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Friday, 24 April 2009

Tales from across the pond

It is often said: Only in America and If America sneezes the UK catches a cold!

There is a big push afoot across the pond to ban smoking in the home and in one state the nutters from Massachusetts are baying for smoker’s blood!

First off all, buoyed by that paragon state of brotherly love towards smokers, California:

When apartment dwellers in Belmont, Calif., complained about cigarette fumes from down the hall, the City Council sprang into action on their behalf, outlawing smoking in apartments and condos and threatening to ticket violators.

But Massachusetts didn’t want to be left out of the ‘let’s stick it to the dirty tobacco enthusiast’:

When tobacco-control activists in Massachusetts embraced the same cause, they made a tactical decision that seemed surprisingly meek in a state long recognized for its prohibitions against harmful habits: They rejected the idea of governmental regulation.

Hurray for common sense! (Oh, there’s a but?)

So, instead, they are leaving it to market forces, convinced that the supply side - landlords - will listen to the demand side - non-smoking tenants - and adopt smoke-free rules.

So, if I live in a large block and the majority don’t smoke, can’t smell my smoke because I have a well ventilated apartment, I could lose my home if I don’t give up my simple pleasure?

Still, even this more gentle strategy is sure to rankle some smokers, who complain of being branded as pariahs.

Too fucking right it will! Rankle? It bloody stinks like the inside of a UK, smokefree, creche of a pub it does.

Stephen Helfer, who has fought on behalf of smokers' rights for years, said there is nothing subtle about efforts that he argues will further marginalize the poor and the mentally ill, who smoke at rates higher than the state average
"I think they're trying to almost blackmail landlords into doing this," said Helfer, who lives in a Cambridge condo where smoking is allowed. "The reason they are not trying to regulate it is because they feel they don't have the political will right now. But make no mistake: They're going after us in our homes."

In many respects, the home represents the final frontier of tobacco control.

There was nothing ‘subtle’ about the Nazis in the late twenties and thirties Stephen and it took a very long time for the timid to fight the fuckwits that strip you of your dignity.

But it couldn’t happen here in dear old Blighty, could it???


Captain Ranty said...

The trouble is that it probably can happen if enough sheep stand gawking when they should be telling these puritans to fuck off.

They won't, unless we organise and fight back. They don't know who to shout at. They have lost the ability to rebel. Too much friggin' Prozac in the water supply or something.

Time to rant and rave, time to tell them to stop interfering.

In my own small way I am fighting back here:

If we can mobilise the sheep it'll be a beginning.

Anonymous said...

Sort of metaphor for what's going on.

Denormalisation and alienation of the innocent...

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