Malayisia about to get the whole Tobacco Control package in one hit

Leg-Iron often makes the point about how smokers are able to see through attempts at alcohol, soft drinks, salt, fat etc control. It's because they are all following the tried and tested tobacco control template.

Tobacco control has chipped away at smokers for many years so we are all familiar with it. Familiar enough to recognise the same steps being taken in other areas and to adapt to them.

Malaysia however, is different. They have not had to deal with tobacco control yet, and judging by this article they are about to get the full force of it in one fell swoop. They will be completely unprepared.

TOBACCO consumption or bluntly put smoking, in Malaysia is on the rise.
Despite the efforts by national authorities, information campaigns and advice on the deleterious effects of smoking, the inability to reduce addiction to smoking is indeed most regrettable and a cause for serious concern.

It is all the more a concern when many countries such as the US, several European nations, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have been successful in reducing smoking.
I would be careful what you wish for. The UK for example, has seen smoking rates decreasing steadily for many years as tobacco control was chipping away slowly. When they finally lost patience and stuck the boot in back in 2007, the decrease stopped and smoking rates have remained the same.
According to the Resource Center of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), the smoking prevalence rate among men in Malaysia is just over 50%.
[...]

Overall, close to a third of our population are confirmed smokers and that number is growing.
Then one would assume that Malaysians enjoy a good smoke, and one would also assume they they will not take kindly to being busybodied and bullied by tobacco control groups about it.
In addition to the well documented and publicised facts that cigarette smoke damages the organs of smokers and passive inhalers alike and is a major cause of fatalities, what is equally of concern is the health burden from smoking; its physical, mental and psychological impact on those addicted to tobacco.
The full range of tobacco control nonsense is brought to bear in this article. There is to be no chipping away here, the boot is about to be firmly stuck in.
It is estimated that national health care costs for tobacco-related diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ischemic heart disease and lung cancer, for a population with smoking prevalence rate as ours could amount to almost 2% of GDP, or nearly 20% of the country’s total healthcare budget and this is rising.
Costs to the NHS or equivalent. It seems that 54% of the price of a pack of fags in Malaysia goes to the government and they have a state healthcare system, so it is safe to say that smokers pay their way, just like they do over here.
Also, typically, such smoking prevalence rates could account for up to 25% of all deaths in the population.
Grossly inflated mortality figures. If a third of the population smoke then smoking must kill more than half of them. I doubt it. Notice also the use of the word, 'could'.
Studies among defence personnel in the US and among a cross-section of Swedish workers have shown that in their respective work environments, on average, between 8%-10% of work-time is lost per smoker per year, both as a result of their frequent smoking “breaks” and due to smoking-related ailments and healthcare required.
Time off from work due to smoking breaks. Just like in any other country, smoking breaks are between employer and employee, not the state. Most workers smoke during designated breaks that all workers have. And what smoking related ailments cause people to have time off work? It's not like smoking gives you a hangover.
Many argue that smoking relaxes and stimulates smokers to “perform” better.

However, the above and other health studies have shown that while it might seem to be so in the short-run, the overall long-term effects are the reverse and the addiction only becomes more demanding and overpowering.
Exaggerated effects of 'addiction'. Do you smoke? Does the below apply to you?
Smokers increasingly become more anxious, easily agitated, withdrawn, lack the “drive” or energy to work towards achieving higher goals in life, are unable to concentrate for long periods especially on complex tasks and are poor team players, other than with fellow smokers.
Thought not. That's just bitchy.
Asia, with its economic vibrancy, large and growing population and people with access to higher disposable incomes, is increasingly being targeted by tobacco-product manufacturers.
When a company advertises a product that the righteous don't approve of, the public are being 'targeted'. Not offered a product that they might want to buy, but tricked, bullied and cajoled into buying it against their will.
It is estimated that by 2020 more than two-thirds of the world’s smokers will be in Asia.
Interesting. Is that because smoking is declining in the west and increasing in Asia, or is it because western smokers are buggering of to Asia in droves to avoid the Tobacco Control Industry? Just kidding.
We have increasingly seen innovative and “seductive” packaging and sales strategies employed by tobacco companies to attract different target groups, especially young and new smokers.
Plain packs anyone?
Even more disgusting is the total lack of enforcement of smoking prohibition in restaurants, cafes and other public food outlets, with many smokers defiantly enjoying a puff under the very sign forbidding smoking.
Good. That might be a sign that when the bansturbators have a go at the local smokers they may well be told to take a jump.
One might argue that it is the individual’s right to smoke but, given the serious health impact on secondhand-smoke inhalers, that right is not absolute.
Owing to the fact that passive smoking is a whole heap of hooey, yes it is an absolute right, providing the smoker is not on the property of a person who does not want them to smoke.
RUEBEN DUDLEY
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Rueben old fruit, give it a bloody rest. We've seen where the tobacco control template leads and it isn't good.

Why not stick to organising quality shindigs?*




*Editors note - May not be the same Rueben Dudley

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