LISTEN: My thoughts on why the smoking ban was and is one of the most illiberal things we have done in the UK

We have just had the tenth anniversary of the smoking ban in England. I know that many people hate the smell of burning tobacco. I get that, and so did those who opposed an outright ban in every enclosed public space. There were alternatives at the time, and if anything, thanks to much better ventilation systems, those alternatives are even better than they were.

Have a listen to this interview I gave last Friday on BBC Three Counties Radio. As you listen to it, you will become aware of my frustration. I was banging my head against a brick wall. The interviewer clearly thought it was far easier to make it a criminal offence to smoke virtually anywhere.  Of course, it is easier. Acting in a liberal way and finding a compromise takes longer. That’s something the health fascists will never do.

7 thoughts on “LISTEN: My thoughts on why the smoking ban was and is one of the most illiberal things we have done in the UK

  1. Andrew, kudos to you for doing so well trying to converse with the brainwashed. Very difficult task indeed.

    And there was the usual, “What’s the problem with indoor bans. All you have to do is just step outside”. Well, now the prohibitionists are after the outdoors and they make up all sorts of nonsense to pass these outdoor bans. In some countries there are now smoking bans for outdoor dining areas, for entire university campuses – including outdoors, for large tracts of beach, for entire parks.

    Laguna Beach, Orange County, California, has recently imposed a smoking ban everywhere in public – indoors and outdoors, including streets and alleys. It’s the prohibitionist “wet dream” (Godber Blueprint). The only places (for the time being) people can smoke is in their car/homes. Point people to the Laguna Beach example because it what the prohibitionists around the world have in mind. That’s the goal.

    [Can provide links if you need].

  2. Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid, 400+ year history, much of it predating even the pretense of a scientific basis or the more recent concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”. Antismoking crusades typically run on inflammatory propaganda, i.e., lies, in order to get law-makers to institute bans. Statistics and causal attribution galore are conjured. The current antismoking rhetoric has all been heard before. All it produces is irrational fear and hatred, discord, enmity, animosity, social division, oppression, and bigotry. When supported by the State, zealots seriously mess with people’s minds on a mass scale.

    The primary root of the antismoking that we see today (and was also seen in Nazism) is America. The US of A has a long history of anti-tobacco (part of “clean living” hysteria) that goes back to the mid-1800s. Anti-tobacco was latched onto by Temperance (religious) groups and assorted physicians (eventually the Eugenics Movement from the late-1800s). All manner of [baseless] claims were made about the “harms” of tobacco. Within the hysterical fervor to “save” the “slaves to tobacco”, it produced a pressure to quit (or not start) not unlike we currently see.

    [Can provide links if you need]

  3. Prohibition by “salami slices”. Here’s a brief history of the antismoking madness (Godber Blueprint) over the last few decades. It’s a slide down the slippery slope that antismoking fanatics claimed would never happen.

    The first demand for a smoking ban was in the late-1980s concerning short-haul flights in the USA of less than 2 hours. At the time, the antismokers were asked if this was a “slippery slope” – where would it end? They ridiculed anyone suggesting such because this ban was ALL that they were after.

    Then they ONLY wanted smoking bans on all flights.
    Then the antismokers ONLY wanted nonsmoking sections in restaurants, bars, etc., and ensuring that this was ALL they wanted.
    Then the antismokers ONLY wanted complete bans indoors. That was all they wanted. At the time, no-one was complaining about having to “endure” wisps of smoke outdoors.

    While they pursued indoor bans, the antismokers were happy for smokers to be exiled to the outdoors. Having bulldozed their way into indoor bans, the antismokers then went to work on the outdoors, now declaring that momentary exposure to remnants of smoke in doorways or a whiff outdoors was a “hazard”, more than poor, innocent nonsmokers should have to “endure”.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans within 10 feet of entrance ways.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans within 20 feet of entrance ways.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans in entire outdoor dining areas.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for entire university and hospital campuses and parks and beaches.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for apartment balconies.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for entire apartment (including individual apartments) complexes.

    On top of all of this, there are now instances where smokers are denied employment, denied housing (even the elderly), and denied medical treatment. Smokers in the UK are denied fostering/adoption. Involuntary mental patients are restrained physically or chemically (sedation) or multi-day solitary confinement rather than allow them to have a cigarette – even outside. In some countries there are also compounded extortionate taxes.

    Laguna Beach, California, has recently banned smoking everywhere, including streets and alleys. The only place one can smoke legally is in one’s car/home. Duterte of the Philippines, who likens himself to H#tler, recently instituted draconian antismoking laws that can attract jail time for violation. Australia has increased tobacco excise by 12.5% for each of 8 years (2013-2020). An otherwise $4-5 pack of cigarettes is currently artificially inflated to $25, and by 2020 it will be inflated to $45.

