Whitehall to puff punters: 'Hide your fags'
Shield innocent ankle-biters
Death-dealing coffin nails will have to be kept out of sight of impressionable Englishpersons, beginning with large retailers in April 2012 and then in small shops beginning in 2015.
"Over eight million people in England still smoke and it causes more than 80,000 deaths each year," Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said in an emailed statement obtained by Bloomberg. "My ambition is to reduce smoking rates faster over the next five years than has been achieved in the past five years."
Shops in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are off the hook – those governments formulate their own health policies.
Reaction has been mixed. "The government likes to talk about 'freedom' – how about respecting the rights of smokers?" responded Big Brother Watch, a group that "fights injustice and campaigns to protect our civil liberties and personal freedoms," according to its mission statement.
"Under Andrew Lansley," BBW added, "it appears the nanny state is alive and well."
Vivienne Nathanson of the British Medical Association was unhappy as well – but for a different reason: "We are disappointed that [Lansley] has said he will delay introducing the display ban until April 2012 for large shops and April 2015 for smaller ones," she said.
In addition, the UK government will consider requiring that all tobacco products be sold in plain packaging, in order to further
ostracize smokers reduce the glamour of flashing a packet of Rothmans.
"It's important to make clear that there is no evidence to suggest that plain packaging would have any impact on smoking uptake by young people," a British American Tobacco spokesman emailed Bloomberg. "If the government insists cigarettes are sold in plain packs, it would be like Christmas for counterfeiters and the criminal gangs who smuggle cigarettes into the UK."
Simon Clark, the director of the pro-smokers lobbying group Forest (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco), agreed. "If the government's tobacco control plan goes ahead, Britain will become a smugglers' paradise," he told Bloomberg. "The sale of tobacco will move from responsible, legitimate retailers selling to law-abiding consumers, to irresponsible criminals who won't think twice about selling cigarettes to children."
Regarding the plain-packaging idea, one commenter on the Big Brother Watch website said, reasonably: "As somebody who has never used illegal drugs, I might be wrong but I'm fairly sure they're not provided in colourful packs replete with logos and health warnings. Doesn't seem to deter anybody though does it?" ®
If 80,000 people don't die
Have they considered the financial implications of 80,000 people not dying?
The pension costs of immortals are astronomical ! If people stop smoking and don't die, thus living for ever, it's going to cost a fortune in Werther's originals alone.
Re: Sounds good to me
"Then there is also no evidence that it won't work. Might as well give it a go and see if it does work."
So the government should march into people business, demand that they refit their shop at their own expense, and (in the case of small retailers) cut their margins and push them closer to the edge of extinction, with no evidence that it'll have any effect whatsoever. You're a real champ at spending other folks' money. Bet you're the sort that bitches and whines about how supermarkets are homogenising the High Street too - ever wonder why?
"Anything that discourages people from starting to smoke must be a good thing, right?"
Why? After 30+ years of education on the topic, smoking's an informed choice made by an adult (me). A choice that brings more money into the economy than spent of treating smoking-related diseases (a surplus of about £6bn annually). Then you can add in savings in pensions that nobody seems to bother working out (me too). It's none of your goddamned business.
Smokers have accepted concession after concession and our willingness to compromise has just made the zealots greedier. We already smoke outside - and it's funny how people whinge about the smell of smoke but completely ignore the taxis, vans, trucks, and buses belching diesel fumes. We have laws to prevent minors buying tobacco already - if they aren't being enforced that's the fault of the enforcers, not the adults smoking legally.
There's news coming from the US that some local governments there are drawing up plans to ban e-cigs too. No provable harm to the smoker or anyone around them but they want them banned anyway. The agenda of the zealots is clarifying - health's just the foot in the door. It's about control, social orthodoxy, and meek little sheeple finally getting the juice to impose their broccoli-tinted vision of how life should be on their peers.
I don't know the answer, but what is the cost of their care during the last months of their life. Doctors, nurses, MRI, Cat scan, x-rays, chemo, cancer drus, other drugs, hospital beds, etc.
Having said that, how much tax does the government gross from smokers?
Not saying you're wrong, just muddying the waters while everyone up-votes you :)