The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75556   Message #1328150
Posted By: HuwG
16-Nov-04 - 12:32 AM
Thread Name: BS: Smoking in public to be banned (UK)
Subject: BS: Smoking in public to be banned (UK)
Here is the BBC's article on the proposed ban, which will be announced tomorrow: Click here. This is a government "white paper" only, and will probably not become legislation which applies to England and Wales for a couple of years. Note that the Scottish Assembly has already introduced a ban in Scotland.

It is proposed that smoking will be banned indoors in all cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs etc. The only establishments exempt from thiw will be private members' clubs (such as Working Mens' Clubs) where the membership votes to allow smoking, and pubs which do not sell "prepared food" i.e. bar meals. In both situations, smoking will not be allowed "in the bar area", which more precisely means "in the serving counter area".

Anyone who has been following my posts will know that since being made redundant as a computer programmer last year, my main source of income has been work behind a bar during evenings and at weekends. I do not smoke, which I find is rare among bar staff. At times the pub (which was built in the nineteenth century and cannot easily be modified so that any one room or bar can be made smoke-free) can become very smoke-laden indeed. Even one or two players at the Monday night music session they host have sometimes objected to the density of the fug.

From the bar staffs' point of view, it is objectionable to have to clean ashtrays which are absolutely heaped with a slurry of cigarette ends, papers, ash and crisp packets and spilled drink; and as for having to dredge dog-ends out of the channel under the stalls in the gents' ...

(I have another complaint, which is that the smokers are apparently allowed one hour off per shift to indulge their habit, while I have to work flat out from start to finish, but that complaint isn't restricted to pubs.)

On the other hand, lack of the freedom to smoke might turn people, especially some of the better instrumentalists, away from pubs and sessions. Some players I know are so well cured that I can foresee them going "cold turkey" in the mid-session. The pub I have referred to above might well stop serving bar meals, and continue to allow smokers to indulge.