Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Dept of Health wants outdoor smoking bans - it's for your own good

I'm much obliged to Man Widdecombe for recording this morning's debate about the Stony Stratford outdoor smoking ban on BBC Radio Sussex. Rather foolishly IMHO, 'health experts in Surrey' have put their weight behind Bonkers Bartlett and want a county-wide ban. They are not using the passive smoking argument per se, and instead are saying it will bring down the smoking rate. Maybe it would, although the indoor smoking ban didn't and, besides, whether adults choose to smoke is none of their business.

On the show was Karen Simmonds a 'tobacco control alliance co-ordinator' who is, presumably, one of the aforementioned experts, but since she thinks that "many countries" have outdoor smoking bans (actually none do, except possibly Bhutan), that California has a state-wide outdoor smoking ban (it's only a few towns and suburbs), that heart attacks fell after the smoking ban (they fall every year) and that outdoor smoking bans are "self-enforcing" (the New York ban has been completely ignored), this requires a broader-than-average definition of expertise.

I spoke after her. Man Widdecombe has this sound file and others. Go listen. It's interesting that the Department of Health and its front groups have come out publicly in favour of outdoor bans despite the fact that the public are overwhelmingly hostile to them. It's all good. People are starting to see the true nature of the anti-tobacco extremists and they don't like it one bit. I love the smell of hubris in the morning.


Anonymous said...

It's all part of the Big Society plan.


Curmudgeon said...

Generalised outdoor smoking bans are completely unenforceable, and if adopted on a widespread scale the concept would be discredited.

It's often said that the pub smoking ban is "self-enforcing", but in reality that only happens because licensees are subject to punitive fines if convicted for "permitting smoking" on their premises. If only individual smokers were subject to prosecution, then I'm sure that many licensees would be happy to turn a blind eye.

F***W*T TW****R said...

Acclimatising the populace to the unthinkable.
Then bring in something slightly less unthinkable.

Paul said...

Curmudgeon: If only individual smokers were subject to prosecution, then I'm sure that many licensees would be happy to turn a blind eye.

Not only that, but in a lot of cases any jumped-up scrote who tried to enforce the law would in more middle-class circles make themselves unwelcome whereas in, erm, slightly less middle-class areas they'd get their heads smashed in.

Becky Johnson said...

As a resident of California, I wish to report that the State Law prohibits smoking within 20' of an open door or window of a building. Yes, it bans smoking out of doors, but only in relation to smoke getting INdoors. The more extensive outdoor smoking ban in my City of Santa Cruz is violated quite regularly and many violate it quite disdainfully.

Ivan D said...

Hopefully the public will also get wise to the hotbed of corruption that is the Department of Health.

This is the department that funded Anna Gilmore to lie about smoking bans and heart attacks in England, that funded Petra Meier to write insanely biased drivel supporting minimum alcohol pricing and which employs Linda Bauld as a Scientific Advisor despite the fact that she has no scientific qualifications at all. No doubt her degrees in Politics and Social Policy have helped them form evidence based science led policy on tobacco.

I note that Linda has moved from Bath to Stirling where she enjoys the title of Professor of Socio-Management. Suitably Orwellian for a freeloading tobacco hating control freak methinks but the Scottish Parliament and Ms Sturgeon will probably lap her up.

timbone said...

Well done "Chris Snowdon, author of Velvet Glove Iron Fist a history of antismoking" (he said it twice, I am sure he is one of us). Excellent rhetoric. It is so difficult to get the timing right to get crucial points across on live radio, and you are an expert. My only regret is that due to a gig I was unable to get down to Stony Stratford to shake your hand.

Twenty_Rothmans said...

Ivan D
How dare you, sir.

Everybody knows that Linda Bauld is one of this country's leading scientists.

However, she's been a very naughty girl as well, and she needs to be put across someone's knee and smacked quite thoroughly until her bottom glows bright red.

Dr Evil said...

I really don't like bans. Only an idiot sends texts whilst driving and no ban will stop idiots being idiotic will it?

I'm not a fan of cigarette smoke but smoking out of doors should not be banned. Neither should smoking in doors nor in pubs with ventilated smoke rooms. I really hate prohibitionists and their kill joy approach. I'm an adult and can make my own mind up!