Saturday, November 29, 2008

What you didn't read this week

(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)

One the best things about the smoking ban is that you no longer have to step over dead bodies to get to the bar. We all remember, don't we, the familiar sight of nonsmokers clutching at their chest as that lethal secondhand smoke triggered one cardiac arrest after another. On any visit to the pub you were certain to witness at least one heart attack. The life expectancy for barmaids was three weeks. Thank God those days are over.

Naturally, once the smoking ban came in, there was a massive drop in the number of people being admitted to hospital for with heart attacks. How could it be otherwise?

That, at least, was the story just over a year ago when the Beeb and virtually every newspaper in Britain reported that Scotland had seen a large fall in heart attacks since March 2006 (when the ban started) and so - post hoc ergo propter hoc - it was the ban wot done it. The Guardian's report - Smoking ban brings big cut in heart attacks in Scotland, study finds - was typical of the media's willingness to believe in this delightful little fairy-tale:
"The number of people being taken to hospital with heart attacks in Scotland has fallen significantly since the smoking ban was introduced, the most detailed study into the impact of the measure has revealed.

Researchers found a 17% drop in the number of people admitted for heart attacks in the year since the ban came into force."

Inevitably, one the hatchet-faced gurners from Action on Smoking and Health piped up to make the implied connection with passive smoking explicit:
"We knew from epidemiological statistics there was a risk from secondhand smoke to cardiovascular health but not how much of a risk until now."

This was an understatement. If the study was true then it meant that before the ban a whopping 17% of all heart attacks were caused by passive smoking in public places. Even in the swivel-eyed fantasy world of anti-smoking nutjobs, surely this sounded a tad high? But it was good enough for The Daily Mail who leapt at the chance of doing a spurious extrapolation:
"If the pattern is repeated throughout the UK, there would be almost 40,000 fewer heart attacks a year."

That's right. Before the ban, there were 40,000 heart attacks from secondhand smoke in the workplace. Hence that a pile of corpses down The King's Head.

What the ASH spokeswomen didn't mention was that the 17% figure was not based on hospital admission data but on the same sort of "epidemiological statistics" that had propped up all the rest of the passive smoking horseshit. Some friendly researchers had picked a sample of patients in a selection of hospitals over a limited time-frame and had crunched the numbers in a rather unusual way. And the researchers happened to be members of anti-smoking groups. And the study hadn't even been published. In fact, if the Scottish government hadn't gone to the trouble of issuing a press release, no one would ever have heard about it.

When the study was finally published in July this year it got another flurry of international press attention. By this time, the belief that heart attacks had fallen by 17% had become established fact and was being cited in a bid for world domination:
"The findings of a major study into the smoking ban in Scotland supports calls for a worldwide ban of the practice in public places, health officials said today."

The research, which was first revealed last year, found a 17% fall in hospital admissions for heart attacks in Scotland in the first year of the ban."

But the smell of bullshit lingered over the story and this week the truth finally emerged.

You see, we don't need to pay partisan researchers to estimate how many people get admitted to hospital for heart attacks because the hospitals count and diagnose all the patients themselves. These figures are then compiled and published by professional statisticians. It takes them a while to do it, but that's because they want to get it right. They don't just want to pull numbers out of their arses to provide lazy journalists with fanciful stories.

And when these professional statisticians have collated the information properly, they publish it online for all to see, showing the recent trend and the long-term trend.

They finally got round to doing this on Wednesday and everything that was reported last year was exposed as a shabby load of old bollocks. Yes, admissions for acute coronary syndrome had fallen after the ban but they had been falling for years as this graph shows:


The figure was nowhere near 17%. It was 7.2%. And, above all, the rate went up for the first time in a decade the following year - by 7.8%. In other words, there were more heart attacks in smoke-free Scotland last year than there were before the ban.

So not quite the glorious success story that you might have been led to believe.

Funnily enough, the Scottish government hasn't got round to sending out a press release to spread this bit of news yet. You heard it here first. And probably last.


H/T: Freedom2Choose

161 comments:

jus' askin said...

Just returned from some refreshin lunchtime beers accompanied, as usual, by a few fags*. Did I have to shiver outside in the rain to accomplish this feat? No,like any normal person I was perched on a bar stool in a warm friendly pub with a group of other normal people enjoying a Saturday lunchtime session.
Of course this is Belgium.......

*£2.50 the pack

Kay Tie said...

"One the best things about the smoking ban is that you no longer have to step over dead bodies to get to the bar."

No, the best thing about the smoking ban is not ending the evening with a throat scrubbed raw from second-hand smoke, not having to wake up to a pillow stinking of fags, not having to wash one's hair and change all one's clothes after each visit to a pub, and not having the taste of one's meal ruined by the bastard smoking at the next table.

You're a selfish fucker. Go home and quit whining.

Jeff Wood said...

Kay, you surprise me. You are usually quicker to pounce on bullshit, but I guess smoking raises strong reactions.

I am in the trade, and can confirm the selfish fuckers have been going home, which is why there are fewer places to go for a drink.

BrianB said...

Kay Tie:

None of the things that you cite were reasons for this wretched government's outrageous totalitarian legislation. Get yourself informed about the facts - your ignorance is staggering, and for you to write such pathetic drivel on the blog of a libertarian is shameful.

"You're a selfish fucker. Go home and quit whining."

Did you have a straight face when you wrote this?

Do you know the meaning of the word 'hypocrisy'?

Try looking in the mirror if you want to see a true "selfish fucker".

Bloody lefty troll. It's people like you that just stand back and happily hand over our hard won liberties to an overbearing state, just because you are too fucking lazy - or dirty - to change your clothes every day.

.

xelent said...

Hear hear Jeff..

Of course the BS is only important when it doesn't effect them..

Of course, we could always end up like the old Soviet Union when the police would turn up at a random bar or cinema and arrest those that were meant to be at work..

I do so despair with authoritarians..

christopher said...

Actually Kaytie THE best thing about the ban is walking away from brainless, bigoted chicken shits that are scared of life. It must be so lonely for them now.

Kay Tie said...

"None of the things that you cite were reasons for this wretched government's outrageous totalitarian legislation."

I know. Unintended consequences, eh?

"Get yourself informed about the facts - your ignorance is staggering"

The facts are as I laid them out. Or do you have my throat? Did you sleep on my pillows?

"and for you to write such pathetic drivel on the blog of a libertarian is shameful."

Ah, so libertarianism is doing what you want regardless of how it impacts on others, is it? In that case, I think I'll take a piss in your jacket pocket. It's less unpleasant than smoking at you because it won't require you to take a shower, just wash your clothes.

Kay Tie said...

I just want to add: my libertarian credentials are as good as anyone's on this blog. I'm just as concerned at the authoritarian attack on smokers (e.g. banning smokers from smoking in their own cars and vans, or in hospital car parks). I haven't the slightest problem with someone smoking, drinking or injecting heroin - just as long as they don't ruin my meal, puke on me, or leave needles lying around.

Anonymous said...

"Ah, so libertarianism is doing what you want regardless of how it impacts on others, is it?"

No, it's called freedom. In a free society the owner of a property has the right to choose what behaviour he allows on that property; he doesn't have men with guns telling him that he can't allow his customers to smoke if he so chooses. It's authoritarian scum who believe they have a right to tell other people how to live their lives.

If you don't like smoke, you have two choices: don't go to the pub, or go to a pub where the owner chooses not to allow people to smoke. Instead, you selfishly demand that pub owners are forced to ban smoking even though they are quite happy to allow their customers to do smoke.

BTW, I presume you considered the impact your beloved law would have on smokers before you chose to support it? No, didn't think so, there's no-one more selfish and hypocritical than the authoritarian 'give my your money and do what I tell you' left.

"I just want to add: my libertarian credentials are as good as anyone's on this blog"

ROTLFMAO. If you believe that men with guns should be able to tell a propery owner what behaviour he can and can't allow on his property (at least so long as that behaviour is otherwise legal), then you're sure as hell no libertarian.

Kay Tie said...

"(at least so long as that behaviour is otherwise legal), then you're sure as hell no libertarian."

Assault is illegal. We've widened the definition to include smoking. Hitherto the tyranny of the majority permitted smokers to assault me. Now it doesn't. I welcome the protection (even if the motivations for the protection are wrong).

The Filthy Smoker said...

Kay Tie,

It's Saturday night. Why don't you take your pillow and fuck off down the pub. It could really do with the business.

And look up the word 'liberty' in a dictionary some time.

Anonymous said...

Can we have a link to freedom2choose please ?
This original comment comes from f2c's front page
http://www.freedom2choose.info/news_viewer.php?id=854

Kay Tie said...

"And look up the word 'liberty' in a dictionary some time."

I did, thank you. Funnily enough, it didn't include in the definition the right to pop round to where you live and set fire to a pile of tyres in front of your house when you're trying to have a barbecue. Pity, because with your blunted sense of taste and smell, that's the only way that you're going to see what it's like for people around you (or, at least, it was until last year).

"fuck off down the pub"

I do use my new-found liberty. In fact, I've been to the pub more in the last year than in all the ten years prior to that put together. I enjoy the visits very much.

Sneaky Weasel said...

Describing your own personal discomfort as "assault" is rather silly.
The act of smoking is not direct aggression towards those around the smoker. The second-hand smoke is a side-effect of the smoking, and one is not obliged to remain in the vacinity of the smoker- nor should the smoker be obliged to not smoke in a public place.
However, a pub is not a public place.
If the property owner allows smoking, it should be allowed. If they do not allow it, then patrons are required to respect that.
Whilst the science is still in question (as this post illustrates) then putting "smoking around others" into the category "assault" and using force to coerce property owners into compliance is unjust, and decidedly authoritarian.
By the by, Libertarian thinking is not a buffet. You can't pick and choose the bits you like.
Freedom is freedom.
I too dislike the unpleasantness of cigarette smoke, but freedom is allowing others to be free too, and banning something simply because you do not like it is imposing your own morality on others. This is authoritarian.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Kay Tie, your logic is quite hilarious. And Libertarian? With all due respect ... bollocks.

You start with this, "the best thing about the smoking ban is not ending the evening with a throat scrubbed raw from second-hand smoke, not having to wake up to a pillow stinking of fags, not having to wash one's hair and change all one's clothes after each visit to a pub"

All about YOU. And you finish by saying,

"You're a selfish fucker. Go home and quit whining."

Do you SERIOUSLY not see the hypocrisy there? FFS!

THEN you trot out the anti-smoker soundbite cliche about pissing on the jacket pocket (I suppose the no-issing areas in a swimming pool won't be far away).

My Chenin Blanc was on the keyboard prior to my falling off the chair laughing at this though,

"... my libertarian credentials are as good as anyone's on this blog"

NO. THEY. ARE. NOT. You pick and choose YOUR libertarian beliefs. You selfish fucker!

You follow with,

"Assault is illegal. We've widened the definition to include smoking."

What assault? The piece by TFS clearly shows that it's a load of nonsense, there IS no assault. It is purely in the minds of those selfish fuckers that don't like a smell. Your reaction proves it. And exactly when was smoking added to a list of assaults?

And lastly, a top drawer, copper-bottomed piece of anti-smoker bigotry and bullshit that is quite simply jaw-dropping in its stupidity.

"... it didn't include in the definition the right to pop round to where you live and set fire to a pile of tyres in front of your house when you're trying to have a barbecue."

Do you even remember what your self-righteous self is arguing here? Wasn't it about smoke and how it makes your clothes smell, your throat sore etc.? Yet you think a barbecue is fine?

If you are not on a wind-up then you're a fucking idiot. But then, is there even one bigoted anti-smoker that isn't?

wv: kaytieisatwat

Kay Tie said...

"Describing your own personal discomfort as "assault" is rather silly."

Err, it's a bit more than discomfort.

"The act of smoking is not direct aggression towards those around the smoker."

Correct. It's thoughtless, selfish disregard for others.

"The second-hand smoke is a side-effect of the smoking"

Yeah, and throwing up is a side-effect of 12 pints. So?

"and one is not obliged to remain in the vacinity of the smoker- nor should the smoker be obliged to not smoke in a public place."

Nonsense, both in law and in common sense. Just because someone is free to leave doesn't excuse or give licence to assault them.

"However, a pub is not a public place."

What do you think the word "pub" stands for?

Kay Tie said...

"All about YOU."

Yeah, victims, it's always about them, isn't it? Why doesn't anyone think of the perpetrators and give them a break, eh?

"Do you SERIOUSLY not see the hypocrisy there? FFS!"

No, I am the one who has a raw throat. I am the one who has to wash my clothes. I'm happy for the smoker to smoke, just so long as I'm not assaulted by it.

If I got pissed and threw up on you, would you smile indulgently, knowing that to complain would make you selfish? I doubt it.

"It is purely in the minds of those selfish fuckers that don't like a smell."

A smell? A smell?!? Are you so really utterly deluded as to what it's like to spend an evening in a smoke-filled room ? You think it's down to SMELL? Christ on a bike, you're an idiot.

Now I realise that smokers by nature are pretty thick-skinned, and by definition don't give a toss that they smell like turds roasted on a bonfire. But trust me: other people aren't like that and what you find trivial ("oo, lah-de-dah, we stop you smellin' like roses!") other people don't.

Anonymous said...

Kay Tie,

As I understand it a pub is a place of private property into which members of the public are allowed by invitation and the consent of the landlord. The landlord can refuse admittance/service without being obliged to offer any justification. You do not have the right to go into a pub and you have a choice not to.

This is substantively different from a place into which members of the public have the right to go and are obliged to do so.

I echo the sentiments of the other posters and if you think that you can pick and choose the grounds on which it's acceptable for freedoms to be ridden roughshod over by HMG, then you ain't no libertarian.

Jay

Kay Tie said...

"freedoms to be ridden roughshod over by HMG, then you ain't no libertarian."

HMG didn't ride roughshod over your freedom: it (finally) gave me my freedom from those who would do as they wish without regard to my freedom. This is the essence of libertarianism.

I accept that HMG didn't have any decent motives when providing me with my freedom, but I'll take the benign unintended consequences in any case.

JPT said...

What about pedestrians breathing in exhaust fumes?
Countless studies have proven this to be dangerous.
A public ban on exhaust fumes must surely morally be the next step for our oh so caring government?

Kay Tie said...

"What about pedestrians breathing in exhaust fumes?
Countless studies have proven this to be dangerous.
A public ban on exhaust fumes must surely morally be the next step for our oh so caring government?"

Your wish is the Select Committee's command:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article5258472.ece

haddock said...

an example of Kay tie's standard of debate from one of her comments on this blog a while back...
Kay Tie said...

"we were never asked if it was OK with us to change our laws and culture."

Oh, right, I get it: people have to ask you, nay beg you, to be able to live their lives in peace without harming anyone else. Well fuck you asshole.

You are a worthless human being. Actually, no, that's not right: we could render you down and take your body fat and turn it into diesel, worth 130p/litre.

6/17/2008 04:58:00 PM

Glad to see that you refuse to change Kay Tie, it gives us grown ups something to laugh at .... Libertarian... YOU ! ha fucking ha, just another 6th form debater.

You sound like one of those global warming fucking fanatics with their 'science is settled' bollocks. There is no solid evidence that supports the passive smoking hysteria.

haddock said...

http://haddock-somethingfishy.blogspot.com/2008/06/what-gay-day.html

Dick Puddlecote said...

"If I got pissed and threw up on you, would you smile indulgently, knowing that to complain would make you selfish?"

No, I would take the matter up with you personally, not run whining to the Government to criminalise you.

"A smell? A smell?!? Are you so really utterly deluded as to what it's like to spend an evening in a smoke-filled room."

Unless you can find any fault in the actual figures posted by TFS instead of wild exaggeration by the anti-smoking nutters, all it comes down to is a smell that you don't like.

You are exaggerating by somehow believing this nonsense that every pub was a fug-filled hellhole before the ban.

Most weren't, some older ones were. The answer would have been proper ventilation which, much as they are soulless venues, Wetherspoons pubs had organised very well without the hammer of HMG.

Besides. What on Earth would have been wrong with a system of smoking and non-smoking pubs? You could still avoid the smell and there would have been choice for those that didn't mind.

Plus, your ill-informed view of a pub has been debunked already. You are invited into someone else's property and they can kick you out for any damn reason they like. You have no RIGHT to be there. You CHOOSE to be there, on THEIR tersm. If they choose to allow people to smoke it should be no concern of yours.

... and such are bigoted laws on other private property passed with the smoking ban as a precedent.

You say you think banning smoking in one's home is bad. If it happens, it is your 'libertarian' opinions that will have facilitated it.

Libertarian my arse.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"HMG didn't ride roughshod over your freedom."

Yes it did Kay, I am now not allowed by law to buy a plot of land, build a club on it for smokers, staff it with smokers, and all go back to having fun without whining twats like you around.

I would NOT sell food in there so it wouldn't be your idea of a pub anyway judging from your previous comments.

I'm here all week.

Tony Sidaway said...

I have to agree with Kay Tie that, as a non-smoker, being in the pub has been a great pleasure since the ban.

Proponents of smoking in pubs as a "liberty" seem to have a blind spot when it comes to the material damage smoking causes to others in the pub--sore throats, coughs, mucky , smelly clothes, greasy film under the fingertips, smelly hair, eyes squinting from smoke. We're well rid of all that (though the sudden discovery of how badly some pub toilets can smell was less welcome!)

But The Filthy Smoker makes a good point here about the misuse of statistics. The study which he rightly attacks was just silly.

I wonder if he has any comments on the two other studies mentioned in the Guardian article he cites. I quote from the Guardian article itself:

"Other research presented at the conference in Edinburgh, Towards a Smokefree Society, and published by the British Medical Journal, found a 39% reduction in second-hand smoke exposure among primary school children in Scotland, and a 49% reduction among adult non-smokers.

"Bar staff also experienced fewer respiratory problems. A separate study of the impact on nearly 400 non-smoking bar staff, based on an analysis of nicotine levels in their saliva, found their exposure had reduced by 89%."

I'm sure we can all agree that any reduction in toxic smoke ingested by non-smokers is good news.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Tony Sideways: "Other research presented at the conference in Edinburgh, Towards a Smokefree Society, and published by the British Medical Journal, found a 39% reduction in second-hand smoke exposure among primary school children in Scotland, and a 49% reduction among adult non-smokers.

"Bar staff also experienced fewer respiratory problems. A separate study of the impact on nearly 400 non-smoking bar staff, based on an analysis of nicotine levels in their saliva, found their exposure had reduced by 89%."

I think the clue is the "conference in Edinburgh, Towards a Smokefree Society". It was an anti-smoker conference. The studies were rigged.

If Fyffes said that bananas make 97% of people live to the age of 212, would you believe it?

Come on man, keep up.

Kay Tie said...

"The answer would have been proper ventilation which, much as they are soulless venues, Wetherspoons pubs had organised very well without the hammer of HMG."

I've suggested that in the past. It's been done in other countries very well. But, as I've said several times, eradicating the smoke wasn't HMG's motivation.

"What on Earth would have been wrong with a system of smoking and non-smoking pubs? You could still avoid the smell and there would have been choice for those that didn't mind."

Again, I've thought that was a good idea.

"You are invited into someone else's property and they can kick you out for any damn reason they like."

Put a "No Dogs or Jews" sign (or a "No Darkie Followers of Muhammad" if you're Captain Haddock) and see how far that "any damn reason" bit gets you.

"You say you think banning smoking in one's home is bad. If it happens, it is your 'libertarian' opinions that will have facilitated it."

I don't agree with the form of the ban, nor the motivations (quite the opposite). What Zanu Labour does has nothing to do with me. By pure side-effect I have some freedoms given to me. I'm not grateful for that because there was no intent.

Kay Tie said...

"I think the clue is the "conference in Edinburgh, Towards a Smokefree Society". It was an anti-smoker conference. The studies were rigged."

The former does not imply the latter. But yes, in the mendacious society that Zanu Labour have created (or, rather, enhanced), I don't trust such studies. In fact, I go further: I actively believe that nearly all the stats on passive smoking are spun bullshit, merely based on my own personal statistics that nearly every time I've dug into these things (directly, or indirectly by reading some blogger who has) they have turned out to be mendacious bullshit.

I would much have preferred an approach that balanced the right to consume tobacco with the right for non-smokers not to suffer the effects (powerful ventilation being one of the mechanistic approaches). But as I said, that's not where Zanu Labour were coming from. You can test my hypothesis: electronic cigarettes, which emit only water vapour and harm no-one but the smoker, are just fine by me but not by Zanu Labour. Watch them twist and turn to find a way to ban them.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Kay: "I've suggested that in the past. It's been done in other countries very well. But, as I've said several times, eradicating the smoke wasn't HMG's motivation."

So what was then? You don't believe the health bollocks do you?

If you are truly 'libertarian' you would know that for some, health issues should be left up to the individual. You are arguing FOR a law that restricts lifestyle choices to 25% of the population and ALL of those that wish to exercise their own property rights in the hospitality industry.

You say that a system of smoking and non-smoking pubs is a good idea yet your answer to a blogger pointing out the lies that have been used by those that vetoed that idea are met with (your words) "You're a selfish fucker. Go home and quit whining."

As for the sign saying no darkies etc., they would get done for racial/religious hatred or whatever the law. They would NOT be forced by law to admit those people. Therein lies the difference. You're not getting it are you. If a Landlord wants to exclude you because he doesn't like the shape of your nose, it is his RIGHT to do so as it is his property.

I'm glad you enjoy the side-effects of an illiberal and undemocratic ban. Just don't ever rail against anything that pisses you off seeing as you revel in the misery of others.

Again, Libertarian my arse.
HMG have destroyed his right to do as he wishes with his property. You are a libertarian, you must know that. Oh hold on, you're only libertarian when it suits you.

Tony Sidaway said...

"It was an anti-smoker conference. The studies were rigged."

Um, just about plausible. The one The Filthy Smoker eviscerated here was certainly very hokey.

But what of the study that was published in the British Medical Journal, though? That's one of the top medical journals, and studies published there are subject to refereeing and peer review, with the result that only 7% of original-research studies make it to publication.

Stuff that was rigged probably wouldn't make it into BMJ.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Last sentence should have followed "it is his property", apologies. Reading someone who thinks they are libertarian spouting such nonsense gets me rather irate.

Tony Sidaway said...

I'm not convinced on the "better ventilation" suggestion. In my experience the only difference between a non-ventilated pub and a ventilated pub was the reduction in visible smoke.

Perhaps that's a fault of the particular pubs (mostly modern, recently built Wetherspoons pubs that had ventilating systems and non-smoking sections), but I'd still end up with a thin film of grease on my fingers from the soot in the air, and my clothes and hair still smelled bad.

I seem to recall that similar concerns about inadequacy of dispersal were what led to the decision to enforce a ban.

Tony Sidaway said...

I don't think arguing who is the purer libertarian gets us anywhere. Most people don't agree with libertarian philosophy so the limiting of personal liberties is sometimes seen as acceptable in the public interest.

I'm no libertarian: if somebody were ticketed for driving a fast car down my residential street at 2am, I'd not lose a (further) moment's sleep about the infringement of the driver's precious freedom to be an obnoxious twit. I suspect that people who think differently would be better off trying another planet.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Tony Sidaway: "Stuff that was rigged probably wouldn't make it into BMJ."

Which study that the conference mentioned was that then? As TFS has quite rightly pointed out, the anti-smoking lobby don't really care if it's published or not. They prefer science by Press Release. Even serious anti-smokers are unhappy with it. TFS links to Michael Siegel who is an anti-smoker and termed that phrase himself. It's why you believe as you do right now.

As for the BMJ, stuff that DID make the BMJ can be withdrawn once the anti-smoking lobby start flinging shit.

Here's one. It is the biggest study to date on passive smoking and was paid for by the American Cancer Society. Google the authors and you get a whole bunch of lies about their character.

http://tinyurl.com/6xz933

Don't believe these bastards. They care not a jot about the truth.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Kay Tie,

"Put a "No Dogs or Jews" sign (or a "No Darkie Followers of Muhammad" if you're Captain Haddock) and see how far that "any damn reason" bit gets you."

As a libertarian though, you would -- I take it -- entirely support the landlord's right to ban dogs, Jews and Muslims, yes?

DK

Dick Puddlecote said...

"I'm not convinced on the "better ventilation" suggestion"

You won't be convinced simply because you don't like it, 'fess up. Do you really want me to go get the proof that ASH provided the Government with 20 year old stats on ventilation so that it would be ruled out? Really? Or that anti-smoking nutters, with no scientific background WHATSOEVER, wildly manipulated statistics to provide the 'no safe level of exposure' bare-faced lie? Which has ben rubbished in a US court but is still trotted out to this day, lately by that twat Alan Johnson?

What is the problem with Labour's manifesto commitment to ban smoking in pubs that serve food (sorts Kay Tie out nicely) and to allow clubs to set their own policy?

No problem at all. Anyone who objects is a bigot and certainly NO libertarian.

DaveA said...

Tony Sidaway: Not all items published in the BMJ are peer reviewed. After publishing the peer reviewed Ensrom/Kabat 39 year report in 2003 which showed no correlation from passive smoking and lung cancer and heart disease the BMJ has been bullied and silenced by the health nazis. The American Cancer Society (ACS)led by Herr Thun and Herr Glantz have spent the intervening years trying their best to get Professor Enstrom fired from UCLA, such is their spite and contempt for the truth. The attached URL which Jim Enstrom sent me are copies of letters sent by Thun and Glantz to his employers at UCLA and are in the public domain.

If Devils Kitchn would like me to do a piece on the way that nazi and Stalinist pratices have been used to silence legitimate epidemiologcal studies that come up with the "wrong results" my time is at your dispsal.

BTW the Kabat/Enstrom report was financed 95% by ACS and 5% by tobacco comapnies.


http://www.scientificintegrityinstitute.org/documents.html

Kay Tie said...

"So what was then?"

Don't expect me to know what bizarre tortured reasoning goes on in the minds of a Zanu Labour minister. Probably some kind of social engineering.

"If you are truly 'libertarian' you would know that for some, health issues should be left up to the individual."

Of course. You do what you want to do to yourself. I don't give a toss (well, I do actually: a friend of mine is slowly dying of emphysema, and I'd not want to see others dying of smoking related diseases unnecessarily). But when *I'm* the individual that suffers a sore throat, stinging eyes, and stinking clothes, I ought to get some rights. Yes, they need to be balanced against yours. But they evidently can't be balanced voluntarily by good manners because clearly smokers have a blind spot for the unpleasant effects they have on others.

