Germany’s popular Das Bild newspaper is reporting that a new 31 page report from the European Union (EU) contains recommendations for draconian anti-smoking measures including "sensationalist prosecutions designed to shock the public."
If this report is true, it means that smokers in Europe will soon be subjected to Soviet-style show trials where justice will take a backseat to propagandizing and scapegoating.
It isn’t known at present what is actually written in the 31 page EU document referenced in Das Bild. However, "Velvet Glove, Iron Fist" author Christopher Snowdon found this document dated November 30, 2009. Item 43 on page 9 reads:
"….many jurisdictions recommend the use of high-profile prosecutions to enhance deterrence. By identifying prominent violators who have actively defied the law or who are well known in the community, by taking firm and swift action and by seeking maximum public awareness of these activities, authorities are able to demonstrate their resolve and the seriousness of the law."
It appears that the EU has allowed a misguided public health initiative to devolve into an unequivocal, anti-smoking witch hunt. To "recommend the use of high-profile prosecutions" for people "well known in the community" amounts to nothing less than targeting particular people for prosecution–not only before they’ve broken any law, but perhaps even before a law exists to be broken.
The use of such language within the EU is more than frightening tough talk for the sake of compliance with a public health measure. It’s reminiscent of tactics used by the world’s most dangerous regimes, and displays a blatant disregard for the most important historical lessons of the twentieth century.
The article from Das Bild is linked below.