01 July 2009

Smoking Ban Has Been Huge Success.

Over 80% of people now support the smoking ban, 76% want to ban cigarette vending machines and 70% want fag packets out of sight in shops. 800,000 smokers have given up as a result, heart disease and strokes have dropped significantly and now even smokers chokezone Greece is set to introduce a ban on July 1st.

So what will a Tory government do when it gets in? You guessed it, relax the smoking ban. Top Tories have been in talks with their tobacco paymasters for years on how best to tackle public opposition. FOREST (the cigarette manufacturer's PR machine) fund several 'astro turf' groups to garner support for their aims.

The Tories favourite is to 'allow' local authorities to introduce 'a smoking room' within pubs. This legislation will be quietly included in a bill within two years of the Tories coming to power. We all know that this will mean the whole pub will stink of smoke, punters will end up stinking of smoke and workers once again will have to work in smoky atmospheres damaging their health. There is no practical way smokers and non-smokers can mix indoors without harming non-smokers as well. If there was, believe you me, the new Labour fudgers would have found it.

59 comments:

  1. "Over 80% of people now support the smoking ban"

    Most people would probably support the return of capital punishment, that doesn't mean it would be a good thing.

    "76% want to ban cigarette vending machines and 70% want fag packets out of sight in shops"

    Most people are illiberal fuckwits, see above.

    "800,000 smokers have given up as a result, heart disease and strokes have dropped significantly"

    Correlation does not imply causation, but given you know you that you're simply wibbling.

    "smokers chokezone Greece is set to introduce a ban on July 1st."

    I lived in Greece for a while and I would be astonished if this is enforced, (in the village where I lived the local mafia owned the police body and soul).

    "FOREST (the cigarette manufacturer's PR machine) fund several 'astro turf' groups to garner support for their aims."

    Ah yes, anyone who disagrees with the smoking ban must be in the pay of big tobbaco. No recognition of the fact that it is entirely possible to oppose the ban on liberal grounds or that the ban itself was and is supported by numerous fake charities that the government pays to lobby itself.

    When the bill was being passed, there was an option for smoking to be allowed if there was sufficient air filtration to keep smoke levels below even the nonsense "passive smoke will kill you" levels. This option was dismissed not because it wouldn't work but because your dear Labour party felt that it was more important to impose their views on smokers than allow any freedom to fester under their missmanagement of the country.

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  2. Air filtration is still not anywhere as effective as a total ban and anyway it costs a lot of money, who is going to pay for it? Small pubs couldn't afford it.

    Even the majority of smokers think the ban is a good law and have accepted it almost completely. It will be a travesty if the Tories and a very small minority get to inflict their will (and smoke) on the rest of us. It is a minor inconvenience for smokers, it is a major health issue for the rest of us.

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  3. Air filtration can ensure that that second hand smoke is below even the, (vastly overestimated), levels that are considered harmful. If business' wish to put such a system in then why shouldn't they be allowed to? It would be for the business to pay for the cost.

    "It will be a travesty if the Tories and a very small minority get to inflict their will (and smoke) on the rest of us."

    They wont be going round to your house and blowing smoke in the window Neil. Any response on the other areas of comment?

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  4. So I can never go to the pub again, unless I don't mind stinking of smoke and getting lung cancer. Some choice that is!

    So if a business cannot afford to pay for the filtration system we get a smoke free pub, is that right? But who is going to check their filtration system is working properly and who pays for that. The ban is largely self regulating and cheap and effective. I am not convinced the filtration system would work or is worth it.

    As for causation/correlation, come on! The smoking ban comes in and a few months later we see drastically reduced strokes and heart attacks - that is some coincidence!

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  5. Pardon me for being not only pointing out the causation correlation thing but being a tad suspicious. The article you link to includes a reference to the figures for Scotland for example, these were fully debunked as they had deliberately used incomparable periods, (winter in one selection and oddly not in another). I'll have to do some digging to see if there has been similar messing about with the other figures but the main point, (that this takes no other possible factors into account), still stands.

    "I am not convinced the filtration system would work or is worth it."

    It is at least worth trying and it wont be your money spent on it, what's not to like?

    "So I can never go to the pub again, unless I don't mind stinking of smoke and getting lung cancer. Some choice that is!"

    If you're main pleasure hit from the smoking ban is going to non smoking pubs then why can't you extend the same degree of regard for smokers who wish to go to a smoking pub? Let's have smoking and non smoking places. As for any risk to the bar staff from passive smoke, intitute danger money, calculated on the risk they are exposed to, (a system that not only works in other areas but treats the employees as adult enough to assume a risk if they wish).

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  6. I cant remember any of you guys manning the baricades for non-smokers when their rights were infringed, it was impossible to go anywhere and not stink of smoke. If this were just a minor inconvenience for non-smokers, workers etc, i would be with you in opposing the ban, but you can't play games with people's health, danger money is irrelevant. Most people do not have much choice over work or even their local. This is not a big deal for smokers, this law does not threaten their health, indeed it improves it. If you accept that smoking is anti-social and a health risk, which everybody with a fair mind does, then you accept the smoking ban is not only fair, but essential

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  7. "I cant remember any of you guys manning the baricades for non-smokers when their rights were infringed"

    There were already many non smoking venues and more were moving in that direction anyway. I have no objection to a venue being non smoking if the proprietor and his customers prefer it that way. My objection is that even if the proprietor, all the customers and all the staff, really want a place to allow smoking then they are criminalised.

    "you can't play games with people's health, danger money is irrelevant"

    So no one should work on oil rigs or any other dangerous situation, lets all sit on a bed under a blanket and avoid all the potential harm that comes with living.

    "Most people do not have much choice over work or even their local."

    They have a damn slight more choice than smokers and they are far less likely to keep their local if this authoritarian ban stays in place.

    "If you accept that smoking is anti-social and a health risk, which everybody with a fair mind does, then you accept the smoking ban is not only fair, but essential"

    If I were to consider raves to be anti social, (dear god the noise and litter), and a health risk, (all that headbanging they call "dancing"), and call on them to banned, you would quite rightly call me a fucking idiot. The same applies to the smoking ban. You do not have to go to a rave, you do not have to go to a smoking pub. A rave can have enough soundproofing that it doesn't cause a disturbance and air filtration can clean the air.

    "This is not a big deal for smokers, this law does not threaten their health, indeed it improves it."

    Today a study came out that shows vegitarians have a lower risk of cancer. Lets ban meat, all for your health. Exercise is good for you, so we're going to institute an hour a day of callanetics, (you will of course be fined £50 each time you fail to join in the exercises).
    The freedom to behave on your own cognisance is far more valuable that a slight average increase in health. Feel free to dissagree but that would put firmly in the authoritarian camp.

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  8. Neil

    I am broadly in favour of the smoking ban, but I do worry that there are unintended negative consequences that are not being sufficiently taken into account.

