'No one would turn back clocks on smoking ban'

NOBODY would turn the clocks back on banning smoking in bars and restaurants, the deputy Health and Social Services minister argued in the States yesterday in response to fears reintroducing tobacco licensing would damage retailers.

NOBODY would turn the clocks back on banning smoking in bars and restaurants, the deputy Health and Social Services minister argued in the States yesterday in response to fears reintroducing tobacco licensing would damage retailers.

Deputy Barry Brehaut, pictured, made the point during yesterday’s debate on the department’s proposals for a tobacco control strategy, which continues today.

‘When we had the debate in this Assembly about the smoking ban, we had the same arguments then that restaurants and hotels would lose business,’ he said. ‘But nobody would turn the clocks back on that now.’

Deputy Elis Bebb said the cost of tobacco-related illnesses to the island was roughly £14.5m. each year, whereas the cost to businesses following the introduction of a licensing regime would be roughly £300 per year.

Deputy Heidi Soulsby said she was supportive of the overall strategy, but deeply disappointed the department was dropping its funding for the Guernsey Adolescent Smokefree Project, of which she is patron.

  • More on yesterday's States meeting in today's Guernsey Press

Comments for: " 'No one would turn back clocks on smoking ban'"


I agree there ...Stopping smoking in public places was a good thing.

But i must admit i didn't agree with it at the time it was proposed.

Cousin Vinny

If the motivation for this is the £14.5m in 'illnesses' why can't that be subsidised by those who choose to smoke and get such illnesses rather than a tax on businesses? This is only going to occur indirectly anyway by the licensees upping the prices on tobacco to pay for the licence?

Dee Sharisse

"Nobody would turn the clocks back on banning smoking in bars...."

Really? Is this the result of a poll? I'm sure that if a poll was conducted, the results would be far from 'nobody'. There can be no denying that trade has suffered and many customers spend less time purchasing their beverages.

The States love their 'trial periods', so how about letting one bar in town open as a 'smokers bar' (health warning outside the door, of course). When rival licensees see the result, they'll soon push for permission also.


Where does Elis Beeb get his figures from, I'd be interested to know the source. Out of a hat? Plucked out of thin air?

Everyone with half a brain can work out that smoking is a net contributor to the government's coffers, through import duties, tax on profits on sale, reduced pensions due to smokers dying early etc, it doesn't take a genius to work it out.


I think you’d find that keeping a dying smoker alive for just one year with medical and health care costs would far outweigh the amount of tax they would have paid by smoking.


Oh non smokers die without cost do they?


Nowhere near us much as smokers do Zab.

Do you smoke Zab?...I have for over 40 years, in fact all my family smoked, I have seen everyone of them die a miserable, painful death, my fathers was the worst .....but i do have one brother left and he has always been a non smoker, so there must be something in this non-smoking lark.

So yes! non smokers will die with some costs ..... ..but not as much as smokers, who in their final months , weeks, hours take up a lot of nursing and care time which cost money.



I believe he got the number from official government figures. Tax intake is £7.3M, cost is £14.5M. Another myth debunked?



Treating smoking costs £7.2 more than impot on tobacco, where is the cost of treating terminal non smokers factored into the equation as even if smokers gave up they would still die and incur cost. Another myth debunked?


Well said Zap exactly my thoughts and saves me posting what you have just said.

Spartacus there are many extra taxes that could be collected due to life style choices but at least smokers and drinkers do contribute and in many cases may not even be a burden to health resources anymore than someone living a relatively healthy life.


Zab & bcb

True everyone dies and is likely to incur some health costs along the way. All the costs for various illnesses are recorded and maybe HSSD should release the data. I don't believe for one minute that the cost of suffering/dying from other causes will match up to the net cost of smoking diseases. In many cases people suffer comorbid diseases.

I agree with Mike Hadley's comments that people who sell a direct cause of death should not complain about a licence fee.

High Time

Its about time Guernsey bit the bullet and legalised cannabis, taxed it and regulated it.

Think of the benefits of having one or two coffee shops in the island that sold good herb.

It would take all of the criminality out of it, saving space in the prison (and tax money), tax revenues would increase, quality would be controlled, and think of the tourism generated!

Forget about smoking 20 B&H in the pub, I am sure more people would rather a nice smoke with a coffee, cake and a smile on their face.


