Friday, 1 April 2011

Oh Those Dastardly Tobacco Companies!

Tobacco companies down-under have caused a bit of a stir with their "I deserve to be heard" campaign designed to encourage protest against government anti-smoking policies. Campaign cards have been slipped into smoke packs that direct smokers to a website where they can contact their MP to complain about Australia's tough and at times insane anti-smoking laws.

Oh goody! This is going to ruffle a few feathers I reckon. Can't have the plebs questioning the wisdom of a government that wants plain packaging on cigarette packs that, by government demand, are already completely hidden from view of consumers now can we?

Of course all the usual talking heads are being dragged out to label this move by the tobacco companies as an act of pure evil on the same footing as eating live kittens.
Anne Jones, of those lovable fuckwits at Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) describes the website as a "sophisticated pattern of interference in public health policies."
No, ASH don't do hypocrisy at all.
While Professor David Currow reckons "sometimes you have to shake your head at big tobacco companies authorising things like this, particularly when you consider in NSW alone, smoking and tobacco use costs the community more than $8.4 billion a year."

$8.4 billion a bloody year! My that's quite a lot of dough that smokers are costing a state with a population of just over 7.5 million. In fact that's over $1100 that every man, woman and child are costing the state, assuming that every man, woman and child in New South Wales smokes of course. But not everyone in NSW does smoke, in fact, according to the government, less than 17% do. Going by that figure Professor Currow is saying that NSW smokers are costing the state over $6500 each annually.

Bollox! As well as conveniently forgetting to subtract the taxes that smokers pay to the state from that figure, what the dear Professor doesn't say is that most of his $8.4 billion figure (around 70%) is made up of 'indirect costs'. Indirect costs include the income tax and other taxes that can no longer be squeezed from smokers who have passed away prematurely due to their freely chosen lifestyle and also the cost of the mythical passive-smoking monster.

But is the passive-smoking monster real?
Well, again, according to the governments own statistics, 78 non smokers died from passive smoking in NSW in a single year. But can they name one? Just a single name? No, they can't. If they could then the face that went with that name would become a face splashed on every billboard across the nation. In fact, where the hell is the poster child of passive smoking? Surely with the hundreds of thousands world-wide that are supposed to be killed by the monster, it really shouldn't be too fucking problematic to come up with one. Just drag out any one of their death certificates and highlight the part that says 'respiratory failure due to standing next to smoker'.
Whether the monster is real or not, dangerous or not dangerous, I know one danger that beyond a shadow of a doubt is certainly real and that is the danger of drowning on an unpatrolled stretch of beach. Which is exactly where the government have decided to force smokers to swim, yes it is now illegal in Western Australia to light a cigarette in the vast, open area 'between the flags'. That calm stretch of water that is patrolled by Surf Life Saving guards.

Filthy fucking smoke breathers! Out into the surf to drown with you and take your damned kids with you!

OK, maybe that's a little over the top, but judging by some of the comments of readers responding to the news of all this you certainly wouldn't think so.

"I deserve to be heard? You deserve to get knotted!"

"Of course smokers have a right to kill themselves, just stop bothering everyone else while you do it."
"This is a fantastic move... I am sick and tired of people smoking right out the front door of any public places and suffocate with smoke in my face. This is very unpleasant for us non-smokers and non smokers get affected more inhaling smoke than those who smoke the cigarettes itself. Bring on all the bans I say!!!"

"Time to tell the government we non-smokers have enough of breathing 24h stinking air from smokers around us."

"Outdoor smoking bans are great- I wish it would be extended further."

And last but certainly not least, these two little gems:

"I opened my pack to find the nifty advert. I was not impressed. I smoke tobacco with my weed! I don't like cigarettes. I don't think smokers deserve to be heard."

 "I have read tobacco companies have put something in tobacco to make it more addictive."

Jesus Christ smoking a crack pipe, give me fucking strength!



Lawson Narse said...

And there was me, thinking that Aussies were rough, tough, crocodile wrestling, kangaroo jumping, He Men and not pussy whipped, namby pambies, who are afraid to leave the security of their front doors behind, without permission from Nanny.
You live and learn, Just not in Australia, apparently.

Lawson Narse said...

PS: WV was Friterca, which seemed rather close to describing the nonsensical beliefs of the nannyists.

Groompy Tom said...

Oh no, Lawson. Sadly you were mistaken.
Everyone has this picture in their head of Aussies being loud, proud and always sticking two fingers up at the authorities but I've come to realise that, on the whole, we're just the same bunch of bitch-whipped, politically-correct automatons that seem to infest every western nation.

How very sad.

nisakiman said...

What went wrong? When I lived in Oz back in the 70s, it really was a man's world. Maybe it was the job I was in (drove semis interstate), but all the guys I knew were very much not PC.

It seems that the whole nation has turned in to a neatly folded, immaculately ironed pile of girl's blouses. WTF? I was proud to be an honorary Aussie. My two sons are Aussies. What the fucking fuck? What happened to their cojones? Who shrivelled 'em up?

I despair...

Groompy Tom said...

nisakiman, I'm sure the Australia of the 70's certainly would have been a lot less PC, even more so driving trucks. But that's the thing see; I'm a Diesel Mechanic and I wouldn't say a single one of my co-workers are PC, but let's face facts now, the haulers and fitters of Australia may not be PC but they're also, on the whole, not interested in politics in the slightest. It's those Aussies that are interested in politics that have become a collective of prim and proper left-wing robots and it's them fuckers that are calling the shots!

Heaven help us, we have a bunch of wowsers in charge!

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