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« Rod Liddle, (Brian Binley) and me | Main | EDM 406 - how you can help »

Ten reasons why the smoking ban stinks

Guest post by JOE JACKSON

Ten reasons why the smoking ban stinks:

(1) It disregards property rights. The air in a pub ‘belongs’ neither to smokers nor nonsmokers, and certainly not to politicians, but to the publican, and it is the publican who should decide the smoking policy on his or her own premises.

(2) It sets a terrible precedent by blurring the boundary between public and private. A law court is a ‘public place’ – a nightclub is not, and neither politicians nor doctors have the right to legislate what people do in it. If we concede to them that right, they will inevitably extend it to our cars (as they are now trying to do) and then to our homes (which has already happened in parts of the US).

(3) It removes freedom of choice – not only the smoker’s freedom to enjoy a legal habit, but everyone’s freedom to work out their own compromises and solutions.

(4) It is anti-democratic. The government’s own Office for National Statistics found 68% opposed to a total ban, but like every other smoking ban in the world, it was imposed regardless. The only opinions which have been heard are those of medical authorities and lobby groups, and directly or indirectly, the pharmaceutical companies which fund them.

(5) It is socially divisive and encourages intolerance. Government is blatantly stigmatising a particular group, who must change their behaviour or be excluded from ‘correct’ society (a recent NHS campaign used the slogan ‘If you smoke, you stink’). Well-intentioned or not, antismoking authorities have created tremendous animosity between friends, neighbours and family members. They have also encouraged people to think that government can, or should, intervene to stop other people doing whatever they personally don’t approve of.

(6) It is hypocritical, since tobacco remains legal and the Treasury makes around £10 billion per year from taxing it. And, incidentally, there is a smoker-friendly bar in the House of Commons.

(7) Despite ever more frantic and contrived efforts to ‘prove’ otherwise, it is bad for business. Pubs and clubs are dying, and although the ban may not be the only factor, few people in the trade would deny that it’s a significant one.

(8) It is technologically backward, since it is not difficult, with decent modern air filtration, to make smoke virtually unnoticeable, and certainly harmless.

(9) It does not stop people smoking. Even if we find it appropriate in the first place to ban smoking in pubs in order to pressure people into quitting, it doesn’t work. In many countries smoking rates have risen since bans have been imposed.

(10) Finally, and most importantly, the government claims to be setting aside all these considerations in order to tackle a deadly health threat: 
‘secondhand smoke’. But there is no actual proof that even one person has died from this phantom menace. After 40 years of studies, antismokers can still only produce computer projections based on dubious statistics, and ‘relative risk ratios’ which sound scary but mean nothing in the real world. That’s why we see, for instance, posters telling us that tobacco smoke contains various nasty-sounding chemicals, without mentioning that they are present only at infinitesimal, harmless levels.

If we accept that such feeble evidence justifies a smoking ban, we are setting the level of acceptable risk so low as to justify banning just about everything else, too: cooking (which produces carcinogens), candles, incense, open fires, perfume, etc. Thousands of products, from household cleaners to cosmetics, contain higher levels of toxic chemicals than tobacco – and are still harmless.

Ultimately, the problem here goes way beyond ‘to smoke or not to smoke’. There is a worrying general trend towards more and more intrusive legislation, justified by more and more dishonest and misleading junk science and fearmongering. (Typical of this are recent claims that the continuation of a long-term decline in heart attacks is ‘caused by’ smoking bans, and the invention of a new threat, ‘thirdhand smoke,’ on the basis of no scientific evidence whatsoever).

What’s needed is not just the repeal of the smoking ban and other petty, oppressive laws, but a return to healthy scepticism, fairness, and common sense.

Reader Comments (83)

Well Said Joe. Keep it up

July 7, 2010 at 10:32 | Unregistered CommenterPeter James

May I say what an excellent well written piece.

July 7, 2010 at 13:03 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

I feel this should be forwarded to all MPs by as many people as possible. So far, the only reforms the coalition has made is to cut budgets in most essential services; for example the new Chief Constable of Kent has just announced huge budget cuts in his force and warned that jobs will go. Slightly beside the point, I know, but part of the bigger picture.

