Invoke Article 31 of the FCTC

Rose drew attention to this:

OUT MEANS OUT! Boris promises complete break from EU laws in major victory for Brexiteers

PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has insisted that Britain will not follow EU rules after finally leaving the bloc on January 31.

The Prime Minister made the vow despite the EU insisting regulatory alignment was a requirement for any future relationship. Friday saw Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal pass through Parliament with a majority of 124. Speaking in the Commons chamber the PM said it “means we are one step closer to getting Brexit done.”.

…He said the result of the vote “paves the path for a new agreement on our future relationship with our European neighbours based on an ambitious free-trade agreement, with no alignment on EU rules, but instead control of our own laws and close and friendly relations”.

One of the EU rules and regulations which she referenced was this one, dating from 1989, which…


“to take the following measures by introducing legislation or by other methods in accordance with national practices and conditions:

1. Ban smoking in enclosed premises open to the public which form part of the public or private establishments listed in the Annex.”

This regulation is the reason why in June 2016 I personally voted to leave the EU. Why the hell should a smoker like me want to be a member of  a political union that requires member states to ban smoking? In fact, why should any smoker anywhere in the EU want to be a member of an organisation that wishes to discriminate against smokers? It’s why I think that the EU is a doomed political project. There are a lot of smokers in the EU, particularly in former east bloc countries. What better way to turn the peoples of Europe against the EU than to have it exile about 150 million people to the outdoors? It certainly worked that way with me.

Leaving the EU was for me simply a necessary first step towards repealing the UK smoking ban. And as far as I can see, the only reason why the UK introduced a draconian smoking ban in 2007 was to comply with EU obligations (and also with those of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control). For it seems that whenever you sign up with any of these international organisations, you find you have to introduce new rules and regulations. It is in this manner that people find that they’re no longer governing themselves, but are being governed by remote bureaucrats over whom they have no control. So now that we’re leaving the EU, we really ought to extract ourselves from the FCTC as well.  We should invoke Article 31 of the FTTC:

Article 31
1. At any time after two years from the date on which this Convention has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from the Convention by giving written notification to the Depositary.
2. Any such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of withdrawal.
3. Any Party that withdraws from the Convention shall be considered as also having withdrawn from any protocol to which it is a Party.

If we can invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (as we have), then we can also invoke Article 31 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. In fact, if we are to “control our own laws”, we ought to do exactly that.

Tobacco Control must be destroyed.

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16 Responses to Invoke Article 31 of the FCTC

  1. Mark Jarratt says:

    The relentless official persecution of smokers enabled by the arrogant prohibitionist tobacco control FCTC must stop. The only sham consultation was with extremist anti-tobacco zealots. Those directly adversely affected daily by such meddling and related extortion were and are deliberately excluded, as are journalists. I never consented to such discrimination and bullying by the Australian government. Interference in individual lifestyles is not a legitimate function of government, a matter of ethics not of “public health” (actually population eugenics). Go away and mind your own business, curtain twitching prodnoses!

  2. Rose says:

    They had great difficulty turning private properties into public spaces.
    Committee on Smoking in Public Places

    Date:Thursday 23 September 2004
    Venue:Committee Room 1, National Assembly for Wales
    Title:Definition of a Public Place

    The purpose of this paper is to provide information to assist the Committee in defining the terms “public place” and “enclosed public place”

    European Council Resolution 41989X0726, 26 July 1989
    “Enclosed premises open to the public which form part of the public or private establishments.”

    From the Guardian in 2010

    Jon56 asks:

    “How did the English smoking ban become law? In particular, it forbids a group of adults from buying or renting an isolated building, currently a cafe, and setting up a smoking cafe, staffed by members of the group on a voluntary basis. Surely such a ban, interfering with an activity which would be legal in the home of one of the participants, contravenes the European Human Rights Act?”

    • Fumo ergo sum says:

      It was, and still is, not a matter of definition but rather a matter of ‘determining’ or ‘stipulating’ to discern what a public space actually is. The problem is that the notion of a public space is in itself extremely vague, and cannot be defined. That is why the legislator had to come in to seize all pubs, cafes and other so-called ‘public’ venues so that the activities organised within those premises could be regulated at will.

