The pogrom against tobacco started in earnest around twenty years ago.
They said at the outset that they wanted to help smokers to quit and frequently cited the figure of 70% who expressed a desire to do so. Not that I ever really believed that figure as it's a figure of desire and not a figure of intent, and I suspect there were probably a few non-smokers in there to boost the figures a bit.
Fair enough. If someone really wants to quit and feels the need for help then I have no problem with that.
Now the rates have been falling steadily but [and this is just a theory] they seem to have leveled off somewhat. All the countries who are so proud of their pogroms seem to have flattened out at around 20%. Ireland stands at 24% [World Bank figures], the UK at 22% the United States at 21% Canada at 20% and Australia at 18%. Could they have reached bedrock?
There is a section of society that has no wish to quit. People enjoy their smoke, or enjoy the benefits and many [myself included] have no desire to quit whatsoever. There are also a few who may secretly desire to quit but who have become stubborn in the face of all the attempts to force them. It would not surprise me in the least if these make up the vast bulk of the stubborn bedrock.
So the mission to help people off tobacco is complete. If the pogrom continues it has become a mission to force people off tobacco. I think everyone will agree that there is no harm in organisations who wish to help people quit smoking, or drinking, or gambling, or line-dancing or anything else for that matter, but when it comes to a stage of forcing people then that is an entirely different matter. What was a cute Labrador guide-dog has become a vicious Rottweiller.
It won't stop them, of course. They will continue to attack the 20% claiming they are helping, but knowing damn well that they won't succeed. After all, that 20% won't shift so they are guaranteed their incomes, and the more the 20% resist, the more money they will demand for additional punitive measures.
You didn't think it was about health, did you?