Tuesday, 16 July 2019

A whiff of intolerance

It happens as regular as clockwork at this time of year. A few days of hot, sunny weather bring people out into beer gardens for the first time since last summer, and they discover to their horror that they are already populated by filthy, smelly smokers. This results in the inevitable cries for smokers to be banned from outdoor areas of pubs. The latest to jump on this bandwagon was radio presenter Jeremy Vine, although fortunately 50% of respondents to his Twitter poll were prepared to stand up for tolerance. Frankly this attitude displays one hell of a cheek, when these people have presumably supported the legislation that forces smokers to be in the beer garden in the first place. You have a choice as to whether to be inside or outside, while they don’t. They have no alternative but to go outside, regardless of how unpleasant the weather is, but on the few hot days a year you think they should be banished just for your convenience. Vine talks of smokers’ lack of consideration for others. Well, if you had been more considerate to smokers, you wouldn’t have compelled them to go outside in the first place.

It’s sometimes argued that, even after the ban, pubs can still cater for smokers. Yes, this is true to a limited extent, but they are still treated as third-class citizens. Yet, despite this, smokers on average still spend more time and money in pubs than non-smokers, presumably because many non-smokers are prissy, health-obsessed people who would never be seen dead in a pub in the first place. To prevent smokers even using outdoor areas would do severe damage to the business of pubs.

I have noticed an increasing numnber of pubs designating a section of their outside drinking areas, often the most attractive part, as non-smoking, and banishing smokers to a grotty yard round the back. Yet, on 330 days a year, these non-smoking areas are completely unused. And no doubt even with this arrangement the antismokers will moan that “there’s someone smoking 50 yards away! I’m going to die!” Pubs like this really don’t deserve smokers’ custom.

30 comments:

  1. I am not a smoker, never have been - unless you include the single drag on a cigarette as an 11 year old that put me right off for life - and never will be. Even before the smoking ban took effect I took it as part of life as a beer drinker that my hair and clothes would reek of smoke when I got home, did I bitch and moan about it? Nope, it was part of going to the boozer. While it is true that I enjoy my pub going even more now that I only reek of booze when I get home, the smug self righteousness of many fellow non-smokers gets right up my nose far more than the smell of smoke ever did. If we insist on banishing smokers to the garden, then the garden is their domain regardless of the weather.

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  2. Have to disagree with yoo most vehmently on this one Mudgie. Although, also in some parts agree. I wouldn't necessarily support a ban on smoking in Beer Gardens, I don't actually see the need for one, although I would in general support a total ban on manufacturered cigarettes. The reasons being something you touched on but then ignored or failed to expand on in your otherwise well reasoned post. The second word in - whiff- or as I'd put it stink, stench, foul odour. I'm not even bothered about the detrimental health issues of cancer batons, I support your right to fuck up your body in whichever way you choose until the day you die-probably of something horrendous like terminal lung cancer or worse. (while still failing to see why you'd want to). Similarly, I support your right to stink like the ashtray on road menders vehicle before, during and long after dragging on a stinky stick. I cannot see how smokers ignore or fail to notice the foul odour of burning chemicals and vegetable matter right in front of their faces. Not to mention the whiff of stale fag smoke long after a cloud of stinky stickers have vacated the doorway they huddled around outside the pub. You cannot surely, honestly claim its a nice smell, it's not bacon frying, bread baking or freshly cut grass. Hat tip to the vaperd here, I mean it's odd but at least they've cornered the market in less than offensive smoke odour, fruity, flowery or whatever, they can carry on, even inside the boozer if they want in my opinion. But your stinky oilys, no thanks, you can do one.
    Your assertion that if non-smokers had been more considerate is borderline offensive in this context against smokers lack of consideration to non snorers who don't want burning camel dying infiltrating their nostrils. Smokers do have an alternative to going outside in not lighting up at all. Again I support the right to do so but fail to see why you'd want to cause offensive stenches as a life choice anyway.
    On the flip side I agree with your argument that smokers spend a considerable amount in pubs but equally they could spend a large amount in pubs without stinking up the gaff literally burning £'s in front of their faces. It's not even that I Cindy's snorers as 3rd class citizens, just ordinary citizens making really poor stench laden life choices.

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    1. I presume you have the same view regarding barbecues.

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    2. No really, you don't see several barbecues huddled around the doorway for shelter stinking up the place even hours after they've put themselves out and left so that people then have walk through and smell the foul stale smoke odour.........

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    3. We should ban something because I don't like the smell is a pretty poor argument. How about overweight beer drinkers who stink of sweat? And presumably by the same token you're strongly opposed to the legalisation of weed.

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    4. Hence why as I stated I'm not advocating a smoking bad in Beer Gardens. It's not needed if stinky stinkers come to their senses realise it stinks, somewhat offensively and make better lifestyle choices.(Addiction issues etc notwithstanding) I'm not against the legalisation of weed as such but suggest its use is restricted to chocolate brownies or similar as they smell nicer and I think we can agree are much less offensive all round. 😃

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    5. And we should stop pubs selling cooked food since the smell of chip fat makes me feel ill

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    6. "I support your right to fuck up your body in whichever way you choose until the day you die-probably of something horrendous like terminal lung cancer or worse."
      Unknown,
      Save us your smoker-phobic tropes.
      Smoking does not cause lung cancer, never has done, never will do.
      Murine models predicts that plant smoke in the form of tobacco smoke will probably not cause lung cancer in human primates (see Mc Tear vs imperial tobacco).
      Billions of subject years of ecological data confirm this prediction see charts here
      15% of lung cancer occurs in never-smokers and they make up 52% of the adult population which means up to 7 out of 10 lung cancers in theory could be caused by smoking but detection bias predicts this difference




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    7. The lung cancer "rates" on those charts are actually deaths from lung cancer. That is something that you would expect to fall as medicine improves diagnosis and treatment., quite independently of other factors

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    8. @dcbwhaley,
      So the global fall in lung cancer deaths is not as a result of anti-smoking measures then? I am happy with that.

