Friday 3 July 2009

So, Can We Call It A Failure Yet?

Because it is.

From 2 years ago.

Implementing the smoking ban in England will cost taxpayers, restaurateurs and pub landlords at least £100 million more than the Government originally budgeted.

The Department of Health estimated that the bill for the ban, that comes into force in a month's time, would run to £1.6 billion.

While this takes into account paying for advertising, falling tobacco duty and hiring extra staff to police the ban, the Government has said it will be offset by the benefits to the NHS as smoking diseases fall.

I know we are well aware of it now, but this would tend to suggest that the government are a bunch of ideological, self-indulgent morons with no clue as to human nature, and with no capability to number crunch the experiences of other countries which have suffered comprehensive bans. For crying out loud, the one just over the Irish Sea had all the info they needed, and they speak English there (sort of), no excuse of a dodgy translator. Yet our elected fucksticks couldn't see what was right in front of them.

£100m over budget you say? Made up by savings to the NHS you say?

Wouldn't savings sort of require less people to be smoking post-ban?

The ban on smoking in public has failed to increase the number of people quitting, a report revealed yesterday.

The proportion of men who smoke has actually risen since the ban in July last year while there was no change at all among women.

The figures, coming after years of declining smoking rates, are a massive blow to Labour's public heath policy.

The best bit of this, is that the Labour spin machine would normally be cranked into action to explain why an increase in smokers actually translates into a reduction in costs to the NHS.

Unfortunately, their preferred method of pumping out bogus shite is via the route of state-paid charities. And one of them really fucked that exit strategy up the arse with a broken bottle last month.

When the government passed laws which enabled dropping a cigarette butt to be punishable by a higher-than-average fine 2 years ago, their press release to the Telegraph mentioned a highly-objectionable figure.

This is one of a series of measures being introduced by the Government that will stigmatise what is normal practice for 10 million smokers, and - it is hoped - slash the NHS's £1.7 billion bill to treat smoking-related diseases.

Only £1.7bn? Small beer compared with the £5bn it now costs us 2 years later. Step forward the British Heart Foundation.

Treating disease directly caused by smoking produces medical bills of more than £5bn a year in the UK.

Where are the savings, HMG? If there was even a single £1 coin saved due to the Health Act 2006, you'd be screaming it through every avenue your preferred method of propaganda, the BBC, have to offer, yet there is nothing. Total silence. Just a massive increase.

We see the £1.6bn you have spent on it. We see the increase in smoker prevalence, and with it, the increase in burdens on the NHS, according to your logic. We still haven't seen one single life saved, but we have seen the wholesale destruction of the hospitality industry as nearly 4,000 pubs have closed their doors forever since July 1st 2007.

And if you'd only looked over the Irish Sea, you would have seen that this would happen. Smoker rates were always going to go up (Hint: The Irish ban started on April 30th, 2004).

The number of smokers reportedly fell from 33 per cent in 1998 to 27 per cent in 2002, but jumped alarmingly to 29 per cent last year, according to a survey published by Ireland’s Department of Health.

In fact, you could have looked to the North, as the same happened there too (The Scottish disaster started in March 2006).

In 2004 the number of young smokers in Scotland had fallen to just 25% but by 2007 that figure was 31%.

David Gordon of NHS Health Scotland is co-lead of the Scottish Public Health Observatory.

He said: "Smoking rates have fluctuated without showing any sustained trend between 1999 and 2007.

This isn't a UK phenomenon, it is worldwide. It's a simple fact that smoker bans make more people smoke more fags.

There are no savings (how laughable that fantasy from the DoH seems now), merely losses. It could and should have been foreseen, but the £1.6bn was spent on it anyway.

There are now more smokers, more costs to the NHS, and a wilful destruction of the fabric of British pubs never seen before in the history of our country.

"Ah, but it was brought in to protect bar staff, Dick", I hear you say. I bow to you in that respect. It has been hugely successful in protecting a vaste swathe of bar staff from the right to earn money in a profit-making pub.

I'm sure they are blissfully happy that Labour and the Illiberal Dems thought of them so kindly ... while they now dutifully queue to sign on at the Job Centre.

Smoking ban: Epic fail.


Mr. A said...

Great post, Dick.

The Ban has failed in every respect.

WE know it.

THEY know it.

Hell, even the fake charity quangos like ASH and CRUK know it which is why they are coming out with more and more outlandish claims and contradictory press releases.

So when is someone going to grow the balls and go public with it? Or do they think that we'll just all happily live with the knowledge that we're being lied to whilst simultaneously funding their deception with our taxes?

One day soon, someone, somewhere in the mainstream media is going to do an expose on all this and the whole anti-tobacco movement in the UK will tumble like a house of cards.

And that day can't come soon enough if we value scientific rigour, freedom and a robust economy.

Anonymous said...

Slowly, slowly, the word seems to be getting out that the whole thing's been a con but I wouldn't depend on the MSM to expose it. The blogs, however, are doing a great job and I have hopes that the Save Our Pubs Campaign will gain momentum.

Is it just me being wildly and wrongly optimistic or do other people feel that the wind's changing?


manwiddicombe said...