    Specifically, research from the US shows: “that smoking bans in public places can perversely increase the exposure of non-smokers to tobacco smoke by displacing smokers to private places where they contaminate non smokers, and in particular young children."

    further the report goes on to suggest that, overall: "higher taxes are an efficient way to decrease exposure to tobacco smoke, especially in those most exposed"

    See http://www.aeaweb.org/annual_mtg_papers/2007/0106_1015_0601.pdf for the full paper.

    I'm not claiming that this is watertight evidence of a need for a more flexible approach to the smoking ban, just for example by charging venues that want to allow smoking for (informed adults) and then ringfencing that money for some of the new 'air exchange' technologies available in industry but not used in commercial premises.

    However, I would like to see more rigorous evaluation of the real impact, positive and otherwise, of the ban before we all put our feet up and say 'job done'.

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  9. Paul:

    "higher taxes are an efficient way to decrease exposure to tobacco smoke, especially in those most exposed"

    I think, in the UK at least, you run into the higher taxes results in more smuggling problem. If you put another £1 on a packet, the average price might well come down as illegal imports expanded.

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  10. Paul, I agree broadly with your point. I think the answer is not to backtrack on the ban, but to make smoking infront of children as anti-social as drink driving and for smokers to respect adults more.

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  11. Speaking as a Scot who has witnessed the smoking ban in action, I can say that I totally support the smoking ban. The real long term benefits will be felt by the next generation of children who are being born into a culture is more hostile to smoking. I accept that the short-term benefits have been positive, we will reap the benefits in decades to come.

    Smoking has been ingrained in Scottish culture for centauries, and although that culture has receded in recent times, it was clear that there needed to be an intervention to push society into the kind of changes that were necessary. The voluntary arrangements initiated by New Labour did not work; few clubs and pubs were bold enough to make the first move. It is a clear indication that the ‘unseen hands of the market’ in this instance do not work. The only solution was a blanket ban on smoking in order to give those of us who enjoy a social evening, but would rather not inhale other people’s smoke a level playing field. The pubs that have made the change to non smoking have done so quite successfully and the pubs that have went to the wall are the ones that cannot adapt to the realities of life. No different from any other industry. No-one smokes in cinemas, buses nor football stadiums either. These bans came into force long before smoking in pubs were banned yet no one stands outside the local Roxy demanding the right to smoke do they? Your average cinema is now a modern, relatively plush environment that families can enjoy, not some smokey howf that drives people away.

    What the smokers have to take into account is that they have had it their own way for two centuries and now the tide has turned, all of a sudden they are now suffering the discrimination that every non-smoker has had to endure.

    This is the point at which the libertarian argument falls down. The rights of the smoker always circumvented everyone else. The right of one or two smokers in a restaurant hampered everyone else’s right to enjoy a smoke free evening.

    It used to be that the non smoker had to make compromises and bend to the will of the smoker or have his social life curtailed and now the ‘poor’ smoker is now put in that dilemma, we are supposed to feel sorry for him? Why? Why should I feel sorry for someone who wishes to impose his choice to smoke on every nose and lung within a ten yard radius? Remember the smoker is making positive choices to smoke, the non smoker is making no such choice, he merely takes the default position, non smoking.

    The smoker is now in the position that he has his options open to him and can make an informed choice. Does he continue to smoke with all the health and social issues that the choice implies, or does he learn to stop or control his habit and go down the pub.

    As I non smoker I can go into:

    Any pub, club restaurant or café in the Country.
    Any cinema in the Country
    Any football, rugby or any sorting stadium in the Country.
    Any train, bus, taxi or tram in the Country.
    Any shop, office and factory in the Country.

    I can do all that because the Scottish Government has gave me freedom to do so without having to inhale other people’s smoke. Guess what? Every smoker gets the same rights to do all that too.

    What’s the problem?

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  12. "but would rather not inhale other people’s smoke a level playing field."

    No you haven't and surely you must see that. Smokers are not demanding the right to light up in every pub, bar and indeed cinema in the country. What smokers are demanding is that there should not be a blanket ban. What is so wrong with allowing smokers to congregate, (hushed tones and fear of God almighty), inside a building that the public can choose whether or not to access? Why not have a mixture of smoking and non smoking venues? You could auction off licences for it to ensure that you retained some or even mostly non smoking venues.

    If the Scottish Government gave you the "freedom" to go out without having to deal with people who have been drinking, (by banning the serving of alcohol in pubs), then guess what? Drinkers and tetotallers would have the same lack of rights.

    Do you see the problem now?

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  13. “Smokers are not demanding the right to light up in every pub, bar and indeed cinema in the country.”

    Er, yes they are because before the smoking ban came in that was exactly the position. Smokers wish to go back to those days, when some prick could make the decision on whether or not the entire pub became a smoker’s pub or not. The voluntary scheme failed because no-one wanted to ‘break ranks’ and be the first pub to completely ban smoking. Since the blanket ban was introduced people have managed to continue drinking, eating and shopping without too much bother. Smokers can still smoke at a night out, just not in the pub or restaurant.

    They either control their smoking or sit in the house, their destiny is entirely within their own hands and they can choose which path they take. Freedom to choose and the responsibility to live with the consequences. What is wrong with that?

    “What is so wrong with allowing smokers to congregate, (hushed tones and fear of God almighty), inside a building that the public can choose whether or not to access?”

    Why do I have to choose not to access that club/pub/disco/art gallery/cafe? I am not the one who wants to impose an extremely unpleasant and potentially dangerous substance into the atmosphere of that pub/club, so why should my rights be curtailed just so others can impose their anti social behaviour on me?

    "Why not have a mixture of smoking and non smoking venues? You could auction off licences for it to ensure that you retained some or even mostly non smoking venues"

    As I said earlier, we tried a volenteer scheme and it failed. Let these non smoking only pubs time to get fully bedded in. Given that smoking only pubs have had a 200 year start surely you cannot grudge the concept of no smoking pubs 10 years to get established?

    “ If the Scottish Government gave you the "freedom" to go out without having to deal with people who have been drinking”

    Good news on that front. The Government (British) have laws in place as to the age and state of people who drink and they also have laws to banning drunken behaviour in the streets of drunks (the laws on public order apply to drunks too)

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  14. "Freedom to choose" - between two options, neither of which is satisfactory. Not so much with the freedom is it?

    "As I said earlier, we tried a volenteer scheme and it failed. Let these non smoking only pubs time to get fully bedded in. Given that smoking only pubs have had a 200 year start surely you cannot grudge the concept of no smoking pubs 10 years to get established?"

    I don't know what it was like around where you lived before the smoking ban came in butwhere I lived, more and more places were going non smoking. How about giving that idea a chance to bed in? Or you can go with the idea I outlined above and ensure that there are a mixture.

    "Why do I have to choose not to access that club/pub/disco/art gallery/cafe? I am not the one who wants to impose an extremely unpleasant and potentially dangerous substance into the atmosphere of that pub/club, so why should my rights be curtailed just so others can impose their anti social behaviour on me?"

