I see our Dame Enda has held talks with Big Tobacco.
Let’s see how Crown and Clancy and their pals in the Tobacco Control Industry are doing in their battle to save us all from ourselves.
They banned smoking in the workplace. They banned the sale of packs of 10 cigarettes. They banned all advertising. They banned even the sight of tobacco in tobacco shops. They banned vending machines. They introduced pornographic images onto all tobacco products. They pushed the price of tobacco so it’s the highest in Europe.
And what have they achieved?
The pub and hospitality industry has been decimated.
Smoking rates which were on the decline actually rose after the initial ban was introduced and are now stabalised. In other words, the ban stopped the decline.
Smuggling has become one of Ireland’s greatest growth industries, and costs the exchequer in the region of €100 million a year [and growing].
Children are openly selling smuggled cigarettes on the streets.
I don’t have the figures for Ireland, but in the UK which has similar measures, smoking rates amongst children is on the increase.
There has been no improvement in the health of the nation.
Bar workers [who were the prime excuse for the ban], far from being healthier and now mostly out of work.
So for all their tantrums, petty regulations and their demonisation of a quarter of the population they have achieved a big fat zero positives and a shed load of negatives.
It’s time to call a halt to this madness.