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article imageOp-Ed: Ban on cigarette sales to kids born after 2000?

By Paul Wallis     Aug 22, 2012 in World
Sydney - There’s no doubt about it, politicians live in a different world. So do most of the other mainstream participants in public debates about tobacco, both for and against. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Tasmania’s latest approach.
ABC Australia explains the logic and levels of thinking so far:
The Tasmanian Upper House is unanimously calling on the State Government to make it illegal for people born after 2000 to buy tobacco when they turn 18.
The move means there would be generations of people who would never legally be able to buy cigarettes.
The Cancer Council has welcomed the proposed law but says the Government should put the issue to the public.
Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman says young people should make their own decisions.
"There needs to be awareness and education programs rather than throwing the book at today's youth," he said
Zimmerman then refers to the market in illegal drugs and states:
"You could see exactly the same thing happening with tobacco. It would go to an underground market."
Jann Smith from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council agrees:
"…So there could be a black market that would emerge.
Er... Have you guys ever visited Earth? Like, at all?
The sheer levels of naiveté and blinker-wearing are studies in themselves.
News flash from at least 5 years ago, folks- There’s been a big black market in tobacco in Australia for years, thanks largely to fantastic prices for cigarettes in the name of “health”.
Making cigarette sales illegal will simply provide yet another multi-billion dollar monopoly for organised crime, as it did with all the other anti-drug programs. Not one single illegal drug has ever been “wiped out” since Prohibition. Quite the opposite, illegality has been a spur to younger people to try drugs. The mere fact that it’s illegal would make it compulsory for kids to smoke tobacco.
There are further issues-
Banning tobacco would be considered the natural first move to banning alcohol, which also has significant health risks as well as being an extremely socially destructive drug.
Anything, in fact, which someone can be persuaded to call “unhealthy” could be targeted, with a built in all-purpose mechanism for making it illegal.
There’s also an element of pure farce.
1. The world’s governments and holier than God institutions are apparently only too happy to let financiers send the world broke.
2. They do precisely nothing about appalling crime rates, catastrophic education, obscene housing, or whole generations on the scrap heap.
3. They don’t mind the fact that the entire human race is now bathing in solid pollution from pole to pole.
4. They don’t give a damn that the Arctic is likely to become a small ice cube.
5. They actively object to the rich paying taxes while simultaneously denying basic health care to the poor.
6. They don’t represent the public if they can possibly avoid it, but do represent every donor like it was a Crusade.
7. They let services paid for by taxes go to hell while voting themselves more pay.
8. They won’t build hospitals, but will build prisons and anything which damages the environment without so much as a blink.
9. They won’t do a damn thing about unemployment, famine, water supplies, poverty or anything else which affects the bottom line for most of humanity.
10. They’ll spend a fortune on surveillance, but try getting subsidized health, child or aged care.
11. They’re prepared to falsify history to get elected at the blink of an eye, but are never prepared to face the reality of human need at any time.
12. They’re opposed to welfare, but prepared to spend tens or hundreds of thousands arresting minor drug offenders.
…Yet they’re all fired up about tobacco?
Let’s think for a minute about this issue.
• Why do people smoke? To relieve stress.
• What causes stress? Life experiences.
• What are the most stressful experiences? Property, money and work.
• What causes these stresses? Governments do far more than their fair share of stress creation in all these areas.
How to fit tobacco into political agendas
Maybe the tobacco lobby has got it all wrong. Maybe they should point out that anything which kills people can only be good for politicians. Gets rid of all those pesky “people” that don’t seem to know when to go away.
They could point out that with a bit of luck, passive smoking might even kill political opponents. Or they could hire people to blow smoke in their direction.
Cigarettes can also be used for defence purposes. The average smoker, while smoking, is trying to relax and is therefore more likely to settle down and read a book or than do all that silly running around killing people manually or remotely.
Actually, come to think of it, Hitler was a non-smoker. Most of the most hysterical people I’ve ever met have also been non-smokers. They seem to have no control at all over their nervous systems, and stress out if a cloud goes overhead. If everyone on Earth smoked, they wouldn’t even be hysterical enough to start wars, let alone fight them.
The Enlightened Ones could come up with a combined cigarette/contraceptive, make smoking compulsory, and eventually eliminate the entire species- If they can fund it with all those other deep commitments to wrecking human lives.
It’s also consistent with every other political policy of every political party on Earth. This isn’t actually a Nanny State solution as the tobacco industry claims. It’s wilful, myopic use of political power for a brief moment of “aren’t we wonderful”, followed by what may well be worse than Prohibition and the LA gang wars combined. It would be a catastrophic result, whatever happened. The most moral people are also usually the most self-promoting, and the combination of politics and morals doesn’t need explanation.
I wrote an article on my site blog a few days ago on The Industry and Science of making human life impossible to live, and for some reason merely confined myself to pointing out the absurdities, not the solutions, like having a specific global Genocide Policy to finally solve all of humanity’s little problems. On the other hand, the blog would now be the size of a NASA database if I had included it.
Just as well we have so many duly elected moral geniuses, always looking at ideas which are already absurdly out of date, just to make sure nobody ever does accidentally solve a problem.
Think of the alternatives- Realism, rational thinking and (shudder) use of intellect for non-political purposes.
Life would be absolutely unbearable.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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