Saturday, 30 June 2007

Smoking Ban


I HAVE this theory about death.
If you're too fat, you'll die of some heart-related problem; if you're too thin, you'll die of some immune-system or blood-related problem; if you're just right, you'll be murdered because someone will be round to smash your smug little face in. If you're a smoker, well, it doesn't bear thinking about, diseases are queueing up to grab your butt.
However, Nanny State (she's the one with permanently pursed lips who will never let you out to play) is once again taking a demolition ball to smash an ashtray. From tomorrow smoking is banned in all public places in England.
As a non-smoker I have no particular problem with that. It will be good to have a drink in a pub without going home with your clothes smelling like a chain-smoking gorilla's armpit. Smokers will be that sorry little bunch outside the pub huddled under an open-sided shelter in the pouring rain. It can't have sides, like a bus shelter (more of which later) or a shed, you see, because that would once more make it a "public place".
Serve 'em right, I say, puffing their foul little fumes in my face. Now if only I could deal with that little problem with the lager-drinker in my life.....
It's obvious a pub is a public place, as is a restaurant, a cinema and a theatre. But the Government's definition of a "public place" is wider than my ass (and that's pretty wide, I can tell you). Churches, too, come under the heading. Damn, no more rolling-up while taking Holy Communion then.
Lorry drivers can't smoke in their cabs. Oh yes, I can see that ban working, can't you? Twenty-five stone Bert from Blackburn - the one with the shaved head and love and hate tattooed on his knuckles - is going to park up for the night at some transport cafe, hop down from his truck after a gruelling day on the road and light up in a force 10 gale while he eats his bacon sarnie.
Now you people who work from home, beware.
The law says that any part of a private home that is used solely as a place of work will have to comply with the ban. It doesn't matter if you are the only person who uses it. If you're smoking and you see a man with a clipboard peering in your window, you've had it, mate. He's either from the Smoking Gestapo or a rating officer from the council - either way, you're stuffed.
Beware also if you're a smoker who uses public transport. Bus shelters with three sides are considered "substantially enclosed", therefore no smoking, but if there's just a roof, you can smoke. See helpful diagram at top of page.
God help you if the 25-stone trucker, taking a bus to visit his dear old mum, is a non-smoker. He might not agree with your definition and your open-ended bus shelter might end up in your open end.
Having a marquee on your own lawn for your wedding? Sorry, no smoking unless there's just invited guests under the canvas. If you have waiters and waitresses, a bar with bar staff, a band or a disco with DJ, smoking is not allowed - not unless they've all come as guests and you're not paying them.
But for all you smokers out there, I have a cunning, cunning plan. Use the Luvvies Loophole. The law allows smoking as part of an artistic performance "where the artistic integrity of a performance makes it appropriate for a person who is taking part in that performance to smoke".
Get your tights out, lads, work up a nifty routine for which smoking is an integral part (paradoxically, one pointing out the dangers smoking might work), find a corner of the pub, recite a few lines and puff away to your clogged up arteries content. Just don't ask me to be a witness in your subsequent court case.

34 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

Mrs Table, I always suspected the law was an ass, but it takes a woman of your intellect to prove it. Goodness knows how many hours you spent poring over the legislation to produce this post. One point needs correction - there are no chain-smoking gorillas, but even if there were, their armpits would smell better than tobacco fumes.

Flowerpot said...

Wasn't there a play recently about Churchill and there was a lot of fuss because it was said he shouldn't smoke his cigar? Do you remember that? Perhaps it's a result of this that the loophole has come about! Great post.

PI said...

I didn't realise the thespians had got away with it; but then they managed it with the fire department.

Akelamalu said...

This wouldn't have happened when Churchill was Prime Minister!!!

I'm not a smoker anymore, but I know a few and I feel for them!

the witchfynder said...

I would like to put all the miserable tossers who installed this ridiculous law to the sword! I don't smoke anymore, but I very nearly started again just to piss the government off. Let them fine me! Let them try! Since when did we need the government to wipe our bottoms for us? Smoke up, fellas! Choke 'em all!
Ps. People with clip boards should all be hanged.
Pps. As always, quality observations and bone dry comment from Ms Table. All hail.

Witty Woman said...

First of all, thanks for the kind comment on my blog! It's nice to know people notice me ...

Now ... smoking. Yes, I am a SMOKER. I didn't even know about this ban until my 10-year-old son told me the other day. Apparently, hotels are exempt because they're classed as homes, so I can see the pubs emptying and the hotel bars filling up. I rather think quite a few breweries will feel the pinch. I may be wrong, but I would say the percentage of smokers in pubs is higher than the overall percentage. Not that I go to pubs very often because I rarely drink. Have to limit my vices.

