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Smoking ban (Read 215690 times)
Belinda
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #105 - Jan 17th, 2006 at 10:34pm
 
Princess

Thanks for the above information. The legislation is actually the subject of court proceedings at present. Please see:

http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=663&id=2186552005

for details. It is this case that I had in mind when I used the term sub judice. So do you know whether this would stop the implementation of the Act, and if not how is public protest to be expressed if a petition is not permissible in the circumstances?
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #106 - Jan 18th, 2006 at 7:24am
 
To Princess Analia.
Your explanation is clear and incisive. Thank-you for taking the time.
RFM
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #107 - Jan 19th, 2006 at 3:54pm
 
In view of the judgement made by the Supreme Court of Canada on the 21st December 2005 where it was ruled that Private Members Clubs are exactly that..PRIVATE where does the Scottish Executive get the idea that they can steam roll through powers that sweep aside agreed club constitutions .

What is the legal definition of a Public Place as within the Hospitality Sector most of the businesses are owned by private companies or individuals. They then invite patrons to participate in hospitality, they can also refuse the public that same hospitality and go as far as ejecting them from the premises

Even locations such as Airports are owned and operated by private companies e.g. BAA and under the legislation smoking will be banned there as well..a location that is an extremley high stress point for us all, which may result in a breach of Airport and therefore National security should someone have a fly puff in a toilet area. The cost of evacuating an airport terminal currently runs at £10 000 per minute, figures obtained from BAA Heathrow.

Again I return to my original question...What is the legal definition of a Public Place?

In addition we hear so much about the fact that the Smoking Ban was a democratic decision how this can be derived is anyone's guess.

Several MSP's placed ammendment proposals in front of the Health Committee for consideration all were rejected and the reason why is very plain to see.

This piece of legislation formed one of the central planks of Executive policy and they wanted to ensure that it was passed exactly as they had seen it drafted.

Whilst the Committees are supposed to act as the 'check' to the Executive, in essence reviewing proposed legislation through its scrutiny... in the same way as The House of Lords is seen as the check or revising Chamber at Westminster, in reality, the Executive Parties have an inbuilt majority on each and every Committee meaning that, regardless of the merit of an amendment if it does not fit with the current view of the Executive then it can be voted down.

This is not democracy or am I missing something here.
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Belinda
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #108 - Jan 19th, 2006 at 6:03pm
 
I think this is a very important question, as to whether any hospitality venue aside from muncipally owned museum cafes for example can be described as a public place.

Offering hospitality - within the law - should be goverened by social custom, good manners or whatever you want to call it.

Refusing hospitality to smokers by law in cafes in hospital grounds also should not be allowable by law. I am not sure whether the voluntary sector still runs most of these, or if that also is in the hands of the private sector, but whichever it is, the government should not be saying to the distressed relatives of those in hospital that smoking is bad for you.

The only reasons I can imagine the voluntary sector wanting to deny smoking to these clients that they want to offer their befriending services to, are if they have swallowed the propaganda about secondary smoke, or if they are offering smoking cessation support.

The government fails to see that the big smoking bogey is far down the list of urgent priorities in most people's lives.

Hence I feel that this question needs to be answered: Is there a legal definition of a public place?

As I understand it the law can interfere in private affairs in order to protect public health, but since it acknowledges it is unable to stop people smoking, and is unable to prove damage from secondary smoke, it seems to me that the Executive is on thin ice. Attacking people's civil rights before taking the logical measure (logical but probably unenforceable) of stopping tobacco sales is draconian.
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grumpy
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #109 - Jan 19th, 2006 at 7:47pm
 
So much for adult debate-all this petty slagging.

The real point that was attempted in the first place was that a government that bans us from doing something that is not illegal is infringing our human rights. The nanny state is waht it is dubbed.

However the whole argument could have been stopped by having a licensing system where pubs could be smoking or non smoking. If you don't want to go to a smoking pub you go to a non smoking pub. If you don't want to work behing the bar of a smoking pub, don't. That way everyone is happy, smokers and non smokers alike.

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Smoking, Health and Social Care (ScRe: Smoking ban
Reply #110 - Jan 19th, 2006 at 8:03pm
 
But Grumpy...that is exactly what was proposed to the Health Committee and had rejected because of the undemocratic make up of the committee.

