Category: Smoking

Is The Smoking Ban Working For Everyone?

October 21, 2007 | By

Smoking is for idiotsThe smoking ban, recently introduced in the U.K., is forcing smokers to step outside of the pubs and clubs which previously would have kept them and their polluting habits contained. Is this a good thing?

If you live near a pub or a club you may have become aware of the smokers who now congregate outside the front of the building in order to legally indulge their addictions. As an evening progresses and these people consume more alcohol the loudness of their voices increases as their consideration for those trying to sleep nearby decreases. In some situations fights have broken out in the street, partly due to tetchiness brought about by a need for nicotine.

If you have ever walked past such a group you may have found the beered up, letcherous drunks to be threatening, abusive and downright scary. You may have also notice the increased littering thanks to hundreds of cigarette butts all over the pavement. So is the smoking ban working?

Some have said that even if the smoking ban saves only one life it would have been worth it. I don’t agree. For one thing, the smoking ban is not really about saving peoples lives, it is about saving the burden on the health system and the cost of treating smoking related illnesses.

In my opinion it would have been far better to have allowed a certain number of smoking licences to be discretionally available. Pubs, clubs and restaurants could apply for a smoking licence. They would be required to ensure that all staff agree to work in a smoking environment and they would have to warn all people visiting their establishment that it is a smoking zone.

To deal with the impact upon the health service and to deter youngsters from establishing a habit I would make it a requirement that each smoker must apply for a smokers licence. This would have to be produced when purchasing tobacco products and anyone selling or supplying cigarettes to someone without a licence would be liable for a hefty fine. What is more, possessing a smokers licence would automatically make it the holders responsibility to pay for all of their medical treatment. They would no longer be able to receive treatment on the NHS without paying. This would clearly be a massive deterrant and encourage them to stop smoking.

Admittedly, there are flaws in my plan. But at least people, who just happen to live near a pub or club, will no longer have their lives disrupted by drunken beer boys shouting and raging outside on the street. And passers by would no longer encounter aggressive youths shouting “what ‘r’ you looking at” or obscene remarks as they innocently walk home.