Smoking Ban – A growth killer nobody notices

Another article by Klaus K in Denmark, this time about the fall in private consumption after the introduction of the Danish smoking ban in 2007. I noted the same thing in the UK in the ISIS survey.


Smoking ban – a growth killer nobody notices

translated from Danish article: Rygeloven: Vækstdræberen, som ingen ser

Why is private consumption not rising?

klaus1Danish private consumption is 32 billion crowns lower in 2014 than in early 2008, writes Danish Business in an analysis (1), mentioned in Berlingske December 15. (2).

Actually private consumption is almost 50 billion lower today, if you leave out the increased state taxes that Danes pay compared to 2008, the analysis shows.

Economists do not understand this weak private consumption: (3) Why are Danes not starting to consume again after the financial crisis? They have plenty of money in their accounts, writes Danish Business. So why do consumers not consume like they did before 2008, and make economic growth speed up again?

The growth killer that nobody notices, is the smoking ban of 2007.

And this applies not only in Denmark but throughout the EU. All nation states have committed themselves to introducing anti-smoking laws after the accession to a strange UN-treaty from WHO (4) with the alleged intention of reducing tobacco use. Given WHO’s marriage-like partnership with the pharmaceutical giants however (5) it is more likely that the intention is to sell Nicorette.

The problem with anti-smoking laws is that they cut a large piece out of the economy: It requires all companies to introduce a smoking ban – thus prohibit smokers’ demand for places where they can smoke. Overall economic activity is naturally weaker when the state prohibits 20% of its citizens from demanding a service which is important to them.

The killing home culture

The negative consequences of this demand ban has been extensive because it has led to a “home culture” (6), which weakens virtually the whole retail sector. The reason is that the smoking ban drives many smokers out of public space, where most consumption takes place. Smokers literally migrate from public to the home sphere after a smoking ban, because their preferred vice is now banned almost anywhere outside the home.

A large and thorough study from the London School of Economics of 67,000 Americans’ habits before and after smoking bans concluded that smokers spend one hour more per day at home after a smoking ban, while non-smokers do not change their habits. Before the smoking bans smokers spent this hour on activities in the public sphere, for example restaurants, transportation, entertainment and retail. The study shows that the hospitality industry in total loses 26% of the time with customers after a smoking ban. (7)

It is only natural that retailers should suffer when 20% of the population spends much less time in public spaces.

Skeptics will argue that people compensate by buying online, but that is unlikely. People simply consume less in a home culture: They cut down drastically on all expenses associated with public spaces, for example cafes, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers, taxis, jewelry and entertainment. It is precisely in these areas that Danes spend less money according to the Danish Business analysis.

Smokers lose quality of life
after a smoking ban

The only Danish economist who has pointed out negative effects of the anti-smoking policy is economics professor Chr. Bjørnskov of Aarhus University (8). Using the EU-surveys he notes that smokers say they have poorer quality of life after the introduction of smoking bans and raising cigarette taxes, while non-smokers do not experience improved quality of life after these measures. Thus, overall the EU-populations become less happy after the anti-smoking policies, and therefore consume less.

Bjørnskov is generally skeptical of the idea that health policies lead to economic improvement (9).

But are there no economic benefits from the smoking ban? Lower health care costs for example? In Denmark unfortunately not: Hospital admissions have skyrocketed since the smoking ban. In the six-year period up to the ban hospital admissions increased according to Statistics Denmark by 0.9% annually, while the rate has more than doubled in the six-year period after the ban, to 1.9%. No one can claim that the smoking ban has been good for health in Denmark – it has turned out contrary to all expectations (10).

The many additional admissions have cost the state eight billion crowns annually since 2007 (11, 12). It is obviously unfair to blame the smoking ban for all of this extra expense, but conversely it goes without saying that there will be more sick and depressive Danes when 20% of them lose quality of life.

Only the pharmaceutical industry
wins with the smoking law

According to the Danish Business analysis the pharmaceutical industry is one of the only industries that Danes spend more on compared to 2008, a total of 2.3 billion crowns. Other retail sectors are experiencing weaker sales. It is no wonder that the pharmaceutical giants have spent fortunes on lobbying for smoking bans (13), for the bans have apparently kept most business sectors down, but not the pharmaceutical industry.

How much did the state lose from the smoking law? No one knows. It might be as much as a double-digit billions annually in lower VAT revenues, lower corporate taxes, more unemployment and more depressed and sick Danes.

The state has, however, compensated for these losses by charging significantly more unavoidable taxes on the Danes – a total of 15.5 billion annually, according to the Danish Business analysis. Thus Danes have become poorer. Yet the state has run deficits on average 50 billion annually since 2008. (14) This money has been borrowed abroad or, since 2014, by bringing forward the taxation of future Danish pension payouts. The money will be missing later in other words.

Given the huge annual government deficit and the weak economic growth since 2008, it is remarkable that only one economist has described what may be a major growth killer.

The introduction of the smoking ban is the most striking difference between today’s society and the pre-2007 society, and this explains the significant difference in the underlying performance of the economy since then. Until the smoking ban is repealed or relaxed, it is completely unrealistic to hope for higher growth rates like those existing before the ban.

When many people are prohibited from demanding what they want to consume, economy transforms into zero-growth. That happened in the old eastern European countries and this is almost the same situation in Denmark today.

And the debt? That must be paid by future generations – the children.



