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Monday, March 27, 2006

Get over it

In today's Guardian, A.L. Kennedy puts the case for a smoking ban in very stark terms:

I've always had a great affection for smokers - they're so faithful. Tobacco companies have lied to them for decades, spiked products to make them more addictive, manipulated research, danced around compensation suits until plaintiffs have died of smoking-related illnesses, even insulted tobacco users in confidential mailings - and still they keep on buying. Smokers apparently don't care how environmentally damaging Big Tobacco's production methods are, or how many dodgy political connections they have - smokers are very loving and forgiving people. So I always try to be kind to smokers.

As she so astutely identifies, Scotland's ban is not about the smokers themselves but those workers who might suffer as a result of the death wish of others:

Sympathetic headlines bemoaned an erosion of civil liberties, and I can see their point. Perhaps people should have the right to poison bar staff and waiters: some of them are very annoying. I look forward to articles extolling my right to purchase shoes made by children: children can also be annoying.

But the worse part is seeing the damage that smoking does to those who are addicted to the weed:

I'm tired of going to smokers' funerals. Being dead adversely affects their civil rights.

How long do we have to wait now before Wales can follow Scotland and Ireland in banning smoking in the workplace?
How long do we have to wait now before Wales can follow Scotland and Ireland in banning smoking in the workplace?

Like everything else, until London tells us we can by the looks of it. C'mon AM's get a shift on!

I got smoked out of the pub last night - the only smoker in our group makes a point now of leaving the table for a fag (and goes and stands near the bar, which he probably shouldn't) but around 15 mins before we leave a group of three come to the table next to us and all start puffing away and all my clean clothes now stink to high heaven. I am so looking forward to the smoking ban coming to Wales.
Indeed, we need to wait for the present Bill to be made law so as to give us the power to do it.
I always think it is rather sad when a person wants to stop someone doing something perfectly legal in a public place as is the case with smoking. As a smoker I do not think that I have the right to smoke in a pub,but I also do not think that a non smoker has the right to have a smoke free pub. This right belongs to the owner of the establishment, it is his business and his premises, not mine, not yours and not this governments. We are supposed to live in a free democratic society. When you start to remove peoples rights to do something perfectly legal it never stops there. I see in Scotland they are already advocating that people be served only 3 units of drink again on health grounds, and they also want to remove pie and peas from pub menus as they are not deemed healthy. There are also MPs that want to remove Icecream vans on health grounds, so you see my point is proven. 600 hundred pubs have shut in Ireland, pubs are already shutting in Scotland and I expect the same to happen in Wales and England. If you realy want to open your mind and learn the truth visit the "Forces" Website you will never worry about Secondhand Smoke again. The next time you visit Scotland and see an exservice man huddled up outside smoking a pipe feel ashamed very ashamed that you rejoiced at the removal of his rights when he has fought for yours.
This issue is not about my rights as a non-smoker it is about the health and safety of the staff. Regulations to protect staff are already in place, this is one more and that is why the trade unions fully support the ban. I have never advocated restricting the units of drink or the type of food people should eat as that is a matter of choice for them. Nor would I advocate such restrictions as there is no justification for them as with a ban on smoking in the workplace. As for the number of pubs closing in Ireland, that is an urban myth and is unsubstantiated by the evidence. As with any business, where pubs adapt they will flourish. That is why in California, where a ban has been in force for at least 10 years, the hospitality trade is booming.
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