Smoking ban in pubs, bars & restaurants

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Thursday 10 June 2004 7.36am
Discussion thread on Amano mentioned it was a no smoking place. Much to Ashley's shock. .

I would favour a total ban of nasty stinky cancer sticks in pubs, bars & restaurants, but suspect that we will end up one day soon with a GB compromise where local areas decide whether to take action and then pubs can choose to be smoke free or smoky. Perhaps having to apply if the latter.

I'm sure I saw an article somewhere saying that the majority of Londoners favoured a ban.

Interested to know SE1ers views on this (unless they accuse me of being a health nazi of course)

Anonymous User
Thursday 10 June 2004 8.06am
Hasn't there been plenty of anecotal evidence that a similar ban in New York has led to many bars and restaurants losing money and, in some cases, having to close down due to takings plummeting where New Yorkers can't enjoy a cigarette with their drinks/after their meal?


Thursday 10 June 2004 8.26am
HP. You're a health Nazi. (You did ask for someone to call you this).

Seriously though, I think that banning smoking in pubs etc, while continuing to allow the sale (and taxing) of cigarrettes is the wrong way to go about it.

If you want to ban smoking altogether, then ban the sale of cigarrettes, don't ban smoking in the pub.

I favour a minimum level of mandatory no smoking provision, and then leave it up to the free market. If there are so many people who don't smoke (and who feel so strongly about it that they are staying away from bars because of the smoky atmosphere) then that's a great opportunity for a far-sighted businessperson.

The market can regulate this. The Government does not need to.

[And if smoking is first, what's next?]

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 10 June 2004 11.02am
Actually, Ivanhoe, Hunting is first! Illiberality & confused thinking lead to non-market force led decisions which do not help anybody. Government should be small, not big.
Thursday 10 June 2004 11.19am
Let the free market decide, then we can buy our crack from the newsagents, and watch pay-per-view executions on the box - can't wait.

Ignorance is bliss
rm
Thursday 10 June 2004 11.32am
Non-smokers argue that it is a human rights issue, but what about a smokers right to smoke?

I think if you ban smoking on the premise that it endangers other people, then you need to ban alcohol etc etc.
Thursday 10 June 2004 11.36am
I couldnt agree more. The government interferes with our life quite enough already. If the majority of Londoners really want a smoking ban, why aren't there no smoking bars everywhere? Are publicans/restauranteurs that foolish that they would ignore such a groundswell of opinion in this area or are they simply catering for the reality that many people in London want to smoke in pubs/restaurants?

Also, on the NY experiment, a friend lives out there and whilst she doesnt smoke she noted that it wrecked her evenings out when mid conversation half the group would go outside for a cigarrette.

His Tonyness shoud prove his Tory credentials and let the market decide. (And stop hiking taxes, listen to peoples views on Europe, try to be honest once in a while etc etc etc) Rant over.
Thursday 10 June 2004 12.36pm
I heard somewhere that the ban on smoking in Ireland worked well, and bar takings were not down... maybe that's because the Irish like a drink too much, or maybe it's because it has worked.

I've noticed that quite a few places (bars/pubs) are now asking people not to smoke whilst at the bar, (within about 1metre of it) - They did this at the union bar at UEA and apparently it was because the bar staff had complained about passive smoking - a great idea, but totaly ineffective.
Thursday 10 June 2004 12.43pm


Ivanhoe is right - an outright ban on smoking simply will not work - it didn't succeed for hooch in the US in the 1930s (but did turn criminal gangs into the vastly wealthier and better-organised outfits that are still around today) and it hasn't stopped people puffing cannabis here either.

There is a genuine rights issue to be considered. Few human rights are absolute and most have to be balanced with other rights and also the rights of others.

Does my right to have a fag in the pub outweigh the right of the bar person or waitress to work in an environment which doesn't have a health risk?

They could work elsewhere? I could puff outside? Their risk is arguably greater in a smoky dive than a swish new restaurant? Other jobs also have risks (e.g. police). Smoking is banned in many people's workplaces. I started working in an office where people smoked - if I didn't like it I could quit and work elsewhere. Would people be happy with that now?

I think that the government should ban smoking in all but a minority of establishments - perhaps 20% - with a new license. These will of course be busy with smokers. This will allow people working in the hospitality industry (millions) a decent choice, and it allows people who really want to drink and smoke inside somewhere to go. It also gives us (punters) the opportunity to decide too.
Thursday 10 June 2004 12.54pm
Quoting barkyhead above:

<<Let the free market decide, then we can buy our crack from the newsagents, and watch pay-per-view executions on the box - can't wait.>>

These aren't comparisons with smoking. It is illegal for me to buy crack, and we don't have executions. However, it is perfectly legal (and I hope I'm not disappointing anyone by showing that I'm over 16) for me to buy cigarettes.

If, as a society, we believe smoking should be made illegal, then (what I'm saying is) we should ban cigarettes outright. Not use sneaky measures like this.

...if you press it, they will come.
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