I have just been watching a British television crime series set in the 1960s. The programs were aired from 2008 to 2017. There is hardly a moment without members of the cast smoking, and making sure that you see how much they are enjoying their cigarettes.
Some years before, in 2002, the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act (TAPA) banned most forms of tobacco advertising in the UK. It did not take long for the tobacco industry to find a way round this.
Every year, world-wide, tobacco kills more than 8 million people. While the majority of these deaths are smokers who get what they deserve, nearly 1.2 million are non-smokers having been exposed to second-hand smoke.
Smoking is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. In the US it is the single greatest preventable cause of illness and premature death. In the UK it is one of the biggest causes of death, with more than 76,000 people dying from smoking every year. Many more suffer from incapacitating smoking-related illnesses.
And yet the BBC sees no problem in broadcasting the Inspector George Gently series with its not-so-subtle cigarette advertisements. I suspect that the tobacco companies give the BBC some cash encouragement.
Many, many, years ago, I travelled around Europe, overnighting in Youth Hostels. There were large signs …. In this Youth Hostel only the chimney smokes. In our times, with air-conditioning providing warmth and cooling, the sign should be In this Youth Hostel not even the chimney smokes.
In the time you have spent reading this blog some eight people have died from smoking. How long before the cigarette manufacturers are forced to close down? There are better ways to deal with the world’s out-of-control population growth. I might write a blog with some suggestions.