No Such Thing As The Slippery Slope

No Such Thing As The Slippery Slope

Remember when anti-smoking campaigners just wanted no smoking zones in restaurants? Or how smoking was banned on flights - for various reasons, the overriding one being “public health” - the biggest lie ever told?

Over the years, puritanical anti-smokers have insisted on the ever-increasing prohibition on where smokers can enjoy their legal habit. Culminating, of course, in the 2006/2007 nationwide smoking bans in all public places.

Naturally, as the graph shows, that didn’t have the substantial benefit that the scum-sucking knuckle draggers had clearly stated it would; it was all a “confidence trick” by the Puritans to get their way.

H/T Christopher Snowdon

H/T Christopher Snowdon

We’ve had bans in public places - bars and restaurants and such, we’ve had the ban on smoking in company vehicles (which, by the way never actually stopped me, nor anyone else), the utterly pointless, illiberal and thoroughly unenforceable ban on smoking in cars with children where there has been a whopping one prosecution (so far).

Of course, the Puritans made noises that the ban didn’t go far enough (natch) and that the ban should be extended to cover all vehicles. You’ll remember the debacle that was the Public Health (Wales) Bill that sought to include homes as part of it’s smoking ban extension (admittedly it was only if it was used as a workplace, which would be amusing to enforce for say, a freelance writer who spends all day at home in front of his PC).

Unsurprisingly, Scotland (who led the charge by implementing the smoking ban in 2006) is now looking to extend their smoking ban to private homes. This, as Simon Clark notes, has been a secret ambition of ASH since day one. Of course, if tobacco control has an end goal in mind, it won’t do to announce it, instead, they use the “next logical step” argument.

After the implementation of the ban on smoking in cars, it was reported that:

Smoking could be banned in some new council homes in a bid to protect the health of children, a UK public health expert has said.

Under the proposals, tenants would be asked to sign an agreement not to light up inside their home.

President of the Faculty of Public Health, Prof John Middleton, says some councils and housing associations are already exploring the smoke-free housing idea.

You can’t say it wasn’t obvious. This is something they’ve been working towards, and as Frank Davis will remind us, the Puritans - particular the demented harridan Arnott - will gleefully state that “smokers will be exiled outdoors”.

What strikes me about this, and similar proposals in the US, is it is aimed at shared accommodation blocks (flats and terraced) and housing owned by the Local Authority. Meaning, as always, tobacco control is aiming squarely at the low hanging fruit. Punish the poor (who put them there in the first place?), then once the proles are finally compliant (which, after decades of social engineering, won’t take long), extend the ban (again).

Naturally, the premise for these proposals boils down to two items:

  • Pervasive second-hand smoke
  • The Children

The Children are the trojan horse that tobacco control wheels out whenever it wants to push a new proposal. Why bother using science (which is almost always junk) to support the proposals, when playing the emotional blackmail card works?

Second-hand smoke is utter bollocks:

No significant associations were found for current or former exposure to environmental tobacco smoke before or after adjusting for seven confounders and before or after excluding participants with pre-existing disease. No significant associations were found during the shorter follow up periods of 1960-5, 1966-72, 1973-85, and 1973-98.

Published by James Enstrom in 2003 - the largest study conducted to date on the impact of second-hand smoke on non-smokers in the home - the supposed link between second-hand smoke and the various diseases that are commonly attributed to it was thoroughly, and utterly debunked as “considerably weaker than generally believed”.

Yet, tobacco control insists that the second-hand smoke science is “settled” and that the debate is over. Naturally, this study was met with an outcry with this quote from Debs being rather telling:

“This could be very damaging as it will be used by industry lobbyists to argue against laws to ban smoking in public places and workplaces.”

Of course, why bother trying to debunk science when a simple smear job will do. Where have we seen that recently?

Some things never change, do they?

The second-hand smoke myth has become so widespread, that far too many believe it making it next to impossible to counter. It is, by far and away the core soundbite used by tobacco control, alongside “protecting the children”.

Ms Duffy said: “We know second hand smoke is a toxic substance and many people are experiencing smoke drift into where they are living. We would like to see a choice of smoke-free social housing.”

The move could lead to entire buildings, stairwells and communal garden areas becoming smoke-free zones, with tenants at risk of breaching agreements if they allow smokers to light up.

Ms Duffy added: “We would like people to have the choice to live in smoke free accommodation. At the moment there’s not an option.”

Ah, Sheila Duffy. The Scottish counterpart of Deb Arnott. Another batshit-crazy harridan. Here, she’s claiming that she wants to see a “choice of smoke-free social housing”; well in care-homes, wouldn’t it be up to the respective care-home provider as to whether the premises should be completely or partially smoke-free?

Instead, Duffy wants to impose smokefree rules on all care-homes. There’s nothing like providing choice is there?

“As a society, we still consider that legislation to protect children in their own home from this known hazard, this known carcinogen, would be a step too far and would infringe smokers’ rights.

“We need to look at ways to help smokers quit or, if that isn’t possible, to make sure they only smoke outside.”

“Why is it that in Scotland in 2017, a worker in a bar has had legal protection from being exposed to second-hand smoke for over a decade but a child in their own home has no equivalent protection from the same substance — and often at higher concentrations than we measured in bars in 2006?”

I always thought that these rules were meant to prevent The Children and non-smokers from seeing the filthy smokers? Instead, smokers are being forced outside where everybody can see them.

Proposals like this are obnoxious and should be rightly opposed by anyone with an ounce of common decency. Aside from the obvious, and blatant, disregard for people’s privacy, this is once again an attack on the marginalised and thoroughly disillusioned group in today’s society.

But of course, it’s all in the name of “health” isn’t it?

Fuck off.

(image credit Shutterstock/Canna Obscura)