Yeah right.... then not going back to work because they are too stoned. Get sacked, so go on the social, blame the Government for making it legal then want compensation

sounds great!!

high times

Much like Amsterdams huge unemployment problem?? Oh thats right, they dont have one. They do have a huge amount of income from tourism though. Something this island could well do with a slice of


Netherlands unemployment rate 6.8%


Another myth debunked


....and of course nobody takes sickies with hangovers, do they markB?

There is enough evidence now for the legal status of cannabis to be reviewed and debated, providing of course people can do it objectively.


Debate cannabis legalisation objectively? Therein I suspect lies the problem.

@high times. Haven't the Netherlands decided to only allow Dutch nationals to consume the stuff, thereby outlawing that particular tourist trade?

high times


Actually if you read the attached news story you will see that they didn't ban it in the end, seems the 1.5 million visitors a year and all of there spending money was to much of a motivating factor http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20165371


PLP...... Try doing a bit of Skunk... and then tell me what "legal status" you would give it ... if you can get it that is!.....Oh!! and I promise not to tell your Pastor or Mrs PLP what you've been up to if you do try it ......... but phone in late for work if i were you.

I have worked with a lot of people that loved the old weed, who told me that it helped them create their most inspirational a work ..But in the cold light of day what they produced was nothing but crap ..... that i had to sort out for them.

And what medical advantages are there?..... Well Its mostly cannabis "smokers" that tell us how wonderful cannabis is as a pain reliever etc ... personally i think 2 paracetamol every 4 hours stops the "pro cannabis" pain in the backside.

cyril serbant

the netherlands imposed a ban earlier in the year but the new government have decided that it is up to individual regions to implement it or not.


markB - I don't need to try it to think it's worth having a proper public debate. There are plenty eminent voices out there who think the legalisation of cannabis would be beneficial - and frankly I would rather listen to their views than yours.

Nevertheless you will note that I said there was sufficient evidence to warrant a debate, I wasn't suggesting we legalise it with some back of a roll-up legislation. Robert is right though, when there's anecdotal armchair "experts" like you around it will be difficult to have an objective debate.


Next will be controlling the amount of food we can buy so we don't get fat!


Way to go MarkB, your observation is spot on, you hit the nail right on the head!!


Don't be a daft!!!!..they also have a massive porn industry too which, brings in a huge amount of pot smoking child molesters.

Plus corrupt bushiness men, drug and diamond dealers, in fact all the worlds pervs, criminals and more....and all because Amsterdam is so "liberal" .....Man!

If that's what you want, try go and live there, or go for a 2 week holiday, you'll soon run out money enjoying yourself in those "cafes"

And anyway... if your Mum found out you did pot she would be very upset!!.

cyril serbant

calm down melanie phillips

high times

Granted re the porn industry, but pot smoking child molesters? do they go hand in hand?? That would certainly help weed out (forgive the pun) the many child molesters that we read about in the GP that seem to prey over here.

As for corrup businessmen, well that seems to ring true with Guernsey also. I think you might be generalising somewhat.

Why make no mention of the festivals and museums? Or the thriving performance art culture that exists?

What about the huge financial centre within Amsterdam, many big corporations have set up head offices over there. Or the fantastic public transport and housing strategy?

You could have even mentioned the 4.6 million visitors a year (wikipedia) or the average of 78% occupancy for the hotels year round? maybe mentions the huge amounts of revenue generated by these visitors? You can focus on the negatives with anything, just as you could with Guernsey.

I am not a pot smoker by the way, I just think it is an option that could be looked at to try and raise some money for the island to cover this every expanding debt that we seem to find ourselves in. (Thanks to the States in general)

I hardly think a regulated and taxed product would cause the huge social downfall that you envisage.

Yes there unemployment is at 6.8% but there population exceeds 4.3 million people, but look at Paris, 2.125 million population 11.4% unemployed. London 8.2 million people 8.7% unemployed. Its not because of the weed, unemployment is everywhere.


I wondered who would be the first idiot to reply, and the big nosed troll never fails to deliver!!

The only figure that can be accurate is the import duty, the rest is guesswork. Do a bit of research and you'll find find plenty of info on how much pension money is saved through smokers dying eary, and also the fact that smokers tend to die from diseases that actually don't cost that much to deal with, as opposed to "healthy people's diseases" like Alzheimers, severe dementia etc.

If you note the wording of my original post is says "net contributor" which is accurate.


big nosed troll lol!

