Wednesday 2 November 2011

The Precedent That Keeps On Taking Liberties

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about tobacco control being discussed at an Irish obesity conference.

THE SMOKING ban has not had any appreciable effect on the number of smokers in Ireland, the chief medical officer at the Department of Health has said.

At a forum on obesity yesterday, Dr Tony Holohan said ...
Obesity? Why are you talking about the smoking ban at an obesity forum then, Tony?

He also said there was a need to look at the inter-relationship between different lifestyle factors, including tobacco use, alcohol consumption and obesity, and their effects on health.

“People who smoke just don’t smoke, they are also people who are overweight and they are also people who are high consumers of alcohol and we need to understand the interaction of those,” Dr Holohan said.
Well, how about this? In Canada yesterday, we see obesity being discussed at a tobacco control conference!

"Reductions in smoking are largely the result of specific policy interventions, with price increases through tobacco taxation being most effective," continued [Dr. David Hammond, associate professor at the University of Waterloo School of Public Health and Health Systems]. "Along with changes in where you can smoke, how tobacco companies can market products, and how smoking risk is communicated to the consumer, these interventions have helped reduce smoking prevalence in Canada from 50 per cent in 1960's to 17 per cent in 2010."

Hammond believes that similar policy interventions could lead to a major change in obesity rates among Canadians, and he is not alone in this opinion. Tobacco control professionals from across Canada are gathering to share information and lessons learned with delegates working on obesity prevention.

Through the exchange of knowledge, particularly what worked and did not work for tobacco control, the goal of reducing obesity rates in Canada through policy intervention can get a head start.
That bashing of smokers by those who don't personally partake doesn't seem so wise now, does it? It was only supposed to be those malodorous nicotine addicts in the cross hair, after all. Unlike normal people who enjoy other vices, smokers were a unique problem ... weren't they?

Oh how those who enjoy other vices laughed when we warned them that they would be next, and that their collaboration would come back and bite them on their lardy behinds; or the inebriates on their drooping todger; and that the anti-tobacco precedent would be employed to do so.

Suck it up, wobble-bottomed smokerphobes. Eat reality along with your Cripple Cock, CAMRA. The beast you helped spawn is sharing tips and mass producing finger-waggers tailored specifically for the task of denormalising YOU!

One day, you'll work out that perhaps you should have stood up for smokers - thereby also protecting yourselves for the future - while you had the chance. Your intolerant prejudices opened the floodgates, and now 'public health' hectors are swarming all over the less-than-healthy pleasure that you enjoy.

We did warn the irresponsible, short-sighted idiots. Sadly, they didn't listen, and many will fail to see the connection even when professional scaremongers are crawling all over newly denormalised free choices, conjuring up images of dead children and demanding unconditional abstinence.

The new puritan alliance is up and running now, and the baton they are carrying was supplied by anyone who has ever blithely approved of bans, restrictions, or any other state-led sanctions against substances or practices which they don't personally like.

Divide et impera, I think they call it.

All that's left now is to watch for respective appeasers in each targeted group to come out and give a little ground in the hope of being left alone (oh look, here they are already) but - as smokers are well aware - this is simply not on the wider agenda for prohibitionists. The best example of this comes from ASH's Beyond Smoking Kills report which came after, remember, the implementation of a smoking ban many myopic smokers thought was worth supporting in order to shut them up.

Some smokers may feel that enough has been done to restrict their behaviour and that they should be left alone to enjoy the choices they freely make. Yet this misses the point.
Indeed it does. The 'point' is that these evil nags will never stop.

They were never going to stop once smoking had been denormalised, they were inevitably going to extend their appalling anti-social nature to the users of other unapproved products. And they will never be satisfied with any achievement, however radical or ground-breaking it may be. There will always, but always, be the 'next logical step' towards ultimate prohibition.

Bansturbators aren't even hiding the fact that they're ganging up, globally, anymore. Any chance some of the blinkered in other camps might wake up and do likewise in opposition sometime soon?

Nah, didn't think so.


Xen said...

Dick, you're banging your head against the wall.

You've only got to read the comments on certain sites to realise that the pub landlords/weirdy beardies and those who frequent pub food nirvana will NEVER accept that their particular enjoyment/employment is going to disappear. Until, obviously, it does.

I've discovered a particularly sublime German dish to partake of whilst I watch their forthcoming demise with great interest.

