H/T Rose, I’m not sure I believe this:
Smoking ban 10 years on: share your memories and experiences
A decade since smoking bans came into force in the UK we would like to hear from readers on how the ban has affected them
When have they ever wanted to know what our experience was? When have they ever wanted to know what happened to us?
But by us, I mean us smokers.
Ten years have passed since venues across England moved their smokers outdoors and ensured people could work, drink and dine without passive inhalation.
Bans in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all preceded that of England, meaning that on 1 July 2007 all indoor UK venues went smoke free following recommendations put in place by the Health Act 2006.
We would like to hear your memories of the ban and how it has changed your life over the last decade.
Maybe you work in the hospitality industry or did so at the time and the ban affected your work or your business? Were you encouraged to quit smoking as the ban came into force? Were you one of many who reported a different “culture” among smokers forced into designated outdoor spaces whatever the weather? Did you agree or disagree with the ban at the time – and has your view changed? In light of further action such as the ban on smoking in cars with children, do you think the government is doing enough?
I think I know what’s going to happen. Tobacco Control will drum up an army of people to write in to say how they were ecstatic on 1 July 2007, and what a relief it was to stop getting lumps of tobacco smoke in their hair every time they went in a pub, and how their health has been constantly improving in leaps and bounds ever since, and their little Jimmy, who was incontinent and only about 18 inches high back then, is now over six foot tall, and has made at least three girls pregnant – all thanks to the smoking ban.
And that’s what the Guardian will publish. It’ll publish acres of testimonials of just how good things have been since smoking was banned. There’ll be pub landlords saying how they were “stunned” when all the non-smokers invaded their pubs the next day, and started ordering glasses of water, and singing Land of Hope and Glory, and dancing spontaneous jigs on the tables, and kicking their shoes off into the ceiling.
Something like that.
Because, as far as I can see, Tobacco Control remains in complete control of the mainstream media, and everything is censored, and every message massaged to conform to antismoking dogma. Its iron fist will suppress any and every dissenting voice, and promote all positive recollections of that awful day.
For what has changed over the past 10 years? The antismoking juggernaut still rolls on, with “plain” packaging, display bans, car smoking bans, ever-rising taxation, closing pubs, and all the rest. There’s no sign whatsoever that the political class has any idea of the social and economic and political catastrophe that followed in the wake of the smoking ban. All are oblivious. Completely oblivious. And oblivious is the way that Tobacco Control wants to keep them.
I’ll fill in their questionnaire (update: I now have). But my response won’t be published. It probably won’t even be read. So I’ll keep it brief.
I’ve given up on the mainstream media. And on the political classes. Apart from writing this blog, the only thing that I try to do these days is to bring excluded, reviled smokers together in my new online Smoky Drinky Bar for a while before it’s closed down due to the 138th-hand smoke spreading from it along the internet’s wires and killing babies in Khartoum and Tierra del Fuego.
The only thing I don’t understand is why they’re treating the 10th anniversary of the UK smoking ban as any sort of memorable event at all. The mainstream media treated the original occasion as a non-event. So why is the tenth anniversary of that non-event anything to remember? Nothing happened on 1 July 2007. It was just another day, wasn’t it?
Can anyone remember what happened on, say, 15 April 1912? Was there anything memorable about that date? Was it any sort of notable day or night to remember? Were the newspapers full of reports of some terrible catastrophe that day? Or did they treat it as a non-event, playing down its scale and significance, lest their snowflake children have nightmares?
1 July 2007 is the date of a catastrophe. It was a black day. But it was a catastrophe that was not reported in the Guardian or the Times or any other newspaper or TV channel. So why bring it up now?
And do you really have to wear Hi-Viz yellow smoking jackets these days outside the Miners Arms?