Thursday, 14 August 2014

Irish Government Admits Plain Packs Slippery Slope

As if Deborah Arnott's embarrassing denial of a slippery slope should plain packaging be adopted wasn't funny enough already, she's been undone yet again. This time by Irish government advisers, no less!

From the Irish Examiner:
Ireland will likely face a constitutional challenge and complaints to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over the anti-smoking move, [junior jobs minister] Ged Nash was told by his officials. 
Countries and firms are watching events as it may dictate how governments legislate for other harmful goods such as alcohol and fats, officials say. 
The notes were drawn up by two department assistant secretaries general. 
The private briefing papers, given to Mr Nash last month, say Ireland has “come under scrutiny” at a WTO committee on technical barriers to trade. This is “because our new legislation on tobacco is seen by some WTO members as inhibiting fair trade under the rules” of the organisation. 
The dispute may also have implications on how alcohol, sugar and fats are legislated for, officials say.
So, while tobacco control industry trouser-stuffers insist that there is no slippery slope, nor that there ever will be, government departments in Dublin are being advised that it's a distinct probability.

Meanwhile, after a campaign globally which concentrated on how "urgent" plain packaging legislation is to stop kids taking up smoking, the very same tobacco controllers are still steadfastly ignoring the only statistic that truly matters. That being the huge 36% increase in youth smoking in the latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Now, why would they do that? It's almost like they couldn't give a toss about the effects of their self-enriching vanity project on other industries and that it's not really about the health of youngsters, or something.



Dick_Puddlecote said...

In pubs is definitely the place, Russell, and I know you've worked very hard on that score. Doesn't look like Toronto vendors are helping much in that respect after having seen Ann's comment which followed yours. :(

What the.... said...

I’ve encountered a few antismokers that ….. shall we say….. are pushing the sanity envelope. But this guy is right up there in the “gold medal” category. This antismoker from Kansas started a petition to ban smoking in the main street of his town. In the comments to this article he highlights that the major motivation for said petition is that one night after walking down the main street he arrived home to find he had cigarette tar/goop on his hair. No amount of suggestion that he might be neurotic, bigoted, and…well… deluded made any coherent impact. It was only interpreted
by his antismoking highness as hateful, disrespectful commentary. That’s a
hallmark of antismoking. The antismokers have it all figured out; they have
their finger on the pulse of the universe. They know what they believe and they want their beliefs accommodated. The only positive from this sorry story is that the petition flopped, although it highlighted that there are a few others suffering the same derangement. Note that out Kansas misocapnist is a “success story” of the Public Health antismoking campaign.

AnnWelch said...

I think the old fashion "smoke or cigarette" is a good enough descriptor. ;)

theprog said...

Next you'll be telling us your farts now smell like bubblegum'

AnnWelch said...

Dick, I just googled "analogue cigarette" and it is meant as a derogatory comment.

It is only for those with knowledge of e-cig culture that a term such as “analog cigarette” takes on meaning. This term refers to the traditional cigarette.
While “analog cigarette” is by no means the most common phrase we have encountered, it nonetheless captures one important reason e-cigarette use has
taken off: e-cig users and advocates (and vendors) have managed to position traditional cigarettes as outdated and clunky. Thus, the most popular definition for “analog cigarette” on Urban Dictionary reads: “the common traditional cigarette, a crude, old-fashioned nicotine delivery device, consisting of processed tobacco wrapped in a paper tube, from which smoke is inhaled after being lit. So named to differentiate it from the more modern and less harmful electronic cigarette. Dude, you’re still smoking analog cigarettes? Get with the tech and vape, man!” - See more at:

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Ann, your source is a health observatory! Why would they say anything different? Come on.

If you click through to the link they provided, they are selective with their definition. They ignored number 1:

"A retarded term used by those attempting to describe conventional cigarettes. These people are completely ignorant to what "analog" actually means.

After I quit analog cigarettes, I started smoking electronic cigarettes."

I've never seen it used in a deliberately derogatory way, though I expect people like McKee, Chapman etc would.

theprog said...

I smoke a pipe occasionally. Haven't actually persuaded a teenager to follow suit yet, but have had one or two non smoking ladies complementing my stink.

AnnWelch said...

I like that definition even better because that is exactly how I feel about it. :)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

No I don't. Tobacco control are still acting like they can stop the inevitable tide of vaping and are planning to class e-cigs as tobacco products in Moscow in October. It would take a monumental about-turn from them before that would even be on the horizon. And when was the last time you saw the WHO and its assembled tobacco control troughers admit they were wrong, eh?

What you suggest won't happen in my lifetime, if at all. They'd prefer to squash e-cigs lie they did (and continue to do) snus.

RooBeeDoo said...

DP - I hope you are right but I was referring to politicians.

DJ said...

I still go outside with my still smoking friends and talk about stuff. I really don't like the smell smoke anymore but hey they are my friends :) I did go into a cruise smoking room and I almost choked after about 30 seconds and had to leave. If someone smokes hey no probs if it bothers me I will move. After 40 years of smoking I will not be one of those reformed AHole ex smokers. I was there and know what it is to be a smoker. I have not had one for 15 months now and no I don't miss them.

Kath Gillon said...

good for you Lyn a great example to the rest of us, and if my MP's surgery ever even picked up the phone to answer calls I may have a little more faith in my rant's ever reaching him.

