Sunday, 29 June 2008

The smoking ban one year on

I have decided that, in the face of the media witch hunt going on at the moment (and from looking at today's Sundays, I don't think there's any other word for it), I am going to have a daily 'good news' item. Again, this is from today's Observer, but I'll summarise some of it here.

Since the smoking ban was introduced, there has been a record rise in the number of people giving up smoking. The figures for April to December 2007 (only 9 months) were up 22% on the previous year. 80% of people think the ban is a good thing. And fears that more people would smoke at home instead haven't been realised. There is also good news about people with lung conditions now being able to socialise without harming their health, and a predicted fall in the number of heart attacks (as happened in Scotland after they introduced their ban).

As someone who voted for the full ban, this makes me feel good.

The report ends by saying that the ban contributed to the closure of 1,409 pubs in 2007, compared with just 216 in 2006. I'd like to see more evidence of this. Has the number of people drinking in pubs gone down since the ban? Or have they switched to pubs where it's easier to smoke outside? I know a few pubs have closed down recently in east Bristol; some have been empty for a while and locals are concerned they're going to be sold off to property developers and turned into flats. But they tend to be in areas which are already well-served by pubs, and I suspect there may just be too much competition for them all to make a profit.


Kerry said...

And this is from a Lynn Barber account of a Forest reception she went to the other day. I was invited but didn't think it was quite my thing.

"The speakers were Simon Clark, director of Forest, Philip Davies, a Tory MP who supports smoking even though he doesn't smoke himself, and then - greeted with a cheer - Nigel Farage of Ukip who smokes 50 a day. They all said we must use the forthcoming David Davis byelection to assert our 'ancient freedoms' to hunt foxes, drive fast motorbikes and smoke in pubs - not simultaneously I trust."

Adeimantus said...

It's interesting to note that you would like to see evidence of pub closures yet you are not venturing to ask for evidence of the 'good news'.

In particular, whether true or not, I would be interested in knowing what evidence has accrued as to 'fears that more people would smoke at home instead haven't been realised'. Is the surveillance society worse than I thought?

Basil Brown said...

You'd like "more evidence" on the 1,409 pub-closures in 2007, as reported by the British Beer and Pub Assoc?

Open your eyes. Our pubs are dying. They're probably not your "thing" either, but they have given pleasure to many of the people you claim to represent.

Shame you didn't ask for "more evidence" about ban-damage in Ireland and on the pseudo-science underpinning the new prohibitionist dystopia before voting for this vindictive, unfair and unnecessary new law.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Wow! The hypocrisy from you is staggering Kerry!

In a single blog post you say how happy you are at unproven statistics about smoker numbers (not mentioned was how many started smoking in the same time frame) and the accompanying projection about people that will now live forever (sorry, lives saved), yet at the same time wish to see more evidence of accurately recorded statistics of REAL pub closures.

"I have decided that, in the face of the media witch hunt going on at the moment ..."

And you wonder why there is such a witch-hunt against your pathetic party?

Good Grief!