Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hamish Champ: Smoking ban anniversaries will go on. And on. And on.

Poetry Hamish. Well done.

Last night in Portobello Gold, at the opening of Mike Bell's excellent photographic show of photos from his teenage years in the 'States, I got a drilling in my ear from someone who knows nothing about pubs, other than he drinks in them, making him an expert along the lines of: 'the smoking ban's killed everything good in Britain, it's made everyone depressed and the recession worse than it would have been, I'm off to Thailand to get away from the political mess of this country.' Drone drone drone.

I AM a smoker and in favour of the smoking ban and, having worked front of house and seen the effects of smoke on interiors for the best part of thirty years, always have been pro a ban. Smoke filled interiors are disgusting. If I could have afforded the risk of making 'my' pub (it belongs to RBS) non smoking unilaterally ten years ago I would have done.

Smoky bars are repellent to most people who are non smokers and many who ARE smokers. The interior decor stinks and is inclined to have all surfaces coated and tainted by sticky amber yellow tar. Gross!

Smokers are addicted to smoking, presumably this is some are so outraged about the loss of personal freedom and spitefully vociferous in their protesting the ban. Anything to help addicts reduce cut down smoking is useful because hard core smokers are never going to reduce it themselves without proscription.

The smoking ban is just part of society maturing, some people behave as if it's the beginning of the end of the world. They ought to get more important priorities in their lives and focus on such things as ending racism and intolerance or looking at ways to stabilise climate change or to reduce international and even local poverty.

Fire away irritated smokers.

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