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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 22:55 GMT
Smoking panel: Fraser Motion
READERS' PANEL
Fraser Motion
Name: Fraser Motion
Age: 36
Lives: Glasgow
Works: Corporate marketing
Smoker
The upcoming ban on smoking has made me look at just how many types of people populate the bars in Glasgow.

I was actually running a bit early on Saturday night so I took a trip down to a no-smoking pub.

It was a place I used to visit a lot, but it appears to be a pub looking forward to the ban as it might get a few more punters - where were my non-smoking friends that tell this me is what the public wants? In a smoke-free pub? Not in this one.

My next stop was busier and at a quick count it seemed to have the punters split 50/50 between smokers and non-smokers.

A few smokers I spoke too just shrugged off the thought of only having one more Saturday night like this - and one girl summed things up "that whatever America does, we seem to adopt a couple of years later".

I have been talking to a few people about the upcoming ban, and some non-smokers seem to think the sale of cigarettes is going to be banned from Sunday, rather than where you can or can't smoke.

I am guessing that even if you don't live in a cloud of cigarette smoke, the government's message isn't too clear.

The main reason for the ban in pubs of course is to protect workers from a product that is still going to be legally for sale, the government don't really want people to stop smoking.

According to the Office for National Statistics the UK Government collected 8.1bn in tobacco taxes in 2002 and spent 1.5bn on smoking-related illnesses.

Not clever I know, but as long as the Treasury is collecting these kind of sums, smoking is never going to be banned completely

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and are not endorsed by the BBC.


We asked for you views on the ban. The following represents the balance of opinion we received.

When I drink, I dont force other people to drink. When I eat awfully unhealthy food, I dont force others to eat it. Many smokers see fit to force their filthy habit onto others, who like it or not end up having to breath in their smoke when we go out.
Danny Staple, London

As a Brit living in the USA I can only applaud the ban, and wish you all a pleasant time in a smoke-free atmosphere.
Richard, New York, USA

It sounds like Fraser is a pro-smoker trying to hide behind some made up stats. I'll be very glad when I can visit the northern provinces without people like him poisoning my lungs.
Jodi Longyear, Southampton

Susans comments are just unbelievable, smoke free pubs/restaurants are soul-less?? Some of us dont look for an ash try to see soul in a place. Perhaps they seem that way as theyre currently aimed at families rather than the younger punter, well this will all change soon and everywhere will be the same so there won't be a problem will there?
Richard Waugh, Norwich UK

Interesting comment on the tax revenue from smoking... I wonder what is the cost of health care and to employers for smoking related illness and work sick days? I know in BC the government is sueing the tobacco industry to recoup lost health care costs; the tax income just has not covered it.
Jason Dyer, North Vancouver, Canada

It's clear Fraser's non-smoking friends weren't in the non-smoking pub. Although the Scottish Executive (not central UK government) is introducing a non-smoking policy, the ciggy tax (like whisky and oil revenues), will still go, lo and behold! straight into the central coffers (pun not intended) and not to the devolved Scottish Executive coffers. Until Scotland becomes Independent, taxes will remain central. I guess his experience in the smoke-free pub was just that, smoke-free and friendless. Maybe his friends were waiting for him in an atmospheric smoking pub. That aside, I have always found non-smoking restaurants and pubs soul-less, sterile places and heaved a sigh of relief seeing an ashtray in any one of them. It will be an interesting transition period. Enjoy your puff n pint on Saturday night Fraser!
Susan McLaughlan, Western Isles

Should ban alcohol as it causes a lot of health problems, food would on the list next then what they hey, let's ban life; so much easier. Fraser made some relevant points with regards to the income generated by tobacco and regardless whether Fraser is a non-smoker or not, let's not make this into a smoker vs non-smoker war. I'm sure there's many many habits that I would find disgusting from other people without pointing the finger and making them feel I should be doing something to make them happy. The fact is; the gov't has brought in this idiotic law (and places where you can drink with no food and no kids I'm talking about, don't mind about the food thing), I would like to know how they plan on policing it, are we going to have 'undercovers' in bars arresting people for not putting out a ciggerette? Then there's the question of smoking outside, a 'continental' feel, yes the outdoor heaters; but then, there's also a palava about that as the ozone layer is disappearing and apparently outdoor heaters are one of the main sources to irradicate it. Can't have it both ways and I think the sudden turn around in parliament when the bill was adopted was not thought out clearly enough. If they truly wanted people to stop smoking then take them off the shelves and let everyone that does smoke go cold turkey... watch the riots then..
Michelle Johnstone, Hemel Hempstead

Fraser's message is the one that's not too clear. Who are 'the government' he's banging on about - this was a devolved policy. And what WAS his experience of the smoke-free pub?
Graeme Robertson, Dunfermline




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