Saturday, 21 November 2009

New Poll

Inspired by a discussion over on Curmudgeon's Blog, I have devised my second ever poll on this blog, this time on the subject of smoking in pubs. It is a subject that perhaps should be dead, but won't lie down. Or has ruined our pubs and caused untold misery. Or points between

I have tried to make it as reasonable as possible and cover all the main views. Have your say.

154 comments:

Anonymous said...

Surely Options 1 and 5 are not mutually exclusive.

Tandleman said...

Just pick the answer closest to your views I'd say.

Woolpack Dave said...

I think it's a good set of questions. It could be possible for somebody to agree with more than one, but I guess answering the one you agree with most is best.

Jeff Pickthall said...

As a proper asthmatic I love the smoking ban, I'm not constantly wheezing . I'm saving money on prescriptions for Ventolin etc too. I no longer get a sense of panic when I forget to grab an inhaler when I go out. I haven't noticed any reduction in conviviality in the pubs I choose to frequent either. Curmudgeon's obsession with the smoking ban is reminding me of the Daily Mail's obsession with immigrants.

Jeffrey said...

Yes, good set of statements. I think most views fall within one of those. I tend toward the last, and that's where my vote has gone.

RedNev said...

Progressive and positive. But the term 'smoking ban' is misleading because smokers are not forbidden to smoke ~ they just have to stroll a couple of yards outside the door. 'Smoking restrictions' would be a more accurate term.

Tandleman said...

I think the context is clear RedNev. We are talking about smoking inside which you are legally not allowed to do. If that ain't a ban, what is?They are restricted to not doing it. That is they are banned from doing it n'est pas?

Paul Garrard said...

My feelings are with the last choice. I really don't understand what drives the anti smoking ban lot!

RedNev said...

TM: sorry, but I can't agree: they are NOT "restricted to not doing it", they are restricted as to where they can do it, which is not the same thing at all. A ban forbids you; a restriction regulates you, and that is the situation here.

Tandleman said...

So where IN a pub can they smoke?

RedNev said...

Well, that's where the 'restricted' bit comes in.

Velky Al said...

I think it could have been handled better. I have never smoked and never seen the need to get all missionary on smokers who want to go to the pub and have a pint.

If a pub is too smoky then I would just go somewhere else. Having said that, it was nice when Pivovarsky klub in Prague went no-smoking because I could go for a couple of pints without coming home stinking.

Perhaps a better approach would have been to have incentives for pubs to go non-smoking rather than the dictat of law criminalising people for their thoroughly legal habit in the proscribed context.

Anonymous said...

42% vote for the progressive ban.
Cant wait for the next bit of "progress".

Sip the Hobgoblin and wander the
fells ,my friends,its your turn
next,Oh by the way could you have shower after leaving the office and
forming circles in Wetherspoons.

Martel's Militia

Anonymous said...

Oh Resdnev you heartless thing !!
You say 'stroll a couple of yards'
Pity you were not at you local British Legion on Remembrance Sunday where there are old veterans and their spouses who would give the earth to be able to 'stroll a couple of yards'
Yes, these elderly people fought for YOUR freedom and now they can't enjoy a cigarette in comfort. Remember that it was a cigarette that kept most of these folk sane during the war.

DaveA said...

Would you like a glimpse what the "final solution" is on pubs? Look no further than Ireland where in the first year 15% of urban pubs closed and 25% of rural pubs, the 10% excess in rural areas can be put down to a crackdown on drinking and driving. In Ireland most of the pubs are freehold (ie no PubCos and inflated beer costs) and in 2004 the GDP growth of Ireland was an impressive 7%, so no recession to blame.

5 years later 25% have closed and the peak expected is 50%. Yes 1/2 by 2012 are expected to close. The UK will no doubt follow. Enjoy your sterile smoke free pub while it is still there.

http://www.thepublican.com/story.asp?sectioncode=16&storycode=65627&c=2

Bassoon said...

"I really don't understand what drives the anti smoking ban lot!"

Maybe 12 million smokers not being allowed so much as one room in any of the tens of thousands of pubs in the country may have something to do with it.

Honestly, why the big problem with a system of choice? Either separate smoking rooms, or separate smoking pubs. Why does it hjave to be all or nothing? There are many better solutions to what is really an extremely minor health risk.

I don't know about option 5 as I drink at home now. Sitting outside in whipping wind and driving rain, on a drenched seat under a cursory pub garden umbrella isn't my idea of a relaxing time.

Simply step outside indeed.

Anonymous said...

I've a circulation problem. Maybe it was caused by smoking or was it a lack of exercise or ...... - Anyway, I'm told I should avoid inclement weather -- Oh, I know I brought it on myself BUT for f's sake the smoking ban insists I must go out side to suffer what my doctor says I should avoid. Now I hear the EU wants my landlord to stop using his gesture of a gas heater!) Why, Oh Why should the whole of the clientèle of my local be stood outside when there's not a single non/anti smoker inside.
No, the world's not gone mad! It's simple ---- our ignorant 'betters' incapable of reading an 11+ and incapable of questioning all the PC crap they were told at uni sold out every ounce of decency to secure their chosen role of political righteousness.

Oh, btw, I first asked for help from the NHS at the age of 64 and feel a extremely pi**ed off that so many 'right' living folk claimed for injuries from health/sport related injuries and I had to cover their absence from work for no extra earnings!

It's so sad that we have to suffer 'we know best' GNVQ level nil failures simply because they're employed to police the laws of our ruling inept!

Anonymous said...

'It is a subject that perhaps should be dead'

It won't die, given that it's based on lies, prejudice and corruption - a law, incidentally, that was fully endorsed by CAMRA.

It's drinkers turn next btw. They won't stop until the few pubs that remain will be strictly controlled by Big Nanny.

Southern Sam said...

My problem is less with the ban itself but more with way in which it has been imposed.

When I enter a pub to buy a pint, my contract is with the publican. If I dislike the beer he sells, the wallpaper he has, the smell of his toilets or customers, I am at liberty to take my business elswhere. That's the way it should be. I don't need Patrica Hewitt or anyone else telling me what is or is not good for me.

I understand the health hazards of smoking, almost all of us do. I don’t accept the "at least I can wear the same clothes the following day" argument. So what? If you attend a bonfire on 5 November it is likely your clothes will stink. Is that a reason for banning bonfires? No, because you're at liberty to choose not to attend.

I have some sympathy with the argument that staff should have the right to be protected from tobacco smoke. For this there is a simple solution: NEW pubs/bars should be required to declare to prospective staff that their pub allows smoking. Employees would therefore be at liberty to decide whether they wish to work at said establishment.

I would also give pubs/clubs which are owned and run by the owner and his family the option of deciding whether to make his pub smoking/non smoking. I see no good reason why these pubs should be included in the smoking ban.

Anonymous said...

Many locals were created in a room someone's home and came about from the need for social camaraderie.
No need to study the history books, simply pop down to the supermarket and open your own - don't charge but have a BIG thank you box.

Anonymous said...

Did I read that one of our UKIP MEPs was in a Belgian bar with 'newly non-elected and very important' Baroness whatever she's called and she disapproved of the MEP smoking.
Why did she choose to enter a smoking bar when non-smoking alternatives were available?
Answers on a postcard .....

Graeme said...

"Maybe 12 million smokers not being allowed so much as one room in any of the tens of thousands of pubs in the country may have something to do with it."

What do the other 49 million people in the UK think?

The ban was brought in to protect workers - they don't have a choice about which room to work in or which pub to go to. As a personal point of view (having worked in a non-smoking bar in the past as well as drinking in pubs before and after the ban), I think it's great.

helend498 said...

Sorry Graeme, but I can't agree with the statement that the smoking ban is protecting workers.

I'd like to tell the almost 100,000 who have since lost their job as a result of this ban how it protected them. Not to mention the many families with children who have lost their businesses or are working circa 70-80 hours a week for less than the minimum wage as a result of this draconian legislation.

Worse is yet to come. I can't see how all this stress and financial ruin is protecting people's health.

Suitabe alternatives should have been provided. There was no need whatsoever for a blanket ban and we are now suffering the consequences of it.

Barm said...

The incessant whining from smokers only goes to show why a complete ban was necessary. Years later and they still haven't understood why the majority could possibly object to having to breathe their smoke.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Barm: That's a new one. I've never heard anyone justifying the smoking ban by saying that smokers should be denied free speech before.

Whilst I applaud your imagination, would you care, instead, to describe why choice is to be denied for a fairly hefty section of society when there are better alternatives available to tackle a minor problem?

And Graeme: If you truly believe that the ban was brought in to protect bar workers' health, I think you need laser surgery for that 'gullible' tattoo on your forehead.

And all of you here should know better anyway. The anti-beer campaign is gaining impetus precisely because of the success of anti-tobacco. It is employing the same methodology and following exactly the same path. Can you not see that?

Please wake up before it is anti-drinkers talking about the "incessant whining from drinkers".

None so blind and all that.

Anonymous said...

Graeme wrote 'What do the other 49 million people in the UK think?'

As regards smoking, not a lot - most people aren't too bothered.

A better question perhaps is 'where are they?' Not in the the sterile, smoke free pubs, that's for sure! That is why we are discussing the issue here (and countless others are elsewhere). Admit it, you need smokers to ensure the survival of the traditional British pub. It's quite funny witnessing the hand wringing by anti smoking drinkers, desperate to keep the pubs, but not desperate enough to admit the ban is the main cause of their demise.

Tyson said...

Tandles, your readership seems to have suddenly slipped to the right.

Of course it should be a dead subject, but there is a very vocal minority who manage, very successfully it has to be said, to keep the ashes warm. And whilst people continue to host polls-predictably hijacked by pro smokers-and continue to take the bait, the embers will still glow.

Southern Sam
“I don’t accept the "at least I can wear the same clothes the following day" argument. So what? If you attend a bonfire on 5 November it is likely your clothes will stink. Is that a reason for banning bonfires? No, because you're at liberty to choose not to attend.”

