Scottish Law Online > Discussion Forum Community Home | Search | Contact
 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
 
Signup for free on this forum and benefit from new features!
Home Help Search Login Register



Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 12
Send Topic Print
Smoking ban (Read 210293 times)
Belinda
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 67
Edinburgh
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #45 - Nov 13th, 2005 at 5:16am
 
RFM

Hello! You raise a lot of points in your post.

My experience of discussions on sites like these, and letters to the press and so on is that many refer to smokers as a bunch of helpless addicts. If they protest and say, ‘But I like smoking’, they are told, ‘No you don’t, that’s just the talk of an addict’. In other words, if they try to take responsibility for their own habit, it is denied them.

As far as everyday social interaction is concerned, the ban removes the responsibility from people to decide whether smoking is or is not acceptable in their immediate circumstances. You say that responsibilities are being left out of the equation, but the conditions imposed by the ban will remove responsibilities from people at many different levels.

The government taxes cigarettes, and it seems that the government therefore has a responsibility to its taxpayers that should preclude penalising them from being used as intended. I am not sure where you think responsibilities are being ignored, but I would agree that they are being ignored somewhere.

It may be that the word ‘responsibility’ is causing a problem. It is used in a judgemental way, as in ‘it is irresponsible to smoke’, or it is used an in a more open way, as in ‘taking responsibility for one’s decisions’.

‘A product that kills their customers’. Many people add the qualifier ‘when used as intended’, because knives, motor cars and lengths of rope can also kill people. There is no denying that smoking has a strong statistical correlation with deaths from lung cancer and stroke, but this not prove causation. I am 41 years of age and the only stroke death I have known in my immediate circle was a 48-year-old non-smoker from a non-smoking family who spent most of her time as a market gardener in the open air. Four-fifths of stroke deaths occur over the age of 75. The most you can say is that smoking may be a factor in some deaths.

Asking what to do about a trade dealing in products that ‘kills its customers’: heroin is different from tobacco because it is not legally on sale to the public. The tobacco industry is not the only interest that benefits from addiction. ‘Dealing with it’ will only leave an immense hole in a ruthlessly competitive market. Tobacco has the advantage over many drugs available for many mental health conditions in that it is associated with quite normal socialisation and leaves people relatively autonomous.

There are many other points but I think long posts get truncated so I will try and address them later.

Thanks for joining the discussion
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Belinda
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 67
Edinburgh
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #46 - Nov 13th, 2005 at 6:07am
 
Princess

You have said twice so far that ‘freedom of association’ was not relevant to this legislation because I was interpreting it too broadly. I am not sure what this means.

Say a regional smoking association is set up, not for the sale or distribution of tobacco but for organising social opportunities. There are far too many members to accommodate them all at an AGM and so they have to hire somewhere but they will not be allowed to smoke at their chosen venue. Is this sort of restriction really in the public interest? It seems to me to stop people from coming together to pursue a legal activity. It also stops people like me enjoying the company of smokers in public places.

People who act as befrienders to those with mental health problems are usually advised to meet their clients in public places while they are establishing a relationship. How much more difficult is that going to be in situations where smoking is outlawed? Is this really in the public interest? You can tell heavy smokers with chaotic and unpredictable lives that they should give up smoking, but the threat of financial penalties and the prospect of continued loss of social opportunities is not likely to help many smokers to give up.

Free social interaction is a fundamental and basic need. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity. The important thing in life is that people learn how to live together rather than expecting those in authority to decide what risks are and are not acceptable



Back to top
« Last Edit: Jan 26th, 2006 at 2:14am by Belinda »  
 
IP Logged
 
Cantiloper
Newbies
*
Offline


Question Authority...
always.

Posts: 10
Philadelphia, PA USA
Gender: male
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #47 - Nov 15th, 2005 at 6:36pm
 
A product that kills its customers when used as intended....

Hamburgers?  Certainly it's been pretty well shown that a healthy vegetarian diet will not kill one off as fast as one heavy in beef.

Cars?  Not just drunk driving here: driving a car is inherently dangerous due to our human limitations of attention and reflex when dealing with speeds of 30 to 80 miles an hour.  And sadly, many of the deaths are indeed among the young and innocent who get struck by the cars.

