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Revise the smoking ban

Comment 12th August 2010

I am a smoker and do appreciate the improvements in general that have been acheived in the UK by this law.

I am also aware of the absurdity that exists where in some cases pubs now have a external smoking zone on public footpaths creating a congested area of drinking, smoking rowdies and a 'fog' of smoke which other members of the public have to pass through or avoid by crossing to the other side of the street.

It also creates late night noise and disturbance outside pubs and clubs where neither the 'landlord' nor the authorities are able/willing to address unless it escalates to another level and finally creates litter in the form of cigarette butts, empty beer glassess, broken glass and other litter spread around the vicinity.

I have noted that in some cases, airports for example, smoking areas have sensibly been re- introduced inside the terminal building, albeit that they are not actually 'in the building' and are distinctly basic, to avoid smokers taking to the toilets for a final fix before their flights.

The law is virtually unenforceable with regard to lorry drivers who smoke in their 'company' cabs.

The law must also have deterred a proportion of the public from 'dining out' although this probably has encouraged non smokers to enjoy themselves more.

I also have visited restuarants, bars and other places abroad where smokers are allowed but segregated from non smokers; where there are 'smoking allowed' and 'non smoking' establishments and thsi approach seems sensible.

The 'one size fits all' is fine for the nanny state where it is practical and can be made to work without creating other problems, but why can't the Smoking Ban be revised to allow some degree of choice with proper controls (e.g. extraction/filtering of air) and where smoking is licensed inside buildings.

I do not advocate a repeal as I think the principle is good but I would like to see some revisions to address the balance and provide flexibility and practicality.

Why does this matter?

The law as it stands has addressed an important health issue which I applaud but it has created other issues which should be looked at with a view to improving the lot of all everyone.

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