another reason to go visit Scotland
Smoking is going to be banned in enclosed public places in Scotland, which I think is going a bit overboard (places that are only used for the consumption of drinks don't need a smoking ban, in my opinion) but definitely a step in the right direction. So that leaves the English and the Welsh with a decision to make, and hopefully it'll result in a ban in restaurant smoking here at the very least. Now again, let me stress (for you new readers or those of you who Googled for something totally unrelated and ended up here - hello, by the way) that I am not a rabid anti-smoker. I smoked with great joy for over 15 years and only quit because it was affecting my health; not because I didn't enjoy it. What I never agreed with, even when I was a smoker, was inconsiderate smoking - something I posted about a couple of weeks ago.
On Friday night, we went to our favourite curry house which is supposedly entirely non-smoking. What we didn't realise is that while the restaurant itself is non-smoking, the bar area where people sit and wait for their takeaways isn't. Guess where our table was located? Yes, it's me again, the smoke magnet. Shortly after our waiter took our order, I wondered aloud why I could smell smoke. Paul pointed out that someone was having a cig whilst waiting for his takeaway, and we noticed the ashtrays sitting on the bar, about ten feet from our table. Well that's a bit silly, we remarked, and got back to another conversation. The smell got a lot stronger, I looked over and spotted two men sitting by the bar smoking and waiting for their food. After they finished their cigarettes, in unison, they both lit another. Now the restaurant was filling up with smoke, to the point that it lingered in my hair and clothing the next day. Getting a headache and trying to enjoy (and taste) our starters, they finally got their food and left - only to be replaced by another smoker waiting for his takeaway. What is the point of having a non-smoking restaurant if you allow people to puff away to their heart's content right next to the tables? This is what I mean by inconsiderate smoking, or the lack of considerate smoking rules. I know for a fact that it's a hell of a lot easier to go without a smoke for a meal or go outside a couple of times to sneak a cig, rather than sit through an entire meal breathing in someone else's smoke. Get smoking out of restaurants. Full stop.
If you elect me for Prime Minister, I promise smoke-free restaurants and chocolate for all. I thank you.