Smoke free Scotland, a gravy train for bureaucrats?

There is an interesting article on the web, from The Scotsman, written by the reporter Brian Monteith where he has uncovered some very interesting facts.

Tobacco control expenditure

 

Basically, it appears that millions of pounds have been spent on the anti-smoking lobby, but the actual percentage of folk quitting has barely moved.

As you can see from the graph on the right, the green line shows the number of smokers, and in 11 years, the fall in smokers is about 5% – roughly.

 

The broken line splitting the graph in two represents the start of the smoking ban, and you can see that the decline started well before the ban, but has tailed off after it, meanwhile, the spending on tobacco control ( in bright red) has skyrocketed. In 2009 spending was over £22milion pounds in Scotland alone!

 

That’s a lot of public money that has basically been wasted, and it’s taken 5 years for it to show.

 

Brian writes:” Far more productive would be to treat people as adults and not an underclass by stopping the funding of the campaigners and smoke police. This might sound incredible, for it confounds the claims of an anti-smoking lobby that has grown obese on public funding, but the evidence supports axing these millions we squander.

The bald truth is that smoking rates have been coming down gradually for years – but all the efforts of the tobacco haters of this world have made no perceptible impact. They might well have not bothered.”

If this is the case in Scotland, what does it mean elsewhere? The UK? The rest of Europe? The rest of the world? How much money has been wasted?  If the sole aim of these agencies is to cut the smoking rate, so far that hasn’t really happened.

So let’s see what the anti smoking lobby wheel out in March, when it will be 7 years since the introduction of the smoking ban, and I wonder how much it is going to cost us.

 

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