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« AWT: pubs need smokers | Main | Turning the air Green »

Scotland's smoking gun and ASH's response to UK pub crisis

Our report, Smoking gun: is the smoking ban a major cause of the decline of the British pub?, was released in Scotland this morning and was immediately picked up by the Press Association north of the border.

Since then we've been handling a number of media enquiries. BBC Radio Scotland wanted me to go on their lunchtime news programme but I was en route to Birmingham so, instead, I'll be talking about the report on Newsdrive later this afternoon. Fingers crossed, the story will also appear in one or two newspapers in Scotland tomorrow.

Meanwhile BBC Scotland has the story online. So too Scottish Television.

H/T to Dave Atherton for the links above.

Update: The Scotsman is also reporting the story. Radio Scotland, Forth One and Radio Borders have been running the story in their news bulletins.

Reader Comments (50)

Amanda Sandford is on planet nine. Just who the hell does she think she is??? When are this lot of tossers going in the skip i might ask? How in the name of God have they been allowed to get away with the blatant lies?

September 8, 2010 at 16:16 | Unregistered CommenterPeter James

Amanda dear, ten pubs in my home town closed last week. Yes ten!! Amanda. Hope you understand that.

September 8, 2010 at 16:22 | Unregistered CommenterPeter James

Thanks for the hat tip, to be fair I knicked it off Belinda Cunnison's Facebook page. The paper is getting the airtime it deserves.

September 8, 2010 at 17:05 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Kindergarten 'pubs' do not replace or make up for the loss of proper pubs - even IF her comments were close to being correct, which we all know they are not!

Research Manager of what, I wonder, how to massage and manipulate numbers to put across what ASH want people, including those in 'power' to hear? Probably!

September 8, 2010 at 17:06 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Sorry, also have said how good it is to see this kind of report being widely publicised in Scotland. Well done Simon.

September 8, 2010 at 17:07 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Now - go for Ireland ... !

September 8, 2010 at 17:10 | Unregistered CommenterKlaus K

Simon - could you please make a better quality pdf of the report available? This one is simply too lousy:

Thank you!

September 8, 2010 at 17:47 | Unregistered CommenterKlaus K

Klaus, it looks fine to me (but then I am looking at it on a magnificent iMac). Is anyone else having a problem?

September 8, 2010 at 17:53 | Registered CommenterSimon Clark

anyone else having trouble with the Scotsman link?

September 8, 2010 at 17:58 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

The truth about the effect of the Smoking Ban has at last been told and it is welcomed that the Scottish Licensed Trade Association have acknowledged this.

As Paul Waterson President of the SLTA said " This research shows how badly Scottish Pubs have been hit by the indoor smoking ban, cut price supermarket competition and regulation. He said it was time for the Scottish Government to help the industry and relax the ban."

Those Anti-Smoking Organisations that said the smoking ban would be of benefit to the hospitality industry have been proved wrong.

How much of their evidence given to the Scottish Parliament that resulted in the implementation of the smoking ban was also wrong.

There is new evidence held by Freedom To Choose(Scotland), a pro choice organisation, which would support a change in the ban yet the Scottish Parliament refuses to listen.

Eddie Douthwaite ,Chairman, Freedom To Choose (Scotland)

September 8, 2010 at 18:18 | Unregistered CommenterEddie Douthwaite

I'm very happy this is being picked up by thw Scottish press... but also I'm having problems with the Scotsman link.

September 8, 2010 at 18:36 | Unregistered CommenterMark Butcher

About time someone got a grip on these ASH phoneys and their fellow corporate puppets. How intelligent people actually believe a word they say is beyond my comprehension,they need to be hauled out into the open and feel the heat of truthfull scrutiny. I managed to find two ASH devotees last year at a posing tavern inSouthport,a male and female,their argument was so lamentable I almost felt sorry for them.Ten minutes and they took flight, their pre programmed reasoning unable to withstand questions from the real world..OK for The Guardian and BBC but pitifull on the street.

