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Frank Davis

Banging on about the Smoking Ban


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EU Declares War on Smokers
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Thanks to a commenter, I've learned that the German newspaper Bild is reporting that the EU has declared war on smokers.

A dossier with recommendations for the 27 member states has been released by the EU. The objective - a “100 per cent smoke free environment”.

Health ministers proposed the paper and the EU parliament has approved it.

Member countries now have three years to bring the recommendations into their own legal systems

The document makes recommendations for drastic measures to ban smoking in all workplaces, public buildings and facilities. The smoking ban will include all hallways, staircases, toilets, staffrooms, store rooms and lifts that are used at work.

• Fines: Anyone who breaks the ban will receive a fine. The penalties are intended to be high enough to act as a deterrent. Companies will be threatened with higher fines than individuals and if necessary may even be threatened with the temporary withdrawal of their business permit.

• ‘Smoking police’: The EU states are being asked to set up a system for enforcing the smoking ban, including a system of prosecution. The use of inspectors and enforcement officials is recommended. They will also carry out random spot checks.

• Ashtray ban: It will be the responsibility of all companies and public services to ensure that there are no ashtrays in the building.

• Shock trials: The EU states will be encouraged to carry out sensationalist prosecutions designed to shock the public. Celebrities who smoke will also be targeted and exposed publicly as smoking offenders. The document states that if individuals in the public eye have deliberately disregarded the law and this is publicly known, the authorities will demonstrate their commitment to and the seriousness of the legislation by reacting with rigorous and speedy measures, attracting the widest possible public attention.

The story also appeared on 27 Jan in Express (German). An online poll under it had 54% saying the measure was "uberzogen und diskriminierend" ("overdone and discriminating"), and 37% approving.

It looks very much as if the relevant EU document may well be Proposal for a COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION on smoke-free environments 30 June 2009. And Bild doesn't seem to have been exaggerating. It does indeed propose ashtray removal, and penalties may include suspension of business licences. And high profile prosecutions of prominent violators:

43. When active enforcement begins, many jurisdictions recommend the use of highprofile prosecutions to enhance deterrence. By identifying prominent violators who have actively defied the law or who are well known in the community, by taking firm and swift action and by seeking maximum public awareness of these activities, authorities are able to demonstrate their resolve and the seriousness of the law. This increases voluntary compliance and reduces the resources needed for future monitoring and enforcement.

44. While smoke free laws quickly become self-enforcing, it is nevertheless essential that authorities be prepared to respond swiftly and decisively to any isolated instances of outright defiance. Particularly when a law first comes into force, there may be an occasional violator who makes a public display of contempt for the law. Strong responses in these cases set an expectation of compliance that will ease future efforts, while indecisiveness can rapidly lead to widespread violations. (emphases added)

I haven't managed to find out when or if this proposal or recommendation was approved by the EU parliament. The matter was before the EU parliament back in 26 Nov 2009.. But it would appear that there has been a more recent development.

I haven't really had time to think about this. It's sheer health fascism, of course. But I'm not surprised, since I've warned about it several times. The EU is as much a den of antismoking zealots as anywhere else. And if EU member states do in fact only have 3 years in which to comply, then this will override any accommodations they may have already reached. It's exactly the sort of law preferred by uncompromising antismoking zealots, because it will be far more difficult to overturn an EU-wide ban than any local state ban.

But the proposed measures against "high profile prosecutions" against "prominent violators" may well backfire, and force some celebrity smokers to oppose antismoking laws in ways they hitherto may not have.

This is exactly this sort of thing that turns people against the EU. Except this is probably the most egregious example yet. The EU shouldn't be making laws like this, which dictate people's personal social behaviour, and allow no exceptions. It's the sort of thing that should be left to individual countries, or individual localities within countries, or individual companies, or to individuals. It should really fall under the EU 'subsidiarity' rules.

I used to be quite pro-EU. Family of nations and all that. No longer, I'm sorry to say. I can't live with this kind of thing. It bodes ill for the future of the EU that it is now setting out to marginalise and denormalise fully one third of EU citizens.

P.S. Chris Snowdon has also covered this. He suggested in his comments a different EU document than the one I did.

Worse than That

(Anonymous)

2010-01-29 04:15 am (UTC)

It goes a bit deeper than that, Frank. Look at what it says in the EU document Snowdon referenced. (Capitalization my own for emphasis. I don't know how to bold or underline here.)

When active enforcement begins, many jurisdictions recommend the use of HIGH-PROFILE PROSECUTIONS to enhance
deterrence. By identifying PROMINENT VIOLATORS who have actively defied the law or who are WELL-KNOWN IN THE COMMUNITY.

"Prominent" can have two meanings. Do they mean people who are prominent in their violations, or do they mean people who are well-known? Well the next line seems to make that clear, because they point out people who are "well-known"!

