The Patch

April 4, 2007

Wednesday 4th April 2007.

Filed under: UK News — Claire @ 6:32 pm

Yes, I’m a day late. But since our International and Political correspondants appear to have gone AWOL I can at least try to fill the gaping hole left by their absence with some mindless UK News Rambling.

The biggest news in the UK this week was obviously that Tracy Barlow is guilty. Or so Radio 1 would have you believe. Yes, straying into Denesha territory here, and far beit for me to step on her pretty little toes, but I must say it’s for the best. If she’d got off, it’d have been a signal to women everywhere that bludgeoning your annoying other half with a 10 inch replica of Michelangelo’s David is socially acceptable. Which it’s not. Honest.

So, my actual story this week kind of links with my very first Patch article on one of my pet-rants, smoking. Rest easy, though, I’m not off on another whimsical adventure berating teenage smokers. No no, good Patchers, this week they are safe. ‘Tis the smoking ban I wish to bore you with today. Er..I mean entertain.

Right, so, this year, we’re getting a public smoking ban. Scotland already have one, Ireland (as I pleasantly discovered on visiting the Emerald Isle last year) have one, and the Welsh have just had one introduced too. So we’re jumping on the proverbial bandwagon and stubbing out smoker’s fun in pubs and various other places from July the 1st.

Speaking of the Welsh, anyone seen this? Magic. The Welsh, as mentioned, have started their smoking ban. Problem is, parts of the village of Llanymynech are actually in England, which hasn’t yet started. FUN! In the crazy world of legislation, who thought that was a good idea? Welsh smokers are now going to be a tad confused for a couple of months about exactly where they can and can’t smoke. And they have to be careful, since the law means if they’re caught having a cheeky fag in the wrong part of town they could be hit with a £50 fine…

Apart from this little cock-up, I do think that the smoking ban is a good idea. I’ll never smoke, but I do respect a smoker’s right to, don’t get me wrong. The thing is, some smokers have a blatent disregard for the fact that I might not want to slowly poison myself, it’s that that I have a problem with. Some smokers are incredibly selfish, thinking that the fact that they smoke automatically gives them the right to smoke wherever they like.

That shouldn’t be the case, because at the end of the day, and most smokers know this, non smokers are doing the right thing by not lighting up, it’s for our health and it shouldn’t be comprimised by someone who plays a daily came of cancer roulette with a pack of Benson and Hedges. In other words, if I choose not to smoke, I don’t want to passively smoke either, and I don’t want a smoker infringing on that right. I believe the smoking ban will help me uphold that choice.

Might even make smokers quit, too, you never know. In deep UK winter when the snow is falling and the wind is howling like a bitch, wouldn’t it be nicer to stay in the pub with your pint than nip outside for a drag on your beloved cancer stick? No? Well then, I still have a plus side to this smoking ban for you too, Smoky Smokerson – you’ll get quite fit walking backwards and forwards through a packed pub all night, won’t you?

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3 Comments »

  1. Alas, Claire, you’re too quick to assume AWOL status. 😉

    Comment by freshlysqueezedcynic — April 4, 2007 @ 7:24 pm | Reply

  2. Definitely agree with the making people quit thing- one of my flatmates can go four days without smoking when he’s at home (his parents disapprove of smoking, so don’t know that he does), just to come back and light straight up again as soon as he sees others doing it. Likewise, it’s pubs and clubs that knock social smokers or people who had quit off track. I know some people who’d never smoke when they’re sober, but with a few drinks and around a load of other people smoking, they become human chimneys. So the ban… definitely a good idea.

    Well, I’ll be able to judge more fairly when I get back to uni (Cardiff), but in principle and theory it’s most certainly a good idea.

    Comment by amyfeldman — April 7, 2007 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  3. As a person who smokes myself i still agree with the smoking ban, i know alot of smokers are in uproar about not being able to smoke wherever they want, but as claire says why should non smokers have to put up with the polutant we as smokers choose to poison ourselves with, you wouldnt force someone who doesnt drink to have a pint. If i want to smoke i will gladly go outside to have a fag if i have to, dont get me wrong, i would prefer to be inside to smoke, especially during those winter months, but if i cant then i cant, its my own problem for smoking, maybe they should put that on the packets, “smoking causes Pneumonia”. so bring on the 1st july, looking forward to a new challenge.

    Comment by andy — April 8, 2007 @ 3:49 pm | Reply


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