September 8, 2010 at 18:48 | Unregistered CommenterThe Long march

Simon - journalists tend to let anything justify a "don't publish-attitude", when they are confronted with information they doubt or don't like for some reason. The contents of this report falls into these categories.

I know, that you are perfectly aware of this. I just wanted to send you the signal, that the pdf-quality is technically below average for reports on the internet.

September 8, 2010 at 21:20 | Unregistered CommenterKlaus K

The smarter folks do not believe a word they say.
It's just that they (prohibitionists)are somehow now included in the court.
Not the modern notion of a court (legal) ,but the ancient, medieval, renaisance, idea of a court ,in effect the people who rule.
Somehow they (prohibitionists) got in there ?
I'm sure their a bag of laughs.
You know, dancing on tables and other ice breaking activities.
Wild, interesting, crazy, fun, prohibitionists.

September 8, 2010 at 21:23 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

OK. Here is a layman's explanation. There are 35 licensed premises, 5 are foodstores, 5 are offlicenses, 5 are private clubs, 5 are restaurants, 5 are pubs with food, and 5 are wetled pubs. In 12 months all 5 wetled pubs close, 1 of the pubs with food closes, 2 of the private clubs close. In that same 12 months, there is 1 new licensed foodstore, 1 new offlicense and 2 new licensed restaurants.

OK. So out of 35 licensed premises, 8 closed and 4 new ones opened.

Here is the important bit. The license is srill on the books for 3 years even if a renewal is not applied for. Even if it was a pub which has closed, been demolished, and flats built and lived in, it is a different department.

To sum up, there were, according to the books, 35 licensed premises. A year later, according to the books there were 39 even though 8 had closed!!!

September 8, 2010 at 22:31 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Eddie Douthwaite has had a statement added to the STV piece:

September 8, 2010 at 22:37 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

Good words from Eddie - just need people to listen.

ASH do seem out of touch and on the backfoot on this one.

September 8, 2010 at 22:53 | Unregistered Commenterwest2

ASH poll shows public support full smoking ban
"An opinion poll published by anti-smoking group ASH reveals that 70 per cent of the public support smoke-free legislation"

The poll asked 831 members of the public whether they supported a full ban rather than a partial ban based on food.

ASH director Deborah Arnott said: "The message to MPs could not be clearer. The public wants smoke-free legislation. They want it in England, just as they do in Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland."

Well I wonder who those 831 "members of the public" could be?

"Mr Johnson boasted that the display ban was favoured by an "overwhelming majority" of 96,000 responses to a six-month public consultation on the subject.

Yet only a handful of those 96,000 respondents came from individuals submitting their personal views. Almost 70,000 came from those collected by pressure groups entirely funded by the Department for Health.

Among the groups submitting block responses were SmokeFree NorthWest, SmokeFree Liverpool and SmokeFree North East, which were all set up by the Government to lobby against the tobacco industry."

September 8, 2010 at 23:04 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

Amanda Sandford is being funded by us, along with all the other bigots and zealots at ASH and numerous other fake charities. Cameron and Clegg are quite happy with this arrangement and retaining Tobacco Control Strategic Co-ordinators and other non jobs of that ilk while they merrily make cuts to things like the Gurkah Regiment, Libraries and anything that has any merit. If you voted for any of the main three parties this is exactly what you were voting for so you shouldn't complain about it.

September 8, 2010 at 23:39 | Unregistered CommenterJames Trent

Amanda Sandford has not got clue, if the smoking ban is so popular why are our pub and clubs so empty, I drive a taxi around London many bar and pub owners hate this blanket smoking ban and many people i speak to all agree an amendment would be a way forward to help this industry. I would happerly take Amanda Sandford to some of the pubs in Dartford kent and the here it straight from (the horse's mouth) that the affects of the smoking ban has had. Gary Rogers

September 9, 2010 at 2:26 | Unregistered Commenterlisa symmons

Yes, it was bad enough that these junk-science peddling, mendacious hate-mongers ever received any funding, even during the boom. But now that important services are being cut (libraries were cut to the bone, even during the boom - I shudder to think how they're doing now), the fact that the likes of ASH weren't the first to go on the Quango bonfire just sickens me to my stomach. How can they be talking of cutting libraries, Police, and even our armed services (at a time of war, no less!) yet the Tobacco Control movement is still wallowing in our cash? And this from a Conservative Government, no less!!