    You don't have a "right" to go into these places because the proprietor can tell you to sod off on a whim. Here's a hypothetical for you; how many non smokers will want to go to a "cigar bar", themed around cigars, tobbaco incense burning at each corner and best cigar in show pictures on the wall? I'm guessing rather few and yet even that is illegal. On what possible grounds are the current rules banning that a sensible arangement?

    "Good news on that front. The Government (British) have laws in place as to the age and state of people who drink and they also have laws to banning drunken behaviour in the streets of drunks (the laws on public order apply to drunks too)"

    Hate to break this to you but I didn't mention drunken behavior, just "people who have been drinking", (its the smell of hops on their breath that's ripe for crackdown).

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  15. “"Freedom to choose" - between two options, neither of which is satisfactory. Not so much with the freedom is it?”

    Of course it is a choice. It is the fundamental of all choices. People have the right to choose whether or not they want to smoke, but with that choice comes consequences and one of the consequences of becoming a smoker is that it will mean they either restrict their smoking or restrict their social life. You pay your money, you take your choice. The local pub have a band on that you like? Either sit in the house with your 20 royals or go to the pub and leave the fags at home. Either way, if I am at that pub watching that band I am not having to decide whether or the stench of your smoke or the potential of contracting lung cancer is worth it or not. ‘You’ (or whoever) chose to smoke, you (not me) can choose whether it is more important than live music in your life.

    I enjoy drinking and I enjoy driving. The law says if I drink above a limit set by the Government, I cannot drive. Easy peasy. You have an early start next morning? Stick to the soft drinks or risk your licence.

    “I don't know what it was like around where you lived before the smoking ban came in butwhere I lived, more and more places were going non smoking. How about giving that idea a chance to bed in? Or you can go with the idea I outlined above and ensure that there are a mixture.”

    As I said, I live in Scotland, not exactly known for its mixture of smoking, non smoking areas had a good mixture existed then perhaps you had a point.

    “I'm guessing rather few and yet even that is illegal. On what possible grounds are the current rules banning that a sensible arangement?”

    We both see a legal loophole when we see it. That is nothing more than a battering ram to emasculate the bill. Smokers have the right to such arrangements within their own homes, but to make provision in a bill for such establishments seems really silly to me.

    As I said, I want the bill to stand as it is for a good ten years when we can fully review the position, if their is a demand for a return to smoking then I will bow to the poltical will, but strangle the bill at birth in a fit of peake I think that would be churlish.

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  16. Jimbo, falco, It is difficult to feel sorry for smokers. As J put it, they have been able to inflict their smoke on everyone else for centuries without much sign of guilt. When the smoking ban was first proposed, a lot of smokers defended the status quo saying the market is almighty. It is good to see hardliners now admitting the market didn't work. Now we find 80% in favour of the ban, it seems ridiculous to suggest there was no demand for non smoking pubs. As j stated, i never found a non smoking pub in Brighton in five years of trawling over 150 pubs. Nor did i find one in 5 years living in Lancashire. I found one pub in the West Mids in 10 years of drinking there. But it was crap and soon closed. To suggest non smokers had a choice is laughable. If falco had had his way, would we ever have had the ban and had anywhere to drink without stinking of smoke? It seems highly unlikely. Smokers are trying to claim, encouraged and funded by the tobacco firms whoose only concern is their profits, that they are somehow a victimised minority. If that was true, i would fight the ban. But smokers are not harmed by this ban, just slightly inconvenienced. Whereas everyone is harmed by cigarette smoke. Not only does science tell us the harm, 80% agree it is significantly harmful. For that reason, and that smokers are only slightly inconvenienced, the ban is fair and essential.

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  17. If the smoking ban is so popular, why shouldn't the law be relaxed? Non-smokers will not want to go into smoking bars, and as they are the majority they will be catered for, and likewise smokers can have their own bars, which non-smokers will no doubt avoid like the plague.

    We smokers feel the same way about you lot as you feel about us. We just want you to f*** off and leave us alone, and yet even with the current ban in place, the anti-smoking lobby are scheming away at the next step in clamping down. Will it be in cars? Will old films be given 18 certificates because people are smoking in them? Both of these are under discussion.

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  18. I cannot see what would be gained from relaxing the law at the moment. If there are going to be any health benefits long term, I think we should leave the ban in place for at least a decade, perhaps even twenty years. By that time we should see if any benefits have in fact came into being once we have a generation of young adults who are not smokers in public places. If no benefits are apparent, then I think the ban could be looked at again, but why stop a long term policy before the policy has been able to yield results?


    I don’t think the non-smokers what you to f*** off and leave us alone as such. I think most of us want just want you to stop polluting our air. Why is that so difficult to accept? You want the non-smokers to be the ones who have to weigh up the dangers, risks and the unpleasantness before venturing out the house, whilst the smokers carry on regardless of other people.

    Well I think that, seeing as you are the ones who took up smoking in your own free will, the onus is on you to modify your behaviour. Can you explain why it is the non-smoker who has to decide if he wishes to sit among smokers and breathe their smoke? If you cannot stand to be parted from your fags then sit in the house for all I care, but what gives you the right to impose YOUR choices on me?

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  19. I like the effects of no smoking in restaurants and shops and on transport - all of which I think was achieved without any special legislation. But in respect of pubs, it seems rather totalitarian and the civil liberty aspects of it do trouble me (I must admit I am amazed at how readily many smokers have accepted it). For any who want such a thing, why can there not be special "smoking pubs" clearly marked and advertised as such? They could be staffed by those who wished (perhaps themselves smokers) and nobody would be forced to work there, just as nobody would be forced to drink there.

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  20. “nobody would be forced to work there,”

    Hmm. Just like people are not ‘forced’ to work for the minimum wage (or less) or ‘forced’ to work for employment agencies. Hobson’s choice in many cases.

    Before the Scottish Government introduced a blanket ban, they tried to introduce a voluntary agreement in some areas of the Country. The scheme failed abysmally because few, if any publicans wished to take the plunge and potentially exclude a portion of their clientele. The ‘blanket bang’ has meant that every pub in the Country has been put on a level playing field and comply with the law.

    For most smokers, it has given them motivation to either cut or completely stop smoking.

    For me, that is the test of this legalisation. Not where it sits on the political spectrum, not whether or not it is approved by the various industry bodies etc. For me has it been effective, because the evidence suggests it has started to reduce smoking and smoking related illnesses.

    The real proof in the pudding will come in twenty years when we have a generation that have grown up without the ubiquitous cigarette in their faces 24/7.

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  21. PZT: We could wait 20 years for 'the market' to come around to non-smoking pubs. The market clearly is not catering for the 80% of people who would prefer smoke free pubs - because, before the ban, there were effectively no smoke-free pubs to go to.

    It is called the 'ninja turtle' syndrome. There is a critical mass that tips the scale one way or the other. No-one can afford to deviate from the established 'norm', everyody has to follow everyone else.

