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Monday 26 July 2004

The Big Smoke, Or Not! [spiro]

It was bound to happen. First New York, then Dublin and soon it could be London as well. Both Ken Livingstone and Steve Norris are supporting it. The ban on smoking in public places isn't that far away.
I quit smoking over 2 years ago now, during this time I've noticed that I'm increasingly becoming more and more annoyed by people smoking near me. Its not that I'm going to say anything, but I have found myself gagging, and on occasion having to leave the bar for a breath of fresh air.
It makes me think back to when I used to smoke and all those people who had to put up with my filthy habit. I feel like a complete arse for inflicting something so nasty on people with out even giving a monkey’s for their feelings. It’s true what they say, the worst non-smokers are ex-smokers, I've polluted my lungs for years and now I've finally given it up I want my clean air. Maybe only for my now new found selfish reasons and possibly due to some in built feelings that I should help others to quit I can't wait for this ban.
Don't stop at London; let’s make it a nationwide ban, all public places.


  1. You will find the state of california did it before new york. No one has a problem with it in dublin, and people are living with it - it did not cause society to break down as people suggested, DO IT :)

  2. I used to be entirely in favour of a blanket ban on smoking in public. Then a couple of weeks ago we went in a completely no-smoking pub in the City. The first thing I noticed when I went in there was the lack of cigarette smell. The second thing I noticed was that it had been replaced by a hideous combination of stale beer and sweat.
    After one drink we decided to go to a proper smokey pub.

  3. As someone who spends so much time in the pub, I bet it gets you Spiro - it pisses me off no end. It actually stops me from going to the pub because my lungs are pretty delicate with asthma as it is. I've been for public smoking bans forever. We have all sorts of nanny laws stopping you from killing yourself or doing anything particularly dangerous but we leave smoking alone. We have to pay to treat the diseases these people give themselves too.
    Ultimately, though, the most powerful argument of all is that not only are you bastards giving yourself cancer but you're trying to give it to me as well. Smokers claim it's about personal choice. They don't seem to mind robbing me of the choice to not smoke by puffing out clouds of noxious fumes in public places. Ban it, ban it now.

  4. My missus won't go in pubs full stop now. She's an ex smoker, and seems to suffer more than me when there's a lot of smoke around. Some pubs here tried going no smoke, but then of course they dropped in trade. You need to do it in all pubs at once.

  5. Why stop at a public ban? We should treat nicotine like all narcotics, and tar like all hazardous substances, and start restrictions on their sale. Smokers are addicts, just like any other. I had a startling demonstration of this over the holiday. One of my mates, who normally smokes 20+ a day, was unable to smoke for ten hours, during which he became irritable, aggressive, and suffered from involuntary muscle spasms in his hands. Can anyone say 'withdrawal'?

  6. Actually it's not just pub's it'd make a big difference to. I'm also anex-smoker (gave up some five years ago) and the thing that really killsmy lungs is if I've been to a gig at say the Brixton Academy. I feelreally crap the next day, coughing and spluttering all over the shop.It's seriously made me reconsider going to these gigs where the whole ofthe air is just hanging with cigarette smoke.
    I'm not, by nature, a very preachy sort of bloke about people'spersonal habit - how could I be! But if this ban comes in then I forone will welcome it a lot.

  7. well, since i dont smoke anymore i must say that it fucking sucks going out to pubs. but, if i open a pub, why shouldnt i be allowed to let people smoke in there? sure, its a public space. and yes, non smokers are annoyed and could be put in a not so very healthy situation. but if im THAT annoyed with it i could open a non smoking pub couldnt i? its way too much big brother over such a law. and laws like these are coming from everywhere. next year you wont be able to smoke in pubs here 8unless they got rooms for it) and 15yo and younger have to wear a helmet when they ride a bike. but i say lets not stop there, national economics are at stake here, just imagine how many people hurt themselfs falling in the bathroom (its a fucking lot). i say helmets everywhere and fat food should be banned from the stores. of course, all sports should be banned too since the costs for heartattacks from athletes over 40 is huge.
    i would like to see some numbers on just how expensive a smoker is in healthcare compared to the tax from the cigarettes though.

