The smoking ban ten years on

Most people must be aware by now that this weekend sees the tenth anniversary of the smoking ban here in Ireland.

The tenth anniversary of the Bully State, and the beginnings of a worldwide pogrom against smokers.

The Irish Times are devoting quite a few column inches to the subject which makes some quite interesting reading.

One of the first things that struck me was the very small number of people behind this move.  This wasn't as a result of any demands by the public at large.  This wasn't part of any government manifesto.  This was the wet-dream of a tiny number of rabid anti-smokers, led of course by Luke Clancy [a professional anti-smoker].

Anther item is the open admission that the research the whole move was based on was flakey at best –

Clancy – "The tobacco industry came in and said second-hand smoke isn’t really harmful to nonsmokers, that this is do-gooders trying to make trouble. But [the group] rejected the tobacco-company insistence that passive smoking wasn’t bad for you."

So the research that showed no harm was dismissed because it came from the tobacco industry and for no other reason.

Sara Burke – "There was a fantastic official in the Department of Health, […] who just decided to make this happen – to get all the international evidence – to come up with a clever way of implementing it and get political support."

To put this another way – to make it happen the evidence was tailored to suit the cause.

Reading through the whole piece one realises that this was a tiny number of fanatics pandering to the egos of a small number of politicians.

Of course the media are pumping out all the usual rhetoric and propaganda – that 4,000 lives have been "saved" [if 4,000 would have died from passive smoking then active smokers must be dying at the rate of half a million a year?] and that smoking rates have declined since the ban [ignoring the fact that the rates were declining before the ban and that the annual rate of quitting has decreased in the last ten years].

What they don't tell us about is the decimation of the hospitality trade.  They claim that's due to supermarkets undercutting drink prices [which they did long before the ban], the tougher drink-driving laws and the recession [which didn’t happen until four and a half years later].

They don't tell us about the loneliness and isolation amongst the elderly [in particular in rural areas] where the only means of social interaction was denied.

They don't tell us how this ban gave the green light to the righteous to chastise and pillory ordinary people who are going about their perfectly legal business.

They don't tell us that based on the "success" of this ban that the Health Nazis are not only threatening to direct the law into our private homes and cars, but are also turning their sights onto other areas of the population who are deemed to be "unfit" [non-Aryan?].

And the real benefit after ten years of the ban?

People say their clothes don't smell as much.

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The smoking ban ten years on — 7 Comments

  1. Grandad,   The numbers game the anti's play is interesting too.  

    In 2005, a year after the ban was introduced, the Office of Tobacco Control reported joyfully that the rate of smoking was down to 23.5 per cent.  

    Then the SLAN survey in 2007 said that it was 27 per cent and in 2009 SLAN again reported and this time it was 29 per cent.  

    In 2010, Eurostat said the rate for Ireland had gone up to 31 per cent and all during last year, Fatso Reilly chose to use the lower 29 per cent figure in all of his public utterances.  

    At the end of 2011, the OTC was subsumed into the HSE, renamed the National Office of Tobacco Control, changed their method of collecting the data and 'voila', the figure magically falls to 21 per cent to coincide with the tenth anniversary.  

    It's good to be the King !

    • Another claim they made was that heart attacks reduced dramatically immediately after the ban.  I saw a graph of the figures they used and there is a decline in heart attacks through the decade, but it is obviously a steady decline with no sign whatsoever of any change in 2004.  The graph did show large seasonal fluctuations so there you go – take the Summer 2003 figures and compare them to the Winter 2004 figures and you have your massive decline.  Unfortunately I can't remember now where I saw the graph!

      • As importantly, over a ten year period you might expect improved treatments, earlier detections and better medicines, all of which would explain any drops in incidences. 

        But announcements such as these are 'propaganda soundbites,' and are not aimed at being accurate nor even truthful. They are based on the assumption that we are all stupid and will believe anything a 'white coat' tells us.

        • I wonder how many more lives they might have saved if they had ploughed all that money into proper research instead of pure propaganda?

  2. These bans and anti-smoking activities have nothing to do with cancer rates, heart attack propensities or second hand smoke.  They simply don't like us smoking.  It's the act of retrieving a cigarette from it's pack putting it to your mouth and lighting it.  Then puffing away in relaxation.  It's the act they don't like!  Why else would they be thinking of banning e-cigarettes?


    • They are really showing their true colours now with their move against e-cigarettes.  If they were in any way concerned about health they would be jumping for joy and promoting e-cigarettes like mad, but a) e-cigs look like cigarettes and b) there are no profits for Big Pharma.

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