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« Stony Stratford - spread the word | Main | Stony Stratford latest – motion to ban public smoking postponed »

Should entire towns ban smoking?

On BBC Radio Derby this morning.

Ten-minute discussion starts around 15 minutes in.

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Reader Comments (30)

Well done, Simon - you were quite magnificent in the face of irrational hysteria, bigotry and unconcealed social engineering!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 22:57 | Unregistered CommenterRick S

Good interview. I would like to see however the stats about lower insurance premiums for pubs now that we have a smoking ban. I can't ever remember any fire being started because of someonw smoking in a pub. What insurance company has these figures?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 23:23 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

She chose her contributors well there to suit her point of view. Unreal

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 0:34 | Unregistered CommenterGregster

Very well done, Simon. More of it. The programme wasn't too bad, at all, with the usual smattering of hypochondriacs, smellies and druggies. Overall, decent and an improvement on what they used to be like.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 8:45 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Bartlett's motion was discussed last night lost 148 to 2!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 8:46 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

One of the biggest problems is chewing gum on the streets. The streets of some towns are covered it in...Lots of saliva with it too if we go the Bartlett way.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 9:46 | Unregistered CommenterBlad Tolstoy

Also, judging by this programme, I can see the need for many more protests of the Stony Stratford type are going to be needed to lay the matter to rest. It's also worth keeping an eye on Liverpool, as that city council is as likely as any to try a move like this.

It's also interesting to listen to the argument about asthmatics being trotted out. It is so, because there is a decided psychosomatic element to this. Despite the number of smokers having gone down, the number of claims regarding the effects of smoking on asthmatics keeps increasing - as, in fact, do the claims that smoking causes asthma. I'm sorry, but over the past 35 years the number of smokers has halved and the number of asthmatics trebled so there is something here that doesn't stack up at all. Moreover, go back 30 years and there were very few asthmatics who made extreme complaints regarding smokers and some of the complaints made today are so extreme as to be fatuous.

In general, as the anti-smoking propaganda has increased in volume so have the number of neurotic and unreal responses. In Michael McFadden's book, I think there is a section dealing with tests carried out on asthma sufferers many years ago. Asthmatics were placed in a room without cigarette smoke and asked if they all felt okay. To this question they responded positively. Then they were told cigarette smoke would be introduced at which point all the asthmatics had an attack. However, cigarette smoke was not really introduced at all but simply warmed air.

Lastly, I was recently watching a programme on the quasi legalisation of pot in some Californian municipalities. Lots of those interviewed were, of course, happy with that state of affairs. In addition though, one therapist was advocating smoking pot to asthmatics. The responses from asthmatics were, she reported, very positive, and there were statements such as: "it's really helped me to breathe." However, given the great similarity between the chemical make up of pot smoke and the make up of tobacco smoke, then one must ask the question, again, to what extent is the asthma issue psychosomatic?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 10:20 | Unregistered CommenterBlad Tolstoy


I doubt Victoria's in favour of the ban, as she's a smoker herself...

"Victoria's programme has finished for today. We sit in the courtyard at the BBC's White City building while she has a cigarette..."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 10:55 | Unregistered CommenterChris Snowdon

Brilliant work Simon.
Chris. I find it hard to believe that Derbyshire is a smoker as she has always come across as a real anti-smoker.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 11:10 | Unregistered Commenterchas

Chris Snowdon, this was radio Derby which is Aleena Naylor, though she does sound similar to Derbyshire.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 11:17 | Unregistered CommenterColin Duke

Blad, re. asthma, the psychosomatic mechanism is well-documented as the 'nocebo' (reverse placebo) effect, although health scientists (for obvious reasons!) have yet to venture into exploring the negative impact of the hysterical health warnings generated by their research. The link is obvious, however, as suggested here in relation to active smoking: I wonder how many active and passive smokers, drinkers, lovers of fatty foods, and so on, have fallen ill, or worse, as a direct consequence? There ought to be a law against it... ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 12:08 | Unregistered Commenterscorpy66

I too thought the picture was of Victoria Derbyshire. I'm amazed she is a smoker. She does give the impression of being in favour of bans.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 12:18 | Unregistered CommenterJon

Perhaps it's me but I couldn't listen to it and couldn't get the marker to get past 2 mins and some seconds in - no where near up to 10 mins in and it didn't seem to go tht far.

Guess it must be me but well done Simon. Sounds like you did a good job.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 12:29 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I thought the most interesting thing about this radio clip was that, although nearly all the people who phoned in afterwards were strongly antismoking, most of them (including Aleena) seemed to think that smokers had become a bit of a persecuted minority, and that there might be something in the idea of a smoking room.