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    9. I didn't say that. You are pedalling simplicity in a complex situation.

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    10. Oh please Fredrik, save me your equally biased pro smoking supposed facts and stats and sanctimonious claptrap As I say don't care what stinky stickers do or don't do with their cancer tabs. My main point is it stinks and not in a nice way either or a socially acceptable one. That's surely as much of a fact as my opinion. Go on, try and find some stats and pseudo facts to persuade me that in fact it is. I dare ya.

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    11. Unknown,
      So you have no response to the evidence provided and instead choose to resort to hateful smoker-phobic epithets.
      You are a text book bigot.
      I have nothing further to say to you.

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  3. Jeremy Vine - someone who likes the sound of his own voice rather too much!

    How a useless numpty, like Vine, ever landed a prime time slot on national radio is beyond me.

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    1. It's the class system at work again: it's no coincidence that a high proportion of those employed by the BBC in senior roles are the product of preparatory/private/public schools and top universities.

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  4. Vine's programme is pretty much bollocks; generally it's just an opportunity to cause conflict; a shout-a-thon that generally achieves nothing.

    As to smokers? I'm a lifetime non smoker. I hate the smell. I like the fact that I no longer put on clean clothes on a Friday night to end up stinking of fag smoke by 7:30pm, and I'd much rather the smokers didn't cluster around the doorway- but really pubs should provide somewhere more attractive than the doorway.

    Having said that, a smoking ban anywhere outdoors is ridiculous. In the open air, cigarette smoke is much less of a problem, and they have to go *somewhere*.

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  5. I live in Toronto Canada. We have had a smoking ban on patios (beer gardens) for a number of years now. It hasn't affected the pub/bar business at all. In fact, the patio at my local is usually packed in the good weather. If they want a cigarette, smokers just leave the patio and stand out on the street where it's legal to smoke (cannabis as well -- it's legal here). And, you cannot take a drink out on the street like they do in London -- pot yes, booze no. None of my friends who smoke complain about this at all. And, the bar staff really like the ban, even the ones who smoke.

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    1. Is that just in central Toronto, or in the whole of Ontario? It gets pretty chilly outside in Canada in the middle of winter...

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    2. So Canada treats smokers like fucking dogs too but just a little worse. Hardly a good thing is it?

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    3. Nobody complains about the winter. I guess if you need a smoke, you'll go out there and have one. The non-smoking is a local bylaw, so it just pertains to Toronto. Other cities may have them too. The pot laws are province-wide -- you can smoke a joint anywhere you can smoke a cigarette. We even have government-licensed stores, and if you know where to go, you can get it cheaper.

      The non-smoking bylaws have been in place for some years. At first, there was a "panic" among pub owners, but they quickly came around when they saw that business was not affected. I don't know if the loss of business is an English thing. I travel quite a bit in Europe and the no smoking rules are everywhere, even in hard-smoking countries like Poland, France or Spain.

      As for treating us like dogs -- believe me, there are other things that are much worse than the non-smoking in pubs rules. Bow-wow.

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    4. MattB brings up an interesting point that has puzzled me for a while. The smoking laws have been in place a long time in the US and Canada. No negative effect on the bar business. I know the attitudes are different regarding smoking on the two continents, but why is there little effect over here and a dramatic effect in the UK. Even Germany has not seemed to be effected. Why is the UK unique?

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    5. Because the fall in the on trade is little or nothing to do with the smoking ban?

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    6. That is one possible conclusion. Just doesn't seem the prevailing one:)

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    7. There's plenty of evidence from around the world of hospitality businesses being harmed by smoking bans. But I suppose antismoking bigots just refuse to see what they don't want to see.

      And the average daily temperature in Toronto in January is -3.7°C. Would you make a dog stand outside in that?

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    8. "There's plenty of evidence from around the world of hospitality businesses being harmed by smoking bans." I seriously don't think this holds true in the US. Bars and brewpubs are popping up all over the place. I honestly don't think this belief holds true in the US.

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    9. I am not an anti-smoking bigot. I smokes cigars.
      But I was suggesting one possible answer to Dave's question about why the UK is unique. If it is.

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    10. @Dave - Both can happen in parallel with each other of course. There have been plenty of new bars and breweries springing up in the UK at the same time as other parts of the licensed trade have been severely affected by the smoking ban. But I bet they're overwhelmingly in middle-class, urban areas. Are there no working-class bars in the US?

      Also a part of the hospitality industry in the US that has frequently reported a negative effect from smoking bans is casinos.

      @dcb - that comment was aimed at MattB, not yourself.

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  6. The Stafford Mudgie23 July 2019 at 09:56

    It has been announced that the government is pledging to end smoking in England by 2030 as part of a range of measures to tackle the causes of preventable ill health.
    It'll take a while for everyone to get used to that and then ten years from now the government will pledge to end the consumption of alcohol in England by 2040 as part of a range of measures to tackle the causes of preventable ill health.
    We might all live a year longer but the misery will be such that it'll seem more like ten years longer.

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  7. The Stafford mudgie23 July 2019 at 10:23

    I've now read that "The policy document aims to reduce the number of years spent in poor health. Currently men and women spend over a fifth of their lives in ill health - 19 years for women and 16 for men".
    So currently men are healthy until 64 years old and then unhealthy until they die aged 80.
    Surely though the slightly longer living non-smokers and non-drinkers are likely to suffer more unhealthy years at the end of their lives than the rest of us, and certainly more unhealthy years than those whose lives are cut short by excessive smoking and/or drinking.

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