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Wednesday
Feb142018

Make intolerance of smoking history

Further to yesterday's post, I urge every reader to complete the survey that seeks to 'make smoking history' in Manchester.

Granted, it's targeted at local residents ('Greater Manchester. It’s our home, our history and our future. So we’ve all got a stake in making things right. Right?') but that shouldn't deter others from submitting their views too.

After all, those behind the campaign make no bones about the fact that 'Greater Manchester is leading the way by involving all of its people in a massive conversation to make smoking history for our next generation of children.'

In other words, if this campaign results in more smoke free areas in Manchester, expect more cities and conurbations to follow suit.

Moreover, I don't see why visitors shouldn't express an opinion too.

I completed the survey this morning and the first thing to note is that entering a postcode outside Greater Manchester does not block submissions, although non-resident submissions will no doubt be singled out for comment in the final analysis.

It doesn't take long so please take a couple of minutes to respond. Respondents are asked to agree/disagree etc with a handful of questions including the following:

I want smoking to be made history in Greater Manchester

Extending smoke-free public places is a good idea

Films, television programmes, computer games, music videos and other media without 18 age rating or pre-watershed, should not show people smoking on screen

Businesses in Manchester should have a valid licence to sell tobacco

These questions raise so many issues I don't know where to start so I'll limit myself to one.

Inviting response to 'smoking on screen' raises the interesting prospect of the council imposing a unilateral ban on smoking on film or TV sets in Manchester, adopting similar regulations to those in Scotland and Wales where the practise is prohibited.

Whether that's possible I don't know but I sense the hand of Deborah Arnott, CEO of ASH, behind this and the licensing question. It may not be feasible for Manchester to go it alone but by putting these issues up for debate it helps set the national agenda.

Respondents to the survey are also invited to submit 'additional feedback'. I wrote:

I strongly oppose this campaign which is designed to reduce the number of smokers by further denormalising a legal product enjoyed by millions or ordinary people who pay a huge sum in tax (tobacco duty & VAT) that far outweighs the cost of treating smoking-related diseases on the NHS.

It is no business of local authorities (or the Mayor of Greater Manchester) if adults choose to smoke. Stop wasting public money that could be better sent tackling crime, housing and transport (to name a few).

Interestingly there seems to be an assumption that most respondents will support the campaign because the survey concludes by saying:

If you would like to take a bigger role in this initiative and stand up and be counted as someone who genuinely wants to help create a positive change, then we’d invite you to become an advocate.

Sign up below and we can begin to make a lasting impact on the future of Greater Manchester and the health of 2.8 million people who live here.

I'm not sure when the closing date is so please submit your response now. Click here.

And if you live in Greater Manchester do please get in touch.

WATCH: Andy Burnham wants smoke-free Manchester in TEN years (Granada Reports).

Update: I shall be discussing this on BBC Radio Manchester in the morning.

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Reader Comments (3)

Yes, the prohibitionist activists behind the persecution of smokers want to create the perception that all agree with their tyranny. That is a common propaganda tactic used by all despots. The antismokers are busy imposing outdoor bans globally as an incremental step toward prohibition.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 19:27 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

So - they invited these locals to Manchester to discuss further marginalisation and stigmatisation of smokers at their launch to declare a hatred of smokers who they want to purge from Manchester - but they are likely to ignore responses from Brits who don't live in Manchester but visit it? Okaaaaay.....

"Speakers included Deborah Arnott, CEO of ASH, Pauline Dekker, 'pioneer of the Dutch criminal case against the tobacco industry', and Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York,..."

Why doesn't the media see these bullying hypocrites with smokerphobia for what they are? Nazty, Intolerant Thugs - NITs

Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 11:44 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Completed the survey. 'Strongly disagreed with everything, and added this comment:

"You might as well have had just one question: "Do you want to hurt smokers as much as possible?"

Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 20:21 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

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