Please correct me if I'm overstating this--it seems to me that the EU is targeting people who, so far, have broken no law whatsoever. Rather, they are being targeted solely because they are "well-known". Prosecuting "well-known" people leads to "high-profile prosecutions".

The EU is openly calling for nothing short of show trials in no less a sense than a dictatorial government would conduct a show trial! Stalin, I think, at least bothered to cover things up. Here, the EU is putting forth guidance encouraging an unequal application of the law for no other reason than people happening to be "well-known."

Am I wrong? WS.

Re: Worse than That

(Anonymous)

2010-01-29 04:26 am (UTC)

BTW, I'm publishing this on FORCES immediately. I think this deserves maximum attention. WS.

http://forces.org/News_Portal/news_viewer.php?id=2062

Re: Worse than That

(Anonymous)

2010-01-29 09:48 am (UTC)

Show trials for smoking! Unbelievable. What is this world coming to? I'm distressed.

My document also contained the passage you quoted, and I also highlighted it.

I picked up the story late yesterday evening, and spent quite a long time trying to get more information. So far, what I've found seems to confirm the Bild story. The thing I haven't managed to confirm is that the EU parliament have approved the Commission's recommendations, and EU member states have 3 years to line up behind the ferocious new law (if it is a law).

I didn't have much time to do much more than that. And I've spent a sleepless night since.

Frank

I saw the lisbon treaty as both potentially beneficial, and potentially disasterious. I did assume that they would wait a few years before revealing the dictatorship but they do have to keep up with America.

man kind never changes;

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/opinion/29pisar.html?th&emc=th

As far as I can see, the only bit of this news which is new is the “high-profile court case” bit. The EU have been notoriously anti-smoking for several decades and have been putting huge pressure on all Member States to impose draconian anti-smoking laws for years. Pretty much everything else they’ve mentioned has already been enacted here in the UK by our brownie-point-earning Government (what good little serfs they are!) – although it’s not such good news for those countries who have had the guts to stand up to the Righteous bullies and hang on to tiny pockets of their freedom, like Germany and Holland.

But, I’m not even sure that targeting celebs and the like is going to work out quite the way they might envisage in any case (a) because, to my knowledge even celebs and other high-profile characters who smoke have rarely, if ever, tried to light up inside post-ban – the only examples I can even think of are Charles Kennedy, on a train; and Emma Bunton, about a year ago, in a nightclub and (b) because if they pick on the wrong person (Joe Jackson springs to mind), an angry, sufficiently anti-ban high-profiler might seize the opportunity to bring the whole manipulated reasons for the ban into the spotlight, even if that’s not the matter particularly at hand in that case. They’d be highly likely too – unlike the rest of us paupers – to have the funds to do it, as well. And the only way to avoid that would be to impose some kind of media blackout on the whole proceedings, which would rather counteract the whole purpose, wouldn’t it?

Pretty much everything else they’ve mentioned has already been enacted here in the UK by our brownie-point-earning Government (what good little serfs they are!) – although it’s not such good news for those countries who have had the guts to stand up to the Righteous bullies and hang on to tiny pockets of their freedom, like Germany and Holland.

Well, exactly. But since the UK currently has the most draconian ban in Europe, it may well affect many more countries than just Germany and Holland. Spain, for example has a very light ban, and is about to bring in a much stronger ban, but may well need to make it even more draconian.

Frank

"denormalisation"

(Anonymous)

2010-01-29 09:11 pm (UTC)

Thank you Frank and Chris -
I have never been pro-EU Frank, and it will be more than "one third" being "denormalised".
It looks like they are going to use the Celebs to further their agenda, just like they "use" the chiiiildren.
This is without those that like alchohol, as we all know that is being targeted and there was me thinking social inclusion was healthy.


http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10322
Turning Fat People into Social Outcasts
by Patrick Basham and John Luik
Patrick Basham and John Luik are authors, with Gio Gori, of Diet Nation: Exposing the Obesity Crusade

A new report chastising fat celebs as a bad influence is part of a worrying campaign to "denormalize" chubbiness.
Fat celebrities are the latest victims of the UK public health establishment's attempt to socially engineer our cultural and political environment so that the public becomes less tolerant of obesity and those the government categorises as obese. Through such nanny-state paternalism, the government seeks to ensure that people behave in "appropriate" ways, as defined by itself and a coterie of public health bureaucrats and academics.

Snip~
The anti-obesity movement has accepted the argument of those, such as Australian nutritionist Dr. Rosemary Stanton, who have argued that: "We need to learn from the successes in tobacco control in tackling the obesity epidemic." Clearly, the anti-obesity campaign has modelled its denormalization campaign on the politically, if not empirically, successful tobacco denormalization campaign. Hence, the anti-obesity lobby employs public policy tactics to denormalize the use of the food industry's products.
mandyv

I hate that word, 'obese'. Any word, absolutely any word, is better than that. 'Fat', 'Stout', 'Large'.

