Simon Chapman – hide the increase

The anti-smoking lobby are much like the carbon tax crowd – they’ll say anything any time to support their cause.

Here is Simon Chapman in The Drum today:

A tobacco-loving English blogger noticed that in the 12-17 year age group (the principal target of plain packaging legislation) the percentage of daily smokers actually rose from 2.5 per cent to 3.4 per cent.

The jubilant blogger took the trouble to construct a bold graph that emphasised this massive uplift. But he failed to tell his readers that for five of 10 data cells that made up the figures, the standard error was more than 50 per cent (“too unreliable for general use”) and another two cells with lower standard errors “should be used with caution”).

Now as it turns out I have an op-ed under review on this and other related issues. While I am normally reluctant to preview stuff – I thought I should respond to that piece of silliness straight away.

Last week Becky Freeman wrote, “The number of 12- to 17-year-olds who have never smoked held steady at a near universal 95%.” That figure, 94.7% was identical to the 2010 figure, but very slightly down on 2007’s 95%. The big picture is this: basically 5% of individuals aged 12 – 17 experiment with tobacco. Notwithstanding anything the health lobby has done since 2007 that figure remains unchanged.

But it gets worse – the proportion of ex-smokers in that age group has collapsed since 2010. In that year the proportion of ex-smokers aged 12 – 17 was 1.6% – in 2013 it had fallen to 0.3%. Those young individuals who had taken up smoking had not given up. We’re told that the decline from 1.6% to 0.3% is statistically significant, but that the 0.3% is not statistically significantly different from zero. So statistically nobody who started smoking in that age group has given up.

In 2013 the proportion of occasional smokers aged 12 – 17 is also not statistically significantly different from zero. The picture that emerges is that the 5% of young smokers aged 12 – 17 who took up the habit over the 2010 – 2013 period are still smoking.

Nothing at all to be crowing about.

Update: Dick Puddlecote weighs in too:

The institute’s table saying it was at 3.4% with no qualifiers – along with everywhere else in the excel tables where it was similarly cited absent of any asterisk – indicates they were comfortable that the percentage was reliable and, as such, statistically valid.

Or, in the AIHW’s own words, “considered sufficiently reliable for most purposes”.

It is understandable that the tobacco control industry is finding this so unsettling, because every campaign in every country has focussed solely on glitzy packs and how they apparently attract children. Yet last week’s dramatic claims of heroic achievement were conspicuously absent of any discussion of this pretty vital piece of information. Do you think they may have been hoping that no-one would notice?

In reality, this is the only statistic which is relevant in the plain packs debate when it comes to prevalence. Has plain packaging been successful in stopping kids from smoking, or not? It’s that simple.

Sadly for Chapman and his fellow tax-spongers, the AIHW survey shows that there has most certainly not been a reduction, and that it’s more than arguable that plain packaging has actually made things worse.

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40 Responses to Simon Chapman – hide the increase

  1. Self-evidently, 0.3% cannot not be indistinguishable from zero statistically if the sample is taken from the set.

    Someone’s stat calcs are messed up.

  2. Smoking is a terribly unhealthy habit and a lot of people die from it.

    Even so, the war on smoking is just another part of the war on drugs. It’s just governments trying to control what we do with our own bodies.

  3. Self-evidently, 0.3% cannot not be indistinguishable from zero statistically if the sample is taken from the set.

    You’re right, if you find positive cases then the true value can’t be zero (it’s logically disproved even if not statistically) but it can be asymptotically close to zero.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    Couple of things could be happening here. First cigarettes are potentially getting cheaper because the PPL is sending a signal to companies to lower their prices to maintain sales. Also because there is no brand premium anymore the quality price premium may not be holding.

    Second the PPL graphics are so revolting that perhaps the kids have nihilistically turned off completely from the message. If you think you are going to die horribly before you are thirty you may as well enjoy yourself.

  5. Some History

    An interesting article from way back in 1997.

    The Nurse Ratched State
    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1997-06-27/news/1997178010_1_statism-human-behavior-social-engineering

    Since, things have only gotten way, way worse.

  6. You’re right, if you find positive cases then the true value can’t be zero (it’s logically disproved even if not statistically) but it can be asymptotically close to zero.

    The best you can say is that there is not a statistically significant chance of finding any further examples.

  7. C.L.

    One of the great books of modern times:

    Cigarettes Are Sublime.

  8. Infidel Tiger

    Thank you, CL. I’ll be acquiring that book.

