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Tuesday
Jan252011

Scottish Government delays tobacco display ban

The Scottish Government has announced that the introduction of the tobacco display ban in Scotland is being delayed from October 1, 2011, until further notice due to a legal appeal by Imperial Tobacco.

I have issued this response on behalf of Forest:

"We welcome the announcement by the Scottish Government and hope that this marks the beginning of the end for the tobacco display ban in Scotland.

"Banning the display of tobacco in shops is an illiberal measure that will do little to reduce youth smoking rates.

"It's an act of censorship that is designed to denormalise tobacco and stigmatise adults who choose to consume a perfectly legal product.

"Tobacco control policies should be evidence based. There is no evidence that a display ban will achieve anything apart from costing small retailers money that they cannot afford and inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of law-abiding consumers."

See ASH Scotland's response.

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Reader Comments (49)

A typically shrill response from ASH.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 12:41 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Although I am a smoker I do not agree with the response of Forest. The decision to ban display of tobacco does not stigmatise smokers. It is a a sensible measure to limit advertising to young people.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 13:16 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

I sometimes wonder if the people at ash actually leave their offices or whatever. If people want to smoke, surely they are allowed to. As for discouraging youngsters from smoking....take a look in the real world, hiding cigarettes wont put anybody off.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 13:21 | Unregistered CommenterMarion

So Archie you are happy that smokers cannot peruse their favourite brands but can leaf through the pornography? With respect Archie you are either an ASH troll which I see is increasing in the blogosphere or very naive. It is the end game to "denormalise" smokers and smoking until we are complete social pariahs.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 13:28 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

If I want to smoke or not smoke THAT is my choice, If I want to eat and become fat THAT is my choice, If I have never exercised and looked after myself my whole life long THAT is my choice. I have been paying Tax and NI for 42 years. I will accept respnsibility for my actions I do not need the Health Nazis or people with shares in the Anti Smoking Companies to dictate to me what I should or should`nt do. I often wonder what these do`gooders do for recreation or to unwind, use illegal drugs perhaps.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 14:00 | Unregistered CommenterDennis Boot

Well done, Imperial Tobacco.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 14:07 | Unregistered CommenterKaGil

Dave, I can assure you that I am not an ASH troll. Not all smokers share all the views of FOREST. Smoking should not be encouraged and the power of tobacco advertising should be controlled. Although I smoke I think young people should be discouraged from starting. Is that ok with you? Or are you the type who would like to 'denormalise' my views so that all smokers think the same as you?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 14:19 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

Well Archie while we are about protecting young people lets ban the sale of violent video games, bring back censorship for films, cover displays of sweets and chocolate in the supermarket and make advertisers enforce strict codes of practice regarding the absolute honesty of marketing claims. As long as you can sell motor cars as sexy and fast with no regard to the damage they do, display naked or near naked models (both male and female) as a marketing ploy, place sweets near the checkout and portray war and violence as games I think we have more things to worry about regarding influencing the attitudes of the young than the sight of a few packets of cigaretts.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 14:23 | Unregistered CommenterHeretic

Heretic, Yes I agree that there should be more control on advertising and some of your suggestions are very sensible. So I take it you agree with the ban on tobacco displays?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 14:26 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

I'm sorry Archie, I find it very difficult to believe you are not an ASH troll. Despite being an anti Tobacco Control campaigner for years now, I admit that I personally agree that tobacco advertising should be controlled. However.... it is!!! Only in the most fevered dreams of ASH HQ is the sight of a cigarette packet construed as "advertising." And only in their deranged minds does it lead to people starting to walk, zombie-like, towards the counter to buy said product. I've walked past colourful packets of nappies in the supermarket before now and never felt the need to buy any, as I do not have children. Similarly, I have seen multiple pretty packets for tampons, but as I am not a woman I have not bought these, either. Similarly, non-smokers ignore fag packets in a similar way, as they, er, do not smoke.

While I agree that (despite being a smoker and despite loving smoking) I wouldn't want to see ads on TV or in magazine where cool dudes get laid a lot because they smoke, only hardcore ASHites even consider tobacco displays as "advertising." Most, surprisingly, regard it as a "product display", which is exactly what it is.

