heart attacks and strokes later in life, in addition to other known risks such as lung cancer, middle-ear disease and respiratory disease. 
"Smoking in front of children should be seen as poisoning and abusing them," he said. "There are laws that protect children against being abused, why is it we don't consider second-hand smoking as a kind of abuse?"
Yes, it's the very same study highlighted by Forest - a piss poor one at that - being used exactly as Simon Clark predicted it would.

Prof Tai-hing may well be insane and undeserving of his professorship if he can't discern between proper science and the junk kind, but politicians will listen to him anyway, just as they will in the UK when the idea is raised over here.

Only a matter of time, Tom. Only a matter of time.


Kath Gillon said...

I would like to see them enforce such a ban, talk about unenforceable. Unless they propose to knock on peoples doors or install 24 hour CCTV they can F owff as far as I am concerned. I smoke in private and I intend to carry on doing so, the more they try to ban it and make me a criminal the more I am determined to continue. Up until recent times the government were more than happy to take my money to pay for all their lunacy so they can get stuffed.
The country would soon find it's self in even further decline and financial ruin if they outright ban smoking and drinking.It's all excuse my language *ollocks.

Ivan_Denisovich said...

This particular example of the caring nature of modern medicine is sponsored by the World Cancer Research Fund an organization that specializes in promoting junk science and heallthism. It's expert panel of nutritionists claim that somewhere between 30 and 50% of cancers (depending it seems on the day of the week) could be prevented by lifestyle changes. These self-serving "academics" are generally viewed with a mixture of pity and contempt by real scientists and are ignored by pretty much everybody apart from the BBC, which features their spin doctors with unjustifiable regularity. Other fans of the WCRF include the intellectually challenged anti-tobacco activist Jean King of CRUK who occasionally gives their nonsense a plug for the BBC.

Lam Tai-hing appears to be an unpleasant authoritarian bigot so no doubt feels very much at home as a member of our own Faculty of Public Health, which like much of the UK medical establishment seems to view these as positive characteristics.

Sam Duncan said...

“the government will not, under any circumstances, legislate to stop people smoking in private.”

ASH said the same thing about a blanket public ban back in the '90s. I believed them then, and moreover, for exactly the same reason: that it would be political suicide. I was forgetting, of course, that in the modern world of Big Government, people find it hard to base their voting choice on just one of the many, many things the government does, and so such an authoritarian measure - which, in earlier times, might easily have caused outright rebellion (no, I'm not exaggerating: tea taxes, anyone?) - could easily be overwhelmed in their minds by all the other stuff it should be keeping its damn nose out of: “Yes, Labor made me smoke out in the rain, but the Tories might close the hospital, or the school. Or something.” (This is, of course, one of the principal arguments for reducing its scope and getting the government out of the schooling and doctoring businesses. Unless you're an authoritarian maniac who actively wants to lord it over people...)

Once bitten, Tom. I'd like to think it's true, but I'm not pinning my hopes on it.

Julieann Carter said...

After, I forget how many years of a blanket ban re smoking on site - our local NHS Trust is to introduce smoking shelters on its premises.
I'm not sure whether for patient use, staff - or both; but on good authority from the facilities department where I work, it's going to happen. It's been proposed & passed.
Until now, only surgeons have had a smoking facility provided for them, by way of a designated room. 'Stress levels' of job being the accepted qualifying factor.

As it currently stands, staff congregate off site in public areas during breaks, upsetting local residents re litter & smoke.
Patients stand or sit in wheelchairs outside main entrance with drips attached on the busy public highway, to have a cigarette. Patients are also wheeled out in their beds to smoke onsite.
Patients, but not visitors, are permitted to smoke in our psychiatric unit - a separate building to main body of hospital.

Members of public walking through site ignore the numerous 'smoking prohibited' signs.