To make it clear this is what was proposed:
Margo MacDonald’s Amendment
On the 13 May 2005, Margo MacDonald MSP, Independent member for the Lothians, lodged an amendment to the Executive’s Bill.  The amendment seeks to balance the Executive’s, and indeed Parliament’s, desire to effect change in the health and habits of the people of Scotland, while maintaining the right of those people who smoke to continue to practise a pastime that is not illegal.

Purpose
The amendment seeks to maintain the proposed ‘default’ position of all licensed premises being non-smoking as standard; however, an owner of a licensed premises can apply for a ‘smoking licence’ from the Licensing Board.  In deciding whether or not to grant a license for smoking, a Licensing Board must:

a)      take into consideration the views of the employees of the licensed premises;
b)      only make a grant in respect of those premises which have adequate ventilation;
c)      consider any other smoking licenses that have been granted in the locality;
d)      have regard to the level of demand from the public for smoking licensed premises;

furthermore, the Licensing Board is expected to award smoking licences ‘only exceptionally’ and with a view to the above conditions.

Signage
In order to ensure that the public is able to make an informed choice as to which licensed establishments allow smoking, provision is made in the Bill to allow licensed premises to advertise their status as smoking premises.
Statutory Powers
Subsection 6 provides Scottish Ministers with the powers to make regulations, by order, on the making and determination of applications for smoking licenses.

And in its full form within the Bill would read:
Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill – Stage 2
After section 4
Margo MacDonald

33      After section 4, insert––
<No-smoking premises: further provision for licensed premises
(1)      This section applies where, by virtue of regulations under section 4(2), licensed premises are no-smoking premises.
(2)      The owner of, or person who holds the licence for, the licensed premises may apply to the Licensing Board within whose area the premises are situated for the premises to be treated as if they are not no-smoking premises.  
(3)      The Licensing Board may grant applications under subsection (2) only exceptionally and in determining such applications must have regard to—
(a)      the views of any employees who work in the licensed premises;
(b)      the adequacy of ventilation in the licensed premises;
(c)      the number and capacity of other licensed premises in the locality in which the licensed premises are situated in respect of which applications under subsection (2) have been granted; and
(d)      the level of public demand for licensed premises which are not no-smoking premises.
(4)      Where the Licensing Board grants an application under subsection (2), the licensed premises are, for the purposes of sections 1, 2 and 3 and despite any regulations under section 4(2) by virtue of which the premises are no-smoking premises, to be treated as if they are not no-smoking premises.
(5)      Licensed premises which are to be treated as if they are not no-smoking premises by virtue of this section may advertise that fact.
(6)      The Scottish Ministers may by regulations make further provision about the making and determination of, and the effect of granting, applications under subsection (2).>

The proposal that I put to various Health Ministers was the ultimate solution to all the issues surrounding Smoking and Passive Smoking namely to introduce Indoor Air Quality Standards.

An example of a current Standard in operation providing a safe and healthy environment is:

1.      Particles                        -      Below 0.15 mg/m3
2.      Concentration of Carbon Monoxide      -      Below 10 part/million per 8hrs
3.      Concentration of CO2                  -      Below 1000 parts/million per 8 hr
4.      Room Temperature                  -      Between 17ºC and 28ºC
5.      Room Humidity                               -            Between 40º and 70º
6          Incoming air velocity                                -            0.2m/sec
7.      Air velocity in the room                         -      Below 0.5 m/sec per person
8.         Air Exchange                                             -            6-10 times/hour

Our European neighbours are moving fast towards such standards while the Executive drags Scotland backwards, based on manipulated, dubious data and ministerial spin. There has not been much thought as to the full effects that a ban on smoking will bring, however this in itself is typical of a fledgling Parliament with limited professional expertise that sometimes borders on sheer incompetence.










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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #111 - Jan 19th, 2006 at 9:17pm
 
Having just entered into the debate I would like to track back on an earlier posting by Princess Analia regarding the Consultation Document.

The questions within this document were actually loaded in favour of a ban, it is not the answer but how the question is worded that is the key to a good marketing strategy.