  9. Turtle of WA

    Good link between anti-carbon and anti smoking crowd.

    A few years ago, I was once friends with a Melbourne gruppy who gave up smoking. As is so often the case, she then smugly started preaching the non-smoking message to myself, a smoking friend. This is a form of hypocrisy that smokers are used to.

    I was unreceptive. I then noticed that she had become a CAGW believer. When I mocked her about this she went on the offensive, telling me the science was settled and that she didn’t want to argue about the science. I have since found this to be the usual case with warmists.

    I was accused of being nasty and sent to the sceptical.science blog (Cook’s propaganda).

    There is a strong link between the smug, morally superior attitude of ex smokers and man-bear-pig belief. I would guess that a number of ex smokers took up warmism as a vicarious way of looking down on others who are guilty of nothing more than what the accuser is.

    Think about how often they compare climate science to the scientific link between smoking and poor health.

    This former friend actually protested in support of the carbon tax. Just as some non-smokers protest for higher taxes. It’s the same lefty approach.

    Imagine protesting that you don’t think your power bills are high enough.

  10. .

    Going to get some cigarillos again soon.

    I would like to deck myself out with Davidoff gear. Great pipes, ashtrays etc.

    To celebrate a bloody great game of rugby on the weekend – I’ll have to have a pipe very soon. Gamefishing again if the weather holds up…

  11. nerblnob

    Second the PPL graphics are so revolting that perhaps the kids have nihilistically turned off completely from the message.

    There’s no “perhaps” about it. Everyone turned off years ago. And thanks to these images, “plain” packages are anything but.

    Activists never know when “this is as good as it gets”. They always think Nirvana is just round the corner – “One More Push” and they fuck everything up, including their own cause. Then they go mental with denial and blame.

    I’d suggest that the anti-smokers have reached this last phase in remarkably short time.

  12. Shy Ted

    Now, Simon, off to a lower socio-economic area with you to watch 95% (+/- 0.3-1.2% statistical variation) of the 12-17 year olds smoking. They usually nick them from their younger siblings who got them from robbing the local servo. Only, Simon, take your coffee with you as there aren’t any coffee shops in these areas. Except for the evil McDonalds. Now do be careful if you go in (head straight for McCafe). The extremely acceptable range of coffees will be significantly cheaper than what you normally pay and you may find they taste better. This may cause you an existential crisis when it is served up in an attractive paper cup and make you think “we really should be taxing them much more. What about plain packaging for a Big Mac?” And as you look around you you will see the little people have become the big, fat, obese people. Go chat to them. Ask them how many degrees they have.

  13. entropy

    I’d suggest that the anti-smokers have reached this last phase in remarkably short time.

    I think you need to take care equating anti-smoking with the regulatory overreach now happening.

    I am anti smoking, think it a revolting habit, but I am opposed to plain packaging on general principles and the sanctimonious aggression of preventative health policy as practiced these days. It is often the case that evil is done in the name of good. Good people should guard against becoming over zealous lest they end up doing evil. The urge to meddle in the lives of others should always be guarded against.

    When preventative health was simply an education program, I was OK with it and perhaps even a supporter. But the recent manifestation of preventative health into nudge economics and other regulatory impositions on the private lives of others I find much more offensive than a sad grey gasper blowing smoke in my vicinity.

    I now believe that preventive health programs should be closed down, and the earth salted beneath the buildings the meddlers worked in.

  14. .

    Shy Ted
    #1393057, posted on July 24, 2014 at 9:07 am

    You evil, hilarious bastard!

  15. stevem

    I blame the whole lefty philosophy. Nothing is about the facts or the consequences – its about the “feel” or the “morality”.
    Smoking is bad. It’s unhealthy, addictive and government relies upon it for revenue. All bad things for the left. Therefore anything to stop it is good – effectiveness is unimportant. Contrast with drugs. Unhealthy, addictive but government gains no revenue. Therefore they should be legalised!
    People smuggling. Keeping asylum seekers out is mean to the individuals we stop. Letting them in causes drowning at sea. The drownings are an indirect result, so the left can’t see the correlation and conveniently ignore it.
    The whole short sighted feel good “logic” just annoys the hell out of me. There’s no way to argue against it.

  16. egg_

    And as you look around you you will see the little people have become the big, fat, obese people.

    Not in my experience.