Thank you for reinforcing the arrogant, selfish stereotype of the pro smoking lobby. And they say pro ban people are intolerant! I actually did attend a bonfire and my clothes didn’t smell. That wasn’t the point of the ban, but it certainly is a pleasant bonus-as I think you’ll find most people agree. Why the hell should I have to have smelly clothes just for your sake?

“When I enter a pub to buy a pint, my contract is with the publican. If I dislike the beer he sells, the wallpaper he has, the smell of his toilets or customers, I am at liberty to take my business elsewhere”.

How can I go elsewhere if they’re all the same? Why should I have to? What if there is nowhere else? Funny how your idea of choice seems like Hobson’s choice to me. I wonder how much time you and other right-wingers of your ilk actually spend in pubs? Drinking, that is. If only your sudden enthusiasm for the Great British local had surfaced earlier, pubs today might be in better health. As we are as a result of the ban.

Tyson said...

"I'd like to tell the almost 100,000 who have since lost their job as a result of this ban how it protected them. Not to mention the many families with children who have lost their businesses or are working circa 70-80 hours a week for less than the minimum wage as a result of this draconian legislation".

Are you sure it’s not 250,000? Or a million? In fact, isn’t it the case that the whole global recession is a direct consequence of the smoking ban? You’d have us believe now that the smoking ban is responsible for people working below minimum wage. Please! Are you a comedian by any chance? If not, you should consider a career change. Because I nearly choked on my Weetabix laughing so much and we all need a chuckle in these grim times.

Tandleman said...

Yes I know I was taking a chance but since Mudgie had brought it up I thought I'd get a non biased poll in before a more slanted version appeared. Fool to myself I know. I think I'm right on that. The subject will be banned here after this.

DaveA said...

@Tyson

As a smoker and genuine real ale fan I am at a loss why the under 35s drink lager, alco pops and diamond white type drinks. I can only conclude that people go down the pub for different reasons. Smoking is part of the experience for me.

If you think that as of a year ago 23% of all bar staff had lost their jobs, yes nearly 1/4 is that a price worth paying for you to sip your Bishop's Finger?

I will leave in the capable hands of CAMRA's Chief Exective speaking in 2004 on the fate of pubs post ban, very prophetic.

"CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, expresses concern that the smoking ban will be divisive for community pubs. Community pubs will face the stark choice of tearing up their food menus or alienating regulars by banning smoking.

CAMRA calls on the Government to allow pubs where there are two or more entirely separate rooms to allow smoking in one, while other rooms where food is served are made smoke free.

Mike Benner, Chief Executive of CAMRA, raised concerns about the proposals:"


http://www.camra.org.uk/page.aspx?o=180806

Southern Sam said...

Tyson - publicans had/should have the right to make their pubs smoke free. I for one would support the authorities in upholding a publican's wishes to keep his business and pub smoke free.

Southern Sam said...

And how has Tandleman's poll been hijacked? There's a poll. I voted and explained my position. The government hasn't yet made it illegal to state one's opposition/issues with the ban.

Or perhaps you would prefer to be surrounded by headnodders instead of engaging with those who hold a different view.

Jeffrey said...

Peter, I have had smoking ban discussions on my blog before, and they're resulted in the same people publishing long, boring and unintelligent arguments against the legislation. Those people believe that "who bores wins" - if they type and type and copy and paste until others become exasperated with them, they win. But of course they don't - because a popular piece of legislation supported by both the political establishment and the general public is going to remain on the statute books, thank god.

Anonymous said...

Tyson wrote 'Of course it should be a dead subject, but there is a very vocal minority who manage, very successfully it has to be said, to keep the ashes warm.'

Er...who started this conversation.

Sorry, I didn't realise that dissent was also banned.

Fact is, whether you like it or not, smokers have abandoned pubs in huge numbers simply because decent smoking facilities are also prohibited. The dissenters will not let it rest until this is rectified. In the mean time, if you don't like it 'move on' and 'get over it' (favourite anti mantras).

As for being 'right wing', I'm glad I never voted for the fools that now try to control every aspect of our lives. In fact, I'd be ashamed to be a socialist in this day and age, given their betrayal of traditional grass root supporters.

Anonymous said...

Why the heck are you all clucking because you didn't get the response you expected? This is just a small poll on an obscure blog that I was directed to from another blog by The Pub Curmudgeon - you should read it, he/she is more open minded than most.

Here's a tip, rally all your real ale anti smoking pals and get them to vote for the ban on your poll - Poll rigging is a fundamental part of anti smoking strategy (Ash et al do it all the time). Then you can pat yourselves on the back believing that, indeed, the majority love the ban.

Southern Sam said...

Insults might work a treat in the law courts, Jeffrey, but they nothing to advance your argument.

Jeffrey said...

There weren't any insults in my comment, Sam. You should read it again. Attacking someone's argument as boring is not a personal insult. If I'd said these people were nutters obsessed with a lost cause, that'd be an insult.

Tim said...

And once again the anonymous commenters all come out of the woodwork.

I think the issue is so 2007 that it doesn't even warrent air time.

Southern Sam said...

It's not an ad hominen, Jeff, I agree. But its still a low way to conduct discussion/debate imo.

The OP does invite people to 'Have their say' afterall. People have their say. Then those on one side of the fence start accusing people of hijacking the poll and being boring.

Guess some people's intolerances include more than tobacco smoke in the pub.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Separate smoking rooms. Separate smoking pubs.

Anyone?

Still waiting.

Tandleman, you post some good stuff, but saying that dissent should be stifled does you no credit at all.

Now, if someone might just address the issue of choice ...

;-)

Anonymous said...

Tim - 'And once again the anonymous commenters all come out of the woodwork.'

Hi Tim, I'm David. Does that make it OK? I clicked on your name - I see that you wish to remain anonymous......

Tim - 'I think the issue is so 2007 that it doesn't even warrent air time.'

Don't post then....

Tandleman said...

Dick. I didn't put it very well. What I meant really is I will be banning myself from starting off such a discussion. If it comes up in the normal scheme of things, that's different.

It probably just isn't a good use of my blog time.

DaveA said...

IMO the outlook for alcohol consumption in this country is bleak. Smoking bans have the seal of the World Health Organization (WHO) who introduced the World Tobacco Framework in 2003, whereby most of the world's sovereign states have agreed to reduce consumption and restict places where it can consumed. You have to say they have been very successful. Smoking reached its peak in 1948 when 66% of the country's adults smoked, which is about the same for weekly alcohol consumption.

Smoking rates are now 22.5%. Are you aware the WHO have also introduced something similar for alcohol? Have you noticed a flood of health scare stories on alcohol, cancer, strokes, heart attacks etc? You are just being softened up for legislation. Professor Ian Gilmore the head of the Royal College of Physicians was recently quoted as saying if he had his way, by law, we sould be limited to 3 drinks a day.

BTW all you drinkers are rapists and wife beaters, and as you can see your drinking is worse than passive smoking. Prof Gilmore says so.

It appears that you too may not have a separate room in a pub to indulge your pleasure in also.

"GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to draw up a global strategy to tackle youth binge drinking and other forms of harmful alcohol consumption blamed for 2.3 million deaths a year, officials said on Thursday"

http://www.canada.com/topics/bod...d0- f3a28b88c344

"WHO considers global war on alcohol abuse

http://www.newscientist.com/arti...ohol- abuse.html

"The ‘passive effects’ of alcohol misuse are catastrophic – rape, sexual assault, domestic and other violence, drunk driving and street disorder - alcohol affects thousands more innocent victims than passive smoking"

http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/profe...es/ Alcohol.aspx


WHO considers global war on alcohol abuse.

http://www.newscientist.com/arti...ohol- abuse.html

"The ‘passive effects’ of alcohol misuse are catastrophic – rape, sexual assault, domestic and other violence, drunk driving and street disorder - alcohol affects thousands more innocent victims than passive smoking"

http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/profe...es/ Alcohol.aspx

Anonymous said...

Thank you anti smokers for making my Town a ghost town. Of five busy pubs there are now three that resemble creches. Buggy parks and high chairs. The stink of cheap food consumed by young women with fat kids is repulsive to walk past.
The two workmans cafes have been highjacked by the same young mums with their fat kids.
This is sex discrimination at its most underhanded. Where do the men go ? Mostly manual workers around here and probably around 50% smokers. They can't go to the working mans club as it closed last year.
And they wonder why 'domestic violence' is on the increase. If I were a working male smoker I would be looking forward to beating up the wife on a Friday and Saturday night as she has more than like been in the places that I would want to go all week.
As it is I am a female non smoker and now find that all the places that I used to enjoy are now dead and sterile.

Tandleman said...

Anon. It'd be nice if you named your town. And yourself.

Anonymous said...

Well said Ms. They'd deny it of course, claiming it wasn't their doing, just that they were part of the majority. But it suited their agenda, so that's ok. They're quite happy to see women forced out onto the street and/or into the rain so don't expect to much sympathy (after all, this issue is sooo 2007).

It's an absolute disgrace.

A fellow non smoker.

P.S. Tandleman, what difference will knowing that make? This is happening everywhere to many 1000s of former pub regulars. That's one of the main reasons why 6+ pubs are closing every day - smokers have chosen to stay at home. What would be nice is a little bit of support from people like you.

Southern Sam said...

I don't think Tandleman owes anyone any support for anything. I do however think it was a bit poor to invite people to have their say and then start grumbling when they do.

I freely confess to enjoying some of the effects of the ban. I've never enjoyed eating, for example, in a smoky environment, and since a majority of my friends don't smoke, it's been easier to avoid the temptation to light up everytime I go out for the evening.

That doesn't mean I think the ban (in its present form) is fair or anything other than a very illiberal piece of legislation, which to me gives a green light for the government to ban pastimes or enjoyments it deems inconvenient or distasteful.

Tandleman said...

Who's grumbling Sam? My normal readers mainly.

