Criminal Gangs? Lack Of Evidence? Who Cares?

by Dick Puddlecote

Criminal Gangs? Lack Of Evidence? Who Cares?Jarvis.jpg

While the country enjoyed a glorious barbecue weekend, the incessant bleating from whey-faced puritans after Friday’s decision to shelve plain packaging still hasn’t abated, with desperate scrabbling by the tobacco control industry to shift attention away from the fact that it is a nonsense of an idea which has been overwhelmingly rejected by the public.

While some are still trying to blame lobbyists for the Conservative party forcing a fantasy U-turn from a policy the coalition government (an entirely different entity) had repeatedly said they had an ‘open mind’ about, TV doctor Sarah Jarvis (pictured left) has chosen a more unusual argument.

In a debate on Radio 4, it was reasonably put to her that plain packs could encourage an increase in vastly more dangerous counterfeit products, and that there was no decent evidence for such a measure (which there isn’t, apart from the stuff her side rigged, of course).

She responded that she doesn’t care about counterfeit fags – which the BBC found were “thirty times more toxic than ordinary cigarettes” – nor does she think that sound evidence is needed before heavily interfering with businesses; ignoring public consultations; and riding roughshod over international trade treaties.

Says it all, really. It’s the usual anti-smoking fare, a policy without evidence which doesn’t require any more evidence than the fact that arrogant statist prodnoses demand it.

And as for a doctor not caring about harm from dangerous counterfeits nor about how many criminal counterfeit gangs there are, who is truly surprised? It has never been about health anyway.

H/T Moonrakin in comments here.


3 responses to “Criminal Gangs? Lack Of Evidence? Who Cares?

  1. The lack of interest in black market cigarettes is the key indicator – as they are supposed to be 30 times more harmful than the cigarettes the establishment are targeting. This movement is not really about health – it is about hated of large scale private business (especially manufacturing).

  2. Julie near Chicago

    That’s a good point about brand-specific packaging as a deterrent to counterfeit, high-potency cigs. (Highly potent in nicotine–whose “addictivity,” I’m pretty sure, is psychological as opposed to chemical–or in the real problem substances, the particulates and also the CO that robs the blood of some of the oxygen it’s supposed to deliver to the brain?)

    Which prompts me to observe that copyright of brand logos and package design have this beneficent side effect.

  3. Concerned Briton

    Dr Sarah Jarvis seems to spend more time on various BBC stations than actually being a doctor.

    She seems to be the “go to” person for all their slots, which is hardly surprising tome considering her rather “left wing” nature on almost every topic going.

    But the BBC love these kinds of people, who they present as unbiased professionals.

    Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show also has her on regularly, just like they invite a certain ex-police officer on to talk about criminality or other societal issues (whether it be riots or smacking children).

    Again, this man is extremely liberal and pushes all the vantage points you would expect from a stereotypical Guardian reader. The stuff this fellow has previously come out with, often completely anecdotal or sweeping in statement, has been astonishing at times.

    I am not particularly an advocate of smoking. I do not smoke, never have, never will, and I do happen to wish people would stop smoking – but I am sick of the kinds of bias in the media (that Dr Javis could dismiss the issue of counterfeits so easily is quite shocking) that we are now all too familiar with.

    It was the same for forcing smoking bans in pubs etc. I did not agree with it.

    If we are to have some rules over it, it should be a matter of choice as to whether pubs declare themselves a smoking pub or non-smoking pub, or, if properly executed, I see little problem with extractor fans in smoking areas, providing they are adequately functioning to prevent the whole place being a fog of smoke, particularly the bar area where people work (should we concede that point in the first place).

    But as we saw last week with the suggestion to ban parents from giving their own children a lunch-box at school, the tyranny of control “for our own good” never ceases.

    People often joke that we are worse than Communist Russia – but maybe they are right when even the matter of packed lunches (and the parent’s right to control what is in them) becomes a thing for the state to try and control instead.

    It may not be a hard tyranny, but at times it certainly feels like a soft tyranny.