SOLO-NZ Press Release: Spank the Smokers!

PhilipD's picture
Submitted by PhilipD on Sun, 2011-05-29 05:05

SOLO-NZ Press Release: Spank the Smokers!

Philip Duck
May 29 2011

Banning cigarette companies from sponsoring events hasn’t done it. Neither have restrictions on cigarette advertising, or the legislation that made indoor workplaces smoke-free. And grossly inflating fag prices through taxation hasn’t worked either; no matter how much you try some pesky smokers won’t do as they are told, and quit.

So let’s stop being namby-pamby and make a real example of someone who doesn’t toe the line. Let’s prosecute, and then publicly whip Nick McCaw, director of the popular Britomart Country Club.

Harsh? Then consider this: McCaw chooses to allow his patrons to openly smoke while on his property! That’s right, they don’t puff furtively in the toilets like naughty school children as they should, but rather they do so while sitting at the bar in the company of other adults.

"We're in the business of giving people what they want," ‘Cigarettes McCaw’ says lamely. Giving people want they they want - in New Zealand? What are you thinking, man?

The smoking won't last long of course as the anti-everything brigade’s call to investigate the illegal provision of an indoor smoking area will surely put an end to all this freedom- puffing.

Not content with allowing his customers to smoke though, ‘Cigarettes McCaw’ also has a commercial arrangement with British American Tobacco - "The tobacco companies play on the association of drinking and smoking. We suspect it's happening all over the place," say the folk at ASH - and he sells, exclusively, their Dunhill brand in his bar. That’s not illegal - yet. But that hardly matters and his refusal to work towards the ‘common good’ by discouraging folk from smoking should be dealt with ruthlessly.

So let’s whip him. Whip him real good. And administering a good public flogging to those customers found smoking at the Britomart Country Club wouldn’t go amiss, either. For what do we have to lose?

Philip Duck:

SOLO (Sense of Life Objectivists):

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And grossly inflating fag

darren's picture

And grossly inflating fag prices through taxation hasn’t worked either; no matter how much you try some pesky smokers won’t do as they are told, and quit.

Which brings up the interesting point, Is quitting smoking what government really wants? I don't think so.

It's an application of a concept in economics called elasticity of demand -- a highly misleading name -- which is really just the sensitivity of consumer demand to changes in price of a specific product. The "Law of Demand" states that, ceteris paribus, buyers of a product will buy either the same amount, or a greater amount, at a lower price. Conversely, they will either buy the same amount or a lesser amount, at a higher price. Easy to grasp.

Now, I believe that governments understand perfectly well that smokers like to smoke; in fact, that's what they are counting on. They are counting on the fact that cigarettes and other tobacco products are highly inelastic, i.e., irrespective of how high the price is set, consumer demand will stay about the same. Approximately the same number of people will continue to buy cigarettes at a mandated $10.00/pack as they do at the usual unhampered market price of about $1.50/pack. This means that governments can feel assured they will have a solid revenue stream for their own spending, from that $8.50/pack in taxes.

If government really wanted to force smokers to quit, it could obviously make tobacco products illegal, or it could set the price so ridiculously high (e.g., $50/pack) that they would simply be out of financial reach for most people. That they don't do this -- and that they continue to subsidize tobacco farmers -- indicates that the health issue, though obviously real, is a sham; a "blind" for a completely different agenda.

I'm reading this while

Ashley's picture

I'm reading this while standing in a vacant lot 25 feet be
hind my hotel...the only place I am allowed to smoke in this $250 per night resort. God forbid someone walk through my poisonous emissions, I will be fined.

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