Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Plain packs not working in Australia

More smoking bans Down Under...

Outdoor dining areas will be smoke free by July 2016 in an effort to reduce the number of South Australian smokers.

There is not a scintilla of evidence that 'exposure' to smoke outdoors causes any harm to bystanders, so the South Australian government has resorted to the tyranny of the majority, as seen through the prism of a public sector consultation.

“The majority of people who responded to our public consultation last year indicated that they supported the introduction of smoke-free outdoor dining areas,” Mr Snelling said

More interesting than this routine illiberalism is the following admission...

Health Minister Jack Snelling said the new measures would help to tackle an increase in the State’s smoking rates which have increased from 16.7 per cent to 19.4 percent over the past 12 months.

Hang on, didn't Australia become a world leader a little over a year ago by introducing a fantastic new policy that would reduce the appeal of smoking and signal the end of tobacco use in Australia?

The Minister doesn't mention plain packaging in his press release. Instead, he blames the rise in smoking on budget cuts...

As a result of the smoking rate increase, the State Government will re-instate $1.1 million a year in anti-tobacco mass media campaigns.

“We can’t afford another year of smoking increases so that advertising funding will be re-instated,” Mr Snelling said. “The recent rise in smoking rates has demonstrated the importance that anti-smoking advertising has in preventing people taking up the habit, and supporting those wanting to quit.”

This may an excuse to save the state's blushes or it may not. At best, the message seems to be that educational campaigns work and plain packaging doesn't.


Anonymous said...

I have noticed a rise in younger adults smoking in recent times in Australia. Sure, anecdotal, however I think that they are starting to view smoking as a right of passage, in the same way that having your first beer in a pub is symbolic of adulthood.

Once again, the Law of Unintended Consequences strikes the meddlers.

Rursus said...

Are there new "Rules of Engagement" according passive smoke in Public Health?

Public Health is not telling "it's protecting health of bystanders" anymore... In the past three month they say "it's to cut smoker rates" or "it to prevent youth starting smoking" when it comes to prohibit smoking....

Dr Evil said...

If I'm eating outdoors I do not want to be inhaling or smelling other people's smoke. It's an asthma thing.

Anonymous said...

It's an arsehole thing. If smoking outdoors offends you so much..... Go indoors!

Anonymous said...

Yeah,and don't go to a barbie!

Jonathan Bagley said...

16.7 to 19.4 represents an increase of 16.1%. Amusing as it is, it doesn't seem plausible and can't be explained by an increase in one small age band (teenagers) - more like the recent survey was accurate and the previous survey wasn't; possibly due to large numbers of people lying about their smoking status.

Gregster said...

Dr Evil, are there any other of your personal tastes you'd like the state to enforce? A strange position to take from someone whose profile lists V for Vendetta as their favourite film.

JohnB said...

Outdoor dining areas will be smoke free by July 2016 in an effort to reduce the number of South Australian smokers.

That’s a social engineering (neo-eugenics) agenda, i.e., de facto prohibition (Godber Blueprint). This is what the rabid zealot nut cases have claimed for much of the last few decades that they weren’t doing because it was viewed as repugnant, particularly in relatively free societies. Now they are right up front about the intent and folk don’t even notice. That’s how far down the “gurgler” we are.

The SA government, as with other Australian state governments, has long been committed to a social engineering agenda – give smokers no place to smoke (and fleece them through baseless extortionate taxes):$FILE/458%20-%20N%20-%20SA%20Health%20-%20SA%20Tobacco%20Control%20Strategy%202005-2010.pdf

“The majority of people who responded to our public consultation last year indicated that they supported the introduction of smoke-free outdoor dining areas,” Mr Snelling said

Good luck getting a copy of that “consultation”. As the second link indicates (at bottom), the “consultation” didn’t even involve an online website for leaving comments that others could also view:
The Government recognises the importance of widespread community consultation in the development of any proposal. This discussion paper has been produced to encourage industry, businesses and members of the public as well as other relevant government and non-government agencies to provide comments on this issue and the options presented.
Comments will be accepted until 1 November 2013.
Comments can be addressed to:
Simone Cormack
State Director
Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia
161 Greenhill Road

So comments were sent by mail (private) to an antismoking agency (Tobacco Control Unit)that could then pick and choose what was eventually published!

JohnB said...

Here’s the situation concerning indoor and outdoor bans in the hospitality industry. Business owners were quite free to impose indoor bans in their establishments. The vast majority didn’t. It’s assumed that they didn’t see doing so as a good business move. So, the state government came along and imposed a statewide indoor smoking ban contrary to the will of business owners. Of course, the public was fed the standard trash of “smoking bans are good for business”. I would think that what’s allowed many businesses to function since is a balance of [forced] nonsmoking indoors and smoking permitted in al fresco areas. Bear in mind that if indoor bans were so great for business, then why didn’t business owners voluntarily impose outdoor bans years ago? But the zealot nut cases are still trying to use the “smoking bans are good for business” concerning outdoor areas. It doesn’t make any sense. Business owners are in the best position to make such an evaluation given the impact of indoor bans.

