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Welcome to 'Smoking Allowed'

Imperial Tobacco has launched a new campaign to "support smokers".

Smoking Allowed, says the company, is a "long-term programme of projects and activities to support smokers when they are travelling, working and enjoying their leisure time".

These include "high-quality smoking pavilions ... at key points across the UK. The first opened at Bristol Airport last week providing heating, lighting, shelter, ventilation, hand-gel and litter solutions".

I'm sure there are some people who will argue that Imperial should be doing more to fight the smoking ban rather than tacitly accepting it with a campaign for better smoking shelters.

At risk of sounding like an apologist for the company, I see it rather differently.

To begin with, and to the best of my knowledge, Imperial remains strongly critical of the smoking ban and the 'evidence' that is used to justify it. In particular, you should read The Bauld Truth, a brilliant critique (by Imperial) of the report by Professor Linda Bauld for the Department of Health entitled The Impact of Smokefree Legislation in England: Evidence Review (March 2011).

The Bauld Truth was published in June 2011. I urge you to download it and send a copy to your MP and ask them to (a) respond to it and (b) take it up with the Department of Health.

In addition, I believe that the 'Smoking Allowed' campaign is important because it challenges the Orwellian 'denormalisation' of smoking. Comfortable smoking shelters or "pavilions" and signs that say 'Welcome to your smoking area' may not alter the harsh fact that smokers are forced to light up outside, but a campaign like this could help bring smokers back in from the cold in other ways, and that can only be a good thing.

Full story here.

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Reader Comments (24)

This will do as much to fight the smoking ban as anything else. It will give the fight against the smoking ban a decent profile.

I wish it well.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 12:21 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Henson

I fully support Imperial's initiative, it is good to see us being looked after for a change.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 12:25 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Thanks Imperial. I support it too.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 13:18 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse


I've also just come across the 'red umbrella' campaign (vid on FOREST's home page). Great idea.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 14:46 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

It is good that, at last, the tobacco manufacturers are supporting their consumers, but it gauls me to see the designs having to comply with the 50% open sides rule. Animal welfare for pigs calls for better accommodation than human beings outside. And as for heating outside spaces, it all seems so totally stupid to me.

All we need is a small amendment to the smoking ban to allow "indoor" accommodation for smokers.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 16:13 | Unregistered CommenterBill C

Oh thank you for a structure that doesn't conform to animal welfare

"If you keep cattle, you must follow specific rules on accommodation.

The accommodation must be kept at a comfortable temperature which is not harmful to the animals. It must also be big enough to allow all of the animals to lie down at the same time"

l'm sure a structure with 50% of the sides missing will maintain a comfortable temperature in the dead of winter. lt sucks and we are to be thankful for it?

Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 16:27 | Unregistered CommenterSeverina

Severina, you are right, of course, but one has to start somewhere! In Manchester Airport there is a smoking area in terminal one ...except that it is not actually inside terminal one. You have to go up steps and along corridors until you arrive at a door which takes you outside onto a 'roof', where there is a place to smoke. Although it has a roof and sides of sorts, it is very basic, but it is better than nothing.
These tents are better than nothing - they are acts of defiance.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 23:19 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

It's good to see that private businesses are trying their utmost to accommodate against the horrendous prohibitionists, who have infiltrated our nanny state and government at every level.

Maybe the government will eventually realise what private businesses actually have - people (in 21C Britain) will not put up with being treated as 2nd class citizens and denormalisation; they certainly will not be treated worse than animals.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 23:28 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

I know the reason that Manchester Airport have done this, there is one in Terminal 2 as well, but not Terminal 3. It is simple, an increase in airage since the smoking ban.

Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 0:54 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

What do you English say? You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs? The shelters are eggs! All you do is conform, conform, conform. Where is British Bulldog?

Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 16:31 | Unregistered CommenterSeverina

They could of put some seating in there for gauds sake !

Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 17:59 | Unregistered CommenterChris W

Yes and a lot more Chris W. lf people conform, it say ;we submit; and that is not good.

Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 20:29 | Unregistered CommenterSeverina

Severina, I will not conform and have not flown and hardly been to a Pub since they introduced the Smoking Ban !

Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 20:51 | Unregistered CommenterChris W

With the money the Tobacco Companies are making they should take the anti-smoking advocates to court and show the junk science and lies that caused smoking bans in the first place.

Once that is proven in court then they can sue every anti smoking organisation and so-called charities for compensation.

Look at what the bar owners did in the Netherlands, they have the guts to fight back.

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 0:32 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Severina sounds like she may come from a country once behind the former Iron Curtain - countries that really know the meaning if freedom because of the years of oppression under communism. That is why those countries don't ban smoking and allow free choice.

We sleep walked into communism here and lost those freedoms we took so much for granted. There are people who still don't realise what has happened but they will as bans come to their choice next.

She is right of course. We don't fight, we do comply, we are scared of breaking the law, but we do what we can to fight it by legal means.

