FROM THE CHAIRMAN
If the smoking ban is a success, then how do you define failure?
On the 1st July 2012 we 'celebrate' five years of the indoor smoking ban in England. By every single measure, in Freedom2Choose's opinion, it has been a complete failure.
Ten thousand pubs have closed, along with Working Mens Clubs and bingo halls. Live music venues report dwindling audiences at indoor events.
A very conservative estimate of 200,000 full and part time jobs have been lost, many of them by society's most poor and disadvantaged.
As for the social effects of the ban, it has hit the elderly the hardest. You cannot expect 80 year war veterans to hobble out every hour or so to puff on their cigarette or pipe. They are to be banished into the lonely world of their houses and be denied social interaction. People now increasingly drink alone and at home without the regulation on their drinking that a social setting and a landlord or lady would provide.
The tobacco control industry is not stopping at banning smoking inside. They now want to ban smoking in cars, parks and hospital grounds. I can just imagine a recently bereaved visitor being lectured by the smoke patrol police to extinguish their cigarette in an emotionally charged moment. Plain packaging of cigarettes not only poses increased health risks through counterfeit produce, but also undermines World Trade Organization laws.
Not only that: every taxpayer funded ‘charity’ has been give fresh impetus to push for a greater nanny state, on alcohol, obesity, green and other issues. This was described by Chris Snowdon in his IEA paper ‘Sock Puppets’ (see The Blogs section below).
The junk science is unrelenting, and to coin a phrase 'we are all smokers now.'
The freely-admitted endgame is for a totally smoke-free world where both smoking and the sale of tobacco will be banned.
We can, however, remain optimistic. The people of the UK, Europe, and worldwide are fighting back. You only have to look at the University of Bath's Tobacco Tactics site to see how many politicians, politicos, bloggers and members of the public are involved in fighting back, not only on tobacco but on other issues too.
It was a watershed when a Department of Health commissioned report identified smokers as becoming a 'despised underclass', compared our treatment to racism, and concluded there was a danger of smokers becoming 'social lepers.'
The tobacco control industry has gone too far and will be brought to account.
Dave Atherton, June 2012