  17. Normal Norman

    My problem with this sort of debate is the principle. I really don’t want my kids to have an y incentive to buy a packet of smokes. I don’t know whether plain packaging, but I am please that the tax is high. I wish the same rates applied to alcohol. I understand the libertarian view, but aside from having no role for government I am somewhat lost for an understanding of why intervention on health grounds is in any way less acceptable than intervention on national defence grounds or, for that matter, policing?
    We do get to vote for them, after all.

  18. Old School Conservative

    Good people should guard against becoming over zealous lest they end up doing evil.

    Nice point. It happens a lot.

    A bank robber kills a teller in the commission of a robbery but gets shot while trying to escape. The medical staff at the hospital look after him with care and dedication.
    You eat too many hamburgers and doughnuts and the medical profession treats you with scorn.
    Double standards?

  19. .

    I am somewhat lost for an understanding of why intervention on health grounds is in any way less acceptable than intervention on national defence grounds or, for that matter, policing?

    Read John Stuart Mill.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_principle#Definition

    That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.

    Since we know second-hand smoke is a hoax – we can ignore “health” grounds.

  20. H B Bear

    This is a job for Super Nanny.

    Paging Professor Mike Daube. Professor Mike Daube … to the internet please.

  21. Some History

    “As many as one in four doctors who responded to a 2005 Canadian Lung Association survey admitted to providing lesser care to smokers. A University of Washington survey published last year found just under one in 10 smokers hid their tobacco use from doctors, often because of stigma.”
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=2417574

    If it was 1% of doctors admitting that they provided lesser care to smokers, alarm bells should be ringing. One in four doctors admitting as much is a catastrophe in motion. Alarm bells are ringing but no-one seems to be able to hear them. The medical establishment was warned decades ago that adopting the ideological stance of antismoking would run the grave risk of fostering bigotry at the institution level. It fell on deaf ears. And what came of this study? Absolutely nothing.

    A few years ago the Tobacco Control advocate (i.e., antismoker), Michael Siegel, broke a finger and needed to attend hospital. He mentioned that the first question asked was whether he was a smoker. He noted the response of those before him in line. Those who answered that they were a smoker were ushered into a different queue regardless of their reason for being in the emergency ward. Siegel highlighted that the overriding feeling he got was that he was happy he wasn’t a smoker. This sort of situation is dangerously appalling. For many smokers, attending a medical practitioner or a hospital setting is like being tossed into a circumstance run by a deranged cult maniacally intent on their “conversion”. Further, there are many within the contemporary medical establishment that have the social graces and bedside manner of oafs. It would have Ben Casey and Marcus Welby turning in their stage prop graves.

    For anyone interested, there’s some very useful information on some of the danger signs in the contemporary medical establishment and iatrogenesis (it’s a short read):
    http://f2cscotland.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/dangers-to-life-and-public-health-lobby.html
    [I would urge folk to have a quick read]

    There were those in the medical establishment that were warning that the medical establishment was dangerously out of control in the 1970s. It has since entered a sinister phase.

  22. Some History

    Sinc, I have a comment caught in moderation. Thanks.

  23. Some History

    “As many as one in four doctors who responded to a 2005 Canadian Lung Association survey admitted to providing lesser care to smokers. A University of Washington survey published last year found just under one in 10 smokers hid their tobacco use from doctors, often because of stigma.”
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=2417574

    If it was 1% of doctors admitting that they provided lesser care to smokers, alarm bells should be ringing. One in four doctors admitting as much is a catastrophe in motion. Alarm bells are ringing but no-one seems to be able to hear them. The medical establishment was warned decades ago that adopting the ideological stance of antismoking would run the grave risk of fostering bigotry at the institution level. It fell on deaf ears. And what came of this study? Absolutely nothing….zilch.

    A few years ago the Tobacco Control advocate (i.e., antismoker), Michael Siegel, broke a finger and needed to attend hospital. He mentioned that the first question asked was whether he was a smoker. He noted the response of those before him in line. Those who answered that they were a smoker were ushered into a different queue regardless of their reason for being in the emergency ward. Siegel highlighted that the overriding feeling he got was that he was happy he wasn’t a smoker. This sort of situation is dangerously appalling. For many smokers, attending a medical practitioner or a hospital setting is like being tossed into a circumstance run by a deranged cult maniacally intent on their “conversion”. Further, there are many within the contemporary medical establishment that have the social graces and bedside manner of oafs. It would have Ben Casey and Marcus Welby turning in their stage prop graves.

    For anyone interested, there’s some very useful information on some of the danger signs in the contemporary medical establishment and iatrogenesis (it’s a short read):
    http://f2cscotland.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/dangers-to-life-and-public-health-lobby.html
    [I would urge folk to have a quick read]

    There were those in the medical establishment that were warning that the medical establishment was dangerously out of control in the 1970s. It has since entered a sinister phase.

