An assortment of readings. Smoke gets in your eyes:
Getting over the fact that there’s even a group of MPs committed to eradicating the pastime of others, as you can be sure none of these joyless bores actually smoke, one cannot help but laugh at the audacity of such claims.
Firstly, smokers don’t necessarily die early. I remember my Granda enjoying a crafty fag well into his 80s when many of his non-smoking friends had already kicked the bucket. To make such a sweeping generalisation is to ignore the fact that many smokers live long and healthy lives, and that we have all met ones that do.
Secondly, smokers don’t actually cost the NHS anything. They pay for themselves, many times over. Ignoring the fact that the smokers getting lung cancer sits at just 16%, so the vast majority will not cost the NHS anything, in 2012 the cost of treating smoking related illnesses to the NHS was £6 billion. In that year alone the state raised £9.5 billion in tobacco duties. And £2.6 billion in VAT from the sale of cigarettes. So, in reality, smokers actually subsidise the treatment of non-smoking related diseases. I could die of lung cancer twice and still not have cost the NHS anything over what I’ve paid for in tobacco duties.
But the biggest fallacy being trotted out here is the logic behind it. For about 50 years the health puritans have been telling us that no-one will smoke in 20 years or so if they just kept on hectoring us through the tax system. Yet there have never been more smokers on this planet.
Ex-prisoner writes about prison smoking bans:
Unlike tobacco in the wider society, tobacco in prison plays a huge role in prisoners’ lives. Tobacco isn’t merely a diversion. It is the default prisoner currency, the standard unit of trade that all other commodities are valued against. As such, banning it would have the same social effects as if Government suddenly banned the cash in your wallet or purse. Sans tobacco, some other substance will become the default currency and the only candidate is heroin…
Banning tobacco, then, will have the key consequences of instantly dismantling economic structures which have stood for decades; will destabilise the social structure; reduce intelligence; tempt staff to smuggle; and throw social power into the corrosive and unstable hands of heroin dealers.
I can’t think of a more damaging policy.
And when released they start smoking again:
THE vast majority of prisoners banned from smoking in jail light up within days or weeks of being released, a new study shows.
Three months after smoking was outlawed in Victorian jails — sparking a riot at the Metropolitan Remand Centre — a report has found up to 63 per cent of prisoners resumed smoking on their first day of freedom.
And six months after release, 97 per cent of ex-inmates had relapsed.