I attended one of these Consultation meetings on the 19th August 2004 in Stranraer. The initial reaction to the very first question in the document resulted in an overwhelming ‘yes’ to a ban.  However as the evening evolved the net result was that by debate, the participants left the meeting accepting that Controlled Designated Smoking Areas were probably the most appropriate way forward.  As I was later to learn, similar results have been noted at other meetings throughout the country. It is therefore a huge mistake by ministers to be so bold as to proclaim that an outright ban on smoking is in the best interests of the country.

The final result of the study showed that most people were in favour of more restrictions on Environmental Tobacco Smoke but that 75% were against a ban on smoking in Pubs and Clubs.

Now the leading question is how did the Executive arrive at and continue to spin the yarn that the people of Scotland are in favour of a total ban.

My message is a simple one, introduce Indoor Air Quality Standards in the Workplace.

·      Set up a steering group headed by the Health and Safety Executive consisting of representation from the Hospitality Industry, Trade Unions and the suppliers of Air Filtration Equipment to work together to provide Standards of Air Quality that can be met and sustained within the workplace on a national scale.
·      Freedom of Choice is the key to success, with these Air Quality Standards in place; business owners then have the choice to purchase the equipment necessary to maintain clean air or in consultation with employees make their premises ‘No Smoking’ venues.  All installations could be issued with Certificates of Conformity and regularly checked and monitored by an agency such as the Environmental Health Department.

The solution is so simple....

I expect further debate will rage on the issues surrounding smoking and passive smoking in the coming weeks, it is worth noting the content of a book by Professor Stanley Feldman, Department of Political Science, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York called ‘Panic Nation’ and published by Blake Publishing.

Within the book Prof. Feldman writes:
There is no evidence or studies that prove passive smoking causes lung cancer.
Statistically it can be shown that if from 1 million people, 500,000 were subjected to passive smoking, the increase in lung cancer may be 10 percent. But, the actual increase would be from 10 cases to 11 cases. The same statistic would show from the 500,000 who were not subjected to passive smoking. In other words 2 additional cases in 1,000,000 persons!!!

But even more interesting, there is no evidence that the increase can be attributed to passive smoking, it may be due to other factors.   Dare I suggest Outdoor Air Quality?




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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #112 - Jan 24th, 2006 at 10:55pm
 
Replies have dried up and I have another question.

Whthin the Hospitality Sector a Pub or Inn ,may also be the home of the owner...again I raise the question regarding the legal definition of a Public Place as in effect this legislation will directly affect a person's home.



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Belinda
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #113 - Jan 25th, 2006 at 5:24am
 
Petty slagging, Grumpy? I Wink - I have seen much worse in discussions on smoking. I was trying to understand the finer points of the Scottish legislative system (for which thanks, Princess Analia) when I reached your comment. I agree with your observation about licences. After all pubs are licensed premises are they not? But food establishments, or any establishment that so chooses - my local hairdresser is always offering ashtrays to people while they are waiting - could acquire such a license if the powers that be really require even more revenues from tobacco than they are already getting ...

Beegee - we have put the question about whether pubs are private or public places three times on one page. I think we could start writing to law associations and advising them of our existence if we seriously want some answers to these questions.

I started reading about another issue that is on the face of it unrelated, that of a policy in Sweden which criminalises the users of prostitutes rather than the prostitutes themselves. It does seem illogical that I approved of this when I don't agree with criminalising the users of cigarettes! This is an absolute minefield of a topic. Prostitution has much nastier and more desperate elements within it than has the smoking of tobacco. 

Tobacco smoking and prostitution are two activities that the government wants to restrict. As far as I am quite aware prostitution is quite illegal and local policy (Edinburgh) does not permit tolerance zones, though I believe there is some sort of review.

Will continue in next post
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Belinda
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #114 - Jan 25th, 2006 at 5:59am
 
I think the Swedish government took the view that if pimps and prostitutes could be prosecuted it seemed unreasonable to let users of prostitutes go free of charges. I felt this was entirely laudable, and it did make a dramatic difference to demands on prostitution in Sweden. (But once in the black market I guess those people traffickers will move on, and once everybody gets the hang of it, they will just traffic people to some other exploitative activity.)

