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Monday, 2 November 2009

That great big thing with tusks and a trunk which mustn't be discussed

Mythical myth-busting (aka ASH bullshit):

Myth: House fires will increase as people will stay at home to smoke

Preceding the smoking ban, claims were made that the legislation was going to cause people to stay at home and smoke instead of going out to a pub or club and this would result in a greater number of house fires.

Reality: There have not been any reports to suggest that smoking related fires have increased. Further evidence that like-for-like sales in pubs have not been affected suggests that smokers have continued to visit pubs.

Source of the claim: Direct line


"The number of people killed in house fires caused by smokers has risen dramatically since smoking was banned in public places.

The grim rise bears out fears that more people are now drinking at home due to the smoking ban implemented in March 2006 and recent moves to end cheap alcohol offers in pubs and bars. The ban was hailed as a step forward for health but at the time critics warned it would lead to an increase in house fires as well as costing jobs and infringing human rights."

Scottish Mail, September 2009

Great big pachyderm tramping around the room:

Scots are twice as likely to die in a fire than people elsewhere in the UK thanks to their fatty diet and higher rates of smoking and excessive drinking, a new report has found.

Scottish ministers ordered the investigation following a 62 per cent rise in the number of people killed in fires north of the Border between 2006-07 and 2007-08.

The study made 37 recommendations to reduce the number of deaths, including each blaze being investigated by the authorities in the same way as drugs fatalities.

Surely you can guess which recommendation didn't rear it's inconvenient head?

Go read the report yourself, all 67 pages of it, here [pdf]

All that guff, signed off by Brian Sweeney, chief officer of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, and not even a passing mention of the smoking ban. Plenty of proposals for further restrictions on legal practices, though.

Mind the elephant on your way out, Brian.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pg. 43 - Statement in support of fire-safe cigarettes. The Fire Service has got together with our friends at ASH to lobby for these nasty things. There's a forum dedicated to the subject over at Forces.

When asked about the additional chemicals used to make the paper for these fire-safe fags, ASH came out with their usual, dismissive 'smokers are unhealthy anyway' retort.

All the graphs seem to show is that there's a general, downward trend in the number of deaths caused by domestic fires.


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