The horrors of passive drinking — 18 Comments

  1. I would be tempted to suggest that the huge power of the drinks industry might sway the politicians, but that would be unduly cynical.

  2. Ian – For a start, cynicism is the meat and drink of this site!

    Surely the tobacco industry has an equal power of lobbying?  The proven statistics of the damage caused by drink far outweigh the unproven effects of smoking too.  It just doesn’t make sense, whichever way you look at it.

  3. The tobacco industry’s lobbying power would be fairly insubstantial compared to the drinks industry – it’s not just producer power with the drinks companies, it’s retailer power as well.  Is there a tobacconists’ lobby group comparable with the Licensed Vintners?

  4. Ian – But don’t forget – the LVA have a vested interest too.  They have been very badly hammered by the smoking ban.

  5. How many of our politicians are members of the LVA I wonder??
    As you say Grandad it’s a crazy situation but the likes of ASH have the general population scared shitless of the whiff of tobacco smoke while there are diesel trucks and trains and boats and planes (I might write a song about that!!) spewing shite into the air continuously and nobody is suggesting banning them.

  6. hmm speaking as a non smoker/drinker or anything else really it seems to me they start off small demonizing one group of people (smokers) get the rest of the sheep population to hate/dislike them through propaganda and dodgy research claiming its all for da children/your own health and slowly squeeze them out / tax the nuts off them…rinse repeat its already happening for drink/salt and other such thing’s i assume to lessen the public health costs or possible to just control the population by playing one group off another.

    Ah sure to hell with freedom of choice anyway and you should never ever defend another persons right to that freedom because after all it will never happen to your past time/vice or what ever the government know’s what its doing after all and smoking is so disgusting.

  7. ‘Alcohol related’ is a bit of a hostage to fortune as a term. What happens in A&E wards and in police reporting is if a person ends up as a victim in casualty or a police station is they get asked where the incident happened and whether they had been drinking. Even if the victim of an assault says ‘I was in a pub’ the incident gets recorded as ‘Alcohol related’, hence the bump in the figures.

    Even f the victim had had a moderate amount of alcohol the whole thing gets chalked up to ‘Alcohol related’. Grist to the statistical mill.

  8. Kings Bard – I would imagine that there are a few members of the LVA in there somewhere, which makes it even more baffling.

    Just as an aside – I have been doing a little research.  Is anyone aware that an ordinary barbecue produces the same chemicals as tobacco smoke?  One barbecue produces the  equivalent to  3,200 cigarettes?  Think about it.

    D – To counter the ‘cigarettes are disgusting’ argument, I would contend that cheap perfume is far far worse.  I am allergic to the stench, and it makes my eyes water and gives me a headache.  It is also guaranteed to destroy the taste of a meal if eating out.  Let’s ban perfume!!

    Cap’n – I agree, in the same way that “smokers cost the health service billions” is a rediculous argument.  However, the figures may be distorted, but there can be no denying that an horrendous number of crimes are directly attributable to alcohol?

  9. Alcopops should be banned – they’re not proper drinks and have no place being in a proper pub.  If kids want to drink, but dont like the taste, then they should have a hot whiskey.

    Bloody alcopops – hmmpphh, booze isn’t blue!!

  10. Jimbo – I have a big thing against alcopops, but being a Libertarian, I would be reluctant to ban them.  There is nothing in the Libertarian code to say they couldn’t be taxed out of existence though?  😉

  11. Hear what you are saying Grandad and I agree of course that alcohol releases inhibitions and people do stupid things they would never normally do.

    I recall reading newspaper reports of court cases when I was growing up where a defendant could plead he was drunk and got lighter treatment because of it. The logic behind that always escaped me as it still means that someone old enough to drink actually got so drunk their normal commonsense left them- that still leaves the responsibility with the defendant in my book.

    I’m just aware that with tabloid hysteria allied to the push we’ve spoken about before from the ‘nanny knows best’ organisations in our society we could end up with a repressive mullah-like system instead of just punishing the offender we end up punishing the people who DON’T cause trouble.

    Some years ago my favourite bunch of non-governmental puritans came up with the ‘passive drinking’ phrase to describe family members of someone who drank- not necessarily to excess either.

    There is a point at which these public policy debates become quite ludicrous- and substance abuse is one area where you get the disguised Puritans involved very quickly.

    I’ll give you an example- in the 90’s a small religious based NGO in Bristol in the UK surveyed one of the worst sink estates in Britain where unemployment, drugs, family breakdown was rampant and came up with the stat that 3 out of 5 kids were from homes where a parent was clinically determined as an alcoholic.

    They then simply extrapolated that figure for the number of families in Britain and we ended up with a screaming tabloid headline that ‘3 OUT OF 5 KIDS IN BRITAIN RAISED BY ALCOHOLICS’.

    As it happens that NGO had its funding withdrawn as they were so blatantly unscientific and basically had crossed an increasingly blurred line. You will find small, faith-based (ie Puritan) organisations feeding this kind of thing to the media all the time to fulfil their own religious agenda of promoting alarm.

    I know an Irish Minister for Health went after one major drinks company in the early 2000’s snorting and puffing about alcopops and young people. When it was pointed out to him that alcopops constituted (by government’s own figures) only 3% of all alcohol products in Ireland he was suitably taken aback. He’d had the religious nutters and the media claiming that alcopops were behind teenage drinking.

    It was also pointed out to him that by far the most popular drinks among teenagers with not much money was high strength lager and cider in lite bottles. Cue one embarrassed Minister.

    Alcohol is a neutral object and is to blame for nothing. Its the human that picks it up that’s the problem.


  12. In the USA we tried outlawing alcohol back in days of prohibition. However they ran into a problem, it is fairly easy to make alcohol.
    Still Once they finally do outlaw tobacco, I am sure they will try once again to outlaw Alcohol, gambling, and every other non government approved activity.  After all out leaders are so much smart then us it is only right for them to control our lives.

  13. Cap’n – Our local paper is full every week of court cases where the defense of drug addiction or alcoholism is used as a mitigating factor.  If I were a judge, I would increase the sentence!  What ails modern society, and in particular the youth, is the philosophy of trying to get drunk as quickly as possible.  Saturday night isn’t Saturday night unless you get so hammered that you pass out.

    It still doesn’t explain why there is such an obsession to ban tobacco though.

    Jim C – If they ever try to outlaw tobacco there are always alternatives.  Home cured leaves heavily laced with home grown “herbal additives”!  😉

  14. Grandad,
    Jimbo says booze isn’t blue, but I have seen liquid produced in a farmhouse shed on dark November nights that definitely had a bluish tinge to it.

  15. I’ve often considered myself a victim of passive barbecuing. Where do I sign up to claim?

  16. They should just ban sex.  Another few years and it’ll have solved the whole (no pun intended) problem altogether.

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