"seeing as you revel in the misery of others."

I don't revel in your misery (I support your right to smoke). I revel in my newly discovered freedom to clean air in a pub. You clearly don't rate that as worth any thing at all.

"Oh hold on, you're only libertarian when it suits you."

The same can be said for you and other smokers: your right to your enjoyment of a pint trumps mine because I'm being a silly old thing worried about the smell.

Kay Tie said...

"So what was then?"

Don't expect me to know what bizarre tortured reasoning goes on in the minds of a Zanu Labour minister. Probably some kind of social engineering.

"If you are truly 'libertarian' you would know that for some, health issues should be left up to the individual."

Of course. You do what you want to do to yourself. I don't give a toss (well, I do actually: a friend of mine is slowly dying of emphysema, and I'd not want to see others dying of smoking related diseases unnecessarily). But when *I'm* the individual that suffers a sore throat, stinging eyes, and stinking clothes, I ought to get some rights. Yes, they need to be balanced against yours. But they evidently can't be balanced voluntarily by good manners because clearly smokers have a blind spot for the unpleasant effects they have on others.

"seeing as you revel in the misery of others."

I don't revel in your misery (I support your right to smoke). I revel in my newly discovered freedom to clean air in a pub. You clearly don't rate that as worth any thing at all.

"Oh hold on, you're only libertarian when it suits you."

The same can be said for you and other smokers: your right to your enjoyment of a pint trumps mine because I'm being a silly old thing worried about the smell.

The Filthy Smoker said...

Tony Sideways:

"I wonder if he has any comments on the two other studies mentioned in the Guardian article he cites."

I sure do. Actually there are 3 studies, but the way it's written makes it look like 2. Let me explain:

"Other research presented at the conference in Edinburgh, Towards a Smokefree Society, and published by the British Medical Journal, found a 39% reduction in second-hand smoke exposure among primary school children in Scotland, and a 49% reduction among adult non-smokers."

This is simply a survey asking a group of kids how much secondhand smoke they are exposed to. It says nothing about the effect on health.

"Bar staff also experienced fewer respiratory problems."

This is the second claim and it is completely unsupported.

"A separate study of the impact on nearly 400 non-smoking bar staff, based on an analysis of nicotine levels in their saliva, found their exposure had reduced by 89%."

This third claim is from a nicotine test of bar staff. They found less nicotine in their saliva than before the ban. That much would be expected but, again, it says nothing about the effect on health. Nicotine is not harmful, particularly at the tiny levels we are talking about here.

All 3 depend on the reader already assuming that secondhand smoke is toxic, which leads me to your other comment...

"I'm sure we can all agree that any reduction in toxic smoke ingested by non-smokers is good news."

Actually, I'm afraid we can't. We can agree that tobacco smoke, if inhaled many times a day for decades, is carcinogenic to some people but that does not make secondhand smoke toxic. They are very different things, and the main difference is that the latter is massively diluted.

We know that radiation is carcinogenic, but that doesn't mean that your TV is toxic. We know that there is arsenic in tap water but that doesn't make tap water poisonous.

"But what of the study that was published in the British Medical Journal, though? That's one of the top medical journals."

I hate to tell you but the the 17% heart attack stuff that we both agree was bullshit was published in the New England Medical Journal - a very respected medical journal. The Helena Heart study that inspired it was - believe it or not - even worse and that was published in the British Medical Journal. The MMR/autism study was also published in the BMJ, amongst other proven nonsense.

Medical journals are commercial entities. They rely on advertising like any other magazine and have competition of their own (eg. The Lancet). They rely on their big stories getting coverage in the MSM and scare stories sell. They are responsible for a lot of the spurious scare stories you read in The Daily Mail and The Telegraph. The days of medical journals being purely sober journals of record are long gone. And when their editorial campaigns are involved (smoking/drinking/obesity), the peer review process goes right out of the window.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Kay Tie,

I understand your pleasure at smoke-free pubs (indeed, even as a smoke, I don't personally find it all bad). However...

"The same can be said for you and other smokers: your right to your enjoyment of a pint trumps mine because I'm being a silly old thing worried about the smell."

Yes, the right of a private landlord to dictate what goes on in his private property does trump your right not to smell bad.

You were on better philosophical ground with your argument of second-hand smoke as assault.

Unfortunately, the science simply doesn't bear you out on that argument.

DK

Kay Tie said...

"As a libertarian though, you would -- I take it -- entirely support the landlord's right to ban dogs, Jews and Muslims, yes?"

In a free society the rights of minorities have to be protected. By "minorities" I don't intend the same meaning as a Zanu Labour minister: I mean anyone who is in a minority in a particular domain (e.g. being a BNP supporter).

Although I would hold that the above is self-evident, I'll prove it: listen to the callers on the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2.

One can argue about the rights of the minority. In essence, they ought to support being treated as an individual and discriminated for/against on the basis of character and behaviour not on the involuntary membership of arbitrary groups. I'd not expect many rights to apply to dogs.

Oh, and nice to hear from you DK. I'm sure you've been spitting feathers about Damian Green, but unable to write due to being busy spitting feathers about other things.

Kay Tie said...

"You were on better philosophical ground with your argument of second-hand smoke as assault."

My raw throat and stinging eyes don't count then? It doesn't have to be permanent injury to be called assault.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"But they evidently can't be balanced voluntarily by good manners because clearly smokers have a blind spot for the unpleasant effects they have on others."

More bollocks Kay. Smokers have always smoked where they are allowed to smoke. It used to be cinemas, it was banned, no problem with the smokers, they accepted that. Buses, trains, offices, and many more all the same. Compliant and accepting. In hindsight that was where they went wrong. They should have squealed like stuck pigs at every single one of these.

If they had done, the blanket smoking ban in pubs would not have happened.

Smokers complied so much that even this ridiculous ban is still 98% complied with by smokers (it helps HMG and ASH that they are threatened with bankruptcy of course), despite the disgusting insults thrown by people like you.

Yet you, silly person, still say smokers are selfish? You tell TFS to fuck off and stop whining? How about YOU fuck off and stop being such a cunt.

THERE IS NO VALID ARGUMENT AGAINST SMOKING AND NON-SMOKING PUBS. This wouldn't affect you, TFS is arguing that sort of line it seems to me. Your initial argument was insulting and idiotic.

The health lies that TFS highlighted are exactly that. Huge lies. YOU are calling him names for exposing them. YOU are implicitly backing up those who promote those lies.

YOU are part of the problem and you are NOT a libertarian.

And seeing as you started the emotive stuff Kay, do you agree with the health professional that wants to push dying people out in the cold to smoke? How will that help their health? How selfish are they being exactly? How do you judge selfishness? Is it the person who is on their way out and wants a bit of comfort? Or the nasty shit that wants to stop them?

http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.com/2008/11/sideways-shift-for-prejudicial-hatred.html

DaveA said...

Here is the debuned Helena study published in the BMJ. Herr Glantz one of the co-authors did have a control group in that the surrounding counties to Helena were also investigated. All 3 AFTER the smoking ban had a raised incidence in heart attacks of 50%. He did not consider this "significant."

Lying Berkshire Hunt.



http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/328/7452/1379-b

Tony Sidaway said...

Dick Puddlecote, " As TFS has quite rightly pointed out, the anti-smoking lobby don't really care if it's published or not. They prefer science by Press Release."

I agree that The Filthy Smoker has done a good job of exposing some laughably poor research. This was "sound-bite" science.

"You won't be convinced [on ventilation] simply because you don't like it,"

Well I don't like the effects, no. Smelly clothes and hair are no fun. Sore throats and coughs are no fun. It really was inexcusible that we were forced to put up with that horrible fug for all those decades.

DaveA, "Not all items published in the BMJ are peer reviewed."

Good point. The Guardian article is less than clear on this point.

The Filthy Smoker, "This is simply a survey asking a group of kids how much secondhand smoke they are exposed to. It says nothing about the effect on health. "

Well yes, I don't expect a health study at this early juncture. Epidemiological indicators such as second-hand smoke exposure are useful.

"'Bar staff also experienced fewer respiratory problems.' This is the second claim and it is completely unsupported. "

But hardly unexpected. If I experience less second hand smoke and I only spend a few hours a month in the pub, someone who spends his entire working life in the pub is also going to benefit.

"This third claim is from a nicotine test of bar staff. They found less nicotine in their saliva than before the ban. That much would be expected but, again, it says nothing about the effect on health. Nicotine is not harmful, particularly at the tiny levels we are talking about here."

Well again it's an indicator. If nicotine levels are down there's less tobacco being smoked (rather obvious, but there you have it.)

"We can agree that tobacco smoke, if inhaled many times a day for decades, is carcinogenic to some people but that does not make secondhand smoke toxic. They are very different things, and the main difference is that the latter is massively diluted. "

Are you claiming that cigarette smoke is some special magical kind of smoke that, unlike all other known irritants, isn't toxic?

At least, I hope we can agree with one another that cigarette smoke (second hand or otherwise) is an irritant. That cough I used to get didn't come from nowhere, you know.

Kay Tie said...

"Yet you, silly person, still say smokers are selfish?"

Because none of you - as proved tonight - give a flying fuck for the discomfort you cause other people. Textbook definition of the word.

"THERE IS NO VALID ARGUMENT AGAINST SMOKING AND NON-SMOKING PUBS."

I've not argued against it. I am sure something workable could have been arranged. But it was never on the agenda because the ban wasn't motivated by giving me some freedom: it was all about taking your freedom away.

"YOU are implicitly backing up those who promote those lies."

Err, no I'm not. I was segueing into a point about how some good can come from the ban (and using DK-style insults because, well, I was bored and when I'm bored the evil troll itch in my head starts up and needs scratching).

"do you agree with the health professional that wants to push dying people out in the cold to smoke?"

Of course not. Properly ventilated smoking rooms (or even a positive pressure smoking hood over a table in an ordinary room) would be an excellent way to address this. It's a bloody disgrace to watch people who can barely walk push a drip stand around outside in the cold.

Rob said...

Anyway, surely this story hammers the final nail into the coffin of a free and fearless press in Britain. They are happy to regurgitate as news any lies from the government, no matter how implausible they are.

As for why heart attacks have risen since the smoking ban, perhaps it is because people who would previously have relaxed down the pub and enjoyed themselves are now stuck at home with the spouse, and miserable as f*ck? After six months of stress the old ticker gives in and its all over.

Anonymous said...

Kay Tie said @7:56pm

"Assault is illegal. We've widened the definition to include smoking."

We? Kay Tie We've widened the definition?

Who is this We?

Not only are you quite evidently not a libertarian, it appears that you consider yourself to be part of the collective that is happy to remove long-enjoyed freedoms from millions, just to satisfy your own personal prejudices and tastes.

I think that makes you a Socialist and a fledgling Zanu-Labour apparatchik. You should also consider joining ASH - it's full of whiny 'pure air'-heads like you.

I repeat what I said earlier, your ignorance is staggering. Why not follow TFS' link to Freedom2Choose for starters - you might learn something about where some real assaults have been occurring - and where real freedoms are still understood and respected.

http://www.freedom2choose.info

Dick Puddlecote said...

This just gets better and better, Tony said: "Are you claiming that cigarette smoke is some special magical kind of smoke that, unlike all other known irritants, isn't toxic?"

No, Kay was saying that it was some magical kind of smoke that IS toxic whereas barbecue smoke was somehow perfectly OK.

By your admission, TFS has exposed some disgraceful nonsense posing as science, yet you still seem to be fully behind a smoking ban for reasons that appear, I hate to say it as you seem a reasonable man, to be your own personal prejudice.

This is the problem. The smoking ban is wrong full stop. No amount of wriggling will ever make it right.

The 'clothes smell, eyes sting' stuff is definitely not a reason for sweeping away property rights, and the 'selfish' accusation can only be levelled at those that think they are superior to others.

I think the ultimate in selfish is expecting someone to invest their livelihoods in a business, only for bigoted customers to want that business to be run the way they dictate, despite not having risked a single penny in the enterprise themselves.

DaveA said...

TS: Second hand smoke (SHS) is virtually harmless. I only left in the word vitually on the basis of never say never. The New England Journal for Medicine (NEJM) in 1974calulated that passive smokers inhale 1/250th of an active smoker, the late Dr. KWE Denson calulated it at 1/500th. This is so small as to be harmless, apart from some minor symtoms described above. I have a library of 300 epidemiolocial studies done into SHS and if anyone has a query they can email me on daveatherton20@hotmail.com.

The only studies I have been able to track down on childhood exposure all come up with the "wrong" results. Children exposed to SHS have a 22% reduction in lung cancer and 50% reduction in asthma and atopy.

So as not to be entirely one sided, I have finally been able to track down some spin free figures on active smoking from The Institute of British Actuaries. If you reach the age of 20 and an active smoker you will die 7 years younger if a man and 6.3 years if a woman.

Devil's Kitchen said...

DaveA,

"If Devils Kitchn would like me to do a piece on the way that nazi and Stalinist pratices have been used to silence legitimate epidemiologcal studies that come up with the "wrong results" my time is at your dispsal."

Absolutely. Just drop me an email...

DK

The Filthy Smoker said...

Rob said...

"Anyway, surely this story hammers the final nail into the coffin of a free and fearless press in Britain. They are happy to regurgitate as news any lies from the government, no matter how implausible they are."

