Nannying Health Minister Supports Raising the Smoking Age To 21

Government Health Minister Jo Churchill, speaking to the zealots of the Smoking & Health All Party Parliamentary Group, described their proposal to raise the smoking age from 18 to 21 as “interesting”. In the Zoom meeting, Churchill also congratulated members of APPG for their tireless work on “tobacco control”Her comments sound terrifyingly Orwellian… 

She adds that the recommendations discussed in the APPG report reflect the “same priorities that we [the government] are looking at for the new strategy.” According to the 2021 Nanny State Index, lifestyle restrictions on eating, drinking, and smoking have all steadily increased across Europe for the past four years. As Covid restrictions are slowly lifted, the government needs to stop its nannying and let people live their lives in peace… 

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60% of MPs Calling for Smoking Age of 21 Back Votes at 16

Today the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking & Health announced that the smoking age should be increased from 18 to 21, but 60% of MPs on this same APPG think the voting age should be lowered to 16. What a glaring display of hypocrisy… 

Guido has compiled a humiliating list of the 9 MPs who believe that 16 year-olds are mature enough to decide the fate of this country, yet won’t be ready for another 5 years until they are 21 years-old to decide for themselves whether or not to smoke. Priorities… 

  • Labour’s Alex Cunningham backs votes at 16
  • Green MP Caroline Lucas supports votes at 16
  • Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine argued that 16 year olds should decide Scotland’s fate in the 2014 referendum.
  • Labour’s Ian Mearns argued that 16-year-olds should vote on Britain’s EU membership.
  • Labour MP Nick Smith thinks 16-year-olds should have a say in our leaders.
  • SNP MP Owen Thompson believes 16-year-olds should decide this country’s leaders
  • Shadow SNP Spokesperson Philippa Whitford wants to reduce the voting age.
  • Racheal Maskell fought to lower the voting age in a passionate speech.
  • Finally Labour’s Virendra Sharma voted to allow 16 year olds a say in the EU referendum.

As previously reported by Guido, lifestyle restrictions on eating, drinking, and smoking have steadily increased across Europe in the past 4 years. Guido thinks these MPs need to abandon their hypocritical nannying and trust 18 year-olds to decide for themselves… 

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As the Ballots Go Out, Gove Contemplates What Might Have Been

Literally by the bike shed behind DEFRA off Great Peter Street Gove can be regularly spotted having a crafty fag. Is he weighing up for whom to vote? Or contemplating what might have been…

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Smoking Is Good For Us

Today we learn that smokers are a net benefit to the UK economy to the tune of £14.7 billion per year. A report into ‘sin taxes’ by the Institute of Economic Affairs examines the net effect of smoking on the taxpayer. It finds:

“In the absence of smoking, the government would spend an extra £9.8 billion annually in pension, healthcare and other benefit payments (less taxes forgone). Duty paid on tobacco products is £9.5 billion a year. In total, the gross financial benefit to the government from smoking therefore amounts to £19.3 billion. Subtracting the £4.6 billion of costs produces an overall net benefit of £14.7 billion per annum.”

Tell that to the next healthy living campaigner who piously tells you smokers are a drain on the NHS…

The report is one in a series looking at Britain’s ‘sin taxes’. The studies conclude:

“Taken together, Britain’s public finances would be £22.8 billion worse off if there were no drinking, smoking or obesity.”

The public cost argument is often used to justify government meddling in people’s lifestyle choices. In fact, as this study shows, blaming smokers, drinkers and fast-food-lovers for spiralling healthcare costs is just a moral fable employed in an effort to control behaviour rather than to actually save money. Freedom of choice is not only right morally, it makes fiscal sense…

mdi-timer 7 August 2017 @ 12:28 7 Aug 2017 @ 12:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Taxpayer Funded ASH Lobbied Government for Plain-Packs

tobacco lobbyists

Outraged anti-smoking charity ASH reacted with glee to the news that an attempt by a consortium of tobacco manufacturers to overturn the government’s plain-packaging legislation had been lost. The charity’s chief executive, Deborah Arnott, was particularly exultant:

“Millions of pounds have been spent on some of the country’s most expensive lawyers in the hope of blocking the policy. This disgraceful effort to privilege tobacco business interests over public health has rightly failed utterly.”

Arnott is not averse to using cash to influence government policy – our cash. ASH waged a half-decade campaign, involving top Civil Service officials, to introduce plain packaging. In a string of emails between Arnott, Hunt, the Department of Health’s top ranking official Andrew Black and surprisingly the PM’s Chief of Staff – Ed Llewellyn, the organisation appears to have broken the department’s rule on the use of its grant money. The Department of Health rules, as stated in November last year, prohibit government lobbying at the taxpayers’ expense:

“Funding applications from voluntary sector organisations are assessed against a number of criteria, but Departmental policy clearly states that grants will not be awarded if there is any indication within the application that some or all of any funding awarded will be used to support political activities, including political lobbying activity.”

Between 2011 and 2015, ASH received a whopping £745,650 in taxpayer funded grants from the Department of Health, their £200,000 grant last year was specifically for assisting the department to implement the “Tobacco Control Plan” (page 22). In that same period, documents seen by Guido highlight 74 separate incidents of lobbying contact, reaching as high as the PM’s office. Taxpayer grants form by far the largest donations given to ASH, and it would appear that they have been used to lobby the government against the Department of Health’s own regulations.

mdi-timer 19 May 2016 @ 16:40 19 May 2016 @ 16:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments