27/04/09 Uh-Oh, We’re in Trouble

As the title says, we are in trouble. Big trouble. The government is now looking for ways to implement a smoking ban in our own homes.  The reason is, predictably, for the sake of the children as they are exposed to most second-hand smoke in the home.  Evidently, it escaped the government’s notice that had they not implemented the smoking ban, there would be less smoking in the home.  Alas, such thought processes did not occur and instead they take the braindead approach of banning it everywhere.  Oh, dear.

Enclosed public spaces are smoke-free. Nova Scotia and a Californian town has banned it outdoors. Now our homes are under-threat.  The ultimate ideal is to prohibit tobacco, and the tobacco control movement has, indeed, recently admitted this.

The source for this most invasive of soon-to-be-law is biomedcentral [1], and a cursory glance tells us that this was a meeting not to determine whether smoke-free homes are justified or necessary, but instead a meeting to determine how to pass such a law.  In fact, the title itself is Action to Achieve Smoke-Free Homes – an Exploration of Experts’ Views.  The second part of the title is mere damage control, do not be fooled.  The ‘experts’ are, in fact, experts in tobacco control:

Two panels of tobacco control experts (local and national) from Scotland considered the implications of the findings from a qualitative study of smokers and non-smokers (who were interviewed about smoking in the home), for future action on reducing smoking in the home.

Note the lack of objective researchers or experts.  Only anti-smokers were invited to that gathering, and the objective is written down quite clearly: to reduce home smoking:

We, the authors, would argue that a clear goal of smoke-free homes should be advocated but that this approach should be located within tobacco control practice that is both sensitive to inequalities and gendered lives.

Despite this aim, they do acknowledge that they do not actually have a right to do so:

On the one hand the home is a private space and there is some resistance found in the ethical debates inherent in public health literature to the blurring of the public/private boundary for smoke-free public health interventions. This is often articulated by libertarian arguments advocating the rights of smokers in their own home and opposing perceived encroachment of the State into private space.

Frankly, there is no ‘other hand’.  There are only two points to acknowledge: 1) smoking is legal. 2) The home is a private property. Simple, discussion ended. Until smoking is outlawed or a permit is required to indulge in it, a ban is simply illegal.  Do not let that allow you to become complacent, though, because it will not stop the legislature being passed. Fight it, and gather support for the fighting.  A totalitarian country is not a good place to live.

[1] http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/9/112

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