Quick Sunday blog post: I have just learned on BBC News
that today is the fifth anniversary of the smoking ban
. I got so used to it I forgot. In Québec, we had it since 2006. I really dislike cigarettes and I find smoking a disgusting habit. I find tobacco companies the most cynical, amoral, dangerous kind of businesses. I always found the smell of smoke in public places, especially bars and restaurants, utterly unpleasant. I don't care about the arguments brought forward by the opponents to the smoking ban: "atmosphere" lost in pubs and bars, or the supposed negative economic impact it had on the pub industry. As if a health issue should be subservient to a very fragmentary economic interest. Anyway, I thought it deserved mention on this blog. It really made England more hospitable.
It would be nice if places could choose for themselves if they want to be a smoking establishment or not.
I like pipes, cigars, and hookah from time to time, and it would be nice to be able to go out and have some good food and drink, and enjoy good tobacco.
The public health concerns seem to be fairly overblown, I haven't seen any reliable studies demonstrating the, so-called "second hand smoke" theory.
It's always nice to let people choose for themselves.
Public health benefits have been proven here: asthma and heart attacks have been reduced since the ban. This is not overblown, this is clear, tangible benefit of the ban. I am all for people choosing for themselves. Smokers chose to smoke. Before the ban, when I was smoked on in a bar, in a restaurant, I did not choose to get my throat sore, get my clothes smeeling rotten (even in a non-smoking section), give me hangovers 10 times worse than I would have had because of a smoking environment. The problem with smoking in public places was that it was a one way choice for the smoker: he enjoyed tobacco, I didn't, I had to endure it. The staff who works in those restaurants and bars had to endure it too. Keeping smoking off public buildings did not infringe on smokers's liberties (especially since smoking is not a right): they can still smoke, they still have the choice. But non smokers are now respected. When my father smokes a cigar, he goes outside the house.
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