  8. I saw a feature on BBC recently that said that the health service cost of heart disease as a result of obesity, is far far higher than smoking. This is all under active consideration in the UK now, it's a hot topic.
    They're talking about taxes on sugers and fats, forcing shops to label food and stuff like that. Be interesting to see how it pans out. But yeah, heart disease is the big one here.
    The thing is, you die of heart disease, it's generally your fault. Getting lung cancer because of the wankers in your local pub - that's not cool.

  9. alfa, it's a public place but people also work there. Shouldn't they have the same rights to work in a safe environment? Why don't people smoke in offices, but smoke in pubs? The reason trotted out is that smoking and drinking are inexorably linked, so having smoking rooms in pubs or voluntarily non-smoking pubs are not going to break the link. It's got to be banned, if they can do it in Ireland where everyone, imho, in a pub used to smoke BY LAW, then we could.

  10. ah, homer, that one is quite frankly rediculous. when you take job in a pub, do you or do you not know that people are smoking in there? and what about all other jobs where you can get killed?
    and getting lung cancer from people in the pub is a risk, but it is a very small one if you dont hang there a fucking lot. and yet again if i were that annoyed i would sort an alternative.
    what gets me with the laws aint that im for smoking in pubs (there really should be alternatives). but that there is yet another restriction of my freedom. and im quite scared of the direction we are heading.

  11. The restriction of freedom thing is a biggy, I see where you're coming from. In the UK, we have a seriously Nanny government. The argument is ultimately that if you do things to harm you, it's the regular taxpayer which has to pay to fix you up and that's not fair. You're stupid, why should we pay?
    When it comes to smoking... the reaosn I want the ban is because we've got a pub smoking culture. There isn't anywhere for me to drink other than the pub. No one drinks at their houses like elsewhere in the world. So if you don't want to inhale cigarette smoke - you're something of a social outcast.
    I think that's fucked. I want to reclaim the pubs and yes, fuck it, infringe smokers rights. It's selfish but hey - we're a democrasy and I reckon it's about time the non-smokers stood up and made themselves counted. No, we don't want to fucking smoke your cigarette smoke. The pubs are too gutless to ban or provide alternatives so let's do it via our democratic mechanisms of government instead.

  12. until some people are annoyed with something you like and manages to put a law against it. its a fucked situation. its not about smokers rights. its about all our rights. and it is not about gutless pubowners. its about people that are too lazy to fix an alternative when they are pissed about something, so they make a law that forces everyone to adapt to their ideas. if it wasnt so serious it would be quite laughable. i mean if i want to open a place called 'the smokepit' where people who like cigarettes and beer could hang out i could get arrested. why? because a nonsmoker could enter and get annoyed with smoke, clearly intervening with his liverdestruction (which, i may add is kinda expensive for the society as well)...

  13. Nah I'm pretty sure that declared smoking clubs are still legal. So you want to set up your gas 'n' gin club, you can. And everyone can come down and do the CO-boogie.

  14. As of last night Norway has joined in by banning smoking. Apparently as you enter Oslo airport they have a big poster up with two fishermen holding a fish captioned 'The only thing we smoke is salmon'. They bought the law in to protect staff in bars and restaurants

  15. other way around. we get it next year. the staff issue is a way to get rid of smoking, not the other way. it came in very late in the debate.

  16. I read this morning that the Greene King chain of pubs are about to ban smoking in half of its 550 pubs. Mainly they're banning it in pubs that concentrate on serving food. likely to be affected are the Hungry Horse and Old English Inns.
    The company are taking action as a complete ban on smoking in public places is 'almost inevitable'
    I wonder how many chains are going to follow suit in the next few months.