Smoking Ban Could Drift Further?

I have friends who smoke, and my father also smoked, so I’m careful how I express myself on this subject. When it comes down to it, though, my feeling is that the smokers have had their way for long enough and now it’s our turn.

I went to a huge cat show once, and though people mustn’t smoke amongst the cats, they were allowed to smoke in the rest area at the side of the hall. Eventually the smoke drifted into the Siamese cat section. At first I didn’t pay a lot of attention, but after a while I realized I was having trouble breathing. And in the next moment I realized it was because of the drifting smoke, which always seems to affect me that way.

When I got home, I sent an email to the show manager, saying it was a good show and very well managed, but the one niggle I had was the smoke. In her response she said it wasn’t a problem as they weren’t smoking anywhere near the cats.

Ha! I was standing in the middle of the Siamese section and there was plenty of smoke drifting around. It wouldn’t have affected me otherwise, as I never sat in the rest area. The smokers, the non-smokers and the cats were trapped together in the same hall all day, and there wasn’t really anywhere else for any of us to go. Not good.

Well now there’s a smoking ban in Scotland. There are those who agree with it, and those who disagree. There are those whose horizons have broadened and whose profits have increased, and those whose scope has narrowed and whose profits have shrunk, and there is very little middle ground. Probably because you either need smoke or you can’t stand it. There IS no middle ground.

Even if there was, the smoke would drift across it and permeate everybody.

Remembering that my father was a smoker (though he never smoked in the house, and quit a short time before he died) I don’t like to throw my weight around. But the other day I was in our usual café and noticed smoke. I was puzzled. When I investigated, I realized it was someone sitting at a table outside the door. He’s allowed to smoke there, but his fumes blew right into the shop.

I couldn’t help smiling slightly when I read this article from The Scotsman: MSPs look at calls to extend smoking ban. There is all the usual anger from smokers who feel hard done by, but I understand the reasons for people wanting the smoking ban to go a little bit further yet. It’s not walking through or past the smoke that bothers me so much – it just seems futile to have a smoking ban and then sit in a smoky café anyway.

When I reached the end of my blog post, I suddenly realized I had a fascinated audience – see photo below.

Large cuddly sloth sitting on the desk

Peeping out of the bookcase behind my hairy reader is a red book with a green dustjacket. There’s only one reason why I kept it – it belonged to my father, and has his name on the flyleaf, in small neat capitals. And it doesn’t smell of smoke – it smells of book.

Edit Feb 2008: Comments to this post when it was on Blogigo:

1. Iain wrote at Sep 27, 2006 at 23:55:
The inevitable question: what’s the book?

2. Diddums wrote at Sep 28, 2006 at 00:05:
‘The New Beginners Please: for those who want to invest profitably’ published by the Investors Chronicle. I don’t dip into it very much. 🙂

3. Pacian wrote at Sep 28, 2006 at 13:18:
I want one!

The sloth I mean.

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