The definition of insanity

When is this madness going to end?

Minister Reilly rejects criticism of his tobacco plans.

The man is insane. 

Insanity. (link is external) n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.

Here we have a minister who clearly cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality, and who is hell bent on implementing his obsession without regard to any of the consequences.

Ten EU states have objected to his plans. 

The European Commission this week told Dublin MEP Brian Hayes that the level of objections from our EU neighbours was unprecedented for Ireland.

The response is that this "indicates Europe's reluctance to follow Ireland's lead on tackling tobacco use".  In other words, everyone is out of step except our Johnny!  We are the "leaders in tobacco control" and therefore the ten EU states are wrong?

To date, Ireland has imposed –

  • A ban on sale of tobacco products to individuals under 18 years of age.
  • A ban on smoking in the workplace, including all pubs.
  • A ban on packets containing less than 20 cigarettes.
  • A ban on the sale of confectioneries that resemble cigarettes.
  • A ban on all advertising.
  • A ban on the display of any tobacco products in shops.
  • A punitive tax regime that makes the cost of tobacco in Ireland amongst the highest in the EU.

And what has this achieved?

Ireland has the third highest smoking rates in the EU, behind Greece and Bulgaria.

So much for Ireland's leadership?

So all these measures combined have singularly failed in their objective, and their only results are the marginalisation of nearly a third of the population, a decimation of the pub industry and one of the highest smuggling rates in the world.

Building upon this abject failure, Reilly is bringing in plain packaging despite the objections of ten other countries, despite the threat of legal action by the tobacco companies, despite warnings from customs and law enforcement and despite the complete lack of any evidence whatsoever, he "is adamant the measures will have a profound impact in terms of tackling tobacco addiction in this country".  He says so, therefore it will happen?

I will be back in the Dáil shortly to press forward with a law that I expect will reduce the number of young people and children taking up this killer addictive habit in the first place.

So he ignores the lack of any evidence, the threats of litigation [and the consequent costs to the taxpayer running to millions or even billions of Euro], the warnings from the experts and fires ahead because he "expects" the measures to succeed?

The man truly is insane.

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The definition of insanity — 16 Comments

  1. No he is god of his world. Time some worlds collided…As before you should be encouraging him to get this nonsense passed into legal land law it is only when the pain gets noticed that the asleep will do something about it.

  2. On your list if what Ireland has banned so far, the US already enacted everything in that list except one (A ban on the display of any tobacco products in shops) several years ago. And each individual state can also enact their own laws on top of the federal ones. Now I can't really say what the effects of these laws have had on a nationwide basis since:

    1. I quit smoking back in 2005.

    2. I stopped going to bars around the same time–couldn't hear well enough to enjoy the bands.

    3. The US is so damn big that it's impossible to gauge the overall effect of these anti-smoking laws.

    All I know is that I have personally seen a marked decrease of people that smoke over the years since these laws were enacted. However (a rather big however), I have a very strong feeling that these anti-smoking laws weren't the only influence in this decrease in smokers. In fact, the laws may have actually had little to do with it at all.

     By my personal observations, both real and virtual (meaning, the WWW) the stronger influence was, and I'm not kidding here, the younger generations who decided early on that smoking cigarettes was a dirty, smelly, potentially unhealthy habit and they chose (that's the key word here) not to take it up.

    Now again you'll notice I used the word, chose not forced or influenced by any law and that's very important here. This doesn't mean that there still aren't a bunch of "kids" fresh out of high school (or still in high school for that matter or even younger) that are already smokers but I've found that they tend to be much smaller group than it used to be.

    The point I'm trying to make here is that it all boils down to choice. No anti-smoking law or set of laws is ever going to stop smokers from smoking or picking up the habit in the first place. The choice of future generations not to start smoking will be the greatest influence of all. For things like drinking and smoking, it should remain the choice of the individual. And yes, there should be laws and restrictions in place but these laws should never go overboard. Otherwise, the needed "lessons" are not learned if you know what I mean.

      • Fine post, Kirk. I never took up smoking and that was my teenage choice after smoking a couple of Sweet Afton cigarettes while on holiday. I derived no joy from the experience and was squeamish about inhaling. If I ever decided to smoke it would be the noble pipe – plug tobacco has an aroma as sweetly pungent as filter coffee. In Ireland in the 1980s Irish Rail had smoking and nonsmoking carriages. German Bundesbahn trains had Raucher and Nicht Raucher carriages. I say we should go back to these arrangements and tolerate pluralism.

    • There is a natural decline in smoking rates across the board.  You hit the proverbial nail on the head – "younger generations who decided early on that smoking cigarettes was a dirty, smelly, potentially unhealthy habit and they chose (that's the key word here) not to take it up"

      My theory though is that the more they try to force people, the more those people will resist, particularly amongst the young [youth smoking rates increased by 36% in Australia after the plain packs were introduced?].  They more they ban, the sweeter becomes the forbidden fruit!

      • The "Prohibition Act" in the US spanning 1920 to 1933 was a fine example of this. It was a nationwide constitutional ban to boot. It hardly affected the numbers of people who drank though.

  3. bloody hell not trolling but the 6th of feb is revealing just how fast asleep the nillions of irish folk are…present company excepted

    However, the Irish Independent has learned that these loans have attracted a premium payment in addition to interest.

    This is because when the loans were agreed, Irish Water did not have any sources of revenue or assets to back the loans. The Pension Fund required that the €300m borrowings be underwritten, and the guarantee was provided by the State,


  4. Tobacco control is irrational despite their claims of occupying the moral high ground. Plain pacjages are a perfect example of their insanity. In Australia the smoking rate actually increased after introducing plain packages.  They suppress this because they don't want toadmit failure. Smoking bans have also either had no impact or seen increases in smoking. It's time to expose tobacco control lies/  Public funding for tobacco control. smoking bans, and persecution of smokers must stop. 

    • I could not agree more.  However they do have the ears of the politicians and the mainstream media so it is an uphill battle to expose them.  The only thing we can do is to continue expose their lies through the Internet.  I have noticed a marked increase in search terms about smoking that people have used to find this site – "the benefits of nicotine", "lies about smoking" and the like, so there is hope yet?

  5. a ban on packets under 20? i thought the object was to smoke less, yet they want you to purchase more than 20? asinine. whole thing is full of fooie! leave people alone they should

    • I could never understand that one myself.  I think their argument is that the cheeeeeldren might buy packs of 10 but would not be able to afford 20s?  While most of their schemes are counterproductive, that one was just plain asinine. 

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