    At the moment the critical mass of drinkers (note, not the majority, just a strong willed minority) are smokers. No pub can afford to lose even a few punters, so no pub was willing to provide a smoke free environment - the non-smokers hated smoke but more of them (probably very reluctantly) were willing to put up with it than smokers were willing to put up with smoke-free pubs.

    This net result may be very small indeed and of course, as has happened in cinemas, restaurants etc, can tip the other way. The point to make here is that whichever way it tips is no less 'totalitarian' than a ban. The result whether by market or government is the same - one group is denied choice. So the market is useless in this, just as it is useless in stopping children working 16 hour days in South East Asia. We need government to protect people from the harm that cigarette smoke does.

    Your suggestion to have 'smokers pubs' sounds reasonable but while the critical mass remains in the smokers favour, it is impractical. All pubs would be under pressure to become smoking pubs.

    What about using taxation or other costs to limit the numbers - once again it won't work - the market will fall one way or the other and either all pubs in an area would be smoking or none at all. Same with 'smoking' licences, the clamour for licences would either be massive or non-existent. New Labour looked at ways of doing this and in the end they realised it just wasn't practical.

    What about 'closed smoking rooms' in pubs or filtration systems. This is also flawed because inevitably 'closed' rooms leak and the whole pub would end up filled with smoke or the cost of the filtration systems would drive small pubs out of existence. The simplest, cheapest fairest and most practical solution is a total ban - harsh as this sounds, it has been accepted by smokers because deep down they know it is unfair to expect others to harm their health for smokers pleasure.

    There are a few questions true libertarians have to ask themselves here. Smokers backed by the tobacco companies are claiming they are a victimised minority, if this were true I would be the first to oppose the ban, but this is why it is not true.

    For something to be banned we have to determine significant harm AND the support of the majority that it does cause significant harm. The smoking ban satisfies both these criteria.

    Firstly, science unequivocally recognises that cigarette smoke causes significant harm. You would have to be a denialist of creationist proportions to refuse to believe this.

    Secondly, non-smokers are not harming smokers by having a ban, in fact they are improving their health. It is a minor inconvenience for smokers, but a major health issue for non-smokers. It really is a no-brainer.

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  22. jamking99992/7/09 8:09 pm

    Falco makes a fundamental error by blaming the Labour Party for the smoking ban, at least in its current form. The Party proposed a more limited ban, with non-food pubs exempted, which I guess he might have found more acceptable. It was Parliament on a FREE VOTE that voted overwhelmingly for the comprehensive ban we now have.

    However, when the history books are written I dare say the Labour Government will be given the credit for the most important public health measure since the Clean Air Act of 1956.

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  23. jamk, good point. Also, these bans are worldwide, can hardly call texas socialist.

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  24. Trooper Thompson3/7/09 12:27 am

    Jimbo,

    "You want the non-smokers to be the ones who have to weigh up the dangers, risks and the unpleasantness before venturing out the house"

    It's this kind of over-the-top shrillness that pisses me off. And the fact that this is only the latest from the anti-smokers, as I've already mention vis à vis making 'Casablanca' and all such films a certificate 18. Talk about puritanism!

    And also, it never occurred to one of you anti-smokers to actually open a non-smoking pub, did it? That's the mentality I hate. All you'll ever do is bitch to the government to do it for you.

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  25. "It's this kind of over-the-top shrillness that pisses me off. And the fact that this is only the latest from the anti-smokers, as I've already mention vis à vis making 'Casablanca' and all such films a certificate 18. Talk about puritanism!"

    You see TT, that is the type of F**k you all attitude from smokers that really pisses me off. As far is you guys are concerned, you used to smoke in pubs without any comeback so you assume that everything was okay. The fact is, that for the non-smokers we were forced to make judgements about how your toxic waste might affect us. You were happy to sit in it, so you assume that everyone else was too. If they weren’t happy, well tough shit! They can all f**k off!

    Why? Why was it when I walked into a pub I had to decide whether or not the stench and the risks to my health were at an acceptable level? I wasn’t pouring toxic fumes into the atmosphere? So why should I have to leave a pub because you impose your smoke on me? Why is it that the innocent party has to make the choice whether or not stick it out, whilst the polluter sits with absolute impunity?

    You may not have realised it, but every day I went for a night out, I was forced to make those choices every time. Guess what? Now I can go into any pub in the Country without bothering about whether or not my lungs are being turned to charcoal. I find it liberating, I think it is as liberating a feeling that for years you smokers had knowing you had the right to smoke almost anywhere without worrying about the damage your smoke was doing.

    Do you know who now has to decide the pro and cons about a night out? Yes that’s right, the polluters. The toxic waste dumpers. The non-smokers can go into any venue in the Country without a care and the smokers are forced to adapt their behaviour because they made a choice. Good.

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  26. Just got say that I'm loving the stringent implementation of the smoking ban in Greece. Shine on you crazy half arsed bastards!

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  27. TT: It was impossible to set up a non-smoking pub - the market wouldn't let us. While the vast majority of pubs remained smoker pubs - it was impossible for one or two pubs to get started 'unilaterally' - the 'ninja turtle' syndrome took over. That small loss in revenue was enough to make sure no pub could afford to be smoke-free.

    If you accept that cigarette smoke is harmful and the vast majority accept that it is harmful, you have to accept that smokers inflicting their smoke on others is not right.

    I am completely with Jimbo on this. We non-smokers and others who wanted to avoid stinking of smoke and damaging our health were treated with utter contempt before this ban.

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  28. Trooper Thompson3/7/09 8:22 pm

    "It was impossible to set up a non-smoking pub - the market wouldn't let us."

    Utter nonsense. The market wouldn't let you? You never tried. You and your puritan pals are living proof that there was a market for non-smoking pubs, so how can you possibly assert that the market wouldn't let you?

    Jimbo,

    "You see TT, that is the type of F**k you all attitude from smokers that really pisses me off."

    What's your problem? You have your ban in place, and as you well know, smokers such as myself have co-operated with it. You make such a big play on how you were being harmed by smoke, but that could have been dealt with by modern air filters, and the refusal of the anti-smoking lobby to compromise on this issue shows that the ban was not about protecting non-smokers, but about changing behaviour by decree, and you think this is the job of the state and welcome the state using its coercive power in this way, and I don't because I believe in freedom.

    But on the who pisses off who the most question, on a personal level, I don't want to hang around people like you, with your holier-than-thou, smug attitude. So, when I'm smoking a cigarette, these days that will be in the open air, don't sit down next to me and then complain that I'm polluting 'your air', unless you want that cigarette stubbed out in your face.

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  29. ”What's your problem? You have your ban in place, and as you well know, smokers such as myself have co-operated with it.“

    That is a fair comment. Yep, the ban appears to have held. No doubt is five years time the smoking lobby will be a footnote in history. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future.