Yes!!! Thank you Rob. Someone has understood what this post was really about.

Right. I'm off down the pub.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Kay again: "Because none of you - as proved tonight - give a flying fuck for the discomfort you cause other people"

Probably because almost NONE of you said a bloody word about it when it was happening. Now you, armed with the new 'health' crap, you have come out of the woodwork and called all smokers murderers. Want some examples?

"I've not argued against it. I am sure something workable could have been arranged. But it was never on the agenda because the ban wasn't motivated by giving me some freedom: it was all about taking your freedom away."

You may not have specifically argued against it on this thread, but you called someone who is doing so, a "selfish fucker" and said he should "stop whining". Care to take that back?

As for "never on the agenda", well actually it was, it was in the 2005 Labour manifesto. We voted on it. As a 'libertarian' I'd have thought you might be a tad pissed off about that being ignored. But you're OK though, eh? It's those 'selfish' others that are the problem.

Then you talk about how good can come from the ban while also disagreeing with some bastard health professional from the Midlands who is acting disgracefully toward terminally-ill patients ... which he was, almost without doubt, emboldened to do thanks to the ban itself and the lies that have been told by those that pushed for it. Which TFS has highlighted, and for which he was labelled a "selfish fucker" by you.

Good Grief!

Tony Sidaway said...

Dick Puddlecote, "whereas barbecue smoke was somehow perfectly OK."

Who has said that? I hope you don't imagine that any of us would be willing to share a pub with barbecue smoke or any other kind of smoke!

"et you still seem to be fully behind a smoking ban for reasons that appear, I hate to say it as you seem a reasonable man, to be your own personal prejudice."

Absolutely. I am personally prejudiced against cigarette smokes, and I've given graphic descriptions of the harm they have done to my person. I would add that I would never kiss a smoker, I do not like to stand to close to a smoker because of the smell of their breath, and I resent the mess of ash that smokers leave in rooms and the foul smells they make in public enclosed spaces when they smoke illegally.

"he 'clothes smell, eyes sting' stuff is definitely not a reason for sweeping away property rights"

Wouldn't dream of doing so. Smoke like a chimney in your own home. You may be pleased to hear that I avoid visiting the homes of smokers.

"I think the ultimate in selfish is expecting someone to invest their livelihoods in a business, only for bigoted customers to want that business to be run the way they dictate, despite not having risked a single penny in the enterprise themselves."

It's not the customers, it's Parliament. You know, democracy and all that. Obviously we customers just had to like it or lump it until the bans were introduced.

Kay Tie said...

"I repeat what I said earlier, your ignorance is staggering."

Stagger off then. Merely repeating what you wrote, without reading what I wrote, is utterly pointless. Nighty night!

"No, Kay was saying that it was some magical kind of smoke that IS toxic whereas barbecue smoke was somehow perfectly OK."

It was a rhetorical device. If you can't see the difference between indoor burning leaf smoke and outdoor smokeless fuel then you are a right twit. But in any case, if the example vexes you so much then remove "barbecue" and replace it with "playing swingball in the garden with the kids"

"yet you still seem to be fully behind a smoking ban for reasons that appear, I hate to say it as you seem a reasonable man, to be your own personal prejudice."

I am for smoke-free pubs because of the things you smokers do to me in pubs. I get a raw throat. My eyes sting. My clothes and hair end up stinking. Yes, of course it's fucking personal. Or do you think that victims of muggings are taking it all "too personally"? Christ you smokers are ignorant.

"the 'selfish' accusation can only be levelled at those that think they are superior to others"

No, that's not the definition of "selfish". Please look the word up in the dictionary: if you insist on twisting the meaning of common English words then no dialogue is possible (or is that, like Zanu Labour, your intention?).

"I think the ultimate in selfish is expecting someone to invest their livelihoods in a business, only for bigoted customers to want that business to be run the way they dictate, despite not having risked a single penny in the enterprise themselves."

I am sure that could have been sorted out, should there have ever been the will to introduce the ban with as little damage as possible. But there wasn't. Add it to the list of Zanu Labour's crimes.

Tony Sidaway said...

Dick Puddlecote, "NONE of you said a bloody word about it when it was happening. "

That really isn't fair. Many of us have complained for decade after decade about the misery caused by cigarette smoke.

I suspect some selective deafness there.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Tony,

"It's not the customers, it's Parliament. You know, democracy and all that. Obviously we customers just had to like it or lump it until the bans were introduced."

Leaving aside any other merits of your argument, please don't ever justify anything through invocation of the fucking "D" word. Democracy, especially as practised in this country, can go fuck itself.

This government were elected by 21.6% of the electorate, and a blanket ban on pubs was not even in the manifesto.

And are you going to start justifying the Anti-Terrorism Laws -- which have been so massively abused -- in the same way? The crack down on drink? All of the other things that we rail about as being wrong with this country?

After all, that was Parliament; that was "democracy and all that".

Fuck that. This country is full of ignorant, apathetic, ill-informed, bigoted fucking morons and I don't accept the legitimacy of the tyranny of the masses.

So fuck democracy: fuck it right in the fucking ear.

DK

Dick Puddlecote said...

Tony, good to see your true colours.

"It's not the customers, it's Parliament. You know, democracy and all that"

There are 60m people in this country. 646 voted on a blanket smoking ban. What we were asked to vote on at the GE 2005 was not that. You're quoting democracy?

On denying property rights: "Wouldn't dream of doing so"

You just don't get it do you? A landlord with a Free House is told what to do with his property. It IS his home. You agree with that so therefore you don't just dream of it, you approve of it.

And barbecue smoke is the equivalent of inhaling 220,000 cigarettes. Inside or out. You'll obviously be pushing for a ban on those then.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3106039.stm

Kay loves them. It's the correct smoke smell it seems.

At least you admit you are prejudiced. It sort of destroys your argument but it's an honesty we don't often see. Thanks :-)

Dick Puddlecote said...

Kay, I think our posts crossed, "If you can't see the difference between indoor burning leaf smoke and outdoor smokeless fuel then you are a right twit"

I have provided scientific proof since. Hope that helps.

Your apology will be accepted with grace.

Kay Tie said...

"So fuck democracy: fuck it right in the fucking ear."

Amen. (Except for the "ear" bit. I don't think Democracy has an ear. And in any case, I'm not sure if ear sex is supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing. Anyone tried it?).

Dick Puddlecote said...

"I am sure that could have been sorted out, should there have ever been the will to introduce the ban with as little damage as possible. But there wasn't. Add it to the list of Zanu Labour's crimes."

A crime with which you are perfectly happy. So much so that you call someone who isn't, a 'selfish fucker'.

I see you haven't retracted that yet.

Kay Tie said...

"And barbecue smoke is the equivalent of inhaling 220,000 cigarettes. Inside or out. You'll obviously be pushing for a ban on those then."

Stop being silly: I used "barbecue" as an example of an outdoors in-the-garden activity. Go back and re-read what I wrote (assuming you did read it properly in the first place: you don't come across as a person who listens to others much; comes with being a smoker, I suspect).

Kay Tie said...

"A crime with which you are perfectly happy."

No. I benefit from the consequences. Not the same thing. Logic's not your strong point, is it?

BrianB said...

Kay Tie: "Merely repeating what you wrote, without reading what I wrote, is utterly pointless."

Oh, I can assure you that I have read everything that you have written here. How do you you think I was I able to identify your ignorance?

I notice you have started to back-track a little in your more recent posts. Perhaps, with the benefit of hindsight, you can now acknowledge that starting off with "You're a selfish fucker. Go home and quit whining." just sent out the message that you are nothing more than an opinionated and selfish bigot.

"Amen"

Dick Puddlecote said...

"That really isn't fair. Many of us have complained for decade after decade about the misery caused by cigarette smoke."

Tony, the problem you envisaged was being sorted out by the market. It did not need Government interference. Prior to the smoking ban, Pizza Hut, for example, had already moved to make all their places (I hesitate to call them restaurants) non-smoking. They weren't alone. Your voice was being heard.

Pubs should have also been allowed to make their own policies. Even more so, seeing as many are sole trader businesses and it should be up to them to decide what their customers want. NOT the Government.

I can appreciate you don't like smoke, but it's not your money or business. The result is that pubs have been forced to stop people from smoking and since then 2,500 pubs have died.

The science is shit. The papers who picked up the 'science' are populated by lazy idiots, we are all less informed, the country loses GDP and we are all worse off.

But at least Kay's clothes don't need to be washed ;-)

Dick Puddlecote said...

"Stop being silly: I used "barbecue" as an example of an outdoors in-the-garden activity."

Not a good example when talking about the dangers of passive smoking was it?

Have you apologised for the 'selfish fucker' and 'go home and stop whinging' yet?

Doesn't appear that you are unhappy with a non-libertarian law that was also deeply undemocratic, to me.

"Logic's not your strong point, is it?"

Like the logic that says passive smoking is bad but barbecues are fine? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Working class people smoke, drink to excess, enjoy a fight and are always crude.
We actually like it that way.

Why the fuck you anti-smoking mongs want to come in our pubs is beyond me, there isn't anything there for you. Our redneck opinions will always make you wince and not understanding our customs puts you at risk of a good fucking hiding.

Why don't you girlies just fuck off to your metrosexual wine bars where you belong and leave us neanderthals to drink and smoke ourselves to death in a proper pub.

One where children aren't allowed, food isn't served, a couple of smelly lurchers are curled up round the fire and 75% of the patrons own a shotgun or a hunting rifle.

Fuck off to a place where the male clientele use beauty products and the womyn ( who have cut their "mens" balls off ) whine louder than the worn out back axle on my Defender.

captainff said...

Dick Puddlecoat .. .. "Prior to the smoking ban, Pizza Hut, for example, had already moved to make all their places (I hesitate to call them restaurants) non-smoking."

Only for their dine-in sites though. Through all of the media hype over the change they failed to mention that they were not going to make their take-away sites non-smoking.

They had tried with at least one dine-in site to go non-smoking about a year previously but the sales suffered so badly as a result that they reinstated a smoking section that stayed full until the day their self-imposed ban came into force. The site in question is no longer a Pizza Hut and stands empty on that high street.

Jock Coats said...

Nobody seems to have mentioned that the epidemiological statistician par excellence, Sir Richard Peto, who works with Richard Doll as I understand it when the latter discovered the link between smoking and cancer, was very up front with his opinions before the ban...

That a smoking ban would make no difference to the health outcomes of those who don't smoke. It would only have a beneficial effect statistically if those who did smoke decided to give up as a result.

What I can never understand about the sort of line KayTie takes is why people who wanted no-smoking places to go in a free market did not picket smoking outlet owners and so on. Similar pressure seems to have caused even giants like Starbucks to capitulate in the "Fair Trade" field.

What is now absolutely clear is that there never was a latent "80% of the market" steadfastly refusing to go to pubs while smoking was allowed, otherwise why haven't they started going in their droves now?

Even just a tiny few of that supposed "80%" could have made a deal of difference with shareholder activism or direct action if they had really cared, rather than actually caring more about meddling with other peoples' rights and enjoyments.

BrianB said...

Tony Sidaway:

"At least, I hope we can agree with one another that cigarette smoke (second hand or otherwise) is an irritant. That cough I used to get didn't come from nowhere, you know."

Actually cigarette smoke isn't usually an irritant to the smoker, at least not superficially. The concept of "smoker's cough" is something of a myth. Speaking personally, I only ever suffer from coughing when I have a cold or something similar - and then the well-known expectorant property of cigarette smoke actually helps to ease such a cough.

It isn't so long ago that many GPs would advise asthmatics to smoke if they started to feel wheezy. I can assure you that there are still doctors around who take this view - although they wouldn't dare admit to such a non-PC heresy in this world of anti-tobacco fanaticism.

I do fully accept, though, that cigarette smoke can be a severe irritant to some non-smokers (although I don't believe that this is the majority). Hell-fire I have been in many a pub where I too found the air so thick with smoke that I couldn't stay, even if such places were pretty rare.

Futher, despite the venom being spewed out by Kay Tie Bigot here, most smokers were well aware of this, and, far from being selfish, would go a long way to do the 'right thing'. Look at cinemas, buses etc where smoking has long been prevented. How many restaurants did not have segregated smoking/non-smoking areas prior to the ban? Very few indeed, in fact totally non-smoking restaurants were becoming more and more prevalent.

So, as Dick Puddlecote pointed out, the market was dealing with this, and moving rapidly to make your life more comfortable, whilst still allowing the 25% democratic minority to socialise in comfort too.

So why should we 'selfish fuckers' not feel the need to be aggrieved about the sudden intervention of the dead hand of the socialist nanny state, and the imposition of completely illiberal legislation that wiped away one of our cherished freedoms abruptly, and totally? And all driven by a pre-planned and well-executed global strategy of fabricating junk scientific 'evidence' to scare the shit out of everyone - smokers and non-smokers alike.

'Denormalization' they call it. Social Engineering is a more accurate description.

We could have worked this out as reasonable people if we had left that small minority of militant smokers (those that do indeed deserve the label of "selfish fucker") and even smaller minority of militant non-smokers (the hysterical and whiny anti-smokers - like ASH and Kay Tie - who are also "selfish fuckers"), in their respective boxes.

It should never have come to this.

WV: 'cothr' - smoker's cothr?

Jock Coats said...

