Monday 1 March 2004

Didn't politicians used to meet in smoke-filled rooms?

I don't smoke and don't particularly enjoy smoke in pubs. But pubs and restaurants are not public property and in a free society it's up to the owners of those premises to set whatever rules they want.

An Edinburgh pub owner has decided to ban smoking and he hopes to gain business as a result. Good luck to him I say. But I also wish good luck to those publicans who make the decision to allow smoking. We should let the market decide what mixture we get between smoking and non-smoking pubs.

These people understand:

Simon Clark, a director of Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (FOREST) said: "We have always said that there’s clearly a niche market for non-smoking pubs and restaurants and certainly there is a need for this in a city the size of Edinburgh. This shows there is no need for government intervention."
That's the practical and the moral solution to this non-problem. Sadly though, we live in the age of the health fascist:
But the anti-smoking group Ash Scotland and the British Medical Association have condemned Scottish politicians for caving in to pressure from landlords and smoking groups to rule out an outright ban.
Ban, tax, regulate. Ban, tax, regulate.

What miserable lives these people lead. The nanny state will be the death of us all, smokers and non-smokers.