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Commenting article: Bulgarian Socialists Firm on Easing Smoking Ban before New Year

The Bulgarian Socialist Party will attempt to ease the full ban on smoking in public places in the country on time for the New Year celebrations.

Amendments to the Health Act are to be voted in the Parliament in December right before the holidays when many establishments hope for high profit.

"Right after we adopt the State budget, we will move the Health Act on the agenda and ease the ban around New Year, said Spas Panchev, Deputy Chair of the parliamentary group of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, and one of the strongest proponents of alleviating the smoking regime, quoted by the Bulgarian Trud (Labor) daily.

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#1
nisakiman - 25 Nov 2013 // 19:51:54

Well done Bulgaria. Commonsense prevails. We can only hope that other countries follow your example.

The smoking ban, as mandated by the WHO via the FCTC is based on ideology backed up with junk science and statistical chicanery. 'Second-Hand Smoke' is a myth, a means to an end for the anti-smoking fanatics.

The smoking bans have been economically disastrous (in UK, 13000 pubs and clubs have gone out of business since the smoking ban was introduced) and socially divisive. They have driven a wedge through society, consigned millions of old people to a life of loneliness and solitude and split families apart.

Every bar / restaurant / club owner should have the choice whether or not to allow smoking. If the demand is there, there will be lots of non-smoking places to go for people who don't like smoke.

This anti-choice legislation must be rolled back before it does too much more damage.

#2
SMOKING KILLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - 25 Nov 2013 // 20:10:01

Nisakiman, If you want to poison yourself with a disgusting cigarette and the 3,000 chemicals that accompany it please do so. I urge you to do it. Your smoking habit pays a lot of taxes and that money is good for roads, schools and hospitals.

I don't, however, want to go out, have my clothes smell like you (which is to say a filthy disgusting amonia and charcoal smelling animal) and don't want to breathe that foul smelling herb. In Bulgaria rules don't exist and when smoking was allowed inside it made no difference if there were smoking and no-smoking sections. All non-smokers suffered terribly, that's why 65% of Bulgarians are IN FAVOUR of the smoking ban but the current government seems to relish those polls and always goes against what the people want (i.e. Peevski).

So go on and smoke your deadly herb and poison yourself to death....but not at my expense you filthy weasel.

#3
Perhaps? - 25 Nov 2013 // 23:23:13

<i>...that's why 65% of Bulgarians are IN FAVOUR of the smoking ban</i>

65% of the Bulgarians are in favour of the smoking ban? I'm sorry, that's another lie.


<i> but the current government seems to relish those polls and always goes against what the people want </i>

This is true; except we did not have to chance to vote. We DIDN'T want a smoking ban. It has destroyed many businesses and put people out of work. Furthermore, the baby-boomer generation will have to work to the age of 66 before they are entitled to their pension.
So, the baby-boomers are still alive...

#4
Hairydave - 26 Nov 2013 // 02:14:34

It's depressing that people are daft enough still to put comments down in public like "second hand smoke is a myth". No it isn't. We know that carcinogens can be carried in the atmosphere and endless study after study has proven that second hand smoke can be damaging. It's really up for debate only in the most fanatical of conspiracy theorists. People that use belief to select what the choose to accept - not evidence. It's called stupidity. There are arguments to be made for allowing smoking to continue in public, personally I think the arguments against are stronger, but if the best you can up with as a pro argument is pseudo-science and a rather arbitrary and unrelated statistic then you are, in the long run, going to lose the argument. The statistic about the closure of British pubs and clubs although quite possibly true is not really relevant, there is no proof of causality between the closures and the smoking ban. Indeed long before the smoking ban the general trend was towards closure of these places due to the changing drinking habits of the British. Then the recession came, pushing more people to tend to but alcohol more cheaply from super markets and thus accelerated the trend of closures. The smoking ban had an minimal effect, and indeed a lot of the pubs in Britain have innovated ways that allow smokers to continue to smoke in some comfort, although obviously outside of the indoor bar area. A win win situation for all.

#5
Cantiloper@gmail.com - 26 Nov 2013 // 06:12:16

HairyDave, secondary smoke itself is obviously not a myth. However the claim that it is harmful at any normal level of exposure nowadays *IS* a myth. Google "V.Gen5H" and read "The Lies Behind The Smoking Bans" you'll find at the top of the list. Feel perfectly free to come back here and offer any specific, substantive criticisms of anything you find there. I can almost guarantee to the other visitors to this forum that you won't ... because you won't be able to come up with anything. If you show back up at all it will be with some lame excuse about not debating the issue or somesuch.

As for the pub closures, yes, they were going on for a long time, at a rate of 3 to 5 a week in the two years before the ban and slightly higher for several years before that. But *AFTER* the ban came in those figures shot to 29 per week, then to 36 per week, and then all the way to FIFTY-TWO per week. Your claim about the economy is nonsense, and I'm sure you probably know that. Previous recessions and "tough times" had no similar effect on the pubs, even though supermarket prices have ALWAYS been cheaper than pub prices.

Hairy, I'll even offer you another opportunity: If you can't find anything to criticize in the Lies booklet, try entering the term "TobakkoNacht" into your search engine. Skip down to the com site itself and you'll find 20,000 words of selections from the book. Between the Lies and TobakkoNacht itself you SURELY should be able to find some real substantive criticisms.

