Monday, April 23, 2007

No smoking, please, we're English

Just a note, first, on returning to writing my blog for the first time in almost a month. It actually seems longer - I guess I've been busy, which I have, spending most days either writing, rewriting or rereading my dissertation. But that can finally be put to bed this week. I've almost forgotten what it's like to be able to write in first person again!

But a news story today caught my eye and reminded be that I hadn't bothered to blog about the smoking ban coming in on July the 1st yet. (yes yes yes yes yes). Today's story, anyway, was that the British Medical Association is calling for 10-packs of cigarettes to be abolished, saying that the amount encourages younger people to buy as they appear to be buying less and it doesn't cost as much as a pack of 20 (obviously. OBVIOUSLY!). The cynical idea that Labour ministers might have thought "once the smoking ban comes in cigarette sales could slow so we better hike the minimum price up" hasn't even crossed my mind. Apparently they make a lot of tax on cigarettes - I don't really know or care - so by all means, hike the price up to £10 a packet of 20.

Anyway, looking forward to the smoking ban. Wales and Scotland have already led the way, now finally it's our turn. One for the obvious health related issues: I'm fairly confident I haven't suffered too much at the hands of cigarette smoke so far, and now I won't again! Result. Two for the now-cliched going out fresh/coming home stinking reason. Next year my entire wardrobe will no longer smell faintly of smoke. Result, again. But the best thing about the smoking ban is the smug satisfaction in not having to even argue the good/bad about it. It doesn't matter if someone thinks the ban is a good thing or a bad thing, the fact is from the 1st of July it will be a thing; a law, in fact, so you avid die-hard smokers can moan til you're out of breath (which won't take as long as someone like, for example), but it won't make a bit of difference. There won't be such a thing as "social smoking" anymore, for all smoking will be anti-social. That, if anything can, will make some people hopefully question themselves a bit.

I expect in 2008 we'll find out that cigarette smoke actually balances the Ozone layer and the ban causes a critical imbalance in our atmosphere and the world will burn up in 2009, but nevermind. Two smoke free years!