On Monday, the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World released the findings of a global survey about smokers. Most surveys claim to seek a “better understanding” of the target audience – in this case, smokers – and this one is no different.
Arguably, the methodology behind this particular survey; the “Worldwide State of Smoking Survey”, appears to be very robust in its approach by researching existing surveys (such as the Eurobarometer, the Global Audit Tobacco Survey and the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, among others. In essence, looking at how other surveys are constructed and selecting the most relevant questions for inclusion in the “Worldwide State of Smoking Survey”.
As noted in 2006, ahead of the free vote to ban smoking in public spaces:
It is essential that campaigners create the impression of inevitable success. Campaigning of this kind is literally a confidence trick: the appearance of confidence both creates confidence and demoralises the opposition.
They “knew” they were going to win, and thus were confident in securing the votes for their “next logical step” in the war on smokers.
In somewhat of a surprising move, the American Cancer Society has quietly updated its position statement on electronic cigarettes. I say quietly because there is no mention of this update on any of the social media channels, nor was there any special press release or blog post on their website.
Naturally, doing that makes me a tad suspicious.
Or in the words of Simon Clark, creeping prohibition. Which is exactly what it is.
Bexleyheath town centre could become the first London Borough to implement smokefree zone
Time, and time again we see councils doing mad stunts like this. Bristol, of course, did it with voluntary bans in two town squares. Wales then banned smoking on a series of beaches. Swansea held a consultation (subsequently ignored, natch), Sheffield has done it, and of course, various NHS hospitals are banning smoking anywhere on their grounds, and finally, Birmingham Children’s Hospital proposed enforcing a smoke-free zone for nearby roads outside their grounds.