Rokersgids voor Europa

Wie anders dan popster Joe Jackson, die op dit moment ter gelegenheid van de promotie van zijn nieuwe CD op tournee is in Europa, kan beter vergelijken wat de situatie op het rookfront in de verschillende landen is? Hij schreef zijn bevindingen op zodat elke roker kan bepalen welk land hem of haar nog verwelkomt. Maar ook hoe creatieve bareigenaren omgaan met de keuze tussen de wet overtreden of failliet gaan.

Joe verdiept zich al jaren in de anti-rokenhysterie en heeft er al diverse stukken over geschreven. Hij verliet New York toen daar het rookverbod werd ingevoerd. Hij verliet Londen toen het ook daar werd aangekondigd. 

Currently on tour, musician Joe Jackson reports from Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany

My current concert tour started with a month long trip around Europe, during which I was able to observe the progress of smoking bans in ten countries. There are big differences, but the situation in the UK is nevertheless unique on several counts.

I’ll get to that later, but first a couple of general points. First, to anyone who still believes that smoking bans are saving them from death by ‘secondhand smoke’, I’m tempted to say: for God’s sake, grow up. More politely: take a bit of time to actually look at the evidence. (See my essay Smoke, Lies and the Nanny State and list of sources at Even the most basic understanding of how the studies are done, what the statistics actually mean, etc, should convince you that whatever smoking bans are about, it isn’t ‘health’.

Second: many people assume that smoking bans are spreading just because a few people in authority have turned into nagging nannies. This is certainly a factor, as is excessive deference towards anyone who purports to speak in the name of ‘health’. But smoking bans are really much more about money and control. Politicians don’t care about true science, nor do they care about what people actually want. What they care about is allying themselves with the most powerful lobby groups; and the antismoking movement is currently a very powerful one indeed.

Closed doors

The current wave of smoking bans is not driven by public demand – the public has had no choice whatsoever (and anyway, if such demand really existed, draconian laws and penalties would not be needed). Smoking bans are the result of deals made behind closed doors between government health departments, EU bureaucrats, the astonishingly corrupt World Health Organisation, and the pharmaceutical industry (nicotine gum, anyone?). In other words, by people we didn’t even get to vote for.

Antismoking is to a great extent a racket. But this is detailed elsewhere, and I’ll get off my soapbox now and get on with the travelogue. Interestingly enough, the antismoking mafia have left some room for different countries to come up with their own versions of smoking bans, and there are many differences not only in the letter of the law but also in enforcement and compliance.

Deel 1 op The Free Society

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  • "Es ist schwieriger, eine vorgefaßte Meinung zu zertrümmern als ein Atom."
    (Het is moeilijker een vooroordeel aan flarden te schieten dan een atoom.)
    Albert Einstein

  • "Als je alles zou laten dat slecht is voor je gezondheid, dan ging je kapot"
    Anonieme arts

  • "The effects of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me."
    Sir Richard Doll, 2001

  • "Een leugen wordt de waarheid als hij maar vaak genoeg wordt herhaald"
    Joseph Goebbels, Minister van Propaganda, Nazi Duitsland

  • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    Mahatma Gandhi

  • "There''s no such thing as perfect air. If there was, God wouldn''t have put bristles in our noses"
    Coun. Bill Clement

  • "Better a smoking freedom than a non-smoking tyranny"
    Antonio Martino, Italiaanse Minister van Defensie

  • "If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go."
    Mark Twain

  • I've alllllllways said that asking smokers "do you want to quit?" and reporting the results of that question, as is, is horribly misleading. It's a TWO part question. After asking if one wants to quit it must be followed up with "Why?" Ask why and the majority of the answers will be "because I'm supposed to" (victims of guilt and propaganda), not "because I want to."
    Audrey Silk, NYCCLASH