delph_ambi wrote:No, I disagree. In my view, tobacco products should be taxed at an outragously high amount, but that tax should be ploughed directly into hospitals to treat the people suffering smoking related diseases. If you remove tax, ciggies will be so bloody cheap that huge numbers of kids will take up the noxious habit, with all the horrendous problems that that will create.
I don't know Delph. Perhaps you're right, but given that smoking seems to be a hand-me-down addiction from parent / society to child and in many ways peer pressure based, isn't it fair to assume that in tandem with all of the well intended media campaigns to now eliminate tobacco, it might lead to lesser amounts of people becoming new addicts?
In an email with another member of Sensitize earlier today I was informed that last year the government made approximately £10.1 billion from tax / VAT on tobacco and tobacco products and £8.3 billion of that was not spent on tobacco-related illnesses. Run this alongside Tony Blair's government wanting to buy £20 billion worth of new Trident missiles and the continued pointless expenditure exercise and farce of a war in the Middle East where hundreds of thousands of innocents are dead or maimed for life, and the figures just make the mind boggle (well, my mind at least).
delph_ambi wrote:I've never smoked. I hate the stench that emanates from perpetual smokers. However, I'll defend their right to smoke. I just don't want to have to pay for their treatment (or stand too close to them). If they pay, through taxes on ciggies, that's fine.
Again though. How much of the tax / VAT on ciggies / tobacco products goes back into healing the damage they do? Yes, civil rights should be respected and I agree that it is everyone's right to do as they choose. I'd be an hypocrite to say they couldn't given that I've only been off the ciggies for 3 days and frequently enjoyed puffing like a dragon in full defiance of non-smoker's requests that I stub it out.
Over on the Mark Thomas forum one of the members said that they had also quit the habit about a month ago. In their post they said they were down in their local pub the other night, not smoking, but when they got up the next day, their clothes were honking with nicotine. So, I agree fully with your point on the stench that comes from smokers and tobacco products.
delph_ambi wrote:I was reading an article about the artist Maggi Hambling in the paper last weekend. She has always been a chain smoker. You never see a photograph of her without a cigarette. Or so I thought... turns out, she gave up a few years ago, because she didn't want to die young. However, because she believes in the freedom to smoke, she makes sure she is always photographed holding a plastic cigarette.
Surely defending civil liberties and people's right to smoke shouldn't mean endorsing cigarettes. That seems a bit warped to me. I won't use the plastic cigarette with the 'hit-of-nicotine' because I have to make a clean break from the addiction. I would have thought this to be the case for all former smokers seeking to improve their health or life expectancy. I may be wrong...
delph_ambi wrote:Bottom line: you make ciggies much cheaper by removing taxes, and inevitably far more of the wretched things will be smoked, with all the associated misery of sickness and disease.
Back to my original point at the top of this post mate. I disagree. It is becoming more and more impossible to smoke in public places. I know the smoking bans haven't come into full effect on the UK Mainland yet, but they will by the summer of this year I believe. They have been in effect here in Northern Ireland for a few months now (since the new year). In the Irish Republic the smoking ban has been in effect for a few years. There hasn't been as big an outcry as anticipated. To the best of my knowledge the statistics on new tobacco addicts have fallen but I will research this more and update this thread when I have done so.
Thanks for your feedback and opinions Delph. Much appreciated mate