Thursday, February 16, 2006

In my defense

I got a bit of an ear-bashing from some tub-thumping Tories last night.

When asked who would have supported the total smoking ban I enthusiastically stuck my hand up. Not a popular move.

"This is an issue of personal freedom", "They'll be legislating in people's houses next!" and so on and so forth.

Let me be clear, my opposition to the smoking bill is not founded on my fear of passive smoking and the damage it may do to bar staff. Nor is it that it will help my smoker friends to cut down a bit and be less dependent on their nicotine fix (though it will). My reason's are a whole lot more selfish...

Truth is I socialising is nearly impossible without coming back from a night out stinking of other people's smoke. I hate it -if i'm in a bar and don't want to drink I can stick to the J2O's all night. No-one can force me to drink (though some might try to persuade me).

However, if one idiot in the corner of a bar decides to light up soon everyone is sucking in his fumes. Remember, I'm not worried about the cancer or emphysema, what gets me going is how someone else's filthy habit can affect my enjoyment of a night out from twenty feet away.

After five minutes your clothes will stink so bad that you will be unable to wear them again without washing (fine if it's a t-shirt, bad news if you're in a suit). After ten minutes your eyes begin to dry out and then sting. Fifteen minutes and your throat does the same, leaving you unable to talk properly for most of the next day. Added to that is the ash that coats your face and the casual embuggerance of being burned by other people's cigarettes.

Personal freedom is all well and good, but when it starts to affect my ability to have a good time I'm all for a bit of legislative self-defense. Smokers, go outside where you'll only inflict your dirty habit on yourself.

..and if this argument isn't enough check out Jeremy Clarkson in the SUN today.


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