Saturday 9 April 2016

Slip sliding away

You may recall Aussie 'public health' sociologist Simon Chapman mocking concerns about the slippery slope 2012:
Look, if the slope is slippery, it's the most unslippery slippery dip I've ever seen in my life. We started banning tobacco advertising in 1976 and there has been no other commodity where there has been anything like a serious move to do what we've done with tobacco.

So, you know, the comparisons with hamburgers and chocolate bars and alcohol and such with like that, they're just really don't stack up.

Meanwhile, in 2016...

Advertisements for gambling would be treated like tobacco promotions and banned completely under a policy announced by the Greens.

The Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, said on Friday the ban would “make it possible for people to sit down with their kids and watch a game of footy without being bombarded by constant messages to bet”.

He likened it to the prohibition on tobacco advertising instituted in 1992.

This comes a few days after the Royal Australasian College of Physicians called for graphic warnings on alcohol packaging. In the UK, the British Medical Association has been demanding a total ban on alcohol advertising for years, and the campaign to extend plain packaging to food, drink and even toys has already begun. Many other examples are available.

I'm sure Chapman is shocked and appalled to see anti-smoking policies being applied to other products in a way that nobody could possibly have foreseen. No doubt he will condemn the inappropriate comparison between smoking and other behaviours in the strongest possible terms and apologise for giving people the impression that none of this would never happen.

He'll definitely do that, right? I mean, he wouldn't want to get a reputation for being some sort of spiv.

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