Bits and Pieces

Friday, February 27, 2004

Public Smoking Ban Proposed

I am incensed, absolutely pissed off, at the news I read today. The Royal College of Physicians has recommended that smoking be banned in all public places in England.

This policy is so misguided it makes me laugh. I can imagine the boffins who came up with it looking at what was next on the agenda: "Communism. Yeah, that might work."

This particular quote made my blood boil at the stupidity of the idea: "the harder it is to find somewhere to smoke, the more incentives there are to quit." Incentives to quit? Hey, the threat of lung cancer, heart disease, bad breath, yellow teeth and the fact that we're inhaling cyanide and benzene hasn't deterred us. What makes you think a no-smoking sign will? That quote was from Derek Wanless, the former head of NatWest Bank, seemingly oblivious to the precedent set by Prohibition and almost every other effort to reduce or eradicate harmful substances and behaviour. This is a guy who was in control of my bank account for 5 years. What was I thinking?

As as fairly heavy smoker I support a hypothetical complete ban. In my more lucid moments I realise that smoking will probably kill me. The problem is that a ban obviously wouldn't work. The only effect of this ban would be a lot of pissed-off people ending up in court on breach of the peace charges, myself leading the crowd. I for one could do without it.
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