My appearance on China TV

Last year on May 1st I was interviewed by China TV to get a UK perspective on  their restrictions on smoking in public. It was interesting that the reporter said that in China that you cannot say what you like but you can do what you like.

Being the national TV service no doubt there was a line to follow. I did not say the best thing to do was not to start. I do believe smoking can be bad for you, bit if you have made an informed choice the state should leave you alone.   The video is in the link and the article is afterwards.


“As China’s new smoking laws come into affect, CCTV Correspondent Jack Barton takes a look at how the British have reacted to tough anti-smoking laws introduced four years ago.

The English love the outdoors.

That’s an especially good thing if you are an English smoker, because that’s about the only place you can light up these days.

It’s illegal to smoke here in almost all public buildings.

No smoking signs are everywhere and the ban is now widely accepted.

That wasn’t the case when the laws were introduced four years ago by the then Labor Government.

Jack Barton, London, said, “Britain’s anti-smoking laws were a highly divisive issue in 2007 even amongst the political party that introduced them. Many Labor politicians fought for broad exemptions but in the end very few were allowed. They included in prisons, hotel rooms and of course parliament house”.

Since then politicians have voluntarily imposed a ban in the seat of government to prevent a public outcry.

The government says the new laws help reduce cancer caused by passive smoke and also make restaurants and the lounge areas of bars more family friendly.

But not everyone is convinced.

David Atherton is a spokesman for Freedom to Choose.

He freely admits smoking is bad for a person’s health and advises people not to do it.

But he also argues that the science on passive smoking is thin and that the hospitality industry has been hit hard by the ban.

David Atherton, Spokesman of Freedom to Choose, said, “Fifteen percent of pubs have closed… that’s ten thousand pubs, 150,000 jobs, that’s full and part time, have been lost alone in the pub industry. Also gambling halls like bingo and nightclubs have closed at an alarming rate in this country”.

It’s unclear how many of those bar and gambling venue closures are linked to the ban or a general slump in the British economy.

And not all smokers agree the ban is a bad thing anyway.

Ben Young, Smoker, said, “It’s been good in some ways because obviously we are going out not smoking so much and I think overall it’s been a good thing for England as a whole.

Agniszka Young, Smoker, said, “It helps us to smoke a little bit less as well which is good”.

The government says about thirty people die every day in Britain from smoking related illnesses.

It will take many years before doctors will know if the smoking ban will reduce those terrible statistics.

In the meantime Britain seems to have learned to live with smoking outdoors, and the argument that it would lead to the complete collapse of the hospitality industry has largely gone up in smoke.”

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14 Responses to My appearance on China TV

  1. somebody else says:

    This is Frank Davis pretending to be omebody else.

  2. lysistratatheoriginal says:

    This is me with my WP a/c. I hope…

  3. Somebody else says:

    No, I can’t comment using my cfrankdavis username. I log in, type the comment, hit post, and nothing appears. But pretend to be somebody else, and I’m fine.

  4. patnurse says:

    Is there something afoot here in trying to post comments?

  5. somebody else says:

    Yes, there’s something a bit weird going on, Pat. I can’t comment on Dave’s WordPress blog under my WordPress username, but I can as somebody not using a WordPress username.

    Anyway, my original comment was that I don’t remember the smoking ban being “highly divisive” issue in the Labour party in 2007. After all, most Labour MPs voted for it. I don’t remember much argument at all anywhere (and I had a TV and read newspapers back then). I know that John Reid tried to stop it, but he seemed to be about the only one. And from day 1 of the ban it was always “a great success”, if only because smokers didn’t riot.

  6. Jay says:

    “The government says about thirty people die every day in Britain from smoking related illnesses.”
    Is that a typo? Unless my maths is off, 30 people per day = 10,950 deaths per year. How on earth does that equate to claims of up to 100,000 or more deaths we have thrown at us every single day, which by their claims would be closer to 300 deaths each day. Not that we should trust government statistics, nor should we trust any charity’s stats either. Someone and maybe lots of someones are not telling the truth.

  7. They never say how old they are either

    • nisakiman says:

      And that, Sheila, is where the Big Lie starts to manifest itself. It’s like the half-witted statement trotted out regularly by the healthists: “Half of all smokers will die.” Well of course they bloody will! And not just half (unless smoking confers immortality on the other half, which I wasn’t aware of). And so will everybloodybody else die, smoker or not. Meaningless drivel. The antis are full of it.

      • James Burkes says:

        Indeed, there was a thing in the Mail about how women’s lung cancer was increasing because of all the female smokers from the Mad Men era (that’s the 60s for non-Daily Mail Readers). If you work it out, a 20 year old woman who had just started smoking in 1962 would now be 72 years old! And that is what they are blaming smoking for; cancer, primarily a disease of the elderly! They also said male rates were falling as the male smoking rate started to fall in the 40s. Which is clearly great news considering a 20 year old male smoker in 1942 would now be 90 years old!!!

        Yet no-one ever questions this twaddle….

  8. Sheila says:

    BTW, well done Dave for a valiant effort on Con Home.

  9. nisakiman says:

    Has anybody noticed that every comment here was purportedly posted at 13.57? There’s definitely something amiss with WP at the moment.

  10. James Burkes says:

    Oh and those two smokers in Dave’s post…. How deeply, deeply stupid can they be? “It helps me smoke less so it’s a good thing.” How can people wake up to the real issue of policy driven junk-science, the loss of property rights etc when smokers themselves can’t even see the real issues. Idiots.

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