Keep it up, Joe.

July 7, 2010 at 13:10 | Unregistered CommenterLesley Cookman

Well said,
I as an xe publican can verify that because of this stupid smoking ban i have lost 2 of my pubs and was made bancrupt...
The polaticions want to get into the real world, the pompus ass holes, they have ruined so many peoples lively hoods, I JUST HOPE ONE DAY IT ALL BACK FIRES ON THE LOT OF THE SHIT HEADS..
Kind wishes
diane x

July 7, 2010 at 13:17 | Unregistered Commenterdiane

What a wonderful article!! I agree with everything you say. I didn't know that there was a smoker friendly bar in the House of Commons, disgraceful that this is allowed when we are not allowed to smoke in any public place. I was also pleased to see you list a variety of other items that contain more dangerous substances than cig smoke, wonderful, I have been saying this for a long time, but never seen it written anywhere before.

July 7, 2010 at 13:22 | Unregistered CommenterJulia McClelland


I would expect no less of you - your analysis is bang on the mony as usual however, Lesley's observation above is optimistic in the extreme. Politicians have a track record of deafness that often defies description.

I have to say that the only action I can see working is mass disobedience of the law. How many people can the Government lock up?

But then: that's why I live in Germany where the laws here are targetted at ensuring non-smokers have facilities available to them while smokers can have theirs. How unlike the UK.

July 7, 2010 at 13:25 | Unregistered CommenterCharles Matthews

Great post.

July 7, 2010 at 13:26 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

I still cannot understand why the MPs are allowed a smoke friendly bar in Parliment?
How two faced and hypocritical can you get than to create a law banning 99.9 % of the smokers in the country from smoking within 4 walls but allowing themselves the exemption from that law. WHY? are the cigarettes they smoke somehow healthier ?
A very thoughtful, thought provoking and well written piece- unlike many statements put out by so called educated politicians.

more power to your pen.

btb - I am a smoker and would have favoured the original proposal which was to allow a choice- ie the publican to decide smoking or non smoking. Then just as the non smokers would have had a choice about which pub to frequent so would the smokers, which we have effectively been denied, and I believe this would have given a more definitive answer as to whether a ban would affect sales or not.....


July 7, 2010 at 13:30 | Unregistered CommenterJaki

The Smoking Ban needs amending now as it has had a knock on affect to many other Businesses besides Pubs(like my Taxi Business) ,this would give the Country a much needed boost at a time when we most need it.

July 7, 2010 at 13:31 | Unregistered CommenterChris Whittaker

Hi again

just to add - at work we used to have a "smoking room" which had built in air extraction etc.
Now we are banned to the bike shed ( not IN the bike shed- that has more than 50% walls so we cant stand under it - we have to stand beside it ) where we are bombarded by exhaust fumes from cars and motorbikes.

Tell me which is the healthier option of the two......??


July 7, 2010 at 13:35 | Unregistered CommenterJaki

Get a car love then you can sit in it and have your cig in comfort ?

July 7, 2010 at 13:42 | Unregistered CommenterChris Whittaker

I have been to some places, University campuses for example, where you can't even smoke in your car if your car is on University grounds.

What is the "health" reason behind that again? Does tobacco smoke eat through glass and metal? Is the CO2 pumped out BY my car somehow less toxic?

When I see stuff like this, you just realise the whole thing is based on spite. That Universities, bastions of scientic research and upholders of free thought allow, if not encourage such totalitarianism, is even more galling.

Of course, while nothing to do with the Ban, the ban and its concurrent policy of "denormalisation" has made it all possible. Ditto smoking on open air train platforms. OPEN AIR! Where several diesel belching locomotives pull past every minute.

Anti-smokers are hateful, vindictive creatures. The law needs to be repealed so that their obscene views are not given legitimacy. They should be treated like any other bigot.

