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    (Original post by ChrisRH)
    They have certainly tried to 'set up' public opinion for a ban though; the public smoking ban was surely just an attempt to make smoking unsociable and somewhat 'taboo'? ~ Consequently reducing the impact of a full-ban.
    (And unfortunately what most of the 'Sun' readers dont understand is that, as has been said, alcohol is probably next on the agenda)
    The public smoking ban might also have been about protecting people from second hand smoke. I heard an interesting analogy on the radio once: "Smoking in public is like injecting oneself with heroin (spelt properly ) and then sticking the needle into the guy next to you". It makes the point quite vividly.

    On the point of the government altering public feeling so that a ban can be brought in - is that a bad thing? If people don't mind not smoking and are happy to be pursuaded that smoking is bad to the extent that they end up supporting making it illegal is that a bad thing?

    I realise that this amounts to propoganda and could be used against anything, but the objective (getting rid of smoking) is not a bad thing so should we be overly worried if the government is trying to convince people to give it up so that public opinion will one day be in favour of making it illegal?
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    (Original post by UniOfLife)
    Now, factor in the costs to the NHS alone (about £1.5 billion) and the percentage the government would lose by making tobacco illegal falls to 1.5%. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/actionnetwork/A2459874
    1.5% is not a small or insignificant amount.
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    (Original post by Blue!)
    In deprived areas shouldn't people be more wise than to waste their money on ciggarettes?
    Oh yes, they could go out and buy novels instead...

    Doesn't work like that, I'm afraid.
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    No, it shouldn't be banned.

    Banning cigarettes will send the industry underground, tobacco companies out of business. Meaning crude, unregulated production of cigarettes will be sold on the streets, probably packed with even more rubbish then what's in them now.

    It's one of the arguments to legalise all drugs.
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    (Original post by Dionysus)
    Yes but legalising it would likely just incite the existing paramilitary groups who control it to fight each other for control of the markets, rather than the black markets. They're not going to just lay down their arms and play nice.
    No company in Britain is going to buy from dodgy black marketeer gun-runners, so I can only see their actual share of the market falling.

    You could probably quite easily grow the UK's heroin requirement in the UK, no need to have anything to do with those blasted foreigners and their dodgy ways.
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    (Original post by Libertin du Nord)
    1.5% is not a small or insignificant amount.
    It is a fairly small percentage of total revenue. True it is not insignificant but it isn't such a large amount that governments would be afraid to let it go. And it certainly doesn't "pay for the NHS" as some people claim. I also made the comparison to Inheritance tax that amounts to almost the same amount (£4 billion) and which the Tories have suggested scrapping without any complaint that the loss in revenue is too much.
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    They won't ban it because apart from all the tax, logistics blah blah blah, it'll just go underground and become even more of a problem.

    Besides, the way things are going they won't need to ban it outright. Eventually it'll become so unfashionable and anti-social (and possibly so expensive) to smoke that people won't even want to take it up.
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    Also; Isn't it the case that there is no evidence to prove there is any danger of 'second hand' smoke? I find it quite ironic that driving to work every morning releases far more voluminous ammounts of fumes than smoking any practical ammount of cigarettes. Second hand carbon monoxide? Hmm yes please!
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    Smoking should eventually be made illegal yes, I think we're heading gradually in that direction, the smoking ban will help reduce the number of smokers, we need to keep getting the number down before it can be made illegal.
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    Another reason that it's difficult to accept an economic argument: simplistic economic arguments are easy to make. At the moment, people seem simply to be comparing the direct costs of each; that is to say, the tax revenue versus the cost to the NHS of treating disease directly caused by smoking. But then, it could be argued, how about the extended tax revenues from people who fortunately aren't dead? How about disability benefits, no longer to be paid to people who can't work as a result of tobacco-related illnesses? How about the money saved from downsizing government smoke campaigns, etc? (On the other side: potential unemployment in the tobacco industries. How about pensions for those who, unfortunately, aren't dead? The costs and benefits are far too vague to specify with any certainty.)

    Again, not going to either side, simply making the point that this is much less an economic argument than a political one - it rests on one's views as to the acceptability of paternalism. And this is certainly the way governments treat it. If the tax revenue was all-important, they'd want everyone on the stuff. Hell, they'd want everyone hooked on crack taxed at 1100%. But they don't - they see that there's a political question involved, the balance being between (1) unacceptable state intrusion, and (2) letting miserable ****ers die in droves.
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    TAX!



    Without smokers the NHS would probably collapse!
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    (Original post by pinkchampers)
    TAX!



    Without smokers the NHS would probably collapse!
    What about all the medical treatment that smokers will need? There's a cost to that.

    The tax can be moved to other goods or services - e.g. it could be moved to things which are harmful to the environment. I don't think it's right to continue to let people harm themselves by smoking just because it brings in a big tax revenue.
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    Sigh.
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    the taxes thing is soo true - if alcohol was properly reclassified it would be a class A drug but seeing as the Gov make around £40mil on the tax from scottish whisky alone its never going to happen
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    (Original post by simple_things)
    the taxes thing is soo true - if alcohol was properly reclassified it would be a class A drug but seeing as the Gov make around £40mil on the tax from scottish whisky alone its never going to happen
    There's nothing wrong with drinking in moderation though?
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    (Original post by 2 + 2 = 5)
    Sigh.
    Couldn't agree more.
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    (Original post by 2 + 2 = 5)
    How about the money saved from downsizing government smoke campaigns, etc?
    You can hardly blame smokers for the costs associated with anti-smoking campaigns. It's rather akin to blaming opposition parties for the costs of running elections...

    Again, not going to either side, simply making the point that this is much less an economic argument than a political one - it rests on one's views as to the acceptability of paternalism. And this is certainly the way governments treat it. If the tax revenue was all-important, they'd want everyone on the stuff. Hell, they'd want everyone hooked on crack taxed at 1100%. But they don't - they see that there's a political question involved, the balance being between (1) unacceptable state intrusion, and (2) letting miserable ****ers die in droves.
    Just because they won't want to increase the numbers using it does not mean they do not value the tax revenue. They do not require it to increase, but they certainly don't want a dramatic shortfall.

    (Original post by Agamemnon)
    Smoking should eventually be made illegal yes, I think we're heading gradually in that direction, the smoking ban will help reduce the number of smokers, we need to keep getting the number down before it can be made illegal.
    Well, just so you know, if there was a war about it, I'd happily shoot you.

    Ah, the fun of ideology.
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    (Original post by Agamemnon)
    There's nothing wrong with drinking in moderation though?
    nope there isnt but there are alot of people who do not understand how to or want to drink in moderation. similar with smoking really.
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    (Original post by Libertin du Nord)
    You can hardly blame smokers for the costs associated with anti-smoking campaigns. It's rather akin to blaming opposition parties for the costs of running elections...
    You seem to have missed my point here. It's one of the many savings that would presumably be made with a smoking ban; there's no question of "blame" involved. The overall point was that the economic situation post-banning involves much more than just current tax revenues from cigarettes and direct cost to NHS from smoking. The economy is a complex animal, and it'd be difficult either to explain the current approach or form a normative argument based simply on "TAX" in big letters.
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    Why not just scrap the NHS then and privatise the whole service, the government makes money for the short term, we end up with lower taxes, less government control and a better free society for the individual.
 
 
 
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