Alcohol?  Alcohol kills in a variety of ways when used "as intended."   One doesn't have to be falling down drunk to lose just that touch of coordination that keeps one from mis-stepping and falling down a flight of stairs, or just that touch of extra attention that would have kept one from crossing in front of that speeding car.  And we shouldn't forget that alcohol, just like tobacco smoke, is a carcinogen, and is one that is shared in vapor form with all those around the drinker... including the children with their parents at the nice smoke-free bar/restaurants.  See:

http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/eletters/330/7495/812#105082


Cigarettes are not unique in the dangers they pose when "used as intended" though it could be argued that their risks are greater.


Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
www.Antibrains.com
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
snooks
Full Member
***
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 52
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #48 - Nov 15th, 2005 at 9:04pm
 
Quote:
Free social interaction is a fundamental and basic need. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity.


I absolutely agree. And three places in central Edinburgh that cater for non-smokers who would like to be spared exposure to the cancer stick every time they feel like a quiet drink is not sufficient to provide that necessity. Besides which, I think if you have ever been to any of them you will know that "young professionals" are not exactly the target customers.

I absolutely think that the sea should move for me. I am neither anti-social nor dangerous in public places. Smokers are both.

Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Princess Analia
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 51
Glasgow
Gender: female
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #49 - Nov 16th, 2005 at 4:53pm
 
Hi Belinda,

I'm sorry that I am perhaps not making myself clear as regards the Human Rights issue.  I found a report from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in relation to a proposed ban on smoking in certain public spaces there.  I think it may explain the issue in a far more articulate way than I attempted to.  Whether you agree with their findings or not, it does explain the position well.  Here's the link http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:-A-FifVvf8IJ:www.nihrc.org/documents/landp/16... and here's the relevant passage in case you don't want to read the whole thing.

"There are many rights that are not “human rights”, such as legal rights, and moral rights that can be of a much lower and even very trivial order. There are uncontested rights to do many things that it would be quite inappropriate to enshrine in a law. Where laws are concerned, it is an ancient precept that anything not prohibited is permitted, so that when and where there is no legal ban on smoking, everyone can be said to have a legal right to smoke, though it might be better to call it a civil right or a freedom to smoke in that it is defined by the absence of a ban rather than by a positive statement in law. But because smoking is injurious, it would certainly violate human rights to force anyone to inhale smoke, at least to a degree that could harm their health. In that sense, everyone has a human right not to smoke. As a human right, the right to be protected from exposure to smoke is of a higher order than the civil right to smoke."

As regards strokes, quite a lot of strokes especially in younger people like the poor unfortunate lady you knew Belinda are caused by pre-existing problems such as aneurysms.  However, if you visit a vascular ward where people have nasty problems with the blood supply to their heads caused by occlusion and stenosis of their carotid vessels these people are almost to a man, all smokers.  You're right, most medical conditions, especially ones like ischaemic heart disease and cancers are caused by more than one factor, but a big proportion of the time, one of the factors is that of smoking too.  I think I said before, it's smoking I hate, not smokers, I have close friends and family who smoke and I love them very much - which is the main reason I hate smoking in the first place - because those smokers are precious to me and I would hate to see them ill or to lose them altogether the way I lost my parents.  I wholeheartedly respect their right to smoke in their own homes and in fact, never mention stopping or cutting down their habit to them.  Or god forbid complain about their smoking when I visit them and they light up.  I'm just not that happy about the idea that I have no or very little choice about avoiding smoke in public.  I feel it's also a problem for people who work in the hospitality industry and have no choice about being exposed either.  Whether you believe passive smoking is harmful or not and I still do believe that.  We're all influenced by our life experiences - and indeed our take on those experiences, as a 31 year old who lost both parents to smoking related diseases by the time I was 20- (one parent on home oxygen for 5 years), and I spent the rest of my twenties working as a nurse and seeing all sorts of horrors, I'm in favour of any harm reduction in relation to smoking, although not criminalisation or heckling people who smoke.  On the other hand, people who smoke and enjoy good health or people who are lucky enough not to have experienced ill health of themselves or their loved ones due to smoking will wonder what all the fuss is about, will not particularly find the health risks worrying and will see the civil rights of smokers as a more important issue.  There's the main reason none of us on here are going to agree!  I've really benefitted from hearing other's points of view however and would like to think I'm a bit more tolerant now.  Thanks for that!