I've not encountered that before. Most antismokers don't seem to have an 'off' switch.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 12:31 | Unregistered CommenterFrank Davis

Frank D: It's the classic "I don't agree, BUT". As much as Sainsbury's research decided that 7.5% of people say they don't smoke but do ( I believe it to be much higher) so people say they don't like it because it's the fashion and, actually, at worst don't care, at least having sympathy and possibly secret smokers themselves.

It's an indication of a turn round. The problem at the moment is our Lord's and Masters in the House consider us too thick for our own good and will try to discount it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 12:57 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

ah - just managed to hear it. Very good Simon. It's quite frightening to see how far they've shifted the goal posts now being as the main concern is about children seeing smokers. It's why I always sit in McDonald's with an unlit fag in my hand. There is no law preventing me - yet - from holding an unlit cigarette and as long as they keep using the children as an excuse to persecute us more, the more I will hold unlit fags ion my hands in public! It's the only form of anarchy that I can use to register my protest at this rubbish on a regular basis.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 15:46 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

You held up the side well Simon, well done.
Talk about a bunch of neurotics it brought out of the woodwork.
In my opinion there's no need to pay wages to Quangos or govt stoogies to police the smoking ban when our neurotic fellow citizens are doing the job for nothing.
Roll on the revolution.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 16:45 | Unregistered Commenterann

My ideo of anarchy is to throw a few cig butts on the floor of every indoor place I visit especially toilets, pubs and once a doctor's surgery. Hilarious.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 17:08 | Unregistered CommenterMaclochlainn

Don't forget toilets beyond passport control at airports.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 17:13 | Unregistered CommenterJon

You played a blinder Simon, Very persuasive argument for smoking rooms. They are playing the BeeGees now. Don't think I'll bother with the phone-in.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 18:01 | Unregistered CommenterJon

Excellent interview, Simon.

Haven't bothered listening to the callers - my patience was exhausted after listening to that drone of a woman.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 19:15 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

You should have listened to the comments. One of them was clearly 'getting on'. He said that he and is wife had been heavy smokers (he up to 60 a day) but gave up thirty years ago. Now they hate smoke. When asked his age, he said 85! He didn't say if wife was dead, which I would have expected him to say if she was. If not, then smoking wouldn't seem to have done her any great harm either. I LOLed when I heard it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 21:09 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

No bias at the Beeb then! Did anybody notice that Aneela Naylor (if that's her real name, sounds like an anagram to me) was so misinformed she quoted Simon's figure of ten billion pounds as ten million. I listened carefully and there's no doubt.
I'd really like to complain to Radio Derby about that, but can I find a contact?

Simon, thanks for your unstinting hard work. Maybe you could haver a word.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 23:07 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Speller

Well said Simon. After you came of air they played (you win again) by the Bee Gees that was for you, personally I feel they on put people on the air who were for the smoking ban.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 0:17 | Unregistered CommenterGary Rogers

@ George P.

I noticed that also - but it has happened before. These childish commentators have no comprehension of the numbers that they quote - they are meaningless to them. In the later comments, George (the 85 year old) said that he got up to 60 a day. The child said, "Really! Gosh!" - as though 60 a day is an incredibly large number. Thus, it is clear that the child has been propagandised. It would never enter her head to ask why 60 a day is so definitely a death sentence, nor why millions of old people who smoked 60 a day are still alive.

And so we see how the constant propaganda has had its effect - even upon intelligent people.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 1:16 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

I would still like to know why she said that pubs are now better off because insurance premiums had gone down because of the smoking ban. Where can evidence be found for this?

Any ideas?

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 1:34 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I was amused at Ms Naylor's astonishment at the apparently novel idea of a separate smoking room.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 7:33 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Hang on a mo.! This week we've had Stony Stratford and people on phone ins trendily professing to hate smoking but are, seemingly, sympathetic to our 'plight' to the extent that they now consider smoking rooms to be a reasonable idea. I don't believe, anyway, they've ever hated or despised smoking or smokers but have just followed the fashion dictated to them. That they're now even considering this idea shows a breach, a possible tipping point.

We know there's a way to go in the overall picture, but rather than continually harp on, don't we have reason to be quite pleased?

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 8:51 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Blad, regarding asthma, I know and have known many asthmatics who smoke. I have also know many who do not, but do carry a pack of cigs with them and in the even of the onset of an attack will light and smoke a cigarette. This, they claim, helps their breathing by opening the airways and regulating their breathing. It does not always prevent an attack but it does minimise it - so they say.

Many of us, however, already know there are as many, if not more benefits to smoking than there are harms!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 9:28 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Ban smoking? no way it's a crime against our freedom xl pharmacy

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 14:47 | Unregistered Commentersgrfde

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