      In order to make my idea more feasible, let us consider a philosophical paradox that the ancient Greeks dubbed the ‘sorites paradox’ (‘sorites’ is a Greek word for ‘heap’). Imagine a heap of sand. The heap itself consists of 1,000,000 different grains of sand. Now, if I remove one grain of sand, there are still 999,999 grains left. This would then definitely not be the same heap anymore, yet still a heap. And what if I extract yet another grain of sand? Then an even smaller heap consisting of 999,998 grains of sand remains. As a result, I may actually remove an indefinite amount of grains and yet still have a heap of sand. There is no natural, pregiven amount of grains required below which a heap would cease to be a heap. Indeed, even just one single grain of sand would then still be a heap. The sorites paradox is actually a good example of predicative vagueness: since it is not a priori obvious which range of objects falls under the concept of a predicate (i.e., which actual heaps would be instantiations of ‘heapness’), any object could actually count as an instantiation of the predicate.

      Now, let me give the following twist to this paradox. Imagine I am at home in my house all alone, and feeling desperate and lonely during the Christmas season. So I decide to turn the tide, and put a note on my front door (which might be rather old-fashioned these days, but I do not have nor actually need Facebook): “Need to have a conversation? Please ring the door bell.” An hour after putting up the note, someone actually rings my bell. I open the door, and notice that it is my neighbour. He always politely nods his head when we cross each other on the street, but for the rest I hardly know him. After all, he is also a bit of a shy and timid person, just like me. So I let him in in order to get to know him better. He appears to be a very sympathetic and even humerous person. A persecuted smoker, as well, which is the reason why he does not go out very often. So for the whole afternoon, we were sitting at the table in my living room, chatting and enjoying some glasses of wine and some cigarettes.

      Day 2. I really enjoyed it to have some company. And I told my neighbour that he was always welcome to join in whenever he pleased. The day after, the door bell rings again. It is my neighbour who brought 4 of his friends with him. So we were once again sitting at my table, having deep conversations about the sorites paradox and the nature of public spaces. No glasses of wine this time, but entire bottles, while my ashtray was simply overflowing at the end of the day.

      Day 3. I still like the concept of having some company during the day. But perhaps it is a bit too formalistic to have my guests ringing my door bell. So I put another note on my front door. Very simply: “Welcome, please come in!” And yes, they did come in. All the smokers living in my street and even coming from adjacent towns who are no longer welcome in ‘public spaces’ like restaurants, cafes and pubs and now gather at my place. All my chairs and, my sofa and even my cat’s basket were crowded with people.

      Day 4. Yesterday was cosy, but a bit inconvenient. There were people who had to stand for hours in my living room, as seats seemed to be a rather scarce commodity. However, last week yet another cafe on the corner of the street definitively closed its doors. After more than 8 years, he finally gave up waiting for large numbers of non-smoking families with little chiiiildren who pledged to save his business from financial ruin. He could as well have waited for Godot… Luckily for me, I managed to get my hands on his bar stools, which he could no longer use. So I installed the bar stools in my living room, removed the sofa and a sideboard, and even fabricated a large counter with a beer tap, some additional ashtrays and a couple of bowls filled with crisps, cheese cubes and salted nuts. It is not only the lungs and the liver that need to be fed, after all. Just like yesterday, the place was crowded and cosy.

      Day 5. Of course I still appreciate it to be surrounded by a variety of persons, and I have enjoyed a couple of very interesting conversations. I also finally learned how to play chess properly. But the costs of my daily social events are getting a bit out of hand: sodas, beer, spirits, snacks and even occassionally handing out cigarettes if one of my guests forgot his. It’s all on the house, so far. And I don’t even want to think of my water bill, which must be a very costly affair this month: after all, my daily guests also found their way to the restroom as well… So even though I do not want to be rude, and want this informal gathering in my house to be continued, I nevertheless see myself required to put on a price list for the different beverages I have on offer. Prices will of course remain democratic, as I only need some income to cover the costs of all this.