Laura
Back to top
« Last Edit: Nov 16th, 2005 at 10:58pm by Princess Analia »  
princessanalia1974  
IP Logged
 
Belinda
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 67
Edinburgh
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #50 - Nov 17th, 2005 at 5:23am
 
Princess

You have raised some very interesting points in your post, I more or less agree with your conclusion that our experiences will very much colour our approach to the smoking issue. You must have had a really distressing time with your parents. By contrast in my family there was an almost complete non-smoking environment and to be blunt I have not had to watch anybody die.

I have no difficulty in accepting that there are many conditions aggravated by smoking, nor to minimise the impact of what you witnessed. I do have serious doubts about the evidence presented about second hand smoke, and you will understand by now that I’m also bothered by the impact it will have on people who have pressing problems that they want to discuss with their mates while sharing a drink or coffee and a smoke with them. I feel that you acknowledge now that the health problems are not the only issue here. I don’t want anybody to feel that they can’t get out and enjoy themselves, in comfort, and this goes for non-smokers too.

There seems to be an epidemic of ill health in the last two or three decades to do with diet, sedentary lifestyles and so on. This might make people more vulnerable to various conditions, and at present much of the blame is heaped on smoking. There is little doubt that people living in the forties and fifties before the advent of junk food and in wartime conditions were much better off health-wise – probably also less vulnerable.

Anyway I have enjoyed your posts and hope you’ll keep in touch with the site. I have read the document in your post above, and have a couple of problems with it that I explain in the next post.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Belinda
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 67
Edinburgh
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #51 - Nov 17th, 2005 at 5:52am
 
17 November

This post relates to the report of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

First of all, any talk of ‘rights’ to smoke has to be taken in the context that tobacco is a legally traded product. My standpoint is that people have a right to be together in each other’s company in public places, smokers and non-smokers alike. Banning smoking undermines that right in the case of smokers, (and of non-smokers who want to be in their company). It does not remove it but it substantially erodes the ability of a large minority to forge relationships with others in public places.

Para 6.1: Evidence for ‘unequivocal’ damage from exposure to tobacco smoke may be clear and unambiguous. It is not uncontested, as is suggested in paragraph 24. The numerical evidence is too slim to suggest an actual causal relationship.

Exposure to tobacco smoke is no more harmful than a trip to the newsagents in January in terms of skin cancer.  

I am quite intrigued by the text in brackets at paragraph 24.

Why float this idea that passive smoking may not be harmful when they have already stated that it causes death and disability?

'... the fact that people are not just intolerant but genuinely fearful around smoke could be enough to engage their human rights.'

Are the authors of this report seriously suggesting that, in the absence of any supporting evidence, fear of ETS would be sufficient to establish a breach of the human rights of non-smokers? Since when has unsubstantiated fear of danger been a sound basis for policy? That fear would justify repression of any minority under the sun, either by allowing people to indulge in fear of the unknown, or their caving in to their stubborn refusal to examine the facts.

Finally, nobody is enforcing anybody to ‘inhale smoke’. Breathing smoky air is not inhaling smoke in concentrations comparable to the smoke inhaled by a smoker. In many pertinent situations, we are dealing with large, nearly empty bars, where one smoker will no longer be able to get a quiet drink and smoke. But even in busy smoking environments there is a large distinction between the amounts of smoke that smokers.

This is quite a long document and this was my first reaction to it. Thanks very much, Princess, for supplying this link.

Back to top
« Last Edit: Nov 21st, 2005 at 5:04pm by Belinda »  
 
IP Logged
 
Blaggarde
Newbies
*
Offline



Posts: 6
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #52 - Nov 17th, 2005 at 6:26am
 
The state has a duty to cater for all citizens equally. At a very minimum this implies preserving smoker-friendly venues for adults smokers (or anyone else) who desire such places, in addition to ensuring non-smoking venues for those who desire non-smoking venues. That is, of course, predicated on the very dubious idea that the state has any right to engage in social engineering in the first place, because that is what this law is. In any event, such an outcome would preserve the primacy of individual choice, including the freedoms and responsibilities associated (up to now) with such adult choice concerning a legal product in a free country.

