Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Smoking Ban

I oppose the smoking ban instinctivly. It is illiberal, unnecessary and is a fine example of the nanny state in action. I am also a former smoker who gave up almost four years ago. But I didn't take on the zeal of the convert and start coughing and spluttering theatrically if someone lights up within a mile of me. Nor do I claim to have to wash my hair or clothes if I have been within spitting distance of a smoker, that is just silly and juvenile. If smokers visit my house I regard it as inhospitable to force them outside. If they want a smoke, they are welcome to light up in the warmth and comfort of our home.

As with all the interfering nannying there are unintended consequences. Increasingly people are forced to stand outside their own homes to indulge as even non-smoking husbands, wives and other family members become obsessively convinced that passive smoking may knock a nano-second off their wonderful lives. Like waifs and strays they stand forlornly shivering on their doorsteps puffing away. I couldn't do that to somebody I claim to love.

But recently I thought my beloved had taken up smoking again. When I got in her car there was the definite smell of tobacco. I enquired whether her mother, approaching ninety and still puffing away like a good un had been partaking in the car. No, she hadn't, not that I'd have minded.

I then got a distinct whiff of nicotine in the kitchen one day. It was very definitely there, I knew I wasn't having some form of nasal hallucination. But Mrs B had been out at work for three hours. I looked at the cats snoozing on the settee. No, they may be very intelligent but no, it was definitely not them.

It then hit me. We live in a stone terraced house with the doorstep onto the street. The neighbours on both sides smoke but now have to stand outside when indulging. When my beloved's car smelled of tobacco next door's lad had been smoking and our car was right outside their house as he puffed away. The smoke had found its way into the car. Likewise to the rear the neighbours stand in the garden smoking and it floats up to our open windows and into the house.

Fortunately we don't mind. But it's yet another example of how the interference of mithering do gooders has negative, unintended consequences for others. Thanks very much.


e.f. bartlam said...

Let me tell you what they did at Florida Field, The Swamp, where my beloved Gators play.

Of course, at one time you could smoke in your seat...then they banned it in seats. Whatever you could wonder out to the decks and blow smoke 50 up...out into the sky...away from the people who were standing next to the belching smoker where they cooked the Turkey Legs.

THEN....they moved everybody into a tiny space at each corner of the stadium. The place holds over 98,000 and there's rarely an empty seat.

Well you know what happened next with 10,000 people crammed into a little corner smoking...patrons that had to pass through those corners caught a case of the vapors, complained and now they're banned outright.

It was an obvious and cynical ploy.

Gregg said...

They are cynical Erik.

If they really wanted to protect us from the evils of tobacco they'd ban them,and lose all that lovely tax revenue!!!