      Day 6. It is still fun throwing out smoky and drinky parties all day. Yesterday and even the day before, the last guest returned home at around 3 a.m. And then I still needed to clean up the mess a bit! And I also have many other things to do, like reading and writing. So I am getting a bit tired now due to a lack of sleep. Perhaps it should be convenient if I were to have opening hours or business hours. Of course, I cannot have this. I am not an “official” public space, after all. So I decided not to put anything official like ‘opening hours’ on the door. But just a note saying ‘Available daily from 5 p.m. until midnight. Usually away on Monday and Thursday’. As such, my beloved guests know when I am at home and/or not working, and eager to greet them heartily.

      Day 7. “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” But little did I know that it would be a day of rest for me as well. A day of permanent rest, unfortunately enough. It was indeed Sunday, and my guests were flocking in my house as usual. They usually look a bit sad on Sunday. It is the last day of the weekend after all, and one could read on their faces that they look forward to their coming workweek in some sterile smoke-free office as much as to their annual visit at the dentist’s. There was however one guest that looked very grim and antipathetic. Someone I had not seen before. He walked straight into my direction and asked for my operating permit. And my alcohol license. And a detailed accounting overwiew of the duties paid to the state for the drinks I sold. And the inspection report of the fire department. And… I interrupted him and asked who he was. He told me that he was an inspector from some kind of ministry. I still assume it must have been someone from the Ministry of Magic. Or the Ministry of Love, if you prefer, or something like that. He yelled at me that I had exactly 5 minutes to remove all the ashtrays inside. And yet another 5 minutes to show him all the documents he asked for. Of course, I could not show him any paper except rolling and cigarette paper. With regard to his demand to remove the ashtrays, I simply refused, as I don’t think it was his business to meddle himself how I should decorate my own house. “This is a public space! You have to comply with what I order – whatever my order may be!”, he shouted to me. Of course I denied that this was a public space. This was, and still is, my house where it is I that decides who shall be welcome and what social etiquette shall be maintained. It all came to a deaf man’s ears. You may already guess what happened within the next 5 minutes: my guests got all exiled to the outdoors, my ashtrays (well, actually my whole interior) confiscated and my front door locked and sealed by a locksmith. So here I am again, alone in what I thought was “my” house, feeling desperate and lonely…

      So far my little story. The question now is: at what point in time did my house (or at least my living room) turn into a “public space”. Was it already at the very first encounter with my neighbour, when I let him in? That’s of course very dubious, because I had no requirement whatsoever to let him in. Was it then the moment that I left the door unlocked and hung a note stating that one could come in without having to ring the bell? That’s highly problematic too. After all, I still remain in charge to grant or deny access to anyone who wishes to come in. By the same token, I can leave open the gate on my entranceway for the postman to deliver a parcel. But that doesn’t mean that everybody therefore has a right to access. Let’s try then the moment I started to charge money and my non-for-profit entertainment turned into a commercial activity? That’s a very arbitrary criterion, of course. It would imply that libraries, schools and lecture halls are all the sudden no longer ‘public spaces’ because they are not primordially involved in any commercial activity. Perhaps it was the moment I put the opening hours on display. But what, then, besides a purely formal one, would be the difference between putting on opening hours or hanging a note “I’m of to the barber’s. I’ll be back at around 5 o’clock”? Would mentioning the latter, then, count as a proof that my private home is a public space after all?

      I actually deny that there exist something as particular as a ‘public space’. Just as I actually deny that there is an independent sphere which could be dubbed the ‘private space’. Indeed, the dichotomy between ‘public’ and ‘private’ is a false one. For we could also interpret the sorites paradox the other way round. Suppose for instance that the reason I want to invite someone is not because I want to have someone around to talk to. No, it is because I am an actually a sadist that wants to torture a random guest entering my door. But does that mean that I have the RIGHT to haphazardly seize someone entering my home, put him in chains in my basement and torture him to death? If I were really living in a private space, than I could behave like a tyrant in my own roofed absolute kingdom. But obviously, I do not have such a right. The LAW that forbids any assaulting or killing of innocent people holds whether it is ‘in private’ or ‘in public’. The law, here conceived as a natural law, actually transgresses the boundaries of the private and the public altogether, thwarting its distinction.