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53 Responses to Smoking Ban – A growth killer nobody notices

  1. carol2000 says:

    Off topic – IMPORTANT
    Study: Environment Trumps Genetics in Shaping Immune System
    WASHINGTON — Jan 15, 2015, 3:46 PM ET
    By LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer
    [In a twin study:]
    “…Most intriguing, the researchers found infection with a virus so common that most adults unknowingly carry it had a dramatic effect. Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is dangerous to those with weak immune systems but harmless for most people, and prior research has shown it can rev up parts of a healthy immune system. Sure enough, the Stanford team examined 16 pairs of identical twins where only one had CMV, and found big differences in nearly 60 percent of the components studied.”
    [The press release]
    Environment, not genes, plays starring role in human immune variation, study finds
    “In a striking example of the immune system’s plasticity, the Stanford scientists found that the presence or absence of a single chronic, viral infection could have a massive effect on the system’s composition and responsiveness. Three out of five Americans and as many as nine out of 10 people in the developing world are chronic carriers of cytomegalovirus, which is dangerous in immune-compromised people but otherwise generally benign. In 16 of the 27 monozygotic twin pairs participating in the study, one member of the pair had been exposed to cytomegalovirus but the other had not. For nearly 60 percent of all the features Davis’ group measured, cytomegalovirus’ presence in one twin and absence in another made a big difference.”
    This is what I’ve been saying. And poorer people are more likely to have been infected, so when smokers are more often among the poorer people, as a group they’re more likely to be CMV positive. This circumstance is what the anti-smokers exploit. See my page on smokershistory dot com, CMVsocio.html

    • carol2000 says:

      A different study found that 40% of cardiovascular disease prevalence was attributable to CMV seropositivity. The commentary on it noted that “the most striking finding of Simanek et al.’s study is that the relatively modest OR of CVD associated with CMV infection translates into an estimate of the population attributable risk or attributable fraction of CVD of ∼ 40%… What is striking about this 40% attributable fraction estimate is the implication that eliminating CMV infection would prevent as many CVD cases as the complete removal of smoking and almost twice as many as the elimination of either hypercholesterolaemia or hypertension from the population.”
      Except that those claims against smoking are based on ignoring the role in infection in the first place.

  2. Nunhs says:

    Interesting Frank thank you. I would say this matches my lived experience as well, and it certainly matches what has happened in my own town after the smoking in pubs ban was brought in. Although I no longer smoke, when the ban came in I stopped going to the local pub, (unless it was to work, but this meant I was still not spending any money there). I no longer enjoyed going to a cafe for lunch when smoking was banned in the outdoor areas. So no more of my money going there either. Now as a vaper, public “health”, and “tobacco control” are trying to bring in the same bans against vapers, so not only will I still not go to those places where vaping is banned, the government wont be seeing another cent of tobacco tax from me.

    Are all the pinch mouthed puritans, that so desperately wanted smokers exiled from public and private businesses, filling the gap? Not a chance.

  3. nisakiman says:

    A very interesting post, Frank, and it emphasises what we’ve been saying for a couple of years. In fact it’s bloody obvious, really, and anyone who takes the time to think about it would come to the same conclusion. MJM has been banging on about the economic ramifications (not just in the hospitality sector, but right across the economic spectrum) for years, and as you say, the ISIS survey that you organised was designed to illustrate this very thing.

    So why can’t the economists put two and two together? Or perhaps they can, but just don’t have the cojones to articulate what they know for fear of bringing ‘Public Health’ down on their heads. So once again it’s down to a Danish economist to raise his head above the parapet and point out the bleedin’ obvious. Thank heavens for the independent thinking Danes, and thanks to KK for translating and bringing to our attention this article.

    • Frank Davis says:

      the ISIS survey that you organised was designed to illustrate this very thing.

      Not quite. The conclusion that smokers had stopped spending was an inference from the fact that they visited pubs less often, and saw less of friends and family. For me it was the social impact of the ban that mattered most (and still does), and being the survey’s head honcho, that emphasis was quite clear. In retrospect, I wish we’d had a clearly economic question, like “How much more/less do you think you spend since the smoking ban was introduced?”

      don’t have the cojones to articulate what they know for fear of bringing ‘Public Health’ down on their heads.

      That’s probably how it is. In a time of Political Correctness, everyone must think in the prescribed correct manner. But Alistair Darling (chancellor under Gordon Brown) did once say that the smoking ban had an adverse economic effect. So I think they do know. They’re just not allowed to say so. The debate is over.

      • One must alo look at the knock on effects of smoking bans. Its not just having nowhere to go,its the high taxes that also take money away that could have also been used otherwise.

        Then the other economic factors like Obamacare in the US that caused employee mandates to cut hours down to 24 or less in order to not have the penalties to pay.

        That in effect helped the administration by taking 1 40 hour a week job and turning it into 2 20 hour a week jobs. Then those tht ran out of unemployment checks were just dropped from the rolls of the unemployed and then Obama lowered the standards to get SSi and it allowed for a SSI recipient to work like 18-22 hours a week and still keep their SSI checks.

        Now the lucky or unlucky ones with a 40 hour a week nice paying job get stuck with paying higher taxes and obamacare tax on top of everything else. My brother pays 1200 a year on it now and he doest get a thing for it as he has his own insurance plan. Its a forced tax on people making xxx if you make over such and such a year.

