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Smoking laws are by popular demand?

By johnboy - 1 December 2006 46

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?

What’s Your opinion?

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46 Responses to
Smoking laws are by popular demand?
nyssa76 1:03 pm 02 Dec 06

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.

vg 12:33 pm 02 Dec 06

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

vg 12:32 pm 02 Dec 06

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

nyssa76 11:03 am 02 Dec 06

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.

vg 10:19 am 02 Dec 06

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

boomacat 10:14 am 02 Dec 06

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 Bitterman 9:48 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…

nyssa76 9:14 am 02 Dec 06

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

nyssa76 9:13 am 02 Dec 06

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.

johnboy 8:28 am 02 Dec 06

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.

tom 6:56 am 02 Dec 06

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!

Danman 11:33 pm 01 Dec 06

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.

shauno 11:22 pm 01 Dec 06

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.

Cameron 10:51 pm 01 Dec 06

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 Ferret 10:13 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…

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