She also admires, as do I, Nothing2Declare for their bulldog stance in fighting this - but even they do not break the law although like us they continually challenge it which what we should do to all bad laws. This is one of the worst and most unjust ever made in modern Britain. We are going backwards socially instead of forward.

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 9:53 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse


I do take your point about we have been too passive in our "resistance" to the smoking ban. The rule of law in the UK has its roots going back to Anglo Saxon times and our "Common Law" where customs are passed down from centuries of accepted behaviour. On the one hand Parliament is a democratically elected government and as an electorate we cannot pick and choose which laws we want to obey. However Mahatma Gandhi said that the worst thing you can do is "obey a bad law." As Chris noted in our own way we are defying the smoking ban. Smoking rates have remained stable since 2007, being the first time since 1948 smoking rates have not fallen. We have voted with our feet in not going down the pub and most importantly Simon Clark and Forest are not ploughing a lone furrow. Every new piece of proposed legislation is the next Stalingrad. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) must be feeling the heat of millions of smokers. I have been reading Chris Snowdon's excellent, The Art of Suppression: Pleasure, Panic and Prohibition since 1800 and American Prohibition of alcohol lasted from 1919 to 1933 and was in fact enshrined in the American Constitution, making it even harder to repeal. Let me conclude by saying that amendments will come one day, breaking the law will not bring that day any closer and may have the opposite effect.

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 10:15 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

I agree with Severina. Let's see effect of the Belgian "smoking in pubs" protests before deciding that breaking the law doesn't work. In any case, setting up a cafe to genuinely research the effectiveness of extraction equipment is not breaking the law. Let's face it, five years of discussion has got us nowhere.

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 13:39 | Unregistered CommenterJon

Well, I don't know quite what to make of that.

They seem to have taken their inspiration from the cattle pens at the local show, though the cattle pens do look a lot cosier.

Easy to hose down from the outside I suppose.

Still, at least now we have some idea of Imperial's opinion of their customers.

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 15:44 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

'Better than nothing?' Well, I suppose so, but since the tobacco industry has pretty much stood by and done nothing for the last few decades while smokers have been kicked around, I for one am not exactly jumping for joy. This is a nice, but small, gesture which doesn't challenge the status quo or the smoking ban. Many of us are baffled by the tobacco industry's refusal to challenge, preferably in a court of law, the demonstrably phoney justifications for antismoking laws.

Bar owners in Holland and Belgium not only fought a legal battle to (partially) get back the right to allow smoking, they are now preparing to sue the government for lost business. But the biggest 'stakeholders' - the tobacco companies - remain pretty much silent while we are bombarded with scams like heart attack miracles, thirdhand smoke, etc etc. I fear that nothing major will change until the tobacco industry - as the late Gian Turci used to say - 'grows a pair of balls'.

As for 'working within the law', Prohibition didn't fail because people worked within the law, it failed because of massive illegal drinking, smuggling, organised crime, etc etc. What's the point of trying to work within the law if the law won't listen? They have to be forced to listen and the only way to do that is either (a) civil disobedience or (b) legal action by someone with money . . . once again: the tobacco industry. I haven't heard a good explanation yet for their inaction. Has anyone else?!

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 16:27 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Jackson

Mr Atherton

Do you not understand your own history? Positive changes came from direct action and disobediance throughout your history. This in many cases was breaking of statutes and not law. To saying every new legislation is Stalingrad is offensive to me. Over 1 million people died for freedom at Stalingrad and you demean them by comparing to new legislation. l have taken time to read many articles and do not believe that Forest or this site are leading fight against smoking ban. How you say? Afraid to rock boat?


You are correct.

Joe Jackson is type of leader of Forest that is needing, not Mr Clark.

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 22:01 | Unregistered CommenterSeverina

Joe, I reckon a good reason for their inaction is that both British American and Imperial are currently sitting on 5-year highs on the LSE. They have no reason to do anything in the short-term because clearly the smoking ban and above-inflation tax hikes have achieved precisely bob-all!

Compare that if you will to the share prices of Enterprise Inns, Punch Taverns, Mitchells & Butlers and Marston's over the same 5-year period. Even Wetherspoons' share price has halved!

The funding for action should be coming from the same turkeys that voted for Christmas. Unfortunately 1) they can no longer afford it and 2) their shareholders would lynch them if they admitted to such a glaring, fundamental error which has wiped 90% off the value of their holding!

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 22:45 | Unregistered CommenterErik's Goldfish


Considering 50,000 Russians fought with the Nazis at Stalingrad I think you have much reading to do.

"To saying every new legislation is Stalingrad is offensive to me."

Tough that is free speech.

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 23:09 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

C'mon Dave, you're better than that.

Monday, November 14, 2011 at 23:59 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

But where is the Bar? not the same waiting about having a smoke without a drink, come on Imperial Tobacco not too much to ask.

Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 15:12 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Burrows

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