1 December 2006

Smoking laws are by popular demand?

| johnboy
Join the conversation

With the start today of the no smoking in bars laws we’ve also had a deluge of very expensive TV advertising. I’ve captured a sample and you can see it below.

While largely agnostic to the laws as a non smoker I was struck by the assertion at the start of the ad that the laws are “by popular demand”.

Being a bit stupid and old fashioned I’d thought that the way “popular demand” in a democracy was measured was through a referendum. And I can’t recall when we voted on this?

For that matter when did we decide that taxpayers money should be spent on lying to them through the commercial media?

To repeat my position, we could have had air quality laws that would have delivered better health and safety outcomes while leaving bar owners free to innovate a safe solution. Instead we have, once again, behavioural controls with no guarantee of achieving their outcome (many beer gardens will be hazy places indeed).

Meanwhile I’ll have to take up smoking if i want to talk to my friends standing around outside the bar. I guess I’ll drink less that way.

But that brings me back to the big question, why do they lie if it’s good for us?

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

“If I give myself lung cancer or heart disease, I will feel pretty bloody stupid”

As well as that you will be in in agony and feel like you are slowly suffocating over a long period.

Not good I had to watch my dad go through it and die at the age of 62.

James-T-Kirk4:09 pm 04 Dec 06


Somebody mentioned a referrendumb – Last one I remember, we *all* said that we didn’t want self govmit, and look at what that did – Nothing…

If the govmit wants to ask us a question, it is because they actually know then answer, and they want to waste our money.

Lying to us for our ‘greater good’ has become the norm these days. Take those red light/speed cameras for example – it is quite obvious that they are only monitoring one lane of traffic, yet every approach to the intersection has warning signs. The NSW ones are worse with their huge signs on both sides of the road even though only one lane is monitored.

As a smoker, I agree with ppl not being allowed to smoke in cars whilst children are with them. I also don’t think anyone should be allowed to smoke in the house if there are children in it, but I guess that would be hard to police.

If I give myself lung cancer or heart disease, I will feel pretty bloody stupid, but it will be my fault. If I gave my CHILD one of those awful diseases, well thats pretty close to manslaughter, and it sure as hell is reckless endangerment.

‘by popular demand’ could really mean anything. it could mean that 6/10 people in the room think that it might be a good idea. advertising like that isn’t very honest, but they aren’t necessarily blatantly lying. if they said something like “voted in by you” then i would be in uproar.

well there was nothing stopping them giving us an extra ballot at the last election on the subject to actually express our views.

The cold truth is that this has been driven out of the federal bureaucracy in a long line of trampling federalism in worthy causes. Don’t pass the laws they want, don’t get funding.

I agree there are worse things happening in the world, it’s just the lies that get my goat.

I’m equally confidant that if the government had done said conclusive polling, the majority of posters here would be trashing them for wasting taxpayer dollars on researching the blindingly obvious instead of filling potholes.

Thank you for clarifying the rules for YOUR website, JB – I shall desist from further comment.

I’m also supremely confident that if there was conclusive polling showing the popularity of these laws they would

a) shout it from the rooftops, and

b) not need to launch a PR campaign to convince us of the virtue of the ban.

But from what I’ve heard they’ve bought in the ad campaign from interstate and just assumed it was universally applicable.

Well when jon stanhope spends his own money, rather than the taxpayers, to get his message out, I’ll cut him the same sort of slack with his language.

You people who think this private site has the same obligations to you that an elected Government does make me despair of our education system.

JB, I thought your lead-in was a bit over the top but you have now done the same thing you accuse the govt of doing – stating what is not apparent from the evidence.

I’m questioning their right to claim it’s due to a popular mandate that’s never been tested

IF the govt had claimed a mandate, then I would join you in protest, as a mandate can only be given by a vote of the people. Either as a specific item (as in a referendum) or as part of a stated policy platform in the lead-up to an election. As you correctly state, neither has occurred, but also the government has not claimed in any forum that they have a mandate.

Semantics? Perhaps, but if you are going to suggest the government has lied in the advertising then you need to remain factual and not introduce emotion.

The advertising campaign may be correct – it may be a law that was enacted by “popular demand” – meaning that a majority of people have commented to govt representatives that they are in favour of the legislation. The use of the term “may” shows that we do not know.

