This piece from the French journal Le Figaro provides mixed news for those who fight antitobacco.
There are two pieces of good news. The first one is that the number of smokers did not go down since the ban (which does not – yet –include restaurants and bars), and that is a hit for the lie that prohibition decreases consumption. The hit comes as much in the official admission as in the phenomenon itself. That is because, all over Europe, smoking rates have not been affected by the bans, in spite of the manipulations of perception frequently perpetrated by the "public health authorities."
The most pathetic of those manipulations comes from Italy. In that country, after a (small) initial flexion of the consumption right after the ban, the sales of cigarettes stabilized and then went back up to their standard levels, but "millions of smokers have quit" thanks to the prohibition! How is that possible? The "public health" crooks tell us: the number of smokers has decreased, but those who are left smoke more! We are on our way to eradicating smoking!
Since liars believe other liars, Italy is becoming a "model of success" for other European public health cons to follow. However the number of tons of tobacco consumed in Italy – non-epidemiological statistics released by the state itself – is the same, and in 2006 they actually increased. That, of course, does not take into account the black market, which is quite thriving and still growing, particularly in the south.
The other good news is that France has not yet turned to the sort of fraudulent epidemiology used by Italy, as well as Ireland and Scotland, to show that smoking bans are "good" for "public health," with particular attention to heart attacks.
In contrast to cancer, heart attacks are "immediate" and thus they have been promptly exploited with statistical manipulations such as those which Michael Siegel debunked in a much-publicized Italian "study." In that one, the epidemiological cons stratified the data gathered in a very short time frame (seven months) to show "causality" between passive smoking and health attacks, where in reality the number of hospitalizations for heart attacks increased in that same "smoke-free" period, and quite considerably to boot.
Focussing back on France, the real difference is that this country has not yet turned to full dishonesty to show success of prohibition – but when the chickens come to roost (that is, when it becomes absolutely clear that prohibition does not work), France will have no choice but to turn to falsification to show political success, because admissions of failure or that smokers have rights and should be left alone are inconceivable at this stage of the dirty game.
To this last consideration is linked the bad news, emphasised as a secondary headline by Le Figaro to highlight that smokers submit to prohibition, and thus to encourage them to submit more: "Le décret instaurant l’interdiction de fumer sur les lieux de travail est bien respecté et accepté" – translation: The decree that has installed the prohibition to smoke in the workplace is well respected and well accepted.
To the extent this is true – certainly disobedience occurs but that obedience predominates likely is so – this is exactly where the problem lies, in France, and everywhere else. A law that does not respect the rights of all (in this case, the rights of smokers and non smokers) deserves rampant disrespect. It must be broken, regardless of personal consequences, to create a social problem too big for politicians to ignore. Obedience to unprincipled laws, for fear of punishment, is the surest key to expanding and unending oppression.
That the rights of smokers and non-smokers are naturally amenable is demonstrated by worldwide experience over long centuries. All it takes is free choice and free markets. In free societies the proportion of smoking and non smoking venues will reflect varied preferences, and reality, exactly.
Even with their vicious propaganda antismoking fearmongers could only strain but could not eradicate good fellowship between smokers and non-smokers. This is why they turned to tyrannical prohibition. Antismoking cannot rule where freedom exists. Wrecking antismoking and rebuilding freedom are one and the same thing.
"Public Health" tells us it wishes to "save" nameless non-existent statistical "victims." The very real victims of Public Health are all of us. Hysterics, pharmaceutical multinationals, and epidemiological money-grabbers will be disappointed when sanity is restored. We shall not weep for them.