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Seek and you will find

One of the reasons I'm in Dublin is to find potential venues for smoker-friendly events.

This afternoon we're checking out a barge for an outdoor 'Smoke On The Water' style event. Unfortunately the deck that allows smoking is uncovered which is a hostage to fortune given the weather here.

This morning however we visited a couple of restaurants, each with a superb covered smoking area.

One looked as if it was largely enclosed but the devil was in the detail. You could see how it met the regulations and the result was perfect – it was like a large conservatory with comfortable chairs, tables, plants and heaters.

Smokers can be accommodated in comfort if the will – and the space – is there. All it takes is an imaginative proprietor and a local licensing authority that is prepared to be flexible.

Meanwhile I'm aware of a report that appeared in several newspapers today concerning the "positive" impact of smoking bans on public health:

Smoking bans cut damage such as heart disease to passive smokers, says research (Press Association).

I'll post about this later but I mention it now because 'research' such as this – and the headlines it generates – underlines the very difficult if not impossible task we face to amend public smoking bans.

After all, if the health benefits are so real and obvious, why would anyone want to change a policy that allegedly reduces the harm caused by cigarette smoke?

If you want to read my immediate reaction, based on a press release not the full research (which I haven't read yet), click on the link above and scroll down.

I've also been quoted by the Mail and, I think, the Sun but my response was edited so heavily it's almost meaningless.

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Reader Comments (2)

The wider public and the media must be made to see that smoke does not harm anyone who doesn't smoke. It may be an irritant to those who hate or fear it, but it will not kill and "research" such as this must be scrutinised and challenged every step of the way and exposed for what it is.

I have always believed that because of the irritant factor, then there should be SOME restrictions in public places but not all. Even lepers were allowed free association with their own kind in their own colonies.

Just being left alone without harassment is about the best we can hope for these days as intolerance is fostered via such hate campaigns, for that is what they have become, if the real motivation behind this one is a plea for yet more money for more anti-smoker campaigns aimed at fostering yet more fear, loathing and intolerance, and funding salaries, jobs, mortgages and annual holidays.

We should always fight for our right to free association in comfortable public places which is everyone's right except ours. Smokerphobics are under no obligation to enter places where we meet and never were. Respecting and tolerating different cultures and beliefs in a free country is the way we've always done things because it is the best way for two opposing sides not to have to agree and yet still get on.

This issue fosters hatred, resentment and anger. That is not the way towards creating a healthy society for all.

Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 13:52 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

It is interesting what they have done in Benidorm, obviously the micro climate helps. Large bars and entertainment venues have totally redesigned so that they all have 'outdoor' covered areas with tables and chairs which are so integrated that the only difference is ceniceros uh sorry ashtrays

Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 13:58 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

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