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“Bringing that choice into the equation”

“Ban smoking at home, say Scots campaigners”, reports the Sunday Times. This headline is followed by the breezy standfirst,

Move to save kids from second-hand exposure

That’s “kids” like wot the Times is down wiv.

Anti-smoking campaigners in Scotland are seeking to stop people lighting up at home as part of a drive to reduce the harmful health effects of inhaling secondhand tobacco smoke.

Last week, Dr Sean Semple, an academic from Aberdeen University, said restrictions on smoking at home may have to be imposed to protect children.

Odd how campaigners against passive smoking so often seem fond of the passive voice. Dangerous things, these restrictions imposed by nobody in particular, you can breathe them in without realising it and then you get cancer.

Meanwhile, Ash Scotland, the charity that helped to bring about a ban on smoking in public places in 2006, believes more could be done to protect residents in social housing.

There is concern that despite existing laws, hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland are still at risk from exposure to secondhand smoke in their homes.

Each week, dozens of children across Britain are taken to hospital through inhaling secondhand smoke, which is known to increase the risk of asthma, as well as ear and chest infections.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Failing that, as the Times does, any evidence at all for the claim that “dozens of children a week” are taken to hospital through inhaling second hand smoke would be nice.

Sheila Duffy, the chief executive of Ash Scotland, said the charity was seeking a meeting with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations to discuss the possibility of a smoking ban.

A smoking ban in social housing has proved immensely popular in the US, in California and cities such as New York and Philadelphia.

So a ban on Group X getting the limited supply of rent-controlled social housing proves immensely popular with social housing tenants not in Group X, not to mention potential social housing tenants for whom the chances of getting it have just increased. Colour, or as they say in the US, “color”, me surprised.

“Tobacco companies often talk about choice in smoking. However, for many people the choice to live free from breathing in tobacco smoke is just not there,” said Duffy.

“The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation.” One day soon we will have a Ministry of Choice so Sheila Duffy can concern herself with giving everyone the choice to live in a world free from choice.

“We are keen to explore ways of bringing that choice into the equation for new social-housing tenants and increasing protection for those living in buildings with shared common spaces.”

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30 comments to “Bringing that choice into the equation”

  • staghounds

    Smoking in tax paid housing should result in immediate summary eviction.

    Anyone who can obtain a cigarette is too rich for me to put up.

  • Sam Duncan

    Oh, hell no.

    “There is concern that despite existing laws, hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland are still at risk from exposure to secondhand smoke in their homes.”

    There is also “concern” that despite all the evidence from numerous studies over the last century, millions of people all over the world still believe “secondhand smoke” constitutes a serious risk.

    “A smoking ban in social housing has proved immensely popular in the US, in California and cities such as New York and Philadelphia.”

    Yeah, I’ll bet. Among whom, exactly?

    Seems we’ve found yet another reason to avoid anything infected with the word “social” like the plague.

  • Alisa

    Seems we’ve found yet another reason to avoid anything infected with the word “social” like the plague.

    As if it was even needed 😡

  • James Hargrave

    Might one ban the Scotch from ‘social housing’ instead

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Do you mean the drink? The people are, when being polite, called ‘Scots’.

  • But are the Scotch ever being polite?

  • I don’t have a choice to be free from the ****ing nannies who get their rocks off bossing other people around.

  • Douglas2

    Nicholas – over here in the former colonies, I’ve heard people on both sides of the St. Lawrence river/45th parallel describe themselves as having Scotch heritage. It always amuses me.

    I’m also amused by the name of the following local business

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Surely they’re Jocking?

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    And maybe those Scotchies mean that if their grandparents hadn’t been drinkers, they’d have married different people, so they blame/praise the scotch drinks.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Since authoritarians need someone to manage, we should put them in charge of prisons, and see how well they manage to keep these government accommodations free of smokes, as well as second-hand smoke. It would be good training for council housing.

  • TomJ

    The shibboleth against refering to the people of Scotland as Scotch, reserving that term for the usqueba, is a relatively modern thing; Burns described himself as Scotch: “The appellation of a Scotch Bard, is by far my highest pride; to continue to deserve it is my most exalted ambition.”

  • we should put them in charge of prisons, and see how well they manage to keep these government accommodations free of smokes (Nicholas Unlicenced Joker Gray, October 17, 2017 at 6:31 am)

    The anti-smoking law deliberately exempted prisons. Unless I’ve missed a change, that is still the case.

