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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 March 2006, 17:45 GMT
Smoking panel: Margaret MacKenzie
READERS' PANEL
Margaret MacKenzie
Name: Margaret MacKenzie
Age: 49
Lives: Glasgow
Works: PA/Office manager and part-time bar worker
Non-smoker
My hopes for the smoking ban are that everyone will respect the new legislation, in so far as they will not light up a cigarette in public places i.e. bars/restaurants, thus making the job of the staff in these places easier and less stressful.

My fears are that this will not happen and the staff who are charged with policing this new law will get some serious grief from certain members of the public who give no thought to anyone else other than themselves and their own rights to smoke, but don't take into account the non-smokers' rights to not inhale other people's smoke.

I think that it will be hard for the smokers at first, but through time and patience they will come to understand why this ban was brought in - to protect everyone else around them.

And to cut down on the number of deaths caused by cancer due to passive smoking, which I do not think they appreciate, or maybe do not want to admit they contribute to.

If it can work in New York and Dublin, I do not see why it cannot work here.

But I feel everyone will be required to help and understand the issues involved and respect each other's views on this.

I am looking forward to Sunday, even with the hassle that I expect to get from smokers among staff in the pub I personally work in.

I also know we are in for some grief from our smoking customers also, but given time I am sure we will get through it with a little hard work and understanding on both parts and a lot of policing, due to the fines that can and will be imposed on anyone found to be flouting the law.

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


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

I agree with the comment about the fine, it should be 1,000 or more. The low level of the fine is the reason you still see just as many people using mobiles while driving.
David, Ipswich

I think the smoking ban is great and can't wait till we get one next year. Having a smoking area in a pub is like having an area of a swimming pool where you can go to the toilet in it. By next summer our baby will be old enough to come and enjoy a smoke free visit to the pub and I look forward to going home smelling smoke free too. My rights have been curtailed for years so now the shoe is on the other foot!
Richard Waugh, Norwich

I've heard some smokers complain about their rights to smoke being trampled on. I'm a non-smoker, and all for peoples individual rights, but are there any health drawbacks for smokers not smoking? None as far as I can see! If your smoking damages someone else's health - how is that fair?
Alex Hansford, London

In the US as well as the UK non-smokers are more than ready to step on the rights of smokers but just let someone step on their rights and listen to the whining.
Chuck McKinney, USA

I worked in a pub in Ireland when the ban came in over there. The only people who violated it there were people who were too drunk and simply forgot. They were all immediately apologetic. The main obstacle I see to it succeeding in Scotland (apart from the rain) is the relatively low fine for anyone caught smoking. In Ireland it is E3000 (2000 approx.). That was cited by many stubborn smokers as the reason why they obeyed. Good luck, and enjoy being able to breathe!
Kevin Brett, Wesr Molesey, Surrey

My local pub enforced the smoking ban early, in an attempt to get customers prepared before fines come in. All that happened was the smokers moved outside to the beer garden - which meant non-smokers couldn't sit outside. So management removed the ashtrays and banned smoking in the beer garden. Now the council and police have to deal with drunken louts drinking on the pavements, and that includes the non-smokers who don't want to sit on their own while their mates go for a smoke. The pub is empty and the street is full; it's plain stupid. I see no reason why landlords can't judge for themselves if allowing smoking, or not, is best for their business. I'm sure a few pubs would ban it and do a roaring trade with non-smokers, leaving other pubs' trade intact with their smoking customers.
Neil, Perth, Australia

I still believe that pubs, clubs etc. should be able to have smoking rooms to accommodate those who wish to smoke. (Good ventilation required.) I have no problem with the no smoking policy where people are eating. I think there will be job losses, but i'm not sure how many. Time will tell!
Richard Bowman, Clydebank




SEE ALSO:
Smoking panel: Davy Douglas
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Smoking panel: Inga Dowds
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Smoking panel: Andy Hayes
24 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Smoking panel: Fraser Motion
24 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Smoking panel: Caroline Neilson
24 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Readers' panel: Smoking ban views
17 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Readers' panel: Smoking ban views
10 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Readers' panel: Smoking ban views
03 Mar 06 |  Scotland


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