‘Voice and friend of the smoker’ on tour in Ireland, May 2013.
Forest Eireann spokesman John Mallon takes to the road today, Wednesday 14th May, on a tour of the country, bringing his message to the people of Ireland, ‘Prohibition is extremism in a free society’.
Against a backdrop of increasingly restrictive measures on smoking and tobacco, campaigns to ‘de-normalise’ smoking, John will be discussing the issue of ‘creeping prohibition’ and posing the question, ‘Where will it end?’.
Campaigners want to ban smoking in private vehicles carrying children. What next? Private homes where children are present? Outdoor parks and beaches? What about other products that carry a potential health risk such as alcohol and fizzy drinks? Will they be targetted too?
John will also discuss the unintended consequences of anti-tobacco legislation including the closure of hundreds of pubs, an increase in the black market sale of tobacco and, most bizarre of all, the increasing prevalence of smoking in Ireland.
Seeking to explain the worrying implications of creeping prohibition, John Mallon will begin his tour on Wednesday 15th May in Cork, finishing in Dublin on Wednesday 29th May.
Wednesday 15th May – Cork
Thursday 16th May – Waterford
Friday 17th May – Kilkenny
Monday 20th May – Kerry
Tuesday 21st May October – Limerick
Wednesday 22nd May – Galway
Thursday 23rd May – Sligo/Leitrim
Friday 24th May – Donegal
Monday 27th May – Wicklow
Tuesday 28th May – Dublin
John is available for interview throughout the tour. To arrange an interview please contact Jill Collins on 021 4271234 or contact John direct on 085 219 3245.
Creeping Prohibition 2004-2013
- 29 March 2004 – Ban on smoking in the workplace including every pub and bar
- 31 May 2007 – Ban on sale of a pack of ten cigarettes. Department of Health claims that 10-packs are a magnet for under-age smokers
- 1 January 2009 – first campus-wide hospital smoking ban at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin
- 1 July 2009 – ban on displays of tobacco products at retail outlets and new controls on tobacco vending machines
- 19 December 2012 – Minister for Health Dr James Reilly welcoms publication of a proposal for a new EU Tobacco Products Directive
[The proposed Directive includes a ban on cigarettes with "characterising flavours" (eg menthol) and a ban on oral tobacco (snus) will continue, except in Sweden which has an exemption. It also proposes severe restrictions on e-cigarettes.]
- January 2013 – Draft legislation to ban smoking in vehicles carrying children approved by Minister for Health Dr James Reilly
John Mallon says: “All this legislation de-normalises not just the act of smoking, but the actual smoker. The effect is to isolate, exclude and degrade smokers – a significant minority of the population – and invite those who do not smoke to view the smoker as a second class citizen. It divides society and creates resentment and entrenchment among people who might otherwise decide for themselves to quit.
“Step by step, Government is edging towards the prohibition of tobacco in society and the criminalisation of thousands of people who currently enjoy a legal product. If you don’t smoke you may be unconcerned but something you enjoy might be next. That is the wider issue.”