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Another epic fail – smoking rate down one per cent in Wales since smoking ban

A mixed 48 hours for tobacco control lobbyists in Wales.

Yesterday they were celebrating the Welsh Government's decision not to relax the smoking ban and allow actors on film and television sets to light up, as they can in England.

Hardly a monumental victory – the government was merely maintaining the status quo.

Today however they were hit by the bombshell that the smoking rate in Wales has fallen by just one per cent since the smoking ban in 2007.

One per cent!!

If I remember, politicians and anti-smoking campaigners justified not only the smoking ban but also the display ban, graphic health warnings and the proposed plain packaging law on the fact that they would reduce smoking rates, youth smoking rates in particular.

Clearly those arguments were garbage because all those measures (and I haven't even mentioned the ban on tobacco vending machines) have had virtually no effect at all.

Goodness knows how much time and public money has been spent introducing and enforcing all that legislation.

And what about the hundreds of pubs and clubs that have gone out of business in Wales as a direct result of the smoking ban, or the consequent loss of jobs?

Still, never mind, the smoking ban has been a great success, hasn't it? (If that's success I'd love to know how tobacco control defines failure.)

A colleague has just commented, "Perhaps they should re-consider their approach of trying to stigmatise smokers and introduce yet more red-tape regulation and instead look at education and awareness."

Nah, that would be far too sensible. Anyway, tobacco control is addicted to legislation. It's a habit they just can't break, whatever the consequences for society as a whole.

Full story: Welsh smoking rate fall of just 1% since 2007 smoking ban sparks health expert concerns (Wales Online)

See also: Epic fail (Taking Liberties, May 9, 2013)

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Reader Comments (9)

The stated purpose of the ban was to protect employees, so what's the problem? Employees now protected.

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 12:58 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley

Notice how they blame this abject failiure on 'not enough' being done?

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 13:14 | Unregistered CommenterBucko

""Employees now protected.""

Indeed. They're out of a job

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 13:39 | Unregistered CommenterBucko

And their solution - another ban. Everything TC has done in the last few years has failed spectacularly (discounting all the damage to business and social life). And at huge cost to taxpayers and society. It's time TPTB really start to recognise that their 'expert' advice is all too often worse than useless. Some brave MP(s) should stand up in The House and ask some very serious questions.

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 14:09 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

It is very noticeable how the spokespersons are trying to hide the abject failure by spinning like mad. Some of the quotes border on hysterical. For example, one 'expert' said that the Gov should proceed with all haste to ban smoking in cars with children present. Since the vast majority of such journeys are short, it is extremely unlikely that such legislation would have the slightest effect.
In connection with obesity, another person said that, if cycling was made easier, "MOST people would do it" [I paraphrase] What rot!

Actually, I distrust these people so much that it would not surprise me if smoking prevalence has not increased. How can they possibly keep track on illicits and private activities?

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 15:02 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

"The stated purpose of the ban was to protect employees,"

Ha! the old ones are definitely still the best.

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 19:01 | Unregistered CommenterFrank J

Indeed, Frank J. The 'real' stated purpose was to 'stop people smoking where the usual do so'.
What really amazes me is that Minsters of the Government seem to be so inept and compliant. None of them seem to have the nous to ensure that the have 'advice' from sources other than the civil service. (In this case, the Zealots in the Health Dept)

Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 1:52 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

What more evidence do these fools in Government need? To convince them, "The Smoking Ban" has been the biggest disaster since The Titanic. Yes I will certainly be contacting my esteemed MP, Mr Mark Hunter about this article.
The Evil Ban has just turned on The Government. Bit it, right in "The Arse", like an abused dog would do!

Yet again all praises to Simon Clarke on this posting. His past efforts for us all, are paying off now.

Anyway, maybe see some of you at The Smoke on Water Event.

Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 11:26 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Davies

Is it possible that you don't understand the purpose of limiting smoking? Nah, you're just pretending to be stupid. I don't want to pay for your lung cancer, throat cancer or any other of the proven results of your smoking. I don't want second hand smoke and its pernicious effects on my health. It is all well and good for libertarians to blow smoke up their own patoots, but not mine. When smokers start posting a bond for the harm they might do and keep the hell away from people who don't want the health hazard, then can we talk about your freedoms.

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 19:19 | Unregistered Commenterxteeth

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