Tomorrow sees the 3rd anniversary of the smoking ban, inplemented 1st July, 2007 thanks to the worst government this country has ever had to endure - and 13 years worth at that!
Since the chief fabricator (Godber) laid out his dastardly plan to eradicate smoking & tobacco in 1975 the anti smoking movement has marched on relentlessly in pursuit of a smoke free world.
With the pharmaceutical industry investing $millions in 'smoke free' and reaping $multi millions in return, smokers are up against a formidable enemy.
Unbelievably the pubs & clubs sleepwalked their way into smokefree legislation, fully believing the crap that was fed to them by the likes of Flint, Hewitt & ASH. "no business closures reported in other countries".Hogwash! "no detriment to business". Hogwash! "millions of non smoking customers ready to invade the pubs & clubs". Yes - even more Hogwash!
Punch Taverns & Enterprise Inns (Englands 2 largest pubcos) botgh ignored the warnings issued and now sit, very unhappily, at the wrong end of £3.8bn balance sheets. Neither can pay the interest on their borrowings, such is the cvolossal effect of the smoke ban and smokers walking!
For Flint, Hewitt & ASH, your 'success' story is this:- 'you have, in your zealotry hatred for all things tobacco, killed 6,000 businesses, caused poverty & bankruptcy, homelessness and despair. You cannot, howver, prove that you have saved 1 (one) single life!'
Maybe the pubs & clubs 'rolled over' in the face of this law but in many countries determined resistance has been forthcoming. The myth surrounding passive smoking/smoke has been well and truly exposed to all with a semblance of normality as many scientists wrestle with their conscience. Indeed, we now have a situation whereby scientists can sign the "Brussels Declaration of Scientific Integrity" or remain on the highly lucrative payroll of the anti tobacco movement. Anti Tobacco fever has swept across the western world like a plague!
However, the signs are there that 'for germany's highest courts have ruled that smoke bans are detrimental to bar owners livelyhoods (Flint, Hewitt, ASH???) and have therefore lifted such. bBar owners are now returning to making a living!
The Dutch bar owners association all chucked £250 in a pot to fight the smoke ban - and won! it was noticeable that ashtrays seldom disappeared from the tables in Holland as bar owners knew their fate if bereft of smokers.
The Danes have just declared that the next step in the anti tobacco story will NOT be happening in their country as the proposed Tobacco Display Ban has been dismissed; ie, it will not be happening - much to the chagrin of some!
In France the ban is hardly noticeable as the french continue as before.
The Spaniards, ever mindful of tourism, have ignored their smoke ban as best they can.
The Italians are of similar mind, with very little actual enforcement going on.
Croatia has relaxed its policy as they have seen the economic damage cause by smoke bans.
poland recently relaxed their stranglehold on smokers for similar reasons.
Bulgaria did the same after only 3 days, much to the fury of some female director of the WHO, who felt the need to write to the Bulgarian government in the strongest terms about their audacious decision!
The Czech Republic went even further and refused to entertain a smoking ban at all! The'WHO' must have had an apoplectic fit with that news!
Talking of the 'WHO', I find it somewhat hilarious that in their self righteous efforts to rid the world of tobacco they were forced to hold a top level meeting 4 weeks ago to discuss the raising of $billions to further pressurise world smokers. Not only are smoke bans causing havoc with individual nations economies but the 'backroom boys' are suffering economic stress too.
Under Labour we would be expecting the smoke ban review any day now, but happily the new coalition government has put such action on hold as 'non important' in the light of our dire economic status. This is excellent news, and a breath of fresh air for our 16 million smokers for the planned Labour review was not a review at all but a means to impose further restrictions. Some of the planned review paperwork was written 2 years ago by certain universities employed (for astronomical sums)to ensure the ban was a'storming success'. There was very little in the reports to indicate smokers had been hard done to, which, when you realise that the review papers were ordained by one Gillian Merron (deposed Lincoln MP) is of no surprise!
Happily, there has been a storm of protest from small shopkeepers concerning the banning of tobacco displays. More 'fibbers' from ex-government have been exposed as small retailers objected to the redesigning of their shops to accomodate 'under the counter' cigarettes & tobbaco.
'Under the counter' is quite the term at the present time as smuggled goods into this country and S Ireland are rising rapidly. Indeed, S ireland has now been dubbed as the tobacco smuggling centre of the world- a far cry from the initial successes claimed by their government upon implementation of thier smoke ban. Actually, they are bemoaning the fact that they are now £400m down due to loss of tobacco tax!
Over in America, home of the bans and home of the anti smoking lunatic John Banzhaff, things are changing slowly as we're seeing bars boycotting state gambling in response to Michigan's ban.
Ohio: people still making a royal stink about their ban with courts holding bar owners not responsible for enforcing it in some areas while in other areas local health departments have refused to take responsibility to enforce it. Illinois: supposedly the ban being widely ignored in various areas.
Kansas: the ban being put on hold in their major city of Wichita because of a conflict between the city and state and the noninclusion of casinos.
Missouri: Springfield City Council withdrawing a ban from a vote because it would have been filled with exemptions - so now no ban at all; and on the Federal level a split decision by the Supreme Court: the tobacco companies lied and were racketeers, but the government can't grab money from them as punishment (Obama wanted $280 BILLION dollars from them).
So, after 3 years of misery for the good people of this country we can see that smoke bans are starting to crumble - and they will crumble simply because they cost countries farm too much money to implement. They cost far too much money in upkeep. They have no great affect on smoke cessation. After all, the only figures government can produce in defence of spending £253m last year is the number of 'quitters' over a 4 week period - which in reality means diddley squat! many people stop for 4 weeks just to get the financial reward offered for quitting.
Smoking rates have decreased decade after decade since the 1950's but smoking bans have reversed that trend with smoker prevalence on the up, tobacco sales on the up and tobacco shares on the increase - indeed, hypocritically, many local councils are investing their pension funds in BT!
Smoke bans are ridiculous for they deny smokers the right to smoke in certain places. They deny owners of pubs & clubs the right to earn a decent living. They seriously damage a nations economy. They do not prevent the death of any human being - despite the wild claims od supposedly 'saving 400,000 lives'.err...Hogwash!