Shouldn't you?

- MJM

#6
nisakiman - 26 Nov 2013 // 11:17:25

Leaving aside your insulting tone, which merely displays the weakness of your argument and the extent to which you have been brainwashed, perhaps you could tell me why smoking bans are necessary? If, as you claim, 65% of Bulgarians are in favour of non-smoking bars, then market forces will surely take care of the situation, yes?

I have owned bars in the past, and I can assure you that if the majority of my customers were telling me that they would come to my bar more often and spend more money if it was a non-smoking bar, then I would certainly make it non-smoking, regardless of whether or not I was a smoker. It's a basic business decision, and no bar owner in his right mind is going to allow smoking in his bar if most of his customers don't want it.

So why the need for legislation?

Could it be, perhaps, that most customers actually PREFER smoking bars?

Could it be that the only way tobacco-haters can get bars to be non-smoking is to FORCE them to be non-smoking through the blunt instrument of law, against the wishes of both owner and customer?

#7
nisakiman - 26 Nov 2013 // 12:01:44

@Hairydave

The SHS scam IS a myth. There is not a shred of evidence to back it up, and if you'd done a tenth of the research into the subject that I've done, you would know that to be a fact.

You can find the links to the original data at http://kin-free.blogspot.co.uk/ but here is a brief extract. It refers to the major studies that have been carried out into so-called 'passive smoking'::

"It should be noted that of these 25 studies NONE reach the RR 3.0 level where inferences could possibly be drawn regarding increased risk. Only ONE shows a statistically significant risk (RR 2.29) while ONE shows a statistically significant REDUCED risk (RR 0.78) (Suggesting a beneficial effect.) The remainder are NOT statistically significant, suggesting neither risk nor benefit. NINE of these lean toward weak increased risk and THIRTEEN suggest a weak beneficial effect. The overall picture suggests, if anything, that ETS is beneficial to childrens health, but as with all epidemiological study It is suggested by many that only statistical correlation's can be shown and ‘correlation’ does NOT equal ‘causation’.

The overall ‘scientific consensus’ on ETS ‘harm’ suggested by the anti-smoker industry, depending upon which studies are included/ excluded from analysis, concludes that ETS raises risk of ill health. There are various ‘consensus’ figures suggested, eg RR’s of 1.16, 1.21, 1.33, equating to between 16% and 33% increased risk (there may be others). To the layman, this may look like damning evidence, but it indicates ‘increased risk’ NOT ‘actual risk’ and many do not understand the difference. A simple analogy explains the principle; If you buy one lottery ticket, your chance (risk) of winning the jackpot is ‘X’, if you then buy another you increase your chances (raised risk) of winning by 100%. The chance (‘actual risk’) of winning is somewhat different. Even If we accept these anti-smoker figures as definitive, the actual risk is minute.

For perspective It is worthwhile to make comparisons with other ‘health risks’ ;
Butter: RR 1.44 (CI 1.16, 1.80) - 44% increased risk
Eggs: RR 1.53 (CI 1.02, 2.31) - 53% increased risk
Liver: RR 1.68 (CI 1.29, 2.19) - 68% increased risk
Whole Milk: significant increase in risk up to RR 2.64 - 164% increased risk"

So you see, Hairydave, the whole SHS thing is a pack of lies cooked up by a bunch of fanatical ideologues who want to impose their warped ideology of everyone else, and with the pharmaceutical companies funding their relentless propaganda machine they have managed to brainwash people like you into believing the garbage they disseminate.

#8
Pedro Miguel F. N. Matias - 26 Nov 2013 // 12:33:51

Mr. Panchev confirms he is a coherent, honorable, intelligent politician, but above all endowed with extraordinary good sense (which lack?s too much in "our" beloved Bulgaria these days), and that also has the personal and political courage of not leting drag himself on trends and fashions, that with the pretext of protecting our individual rights, limit in the most chauvinistic way, the right to exercise freedom, is it not possible to have smokers and non-smokers in healthy coexistense, obviously preserving the space and a health of each other?
The easiest solution is to prohibit, and we all know well that tradition in the history of Bulgaria, and also today, for exemple ... prohibiting dogs in public gardens, instead of creating their own spaces for the poor animals in the same gardens, or other specific spaces dedicated to them ? Bulgaria will do for smokers what they do to dogs? Pedro Matias a portuguese that loves Bulgaria .

#9
Cantiloper@gmail.com - 26 Nov 2013 // 13:00:27

Pedro, peaceful coexistence is something the Antismokers will never accept. You might wonder why, and the answer it actually quite simple: The real purpose of the bans is NOT to "protect people from secondhand smoke," but actually to make smoking so difficult and "painful" (sort of like shocking rats in a laboratory) that they will modify their behavior in the desired direction and quit smoking.

Bulgaria used to live under the iron boot of dictatorship that exercised its control over its citizens with iron boots and lead bullets. You're in a new era now -- where they simply tinker around with your mind in different ways so that you will WANT to do what they desire you to.

People are not rats. They shouldn't be treated like rats. And they should NEVER accept being treated like rats.

Fight back.

- MJM

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