Peter Thurgood said...

He he he...

truckerlyn said...

Thanks Kath. However, if you write/email they HAVE to respond! It might be a pathetic response or a total cop out, but I am sure these MP's talk to each other at times and the more of them that get such emails the more chance it will get mentioned between them - that is when the penny will start to drop, hopefully!

As I said before, nothing ventured, nothing gained and we can at least hold our heads high in the knowledge that we did at least try!

JonathanBagley said...

A very irritating phrase. Like "snail mail" for paper letters. A term I associate with slightly sspergers physics or computer science students who are fans of The Hobbit and Star Trek.

truckerlyn said...

They are ignoring what is staring them in the face from Oz because they are not big enough to ever admit that they are WRONG!

JonathanBagley said...

The mind boggles. Were these people actually once smokers? Have they not read anything about the tobacco ban? Have they never come across Clive Bates' blog? Who do they think grows the tobacco from which eliquid nicotine is extracted?

JonathanBagley said...

I've got to admit that's me down to a T.

"truly a fluttering of budgies rather than a gathering of Eagles"

I like that.

smofunking said...

Wouldn't blame any smoker from giving e-cigarettes a wide berth if they thought it was going to turn them into the tobacco equivalent of a born again Christian.

AnnWelch said...

I actually feel sorry for them. Do they really think that because they switched they are going to live forever? Do they really believe that smokers are all a sickly bunch of coughing and hacking drug addicts? I smoke 3 packs a day and as you can see from my profile, I am a dancer and er, um a soon to be senior citizen. Do they really believe that this is all an evil plot of the tobacco companies?

theprog said...

I think we should accept that the vast majority of smokers believe TC propaganda, either choosing to ignore it or using it as a motivation to quit. Vapers clearly belong to the latter category.

AnnWelch said...

another comment posted on the Toronto petition site really shows the "us" good vapors against the "Bad and inconsiderate" smokers mentality.

"I do not smoke. I dislike cigarettes. After 25 years of smoking, I quit
and I feel fantastic. My mod (call it an 'ecig' if you wish) actually
bears absolutely no resemblance to a cigarette. I vape flavoured juice
with nicotine and it's the best thing EVER! Why oh WHY would you lump
this together with tobacco and cigarettes? It is neither. Do not make me
and 40% of the ex-smokers I know who have switched to vaping into
criminals because of something you do not understand, or have bothered
to actually do any REAL research on. We need regulations yes, but your
proposal is nothing short of ridiculous, to be perfectly frank. The
comments and recommendations made are not only short-sighted and poorly
informed, but will condemn thousands of Torontonians to a life of
certain disease and likely an early grave, not to mention making them
all criminals. Get with the programme! We want to live. We do not WANT
to smoke. I could get my nicotine from a patch at shoppers, but as they
taste like the inside of somebody's shoe, instead I choose to vape. If
you go ahead with this, the only alternative will be for us to do this
ILLEGALLY. We will make our own juices, our own nicotine and sell it to
each other. Then you will have no control whatsoever. But hey, it's okay
for me to smoke and blow it over everyone standing in line for my
streetcar. Those things that we know to cause cancer, but that I can buy
24x7 at my local corner store. What you are proposing is truly

Lorien said...

Personally? Yes, I would have tried it & found myself switching. I did have a specific reason to try, but what actually appealed to me were the flavours. I'd seen cigalikes and wasn't remotely interested, but the tank systems with all the sweet & pudding flavours were the clincher for me.

Lorien said...

Actually I think your post is somewhat offensive. Without actually knowing any one of our stories, I don't think you can make that statement with such certainty. You simply do not have the facts at hand, & had you had them I would be surprised if that would still be your position. Or maybe I wouldn't.

Lorien said...

Just catching up on the conversation & wanted to make a point about smoke. Whether you like it or don't it has a smell. When I smoked ready mades, the smell of any tobacco didn't bother me. When I switched to ryo (blue drum) the smell of straights did start to bother me. It lingered longer in my house if a friend had been round having a sneaky ciggy up the chimney with me after the kids had gone to bed. The butts also smelled stronger.

This reaction was as a smoker who didn't subscribe to all the propaganda, I like to think of myself as bright enough to realise when a reaction I have is real or psychosomatic.

Something burning, whatever it is, tends to have an unpleasant smell. I'm not sure how many readers have open fires or wood burners but my god they can stink when first lit. If the wind is blowing the wrong way & all the smoke comes back into the room it can be unbearable. This is not a new phenomenon link with anti SHS rhetoric.

Smell is highly personal, I don't think all vapour smells nice, some of my hubby's smell like damp hamster bedding or day old curry. Some cigars reek, some don't. Straights still smell unpleasant as they did the moment I stopped smoking them. Ryo doesn't bother me & honestly, there is almost nothing nicer than the smell of a fleshly opened pouch of baccy. It's all subjective, but to say something that is burning doesn't smell or doesn't linger is plain silly. See bonfires, burnt toast & blackened onions!

JonathanBagley said...

If I recall correctly, Lorien (above)) had the balls to go on the radio and talk very coherently about ecigs.

Zillatron said...

Well, this scattered flock of fledglings didn't have the time and leisure to grow up to be proud eagles in droves, yet. The constant harassment by vultures, snakes and mocking birds doesn't make it any easier ...

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