I am now going to deliberately start a home business and PUFF AWAY LIKE MAD. I know smoking is bad for you and all that, but to say you can't smoke in your own home if you work there is totally ludicrous. I mean, come on!!!

Sassy Sundry said...

What? You can't smoke in your own home office?

I mean, I love the smoking ban in bars here in Massachusetts (even though I light up once in a while myself), but in one's own home? That's crazy.

Motheratlarge said...

Does sound a bit extreme, when you put it like that. Paradoxically, the effect here in Scotland, where the same law was introduced a couple of years ago, has been to drive all the smokers in restaurants to the tables outside. So these hardy souls are polluting the nice fresh air - while the non-smokers keep warm inside.

Motheratlarge said...

Like your site - shall we swap blog links?

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Mr Bananas: I'm sorry that I thought there were chain-smoking gorillas. I must have got them muddled up with beagles.

Flowerpot: Churchill without a cigar? That's unthinkable!

Pi: Perhaps they all want to play Churchill!

Akelamalu: Mr C. wasn't very PC, was he! He probably would have given his famous V-sign to this legislation.

Witchfynder: I'm with you - very tempted to start smoking again despite having given it up 20 years ago (showing my age here).

Witty Woman: We have a village pub but our nearest hotel is five miles away. Smokers can drive to the hotel but not drink; or walk to the pub and not smoke. It's all getting so ridiculous.

Sassy Sundry: This is just one of thousands new health and safety laws we've had over the past few years. It's all getting past a joke.

Mother At Large: I'm not keen on inhaling secondhand smoke myself but I wouldn't have thought it was beyond the wit of man (but obviously beyond the wit of our government) to have designated smoking rooms. As for links, 'tis done - you are now linked!

Jamie Starbuck said...

Hiya

Thanks for the comment.

I didn't realise the smoking ban was tomorrow. Shall I go to the pub now? Erm...still no.

Old Knudsen said...

I am boycotting the smoking ban in protest, whats next alcohol like the Aborigines ? I didn't fight the Japs at Dunkirk for this kind of crap.

Motheratlarge said...

Kit, likewise! Will drop by again soon.

The Little Cheese said...

Mrs Table: Great post, as always.

I would like to point out a scary facet to this ban. It is more draconian to any ban in Europe. It is a 'self policing' ban (therefore, the government can take billions in tax from smokers but expect everyone else to enforce it).

If I light up (yes, I smoke) in a bar I COULD be fined if the only council worker dedicated to police the borough sees me. I would be fined £50. But the manager of that pub would be fined £2,500.

Are the government therefore instigating a bully-boy state? I think they are. They are also causing more stress to the already struggling private businesses in this country.

In reply to flowerpot: The Churchill saga happened in Edinburgh when Mel Smith was playing Churchill and the council bods threatened to close the theatre if he smoked a cigar on stage. Therefore, the 'artistic integrity' loophole in the law has been brought in. Churchill would be rolling in his grave, if it is big enough for his girth that is...

Primal Sneeze said...

We were the guinea pig for this, Kit. Once it was shown to work here, then other larger states adopted it.

And it does work. Believe me. Even smokers would not wish to have the law rescinded now.

Whether it works with you guys will be down to enforcement. Here, it is a case of almost total self-enforcement by the staff and (more importantly) customers of pubs, shops, etc. The health authorities do inspections but these very, very seldom lead to prosecutions.

Smoking while alone in a work vehicle or in a home office on the other hand, although contrary to the letter of the law, is ignored. You may call this an Irish solution to an Irish problem, but I can it being practical and sensible. The aim of the ban was to reduce so-called passive smoking.

Fat Sparrow said...

If a lot of smokers suddenly start dressing and acting like mimes, I am going to blame you.

The thinker said...

I'm annoyed that hotels are exempt - I didn't realise that. I'm sure there are more non-smokers as proportion of population than smokers - so I will be pleased to go out more often for a meal now I can enjoy it in a smoke free atmosphere. I am slightly asthmatic so rarely went into pubs.
I've never smoked - apart from as a teenager a couple of packs while I used to try poses in front of a mirror, Veronica Lake style - but soon 'gave up'. When he asked if I had ever smoked, the doctor told me this didn't count!

The thinker said...

Just seen it! Thanks for the link. x

vinita said...

It will be very interesting to see how smokers will put up with this ban...not that they have much of a choice!

The Painted Ass said...

Hi there! Thanks very much for paying me a visit. Love your blog and Carlsberg! I'm adding you on but don't feel the need to reciprocate - as you've seen I'm far from prolific :(
Don't get me started on the nanny state. The latest nonsense is a potential ban on walking with mobile phones, ipods and the like. We just can't be trusted with the traffic apparently. Nothing like encouraging people to be stupid and abandon all responsibilty for themselves.