So, most business owners have not imposed smoking bans in their al fresco areas when, for years, they have been quite free to do so. And along comes the “owned” state government peddling a social engineering agenda and imposes a statewide al fresco smoking ban contrary to the stance of business owners.

JohnB said...

Victoria now is the only Australian state that is a “hold out” to al fresco bans. But the pressure from the usual nut case organizations is mounting.

In defiance of the state, one local government councilor, Richo Foster (an ex-smoker turned antismoking nut case “evangelist”) has been trying for years to get smoking banned in the entire Melbourne CBD (including streets):

The nut case, Foster, did manage to get smoking banned outdoors in a particular laneway (The Causeway). Based on a “public consultation”, this ban was deemed a “success”. Foster has claimed that, based on this “consultation”, only 5% of respondents were not in favor of the ban. Well, let’s take a look at that “consultation” (that most probably weren’t even aware of). It only attracted 38 comments. Indeed, 36 of 38 comments were for the ban, many of them sounding like “canned’ antismoking comments, spouting the usual “why should such an important person like me be exposed to smoke?”, “toxic”, “unbearable”. So, Foster is correct: only 5% (2/38) were not in favor of the ban  Many of the “pro-ban” comments made outrageous health claims concerning outdoor smoke exposure, including “I do not see how not wanting cancer from 2nd hand smoke is draconian.”

But, according to Foster, these neurotic, bigoted comments make the laneway ban a success (so smoking will be banned in an additional 5 laneways this year) and that these 38 comments should be the basis for a CBD-wide smoking ban.

God help us!

JohnB said...

Apartment smoking bans are gaining momentum, particularly in the USA, and where the elderly/disabled are hardest hit. It’s a recent phenomenon. They’re even banning smoking in apartments in places where it gets lethally cold during winter. Smokers are advised that they must go outside in the freezing cold if they want a cigarette.

The elderly/disabled are harangued and harassed. A summary of the ones that I’m aware of, and these are just some of the ones that make it into the news.

The story of 97-year-old, Jane O’Grady:

Smoking ban for three 90-year-old nursing home residents

90-year-old World War II vet and his wife being evicted from their home because he smokes in building breezeway rather than out on the street

Senior smokers told to quit or move out of Santa Cruz complex

In Alaska

Pensioners forced into freezing shelter for smoke

From the freezing Yukon

88-year-old woman told to butt out – or be evicted (Calgary)

Smoking grandma would rather move than quit

There is no scientific basis to such bans. They are spiteful bans. They are cruel bans. They are the latest phase in the antismoking bigotry bandwagon. And terrorizing the elderly/disabled is well within the scope of the antismoking miscreants in chasing their deranged smokefree “utopia”.

In some cases the ban is not only for apartments but for the entire premises. The elderly have to walk through large outdoor areas and onto a surrounding street to have a cigarette. This information should be spread far and wide as to what antismokers and their useful idiots are doing in the name of nonsmokers.

We only hear of the above because it’s smokers trying to stand up to these draconian bans (before they get bulldozed). Who knows what happens to those that just “comply”.

JohnB said...

An update on the al fresco ban in South Australia.

It seems to have caught the hospitality industry by surprise. The industry had contributed to the public “consultation” but it, which would be seriously affected by the ban, hadn’t been notified of the government’s decision.

“Restaurants fear they might be disadvantaged when a proposed ban on all smoking in outdoor dining areas takes effect in South Australia from July 2016….
But Ian Horne from Hotels Association says it has not been part of any negotiations about the move despite putting in a submission last year.
"They (hotels) just didn't see it coming in the format that it's been announced and our immediate reaction, talking to the restaurants association and the clubs association, is that venues, particularly those that have spent a lot of time and energy and money, need more time," he said.”

Many restaurants, pubs, and clubs have gone to great expense to accommodate smokers (and nonsmokers of sane disposition) outdoors, all now trampled by the State government that had this outdoor ban in mind when the money was being spent on al fresco areas. So, what’s the response of the Hotels Association. Not rebellion. Not a massive protest in front of the State Government building. No. They think they’ll need more time to conform. Pathetic.

And the Health Minister provides another reason for the al fresco bans beyond the social engineering and fake health claims, and as haughty, pompous, and bigoted:
“Mr Snelling says the Government wants to allow the 80 per cent of South Australians who do not smoke to enjoy a meal outdoors.”

Also pathetic.

George Speller said...

Eat indoors then.