Immediately after the "No Smoking Day" which saw Nick Hogan released from his disgracefully manipulated prison sentence by a government that engineered his bankruptcy I bring you Deborah Arnott's mantra for the coming years!
Entitled ASH: The Third Sector's Vital Role, it lays out the dream of the anti tobacco zealots to rid this country of what is a perfectly legal past-time: smoking! I'll begin with this bit:
"Our information function is to change the climate of understanding, opinion and awareness about the ‘tobacco epidemic’ through effective use of the evidence base."
Tobacco epidemic? What epidemic is that then, Debs? Since the 1960s, smoker prevalence has declined by the decade! The 1950s and 1960s may have been an epidemic but 2010 sees a mere 23-25% of the population as smokers.
"There are concerns that tobacco control has slipped down the public health agenda now that advertising is banned andsmokefree legislation implemented throughout the UK."
Do you have any idea why, Debs? Perhaps the colossal cost to this country of interfering with people's human rights may have something to do with it? Perhaps the rapidly swelling dole queues from the hospitality sector may have something to do with it? perhaps the number of empty pubs & clubs now boarded up may be causing concern to government for boarded up businesses bring in no revenue.
In September’s ph.com David Hunter, Chair of the UKPHA, looked forward to 2027 when “smoking will be well on the way out and will have become ‘denormalised’ as a legitimate socialactivity”. There are many other issues crowding to the top of the public health agenda – alcohol, obesity, sexual health – and allrequire urgent action."..... "Pardon me? What was that?
Dear David, thanks to your (in part) ill advised total ban, smoking is very much NOT well on the way out. In fact, the people have been so disgusted at your so called denormalisation programme that tobacco sales are up, smoker prevalence is up and many councils now invest their pension funds in tobacco shares!
As for your other issues 'crowding to the top of the public health agenda' we all know that you (the government & health lobby) are trying to save the NHS expenditure by 'denormalising these activities' as well. But, don't YOU understand that all the tobacco tax raked in pays for smoker related treatments, alcohol related treatments and even our weighty friends' treatments? Plus a few quid left over to have an 'anti-tobacco party' with! Perhaps, being associated with the medical profession you should see an NHS 'shrink' and get your thinking straightened out David for you must understand that people retalliate to bully state tactics.
"Despite the squeeze on public health budgets it’s still important that smoking retains its fair share of funding and we mustn’t end up robbing Peter to pay Paul. For if smoking continues to decline at the current rate of 0.4% a year it will be a long time after 2027 before smoking will become ‘denormalised’. At current rates of decline some 16% of the population, nearly 7 million adults, will still be smoking in 2027."
Debs, when are you and others like you going to realise that smoking is an individual's freedom of choice? When are you going to realise that people are basically born to be smokers or not, as the case may be? When are you going to realise that you will never eradicate smoking at all? If you did actually do this, just think how much the extra 30p-35p on your income tax is going to hurt you in order for government to balance the books from the lost TT revenue! Quite ironic really Debs, you get paid for wiping smokers off the face of England and then pay the government back in tax – what a hoot!
"However, the Stop Smoking Services can only realistically make a modest contribution to the reductions in smoking prevalence and health inequalities and this is not, and cannot be, the prime reason for their existence. Professor Robert West has calculated that the DH target of 800,000 four-week quitters over three years represented at most 160,000 long-term ex-smokers who would not otherwise have given up smoking during that time frame. This represents a prevalence reduction of only 0.1% a year."
So government is spending all this money to reduce 'smokers' by 0.1% per annum-well just how much per smoker does that equate to Debs? And the latest announcement from your pal Burnham has gone up in smoke too, for he wants the smoking population reduced to 10% well before 2027! Oh dear me, what has gone wrong, have the smokers had the audacity to retalliate by smoking more?
"In order to make major inroads into smoking prevalence the whole range of tobacco control measures need to be fully implemented, not just NHS Stop Smoking clinics. As set out by the Department of Health there are six strands including: helping smokers to give up; second-hand smoke (and now the legislation is in place the priority must be protecting people in private places such as cars and the home); education and media; reducing tobacco promotion; labelling and regulation (including under-age sales, smokefree legislation and the ad ban); and taxation and smuggling."
