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Replace the smoking ban with an air conditioning obligation

Comment 14th July 2010

Replace the smoking ban in public houses and clubs with an obligation that places where smoking is permitted should have sufficiently effective air conditioning to cover any 'health and safety' obligations.

Why does this matter?

The smokign ban was introduced with little or no consultation with the public, and (in the matter of clubs) explicitly against the manifesto promise of the government that brought it in.

Its benefits, supposedly the protection of the health fo bar staff, are questionable and could be achieved by an obligation to fit air conditioning where smoking is permitted.  Its negative aspects are the closure of hundreds of public houses with the consequent loss of jobs in the licensing industry; the loss of a community focus in places where the pub was the only establishment to fill that role; and the loss of locations for controlled drinking.

This has led to uncontrolled drinking in public places, and (most importantly for those who genuinely favoured the ban on health grounds) with people drinking at home because they are allowed to smoke there.  Home is where the children are, and where they are exposed to smoking in what may well be the confined space of a small living room with little ventilation.

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