(*worked*) with Richard Doll of course. It would be a bit difficult nowadays!

haddock said...

Kay Tie getting a shoeing.... fucking delicious as someone used to say....

Put a "No Dogs or Jews" sign (or a "No Darkie Followers of Muhammad" if you're Captain Haddock) and see how far that "any damn reason" bit gets you.

What sort of fuckwit thinks that a Muslim will be hammering at a pub door trying to get in !.... plenty of followers of muhammed have caused smoke in pubs by lobbing firebombs through windows or by self detonating.
As for the darkies suggestion, and intended slur, the only time I have noticed racial discrimination in a pub was in a pub in Bedford back in the 60's... when I got to the bar, watched by a room full of, as you say Kay Tie, 'darkies'... I was asked very tactfully by the barman if it was just a packet of cigarettes I wanted.....
ps it's not captain haddock, just haddock....people who are not captains shouldn't take the name.... likewise 'libertarians'

glad to see Geoff Hoon isn't the only one though Kay tie.

wv is telling me off...it is 'polite'

the a&e charge nurse said...

Surely this thread exemplifies why the notion of 'individual freedom' is such a nonsense, given that we live on an overcrowded island with 60 million souls ?

It confirms all my worst suspicions that libertarianism can only ever exist in a solpsistic bubble, a bubble that pops the minute it comes up against another's (conflicting) wishes ?

If you can't agree about the rights and wrongs of a crafty fag at the back of the pub, what chance of any consensus on the big issues - ahhh well, back to the drawing board ?

Steve said...

Excellent post. I remember the 17%, which was way out of the range of previous research.

It is remarkable (but not surprising) how often the Mail and the Guardian show a similar disdain for fact. Possibly one through incompetence and one through design?

Anonymous said...

WRT charge nurse's remark, Hobbes had a pertinent argument. He said that, when we live together in society, we choose to give up the right to do exactly as we please in return for protection from behaviour that harms us; legislation is the vehicle of that protection. It follows that a fundamental of 'good' law is that it protects us from harms on which there is universal consensus. The law shouldn't be used to accommodate personal preferences. If it is, the least that happens is that it isn't accepted by a proportion of society, the worst is that, taken to its logical conclusion, society breaks down.

The conflict on this thread doesn't undermine the libertarian position (as I understand it). The conflict highlights the difference between those who recognise bad law in principle and those who confuse good law with law that suits their personal preferences.

Jay

Tony Sidaway said...

Devil's Kitchen, "Democracy, especially as practised in this country, can go fuck itself."

That's not a concession I'm willing to make. One further point is that, the law having been passed after decades of uming and awing about the mounting health evidence, the people have accepted the decision. Compliance rates are overwhelming.

Dick Puddlecote, "You just don't get it do you? A landlord with a Free House is told what to do with his property."

Well, he's subject to the law if that's what you mean. That's not a new concept. For instance even to sell alcohol he must apply for and maintain a licence, and run the place within rules set by the local council. For instance, his right to provide entertainment is severely regulated,and this has been the case now for nearly 100 years.

"And barbecue smoke is the equivalent of inhaling 220,000 cigarettes. Inside or out. "

Rest assured that I definitely won't be attending any pubs that advertise indoor barbecues.

"At least you admit you are prejudiced. It sort of destroys your argument"

Not at all. No more than your prejudice against barbecues destroys the obvious validity of the health argument there.

"Prior to the smoking ban, Pizza Hut, for example, had already moved to make all their places (I hesitate to call them restaurants) non-smoking. They weren't alone. Your voice was being heard."

Up to a point this is true. The situation in 2005 was infinitely better than in 1975, and as recently as 1992 while working for a major electricity generation company I myself had to share an open plan office with smokers. When a smoker chose to light up, I just had to sit there and suffer it. The change was introduced, slowly, voluntarily by employers.

The change in the law would have been impossible without this slow change in culture. For instance in the early 1980s my local transport authority tried to introduce a smoking ban on buses, but there was a consumer revolt. Ten years later the culture had changed and nobody batted an eyelid when it was finally implemented.

"Pubs should have also been allowed to make their own policies"

They had their chance. It didn't happen.

"The science is shit."

Hardly. There is a perverse element of denialism at work. And conversely, some of the science is shit. But cigarette smoke is still a health hazard.

Jock Coats, "What is now absolutely clear is that there never was a latent "80% of the market" steadfastly refusing to go to pubs while smoking was allowed, otherwise why haven't they started going in their droves now?"

Agreed. No hordes of non-smokers have descended on the smoke-free pubs. A few of us go more often and stay longer, but we're the exception.

BrianB, "Actually cigarette smoke isn't usually an irritant to the smoker, at least not superficially. "

I'll express mild skepticism there. Letting minute particles of soot into the lungs is not good for them.

"despite the venom being spewed out by Kay Tie Bigot here, most smokers were well aware of this, and, far from being selfish, would go a long way to do the 'right thing'"

On the contrary, the selfishness of smokers down the years is one factor in my support for legislation. Attitudes were changing but the "it's okay if I smoke while I'm talking to you as long as I blow the smoke upwards out of my mouth" attitude was still distressingly common.

"It should never have come to this."

I'm middle aged. If I'd waited another decade, it's conceivable that without a change in the law we might have reached the point where I could sit in the pub without having muck sprayed on me.

But then I've waited all my life for the selfish fuckers. Eventually you have to say "enough!" Or be prepared to die of old age waiting for reasonable concerns to be addressed after years of sullen foot-dragging.

Anonymous said...

If people are frightened of a little whiff of fag smoke, we have truly become a nation of wimps. It's pathetic.

God, and aren't The Righteous utter bores? Is it so important that every room in every pub is smoke free? Do you believe everything you're spoon fed by the establishment?

They're having a laugh, you naive fools.

Anon Smoker

Anonymous said...

Tony, re the first point in your previous post, if there has been 'mounting evidence' this is only because the tobacco control lobby has been desperate to find evidence that sticks. Quantity doesn't equal quality and there is still no compelling evidence to justify a draconian ban. The 'evidence' that TFS exposed in his post is of similar quality to that which purports to 'prove' the dangers of ETS.

The people may have complied but compliance isn't acceptance. This would quickly become apparent if, for one week, publicans were allowed the choice to put ashtrays back on the tables.

As for pubs having blown their chance to make their own policies, what on earth do you mean? That's what pubs were doing before the ban. Some allowed smoking throughout, some had segregated areas. In the small town in which I lived before the ban, virtually all restaurants had voluntarily disallowed smoking. I also recall a partnership between the Government and some pubs that had, voluntarily, installed air technology. Perhaps someone else will remember the details.

Jay

Kay Tie said...

"If people are frightened of a little whiff of fag smoke, we have truly become a nation of wimps. It's pathetic."

It is pathetic: I've done my best to rile the smokers, and there's just 80 comments. I was hoping to crack a ton.

Anonymous said...

You got a righteous bitch slapping and now try to back pedal by claiming it's all just a wind-up.

What a fucking wanker you are.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Given that coronary heart disease (and myocardial infarction) is MULTI-FACTORIAL I do not see how we can establish a simple causative relationship between hospital admission and passive smoking, although there may be a correlation.

But it's not just the Jocks making dramatic claims researchers in New York claimed hospital admission rates (due to heart attack) were reduced by 8% as a result of "a comprehensive smoking ban".
Harlan et al [2007].
http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/11/2035

Surely these kinds of problem could be solved if all stopped interacting with each other ?

Kay Tie said...

"What a fucking wanker you are."

Why thank you.

No, I'm still deliberately goading you because you make such irascible targets. That's not incompatible with telling you how things are, though, and everything I said was correct. And none of you smokers addressed what I said.

All of you went off on little side benders about bogus evidence medical evidence (even though my complaint is based on the disgusting effects on me of your filthy habit right there in the pub).

You all wailed and gnashed your yellow teeth about your "right" to enjoy your habit even though you know how unpleasant it it is for other people (actually, you probably don't know because you all show little sign of being able to listen to other people: one of you dozy fuckers thinks that we are complaining about "the smell". Jeebus).

Of course, by definition smokers can't empathise: they have through necessity learned over years to ignore glares, muttering, signs that say "please do not smoke while others are dining", and many other ways that the rest of the human race tries to tell you that what you are inflicting on others is disgusting.

You all claim to be libertarian, internalising this as "free to do what I like", conveniently ignoring the caveat about "not intruding on the freedom of others" (or, insofar as any of you recalls that caveat, turning into "well you're still free not to use the pubs aincha?").

Anyhow, the argument is now moot: my freedom was restored and you are going to have to find another outlet. May I respectfully suggest you look into electronic cigarettes? Or take up snuff? Or chew those little bags of tobacco?

Anonymous said...

Kay Tie, you complain that no-one addressed 'your' issues. Actually, I did about two posts ago (and I do believe that your stance boiled down, about 70 posts ago, to the smell). Perhaps you lack the ability to apply the general to the particular.

Sorry to piddle on your bonfire but your self-exposure as an intolerant smoker-hater, has not goaded me - it has offered those of us who disagree with the ban to, again, expose this disgusting piece of legislation to a different readership.

Jay

John East said...

To illustrate the ease with which the antismoking lobby can produce damning supposed evidence let’s look at the fact presented by DaveA –

“So as not to be entirely one sided, I have finally been able to track down some spin free figures on active smoking from The Institute of British Actuaries. If you reach the age of 20 and an active smoker you will die 7 years younger if a man and 6.3 years if a woman.”

I don’t dispute the figures, but the devil is always in the detail. Yes, 6-7 years life expectancy is lost to the average smoker, but there are many other variables ignored. Smokers tend to be the heaviest drinkers, they tend to come from the lower socioeconomic groups that tend to have the poorest diets, to exercise less, and to have less access to the best health care. I could go on, but you can see that this clearly antismoking “evidence” is far from clear.

Multi-factorial statistical analysis might separate these factors, but I would be amazed if any “serious” researcher would dare risk his or her funding and future career prospects by looking any further into this actuary data.

This has been an interesting thread, but I'm convinced that an impartial observer could never be swung to the anti-smoking cause by the weak arguments presented by the anti's. These amount to, "Because I unquestioningly believe everything the anti-smoking lobby and the government say.", "Because I don't like smoking.", and a self confessed, "Because I'm prejudiced against smoking."

Amazing.

It's just as well the anti's had a bullying, authoritarian government on their side, otherwise they wouldn't have got anywhere with their arguments.

Kay Tie said...

"(and I do believe that your stance boiled down, about 70 posts ago, to the smell)"

No. It didn't. Just because you don't get a raw throat because of the "expectorant" effect doesn't mean you can write-off the effect your disgusting behaviour has on other people.

"Sorry to piddle on your bonfire but your self-exposure as an intolerant smoker-hater"

No. I don't hate smokers. I just hate the ignorant ones who STILL don't understand that what they do affects OTHER PEOPLE. You arrogant fuckers.

Kay Tie said...

"Because I don't like smoking."

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST you people are thick. I don't like what you smokers do TO ME. You can do what the fuck you like to yourselves. It's what you do TO OTHER PEOPLE that matters.

All you do is sneer at the effects it has on other people because you think they are trivial. You already can't smell, your clothes already stink like a scabby dog's fur, you already have breathing problems, and you clearly are prepared to tolerate these. Consequently you make the (illogical) leap to conclude that OTHER PEOPLE are prepared to have this INFLICTED UPON THEM, and those that stand up for their freedoms are somehow "anti-smoker" or irrational "do-gooders" or "authoritarians".

Jock Coats said...

"It's what you do TO OTHER PEOPLE that matters."

But in the case of the smoking ban, on a third party's private property.

Anonymous said...

'JESUS FUCKING CHRIST you people are thick. I don't like what you smokers do TO ME. You can do what the fuck you like to yourselves. It's what you do TO OTHER PEOPLE that matters.'

Calm down, you sound like a right twat. I bet you're a bundle of laughs down the pub. Incidentally, do you goad smokers there?. I shouldn't think so, you'd probably get smacked.

I'll take my chances and stick with the unclean... much nicer folks.

Anon smoker

Kay Tie said...

"But in the case of the smoking ban, on a third party's private property."

Private property rights do not confer permission to cause harm to others.

Kay Tie said...

"I shouldn't think so, you'd probably get smacked."

And in your view, no doubt, smacking people is also one of the "freedoms" that smokers are irritated at having constrained.

"I'll take my chances and stick with the unclean..."

Excellent news.

Jock Coats said...

"Private property rights do not confer permission to cause harm to others."

It's a matter of consent though. If a property owner clearly says they allow such activities that some people may find harmful on their property, then it's up to the potential user of that property to accept that risk.

That should include "purely" workplaces too, but they'd soon change when they found it difficult to recruit.

The Filthy Smoker said...

Kay Tie said...

"It is pathetic: I've done my best to rile the smokers, and there's just 80 comments."

Yeah, 40 from you and 40 from people calling you a cunt. Well done.

Christ, you're a boring bitch. On and on you go, making the same inane, off-topic comments. I'll try just one more time to get the basic point into your thick skull:

You have a right not to be shot at, but not if you join the army.

You have a right not to be punched in the face but not if you're a boxer.

If you don't like being beaten, don't go to an S and M parlour.

If you don't like children, don't work as a baby-sitter.

If you're a vegetarian, don't work in a butchers.

If you don't like tobacco smoke, don't work - or drink - in a pub that allows smoking.

