Two stories arrived on our forum boards this morning which, taken as a pair, perfectly demonstrate how Public Health is mission-creeping its way towards the total prohibition of just about everything.
The first, a study from New Zealand, concerns social smoking. The ability of some people to go long periods without feeling the need to spark up confuses the tobacco-controllers because it flies in the face of their ‘nicotine-more-addictive-than-heroin’ dogma. By studying a grand total of 13 social smokers (upper age: 25), the authors were able to conclude that:
Introducing smoke-free outdoors bars could reduce social smoking by removing cues that stimulate this behaviour and changing the environment that facilitates it.
The second story comes from the United States. It is another study, only this time the subject is alcohol and 10 - 14 yr, old children. The Scotman’s headline Alcohol in films linked to teenagers’ drink habits sums up the findings and will strike a chord with anyone already familiar with the tobacco-control plan.
When the smoking ban law was passed in 2006, it was naively assumed by many that ASH had achieved its original aim – to “take the social cachet that surrounds smoking and turn it on its head.” Having banned us from smoking in social settings, what more was there to do?
All out prohibition was never part of ASH’s original remit, but early successes – like bans on public transport – encouraged them to up their game. Alcohol control lobbyists assure us that their goal is not prohibition - at least not until the first 'successes' come rolling in. To paraphrase from Velvet Glove, Iron Fist:
When the medical profession start lobbying private behaviour, they find it very hard to quit.