Wednesday 31 March 2010

Poland rejects total smoking ban

I'm late with this because it hasn't previously been mentioned anywhere in the English-speaking media, but a brief lament in the British Medical Journal has alerted me to Poland's rejection of a total smoking ban.

Over to the Polksie Radio website for the details...

MPs stub out complete smoking ban

The lower house of parliament (Sejm) has voted for a much more liberal amendment to a bill banning smoking in public places in Poland, allowing areas in pubs and clubs where smokers can light up a cigarette.

The vote in the Sejm yesterday evening - carried by 217 for, 165 against and 48 abstentions - came a shock to the parliamentary health committee which had recommended a total smoking ban in public. Under the new amendment, it will be possible in small restaurants and pubs for the owner to decide whether a smoking ban would be in place. In premises over 100 square meters a separate smoking area must be provided. If the premises with an area of over 100 meters has more than one room, the owner decides which of them is a smoking area. Smoking rooms would also available in schools, universities, hospitals, and workplaces.

The rules would not prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes.

Grzegorz Dolniak, the deputy head of the Civic Platform in the Sejm said after the vote that a complete ban would be a “dead law” and probably unenforceable. “It is necessary to preserve common sense and also give a chance to non-smokers who do not want to be exposed to passive smoking.” He also said a complete ban would hurt businesses.

This is yet another example of a European country rejecting the Anglo-Saxon policy of zero tolerance. The Poles have used "common sense" to produce a "liberal amendment". They have respected property rights while accommodating both smokers and nonsmokers. It works in the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Greece, Germany etc. etc. 

Apart from a handful of well-paid and highly vocal zealots, who could find such a system objectionable?


subrosa said...

Sounds rather like the sensible solution they have in Spain VGIF. Good for the Poles.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Another potential city break goes in the Puddlecote planner. Always wanted to visit Wallsall.

Anonymous said...

And we were told that Poles were thick !!
Brighter than us here in the U.K. methinks !!

paulo said...

Complete ban on smoking in public destroys pubs, places where people congregate to discuss matters of the day, possibly even discuss anti gov notions.

The ban stays!



Anonymous said...

The main diference between Britain
and Poland , Poles have bollocks.
British men ,well what can we say.

Non Slav

Anonymous said...

All they had to do was look across the border to see bans decimating the bars. It doesn't require rocket science.

Jackson said...

Until fairly recently at least the Poles had real things to worry about. So they're less susceptible to imaginary fears.

What's with this "public places" stuff anyway? Pubs and clubs are private property aren't they? There's no compulsion or coercion to patronize or work in a particular pub or restaurant. Choice, designated areas and exhaust fans. There you go. I've solved it.

Anonymous said...

Well done Poland their politicians sure as hell are smarter than our lot. Might pop over to Gdansk or Krakow.