  24. James of the Glen

    Simon Wind Farm Chapman. Does anyone believe him about anything?

  25. Some History

    To get an insight into the mind of the antismoking feral, Simon Crapman, have a read of his “how to do propaganda” manual, The Lung Goodbye. Parts of this magnificent piece of activist junk were presented at the 5th World Conference of Smoking & Health in 1983.
    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/gjq72f00

    Some of Crapman’s recommendations that have been with us for the last 30 years are:
    1. The “good vs evil” drama.
    Moralizing zealots always view themselves as “superior”, way above the riff-raff of usual folk. But our Australian antismoking feral, Simon Crapman, made it clear how the antismoking movement should proceed in the war against the tobacco empire and tobacco users. It was part of his presentation at the 1983 [antismoking] World Conference on Smoking & Health taken from his manual on how to do propaganda, “The Lung Goodbye”:“Such a list could be added to considerably, but most entries would be characterized by being somehow cast in a mythological good versus evil battle in an arena observed by mass numbers of people. The good (health/clean air/children) versus evil (cancer/uncaring, callous industry) dimension is the ineluctable bottom line in the whole issue and a rich reservoir for spawning a great deal of useful social drama, metaphor, and symbolic politics that is the stuff of ‘news value’ and which is almost always to the detriment of the industry.” p.11 (see Godber Blueprint)

    Having cast themselves in the role of the “mythological good” [natch], the zealots are always right. Anyone who dares disagree with them is always wrong and part of some “evil” tobacco industry “conspiracy”. It’s all for manipulative, “theatrical” effect – although there are some in the antismoking movement that believe they are “god-like” – and has been quite successfully used for the last three decades on an essentially superficial/gullible political class, media, and public. Extremists force this dichotomy: There are only two choices – Us, the “mythological good”, and Them, the “mythological evil”. If you’re not in agreement with Us, then you must be one of Them.

    The zealots/ferals and their financial partners (government through extortionate taxes and Big Pharma peddling its next-to-useless “nicotine replacement therapy”) must have regular belly laughs at how all too easy the brainwashing has been….. to be able to shove this “framing of the issue” on everyone without question.

    2. The “Chapman Trick”
    Consider another of Chapman’s contributions (also from The Lung Goodbye) that some refer to as the Chapman Trick.
    To save re-posting -
    For more detailed information on the Chapman Trick, see comments by magnetic01 at:
    http://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/doctors-in-name-only/#comments
    http://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/5894/
    http://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/tobacco-shoots-up/

    You’ll find the Chapman Trick in reports by the Surgeon General. You’ll find it on the Centers for Disease Control website. You’ll see it on government websites. You’ll see it on a plethora of antismoking websites. That’s how a nonsense is propagated as “fact”.

    The only intent of the Chapman Trick is to cast doubt as to cigarette ingredients to evoke revulsion and outrage, a standard zealot tactic.

  26. Richard

    The term “anti-smoking lobby” is a misnomer. I’m not anti-smoking. I don’t give a rats if people smoke a dozen packs a day just as I don’t give a rats if someone chooses to drink a dozen quarts of vodka a day. The taxes alone are a great fillup for the public purse so no complaints there. And those that argue smokers and drinkers are a drain on public health budget should consult the records – most die without lingering or running up a large tab on multitudinous surgical procedures – no more than the rest of the population at any rate. My issue with smoking (in contrast with my lack of an issue with drinking) is entirely a selfish one. If every time someone sank a glass of over proof spirits in physical proximity to me it caused a shot glass worth to go up my nose and into my stomach as well then I would have the same view about drinking. But (aside from the public risks of allowing drinkers to also drive which are properly outlawed) the only risk to me of someone drinking in proximity to me is the prospect of them losing their (liquid) lunch over my shoes or picking an inebriated fight with me. The risks of a face full of some smokers exhaled residue might be less messy but it is also far more disadvantageous to my health and personal comfort. So I am not anti-smoking. If you choose to be in a public or commercial space near me and can smoke with an airtight bag over your head then go for your life (or death as the case may be). Just don’t include me vicariously and involuntarily in the trip.

  27. Some History

    Richard: So I am not anti-smoking. If you choose to be in a public or commercial space near me and can smoke with an airtight bag over your head then go for your life (or death as the case may be). Just don’t include me vicariously and involuntarily in the trip.