There are rights and there are choices and the two are inseparable.

You have a right not to breathe smoke and that right can be exercised by not voluntarily walking into private businesses where you know people will be smoking. You do not have the right to force the rest of the world to accommodate your preferences. Without your right to choose, your other rights are meaningless.

I don't care where you drink. I would run a mile to avoid being in a pub with people like you. I agree that it's a shame there weren't more smokefree pubs before the ban because maybe, maybe, people like you wouldn't have gone crying to the state to force your will on private businesses in a way that you could never do by persuasion or consent.

Anonymous said...

This is obviously coming as a surprise to you, Kay Tie, but smokers aren't asking to pollute the pure air around you (btw do you know that you exhale more carcinogens on your breath after swallowing some red wine than a smoker does exhaling smoke?). Smokers are asking to be accommodated by business owners who wish to do so. You have the choice to go to the pub next door which doesn't wish to accommodate smokers. This is called fair representation for consumers of a legal product, respect for private property rights and recognition that some people find smoke unpleasant.

Are you able to criticise such a solution or do you just do tantrums?

Jay

Kay Tie said...

"If a property owner clearly says they allow such activities that some people may find harmful on their property, then it's up to the potential user of that property to accept that risk."

Err, no. You can't legally evade negligence or assault by disclaimers. There's a good reason that tort law has grown up the way it has.

Tony Sidaway said...

The principal motivators here seem to be denialism and appeal to libertarian principles.

The libertarian angle is not something I'll argue with, except to observe that the overwhelming majority of people are not convinced by libertarian principles.

Denialism is a facet of modern life. Evolution, terrorist attacks, global warming, they all attract people who strongly believe that the consensus is manufactured from bad science.

But on smoking bans, perhaps the only real surprise is that the English smoking ban materialized so late.

Jock Coats said...

"Err, no. You can't legally evade negligence or assault by disclaimers. There's a good reason that tort law has grown up the way it has. "

Not really a disclaimer. More a notice that says something to the effect of:

"This is private property, if you don't like what I do or allow on it, go somewhere else. You have no right of access to this property except under my sufferance".

Home cinema news said...

Kay Tie
" I don't like what you smokers do TO ME."

So why did you expose yourself to those conditions? This point has been raised through out. Also compromises were suggested.

Using the term 'smokers' is part of the dehumanising of people and part of a denormalisation process.

Smoker's are people whose need for social company has been curtailed. This of itself leads to ill health.

The simple unintended consequences may have benefitted you, yet it has not benefitted those who used to enjoy bingo or their local that has now closed.

Even the dying may suffer the unintended consequences.

Since the market was making provision, why the need to create these problems?

Hairy chestnuts highlights the heart research at --> http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=C5XBhL6qC2o

TS - Denial of what exactly?

Booze n fags for liberty! said...

This has been a production of the "I like booze and fags me" consortium, where anyone who questions the entrenched beliefs of Devil's Kitchen will be rounded on with lots of swear words.

Coming up next on Devil's Kitchen: "I am a libertarian and I shit in my pants so I don't like it when people say I smell 'cos wot I do with my own body is all up to me."

Plus as an added bonus: More calling people names if they disagree!

Kay Tie said...

"You do not have the right to force the rest of the world to accommodate your preferences."

You do not have the right to force the rest of the world to accommodate YOUR preferences. You want the right to smoke everywhere. When you were told you couldn't smoke on airplanes, it never occurred to you that the rest of us had to put up with smokers on every flight. When you were told you couldn't smoke in the office, it never occurred to you that the rest of us had to put up with smokers in every office. You think that the current situation, where you can't smoke pubs, is somehow a tyranny. The truth is that you were the ones imposing on other people, and that you only got away with it because non-smokers were in the minority and were dictated to by the majority.

"force your will on private businesses in a way that you could never do by persuasion or consent."

I didn't force my will on anyone. I had my choice of pubs restricted to zero by smokers.

I already said I don't approve of the outright ban (a comment which everyone has chosen to ignore, and simply decided that I am an Aunt Sally for the Zanu Labour policy of jihad). It would have been possible to come up with something more balanced. But evidently, balancing freedoms is not something that smokers comprehend.

Kay Tie said...

"yet it has not benefitted those who used to enjoy bingo or their local that has now closed."

If the tax on beer wasn't a third of the cost of a pint, then maybe that wouldn't have happened. I fail to see why beer should be taxed more than cheese.

Jock Coats said...

"I had my choice of pubs restricted to zero by smokers."

Er, no, you had your choice of pubs restricted by the pubcos who didn't choose to meet your requirements. Nobody has forced Starbucks into selling only FairTrade coffee by legislation have they?

Interestingly, I saw something the other day claiming that the smoking ban on planes has been more harmful to health for everyone because the airlines now replace the cabin air much less frequently than they did when smoking was permitted resulting in many more harmful bodies in the air breathed than when it was refreshed more often to clear the air of smoke.

The Filthy Smoker said...

Kay Tie said...

"You want the right to smoke everywhere."

*sigh*

I give up. You really are a hopeless case, Kay Tie. There's no point arguing with someone who doesn't listen to a word you say.

Kay Tie said...

"There's no point arguing with someone who doesn't listen to a word you say."

Ditto. But since we've made it to 100 comments, let's just celebrate that at least someone gained some freedom from the ban, and move on.

Kay Tie said...

"the smoking ban on planes has been more harmful to health for everyone because the airlines now replace the cabin air much less frequently than they did when smoking was permitted"

Yes, that's right. It's a scandal.

Tony Sidaway said...

Home cinemam "TS - Denial of what exactly?"

With evolution, it's denial of the evidence in the fossil record, homologies in living animals and (latterly) the genome.

With terrorism, it's denial of external involvement--basically making up an establishment conspiracy theory about the events of September 11, 2001.

With global warming, it's denial of the evidence for anthropogenic climate change.

And smoking denialism is denial of the health risks of breathing smoke from cigarettes.

All of these involve a very determined attempt to ignore the obvious.

Anonymous said...

'And in your view, no doubt, smacking people is also one of the "freedoms" that smokers are irritated at having constrained.'

Not all at. I merely said that if you goaded people in the pub as you do here, you'd probably get smacked. Not necessarily by a smoker, either.

BTW, your tantrums are hilarious - if all antis had your way with words, people would still be smoking in hospital wards.

Anon smoker

Kay Tie said...

"With global warming, it's denial of the evidence for anthropogenic climate change."

Oooo, you'll get letters..

Jock Coats said...

"someone gained some freedom from the ban, and move on."

...which may of course be a short-lived freedom if it drives many more pubs out of business.

And whilst your new found freedom is at the expense of setting a precedent about what an owner is permitted to do or allow on property they own, watch out for the next round. Who knows, maybe they'll want to stop you from doing what you want in your own home next. The precedent is set.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Kay Tie - even if your argument is true it still represents a pyrrhic victory, at best ?

Our environment is full of noxious agents - from disruptive children undermining the classroom, to humungous quantities of salt and sugar in foodstuffs.
If we want a truly risk free environment then smoking restrictions would form only one part of a very long list of activities.
What next, cars with an upper speed limit of 30mph

Surely we have to learn to accommodate different preferences as best we can or the run the risk of alienating too many people (as the rabid anti-smoking stance has demonstrated on the this thread).

I say this as a lifelong non-smoker but it's hardly the end of the world if a colleague fancies a fag in the pub at the end of a busy shift.
Personally I would prefer the low level risk (from passive smoking) rather than miss out on the benefit of their company.

As I say there are 60 million of us squashed on this little island, so in my book there always has to be a bit of give and take.

Kay Tie said...

"Who knows, maybe they'll want to stop you from doing what you want in your own home next. The precedent is set."

We do know. They will. From standby on my TV to the type of light bulb I can use, from food packaging to the price I pay for a bottle of wine.

The Zanu Labour puritan zeal knows no bounds. Cigarette packaging. Over-the-counter sales. Warning labels on bottles. Signs on tables. Price controls. Age limits raised.

No, I'm in no doubt that the new freedom I've got is a mere side-effect, and is temporary.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"You do not have the right to force the rest of the world to accommodate YOUR preferences."

Smokers didn't do that, anti-smoking groups did. At the expense of private property rights. Even when a pub landlord is hoovering at 8am in the morning, not being allowed to open until 11am, he is not allowed to smoke. In his own property. To accommodate YOUR preferences.

In the words of D-Fens in 'Falling Down' ... "I'M the bad guy?"

"You want the right to smoke everywhere."

No, just SOMEWHERE. How fucking stupid ARE you?

"When you were told you couldn't smoke on airplanes, it never occurred to you that the rest of us had to put up with smokers on every flight."

When smokers were told they couldn't smoke on aeroplanes, I don't remember a single objection. Can you? And the story mentioned above about air circulation is true. DVT is exclusively caused by bad air circulation, which was in turn caused by the reduction in air conditioning once smoking was banned - put quite simply, it saved kerosene so it was dispensed with. Brass tacks time - banning smoking on planes has indirectly caused REAL deaths, not imagined ones like the passive smoking nonsense.

(PLEASE mention Roy Castle)

"You think that the current situation, where you can't smoke pubs, is somehow a tyranny."

Yes it is. You even agree that there should be a better system, so what's your problem? Oh hold on ...

"The truth is that you were the ones imposing on other people, and that you only got away with it because non-smokers were in the minority and were dictated to by the majority."

It's all about revenge then. As usual.

Just a clarification. How old are you? As non-smokers haven't been in a minority since just after the second world war.

Anonymous said...

TS - not forgetting

With the heart attack rate in Scotland, the denial that this dropped by 17% in less than a year.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Tony Sidaways said:

Dick Puddlecote, "You just don't get it do you? A landlord with a Free House is told what to do with his property." Well, he's subject to the law if that's what you mean. That's not a new concept. For instance even to sell alcohol he must apply for and maintain a licence, and run the place within rules set by the local council. For instance, his right to provide entertainment is severely regulated,and this has been the case now for nearly 100 years.

How many of those laws impinge on his right to admit who he damn well pleases? Don't try playing silly games. There's only one law that does that and you know it.

"And barbecue smoke is the equivalent of inhaling 220,000 cigarettes. Inside or out. " Rest assured that I definitely won't be attending any pubs that advertise indoor barbecues.

Deliberately obtuse for the second time about the same point. I congratulate you, please move up one level in anti-smoker bullshit.

The 'inside or out' add-on was because of your ridiculous mis-direction to BBQs being inside. You have just done exactly the same again.

Barbecues OUTSIDE are the equivalent of smoking 220,000 cigarettes. You are a healthist, wheh are you banning them?

"At least you admit you are prejudiced. It sort of destroys your argument" Not at all. No more than your prejudice against barbecues destroys the obvious validity of the health argument there

I wasn't making a health argument. What on earth are YOU smoking? I was pointing out the rancid hypocrisy from those such as Kay Tie who rail against the feeble passive smoking danger (because she is selfish) yet ignore something that they like which is probably equally as damaging.

There are already moves in the US to ban barbecues. I kid you not. How far are you prepared to go down that route?

Chalcedon said...

What the Noo Labour control freak fascists should have done was allowed landlords to privide a smoking room, well ventilated, with air curtains etc as they said in their manifesto. An outright ban was excessive.

On the other hand what exactly does smoking do for anyone, apart from deposit tars in the lungs and particles of carbon?

17% drop in heart attacks in the land of the deep fried Mars bar was obviously untrue.

Kay Tie said...

"those such as Kay Tie who rail against the feeble passive smoking danger "

I haven't mentioned passive smoking danger once. Except for just then. So please explain how I've railed against it?

"What the Noo Labour control freak fascists should have done was allowed landlords to privide a smoking room"

I don't want to get all pedantic about your grammar, but it's not "Noo Labour": it's "Zanu Labour".

Dick Puddlecote said...

"I haven't mentioned passive smoking danger once. Except for just then. So please explain how I've railed against it?"

My apologies Kay, you haven't. I stupidly took your "Selfish fucker. Go home and stop whining" comment (still not retracted) as somehow agreeing with a bad law based on shit science ... seeing as TFS was commenting on how shit the science was which is being used to justify the bad law.

I should, of course, have said that you rail against people who do things you don't like, in your presence, on property belonging to someone else.

Put the spade away, you're hitting bedrock.

Kay Tie said...

"I should, of course, have said that you rail against people who do things you don't like, in your presence, on property belonging to someone else."

If you insert "to you that" between "things" and "you" then yeah, a reasonable summary.

Dick Puddlecote said...

And you called someone ELSE a selfish fucker?

TFS was lambasting, quite correctly, the shit science that tries to explain a blanket ban that is unnecessary. YOU say that there could be better ways of doing it, and you are saying that you don't mind as long as you are not around.

You call yourself a libertarian (wrongly IMO) so why the selfish fucker remark? And why not admit that you fucked up?

Tony Sidaway said...

Dick Puddlecote, "Barbecues OUTSIDE are the equivalent of smoking 220,000 cigarettes."

You don't say! As I told you before, I don't intend to go to any pubs that hold indoor barbecues.

I hope eventually to get through to you that I don't mind barbecues, I couldn't give a toss about a neighbor holding an occasional barbecue in the next door garden, and I fail to see how this bears any relation to the issue of smoking, and specifically smoking in pubs.

Maybe it makes some kind of sense to you. If so, fine.

