Thursday, 29 August 2013

The menthol minority

Brian Monteith hits the nail squarely on the head in this article about the looming EU ban on menthol cigarettes. Like the ban on snus, it's being done only because its users are a minority of a minority and are therefore unable to kick up much of a fuss (sound familiar, e-cigarette users?).

What is it about menthol cigarettes that is making them one of the targets for Tobacco Control?

Is it a flood of anecdotal and scientific evidence that suggests menthol cigarettes are the entry to a lifetime of smoking? Do we see menthols in the movies, the soaps, Hello magazine photo shoots, hanging off the lips of X-Factor celebs, celebrating cricketers or the latest bad-boy role models?

After looking at the available information the only possible reason I can find that Tobacco Control is targeting menthol cigarettes in Europe and the USA is that there is enough negative prejudice amongst smokers and non-smokers alike for it to identify menthol as the soft-underbelly of tobacco products; a minority pursuit amongst a minority that can be picked-off and banned.

It is a classic case of divide and rule that will, of course, not end there but will proceed to a ban on something else such as non-filter tipped cigarettes, constantly assaulting and marginalising the smoker until the ultimate ban of cigarettes altogether might be contemplated.

It's tiresome and exhausting to have to protest every illiberal act of the 'public health' tyrants, but sadly it is the only way to have your voice heard, so please join me in signing the petition against the Tobacco Products Directive here. Within a few weeks it could be all over bar the shouting.

And do go read Monteith's sensible and well-researched article about the menthol ban.

1 comment:

thethoughtgang said...

If the aim of banning menthol is to make smoking less attractive then they've got it all totally the wrong way around.

Far more people smoke non-menthol - So they should make it mandatory.