So basically, I'm afraid I don't believe you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 14:48 | Unregistered CommenterMr A

Archie, if you are not a troll my apologies for that slur. Guys we have to take people on their word and we cant have just one opinion in the debate if you smoke.

Less underage teenagers smoking may well be welcome but the evidence suggests banning displays does not lead to less smoking. I will find it later but I have a letter from a government minister where she says in plain English making smokers feel guilty is the whole idea of smoking restictions. In the meantime here is Sir Liam Donaldson.

"'But if we want to go further we have got to reinforce all these other tobacco measures and denormalise smoking completely,' said Donaldson

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/jun/24/health.smoking

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 14:57 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

I find it hard to believe that Archie is a smoker - after all as the experts on this issue, I have never met another smoker who does not recognise that the quickest way to increase youth smoking, bring down prices of tobacco to their affordable level, and open a market for less quality and possibly dangerous products, is by having a tobacco display ban. It takes control of sales to law abiding adult consumers by responsible shopkeepers subject to the full force of law, and puts them into the hands of underground criminals who successfully evade the law.

... and it has nothing to do with any of that but further denormalisation and stigmatisation of smokers and to justify the large amounts of funding given to bigoted smoke-free orgs like ASH. .

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 15:11 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Yes Mr A you are absolutely right, Archie is a Troll. He has clearly had his irony gene removed. The world is a better place without heavy handed regulation of the majority of the things I listed. You are clearly too young to remember that film censorship was purely and simply state restriction of artistic freedom, you probably believe that children are incapable of distinguishing fantasy from reality and indeed likely feel that this is true of most adults as well.
I am not sure why Archie's post has generated an overwhelming urge to finger wag and lecture on the evils of state intervention at great length. I know Simon would not thank me for a long, rambling and largely off topic post. I think I had better go and have a nice cup of tea and let my blood pressure normalise.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 15:25 | Unregistered CommenterHeretic

Why the hell are you all debating about whether some self-opinionated nanny-do-gooder is a troll or not?

Don't agree with him? Think he's a troll or an idiot? Fair enough, then just ignore him, surely there is much more important things to debate than this?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 15:52 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Dave Atherton says above that he has a letter from a government minister 'where she says in plain English making smokers feel guilty is the whole idea of smoking restictions'. Doctors talk about the placebo effect in medication (Latin 'placere', to please). What about a 'nocebo' effect (Latin 'nocere', to harm? I gather the latter actually is recognised in medicine. In view of the widespread and indiscriminate depression, self-doubt, social disorientation, isolation and family strife caused by current smoking restrictions, I really do wonder how any doctor can justify them, in their present 'totalist' form, under the terms of the Hippocratic oath. I would even suggest a possibility that the nocebo effect could be self-fulfilling for some people.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 16:31 | Unregistered CommenterNorman

Pet hates: personally abusive comments and the use of the word "troll". I may not agree with him but Archie is welcome to post comments on this blog. As I mentioned only a few days ago, I won't tolerate intolerance!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 16:37 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Apologies to Archie from me again and one to you Simon.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 16:39 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Here it is Baroness Dr. Elaine Murphy on smoking.

"You and many others have completely missed the point about smoking and health. The aim is reduce the public acceptability of smoking and the culture which surrounds it. We know that legislation which discourages all public smoking will have the better impact on public understanding and perception of smoking as an unacceptable habit.

Hence fewer people will smoke, hence health overall will improve."

Yours, Elaine Murphy

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 16:58 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Archie makes a point which is fundamental to Tobacco Control, and that is that the State will take over control of and caring for children from their parents. Archie's thinking has been manipulated by Tobacco Control so that he thinks that caring for children is, somehow, his responsibility. It would be easy to call Archie names and say that he is stupid for allowing himself to be misled, but how many of can say that we have not been similarly misled in the past, even if we no longer fall for the propaganda? I mean, how many of use used to (or even still do) regard 'smuggling' as a dastardly crime?!