Snooks, I laughed out loud reading your declaration that you are NOT anti-social, when you would have it that over one third of the adult population be effectively banned from normal everyday social intercourse. The most up-to-date research on sea-moving is also well documented. Canute says no.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
snooks
Full Member
***
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 52
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #53 - Nov 17th, 2005 at 2:06pm
 
Well, luckily for me, Jack McConnell Says yes.

Smokers aren't "banned" from social interaction any more than heroin addicts or the uncontrollably flatulent (both of whom are arguably more worthy of sympathy than the smoker).
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Blaggarde
Newbies
*
Offline



Posts: 6
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #54 - Nov 18th, 2005 at 2:22am
 
Well that adds up. One small mind engaged in a total abuse of political power, backed up by an equally small mind on an ego trip the size of Ayrshire.

Have no doubts about it, smokers are being banned under this proposed law. Smokers smoke. If they continue to do so in their local pub, then by the diktat of the first minister, they will be criminalised, fined and possibly jailed for using a legal product in a so-called free country.

There is an urgent need for right-thinking people (smoker and non-smoker alike) to come together on this issue and strongly voice their opinion, before ordinary decent law-abiding and worthy citizens are permanently excluded under the law.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Belinda
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 67
Edinburgh
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #55 - Nov 19th, 2005 at 8:45pm
 
Snooks - who is asking for anyone to have sympathy for  smokers? This is a conversation about the law!

As for the situation south of the border, a report in the last couple of days tells us that a number of rebel MPs have signed a commons motion to overturn the partial ban on smoking into a total ban. There are various justifications for doing this, but one of these is the pressure from parts of the community, including some of the licensed trade, to make the ban a 'level playing field'.

It should alarm everybody that people are thus reduced to being players in some economic game of fair competition between pubs and clubs. In this scenario their independent rights as citizens are not even considered. It is only their situation as consumers that gives them any significance. This is not good law. Even those who don't that smokers have any rights should be aware that citizens have rights, and the law should not be framed only around the principles of 'fair' competition.

Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Blad
Newbies
*
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 4
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #56 - Nov 20th, 2005 at 7:16am
 
It's very interesting to read the posts placed by Snooks because they show how well the anti-smoker lobby have done their work.  I refer specifically to the degree of venom that comes across in those posts, accompanied in addition by such righteous indigantion.  This is not attractive nor conducive to rational debate amongst civilised human beings.

Moreover, as someone who undertakes a significant amount of legal work himself, such an approach cannot be considered objective. 

It is this objectivity that I wish to highlight for there are many issues at stake here.  To begin with, despite the reports of the popular press and despite the assertions of many medical professionals, it is also the case that the foundation on which smoke bans are built is that which claims that second hand smoke, or to give it its more professional title, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), in the quantities that we normally experience it, is a deadly toxic substance.  This is highly debatable and there are many reasons for saying this based on the careful scrutiny of reports which  appear to be not as accurate in their findings as their authors might wish to claim.  In fact there is a growing body of opinion that questions these claims.

Now for the purposes of brevity, it is not my intention at this point in time to go into this, but, if these claims about ETS are truly unfounded, then the removal of human freedoms on the back of them would not be just.

Simultaneously, we must consider personal likes and dislikes, but things should not be banned simply because some people do not like them.  Normally we would all recognise this and instead of seeking to ban something, look for sensible compromises and accomodations.

With regard to the claims about ETS which seem to grow more fantastic by the day so that even the most unimaginative become skeptical, this next 12 months will prove very interesting indeed as the public at large becomes more aware of the issues involved.  This is now inevitable due to the vast increase in pro-choice advocates, many of whom are well resourced and well studied.  And, whether you agree with their assertions or not, what is now of paramount importance is that the whole debate becomes truly public (which it has not been so far) in order that the everybody is finally placed in the position to make up their minds in a calm and rational manner, armed with all the facts and details as opposed to the rather limited knowledge which we all possess at the present.


Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
snooks
Full Member
***
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 52
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #57 - Nov 21st, 2005 at 2:08pm
 
How can I be objective about something that causes me harm! It's like asking turkeys to be objective about Christmas. Self-aware turkeys. You expect everyone to be a fence-sitter who will happily go along with whoever shouts the loudest and spouts the greatest volume of meaningless "research" , but non-smokers are increasingly sick of being marginalised.