      As you can see, it is hard to discern the limit on which my own private house turned public. It is, actually, impossible. Which is why this gibberish talk about ‘public spaces’ is so dangerous: it involves a subtle manipulation of language in which real definitions of classes of things are substituted by legal regulations that stipulate what COUNTS as a class of things. And since this can only be done through positive legislation, the act stipulating what counts as a public space belongs to the realm of the legislator. In reality, however, there exist as many public spaces as there exist tooth fairies, purple elephants or round triangles. All the rest is collectivist brainwashing and part of the grand social reconditioning program.

        • Fumo ergo sum says:

          Haha, that’s a very nice and truthful story indeed. Sadly enough, Underdog’s words have been very prophetic indeed: “Immensely rich and powerful bishops, cardinals and the Pope order us to live as they instruct and tell us it is the word of God. ‘Deny yourself everything. Give it to us and… er… we’ll dispose of it all to save you from yourselves’.”

          I see that this story has been written in 2014… Just four years later, Satan indeed came to the Vatican disguised as pope Francis:

          I cannot imagine that any of his two allegedly “archconservative” predecessors like John Paul II or Benedict XVI would have imposed any such draconian measure which is a clear act of apostasy. Perhaps the Holy See should be moved again to Avignon for a while, as long as this blasphemous turmoil continues to agitate Rome…

          By the way, I do not think that hell is a fiery let alone smoky place. Smoke always moves up toward the skies, toward God’s heavenly kingdom. I actually conceive of hell as a very sad, sterile place where the bad souls are condemned to a life of eternal boredom until their very personality gets destroyed. Not much unlike our current smoke-free bars and other dull, numbing places of ‘entertainment’, indeed.

      • Frank Davis says:

        This reminds me that I’ve occasionally wondered whether the authorities will actto close down the Smoky Drinky Bar, which is an online bar where people can meet up and smoke and drink and talk.

        Is the Smoky Drinky Bar a “public place”? Can a virtual or imaginary room be deemed to be a “place” at all? Under whose jurisdiction would it fall? The UK, the EU, the USA?,Is there a health threat posed by simply seeing people sitting and smoking in their own homes?

  3. Rose says:

    A reminder from 2009

    “Here are just a few of the things you could do before 1997 but can’t now – many of them, it must be said, forced on us by EU directives, though our government in most cases agreed them.

    Smoke in a pub or on a railway platform in the open air in the middle of the countryside, or at a covered bus stop, or in your own car if it is used for work, or in your own house if it is used as an office where outsiders may come.

    Own a horse, donkey or Shetland pony without possessing a passport carrying a picture of the animal.

    Ride off with a pack of hounds in pursuit of a fox or stag.
    Play the piano in a pub without an entertainment licence.
    Stage more than 12 events a year at, for instance, a school or church hall at which alcohol may be served without a full licence.

    Set off a firework after midnight or be in possession of a firework if aged under 18 at any time other than the period around Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve.

    Own a pistol for any purpose, including sport target practice.
    Stage a protest of any sort, even if alone, within 1km of the Palace of Westminster, without the authority of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

    Fish in the River Esk without authorisation.
    Enter the hull of the Titanic without permission from the Secretary of State.

    Import into England potatoes which a person knows to be or has reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes.
    Obstruct the work of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
    Imbibe an alcoholic drink on a London Underground train or bus.
    Keep a car on your own driveway without tax, even if it not being used, without filling in a form.
    Sell a grey squirrel (though you can kill one).”

    Minister says UK ‘gold plating’ of EU laws has stopped

    “It has been claimed that the UK sometimes enacts more regulation than the EU requires it to when the EU issues a directive.
    But Mr Fallon says that this practice has now been “effectively ended”.

    Speaking at an Open Europe event, he said ministers were now required to “transpose only the minimum necessary to comply with each directive”.

    I hope to see speedy progress in weeding them out.

  4. Rose says:

    European Parliament

    Parliamentary questions
    19 June 2008

    WRITTEN QUESTION by Godfrey Bloom (IND/DEM) to the Commission

    Subject: Environmental tobacco smoke E-3520/2008

    “According to the Commission Green Paper ‘Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level’ (COM(2007)0027), more than ‘79 000 adults’ die in the EU per annum from the effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
    This claim is the driver behind the proposals by the Commission to bring in a binding directive later this year to enforce smoking bans in workplaces.

