Smoking is back in the news again.
They were remarkably quiet for the last three years, presumably because the Virus gave them enough to worry about. There was little point in whinging about something that is supposed to kill you in forty years when there is something around that might kill you in a few weeks.
Anyhows, they’re back with a two pronged attack.
Firstly they are moaning about the fact that smoking rates haven’t dropped here in three years. Apparently we’re stuck at 18% and I would guess that this represents rock bottom. There is always going to be a hard core who have no intentions of quitting – myself included. I know the Antis trot out some mythical figure and say that 99% [or some such figure] would love to quit but I never believed that figure. It’s more a vague theoretical aspiration rather than a statement of intent So I would imagine that the vast majority who really want to quit have done so
However the HSE is still determined to force the rest of us to quit whether we like it or not. They obviously don’t believe in personal autonomy or freedom of choice. Leastwise they are starting to nag again.
The other attack is a strange one. Now they are concerned about cigarette butts. Are they worried about health or the environment? They trot out a lovely sound-bite that “half of all litter is cigarette related”. I’m not sure what “cigarette related” means. Are they includingpackets and ash? I suppose that if you actually go to the extreme of counting individual items that might be true. I would guess that face-masks come a close second, but they don’t mention the rest of the league table. However I would like to hear their figure by volume, where I would imagine that “cigarette related” amounts would be pretty small.
Nevertheless they are going to start billing the tobacco companies for part of the cost of sweeping our streets. I somehow doubt that there will be cigarette butt only street sweepers? That cost is naturally going to filter [get it?] down to the consumer who will have to pick up the tab [stop with the puns, please!]. So us smokers will end up paying for the cleanup of beer bottles, hypodermic needles, old newspapers and chip wrappers? Nice!
As a side note, the item they showed on the news showed teams of school kids scrabbling around picking up butts as if they were little rods of rsdioactive Plutonium. The adult who was supervising the kids remarked that children should never be asked to do this. Did the kids spontaneously start the picking, or were they put up to it by an adult [probably the one who was on camera] for the sake of propaganda?
Is there a touch of irony with just a sprinkle of hypocrisy there?