Sunday, 25 November 2012

We Get it, You Don't Like Smoking!

Australia is like most countries around the world who have decided her citizens need to be protected from themselves. Smoking bad - must stop. I am one of the reformed former smokers, but it annoys me by how far and how hard the push to force people to stop smoking has gone.

It seems enough's already been done and maybe there are better things still going unregulated that could use some of your time?

Preservatives in food, mislabelling of additives, fast food costing less than the raw ingredients, the country being raped by huge mining giants, vital utilities being privatized and then going unregulated on the billing of essential power, water, gas, private healthcare and insurance that has hidden costs that were never explained upfront, the huge propaganda campaigns from any large company to sell to us that, although we are paying far more for services, although these companies, both resource and retail, are growing enormously huge and becoming unstoppable mono or duopolies - and all the time we receive less and pay more - it's all because all these companies share one common trait - all their time, effort and practises are in an effort to help us.

That's what the ads say. Oil companies, mining companies, electricity and retail giants are only in business to help us and serve the community. The ads make that clear. The fact that they make money from their activities along the way is just a coincidence. These companies certainly don't need anyone imposing any restrictions on them or have their behaviour changed in any way. Perish the thought. After all - how and who could a multinational juggernauts - miners, retailers or drug companies - who could they possibly hurt in any large numbers?

Individuals on the other hands - individuals who can harm themselves - they need lots of help and supervision.

Take smoking as a case in point... here in Australia this is the current history of anti smoking campaign.

  • 1973 - Direct cigarette advertising on radio and television begins to be phased out over three years.
  • 1983 - Federal excise and customs duty on cigarettes linked to the Australian consumer price index.
  • 1990 - Cigarette advertising banned in locally produced newspapers and magazines.
  • 1995 - Most forms of tobacco sponsorship phased out, however exemptions granted to international events that couldn't exist without it.
  • 1996 - Billboards, outdoor and illuminated signs advertising cigarettes banned.
  • 2000 - Laws passed removing sponsorship exemptions.
  • 2006 - Tobacco industry sponsorship completely phased out. New, graphic anti-smoking ads go to air.
  • 2007 - Indoor smoking bans begin to be introduced.
  • 2008 - States start banning smoking in cars carrying children.
  • 2009 - Local councils move to make alfresco areas smoke-free.

  • 2010 - Smoking inside pubs and clubs banned in every Australian state. Tobacco excise increased by 25 per cent.
  • 2012 - Dec 1 All cigarette packets must be plain, displaying only pictures of graphic ailments caused by smoking related illnesses.
  • 2012 - current packet of 20 cigarettes costs $16 Australian or $16.50 USD. 
Who is it who has decided they know best regarding smoking? Where are they on alcohol, on obesity caused by fast food, on riding motorcycles, doing many of the extreme sports and past times that are now so common place.

Who's the uptight A-hole who simply will not let this one go? You've done enough - stop it! Some people want to smoke and are prepared to risk an early demise - so leave them alone to smoke - away from others, where they harm no-one but themselves.

"But it means they cost the rest of us when we have to pay for their health care!"
Then what about alcohol? How can you argue the health costs in old age for one and not the other?
I'll be interested to see what's next from the anti smoking fanatics lobby. They've banned all of the above and my guess is they will not rest until smoking is illegal.

Great! Then I can go out, find a dealer and smoke, if I choose, in peace - the same way all my dope and pill popping friends have been doing for years.

UPDATE: One day after I wrote this - the news breaks of new bans on smokers. The Article
But the media didn't focus as much on the woman in Australia turning 110 who smoked and drank but said her secret to a long life was to do both in moderation. Just saying....

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