I've said it before and I'll say it again.... there's something deeply suspicious (and worrying) about both ASH's influence (not only on decision-makers but also on the media) and its seeming invulnerability to criticism or harm. I have a feeling we'd all be eating rations and building houses out of mud before ASH got their funding cut. This is about more than smoking, and they are clearly more than an organisation that is concerned about smoking and health.

Thankfully the Tories do seem less inclined to bow before ASH's might and do seem to be ignoring them a bit (certainly more than the Labour crew, anyway) but it is just astomishing that at a time when Disability Allowances are being cut, places at Universities are being cut, they're talking about sharing aircraft carriers etc, the Government is still pumping billions into tobacco control. Barmy. And troubling.

September 9, 2010 at 2:31 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

Timbone has said what I had in mind.
Licences are granted to PEOPLE. When a pub closes, that does not mean that the publican's licence disappears - he retains it for future use. New 'licences' mean nothing.

The blind leading the blind, comes to mind.

September 9, 2010 at 3:29 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

I've just seen an article on Medway's Tory Council closing down a "pub" that someone had in their garden shed. The vindictiveness of these petty jobsworths seems to know no bounds and they are getting more and more overbearing under the Tories. I didn't think the control freakery of Labour could be surpassed but the Tories seem to be managing it on a daily basis.

September 9, 2010 at 5:12 | Unregistered CommenterJames Trent

"There's something deeply suspicious and worrying about both ASH's influence not only on decision makers but on the media and its seemingly invulnerability to criticism or harm"
There you have it.
I think this is the elephant in the room, no matter what proof, reports/findings etc that anyone comes up with, Ash just swats us away by putting their mouthpieces, most often at govt level, to pop up to discount or belittle our researchers and they get away with it every time as if they have some special immunity.
And after all the threats about culling the quangos Ash are never touched, its like as if they are in control, maybe they are.
It's all very troubling indeed.
Maybe its time that investigative eyes should be focused on them for a change.
And see what the dung heap turns up!

September 9, 2010 at 11:31 | Unregistered Commenterann

@James Trent - that's a weird story. The 'shed' is one of a range of structures on the market usually marketed as suitable as an office or extra accommodation for guests and so on, so I wouldn't have thought that he needed planning permission. The report doesn't make clear what the grounds are for pulling it down unless it's that having pumps attached to beer barrels and an entrance which is accessible from a public path constitute 'proof' that he's running a pub without a licence (amusingly, the report states that there was "even a smokers' bin outside" (so it must be a pub, right?)) but I can't imagine that the LA could demand that he take the structure down, only that he stop using it like a pub.

If only he'd been a little smarter.....

September 9, 2010 at 11:38 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

ASH were set up by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in 1971 and their last AGM was held at their offices in central London. What is most pernicious about ASH is their direct contact with the Department Of Health (DoH).

The DoH should, as civil servants, be offering impartial advice. Their mendacity with the DoH to mislead Parliament on the cost of tobacco display bans is a national disgrace and should of been investigated more fully.

They obviously have a slick PR machine and health journalists have column inches to fill and so they have a symbiotic relationship. ASH are also seen as an appendage of the Labour Party.

However ASH's media manipulation and infectious spread of the nanny state has started to alienate the greater population and us in the "know" so to speak have increasing access to the debate. I sincerely cannot see Labour getting into power for at least 10 years and I hope that ASH's influence will diminish. Most young Tories I meet and the rank and file are very anti nanny state and have met only one that agrees with the smoking ban, but after a discussion even said that they had no objection to smoking clubs and separate rooms.

We are not out of the woods yet but we can see the clearing.