The only way to know for sure will be if someone stands at the next election on a platform to bring back smoking in pubs and clubs. Anyone up for the job?

**very OT**

I get a shutdown from 22/12 until 02/01 and then back for a week then off for 2. Kudos to that.

Ill never miss being a chef 🙂

Did some say holiday I certainly need one and its coming up in about 10days give or take. Can’t come soon enough.

actually it wasn’t for you, just people like you tom.

and your opinions I care nothing for at all.

Johnboy, I’m a bit embarrassed by your public declaration of love for me. I’m also excited because you fit my criteria for a love match too.

I love people with websites that spout opinions, provide the public with an opportunity to comment, but then get overly sensitive when someone disagrees.

So what’s your star sign? (I’m a leo).

p.s. Be gentle with me rubberjohnnyboy – I’d like to take this slow.

Please don’t take this as any sort of attack Johnboy but do you need a holiday maybe? You seem to be getting pretty sensitive any time someone gives you a little stick lately.

You know the saying – arguing on the internets is like racing in the special olympics – you might win but you’re still a retard.

vg, I have plenty to say, but not to you.

And with that, I’m outtie for a while.

I guess we’ll never know, but on asking workmates and friends they are all for it, and some of them are smokers.

In any case if it was put to a referendum I have no doubt it would indeed be by popular demand.

Yeah, no need to go to the trouble of actual voting…

I’m not questioning the right of the Government to make decisions, I’m questioning their right to claim it’s due to a popular mandate that’s never been tested.

Who knows what they’ll justify by “popular demand” next?

In any case if it was put to a referendum I have no doubt it would indeed be by popular demand.

But thats why we have governments, to make decisions, so we don’t have to have referendums on everything. Its just about the 1st thing I’ve seen this govt get right

So in other words, the ad is technically a fib, but at least it’s cheaper shinc we didn’t have to pay for a new one?

Back on the original subject – That add was run in Tassie 2 years ago when they banned smoking in pubs and clubs – so it wasn’t dreamed up by polliticians here in Canberra. The doco I’ve read on the Tassie adds seems to indicate it was thought up by Queenslanders…
Interestingly enough a quick google around seems to reveal anything to do with anti-smoking is quoted as ‘by law and popular demand’…..

I’m gathering by the vulgarity of your language and the fact that you are no longer touching on the subject matter that you have nothing further to bring to the table.

I was hoping for an apology of the baseless accusation you brought against me but I’ll live without it.

Pain and typing with one hand……you poor little thing. If you wanna list of injuries I’ll bring you my personal list if you wish, but I choose not to whine about it. Foul language and abuse is the haven of those defeated in an argument, and everyone is tough at the end of a DSL line

Once again you have been caught out. Nice to see KaneO brings some respect back to smokers who give a rats about someone other than themselves.

I love, however, that people think that certain laws aren’t enforced in the ACT. Again if I had $1 for every blister I’ve given out for people using a phone while driving….well lets just say I would have a tidy sum.

As for majority, the majority of people don’t smoke, hence the catering to the masses style laws. I smoke, but don’t give a hoot about what laws they bring in. If you can’t smoke inside you can’t smoke inside. No big deal.
I gotta admit seeing 2-3 lit ciggy butts thrown out windows of moving cars daily. Such people are truly f**kwits. I drive a work car in which smoking isn’t allowed, so just carry a couple of those film-canisters-with-a-bottle-top-inside portable ashtrays around. There is no excuse, ever, to throw a ciggarette butt on the ground.

As for smoking in cars with kids I’m sure another law which won’t be enforced will make a huge difference. See 10-15 people driving with a phone in the ear every day.
I really should rig up a camera to record these retards.
As for popular demand, some pollie probably went to a consultant and ‘demanded’ they come up with a law that will make said pollie more ‘popular’.

social engineering.

you dont need a referendum for social engineering, you just hide the detail away in a policy statement somewhere.

somewhere hard to locate.

do the softheads who vote green realise they want to ban all pets ?

i dont think the latest anti-smoker actoins are by popular demand at all. its the demands of a small group of zealots who hate you because you refuse to listen to them and just give up smoking. they know whats good for you and they will hector you to your grave and beyond.

vg, fuck off.

