Monday, September 08, 2008

Want to Ban Smoking in Cars & Private Homes?

Today is the final day for people to send in reponses to the Department of Health to the government consultation on future tobacco control in the UK.

The anti-smoking lobby, led by Cancer Research and the Smokefree Coalition, has been busy encouraging people to lobby the government in favour of measures such as a ban on the display of tobacco in shops, plain packaging, etc etc. (This begs the question, what next? Are they going to put alcohol under the counter? Fizzy drinks? Confectionery?)

The consultation document even asks the question (on page 45):

"Question 12: Do you believe that more should be done by the Government to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke within private dwellings or in vehicles used primarily for private purposes? If so, what do you think could be done?"
Private dwellings? You would think the government has better things to think about - like the forthcoming recession, fear of rising crime etc

Apparently the Department of Health has received something like 8,000 e-cards, the vast majority in favour of such measures. In response FOREST, the libertarian pro-smoking group has set up our own e-card and in the past two weeks has generated around 1400 e-cards opposing these measures.

If you would like to send an e-card opposing the measures click HERE.

Point of Info: I hate smoking, but take the view that as long it's legal, if people want to smoke, they should be allowed to.


Anonymous said...

Smoking is essential. As Sir Humphrey in "Yes Prime Minister" explains, smokers are voluntary laying down their lives to help the rest of us.

Their slow suicide brings in billions of revenue to the Treasury.

Thanks to their premature deaths, often of sudden heart disease, they save the NHS billions in geriatric care.

They also help to provide strong, regular profits to tobacco companies, helping all our pension funds.

So non-smokers like me get plenty of benefits whilst the smokers get yellow teeth, bad breath, loss of willpower, they lose money and on average die early.

Keep puffing away for my sake!

Anonymous said...

Smoking is ok as long as its between consenting adults behind locked doors. Sound familiar Iain?

Ed Keohane said...

Ironically, it appears to be more socially acceptable to smoke a joint (illegal) thatn smoke a cigarette or cigar (legal).

I'd prefer them to ban tobacco and arrest people caught smuggling it than this ridiculous persecution of law-abiding citizens.

Anonymous said...

Iain, having witnessed the effects of lung cancer, I simply would love to ban it every where I could, but to ban something in peoples homes reduces their argument to absurd. How would they ever police it?

It's a crazy idea for crazy people desperate to create a diversion from the impending hard times to come, as you say.

Anonymous said...

thank you for giveing me the chance to send an e card opposing the stupid ban,michael.

Anonymous said...

"This begs the question, what next? Are they going to put alcohol under the counter? Fizzy drinks? Confectionery?"

Can anyone really be in any doubt that that's exactly what they will move on to, if allowed to get away with this?

Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether we hold smoking to be good or bad, the question 12 that you highlight is a truly abominable question. It is often on petty matters that the bigger picture is clearly seen, and the anti-liberal nature of such a question should send a whole volly of alarm bells ringing. It won't of course - you can re-write Burke's dictum appropriately here - but well done for noting it to a wider audience!

Anonymous said...

anonymong @9:10am:"Smoking is ok as long as its between consenting adults behind locked doors. Sound familiar Iain?"

Did you even read the question...? Do you need someone to explain it to you, perhaps?

Or is it the concept of 'private property' that foxes you?

DiscoveredJoys said...

The Government (and not just the current shower) seem to have lost all sense of proportion. I am becoming convinced that the Government wish to criminalise more and more people for some sick elitist motive.

I don't smoke, I don't particularly care if shops or pubs have to close, but I support the ban of smoking in public places because I don't wish to breathe second hand smoke (even though I don't think it is too harmful).

However, I do support the Anglo Saxon principle that everything is legal, unless it is not permitted (unlike the Continent where only permitted things are legal). That means I have to accept the social costs of people doing (potentially) harmful things to themselves like smoking, drinking, playing rugby, mountain climbing etc. It is only when people's activities are potentially harmful to others (eg driving whilst drunk) that the law should be involved.

