Monday, February 01, 2010


Ban the Ads- Let Smokers Keep their Doorways

I heard Andy Burnham being interrogated by John Humphrys this morning in his best rottweiler style but his earler treatment of the guy from the pro-smoking pressure group, Forest, was more compelling. The spokesman insisted on the rights of smokers but hesitated when asked if he wanted his kids to smoke. 'No, he said, but once they are over 18 they can make up their own minds'.

He didn't think there was an implicit4 contradiction between thinking it harmful for his kis when under 18 but being unconcerned once they reached that age. We drew our own conclusions.

Smokers now constitute only 21% of the adult population and the governmment want to whittle it down to 10% over the next decade. To this end a battery of new measures will shortly be introduced. One of them is a ban on 'doorway smoking', a standard ploy used by smokers in pubs and elsewhere. As a militant anti-smoker I judge, nevertheless, this is going a bit far. I would prefer not to walk through their smoke but it's a small price to pay to get unpolluted air inside the pub.

If they want to kill themselves slowly, let them continue I reckon- a few seconds of their smoke is unlikely to inflict lasting damage on those walking through it.
Banning adverts, we learn, is thought to be an 'unwaranted interference with human rights'. Now I would disagree with that. I think smokers have been punished enough- banned from buildings everywhere and now from their entrances I think is a step too far. Ban the ads, let smokers keep their doorways.

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