Isn’t it time to reflect on fanatical anti-tobacco crusade?

By   /   January 4, 2018  /   14 Comments

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By increasing the cost to the individual, we build up the pressure of addiction that fuels an unregulated black market while the industry walks away laughing all the way to the bank.

Tobacco went up again on the 1st of January meaning the working classes, the poor and beneficiaries who use nicotine as an addictive crutch to self medicate the grim precariousness of their economic existence were all made far more stressed out and bitter cold turkeys, sinking more of the little disposable income they do have into their personal fix and coping mechanism.


I don’t smoke cigarettes, it’s never been my bag and I despise any industry who sells addictive death with impunity, but I can taste counter productive social policy when I smell it and the current fanatical crusade against smokers is looking increasingly flawed.

Consistently hitting up users for more money means working class users are punished while Tobacco starts becoming a status symbol for wealth by the hip rich kids who can afford it.

By banning tobacco in prison (not for the prisoners health mind you, but because double bunked prisoners could successfully sue the Government for second hand smoke) and by increasing the price so dramatically, this anti-tobacco crusade has created the perfect storm for a black market, the friction point of which is exploding every week in Dairy’s across the country that are being violently attacked and targeted for tobacco.  

By increasing the cost to the individual, we build up the pressure of addiction that fuels an unregulated black market while the industry walks away laughing all the way to the bank.

There are better ways to gain our goal of smoke free than this punitive and counter productive zealotry.

Rather than punish the user, go after the bloody industry. Consistently raising the price so the end user is forced to get more and more desperate to feed their addiction is not a solution. Create a vice tax that goes on the profit margin of the tobacco company. Put the pressure on the corporation to pay more of their profits rather than endlessly punish the end user.

On top of that, it is time for the mass subsidisation of vape so that smokers have a far less lethal and cheaper itch. The lack of second hand smoke damage means it could also be used in prisons and other places where health concerns prevent smoking.

Reducing cost as dramatically as vape does and allowing it inside prisons  would empty the demand for a black market overnight.

We could do far more to end tobacco by punishing the corporations and supporting the smokers rather than endlessly punishing the smoker and allowing the corporations off the hook for their toxic poison.

Unfortunately it seems the zealots who run the anti-tobacco movement are only focused on going after the addict and not the dealer.

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  1. Siobhan says:

    I wouldn’t get too excited about vaping….its the tool that cigarette companies will use to keep smoking alive for future generations.

    Personally I think that if you’re still smoking at this point in time, well, you are a real trooper and seriously committed. The sight of a 50 year old adult puffing on a vapor thingy is bleak. Aesthetically I’d rather they just smoked a cigarette and maintained some dignity.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      … ” The sight of a 50 year old adult puffing on a vapor thingy is bleak. Aesthetically I’d rather they just smoked a cigarette and maintained some dignity ” …

      Now why is that ?

      You’d rather them mess themselves up and others around them such as their children because it ‘ maintains some dignity ‘ by continuing smoking and ignoring the facts about vaping? You do realize , of course , … that the Royal College of Physicians has stated that ‘ vaping is 95% safer than combustible tobacco’ , don’t you ?

      And that the by – product of vaping is H2O and CO2 , – which is exactly the same as when YOU respire.

      In other words – there is no second hand breathing problems by others as there is with tobacco. And the same Royal College of Physicians also stated that the amount of nicotine in the atmosphere is absolutely negligible after vaping indoors. Whats more , – the amount of nicotine adsorbed by the vaper is far less than that of the smoker on each inhalation.

      There are around 3000 chemicals in tobacco that has been com-busted – of which around 900 of them are either carcinogenic or highly toxic. Contrast that with the three involved with vaping – nicotine , VG and PG , – the last two being additives commonly used in foods , – the very type of foods YOU consume .

      And btw – nicotine IS NON CARCINOGENIC.

      It is estimated to be about the same sort of stimulant as caffeine.

      And then there is the MASSIVE amount of funds saved by the Public Health systems in treating chronic , preventable long term illnesses such as emphysema and lung cancer – not to mention coronary problems.

      So you would still be worrying about ‘ maintaining some dignity ‘ in the face of all that ?

      I can tell you , – being a worker all my life and being quite a hairy guy who sweats in the sun when pouring concrete and the like that you can forget all about those fancy little doo dad patches – they stay on for all of about 5 minutes – if that. And lozenges look like your sucking on a golf ball and can get stuck down your throat when your doing something active. And gum can end up on pavements , eaten by pets , – or even used by children mistakenly. And costs a bloody PACKET if the doctor hasn’t ordered it for you.

