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Old 07-01-2008, 09:46 PM   #1
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Smoking Permits

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HEALTH Minister Nicola Roxon has warned smokers she is prepared to take radical action to force them to give up.

A smoker's permit could be among the "innovative options" employed to get Australians to quit.

The permit, which smokers would have to buy annually and display every time they bought cigarettes, has been mooted in Britain.

And Ms Roxon said Australians could face similar measures to cut the national smoking rate.

"They are the types of things that when the (National Preventative Health Taskforce) says, 'These are the next steps for the comprehensive plan', that you could take," she said.

"I think with tobacco, because we have already gone a long way in Australia in terms of regulation of sale and advertising, there will probably be innovative options like that coming forward."

Ms Roxon said while cutting binge drinking and obesity rates were high on her agenda, curbing smoking demanded the most drastic action.

"With alcohol and obesity... the messages are more subtle because there are of course safe amounts of sweet foods and fatty foods you can eat.

"But with tobacco, it's a pretty clear message - none of it is safe. So I'm looking forward to considering all of those options and I think they will go from the quite small, individual proposals for personal behaviour to what we need to do across the country."

Under Britain's permit proposal, smokers would have to renew their permit every year and display it when buying cigarettes.

Revenue raised from the licences would be pumped back into the public health system.

Quit executive director Fiona Sharkie said plain packaging was at the top of her wish list for government reform on smoking.

She said the tobacco industry should be forced to remove all colours and logos from its products.

"We want the punishment being put on to the tobacco industry because they are the ones that are getting smokers addicted," Ms Sharkie said.

Tuesday marks a year since smoking was banned in Victoria's 7000 pubs, clubs, gaming rooms and cigar bars.
Permit option for smokers | Herald Sun

It's what the people have voted for, and the new round of preventative health initiatives (e.g.) hiking up already excessive alcohol taxation will probably be embraced.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:55 PM   #2
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It sounds reasonable and fair.

The people voted for it.

The people are affected by second hand smoke, and more importantly the medical costs involved with tobacco related diseases are paid for by the people.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:05 PM   #3
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Democracy doesn't secure liberties, I think that there needs to be honesty about the trade-offs in liberty from government run healthcare. There's no debate about how far individual autonomy goes, if we have rights over what we do to our own bodies. It just goes from a simple premise that smoking, drinking, fast food etc. is a bad thing (building from premises driven by scummy current affairs programs) and uses it to institute more tax. The joke is that your middle and upper classes aren't smokers, these revenue raising permits are payed for by those who can least afford them.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deep View Post
It sounds reasonable and fair.

The people voted for it.

The people are affected by second hand smoke, and more importantly the medical costs involved with tobacco related diseases are paid for by the people.

"It sounds reasonable and fair.

The people voted for it."


The majority voted Hitler and the Nazis into power.
The majority is not always right.

Secondsmoke? I believe this scare on secondhand smoke is a scam. It's junk science.

If the dangers of secondhand smoke were true, then all those nonsmokers who grew up in the 1930s-60s when smoking was allowed everywhere should be dead or dropping dead like flies.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:13 PM   #5
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you are so cerebral

my BMI floats between 22.5 and 25

if I hit 30 obese,
perhaps I should have to get a permit to buy all those tasty foods that make me so fat

well maybe not 30, but 34-35 range

after all, the health costs are so much more for obese plus people

lets put it up to a vote, that would be fair
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:41 PM   #6
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You shrug, I don't see it as impossible.
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:06 AM   #7
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I think this is too intrusive on people's personal freedoms. Even though not caving in to peer pressure to pick up this filthy expensive and unhealthy addiction is one of the best things I've ever done, I do think people should be able to smoke without being bullied by the State.

Having said that, smoking bans on the workplace, in bars, restaurants and public places have my full support. Education (and teaching children to resist peer pressure) is the best way to stop people from picking up the habit. Introducing Iron Horse to basic statistical concepts would be a good place to start.
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:36 AM   #8
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A cigarette tax is very similar, I don't see the problem with both. If I smoked I'm sure I'd feel differently. But the cost of it these days would be one incentive for me to quit.
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:46 AM   #9
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I don't like the permit idea. It just doesn't seem like a very effective solution to anything. Anything a permit would do could be accomplished simply by increasing a tobacco tax, without the issues you'd have setting up another agency that would oversee the creation and sale of these permits. Plus it doesn't seem fair to have the casual 1 pack a week social smoker pay the same price as the 3 pack a day powersmoker; with tobacco sin tax is the way to go. This permit idea just seems like another way to justify some bureaucracy; it would make it easy to count smokers, census-style.

Plus you're inviting a criminal element in...if the plan is to make this permit so costly that some (poor) folks won't be able to afford it you can bet there'll be cigarette "scalpers" out there reselling and collecting a buck.
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:51 AM   #10
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We already have sin taxes, and there is a creeping bigotry against smokers to match.
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:54 AM   #11
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Not wanting to breathe in secondhand smoke doesn't constitute bigotry. That's the problem, smoking doesn't just affect the smoker. That's why it's been banned in most indoor places.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:08 AM   #12
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On private property there is arguable implied consent, I think that taking smoking anywhere as a health hazard to other people is over the top, smoking outdoors hardly seems harmful.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:53 AM   #13
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As someone who is allergic to tobacco and cigarette smoke and has near-asthma attacks around people smoking, I'd say yes, second hand smoke is very dangerous, and I know many others who are also allergic.

There is no comparison between voting for a regulation on smoking to protect peoples' health and a monster who destroyed lives all across Europe.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
We already have sin taxes, and there is a creeping bigotry against smokers to match.
That's kind of my point. If you already have sin taxes what is the permit expected to do?

And as for bigotry, imagine what creating in effect a smoker's "green card" will have on that?
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
smoking outdoors hardly seems harmful.
You go sit on a small patio of a cafe with 10 people blowing smoke around you and tell me that it's hardly harmful.
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