16 November 2004

Ban on smoking in UK

The smoking of tabacco in enclosed public places is to be banned in England. There are already bans in opperation in Ireland and Scotland. You can read all you could want to know about it here.

Smoking is really really bad for you, no doubt. I plan on giving up at somepoint, or at least cutting right right down. Not that I don't still enjoy it, like any junkie enjoys the release of those endorphins, whether it be through television or music. I gotta admit though, I'm starting to feel a bit icky.

But that's my deal, you know? I choose to smoke because I choose not to go through the hell of giving up right now. Nicotine is more addictive than heroin, alcohol and Cocaine, but that ain't news. What I want to know is, what happens to all the smokers when the ban is put in place?

One of the arguements that is made supporting the banning of smoking in public (the other being passive smoke) is that smoking related illnesses cost the NHS shit loads of money. So, the logic follows, ban smoking in public, save money for NHS.

But what about the smokers? I can't speak for all of them, but I can offer you insight into a portion of them - the working classes (excuse me whilst I sound like a spokesasshole for a minute, but I got a really good point). Specifically, the lower-rung, barely above the poverty line, working classes. Most of them are hooked on nicotine and they're pretty broke. Giving up smoking isn't like changing your breakfast cereal, it's a endurence trial and alot of the time you need help. But that's okay because the "Give up Smoking" industry is there to assist; with gum, and patches, and stupid little nicotine inhailors. People may argue that smokers pour money into evil tabacco companies coffers, but you really think people pouring money into the "give up smoking" industry is any different? It's all capitalism in the end, baby, which isn't much focussed on the plights of humanity but rather on the accumilation of wealth, usually to the detriment of humanity and said plights.

These things ain't cheap, no sirree. These things cost. The refills for the nicotine inhailer used briefly by auntie cost £25 - and they only do the one size refill and she really doesn't have alot of money to throw around. It costs her more to give up smoking than it does to smoke her nasty, cheapass mayfairs. She pretty much can't afford to do it.

What I say is that if the government wants to make britan healhier and ban smoking they better put their money where their motherfucking mouth is, else it ain't gonna work. You wanna leave poor people in the lurch and add more stress to their already distraught lives? You can't be doing that shit, man. You want people to quit you gotta offer support - and I don't mean NHS healthlines offering advice on excercise and eating right and little rituals you can do to help - I mean offering patches on the NHS to those who truely want to quit but can't afford the parathanailia that goes along with it. Sure, you ain't saving the NHS any money if you do that but at least you'd be genuinely helping people to improve their health, and isn't that the point?

Or is the true point how much money smoking costs the NHS?

Smoking is real fucking bad for you but people have a right to do it if they want. People bitch about passive smoking, but ain't no body bitching about car exuast and factory fumes, or the negative pyschological effect that our hyper-capitalist, hyper-media, consumer lifestyles are having on our minds. You don't want people smoking near you? Then move. It's your body, it's your responsibility. I'm pretty polite when it comes to my smoking and will ask if it bothers anyone if their a non-smokers around, but some motherfucker comes up to me bitching or faux-coughing they better be looking foward to the big plume of smoke I'm about to blow in their face. (An exception to this is when I was in toronto waiting to catch a bus back to the airport - that old fuck was just lucky I had a plane to catch)

So, anyway, that's mah thoughts on the matter. I'd be interested in finding out what anybody else thinks, although if you're gonna just spout party lines like spitballs I wouldn't bother. Free thinkers only, please.