"A landlord with a Free House is told what to do with his property. It IS his home."

Absolutely. This has been the case at least since the Licensing Act, 1872. Pubs are far more tightly controlled than other premises.

If you were a bit cleverer, you'd point out that the law also tells the owner of a small family shop in which he lives can and cannot do in the public parts of the shop. But this has been the case at least since the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963.

"How many of those laws impinge on his right to admit who he damn well pleases?"

There is no law impinging on who he can admit. There are many provisions impinging on what can be done on licensed premises. For instance I mentioned limitations on the entertainment that can be provided. So the smoking ban says you can admit as many smokers as you like, but if they want to smoke they'll have to leave.

"In the words of D-Fens in 'Falling Down' ... "I'M the bad guy?""

If you have watched that film, you'll be aware that the Michael Douglas character's surprise is based on his lack of self-awareness. Yes, of course he's the bad guy. I wouldn't want to compare you to him, and suggest that you might like to avoid drawing the comparison (which is most inappropriate.)


Jock Coats, "Who knows, maybe they'll want to stop you from doing what you want in your own home next."

Just try operating a noisy sound system from your living room and you'll find that the law already reaches that far. Take it out onto the heath and you can play it till the cows come home. It's not intrinsically illegal but the effect of its use in the home comes under the Noise Abatement Act, 1960, or any of its successor acts.

the a&e charge nurse, "If we want a truly risk free environment then smoking restrictions would form only one part of a very long list of activities."

But we don't want a truly risk free environment, because that would make life impossible. We only want one that is reasonably healthy. It's a democratic government's job to consult and draw up laws that match public priorities.

Anonymous said...

TS - 'But we don't want a truly risk free environment, because that would make life impossible. We only want one that is reasonably healthy. It's a democratic government's job to consult and draw up laws that match public priorities.'

Absolutely.

So how come you demand a truly risk free (of smoke) environment in pubs? All the research into passive smoking indicates a very low risk or usually no risk if calculated by accepted statistical procedure.

Admittedly, the risk of a scratchy throat, smelly clothes etc is quite high. It doesn't follow that SHS causes serious long lasting damage. Besides, efficient ventilation and/or separate smoking facilities/pubs would easily solve this.

I was in King's Cross RS some months ago - breathing diesel exhaust fumes. I joined the smokers outside on the pavement, again to enjoy the totally risk free experience of vehicle pollution. Have you never stood at a bus stop and smelt the crap from the bus? I live in the country and certainly recognise the different smell of urban areas.

What makes diesel exhaust safer than cigarette smoke (inside or out)? If we accept (naively, IMO) that there is no safe dose of tobacco smoke, why should there be a safe level of traffic fumes?

Have you ever wondered why asthma rates have risen, whilst smoking rates have declined?

And you accuse the smoking lobby of being in denial?

Anon Smoker

the a&e charge nurse said...

Tony Sidaway - can you define "reasonable" ?

I might be wrong but there seems to be wildly different interpretations of the same phenomena.

I'd also be slightly worried about NuLab focus groups, at least if their so called health consultations are anything to go by.

Tony Sidaway said...

Anonymous, "So how come you demand a truly risk free (of smoke) environment in pubs? "

Risk isn't the only consideration. The annoyance factor of smoke is also significant. Even discounting health, the harm done to other people's clothes, skin and hair is a serious encroachment.

But for the staff of pubs, probably the health factor is quite important.

"Besides, efficient ventilation and/or separate smoking facilities/pubs would easily solve this."

That alternative was considered, I believe.

"What makes diesel exhaust safer than cigarette smoke (inside or out)"

Non sequitur. I don't think anybody claims that it is.

"And you accuse the smoking lobby of being in denial?"

No, I observe that they're engaged in denialism.

I'm not clear really how you expect me to respond to this kind of thing. I did clearly state very early on that "as a non-smoker, being in the pub has been a great pleasure since the ban." I mentioned the absence of "sore throats, coughs, mucky , smelly clothes, greasy film under the fingertips, smelly hair, eyes squinting from smoke."

Cigarette smoke is horrible stuff and putting it into a pub setting was wrong. We're well rid of it.

Tony Sidaway said...

the a&e charge nurse 'can you define "reasonable" ?'

I can give an example: my expectation of enjoying an hour or two in the pub without my clothes, skin and hair being coated with smelly residue from other people's cigarette smoke.

I find it amazing that there are still people who think it's reasonable to expect people to put up with that nasty stuff.

Anonymous said...

Charge nurse - they invent reasons to further their cause. The ‘no safe dose’ tactic was essential in order to justify the ban on legal grounds. Quite worrying – it serves to undermine our trust in the medical profession and (of greater concern) diverts public attention away from the real causes of ill health. Literally, a smokescreen.

What else are we being misled about?

Anon Smoker

Anonymous said...

Tony - may I state that as as a 'non-smoker, being in the pub has been a great disappointment since the ban'. Not least because most of them are virtually empty. Therein lies the real problem - pubs are disappearing. We were told that they'd prosper - those with the slightest thread of common sense knew this was bull. You seem to be an intelligent person, surely you didn't fall for that one?

In every country where smoking is banned in bars, businesses have suffered, many irrecoverably. You should remove the blinkers and accept that the majority disagree with total smoking bans. It's patently obvious - the facts speak for themselves.

Believe me, if the trade had flourished I'd have accepted that democracy does indeed work.

Anon smoker

Paul said...

Smokeists like Kay Tie make me sick. Obsessed with their clothes smelling, cowering in the face of trumped-up shit about the danger of the occasional whiff of someone else's smoke, they scream BAN BAN BAN.

Like all mindless authoritarians, they cannot see beyond their own precious sensibilities and want the whole world adapted to their preferences.

Lookie here Kay, there was always a simple way around this - a separate, well ventilated smoking room in the pub where the layout allows. If it doesn't, let the landlord decide.

That way, all but the paranoid are happily accommodated.

I wonder if Kay Tie has been taken in by that prize liar James Repace who cooked up figures to show that the homoeopathic quantitites of smoke left by strong ventilation would kill off half the population. How the smokeists loved that one, providing Repace with a nice little earner as he peddled his his "consultancies" to any bullying council or government who wanted their prejudices endorsed.

It doesn't even need industrial scale ventilation or air curtains mentioned above to do the job. Any room under negative pressure with a small aperture to adjoining rooms will pull the smoke one way - OUT.

Like the woman who screamed "Go away, you're killing my children" when she spotted an unlit cigarette in my hand, Kay Tie speaks from hysteria, not logic. Practical solutions are not enough. They want their paranoia fed too.

(Sorry if the point has already been made - I've come to this a bit late in the day and not managed to read all posts yet)

DaveA said...

To Kay Tie and TS:

I have listened to your ramblings for the last X days and can I point out where you are going wrong, if you are a libertarain, small or large "L".

You should be both saying, "I, as a personal preference do not like smoking as it has some effect on my well being, sore throat and runny eyes for example. However as a libertarian I support your right to a smoking environment in a public place, on private property. So to keep all parties happy I propose separate rooms in pubs which are large enough and, pubs that are too small can elect to have the choice."

Then we have everyone happy.

Any dissent will be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Paul/Dave

We all know that the anti smoking campaign has one, and only one, goal. To prohibit smoking at any cost, financially and morally. They do this by gradually eroding the rights of tax paying, law abiding citizens. They justify their beliefs and actions by referring to 'scientific' research and opinion polls paid for by themselves and by taxpayers who have no choice. Up until recently, they targeted smokers directly. When this approach stalled, they invented the passive crap and bombarded the public with even more ridiculous and relentless propaganda. The majority have swallowed this hook, line and sinker. Others can see through the lies but choose to say or do nothing because they despise smokers. A case of the 'end justifies the means'. Or, in other words, moral corruption.

Anon Smoker

Paul said...

@Anon Smoker: "the anti smoking campaign has one, and only one, goal. To prohibit smoking at any cost..."

Not sure if it's that simple. What they enjoy most is the process of prohibiting smoking. These sanctimonious, self-righteous prigs get their rocks off lecturing others, imposing their will, looking important and gaining the approbation of the high & mighty.

Smoking prevention has been the perfect outlet for them; heavily funded, ripe for scare tactics - they only have to click their fingers and the money rolls in.

They pounce on every scrap of new research, however risible - like the Scottish report - as it guarantees them another round of funding. The conferences and ongoing surveys are all part of the game. Any objections are met with the "so you want to kill people?" style of debate as they claw their way up the high ground.

Even when the last smoker is eradicated they won't be happy... until their meddlesome minds find the next thing to "demormalise".

Anonymous said...

Ultimately, total prohibition is the goal, Paul.

Perhaps not for those who have jumped onto the gravy train to make profits, but certainly for the devotees at the very heart of the issue - the righteous, puritanical fanatics. For them it's a worthy crusade, a duty. There are plenty of historical precedents, and not only about tobacco. Alcohol is the latest (revisited) target.

Not to say that they will achieve that goal in our time, but things have progressed apace in recent years.

And yes, they do take pleasure in controlling peoples lives - power is very addictive.

Anon smoker

Dick Puddlecote said...

Fucking hell, Tony Sideways, are you still being ridiculously obtuse?:

You don't say! As I told you before, I don't intend to go to any pubs that hold indoor barbecues.

I hope eventually to get through to you that I don't mind barbecues, I couldn't give a toss about a neighbor holding an occasional barbecue in the next door garden, and I fail to see how this bears any relation to the issue of smoking, and specifically smoking in pubs.


The research into barbecues was done OUTSIDE. The research into health risks of passive smoking was done INSIDE and still doesn't reach anywhere near the risk level that OUTSIDE barbecues pose. Your continual talk about INSIDE barbecues is the usual bigoted anti-smoking bullshit.

In reply to A&E Charge Nurse:

"But we don't want a truly risk free environment, because that would make life impossible. We only want one that is reasonably healthy. It's a democratic government's job to consult and draw up laws that match public priorities."

The only possible explanation for a blanket smoking ban is that it is striving for a totally risk free environment, because a system of smoking and non-smoking pubs has been discounted.

Nice that you mention a "democratic government's job" is to match "public priorities". How about that the Labour GE manifesto proposed a partial ban on smoking and included exemptions. The public priorities as expressed at the ballot box were for a partial ban. a 'Democratic' government would have respected that wish.

You really are talking prize bollocks now.

Then more ...

"Risk isn't the only consideration. The annoyance factor of smoke is also significant. Even discounting health, the harm done to other people's clothes, skin and hair is a serious encroachment."

Err ... I don't remember the law being passed on the grounds of discomfort for poor flowers like you. SERIOUS encroachment? Fuck off! The (imagined) harm is only done to others if you choose to step into it you fucking idiot. If there was a choice, you would never have to make that choice. Yet you blithely sidestep the idea of exemptions with "I believe that was considered" without any rebuttal of why it isn't workable.

Perhaps because you are a disgusting and selfish bigot. And there is NO serious reason apart from the fact that those pubs that allowed it would be packed and those that didn't would die on their arse. So much for public priorities then.

"But for the staff of pubs, probably the health factor is quite important."

Firstly, has anyone ever asked them? No. And as TFS has proved, the health angle is a pile of crap.

Outdoor Barbecues are more dangerous. Simple science. If you were truly interested in health, you would be equally upset about them, but you're not because you quite like a barbecue.

So it's just your personal preference that results in you revelling in the lack of choice for smokers.

Making YOU a "Selfish fucker" (copywright Kay Tie)

What the fuck are you doing here anyway? You seem happy with anti-freedom laws about everything from smoking to noise, and seem to be able to quote them chapter and verse. Which public sector non-job department are you employed in exactly?

Hookers And Gin said...

Kay Tie said: Or chew those little bags of tobacco?

Nice alternative that they are, there's an EU-wide ban on them - except Sweden. I'd be happy to chew in pubs but I doubt they'd furnish me with a bucket to spit in. I suppose I could bring my own, but how long before someone objects, despite my spitting affecting nobody else?

Anonymous said...

Nice post, Dick....that's one anti knocked off his pedestal.

Anon Smoker

Anonymous said...

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein


He must have looked into the future, heard the comments made by Kay Tie, and came to the above conclusion.

Tony Sidaway said...

Anonymous, "Therein lies the real problem - pubs are disappearing."

Yes, this is true. The smoking ban cannot be helping, though I suspect other reasons such as the gap between pub prices and shop prices are the main demotivators.

"You should remove the blinkers and accept that the majority disagree with total smoking bans."

I don't think I agree that they do. In June 2007, the month before the ban, a poll by YouGov showed that 77% of the public supported the new law. In Scotland, where the law had already been changed, support was at 91%.

YouGov / Sunday Times Survey Results

Tony Sidaway said...

Dick Puddlecote, "The public priorities as expressed at the ballot box were for a partial ban. a 'Democratic' government would have respected that wish."

In the consultation phase, it was discovered that the partial approach had posed enforcement problems when implemented in countries like Norway, and there was strong public support for a total ban. Thus a flexible government changed its mind in the face of evidence and public opinion.

"SERIOUS encroachment? Fuck off! "

That is indeed a good facsimile of the response of supporters of smoking prior to the ban. The idea that members of the public should not have to suffer a coating of greasy particles on their skin, hair and clothes, not to mention their lungs, and the bad smell and the smarting eyes, was ridiculed right up until the point at which it was made illegal.

Now the boot is on the other foot.