    Given that the impact of such a directive will be considerable, both economically and socially, could the Commission please name three or four people who have died from ETS within the European Union in the last two years? ”

    And they couldn’t

    Parliamentary questions
    18 July 2008
    Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

    “The Green Paper ‘Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level’(1), refers to the estimates of mortality attributable to passive smoking in the EU reported by Smoke-free Partnership in Lifting the Smoke-screen: 10 reasons for a smoke-free Europe(2). These estimates are based on the international evidence on the level of risk posed by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and the estimated proportion of the population exposed rather than individual cases of deaths due to passive smoking.

    The nature of the epidemiological evidence on all risk factors, be they chemical or other, is such that it does not allow to identify the victims at individual level but only populations .”

    (2)Jamrozik K., ‘An estimate of deaths attributable to passive smoking in Europe’, Lifting the smokescreen: 10 reasons for a smoke-free Europe, Smokefree Partnership (February 2006).

    Happy Christmas to you all.

  5. Sands says:

    Don’t expect too much. I’m a Norwegian and Norway is not in the EU but the smoking bans is the same. It’s a global movement. Not to be a downer, but I highly doubt that brexit will affect the smoking bans. There is a global political agenda for a smoke free world by 2030. It seems the UK is also part of it, just like Norway. If things do not turn around, tobacco is likely to be illegal on par with narcotics in ten years. That’s where the road is heading. It’s creepy, but what can you do?

    • Frank Davis says:

      Norway may not be a member of the EU, but it is a signatory of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. So that’s one reason why you have a smoking ban.

      The other reason is that you had the misfortune of having the antismoking extremist Gro Harlem Brundtland as prime minister, before she became director of the WHO.

    • Mark Jarratt says:

      Illegal on par with narcotics! Try the latest Australian “initiative” with effect last 1 July. Imports of all tobacco products require a permit. If no permit is produced, the goods (just another import although a target of global prohibitionist hatred) will be seized and forfeit without recourse, like heroin or cocaine. I asked the Feral Gummint (federal government) 6wks ago how, as a matter of law and jurisprudence, tobacco can simultaneously be a prohibited import, yet legal to purchase and consume (except anywhere people might like to smoke, e.g. pubs, bars). Amazing, no response! The preferences of individuals are subordinate to the cult of “public health”…aka totalitarian top down social control.

  6. Smoking Lamp says:

    Th global antismoking movement is destroying liberty and sowing societal decay. The FCTC is a brutal totalitarian mechanism designed to impose the antismoking agenda and quash any and all dissent. The FCTC must be eradicated. But that won’t be enough. Even in the US which never acceded to the FCTC’s brutal regime, the FCTC’s ethos of persecuting smokers and using fear and manipulated statistics to impose prohibition is alive and well. The antis tobacco lobby’s lies must be exposed. Tobacco control must be destroyed!

    • Mark Jarratt says:

      Right on, Smoking Lamp! The prohibitionist FCTC empowers the unholy trinity…
      1. Greedy economically irresponsible politicians devoid of respect for personal autonomy and free choice.
      2. Sanctimonious prohibitionist lifestyle control zealots who believe they have the right to use the full force of law to inflict their bourgeois concepts of health cultist purity on others.
      3. Black marketeers, ready, willing, able and delighted to meet consumer demand.
      Also of course peddlers of useless smoking “cures” are also on the destructive discriminatory anti-tobacco juggernaut.
      Obviously if draconian tobacco prohibitionist controls had wide public support continually expanding hyper regulation would be unnecessary. Current indications are that the tobacco control zealots will not cease and desist unless and until they get the Mussolini and Petacci treatment.
      Greetings of the season and happy fuming.

  7. Sands says:

    I would not expect much from Boris Johnson. I read that he agreed on banning smoking in cars with children in it back in 2014. There is an anti-smoker in him even if he is not so loud about it. Before all this hysteria began, to smoke or not to smoke in a car with people under 18 was up to the individual. It was not enforced upon you. But Boris Johnson is obviously not like that, he agrees to enforce smoking bans when he feels like it. It’s much like fascism; ‘stop liking what I don’t like’. He don’t like smoking in cars, then you have other people in the govrnment who don’t like smoking in parks… and so the smoking bans continue to be rolled out.

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