Interesting that, according to the video below from Taking Liberties, in 1948 82% of adult British males smoked.
Brillo chairs a micro-debate about the BMA’s proposal that anyone born after 2000 should be disallowed from buying tobacco. He kicks off by saying that alcohol and sugar are “bad for our health”, so why single out cigarettes for a total ban? Dr Vivienne Nathanson replies, “Because cigarettes are never good for you,” and adds “Smoking kills 50% of all smokers.” Simon Clark says, “We totally accept that smoking is a serious risk to people’s health.”
Nathanson mentioned children a lot.
So at the outset, it has been established that Brillo (aka Andrew Neil, and a cigar smoker last I heard), Simon Clark, and of course Dr Nathanson are all agreed that smoking is bad for people’s health.
Simon Clark then makes the rather weak point that “adults have to be allowed to make the decision” (presumably to kill themselves). He then makes the stronger point that the BMA proposal is totally impractical, and would create a huge black market in cigarettes.
Clark really only managed to land a blow on the BMA when he shifted off the topic and said that the BMA had also passed a proposal to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places, and the BMA was “becoming a temperance society,” and “bringing the medical profession into disrepute.”
Finally Nathanson said that under their proposal it would only be illegal to buy, not illegal to smoke. She said that “the habit of smoking is very strongly linked to your ability to buy.”
The latter must be true of almost everything. My burger and chips ‘habit’ is very strongly linked to my ability to buy burgers and chips. Same with my tea ‘habit’. And my car habit, and my trousers and shoes habit.
But going back to it being illegal to buy, but not illegal to smoke, it’s already illegal to smoke more or less everywhere except outdoors and in your own home, and there are moves to close those ‘loopholes’ too. So in practice, by the time it becomes illegal to buy cigarettes, it will also be illegal to smoke them anywhere either.
And these days the antis are always saying that “smoking kills 50% of smokers”. How do they know? The truth is that they have no idea whatsoever. It’s just a number somebody has dreamt up.
Anyway as ever in these debates, once it has been conceded that smoking is bad for you, the war is lost, and it’s thereafter a matter of retreating more or less rapidly before the triumphant antismoking zealots.