Friday, 11 March 2011

Proposed ban on the display of tobacco products

This is a letter that I sent to various newspapers that have published my letters before. I am not sure that they will have the stomach for this though:

In reaction to the continuing pressure from tub-thumping Tin-Hitlers, such as those who run ASH, the government has announced plans to ban the display of tobacco products in shops. Tobacco is not yet a proscribed substance and, used moderately and sensibly, good tobacco can bring much pleasure and ease the strain of living. This has been recognized for hundreds of years and the potential harm of over-indulgence was first noted by The Lancet in 1857. The presumptuousness of certain self-appointed guardians of the public morals, in arrogating to themselves the right to regulate, restrict and, eventually, to rob us of our choices and, coincidentally, to wreck perfectly legitimate businesses (as they demonstrably did with the smoking ban in pubs), fills me with incandescent fury. Why don’t the British people stand up to all the Tin-Hitlers as their forebears stood up to Adolf?
Morover, it is ironic, to my mind, that contraceptives, which were once bought and sold with a blush from a drawer in the chemist’s shop (or with a wink, as “something for the weekend” in the barber’s), are, these days, on sale in supermarkets; sometimes next to the sweets. Now smoking is going to become, for those who need to censure pleasure, The Great Modern Taboo and treated with the same degree of shame and horror which the Victorians reserved for sex. Maybe it is significant that, considerately and properly performed, they are both pleasurable activities.
Yours faithfully,
Nicholas Storey.

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