Having spent time in Sweden that has such a ban already, and having recently been repulsed by too much smoking in public in Austria, it’s with great joy that I heard the news this evening that the UK will get a full smoking ban in pubs and restaurants. Further, MPs voted in favour of the ban with a large majority:
The Commons decided by a margin of 328 to ban smoking from all pubs. It then voted by 200 to extend this to clubs.
Here’s the article from the BBC about it. It won’t happen until 2007, but better late than never! I just hope that Labour makes a big, big thing of how good this is!
Thanks for the kind words…
Politics always seems to be a confusion of social/moral good with the rights of private citizens, and I have no idea how to prevent that.
The problem with smoking is that I don’t think many bar owners would want to take action on their own accord, and that’s why state intervention is needed. If there are a few smokers in a predominantly non smoking group, they would most probably end up in the smoking bar so as to keep a group together, rather than sending the smokers outside to smoke – i.e. bars behave as rational economic actors, rather than with the aim of protecting the health of their customers. A ban across the board means the issue treats all bar owners equally, and ends up protecting public health which – in my mind – trumps the other arguments anyway.
great blog! you’ve got a new fan here.
i just wanted to say that i appreciate your love for smoke-free pubs and clubs; i share in that appreciation with you. but aren’t smoking bans a good example of politics confusing social/moral good with the rights of private citizens? shouldn’t individual pub and club owners be allowed to choose for themselves whether or not to allow smoking, and shouldn’t those who visit them do the same?