    OK. You don’t like tobacco smoke. You’re a misocapnist. So what? Could you explain what’s so special about you? If there were members of some deranged cult whose primary belief is that they should never be exposed to tobacco smoke, should their demand be accommodated wherever they are, especially by law?

    Even the antismoking nut cases that started the current antismoking crusade understood that they couldn’t get smoking bans enacted simply because they didn’t like the smell of smoke. That’s why they went to great lengths to conjure secondary smoke into a “danger” for nonsmokers. But that concerned the indoors, questionable as the “evidence’ is. But the outdoors is another matter. There is no demonstrable health issue. It’s essentially impossible to even conjure a “health” issue. Yet we now have complaints from the delicate, dainty antismokers – not unlike members of a deranged cult – that they have to endure a whiff of smoke as they walk down the street behind a smoker, that they should never, ever have to endure being exposed to smoke.

    Air, generally, contains a multitude of chemicals (most of the chemicals in tobacco smoke are already in the air generally, plus more), gases, particulates, bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust, manure dust, animal dander, dead skin scales.

    And then along comes the antismoker: “I am an antismoker. Don’t you know that I am a superior being? I own the air…. all of it. I get to decide what is put in and not put in the air. I hate tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke, or any remnants thereof, must never enter my breathing sphere or any area that I might ever or never frequent. I, your antismoking highness, so decrees.”

    For heaven’s sake!

  28. Some History

    Richard,

    Nonsmokers are simply people that do not smoke. There are nonsmokers that like the aroma of tobacco smoke and there are plenty more that are not fussed one way or the other. Antismokers, on the other hand, are a different mentality altogether. Antismokers hate [tobacco] smoke/smoking/smokers. There’s even a name that’s been given to this hatred of smoke that probably originated in the antismoking fanaticism in America a century ago – “misocapnist”. Even with the antismoking barrage of the last 30 years, antismokers are still a minority. So, to get their way with legislators they typically hijack the entire nonsmokers group, pretending to speak for all nonsmokers. Most non-smokers do not have hyper-reactive, inordinate reactions to wisps of smoke. There is every reason to believe that this disproportionate “sensitivity” to smoke is neurotic: It is a projection of a troubled mental state. It also helps to explain why the history of anti-smoking is littered with wild exaggerations, inflammatory lies, and bigotry. The finger-wagging anti-smokers that promote themselves as “moral superiors” are moral fakes.

    It’s antismokers that find tobacco smoke as “obnoxious”…. that it “stinks”. It’s antismokers’ subjective experience that they then depict as “objective”. And then follows the “filthy”, “disgusting”, “dirty” barrage. Antismokers’ hyper-reactivity to tobacco smoke is inordinate, disproportionate; many react to even a whiff of smoke as if they’re being led to the gallows. Even their vocabulary in describing smoke is terribly exaggerated – they have to negotiate “walls” or “tunnels” or “clouds” of smoke. Just spend a little time with a rabid antismoker and it becomes quickly apparent that they can’t be reacting to the physical properties of smoke. They seem to be troubled minds projecting their significant inner turmoil (fear/hate) onto smoke.

    State-sponsored inflammatory propaganda concerning tobacco smoke promotes irrational belief, fear and hatred on a mass scale. The fear-mongering has produced nocebo effects (e.g., anxiety disorder, hypochondria, somatization) galore in the gullible. Here’s a short but useful video on the nocebo:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2hO4_UEe-4&feature=youtu.be&a

  29. Some History

    Richard,

    From Bayer & Stuber
    “…..In the last half century the cigarette has been transformed. The fragrant has become foul. . . . An emblem of attraction has become repulsive. A mark of sociability has become deviant. A public behavior is now virtually private. Not only has the meaning of the cigarette been transformed but even more the meaning of the smoker [who] has become a pariah . . . the object of scorn and hostility.”
    http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2005.071886

    This change from fragrant to foul has not come from the smoke which has remained a constant. The shift is an entirely psychological one. Unfortunately, the way the shift is manufactured is through negative conditioning. The constant play on fear and hatred through inflammatory propaganda warps perception. Ambient tobacco smoke was essentially a background phenomenon. Now exposure to tobacco smoke (SHS) has been fraudulently manufactured into something on a par with a bio-weapon like, say, sarin gas. There are now quite a few who screech that they “can’t stand” the “stench” of smoke, or the smoke is “overwhelming”; there are now those, hand cupped over mouth, that attempt to avoid even a whiff of dilute remnants of smoke – even outdoors. There are those that claim that, arriving from a night out, they had to put all of their clothes in the washing machine and scrape the “smoke” off their skin in the shower. There are even those that claim they are “allergic” to tobacco smoke. Yet there are no allergens (proteins) in tobacco smoke to be allergic to.