      Notwithstanding the ‘ritual’ involved in smoking which a patch or a lozenge doesn’t have – nor the gum. There are times and places for the other quit smoking aids but none of them contain the ‘ ritual’ of smoking as vaping does.

      I would say to you that a 50 year old who chooses to vape instead of smoking combustible tobacco products has already more than ‘maintained his or her dignity ‘.

      They have and are part of the wave of people who have to contend with uninformed attitudes such as yours that are prevalent in order to ensure a healthier and better future for potentially thousands, – as well as saving this country untold millions in health expenditure.

      I have not touched a cigarette for over a year because I started vaping. After 30 years of smoking roll your owns. And I don’t miss them and furthermore – I’ll never go back to them. I have gone from the higher doses of nicotine e liquids and now am at a middling level – 12mg /Ml. And sometimes use 6mg / Ml.

      Vaping is an important tool for quit smoking and is the way of the future for thousands who might otherwise die an early death because of combustible tobacco. As such , it should , – MUST , – be included with a government medical subsidy including a starter kit and several bottles of e liquid when requested by the individual.

      And the ridiculous stigma and public perception along with the misinformation attached to vaping MUST ALSO GO.

      • clare elliott says:

        Thank you.This sounds like a creditable way of quitting.I will try it…getting a bit tired of being treated worse than a pedophile for a personal choice which is not yet illegal….

  2. phillip ure says:

    i used weed to help me through the first/hard part of tobacco-withdrawals – t’was a successful emollient – (just saying..!..)

    • phillip ure says:

      there is also the fact to consider that for people with some forms of mental illness – nicotine – because of its’ calming effects – is a form of medicine – so in the name of humanity – those receiving medical help from them should be able to get ciggies on prescription..surely..?..
      not just be screwed by higher and higher prices/taxes..

  3. Andrew says:

    I have never smoked and never will: For me it’s a tax on the stupid and the weak.

    It killed both my father and sister (my dad from a heart attack and my sister though COPD) and I warned them both for decades prior. There was no “grim precariousness in their economic existence” as you claim, they were just weak.

    But I’m with you on the ASH anti-smoking zealotry. I was happy when they banned smoking in bars – it meant my clothes didn’t stink of smoke after going to the pub for a beer. But now these nutters are wanting to ban smoking in public places and that’s just a bridge too far.

    Besides I am relying on smokers to die early and inexpensively so that there is lots of money available for my elective surgeries when I get older! 🙂

  4. Afewknowthetruth says:

    It is over 60 years since the US Surgeon General reported a link between smoking and serious ill health:

    ‘1957 –Surgeon General Leroy E. Burney (1956-1961) declared it to be the official position of the U.S. Public Health Service that a causal relationship exists between smoking and lung cancer (June 12)
    1964 –Surgeon General Luther L. Terry (1961-65) issued Smoking and Health, the first Surgeon General’s report to receive widespread media and public attention (January 11)
    1965 –Congress mandated health warnings on cigarette packs’

    Things move rather slowly in ‘democracies’ when vested interests and money are involved.

  5. Gadfly's Dad says:

    I would question the value of Vape. It has been blamed for popcorn lung and my son (aged 47) has just been diagnosed with Empthasia after smoking vape for the last 12 months.

    I would be investigating Vape and banning it as it is a health risk!

  6. The Chairman says:

    “Isn’t it time to reflect on fanatical anti-tobacco crusade?”

    Indeed it is.

    And with a new Government in place that claims to care about growing inequality and poverty, one would think that would be the case.

    Unfortunately, the notion isn’t even on Labour’s radar.

    And Winston seems to have become the man of silence.

    Meanwhile, the Greens are hard at it making a corny Love Actually parody.

    Thus, the hardship smokers face and the slaying of shopkeepers will continue on, but at least we changed the Government.

  7. Reggie62 says:

    Well said.. It would be an interesting study to compare the results of the spiraling tax take.. One side being the percentage of ex smokers who credit the price increases with their decision to quit.. The other being the percentage of increase in tobacco related crime.. Then compare the social cost/impact of both results.. My pick is it wouldn’t look good..

  8. roy cartland says:

    How about we turn the eye-of-sauron toward the booze industry. They don’t need to advertise, sponsor or be in the public eye. Anyone who really wants drink knows where to get it.

  9. Kevf says:

    I think the govt should allow only the raw dried tobacco leaf to be grown and sold and not imported and leave it up to the end user to make their own version of addictive poison out of it.

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