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The smoking ban

11am, 27th August 2007 - Rant, News, Legal

Since the smoking ban came into effect on the first of July, I have inhaled more second-hand cigarette smoke than in the entire previous year. The ban forces people who used smoke indoors to now smoke out on the street... where I am.

There's a daily gauntlet-run past the Royal Free hospital where patients, visitors and staff alike now all smoke on the street out the front of the hospital. My eyes are watering by the time I get halfway past. There's another one just before I reach my work where all the builders from the worksite next to the building I work in congregate along a pathway barely a metre wide and fill their lungs and my atmosphere with cancerous gunk.

Ironically, I used avoid pubs a little because the smell of smoke would permeate through my clothing and hair and get worse over time. Now, pubs are a safe-house where anybody who would pollute my air must now leave and do it outside. Of course, when I want to leave, I still have to walk through the crowd of people standing just outside the door, smoking as fast as they can so they can get back inside to sit with their mates again.

Still, it's a step forward. Not because it reduces the amount of passive smoking I am forced to endure but because it enables the next step: a total ban on cigarette smoking in all public places.

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