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Friday, 14 September 2012

Believe or Be Cast Out

An article published in the Nelson Mail, a New Zealand paper, suggests that the tobacco display ban is not working to reduce sales of cigarettes after two months.  To be fair, two months hardly seems long enough to judge the effect on any kind of prohibitive legislation -- a year would be more interesting, and two or three years even better.

Nevertheless, the quotes by retailers are illuminating:
Victory On The Spot owner David Ranchhod said the new rules hadn't made a dent in tobacco sales, because people who smoked “know what they want to buy”.

“They just think it's a big joke really - what the Government is doing. It's like a dictator trying to change people's minds. It's just ridiculous," he said.
Well, yes on both counts, Mr Ranchhod. It is ridiculous, and the health fascists in your dictatorial government are trying to change people's minds and behaviour.  Have a gold star, sir, but they will have at you for your failure to believe in their faith.  Because they and many others believe that just looking at something makes you want it.

Consider Mr Andrew Swanson-Dobb's statement comparing chocolate to tobacco:
"I know if I see chocolate, I want more of it. If I don't see it, I'm going to have less of it. I think the less we see tobacco advertising or tobacco products in society, the less people will want it."
This is a crap analogy. I have known quite a large number of people who crave chocolate nearly all the time without seeing it.  You do not need to see something in order to want it or even crave it. You simply need to know that something is available, and if it's not readily available, you will probably go look for some. Indeed, I've worked with people who scoured the entire multi-storey office building to determine if any chocolate biscuits were about.

Paradoxically, if something is unavailable, you are likely to want it even more than if it were in bountiful supply.

In the Public Health religion, it's easy to conflate seeing a product with desiring a product. But like any other religion, this gospel isn't true for all of the people. I can look at something all day and not want it, even if I love it.  I can even want something that I can see, something within reach, but not indulge my desire.  It's called willpower, or self-control. I can make a choice to abstain.  Am I alone my ability to do this?

The Public Health zealots would have you believe that everyone is incapable of exercising self-control, that all of your choices have already been made for you.  It is the religious equivalent of negative destiny, and only by opening your mind, body and everlasting soul to the one true god of Public Health can you avoid the temptation of desiring anything that they believe is harmful -- so long as you hide these harmful products from view.

Out of sight, out of mind is the main tenet of the tobacco control industry. For those who have faith, it probably works to some degree. But it does not work for everyone. It will never work for everyone.

Still, the health fascists are disappointed that there has been no reduction in sales in only two months.  Like those seduced into a religious cult which believes a comet in the sky will herald the end of the world, the flock of Public Health zealots believed cigarette sales would decrease almost instantly upon a display ban in  New Zealand. And if there is no evidence of an instantaneous decrease, then believe your acts are helpful anyway.
Labour's health spokeswoman Maryan Street said she thought retail outlets would see a reduction in sales. The lack of displays helped those who were struggling with nicotine addictions, because they were no longer confronted by tobacco products all the time.

“That's got to be helpful. As for the nanny-state accusations, I have always believed that the law changes people's behaviour, and that attitudes come next. You can't compel people to feel differently about things or to have different attitudes, but you can compel them to change their behaviour and that usually results further down the line in a change of attitude. The restrictions on smoking are a prime example of that."
That quote above is frightening. Is it not? This is what denormalisation is all about. To compel you to change your beliefs. To force you to accept the gospel of Public Health under penalty of law.

These are evil people, pretending they care about you and children. They are using the laws that they create and their positions in government to make you see the light and believe.  They do not care about you at all, however. They only care about their own personal belief system, and anyone who doesn't follow their commandments are sinners and heathens, unworthy of a place in society. 
H/T Carrick Graham on Twitter