July 7, 2010 at 13:56 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

The reason the Houses of Parliament have an exemption to the smoking ban is because it is a royal palace - the Palace of Westminster. No less hypocritical of course but, that's always been the rule in so-called democratic states: one law for them and one for the rest of us.

July 7, 2010 at 14:03 | Unregistered CommenterCharles Matthews

I can't add anything to any of these utterly logical views by Joe. Well said. Pity the bigots aren't as logical. Unfortunately I've had to give up the fags for rather anoying medical reasons, but I'm still with the smokers, and spend most of my time outside the pub rather than in it. Lets hope Brian Brinley MP can help change things back with a happy compromise, and save some of our pubs.

July 7, 2010 at 14:15 | Unregistered CommenterChic

even more ridiculous is banning it in garages and M.O.T stations where the workers are breathing in copious amounts of fumes from running engines throughout the day ,I am glad to see that the Mechanics largly ignore the ban as they must see it as being ridiculous as well ?

July 7, 2010 at 14:22 | Unregistered CommenterChris Whittaker

Mr. A,

Anti-smokers are not necessarily vindictive, it's their job and, until we all understand where they're coming from, we'll all - and I mean all - be operating at a disadvantage. These people are effectively the Tobacco Taliban. They are the paramilitary wing of the Fun Police; the Mujahedin of the New Age Puritans and they are now moving on their next target - alcohol.

Scare stories abound telling us of the evils of the Demon Drink and now we’re looking at warnings on bottles. Remember when warnings first appeared on packets of cigarettes? How we laughed but, that was our mistake. We didn't see the long-term plan they were working to and, now, they've achieved their first objective.

Next? Who knows? Enjoyable food? Sex?

This is a form of Presbyterian Puritanism that is as old as the hills but, we've allowed them the high ground before all forms of fun are outlawed and, if you think I'm being irrational, ask yourself this question: what would you have said had I told you 30 years ago that smoking would be banned in all bars, not just in the UK but, France and Italy also? I can tell you the answer: you'd have laughed me out of the smoke-filled bar.

Eventually there will be a backlash, it's happened before. One of the first fully signed up members of the Tobacco Taliban was Adolf Hitler who hated smoking.

Things can, and DO, change but, we need to look to our strategy and many, just maybe, look to adopt the tactics of our opponents. Emotions don't work - clear thinking can and usually does.

July 7, 2010 at 14:23 | Unregistered CommenterCharles Matthews

Spain brought in a draconian smoking ban in 2005. It was not long before they realised it was both damaging and ineffective. It has now been changed. Bars and restaurants that can have separate areas for smokers and non-smokers do, while those that have only one room available have a choice. They need only put a sign on the door. There is a good choice of bars and restaurants for smokers and non-smoker alike. That is spelt C H O I C E. Please pass this word on to any politician, anti-smoking lobby group member, interfering do-gooder, jobsworth, elf'n safety person or any other self-righteous, pompous anti-smoking-and-everything-else prat you may come across, and try to explain to them that it is not a dirty word.

July 7, 2010 at 14:28 | Unregistered CommenterPeta Seel

My Dear Peta Seel,

Can I counsel caution here? Let's not rattle the cage of the Tobacco Taliban. By all means pressurise your MP etc. but, don't take on the "Antis". Leave them well alone, approach the situation with stealth and take the long view.

Just a thought.

July 7, 2010 at 14:56 | Unregistered CommenterCharles Matthews

Great work Joe.
How many billions has the smoking ban cost the UK?
A couple of losses:
Tens of thousands of hospitaliy staff made unemploed and no longer paying PAYE and health insurance, and claiming DOLE money.
Less pubs and clubs, and less punters spending hard earned money, much of which included alcohol duty and VAT.

July 7, 2010 at 15:30 | Unregistered Commenterchas

Fabulous, brilliant. Standing ovation and lots of clapping in our household!!! Welcome back Common Sense, self responsibility, choice, tolerance.
Hear hear.

