Over at Subrosa's, war is breaking out in the comments because a post she linked to here mentioned the smoking ban. It wasn't about the smoking ban, it was about banning in general, but two commenters have fixed on smoking as the greatest evil ever to be banned since America banned alcohol (never happen here? Ha ha).
Since it would be rude to whip out the blades over at Subrosa's, I'll do it here instead.
One commenter has decided that smoking is filthy and disgusting, end of. He doesn't like it therefore it must be banned absolutely everywhere, whether it can affect him personally or not. Even if that extends to my own home where there is nobody else who can possibly be affected. That's fine with him. Even the ban on empty windswept station platforms is fine because he doesn't want his diesel particulates contaminated with burning leaves. I'll bet he'll be first in line to sign up for a ban on smoky-drinky places. Which is what a home ban would, in effect, be. A ban on a group of adults engaging in a legal activity in private and bothering nobody in the process.
Another states that the ban is good even though he smokes because it helped him cut down. If you want to smoke less, smoke less. If you want to stop, stop. It's not compulsory. You don't need a government to ban everyone else from doing something just because you don't want to do it any more. Just stop.
I don't like driving so I don't do it any more. I still can, I've never had an endorsement or points on my licence, I just don't want to. So should I call for a ban on all drivers because I don't want to do it? Should I trumpet about the contents of exhaust fumes 'for the cheeldren'? Of course not. That would be selfish and spiteful.
The second commenter also states that the ban is complied with by consent. He seems to have forgotten the severity of the fines involved with non-compliance, for both the smoker and the owner of the premises upon which the Leaves of Satan were burned. Consent? Really?
Here's a link from a commenter who claims good news - declining tobacco consumption. What it actually shows in the final column is the percentage consumption of non-UK-duty paid cigarettes (which must, by necessity, be an estimate) every year since 1990. Read 'em and weep, taxman.
The same site also has a similar table for handrolling tobacco. Read that one and scream, taxman.
And yet the tax revenue keeps going up because those who buy at the supermarket are being charged more and more tax. That's right, if you buy the UK product you are paying to be abused, and paying a lot for it too. Madame Whiplash would be cheaper.
The table that matters is of course the one on smoking prevalence. At the bottom of this it states:
"When considering trends in smoking, it is usually assumed that any under-reporting remains constant over time. However, since the prevalence of smoking has fallen, this assumption may not be entirely justified. As smoking has become less acceptable as a social habit, some people may have become less inclined to admit how much they smoke – or, indeed, to admit to smoking at all."
Indeed. If you smoke, you can expect verbal abuse, sanctioned by the same government you pay taxes to. You can expect a lecture from your doctor, who is paid from your taxes. You will find that some job openings exclude smokers and that some landlords won't rent to you. If you try to sell your house or car and admit to being a smoker, you'll be offered less than if you didn't. You are a pariah, an outcast, filth, scum, not worth knowing. Just because you smoke. So are those figures accurate or are they akin to asking, next week, whether someone is a member of Islam4UK?
You don't see smokers in pubs anymore. It's not because the pub owners were scared of being sued about 'passive smoking'. There has never been a proven case of anyone getting anything from passive smoking. It's not because the pub and its customers had a bit of a chinwag and decided they'd go non-smoking. It is not down to consent. It is because a few people decided that all pubs would be non-smoking whether they liked it or not. It is because any pub that allows anyone to smoke indoors will be fined heavily.
There was never any question of allowing smoking and non-smoking pubs. Anti-smokers wanted them all. They could not allow some pubs to remain as smoking pubs because the subsequent collapse of the non-smoking ones could then be compared with the smoking ones and that wouldn't look right. Because we can all predict the result, even the antismokers, which is why they did it. Currently, pubs that allow Electrofag are busier than pubs that don't. Electrofag contains nothing harmful at all. ASH want it banned. Work it out.
That is also why we cannot have a private club, staffed by smokers and open only to smokers. There is no health risk to any non-smoker in such a place because non-smokers would be barred. Don't like that? Why not? Does it make you feel as if you are being unfairly picked on just because you don't smoke? Hold on to that feeling and the anger it causes because that is how we smokers feel every fucking day.
The reason we cannot have such a club is that it would be a success and would show the smoking ban up as an ill-considered nonsensical idea. There can be no other legitimate reason for preventing such a place.
Meanwhile, a commenter here, Aus_Autarch (a non-smoker), points out that in Australia, they already have a ban on smoking in cars if there's anyone under 18 in the car whether they object or not. It's a crime that carries points on the driver's licence. Australia is also way ahead of us on the 'smokers keep going outside to smoke so should have their pay docked' meme. It's been building up here for years. In fact, it's high on the agenda for those thirty-minute breaks in coffee rooms that smokers can't use. Penalise the smokers by forcing them outside, then penalise them for going outside. Good, eh?
Good old ASH, continuing to promote their own existence and continued funding now that they've banished us from any indoor space. They continue to attack us in our own homes and by setting co-workers against us. Don't be under the illusion, non-smokers, that they are doing this for your benefit. They work only to continue their funding from your taxes - and the taxes paid by smokers too. If we all stopped smoking tomorrow, what do you imagine ASH would do?
They'd find something new to ban. Their only interest is in keeping that easy money flowing.
So, how about a ban on consuming alcohol in public places? Oh, but it can't happen here.
If you don't like smoking, don't smoke.
If you don't like me smoking, stay away from me.
If you don't like to be in a house where someone smokes, don't visit my house. You won't be staying after your first fake cough anyway. And you can sleep easy because I won't be visiting you.
Just keep the hell out of my life, okay? It's my choice to smoke, it's not illegal to do so, and I affect nobody at all, anywhere, ever, by doing so. I am barred from the pub, the train, the bus, the aeroplane and all associated buildings and areas whether they are enclosed or not. I cannot affect your antismoking life and don't even want to. I don't even have any employees and if I did, they'd be smokers or I would not employ them. Don't like that? Why not? Is discrimination permitted in one direction only?
If you are so weak as to need to feel superior by sneering at me, be my guest.
Just stop trying to control my life.
Oh, and if you want to hide tobacco under the counter, sell it in plain packs or even ban its sale completely, you just go ahead with that but take a look at this table again first.
Hiding tobacco will push up the percentage. A total ban will simply shift that last figure to 100%.