I got the figures from a tweet by Ellis Bebb. Don't shoot the messenger!

The £14.25M is spent on tobacco related diseases.

Horace camp asked "If smokers didn't die young, what be the extra cost for pensions and young"

Ellis Bebb replied "considerably less than the cost of emphysema that can go on for years"


Elis Beeb is wrong I'm afraid, a recent study by the Lancet stated than smokers on average die 10 years earlier than non-smokers. The saving in pension payments is therefore circa £100k. He, and indeed you, are surely not suggesting that the AVERAGE cost of treating smokers for whatever disease they may contract is £100k?

Another point is that non-smokers often end up dying from diseases that cost far, far more to treat than those contracted by smokers. Recent studies conclude that dementia costs the UK £23 billion a year, if that is pro rated to give a rough cost for Guernsey it would come out at £23 million, roughly 60% more than the claimed cost of smoking related treatment. Plus dementia sufferers collect their pension for all those extra years that they're alive of course.

I don't expect you to understand and acknowledge basic economics and you have demonstrated numerous times in the pst that you are unable to do so. However for those people with a rudimentary grasp of numbers the true situation is clear to see i.e. smokers are good for government finances.



Smokers are not immune from the diseases contracted by non smokers, so having been treated for ten years for emphesyma a person could then need dementia treatment for another ten years as well as continuing to be treated for emphysema.

Smokers are NOT good for government finances and besides this fact you clearly don't give a damn about human cost and overlook the fact that government's role is to oversee the health and wellbeing of the community.


Welease Woderick!!

Sparty, your posts are taking on ever increasing Pythonesque proportions. If, as you assert, government's role is to "oversee the health and well being of the community" the answer is surely simple; outlaw tobacco and alcohol, the two biggest killers of any drugs, legal or illegal. I wonder why that won't happen? Surely it couldn't be due to the resulting loss in net revenue?

You need to either wake up or shut up, your arguments make little or no sense to those who can actually appreciate the reality of life.



Yet again I have to sift through childish nonsense to find the point in your comment, in this case a valid one.

Firstly, in my humble opinion, smoking will be outlawed in the not so distant future.

Secondly, alcohol is a slightly different matter as it is only dangerous if abused.

There is no justification for selling either to children therefore the licences are justified.

I can see the problem with taking tax revenue for harmful substances nevertheless I cannot think of an appropriate solution - can you?



I know that you get up very early each day but I worry about your wellbeing

You spend much of your day on TIG ( even more than me)and you obviously do exhaustive research before posting .. and you also follow Twitter?!!

Be honest with yourself .. you know what happened to Pinocchio ...Are you sure that you are taking sufficient time to eat properly and care for child A ?


Spy troll

What a caring soul you are but MYOB will you? cheers :-)

I recommend Horace Camp (The Horacle) on twitter, he asks pertinent questions daily and gets sensible factual responses from deputies and intelligent political pundits.

It saves a lot of research time for me as it is much more reliable than some of the twaddle that gets posted on TIG by numpties like Phil.


Welease Woger

Godd to know your sources of information are as reliable as Twitter Sparty, was there ever a clown-like gladiator in ancient Rome?

Your faithful "numpty" xx



have you been drinking? kisses is a first for me on TIG!

I enjoy hearing what the deputies have to say on twitter, they are what I regard as a reliable source. The bonus of twitter is no trolls!


So people prefer the smell of farts (or bodily wind) in pubs then do they?

Sara Thompson

Nothing more fun on a cold, wet and windy day than seeing the cancer stick brigade huddled together outside.


I do not smoke, never have. But I do get rather weary of the demonisation of smokers. According to a doctor I know, standing for 20 minutes in Oxford Street is the equivalent of smoking one cigarette.


Alcohol possibly creates more trouble than tobacco. Regulate!

Meat-eating is probably responsible for several diseases. Regulate!

Vegetarians who do not drive and who do not touch alcohol may have the moral right to preach about smoking and health/hospital costs. It is not clear that the rest of us do.


'government’s role is to oversee the health and wellbeing of the community.' Spartacus.

'oversee': if you live in a totalitarian state, yes.

When the States tell us what to eat and drink, what we should not consume, how to exercise, how to live our lives, and what 'correct' opinion is, we shall belatedly realise that we have been sleep-walking into an Orwellian hell.