July 7, 2010 at 17:52 | Unregistered Commentersue b

Highlight the top 100 of the ring leaders in the anti smoking payola jamboree.
put their names in neon lights,get their details in the headlines ,then let the
underclass try their preferred type of persuasion,
Lets see how the prententiouus puritanical ,welll funded bckstabbers yelp
when their lifestyles are turned over and they get some very unwelcome attention.

Its time to kick ass ,patience has run out,

Dun Sufferin'

July 7, 2010 at 18:02 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Nowt

In my view, starting a political party whose main focus is that the rights of smokers are respected is the best way to address these issues. I would vote for such a party. Even if only half the smokers and a small percent of the non-smokers voted for them, it would be enough to form a coalition and enough to make sensible changes.

July 7, 2010 at 18:21 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

This is in response to both this post and the one below on Brian Binley's EDM. I have written to my MP both at the HoC and his Consituency address enclosing Joe's 10 points and my own analysis of the cost and effectiveness of smoke free as delivered at last year's UKIP conference.
You can read it here :

July 7, 2010 at 18:40 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

20th Century war veterans would be burling in their graves if they knew what we've done with the freedom they believed in, and fought for ...

July 7, 2010 at 18:53 | Unregistered CommenterAase Goldsmith

"They have also encouraged people to think that government can, or should, intervene to stop other people doing whatever they personally don’t approve of"

Excellent! I've long said that of all the damaging effects of this ban, the most damaging one is also the most subtle, and amongst all the raging comments and debates on the subject it's rarely mentioned by either side. The fact is that the ban has given a tacit, state-sponsored nod to bullying, plain and simple. It's effectively said that it's OK to be rude, to harrass, to persecute and to be prejudiced against a minority group, provided you've got the bosses (in this case the politicians) on your side. Where smoking is concerned, all the usual social niceties can be done away with and those people who are of a mind to may behave in ways which would be deemed totally unacceptable if directed towards any other minority group.

Is it any wonder, then, that there is an epidemic of bullying of the most vicious kind in many of our schools when impressionable young people (whose behaviour, for all their feigned "independence," is ultimately a reflection of the behaviour of adults around them) are receiving the strong subconscious message on a daily basis that if they disapprove of what someone else is doing, then it's OK to have a pop at them? The anti-smoking movement should hang its head in shame for encouraging adults the world over to set such an appalling example.

July 7, 2010 at 19:02 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

Well said Joe. :)

July 7, 2010 at 19:39 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

OK you guys what does tobacco do to you all to make you think it's OK to inflict your habit on others? It seems you have a distorted view of what fair is,eg. if ten years ago I wanted to attend an event at a jazz club or a dance the choice was to suffer the smoke of others, or deny myself the music. Now all of us can attend these events and the smokers can go outside for a fix if they need it. That's got to be fairer for all.

July 7, 2010 at 20:13 | Unregistered Commentertexastommy


Equity is the stage trade union in the UK this is their take on the smoking ban in the UK.

"Variety representatives report on collapse of traditional pub and club venues.

THE SMOKING BAN, THE decline of entertainment in pubs and clubs across the country and the subsequent reduction of work for variety performers who, for many years, have earned their living performing in these venues, formed the background for one of the most emotional debates at this year’s conference. "

"The smoking ban has crucified the industry,” Etienne said."

Also Texas Tommy if smoking is allowed in a bar or club you have the choice whether to enter or not. Driving you Ford pickup, red-neck-mobile down main street, or Wal Mart parking lot etc, I and children have no choice but to beathe in your carcinogens.

Texas Tommy perhaps you can tell me whether David Duke smokes.

July 7, 2010 at 20:24 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Joe - your words are a tonic.

And a real comfort to the Socially-Bereaved among us.

Shine on, Mate..................................................

July 7, 2010 at 20:49 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

TexasTommy - we smokers are now like you used to be. You've had your revenge but the right way forward is compromise and choice for BOTH sides. I don't want to "inflict" smoke on you and I don't want to stand in the cold. If we had choice, I wouldn't go where you go, and you would not frequent the places I would visit. Can you honestly tell me why you would not support such a move if it had no effect on you?

