In an ancient old issue of The Onion, theres spoof article about a room in Ohio or somesuch, where America's remaining smokers are permitted to smoke.
I was reminded of this when I read about Glasgow City Council's latest wheeze(pun not intended) in the war on smoking and smokers and it was little wonder that it raised a quizical eyebrow over at ill mansions today. The latest ban seems to go beyond the 'four walls and a roof' public places ban to include childrens play areas too. Now some readers will no doubthold their hands up in admonishment and explain that it's about enforcing good habits and protecting children from smoke inhalation. Great. It's just that the ban actually defies logic. Children who's parents smoke will be free of the killer fumes for all of an hour or so until they go home and mum or dad light up again. Even if parents smoke in as responsible a fashion as possible, the child is still growing up in an environment where cigarette smoke is in the air and parents can be seen working their way through a pack of snouts day in, day out. Their abscence in an open air playground will be of little impact on the general health and well being of that particular child.
This brings me onto the children of non smokers. These children, in all probability the majority, will live in houses in which fags are never seen. At worst, an elderly relative will smoke but to all intents and purposes, the only danger to their respiratory systems are exhaust fumes and choking on lego bricks. Tell me then, how a few mothers or childminders having a crafty fag, again outdoors, whilst the ankle biters fling themselves about on swings and chutes is going to adversely affect their health or influence them into a sixty a day habit by their sixteenth birthday?
"Aw ill man" I hear you say, "It's just in playgrounds, and unless you like hanging out in them, what's yr problem?" The problem is this. The original idea proposed was to ban smoking in all areas of public parks. The only reason they backed out of this was because they felt it wasn't enforceable. Believe me, the day they get video cameras in public parks..................
Just think, Ciggie Gattso's. Hilarious.
By that time they'll probably have banned lighting up full stop. Obviously banning smoking entirely would not be a popular or practical move but I think smokers have to realise(and most probably have) that this is a ban by stealth and that it's only a matter of time before they stop smoking in any area of congregation(indoors or out).
That smoking room in Ohio aint so far off.