That's how it was yesterday when the government's "new" policy on smoking was announced. I'll come to all the bad news tomorrow in a much longer post, but there was one small silver lining, as the Ashtray blog reported:
In an extremely positive piece of news for the UK electronic cigarette industry the UK Medicines and Healthcare Product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have announced what they are going to do about the electronic cigarette.
At least for now.
Good news for e-cigarette users. Not such good news for cigarette users (more tax, more denormalisation, plain packing, display ban) and terrible news for snus users (UK will continue to support the EU ban).
Meanwhile, the BBC's medical correspondent Fergus Walsh has expressed his own strong views on the subject of smoking and provides a clue as to why the BBC is prepared to rewrite any old press release from the anti-smoking lobby.
De-normalising smoking is a key part of discouraging the young from taking up the habit.
As I've said before, denormalisation is a sinister term with sinister consequences. Aside from the fact that it suggests that the government can decide what is and is not normal, denormalisation is stigmatisation by another name. Stigmatisation creates hatred and allows the most hateful people to come in from the fringes and be regarded as something close to normal. You only have to read some of the comments to Walsh's piece to see this.
Passive smoking also needs to be curtailed: so ban smoking in public, in vehicles, at sea etc. even if the only person present is the smoker.
Smokers could then kill themselves with their vile addiction, but not be able to harm others either financially or health-wise.
Alternatively perhaps we could put something in the water (or more rationally the cancer sticks / coffin nails) that made smokers violently sick every time the took a puff (or in every twentieth fag)!
I prefer the option of poring scorn on smokers ghastly habit. Make smokers be subject to sets of practical jokes - for example vile diseased lungs in a packet of cigarettes on a random basis. Illegality with addictive substances only creates a very profitable criminal distribution system.
I would also hope that smokers were put to the bottom of all heath service queues - or that they should fear that this will happen.
ASH must be very proud.