July 7, 2010 at 20:52 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Wonderful analysis Joe, I'm going to print it out for future reference, brilliant, it covers the lot of what this bastard ban has done to the free society.
Its amazing that when the smoking ban was introduced in other countries govts stated that pubs would not be affected or lose business.
Even in Ireland where the smoking ban orignated for europe, most of the pubs that closed down laid significant if not total blame on the smoking ban.
Also when the Vintners Assoc, who are supposed to represent publicans, were asked to name any specific pub that closed because of the smoking ban, they dodged the question, even when many of those closed pubs had stated in national newspapers that the smoking ban was the cause of their closure.
Its amazing how misinformation can be spread and believed by the majority and goes to show that with the right advertising and spin doctors the public can be sold any kind of pup.
Another thing thats very frightening is that very few politicians represent the 25% of smokers.
I wonder is there a larger agenda to all of this.

July 7, 2010 at 20:57 | Unregistered Commenterann

Brilliantly written Joe, couldn't agree more. Time to change this stupid ban.

July 7, 2010 at 21:04 | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Great post Joe!

The anti-smoking extremists have to be stopped. Have you heard of the TRDRP program in California?

They have been allocated $3.75 million dollars to come up with a study(s) to show that smokers are a health risk to non-smokers via 3rd hand smoke. I live in California and let me tell you, these bastards are bad for OUR, via all of the stress that they impose upon us smokers and our non-smoking friends . Maybe we need some of our own studies..?

I do hope that the ban is amended in the U.K. It would set a precedent for the rest of us.

Keep fighting!

July 7, 2010 at 21:20 | Unregistered Commenterjredheadgirl

During the cold & wet winter months, we smokers have dutifully spent our smoke time in the rain & cold of our local pub beer gardens to help " PROTECT" our NON SMOKING brothers & sisters . So what happens now the good weather has arrived? Those we have" protected" !!?? during the foul winter months now decide the sunshine must protect them from our foul evil tobacco smoke as they now come out into the now hot,sunny ,now invisible & non smelling smoke from our fags! I think all non smokers should be banned from using the gardens in the same way as we are banned from indoors!!!! Why cant we have SMOKERS ONLY PUBS, CLUBS, CAFE's etc!!

July 7, 2010 at 22:11 | Unregistered CommenterJR

Being at the other end of the entertainment business to you Joe, I was working between 5 to 8 gigs a week doing karaoke and also my own singing act in pubs clubs etc ..... you know the scene. Within 3 months of the smoking ban being enforced, I was down to 3 or 4 gigs a week due entirely to the decline in trade and venues cutting their entertainment budgets. Since then this has dwindled to 1 or sometimes 2 gigs a week. 5 of my previous regular venues have gone out of business completely.

I have had to get a 'day job' to supplement my income which is still half of what it was before the ban. So not only has the smoking ban virtually wiped out the career and business I have been earning a decent living from since 1981, I am now taking up a job that someone else would have had if it were not for the ban.

To summarise as well as the government not receiving anywhere near the same in income tax and class 4 NI contributions from me as they did before the smoking ban, somewhere further down the line someone who would have had a job is unemployed and claiming benefits who would have had my current job. I just hope it is an anti-smoker. I wonder how many times this scenario is repeated throughout the country and what the true financial cost of the smoking ban is? It's not smoking that stinks, it is anti smokers attitudes.

July 8, 2010 at 1:36 | Unregistered CommenterMyke B

A well put together argument Joe. I wholeheartedly agree with all you and the others have commented on. Since the smoking ban my quality of life has been affected adversely. I appreciate that non-smokers have had a hard time in the past having had to endure smoke filled rooms and entertainment venues, but as someone else correctly identified, there is a plethora of smoke extraction systems available. To my mind the Government should have given grants to licensed premises to install these systems, smokers would have been happy....non-smokers would have been happy....more non-smokers would have been inclined to go to these venues increasing income for the licensee and tax revenues for our ruling Juntas.

