The gradual erosion of our human rights; the EU imposing laws on olive oil, cinnamon whirls – the EU even find it fitting to strangle small businesses with the most ridiculous regulations. Such regulations cost the taxpayer around £18 billion a year, only a fraction compared to the total cost of our EU membership, approximately £120 billion. Not only does this cost strangle our economy, but it strangles the wealth creators of our country – the business people, who contribute massively towards our GDP and allow us to sustain the welfare state, as well as our membership to the EU.
However, while these facts remain an issue of disillusionment among people of all ages, there are specific additional issues that impact particularly on younger smokers, of which I admit I am one. The costly “Fight against Tobacco” by the EU has caused a polarisation between young smokers and non-smokers. Rather than promoting a libertarian attitude towards smoking, the left-wing has used students to impose their anti-smoker’s views onto other students, hence the now-popular term, “dirty smoker”. Rather than allow freedom of choice, the EU and pro-EU parties have indoctrinated the majority of young people with pro-regulation and anti-freedom views. Pseudo-science even comes into it – such as the so-called “evidence” regarding passive smoke. This may well be true, but it is certainly exaggerated to look even more dangerous than alcohol. This simply bends and manipulates scientific evidence to support the left-wing view.
The EU has also called for the banning of strongly-flavoured cigarettes and filters, such as menthol flavouring. These are popular among young people, so this has impacted on them especially, albeit the measure applies to everyone. Rather than being encouraged to make choices with what they want to do with their bodies, the EU are telling them what to think, rather than challenge authority. Glenis Wilmott, Labour leader in the European parliament, said:
“Cigarette packets should look like they contain a dangerous drug, rather than perfume or lipstick”.
And yet, alcohol comes in many varieties – “alcopops” such as WKD, which dilute the taste of strong, dangerous alcohol and promote under-age drinking. This is pure and utter hypocrisy – if the EU really cared people young and old, they would encourage freedom of choice, responsibility and true tolerance of the habits of others, rather than this indoctrination by the “nanny state”.
As well as this, the EU have recently sought to ban the use of e-cigarettes of those under 18. I respect the choice of many 16-18 year olds to stop smoking tobacco and smoke e-cigarettes instead, and promote their freedom to smoke these wherever and whenever they choose. This EU directive has promoted the reverse of what they have sought to achieve – rather than providing an alternative to tobacco, such as the e-cigs, the alternative has been banned, so many young people fail to see the benefits of quitting smoking. E-Cigs are meant to help people quit, like any other nicotine product (such as patches).
This shows that the EU have a hidden agenda – rather than promote (and give people the choice to) quitting smoking, all they wish to do is clamp down on our rights. This hidden agenda may be correspondent with the huge amount of tax revenue that the government gain from cigarette tax. The banning of these e-cigs has disgruntled young people, but they still continue to submit to the EU. And, as Paul Nuttall MEP has pointed out in this article, from 2016, e-cigarettes will only be found in licensed chemists and pharmacies.
The idea that right-wing parties are fascist is becoming old. In fact it is the EU and left-wing who display authoritative qualities, such as the 2007 anti-tobacco laws, which saw the prevention of smoking in public places, namely, pubs. This saw a decline in the number of pubs in Britain, and an increase in the popularity of supermarket-sold alcohol. People chose to smoke and drink in the comfort of their own home, rather than take it away from the home and in an adult atmosphere such as a pub or bar. As well as this, the 2007 laws saw the prohibition of the purchase of cigarettes for 16 year olds – yet another right taken away from the teenagers. I blame both the smoking ban and the supermarket monopoly of alcohol, both of which have been allowed and encouraged by the EU, who seek to appease big businesses/corporates rather than their people.
The continued persecution of smokers with these laws has caused another, more pressing issue to rise – the use of marijuana. The more rules imposed on smokers, the more the young people in particular will passively turn against the authority and turn to more dangerous drugs. But, the EU still fail to address the true “war on drugs”, and yet totally reject the idea of legalizing them. Continuing the war on drugs only promotes a black market and consistent illicit activity. Overall, the “war against tobacco” is merely a façade for the EU to keep paying themselves extortionate wages and reduce the free will of the people.