Jeffrey said...

I love this - one of the anonymous comments has declared class war and outed himself as a wife beater. Where does this discussion go next?

Anonymous said...

Sam, smoke free areas have been the norm in most pubs, restaurants and cafes for years. There is no reason why this type of arrangement couldn't be subject to formal legislation. That way, everyone could enjoy a night out.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey, I believe that was posted by a non smoking female.

DaveA said...

Jeffrey sometimes I despair in ever having a reasonable debate. What I was trying to say is that smoking is the blueprint for how me as a drinker and you as a drinker will be demonised by the nannies/bullies.

I expect drinking in about 10-20 years will have the same level of social unaccpetablity as smoking, sanctioned by the WHO, no doubt the European Union and copper bottomed by the government/Department of Health.

You may think this is ridiculous but in 1998 the them head of ASH Clive Bates said "No one is seriously talking about a complete ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants. This is a scare-mongering story by a tobacco industry front group."

This was published on the Labour Party's main website as a policy idea. Smokers today, you tomorrow.

"One possible solution could be an entitlement card that people would carry and swipe when every time they buy Alcohol or Tobacco and record their usage. Is that too radical? .... For a long time the Government have controlled motorists with a system of licences where people enjoy the right and freedom to drive - as long as they conform to certain rules....More serious offences would result in endorsements on the entitlement card and the cardholder would not be able to purchase alcohol, tobacco or other drugs available for sale through the entitlement card scheme."


http://www.labourlist.org/drinkers-licences-a-radical-new-way-to-curb-excess-cowan .

Southern Sam said...

'Anonynous' - who said that sort of arrangement couldn't be put into law? Not me.

Personally speaking, I don't think such an arrangment would work. Places should either be smoking or non-smoking. My view is that it should be for the publican (rather than Parliament) to decide.

Anonymous said...

I disagree, pubs should have total independence whether or not they be fully or partially smoke free. Let them and their customers make that choice.

Tim said...

@Anon, David whatever your name is. If you click on my name it takes you to a profile and a link to my webpage. I'm not hiding from anyone.

Claiming that the smoking ban (in pubs) will eventually result in a drinking ban is drawing a particularly long bow. Smoking is not banned. It's just restricted as to where you can smoke so the majority of the population can assert a right to their preference to have smoke free air.

Southern Sam said...

Anonymous, I agree that pubs should be able to choose. I just think that landlords should have the support of the authorities if they choose to make their premises smoke free - and that 'smoke free' areas, as apposed to smoke free premises, would be nigh on impossible to enforce.

Barm said...

I don't recall smokers ever giving the rest of us a choice in whether to put up with their smoke or not. That's why we needed legislation.

Curmudgeon said...

Barm, you have always had a choice as to whether to put up with others' smoke - you, or like-minded people, could always start a totally non-smoking pub. There was no law against that, indeed there were a handful before the ban. I wonder why there weren't more.

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

Britain used California as a model, then implemented. First fresh air, then hoppy West Coast styles in a Proper Real Keg format. Smoking cigarettes is a disgusting habit, because in an enclosed environment, it has the ability to effect others.

Southern Sam said...

Whurst - but what if the majority are happy to indulge in their disgusting in an enclosed environment habit together?

Curmudgeon said...

As Chris Snowdon points out here, it doesn't really matter if you think alcohol and tobacco are entirely different issues, because the control advocates don't, and see the highly successful campaign to restrict to use of tobacco as a template for the campaign against alcohol.

Jeff Frane said...

There's a can of worms you've opened!

I was opposed to a similar ban in the State of Oregon because I firmly believe that we have had far more options for years than many areas. The earliest brewpubs in the 80s began a tradition of going smoke-free, and a lot of the best taverns have followed suit.

I've never bought the argument that the ban is designed to protect workers, especially given that most bartenders and staff I've known were smokers themselves.

That being said, horror stories around this country and Canada about pubs going out of business as a result of a ban have proven absolutely baseless. For every smoker resentfully staying home with a can of Bud, there are apparently one or more customers now willing to venture into bars that are smoke free.

Anonymous said...

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C. S. Lewis

Washy

Woolpack Dave said...

Well, interesting thoughts. I've been following this with interest.

For what it's worth I think "Should never have been introduced and should be repealed" and "Is a dead subject which we shouldn't even be discussing" are both extreme views, but interestingly both also poll high.

I much prefer "Should have been in introduced in a modified form to allow smoking in some areas" as it allows some tolerance in both directions.

My full views are on my blog.

Curmudgeon said...

Washy, that is one of my favourite quotations of all time, and hugely relevant to the present day.

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

Mr. SS, I have a hard time believing the majority of your pub folk enjoy smoke infested pubs. It gets in your hair, your clothes, and poses a potential for significant health risks coming from secondary smoke inhalation. I could give a shit if people smoke, but I don't want to inhale that shit. Not in my home, or at the bar.

DaveA said...

@Whurst

The bar like your home is private property. The owner has the sole discretion as to what legal pasttimes go on there. If you do not like it, drink elsewhere or as previously stated set up your own bar. So if a bar did not serve the right beer because their customers preferred other types of beer you would have that closed down too, or would you exercise your right to go somewhere else?

Health risks of passive smoking being American I suggest you look up the Enstrom/Kabat report published in the British Medical Journal. The conclusions were:

"Conclusions The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect. The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed."

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/327/7418/E237

Anonymous said...

Wake up to the fact that there is a genocide against smokers. The Anti-Choice faction are willing participants in that holocaust.

Heil Hitler

Tandleman said...

It could well be argued that smokers have committed their own genocide against themselves.

I was close to removing this mark but then remembered that Hitler was a rabid anti smoker, so it is clear you are just daft.

Anonymous said...

Utterly hilarious, this discussion. And not entirely unpredictable. All the Anons coming out of the woodwork...

Anonymous said...

DaveA, you seem to claim that the Enstrom/Kabat report supports the idea that the effects of passive smoking (or whatever we call it) are not as severe as the anti crowd believes. But the link you've posted (http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/327/7418/E237) is actually an explanation of how misleading that report is, and that it amounts to tobacco-lobby propaganda.

What am I missing here?

Anonymous said...

That was exactly my point. Hitler was rabid Anti-Choice and you and the rest of the people here are behaving in the same way. Does it make you happy to be emulating Hitler? Get your heads out of the sand. When they have finished with the smokers they will be coming for you. Wake up or face having the blood of liberty on your hands.

DaveA said...

@Anonymous 11.17

Alas you are missing loads. The history of Enstrom/Kabat (E/K) is that is was funded 95% from 1960-1997 by the obviously anti smoking charity the American Cancer Society (ACS). The last year or 5% was funded by tobacco companies who literally paid for the publication costs on the basis that they did not have sight of the results. The ACS supplied all of the data, with the implied wish that they wanted to find passive smoking a health risk. By 1997 E/K had largely assembled their data and had come up with the "wrong results." Hence the cynical withdrawal of funding.

Before the paper could be published in the British MedicalJournal (BMJ) it had to go through what is called "peer review." 2 equally eminent epidemiologists looked at its methodolgy, data, integrity and once this criteria had been satisfied then and only then was it allowed to be published. Michael Thun and other charlatans of the ACS mounted a campaign to discredit the report when may I remind you, had funded and supplied all the data. Sour grapes make poor wine.

The BMJ editor at the time Richard Smith commented:

"Fourthly, I found it disturbing that so many people and organisations referred to the flaws in the study without specifying what they were. Indeed, this debate was much more remarkable for its passion than its precision."

You may borrow my login for the BMJ DaveA user name, password clive123 to confirm.

Alison Tonks Assistant Editor of the BMJ said in response to much of the anti smoker's cheap abuse:

"Disappointing for readers looking for a dispassionate appraisal of Enstrom and Kabat's study and its implications."

Another comment was "As a publisher of the leading Austrian medical online news service I feel quite embarrassed following the debate on this article. Many postings look more like a witch hunt than a scientific debate.”

BTW Professor James Enstrom has testified in court against tobacoo companies for active smoking. So a world renown epidemiologist
who had conducted a 38 year study with integrity was subjected to a nasty and vicious critique not based on the facts. When it was published in 2003 Thun and the ACS wrote to his employers at the University of Califoria, Los Angeles to get him fired. In the Devil's Kitchen URL you can read about it in depth.

Analogies with the global warming scam are striking.


http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/327/7413/505-a

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC188405/

http://www.devilskitchen.me.uk/2008/12/passive-smoking-and-salt-mines.html

jesusjohn said...

Yeah, but DaveA - it still smells like crap, don't it?

By all means mainline heroin in my presence - but don't force me to share your fug.

Reading Tom said...

Smoking is good, for you, global warming is a sam , there was a guy on the grassy knoll, 9/11 was a CIA Plot, aliens are amongst us....what did all you conspiracy theorists do with your lives before the internet !?

Erlangernick said...

Wow. Hitler, Hitler, Hitler.

Hey, look at that--comment #76!

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

There are varied opinions to how serious secondary smoke inhalation is. Jesusjohn has it right. I could care less what you do. I just don't want to share your experience. Which is exactly what one does when they're among smokers.

Tyson said...

It’s utter nonsense to suggest nearly a quarter of bar staff have lost their job as a result of the ban. And that wouldn’t equate to 100,000 anyway. But let’s say 100,000 bar staff had been made unemployed. It would be physically impossible to say why each of these had been made redundant without massively detailed research. So, even if we accepted the figure of 100,000, it would be ludicrous to suggest one single cause for the situation. And are they all non-employable? Your scenario suggests that they are all still on the dole.

Anon
I could say look at Professor Konrad Jamrozik of Imperial College whose findings said 49 people in the hospitality industry die every year as a result of passive smoking. No doubt then you’ll point me somewhere else. We can try blinding each other with science all day, but I ain’t a scientist. And neither are you. The difference is I don’t have a political agenda. It is in the interests of the likes of FOREST to dismiss any negative evidence and try to play up the “liberty” angle. But let’s pretend passive smoking isn’t killing me, I don’t see why I should still have to sit in a pub wheezing and with stinging eyes because you want to indulge a personal habit.

