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Smoking laws are by popular demand?

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?

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46 Responses to Smoking laws are by popular demand?
shauno shauno 6:49 am 05 Dec 06

“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-Kirk James-T-Kirk 4:09 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.

Deano Deano 12:48 pm 04 Dec 06

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.

LurkerGal LurkerGal 10:52 am 04 Dec 06

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.

toastie toastie 10:05 am 04 Dec 06

‘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.

johnboy johnboy 9:57 am 04 Dec 06

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.

pierce pierce 9:50 am 04 Dec 06

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.

ozmreeee ozmreeee 9:48 am 04 Dec 06

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

johnboy johnboy 9:16 am 04 Dec 06

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.

johnboy johnboy 8:43 am 04 Dec 06

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.

ozmreeee ozmreeee 8:34 am 04 Dec 06

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?

Danman Danman 7:56 am 04 Dec 06

**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 🙂

shauno shauno 1:17 am 04 Dec 06

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

johnboy johnboy 8:06 pm 03 Dec 06

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

and your opinions I care nothing for at all.

tom tom 7:25 pm 03 Dec 06

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.

pierce pierce 7:01 pm 03 Dec 06

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.

nyssa76 nyssa76 2:11 pm 03 Dec 06

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

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

vg vg 11:15 am 03 Dec 06

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

johnboy johnboy 9:51 am 03 Dec 06

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?

vg vg 8:39 am 03 Dec 06

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

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