On the second anniversary of the mother-in laws sad demise from cancer it seems almost sweet justice that we find that S Ireland are reacting to looming financial oblivion in the only way they can: cutbacks in wasted expenditure.

The “OTC” (Office of Tobacco Control) is to disappear from public expenditure; I wonder why? Well let’s see shall we. For a start they have proven to be a complete waste of time and money, for before they came into being, S Ireland as in England were experiencing a steady decline pre-ban days. But of course, we all know that the WHO wanted to speed things up considerably and pressured the Irish government to implement a draconian ban of their design. The Irish complied and now have, to their credit, gained the mantle of Europe’s No1 smuggling haunt for all things tobacco (and a few other things I wouldn’t doubt!).

Tobacco control seem to have scored a massive own-goal there then!

This is the organisation that pressed for the abolition of ’10-Packs’ as this measure was sure to reduce tobacco consumption. Irish logic prevailed yet again as the people simply bought 20-packs and smoked more!

Tobacco control seems to have scored another own-goal there!

With 10 board members sharing approximately £1.5m for the 2010 budget it would seem that each member is getting a fair old chunk of wedge for being basically useless. It makes me wonder just how long they would have funded an ineffectual OTC had there not had been a financial crisis?

Meanwhile we have a similarly useless funding programme in Scotland. NHS Tayside’s Quit4U and Give It Up for Baby schemes have cost the health board more than £4.5 million over the last five years and they reckon that only 1 in 3 has quit smoking:

(Link to Article no Longer Available)

The usual claptrap of ‘highest rates’ and ‘most deprived areas’ is spewed forth but when you think about it, laws that cost people their jobs mean that deprived areas slowly become more impoverished. It’s reckoned that only one third of quitters reach the 4 week target but a 4 week target is a ridiculously short time to gauge any such scheme. The annual figure of total quitters is slightly less than 5% which means that each ‘quitter’ costs an inordinate amount of money. With NRT having a dismal 98.4% failure rate it is not surprising that we have a less than 5% quit rate. Don’t get me wrong here, freedom2choose are not opposed to anyone who wants to quit smoking for that is their personal choice, but we do object to the busybodies interfering in smokers’ lives-not to mention the cost to tax payers involved!

In this present era of “austerity” (a lovely word that encompasses ‘skint’ & ‘cutbacks’) it is nice to see that one quango has been chopped from governmental budgets. Now, perhaps, we can look forward to the coalition chopping the legs off ASH for without government assistance they will have to live off less than it cost blogosphere to release Nick Hogan. Misrepresentations of the truth & manipulated statistics have brought ASH what they wanted but they cannot compete with the truth of our times!

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