Wurst
Spot on. Surely there’s a track in all this?

DaveA said...

@Whurst and JesusJohn

We are getting slowly to a consenus here. I am happy to go into my establishment marked clearly as "smoking permitted" or towards the back of the pub so you do not have to go through a haze of smoke or you can go to yours marked "smoking NOT permitted."

Also with choice you maybe exposed to less smoke. For example hordes of smokers would not be standing outside which you have to pick your way through to gain entrance. Also when I get off the bus and or tube/subway I tend to smoke in the street until I arrive at the pub. I used to light up on arrival. So you will probably be less exposed in the street too.

Also JesusJohn ever arrived home from the pub and someone has said to you that you "smell like a brewery?" Having a converstion with someone who has been drinking to some maybe uncomfortable or even unpleasent. I am just a tolerant person who would be well mannered in that situation.

Also Adolf Hitler was the first to ban smoking in modern times, the first ban in Britain was proposed by James I in 1604. However the tax revenues stopped him from it. Hitler introduced the first ban in 1938 for police and SS officers on duty and extended it to public places like museums and post offices. His coup de grace was in 1943 extended it to buses and trains.

I find it ironic that in modern Europe that the countries with the most liberal smoking laws are those who lived under fascist rule, Germany, Spain and Austria.

Anonymous said...

For fucks sake people, wake up and smell the shit before it hits you in the face.

DaveA said...

Tyson I suggest you read this article from the Morning advertiser and is dated April 2008. Since then another 2000 pubs have closed and 30,000 people may of become redundant. As you can see nearly 6/10 publicans blame the smoking ban.

"The most startling statistic is that 10% of pubs are operating at a loss or zero profit.

Also, as many as 78,000 full and part-time jobs may have been lost if the survey results replicate the situation across the 50,000 pubs in England and Wales. The survey found the average profitability of a pub had slumping by almost 15% in the past year to £24,180.

Of equal concern is that more than half of survey respondents (54%) predicted profitability falling even farther over the coming year.
The average pub turnover has only dipped by 1.9%, but a significant number (9%) reported drops of more than £100,000, many of which were in the £300,000 to £400,000 turnover bracket.

Nearly six out of 10 pubs (57%) had been forced to shed staff, with an average of 2.75 redundancies per pub.

The smoking ban was cited as having the biggest impact on business: three times as many licensees (57%) blaming the ban for lost trade as those citing consumer-spending slowdown as the key factor (19%).

Pubs where trade was down reported falls ranging between 5% and 40% with the average drop being 18%.
Pubs that benefited from the ban reported trade was up within a range of 2% to 20% with an average of just less than an 8% increase.
The figures indicate that claims about pubs being repatriated by non-smokers after the ban were over-optimistic. Despite the hardening financial climate, licensees reported little assistance from their pubcos, with 59% citing them as “unhelpful”.
The areas where hosts wanted help from pubcos were: better discounts on products (53%); rent reviews (29%) and interior or exterior pub revamps (19%).


http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/news.ma/article/59396

Anonymous said...

Well said David. Amd don't forget that Hitler was also a vegetarian and a supposed animal lover. What gets me is all these socialists are in favour of the ban when in China they actually promote smoking.

DaveA said...

@Tyson

Let me now deal with Professor Jamrozik. Firstly can you name me one person who on their death certificate that they died of a disease as a result of passive smoking? And please don't quote to me Roy Castle because A it does not mention passive smoking and B he died of Adencarcinoma a form of lung cancer virtually exclusive to non smokers. Most smokers die of small cell carcinoma.

His paper, funded by ASH was published in the British Medical Journal and people panned it. How he fiddled the figures was including in the death rates ACTIVE smokers who constitute 86% of all lung cancer cases. By virtue of actively smoking people were passively smoking. He also cherry picked the 10 "best" passive smoking studies while ignoring those they suggest nil or even protective risk.

Peter Lee an Oxford educated statistician commented: "For stroke, the relative risk estimate is based on only seven studies, and overlooks evidence from as many other studies,7-13 most of which find little or no relationship. Until a full review of the evidence taking proper account of potential sources of bias and confounding has been published, it remains unclear whether any causal effect exists.

Overall, the paper must be regarded as speculative and unscientific, adding nothing to the debate on passive smoking."

Dr. Gori wrote: "We are facing the ugly prospect that the entire epidemiologic literature on ETS is in fact a gross delusion. Should the flagrant inconsistency of the various results surprise? As gatekeepers and purveyors of evidence based information, the editors of BMJ have an obligation to clarify this conundrum to their readers."

Alastair G Browne MSc BEng said "To summarise, this paper is biased and scientifically invalid. It draws upon material produced from other sources and rather than analysing them, accepts them as hard fact, even though it may not have been the case that the authors of the sources in question intended for their papers to be taken as fact. The act of taking potentially false information, then applying statistical analysis to it, results in a completely meaningless set of figures. "

Please read it for yourself.

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/bmj.38370.496632.8Fv3#103137

Tandleman said...

Dave A

Yawn.

It still makes you stink. That's the point for me. It also has other effects on my ability to enjoy the pub. End of.

DaveA said...

Well Tandleman a little light bedtime reading for you, a guide to declaring yourself bankupt. Yes 4,000 plus, probably couples who have toiled 100+ hours a week, typically to make their pub a going concern. They may of sunk any figure from £30,000-£100,000 of hard savings or capital into the business. Probably now 100,000 other people on Job Seekers Allowance, many from the poorer sections of the community. Single mothers, wives of manual or unskilled workers on minimum wage who struggle to make ends meet.

And why? Viable businesses that have been taken away by an act of Parliament and because someone won't share their pub with a smoker. I actually know people who have lost their pubs and been declared insolvent as a result of this legislation. You have no idea what despair is. No bank account, no access to state benefits, homeless, children being taken out of school by having to move somewhere else.

Why do you think that I as a private individual spend so much time on this topic.

Every single pub loss is an economic and more importantly personal tradegy.


http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/guidanceleaflets/guides.htm#Information about insolvency procedures

Tandleman said...

"Why do you think that I as a private individual spend so much time on this topic."

You are pointlessly obsessed?

Erlangernick said...

DaveA. I find your methods curious. You seem to want to convince people of your point, but then bog them down with piles of apparently haphazardly-selected online back-and-forth that don't really seem to get to a point, at least before the potentially interested reader's eyes start to bleed. I'm afraid you leave me no choice but to consider you among the "baffle 'em with bullshit" crowd.

"I find it ironic that in modern Europe that the countries with the most liberal smoking laws are those who lived under fascist rule, Germany, Spain and Austria."

Forgetting Il Duce, are we? Ah well, three out of four ain't bad.

Don't forget about the fact that far more Krauts smoke than Brits do. The numbers I've seen suggest 1-1/2 - 2 x as many adults smoke here in Krautley, percentage-wise of course. It certainly appears to me that twice as many Krauts smoke as Oregonians do (17%?), where I come from.

But watch out--the state which had enacted the country's strictest Rauchverbot, Bavaria, may end up with the strictest once again, if the current Volksbegehren...um...citizen's referendum goes through. It will ban smoking in the entire gastro trade, without exception. We'll find out in a month or so. (Where was the heart of national socialism?)

My wife and I exercise our choice now. We enjoy spending our holiday €s in England and Italy especially, where the people have been brave enough to put the health, well-being, and *comfort* of the average citizen above possible revenue loss from the tobacco addicts. The (largely GBG) pubs we've enjoyed spending time in since the smoking ban don't seem "empty" or "sterile", rather, typically lovely--depending on the pub in question, of course.

Why not address Frane's point about pubs not closing up in the US? Is it because Yanks aren't just fair-weather pub-goers? Seems to me that those who stay away from pubs now weren't really all that great fans of *pubs* to begin with.

And an observation I came up with back when the Rauchverbot was being hotly debated in Bavaria is still relevant, I think. The question shouldn't be why the gov't should have the right to regulate what the publican does, rather, why should the minority have the "right" to cause discomfort or harm to the majority, just because they happen to share the same PUBlicly accessible space?

The gov't regulates other aspects of what goes on inside the pub--should it not be allowed to?

I encountered the pro-lung-cancer-for-all crowd at the publican website a year or two ago, after der Tandlemann pointed me there, wondering what I thought of the discussion then going on about developments in Germany. As I generously tried to help clear up some misconceptions there, it became clear that they weren't really interested in accuracy, just propagandising, so I lost interest. I sense the same happening here.

(But I would also like to know where this Anon town is with the 3/5 pubs having become infested with buggies and high chairs.)

Erlangernick said...

Crap--in all that, I forgot a couple of things. H!tler also liked dogs, and avoided marriage until the end. Are dog lovers and unmarried heterosexuals also fascists?

Huh. I like dogs, and lived with my wife for 10 years before getting married...uh oh...

And ask my dad why he quit smoking cold-turkey, overnight, in the 1970's. It happened to coincide with his changing professional fields from nuclear- to medical physics, when he began treating cancer patients with radiation therapy at a veteran's hospital.

Common sense suggests to me that if smoking does harm the health, then being in others' smoke is probably also more than not at all harmful, though of course much more difficult to measure accurately.

DaveA said...

@Erlangernick

BTW Happy Thanksgiving Day!

I am never one to shirk ACTIVE smoking. In the UK 86% (34,000 annually) of all lung cancer patients are smokers, and if you went to a British actuary at the age of 20 and told them you smoked, they would assume you would live on average 7 years less if a man and 6.3 years if a woman.

America too has suffered bar closure and unemployment too. On a general point bans in America tend to be less draconian than here. Veteran's bars, cigar bars and Mom and Pop bars are often exempted. Also if you live in one of the southern states for 10-12 months of the year in 75-100 degs of heat, eg Florida, California, Arizona etc sitting outside is a real option. However I don't have exact figures to quote but I have read in the past 10-20% of bars close. But I do have this link to peruse with some quotes on smoking bans.

