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.