Smoking Rooms - a Liberal Alternative
As someone who has never smoked anything (apart from other people's smoke) and who is quite anti-smoking, I still have some problems with banning smoking in public places.
I am happy with the argument about protecting the workforce, but feel that a simplistic ban is not necessary the best way. I will probably go along with banning smoking from all pubs. I have some difficulty with clubs, however.
What I think might be a good way forwards is to have "Smoking Rooms" which are licensed for smoking on the basis that they have good ventilation and staff are protected from breathing in smoke.
This at least would prevent the entrances to pubs ending up plastered with fag ends and having people walking through smoke.
I have, therefore, tabled such an amendment to the Health Bill to have a debate about this. My amendment would allow local authorities to license certain rooms for smoking.
There are clearly good cases for such provision such as specialist smoking shops where people want to try before they buy.
I accept that smoking is bad for health, but I don't think that it is the role of government to legislate to control how people handle their own health.