Posts Tagged ‘smoking’

Stolen from <a href="http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.com/2011/03/tomorrow-is-officially-double-up.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DickPuddlecote+%28Dick+Puddlecote%29">here</a>

Stolen from here

Ah yes it’s National Double or Quits Day today, and in a move designed to show that the Tories are even more reprehensible than Labour*, Andrew Landsley today confirms that further regressive, bullying, Soviet policies of Labour are being implemented. It will soon – within 5 years – be illegal to display tobacco products. Additionally “consultations” will be held about plain packaging.

In the introduction to the press release, there is the following gem:

The plan confirms action to end eye catching tobacco displays in shops which encourage young people to start smoking.

Have the collective ‘minds’ who drafted this turned to mush? They seriously think kids go “ooh, look, shiny stuff, I better start smoking” and die. It is indisputable that the more something is restricted, the more using it becomes an act of rebellion, and therefore the more likely it is to used as a part of youth rebellion. I would almost think that it was a brilliant double-bluff** to stimulate the market, but I find the thought of Labour dreaming up something that would make money as mind-boggling as Quantum Mechanics.

Anyway this set of targets came out in the DOH release:

  • stopping the promotion of tobacco;
  • making tobacco less affordable;
  • effective regulation of tobacco products;
  • helping tobacco users to quit;
  • reducing exposure to secondhand smoke; and
  • effective communications for tobacco control.

Right-e-o.

  • stopping the promotion of tobacco;

Advertising tobacco and tobacco products is illegal. Use of tobacco products on TV are increasingly restricted. Tobacco is (for now, at least) legal, so either ban it entirely and face the consequences, or stop interfering in a lawful commodity.

  • making tobacco less affordable;

Putting the duty on tobacco up is self-defeating. Already I know very few people that buy full-price fags or baccy. Especially up in Lewis, there is vast amounts of tobacco (legally purchased and illegally sold on) washing around the place from folk who work at sea. People are buying this and most importantly not paying tax on it. The more expensive it is the more likely we are to buy it from someone down the road, rather than from the shops.

  • effective regulation of tobacco products;

I have noticed that an ever-larger proportion of the stuff around these days is counterfeit, rather than just from abroad. Shops are aware that they are watched constantly by trading standards and associated prod-noses, and are too good at asking for ID when buying fags. I still occasionally get asked to prove my age. Me. I’m a fat, greying, bearded 25 year old, with the looks of a 35 year old. The guys selling baccy out of their car boots don’t worry about the provenance or the quality of their products, and don’t worry about the age their customers are. Increasing regulation will increase illicit trading, which again, will defeat the purpose of the regulation. Yet again.

  • helping tobacco users to quit;

Eh? Why they believe this is a legitimate area for Central Government, I’m not entirely sure. Anyway, it is up to individuals to stop, as and when they want. Nobody forced to stop ever really does. Patches and gum don’t work. Again, when bullied and harassed, hectored and vilified, the correct course of action is to dig one’s heels in and stick either one or two fingers up.

  • reducing exposure to secondhand smoke; and

SHS is a myth.

  • effective communications for tobacco control.

All the fake charities, prohibitionists and rent-seekers in tobacco control already have extremely effective lines of communications. Whichever half-baked, spurious and ludicrous claim is made on any particular day, is sent out as a press release, and is immediately reproduced verbatim by an ever-credulous BBC, Daily Mail, Guardian, etc, with absolutely no critical view on it.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on this important day, when I will go out and try to persuade all ex-smoking acquaintances to restart their habit, and tell anyone who will listen that all the coolest people smoke.

*The Tories should be the party of individuals; the party of enterprise, free markets and laissez-faire. The party that removes petty bureaucracy; nanny and bully statism; and stands up for enterprise and civil liberties. The fact the Labour hate the individual, and especially success by any individuals should be well known to everybody. The Tories have fallen so far from their ideal, that that they are not the same party.

**I once considered that He With The Massive Forehead, might be doing something similar, and trying to bring around the downfall of the EU by pushing for Turkey’s membership. However, it just became apparent that our PM is a massive tool, as well as a traitor. Ah, well.

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Get 'em in while you still can

A Bill has gone through Parliament, prompting this:

Briefly, as we seem to have had a round of congratulations on the Bill, I want to say that this is a very sad day for the House, which once again shows that the Government are one of the most intolerant, authoritarian and illiberal Governments that we have ever seen. It is yet another triumph for the nanny state. It will not make any difference at all to smoking rates…

This is just another authoritarian victory for a Government who want to thrash around looking as if they have done something. It will have a devastating effect on many, many small retailers, small newsagents and pubs. I hope that we will not see crocodile tears from Ministers when many more small shops and pubs go to the wall as a result of the Government’s policies.

So said Philip Davies in Parliament yesterday. Well the day before, it’s gone midnight. Later in the same debate, he also said,

If Labour Members want to ban tobacco altogether—that seems to have been the basis of their argument—they should at least have the courage to come to this House to argue for what they really believe in and face the consequences.

Tobacco is undeniably bad for my health. I have been smoking for over a decade and I know my health has suffered. It is probably bad for other peoples’ health – if I decided to smoke a pouch of baccy in an enclosed, unventilated room, forcing someone else to breathe the smoke too, for years on end.

However when you have scumballs, who have no other claim to our ears than that are stinking rich and appear on an abominably rude TV show, wanting to have cigarettes “banned altogether“, then things have gone too far. The title and tagline of the article linked are “I’ll only be happy if smoking is banned” and “we should no longer tolerate the minority threatening the lives of the majority”.