I personally believe that the proposed display ban is just another ploy, similar to the SHS ploy which was supposed to be for the protection of workers, when it was, in fact, for the purpose of stopping people smoking at work. Wouldn't it be great if emails etc became available which illustrated that this was the thinking of Tobacco Control! Maybe one day, these documents will surface.

All these 'next steps' have been carefully thought out.

I am a little bit fearful about how Imperial Tobacco will handle the matter. If they go to court merely to say that the Scottish Gov 'have no right' to bring in the tobacco display ban, then they will lose. Much more subtlety is required, although, not being a lawyer, I have no idea what!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 0:22 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

I have just read the judgement in the case which Imp Tobacco claimed that the display ban was not a matter for the Scottish Gov to decide, because such matters were retained for the full UK Parliament (more or less). The court decided that the display ban was 'within the competence' of the Scottish Gov. No doubt, ASH representatives screamed, "YES!" "RESULT!"

But that was only the first step. It was necessary to clear that matter up. The real battle is only now being joined. Is it right that the Scot Gov should 'suspend' competition between cigarette manufacturers in the interests of the health of children and youths? If Imp Tobacco have any sense, they will be demanding to see the evidence upon which this 'suspension of competition' is based.

We can see why the display ban in Scotland has been suspended ad inf - the matter could easily go to the Supreme Court in London. It could take years. Also, the supposed 'evidence' may be mere propaganda which could be shot to pieces in court, in which case, even a biased judge would have to stop the display ban. Patience is everything in this affair. Until the matter in Scotland is decided, there will be no display ban in England (sod Wales - does anyone remember when Wales was 'dry' (for those who do not know what that means, it means, pubs closed on Sundays)? Sod Wales - let them decide for themselves!

But the matter could go further. Since the Courts have decided that the Scottish Parliament is 'competent', then whatever is decided in Scotland does not apply in England. The whole matter would have to start again in England. It is wonderful to see that Imp Tobacco could employ exactly the same trick that Tobacco Control employed in America - bring case after case until you find a judge who agrees with you.

Do you know, this whole thing pisses me off no end! If the Gov had passed an Act which required pubs and clubs to provide for non-smokers and to protect their staff (which translates into separate smoking rooms), I would have accepted it. Minor 'unfairnesses' (in the sense of how much effort was made to accommodate smokers) would not have mattered - I would go where the best facilities for me were.

In this whole matter, PUBLIC HEALTH is irrelevant. It is a personal choice for individuals. PUBLIC HEALTH is about ensuring that the water supply is clean, etc, It is not about taking over peoples' personal decisions.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 1:20 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Mr A, I can assure you too that I am not a member or supporter of ASH. I have attended many Forest events at Boisdales. I roll my own fags etc etc. I have spent this evening on the terrace of the Liberal Club smoking. What would you like me to do? Send you the fag ends?

By the way, the friend who I was with - who is also a smoker (camel lights) agrees that steps should be taken to discourage youngsters from smoking. But she does not agree with me that the ban on displays will achieve that objective.

So - there we have it - a difference of opinion between smokers. Can you handle that or would you prefer it if everyone thought the same as you?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 2:12 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

Junican, I do not think that caring for children is my responsibility. I do, however, think that government has a responsibility to care for children within the practical limits of governance. Perhaps you disagree and believe that all such intervention is 'nannyism'. Maybe you think that manufacturers should be allowed to include unlimited quantities of lead in toys? After all, what business is it of the government what happens to children?"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 2:21 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

Now you are beginning to worry me, Archie. Are you thinking? In the distant past, parents would not allow their kids to smoke, or, indeed, drink alcohol or ride a motor bike until they were old enough. Smoking and alcohol were for adults. Parents decided these things (although, obviously, there were some parents who were lacking). State intervention was, and is, unnecessary. I am shocked that you would wish to compare this matter to lead in toys - the two things are not comparable. Lead in toys is something that a parent can do nothing about and, indeed, may know nothing about. Diesel fumes are also things that parents know nothing about. If diesel fumes are harmful to children, should not the Gov do something about diesel fumes? That is the logic of you argument.

