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« At last! The Stoptober 2016 campaign evaluation report | Main | ASH Scotland in denial as poll shows huge majority opposed to ban on smoking at home »

Pets mean prizes for far-sighted tobacco control campaigners

Yesterday, on the back of a poll commissioned by Forest, I wrote about smoking in the home. 

I also highlighted the fact that since talk of banning smoking at home had come up in Scotland a couple of weeks ago ASH Scotland had desperately tried to backpedal (see Why ASH Scotland does not support a ban on smoking in the home).

Forget the fake protestations, I suggested. The idea that this is not a long-term ambition of the tobacco control industry is beyond belief. And today comes further evidence of how they intend to achieve it.

BBC Breakfast and Five Live Breakfast both featured reports highlighting the fact that, for the first time, veterinary groups and the Royal College of Nursing are working together to raise awareness about the alleged damage second-hand smoke can do to pets.

The initative follows research carried out by the University of Glasgow that "found that dogs, cats and small animals such as guinea pigs and birds are just as much at risk from secondhand smoke as people."

The BBC, needless to say, promoted all this without (to the best of my knowledge) a word of opposition. In fact the video they posted online early this morning was little more than a party political broadcast for the Tobacco Control Party.

A few hours later BBC News posted a written report online (Second-hand smoke linked to pet deaths and illnesses, experts say). This time it featured the video and a couple of comments including a quote from me.

You can read our full response here (Pets being used as a "weapon" in the war on smoking, says Forest) but the bigger picture is this.

Most tobacco control campaigners know that legislation to ban smoking at home crosses a line and so they distance themselves from it.

Does that mean a smoker's home is his castle? Far from it. A de facto ban on smoking at home is still very much on the table and this is now the tobacco control industry intends to achieve it:

One, encourage neighbours to complain about 'smoke drift' from one property to another.

Two, encourage councils and local housing associations to restrict and then ban smoking in social housing (including stairwells and other spaces).

Three, guilt trip parents until they stop smoking anywhere children are present.

Four, guilt trip pet owners until they quit smoking in homes with any domestic animal.

You see, no legislation required – well, not until a handful of renegades are left lighting up and the only way to stop it is to threaten them with fines and other penalties including eviction or their children being taken into care.

Tobacco control activists will deny it but their goal couldn't be clearer. Today the BBC was a willing pawn in propaganda war on smoking.

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Reader Comments (4)

Well said.

Monday, October 30, 2017 at 17:43 | Unregistered Commenterpat nurse

Yes, it is clear that the Tobacco Control Party is aiming at comprehensive home smoking bans despite their public denials.

This is not the first time the BBC or media in general has advocated tobacco control positions without checking the facts. The classic case of such blind politicking was the second hand smoke gambit for indoor smoking bans--followed by the moves for outdoor smoking bans.

The evidence for risk from second hand smoke is extremely weak. Yet that political 'fact' is the basis for bans and the persecution of smokers. Tobacco control lies and exaggerations must be exposed.

Monday, October 30, 2017 at 19:14 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

"found that dogs, cats and small animals such as guinea pigs and birds are just as much at risk from secondhand smoke as people."

I'm sure that statement is absolutely correct, and that pets are just as much at risk from SHS as people.

That 'risk' being non-existent.

But of course, they leave out that little item of information, since it would send 'the wrong message'.

Monday, October 30, 2017 at 19:18 | Unregistered Commenternisakiman

As always Simon , excellent piece . Nudge theory at its worst . The anti smoking brigade have nothing but hate in their hearts for people who smoke . How sad to be burdened with such hatred for their fellow human beings .

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 20:43 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Spalding

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