Saturday, 23 June 2012

How the smoking ban kills communities that cannot arrange an exemption (Cornwall and St Louis)

Several interesting snippets here:
Much more disturbing though, is the new culture of home alcoholics which is now way out of control. Still, out of sight, out of mind eh? When you went to the pub, you knew when you'd had enough.
In my area alone, two village pubs have just closed, and another is in receivership. I'm aware of many others that have gone under, including working men's clubs throughout Cornwall. They are all the social hub for so many and a necessity to keep the community spirit that brings people together for numerous occasions.
Town establishments are also suffering big time. One place I work, also doubles as a coffee house by day for the shoppers. It's 700 cups down per week. And what of the ladies who liked a ciggy with their morning coffee? Another little luxury lost. Wading through crowds smoking outside on the pavement with cigarette ends everywhere, while avoiding traffic at the same time has become an art form. It's increasingly difficult for the entertainment industry with venues still closing at the ridiculous rate of 16 per week even after four years. I support non-smokers' rights to the hilt, but there is absolutely no need for this, with so many people suffering, including the enormous loss of jobs. The negatives are endless. It's all so absurd. 
Publicans know they can cater for everyone with the return of the ashtray and would undoubtedly survive. They did before. Anyone with a miniscule of [truth, logic, compassion and common sense] could have achieved a harmonious conclusion. It's not rocket science to create a two-roomed pub to satisfy all punters, especially with today's technology. Ultimately, it should be the decision of the landlord, not the far-off voice of Big Brother.
Big Brother features as the cause of all the trouble in this article:
Implementing it is a different matter, especially since we've arrived at the point where the evil 1 per cent elite, are now telling their puppet governments to make laws regarding what the remaining 99 per cent can or cannot do on their own property.
This is not an interpretation of the smoking ban that I am familiar with, but it cannot be denied that the smoking ban is open to manipulation by powerful forces in society. The less powerful are expected to be grateful for the restrictions.

Powerful professional clubs in St Louis, Missouri, have proved able to ignore the ban with minimal fuss from prosecutors and it is now possible that they may get a legal exemption. Opponents and supporters of the ban disapprove for different reasons: opponents would prefer the smoking ban law to be fought as a whole, rather than certain establishments seeking exemptions for themelves; and of course ban supporters would prefer everybody to observe the ban.

So there is a model that undermines the notion of equality before the law: if you are a judge, attorney, politician or other 'man in a suit' with access to certain invitation-only venues in St Louis, you can smoke socially (even supposing you don't have the space to do it in a separate room at home). If you don't, then it's a lot harder (but even here there are more exemptions available than in the UK).

Social smoking should be an issue resolved by the people immediately affected (as the Cornwall article pointed out there is plenty of technology to assist with removing the worst effects of smoke). It should not be an issue resolved by the social and political clout you possess with local lawmakers.

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