I have never smoked but…

I read an article on the BBC website earlier today with the latest on the battle against Smoking.  Iain Dale posts an interesting take on this.  I agree with some of what he is saying.

Had I been elected at the 2005 General Election, I would not have voted to ban smoking in so called public places.  Do not get me wrong, I have never liked cigarettes and I do not miss having to go in the shower after a couple of pints in the pub.  I would also hate the idea of my children ever smoking when they are older.

This latest attempt does not convince me that this will deter people from smoking.  As one person said on the BBC earlier today, some smokers may buy packs of 10 so that they can reduce their intake.

More generally, I have always worried about the disproportionate impact that this has on working class and lower income communites.  This can be seen by the damage that the ban has had on pubs, especially ones that are landlocked and cannot increase their footprint in way that they can accommodate smokers and still comply with the law.  Bingo Halls across the country are really struggling, in part as a result of that ban.  The politician who spoke the most sense on this subject for me was Dr John Reid MP.

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One Response to “I have never smoked but…”

  1. Phil Andrews Says:

    Speaking personally, smoking has had a very positive affect on my health. Back in the early 1980s when I worked in the airfreight industry there was no smoking ban on public transport. On the single-deckers smoking was permitted in the rear seats, the belief evidently being at the time that cigarette smoke would do as it was told and remain in the part of the bus where it was permitted. As this didn’t actually work, I chose to walk the five miles to work and five miles home again rather than inflict the sensation of nicotine, which I hated, on my throat. As a result of this enforced exercise regime I spent most of that period being merely fat, rather than obese as would have been more befitting of my dietary habits at that time.

    I have never liked smoking. My father smoked at home and I would choose to go out rather than inhale it. Working in an enclosed office was a living hell, and my dislike of cigarette smoke was one of the reasons why I chose to get out of that environment. Like you, I certainly don’t miss having to jump into the bath after every visit to the pub or the local café.

    Nevertheless, I think the ban on smoking in pubs is probably a step too far. This is especially true in the case of those pubs which have more than one bar. In these cases there is surely a case for allowing smoking and non-smoking bars?

    The pub and the club are a part of our local heritage which is dying out. It is difficult to resist this as people become more alert to the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, nevertheless until somebody comes up with a better concept for community interaction I will continue to champion them.

    That said, it was a difficult decision for the government to take and I am not convinced that any other government would have reacted to the inevitable (and not unreasonable) concerns of the health lobby any differently. I only hope that customers who smoke will in time bite the bullet rather than voting with their feet.

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