Hell I can’t even drive my car atm due to the pain + typing wih 1 hand.

I’ve got better things to do that decode your shitty sentence structure.

I believe SA -= $75 fine for smoking in the car with someone 16 or younger as a passenger.

Sucks to be them – most 16 year olds i knew when I was younger were smokers too

If its these lines:

“No smoking in a car when a child is inside. Is it that hard? Or does your need to fulfill your addiction over-ride the potential damage to a kids growing lungs?”

it should be more than obvious that I was discussing your objection to the proposal and your rant objecting to being told what you can or can’t do in your car.

Smokers logic, its a joy to behold

Please point out the specific sstatement of me accusing you as an individual of smoking in your car with kids inside as well.

This should be good for a laugh

Re-read your previous post. You’ve accused me of smoking in the car with my children present.

I wasn’t making a point. I was responding to your previous post.

My issue with it all is that this is suppose to be a democracy but every day it is turning into a dictatorship.

JB is right re: majority of people. There was no referendum in the ACT.

The people of Canberra had no say. Just idiotic politicians who can’t balance a budget to save themselves and thus need a distraction from their incompetence.

‘Moral high horse’?

The laws in place that I spoke of have been around for decades. If you don’t smoke around kids then what’s your issue?

If you have a doctors certificate that means you don’t have to wear a seatbelt then more power to you.

Aside from that you really haven’t made a point in your last post. You either agree with me or the proposed legislation (with respect to smoking in cars) will have zero impact on you.

If you don’t have a doctor’s certificate to say you don’t have to wear a seat belt then yes, you will probably get a ticket if caught. Again I can’t see an issue there. It’s that inconvenient little thing called the law.

As I have said previously, smokers aren’t renowned for cogent argument when it comes to smoking, very much like the AHA and the bans implemeted in enclosed places

vg, since when did our “great democracy” become a shitty dictatorship?

vg, due to an injury, I can’t do my own seatbelt up. Going to fine me? Unless someone travels with me, I can’t do it up.

I don’t use my mobile whilst driving – I pull over and besides, I can’t use it and hold the wheel even if I wanted to. Oh, and I don’t drink.

I’ve already stated on NUMEROUS occasions that I don’t smoke around my kids and that goes for the car too.

So get off your moral high horse. Go track down a bogan to rant at.

A little shits lighting fires doesn’t obviate the idiocy of throwing a lit butt out the window during a fire ban.

But then again smokers have never been known for their arguments of cogency

So you don’t agree with laws that make it compulsory for you and children to be wearing seatbelts or be placed in child seats, nor do you agree with laws prohibiting the use of mobile phones whilst driving? Those little things happen in ‘your own car’, as does drink driving for that matter.

The Govt already dictates to you what you can and can’t do in your own home. A proposal of this kind is hardly over-bearing. No smoking in a car when a child is inside. Is it that hard? Or does your need to fulfill your addiction over-ride the potential damage to a kids growing lungs?

Hook in when its just adults in the car, but when it comes to kids….well the phrase ‘grow a brain’ comes to mind

Neither would little shits with nothing to do but start fires during a no-fire ban….

I don’t agree with the Govt dictating to me what I can and can’t do in my own car and next it will be in my own home!

I’m not joking. This Govt’s need to stick their noses into everything is getting beyond a joke.

The argument is to ban smoking in cars when there are kids in the car. I am 100% all for it.

If your kids wanna take up the habit let them decide.

“I use an ashtray. I don’t throw mine out the window”. Well you are in the 1% of people that do. Love to have $1 for every loser I’ve seen throw a lit butt out the window on a windy day during a total fire ban.

But of course some smoking expert will tell me that that wouldn’t cause a fire

I think there are merits in both sides of this argument.

I think the new no-smoking inside pubs etc is a great idea, like Ferret I am looking forward to being able to spend a night at the pub without leaving smelling like a packet of cigarettes.

On the other hand, I think you can take it too far, for example Nyssa mentioned the SA laws about no smoking inside the car with kids. Really this is taking it a bit too far, you can’t regulate every tiny aspect of a private citizen’s life. Absurd.