        Top Medicare tax went from 1.45% to 2.35%
        Top Income tax bracket went from 35% to 39.6%
        Top Income payroll tax went from 37.4% to 52.2%
        Capital Gains tax went from 15% to 28%
        Dividends tax went from 15% to 39.6%
        Estate tax went from 0% to 55%
        Remember this fact:
        These taxes were all passed only with democrat votes, no republicans
        voted for these taxes.
        These taxes were all passed under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare

        Add in all the above besides any tax a regulatory agency can increase without congressional approval and voila you have todays bankrupted America.

        The EURO it appears is just about Kaput now too and likely the dollar is fixing to take plunge in value too. Then the FED does what it did in 1932! Recalls a bunch of the printed fake money they created to try and stabilize its falling values. Then came 1933 and the great depression.

  4. waltc says:

    Aside from the fact, as Nisakiman points out, that most people are afraid of being viciously attacked for questioning the wisdom, necessity, improvement in health or the economic fallout from the bans on smokers, I also think for most, it’s the truly invisible elephant in the room. As nonsmokers, unaffected by — and therefore not conscious of– the bans (or actually themselves preferring that wonderful smoke-free air), it’s not a factor that occurs to them as even being a factor. They’d no more think of correlating smoking bans with economic decline than they’d think of a correlation between those declines and the latest fashion in the length of women’s hair. It just wouldn’t occur to them. That, or the larger economy be damned, they don’t like the smell.

    The desert island cartoon was great as is. Only thing I could think of to add might be the remnants of a scuttled lifeboat resting on the shore, but it may not be needed. Certainly the word Section wasn’t needed and is better w/o it. Fine job!

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m glad you liked it. It was, after all, your idea. I was a bit worried that you might have had a different image in mind.

      You said that there were other possibilities for the image, to give it extra dimensions. There was one obvious one, which I almost added, which was that the smoker’s smoke blew into the No Smoking section.

    • The non smokers will get taxed out of existence because when you take a large sector of the population out of the market place even if its 50% under what they use to do,thats a massive economic hit. The fallout goes back on those whose lives haven’t been disrupted by anything to change their habits as humans and interacting in society………..That’s where the big hit is!

  5. Firstly, I have read every post and most of the comments of the past month. Anyway,,,

    Talking of the elephant in the room (Walt) – or several pachyderms – the one which is particularly invisible to most people is the one skulking underneath the sombrero of the standard lamp. This beast is the one who pretends that everything isn’t planned in minute detail well in advance. He is arguably the most invisible in all living rooms, pubs, conference halls, legislative talking shops – everywhere people meet and talk – everywhere that is packed to the rafters with elephants whose presence dare not be uttered. In fact, many people don’t even know some of them exist, like our friend under the sombrero.

    He isn’t talked about, mainly because, despite being well-hidden (compared to the other elephants in the room), most people don’t know to look out for him. This elephant knows well in advance what the results of legislation are going to be. He knew that smoking bans would empty pubs and probably lead to people remaining behind (their own) closed doors and not contributing to the wider economy. That’s because deindustrialisation and impoverishment are near the top of the agenda.

    The journalists know they would be walking on thin ice if they ever mentioned this obvious fact and walking on thin ice with an elephant beside you can only mean deep danger.

    Another elephant is the benefit of tobacco to some people with mental health problems. Rather than accept this fact – actually, some have done, re. schizophrenics -but rarely the wider scene. You might remember me talking about my time in alcohol detox, where at least 90% of those in for detox were smokers, although I would say 95%,

    For me – not a schizophrenic, which was one of the suggestions from the several junior psychologists offering their diagnoses for my behaviour – tobacco has been like a medication for my own mental condition(s).

    There – I’ve said it. I am a mental case. I suffer from depression and “generalised anxiety disorder with agoraphobia”. I haven’t been anywhere in nearly two years, That doesn’t make me a raving lunatic, though, although not going out could lead to that effect!

    So, now you know. And the “medical profession” refuses to visit me because, according to them, if you don’t go to see them it means you don’t want help. No kidding. That’s a shrink’s eye view on agoraphobia.

    BTW, someone mentioned before that, “You’ve mentioned on many occasions that you’ve been shunned in real life. You seem to feel that being shunned by your Doctor and so on are badges of honour. And something to crow about.”

    This person couldn’t be more wrong. If I have bored you with it it is because I assume that not everyone reads my, often lengthy, posts and I want to make it clear that our health is NOT paramount to doctors and the same person wants me to “quit with the ramming stuff down people’s throats.” Well, I had never intended to! I to intend to be forthright and frank, so please don’t confuse them.

    My point is that, sure, doctors are going to be busier treating smokers who smoke as medication (it can be a double-edged sword with temporary relief increasing the underlying problems). On the other hand, people like I was 17 years ago, will stop seeking treatment now that these detox places and even their grounds are smoke-free, so alcoholics will hassle their GPs a lot more, as I used to do before some bright spark recommended a detox.

    By the way, as a smoker, I rarely, if ever, caught a cold or the flu. I certainly never bothered the doctor on the rare occasion it happened. Do you smokers find that, contrary to the propaganda, smokers are less inclined to catch colds than non-smokers? I know the smokers I worked with tended to have far fewer days off sick than our non-smoking colleagues.

    @Carol re. cytomegaloviruses – my only (other) experience of them is in Creation science where they tend to disprove evolutionary theory, but that’s me ramming science down people’s throats!