So why am I so against the use of restrictions against consumers of cigarettes? I'm not pro-smoking, just excessively tolerant of it, but if smokers tell me not to start I take them seriously because they are the ones who can feel the effects.

It is partly that tobacco policy is quite out of kilter with licensing policy with respect to alcohol. It is illegal to buy alcohol off-license after 10pm in Scotland yet you can buy cigarettes round the clock. Licensed premises can reclaim the drinks of people who have not finished drinking within 15 minutes of 'time'. It is illegal to drink on the premises after that time. There are no such restrictions on cigarettes. So far anyway.

So what's that about? Using prostitutes should be illegal, mostly because of the exploitation involved but also because of the potentially destructive impact that prostitution has on family life, where the user has a family - although this is a more private matter. Alcohol and gambling also have enormous destructive potential both in terms of violent and uncontrolled behaviour in the case of alcohol, but also because they encourage compulsive spending.

Aside from the annoyance factor, and the unconvincing health claims regarding secondary smoke, I absolutely can't see why anybody who doesn't smoke should object to smoking, at least as the law currently stands (pre-ban).  They are expensive but nobody is going to go and lose their house if they've had a few too many, as they might when gambling, or driving home under the influence. They seem to have no specific record in wrecking relationships or marriages.

Indeed my own feeling is that smoking does encourage a form of empathy, at any rate with other smokers - and they are a broad church - and will more often than not share their last half ounce of tobacco, or last few papers, or give their bus fare to the person huddled in the street. Of course they have their hangups like the rest of us, I'm not trying to be over-sentimental, but exactly what is it that the government is trying to do away with in public places?

It is doing away with the right of people to smoke together in public - and the operative word is together. With a drink and a smoke and company people lose the need for TVs, computers play stations, microwaves, fancy cars or boats and can just be themselves. Instead we are being encouraged to say that this is not as important as OUR right to clean air and not to have to put the washing machine on after a night out. Instead of enjoying other people we are being taught to fear smoke. Instead of listening to others we are led to believe we should hector them to stop smoking if they want social acceptance, although we would dearly love to accept them as they are.



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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #115 - Feb 4th, 2006 at 1:06am
 
Two extracts from a recent post elsewhere:

'In Ireland, the media in general are pro-ban. It should come as no surprise that they do not now report the disastrous effects, and no surprise either that no one outside the country hears a measure of reality. One ludicrous instance of the utter stupidity at work here, was in a summer report by a national newspaper, so desperately pro-ban that when a West Cork town claimed takings down 50%, with photographs of empty streets, the reporter could not find the objectivity (or wasn't "allowed" ) to ask if the smoking ban was in any way responsible. Nearly two years later, pub closures and job losses continue. Hundreds of pubs have closed and are lost permanently. Thousands of jobs have gone in the hospitality industry and in effect, smokers have been thrown out of society.'

and:

'Ireland has become a sad unwelcoming place, and with some exception for some major centres, the "success" claims for a total ban are categorically untrue. Specifically, smoking has increased and the revenue-take from cigarettes is substantially up, while tourism including native tourism is substantially down.'

This is somebody's view of what has transpired since the ban was imposed nearly two years ago.

Obviously people have various views as to whether the ban has 'succeeded'. Whether it has succeeded or not really depends on what it set out to do. For instance if it could be demonstrated that tobacco sales have risen it might be said to have failed in one of its objectives, but this might involve getting figures on under-the-counter, unofficial sales and this might not be easy. Or if mortality rates remained stable.

I am not sure whether it is clear from the legislation what its aims are, other than to eradicate the possiblity of 'passive smoking'. I believe the First Minister said recently that he expected that smokers would still be at 20% in Scotland after ten years. Twenty per cent of people with no, or at any rate, no reasonable social amenties!

If we are not allowed to appeal the ban, are we not allowed to insist on tangible results ... ? Can't we force an acknowledgement that depriving people of social space is at the very least regrettable and a measure of last resort?


