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Unecessary no-smoking signs

Comment 1st July 2010

The legal requirement that "All smokefree public places, workplaces and vehicles are required to display no-smoking signs that meet the requirements that are set out in the Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations" should be repealed.

The law is quite clear – what we don't need is to make it a further offence to fail to display signs to this effect outside churches (!), shops, etc, or inside offices and vehicles.

Why does this matter?

Petty regulations have a debilitating and demoralizing effect on us, since we either have to go along with what we know to be stupid, or risk a penalty.

The regulations laid out on the Smoke Free England website regarding signage are an example of petty bureaucracy, where the important thing seems to be to tell us all what to do, rather than to achieve a desired effect.

It is especially significant that the Church of England actually tried to negotiate an exemption with the Home Office so that these signs would not have to be outside churches – places where virtually no one ever smokes – only to be refused.

This has nothing to do with health – the ban on smoking itself is a separate issue – it is the invention of a legal requirement to tell people they are not allowed to break the law that needs to be repealed.

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