    Re, quality of life, what I don’t understand is why there aren’t many court cases, especially regarding smoking bans in prisons and is hospitals and care homes and especially mental hospitals. There was a big to-do re. the “inhumane” practice of sloppng out with prisoners rewarded compensation, yet being banned from smoking is far, far worse. When can we see court cases for these inhumane, disgusting and degrading pratices?

    • mikef317 says:

      Stewart, nice to see you back.

    • magnetic01 says:

      :) Welcome back, Stewart.

    • prog says:

      ‘Do you smokers find that, contrary to the propaganda, smokers are less inclined to catch colds than non-smokers? I know the smokers I worked with tended to have far fewer days off sick than our non-smoking colleagues.’

      I tend to agree. I have small a very small company with no more than 6 employees at any one time. Almost always smokers and v few sickies with colds etc. It’s very physical outdoor work in all weathers and I encourage them to take regular breaks – have a rolly snack, drink etc in order to relax and chill out. I’m also convinced that smokers are generally nicer people to get on with and exhibit greater camaraderie. I can’t put my finger on it precisely, but they also tend to carry less ‘baggage’ and are more immune to healthist mantra. ‘Happier’ perhaps. We never hear about the good side of smoking, do we? It’s you WILL die, you’re drain on NHS resources, you’re an addict, you smell, you’re weak, you you have no respect for others and are killing them blah blah blah. Fact is, most smoke people because it’s enjoyable.

      • nisakiman says:

        Fact is, most smoke people because it’s enjoyable.

        Heh! Nice typo! :D I can certainly think of a few people in TC I’d enjoy seeing smoked!

        Same as you, prog, the business I had in UK before I left had no more than 6 employees, all of whom smoked, and I had very few sickies. And the sickies they did throw were one day affairs which I knew were as a result of their liquid consumption the night before. Or woman trouble. Or both. And they knew I knew, but I paid them anyway with the admonition that next time I wouldn’t be so easy on them. As for myself, I’ve been my own boss for more than 30 years, and I’ve never been sick (as in ill – I’ve had a couple of physical problems though. Does smoking cause hernias?) in all that time.(In my late teens/early twenties I’ve had Malaria, Dengue, Hepatitis and Glandular Fever, and at 35 I got Mumps from my son [ouch!] but as far as I know those diseases haven’t YET been blamed on smoking) I almost never get colds, and the odd time I’ve had flu (mercifully only a couple of times) I’ve just worked through it. And I’ve smoked for more than 50 years.

    • margo says:

      Oh good you’re back, Stewart. Your point about smoking bans and mental health is extremely important and is another area where the anti-smoking lot have failed to join up the dots. I’ve known quite a lot of people who (before the smoking ban) went successfully through re-hab/detox for alcohol and drug addiction, all smokers, and I doubt if any of them would go near those places now if they’ve banned the comfort of smoking; those people would still be on their drug or dead. The NHS has no cure for the real-McCoy troubles of the human soul – their antidepressants and banal CBT counselling simply don’t work. I have no doubt that anti-smoking is tipping more and more people into loneliness, social phobia, agoraphobia and profound depression.

      • Thank you very much for the welcome backs, those who offered such.

        Even my depression didn’t lose me time off work – or one day a year, if that. In 1998, I decided to become self-employed to be able to cope better.

        “The NHS has no cure for the real-McCoy troubles of the human soul .” That’s a great way of putting it, Margo. You’ve probably noticed that doctors and nurses who have offered to pray for patients have been told to apologise or have been shown the door, irrespective of whether their efforts were appreciated or if any ‘offence’ was taken other than by the ‘professionally offended’. The person to whom I attributed those other quotes on here directed at me also wrote a month ago,

        “No one is forcing you to bog-off; what I’d much prefer to see is you develop a degree of empathy and do so quit with the ramming stuff down people’s throats…There are numerous individuals who comment here who are Christians. They don’t need to harp on about it.

        I try not to “ram” stuff down people’s throats. It’s not the prescribed method of proselytizing. It is important to mention it, though, not just for me, but for the whole idealogical subversion by traitors which has consumed the West and is manufacturing something very, very ugly and which, as a consequence, doesn’t permit for what Margo is talking about. It doesn’t make allowances for people’s many failings and judges people remorselessly and most definitely doesn’t do forgiveness. To them, that is a sigh of weakness, not of empathy (which he accused me of lacking, despite, being self-employed and costing myself untold amounts of money by trying to make our country and world a better place). It is that lack of empathy and charity and forgiveness which has seen us lumbered with these horrendous attacks on our freedom. I am simply trying to join the dots together for you, but you appear to have a prior commitment to materialism despite all the evidence of the damage it does.

        Some people can’t see the good that Christians do and so automatically go on the offensive. Not only the good they (some) do for our Western civilisation, which has given us laws which has made us the most free people in the world and who Thomas Jefferson, although not a a Christian and rejected the supernatural aspects, but wrote his own ‘bible’ and said that Jesus taught “the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man”.

        I can remember that life was better 20-30-40 years ago when we were a more Christian society. Moral confusion has set in; moral relativism is highly damaging. When people do what seems right in their own eyes, according to their desires, then countries fall to pieces and that’s exactly what is going wrong in the West.

        Because men cannot devise sublime and benevolent codes, as they are usually on a power trip and have ulterior motives.

        Former KGB subversion agent, Yuri Bezmenov, explains how important our Judeo-Christian heritage is for the survival of our civilisation as it is what gels us together. He explains that science cannot do that and that ‘equality and diversity’ cannot do that. Nothing else can do that, not even our nationality.

