Monday 23 October 2017

Dear Foreign And Commonwealth Office ...

Following recent news about how Thailand has banned smoking on a number of popular beaches under threat of imprisonment, I noticed an anomaly on the Government's website for tourist guidance, so I thought I'd better write to them and point it out.

You see, on their Thailand page, they carry this advice.
Thai authorities have announced that in November they will introduce a smoking ban on beaches in certain tourist areas, including in Koh Samui, Pattaya and in Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Songkhla provinces. Those caught smoking in non-designated areas could face a 100,000 baht fine or up to a year in prison. You should follow local guidance. 
You can’t bring vaporisers (like e-cigarettes and e-baraku) or refills into Thailand. These items are likely to be confiscated and you could be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted. The sale or supply of e-cigarettes and similar devices is also banned and you could face a heavy fine or up to 5 years imprisonment if found guilty.
Yes, Thailand is bonkers and fully in the grip of the anti-smoking cult's clutches. However, Australia is similarly afflicted with a nationwide state level infestation of weasel-headed shitgibbons, hence this absurd set of punishments for anyone daring to vape using nicotine.

Click to enlarge
Imprisonment, yes. Three states in Australia think an appropriate penalty for someone stopping smoking by using an e-cig is imprisonment, and all of them think criminalising vapers is the right thing to do. You have to wonder at how very dense their elected representatives have to be, don't you?

Yet here is the corresponding web page advising potential British tourists to Australia. As you can see, there is no warning that visitors could end up in the slammer due to the barking insanity of the fuckspanners who created Australia's science-free e-cigs policies.

It's quite obviously a glaring omission from the FCO so - doing my duty as a loyal and concerned UK citizen - I felt it necessary to write to them to ensure they carry the same important guidance for Australia that they do for the similar basket case stupidity in Thailand.

Here's my letter.
Dear Sir/Madam 
I note that you advise on your local laws and customs pages for Thailand that tourists entering the country can be criminalised and imprisoned for smoking on beaches, or for possession of vaping equipment. This is very good advice. It is important to highlight extremist policies imposed by backward nations that might impact on unwary British travellers.  
However, I think you should also carry the same severe warning on your site for British citizens who intend to travel to Australia. The UK government's recent Tobacco Control Plan stated an intention to support the use of e-cigarettes and Public Health England's Stoptober campaign prominently highlighted vaping as a valid way of quitting smoking. This may give the impression to UK nationals that other countries with a western outlook on life might have the same values as us. However, Australia thinks entirely differently, with every jurisdiction banning possession of e-cigs that are encouraged in the UK, some even threatening imprisonment.  
Click to enlarge
Currently, your page on Australia doesn't mention this. I therefore believe you should be issuing guidance to potential tourists to Australia that if they are vapers they should avoid travelling there as the country is extremely hostile to them. Queensland, for example, even has a 'snitch line' and encourages the public to report sale or possession of e-cigarettes! Just imagine some poor blighter from the UK on a Brisbane beach using the e-cig his local stop smoking service encouraged him to buy, only to be arrested and/or fined on his holiday because someone saw him and called the cops. 
I would like to thank you for continuing to educate our citizens as to the vagaries of legislation in basket case nations like Thailand and Australia and hope you will see fit to update your guidance as a matter of urgency.  
Best regards
Richard Puddlecote (concerned citizen on the side of the angels)
Well, it's only right that travellers are properly informed, don't you think? 

No comments: