Public services we can't do without #1. Persecuting smokers.

Smoker Caught Red Handed

Pat Nurse and others have picked up on this nonsense as reported in the BBC, however take a look at this, 'We love our Brownshirts', article from Aberdare Online.

A smoker who threw her cigarette butt on the floor outside her home in Maesycoed is forced to cough up £465.

Not quite true. She was given a £75 fixed penalty ticket from a local jobsworth, for dropping a cigarette butt which she picked up. She refused to pay the ticket and was fined £350 plus £100 costs and a £15 victim surcharge by the local magistrates in her absence. She has vowed to go to prison rather than 'cough up'.

The Council’s dedicated Streetcare Enforcement team are out in force on foot, bikes and in cars across the County Borough ready to catch offenders, as many unlucky offenders are now finding out.

In times of austerity and public spending cuts, it's difficult to believe that we can still afford to pay for 'Streetcare enforcement teams'. Unless they pay for themselves by handing out punitive fines for minor offences.

A member of the Council’s Streetcare Enforcement Team was talking to Ms John at the time as they were investigating a complaint that there had been flytipping in the lane at the back of the street. Ms John then threw her cigarette on to the floor and failed to pick it up. Ms John was then issued with a fixed penalty notice for £75 and was informed that she had committed a litter offence.

Gotcha! According to the BBC story, she did pick up the fag end but the jobsworth fined her anyway. I know which version of events I will choose to believe as there are many stories of inflexible jobsworths with not an ounce of common sense.

Since April 2009 more than 844 fixed penalty notices have been issued to individuals who committed acts of environmental crime, which includes, dog fouling, fly tipping, littering and cigarette butts. This has resulted in environmental criminals coughing up a whopping £69,300, which could be avoided by using the waste facilities available.

Kerchiiiing!

The message is clear – eco-criminals in Rhondda Cynon Taf will not be tolerated and there is no escape thanks to this new initiative.
Anyone found committing an eco-crime in the County Borough could face at least £75 fine or worse if they fail to pay the fixed penalty notice, including a criminal record.

Eco crime. When not enough people are breaking the law, make more laws.

For further information on the services provided by the dedicated Streetcare teams call 01443 827700 or visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/streetcare

I'm so glad to see that punitive fines for smokers is now a 'service' we are being offered.

Of course all this was yesterdays news. Today we have moved on.

Ban smoking in cars, says British Medical Association

All smoking in cars should be banned across the UK to protect people from second-hand smoke, doctors say.
The British Medical Association called for the extension of the current ban on smoking in public places after reviewing evidence of the dangers.
This rubbish was pulled apart over at Velvet Glove, even before the report was published.

The chances are they will claim that a cigarette smoked in a car exposes passengers to either 23 or 27 times more secondhand smoke than they would get from a whole night in a smoky bar. Both of these statistics are obviously absurd. The "23 times" canard comes from an unpublished, non-peer-reviewed study presented at a conference nine years ago. It was heavily rigged towards getting the "right" result and finally concluded...

The calculated exposure for a five hour automobile trip with the windows closed/ventilation off and with a smoking rate of 2 cigarettes per hour is 25 times higher than the same exposure scenario in a residence.

"Residence" is not quite a "smoky bar" and "windows closed/ventilation off" is not exactly a realistic scenario for a smoker on a five hour car journey, but never mind. And no, I don't know why 25 got changed to 23, but this is the reference ASH use for the claim.

And here it is in the BBC article:

It highlighted research showing the levels of toxins in a car can be up to 23 times higher than in a smoky bar

They constantly drag out research that has been debunked time and time again. Why? Because the sheep in society read these press releases from the totally unbiased media and believe them wholesale. They don't read scientific studies only reproduced on pro choice blogs because they never get an airing in the MSM, so they don't get all the facts.

They are told that a wisp of fag smoke will turn their children lumpy and they swallow it, turning against smokers because they are an easy group to hate.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health even said calling for an immediate ban could be "counterproductive" as consensus needed to be built across society before taking such as step.

Persecution through consensus. Feed enough lies to the non smoking majority of the population and eventually you will convince enough of them that smokers are evil and you have your consensus. Any illiberal, hateful law is then possible. It's how the Nazis did it. (h/t Godwin.)

The doctors' union said an outright ban - even if there were no passengers - would be the best way of protecting children as well as non-smoking adults.

I have no children, no non smoker ever gets in my car and I wouldn't even entertain the notion of carrying someone else's children. How will banning me from smoking in my own private vehicle protect anybody? It won't.

Research has show that second-hand smoke can increase the risk of a range of conditions, including sudden infant death syndrome and asthma, as well as impairing lung function.

No true. Even a little bit. No one knows what causes SIDS; tobacco is just an easy target. SHS has never been proven to cause any illnesses of any kind, and the evidence against SHS causing asthma is overwhelming, if under reported. A lot of the studies that show no relation between smoking and asthma come directly from the tobacco control groups themselves, yet they would never tell you this.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science at the BMA, admitted introducing a ban would be a "bold and courageous" move

That's not the words I would have used. Draconian and spiteful would be a better descriptive.

Instead, the BMA said a complete ban would be better as it would be easier to police. It would also have the added benefit of potentially improving safety as smoking could be a distraction for the driver, the report said

Smoking 'could be' a distraction to the driver, yet no evidence of this is supplied because there is none. Big breasted women could be a distraction to some drivers. We can't remove distraction from the roads. I've been smoking behind the wheel for seventeen years without a problem.

As for being easy to police, if this nonsense aver makes it into legislation it will not stop me from smoking in my car. Like the woman in the first story, I would sooner see prison.

But smokers' lobby group Forest said there was "no justification" for a ban at all.
Director Simon Clark said: "Legislation is a gross overreaction. What next, a ban on smoking in the home?"

But if course. It's the next logical step.

A spokesman for the Department of Health in England said: "We do not believe that legislation is the most effective way to encourage people to change their behaviour."
He said instead a marketing campaign would be launched in the spring which would focus on the dangers of smoking in the home and car.

Let's see if this waste of tax payers money, advertising campaign will give us any scientific evidence for the dangers of second hand smoke or if we are all just fed the '23 times more deadly than a smokey bar' claptrap that keeps coming out every time someone else wants to take away another little piece of our freedom.

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