I’m a rare breed methinks. I don’t know how many people were in England during the time of their non-smoking switchover and in Wales during the time of theirs. I mean, it’s not the sort of thing that you say to people, I know. But I think it’s a little impressive.
Either way, I have lived through 2 months of smoke free public buildings, and these are my observation, done in a handly list. The people who have benefitted, and the people who have lost out.
- Non Smokers – obvious one straight off the bat. Non smokers don’t come home smelling like they’ve been ejaculated on by chimneys. I love this part of the smoking ban.
- Smoking companies – surprisingly, a lot of people I know have taken up smoking. The logic behind it is now all their mates are heading out for a fag, nobody wants to be left alone, do they? It’s happened to me a few times and I go out and join them (most bars have areas where you can drink outside), but I know of a few people who have solely taken up smoking for the social side of it. Yes, it’s wrong, yes it’s against everything they ever taught you at school, but that’s what’s happened. Of course, when the winter comes and we get cold weather, will we see those people still smoking? Only time will tell.
- Chefs – EVERYWHERE does food now, I walked down Colwyn Bay high street and all the bars there had signs outside advertising their new menu. This is to make what were one step up from working men’s club a more family friendly place. Of course, with a new menu somebody has to cook, and chefs are highly desirable in the bars in Wales, commanding fairly high wages, especially for around here. These are also not your typical gastropub, or pub chains, these are like pubs you purely go and drink in, or used to.
Who loses out?
- Clubs and Bars (but in a good way for us) – say if I wanted chips on a night out. Before, I’d leave a bar and go to the chip shop. If the bar had an entrance fee, tough shit, I paid twice. Now I get a stamp on my hand and get back in, bonus! I know a few of my mates who have gone around the bars at around 7pm, got hand stamped in each, and not paid a penny in entrance fees. This is a good thing.
- People who chew gum – I chew gum all the time, and it’s a bugger as there are no ashtrays now. Okay, may sound a bit stupid. But what happens when people want to quit? I mean, one of the ways people quit smoking is to chew nicotene gum. Either people will be socially put off from chewing gum in pubs and just think “fuck it, if I’m going outside, I may as well smoke”, or there will be a lot of chewing gum underneath the tables in bars.
- Children – As my mate says “You can’t smoke in clubs and pubs, but you can smoke in playgrounds.”. I know most playgrounds have no smoking signs, but people can and do ignore them (I’m going on my local playground here). Also, you can still smoke in your own home.
All in all, I’m very happy that the smoking ban has come into force. People who say it’s an “infringement of liberties” should realise that having smoke blown into my face is an infringement of liberties. What’s your opinion on it?