How about protection of children? Is that part of Orwellian hell?


1.To my knowledge tobacco retailers have for decades regularly refused to sell tobacco to minors.

2.A deputy apparently described tobacco retailers as selling items of death. What is the moral difference between selling items of death and licensing people to sell items of death?

It's like a pimp condemning prostitution.

3. I have never smoked and I have spent a lifetime trying to explain to the young the evils of smoking.

4. I find selective morality distasteful. Your exoneration of alcohol glosses over the terrible harm that results from its consumption. When did you last hear of a cigarette-smoker battering his wife while under the influence?

5. Car exhaust does more to pollute the atmosphere than cigarette smoke. Where is your burning moral passion to protect asthma sufferers?

6.I dare say that you do not smoke and that you do use a car and drink wine. You have fashioned a cosy morality for yourself. Spartacus is right; non-Spartacus is wrong.



This is a debating forum, who cares who is right or wrong? It's just opinions being aired and stimulation of thoughts.

1. I'm not disputing that some retailers have refused to sell to minors but surely you can see that without consequences for doing so, a retailer has more incentive to be unscrupulous and maximise their own profits. There is a clear conflict of interest.

2. There is a difference between selling and licencing but in principle I agree with you. I just can't think of a better solution.

3. I have smoked and given up having experienced the tragedy of unnecessary loss of life.

4. Based on my personal experience I would ban alcohol if it was up to me, I don't exonerate it at all, I was just pointing out the difference.

5. Industry causes more pollution than cars, as do farmed animals. Would you ban industry?

6. I do not smoke I occasionally drink (harmlessly!) and I am vegetarian, I am also considering giving up my car because as time goes by it makes less sense to keep it.

You make some valid arguments, I may seem to you to be preaching in a holier than thou manner but I concede I am far from perfect. The point is the cause is still worthwhile, especially when it involves protecting children from the unwitting mistakes of previous generations.


Great post

I think you have just shot Her down in flames with that one.


Spartacus i wouldn`t worry to much about the unscrupulous shop keeper who sells to under age children (are there any? as i have never witnessed this myself but wouldn`t find it hard to believe it does happen) i would be more concerned with those who are able to buy them for the under age which you cannot stop by having this licence.

Do you really believe that if some youngster tries to buy a packet and gets refused he/she will give up smoking? or do you think they will just get someone else to get them?.

If trying to stop people taking up the habit or getting those that smoke to quit is the aim then i think there needs to be a completely freah approach to this.

Age limits,licences,nasty pics on the packets,taxes,banning in certain places,etc and none seem to work? so why is that? any drop in the amount of smokers i believe is entirely down to education and i`m not even totally convinced of that.

I believe the only way is to ban them altogether. Ok so we may have a black market to some degree but the availability will be very much reduced.

Absolutely no one should be allowed by law to manufacture such an addictive and harmful substance and if governments around the world really want to put peoples health before big profits they`d ban it all tomorrow which i am sure you will agree?.

And just how these scum bags who churn out this stuff killing millions every year can sleep at night (£££££) is beyond me.

This licence will achieve nothing. I see and know more under age drinking than i do smokers in fact i dont` know anybody who does not drink and is under age so there`s your evidence in a nutshell.



"Absolutely no one should be allowed by law to manufacture such an addictive and harmful substance and if governments around the world really want to put peoples health before big profits they`d ban it all tomorrow which i am sure you will agree?.

And just how these scum bags who churn out this stuff killing millions every year can sleep at night (£££££) is beyond me."

Fantastic comment, I couldn't agree more. I feel the same about shopkeepers who employ kids to sell the things.

In the absence of a worldwide ban, the Guernsey strategies are working, statistical evidence proves it.


Ray your comments on Spartacus are a bit rich coming from you. Your always on here!

I think we've got the policy on smoking just about right. Except smoking in any moving vehicle should be banned.


Morning kevin

Nice to know that you spend your time TIG watching

Although I have never smoked I think we should go the whole hog and ban all smoking unless you have your head stuck up a chimney

Sara Thompson

Way to go Australia.


PB Falla

Pass me the B&H

Reading this rubbish is making me want to smoke

Another GP contributors shambles


As of today, yet further decriminalisation of cannabis


Guernsey has already missed the opportunity to have embraced this and made some decent profit from it. Only in Guernsey do we continue to get criminal records for personal usage amounts.