No. I am not talking about 'nannyism' or any other 'ism'. I am talking about failure to provide a decent education while pouring money into irrelevancies.

You are beginning to worry me, Archie. I have seen this 'flaming' before, and I am not impressed. If you are genuine, then you will tell me why ALL parents have to be pushed aside so that the State, or you, can look after their children.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 4:23 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

The tobacco display ban is almost the final step in the plan to denormalise smoking. It has everything to do with stigmatising smokers. It is likely to make adults feel intimidated when buying. There is no proof that it would reduce youth smoking at all.

The legal age to buy has been raised to eighteen and shopkeepers have to ask for Id. But we now have to protect the vulnerable minds of children, from the sight of tobacco products. Has the world gone mad?

Why are they not considering a display ban on alcohol? What about alcohol related deaths? What right do they have, to continually BULLY smokers?

A tobacco display ban is likely to encourage a culture of illegal and counterfeit sales involving more dangerous products. Don't adult consumers have a right to see the full range of products on offer?

I do not believe that Archie is a smoker. He describes the measure of a display ban as one to limit advertising. Isn't advertising tobacco illegal? This is about not being able to see the choice of products available. It would prove a huge inconvenience to retailers and consumers alike. Well done to Imperial Tobacco.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 5:17 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

It's spot on to say that this is all about attacking smokers. It's little to do with second hand, third hand or whatever they invent next. I'm sure that even antis laugh up their sleeves at this garbage but it's, simply, another bullet to fire at smokers and smoking, however ludicrous it is. The curtain twitchers just don't like smoking or smokers. It's a filthy habit, end of. They'll use any tripe to support their view.

This whole thing is a bit like a football match with the away team initially absorbing pressure from the home team waiting to take the sting out before starting to play their own game. They usually win.

Well done, Imperial. Anything that slows this process down so clearer heads can take over is to be applauded. No wonder the likes of ASH are twitching a bit. The 'science' is settled, innit?erm, well, innit?)

I disagree with Archie and I also think it's a dangerous game to comply with their agenda. You take your eye off the ball when you do this, Archie.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 8:26 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

If there is no evidence that hiding packets of cigarettes deters youngsters then there is no justification for this.

According to Anti logic, though, if they can make this stick (the sight of a packet is enough to set a youngster onto the slavery of addiction) the next step is to stop youngsters from seeing the product in that packet from being used - welcome to a ban on smoking ANYWHERE in public. They won't be curtailing anyone's 'right to smoke', of course, because 'you can still smoke in your own home'. They then ignore the inconsistency of youngsters seeing smoking in the home until they can make it stick that parents must not smoke in front of their children (probably through TV propaganda, similar to the 7 steps ad). By then the smokers who no longer find smoking a pleasure because it's so difficult to smoke in peace and comfort will think that it would just be easier tro give up.

You can read them like a book.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 9:22 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Junican states:

"If the Gov had passed an Act which required pubs and clubs to provide for non-smokers and to protect their staff (which translates into separate smoking rooms), I would have accepted it. Minor 'unfairnesses' (in the sense of how much effort was made to accommodate smokers) would not have mattered - I would go where the best facilities for me were.

I feel that in some ways we smokers collectively brought this on ourselves. If smokers in general had behaved with more courtesy towards non-smokers in the past there would have been no push for a ban on smoking in public places. If we had gone outside to smoke when the air was thick with smoke the pressure to ban would have been lower. If we had, as a matter of course, been more considerate to non-smokers there would have been less enthusiasm for a ban. But many smokers used to think it was their right to smoke where they wanted and asserted their 'rights' in a very hostile way to those who objected. This understandably created resentment towards smokers. Conflict existed when it could have been avoided and as a group we played our part in intensifying that conflict.

By the way - I am a smoker. So put that in your pipe and smoke it...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 11:17 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

Archie you said "..smokers in general had behaved with more courtesy towards non-smokers in the past there would have been no push for a ban on smoking in public places."