    And it didn’t stop with just the smoke. Cigarette butts – heretofore unheard of – suddenly became a “monumental problem” too – akin to improvised explosive devices, requiring drastic action. These are all recent phenomena born of toxic propaganda; it is an expanding hysteria. It says nothing about the physical properties/propensities of tobacco smoke. These people are demonstrating that they have been successfully conditioned (brainwashed) into aversion. They are now suffering mental dysfunction such as anxiety disorder, hypochondria, or somatization. Typical symptoms of anxiety disorder are heart palpitations, chest tightness, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, etc. These capnophobics (smokephobics) are no different to those irrationally attempting to avoid cracks in the pavement lest their mental world come crashing down. Questionable social engineering requires putting many into mental disorder to advance the ideological/financial agenda. It is the antismoking fanatics/zealots/extremists and their toxic mentality and propaganda that have long been in need of urgent scrutiny.

  30. Grumbles

    Sorry, Normal Norman, but your kids were lost the second you depended on the government, schooling system and advertising to educate them.

  31. Diogenes

    Just had a chat with our anti-smoking coordinator at school. My feeling was correct. In a school population @1150 – so far this year 56 children have been through his program. Last year 22 (total!) the year before 36 (total). There is a hardcore of 7 that have been through the program 3 times.

    Yup plain packaging is working stopping kids smoking – marvellous.

  32. Turtle of WA

    Richard, do you react the same way to car exhausts? Should cars have bags over them? How do you go in the CBD? Do you get angry at buses and trucks?

    Also, are you sure that being around drinkers is less hazardous? Strangers tend to not punch people in the head unprovoked when they have been smoking too much. Do you prefer the smell of vomit to the smell of smoke?

  33. Normal Norman

    @Grumbles: I don’t. Not sure where you got that idea?

    As for JS Mill, does anyone think he was talking about the power to regulate the marketing of products that kill you? If so, at what point do we not regulate the marketing of the following products: nuclear weapons, Saron gas, explosives, biological weapons, missiles, heavy machine guns, rocket propelled grenades, automatic weapons, concealed weapons, flick knives, knuckle dusters, batons and slingshots. I suppose you can argue that cigarettes don’t kill you, but even the tobacco industry has given up that line.

  34. Percy

    If so, at what point do we not regulate the marketing of the following products:

    I suppose once people start using those products solely to hurt themselves and nobody else.

    I suppose you can argue that cigarettes don’t kill you

    My cigarettes might kill me, but they won’t kill you.

  35. Normal Norman

    @Percy: I get that, thanks. But I really don’t get the idea that any product that is known to kill people is free to be marketed to anyone. We have expectations, for example, that some products may not be marketed to children. We have consumer laws that inhibit the sale of faulty or dangerous products.
    Are consumers required to have the facility to research everything that is sold? Is it OK to sell things like cigarettes as a glamour product when in fact they are not at all (but will make your skin ugly, blacken teeth and produce quite unappealing disfigurement at some point)?

  36. Grumbles

    Normal Norman
    #1393124, posted on July 24, 2014 at 10:28 am
    My problem with this sort of debate is the principle. I really don’t want my kids to have….

    Classic argument of the poor parent. Educate your children don’t fear their interaction with the world, and why should others have to give up freedoms for fears you have for your kids?

  37. Normal Norman

    @Grumbles: well, that’s a rational reply. If you want the freedom to kill yourself I will actually argue with you. The difficulty I have is that I can’t know whether it’s the freedom to die or the freedom to smoke that you treasure. Of course, you have both today. My argument is with the marketing of death sticks to youth.

  38. Grumbles

    Normal Norman, I don’t smoke, but if I did go and buy a pack of cigarettes tonight and smoke a few, I will still be alive after the weekend so the argument that it kills me is ridiculous. It’s not use its abuse. Cigarettes kill in much the same way that sugar and fat kill. I want freedom to make my own choices and suffer my own consequences and I don’t want you having a say over my life.

  39. Normal Norman

    @Grumbles: you have all those freedoms. I wish only to curtail the marketing of death sticks to youth. I am also quite keen on having better disclosure of fats and sugars in processed foods. But don’t get me started.
    And I am hugely amused that you don’t smoke.

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