Friday, 13 July 2007

Smoked Out

According to a report from the BBC, air quality in pubs and clubs seems to have improved enormously since the ludicrous smoking ban was imposed a couple of weeks ago.

The report features Ross Nichol and Karen Beesley, a young couple who took over Bristol's Cornubia pub last autumn. Apparently, they've had concerns about their exposure to passive smoking in the boozer they run for quite some time, and are delighted to find the air quality has improved enormously.

Well, bully for them. The BBC report has all the hallmarks of a feel-good piece to reinforce the benefits of the ban, and I can't help wondering whether it's origins might have more to do with Health Fascism than investigative journalism.

Of course, I'm not in the least bit surprised that air quality in the pub - and probably in all pubs - has improved, and I'm not questioning Aunty's findings. I am, however, just a tad puzzled by Nichol and Beesley's choice of career.

If they dislike passive smoking so much, what the hell are they doing running a pub - surely, one of the smokiest environments in the country until this fatuous ban came into effect? And, for that matter, why didn't they impose their own smoking ban in their pub long ago, instead of waiting for the law to do their dirty work for them?

Smokers choose to smoke, barkeepers choose to work in pubs - they both know the risks, and neither one has any right to complain about the consequences of their own choices. As for the BBC, perhaps, instead of putting a positive spin on a draconian new law, they should concentrate on making documentary trailers that don't insult the Queen.

Billy Seggars.

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