In 2004 Southern Ireland were basically bludgeoned into implementing a smoking ban, which they duly did.
Nothing much was said about it over here as it obviously did not affect us at all. The problem was that nobody thought to publicise the fact that in the first year alone 1,000 businesses closed throughout the country. Now, for a relatively small country that is one hell of a lot of businesses! I cannot imagine the cost in revenue to the government but then I'lI suppose they never really considered the losses either amid the furore of being the trend setters in smoke-free!
In a bid to curb smoking habits the government had a brainwave; that being to ban the sale of packs of 10 cigarettes-the logic being that 'ten packs' were all that teenagers (and lesser ages) could afford. Hello? Anybody consider that young Seamus & young Tommy might pool their resources and by a twenty pack? Apparently not, so that was a complete waste of time and effort on the part of the Dáil Éireann.
The next 'gem' was the inevitable increase in the price of a pack of twenty, which at € 8.55 a pack “are the highest in the world”. So that's the smoking problem sorted then-again!
On top of that the goverment ensured the ending of in-store displays and advertising for tobacco products, presumably under the misguided premise that what you can't see you won't buy! Righty ho then.
Southern Ireland is now the laughing stock of Europe unfortunately for not only has the smking ban cost them £millions in lost revenue from now closed businesses, it is costing them £millions in lost revenue from tobacco sales! Now you would think that this loss might be acceptable but that is far from the truth because smoking rates have increased by at least 2% and tobacco sales have fallen due to the amount of smuggled tobacco coming into the country!
The Irish government now estimate that they are losing out on £1m per week in tobacco revenue but who can have any sympathy with them? They have ensured that a nation of carefree smoker/drinkers lose 1,000 watering holes, kicked the smokers out of whatever is left and yet still expect to profit from the exercise.
Unfortunately for them, their populace has stuck two fingers up at them-and fair play to them for that! Link:- http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/1217/1224285736185.html
Meanwhile the Greeks have done their ususal and gone way OTT in refusing to accept a smoke ban! There, they have made their disapproval clearly known as a spate of letter bombs in Athens and widespread ignoring of any form of ban.
You see, the greeks take these things rather seriously, well, as a personal affront actually so there is plenty of chance of civil riots kicking off again if the government tries too hard to enforce the ban. It appears that even the health minister admits that the smoking law cannot be effectively implemented so I don't think there will be much compliance-if any.
Amazing really when you compare the diabolical lethargy by licensees in this country to the volatile Greeks and the slow but methodical Dutch. The Dutch soon got 1,200 licensees together @£250 per annum each to fight for their rights-and they won. They now have the right to earn a decent living and contribute to the Dutch economy once more. What do our miserable lot do? SFA-that's what! Instead of forming a licensees army to take on the government they sat back and continue to sit back in the hope that they survive! You see, the fundamental difference is that the Greeks believe in "eleutheria" (freedom) whereas we do but don't really want to do anything about it-until it's too late.
Wake up you numpties, what have you got to lose-apart from what little bit of sanity is left!