        The person who carried out that character assassination of me also suspected me of being on the verge of a nervous breakdown and “what makes it doubly sad is you’re not always right” – I never claim to be always right and have often been wrong.

        He writes below and hasn’t welcomed me back (although previously wrote that he hopes I keep my blog going – I am wondering why) and hasn’t apologised for his OTT attack. Not that I want this blog to be a constant round of apologies, but I apologied and this certain person has issues with me being a Christian, so for that reason alone, I might comment more than I had intended. If Frank doesn’t ban me.

        • smokingscot says:

          @ Stewart

          I made several other points at the time, all connected with your overreaction to a comment made by a chap who posts from California.

          Absolutely no need whatsoever to welcome you back. You’ve been chirruping away at Leg’s place for several weeks now and you know full well he’s a daily for me.

          I meant what I said then – and I’m only to pleased to reiterate the underlying crux. Raise a contentious issue and face the consequences.

          Asked you hold on to Real Street because it can be hugely cathartic to take your time, work things out, do the research and post a cogent piece.

          The later being just as relevant to a comment as a full blown post.

          However it’s nice you’ve scrubbed the wheelie bins as your avatar.

        • You don’t quite remember it how it was, S.S. It was worse than I quoted. The date was Frank’s post of 9th Dec. 2014 and your rant was: here.

          It was a sickening attempt at trying to imply that I am crazy, when it is you who would seem to have a fixation about/against me. Your attempts at cheap psychology and bullying puts you more in line with the tactics of the Antis.

          If you’re on Leg-iron’s every day, you’ll be noticing how he is turning into me: global government; one world religion; fake “alternative media”, etc. ,etc. Other people I converse with by phone and email are the same – coming round to my way – because I have been studying it for over 13 years and I know what I am talking about. Probably because they finally come to understand the truth and are prepared to concede that they might have been duped, but I dare say you’re too proud.

          You, being an atheist, despise Christians, especially, because we’re a spanner in your works for your own global control.

          The fact is that an atheist who is so delicate about hearing anything spiritual has ALREADY LOST and is a hindrance, deliberately setting out to cause trouble where none was intended and losing impetus in the debate due to your personal disapproval of Christians. These are anti-Christians in high places removing our freedoms, whether Masonic in nature, or Fabian-inspired (or some other Godless social engineers) and you (presumably without knowing it) add fuel on their fires when dealing with the likes of me. YOU are the danger. And I’ll show you how little you are complaining about.

          Have you listened to Yuri Bezmenov’s warning that when your faith goes your country goes with it? You are aiding and abetting the enemy. You are heaping coals on all our heads, just because you’re a delicate humanist, who wrongly confuses any talk of spiritual matters with them being rammed down your throat.

          Looking back through my 30 comments in August, there was one reference to “Christ” in response to someone else’s comment and three were on a thread about Creationism (two were replies). At no time was I shoving my beliefs down anyone’s throat.

          I know you won’t welcome me back, because you did a hatchet job on me. Why? Because humanists cannot mix with religious people. That is YOUR problem, yet like a coward, you try to make it my fault. I’ve met a few cowards like you, which is the reason I record telephone calls now, to prove to myself, at least, that I was right when they lie to try to save their (professional) skin.

          And you lied. The Christian link is very important. Of course it is, because a one world religion will go with the global government – and you will be first to worship this entity for wanting to be with the in-crowd and for wanting to snitch up those who aren’t members.


          And you didn’t comment on my point, “I can remember that life was better 20-30-40 years ago when we were a more Christian society.”

          What do you think, S.S.? How do you think your humanist ‘Utopia’ will be panning out in the next 20-30-40 years based on recent trends?

          And to cap it all you accused me of not having empathy, despite devoting years’ worth of research to get us (all) out of this impending doom and you don’t even have the empathy to sympathise with my terrible situation. Oh yes, because when you’re a humanist, hate makes the world go around until you have bullied everyone into being the same as you. You never grew up from primary school, did you.

          Your joke about wheelie bins is all I can expect from someone with your closed mind. And if you think you’re a free-thinker, some of your evolutionist chums don’t believe there is such a thing, as our brains operate according to the laws of chemistry and physics.

          So there must be more and I suggest you find it – and yes, this is a rare piece of proselytising.

    • carol2000 says:

      “they tend to disprove evolutionary theory” – Huh?????

      “deindustrialisation and impoverishment are near the top of the agenda” – plenty of evidence for that.
      The big flaw in this piece is that he talks about “free market operations that unavoidably create winners and losers,” then in his very next breath goes on to say that “The upward distribution of wealth is the natural corollary of decades of aggressive lobbying, government infiltration, and political arm-twisting.” That’s government interference by definition, not the free market.

  6. smokingscot says:

    Excellent post Frank. As you say, it’s all there in the ISIS survey. I know you’re not terribly keen on presenting that, nor your readership surveys, to a wider audience however it reinforces Chr. Bjørnskov thesis and – without doubt – it will assist him, perhaps even help him produce a more detailed analysis in the future.

    Maybe one of your Danish readers could assist?

    With regards to the overall cost of these bans, he’s correct – it’s impossible to know with absolute certainty, however I was very impressed indeed with Phil’s workup. He used to be at the coal face of the pub industry and his figures make a great deal of sense.

    I believe many people simply cannot begin to get their heads round these figures, simply because they’re staggering. However I feel Phil didn’t quite manage to tie in that business of VAT going from 17.5% (to 15%), then back to 20%. Of course we’re not privy to government finances, yet my gut tells me the smoking ban and the the increase in organised smuggling are why it jumped 5%, and not 2.5%.

