Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Look there at cigarette-end smouldering on a border

The decision to implement a ban on smoking in public places in Wales some months before it comes into effect in England has had some strange consequences, reports the Shropshire Star:
For pub-goers and landlords on the border in Llanymynech, it has drawn a line down the village, with The Dolphin Inn - in Wales - smoke-free, while at the Cross Keys Hotel - in England - people can still enjoy a cigarette.
This situation has the makings of a minor Ealing Comedy.

Elsewhere in Shropshire:
The Malthouse in Ironbridge will be introducing the pub smoking ban on Good Friday even though the ban will not be compulsory in England until July 1 ...

“Although the official pub smoking ban doesn’t come into force until July, we decided to bring our ban forward because so many of our customers were asking us to do so,” he said.
It has been clear for some years that the tide is running against smoking in pubs, and the Malthhouse is far from alone in banning smoking at the request of its customers.

Which raises the question of whether a government ban is needed at all. Those who support such a ban point to research on passive smoking, but that research has always seemed a little too convenient to their cause to be entirely trustworthy.

I would not go so far as one drinker from Llanymynech:
It’s terrible. Freedom of choice has gone. I go to the Dolphin but I shan’t again, and when it comes in the Cross Keys I won’t be coming here either. I will stay at home and smoke.
But I find it hard to get too enthusiastic about banning anything.

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