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Los Angeles, September 11 – “The Royal College of Physicians says radical measures are needed to curb smoking: swinging increases in tobacco tax; tougher penalties for tobacco smugglers; and promoting alternative forms of nicotine. The college says the approach ‘has the potential to end tobacco smoking in the UK within the next 20 years.’”

That report appeared in the British newspaper The Independent and marked the College’s latest broadside against tobacco in a country in which 22% of the adult population (about 10 million people) are estimated to be smokers.

It has filed a report called Ending Tobacco Smoking in Britain and according to the report, “says the tax on tobacco should be increased by 10 per cent every year, and its sale restricted to licensed retailers in premises, such as off-licences, from which children should be banned.

Although the major emphasis of the report is on cigarettes, cigars are clearly included in the program design suggested. In the words of the report, “The primary objective of regulation of smoked tobacco should be to make smoking and smoked tobacco products as unappealing, unattractive, unaffordable and unavailable as possible, as quickly as possible.”

Among the many suggestions are to license all tobacco sales outlets, to constantly increase the minimum annual license fee to essentially close all small tobacconists (which would surely include almost all cigar shops in the country), eliminate Internet sales of tobacco, restrict the hours during which tobacco products could be sold, restrict or eliminate all advertising expenditures and insist on “plain generic packaging” for all tobacco products. The report also suggests “Penalties for smugglers should be increased to match those for class-A drugs such as heroin and imposed also on those who sell cigarettes to children.”

The report also wants to increase and availability of fast-acting nicotine-delivery devices to take the place of cigarettes and is also in favor of non-smoked tobacco products such as snus, allowing “limited market access to low-hazard harm reduction products of proven efficacy.”

Naturally, there’s a new governmental agency to be created in all of this, a “Nicotine Regulatory Authority,” which would be empowered to do many of the things that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration would be required to do if the current bill before the U.S. Congress were to become law.

The result, according to the study:

Given that conventional tobacco control methods can reduce prevalence by up to one percentage point per year, and that a harm reduction strategy (using an example based on a non-medicinal product) has been estimated to be likely to reduce smoking prevalence by a further 0.4 of a percentage point a year, the Nicotine Regulatory Authority should be expected to achieve an average annual decline of at least 1.4 percentage points per year.

The target for the Authority should therefore be to eradicate tobacco smoking from the UK by the year 2025.

Professor John Britton, who chairs the College’s anti-tobacco group told The Independent, “We could [eliminate smoking] if we did everything we know how to do.”

Comment:

Let there not be any doubt of where the antis are going, in Britain, in Europe or in the U.S.: we are reliving Prohibition a century after the dramatic failure of the anti-drinking laws in America.

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This is disgusting ..... its so sad that we live in a world that cares more about the harmless hobbies of others instead of real world issues. We smoke cigars not because we have to but because we want to, I dislike cigarettes personally, but most people that smoke cigarettes are drawn to it because of the craving issues that they have, cigars aren't like that, I want to smoke a cigar because I feel its relaxing and calming to sit there and smoke a cigar .... its not something I crave because I'm stressed out or because I just need my fix !! Cigarettes from what I gather are just an addiction, cigars are a passionate hobby! Who the hell buys cigarettes to store them as collectable items and wait years to smoke them? I feel if they want to make the "world a safer place" then do what they want with cigarettes, not cigars, it's just not fair. Or focus on something more important like AIDS or the Economy or pollution. Lets ban McDonalds and "Reality TV", lets stop teaching kids about booty clapping and shows that make kids think fashion and popularity are more important than education and family, since were on the subject of banning.

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I find it truly offensive the lengths the antis are going to. Who made them god?

Agree 110% with FDNYGUY360.

Let's also consider who has a vested interest in prohibition. I fear we are getting caught in the cross-fire of drug companies eyeing off the market for 'nicotine delivery products' they can sell to the cigarette addicts. There is a large potential market and based on Australian prices of over $10 for a packet of nicotine gum, the profits are amazing. The stuff would cost very little to produce and I notice now it is being offered right in front of the cash register at the petrol (gas) station.

I should complain to these people that I don't want them pushing their addictive product in my face when I buy fuel.

And as cigarette consumption has moved from the west to the poorer countries, there are more massive markets for the drug companies to chase in the future.

We all have a big PR problem here - how to get people generally to recognize the big difference between cigar smokers and cigarette smokers and only then we may see public policy back off from our hobby.

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