    And none of them have remotely explored what’s really happening on the supply side of smuggling. Sure they get the occasional shipment that can amount to hundreds of thousands of Pounds, but that seems to be it. They don’t do a track back, probably because the real shakers and movers are extraordinarily good at keeping themselves one step removed from the goods.

    Anyway the bottom line is take Phil’s figures, then multiply them by EIGHT and you’ll be a little closer to reality.

    His post:

    • Frank Davis says:

      I know you’re not terribly keen on presenting that, nor your readership surveys, to a wider audience

      I’d be more than happy for the ISIS survey to find a wider audience. But I think it’s an uphill task to get surveys like that into the MSM (if that’s what you mean), because it “sends the wrong message”. If anyone thinks differently, why don’t they try doing it?

      Also most of my writing is stuff written by a smoker for other smokers. I’m not writing for antismokers (except to take pot shots at them).

  7. Rose says:

    Perhaps people are acting as if they were under siege because twenty percent of us are, it’s quite possible that our friends and associates are subconsciously picking up the vibe and acting accordingly.

    • I found it very interesting that it has been shown in scientific litterature (in a huge U.S.-sample) that smokers on average stay at home for one hour more per day after a smoking ban – 98 minutes more per weekday. Of course friends and associates will tend to follow that trend. There is no way such a huge displacement could leave the retail sector unaffected. This is a very strong argument against the smoking bans.

      Scroll down here and see table 2 for time spent before smoking bans, and table 3 for effect of smoking bans on time spent at different locations:

  8. Swiss Central Bank Pulls Plug on Euro Suppport

    Swiss Central Bank Pulls Plug on Euro Support
    This is big.

    The Swiss National Bank has scrapped its ceiling of SFr1.20 to the euro, three and a half years after introducing it.

    This has caused the Swiss franc to skyrocket on foreign exchange markets. At one point it was up more than 40% against the euro.

    The decision is likely linked to next week’s European Central Bank governing council meeting, when the eurozone’s monetary policy makers announce a quantitative easing effort, which would result in the Swiss National Bank taking on even more euros as reserves to keep the euro strong.

    In other words, the SNB is no People’s Bank of China type patsy, where the PBOC has taken on massive amounts of dollar reserves to prop up the dollar.

    Will the PBOC learn anything from SNB? If so, this will not be good for the US dollar.

    Meanwhile, gold is soaring:

    • The Next Round of the Great Crisis as Begun

      The entire rally in stocks post-2009 has been due to Central Bank intervention of one kind or another. Whether it be by cutting interest rates, printing money, buying bonds, or promising to do more/ verbal intervention, the Fed and others have done everything they can to push stocks higher.

      As a result, today, more than 90% of market price action is based on investors’ perceptions of what the Central Banks will do… NOT fundamentals. For instance, if bad economic data hits the tape, the market tends to rally because investors believe this will result in the Fed having to print more money.

      Again, the primary driver of stocks is no longer fundamentals, but Central Bank intervention.

      As a direct result of this, the final and ultimate round of the Crisis that begin in 2008 will occur when faith is lost in the Central Banks.

      That round is now beginning, with the Swiss National Bank breaking its promise to maintain the 1.2 Franc/Euro peg. This is the proverbial emperor has no clothes moment: the time in which the investing public realizes that Central banks are not omnipotent.

      There have been hints of this for years now.

      Firstly there was the ongoing “is it legal or is it not legal?” arguments for the ECB’s OMT program. Mario Draghi “saved” the financial system and the EU in 2012 by promising to do “whatever it takes.” Two years later, it’s still not even clear that he could do “what it takes” from a legal standpoint.

      Then came Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s decision to increase the Bank of Japan’s QE program, not because it would benefit Japan’s economy, but because doing so would make his colleagues’ forecasts better match his own.

      All of the above indicated that Central Bankers were just making it all up on the fly… but it wasn’t until the Swiss National Bank broke an outright promise, broke a set currency peg, AND lost between $60-$100 billion in a single day, that things really got ugly.

      At this point, the writing is on the wall: nothing can be taken for granted. No assurances or promises or proclamations will hold.

      The next time stuff hits the fan, will the world be as trusting in Central Banker proclamations? Will we continue to believe these folks are omnipotent? Or will their phony promises accomplish nothing?

      We’ll find out.

  9. They have plenty of money in their accounts, writes Danish Business. So why do consumers not consume like they did before 2008, and make economic growth speed up again?

    The idiots, They should get their money out of the banks before they get done like CYPRUS

  10. Last Words On AirAsia Flight #8501 Blackbox — “ALLAHU AKBAR!”

    (Gateway Pundit) – According to Indonesian official the last words on the blackbox belonging to missing AirAsia flight was “Allahu Akbar!” The recorder says, “Allah…

  11. Rose says:

    OUTRAGE: East Lancashire NHS chiefs ban smoking at all mental health facilities

    “NHS chiefs have sparked outrage by banning smoking within the grounds of all the mental health facilities in East Lancashire.

    It means patients detained under the Mental Health Act are forced to abstain from smoking during the course of their admission, as they are unable to leave the premises.

    Bosses said the policy, which also covers e-cigarettes, follows national guidance and patients will instead be offered nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches or chewing gum.

    But staff and campaigners have raised serious concerns, saying the ban could lead to increased agitation, aggression and violence on the wards.