Dave G said...

10.6 billion revenue from cig tax, 1.7 billion National health deficit, I'm wondering how smokers can be a drain on resourses. I'm also wondering how if the governments plan to stop everyone smoking works, where the lost revenue will come from. Silly really we all know where it will come from...the tax payer smoker or not.
You made some good points.

Brian Sewell said...

A friend recently brought a comment by yourself regarding myself to my attention, to wit-

"but, on the whole, methinks, a grade one misogynist, arrogant, vowel-swallowing (and god knows what else), deeply untalented twat."

Thank heavens that you are not so judged my dear. Your ability to evaluate people you have never met, with such a bellicose gasconade, supposes that you have some type of monomania or maybe just socially disfunctional.
You are more than entitled to your opinion, but do try to remember that it is merely that, and unpleasant abuse speaks more of you, than it does of me.

The Painted Ass said...

O my word!! Consider yourself told off. Want me to kick his ass for you?

Anonymous said...

are you going to come around with your daddy to beat this guy's ass?

The Painted Ass said...

No offence intended. As you were.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Some brilliant comments - as always. As for Brian Sewell, methinks an imposter is using his picture and name as I don't believe for one second that the great man gives a flying f**k what a middle-aged woman from Devon thinks of him!

Judge Head said...

Though I join you in suspecting we have not been graced by the genuine Mr. Sewell's prose, we can still savour a facsimile of his goodness with the help of The Sewell Sampler!

Keep up the good work, from a first-time visitor.

J.H.

123Valerie said...

Hello Dear! So glad to know you. I adore the way you write, and I will gladly be back!

I like nothing better than to sit around the kitchen table and share--food, ideas, stories. It reminds me of my Mom, and I love knowing that others connect that way, too.

Thank you for reminding me of some long-forgotten memories.

Erica AP said...

That's so funny... Once I had to pretend smoke for an independent film I was in and I was in a very public place. I felt cool... very cool.

Bock the Robber said...

As a non-smoker, I hate the smoking ban.

I hate the prissy, buttoned-up, morally-superior inspectors they employ to police this thing.

These are people who were kicked out of Rotary clubs for being too smug.

Damn them, I think I'll take up the fags.

Squishy said...

I am a smoker and we have bans all over the place here in Australia. It doesn't really disturb me. I keep my filthy habit to myself most times. I think that what it comes down to is people being polite. I never smoke near non smokers as I wouldn't expect a non smoker to be subjected to my smoke.

Chefs have a common bond I think, because most cooks or chefs I have seen, smoke. In my world though.

We are really starting to be outcasts in society. It is putting more pressure on me to actually quit. I do want to quit, I just havn't reached the stage to quit.

If you visit country towns in Australia, everyone smokes and the bans just don't seem to exsist. Smoking is the norm and the non smokers are the outcasts. Weird huh?

文章 said...

avdvd,色情遊戲,情色貼圖,女優,偷拍,情色視訊,愛情小說,85cc成人片,成人貼圖站,成人論壇,080聊天室,免費a片,視訊美女,視訊做愛,免費視訊,伊莉討論區,sogo論壇,台灣論壇,plus論壇,維克斯論壇,情色論壇,性感影片,正妹,走光,色遊戲,情色自拍,kk俱樂部,好玩遊戲,免費遊戲,貼圖區,好玩遊戲區,中部人聊天室,情色視訊聊天室,聊天室ut,成人遊戲,免費成人影片,成人光碟,情色遊戲,情色a片,情色網,性愛自拍,美女寫真,亂倫,戀愛ING,免費視訊聊天,視訊聊天,成人短片,美女交友,美女遊戲,18禁,三級片,自拍,後宮電影院,85cc,免費影片,線上遊戲,色情遊戲,日本a片,AV女優

日月神教-任我行 said...

AV,無碼,a片免費看,自拍貼圖,伊莉,微風論壇,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人文學,成人貼圖區,成人網站,一葉情貼圖片區,色情漫畫,言情小說,情色論壇,臺灣情色網,色情影片,色情,成人影城,080視訊聊天室,a片,A漫,h漫,麗的色遊戲,同志色教館,AV女優,SEX,咆哮小老鼠,85cc免費影片,正妹牆,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,情色小說,aio,成人,微風成人,做愛,成人貼圖,18成人,嘟嘟成人網,aio交友愛情館,情色文學,色情小說,色情網站,情色,A片下載,嘟嘟情人色網,成人影片,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人漫畫,視訊聊天室,性愛,性感影片,正妹,聊天室,
情色論壇

River said...

I don't care where they're allowed to smoke. I DO care when they've just put out their millionth cigarette for the day, climb onto the same bus I'm on and sit next to me,(an asthmatic), reeking of smoke permeated clothes, skin, hair.