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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Britain, an anti-smoking island in a sea of European tolerance

Chris Snowdon recently pointed out a subtle misdirection which is routinely pumped out by British anti-smokers. That of our overly harsh ban being just something that is spreading across Europe.

In fact, it is quite the opposite.

[...] of the 27 EU states, only 2 - the UK and Ireland - will have a total smoking ban*. So who is really 'in line' with the rest of Europe here?

* Italy, France, Malta and the Scandinavian countries all allow designated smoking rooms
That was written on Tuesday, yet today Bulgaria emphasised the point even further.

Amendments aimed at qualifying the full ban on smoking in all public places in Bulgaria, due to come into force on June 1 2010, will be introduced by ruling party GERB, Bulgarian media said on February 18 2010.

The full ban, it was believed, would undermine Bulgaria's tourism and restaurant industry. The amendments will be more flexible to enable restaurant and bar owners to comply with the ban.

According to the amendments, owners of bars and restaurants with an area of up to 100 sq m would be able to determine for themselves whether their premises should be non-smoking areas or not.
It looks like Bulgaria have viewed the incompetent carnage suffered in the UK and Ireland and decided it's not for them.

They are correct, of course, as blanket smoking bans are a proven disaster in public health terms. Coercion isn't welcomed, as illustrated by continual reductions in smoker prevalence where freedom of choice is welcomed, whilst Britain and Ireland continue to suffer risibly disappointing results.

They don't seem capable of learning from their mistakes in this arrogant corner of the continent.

The rest of Europe are showing that they are a darn site more clever than the assorted walking automatons who populate our derisory legislature. Bulgaria are just the latest, supposedly inferior, nation to exhibit a more acute grip on reality.

Of course, every nation has its swivel-eyed idiots, and in Bulgaria the most ill-informed of these appears to be Ivan Kostov.

News of the amendments, however, was criticised by one of the right-wing parties in Parliament, the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria. The party's leader Ivan Kostov said that the amendments were "not a European thing to do".
Look around Europe, Ivan. The 'European thing to do' is to offer choice, as 24 of your EU partners have decided is most effective.

Pursuing the blanket ban route is about as pan-European as morris dancers and leprechauns.


Anonymous said...

Its hardly surprising the British have caved in,with the current crop of landlords its a
wonder pint pots are still allowed.

Muffin the Mule

Anonymous said...

Our politicians think that if they all agree not to discuss the matter then it will go away - stick your fingers in your ears and go, "Blah, blah, blah......."

In the same way that they haven't yet 'got' the Expenses Scandal or Climategate, the haven't yet 'got' the effects of the Smoking Ban.

The British people may be a bit (or a lot!) sheep-like in many ways, but we can be very obstinate when we choose to be. Those amongst us who enjoy tobacco do not accept and will not accept these draconian and irrational bans and we will go on objecting until something is done. We will find other ways of getting our own back. For myself, I used to contribute to various charities. Now, I contribute to none. Sod them all. For all I know, they might all be giving my money to ASH.

Spartan said...

Oh the irony ... an ex-USSR bloc country, Bulgaria, teaches us in the UK what democracy is.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't include Ireland, as most pubs in Ireland are owned by the licensee and not PubCo's they provide very imaginative 'outdoor areas' for smokers, the requirement for an outdoor area seems to be that the roof isn't a permanent structure. so court yards with Canvas roofs counts as outside.

Generally the smoking areas in Irish pubs are much better than the English response which was stand on the street!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Good point about Ireland's classification of a smoking area, Anon.

So that's 26 of the 27 states which recognise the need for sensible smoking areas ... then there's the UK.

Anonymous said...

Somebody told me the reason the Landlords didnt fight back was because the pubcos caved in on the ban from day one is this true?
Most bars everywhere else worldwide are more privately owned.
That aside the real culprits are the stinking moronic Labour party.
They were the filth that voted overwhelmingly for the ban.
We will not forget that you crooks.

Bucko said...

Anon -
"because the pubcos caved in on the ban from day one is this true?"

That is indeed true. I have told on other blogs that I used to work for a Pubco when the ban came in. They set aside millions of pounds to be spent on compliance. This money was spent on thinks like building outside shelters to advertising and staff training.
If they had all pooled this money and used it to fight the ban, I believe they would have had the power to get it overturned.

Anonymous said...

Very shorts, simple and easy to understand, bet some more comments from your side would be great

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