No Smoking

MPs have just voted by a large majority for a total ban on smoking in all enclosed public places, probably coming into effect in 2007. It was expected beforehand that there would be some exemptions – pubs and/or private clubs – but in the event the more draconian version was passed.

As a non-smoker, this can only improve my life, but I’m still slightly startled that it’s happened. A few years ago, it would have been a wacky extremist idea, surely? It’s surprisingly hard to think back. I was even more surprised by a survey they quoted on Newsnight that 48% of the public would support making smoking completely illegal. 24% of people smoke, so presumably that 48% is 2/3 of all non-smokers. Even more (the high 60%s) would support a ban on smoking when pregnant or a ban on smoking in a house with a child.

Only a few years ago cannabis legalisation seemed to be around the corner; I guess that’s now less likely, although allowing it in private homes on the same terms as tobacco would have a certain logic.

Anyway, no more shampooing other people’s smoke out of my hair the morning after going to the pub – that’s got to be a Good Thing.

2 Comments

  1. 15 February 2006 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Yes, Minneapolis recently voted to disallow smoking in bars and restaurants. There are some exemptions for bars that don’t sell food, but the bars in question had to apply for them, and few did. There’s been something of a hue and a cry about it, but for my part, I adore it. Nice to go dancing and not feel as if you’ve been sucking on someone’s exhaust pipe all night afterwards.

    I don’t remember pubs in London being particularly smoky, but I could be romanticizing; I haven’t been there in about 10 years. Do as many Brits smoke as Americans?

  2. Harry
    15 February 2006 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    According to Google, 22.5% of Americans smoked in 2002 compared to 25% of the British. Apparently, in 1948, 82% of men smoked.

    How smokey pubs are depends on both the typical clientele and the ventilation system, but they’re certainly smoky enough that your clothes reek of it the next day.

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