Thursday, April 26, 2007

Please extinguish all smoking materials & substances*

Yesterday, I received a letter addressed to the Managing Director of Delicolor Ltd. (That would be me then**). In it was a letter from the NHS telling me all about the forthcoming smoking Ban, what actions I must take and what the financial consequences were for non-compliance. They thoughtfully sent me some sample stickers and a shiny brochure explaining (some of) the subtleties of the scheme which relates to all work places, including Company Vehicles.

After reading it, I have come to the conclusion that it is a petty, vindictive, nasty, illiberal, nannyish and downright intrusive piece of legislation, even if it is "for our own good".

Leave it to market forces, I say. It is up to business owners to decide on this, not bureaucrats***.

(Search "smoking ban" on google and look at a sample of market forces down the right. The laws of unintended consequences are always driven by inventive initiative).

P.S. None of the Grey family smokes, and we avoid situations where we have to suffer it. That doesn't mean we support collectivist regulation though.


(* Title as heard by a London Transport Employee with a Megaphone at Earls Court Tube station after a Pink Floyd Concert- it got a big laugh by the aging psychadelic crowd)

(** Delicolor Ltd was dissolved in 2000 after I returned to full time employment in 1999 but the Government still write to me as Managing Director, a sign of extreme incompetence in their record keeping. Is this an organisation we want to trust with a National ID register?)

(*** Bureaucrat: an official who works by fixed routine without exercising intelligent judgment.)


Ruthie said...

But how could you resist the shiny brochure?

The U.S. is gently phasing out allowing smoking in public (indoor) places. Pretty much the only place you can legally smoke indoors is in a bar, but many states are beginning to pass legislation with names like the "Safe Workplace Bill," that would make smoking in any workplace illegal, including nightclubs and bars.

Where does the U.K. stand on this? I gather they're instituting a similar ban....

Delicolor said...

Ruthie, the ban applies to any indoor public (or private where a workplace) space, including bars and private clubs.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'm for a smoking ban. The stuff causes such distress to asthmatics like myself. The smoking ban in public places in Italy is, surprisingly, respected and it makes life a lot more pleasant!

Delicolor said...

Welshcakes, I'm all for choice, not compulsion. Plenty of pubs & restaurants choose to have their own smoking ban. A Pub is NOT a public place, despite the name Public House. It is a private business.

Should we ban peanuts because they adversely affect a few people?