Logically this means that the "War on Drugs" is also a step too far (we all know how well Prohibition has worked). The ban on fox hunting is a step too far. Although I don't want to take recreational drugs or hunt foxes, I resent the Government interfering in peoples' lives - and of course it criminalises activites that once did not require permission.

Each restriction is another erosion of liberties. One day you will wonder why you can only read permitted books, watch permitted programs, eat permitted food, work at permitted jobs, say only permitted words, and think only permitted thoughts. Come to think of it we are not that far away from this sad state of affairs.

Still at least we can depend on criminals to exploit the new economic opportunities. Voice from a dark ally: "Psst! Wanna buy a Mars bar?"

Anonymous said...

"Want to Ban Smoking in Cars & Private Homes?"

To the extent that this reduces the exposure of children to smoke, yes. I was not aware of this consultation; I've now submitted an ecard from Ash

Thanks, Ian!

Scary Biscuits said...

Andrew Efiong, it's not about whether smoking is good for you or not. It's about whether people should have the liberty to make that decision for themselves.

People like you are clearly too thick to know the difference. Perhaps our next pogrom should be against people like you: stupid but still think you should have the right to free speech and to blog. How would that make you feel? Perhaps then you would understand how smokers and other victimised groups feel.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists
and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

BTW smoking in your own home is already illegal. If you employ anybody on the premises (e.g. a cleaner or even a plumber) even if you don't smoke while they're there you are breaking the law. Basically, almost any smoker could be arrested at any time already, espcially if they said something to upset the authorities.

Gordon Brown said...

If the Government banned smoking in private dwellings, how exactly would they enforce it?!

Would it be as successful as the current prohibition of drugs? That works really well, doesn't it.......

Anonymous said...

Ironically, I now get exposed to far more passive smoking simply walking about the streets of London - as those who used to smoke in/around their offices now all go out and smoke in their lunchtime.

No doubt part of the plan. Next step will be to ban all outdoor smoking.

Raedwald said...

'Numberwatch' comprehensively demolishes the health arguments against 'passive smoking'. Let's be clear. There is no evidence that one single person has ever died, ever, from passive smoking.

And as for banning smoking in homes with children in because it causes asthma, NW points out that a child in the 50s inhaled more smoke on a single visit to the cinema than most modern children do in their whole lives - yet asthma was rare.

No, this is no more than pious puritanism from a bunch of joyless jerks who seek to impose the pointless emptiness of their own existence on the rest of us.

Yes, by all means let's make provision so that those who don't like smoke don't have to share the same spaces with smokers. But let's recognise also the right of people to make choices about their own lives.

And yes, these same people are now turning their sights on alcohol. They just haven't worked out yet how to legislate to restrict each member of the population to one glass of inferior Chardonnay a day. And the idea of a 'fat tax' has already had an outing; if they could outlaw biscuits and crisps without losing the vote from the Client population, they would.

I hate these people so very, very, much.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps our next pogrom should be against people like you: stupid but still think you should have the right to free speech and to blog. "

Actually, I think I'd support that! It'd be worth it, to see the back of Barmy Bobby Piper, Chris Paul, Dirty European Socialist... ;)

Madasafish said...

Of course they want to ban smoking in private homes.
Why else where ID cards and car tracking invented.

And of course, enforcement is easy: Laws to allow immediate access to any home on suspicion of smoking..SOS.

Am I joking? Nope,

Then possession of literature likely to offend 5 year olds brought up by loving lefty single parents becomes a criminal act punishable by a fine.

Then not voting becomes a crime.

then not voting Labour becomes a crime..

That is the way Labour are going...

T England. Raised from the dead. said...

First they make us go into smoking rooms, then they make us go outside, now they want to stick their weak, perfectic liberal lentil eating face in my home!

Who said when Labour came to power they could ban smoking? I dont remember that policy!

Havn't these soon to be out of power, nothing better to do with their lives, anti smoking lefties got anyone else to hassle about anything else?
They will be banning farting soon because of the fumes!