  4. Check movies/documentaries pre-1990s. Smoking was commonplace. Smokers/nonsmokers got along just fine. There was no hysterical hand-flailing and hands cupped over mouth to avoid a whiff of tobacco smoke – even outdoors – as we see today. Everything changed when the ANTI-smokers got the ear of the legislature in a variety of countries in the early-1980s, and aggressively pushed by the unelected, unaccountable World Health Organization. Since then antismoking (prohibitionism) has been adopted as a societal ideal and loads of money has been pumped into antismoking. It’s the perfect recipe for unquestioned inflammatory propaganda galore.

  5. Nonsmokers are simply people that do not smoke. There are nonsmokers that like the aroma of tobacco smoke and there are plenty more that are not fussed one way or the other. Antismokers, on the other hand, are a different mentality altogether. Antismokers hate [tobacco] smoke/smoking/smokers. There’s even a name that’s been given to this hatred of smoke – “misocapnist”. Even with the antismoking barrage of the last 30 years, antismokers are still a minority. So, to get their way with legislators they typically hijack the entire nonsmokers group, pretending to speak for all nonsmokers. Most non-smokers do not have hyper-reactive, inordinate reactions to wisps of smoke. There is every reason to believe that this disproportionate “sensitivity” to smoke is neurotic: It is a projection of a troubled mental state. It also helps to explain why the history of anti-smoking is littered with wild exaggerations, inflammatory lies, and bigotry. The finger-wagging anti-smokers that promote themselves as “moral superiors” are moral fakes.

    It’s antismokers that find tobacco smoke as “obnoxious”…. that it “stinks”. It’s antismokers’ subjective experience that they then depict as “objective”. And then follows the “filthy”, “disgusting”, “dirty” barrage. Antismokers’ hyper-reactivity to tobacco smoke is inordinate, disproportionate; many react to even a whiff of smoke as if they’re being led to the gallows. Even their vocabulary in describing smoke is terribly exaggerated – they have to negotiate “walls” or “tunnels” or “clouds” of smoke; where smoking occurs is always “smoke filled”; the neighbor down the hallway who smokes is always a “heavy” smoker. Just spend a little time with a rabid antismoker and it becomes quickly apparent that they can’t be reacting to the physical properties of smoke. They seem to be troubled minds projecting their significant inner turmoil (fear/hate) onto smoke.

  6. Smokers have been denormalized, humiliated, ostracized by a State-funded prohibition crusade. They’ve been slandered to high heaven. They’ve been robbed by baseless, ever-increasing extortionate taxes. Imagine you’re a pensioner that’s smoked most of your adult life, for most of which smoking was considered normal. Within a short time your habit is no longer welcome in mainstream society. There’s a State apparatus intent on forcing you to quit by progressively more draconian means. The message is clear: Quit smoking or you will be punished in a variety of ways.
    In some countries there are now smoking bans for entire apartment complexes in subsidized housing. The elderly and disabled who smoke are expected to leave their apartment and make their way off the apartment complex onto side streets every time they want a cigarette. It places those who smoke in very vulnerable positions outdoors. And this is even occurring in places where it gets lethally cold during winter. Smoking in your apartment – against policy, can result in eviction and, most probably, homelessness. This is just one example.
    The history of antismoking is that the longer it proceeds with State support, the more absurd and hysterical (we’re now up to [baseless] “thirdhand smoke danger”) become its claims, and the more draconian and inhumane become its demands.

  7. Antismokers are the original snowflakes. Utter neurotic bigots. Oh, we must get rid of smoking indoors or I’m going to die. My whole lunch was destroyed by someone lighting up on the next table. We must stop those dirty, filthy smoking “addicts”. Oh, there are now people smoking outside doorways. Why should a superior person like me have to put up with having to walk through a “wall” of smoke. I was temporarily blinded. Ban smoking at doorways. Why are people allowed to smoke in outside dining areas? My whole dining experience is ruined. My taste buds become paralyzed. Ban smoking in outdoor dining areas. Oh, I was about 50 metres behind a smoker on the street. I caught a whiff of smoke. It was just too much. I thought I was going to black out. Ban smoking on streets. I was at the beach and there were people smoking. How can this be allowed. It ruined my whole day. Ban smoking on beaches everywhere. And on and on it goes.

    Antismokers – the original delicate, dainty “safe spacers”. Everywhere must cater only for them.

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