The big revelation was that there are now a million less smokers since the smoking ban. Except that was apparent from last year's stats too. It was noted by an 'expert' on the BBC web-site, for example.
Dr Jennifer Mindell from the Faculty of Public Health said the drop in the numbers wanting to quit showed 2007 was "basically a blip".
"It's more or less what we would have expected. The smoking ban was a good trigger for some people but many people quickly realised they could carry on smoking."
Well of course people could carry on smoking. What else did she expect? Wasn't this ban not actually about making people stop smoking, but the health of the bar staff? Or were there incredible porkies flying around?
It would seem so, and the responses to the ONS survey show that, even with millions upon millions spent on convincing the public of the lie of second hand smoke, it is still not the preferred excuse for intolerant individuals to dislike the practice (click to enlarge).
Yep. The smell and the clothes having to be washed trump such concerns yet again.
Remember that the ban was brought in to protect bar workers? It was a workplace ban after all. Well, click here and you can search the PDF file yourself. I tried "bar staff" and "bar workers" but there were no matches. Likewise "pub staff" and "pub workers". So, dispensing with the description of the premises might have a chance, eh? Not so. There is no occurrence of the words 'staff' or 'workers' in the entire 127 page document.
Doesn't that appear strange?
Well, not really. We are all well aware that it was never about protecting bar staff, and this document merely emphasises that. The fact that no measure of bar workers' health since July 1st 2007 has been conducted, merely an exercise in extolling the virtue of the ban via quit figures, puts paid to the sham behind its introduction, whilst simultaneously proving the Department of Health as a bunch of liars.
This is what they said in December.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: 'Smokefree laws were introduced to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. The legislation was never intended to be a measure to reduce smoking prevalence.'
In which case, why are you not measuring the effects on employees along with the prevalence of smokers? And why is this all over the BBC when the legislation was argued, in parliament, for one reason and one reason only?
MPs should hang their heads in shame at being conned so very comprehensively, but they won't. They could, however, partly right the wrong by lending their weight to a redress in the form of an amendment which would allow some form of choice for the 11 million smokers identified in the ONS document. Like this one, for example.
Mark Easton at the Beeb is one of the few who has interpreted these figures properly.
But the 11 million remaining are a steadfast band - banished from offices, pubs and restaurants, you will see them huddled in doorways, sheltering from wind and rain as they light up.
Within this al fresco routine, a camaraderie often develops; a spirit of solidarity and doggedness with undertones of rebellion. Loyalty grows, to each other and perhaps to the weed which unites them.
Today's attitudes survey from the Office for National Statistics finds that among Britain's smokers, there is a larger proportion who smoke heavily - up from 24% to 29%.
Steadfast band indeed. And government need to understand that they have well exceeded the limits of what is value for money spending under Pareto's principle.
In economics terms, there is diminishing marginal benefit. This is related to the law of diminishing returns: each additional hour of effort, each extra worker is adding less “oomph” to the final result. By the end, you are spending lots of time on the minor details.
Unfortunately, despite the conclusions of this study, no matter how clear it is that further expenditure is throwing good money after bad in a vain cause which is doing nothing but calcifying resistance, economics will be roundly ignored in favour of blind, wasteful idiocy by bansturbating morons.
Taxes are an ever-running tap to the unthinking public sector, and smoking is a never-ending avenue for wasteful spending however little the returns are proven to be.