If I was a horrible person I'd wish those lentil crunching Liberals would choke on their musil & die :o)
Sticking their unfair nose in my private life!

Anonymous said...

The government would enforce a ban on smoking in private homes by employing more people at the local council to drive around the streets at night with an infra-red camera and spy on you. It's quite obvious. The beeb already have their vans to check if you have a tv without a licence (although I've heard they won't use that evidence in court in case they lose and set a precedent under HR legislation).

Anonymous said...

Off topic Iain

Who else saw the first of the BBC's 3 programmes on Climate-Change last night?

Stewart, the presenter, was clearly following a brief to show that people who do not go along with the latest scientific/ environmental fad are doing for malevolent reasons.

The 'truth' was treated economically. For example, he produced a graph that showed that the climate (temperature in this case) has fluctuated in a short time, but did not dwell on the point that these rapid fluctuations happened long, long before we were burning coal and oil. It follows that the recent rapid rise in temperature - followed by a levelling off - may be 'natural' after all.

There are other points of detail that, taken together, indicate that a different interpretation can be put on the scientific data.

Anonymous said...

To ScaryBiscuits, thanks for calling me thick. You failed to recognise any irony in my comment, despite a reference to a TV comedy show in the first line. Oops.

I think it rather reflects a judgmental nature in you, you prefer rapidfire rage rather than reflection.

Anonymous said...

Criminals will have a field day if they put FAGS AND TOBACCO under shop counters. The consequences of PROHIBITION about to stike again.
Not white vans, but big white container lorries will fill our roads.

Anonymous said...

Anyway Iain this has the classic hallmarks of the good old "ask for the stars and settle for the moon" gambit. By proposing a few outrageous ideas, the anti-smoking campaigners will settle for some more general restrictions.

Scary Biscuits said...

Andrew, I did recognise you're irony. I didn't call you thick for that reason but for posting off topic, on the benefits or otherwise of smoking when Iain's post was about liberty.

And yes I am judgemental! I belive judgement to be the essence of civilisation ;)

AloneMan said...

Banning smoking in proivate homes, quite apart from being fundamentally unujust, would set an outrageous precedent, both in terms of the outlawing of a legal activity within an individual's own provate living space and in terms of the implied power it would give the State to detect it; another reason to enter our homes, inspect our rubbish and God knows what else.
I wouldn't be just so depressed about it if I could see a major political party which looks as if it had the appetite to fight this sort of stuff.

Johnny Norfolk said...

This sort of thing is what is people refer to when they talk about a police state. It has just gone to far. Just leave us alone to live out own lives. These people should never have been given the power by Labour to make official comment on our lives. Far to many people with not enough to do is the way I look at them. We should get rid of them like Mrs Thatcher did.

Rich Johnston said...

>This begs the question, what next?
>Are they going to put alcohol under
>the counter? Fizzy drinks?

The anti-smoking coalition? No, probably none of these things.

Colin said...

"I am becoming convinced that the Government wish to criminalise more and more people for some sick elitist motive."

It's the standard M.O. of the authoritarian left. The paranoid desire of authoritarian regimes throughout history, to have as many of the population known to them as possible is par for the course. If you can't co-opt the people, control them. If you can't control them, criminalise them, the next step; well we all know the next step...

I don't smoke, in fact I can't stand the smell of cigarettes but I hate this sinister, creeping form of subjugation even more. I detest the hectoring of the BMA and others in the health industry. The venom directed at anyone who dares to oppose them is just awful. I find it ironic that a group of people who, through negligence, incompetence and the inability to maintain basic hygiene, kill tens of thousands of patients each year, can get so proscriptive and nasty over a legal activity that actually goes a long way to fund the NHS. If the BMA are so concerned that smoking so, so bad – why don’t they propose the summary dismissal of any NHS employee who smokes?

neil craig said...

Smoking is already illegal in the cabs of trains since they are officially a public place despite have only the driver in them.

Cigarette are indeed going to be made an under-the-counter item in Scotland.

And alcohol sales made illegal for under 21 year olds in scotland too.

