Smoking ban my arse!

What the heck is going on with our Government and this smoking ban stuff ? It’s just a complete mess and they’ve come out with a bill which is pretty much exactly the same as what’s currently happening in England anyway. Our Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, said that she is “proud” to announce this bill and that..

“This legislation is a huge step forward for public health and will help reduce deaths from cancer, heart disease and other smoking-related diseases.”

No, no it’s flippin’ not. Not at all.. Let’s have a look at what it now covers…

“All workplaces, including restaurants and cafes, will now be covered by the ban, but non-food pubs and private members clubs will be exempt.”

Right.. so .. Hmm.. No change at all then. Let’s take them one at a time. Firstly, a ban at work. Personally I don’t know of any workplaces that allow people to smoke. Sure, there may be smoking “rooms” and I’m guessing that these will have to be removed and repainted / scrubbed down / perfumed / demolished now, but I don’t recall seeing anyone walking through any office recently with a fag in their mouth (I’m not going to do any gay jokes either!)

Secondly, smoking in restaurants and cafes. Again, although there’s probably the odd restaurant with a smoking section, many have changed to a total “no smoking” policy. This idea as a whole is crazy to begin with anyway, as there tends to be a distinct “Don’t smoke around me when I’m eating” tendancy – even amongst smokers. Why this is I’ll never know. If smokers don’t like other smokers smoking around them while they’re eating, why can’t they understand that non-smokers don’t really want to be around them… at all? Either way, this kind of “no smoking in restaurants” is already standard policy.

Thirdly, non-food pubs / private members clubs are exempt. Errrmm.. yeah. We know. That already happens too. Most pubs allow you to smoke in a large portion of the pub (apart from the bar area).. so… no change there either.

Am I the only one who thinks that this new “bill” isn’t worth the paper it’s written on ?

Just look at the map above right. Smoking in public places is already banned in the Republic of Ireland and many other parts of the UK have already set a date to ban smoking in a public place. England however still can’t decide, so we argue about it in the House of Commons and then make a big fuss about a “new health bill” which does absolutely flip all to change anything.

There. I’ve got that off my chest! :)

Link – Why UK differs on smoke ban policy (BBC)

Smoking ban details released (BBC)