    “the refusal of the anti-smoking lobby to compromise on this issue shows that the ban was not about protecting non-smokers”

    Why do we have to compromise? We are the default position i.e. non-smoking. It is you that wishes to pollute the air not us. Why do we have to give in?

    The non-smoking part of the community has been compromising for decades. It has been us that have been forced to leave smoky atmospheres; it has been us that have to endure other people’s smoke, other people’s cancer inducing pollution if wanted a night out, we have compromised all the time. The smokers have never needed to compromise in their entire life, until now. Guess what? It turns out that whilst they lit up at every turn to the detriment of everyone else they hadn’t even noticed, or never even cared the damage or discomfort they were causing. Now the boot is on the other foot, they squeal like stuck pigs.

    “I believe in freedom.”

    Yes you believe in ‘freedom’ all right, your freedom to pollute other people’s air. What about everyone’s else’s freedom to sit and enjoy a night out with have fag coughed all over them? We will see later your attitude towards other people later.

    ”I don't want to hang around people like you, with your holier-than-thou, smug attitude.”

    I don’t have a problem with smokers; they have the right to smoke as far as I am concerned. I would not support banning smokers from using the NHS for example. I support prescriptions for people who wish to stop and I am quite happy for the NHS to pay for helplines, drugs and treatment for smoking diseases.

    “unless you want that cigarette stubbed out in your face.”

    And there is the single most illuminating statement on the subject and sums up the problem with smokers. That aggressive attitude. This was the man who complained about a ‘refusal to compromise’; the vast majority of smokers have never compromised in their life and had little intention of doing so. No point in a polite ‘do you mind, your smoke is irritating my wife’s eyes’ with your average smoker, because smokers NEVER compromise, why would they? Now they have lost the dominant position in society, they are talking about compromise? Well publicans were given the chance to compromise, but they never bothered, so the law was imposed on them.

    Sure you could try and stub your cigarette out in my face, but don’t be surprised if you end up with several broken fingers in the process.

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  30. Trooper Thompson4/7/09 2:14 am

    Jimbo,

    you contradict yourself. You first admit smokers have co-operated with the ban, and lastly accuse them of having "never compromised in their life".

    You say: "because smokers NEVER compromise"

    That would be to claim that no smoker had ever stepped outside a building, or somebody's home, or gone round a corner somewhere or taken a walk or gone anywhere away from other people for a smoke. This is clearly false.

    "Well publicans were given the chance to compromise, but they never bothered, so the law was imposed on them"

    Authoritarian crap. You can't answer the question of why, if it was so very bloody important to that vast, sensible majority, of which you are one, it never occurred to any one of you to open a non-smoking bar? The truth is, some such bars, restaurants etc did indeed exist, and there is no reason their number wouldn't have grown without your cromwellian law.

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  31. Oh, they ‘compromise’ now that the law imposes that ‘compromise’ onto them. The vast majority never compromised before the blanket ban was introduced.

    All I can say is, if the ban improves the general health of the Nation, all this talk about ‘smoking/non smoking segregation’ will prove academic.

    I will be honest with you, the State of Scotland’s health is pretty disgusting. We have the worst health records in Europe. If a smoking ban forces or coerces people to change their smoking habits then that is fine. I am well aware of the implications of that, I am well aware of the accusations that will come my way, but the bottom line is will this improve our society by any reasonable criteria? If in say ten years the answer is yes, then on this occasion, the end justifies the means.

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  32. Trooper Thompson4/7/09 1:56 pm

    "The vast majority never compromised before the blanket ban was introduced"

    This is so untrue, it's laughable.

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  33. "The vast majority never compromised before the blanket ban was introduced"

    This is so untrue, it's laughable.

    Says the man you threatens to stub out a fag in someone's face!

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  34. Trooper Thompson4/7/09 4:17 pm

    Jimbo,

    seeing as my comment "unless you want that cigarette stubbed out in your face" inspires you so much, I'll respond.

    You say this is "the single most illuminating statement on the subject and sums up the problem with smokers. That aggressive attitude."

    This isn't an aggressive attitude, so much as a defensive over-reaction. The scenario, you will recall, involved me minding my own business in an open space, and you seeking me out to abuse; (I said "don't sit down next to me and then complain that I'm polluting 'your air'" - notice the timing; "and then".)

    Anyway, you can go away saying what you like. Statements such as "Now the boot is on the other foot, they squeal like stuck pigs." illustrate better than any words from me the underlying fundamentalist mentality of do-gooders like you.

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  35. TT: I never really understood why 'do gooder' was an insult. If you mean a leftie, I doubt Jimbo is that either. This issue cuts across left and right and neither is it a libertarian/ authoritarian issue either, unless you think it authoritarian that we stopped allowing kids to be sent up chimneys.

    I would go further than the ban - I think for instance, you shouldn't be allowed to smoke infront of children in an enclosed space - it is child abuse as far as I can see and smokers should be sent to jail or have their children taken away if they refuse to let their children breathe clean air in the home.

    That is my opinion. Just because smokers are hooked on a drug is no excuse, we wouldn't excuse a junkie if they neglected or harmed their children, so why are smokers so special?

    On the point about setting up non-smoking pubs - as Jimbo pointed out with the voluntary trial in Scotland, the market won't let it happen. Before the ban, smokers didn't set up smoking cinemas or smoking restaurants. I am sure there was demand from smokers, but the economics of it had tilted in the non-smokers direction and every business had to follow suit if it wanted to stay in business. It is the 'ninja turtle' thing - once a critical mass is reached, margins are so small, no-one can afford to lose even the smallest amount of business.

    So the markets are useless on this. Whether it is government or markets that impose a decision, it is still unfair to one group. But if we weigh it up, what is worse, a slight incovenience to smokers who now have to pop outside for 5 minutes to smoke, or a massive inconvenience to everyone else who has to go home stinking of smoke, has to put all their clothes in the wash, immediately wash their hair and know they are one step closer to developing lung cancer all because of someone else's actions?

    Going for a night out, you have restrictions on how far you can travel, what type of pub you like, the music etc etc, and a million other things. To find one that is what you want AND caters for your smoking preference was just too much to decide. Then you've got pressure from your peers, it only needs one person in the group to smoke to demand they go to a smoking pub. For the smoker, smoking will always be their number one priority and non-smokers mostly tolerate this although reluctantly. This is why we never got non-smoking pubs before the ban - though a minority, there was just enough smokers to make it impossible for pubs to survive without them.

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  36. So Neil and Jimbo, you are quite gleeful that your gang got in to power and imposed its will on a large section of the population who weren't committing any crime. This you think is only fair.

    Yet the thought of another gang getting in to power and imposing its will on a large section of the population pisses you off. Hypocrites.

    And by the way, you have no right to go in to a pub or cafe or other business. The owner is quite at liberty to refuse to serve you for whatever reason they choose (save for the equality laws). They could, for example, refuse to serve you for being illiberal as he thinks that may against the good order of his premises.