September 9, 2010 at 12:00 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

I read that ASH have 4 full time employees in the DoH and 3 part time. Apparently, they are finishing the part timers but no mention of the full timers.

I noticed this morning in the Scottish press after Simon's comments, the rider that Forest is funded by the tobacco industry. No mention, of course, of the funding of ASH. Another bit of slyness. Simon must have the patience of a Saint dealing with these 'people'.

September 9, 2010 at 12:20 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

I noticed that, too, Frank - and they always, always do it, not only mentioning it but finishing with it, the clear inference being that Forest is to be dismissed.

September 9, 2010 at 12:39 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Its not just ASH though.

GMB demonstrates for total ban
Thursday 24 November 2005 12:00
"Hospitality workers from the GMB union make a point about the dangers of second-hand smoke at a protest outside a Gala casino in London last week.

The protesters were marking National Lung Cancer Day (17 November) by donning gas masks and calling on the Government to introduce a total ban on smoking in public places that doesn't exempt private members' clubs and pubs that don't serve food.
About 100,000 workers in hospitality will still be exposed to second-hand smoke under the Government's plans."

Consultation on the Smokefree Elements of the Health Improvement and Protection Bill ( Trades Union Congress )
"The TUC is concerned that the proposed definition will allow the smoking of herbal cigarettes.
This could lead to people mixing tobacco with herbal mixtures to disguise the fact they are smoking tobacco.
In addition the smoke from many herbal mixtures is just as likely to trigger asthma attacks.

While the evidence of harm relates only to tobacco at present, this is because no or little research has been done on the effects of herbal mixtures and we are surprised that the D of H is not taking a precautionary approach."

MPs urged to vote for total smoking ban
"Unions and public health officers are urging MPs to back a total ban on smoking in public places, including pubs and clubs.

The calls come after the government's decision last week to allow Labour MPs a free vote on the smoking ban proposals in the health Bill (Risks 239).

The TUC has already called for a ban without exceptions. And last week GMB organiser Mick Ainsley, whose union organises casino workers, said:

'We are writing to all GMB sponsored MPs to remind them that the issue here is not about a smoker's individual choice, it is about the right of workers not to breathe in secondhand smoke.'

September 9, 2010 at 13:39 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

we'll see what happens when union members are forced into enforcement duties, as health boards in Scotland expect to be able to do on NHS premises.

I suspect unions were amongst the first lobbied by ASH etc for support on the grounds of worker safety. They will realise that worker safety only extends to smoke issues and not to those of imminent injury or assault, and as in Scotland they are expected to act as role models in addition to carrying out their duties at work.

September 9, 2010 at 13:43 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

You have evidence?

Rose2 - Thanks for the link. I'm writing to the TUC asking them to validate this statement.

'A 2003, TUC co-published report stated that every year 1,200 people in the UK - three a day - die due to passive smoking at work'.

Funny isn't it how many different reports seem to come up with different figures.
You would think that death being so precise...there would at least be precise figures of the number of deaths.

September 9, 2010 at 13:54 | Unregistered CommenterDavidR

Then theres this little matter from 2004

ASH and Thompsons' Tell Employers: Don't Say You Weren't Warned Over Secondhand Smoke

"ASH has sent a registered letter to all the UK's leading hospitality trade employers, warning them that the "date of guilty knowledge" under the Health and Safety at Work Act is now past, and that employers should therefore know of the risks of exposing their staff to secondhand smoke.

Employers who continue to permit smoking in the workplace are therefore likely to be held liable by the courts for any health damage caused.

ASH and Thompsons intend to use the letters in any future court cases as evidence that employers have been fully informed of the issue.

ASH and Thompsons are also planning further steps to encourage employees who believe their health has been harmed by smoking in the workplace to seek legal advice on making a claim for compensation. These will be announced shortly."

You can see why, no matter what they personally believed, most publicans were too scared to protest, they are not lawyers after all.

