Banned (Or Is That Binned?)

It’s been a while, so let me start with the obligatory Happy New Year and Best Wishes For 2010!!!

I note that in Finland the government intends to ban smoking completely. At first this may seem a bit harsh, you know, surely people should be allowed to smoke in their own homes, cars, etc., as long as they’re not inflicting secondary smoke and that unfiltered crap that comes directly of the burning tip on anyone else. But then, even if they’re smoking in the confines of their own home they may still be damaging their children’s health by inflicting the secondary and unfiltered stuff on them. It’s not as if the kids can turn round and confidently say, “Stop smoking, Dad. Give yourself cancer if you want but don’t give it to me.” Some parents might react reasonably but I suspect they may be in the minority.

So, perhaps our Finnish friends have got the right idea in their attempt to “get rid of smoking once and for all.”

Needless to say, the tobacco industry disagrees and apparently Philip Morris International have made an official complaint against the Finnish government. But I can’t help wondering who they’d complain to. It’s up to the government of a country to decide it’s policies and it’s not as if there’s an ombudsman or higher authority you can go to if you don’t like those policies. There’s always the next election, I suppose, but more than a few eyebrows would be raised if a few million “Philip Morrises” turn up to vote.

However, I’m sure that the Finnish government will give the complaint due consideration before filing it away somewhere. Probably in one of those fancy new filing cabinets. The kind with a slot at the top and a motor that conveniently eases your workload by automatically pulling the paper inside.

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