    A pub, btw, is not a public place. It is a place that is licened to sell alcohol to the public for consumtion on the premises.

    It was never compulsory that pubs had to allow smoking, they did because they knew that was what their customers wanted, so as a business thats they did, catered for their customers. Non smoking pubs have been tried for years, I remember one starting in the 60's in Huddersfield where my father was a landlord, it very quickly failed and allowed smoking. They fail every time because there is no market for non smoking pubs. Thats why 90% of those who claimed they would go out more if there was a smoking ban were and are liars. Revealed preference tells us so.

    FWIW my* solution would be to auction a enough licences in a local so that, say, 30% of the pubs could allow smoking. The raised money could go in to local coffers. Then we would see how much people valued being able to have a smoke with their pint.

    * I don't know whether it was me or Mark Wadsworth that came up with the idea in a blog discussion last year. It may have come from somewhare else.

    PS I don't smoke and haven't for 25 years.

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  37. "It was never compulsory that pubs had to allow smoking, they did because they knew that was what their customers wanted, so as a business thats they did, catered for their customers. Non smoking pubs have been tried for years, I remember one starting in the 60's in Huddersfield where my father was a landlord, it very quickly failed and allowed smoking. They fail every time because there is no market for non smoking pubs. "

    I am pretty sure that Neil has made that point pretty much in every post he has made. What we needed was a blanket ban. Now there are thousands of non smoking pubs. Sure some pubs went to the wall, so what? Thousands of businesses go to the wall every year. We have lost two pubs in the village in which I grew up but they were going downhill long before the smoking ban was introduced, the other pubs survive and people nip out for ten minutes for a quick fag. That village is well catered for drinks wise, the regulars from the defunct pubs have been absorbed into the rest without too much bother. Whenever I visit my mum, I nip in and the local pub looks good. A bit dear, but nice enough.The next big Town along has kept all of its pubs, none have shut down, those pubs has have to revamp themselves. All new decor and plush surroundings. Again the smokers nip out to the street for a quick fag when the need arises. Every pub, with the one execption where I now live has been improved no end.

    So, no I am sorry guys, I don't think the smoking ban was setting a new level of evil, there aren't going to be labour camps or pogroms or anything like that. Smokers are not nailed to crosses or anything, all that happens is the air in the pub is not 50% tobacco smoke and before it used to be me that was forced to nip out of the pub for fresh air and now it is those that want to pollute the air that huddle outside, while the rest of us enjoy our pint/meal/football match whatever.

    This is what is wrong with the 'libertarian' side of the argument. You people to continue forcing others out of the pub for fresh air, you have been imposing your smoke on us for years. Now it is stopped, so what exactly is the problem?

    I would not support banning tobacco products. I do not want to stop people from smoking, I just no not want to suffer their smoke when I use (by any REASONABLE defination*)a public bar/club.

    *A place open to the public

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  38. We didn't impose smoke on you and as a Libertarian I wouldn't; nobody forced you into a pub.

    The bans on public transport, hospitals etc are perfectly acceptable, indeed it conforms with my view of libertarianism, but pubs are private places where there is choice about whther or not you enter.

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  39. We didn't impose smoke on you and as a Libertarian I wouldn't; nobody forced you into a pub

    By the same token, the smoking ban hasn't imposed non-smoking on you. You chose to go into a pub, knowing full well that it was not permitted to smoke there. You can stay outside if you want to smoke.

    The bans on public transport, hospitals etc are perfectly acceptable, indeed it conforms with my view of libertarianism, but pubs are private places where there is choice about whther or not you enter

    You are confusing being privately owned with being private places. Pubs, bars, restaurants are all public places, as much as privately owned public transport is also a public space.

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  40. "We didn't impose smoke on you and as a Libertarian I wouldn't; nobody forced you into a pub."

    What kind of argument is that? You could use the same ‘logic’ for the guy that gets a glass rammed in his face! I decide to go to a pub/club based on my own choice, but part of that consideration is the potential health problems as well as general unpleasantness. In the past I was forced to weigh up the consequences between a night being ruined and a good night out/pleasant meal/whatever. Now the boot is on the other foot, but we are not suggesting they sit in the house; we are merely asking them to go outside and smoke.

    I am not sure you are strictly correct regarding the private status of pub/clubs. I agree that they are privately owned, but those pubs are open to the general public (subject to the licensing laws) anyone can enter a pub. You are correct that the barman can refuse entry to people, but in principle, they are used by the general public.

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  41. I am not sure you are strictly correct regarding the private status of pub/clubs

    He is wrong. Any premises to which the public are generally allowed access is counted as a public place. This would include shops, restaurants, bowling alleys, clubs and pubs. The private ownership of such places is not relevant for the purposes of designating them public places. There is a huge amount of statute and case law on this subject. For example: your back garden is not a public place. But if you open it to the general public as say a tea shop then it becomes a public place. Or a supermarket car park, though privately owned is subject to the provisions of the RTA. Or the case of the man who was successfully prosecuted for drink driving when found over the limit in control of a vehicle in a field that had been opened up as a boot fair. Opening it as a boot fair had temporarily made the field a public place and subject to the provisions of the RTA. Restrictions on smoking in enclosed public places are no different in principle to other statutory controls on what may be done in a public place.

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  42. A pub, btw, is not a public place. It is a place that is licened to sell alcohol to the public for consumtion on the premises.

    Yes, I hear this view with tedious regularity. I am afraid it does not get any less untrue through multiple repetitions. The general rule of thumb is that private premises which are open to the public by way of business or access are usually considered public places.

    http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/public-place/

    Although this link points to a US web site, it is a pretty good summary of the UK situation. Ultimately it is for a court to decide what constitutes a public place but what case law I have seen shows that British courts take a similar line to that set out in the US web site.

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  43. Trooper Thompson6/7/09 8:54 pm

    Jimbo,

    "What kind of argument is that? You could use the same ‘logic’ for the guy that gets a glass rammed in his face!"

    More ludicrous hyperbole.

    "In the past I was forced to weigh up the consequences between a night being ruined"

    What a drama queen!

    "Now the boot is on the other foot..."

    Again with the boots.

    Stephen,

    "The private ownership of such places is not relevant for the purposes of designating them public places."

    You are wrong to say it is "untrue" that a pub is not a public place. The state increasingly violates the principles of private property. Just because the courts enforce it, doesn't make it right.

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  44. You are wrong to say it is "untrue" that a pub is not a public place. The state increasingly violates the principles of private property. Just because the courts enforce it, doesn't make it right

    The concept of a public place and what may or may not be permissible in such a place is wholly a legal concept. If the law states that a pub is a public space, which it does, and the courts uphold it, then it a public space. And no amount of libertarian hand-wringing changes it. Do you consider other business regulation to be a violation of the 'principles of private property'? How about ordinances on safe handling of food in restaurant and pub kitchens? Or do you think we should simply leave it up to the market to close down the restaurants that poison their customers?

