Someone mentions smoking bans

At last someone mentions smoking bans. Dennis Prager:

As many observers have noted, staying safe has become a religion. “Safetyism,” as it is sometimes called, like all religions, places what it values — in this case, being safe — above other values. Safetyism explains the willingness of Americans to give up their most cherished values — including liberty — in the name of safety for the last year and a half.


Millions of Americans not only gave up their right to go to work, earn a living, attend church or synagogue, and visit friends and relatives, but they even gave up their right to visit dying relatives and friends. One can assume that nearly every person recorded as having died of COVID-19 died without having a single loved one at their bedside from the moment they entered a hospital until their death. The acceptance of such cruelty — irrational and unscientific cruelty, one might add — can only be explained by the failure of generations of schools and parents to teach liberty, while successfully teaching the worship of safety. If your father had to die alone, it was worth it for the sake of safety; if your mother had to be in what amounted to solitary confinement in a nursing home for more than a year, that, too, was worth it for the sake of safety. And, of course, if political leaders and leaders in science and medicine have to lie for the sake of safety, so be it; truth, too, is less important than safety.

None of this is new. Twenty-five years ago, I wrote and broadcast about the willingness of Americans to watch individual rights crushed in the war against smoking, and especially in accepting the absurdity of the allegedly lethal dangers of secondhand smoke. No one denies that intense exposure to secondhand smoke can exacerbate preexisting illnesses such as asthma. But the anti-smoking zealots’ claim that 50,000 Americans die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke is nonsense. For example, in 2013, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that there was no statistically significant relationship between lung cancer and exposure to passive smoke.

Yet, in the name of that nonsensical 50,000-a-year claim, people were forbidden not only to smoke on airplanes — which on courtesy grounds alone was appropriate — but even in smoke shops. In the city of Burbank, California, run for decades by leftists who, like all leftists, have contempt for personal liberty, smoking is banned even in cigar shops. Despite the fact that no one is forced to work in any cigar shop, and even if the shop is well-ventilated, no smoking is permitted.

What is important to note is that these irrational prohibitions on personal liberty bothered no one except smokers. The number of nonsmoking citizens of Burbank who objected to these laws was probably zero. Had Burbank announced a ban on alcohol, there would have been a revolt — despite the fact that at least half the instances of spouse- and child-abuse are accompanied by alcohol, and every instance of death, brain damage, paralysis and other permanent injury caused by a drunk driver is caused by alcohol. Has anyone been killed by a smoking driver? Has anyone been murdered, or any child or spouse been molested or beaten because the murderer or abuser had been smoking?

So, the safety zealots learned from the anti-smoking and anti-secondhand smoke crusade the great lesson that if you told Americans something wasn’t safe, you could deprive them of their rights and they would willingly go along with it. And, for the record, this is equally true in virtually every country in the world. “Safety uber alles.”


About Frank Davis

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9 Responses to Someone mentions smoking bans

  1. Stephen Helfer says:

    Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that tyranny in small thing affects us more adversely than in small things. The former affects more people more often in their daily lives than larger forms of tyranny.

  2. Clicky says:

  3. Mark Jarratt says:

    The precautionary principle of risk aversion and “safetyism” has demonstrably failed. The proponents are scared of their own shadows and have inflicted their neuroses on society, same as anti smoking zealots, determined to control the behaviour of others.

    The toytown government in the Australian Capital Territory has now also yielded to this grossly irresponsible stupidity. I wrote to our lords and masters as below. I am not confident of receiving an on topic literate reply, as in years of asking pointed questions of the anti tobacco prohibitionists who dictate government policy not one of the responses has ever replied to the points raised, they just regurgitate propaganda from the “we know best how you should live and what you value” script.

    The only upside if there is any from the global CV19 hysteria is that non smokers are now experiencing the dead hand of excessive government force, with their one size fits all collectivist absolutist unfit for purpose “countermeasures” based in the illusion of control, risk aversion, fear of the world, and Nirvana thinking, not observable reality.

    Dear ACT Govt Department of Health,

    I write to seek the medical and scientific basis for imposing mask wearing obligations on citizens of the Territory, when there are no active CV19 cases, relative numbers throughout Australia are negligible, and excess mortality from not with CV19 is consistent with usual projections.

    Is the ACT Government able to advise if findings and commentary such as that set out in the links below were considered in the context of the decision to inflict such intrusive measures on the population?

     Are Face Masks Effective? The Evidence. – Swiss Policy Research (

     The Year of Disguises – AIER

     Re-Evaluating Mask Mandates Part I: Science Gives Way to the “Talisman” | C2C Journal

     Re-Evaluating Mask Mandates Part II: Exposing the “Assumption-Led Claim” | C2C Journal

     Like the mighty Murray, Covid public policy insanity never runs dry | The Spectator Australia.

    On available information, it appears such official biomedical hyper regulation is based in the precautionary principle, worst case scenario speculation, and epidemiological models which at best measure only one dimension of risk.

    That approach is risk aversion, not risk management. If the ACT and other governments have applied risk analysis and cost-benefit assessment in deciding to impose the masking rule, and other restrictions upon civil liberties and personal autonomy, such information is absent from the rationale available in the public domain. It seems reasonable to expect that the scientific and medical rationale for such diktats should be readily available, before implementing collectivist absolutist “one size fits all” controls. To state the obvious, the natural world including a virus cannot be controlled by controlling human behaviour.

    Politicians and medical bureaucrats have created unrealistic expectations that regulation and legislation can suppress the CV19 virus. This “illusion of control” results in risk treatments which are costly and unfit for purpose.

    Further, in relation to current lobbying to impose vaccination on ACT and other citizens, forcing anyone to undergo any compulsory medical treatment clearly breaches established principles of bioethics and informed consent. Using threats or inducements to impose compliance could well be blackmail, a criminal offence.

    The studies and findings referenced above indicate that the masking rules are not only ineffective but actually or potentially harmful. The ACT Government should refuse to be terrorised by the hysterical disproportionate CV19 response, and make a firm commitment to the population that such illiberal authoritarian measures will be immediately withdrawn and never resorted to in future.

    I am able to provide additional reputable references for these views if necessary, although it is fair to expect such studies were evaluated by the experts in authority before introduction.

    I look forward to your objective assessment of the points made above, and consequent action.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mark Jarratt

  4. Clicky says:

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