Now lets see some English complaints about how we sxc ots are always getting things you lot aren't.

Anonymous said...

I'd prefer them to ban tobacco and arrest people caught smuggling it

believe me, criminals everywhere are praying for them so to do.

Prohibition in the US financed and started a crime wave, the effects of which are felt to this day. The people who fear the legalisation of drugs more than any others are the crime networks that derive most of their income thereof.

Banning tobacco would be the single stupidest thing any govt could do, and this shower have done a fair few already.

Anonymous said...

Right, Brown and nulab, this is war!

13 million smokers unite:

Sack Labour for ever.

Wipe out the Labour Party

Brown and his inept government have gone too far this time.

Never again must a Labour government be allowed to erode our freedom and civil liberties.

Anonymous said...

We need to have more people smoking to pay for all the unemployed Pub Staff/Bingo hall workers and yes as a smoker I should receive a bigger pension as I've paid in more and will nor live very long. In the 1930s everybody spent their money on beer and fags. The Good Old Days.
freedom to prosper

Anonymous said...

I am so bl**dy angry about this.

How dare that neurotic freak Brown and his nasty party, do this to 13 million adults.

I hereby vow to work my socks off during the run up to the next election to oust this government.

Anonymous said...

To all the people saying "How could they possibly police it?", why do you think they are signing up your children to spy on you? Your neighbours? Why do you think they are introducing new anti-terror legislation to check through your bins, your emails, your phone calls?

1984 was 30 years out, if that.

Seriously, time to hang them all.


Anonymous said...

I recently flew into Gatwick and was waiting outside at the bus station for my ride to the car park. There were a few of us wanting a smoke so we crossed the road, away from the people waiting and lit up. The next thing we knew there were loudspeaker announcements telling us we weren't in the designated smoking area, that they had received complaints and that we should please consider the health of non-smokers. In an airport. At a bus station. Oh the irony...

Yak40 said...

Cards won't make any difference, the gov't will do as it wants or as the EU directs, they care nothing for the individual's opinion about anything.

Anonymous said...

Are people seriously suggesting this is the EU's doing? The UK is leading the way with this legislation.

Just ask a Frenchman if you can light up and wait for the incredulous look on his face; they act as though you've just asked if they mind you breathing...

Anonymous said...

The International Socialists simply copying the National Socialists :

The Nazi War on Cancer

CHAPTER 6 The Campaign against Tobacco 173
Early Opposition 176
Making the Cancer Connection 178
Fritz Lickint: The Doctor "Most Hated by the Tobacco Industry" 183
Nazi Medical Moralism 186
Franz H. Muller: The Forgotten Father of Experimental Epidemiology 191
Moving into Action 198
Karl Astel's Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research 206
Gesundheit uber Alles 217
Reemtsma's Forbidden Fruit 228
The Industry's Counterattack 238
Tobacco's Collapse 242

Chris Paul said...

do you want to make smoking illegal iain? yes or no

Chris Paul said...

I agree with yak40, these cards are a waste of bandwidth.

westcoast2 said...

Do CRUK and ASH get money via Government grants.?

The 'smokefree coilition' has PCTs as members? Isn't the NHS run by HMG?

HMG seemed to have already made up it's mind and are encouraging the 'public' to engage in an apparent 'consultation' process to endorse that view.

FOREST seem to present a diferent view. also present their view on the consultation with 'The Future Of Tobacco Control' looking at reducing health risks associated with smoking.

This view is easily outnumbered by the partially HMG funded 'charities and coalition.

This is shown with the e-cards, as it seems of the 8000 replies, 6600 are from the Government to itself encouraging the persuit of a particular course of action while supposedly asking for 'public' opinon on the options.

Is this a fair consultation process?

This type of consultation should be worrying in itself. The private dwelling issue is probably a 'smokescreen'.


Anonymous said...

Lord Elvis of Paisley

"The next thing we knew there were loudspeaker announcements telling us we weren't in the designated smoking area"

Gawd bless CCTV, eh?

Iain Dale said...