Vic Bitterman9:48 am 02 Dec 06

I thought the latest push for car smoking ban nyssa, was targetted at those with kids in the car too….. But I only caught the tail end of something about it on some news show on the TV last night…

There not they’re – still on 1st coffee of the morning after a late night.

Well if Katy gets what she wants, they’re won’t be any smoking at all.

I even heard on the radio yesterday that there are calls (like in SA) to ban smoking in cars.

Well you can stop me when you pull the cigarette out of my cold dead hand.

I use an ashtray. I don’t throw mine out the window and I sure as hell don’t blow it in anyone’s face.

Perhaps Katy should be investigating the effects of car emissions on the human lung before attacking smokers.

Not all people smoke, but most do drive (in some form of transportation).

If that law comes in, I’m moving to China. At least I wasn’t treated as a social pariah there last year. Though they did find it funny to see me smoking outside the hotel when you can smoke inside.

I love it when people tell me I can’t express my own opinions on my own website because they’d like me to be saying something else.

Dozens of stories a week and your only complaint is that you don’t think ONE of them is interesting enough?

Personally I think our Government lying to us with our own money, for whatever good intentions they might think justify the means (means are ends in the making and the road to hell is paved with good intentions), is more worrying in the long term than a company making a product many thousands of people choose to consume.

I apologise again for having an opinion. I’ll try to stop.

The ACT needs you to investigate this further Johnboy. Its the burning issue on everyone’s lips – can the government use the two words “popular demand” in an advert without a referendum? But do you really think a referendum is good enough?

Perhaps real popular demand can only be expressed if people march in the streets or sell their souls for it. Was there a rally? Did anyone sell their soul (please fess up!)? Is the goverment planning to control us Johnboy? Will our tinfoil hats protect us Johnboy? We need you to find out!

I suspect a deeper conspiracy. Forget about the often discussed conspiracy of Big Tobacco trying to get people addicted to harmful substances for profit. While we’ve all been worrying about that one, we haven’t noticed that our own government has been contriving a dastardly scheme to protect the health and wellbeing of its citizens. They want us to live in the Matrix – a labour supply machine for the purposes of feeding the corporate fat cats. First the government tried to keep us alive by protecting us from the murderers that would kill us with guns and knives. Now they want to protect us from the passive murderers who will kill us slowly with their poisons.

Trust me, everywhere you turn, there is a conspiracy against you and me Johnboy. I don’t even know if my tin foil hat is working anymore. Maybe the tin foil is really sold and distributed by the goverment, and contains mind control technology and we’ve walked right into their hands!

Save us Johnboy!

Im a smoker and I am indifferent to the laws.
I have maybe 1 or 2 smokes every 3 or so days – usually in my car to work and on my deck after work

I run for 3/4 hr after work or ride my bike 10km – usually 3 in 5 working days a week so im pretty fiot too – tho still largeish.

Either way it goes at pubs I did not really care – however – being that it was such a blanketing law – it would have been interesting to see what the results of a referendum would have been.

I pity all the old boys who are so hard set in their ways at their RSLs and Bowl-o’s – they are all now non law abiding citizens.

I think ill miss smelling stale beer and smoke in places like the durham and all teh old aries (RSL’s).

I find it odd that laws can be changed so vastly without installing measures to help people deal with the new situation.

Surely if the guvmint cared so much about peoples health then they would have advertised the quit hotline or something to that effect as part of the promotion that is embedded above.

Anyway ill shut up now.

I have to once again agree with your sentiments there JB. I am a non smoker myself but I certainly didn’t vote for this and to be honest I really couldn’t care less. But I don’t like being lied to either and I cant remember the masses lining the streets demanding this. It may well be a good thing but its the principal that matters and it seems like just another example of our lives being under total control.

I love the new law. I managed to sample a similar law as I was in Perth when they introduced it back in July/August.

Having said that, the “popular demand” thing is a bit silly. Very unnecessary.

Growling Ferret10:13 pm 01 Dec 06

As a reformed smoker, I was at Eastlakes this arvo enjoying a few schooies, and it wasn’t until I got home and realised that I did not stink of smoke, need a shower and my clothes did not reek that the no smoking had a good effect on the general population.

The smokers congregated outside in the flash terraces built especially for their needs, and nobody lit up inside in the couple of hours I was there – but I can imagine this would be far harder to police in a nightclub at 3am…

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.