    Hannah Arendt in Origins of Totalitarianism argues that a sure practical test of whether your rights have actually been violated is whether you can evade the specific issue by committing an actual crime. A Japanese-American accused of petty burglary in late 1941 was therefore exempt from relocation, from having to sell his house in a depressed market, had a lawyer to defend his rights, etc.; with a sufficiently long sentence, he evaded the whole thing. During the final solution, Anita Lasker (the cellist in Auschwitz) and her sister Renata discovered it was relatively safer to be a Jew tried and convicted for forging identity papers than just to be a Jew. Their friend Ruth Krumme, who was acquitted, was sent to Auschwitz from the doors of the court and promptly killed, whereas they spent a long time in a relatively safe German jail, and when they finally reached Auschwitz they were not subject to selection on arrival.

  • Douglas2 (October 17, 2017 at 1:02 am), for many years, a local firm advertised themselves as ‘Campbell Control Services’. We were never sure whether you could hire them to control Campbell – something many people wished to do in much of Scots history – or whether they were themselves Campbells still running their old accustomed business of being the ‘government clan’ who controlled the other clans for the government – or at least, that’s who they always claimed they were doing it for. 🙂

  • Paul Marks

    Scotland is even more P.C. than England – it is the most P.C. part of the United Kingdom and, although I am a lifelong Unionist, part of me wishes that Scotland (and the wretched “Remainer” Ruth Davidson) would just GO AWAY.

  • Paul Marks, October 17, 2017 at 11:36 am. I could not agree more with your points – but trust that you will think of me and other Scots and Scottish-located commenters, and resist that part of yourself. 🙂

  • Surellin

    No doubt I would have quit smoking years ago except that these people annoy me so very much. You can have my ciggies when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

  • Paul Marks

    Quite so Niall.

  • Runcie Balspune

    There is also “concern” that despite all the evidence from numerous studies over the last century, millions of people all over the world still believe “secondhand smoke” constitutes a serious risk.

    I think the evidence regarding the SHS effect on children is quite conclusive and difficult to oppose, however, that hasn’t stopped the nanny statists from using the “think of the children” narrative to apply a blanket ban, even on households where there are no children, or places where children are unlikely to be, and also to consider that households where smoking parents may damage their children’s health could also have a lot of other factors a lot more worthy of consideration (drinking, unhealthy eating, abuse, drugs, etc), and, as mentioned, the conundrum of having social housing and yet being able to afford an expensive habit.

    On the whole, anything to do with smoking will be a big waste of time, in five years no-one apart from the die-hards is going be using tobacco. The problem to consider is the effect on Scotland’s Health Service and Pensions if a lot of them start living into retirement age.

  • Sam Duncan

    “The shibboleth against refering to the people of Scotland as Scotch, reserving that term for the usqueba, is a relatively modern thing; Burns described himself as Scotch: ‘The appellation of a Scotch Bard, is by far my highest pride; to continue to deserve it is my most exalted ambition.’”

    Yep. I don’t know where the aversion to it came from. My father tells me that my great-grandmother, who apparently spoke a dialect that even I would find hard to decypher, always said “Scotch”. I tend to do it myself, purely because it annoys the sort of people who enjoy being annoyed by such things.

    “I think the evidence regarding the SHS effect on children is quite conclusive and difficult to oppose, however, that hasn’t stopped the nanny statists from using the “think of the children” narrative to apply a blanket ban”

    Fair point. And excellent other points, too.

  • Richard Thomas

    Much better, I’m sure to take them from their homes and place them in government provided accommodation where they will experience rape, abuse, lack of affection and drugs, likely including nicotine.

  • John Galt III

    My ancestors and the heart of Scotland fled this place decades and centuries ago. What a dump. What a shame, too. Enjoy
    the decline, Scotland.

  • I think the evidence regarding the SHS effect on children is quite conclusive and difficult to oppose, however, that hasn’t stopped the nanny statists from using the “think of the children” narrative to apply a blanket ban.

    Just for the record, I have both general doubts about the reliability of science – and even more MSM-reported conclusions of science – in a PC-motivated field, and also a specific recollection of having doubts about some old (years back but less than a decade) research making claims of “passive smoking effect double what was previously thought”.

    As I have a day job – and other topics lined up to post on when it gives me time – I will do no more than sound this note of caution.

    Just to be fair, I note that commonsense would of course imply that the effect of growing up in a smoke-drenched house should be less statistically insignificant than standing near a smoker on a drafty railway platform until your train arrives, and other such areas where they did ban it. It is also a bit less indisputably consensual than grown-ups spending their evenings in a pub that allows smoking.

