Browse > Home / Personal Freedom / Smoking ban petition: “What’s to disagree with?”

| Subcribe via RSS



Smoking ban petition: “What’s to disagree with?”

August 25th, 2011 Posted in Personal Freedom by

I have just returned from my USA vacation and am delighted to report that tales of the demise of the smoker across the pond are greatly exaggerated. Indeed in some states the fight back seems to be on.

Despite what you may have heard, it was ludicrously easy to find hotels in New York offering smoking rooms.  Much easier actually than finding a smoking room in many UK cities. Smoking on the streets remains common place – and the numbers of open air bars encouraging you to light up are, if anything, on the increase.

Over in Las Vegas the story is even more encouraging. Back in around 2006 Nevada introduced a smoking ban on places that served food. Initially this meant that several bars simply went smoke free. In some casinos it was actually difficult to find a decent bar where you could sit down with your Sapphire tonic and enjoy the odd Marlborough Light. But public demand has caused many owners to rethink their policy. One casino on the strip has not only opened up two new smoking bars (complete with waitress service) in the last 12 months, but rejigged two of its most popular restaurants to accommodate outdoor seating for smokers. At the other end of the strip, my favourite restaurant – which bizarrely banned smoking on the terrace when the ban was first introduced – has relaxed its rules to allow its patrons to enjoy a cigarette once more. None of this is to the detriment on non smokers. There are still many places that you can go and find a smoke free atmosphere. But a sense of balance is finally being restored. Amen to that.

Returning to a damp Britain was therefore rather depressing.. A return to standing outside the pub with two bar staff avoiding the cars throwing up spray from the gutter while half a dozen people inside enjoyed their “right” to a smoke free environment. How marvelous it would be if we could see some of that Clark County commonsense over here. 

So what to do….? My first political act post-vacation has been to sign the e-petition calling for a review of the smoking ban.

The petition states

We petition the Government to review the impact of the smoking ban on pubs and clubs and consider an amendment that would give licensees the option of separate well-ventilated smoking rooms”

I share many folks scepticism of e-petitions but there is nothing to lose – and just perhaps something to be gained. I have tested out the wording of the petition with friends and family (mostly non-smokers) … “what’s to disagree with?” was the over-riding consensus.

Original legislation went too far. It is now widely known that the intention was never to include every single pub and club in the smoking ban. A growing number of MPs regret voting it through. And as a society,  we are frankly getting rather tired of the pontifications of those on high, and the intolerance and scorn of those who seem incensed by anyone around them who seems to be taking any enjoyment from life. 

So why not give this e-petition a go? You never know it may just work…..

6 Responses to “Smoking ban petition: “What’s to disagree with?””

  1. Dick Puddlecote Says:

    Glad you enjoyed your hols. Unlike you, though, I’m quite unimpressed that Vegas has signed up for such a lot of this nonsense. Reports I’d received from those over there were far more encouraging. If there was one place in the US where free market values were being observed, it appeared to be somewhere that the hedonistic gambler was king (or queen, as the case may be).

    I’ll have to have a serious word with my Vegas-based chappy. ;)


  2. Junican Says:

    Interesting to hear what you say about the US, Angela.

    We in Bolton, Lancs have had a reasonably pleasant summer – no heat waves to speak of, but pleasant enough nevertheless. At least we have many, many rain-free, warm days. But I shudder to think what may happen over the coming winter as regards pubs, clubs and bingo halls etc, if we have a really wet, chilly (but not necessarily freezing and snowy) winter.

    Do we remember that ASH wrote to lots of employers telling them that they had no excuse any longer for permitting smoking? If one thinks of the possibilities of a pub employer suing ASH for loss of earnings as a result of him accepting their advice….!!!!! But that is just a dream.

    There is no doubt that people-who-enjoy-tobacco need to be allowed back inside. I still fail to see how the ban was accepted by Parliament – it is ‘totalitarian’ in the true sense of the word. The true sense of the word ‘totalitarian’ (which not a lot of people know) is imposition by the State of structures which exclude any possibility of other structures. Thus, Stalin imposed ‘collectivism’ upon the farms of Russia. No ‘private’ farms were permitted. The smoking ban is ‘totalitarian’ in that it is a State imposed decree that private place are ‘collected together’ and described as ‘public places’.

    Did I get carried away a bit there? Maybe….

    But my point is valid. My point is that everyone, whether they smoke or not should sign the petition because the smoking ban is only the first step in the ‘totalitarianisation’ of our country.

    Have I coined a phrase? My spell check says so!


  3. Junican Says:

    Thinking about what I have just written, I have had reason to complain to Jet 2 about a certain matter. When I complain to organisations like Jet 2, I always write to the chief executive. I had a real problem finding out who the CEO of Jet 2 was and where he was based. Anyway, I found out. It turns out that the CEO of Jet 2 owns some 60 million shares in Jet 2! IE. He more or less owns Jet 2 outright. It amazes me that a person like that does not actively object to the ‘totalitarianisation’ of our economy. You would think that he would use his wealth to militate against it.

    Why does he not do so? Is it possible that he is too thick to see what is happening? I think that it is really weird that he does not object – surely he can see that aviation is on the list of activities to be demonised?


  4. Junican Says:

    Thinking about what I have just written, I have had reason to complain to Jet 2 about a certain matter. When I complain to organisations like Jet 2, I always write to the chief executive. I had a real problem finding out who the CEO of Jet 2 was and where he was based. Anyway, I found out. It turns out that the CEO of Jet 2 owns some 60 million shares in Jet 2! IE. He more or less owns Jet 2 outright. It amazes me that a person like that does not actively object to the ‘totalitarianisation’ of our economy. You would think that he would use his wealth to militate against it.

    Why does he not do so? Is it possible that he is too thick to see what is happening? I think that it is really weird that he does not object – surely he can see that aviation is on the list of activities to be demonised?


  5. Angela Says:

    Dick

    Don’t be too harsh on Sin City. The smoking ban (Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act) was introduced after a public vote – where a narrow majority approved the ban – though many complained that the wording was complicated and some did not know what they were voting for..

    The impact on small independent bars was totally catastrophic. Loads closed down or closed their kitchens – laying off staff as a result.

    In June this year new legislation has been passed in Nevada that now allows stand-alone adult-only taverns to serve food AND allow smoking. Fighting health groups with dubious research is a problem across the USA and Nevada was no different… the fact that they have reversed part of the 2006 legislation is huge….and the fact that Casinos more widely are responding to the needs of its customers – not being cowed by the vocal minority of smoke-haters is all good news for those wanting a more balanced and reasonable approach to smoking.


  6. Chris Says:

    I agree – we should be allowed to use the drugs of our choice, where we like, providing they don’t harm other people. But by that argument, you’d be better off campaigning for heroin to be legalised, and clean syringes provided in public toilets.

    You have the right to smoke wherever you like, outside. It is tollerated in places like railway platforms, where it’s not strictly legal. It’s allowed in your own home. That’s fine I think. It used to be that if the owners of a business wanted to smoke, then stuff their staff, they would. I know several people who worked for businesses like that, and had no choice – they would lose their job if complaining about the constant smoky atmosphere.

    Why do you think it is fair to make other people breathe your smoke? There is nothing liberal about that at all – all you are doing is trampling on other people’s right to good health. So let the nicotine talk some more – because in reality, the only people who are unhappy with smoking arrangements in this country, are in reality, smokers.

    Of course – it’s a free country. If you really don’t like the law, just light up wherever. I’m sure you’ll soon see it’s not the government that’s enforcing this law, it is very, very popular with most people.


Leave a Reply



  • RSS Elsewhere on Lib Dem Blogs…