    Smoking is generally acknowledged to be a health hazard, not only to those who smoke, but also to those in the vicinity of the smoker. It is entirely right to limit its use in public places to open areas where the smoke can dissipate easily.

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  45. Trooper Thompson7/7/09 8:36 pm

    "If the law states that a pub is a public space, which it does, and the courts uphold it, then it a public space. And no amount of libertarian hand-wringing changes it."

    I know what the laws says, I just don't agree with it, and to reiterate; "Just because the courts enforce it, doesn't make it right."

    "Do you consider other business regulation to be a violation of the 'principles of private property'?"

    Many of them, certainly.

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  46. And my response to you is that just because a court enforces it, doesn't make it wrong. It is entirely proper that business premises to which customers are admitted are counted public spaces. A public space is one in which we have shared duties to one another so that public order may be maintained. A business which seeks to profit by serving the public has both an interest and duty in preserving that public order.

    Many of them, certainly

    So you think we should leave it up to the market to close down restaurants that poison their customers? And you wonder why the Libertarian Party has less chance of winning a parish council seat than the Monster Raving Looney Party? Extreme libertarianism is always going to be a tiny dogmatic sect. It makes the SWP seem positively inclusive by comparison. It will never have any traction with the general public, as is marked by its obsession with controls on smoking. The reason why the ban has been obeyed is because most people, even smokers, can acknowledge the point of it; and even those who disagree do not disagree so strongly that they wish to flout the law.

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  47. Trooper Thompson8/7/09 8:25 pm

    "So you think we should leave it up to the market to close down restaurants that poison their customers?"

    I didn't actually say that, as you well know, but a moment ago you said: "A business which seeks to profit by serving the public has both an interest and duty in preserving that public order." So, you do understand that a restaurant has an interest in not poisoning its customers?

    "And you wonder why the Libertarian Party has less chance of winning a parish council seat than the Monster Raving Looney Party?"

    I don't wonder why. In any case I'm not a member of the Libertarian Party, although I would vote for them in preference to any other party. The Libertarian Party has been in existence less than two years (I believe), so its not surprising they have not yet seized the reigns of power, and indeed freedom isn't universally popular, as you yourself exemplify.

    "Extreme libertarianism... is marked by its obsession with controls on smoking."

    I think it's the control-freaks who have the obsession.

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  48. I didn't actually say that, as you well know, but a moment ago you said: "A business which seeks to profit by serving the public has both an interest and duty in preserving that public order." So, you do understand that a restaurant has an interest in not poisoning its customers?

    The point I was making that private property has always been regulated and that restrictions on smoking are not in principle any different from other regulations that have been applied to businesses. It was not in the interests of the banking sector to bring down the UK economy but thanks to New Labour's regulation free zone in the City that's what happened. It is not sufficient to rely solely on businesses or individuals acting in their own interests.

    freedom isn't universally popular, as you yourself exemplify

    Like one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, one man's freedom is another man's restriction. As someone who suffers from from a respiratory complaint, the law on smoking has increased my freedom. Before the change in the law I was restricted to the very small number of restaurants that were smoke free. I guess you don't give a damn about that so excuse me if I take your remarks about 'freedom' with the respect they deserve: none.

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  49. Trooper Thompson8/7/09 11:58 pm

    "The point I was making that private property has always been regulated and that restrictions on smoking are not in principle any different from other regulations"

    Oh, silly me. I thought you were deliberately distorting what I said, so you could make some fatuous remarks about libertarians.

    You may be right that it is not in principle different from other regulations, but what does that prove? Regulation of businesses has been growing exponentially for years - even this government tacitly admitted this when they set up a taskforce to deal with red tape. Notice, I haven't said all regulation is bad, but I will say the less, the better. Regulation falls hardest on the small companies, with the big corporations, who are often sitting round the table when the regulations get set, get let off easy.

    "one man's freedom is another man's restriction"

    That's your view, which I oppose, as it implies that the only way you can be free is to take other people's freedom away, but one individual's freedom does not necessarily impinge on anyone else's.

    "I guess you don't give a damn about that"

    Why the hissy fit? If you want to disrespect my opinions, you can do so without first presuming that I don't 'give a damn' about a medical condition of which I have no prior knowledge.

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  50. "That's your view, which I oppose, as it implies that the only way you can be free is to take other people's freedom away, but one individual's freedom does not necessarily impinge on anyone else's."

    Well when it comes to smoking you bet it does. Allowing others to smoke impinges on everyone else's right to enjoy a night out or indeed to work in a smoke free environment.

    "medical condition of which I have no prior knowledge."

    Ok, now you have the knowledge, what do you say to Stephen and thousands like him who were denied freedom from people smoke? What about the number of time they has a night ruined because a group of four folk in a pub lit up a fag each? What about the times they were forced to turn down a night at a leaving do, nieces wedding or a hot date just because they could not risk a coughing fit that to a medical condition?

    In fact leave the medical reasons aside, why should your right to smoke overule my freedom to enjoy a night out? Given that you have made the active chioce and I have merely took the default, i.e. not smoke?

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  51. Whether smoking was permitted in a private premises was always a matter for the proprietor. You or I never had a right to enter such premises, it was for the owner to decide.

    Anyway, I can't believe my smoking is as obnoxious as your pious zealotry. Seeing as you find smoking so appalling, what's wrong with smokers, rather than standing around outside the pub you frequent, can't go to their own pub away from you? It could even have air filters, making the air cleaner than that in any other pub. It could have big signs, warning you to enter at your own risk. If this was allowed, you'd never be bothered by another smoker, and they could smoke without the fear of offending the non-smokers. These measures would remove all your complaints, but you wouldn't go for it, would you? Because you take pleasure in having your will imposed on other people, which is why you say things like: "Now the boot is on the other foot...". Very revealing of your mentality.

    As you know, the majority of smokers have always obeyed 'no smoking' signs. If a smoker lights up on a plane these days, it's front page news! So, now you have your blanket ban everywhere, and smokers have co-operated, all you can do is winge about the past, having nothing to complain about in the present. Anyway, I'll leave you to polish those boots of yours (suits you!).

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  52. “Whether smoking was permitted in a private premises was always a matter for the proprietor. You or I never had a right to enter such premises, it was for the owner to decide.”

    Let us abandon this canard for a second. Pubs may be privately owned, but they are places that are open to the public and exist only because they are used by normal members of the public. A business model where there general public are excluded would never get off the ground. By any reasonable definition, these are public places.

    ”Anyway, I can't believe my smoking is as obnoxious as your pious zealotry.”

    You consider not wanting my lungs damaged by other people’s smoke as pious zealortry? I object to people peeing in my garden, does that make me a pious Zealot too? No, it just means that I do not think that pollution is a good thing.

    “Seeing as you find smoking so appalling”

    I have no objection to people smoking in principle, my partner smokes! She never smokes in the house when I am there (her choice) or when the grandkids are staying either. My only objection to smoking is when it impinges on other people’s rights.