September 9, 2010 at 14:04 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

Does ASH still stand by this statement?
Smoking bans are good for business. Study shows hospitality industry fears of falls in trade are unfounded.
Tuesday 25 February 2003
ASH news release: Embargo: 00.01 25 February 2003
Official - smoking bans are good for business. ASH accuses hospitality industry of "crying wolf".

September 9, 2010 at 14:30 | Unregistered Commenterchas

You can see that they were under duress.

ASH Political Bulletin 2004 Page7
Letter to the Publican

Managing Director of The Massive Pub Company
"The only ultimate provision and safety for us will be a smoking ban.
We all need to be forwarned that the next growth area for the legal system will be prosecutions of publicans for not protecting staff from the dangers of ETS.
Since April 27 cases have been taken on - this is the start of a tidal wave - in my view.

The industry, through the various trade bodies is looking for a voluntary ban with 80% of premises having smoke free areas by 2007.

Having attended the conference I am of the clear view that far too many of us could be fighting legal battles by then, and perhaps we will be preferring a total national ban.

We need to take a very close look at what is happening elsewhere and learn from their experiences.

The clearest message from this conference is that on health and legal grounds a ban is an absolute must and an absolute certainty.
That frightens us and requires us to change will, ultimately, be irrelevant.

I would strongly recommend that every trade body and industry representative invites some of the speakers from this conference, or workshop.

At least that way acknowledge of the dangers of ETS and to our livelihoods and businesses will be more widely available."

Massive Pub Company calls in the administrators
28 January, 2008

"Massive Pub Company, the London-based multiple operator, has put 34 of its 46 sites into administration.
It is understood the pub operator called in accountants Grant Thornton after the collapse of a proposed deal to sell a number of its sites to Sports Cafe, after it too went into administration earlier this month.

Tough trading conditions have not helped Massive’s cause, a source close the company said."

Needless to say, though I have sympathy, I don't go to the pub any more.

September 9, 2010 at 14:37 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

Now, all this is what I don't understand. Where has there been a case of an employer being found liable for any smoking caused effect on an employee? The only cases I'm aware of have been the opposite, e.g. in Scotland a judge found it impossible to relate figures for the general population to any specific circumstance, i.e. simply because 'figures' say that so many smokers have developed illness 'x' does not prove, in any way, a cause in a specific individual. The ex Landlady in Middlesbrough, claiming for an upset throat was bounced by a judge who stated that her loud voice was more likely a cause than ETS which could not be proved, in any event.

Where's the fright, here? Why are these people so frit?

September 9, 2010 at 14:54 | Unregistered CommenterFrank


"Funny isn't it how many different reports seem to come up with different figures."

I found this one particularly interesting.

"More people died in 2002 from passive smoking at work in the UK than were killed by the Great London smog of 1952"

James Repace

Fear of political embarrassment led to government cover up of link between air pollution and lung cancer

"Delegates attending an international conference in London today to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Great London Smog of 1952, which caused an estimated 12,000 deaths, will hear how governments from the late 50s onwards deliberately downplayed the huge threat to public health caused by air pollution, and sought to shift the blame firmly onto cigarette smoking instead"

Of course it was our Chief Medical Officer who seems to have had the bright idea of suggesting that secondhand smoke could harm others, because not enough people had given up smoking after Doll's study.

Sir George Godber: Chief Medical Officer
"Godber recollected that he had said in 1962 to Keith Joseph, another of his Conservative ministers, that "we really have to do something about abolishing smoking" (having won the approval of the Health Minister Enoch Powell). Joseph looked quite shocked and said: "You really can't expect to abolish smoking."

Godber replied: "No, but I want to see it reduced to an activity of consenting adults in private."

September 9, 2010 at 15:08 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

"Godber replied: "No, but I want to see it reduced to an activity of consenting adults in private."


So Godber (whom nobody elected - but, so what ?) WOULD be in favour of Private Smoking Clubs, then ?

Actually, Mr Clegg (or The Other One), on the subject of PRIVATE clubs.......................

(Tap him on the shoulder, someone: he appears not to have heard).

September 9, 2010 at 21:54 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Probably not.

