Smoking Lamp draws attention to bad news from Austria:
Austria passes smoking ban, snuffing out fallen government’s flagship policy
VIENNA (Reuters) – Parliament on Tuesday passed a ban on smoking in Austria’s bars and restaurants, extinguishing a flagship policy of the recently collapsed right-wing government which had scrapped the measure after it was already on the statute books.
The law comes into force in November. However their election to chose the next coalition government is in September.
If the same party that opposes the ban does garner enough votes to get into government they have made it clear the law will be repealed.
What surprises me about this is how quickly a new smoking ban was re-introduced after the Austrian coalition government collapsed on May 20. It only took the new “government of experts” about 6 weeks to rush in a smoking ban:
Until fresh elections, likely to be held in September, the posts vacated by all the resigning FPÖ ministers will be filled by “by experts or senior civil servants”, Kurz said.
But what else can one expect from “experts”?
I think another very interesting thing is that overturning an Austrian smoking ban was a “flagship policy” of the fallen government. If so it suggests that there’s a very strong pro-smoking movement in Austria.
Might that have something to do with the fact that antismoking Adolf Hitler was born in Austria, and many Austrians have no wish to emulate him?
I suspect that if the smoking ban goes into effect in November, and Austrians experience the full divisive effect of them, it will result in a great many more of them switching to the “nationalist populist” political Right, as is happening elsewhere in Europe. And Austrians may find No Smoking signs going up, only to promptly be torn down again.
” …….. For the next few months, strive to ensure there are positive media stories, letters to the editor, etc., that tout how well the bylaw changes are working. There will no doubt be a backlash from smokers in the beginning until they get used to the changes. In the meantime, you have to counter their negative comments in the media, in comment sections of online news pieces and blogs, on radio call-in shows, etc. Your job is to make politicians continue to believe that they did the right thing. It is not unheard of for councillors to backtrack on their decision and water down legislation. (page 48)
…….. Plant stories in the media about non-smokers politely asking smokers to move to a designated smoking area or outside the smoke-free area and smokers complying. Create the impression that the bylaw is working and it will! (page 48)”
Smokers never “get used to the changes.” There is no “backlash from smokers in the beginning”: the backlash slowly builds up over time, precisely because smokers never get used to smoking bans.
Tobacco Control must be destroyed.