"Montgomery County restaurant, bar owners say smoking ban has hurt them.

"I've probably lost $50,000 since October," Levy said. "Everyone is going to VFWs, lodges and country clubs," where smoking is permitted.

"The Web - a small tavern in Ogdensburg - will close its doors Saturday.

Owners Janet and Anthony Doerr say the smoking ban destroyed their business. Since it went into affect, the Doerrs says business has gone down hill."

"Bar, tavern groups tout smoking ban study

The study also found that businesses which supply and service bars have lost 2,650 jobs, $50 million in earnings and $71.5 million in gross state product."


http://www.davehitt.com/facts/banlinksarchive1.html

Erlangernick said...

Certainly would seem logical that the gastro trade would be hit by a change like the smoking ban. Funny, then, how the 01.01.2008 implementation in Bavaria led to a dramatic increase in sales in the first half of 2008 compared to the first half of 2007, as shown here:
http://www.ni-muenchen.de/images/stories/pressemitteilungen/Gastgewerbe/Umsatz%20Gastgewerbe%20Bayern%202004-2008%20Tabelle1.pdf
Not only a 6.6% increase in the "food oriented", but *12%* increase in the "drink oriented" trade!

The charts here:
http://www.ni-muenchen.de/content/view/209/20/
show only a 9.7% increase in the drink-oriented trade, but it also refers to data in terms of 2000 prices. It compares Bavaria's numbers with those of Nordrhein-Westfalen's (Köln, Düsseldorf, etc.), where the smoking ban hadn't yet gone into effect. (And the regulation there is so loose that you get stinky no matter where you go out, FWIW.)

(But I'm sure these state numbers are just bunk, of course.)

The law in Oregon is even more draconian than yours, I think--you can't even smoke within 10 feet of a door or window or something.

Thanks for the holiday wishes...here I am spending it sitting here going on about smoking bans with you lot?

But what about my question about relative rights?

Erlangernick said...

And once AGAIN I forgot a detail. At the bottom of that second page, they point out not only that non-smokers are generally better off financially, but they also don't have to shunt part of their income into cigarettes. Point being, they're better supporters of the gastro trade in general, at least here.

Anonymous said...

Simple solution.
Allow choices.
Why is the supporters of the ban afraid of it?
Easy to figure it out.

Anonymous said...

We are getting slowly to a consenus here. I am happy to go into my establishment marked clearly as "smoking permitted" or towards the back of the pub so you do not have to go through a haze of smoke or you can go to yours marked "smoking NOT permitted."
DaveA said...
"Also with choice you maybe exposed to less smoke. For example hordes of smokers would not be standing outside which you have to pick your way through to gain entrance. Also when I get off the bus and or tube/subway I tend to smoke in the street until I arrive at the pub. I used to light up on arrival. So you will probably be less exposed in the street too."

Even the designated smoking room option would not be need it if nonsmokers would really object to smoking in the bar.
Few if any smoker would enter a bar once it is declared as a nonsmoking bar and identified as being one.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what happened with my above post, but the lower part of the quote from DaveA post somehow ended up on the top.

Erlangernick said...

What would this "choice allowing" regulation or law look like then?

Jeff Frane said...

There does not seem to be a definite answer about the financial effect of smoking bans here in the US. New York City has had a ban in effect for years and the City claims there has been an increase in restaurant/bar business. This is from 2004:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/29/nyregion/bars-and-restaurants-thrive-amid-smoking-ban-study-says.html

I've found similar results in most recent studies, particularly in the northern states; studies that show a dampening effect tend to be old and from southern states like Florida:
http://www.sptimes.com/2003/12/21/State/Smoking_ban_chops_bus.shtml

I haven't seen anything that correlates smoking populations to the food trade, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to see higher percentages of smokers in the South.

The Oregon ban has only been in effect since January 1 of this year, and there have been much more serious economic hits in that period, but to date it appears that businesses have not been injured, and the consensus is that food sales have actually increased.

I've been an opponent of the Oregon ban because I thought there was plenty of choice available in the marketplace here. Most of the best beer, in fact, was available in non-smoking pubs.

It's possible that UK pub owners had an opportunity to provide options to their customers and suffered a government ban because they failed to do so. Or perhaps it was impossible to physically separate smokers from non-. Simply decreeing that "these tables over here" are the non-smoking section doesn't work, because the smoke refuses to stay in the designated area.

My attitude would likely have changed if I had been arguing with smokers such as some I see here. Our smokers were content to find pubs and bars where they were free to indulge and I didn't have to deal with any who claimed that the problem lay with "someone won't share their pub with a smoker."

I was just in Virginia, enjoying some excellent brewpub IPA when a cigarette was lit up right next to me at the bar. Cigarettes stink to anyone not sucking on them. They stink up clothing, they ruin the taste of beer and food, and that's why I won't share my pub with a smoker. Take it outside, mate.

Penny said...

Dave A

But surely the point is how far can you go in ensuring that pubs remain viable? They are, after all, just businesses like any other. Smokers aren’t the majority of their customers in any case, but let’s accept the argument that they provide a major source of income for the publican. Are we really saying that health and safety legislation should be shelved because of the (contentious, let’s be honest) economic impact? That would simply open a door for every other business to oppose any proposed change in the law.

I must admit that the figures quoted don’t add up to me. They sound like the scaremongering tactics that the foxhunting lobby tried to use when they faced a ban. They told us we would have thousands out of work and the countryside destroyed. Not to mention the slaughter of hunting dogs. And yet, as far as I’m aware, none of this has come to pass. A fair percentage of bar staff made redundant will have found other work, often in the same field. New licensed premises are always springing up in London and I’ve seen many a barperson migrate round them in turn.

Curmudgeon said...

The foxhunting ban has not had the predicted effects because the law is extremely difficult to enforce and many hunts have to a greater or lesser extent carried on regardless. If a pub tried to defy the ban the local council officers would be round like a shot.

Barry said...

As an ex 50 a day smoker, I had mixed feelings about the ban. It was good as it allayed my cravings for the devil weed but I was worried what would happen to the pub trade and the atmosphere in my favourite locals. On the whole I’ve found it positive. I still see most of the old faces in the same old places. Some do grumble and I think it’s a shame that more pubs can’t have better facilities but by and by, people just get on with it. Those who don’t come out as often cite other reasons as to why that is and so I don’t think the ban can be made a scapegoat for falling numbers of drinkers.

Tyson said...

100 not out!

Just wanted to nip in quick and say congratulations on reaching 100posts. Of course, modesty prevents me from mentioning which anarchist beerhound first predicted such a feat:)

Tandleman said...

It was nothing!

Tyson said...

Erlanger Nick

I admire you willingness to engage the enemy with weapons of their choosing-murky statistics. I fear though that your arguments may be too coherent and logical for their taste. It’s always been a puzzle to me that if smokers were indeed the backbone of the UK pub trade, where are they now? As one landlord said to me:”If they won’t support me when I need them he most, fuck ‘em.” A rather fickle bunch indeed, particularly as they could, if they so wished, still go to the pub and still smoke as well.

On the subject of everyone’s favourite German, Herr Hitler, I feel “supposed dog lover” would be a more accurate description. He did, after all, force Blondi, his German Shepherd, to swallow cyanide as a test for himself. And on behalf of vegetarians everywhere, I would also like to point out that he was never, ever, a vegetarian.

Anon

Possibly because China isn't actually a Socialist country.

Curmudgeon said...

As one landlord said to me:”If they won’t support me when I need them he most, fuck ‘em.”

Isn't that a bit like a licensee who takes real ale off and then complains he gets no support from CAMRA?

Woolpack Dave said...

I believe that makes it 104 now. Proves it's not a dead subject then.

Curmudgeon said...

Are the 170 poll responses a record too?

Mind you I have 91 on "What is the earliest you have had an alcoholic drink in a pub in the past month?" which is comfortably a record for me.

Erlangernick said...

Tyson

You have no idea how nice it is to be told that I'm not a hysteric on this! And the "Hitler-was-a-###" argument is always a winner.

For those who might be interested, Hitler wasn't a vegetarian in the sense that the anti-vegetarian crowd would like to wish he'd been. As best I know, he blamed meat for his gastro-intestinal troubles, and avoided it except for "daily" liver dumpling soup and a penchant for partridge or other small wild fowl. Not at all the militant, veginazi some people would like to paint him as.

And, of course, he wasn't REALLY an Austrian, as Krauts today like to point out!

And he loved himself, yet killed himself, so the bit with killing his dog...well, he *was* a bit of a nutter.

Curmudgeon

Interesting point; I had a witty response to this when I started writing, but I've forgotten it, though in my defence I'm also currently doing a comparison of 5 winter Festbiers. If it comes back to me, I may well grace you with its brilliance.

And during our last English holiday, I tried to survey the pub public I encountered a couple of times about how they see pub life since the smoking ban, but I honestly can't remember how it went, what with having drunk a bit in said pubs.

Hats off to our brave English, Irish, Italian, and Oregonian mates for having the courage to stand up and make pubs better for all. Here's hoping the Bavarians will do the same in the next weeks! (Pity I can't vote.)

Okay, that was smarmy. And I'm a bit pissed.

Southern Sam said...

Erlangernick:

'The question shouldn't be why the gov't should have the right to regulate what the publican does, rather, why should the minority have the "right" to cause discomfort or harm to the majority, just because they happen to share the same PUBlicly accessible space?

The gov't regulates other aspects of what goes on inside the pub--should it not be allowed to?'


The problem with this line of thinking, Erlangernick, is that you seem to support the state banning tobacco smoke in pubs because YOU happen to consider it unpleasant.