"Godber is probably best remembered for his public health campaigns in the 1960s against promiscuity and the cigarette, which he once described as "the most lethal instrument devised by man for peaceful use"

September 9, 2010 at 23:46 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

"campaigns ....... against promiscuity and the cigarette............."the most lethal instrument devised by man for peaceful use" "

The Penis having been 'devised' by God, of course.

Was he a sexually unattractive asthmatic, by any chance ?

(Don't be so cynical, Martin !)

September 10, 2010 at 6:30 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Martin V

He sounds formidable.

From the second link.

"To most NHS patients Godber was almost unknown – only glimpsed when the media quoted his Jeremiads against smoking. But to colleagues he was anything but anonymous.

A large man with a monocle and a shock of white hair, he had a reputation for somewhat puritanical plain speaking."

From the first

"As a staunch teetotaller, Godber's main recall of his first trial eights dinner was of carrying most of the participants on to the bus at the end of the evening, and having to keep chasing those still mobile enough to get off again while he was doing it.

There was also some difficulty when Oxford reached the Tideway because the training diet included beer and Guinness.
He declined, and after a solemn interview with the president and coaches, a less unpalatable alternative was prescribed."

"He was prescribed marshmallows instead."

"George Godber was prepared to take risks in backing transplant surgery, in days far different from now, when blood loss was considerable and we knew much less about what we were doing," the surgeon Sir Roy Calne said. "It was Godber against virtually all the rest and, as usual, Godber prevailed. I admired him enormously."

"I can't break with Godber," wrote Crossman in his diary in October 1969. "He is a very powerful man of the department and people never like acting against his wishes. He is away half of the time around the world, advising the World Health Organisation, in America, lecturing. He is remote, out of touch now I think, except with the lord high panjandra and the physicians in the Royal Colleges of London. He knows all the top people, but nothing about ordinary life, yet on the other hand he is radical and left-wing.
I don't want to quarrel with him."

September 10, 2010 at 10:05 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

You can see his problem.

Medicine and the Public: The 1962 Report of the Royal College of Physicians and the New Public Health
Virginia Berridge

"The idea of outlining specific courses of action was anathema to a society that associated “propaganda” with wartime central direction, and with earlier Nazi propaganda. Health education at this time placed its faith in the citizenship of its recipients."

The 3rd World Conference on Smoking and Health, June 2-5, 1975.
“The Worldwide Campaign Against Smoking”

Sir George E. Godber
Chairman, Expert Committee on Smoking and Health
World Health Organization

“I imagine that most of us here know full well that our target must be, in the long-term, the elimination of cigarette smoking…… We may not have eliminated cigarette smoking completely by the end of this century, but we ought to have reached a position where a relatively few addicts still use cigarettes, but only in private at most in the company of consenting adults.”

“First, I think we must ask ourselves whether our society is one in which the major influences exercised on public opinion are such as would convey the impression that smoking is a dirty, anti-social practice, spoiling the enjoyment of youth and accelerating the onset of the deterioration of age.”

“Need there really be any difficulty about prohibiting smoking in more public places? The nicotine addicts would be petulant for a while, but why should we accord them any right to make the innocent suffer?”

September 10, 2010 at 10:36 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

The zealots mantra!


Didn't Sir George Godber CMO to the government at the time say this at the WHO back in 1975?

"We must foster an atmosphere where it is perceived that active smokers would injure those around them, especially their families and any infants or young children".

He didn’t have evidence about SHS, that’s why he suggesting ‘fostering’ an atmosphere where it is ‘perceived’. Those two words are beautiful. You see there’s your band-wagon which you set in motion, and watch others clamber aboard and attack and persecute on your behalf – and without any evidence whatsoever.

Works every time.!

September 10, 2010 at 12:38 | Unregistered CommenterDavidR

"a very powerful man of the department "

"Godber against virtually all the rest "

"prohibiting smoking in more public places"

"the nicotine addicts would be petulant for a while"

Many thanks, Rose, for these selected quotes.

