To borrow from Andrew Allison, once upon a time private property rights were highly valued. As long as it was legal, what consenting adults did was no-one else’s business. With the March of the Puritans, however, there are umpteen state-funded Quangos, sock-puppets and Government busybodies poking their noses in where it is decidedly unwelcome.
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.
Leaving aside the fact that I haven’t posted for a while (almost two months), it isn’t particularly surprising to find that a) the media are at it again, and b) tobacco control researchers are at it again.
We have seen this kind of study before, at around the same time of the year, where some ‘research’ makes some claim about how e-cigarettes are “worse than originally thought”. We’ve recently seen a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the US which largely mirrors the findings from the UK’s Royal College of Physicians; I do plan to go over that at some point – time permitting.
Of course, there’s always more research to be done, nothing is ever 100 percent conclusive, so it is unsurprising to see more DNA research.
Just recently, the “gateway theory” has been doing the rounds yet again. I stumbled across this paper that claims the gateway theory is in fact, real and undeniable.
As usual, the researchers are making wild claims about cause and effect, but there’s one key problem with this paper, in that it is the outcome of focus groups:
It is a form of qualitative research consisting of interviews in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging.
With so much happening behind the scenes at Facts Towers I almost, almost missed this large, festering pile of bantha poodoo. I say almost, because, well it’s bloody difficult to miss it.
Y’see, an article in The Sun no less gives the impression that Cancer Research UK is putting some vape-friendly ads out. I haven’t seen them myself so I have no idea what they look like. Remember, it is fast approaching “Stoptober”, the annual public health splurge on convincing folks that you really should be stopping smoking now.