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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #116 - Feb 6th, 2006 at 6:46pm
 
We now find that the Smoking Ban will apply to HGV drivers as well...now smokers are allowed to smoke in hotel rooms as it is considered a home from home, but hey that applies to the cab of a lorry as well. Some HGV drivers will spent more of their working life in their cab than at home and even have bunks to sleep in. Now where is the legal definition as to when is a home not a home...remember the cab is only a place of work while the wheels and tachograph is turning. Someone out there come up with the legal answer ....please.

Also, we have Owner/Operators of HGV vehicles and their vehicle cannot be classed as an Enclosed Public Place as it is very much PIVATE. Within the Supreme Court of Canada ruling on the 21st December 2005 a private business is just that and should be free from Government interference. In particular the interference from the Scottish Executive is impinging on the Health & Safety at Work Act which is still governed from Westminster within the Department of Trade and Industry
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« Last Edit: Feb 6th, 2006 at 11:42pm by BeeGee »  
 
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Reply #117 - Feb 7th, 2006 at 7:37am
 
I can certainly vouch for your earlier post Belinda, about what has happened and continues to happen here in Ireland.... Our local pub, which is a sizeable but rural premises, finally closed its doors for the last time after Christmas - the owners just couldn't withstand the losses anymore.

Those who still visit pubs tell me that the atmosphere is gone and Irish pubs, once famous for their welcoming reputation, have gone cold, clinical and dreadful.

I cannot understand why the people and business leaders of Scotland have not learned the harsh lesson that our experience shows [of course, our media do not report it], and how, once your ban is permitted you will find it impossible to reverse the damage it inflicts, both socially and for business/tourism.

I can only assume that the Scottish press is as biased there as the irish press was here - sweeping the downside under the carpet and, head in sand, pretending that not much happened, when in fact there is considerable aggravation and huge losses.

Quelling smokers has its roots in Naziism. The following link from the BMJ makes interesting reading. I'm taken aback that the legal profession has not been more alert to this, and that people in general do not grasp the significance of what is happening.

http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/313/7070/1450#R28







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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #118 - Feb 11th, 2006 at 3:08am
 
I wonder if anybody has any suggestions on the following case that I have been asked to post?

'I wonder if you could offer some advice. I am a confirmed non-smoker with two young children - Josh, 11 and Noah, 8. My partner and soon to be husband is a confirmed smoker. We are very careful about where and when he smokes particularly around the boys.

My extremely hectoring ex-husband is now making a huge fuss about the alleged smell of smoke on Noah's soft toy and is playing the passive smoking card big time, demanding to know details of Andy's smoking habits and reassurances about the boys' health. His line is to make us out to be uncaring unsuitable parents - not for the first time. Court action has been threatened.'

I wonder if we will see more of this sort of thing. I know many children of smoking parents who are more than happy and far from seeing themselves as victims of 'abuse'. Other issues around children's lives in general, including maintaining relations with both parents where possible, are far more critical in this difficult phase in the lives of children and parents, than whether or not a parent smokes. I would be very interested to hear comments about this story, or if anybody knows of actual potential sources of advice I've also posted it in the legal advice section.

Thanks
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #119 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 12:58am
 
Belinda
Refer your friend to the Enstrom & Kabat Study on Environmental Tobacco Smoke (Passive Smoking) This study has been acknowledged by both the World Health Organisation, the American Cancer Society and the British Medical Association when it shows that ETS is not the high risk that is being presented by the Scottish Executive who by their actions have create this mass hysteia evident in the public and media.

The study was backed by anti-smoking crusader Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. "There is simply no convincing evidence linking second-hand smoke to lung cancer and heart disease," said Whelan, an epidemiologist and president of the American Council on Science and Health. Whelan, author of "A Smoking Gun: How the Cigarette Industry Gets Away with Murder," said her group's research has reached the same conclusion as the new study.  While Whelan said she's delighted by New York City's smoking ban, she labels "patently absurd" Mayor Bloomberg's claim that it would prevent 1,000 deaths of bar and restaurant workers.

The worst thing about a cigarette is the residual smell.. Costco sell a product called OUST and it is the tops as an odour eliminator. Also consider the purchase of a small air filter details of an example can be found on http://www.rentokil-hygiene.co.uk/air_q_hosp.php

This way due dilligence can be demonstrated should legal action be initiated.
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