I'm hyper-thin. I can eat a whole packet of chocolate chip cookies in a single sitting, and I never put on any weight. It's probably because I smoke so much that I only have a residual appetite for food. So, somehow or other, I'm not fat. And I don't drink very much. Most days I touch nothing all day, until after midnight, when I hit my Oak Aged Special Reserve Tesco Whisky (Leg-Iron would not approve of such drain-cleaner), just so I can sleep.

I can't imagine what life must be like these days for people who happen to be fat, happen to like a few drinks, and happen to smoke. Life as a smoker is hard enough, so it must be 3 times worse for them.

Memo to self: I really must try to stick up for fat people, even if I'm very thin.

Frank

Re: "denormalisation"

(Anonymous)

2010-01-30 03:21 am (UTC)

I'm also very thin, I eat whatever I want espically high carbs and high fat foods and suplement that with the extra carbs from about 10 lagers a week. I think it's absurd that the health officials blame (which word are we going with)an excessive BMI or diabetes on diet or lifestyle choices, it's clearly genetics. This is a trait you can clearly see starting at infancy. I do think it's important to support these people because when you vote someone else's rights away, you give them the right to vote away your rights.

ya new zealand tried to ban santa clause claming his unhealthy appearance

From Junican.

Tried to post - chrctr prob. Will reduce.

I really find it hard to understand why this organisation, the EU, concerns itself with the minor matter of ‘the enjoyment of tobacco’. It makes no more sense that ‘the enjoyment of x’.
I have read your ref to ‘26 Nov 09’ - I think that it is about a debate in the EU Parl. Only really important sentence is last one. Simply says that the EU Parliament would like Presdnt to ensure that ‘indoor smoking ban’ applies to EU buildings in the same way that it applies to non-EU bldngs. That is all.

The document that C Snowden refers to (30th Nov 2009) is different. It seems to be a justification document to justify the EU-wide demonization of the enjoyment of tobacco and of smokers. When you read it, you see that the recommendations of this document rely entirely on the recommendations of the WHO, along with ‘The International Agency for Research on Cancer’.

The document goes on to instruct member states to adopt a common approach to the demonization of tobacco and the demonization of smokers – all based upon the opinion of the WHO et al.

One cannot but ask oneself: “Are the WHO people also the people who are at the top of the EU, or at least, closely associated with them?” To go further, it is not unreasonable to think that there is, literally, a very big conspiracy – similar to Climategate? Is it only a possibility or is it a probability? But why bother so much, when there are all sorts of horrible diseases about? What is the reason for the particular and specific demonization of tobacco? The vast majority of people who enjoy tobacco live to a ripe old age. Can the same be said of drug addicts and AIDS sufferers? It seems to me that the officials of the EU (as is described in the above documents) along with our own Government, are obsessed with sheer numbers.

There is only one way in which people who enjoy tobacco can fight against the WHO et al and that is, somehow or other, to get together. The idea is correct, but is horribly difficult to do in practice. One of the very serious difficulties is that many smokers want to give up smoking.

As long as I can remember, people who smoke have wanted to give up. As I recall, this wish has been financial essentially, but we must bear in mind that the high cost of smoking is artificial. Only Government duties cause the high cost of smoking. If tobacco was duty free, the cost would be low and subject to market forces, which would drive down the cost even more. The health aspect has always been uncertain – more based upon anecdotal evidence than upon reality.

Through the Internet, it is POSSIBLE that people who enjoy tobacco can get together, but it will not be through the likes of FOREST. The name alone is not conducive, and it is too apologetic.

It is very odd that that a rather not very good looking, plump, Scottish lady singer (who shall remain nameless) can engage a world-wide following of millions, and yet billions of smokers cannot. It is very weird.

I have to finish lamely, because I simply have no idea how it can be done. People against the poll tax (even people who could only gain from it!) brought down Maggie Thatcher. The fact that her enemies in the Conservative Party just used the poll tax as an excuse is not particularly relevant.

There needs to be some sort of advertising. If I was asked to contribute to some sort of advertising campaign, I would do so (say, £100), provided that the campaign made sense to me. I would do it.

The reason that I would do is very simple. I have three daughters who are now in their forties. My wife and I have both smoked in their presence without concern since they were born. I DO NOT ACCEPT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM, THAT WE HAVE DONE THEM ANY HARM WHATSOEVER. They are all perfectly healthy. I have four grandchildren and I have smoked in their presence ever since they were born. They are all perfectly healthy. My father smoked in my presence and I am 70 years old and perfectly healthy for my age. I do not and will not accept the statements being made by doom-mongers. I do not and will not accept that my smoking in any way affects those around me. I am not a murderer.