Two words spring to mind - the only two that really matter to a reactionary freedom-lover like me:




Just imagine what a WORLD Government with a whole battalion of Godbers would be like !

And it's just around the corner.

Even in Orwell's dystopia, Party members had the solace of Victory Gin and inferior cigarettes.

I reckon they'll be the first things to go..................................

(After all the regular contributors to this site, and others like it)

September 10, 2010 at 23:13 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

DavidR -

Godber's words could have been taken - with minor modification - straight from the pages of 'Mein Kampf.'

Hitler was not 'mad' in any cognitive sense.

He was a GENIUS, with an instinctive understanding of two things:

1) The eternal willingness of the Little Man to do your bidding - once you've put the Crown of Authority upon his head, and

2) The eternal gullibility of the Masses.

Those lessons are being re-taught today.

But how many are learning - outside of all those Fuhrerprinzip seminars ?

September 10, 2010 at 23:31 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

You might find this interesting, the various conference reports have been found and put together.

The Godber Blueprint

September 11, 2010 at 0:25 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

My comments below were included in the STV News article.

Eddie Douthwaite of Freedom to Choose (Scotland) believes that modern air filtration methods mean that the smoking ban should be amended.
He said: "Modern air filtration technology is a far cry from the 'ventilation' considered unable to extract toxins or particulate matter from the air when the introduction of a smoking ban was debated in 2005.

"These air filtration products are currently fitted in aircraft and in hospitals, where they can remove particulate contamination together with airborne viruses, spores, and bacteria. Their use in the hospitality industry as an alternative to smoking bans is surely a step in the right direction especially as the indoor air quality would be far better than the air outdoors.

"The Scottish Government should accept that new technology has provided a solution that could eliminate any need for this socially divisive and economically disastrous smoking ban."

September 11, 2010 at 13:43 | Unregistered CommenterEddie Douthwaite

See also the Freedom To Choose(Scotland) Blog which includes the details of dealings with the Scottish Parliament.


See comments.

September 11, 2010 at 13:55 | Unregistered CommenterEddie Douthwaite

Eddie, the filtration systems in aircraft used to filter out particulate contamination together with airborne viruses, spores, and bacteria; however since saving money became more of an issue some years ago, it was decided to use coarser filters and as a consequence smoking was banned on aircraft.

The spin off from this was that the coarser filters also no longer filtered out many airborne viruses, spores and bacteria. It is therefore more unhealthy to fly these days than it used to be.

You are, however, correct in that these systems, when used correctly and with the correct grade of filter, can achieve a far healthier level of air to breath than is currently available without such systems, even without smokers apparently 'polluting' the atmosphere.

September 11, 2010 at 18:18 | Unregistered CommenterLyn


The systems do work:-

A Government approved (since 2005) Air Filtration System

Taken from a Government Agency Website

This is the Air Manager entry in the NHS Supply Chain Catalogue.
If it works in the NHS it can work in Pubs.

September 11, 2010 at 19:08 | Unregistered CommenterEddie Douthwaite

Eddie, I know the systems work.

What I am saying is that in order to save money the airlines have reduced the effectiveness of the filtration system on aircraft by using a coarser filter which does not filter pollutants of any kind so effeciently. This and not safety was the reason for banning smoking on aircraft.

They could easily return to using finer filters which would safeguard everyone from the bugs and bacteria that now pollute the air on aircraft, even if they still maintain the smoking ban, which in the current climate they could easily do!

It makes me angry however that they banned smoking on the grounds of safety when in fact you are more likely to catch a cold or any other bug that just one passenger has, knowlingly or not, because they have downgraded the air filtration system.

Flying was far healthier when smoking was allowed.

When used properly and to their most efficient modern air filtration systems work extremely well and protect from the majority of minor ailments/illnesses that are would currently be passed around and do actually happen in public places, whereas they is absolutely no evidence with regards apparent harmful effects of SHS!

I hope you realise I was not trying to say that filtration systems don't work.

September 11, 2010 at 20:31 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

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