I don't want to break into laughter at their misfortune because, once begun, I doubt I'll ever be able to stop.

Anonymous said...

The likes of CEO Anand really must have very strange minds.
The difference between supermarket prices and pub prices is so huge (as it must be since supermarkets do not have the overheads that pubs have)that no amount of fiddling about with minimum prices is going to bridge the gap. Why can they not see that their serious, serious problem is the loss of custom? Why do they find it so difficult to see that the smoking ban has driven away large chunks of their customers? Why is it that they cannot just say it!

Mag said...

Push to ban all outdoor smoking in dining areas

"Smoke-free areas de-normalise smoking, so children will be less likely to take up the habit later in life and they also encourage people quitting smoking to stay quit by not giving them cues to smoke," she said.

There’s not even the pretense that this has anything to do with “protecting” nonsmokers from SHS “hazard”. It is entirely a social-engineering (eugenics) exercise. Although there is no evidence of hazard, there is the requisite mum-with-baby (including photo) alluding to SHS “harm”.

Also interesting in this instance is that, in addition to the usual involvement of the cancer society and heart foundation, QUIT Victoria is leading the push for al fresco bans. QUIT Victoria, wholly funded by the State government, is lobbying local governments to enact these outdoor bans.

You might also like to vote on the article’s question: “Should smoking be banned in outdoor dining areas?”

Anonymous said...

I agree with Xen. I’ve stopped even bothering to try and warn non-smoking drinkers of what’s clearly in store for them, because the vast majority simply don’t want to see it. “None so blind as those who will not see,” as they say.

Non-smoking drinkers deserve everything that’s coming to them and they don’t deserve any support from any other quarter, ever, under any circumstances. Let their pleasure be denormalised, castigated, blamed for every social ill under the sun, and priced out of their reach. Let their social lives be shrunk to a few sad cans of lager in front of the TV after the kids have gone to bed, and let them feel what it’s like to lose touch with friends, acquaintances and family members, simply because those friends, acquaintances and family members aren’t bothered by the restrictions and don’t think that they should be, either. Let them get a lecture every time they go to see the doctor about a cut finger or a sore throat. Let them be judged as at least the part-instigator of any misdemeanour they get involved with, even as a victim, simply because they’ve had a couple of drinks. Let them be labelled an “alcoholic” because they have the audacity to suggest that they simply enjoy drinking, rather than accepting with bowed head the Healthists’ mantra that it isn’t enjoyment – it’s an addiction.

I, and I am sure many other victimised smokers, have tried for many years to make them see that their tacit support of the smoking ban - even if only by acquiescence and silence - would inevitably lead to their own demise, but they have steadfastly refused to see it. So I've given up. They made their bed, now they can bloody well lie on it.

Leg-iron said...

I have to agree with Xen and Anon.

The antismokers won't believe what's coming until it's happening to them and even then, they'll still hate smokers because they'll never make the connection.

Sod them.

Meanwhile, I'm re-learning brewing and looking up how to grow and extract sugar-beet. I'm also close to the sea so basic salt extraction is on the cards.

This year's experiment in herbivory has yeilded some useful results and a hell of a lot of seeds for next year. Feel like a bit of gardening?

Michael J. McFadden said...

“People who smoke just don’t smoke, they are also people who are overweight" Oh yeah, like all those grossly corpulent chain-smoking fashion models!


Anonymous said...

Slightly off subject, but on obesity epidemic in particular - doesn't it seem strange that as there comes louder shriller voices calling for food bans and restrictions to allegedly combat obesity - general inflation and food prices have been going quite high on some items while package sizes have been getting smaller. Could it be we are being prepared to begin eating less because a worldwide socialist controlled economy knows it will be unable to provide enough food for the largest worldwide population to date. So they may be trying to get us to eat (and drink and smoke) less because they know soon, there will not be enough to go around - and it's because they want a controlled economy instead of a free market (with the freedoms, liberties and free choices that go along with it, being abolished) - they realize they will be unable to achieve happiness, so they're programming everyone to expect less out of life, from now on. Instead of the ruling elite conforming themselves to a system that provides the most freedom, goods and happiness to the most amount of people, they're essentially making the world population conform to the ruling elite's basic incompetence is what I am suggesting.

Anonymous said...

They would have been mad to start with alcohol, everyone knows what happened last time, they've even made films about it.

