Thursday 2 July 2015

ASH Wales Matches ASH London's Vaping Ban Apathy

Far too forceful for ASH Wales
Despite an overwhelming 79% rejection of his policy by the public - and with even 'public health' types queueing up to tell him his proposal to ban e-cigs in enclosed spaces is a crashingly stupid idea - Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford is stubbornly and irresponsibly sticking to his guns. In fact, not only that, his response is to give the sane majority the finger, scream "screw you all!", and double down by banning vaping in outdoor areas as well!

The guy is quite clearly insane.
Wales’ health minister says he intends to ban smoking and e-cigarettes from hospital grounds and school grounds. 
Mark Drakeford told an Assembly committee on Wednesday that the bans would come as regulations off the back of the Public Health Bill, which also intends to ban e-cigarettes from enclosed public and work spaces.
There is - to put it simply - not even a whiff of evidence, or even addled junk science, that says such a policy is remotely justifiable. Indeed, his incompetent wibble is in direct contravention of all credible research and science currently available on vaping.

He knows this, which is why he has dreamed up possibly the most lame excuse I think you will see from any politician, in any government, for the foreseeable future.
He said the bill’s ban on e-cigarettes in enclosed public and work places simply brings “the position in Wales into line with the way that the trend is going. 
“Everything (sic) single day you will find more and more places that is (sic) already doing what this bill proposes,” he said, citing examples of the Wales Millennium Centre, the Millennium Stadium and the New Theatre that ban e-cigarettes already.
This is to fundamentally misunderstand the entire point of government legislation! In a free market economy where property owners enjoy rights over their property, legislation should only be required where markets have failed and/or property rights are seen to be negatively impacting on sections of the population. Drakeford is saying that the market is operating well - even implicitly admiring how it is working - so he is going to enact legislation to, erm, correct a market that isn't failing and restrict property rights which he believes are being handled responsibly. He's a politician who hasn't the faintest idea about what politicians are supposed to be there for!

The lardy loon is literally proposing anti-democratic and provably unnecessary laws to the Assembly committee which are based on nothing but fantasy, superstition and astonishingly ignorant intolerance. I don't wish to be rude, but there is orders of magnitude more evidence-based justification for Drakeford being sectioned under the Mental Health Act than there is for banning vaping in hospital grounds.

The Ashtray blog has reported on this and urges you to join with Labour's opponents in the Welsh Assembly in signing and sharing a Lib Dem petition to drop his silly and damaging idea. I couldn't agree more, so please do so.

However, I'm more struck by the almost supine response from ASH Wales to Drakeford's lunacy.
The proposed extended smoking ban has been welcomed by smoking campaign group Ash Wales.
They are perfectly aware that e-cigs are included in Drakeford's ban, but they're happy to 'welcome' it. They do qualify this meekly further on, but it's about as forceful as a bitch slap from a malnourished goldfish.
“From our point of view, as with the e-cigarette proposals in the Public Health Bill, we want to see more evidence before any firm decision is made on that issue. From our point of view its the minister’s call, but we want to see more evidence.”
Naturally, they're not at all bothered about seeing evidence that smoke outdoors is a health threat to bystanders (hint: it isn't), so it's nice to see that they're now making it perfectly clear that the smoking ban had bugger all to do with protecting staff.

However, their response to a totally unnecessary and potentially damaging ban on e-cig use is utterly pathetic. They'd like to see some evidence but - at the end of the day - if Drakeford goes ahead with it, they couldn't give a shit. It's "the minister's call" after all. Meh.

Two weeks ago, I had this to say about the weak and borderline apathetic "support" ASH London is giving to vapers.
They could have said something like "there is no justification whatsoever for banning e-cigs unless you're an authoritarian cockmuppet" but instead ASH - as usual - merely issue a few limp, fence-sitting platitudes when talking about e-cigs, which effectively tell Guy's and St Thomas' to carry on Doctor, ban 'em if you like, we really couldn't give a toss. 
For the avoidance of doubt, it's worth remembering that every vaping ban - and I do mean every one - is directly as a result of 'passive smoking' hysteria and junk science promoted by ASH for the pure purpose of increasing their own bank balances.
It's abundantly clear that the same applies to ASH Wales too.

Consider the vitriolic, almost violent, rhetoric both ASH and ASH Wales employ when politicians ignore or disagree with whichever ineffective grant-justifying tobacco control piffle they are lobbying for at any particular time. In such cases they threaten, bully, cheat, lie, doctor evidence, mislead politicians, misrepresent data, hurl baseless ad hominems and generally sling as much mud around as they can afford from the cash they have scrounged from the taxpayer. When it comes to vaping though, they can hardly be arsed to wave a sign saying "down with this sort of thing".

So obsessed are ASH Wales - and their equally vile sibling ASH London - with getting an utterly pointless ban on smoking in hospital car parks, that they're quite content to throw vapers under the bus.

It's well beyond time their state funding was switched off, the self-serving bastards shouldn't receive so much as a brass farthing of our tax receipts.


The Filthy Engineer said...

"It's well beyond time their state funding was switched off, the self-serving bastards shouldn't receive so much as a brass farthing of our tax receipts."

Couldn't agree more, though preferably I would like to see them swinging from lamp posts.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Baby steps, TFE, baby steps.

truckerlyn said...

Personally I think it has gone way past baby steps, it now needs a darn big sledgehammer!

Zarniwoop said...

Personally I wish Mark Drakeford would go the way of

Labour MP David Taylor it would be sweet karma I'd light one up to celebrate :D