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Stogie News: Smoker Persecution in Great Britain

5 Jun 2007

If you don’t think smokers are a persecuted class, then you haven’t been paying attention.

Those who choose to smoke face a new smoking ban or exorbitant tax nearly every day, under the guise of “public health” – a rarely defined and limitless justification for restricting the choices that individuals are permitted to make about their own lives.

No Paternalism!And it is that so-called “public health” justification that makes the newest form of smoker persecution all the more hypocritical and appalling. In Leicester, England health bureaucrats have launched a plan to deny smokers access to surgeries if they continue to choose to smoke:

Smokers could be denied routine operations on the NHS unless they quit a month before surgery…

The proposals, which have been drawn up by Leicester City West Primary Care Trust, could be extended to other areas.

The Leicester plans would involve smokers being given counselling and nicotine patches to help them stop. But the patients would have to give a blood sample to prove they had quit before being put on the waiting list and admitted for elective non-emergency surgery.

Doctors would decide whether to operate if the patient failed to give up.

The Leicester trust will launch a consultation on the proposals to coincide with the smoking ban that comes into force in England on July 1.

Now keep in mind that Britain has nationalized health care, and that the denial of care is by government doctors who are paid with taxpayer funds – particularly the billions collected in tobacco taxes. In Great Britain taxes have driven the cost of a pack of cigarettes up to £5.50, or nearly $11 U.S.

But later in the article the health Nazis reveal their real reason for this denial of medical treatment: “Its plans were welcomed yesterday by health charities but condemned by smoking groups which said they were part of a drive to save money and turn England‘s 10 million smokers into pariahs.”

And if turning smokers into pariahs is the goal, then Britain is doing a good job.

The government recently announced that smokers would be liable for an £80 on-the-spot fine for stubbing out cigarettes in the street. And European Union officials are considering banning smokers from lighting up outside office doorways, at bus shelters, and on outdoor train platforms.

Patrick S


3 Responses to “Stogie News: Smoker Persecution in Great Britain”

  1. Robby Tuesday, June 5, 2007 at 7:45 am #

    The British ought to spend a little more time providing dental care and a little less time discriminating against smokers.

  2. Jeff Sunday, July 22, 2007 at 3:29 am #

    Robby – well said (chuckling)

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Stogie Guys Friday Sampler XLXII - Friday, June 8, 2007

    […] 2. Think fascist smoking bans in the U.S. are a pain in the ass? Just look at what our dentally-challenged cousins across the pond have to deal with. Starting July 1, smoking in London’s offices, bars, and restaurants will be illegal – no exceptions, even for the city’s 20 cigar bars. Some smoke friendly establishments are building rooftop patios, but it’s probably only a matter of time before the government bans outdoor smoking as well. […]