First off,

I’ll only be happy if smoking is banned

well, Dunc, many of the rest of us, smokers and non-smokers alike will only be happy when twelve years of interference and nannying – that you helped fund – are repealed and the authors are as jobless and struggling as the rest of us.

we should no longer tolerate the minority threatening the lives of the majority

May I suggest a slight tweak to that?

we should no longer tolerate the minority prying into and interfering in the lives of the majority.

Leg Iron has put up a blog on this as I was typing – illustrating the potentially far-reaching consequences of what has already gone through. I know several of the people who will access this blog are against alcohol/pubs/drinking to excess, but it is undeniable that pubs are an integral part of the economy, and that the infrastructure and systems that they support, and/or are an essential part of, support thousands throughout the country. Anti-smoking legislation has unintended (but not unforeseen) consequences, not unlike other knee-jerk, ill-planned legislation.

Another spectacular bit of idiocy is “The Case for The Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products” (.pdf link). All in an attempt to

reduce smoking by stopping people having brand attachment

Really and truly, what kind of a mind thinks up this insanity? I’m a smoker who has spent most of his smoking life without the evils of cigarette advertising. I have an extremely strong attachment to Golden Virginia. This is not because of the image it portrays of, nor of the image that was presented to me. It’s cheaper less extortionate  to smoke than ready-made cigarettes, but more expensive than many other rolling tobaccos, although not the most expensive. The simple reason that I smoke it is because I enjoy the taste of it more than any other that I’ve found. Believe me, I’ve exhaustively tested nearly all the commonly available brands.It’s the same reason I use Rizla blue papers to smoke it in. the same reason I drink certain whiskies rather than others, why I buy that seedy and oaty Hovis rather than many others. I enjoy it! It doesn’t matter what group comes up with whatever bit of nonsense, patronising crap from anyone is still patronising crap.

The bit I cut out of the opening quote by Philip Davies goes as follows:

Cigarettes are not an impulse purchase. As someone who worked in retail for many years before coming to the House, I can assure people that they are not an impulse purchase like cream cakes. People walk past cream cakes, think that they look nice, and decide to buy them, but they do not buy cigarettes on the same premise.

Which very nicely highlights how far from the point these plans are. To put it in my words, I go into a shop knowing that I’m out of smokes, and that I need to stock up. Anything else I buy is incidental.

I’m finding it really hard to not to go all Incredible Hulk whenever I turn on the news, read a blog or look at anything  these days, but I’ve come to the realisation that it’s all really a good thing: the more and more Government interfere and push through petty, nannying, authoritarian, illiberal, fascist bits of paper, the deeper and deeper the graves of the majority of Labour politicians’ careers will be, come the next election.

And that can only be a good thing.

In the Second World War, several freedoms were fought for.

Why have they been lost?

Freedom of worship

Freedom of worship

Freedom of Worship (not from religion)

To those interested with this particular freedom, the past twelve years under Labour have been concerning. With instances such as people being questioned by the police regarding religious beliefs (despite not, in fact, mentioning what was questioned about) we have to wonder how far we can go without being arrested for mentioning our beliefs.

Although personally not believing in Christmas (I know it’s August), you cannot go a year without hearing how some pillock in a council or school has tried to ban it.

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Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech

Oh boy, this one’s big. The points above come into this one, but something that came to my attention yesterday really grated.

The British Humanist Association has started a campaign to have the funding withdrawn for a zoo in Englandshire somewhere because of it’s creationist stance. The numpties there have said:

‘We believe Noah’s Ark Farm Zoo misleads the public by not being open about its creationist agenda’

Now, forgive me for pointing out a case of the sodding obvious, but if an organisation calls itself “The Noah’s Ark Farm Zoo” do you not think, that even with the most limited of intellects, you would be able to perhaps, somehow construe that it had some vague creationist leanings?

In the Underdogs Bite Upwards blog, the author points out that people have their bias.

If people believe in God, a god or gods they should believe in Creation or the slightly bastardised theory of Intelligent Design. If someone is an atheist they should believe in Darwinian Evolution. Now I am not going to go into that particular debate at the moment, not least because I am manifestly unqualified to talk deeply about religion. I should point out however that I am on the side of creationism and of any organisation who is being attacked by hypocritical morons who cannot see that their stated “mission” is paradoxical.

Freedom from Want

Freedom from Want

Freedom from Want

Unemployment figures

I drive, smoke and drink and am therefore paying huge amounts of tax already. When I finally get a job, I will be paying further taxes. Before anybody complains that their taxes are paying for my sedentary lifestyle, have a look at this. The cost of propping up ludicrous red-tape festooned bureaucratic nightmares is titanic. Hand-outs to banks have crippled us.  None of this is new and has been repeated ad nauseum in the press over the past year or so. We also (sometimes) pay TV licenses  to shore up the tottering bulk of the BBC which – I doubt – is much to anyone other than the government’s liking anymore.

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Freedom from Fear

Freedom from Fear

Freedom from Fear

Nanny Statism. We are not allowed to do anything anymore. Much of the stuff above is because of Political Correctness – a fear of upsetting people through our thoughts and actions. Actions, to a certain extent is fair enough, but, really, the line has to be drawn somewhere. You can’t smoke, drink more than the government tells you to, buy knives, drive whilst phoning (heh, that’s a good link), take photos, drink from glasses, put in lightbulbs, use iodine, I could go on, but my head hurts. Are we children? Can we not think for ourselves?

It would seem not.