  • the other rob

    The anti-smoking law deliberately exempted prisons.

    IIRC inmates were exempted from the ban, on the basis that the prison was their home, but warders were not, on the basis that the prison was their workplace.

  • bobby b

    Here’s a good idea. Let’s take violent antisocial men, imprison them and punish them and frustrate them and pack them in tight against each other, and then take away their right to use their chosen calming mild drug, and, worse, subject them to a withdrawal likened by physiologists to the withdrawal from heroin, all in the name of making ourselves feel virtuous.

    Next, lets take away their right to read. Reading just gives them ideas, and I, as a good progressive, would rather they not have ideas.

    And chocolate. Bad men don’t deserve to eat chocolate. I would like it if they were denied chocolate.

    I am so good.

  • Watchman

    Runcie,

    The problem to consider is the effect on Scotland’s Health Service and Pensions if a lot of them start living into retirement age.

    I think there’s enough other vices to kill the inhabitants of Scotland’s social housing off in time to be honest…

    Mind you, I am expecting ASH’s oh-so-pompous representatives to visit Scottish housing associations (should any meet them – note they are seeking meetings with people who have got better things to do with their time…) and be told to go away and rethink their ideas in somewhat less gentle terms – the people manning housing associations are not going to go out of their way to antogonise clients, and most housing associations are still small enough that management are still in contact with the front-line people.

    Note that this is clearly ASH planting a story for their own purposes, and not actually something that has happened (journalists should probably report this as pressure group tries to manipulate news…) since no meetings have taken place and therefore ASH clearly have either failed to arrange meetings or simply think they are not going to get anywhere without building external pressure. It might be fun to fume about (see what I did there?) but this is not a real thing, just some of our mirror-image people seeking to create something where nothing exists. We should perhaps form an organisation to feed in similiar fake stories and see how that goes (having worked with university press people, it is not difficult to plant a story).

  • Watchman

    the other rob,

    Isn’t that opening the government up to being sued due to inhalation of smoke at work? Otherwise I agree with the ruling from the point of view of a law, as it is entirely logical and consistent, which is a rare and good thing in law. Pity it occurs in a silly piece of legislation.

  • Julie near Chicago

    1. All actual wood-, coal-, or charcoal-burning fireplaces should at once be summarily bricked over and the chimneys removed and permanently capped at the roof-line. Ditto for any such stoves, whether used for providing heat or for cooking.

    (Actually, anybody with half a brain should figure out that real fireplaces — not gas-fired or electrical simulations of some sort — ought to be eschewed by households where anyone has asthma, bronchitis, or other respiratory problems.

    2. Children should not be allowed anywhere near campfires or BBQ grills. Marshmallow-toasting, S’Mores (besides, yuck! *g*), and weenie-roasting are banned where children are present.

    3. WHO should imprison any adults who are involved in the heating of hovels of any sort, or in cooking therein, with such fuels as dung or peat.

    This second-hand-smoke is a menace, a scourge, though it’s a little difficult to believe given that for generations 50 million Frenchmen (and -women) have been smoking up a storm, bairns or no bairns, and we all know that 50 million Frenchmen (or -women) can’t be wrong. Same goes for the Japanese. Same goes for a heckuva lot of American and probably Brit, Aussie, and who-knows- what-else kind of peoples, although in at least some of the Anglosphere, as here, there was a largish minority who disapproved of smoking on the same sort of grounds that Runcie brings:

    She paints! Therefore a whore.
    She dances! Therefore a loose woman!
    She acts! A theatre person! Therefore a VERY loose woman!
    She drinks spirits !!! Shameful! Therefore no doubt indulging habitually in all sorts of perversions! A BAD MOTHER !!!

    (These sins not quite so readily called out on the male of the species, just a cultural note.)

    So, in like vein: He and she smoke around children: Even in their home, where their kids live !!! Therefore they are likely junkies, alcoholics, and child-abusers. Take the children away AND imprison the parents and other adults in the house. That’ll larn ’em!!! Besides, they are Evil.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    We will soon reach the point where we will need licences to run our own kitchens. No doubt restaurants will call for such measures as a health issue. At one time, a licentious life was scandalous, soon it will be mandatory.

  • Thailover

    Second hand “passive” smoking tests…are FAKE. Show me the effect of smoke, not drawn directly from the burning end of the cigarette but diluted a thousand billion times in a large room’s atmosphere.

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