What happens if the government decides to 'regulate' the consumption of alcohol by stating how many drinks one is limited to or freedom of expression in pubs? After all, 'The gov't regulates other aspects of what goes on inside the pub--should it not be allowed to'?.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on passing 100.I bet Biffo is choking on his gonads in envy.

Captain Jack

Tim said...

I see it this way. If I farted in a room and wafted it in their face they would be offended. If my fart was comprised of chemicals that are going to kill them they would be even more upset.
Those who don't like the smoking laws should find a sympathetic politician and lobby them. The laws were put in place by a democratically elected government, which was elected by the majority of people. Smokers are a minority - if you can't beat the anti-smoking lobby, give up and join them. Some say it's and erosion of civil rights, but actually its protecting the rights of non-smokers to enjoy a pint and a meal in an environment which isn't laced with carcinogenic fumes

Anonymous said...

100,000 jobs?!? Really? I'd like to see the figures to support that. From the statistics (as displayed on the BBC), UK unemployment has risen by about 0.8 million in the time since the ban - attributing 12% of these job losses due to smoking being banned is unlikely I think - especially since unemployment appeared to *drop* between 2007 and 2008!

By the way, you realise in 2004 (June 7th), the TGWU voted "in favour of an outright ban on smoking in bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants amid mounting concerns of the failure of existing legislation to protect workers and the public from the potentially fatal impact of passive smoking.". Employees wanted it brought in - and then smokers complain that it doesn't protect the staff who wanted it; and complain that protecting the majority of the population is unfair!

DaveA said...

Annonymous@ 9.53 and Penny

What is not in dispute is that 78,000 jobs have gone and this was 18 months ago, the article is dated 3rd April 2008. Then pubs were closing at 39 a week, it has now accelerated to 52 a day. This was 9 months into the ban when at the end of the year 1,409 pubs have closed. The number of pubs closed now has more than tripled to 4,300, so my 100,000 is probably conservative.

"Also, as many as 78,000 full and part-time jobs may have been lost if the survey results replicate the situation across the 50,000 pubs in England and Wales."

http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/news.ma/article/59396

DaveA said...

@Erlangernick re Bavaria

I have looked at your two URLs and the figures end in 2008 June and January respectively. The ban came in April 2008 before the impact of the ban could be measured. Can I pose the question to you, if a bar owner was making more money from being non smoking would they not continue in that vein and not seek to overturn it?

People not only voted with their feet but also at the ballot box following the ban.

"The leaders of Bavaria's ruling party, the Christian Social Union, want to relax the state's smoking ban -- and very quickly. Many of the party's politicians blame the ban for the CSU's poor showing in recent local elections."

"Many of the party's top politicians blamed the state's strict smoking ban on their party's poor showing in recent local elections. The CSU suffered big defeats in Munich and Nuremberg in Sunday's polls, where center-left Social Democratic Party mayors were re-elected with bigger marigins. A leading CSU politician, who prefered to remain anonymous, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Monday that many of the party's supporters had abstained from voting because of the ban."


http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,539902,00.html

DaveA said...

On the supposed popularity of the ban I offer two polls which suggest most people wanted choice. You will note that 80% wanted choice, 83% were not bothered about smoke and 41% of the customers were smokers.

The second poll was conducted by nicotinell the nicotine replacement product company so hardly biased.

"According to the local street poll conducted in the city by Nicotinell, more than half - 52 per cent - were against a total ban."


"28 Jul 2004
More than 80 percent of pub customers in Wales are opposed to a complete ban on smoking in pubs according to a survey carried out for leading independent brewer, pubs and drinks company SA Brain & Co Ltd.

The independent survey of nearly 1,400 customers and staff found that only 19 percent of customers and 12 percent of staff support a total ban on smoking in pubs. There was, however, more widespread support for the provision of no smoking areas for eating and at the bar.

Around 42 percent of customers agreed that no smoking should be the policy in eating areas of the pub. Twenty-two and a half percent support banning smoking at the bar at 22.5 percent and 23 percent of customers said that they would spend more time in the pub if changes to the smoking policy were made. Around 83 percent said that the level of smoke was not a problem in the pub in which they were interviewed.

Of the total number of customers surveyed, 41 percent were smokers.
Retail director for SA Brain & Co Ltd, Philip Lay, said

http://www.sabrain.com/index.cfm?UUID=FFD5C6A8-2B30-CFB5-B7D7FD7905913320

http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/latestnews/Capital-bucks-trend-on-total.2487734.jp

db said...

A fair number of anti smoking comments seem to stem from malice, revenge and prejudice.

One thing that is beyond all doubt is that pubs and clubs are disappearing at an alarming rate. Smoker/non smoker/pro/anti, makes little difference. It's rapidly becoming academic, soon very few will have any choice at all, particularly in rural areas.

There is absolutely no good reason why separate ventilated rooms wouldn't solve the smoking issue. Air quality could be monitored and sensible limits could apply. Even the claimed risks associated with SHS are very small, too small to warrant draconian measures like this. Funny thing is, a few years ago we all got on happily together. One thing's for sure, minds have definitely been poisoned

DaveA said...

On the subject of second hand smoke (SHS) I have a number of points. I am sure we all do not believe everything the government tells us. For example Tony Blair's weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it appears that the "global warming" bandwaggon at the University of East Anglia has been guilty of fiddling the figures.. So not all information is truthful, if not willful lying.

Experiments have been taken out on bar staff and measure the cotine levels (it is a marker for SHS) and even in the smokiest bars, estimates suggest the most they consume in a year is the equivalent of 6 cigarettes a year. As a passive smoker you breathe in 1/500th of the smoke of an active smoker. The concentrations are so minute that are literally harmless.

For example benzene is a class A carcinogen and consititues 0.5% by volume a gallon of petrol (gas). One single car passing you contains 20,000 more benzene molecules per cubed inch than a single smoker. As I mentioned previously in a 100 metre cubed room you would have to be surrounded by 13,300 smokers. One car exhaust would with carbon monoxide combined would kill you in under an hour.

Sir George Godber the hen UK Chief Medical Office speaking at the World Health Organization was quoted as saying this:

"....it would be essential to foster an atmosphere where it was perceived that active smokers would injure those around them, especially their family and any infants or young children who would be exposed involuntarily to ETS."

Here is an epidemiologist speaking in 1999.

“Yes, it's rotten science, but it's in a worthy cause. It will help us to get rid of cigarettes and become a smoke-free society" so said Alvan Feinstein, Yale University epidemiologist writing in Toxological Pathology."

Professor Pie-Tin said...

To my mind it's very simple.
If a Government is prepared to tax smokers to the hilt they at least have a moral responsibility to allow smokers to indulge their habit in reasonable comfort.
But non-smokers also have a right not to have to inhale other people's cigarette smoke.
If it possible to have a separate, well-ventilated indoor smoking area where staff are not expected to work why shouldn't this be allowed.
If it isn't possible then an outside area fully covered and heated should be allowed.
If none of this is possible then smokers should smoke outdoors.
The problem with the smoking ban is that commonsense has been sacrificed for political expediency.
No change there then.

Erlangernick said...

DaveA:
@Erlangernick re Bavaria

I have looked at your two URLs and the figures end in 2008 June and January respectively. The ban came in April 2008 before the impact of the ban could be measured.


No, the ban was enacted on 1st January. The information for Jan-June is apparently published every September, so it's perfectly accurate for the time period.

Can I pose the question to you, if a bar owner was making more money from being non smoking would they not continue in that vein and not seek to overturn it?

Publicans have indeed told me that business is up!

As far as your Spiegel cites go, sorry, I discussed this at long length over at the Publican website back when it was news. I've 0 interest in rehashing it here.

Eh, a bit of an update is in order, I guess. All that article does is explain how the party blamed their beating on their enactment of the Rauchverbot. What happened in the nearly year and a half since that article --their weakening of the ban-- resulted in even worse numbers in the September 2009 election! What does that say then?

DaveA said...

@Erlangernick

I onlhy reply when I have done my research. Here is an article in Spiegel and most worryingly the one room bars where smoking was abnned saw a drop in sale of 31% post ban.

"One-fifth of all bar and restaurant owners nationwide complain that their sales have declined by 20 percent or more since smoking bans were introduced.

"In the state of Hesse, for example, single-room establishments suffered an average 31-percent decline in sales, while one in five have lost at least 50 percent of their business. In the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, more than half of all owners of small bars and restaurants are worried about their ability to stay in business. In response to an inquiry from the Constitutional Court, the Federal Office of Statistics found that although "establishments primarily selling beverages" also saw declines in sales in late 2007 in states that had no smoking bans at the time, they were not as substantial as the drop in sales in states with bans."

On employment.

"In the past, Neu hired students to help out in the bar every day, but he has had to reduce his employees' total weekly hours from 80 to 40."

"Since last fall, the club, which Wirsing describes as a "total nighttime experience," has seen only 1,500 people come through its doors on a typical weekend instead of the usual 2,200. Turnover has dropped by about 30 percent as a result.

The dance club is no longer open on Thursdays, except during holiday periods, and on Fridays and Saturdays two rooms are now closed. Ten full-time employees have been let go. They now work for the club on a part-time basis."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,558843-2,00.html

Erlangernick said...

DaveA

*sigh*

Your Spiegel article is from June 2008, and explains the situation in states where unfair, non-uniform bans were enacted like Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, and basically everywhere aside from Bavaria. In these states, bans were enacted with exceptions for seperate smoking rooms, which was unfair to one-room places.

You quote the concerns of small, one-room places in which smoking was banned losing out business to the larger, multi-room places. Of course they were right to complain and take their case to court!

We all know what the (tobacco-friendly) Constitutional Court did a month or so after that article, right? (Well, I do, anyway.)

The point being, again, is: in the state with the smoking ban most similar to the great, fair, British, Irish, and Italian ones, business went up overall. In the other states, of course, business went down for those who had got(ten) the short end of the deal!

"You're welcome" in response to your silent thanks for my having cleared up your previous misunderstanding about April 2008. :-)

I'd still like to know what you think of my previous question or relative rights, if you'd care to opine on it.

