Tuesday 27 September 2016

We will fight them on the beaches and in the zoos

Yesterday the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, in cahoots with a mendacious director of 'public health', called for an extensive outdoor smoking ban. Their ostensible justification for this - that chiiiiildren shouldn't have to see people smoking was bad enough but the true intention - forcing adults not to smoke because the killjoy puritans don't like it - was even worse.

The 'public health' director in question, Jim McManus, fancies himself as a bit of a friend of the vapers so it was pleasing to see so many vapers smack him down. Here are some of the highlights from the blogosphere, not all of which are SFW...

Fergus Mason:

And if it isn’t up to the government to decide what’s normal or not, it certainly isn’t up to some gang of unelected busybodies like the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. It’s time the whole tribe of parasitic pressure groups, fake charities and other slime of the “Third Sector” were reined in, before their arrogance turns the UK into a sort of organic Airstrip One, a North Korea with kale smoothies. These shitpuffins have far too much influence over government policy and, by extension, our lives. Look at the absurd sugar tax, a useless and regressive measure that’s only being introduced because a handful of screaming morons demanded it. Look at how the execrable harridan Deborah Arnott of ASH is writing the UK’s official policy at the World Health Organisation.

Enough. We didn’t vote for these people and, barring measures that are very illegal indeed, we can’t get rid of them. Why should we continue to fund them with our taxes and get nothing in exchange but their shrill, joyless hectoring? It’s time for CIEH, ASH, CASH, EPHA and all the other alphabet associations to STFU.

 Dick Puddlecote:

That such stomach-churning cunts live amongst us and are paid a fat salary to come up with perverted and totalitarian shit like this should be a national disgrace. But then, if you've spent your life brutalising smokers so much that you find statements like this acceptable, you're probably so mired in the sewer that you and your colleagues have created that you can't see the decent people you are vilely harming through the effluence you spend your time wallowing in.
The New Nicotine Alliance:

The most worrying aspect of this is that voluntary bans rarely stay voluntary and their application never stops at the 'problem' initially identified. There is always another publicly funded health 'charity' who thinks that their particular cause deserves similar treatment, and once you assert that denormalisation works for one there is no argument against it working for them all. How far are we going to let our freedoms be eroded in pursuit of what is a health utopia for some, but a bland, grey-painted hell for the rest of us? How will you feel when you can't eat an ice cream in a park for fear of making someone else's child fat?

The solution to these problems, assuming they exist, is education. Teach people about safer, healthier options and support parents to parent. Don't teach and empower people to hate.

 Dave Dorn:

An otherwise seemingly sensible director of Public Health who has very loudly professed and confessed his support for ecigs also supports this anti-smoker notion. His idea (well, probably not his, but it's one he espouses) is that putting these bans (voluntary or otherwise) in place will force people onto ecigs. There are two major errors in this thinking.

First, anyone who thinks they won't go after a public vaping ban once they've got the smoker numbers down is living in cloud cuckoo land. Of course they will - what used to be anti-tobacco is rapidly moving towards anti-nicotine, largely fuelled, in this humble writer's opinion, by the Pharmaceutical Companies having realised that it's an effective palliative (if not a cure) for a number of debilitating afflictions. And they want the patents on the remedies. 

The second is thinking that smokers will respond to this pressure in the way he - and other tobacco controlllers - thinks they will. And, of course, they won't. For many years, the smoking prevalence in the UK was stuck at around the 20% mark. Yes, it edged downwards, but, until ecigs came along, resolutely refused to drop below it. Now, roughly five years after ecigs hit mainstream, we're at 16.8% prevalence. Anyone, ANYONE, who refuses to see the root cause of this drop is either, again, deluded, or is an inveterate liar. 

In other words, all the sticks they used to beat smokers with failed miserably. The major success came because of the carrot that ecigs represent. The Pleasure Principle kicked in and lo and behold, what TC had been trying for and failing at suddenly happens.

Facts Do Matter:

Capitulating to the insane demands of the CIEH and imposing bans (voluntary or otherwise) will give these folks free rein to harass smokers (and vapers ‘cos it looks like smoking). That’s a marvelous unintended consequence right there.

This “pronouncement” from the Ministry of Truth is nothing more than an attempt to add more stigma to an already heavily ostracized group of society and it needs to bloody stop. One day, the Proles will revolt.

That went down well, then.

Every time some weasel raises his head above the parapet to demand blatantly paternalistic, disgracefully illiberal outdoor smoking bans, it is the duty of decent people to slam them down. We did it five years ago when some idiot councillor tried to make Stony Stratford 'smoke-free', and we did it again when the vile Lord Darzi tried to ban smoking in London parks; it took only a few hours before Boris Johnson rejected the idea. They will keep coming back on this issue because they are prohibitionists. I dare say outdoor smoking bans will feature in the next Tobacco Control Plan in some form whenever ASH get round to writing it (did I say ASH? I meant the Department of Health, wink, wink.)

According to Simon Clark who, as ever, has been standing up for smokers' rights, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health were in no mood to defend their proposal and weren't even answering the phone when the media tried to get hold of them. Good.

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