Blog: Smoking stubbed out

Catherine Sleep | 15 February 2006

Result! Our esteemed Members of Parliament have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a total ban on smoking in enclosed spaces as of summer 2007. There will be no exemptions for private clubs. This is extraordinarily good news for people who work in pubs and restaurants, and for those of us who wish to get through life as far from the filthy whiff of nicotine as possible.

Some smokers may find my jubilation offensive, but hey, I’m not the one with the foul breath. Actually smokers who work in pubs seem to be generally in favour of the ban too, since at least they will henceforth only be subject to their own cigarette smoke, and not be passive inhalers of others’. And people like my 79-year-old father-in-law, valiantly trying to kick the 20-a-day habit that's been compromising his health for decades, will be able to go down to his local pub of a lunchtime without being surrounded by the smoke he craves, yet also despises.

Now if we can just ban a few more varieties of antisocial behaviour, like spitting on the pavement, nose-picking and thoughtless parking, we’ll be well away.

Of course many commentators disagree with me, and in the spirit of fairness here’s a link to a beautifully argued rant by Simon Jenkins. He’s still wrong, though.

Simon Jenkins rues the right to puff


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