Firstly non smokers can suffer from bad manners too. While I agree that some smokers were and continue to be discourteous, they are a minority. Pre 2007 if you were a non smoker you expected pubs to be full of smokers. Ash trays are provided for you to use, that is the point. Non smoking pubs pre ban did exist but most were forced economically to revert to smoking e.g. Wetherspoons or had a concentrated enough conurbation to appeal to non smokers like the Phoenix at Bank in the City of London.

Archie this is why I have to accuse you of naivety in the extreme. If we had all gone to a Swiss Finishing School, spoke with a mouthful of plums, laid our capes down on the floor for ladies to walk on, had please and thank you on speed dial, ASH, the Department of Health and the Labour Party would still of passed the smoking ban laws.

In shops pre 2007 hardly anyone smoked in a shop. So what bad manners have smokers exhibited for the government to pass the display ban? What bad manners have smokers shown to be banned from smoking in their cars even without passengers?

With respect Archie it seems you have accepted the propaganda of ASH and can't see what their real aims and motives are. I will tell you this, the end game is upgrading tobacco to a class C drug like Cannabis or outright prohibition. Want to talk about good manners then

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 12:20 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Dave,

You appear to suggest that provided ashtrays were available in a public place you were entitled to smoke without consideration for nonsmokers. I guess you would have smoked in shops had there been ashtrays lying around. That is the very attitude I am talking about. The fact that smoking was allowed was generally taken by smokers to mean that courtesy to non smokers was unnecessary.

You don't have to go to swiss finishing school to be considerate to others.

For a long time many smokers bullied non smokers and dismissed any complaints about smoking with a derisory 'if you don't like smoke you can go somewhere else'.

Now the tables have turned and non smokers are giving us the same message in reverse. What did you expect?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 14:45 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

For clarification. As a lifelong smoker I have NEVER believed I had a right to smoke wherever I liked - but as the law allowed me to smoke in most places, I smoked where I was allowed. Never once did I enter non-smoking areas to be awkward or mean, or selfish.

I am so fed up of this accusation and even more fed up when it comes from what is allegedly our own side.

As Dave A's letter from a politician says - this is not about health but hate of smokers and plans to squeeze them out of society.

All I ever wanted was to be left alone nothing more than that and I'm sorry but I still don't understand why this is wrong.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 15:23 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

"If smokers in general had behaved with more courtesy towards non-smokers in the past there would have been no push for a ban on smoking in public places"


I've heard that one before, but it was about landlords not doing enough to protect their staff from passive smoking.

Letter to The Publican re. protecting employees from passive smoking
1999 Smoking in Pubs
"A new ACOP would not mean that all smoking must be banned in pubs"
http://www.ash.org.uk/media-room/press-releases/letter-to-the-publican-re-protecting-employees-from-passive-smoking

Of course even though all the changes like seperate rooms and no smoking at the bar were all carried out, it still apparently wasn't enough.

Nothing to do with smokers, considerate or not.

Wasn't everyone trooping into the smoking room and staying there to smoke not considerate enough for you Archie?

Or don't you remember?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 15:38 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

Why do you smoke, Archie? you obviously carry a lot of guilt about it so why do it?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 15:43 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Archie I guess one of my problems is that I consider myself as considerate as smokers get. Even if you come to my house or get in my car I will ask you if I can smoke.

At the risk of sounding naive what kind of bad manners and boorish behaviour are you referring to?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 16:08 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

ASH calls on the Government to withdraw its endorsement of the Public Places Charter following failure of Charter to meet smoking targets - 2003

"The terms of the Public Places Charter were that at least half the pubs in England Wales would have a smoking policy in place by 1 January 2003. Of these policies, 35% should restrict smoking to designated areas and/or have ventilation to an agreed standard"
http://www.ash.org.uk/media-room/press-releases/ash-slams-pubs-smoking-charter

Nothing to do with people who smoke.

The landlord at the local pub was rather annoyed that he had to give up half of his pub for prospective customers who never arrived.

