Monday, 26 May 2008

Smoking - a step too far?

When Liverpool was trying to get smoking banned in public places and workplaces I was 100 percent in support. I was delighted when this actually became the law. It didn't conflict with Liberalism because this was about individuals not being forced to breathe in other people's smoke (secondary smoking).


But whatever we think about smoking and whether or not people should smoke, the government's latest suggestions are going too far.

Keeping cigarettes under the counter, and banning packs of ten,will do nothing to stop young people smoking. These measures would simply be an attack on an existing adult freedom that is not of itself harming anyone else. I don't think you should harm your health by smoking, but as long as you are not harming others health by doing that, it is quite frankly none of my business.

The argument that displays of cigarettes are attractive and so persuade young people to attempt to buy is particularly mad. Cigarette displays are no more attractive in appearance than displays of, say, toothpaste. Anyway, in a supermarket surely the most attractive display area is the fruit - and we don't assume this will cause a lot more apply buying among under 18s.

Surely the point is to give young people the information and arguments so that they can make decisions about whether or not to attempt to smoke. Sticking things under the counter is a good way of making them seem more desirable!

5 comments:

Darrell G said...

As a smoker I just about came out for the ban on smoking in public places on the grounds of affecting others health....you are right though, these measures are outrageous and in the case of bannaing packs of 10 counterproductive to the goal of reducing smoking....

Anonymous said...

did you listean to radio 4 tonight 8pm they realy pulled our city apart , they were true thou the sooner warren and storey are booted out the better and the lib dems who won by 7 vote ms feilding days are numered good old bbc radio. lets hope they put it on Radio Merseyside soon

Paula said...

Hmmm...

Knowing something about how this particular programme was put together I wouldn't set too much store on it if I were you.

You can choose to believe this.. or you can choose to believe the genuinely random comments of Liverpudlians in the coverage elsewhere on the BBC over the last few days. They were all saying things had changed for the better. I would rather take the words of unbiased respondents than labour politicians who, quite frankly, do rather have an agenda!!!

Not sure what anyof this has got to do with smoking though

love and kisses

Paula

PM Swimmer said...

Paula,

Random comments of people on the street that things have visably gotten better are not the same as the measured opinon of academics and professionals as to the economic basis of the citys economy and its ability to grow in a stable manner over the long term. A city built on retail with 35,000 empty flats and business startup rates and GDP that have never closed the gap between the city region the national average isn't that wonderful.

The people on the street are also unaware of the background dealings and decision making that accompanies many of the investment decisions or regenerations projects that both take place or are delivered within the city.
I've worked on a number of the major regen projects within one of the major funding bodies and I don't think that File on Four got anywhere near the level of bad practice that goes on, in regen in general or within the Capital of Culture project.

In addition the people in the street aren't told the whole truth, for example the Arena has renewable energy in the form of turbines thats a good thing that the people are told about repeatedly and I've heard Councillors and senior officers talk it up and take credit. However, I know from working on the funding that the Council tried every trick and excuse they could to get out of putting them in the building. Something that they did with every other project I worked on with them.

Another example would be that many involved in the regeneration projects are concerned over the quality of the buildings that have been errected in the recent past ,often with the Council acting as applicant body for the funding bid, I for one think that in an effort to spread the cash thinly so that 'people on street 'would feel that things were getting better we've built buildings that will be lucky to last 5 years without becoming shabby.

Tell me after a £ billion of ERDF how many BREEAM Excellent rated buildings does Liverpool have, how many Stirling prize winners?

People on the ground will tell the Daily Post and City Talk everything is marvellous that doesn't make it true.

Oh and as I haven't made a personal jibe at anyone I'm right in thinking this will be published?

Tristan said...

The smoking ban is not liberal.

The liberal thing is to let people decide whether they wish to breath others smoke. Banning smoking in places like pubs where people go voluntarily falls under protecting them from themselves.

As for smoking in the workplace - remove the state sponsoring of employers and wage slavery and labour gets more bargaining power which will result in smoking in the workplace stopping if there is demand.