Protecting Smokers from themselves.Governing our health. The government message is very much “We will decide whats best for you(and make ourselves some money while we do it.) Government “protecting” always makes me suspicious. In the cases of the environment and aboriginal peoples, protect is at best an euphemism for “be seen to act,while having no,or a detrimental effect. The notion that we need want or countenance government interference in a matter of personal choice is a furphy.

Yes the  Labor Party writhes in agony fell back on that popular attack on the mainly poor and working class Australians for whom one of lifes few pleasures is the enjoyment of a cigarette or two. Nobody in politics will disagree-

Australian Governments do nothing to contain this,but attack smokers. Power companies can afford powerful legal teams,smokers without a voice.

you have bipartisan support even from the Greens. Its safe to attack the poor, the workers as you and the coalition have done for many years now.Once again the Trojan horse making this incursion into personal choice and our personal lives is health.The same Trojan horse trampling over the rights of Australias long suffering aboriginal communities, necessitating the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act,placing Australia on par with the elites of indigenous exploitation,like Peru which was correctly castigated along with Australia by UN Special Rapponteur James Anaya.

Government Tax Gouging in the name of health renders cigarettes unaffordable

Yes, smokers pollute, and granted there are health detriments, but they pale in comparison to both the health hazards and the environmental impacts caused by the major polluters which Labors ETS would have subsidised, while struggling small businesses are made to pay. Health!! Most cars give off amounts carbon monoxide in daily quantities which far exceed a cigarette smokers annual output, but theres no punitive tax on cars—or petroleum products , for health reasons,of course. Electric Cars?? Most of Australia’s electricity is produced by burning dirty coal with its very own tableau of toxins pumped out into the atmosphere daily. Labor told the electorate there would be no emissions tax in the leadup to the elections,but are now talking about one. Emissions “offset” is virtual climate denial and DOES NOT COMPEL the biggest polluters to stop polluting,or even lessen the copious black clouds they have pumped out in increasing volumes over the decades. Companies like miners, so near and dear to PM Julia Gillards heart. This is why ETS or an “emissions offset” is so attractive to industry.Its an easy way out.It will also pay tree farmers to degrade land for plantations,with no differentiation between ecologically harmful exotic and natural indigenous forests. ETS will not meet the target of 350 parts per million.

You get the idea.

Back to smoking and health and how the 25% extra impost on cigarettes is not really a tax gouge as everybody thinks.Labors right, we are wrong. Well Labor,heres the  impact of your 25% cigarette price hike in Struggle Street..

  • Smokers are getting sicker faster as they lower their quality of food intake as they adjust budgets to accommodate your price gouge (sorry,health measure) Please note,not too many smokers got a $250 plus per week payrise like @JuliaGillardPM did.
  • Few smokers are successfully giving up the habit.Some have been forced to sell drugs such as marihuana just to afford cigarettes.Its also not unheard of for people to offer sexual favours in return for cigarette packs.
  • Many low income, and a number of middle income people too, are resorting to daily patrols of known places where cigarette butts are discarded in recyclable lengths.Yes collecting discarded cigarette butts to break down for tobacco. Since April we’ve observed a growing number of well dressed office workers gathering cigarette butts,some surreptitiously, others as casually and devoid of embarassment as you please. A widespread practice among marginalised people as cigarettes spiral skywards in price.Needless to say there is additional health risk of spreading respiratory diseases via secondary infection.

    Cigarette butts the low income smokes shop

    The Affordable Low Income Cigarette Store

  • With attendant anti smoker legislation at State level,notably in NSW and just introduced in WA,there are the additional health issues of smokers being forced to smoke in hostile environments.For example,people who work in air conditioned offices and are forced to smoke off premises may be detrimentally affected by the climatic changes from the artificial interior environment to the changable weather outdoors.
  • Meanwhile health authorities lap up the luxuries afforded by this extra revenue stream…more junkets to Hayman Island or the latest bonding & conferencing locale…more new furniture & cars…that’ll solve a lot of health problems.We hear with regular monotony how underfunded and under resourced Health Services are and have to ask “How efficiently are health service deliveries managed?”. Throwing money at Health in the hope that the issues will go away simply won’t work.If the money spent now is being spent less than efficiently,why would one solve the problem with more money?

I choose to smoke.I also accept that there is some risk of cancer and other respiratory diseases associated with smoking.The risks are however,by no means confined to smoking. For example, chemicals which government allow food processors to add to foodstuffs without telling consumers also promote similar health issues.As do the many toxins which businesses expose their workers to.As do the residues of industry such as smoke and dust which are allowed to permeate into the community uncontained by industrial processes in the form of smoke and dust particles or water pollutants. The “National Automotive Fleet” belches carbon monoxide into the atmosphere in amounts which render cigarette smoke insignificant.Yet we see no tax gouge on petrol, or cars. The aforementioned sectors of course are not under attack because they are represnented by cohesive activist groups,which smokers are not.