The sale of tobacco is legal in the UK and the main beneficiary is the Treasury. Yet, the use of tobacco is severely restricted, so much so that if you break the law you go to jail. We're all aware of this, so much so that smokers are now treated as would-be criminals.
Nick Hogan, 43, was sentenced to six months in prison for refusing to pay a fine imposed for flouting the legislation. A judge fined Hogan, of Chorley, Lancashire, £3,000 and ordered him to pay £7,236 in costs after finding him guilty of four charges under the Health Act 2006. Mr Hogan informed customers, in the two pubs he used to own, they had the freedom to choose whether or not to smoke.
If you're a Labour peer and were involved in an accident which left a man dead on the M1 in South Yorkshire, you serve 16 days in jail.
The anti-smoking lobby, ASH, is committed to stamping out smoking in this country. The government funds ASH. What I don't understand is why the government doesn't make smoking illegal then ASH could be disbanded, thus saving the taxpayer millions. Or is it preferable to keep the balance as it is, thus tobacco taxation continues and fines are a welcome addition to the government's coffers?
Have we become a police state - another, all too frequent, example of the invasion of our privacy. Do watch the video and decide for yourself.