Gosh, though, am ever so glad that you warned me that my "venom" is "unattractive". Better shut my mouth lest the boys don't fancy me. Pah.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Belinda
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 67
Edinburgh
Re: Smoking ban
Reply #58 - Nov 21st, 2005 at 5:13pm
 
Dear Snooks

Objectivity is absolutely to be expected from the only professional lawyer in a discussion about the law.

What do you mean, non-smokers are sick of being marginalised? I am a non-smoker and do not feel in the least marginalised by smokers. Smokers are about to be subject to criminal penalties, if they smoke in public places.

You said there were no non-smoking pubs in Edinburgh and when told where they were you said they were not catering for your section of the market (young professionals). It seems to me you are margainalising yourself by expecting a small niche market to dominate every pub.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Blad
Newbies
*
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 4
To Snooks Regarding Smoking Bans
Reply #59 - Nov 24th, 2005 at 1:10am
 
Snooks, with regard to your post of November 21st, I am sorry if you took it that I was suggesting that you were not attractive to the boys, as I'm sure you have lots of boyfriends.  I also just loved the "Pah" at the end of your post, for you must have been a real star of the drama at school.

However, and joking apart, you stated that you cannot be objective about something that causes you harm.  By that, I take it you mean second hand smoke.  However, how do you know it is doing you harm?

No doubt you may reply because you have been informed of such by sections of the press and medical opinion.  But, how do you know this is right and what proper research have you undertaken?

For instance, there is absolutely no excuse for a Scottish lawyer with an interest in smoking issues not to be familiar with the McTear case.  It is located here at:

http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2005CSOH69.html

Part of what was revealed during this case was that Sir Richard Doll never actually proved that primary smoking causes lung cancer. What Doll demonstrated was that there was a statistical correlation between smoking and lung cancer, but that is not proof. Proof requires the demonstration of a clear biological pathway which is much more than a statistical correlation.

Secondly, you should perhaps look at the trial transcript of the 1998 Federal Court case regarding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  This is obtainable here:

http://www.forces.org/evidence/epafraud/files/osteen.htm

The outcome of this landmark case was that Judge Osteen decreed that the EPA strike out two key clauses from its report, these being:

1) that 3,000 Americans die each year from second hand smoke (ETS), and
2) that ETS is a class A carcinogen.

Next, you might care to look at the Australian Federal Court's decision whereby The Australian National Health & Medical Research Council was taken to task by the tobacco industry for deliberately suppressing scientific evidence.  Justice Finn's findings were eloquent.  He made subsequent orders that the recommendations contained in the draft report on the estimated costs to the community of passive smoking, and for the elimination of environmental tobacco smoke in public places, to be taken out, as those recommendations could not be inferred from the evidence contained in the report.  This document is available here:

http://www.data-yard.net/historic/files/austcort.htm

Finally, you might like to check out some of the work of Michael Fumento, a non-smoking advocate who has regularly criticised the claims made about ETS.

Fumento's profile is obtainable here:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Michael_Fumento

and one of his articles here:

http://www.fumento.com/disease/smoking.html

The problem with your current approach to this issue, Snooks, is that you are not well researched and there is far more data than I can offer that penetrates the heart of many of the claims made about ETS.  Yes, the emotive and rhetorically powerful approach might work in some legal circuses, but it would not work against an opponent well schooled in both sides of the debate.  Under such circumstances you would probably find yourself in the ignominious position of being used to wipe the floor.


Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 12
Send Topic Print
(Moderator: YaBB Administrator)



Scottish Law Online Scottish Law Online Quick links:
Scotland: Law Society - Scottish Courts - Scotland Legislation - Scottish Parliament
England: Law Society - Courtservice - DCA - Home Office - Law Commission
UK: BAILII - OPSI - Parliament - House of Lords - Direct Gov - Legal 500 - Chambers
Europe: Europa - ECJ - ECHR - Eur-Lex - Commission - Parliament - OEIL
World: WorldLII - AustLII - CornellLII - Findlaw - UN - ICJ - WTO - Lex Mercatoria
Best of the Web: Amazon - Google - Y!Music - IMDB - BBC News - Radio1 - TV - RoF
Shop Online with Amazon
Discussion Forum © Kevin F Crombie 2009