Southern Sam

What does it matter if I support the ban or not? What about my question, regardless of your assessment of my larger view?

Do you think you should have the right to cause physical discomfort to someone else, just because you both happen to be occupying the same publicly accessible place of business?

AFA your second point goes--it's not really relevant is it? My drinking a pint or five in the same room as you doesn't harm you. My harming someone else through drink driving, for example, is already illegal, however.

I'd like to think that a secular gov't wouldn't ban drinking, but then again, you lot wrap your construction sites up in frickin' bubble-wrap, so who knows? Count on my support in the resistance, bro!

Southern Sam said...

Eerlangernick:

Pubs are not public places in the way a court, council building or library is. They are private property. What happens if a majority of a publican's customers wish to smoke? Why should the wishes of a minority - or you - override the wishes of the publican and the majority of his customers?

The issue of government regulation is important. The state has no right - imo - banning people from consuming legally and freely available substances on private property.

I think it is reasnoable to ask pubs to declare that smoking is permitted. Non-smokers would then be at liberty to consent by entering, or to take their money, pristine lungs and sanctimony elswhere.

Southern Sam said...

I should add (as I've stated above) that I am as equally trenchant in my support of a publican who wishes to ban smoking on his premises - and against the right of a smoker to infringe on that right.

But it should be for the publican to decide, not the state.

Curmudgeon said...

Before the ban, the government used to run an annual opinion survey on various social issues. It tended to produce a majority in favour of "smoking should be banned in public places" but, on the other hand, a majority in favour of "smoking should be allowed in separate areas of pubs and bars" - clearly illustrating that the general public do not regard pubs as "public places" in the usual sense of the word.

As said numerous times before, if you didn't like smoky pubs, you should have gone to one of the huge number that had non-smoking areas, or started a no-smoking pub of your own.

Curmudgeon said...

Well, the big poll has closed and interestingly exactly half have voted for some amelioration of the ban.

Of 190 respondents, 53 say "Should never have been introduced and should be repealed", 34 say "Should have been in introduced in a modified form to allow smoking in some areas", and 8 say "Has ruined pubs and changed them for the worse".

Opinions are divided - this is not a dead issue and is not going to go away. No way are the opponents of the ban going to "move on".

Penny said...

Rather than being difficult to enforce, I would suggest that there is a certain reluctance to enforce the foxhunting law. Which, of course, is a different matter. And the more obvious explination about the foxhunting figures not becoming reality is simply that they were pure fiction.

DaveA said...

@Penny

An ex girlfriend of mine owned horses and went hunting. The fox hunting ban is very easy to circumvent. It is not against the law to go out into the countryside with a pack of hounds and hunt foxes. The hunt are not allowed to let the hounds kill the fox and it has to be shot. I believe the other exception is that, you can let the hounds kill the fox if you have a bird of prey with you, don't ask me why.

If only the smoking ban was that easy.

"Hunts are buying birds of prey to try and side-step the ban on fox hunting with hounds, falconry experts warn."

"Using dogs to flush wild mammals for a bird of prey to hunt is an exemption set out in the Hunting Act 2004."


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4255614.stm

Anonymous said...

Tim, for the record. Full of inaccuracies as is often the case with the Anti-Choice brigade. Your farts could actually be more harmful than passive smoking as all the research shows there is no risk from passive smoking. While I imagine you letting rip would be most unpleasant. You and your narrow band of bigots care nothing for liberty and individual freedom, but will soon be crying when they deprive you of your homebrew.

Thank you for welcoming me to your hellish world of intolerance and hatred.

Anonymous said...

The foxhunting ban is being repealed. So there is still a good chance for the smoking ban to be consigned to he ashtray of stupid laws. I will be enjoying my pipe again soon enough.

Barry said...

Tim is so full of methane, I can believe his farts are more dangerous than passive smoking.

Tyson said...

DaveA

The foxhunting legislation could have been written better, I'd agree, but then it was something of a compromise. And lot's of other legislation is equally as bad. With respect, you are not qulaified on the nuances of the law. What I am told by those who are in the legal profession is that the law is no more or less easy to circumvent that many laws on the statue books.

The difference with foxhunting is that the police see it as a very low priority and that is why enforcement is so lax. Richard Brunstrom, the spokesman on rural affairs for the Association of Chief Constables and himself chief constable of North Wales Police, said: "Hunting is definitely not a policing priority. It is not illegal to wear a red coat and ride a horse in a public place."

Mr Brunstrom said police had to choose which areas of law enforcement to devote scarce resources to.

He added: "If you look at hunting, the penalties do not include a prison sentence for offenders."

But that aside, we are still left with the inaccurate, scaremongering, figures given by the pro-foxhunting mob.

DaveA said...

@Tyson

Genuine question what are the inaccurate figures put out by the fox hunting lobby? On hunting I sit on the fence. I undertsnad that as a way of keeping down the fox population it is fairly ineffective. Most horsey people just love riding and hunting a fox is just an excuse to put on the jodhpurs, although I did read an article form the Royal Vetinary Association which suggests it is the most humane way of killing a fox as opposed to trapping and shooting. The former is obvious and the latter if you wound a fox rather than kill it outright.

When I used to live in Hackney in east London we had a magnificent fox that lived in the garden and would not wish it any harm and I would decline any invitation to go hunting.

However I am very persuaded by the libertarian argument.

Tyson said...

DaveA

Pre ban, the pro fox hunting lobby were claiming 16,000 job losses (independent estimate cirrca 700), 20,000 hounds being put down and up to a million horses destroyed. These figures were met by a healthy scepticism and, of course, never transformed into reality.

Somewhet ironically, there has been an actual increase in people riding out on hunts, but I don't think anyone seriously believes this is the reason for the figures being so out of touch. It would be nice if the Countryside Alliance held their hands up and admitted they were wrong, but I won't hold my breath.

Of course it's just an excuse to saddle up for the day-I have a friend who drag hunts who is willing to admit that. However, the sooner the ikes of the Countryside Alliance stops pretending it's any form of pest control, the better. Only some 8% of foxes are killed by hunts and Defra considers fox predation of sheep negligible.

"However I am very persuaded by the libertarian argument."

All Libertarian arguemets are, superficially, persuasive.

DaveA said...

@Tyson

Thanks for your reply and I agree the CA did raise the prospect of unemployment and a mass put down of horses and hounds. The figure of 8% of foxes I avery easily believe, so your facts I can only concur.

However, whether it is CA spin I don't know, but the Boxing Day hunt was one of the best attended after the law was introduced.

If I can draw an analogy with smoking, whose rates have remained stable, if not increased since the ban, goverment nannying/bullying is often counter productive.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-424803/Record-numbers-turn-Boxing-Day-hunt.html

Penny said...

Southern Sam

Pubs are not owned by the state, but neither are they are private residencies in the way houses are. Many landlords do not even live on the premises, for example. Their name says it all. They are “public” houses. They are open to the public and so, although privately owned, are subject to legislation in the same way as privately owned shops are.

Pubs require a licence by the state to sell alcohol and are regulated on hours etc. So the smoking ban is quite in keeping with that. I understand from your political perspective that you would allow landlords free reign. That is a point of view, but it is not the way the western democratic parliament system works.

DaveA said...

@Penny

Most pubs I go to have a sign above which says "Management reserves the right of admission." Some town center pubs have bouncers that stop people coming in and of course they eject people. So there are no rights to enter at all, you are invited. You mention shops, Harrods will not let you enter if you are not suitably dressed.

This is a clear distinction from a town hall, hospital and library for example.

As a libertarian I find it quite objectionable that the government is legislating for legal past times on private property.

Barm said...

"And why? Viable businesses that have been taken away by an act of Parliament and because someone won't share their pub with a smoker."

I find this hilarious: the way that pub closures -- supposing for the sake of argument they are down to the ban -- are now blamed on the people who continued going to the pub, not the smokers who stayed at home sulking.

Oh, and "db": "Funny thing is, a few years ago we all got on happily together."

No we didn't. You, inconsiderate as you are, puffed smoke at us and up until a few years ago there was no way for us to stop you. You still haven't understood, have you? You're like a violent husband still wondering why his wife has left him.

Erlangernick said...

Thanks, Penny, for addressing that. In the US, the talk is of places "of public accomodation". There are laws which govern and regulate how the public are (or aren't) to be treated in places of public accomodation, a term which probably covers the vast bulk of private businesses.

Things like, although the owner can reserve the right to exclude people based on how they dress or behave, they can't do so based on religious or racial grounds. So it is not as cut and dry as regulating what goes on in publicly owned places, but still, the government does have some say.

And what's the difference anyway? Why should the chemist down the street be free of regulation concerning the health and comfort of its patrons, but not the bus station? People *have* to go to the chemist sometimes, just like they *have* to go to the bus station.

Southern Sam said...

Penny:

[i]So the smoking ban is quite in keeping with that. I understand from your political perspective that you would allow landlords free reign. That is a point of view, but it is not the way the western democratic parliament system works.[/i]

I don't need you to tell me how parliamentary democracies work actually. But thanks anyway.

Can you tell me where I said public houses were private residencies in the way houses were?

They are publically accessible places, agreed, but that does not, as far as I'm concerned, give the state a legitimate reason to regulate or dictate any more than is necessary in the regulation of behaviour between consenting adults.

Alcohol is licensed for the very sensible reason that to not have such a system would present a very real and likely threat to public order.

No such threat exists from the consumption of tobacco smoke, and it is my view that it should be left for the owner of a pub to choose whether he allows smoking, and for his customers to choose whether they consent by entering, or do not consent by taking their custom elsewhere.

Tyson said...

Dave A

Public houses (and shops etc) are “public spaces” and there is a clear distinction made between private residential property and these “public spaces”. Basically liberty (in your sense of the word) ends at your front door. Anywhere where people interact in “public” will do so under varying degrees of state regulation.