Chris Paul, No. That do you?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Chris Paul said...

do you want to make smoking illegal iain? yes or no

interesting question CP; do you? Bet you do.

Anonymous said...

"BTW smoking in your own home is already illegal. If you employ anybody on the premises (e.g. a cleaner or even a plumber) even if you don't smoke while they're there you are breaking the law. Basically, almost any smoker could be arrested at any time already, espcially if they said something to upset the authorities."

The Health Act 2006 allows a specific and unequivocal exemption in the case of domestic staff. Not that this will last much longer if HMG gets its way.

Adrian said...

I'd rather parents of young children smoked in pubs and clubs than in their cars and living rooms, poisoning their kids.

Haribo said...

I've referenced this blog quite heavily here (click).

Little Black Sambo said...

Anon welcomes some banning to avoid "the exposure of children to smoke". What a stupid reason! If you don't want children near smoke - a weird thing to worry about, because it won't do them any harm - keep them away from it.

Anonymous said...

>Are they going to put alcohol >under the counter? Fizzy drinks? >Confectionery?)
For the sake of my waist line Fizzy drinks and Confectionery should go under the counter

Dick Puddlecote said...

I sent my e-card a few days ago but it won't do any good seeing as Cancer Research UK have probably done what they did before the Smoking Ban Experiment ... instructed their 3,600 staff to contribute by writing letters and Christmas Cards (ASH boasted about it in their document "How Advocacy Forced a Government Committed to a Partial Ban ..." or words to that effect. Google it, it's very enlightening. It's an object lesson into how to circumvent democracy when John Reid was trying to uphold the 2005 Manifesto Commitments of his own party against outside pressures.) This time the CRUK staff were only required to click a few buttons on their computer to agree with their employers. Easy peasy in comparison.

It's also no surprise that the massive majority of e-cards are supporting these proposals as it's simply a case of the Labour Government supporting itself and patting itself on the back for its wonderfulness.

The e-cards to reply to the DoH have been available on Smokefree sites for months now and guess who funds them ... yep, the DoH. FOREST are a bit of a fly in the ointment and an endorsement by Iain Dale is even more unwelcome (well done Iain)

Here's how it works:

1) The DoH think up some looney proposal and have to pretend to ask the public in order to exhibit some semblance of democracy.
2) The public aren't actually told about it unless they are avid watchers of smokefree sites so therefore will have formed an opinion one way only anyway.
3) The smokefree sites are told of course seeing as they are paid for by the Labour Government (see below)
4) Labour pass the measures and can say in front of the cameras that X% of stakeholders are fully in agreement with them about this. No fiddling at all. Not in the slightest. Perfectly above board.
5) Labour receive congratulations from the pharmaceutical industry and NO MONEY WHATSOEVER IN DONATIONS TO AID THEIR LACK OF PARTY FUNDS (I want to make that absolutely clear)

Re Point 3) This was the response received from Vicky Mills of Smokefree NorthWest in answer to how they were funded.

"We are part funded by the Department of Health and part funded by all thePCTs in the NW."

... so that will be the Labour Government then.

Labour pat Labour on the back for a job well done.

How low has this country sunk when these morally bankrupt people are actually passing laws on how we live our lives without transparently asking anyone for permission but themselves?

Anonymous said...

"Britain's oldest and most powerful medical college today calls on the Government to set a target to eliminate smoking by 2025." - yesterday's Independent.

Take a look at

Anonymous said...

Smoking is a big problem for people and teenagers. Smoking can cause a lot of diseases like cancer, heart disease and emphysema. When a person begins to smoke they spend a lot of money buying cigarettes. Maybe they could spend millions of dollars because they buy a lot of cigarettes.

Haribo said...

Statist, interfering governments are a big problem for people and teenagers. They cause the rationing of cancer drugs and send people to die in futile wars. When a person begins to live under a statist, interfering government they have a lot of money taken away from them and spent on shite that rent-seekers in Whitehall dream up. Maybe they could spend millions of dollars on stuff they actually want, instead.