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Blog Imagination No Longer Required 10/Nov/2004

Today was surely the finest hour of our fledgling Scottish Executive. By the Spring of 2006, there will be a complete ban on smoking in public places in Scotland. The ability to go out and come home smelling of the drinks that I have drunk, rather than somebody else's foul smoke, is one that I wholeheartedly relish.

In seriousness, the benefits to the nation's health — 13,000 people die every year in Scotland, due to smoking-related illness — make this decision vital. If the pub trade loses customers who choose to stay at home and smoke, it will only gain customers who choose to spend time in a clean environment. If tax revenue is lost because of dwindling cigarette sales, it will be offset by the reduced healthcare costs, and because non-smokers will live longer and continue to pay taxes. And, even if taxes were to rise, I would be happy to pay for the increase in my quality of life that is going to result.

At least, it would result, for who knows if I will still be in Scotland in the Spring of 2006? I only hope that the rest of the civilised world follows the example set by our small, proud country today.

I think we can expect to see this story fly round the Scottish blogosphere in the next few days. Donna reacted happily earlier today. Some weeks ago, Colleen called for the ban, so perhaps we have her to thank for the progressive attitudes at Holyrood :-). I don't imagine Mr. Miller will be quite so happy....

Cheers,

Derek.

PS. A commentator from pro-smoking lobby group, Forest, condemned proponents of the ban as being a "vocal minority". Further confirmation that that soundbite is the last resort of the desperate.

 
CommentsComments 

BILL said:
SMART THINKING
IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT RESTAURANTS DO NOT LOSE ANY REVENUE WHEN NON SMOKING BANS AR EPUT INTO PLACE
TIME FOR THE WORLD TO WAKE UP SMOKING NOT ONLY STINKS IT IS A THING OF THE FOSSILS

C said:
Really couldn't have put it better myself D. Finally i'll be able to sit in a pub during the day! xx

Chris Miller said:
Mr Miller is not happy, not for my own sake (I usually end up smoking whilst at the pub, mainly through seeing other people smoking and thinking: "Hhhmm, a cigarette? This is probably a good thing in my respect) but for that of my parents who own a pub.

The pub which they own is a, shall we say "local pub". A local pub which is inhabited by mainly smokers (I'm talking about 80% of the custom). It's a nice little pub which runs lots of functions and can get fairly busy at times, all the bar staff smoke like most of the customers.

The fact that drink prices are ever rising, the customers we get are pretty much poor and now that we are constraining whether they can or cannot smoke (which is seen to many people as a *right*) will invevitably cause the loss of much custom.

Many clean living people who wouldn't visit certain bars due to the smoking may start frequenting a place say somewhere here in Glasgow which can rely on passing trade. The pub at home however relies heavily on regulars and if you drive them out (say by stopping them from smoking), you're essentially walking into a public toilet, dropping trousers and waving your arse in the air.

Running a pub is hard enough already, keeping custom, enforcing drinking laws, etc. Are publicans now to *enforce* this smoking ban, do you have to go up to the big huge bastard in the corner and tell him if he doesn't stop smoking that he's out?

Why not constrain us to having a smoking and non-smoking bar? For years at the pub at home (as with many pubs), we have operated a lounge which would allow people who didn't wish to breath 2nd hand smoke to use, couldn't this just be swapped so that we have a main, non-smoking bar, and a smaller smoking bar?

This is becoming a bit of a rant so I think I'll stop. The main point I'm trying to make is that the pub my parents have is not a new-age, lit blue trendy bar in the city centre. It's an out of the way traditional pub which relies heavily on regulars, most of whom are smokers, most of whom are stubborn as hell and won't appreciate being told they cannot smoke.

Not smoking in pubs: good for the lungs and great in the long run.
Not smoking in my parents pub: shit creek - paddle.

Gary Fleming said:
Love that sly little dig at the end that no-one else will get.

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