Thursday, 2 June 2011

Scots licensed trade seek smoking ban review

Two weeks ago a meeting took place in Edinburgh between licensees from Scotland and counterparts from the Netherlands and Croatia. As described here, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association seeks amendments to the ban to allow indoor smoking to take place in specific circumstances.
He said: “No-one wants to go back to the old ways of smoke-filled pubs and people coming out of pubs smelling of smoke, but I think it is appropriate to see if there is a way we can be sympathetic to everyone.
“This might be through a certain amount of ventilation, and by allowing only certain types of operations to allow smoking. There are some smaller operators that don’t have an outdoor area and can’t do food and are one step away from closure."
With opponents like this in the picture, it seems unlikely that such polite requests will be heeded. The official anti-smoking position (from the World Health Organisation) is that no amount of ventilation will work. Unless the SLTA is firing off more powerful cylinders in private than it appears to be doing in public (and I really hope that they are), I might ask why anyone from Croatia or Holland was invited to speak to licensees. These countries operate under systems that allow smoking, and they have had to fight their corner in order to permit smoking on their premises.

The leader of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, another trade body, on the other hand, observes politely that tobacco restrictions are going to increase rather than decrease under the new administration ... but hey, let's go with the flow!


Bill Gibson said...

SLTA, why not come right out and tell the politicians that they lied to the nation with regard to Environmental Tobacco Smoke being an increased risk to health, they lied to the Hospitality Sector when they were told that there was a new market of non-smokers ready and willing to come out into the sterile environments of smoker free venues and they lied to the nation when they repeatedly said that ventilation does not work when most of the reputable, unbiased studies shows that it does work.

handymanphil said...

They lied to the population when they said that they had held a 'public consultation' (Smokefree NE, NW etc etc.
They lied when the said they had formed an impartial committee SCOTH!
They lied when they said proof was incontraverible-Jamrozics zany findings weren't worth the paper they were written on!
Anymore for anymore?

Unknown said...

For a start, as a man of 58 years old I have never seen a "smoke filled pub!" There was a pub with smokers and non smokers and the air was never 'filled' with tobacco smoke. It is a myth that this meeting seems to quantify with their words. But for the over sensitive nut jobs that insist that they cannot exist without a waft of smoke coming their way then Bill's sensible approach is the best option or the notion that pub landlords can decide wheather they go smoke free or not.

This meeting smaks of appeasment and we know where that led in the past.

I expected better from this meeting, but no, their appeasment will lead to their own gallows.

Bill Gibson said...

An informative Letter

Robert E. Madden MD, FACS.

I am also a non-smoker. HOWEVER I am a passionate opponent smoking bans. Most of the opposition to the smoking bans has been based upon economic factors such as loss of business revenue, even closings.

My opposition is due to loss of individual freedom and abuse of scientific fact. I am a practicing chest surgeon, a teacher and a former cancer researcher. I am also past president of the NY Cancer Society. I will not tell you that smoking is harmless and without risk, in fact one in eight hundred smokers will develop lung cancer. Asthmatics should avoid tobacco smoke.

What I will say is

1) it's a personal choice and

2) So called second smoke (ETS) is virtually harmless.

One may not like the smell but it has not been shown to cause cancer, even in bartenders. If people do not like the odor then they may go elsewhere. Those who support the ban have no right to deny 24% of the adult population their enjoyment of a popular product based on dislike, possibly hatred of smoking. This attitude is that of a bigot, akin to anti-Semitism or racism.

To me the most offensive element of the smoking bans is the resort to science as ¨Disproving that environmental smoke, second hand smoke, causes lung cancer¡¬. Not only is this unproven but there is abundant and substantial evidence to the contrary. It is frustrating, even insulting, for a scientist like myself to hear the bloated statistics put out by the American Cancer Society (of which I am a member) and the American Lung Association used to justify what is best described as a political agenda.

Smokers enjoy smoking. Most non-smokers are neutral. Anti-smokers hate smoking. It is this last group that drives the engine of smoking bans. Smoking sections in restaurants, ventilated bars and the like have been satisfactory and used for years. To those who choose to smoke they do so at their own risk. To those eschew smoking let them patronize establishments whose owners prohibit smoking. To impose a city wide or a state wide ban is to deny people of their rights.


Robert E. Madden, M.D

Anonymous said...

And there'll be many more medics who'd agree with him Bill. Problem is, most are too scared to say anything. A brave and honourable man.

Bill Gibson said...

There are many who will openly testify, here is one example

and another

Anonymous said...

Well said, Dr Madden!