    One nurse, who asked not to be named for fear of being disciplined, said: “What I have observed so far is a significant increase in patient harm due to the ban. Violence has increased, with emotional distress and frustration subsequently having a detrimental effect on patients.”

    But as they explain, they are only obeying orders.

    ” Lancashire Care claimed the policy was supported by ‘a majority’ of staff, but failed to provide any evidence to show this, including a staff survey which it said ‘needs more analysis’.

    The trust also pointed to guidance from the National Institute Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which supports the policy,”


    “NICE, the health and social care guidance body, says in new guidance that all NHS hospitals and clinics should become completely smoke-free to help all patients who smoke, including those receiving mental health treatment, to stop smoking whilst they receive care, and preferably help them to stop for good.”

    • nisakiman says:

      What complete and utter sadistic arseholes they are. This is a subject which really makes my blood boil. They display malicious contempt for those that they are supposed to be helping and completely ignore all the evidence that smoking is actually therapeutic for those who have the misfortune to find themselves in the care (?) of those institutions.

      I hope the people who have imposed these spiteful regulations rot in hell for all eternity. And that’s better than they deserve.

      • Rose says:

        Drug use, smoking ban stoking mental health unit’s violence: union

        “The impact of smoking bans at the unit is also a concern for ACT Mental Health Consumer Network executive officer Dalane Drexler.

        “Consumers are reporting to us that it’s a significant concern for them,” she said.

        “Not only do we have people in there who are saying that there are violent incidents surrounding smoking and it’s not always the smokers who are becoming aggressive, we also have reports from consumers who won’t admit for voluntary treatment because they’re a smoker and they don’t want to be forced not to smoke when they’re already in a very distressed state.

        “When somebody is mentally unwell and they lack capacity to make decisions, they’re a risk to possibly others and certainly themselves, that is not the time to be forcing somebody to stop smoking.”

        Probably looked good on paper at the time.

        Experiments on a captive population never feels right

  12. Rose says:

    Bosses said the policy, which also covers e-cigarettes, follows national guidance and patients will instead be offered nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches or chewing gum

    GSK’s nicotine patches and gum feel the heat from e-cigarettes
    16, 2015

    “LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline is feeling the heat from the rapid growth in electronic cigarettes, with enthusiasm for the nicotine delivery devices dampening sales of the British drugmaker’s patches and gum, its chief executive said.

    In an interview with Reuters, Andrew Witty also said he and his team had spent “a few days” exploring whether the drugmaker should compete directly by becoming an e-cigarette maker, but had swiftly decided against it.

    “We’ve decided we’re not going to play. We’ve consciously had a think about it but we’re not going to play,” Witty said.

    “Of course, it’s definitely taken a bit of our market, no question at all — but there’s a lot of competition in that space anyway.”

    GSK sells various nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) and smoking cessation products, mainly in the form of patches or gum, including the brands Nicorette, NicoDerm CQ and the medicine Zyban.

    It is in the process of forming a consumer health joint venture with Novartis , whose brands include Nicotinell, making the combined business the market leader in the $3 billion-a-year smoking cessation market.”

  13. beobrigitte says:

    Smoking Ban – A growth killer nobody notices
    I am sure ALL business people did and do notice but no-one dares to speak out!

    Smokers lose quality of life after a smoking ban
    Indeed. Especially the older smokers find themselves living in isolation.
    Sure, I have saved a lot of money in the last 7 years by staying at home but I’d be a happier person if I could go out again. As a PAYING customer I OBJECT to being kicked out the door!

    Labour pledges:
    A Labour government would protect children from “commercial pressures” to drink too much alcohol, eat too much sugar and to smoke, the party will pledge today.

    WHO in their right mind will vote for Labour?

    • prog says:

      ‘WHO in their right mind will vote for Labour?’

      Drones and the vast public sector and its hangers-on. One or two might vote LD though.

      Of course, much of its traditional grass roots support has shifted to the opposite end of the political spectrum.

      • Barry Homan says:

        Drones = sheeple

        • I voted Labour until a decade or so ago, but I wasn’t in my right mind. People who suffer from depression tend to be above average intelligence; people who suffer from anxiety tend to be above average average too. People who suffer both tend to be well above.

          My mental condition was delusion – delusion that only socialists care for the sick and needy. At least I have overcome that handicap.

          And yes, nurture over nature had something to do with it, growing up in Glasgow. My intelligence shone through eventually.

          And of course, Labour kept getting worse as time wore on, with their treason and social engineering. I was a socialist drone until I had the humility to be able to listen to the voices of reason.

  14. Rose says:

    Smoking ban for mental health patients in Islington’s high-security wards

    “SERIOUSLY unwell mental health patients detained in Islington’s high-security wards will be forced to give up smoking after a new ban was imposed by bosses.

    Camden and Islington Foundation Trust has become one of the first in the country to stop offering supervised smoking breaks to in-patients, warning that smoking is the “main cause of death” among its “service users” and “interferes with psychiatric treatment”.

    The new smoking policy means sectioned patients – who are diagnosed with serious disorders and judged not well enough to mix with the public – are not free to go outside on their own and so have no choice but to quit.”