Segregation didn't work very well there because the nonsmoking regulars came and sat in the smoking room to chat with their friends as usual.
Given the opportunity to do so, they still didn't discriminate.

It looked rather silly with everyone crammed into one half of the pub.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 16:23 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

"Now the tables have turned and non smokers are giving us the same message in reverse. What did you expect?"
Archie, to my knowledge, smokers have never asked for a law that says no public place can go smoke-free. That smokers must be protected in all parts of all places by law irrespective of the wishes of the owners,staff,customers,users of that place. For the "tables to turn" from the position we are at now, the law would have to prohibit all smoke-free places and be prepared to put people in prison if they dare add a smoke-free area to any place covered by that law. I could not even begin to try and justify abolishing smoke-free places because I would be denying people the right to use those places when all I have to do is walk past them and go somewhere where smoking is permitted. Maybe that is what we should say to non-smokers, if you are considerate enough to avoid using smoke-free places then we will not have to abolish all smoke-free places by law. So for example, there can be smoke-free carriages on trains so long as nobody is inconsiderate enough to actually use them, other wise they will have to be abolished.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 18:34 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

It is nice to read that so many of you were well behaved smokers.

1. Pat - Did you smoke where you were allowed without any consideration of non smokers? You did not have to smoke just because you were allowed to (unless of course you are addicted to tobacco).

2. Rose - there were times when there was no room for smoking. I can remember when smokers were in the majority and simply ignored the wishes or comfort of the wimps who did not smoke.

3. Frank - I have absolutely no guilt about smoking. Why should I? But I do not believe that I should ignore the wishes of the majority who do not smoke.

4. Dave - clearly you are a considerate smoker. It is only relatively recently - say the last 10 or 15 years - that smokers would ask permission to smoke. People would often smoke in restaurants without thinking of nonsmokers at adjacent tables.

5. Fredrik - You suggest that smoking should be permitted provided in places places where that is the wish of the 'owners, staff, customers, users'. What if the wishes of the various parties you have identified do not coincide? Whose wishes would prevail? As the potential customers, users and staff are constantly changing how could their wishes be determined?

The point is that legislation to ban smoking in public places should never have been necessary. If smokers had behaved more thoughtfully it could have been avoided. If, before they were forced to, smokers had - even occasionally - gone outside to smoke it would have given a message of tolerance of the preferences of non smokers.

Similarly, if drivers had observed the speed limit, road humps and cameras would have been unnecessary.

I am a smoker and a driver. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 19:25 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

Archie said:

"I feel that in some ways we smokers collectively brought this on ourselves. If smokers in general had behaved with more courtesy towards non-smokers in the past there would have been no push for a ban on smoking in public places. If we had gone outside to smoke when the air was thick with smoke the pressure to ban would have been lower. If we had, as a matter of course, been more considerate to non-smokers there would have been less enthusiasm for a ban. But many smokers used to think it was their right to smoke where they wanted and asserted their 'rights' in a very hostile way to those who objected. This understandably created resentment towards smokers. Conflict existed when it could have been avoided and as a group we played our part in intensifying that conflict."

Archie, for heaven's sake! Your above statement is poppycock. It is so non-sensical that it is hard to know where to begin.

"We smokers...." No, not we - perhaps you personally if you wish to admit it.

"be courteous". How can I be courteous to someone on the other side of a big room whom I do not know from adam?

"no push for the ban" ??????

"gone outside"

"air think with smoke"

"less enthusiasm for ban" what enthusiasm?

"assert rights"

"hostile way"

"those who objected" who and when?

"created resentment"

"conflict"

"intensifying that conflict" what conflict?

For heavens sake!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 19:25 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Junican asks:

"How can I be courteous to someone on the other side of a big room whom I do not know from adam?"

This typifies the attitude I am describing. That someone finds it hard to imagine why they should show courtesy to a stranger is lamentable but, unfortunately typical of many people - including smokers.

And the idea that all non smokers are on the other side of a large room is simply daft. Take responsibility...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 19:56 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

"The point is that legislation to ban smoking in public places should never have been necessary. If smokers had behaved more thoughtfully it could have been avoided. If, before they were forced to, smokers had - even occasionally - gone outside to smoke it would have given a message of tolerance of the preferences of non smokers."