Of course pubs can refuse admission and ban you from wearing hats etc. But they can only do so under criteria permitted by the authorities. And that is the important difference between me and you in our house and places like pubs. They cannot refuse me entry on ground of race, gender, sexual orientation etc. I, however, am quite free to openly ban another private citizen entering my house on any arbitrary criteria I choose.

Southern Sam

I don’t think there was any need for sarcasm. I think Penny was merely pointing out that the system we have is a fact of life and wishing won’t make it go away. There is a rhyme and logic to it.

Of course you are free to disagree with the system and campaign to change it. You don’t believe in state regulation on these matters. I happen to do so. So we can agree to cancel each other out at the ballot box.

Southern Sam said...

Tyson:

Of course pubs can refuse admission and ban you from wearing hats etc. But they can only do so under criteria permitted by the authorities.

It's the other way round actually. Publicans are free to discriminate in any way they choose, providing they do not discriminate on the grounds race, sexual orientation, disability etc. Heaven forbid we ever reach a state of affairs where the authorities provide a publican with a list of the ways in which he or she IS allowed to discriminate.

As for the 'is a pub a public space?' debate, the Health Act 2006 actually refers to 'premises that are open to the public' – a description most of us can probably agree with, even if we don't agree with the ban.

Oh, and yes, apologies for the sarcasm, but there's no need for the patronising politics lessons either. Disagreeing with a piece of legislation and questioning the extent to which the state should involve itself in the affairs of consenting adults is not the same as saying government shouldn't exist or that there is something illegal about a piece of legislation.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how the pro-smoking lobby's idea of "choice" allows them to smoke and cause me disconfort. Their idea of "choice" is for me to be able to choose to stay at home. But offer them that "choice" and it's wrong.

Anyone else find their idea of "choice" funny?

Southern Sam said...

Anonymous:

Anyone else find their idea of "choice" funny?

What's 'funny' is that you clearly haven’t read a word of the discussion above.

Non-smokers (particuarly under an amended Act which would make smoking illegal in a pub where the licensee has decided to make his pub 'non-smoking') had/would have the choice to set up/frequent a smoke free pub.

Those who wish to visit a pub that permits smoking inside on the other hand are denied the choice of setting up or frequenting a pub which permits smoking inside.

Curmudgeon said...

It's funny how the pro-smoking lobby's idea of "choice" allows them to smoke and cause me disconfort. Their idea of "choice" is for me to be able to choose to stay at home. But offer them that "choice" and it's wrong.

What a ludicrous perversion of what is actually being proposed. The choice would be between areas in which smoking is permitted and areas in which it isn't - something not available at present.

And since when does advocating tolerance towards smokers make someone "pro-smoking"?

Jeff Frane said...

Non-smokers (particuarly under an amended Act which would make smoking illegal in a pub where the licensee has decided to make his pub 'non-smoking') had/would have the choice to set up/frequent a smoke free pub.

Since the smoking bans contain the premise that they're intended to protect workers, you've got an additional barrier to overcome. Really effective air filtering systems are very expensive and I can see how they might be impossible to install in a lot of older pubs.

Defining "smoking areas" is a joke, I can tell you from experience. Smoke does not conveniently hover in place, especially if there is any air movement.

DaveA said...

@Jeff Frane

Frankly Jeff I am going to have to beg to differ. We have been in touch with Professor Andrew Geens who is a specialist in air quality management. The cost is £2,000-£3,000 and is installed in medical operating theatres.

In Wales in November 2004 a study was done on 5 pubs. 'PASSIVE smoking in pubs may not be as harmful as we think, according to the results of an exclusive Wales on Sunday investigation.....Our results were processed and supervised by the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London...The final two pubs, Revolution in Swansea and The Wynnstay Arms, Llanbrynmair, recorded negligible results, and both our testers found the places were well air-conditioned."

http://www.rics.org/site/download_feed.aspx?fileID=4527&fileExtension=PDF

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/tm_objectid=14871372&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=smoking-out-truth-over-passive-health-name_page.html

Baptist Bob said...

Although smoking was unknown during the ages when the Bible was being written, the Bible provides adequate teaching, through principle, about this relatively modern habit.

In I Corinthians 6:19-20, the Apostle Paul wrote to Christians, "Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price: Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God's". Much modern evidence shows smoking to be a health hazard to the extend that each package of cigarettes must, by law, bear this message, "Warning: the Surgeon General has determined that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health". Obviously, something dangerous to the health cannot possibly enhance, or build up, the body. Smoking is contrary to healthful practices and acts to weaken or destroy the body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Christians do not own their own bodies their bodies are Christ's, bought and paid for by his death. Christians are not free to use their bodies for pleasure and in any way they choose. They are to glorify God in their bodies and since smoking does not glorify God, smokers are in violation of this precept.

In Romans 14:21 and Romans 15:1-2, we are taught not to offend our fellow-Christians and to take care to please our neighbors that they might be saved. While smoking will not be noticed by some and might please a very few, most people will be displeased by it and quite a few will be greatly offended by it. Soul winning is more difficult for smokers. In Philippians 2:3-4, we read ". . - Let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others". In other words, be considerate. Be thoughtful. Smokers cannot be thoughtful when smoking in a non-smokers car, it will be weeks before he will be able to get all the odor from the upholstery.

In a house-, cigarette odor will linger for 2 or 3 days. To non-smokers this is intolerable, to a few individuals smoke from other's cigarettes can produce dangerous toxic reactions. Smoking is against the principles of being careful not to offend and of being considerate.

Smoking is wasteful of time and of money. Christians are to be faithful stewards (Read Matthew 25:14-30), for, like our bodies, our money and our time, are not ours, but Christ's.

Christians also need to come face to face with the shocking realities that while more than 90% of all lung cancer victims are smokers, scientific studies have also shown that smokers have more than three time as many heart attacks as do non-smokers. We can simply find no way by which we can justify the willful destruction of our bodies in such a manner. The Apostle Paul said, "Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are? I Corinthians 3:16-17.

Most smokers find quitting difficult. The smoker who loves Christ has good reason to want to quit, and thus the battle is nearly won. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me". If you are a smoker and wish to quit, pray often for strength. Some smokers can quit easily, while others find it difficult. If you are one of these, endure the discomforts, remembering always that you can do so for your Christ; your agony is small compared to that which He suffered for you. You can quit for Him, for His cause, and for the sake of all those who your smoking might otherwise lose for Christ.

Southern Sam said...

With Baptist Bob on your side...

DaveA said...

@Baptist Bob

It looks like you have been cutting and pasting from this web site which also adds "No, the Bible does not specifically mention the use of tobacco."

Tobacco was grown in Egyptian times pre dating Jesus by 3,000 years, so it may of been in the Holy Land when Jesus was around. However as we know, Jesus did turn water into wine and hence by inference must of condoned its consumption.

I think when we enter the pearly gates, I think St Peter will probably overlook the sinning of smoking first and see how Christian we have been to our fellow human beings.

God bless.

http://www.scripturessay.com/article.php?cat=&id=610

Reanna said...

No offence to the puffing brigade, but I prefer to get my facts from a reliable source. For instance the WHO. They have published a report today that says,

"smoke-free policies were crucial to reducing the harm caused by second-hand smoke, which it said kills around 600,000 people prematurely each year and causes crippling, disfiguring illness and economic losses reaching tens of billions of dollars."

And further
"Scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease and disability. Over the past four decades, smoking rates have fallen in rich places such as the United States, Japan and western Europe, but they are rising in much of the developing world."

It concludes
"Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world, killing more than 5 million people a year. A report by the World Lung Foundation in August said smoking could kill a billion people this century if trends hold."

Southern Sam said...

"Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world, killing more than 5 million people a year. A report by the World Lung Foundation in August said smoking could kill a billion people this century if trends hold."

No offence to you, Reanna, but who cares? You anti-smoking types behave as if life is something other than a terminal condition!

I don’t want to force non-smokers to allow smoking everywhere. All I ask is that anti-smokers do not force their wishes and worldview on me and likeminded others by restricting my and other’s freedom as consenting adults in a liberal society.

I await the WHO’s report on alcohol consumption and its effects.

DaveA said...

@Reanna

Would you go to the Labour Party and Tony Blair for honest advice on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Would you go to the University Of East Anglia for honest advice on climate change?

The WHO is misleading you on SHS and the only study they published in 1998 showed it to be harmless.

"Passive smoking doesn't cause cancer - official

By Victoria Macdonald, Health Correspondent

THE world's leading health organization has withheld from publication a study which shows that not only might there be no link between passive smoking and lung cancer but that it could even have a protective effect.
The astounding results are set to throw wide open the debate on passive smoking health risks. The World Health Organisation, which commissioned the 12-centre, seven-country European study has failed to make the findings public, and has instead produced only a summary of the results in an internal report."

"The findings are certain to be an embarrassment to the WHO, which has spent years and vast sums on anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaigns. The study is one of the largest ever to look at the link between passive smoking - or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) -and lung cancer, and had been eagerly awaited by medical experts and campaigning groups."


http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2004/03/who-report-passive-smoking-doesnt-cause.html

Tandleman said...

I wish you'd all let this one go now frankly. As for passive smoking? Forget it. It's the bloody smell mate!

Reanna said...

Dave
Is that the best you can do? Quotations from a pro-smoking blog. Hardly impartial. We are not talking about 1998, we are talking about today. I think most people are going to listen to the WHO who do not have an agenda. Unlike the pro-smoking lobby

Southern Sam
Who cares? Says it all. We need no more insight into your outlook on life.

Southern Sam said...

Speak for everyone else if you like, Renna. I speak for no-one but myself.

Anonymous said...

As we say goodbye to 2009 it's time to reflect on what liberties we've lost and what we are about to lose.The smoking ban has ripped a hole in any sense of freedom we may have had.Foxhunting is returning and hopefully the smoking ban will also be repealed.We cannot however afford to relax our grip on what true liberty is and how far away we are from it in this country.