July 8, 2010 at 6:13 | Unregistered CommenterDave C

GAY foreigners who fear persecution in their homeland stand a greater chance of being able to claim asylum in Britain, after law lords yesterday said they had a right under international law to live freely and openly as they chose.
Yet smokers are persecuted in the UK. A publican will get a massive fine for smoking or ignoring somebody smoking in his property and if that fine isn't paid he/she will be sent to jail. Nick Hogan.

July 8, 2010 at 9:29 | Unregistered Commenterchas

VERY well done Joe! :)

Let me add one note about your final point where you talk about the "nasty chemicals present only in infinitesimal, harmless quantities." A year or so ago there was a big media stink abut baby shampoo containing 610 ppm (parts per million) of Formaldehyde (used to preserve dead corpses!) A few days later the same media organs rushed reassurances from the Big Pharma shampoo makers that the levels were so infinitesimal that they represented absolutely no danger of any kind to our helpless infants.

The only problem is that we've been told the formaldehyde in ETS is deadly... and the concentrations in the innocent baby shampoo were literally EIGHTY SEVEN THOUSAND TIMES AS HIGH as in ordinary bar/restaurant levels of secondary smoke!

But still perfectly safe to bathe our infants in, eh?

Keep on fightin' Joe! Great to have you in the ring!!!

Michael J. McFadden,
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

July 8, 2010 at 9:57 | Unregistered CommenterMichael J. McFadden

Print, cut out and paste to a piece of card. Carry at all times.

July 8, 2010 at 10:12 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Speller

Interesting. I never thought of it that way. All I think about is how much damage smoking does to people and to the environment.

July 8, 2010 at 10:12 | Unregistered CommenterElectronic Sally

Somewhere somehow the point has been missed. What was the real reason behind this ban. Does anyone believe MP's are concerned about the health of Joe Public and his longevity? From a financial position the govt will need to find more money for old age (if you believe smokers die younger) andthere will be less incoming money from smokers taxes. So what was the reason behind this global attack on smoking? This is surely the sinister question unanswered. I can only think control breeds control and this has been seen by govt propaganda influencing public thinking to the extent that they believe anything about the evils of smoking. I suppose this exercise could prove useful for future global control that will be needed if overpopulation and hardships extend into potential anarchy. Just a thought but something is behind this madness and it's not passive smoke and it's not saving one from themselves and it's certainly not saving the NHS money.

July 8, 2010 at 11:14 | Unregistered CommenterMark

This is OT but Timbone mentioned it yesterday. There is now a smoking area at Manchester Airport T2. See below. Note that the possibility of smoking areas at T1 and T3 are being investigated. I'm inclined to agree with Junican that delays due to the ash cloud perhaps started a major rebellion.
Also, AWT and a Blackpool pub owner put in a great performance on the R5L Tony Livesey Show (from 11.37pm) last night), discussing the MPs' move to allow smoking rooms. Tony is a fair minded host and I recommend his show.

July 8, 2010 at 11:19 | Unregistered Commenterjon

No, I'm wrong. I've found out that the smoking area was in existence at least before Feb 16th this year, so before the ash cloud. It's a popular subject on holiday and air travel discussion threads.

July 8, 2010 at 11:25 | Unregistered Commenterjon

jor. Re radio Five
1.10.30 in

July 8, 2010 at 11:29 | Unregistered Commenterchas

Sorry wrong link. Should be in

July 8, 2010 at 11:31 | Unregistered Commenterchas

Sally you say all you can think of is "all the damage smoking does to people and the environment." I won't argue about smoking being bad for smokers, although I think it's exaggerated, but in terms of the environment you need to do a bit more analysis instead of accepting nonsense from the funny farm.

I won't go through the entire process here, but two recent analyses I did from base data showed the following:

1) To pollute the world's water to the point where the very delicate water fleas would be endangered you would need to have ALL the smokers in the WORLD dump EVERY butt they smoked into the water for over twenty-five MILLION years. Oh, and of course you'd have to suspend all natural laws relating to biodegrading etc during that time.


