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Five years after the Irish smoking ban the Irish are smoking more than ever

According to Allison Bray writing in the Irish Independent the smoking rate in Ireland has soared despite the Irish smoking ban.

Despite hikes in tobacco tax, the smoking ban and a new law against the public display of cigarettes for sale, the number of smokers has steadily risen since 2007 when 29pc of the population smoked.

The survey, which was conducted between March and September, revealed the largest group of smokers — 45pc — is aged between 16 and 30.

I wonder if “despite” should actually be “because of”, though I am not sure why that should be.

The Irish Independent article is actually over a year old, but still of interest, I thought. I found it via a comment from Dave Atherton to this post by Mahendra Jadeja at Big Brother Watch.

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20 comments to Five years after the Irish smoking ban the Irish are smoking more than ever

  • RAB

    To reprise an old Irish Joke…

    So you want to stop people smoking, for their own good of course, by imposing draconian taxes and smoking bans without a shred of evidence that second hand smoke causes any damage whatsoever?

    Well I wouldn’t be starting from there if I was you.

  • No, I am not sure why that should be, either. Who would ever engage in a dumb, destructive pleasure because its enemies were worse fools than its champions?

    Okay. Even the anti-smoking lobby have never quite persuaded me to active, genuine smoking. Watching my dad, whose will was equal to every other trial even in the teeth of a murderous mob, take thirty years to kick the crap was more than enough for me. But you’ve got to say this for the nannies: they’ve come nearer to tempting me than the odour of the best tobacco I have ever smelled. That is some good going!

    Sounds like Ireland’s best days may still be ahead of it. Sláinte!

  • Jane

    Maybe the smoking rate is up because the young people are bored. I just read an article that stated the Irish (age 24-35) are flocking to Canada for jobs as employment options have dried up in Ireland.

    I suppose if they are unemployed without many prospects and are receiving government money to buy the cigs then why not hang out with friends for a fag and a drink?

  • lukas

    Especially since most people don’t actually pay those taxes. God bless Poland!

  • Surely, it’s due to the fact that now smokers have to congregate outside, it’s a great opportunity to speak to strangers.

    They’ve essentially made non-smoking a real bad choice for anyone single. I wonder if we should expect a similar effect in the UK.

    Idiots.

  • Brad

    The article fails to state that, freed from the scourge of second hand smoke, waitresses, bus boys, and bartenders have collectively developed into a new Super Human race. They have promised to not enslave us as long as tipping is north of 20%.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    The Irish are just born criminals. the British tried to impose civilisation and freedom on them, but it just wouldn’t stick! The only way to get people to give up smoking would be to make it compulsory!!!

  • Fraser Orr

    You know that last comment struck a chord. I am Scottish, and growing up I remember that everything “English” was bad. I am completely convinced that the main reason Scottish football fans are well behaved abroad is because it showed up the English.

    Perhaps smoking can be cured in Ireland by somehow convincing people that it is the “English pass time.”

  • Fred Z

    I rather like the Irish willingness to kill themselves and say ‘fuck you’ to oppression rather than submit.

    I do not admire the unspoken subtext of many of the comments and opinions that the writers have the least moral right to say anything at all, anything, about how the Irish, or anyone else, choose to live or die.

    I don’t smoke. Disgusting habit. But I think I’ll buy a pack just so I can light up and blow smoke in the face of the first interferon who says a word against smokers per se.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Fred Z, what would you do if some official told you to smoke, or ordered you to get drunk?

  • Eric

    It’s all very simple, really. There are no jobs, so young people with nothing else to do are staying home and having sex.

  • I think I would want to smoke something if I were Irish at the moment.

  • Current

    I live in Ireland. Jobs are certainly hard to come by at present, though not impossible. Two of my friends I thought were going to be on the dole for a long time found jobs recently.

    As “Dead Dog Bounce” points out above you can’t socialise with people unless you go into the smoking areas. In practice when I go to the pub I find most of my time’s spent in the smoking area. Smoking areas in many pubs are now bigger than the rest of the pub, in some places buildings have been demolished or had their roofs taken off to expand them.

    I don’t know why young Irish people smoke more. They are certainly into “living for today” though, and cultivating edginess, moreso than Brits. I think hash and weed may have something to do with it. I know people who’ve given up smoking (or never taken it up) then gone back when they’ve started on hash. Young unemployed people like hanging out smoking hash.

  • Fred Z wrote “I do not admire the unspoken subtext of many of the comments and opinions that the writers have the least moral right to say anything at all, anything, about how the Irish, or anyone else, choose to live or die.”

    I didn’t see any comment actually denigrating the Irish, Fred Z. ‘Nuke’ Gray was being ironic.

  • I had read somewhere or other that Prohibition had the effect of making actually Americans drink more. I’d chalk it up to the allure of the forbidden.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Yes, Iron E, the missing humour supplement! I overdose every day! I used to be a comedian- but now all I have to do is report the governmental news! Such as when our PM, Julia ‘backstabber’ Gillard, asks the electorate to trust her, or when atheist Gillard says she will pray for Rudd’s recovery! That’s why Australia doesn’t have comedians, just news reporters!

  • The ‘smirting’ phenomenon is pretty well entrenched here in England too. Every night spot I’ve visited recently had most of the pulling going on in the smoker’s area…
    I know quite a few people who only smoke when they are out on the town too, including one who’d quit completely before the ban came in!

  • I must admit it remains me Soviet Union when Mikhail Gorbachev carried “dry law” during 1985-1987. We know the results. Nothing has been changed. Alcohol production migrated to the black market economy and people have been continuing to drink till now.

  • Well, it remains me Soviet Union when Mikhail Gorbachev carried “dry law” during 1985-1987. We know the results. Nothing has been changed. Alcohol production migrated to the black market economy and people didn’t stop to drink till now.

  • Necromancer

    has it been repealed yet?