The previous attack on tobacco wasn't widely known about globally, so it was an obvious place to start to get to alcohol and food through general acceptance of the tobacco denormalisation procedures.

One small piece of information that still sticks in my mind after hearing about it years ago - the previously tortured make the best torturers because they know how much it hurts and having experienced it, can replicate it exactly.

Being a contrary creature it will be my pleasure to help the new set of victims as best I can.

As smoking is reputed to enhance cognitive function considerably,I feel that I really can't blame them for not having the necessary foresight to see this coming.

*slaps wrist

david said...

Well, they do have a problem - quitters are more likely to put weight on. I did, about 25lbs, but since restarting (after 4 years) I've lost some weight (though not to the earlier level).

@MJM. I think a lot of celebrities smoke partly to control their weight. 'Body beautiful' related. Sort of ironic really.

English Pensioner said...

I thought everyone in the real world knew that when people give up smoking they tend to put on weight.
The only reason is why? Does smoking actually cause one to remain slim, or is it because ex-smokers that I have known eat lots of choc bars to compensate?

And hitting out at non-smoking drinkers won't do your cause any good. I've never smoked, but I was opposed to a smoking ban in pubs. It has wrecked social life as our group in the pub has lost members, and it looks as if the pub will close within the next year as it is now only marginally profitable.

Anonymous said...

"And hitting out at non-smoking drinkers won't do your cause any good"

Couldn't agree more English Pensioner
They have already tried to cause trouble for me.

Teetotallers are the 'new pariahs' - Health Secretary warns on Britain's drink habit - 2009

"Teetotallers should be celebrated instead of shunned as pariahs, the Health Secretary will say today.
In a devastating assessment of Britain's addiction to alcohol, Alan Johnson will dismiss ' whimsical' notions that the Government could succeed in creating a continental 'cafe culture'.

It will be seen as a stinging rebuke for ministers who claimed Labour's controversial 24-hour licensing would do just that.

Instead, Mr Johnson will demand a wider, fundamental shift in attitudes to alcohol. In a speech to the Royal Society of Arts, he will liken the 'disdain' with which nondrinkers are treated to that of non- smokers in previous decades."

'The question we must ask, not so much as a government, but as a society, is why unlike smoking, it is the abstainers that draw people's attention, not those who regularly consume well over their two to four units a day, provided they don't end up in accident and emergency care.'

Mr Johnson believes teetotallers should be ' celebrated' rather than scorned, in the same way that people who have given up smoking are."
Daily Mail

And while we are at it, we will have less of the "non-drinkers die earlier" etc. from you people who drink,if you don't mind - I've heard you.

Rose x

Pogo said...

Hey "Anon" at 02:20...

I'm in full agreement with "English Pensioner" - please do not conflate non-smokers with antismokers.

I too am a life-long non-smoker but I'm on record all over the blogosphere (and down my local pub) ranting against the smoking ban and the specious "science" that was used to bamboozle our legislators (not a difficult task, admittedly).

Dick Puddlecote said...

I'm certainly not 'hitting out' at non-smoking drinkers, merely those who revelled in the smoking ban without thinking of the consequences. And especially those who still fail to see the connection, or the danger from those who wish to ban anything not purely healthful.

In fact, I fight wholeheartedly with drinkers often on these pages.

It feels like whistling at the wind while there are milions about who are happy to be divided along prejudicial lines, and to watch their freedoms drifting away as a result.

Anonymous said...

Just love love love it
We cant rememder the names of the Roman soldiers who pinned Jesus to a cross ,we cant forget the name of the one who sold him out
CAMRA who tend to haunt bougeoise
slack houses on leafy lanes share
the blame with flopsy publicans and
their comotose regulars.
A item of BBC news about our
Cro Magnon ancestors killing of the Neanderthals 40-50,000 years
ago raised some doubts in my mind
Pop along to any ALE FEST the
round shouldered,protruding forehead and fuzz features surely
is evidence of the survial of our nuckle scraping cousins.
Who else can we blame
maybe ourselve

Rubicon South Bank

Michael J. McFadden said...

Pogo, if you haven't tried it already, print out a copy of my Stiletto ("The Lies Behind The Smoking Bans") and bring it into your pub. Offer it to the Antis there and ask them if they can find any substantive specific faults with it.

Then watch as steam comes out of their ears and their heads explode. LOL!


Anonymous said...

Link does not work.