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Allow Publicans to offer their customers clearly designated, well-ventilated Smoking Rooms.

Comment 1st July 2010

 

Since the smoking ban many people will have have rarely or never visited their pub.

I believe that there are many activities which might be deemed unhealthy and anti-social but which are not subject to comparable restraints. Driving petrol-driven motor cars is one example. We are all forced to breathe the toxic fumes of car drivers and there are no “non driving streets” to live on.

I know that some have a visceral hatred of smokers and will stop at nothing to curtail their activites. I hope this government is not of a like mind.

I know that you can still smoke outside a pub but this is not always convenient and I personally would prefer to smoke indoors, in the company of other smokers  – or people I knew had no objection to my smoking.

Smoking is not illegal and it seems to me to be unfair and illiberal to treat it as if it is, for the specious reason that it affects nearby non-smokers – because It NEED NOT affect them. If there were separate smoking rooms in pubs (clearly marked so that those opposed to smoking need not enter) this would solve the problem. Serving staff would not be required to enter the smoking room unless they had no objection. Many pubs are effectively self-service anyway.

Now that there is a new government committed to a more tolerant approach to the behaviour of the individual, and to the promotion of business, I believe that the time is right to amend the smoking ban to give pubicans the right to offer smoking rooms to their customers if they so wish.

Why does this matter?

There is a principle of freedom here; smoking is not illegal. The current law assumes that the habit is bothersome to other people but it need not be so.  It does not lessen the amount of smoking done;  smokers simply smoke elswhere.  It is severely affecting the business of pubs and clubs, many of which have been forced to close.

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