Just a thought about the increased numbers of smokers .. .. .. do you think that having large numbers of adults standing outside a pub having a pint, a fag and a laugh is too much of a tempting image for the young? Maybe if we forced smokers back inside pubs the impressionable school kids wouldn't see smoking so often .. .. .. just a thought.

Mr A said...


No, you're not alone.

This whole "social experiment" has been kind of interesting. Prior to the Ban no-one seemed particularly bothered by smoke - I hadn't met anyone who wanted a ban in 20 years of pub-going and 8 or 9 years online. Once the Ban was announced, however, there seemed to be a surge of pro-ban sentiment (on forums at least, if not in the meat world). Still a minority, but a vocal one, mainly it seems, made up of ASH employees posting under various accounts and social misfits who "finally got one over on those dirty smokers" who bullied them at school. However, there were a few people who welcomed it thinking pubs would be the same, albeit with no smoke. Since the Ban however, I've noticed more people growing sceptical of the science and of the "impartiality" of ASH. I've also seen the pro-Ban voices dwindle, to usually one or two people who post on threads again and again and again.... and they are usually overwhelmed by anti-Ban sentiment, as even non-smokers have seen the damage done to pubs both economically and in terms of atmosphere (both lack of, and fart-filled). This has probably been the case for a year or so.

However, there seems to have been a definite sea-change in the last couple of months and I'm sure the Save Our Pubs Campaign has been instrumental in it. That, and people realising that "Hey, it's been two years now and things still haven't got better. I think this is actually how things are going to be if the ban isn't changed. It's not a matter of "adjusting." This is it!"

I am feeling ever more hopeful of an amendment now. But the presure needs to be maintained.

And captianff - I have no doubt you're right. The social misfits at ASH have no idea how people think so I'm not surprised that they've messed up yet again. There's precious little smoking on TV now, so pre-2007 a child from a non-smoking family woud rarely have seen a smoker as all the smokers were in their homes or adult-only environments (i.e. pubs). Put them outside every building and every pub and suddenly it seems that smokers are everywhere. If anything, their action has "normalised" smoking as smokers are so ubiquitous now. Throw in their attempts at denormalisation and you have something which is both rebellious yet "normal" at the same time - an irresistible lure to defiant youth.

That's ultimately why these idiots will fail. Not only are their claims based on lies, but they have absolutely no idea how people think.

Anonymous said...

What about all the DOLE money paid to the tens of thousands of staff made unemployed by the smoking ban and the tax they would have paid if they were still employed.

BTS said...

I've been rather confused about these figures of late. Thanks for laying it out neatly for me.

I'm still confused though - wtf are the government actually trying to achieve..?

BTS said...

So, Can We Call It A Failure Yet?

Obama (and Bob the Builder) said it best: Yes We Can!

Unknown said...

Just a note about the ASH righteous.

A (non-smoking) friend of mine observed a photo shoot on behalf of ASH and apparently they were ASH employees who were in the shoot.

As soon as the photo shoot finished, she was very amused to see a lot of them take out their cigs and light up.

I suppose it is only a job after all....

Anonymous said...

Bearwitch - LOL but conversely, I worked for a short time in a cig factory. Everyone went to great lengths to justify themselves and the staff in HR (all non-smokers) were complaining about my smoking in the office. I did point out that I was keeping them in a job...

Anonymous said...

P.S. Good news on the F2C front page!


timbone said...

Fabulous blog. I so wish that this, word for word, could be seen by the whole bloody nation - well, slight editing here and there ahem lol

I hope that the save our pubs and clubs campaign not only achieves success, but that there is a knock on effect for some humanity and common sense in places like hospitals, mental insitutions and airports.

I hope that, if there is a Tory government next year, and they carry out their proposals to stop using public money to fund quangos, that ASH are one of the fake charities who lose their funding.

I am very pleased that Tom Harris, Labour MP for Glasgow East, former transport minister scaked because he tells the truth, a non smoker who voted against the ban, has the save our pubs and clubs banner on his excellent blogspot

Pavlov's Cat said...

The first time I really realised Japan was a civilised country, was after a 12 hour flight, when you get off the plane, there are smoking rooms.

As compared to Heathrow, Gatwick, where it's: Off, walk miles, passport control, wait for bags, customs control, try to sell you last minute shit, underground carpark.

Welcome to the UK

timbone said...

Pavlov's Cat, banning smoking on planes (12 hour flight ahhhhhhh) was one of the early building blocks in a total ban. It is a known fact that no smoke = turn down the air con = my wife getting a chest infection after a plane journey.

Anonymous said...

If more people smoke after a ban then that must make the tax man very happy. Once they start seriously on the drinkers..just watch sales rise and the revenue come tumbling into the troughers pockets.

Pavlov's Cat said...


It is also a proven fact that banning smoking on flights meant that they could introduce less oxygen injected into cabin to refresh air, so more savings to the airlines in costs ( not passed on), but higher CO2 levels, more drunkeness and air rage.

I can find no example of an aeroplane being brought down or catching fire froma cigarette , but it was sold as a 'safety' measure