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Smoking Rooms - a Liberal Alternative (2)

I link to the debate in which I spoke for a short time (having been requested by the Speaker to keep it short).

The key facts are:
a) Smoking generally is going down
b) The Evidence from Ireland is:
- i) as a result of the ban smoking went down by an additional one off about 5%
- ii) people now smoke outside pubs or at home more than they used to
c) Secondary smoke is dangerous although not as dangerous as primary smoking.
d) 95% of deaths attribted to secondary smoke arise from smoke in the home.

The House of Commons has accepted that workers may be exposed to the level of smoke they encounter in outdoor areas.

The effect of the ban (which I voted for) is that smoking will move into homes and onto the streets. That which moves into homes will cause more deaths from passive smoking in the home and at least of the order of deaths that are reduced as a result of smoke-free bars.

If, and this does need to be proven, a ventilated smoking room can have a concentration of smoke of the order of a garden - which is feasible. Then the logic remains to allow ventilated smoking rooms. Fewer people would die as a result of secondary smoke and people would keep the option of a fag and a pint.

Comments

Jock Coats said…
Ah, the "lounge bar" and "smoke room". How novel! I never really did understand why this almost ubiquitous example from the past was not an option. So many of the "theme pub" renovations in the eighties and nineties destroyed these concepts in the odd notion of "classlessness" but they also I believe helped with the separation of trouble makers (who almost inevitably seemed to gravitate towards the smoke room with its less salubrious surroundings and slightly cheaper beer).
TonyF said…
Then the logic remains to allow ventilated smoking rooms. Fewer people would die as a result.

So, I take it, you voted against the total ban?
I was very saddened indeed to hear that several MPs (including John Hemming) who stand under an umbrella that describes itself as "liberal" decided that adults will no longer be allowed to form an association with like-minded individuals, the purpose of which is to gather together to enjoy a pint and a fag together.

It is even more disturbing to discover that evidence regarding changes in peoples' smoking habits that have occurred in the Republic of Ireland since they banned smoking in public bars, etc. has apparently been misrepresented.
Bob Piper said…
One of the problems of 'smoking rooms' is that the litigatious (no, not you this time John) have used them to argue that by being put in a room with other smokers - and ventilation is apparently not a solution - their health us put at a bigger risk because they are having to inhale other people's smoke as well. I know it might sound daft, but bear in mind people have sued the cigarette companies for 'making' them inhale nicotine.
PoliticalHack said…
Why do the rights of a minority of smokers take precedence over the rights of employees to work in a safe environment? As I have pointed out before, this is about health and safety.

The idea of smoking rooms is a non-starter, as employees would still be required to enter the room and the evidence is that affordable extraction systems would not work effectively to remove the toxins from the air.
TonyF said…
Incidently John, you brought up the subject of smoking rooms so why haven't you got one at Osmond House?

Lib Dem members who smoke come in there to do their printing but their not allowed to have a fag in there.
john said…
There is an office on the first floor of Osmond House which is smoking.

The issue on smoking rooms is one of ventilation. I have said to the lobbyists that they need prove the level of smoke is about the same with ventilation as it is in a pub garden.
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