Thousands of public houses have closed since the smoking ban was introduced. Some are surviving only because the owners (the breweries) are subsidising them. But we must note that many of these pubs are ‘magnificent edifices’, which require loads of money for their upkeep. Since the smoking ban was introduced, many of these ‘magnificent edifices’ are no longer viable as business entities. Many of them have been demolished and their slates and stones re-cycled. The problem with the smoking ban is that it inhibits the replacement of these ‘magnificent edifices’ with simple, small bars. The ban has seriously inhibited economic development, and the natural change in the way in which the ‘fun’ that people want is provided for. What people want is more important than what the state wants. People need to be able to conduct their lives as they wish (give or take a bit). It is not acceptable that a few people (corrupt MPs, no matter how smart and clever they may be) should be able to dictate to us how we live our lives. Nor should anti-smoking zealots be allowed to get away with the very obvious corruption of data and statistics. It ought to be a criminal offence to provide to newspapers corrupt data. This point is very clearly illustrated by the `survey’ conducted by the British Lung Foundation. Very briefly, the survey was about smoking in cars, but the survey was conducted on Mumsnet, and 97% were women. How much more ‘biased’ is it possible to be? Not only that, people who voted on that site were voting on the basis of ‘smells’.
The whole smoking ban was enacted on the basis that MPs, generally speaking, are easily led. Few of them have the courage and willingness to learn the facts. I have no confidence that anything has changed or will change.