So I sat in a pub beer garden last night (a fairly rare treat!) where a few folk were smoking and what with tonight’s Radio 2 programme on ‘smoking and popular culture’ – led me to write think about smoking and it’s future post the ban-on-smoking-in-public-places.
Now I’m sitting on the fence a bit here because I used to smoke, albeit casually, and even in my own (lovely student) house. I always knew it was a bad idea and eventually got hypnotised (the hypnotist laughed when I said I smoked 10 cigarettes… a week, it would have been cheaper to carry on smoking!).
If you fish around for statistics on the likely results of said ban there’s apparent contradiction depending which lobby you belong to (e.g. FOREST – pro-smokers lobby or ASH the anti-smoking campaign). If you take Ireland as a case study it seems the ban will reduce smoking in homes as it becomes something that is not seen as normal.
Given that around 45% of British children in 1996 lived in a home where at least one person smoked that can’t be a bad thing. If you like statistics you might like to quote that passive smoking kills about 12,000 people in the UK a year, of which about 500 die as a result of exposure to second hand smoke at work – with hospitality and bar workers particularly at risk – and impress your friends with your current affairs knowledge!
My grandmother smoked 40 Benson and Hedges from age 12 until about 6 months before she died (at aged 81) and never had a cough or the like. She was generally made from sturdy stuff though (even half cooked bloody chicken had no effect on her) so I wouldn’t advise repeating her experience. She really shouldn’t have given up as the shock was too much I think.
I’m sure the ban will have some effect on the levels of smoking elsewhere – you only have to visit the States to see how their culture has become very anti-smoking or Spain at the other extreme where you can still find cashiers in banks couting your money while smoking Ducados extra-strength!
Anyway, check out and let me know your thoughts! http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/musicclub/doc_smoke.shtml