The head of the HSE’s national cancer control programme has described claims by the tobacco industry that increased cigarette prices lead to increased smuggling as “whitewash” and called for the Government to introduce further tax increases to discourage smoking.
*sigh* Counter the obvious by claiming it's the Tobacco Industry. Overlook the blindingly obvious fact that if people find a much cheaper alternative they will buy there instead. A ten year old could tell you that increased taxes lead to increased smuggling. But there again, chances are that ten year old is out there selling the imported stuff anyway.
“I am very, very keen on raising taxes as are the Irish Cancer Society. Smuggling is for the guards; taxes are a deterrent – it’s one of the most powerful deterrents,” Dr Susan O’Reilly said at the launch yesterday of a tobacco-free campus at St Luke’s Hospital in Rathgar in Dublin.
I am very, very keen on a massive rise in taxes on the salaries of HSE groups who make a living out of lobbying the gubmint.
“Tobacco companies are very strong at lobbying,” she said, adding that the arguments posed by them were that tax hikes on tobacco impacted Government revenues due to increased smuggling. “This is all just whitewash. We need taxes [to go] up,” Dr O’Reilly said.
What's wrong with tobacco companies lobbying? Big Pharma and the Irish Cancer Society seem to have no problems with it?
“We have to think of tobacco dependence as a chronic relapsing disease rather than a lifestyle choice,” Dr O’Reilly said.
Why do we have to think that? You can think what you like, but to me it's still a lifestyle choice. You can call it a peanut butter sandwich if you like.
“It’s probably the only legal consumer product in the world that harms everyone who uses it and actually kills half the people who use it.”
Blah blah blah. The same old clichés. We do love our little sound bites, don't we?
Dr O’Reilly said the incidence of invasive cancer recorded in 2010 is expected to double by 2030. “A major driver of this is the ageing population but the other key driver is preventable causes such as smoking. We can’t stop people getting older but we certainly can support people to try and avoid smoking.”
At last – an obvious truth. Yes, people are living longer and the incidence of cancers will rise as it's primarily a disease of the elderly. Smoking rates on the other hand have been on the decline for decades. Can anyone see an inverse relationship here? And you're not "supporting" smokers – you're bullying and penalising them for indulging in a perfectly legitimate pastime.
From yesterday, smoking will not be permitted on the hospital grounds, car parks or gardens of St Luke’s.
Another caring institution proving it doesn't care a damn about it's patients.
These sanctimonious twats love their moment of glory in the limelight, don't they?