(Concerning the health risk to employees)
"And as TFS has proved, the health angle is a pile of crap."

The Filthy Smoker has proven no such thing. But just suppose that he had. Would this make it right to permit smokers to stink up the pubs, restaurants and cafes?

Tony Sidaway said...

You might wonder what the publicans themselves have to say about the ban.

A poll of 1500 pub licensees from June, 2008 suggests that they are in favor of retaining the ban.

64% supported the ban, up from 57% who supported the ban the previous July. And a wopping 48% say they strongly support the ban.

65% said they wouldn't overturn the ban even if they were able to.

Smoking ban supported by majority of licensees (The Publican, 24 June, 2008)

Devil's Kitchen said...

Tony,

That's excellent news: now we can lift the ban and you non-smokers will still have loads of places that you can both drink and smoke, and we smokers will have some too.

Ain't that grand?

DK

Tony Sidaway said...

However, a poll commissioned by the pub trade gazette, the Morning Advertiser, found that of 300 London publicans polled, "77% of licensees said they had lost trade as a result of the ban, and 73% said they would overturn it if they could."

On the customer side, "78% of drinkers were pleased about the smoking ban and 71% felt pubs were better places to visit as a result."

Pubs 'want to overturn' smoke ban, BBC, July 1, 2008.

This poll was restricted to London, so conditions in the capital may account for the discrepancy in the results between this and the poll for The Publican, which covers approximately the same period but has a much higher sample size and covers all of England.

Devil's Kitchen said...

So, Tony, what you are saying is that most publicans want to keep the smoking ban, apart from the majority of publicans who don't.

I am so very sorry, Tony, but I just can't deal with all of these big, complicated figures.

Could you spell it out to me, please?

DK

Tony Sidaway said...

"So, Tony, what you are saying is that most publicans want to keep the smoking ban, apart from the majority of publicans who don't."

No. Please read what I said.

One survey of 300 publicans in LONDON found that a majority opposed the ban.

Another much larger survey of 1500 publicans in ENGLAND found that a majority supported the ban.

"I am so very sorry, Tony, but I just can't deal with all of these big, complicated figures."

So it seems.

Anonymous said...

Tony - '77% of licensees said they had lost trade as a result of the ban, and 73% said they would overturn it if they could."

On the customer side, "78% of drinkers were pleased about the smoking ban and 71% felt pubs were better places to visit as a result."

The whole sad, sorry story condensed into two statistics - the vast majority of businesses are suffering and want to remove the ban, whilst the vast majority of drinkers support the ban.

What does this actually tell us? Bit of a conundrum this one, seemingly a paradox....lets think about it.....

Anon Smoker

Tony Sidaway said...

Anonymous, you're ignoring the much larger, national poll that showed that, of 1500 English publicans, 64% supported the ban, 48% strongly supported it, and 65% would not overturn it if they could.

This one.

Having posted that, I thought it fair to post the results of the much smaller poll because it suggests that opinions may vary a lot by region.

Tony Sidaway said...

In any case, that's three polls all performed about a year after the ban (one for the Sunday Times, one for The Publican, and one for the Morning Advertiser, all showing strong support among the public or among drinkers for the ban in England.

Jock Coats said...

Did it poll all those who have already gone out of business I wonder?

BrianB said...

Tony Sidaway, you said:

"I don't think I agree that they do. In June 2007, the month before the ban, a poll by YouGov showed that 77% of the public supported the new law."

Ah, YouGov polls are the source of definitive statistics are they not?

And that would be the same YouGov whose president, Peter Kellner is "chairman of the “editorial board of scientific and medical experts” that produced the latest ASH report, Beyond Smoking Kills.", would it?

So, no bias there then!

But YouGov's survey, that you quoted, asked this simple question:

Do you approve or disapprove of a smoking ban in enclosed public places?

Notice the sephological trickery here? 'A', not 'the' smoking ban for instance, and also the very vague term "enclosed public places". No question about pubs as opposed to, say, public libraries!

Yet, the ONS (the government's own Office for National Statistics) has been conducting much larger surveys into smoking attitudes every year, and they asked much more detailed questions about restrictions by type of public place, for example.

In 2006, the ONS reported that 65% of their sample supported a restriction on smoking in pubs. A bit less than YouGov's number, but in the same ball park, you might argue. However, ONS went one step further and asked about the type of restriction preferred, and found this:

33% favoured no smoking anywhere
48% were for mainly non-smoking with smoking areas
13% were for mainly smoking with non-smoking areas
5% wanted no restrictions
2% "Don't go to pubs"

Which, rather perversely, suggested that a cool 94% were actually in favour of restrictions of some kind - not the 65% who answered 'Yes' to the other question, but only 33% supported the rotten legislation that we ended up with!

You see, it all comes down to how you phrase the question, and YouGov fall well short of the ONS standard in seeking reliable views.

Interestingly, in their 2007 survey, the number favouring restrictions in pubs had risen to 66% - no real change there. But now, ONS had dropped the question about the type of restriction, so all that was left was the headline impression given that 66% were fully in favour of the blanket ban - when clearly they were not.

Why did they drop the detailed question? At the request of the Department of Health. Oh, and they replaced it with a question about how often people would visit the pub once the ban was in place. 76% said they would carry on as before, whilst 15% said they would go more often. Good news for ASH and HMG, eh?

So what happened there, then? This happened.

In 2007 (half of which was subject to smoking ban legislation) 2,500 pubs closed and about 1,100 opened - a net loss of 1,400 pubs.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers are predicting that in 2008, a further net 2,000+ pubs will be lost forever.

The current closure rate is 9 times what it was in 2006, and 18 times that of 2005.

Now, you may scream "credit crunch" and "cheap supermarket booze" if you like, Tony, but you will only be fooling yourself. Supermarkets didn't just start selling cheap booze in 2007, they have done so for years. And I, like you, am old enough to remember recessions in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and there were no mass pub closures then. In fact, if anything, pubs were even busier as people went to 'drown their sorrows'.

So, the inconvenient (for you) truth is that the smoking ban accounts for the vast majority of these closures (as you will find is the testimony of most of their landlords), and this further demonstrates the complete unreliability of opinion surveys.

But let's, in a moment of fantasy, assume that your pub landlords' survey is right, and that 65% of landlords would not want to reverse the ban. If this is the case, then surely you would agree that HMG should immediately repeal the legislation, and we would have 2/3rds of pubs for you and your fellow delicate flowers to hang out in, and 1/3rd of pubs where smokers would once again be welcomed. Just think of the benefits:

- Smokers happy.

- Non-smokers happy.

- Anti-smokers popping blood vessels with rage. ;)

- Pub profits back up to pre-2007 levels.

- Good for the national economy.

- No more closures - or very few, at least.

- 'Big State' put back into its box

- Libertarians like DK able to relax in the warm glow of seeing the removal of one more example of democracy as 'oppression of the minority by the whims of the majority'

I call that a real 'win-win' situation, don't you?

Will you now join me in writing to HMG to advocate this important legislative change.

If not, why not?

Anon Smoker said...

Tony, it’s patently obvious that the trade is dying. For a number of reasons. I think we should factor in the explosion of TV and computing, but the economy, cheaper alternatives and the ban have exacerbated the decline. I don’t believe that any faired minded individual would dispute any of these. The first three directly reflect the public’s right to make choices in a free market. Smokers now have an even greater variety of choices. On paper, that sounds quite reasonable. But the majority have chosen to abandon pubs because they no longer feel that that they receive value for money - for all of the above reasons. Pre ban, the majority of pub goers were smokers. Post ban, non smokers predominate - unfortunately in much smaller numbers. Pubs traditionally prosper in recessions – they were packed in the 70s. Not forgetting that, then, the average citizen had significantly less disposable income. If there were decent alternative facilities that provide choice for all, none of us would be squabbling here. It’s not really about libertarianism so much as common sense. And please don’t say that it isn’t sensible to smoke. The same argument can be applied to drinking (particularly at home with cheap booze), sitting in front of a TV/computer all night, effectively shunning social interaction. More than ever, we need the social environment that pubs have always provided. It is in no one’s best interest to allow them to disappear.

Anonymous said...

If you'd any real concerns for your health, you would've avoided pubs. Common sense - sadly lacking amongst passive smoking fanatics.

The painful truth is that you unwittingly relied on smokers to sustain the pubs for your convenience.

Anon Smoker

Tony Sidaway said...

BrianB, your long and detailed discussion of polls is missing the obvious: the total ban is now popular with the public and with the licensees, according to polls not involving YouGov.

Your suggestion that the law should be repealed isn't realistic. It's that law that got us to the current state of affairs where people can enjoy themselves in pubs without risking their health and getting their skin, hair, clothing and lungs coated with greasy particles. Repeal the law and the market pressure would return us to filthy, stinky, fugged up pubs.

Anon Smoker, John McNamara chief executive of the British Institute of Innkeeping said before the ban that 25% of licensees were turning over £125,000 or less, and one-third of members said they planned to quit if there was a smoking ban.

These were businesses operating on a knife-edge. After rent, business rate, heating and lightings costs and wages you're more likely sinking than swimming.

The ban certainly cannot have helped these struggling businesses, I agree, but that's not a good reason to keep pubs smoky and unhealthy.

It's amazing how difficult it is for pub smoking advocates to accept that we prefer it this way. After decades of sore eyes and smelly clothes we're not exactly eager to go back.

BrianB said...

Tony Sidaway:

"It's amazing how difficult it is for pub smoking advocates to accept that we prefer it this way. After decades of sore eyes and smelly clothes we're not exactly eager to go back."

What you find difficult to understand is that the 'we' that you refer to is you and the rest of a very small, and selfish minority.

You are an irrational anti-smoker and, despite what you seem to think, you do not speak for the majority of tolerant and civil non-smokers. You and your small self-centred coterie are quite happy to see overbearing state power dictate that every single hospital venue in the land is denied to 25% of the population - just in case you may choose to visit one day.

Spin it whatever you way you want to, but you are only fooling yourself. If your precious bloody ban is so popular, then pubs would not be closing in the numbers that they are. If it is so popular, why do you admit to being so scared of "market forces". That's the fundamental failure of your argument - that you clearly don't believe your own hype.

Stop being so arrogant as to believe that you know better how to run a pub than the thousands of landlords who have lost their livelihoods.

This ban will not exist for ever. It will be repealed, or at least modified - I know not when, but prohibition has shown itself to fail every time, and puritanical bastards such as yourself will just have to live with it. But underneath, you know that this will happen, don't you?

I have nothing more to say to you, since you just aren't listening to any voice other than your own.

Paul said...

I am sick and fekin tired of hearing about who did and didn't support the ban, as if this provides the definitive answer.

Nowhere do I see a question which tackles the real issue - smokers being turfed out onto the pavement or hereded into cattle pens.

Most would be quite happy with a ventilated side room, or even a shed outdoors. Sheds can be quite cosy. But no, the authorities now dictate where and how we shall stand to within the nearest inch.

But these polls of publicans become increasingly meaningless as the only ones left with a vote are those whose pubs have somehow survived the ban.

Tony Sidaway said...

BrianB, dismissing supporters of the ban as "irrational" and unrepresentative isn't helpful to anyone. Writing off poll results doesn't change the underlying public opinion that produces those results.

Use of that kind of language may be emotionally satisfying, but it will not convince people that the ban is a mistake.

Paul, last night I went to a pub and shared it with many smokers. They were indoors and warm, they just didn't smoke while they were sharing a pub with others who don't smoke. Ideally that should be a matter of courtesy, and it's a shame we need a law to enforce that even with the health problems and the physical harm that is caused by smoke itself.

Anonymous said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/08/20/do2005.xml

Anonymous said...

Darwin said that he quit smoking once for a month, and he never felt so stupid in his life.

Anonymous said...

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/health/national-smoking-day-200810082245/

Anonymous said...

I'm a tad late, but nice blog, really helpful information. Can you tell I'm a smoker yet? :P

If people would just accept the fact that landlords who want smokers in their pubs should be able to do so, then everything would be fine.

OR put it another way....

Is it right for a group who is anti-gay to make gay clubs illegal because A) They don't like gays B) Gays spread AIDS ( of course straight people can contract AIDS ) but my point is, is it right?

OR...

Is it right to go back to racial segregation, White only pubs? Because some group says non-whites are violent, carry guns, deal drugs and listen to that awful hippity hoppity music.

Of course it's NOT RIGHT.

Hopefully seeing the smoking ban in a different light / scenario will help you to understand where the smokers are coming from. I don't want to "kill" anyone through my SHS but I also don't want people to dictate where I shouldn't be smoking. Thank you for reading.

Tony Sidaway said...

Anonymous, smokers are not banned from any pubs. In fact when I go to a pub it's usually full of smokers (you can tell from the smell of their breath when they speak). It's just that they aren't actually smoking in the pub.

Anonymous said...

I see your point, maybe my points were a bit over the top. But would it harm anybody if there was smoking and non-smoking pubs. And people who work at the smoking pubs would either be smokers or sign a contract stating they know the risks. Blanket bans don't really solve anything, but drive the problem away from the eyes of people. Good point on how you would spot a smoker on the smell of their breath, one slight problem with that, if they're drinking you can only smell drink.

I do appreciate your points and I hope you appreciate mine.

Carl

Anonymous said...

check out this page if you haven't seen it Tony http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/news/news.asp?PR_id=377 .

Carl