Hmm.. this is remarkably reminiscent of the standard antismokers' arguments about the justification for smoking bans, most recently exemplified by the rants of "Kay Tie" on Paul Flynn's blog .

The idea that the pub smoking ban emanated from some groundswell of public opinion is simply laughable. I don't recall its introduction being heralded by somebody saying "Smokers are selfish and nasty and are always upsettings non-smokers. As we've had a lot of complaints from non-smoking pubgoers about what utter swine smokers are, we've decided to make them stand outside."

No, it was brought in on the idea that SHS is extremely dangerous and that bar workers would be exposed to large quantities of it for considerable lengths of time, and that they must therefore be protected from it. Whether you think that was really the idea behind it, or that it was simply a way to make smoking difficult and unenjoyable, is neither here nor there - the fact remains that it was never billed as "the revenge of the non-smokers for all those times that smokers were horrid to them". It's just something that antismokers say on online debates.

Personally, I don't really see why I should be punished for having sometimes lit a cigarette in a place that had ashtrays on the tables (meaning "yes, you are allowed to smoke in here"), where other people were already smoking, where everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves, and where nobody uttered a single word of complaint. How on earth was I to know that I was apparently being an appalling, boorish brute?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 20:25 | Unregistered CommenterRick S

Rick S asks:

"The idea that the pub smoking ban emanated from some groundswell of public opinion is simply laughable."

No - but the public support for the ban was largely because of the discomfort caused to nonsmokers. I think that is more immediately important to non smokers than the (supposed) health risks of passive smoking.

"Nobody uttered a single word of complaint...How on earth was I to know that I was apparently being an appalling, boorish brute?"

Do you only consider others when they complain? Do you understand why people might have stifled complaints? Do you think people should play music as loudly as they like on public transport if no one complains? Think for yourself about the impact of your behaviour on others...

"It's just something that antismokers say on online debates."

I am a smoker. Hard to believe isn't it?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 20:53 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

Why didn't I think of putting it that way, Rick S? You just about sum the matter up perfectly.

Er......Kay Tie. She sounds a lot like Archie without the, "I'm a smoker" tag, doesn't she?

I'm going to 'save' your statement for later use. I assume that you do not mind.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 21:01 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Junican - not in the least!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 21:09 | Unregistered CommenterRick S

Junican questions whether I am a smoker. I question whether he is one. I suspect that he is a non-smoker trying to make smokers look stupid by posting nonsense.

He and Rick have unable to answer my questions. I take this as an indication that I have won the argument and so shall now move on.

Thank you Simon for providing us with the opportunity to debate these issues.

I shall return again to share my views on another issue. My aim is always to educate and inform and I hope that I have achieved that.

Best of luck everyone. See you at the next Boisdale's do.

I am most certainly a smoker...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 21:33 | Unregistered CommenterArchie

" You suggest that smoking should be permitted provided in places places where that is the wish of the 'owners, staff, customers, users'. What if the wishes of the various parties you have identified do not coincide? Whose wishes would prevail? As the potential customers, users and staff are constantly changing how could their wishes be determined? " Archie.

Archie, the point I was making was that smokers are not demanding that 0% of public places are smoke-free. How places decide to become smoke-free is up to the parties involved but , if the tables were turned, the problem with making 0% of public space smoke-free by law is that there is no lawfull means for any public place to go smoke-free.

Want to have a smoke-free multiplex cinema? You can't. Tough. It's the law.
Want to have 5 smoke-free screens and 5 smoking . You can't. Tough. It's the law.
Want to have 1 smoke-free screen and 9 smoking . You can't. Tough. It's the law.
Want to have a non-smoking section in one screen and 9 all smoking . You can't. Tough. it's the law.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 21:34 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

"Rick S asks:

"The idea that the pub smoking ban emanated from some groundswell of public opinion is simply laughable."