This is the point that ‘advertising’ needs to emphasise.



“Are the WHO people also the people who are at the top of the EU, or at least, closely associated with them?”

I think the answer to that is: YES.

A few days ago I wrote about the extraordinary career of Gro Harlem Brundtland, doctor-politician, who blended all these together seemlessly. She stepped from being Prime Minister of Norway (and therefore by definition a major player in the EU) to being boss of the EU, where she got the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control under way. Now she's a UN busybody for Climate Change.

And there you have it. EU. UN. WHO. And probably a few other organisations. Brundtlands are all-purpose politicians who can doff one hat (WHO) and put on another (UN IPCC) at the blink of an eye.

Frank

the who has been accused of taking money from pharmacutical companies and advocating their intrest, quit smoking drugs are not only more profitable for the drug companies but also the tobacco company that gets the contract to produce the nicotine (in usa phillip morris /uk imperial). Repeat customers are guaranteed because the products don't work.
Today google news refered me this link :

http://talkradionews.com/2010/02/h1n1-scare-a-pharma-scam/

Re-reading this 9 months later:

A few days ago I wrote about the extraordinary career of Gro Harlem Brundtland, doctor-politician, who blended all these together seemlessly. She stepped from being Prime Minister of Norway (and therefore by definition a major player in the EU) to being boss of the EU, where she got the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control under way. Now she's a UN busybody for Climate Change.</>

That should be:

A few days ago I wrote about the extraordinary career of Gro Harlem Brundtland, doctor-politician, who blended all these together seemlessly. She stepped from being Prime Minister of Norway (and therefore by definition a major player in the EU) to being boss of the WHO, where she got the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control under way. Now she's a UN busybody for Climate Change.

EU, WHO... Is it much different?

Frank

Junican,
Absolutely. Like you, I have always been – and remain – utterly dumbfounded as to how, particularly in the UK, there has been so little organised resistance to the imposition of the smoking ban, to the fabrication and exaggeration and lies told in order to justify it, and to the wider “ripple” effects which it has had in terms of subtly approving the bullying of one group of people by another purely on the basis of “moral superiority.” There are countless theories, of course, probably all of them playing their part, but to my mind the real, down-at-the-grassroots reason is summed up by you in your post when you say (my emphasis added):

"People against the poll tax (EVEN PEOPLE WHO COULD ONLY GAIN FROM IT!) brought down Maggie Thatcher."

That, to me is the real nub of the problem with smoking. Because, going back as far as you like throughout history there has never, ever been a struggle by a prejudiced-against minority or group which has been won by the efforts of that group alone. It seems to be a weird blind spot in the human psyche that anyone who has a personal interest in something is somehow incapable of forming an objective opinion about it, and that it’s OK therefore simply to brush aside those opinions which they do express. Without the support of non-smokers, smokers were never going to be given a fair hearing and the powers that be would never feel challenged enough to investigate the wild and exaggerated claims made by the anti-smoking cartel over the years. Hence the long, drip-feed campaign to alienate smokers from their non-smoking friends and family by the “passive smoking” fraud prior to the Big Push for the ban.

Drinkers, over the next few years should be prepared. They should remain alert to the lies and manipulated statistics regarding alcohol usage which are undoubtedly on their way and they should ensure, even more importantly, that their non-drinking friends and family know, too, what is happening, why it is happening and how, next time, it might be happening to them. Fighting alcohol-prohibition-by-stealth will hinge almost entirely on how many non-drinkers drinkers themselves can keep on their side, active and genuinely concerned.

Of course, quite how many of us non-drinking smokers will be inclined to support a group which showed, at best, a complete lack of interest in speaking up on our behalf and, at worst, active support of those who were campaigning directly against us, remains to be seen. I myself am still on the fence, but I suspect that there will be many non-drinking smokers who will be perfectly happy to sit back and watch smugly, once the boot is on the other foot. Which means that drinkers will be almost entirely reliant on non-drinking non-smokers to support them if they are to have any hope of resisting the looming anti-alcohol movement. Not a very encouraging prospect, is it?

Unless, of course, non-smoking drinkers can bring themselves, even at this late stage, to swallow their pride, discard their artificial security blanket of "it's only aimed at smokers, not at us" and to campaign actively on behalf of smokers who are, let's face it, still in the sights of the Controllers, albeit now there are a few other targets in sight, too. That might just be enough to get non-drinking smokers to add their weight to the argument and thus stop, or at least severely hinder, the onward march of the prohibitionists. If not, well – welcome to the alcohol-free, smoke-free public house! Think it won’t happen? Ten years ago, you’d have said the same thing about not allowing smoking in pubs, but here we are ………….

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