    “In recognition of the situation and in the interest of promoting choice we are going to permit people electronic cigarettes. “

  15. magnetic01 says:

    Re: mental patients

    It should be noted that voluntary patients are presenting for a particular mental condition. They are not presenting for smoking cessation. Involuntary patients are classified as such by a court order that requires them to undergo treatment for a particular mental condition. There is nothing in the court order about smoking cessation: Smoking is NOT why they have been classified as a mental patient. The facility is obliged to only treat the condition deemed by the court. It must also be remembered that involuntary mental health patients are not criminals.

    If an involuntary patient is asking for a cigarette, they obviously don’t want to quit. Forcing smoking cessation on them is going beyond the scope of treatment permitted for the patient and violating informed consent (either patient or court). It’s bureaucrats and antismoking activist bigots terribly messing with vulnerable patients. Mental patients are not some experimental quantity whose entire lives are at the complete disposal/whim of psychiatrists/bureaucrats. There is very serious misconduct occurring here. The problem is that an ideological crusade – the smokefree “utopia” – now trumps the humane treatment of patients. It is a cruelty inflicting further distress and anguish on mental patients masqueraded as “duty of care”, i.e., iatrogenic.

    Moreover, the “authorities” typically claim that patients are “treated” with NRT as if this makes their position any more tenable, that NRT somehow “solves everything”. In addition to the above concerns, NRT is next to useless for people without mental conditions that are wanting to quit smoking. NRT is entirely useless for those that do not want to quit, let alone that they might also be in a highly distressed mental state as well. Mental patients who smoke, already in a highly distressed state, are being forced to quit smoking “cold turkey”. This NRT “treatment” only generates sales for pharmaceutical companies. Why would anyone subject mental patients to this politically/financially-motivated assault? Why aren’t those in the mental health hierarchy aware that NRT is useless? Why do bureaucrats value the mental health of patients below maintaining an ideological (antismoking) stance? It is those running mental health facilities that are demonstrating some serious mental issues. And it wouldn’t be the first time that mental health authorities have used/exploited mental patients in a malicious and criminal manner; the provision of treatment for mental patients is littered with dark periods where the obscene conduct of the “healers” defies sane description.

    In chasing a questionable ideological agenda, a cruel streak has again been allowed to proliferate within the mental health hierarchy; it’s another “dark” period. A mental patient that smokes is now confronted with a perverse, frightening, and destructive cult mentality in the health system that is intent on “converting” the patient into a nonsmoker. It is entirely beyond the scope of necessary/mandated treatment that further compromises the mental health of patients. This obscene situation is in urgent need of scrutiny, asking how an ideological agenda has been allowed to derail the humane and legal provision of mental health services.

    • magnetic01 says:

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

      ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

  16. carol2000 says:

    The economy went to hell like that all around the world. Are we supposed to believe it’s all because Denmark banned smoking? Sorry, I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole.

    • nisakiman says:

      Er, Carol, I think you’ll find that it wasn’t only Denmark that banned smoking. To my knowledge it was banned all around the world, and as the bans were enacted so the economies bombed. It might be just coincidence, but there are an awful lot of factors that point to the bans having a directly negative effect on spending.

      • carol2000 says:

        It’s coincidence. The housing bubble burst involved a lot more money than peoples’ restaurant and bar tabs. And smoking bans have been going on for decades.

        • Carol Mike did the California economic ban study along with Kuneman and they figured California lost 100 billion dollars in the years of its ban at the time of the study. Theres no reason not to figure the same effect everywhere else in Billions of dollars. The bans never truly took off until 2007 when the dumbocrat from California took overCongress Miss Pelosi!

          The housing crisis began back in 1993 with Clintons minority in preference for credit. Those failed minority loans were wrapped up with good loans to cover the losses and it all finally burst apart in October 07.

          Its not the bans alone its not the minority bad loans alone its the lefts ideology that destroyed the economy and that includes the destruction of small business owned bars and restaraunts along with bowling alleys,coffee shops and all the rest. Avergae losses per family business 30-40%……….they shut down or cut bare bone hours. Now ZEROCARE will finish off the rest of whats left!

        • RdM says:

          Of course the banks involved, but – on local scales, when bars, cafes, clubs close, the workers, even owners, may lose their livelihoods, and with flow-on effects, maybe even their house, their home, maybe go on welfare… their health deteriorate, productivity lost.

  17. Pingback: What are the Psychological Effects of Smoking Bans? | Frank Davis

  18. carol2000 says:

    Frank, check you mail, I sent a picture.

  19. Good article!
    And I fully agree:
    Here in Germany, we had a double whammy:
    1. in 2002, the Euro introduction. Where many restaurants and cafes simply doubled their prices, thinking that the stupid customers would not notice. Well, we DID notice. And many of cut down on going out to dinner. Considerably. And cut down on going out for (now very expensive) drinks etc as well.
    then 2. in 2008 (?) the smoking ban. So, many of us no longer cut down. Instead we stopped completely. – Why spend a lot of money going out when you cannot even smoke? Naawwww…… better to stay home, do what we please, and save all the money.

    And yes, if I am no longer going out to a bar with friends, why spend money on flashy clothes? My clothes for the office are good enough for everyday occasions.

    And many ladies will know this situation:
    You see a pretty top / dress at a store. Say “oh, that looks gorgeous!” – followed by “but where could I wear this? Naaww…. I am not buying this. Cannot wear it anywhere anyway”. – Sales lost.

  20. Pingback: The Gerbil is Dead —- Not Going to the Pub —- the Consultation —- Sock-puppet Politicians —- This Blog | Bolton Smokers Club

  21. Pingback: Turmoil in the Markets | Frank Davis

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