2) If you calculate the biomass burned in natura forest fires around the world and compare it smoking, smoking comes out as adding something like one tenth of a single thousandth to the pollution that occurs naturally. Once you add in stuff like volcanos and cars the numbers become even less.

So there's no "worries about the environment" that you need to be concerned about. You've been lied to, and believe me, they lie all about the "deadly dangers of secondhand smoke" just as much. See my analayses of some of the best flagship studies in the "Stiletto" at:

and feel perfectly free to come back and criticize them here if you like. I will try to check back. I'm always open about who I am and what my "competing interest" might be claimed to be, and I stand firmly behind every word that I write.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

July 8, 2010 at 11:57 | Unregistered CommenterMichael J. McFadden

I read a little piece the other day, which should help to lighten the load for everyone on here, who are burdened down with this anti democratic law, which is making their lives hell.

Not only are made to feel worthless, but we are also constantly told that we stink, and that we are a total danger to anyone who comes within a 100 mile radius of us, especially young children.

It isn't good enough that we contribute more to the NHS through tobacco taxes than any other group in the country, and that without our contribution, the NHS would either grind to a halt or taxes would need to be raised to cover the deficit.

But before you all go and throw yourself under a bus, or immigrate to a more civilised country, the piece I was reading, was about the author Beryl Bainbridge who died last week of cancer, aged 75. Ms Bainbridge was a well know smoker and whiskey lover, so naturally, the papers picked up on these points, and immediately linked them, especially the smoking, to her death.

What they did not say, was that she was admitted to hospital last week following a recurrence of cancer, and died suddenly in the early hours of this morning. I am not an expert, but from what I know, when a cancer occurs, disappears and then recurs again, it is usually breast cancer, which again, as far as I know, has never been linked in way to smoking?

The part that I loved in the article was not anything to do with her cancer, it was at the end, where the author stated: "Whatever this may or may not prove, it doesn't alter the fact that you seldom encounter a brilliant mind and dazzling conversation in someone who's a teetotal non-smoker. Why is that?"

Well it made me feel a whole lot better with myself!

July 8, 2010 at 16:04 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Terrific guest post, Joe. And well said, Pat Nurse. In the past, the pendulum probably was too far one way to give non-smokers the choice they deserved.

Now it's definitely too far the other way, wrecking the social lives of millions of people, not to mention the livelihoods of thousands of others. I am still hoping this coalition government will embrace a middle ground on this, as with other things they need to compromise on.

July 8, 2010 at 17:14 | Unregistered CommenterRose Whiteley

To Rose and anyone else in Britain -- Please be sure to air your views or vote at the Your Freedom website, which Nick Clegg launched last week. Although 'smoking' is no longer in the visible tag list on the main page, you can search all tags (or type in 'smoking' on the search line) and see four or five pages of 'repeal the ban' proposals. Tory MP Brian Binley is taking up the cause as well.

Very pleased to read about Manchester Airport! Would be interested to hear the story behind that in due course.

July 8, 2010 at 17:36 | Unregistered CommenterGhostOfCharlesII

Excellent post Joe.

Regarding airport smoking areas once past security, Bristol has had one for a year or more. Our guess was it had something to do with people causing chaos at security due to loitering outside the main building to smoke prior to going through for their flight and delaying too many flights in the process.

As for non smokers being hard done by in the past, from what I recall of the past 15 to 20 years, there have been precious few cafes, restaurants and other social places where smokers have been accommodated, the pub being about the only exception.

I have not been to a cinema since smoking was banned in them and that must be 20 years or more ago. Now I hardly go anywhere as there is precious little, if any, pleasure any more.

As for the idea of some hidden agenda with the smoking ban, I did wonder if it was a double bluff and by getting people, older ones in particular, to give up smoking, the shock to there system would be more likely to kill them off early so that the govt could save money on pension payments, which they can't afford anyway! After all, in my experience it is very often smokers who live much longer lives.

July 8, 2010 at 17:45 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

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