--------

I hadn't realised I was asking something - if I'd known that, I would have put the verb at the beginning of the sentence and stuck a question mark on the end!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 21:47 | Unregistered CommenterRick S

When I first saw the way this item was going the other day, I pledged to myself not to get involved, but I am sorry to say that I have returned here daily to see what was happening, in the hope that "our Archie" would either be caught out, or own up in some way.
When I looked again this morning, I see the "debate" for want of a better word, seems to be still going strong, and our Archie, seems to be holding court and wining the battle.
I could be wrong on this of course, but I cannot remember ever seeing the name "Archie" posting on here before this? Nothing wrong there either, as there has to be a first time for everything.
But the name "Archie" kept niggling me for some reason, and not for the same reason as it seems to have set many nerves on fire within the "debate", Archie, Archie, Archie?
Suddenly that name brought back an old childhood memory from deep down within the bowels of my mind. Of course, what better nom-de-plume to write under than the name of a ventriloquist's dummy?
Archie Andrews can lay claim to being Britain's first ventriloquist's dummy superstar. He and his operator, Peter Brough had their own radio (yes, radio) show, Educating Archie. In Archie's heyday, the 1950s, Educating Archie netted 15 million listeners.
Is there anything creepier than a ventriloquist's dummy? You can keep your spiders, snakes and all the other members of the extended family of phobias. Ventriloquists' dummies are the boys to give you nightmares every time.
And our Archie on here, has proven this point without a doubt. You have all been hoodwinked, chatting and arguing with a piece of wood!
I wonder if we will ever find out the identity of his operator?

Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 10:50 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

""Nobody uttered a single word of complaint...How on earth was I to know that I was apparently being an appalling, boorish brute?"
Do you only consider others when they complain? Do you understand why people might have stifled complaints?"

So, Archie, smokers should have voluntarily refrained from smoking in pubs in case a non-smoker - who might reasonably be expected to understand that people will be smoking in the pub into which he has chosen to go - finds it uncomfortable?

Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 10:53 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Peter T is partly right - we did fall for it to an extent. I was thinking about this very thing last night. I was wondering what it was that kept Archie's thoughts alive.. The answer came into my mind eventually.

The answer lies in the word 'courtesy'.

""If smokers in general had behaved with more courtesy towards non-smokers in the past there would have been no push for a ban on smoking in public places."" [My italics]

What did he mean? Did he mean jump up and open doors for non-smokers? Did he mean open a window?

What he meant was 'feel guilty about smoking! Be apologetic! The word 'courtesy is entirely inappropriate in the circumstances of a pub.

We have to watch out these 'golden' words in the same way in which we watch out for the 'dross' words like 'filthy' and 'stinking'. Of course, the ultimate golden word is 'children'. The ultimate answer to claims that SHS harms children is simply to deny it - on the grounds that there is no evidence whatsoever.

I have in my mind the deviousness of Tobacco Control. I see the display ban as having nothing to do with protecting children, but having the aim of 'persuading' retailers not to sell tobacco on the grounds that it is too much trouble and expense.

Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 19:36 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Archie - I smoked where I was allowed and no one ever challenged me and said "I don't like it." Quite the reverse in fact. Non-smokers tend to now come outside with smokers because they like people and are not paranoid about a wisp of smoke.

I also remember being in a cafe once with a non-smoker before the ban. Before I lit my cigarette, I asked as I always do, if she minded. I was very surprised at her response - given the propaganda - she said "not at all - I love the smell of smoke."

As for being "addicted" How dare you! Simon - I thought abuse was not allowed. If Archie is truly a smoker then he will know that smokers are not "weak pathetic addicts". They are people who enjoy a legal product in the same way that others enjoy coffee, tea, or chocolate.

Smoking is a habit, Archie. If it was such an "addiction" and passive smoking is so harmful - then please do tell me why people quit in droves easily and why the whole country is not full of "pathetic addicts".

Next you will be telling me smoking is more addictive than heroin - and if you do then you have answered the question of whether you truly are a smoker or someone who supports bigoted groups like ASH

Friday, January 28, 2011 at 10:55 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

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