Saturday 2 July 2022

15 lousy years

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of England's smoking ban. I tweeted about it in the morning, noting that it marked the point at which everything started to go terribly wrong, and was pleased to see a good deal of agreement in the replies (alongside the usual people who don't like washing and think the world should revolve around them), so when Spiked asked me to expand on it, I wrote this...

We have all paid a price for this malevolent legislation, but the cost that will linger the longest is the precedent it set. The passive-smoking issue was always window-dressing. Everyone knew the real reason for the ban was that a significant number of non-smokers didn’t like the smell of tobacco smoke and the government wanted to make smokers’ lives difficult. In the final analysis, smoking in pubs was banned because people in power didn’t like it.


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