Now we are getting to the dastardly plans that are being hatched-despite protestations to the contrary from certain overpaid anti tobacco zealots.
Helping smokers give up...OK then, that would be by NRT products that have a 98.4 FAILURE rate, I assume?
Second hand smoke (SHS) has never been proven to have killed a single person yet – unless of course you have the death certificate Debs!
Education and the media: well,, government has spent an absolute fortune on the media yet it has made no difference to smoker prevalence except to increase it! I would have preferred my kids to have learned their "times tables" rather than how many carcinogens might be in a cigarette-a lot more useful in future years methinks!
(reducing tobacco promotion; labelling and regulation (including under-age sales, smokefree legislation and the ad ban); that's it Debs, you go fo the jugular! Don't dare let pretty packets be seen, tell everyone that the horrible pictures tell them what smoking does to them-excepting why is it that 49% of lung transplants actually came from smokers? get 'fags' under the counter so that small shopkeepers find making a living becoming a struggle-let's start closing them down along with the pubs shall we?
and taxation and smuggling..of course, the easiest way to stop people smoking-added tax on tobacco products-as if extra tax ever stopped any smoker enjoying smoking. However Debs, the added tax would certainly help out the government funding you receive on a yearly basis so I suppose that this is really a self supporting strategy!
Smuggling... Now this is hilarious Debs, it really is! Do you not see that by bleating on about raising the tax to frighten smokers off with another 10p-15p per pack is actually leading us into buying more smuggled tobacco products? Do you actually think that the 'great unwashed' (admittedly not as erudite as your eminent self) are going to care whether a packet of fags is £5 or £6 when they can buy the same for half the price abroad? Check out S. Ireland wher the government is now screaming from the rafters that they have considered 'they' are losing out on £1m per week in tobacco tax. Wow Debs...£52m per annum not going into government coffers-some damage that is girl! Well done, you've really helped out a small countries economy there then! I know what your simplistic answer will be Debs, employ more Customs Officers. Yeah, why not put more strain on our rapidly shrinking resources Debs. Most of Europe is taking note of the financial disaster smoke bans cause whereas you seem to be oblivious to the obvious.
(and now the legislation is in place the priority must be protecting people in private places such as cars and the home) Ah! now we are getting to it Debs. So you do want to invade our property rights after all. Why?. What has our private home got to do with you, ASH or anybody else? We buy these places to live in live in them as we wish to do so. It is certainly not for any overpaid lackey of the health lobby to intrude upon our home & lifestyles. An Englishman's home is his castle Debs, remember that. start invading man's private property and you may well start a revolution-could you handle that I ask?
Cars come under the same banner as homes. I brought my car to enjoy, to drive about where and when I wished. I also brought it as it had an ashtray in it - as smoking helps me concentrate. I also brought the beast to transport my tools to work opportunities so if you decide to bend government into legislating in such a manner I shall be forced to sell said car and retire to the dole queues-along with 120,000 ex hospitality workers! Can you see what your zealotry is doing yet Debs?
"This December all local authorities are consulting on new LAA outcomes frameworks, so now is the critical time. We need your help. The clock is ticking."
What these 'new LAA outcomes frameworks' may consist of is anyone's guess but I would imagine it will be to the detriment of a minority factio; ie, smokers. Where you have hit the nail on the head is "The clock is ticking." It truly is Debs, for your charitable organisation (though uncharitable to your fellow man) organisation is working diligently to bankrupt this country-and is succeeding nicely! No tobacco revenue coming in, income tax raised, social outlets closed by the scores weekly, income to government from such businesses diminishing weekly, dole queues lengthening-oh yes Debs, you are leading England into financial oblivion my girl. i see a true Dickensian case of the MicCawbers coming on here Debs-and all through your diligence and lack of foresight for you are blinded by the need for power over others (smokers) and the ability to maintain your yearly vastly inflated, income. and you enjoy getting paid for making the lives of others miserable. Obviously, being a most charitable uncharitable soul at heart, you cannot live and let live, which is what the bible supposedly teaches us!
Just to cheer you up after this tale of woe Debs I will finish on a note of despair for you. The "Justice for Nick Hogan" appeal in blogosphere raised more money in 5 days than ASH received in public donation for the entire year. Wouldn't that tend to make you feel a little insecure re your continuing employment of removing peoples human rights one by one?