    ”These measures would remove all your complaints, but you wouldn't go for it, would you?”

    Had the voluntary scheme had the desired effect, then the blanket ban would never had been necessary, but no-one observed a voluntary ban for reason outlined.

    “Because you take pleasure in having your will imposed on other people,”

    I get pleasure from being able to walk into any pub in the Country without having my lungs assailed by other people’s pollution. I have no objection people smoking. I would not support a ban on tobacco products for example. People are perfectly entitled to smoke, but they are not entitled to impose that smoke on anyone else.

    all you can do is winge about the past, having nothing to complain about in the present.

    All I have written about is my support on the smoking ban. I have then outlined why I support the ban. I do not ‘whinge’ about the past, because the status quo was in place and you cannot blame people who held the whip hand from exercising it.

    The real proof of this debate will be in twenty years time. If there is still a desire for smoking in pubs, perhaps there will be an amendment to the bill.

    Believe me, there are plenty of things to complain about.

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  53. Trooper Thompson11/7/09 2:58 pm

    "Let us abandon this canard for a second. "

    It's no canard. It is a fact. Pubs were never under any obligation to admit particular members of the public.

    "I object to people peeing in my garden, does that make me a pious Zealot too?"

    Seeing as you are happy to abandon the idea of private property where drinking establishments are concerned, then who's to say it is your garden? If the public can enter it, it must be a public space, which you are obliged to maintain for the benefit of those caught short.

    "I get pleasure from being able to walk into any pub in the Country without having my lungs assailed"

    This same pleasure of yours could have been achieved by mandating air filters. This was not allowed because of the pious zealotry of the anti-smokers, because, although it would have had the same effect with regard to protecting non-smokers, it would not have had the other effect which was sought - that of stigmatising smokers. You may believe that the latter is a good thing, and it certainly is your right to shout about how bad smoking is, but increasing the coercive power of the state is a bad idea, and even if you are happy with the current state of play, you know it will not end here. Indeed, Neil has called for smokers to have their children taken away! Will you be so happy when your grandchildren are banned from coming to your home because your partner is a known-smoker? Perhaps not.

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  54. TT. It is incredibly selfish to force children to breathe smoke. Imagine classrooms full of smoke, there would be outrage. It is abuse. Also no pub in brighton has closed because of the ban. The one or two pubs that have closed, have closed because they were shit.

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  55. ”Seeing as you are happy to abandon the idea of private property where drinking establishments are concerned, then who's to say it is your garden? If the public can enter it, it must be a public space, which you are obliged to maintain for the benefit of those caught short.”

    Pubs are open to the general public (despite what you might think) they exist to serve the public. No pub could exist without members of the public entering them. My garden is not open to the general public. I do not make money from my garden and people have the right to walk up the path if they want to knock on my door they do not have the right to picnic on my lawn. Hardly the same thing? Is it?

    ”This same pleasure of yours could have been achieved by mandating air filters.”

    Why should I pay to have expensive equipment installed in a pub, even though I am not contributing to the problem that it is supposed to be counteracting? How do you know that such equipment would have the desired effect anyway? Who would have the job of measuring the amount of smoke in the pub and at what cost? Again, why will I have to pay for something that I am not causing? I am not polluting the atmosphere, so why should I pay to have the atmosphere cleaned? I have no objection to contributing to the NHS for smokers who fall ill, nor do I object to contributing to campaigns to help people stop smoking, but asking me to pay to clean the air of other people’s smoke is a bit much, I think.

    “Will you be so happy when your grandchildren are banned from coming to your home because your partner is a known-smoker?”

    My partner would stop smoking, long before such legislation came into force. She would never smoke in front of her grandchildren anyway.

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  56. Trooper Thompson12/7/09 9:26 pm

    "Why should I pay to have expensive equipment installed in a pub..?"

    How on earth would you be paying? Have the pubs been nationalised in Scotland?

    "How do you know that such equipment would have the desired effect anyway?"

    Err, you could test it.

    "Who would have the job of measuring the amount of smoke in the pub and at what cost?"

    Get some of those health 'n' safety clipboard jockeys to take time off from cutting down conker trees.

    "My partner would stop smoking, long before such legislation came into force."

    She better do it now, because Neil's probably already noted down your particulars to pass on to the relevant authorities.

    "She would never smoke in front of her grandchildren anyway."

    Doesn't make any difference. Smokers never compromise, as you've said above, therefore she can't be trusted, but perhaps if she provides specimens for 6 months or so, and she's clean, maybe you can see your grandkids again.

    That's the world people like you are creating.

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  57. ”How on earth would you be paying? Have the pubs been nationalised in Scotland?”

    These filters wouldn’t be fitted ‘free’ of charge, would they? They would have to paid for and the only way they could be paid for would be to add the cost onto the price of a pint or a half. That means that every non-smoker would be subsidising the cost of cleaning every non-smoker’s mess. Yet, I will not have caused that pollution.

    ”Get some of those health 'n' safety clipboard jockeys to take time off from cutting down conker trees.”

    Yes, the Health and Safety Executive/and or the environmental health would require extra funding to examine every pub in the Country. Again that comes out of my pocket, why exactly? We know the people who are causing the pollution. The principle of the polluter pays, should come into play on this occasion, but we both know that is not reasonably practical and the money will come from the Council tax payer.

    ”Smokers never compromise, as you've said above”

    Grandmothers, do though. Grandchildren are far higher up my partner’s league table than smoking ever will be. My Partner has never complained but about restrictions on her smoking in public places, she smoked private (three months non smoking and counting).

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  58. Trooper Thompson12/7/09 11:46 pm

    They could fund it out of all the money they take off smokers. Anyway, none of this answers my earlier question as to why us smokers, who also pay taxes (more than you) and are also members of the public, can't have our own bars with filters and, based on your one-dimensional economics, more expensive pints, where you don't have to go and we can enjoy ourselves away from you and your puritanical ilk.

    Does it bother you that cigar shops are still allowed to permit smoking? Does it tear you up that your sacrosanct right to enter a cigar shop without your lungs being violated? Perhaps not, as you have no reason to enter a cigar shop. The same would apply to a bar that permitted smoking.

    Or maybe you think that, without the smokers hanging around outside, your favourite pub may not be profitable? In other words, you want us smokers to subsidise your drinking.

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  59. cigar shops are there purely for cigar smokers. I cannot think of a single reason why I would want to go into a cigar shop. If I had a reason, then I would have to accept the risks, because these places are for smoking, so I would be entering the smokers domain.

    Pubs are social places, places were people go and meet and drink and eat etc. The informal scheme that was introduced failed because people were reluctant to swap their pub to non smoking. The reasons have been published about half a dozen times by various contributions on this board, why you are unable to read them is beyond me.

    If smokers are that bothered and wish to stop drinking in my local, then they are quite entitled to do as far as I am concerned.

    Who gave you the inside knowledge how much tax I pay?

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