Debate:Smoking ban

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Smoking Banned in public places - an essential part of a modern public safety policy or an unwarranted intrusion into personal liberties?


  • First a disclosure. I stopped smoking on 1st July 2007, the day the English smoking ban came into force and, now, over a year later, I'm still a smoke free zone. For me the public health aspects make this a 'no brainer'. I understand the personal liberties aspects but would you apply the same line of reasoning to a similarly addictive drug, say heroine? I hope that smoking bans are the first steps to banning this drug which has no benefits whatsoever so that my children, and their children, will not have to suffer the addiction I went through. Furthermore, although it is too early to really analyze the affects of the new bans on public health the initial signs are very positive. Scotland and Eire, both of which started before England, have seen dramatic falls in heart disease which is good, both for the individuals concerned, and for the funding of our overstretched health services. Silver Sloth 08:13, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Quick question - are we talking all public places or indoor public places?--DamoHi 08:21, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Damo - the UK ban is a sort of 50/50 deal. All workplaces, including outside areas are covered except for specially designated smoking areas which must be open on at least three sides. The work areas bit covers, for example, railway stations. On the other hand there is no ban out on the street or in the local park. Silver Sloth 08:28, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
For the obsessively interested a FAQ on the English and Welsh law is here and the Scottish one is here. (For our transatlantic cousins - yes, they are different.)--Bobbing up 08:39, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Thanks, We colonialists (NZ) enacted the same legislation a couple of years ago. It seems to have worked well. I am qualified to say so having been a pack a day smoker who finally got sick of having to go outside all the time for a fag and quit a few weeks ago (special credit must go to a mr Alan Carr).--DamoHi 09:29, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
  • Although the benefits for individual smokers who may stop smoking as a result of such bans may be significant, they are largely incidental. The most important issue is that non-smokers should not be obliged to breathe a toxic gas. If any other carcinogenic gas were regularly released into the environment there would be a public outcry. It seems pretty obvious that the right of non-smoker to breathe clean air is more important than the right of smokers to pollute it. Obviously they should not be allowed to pollute public spaces - how much further this prohibition should be extended is a matter for debate.--Bobbing up 08:23, 7 August 2008 (EDT)