In response to Simon Clark

Simon has a few questions over at his blog about the fifth anniversary of the smoking ban.

Here are my answers:

  • Have you adapted to the ban? If so, how?
  • No choice. We've had to adapt. Me and my family adapted by stopping going to the pub. We used to go as a family about once a week to the local to play pool. After the smoking ban it became very difficult because there was always someone missing. My dad was the only smoker and he would join us in the smoking shelter if the weather was nice. If it wasn't we would take it in turns to go out. Eventually we stopped going to the pub altogether. My sister bought a pool table, then I did, then my folks bought a Wii. We always have something to do when we get together at someones house, we can smoke when we want and the beer is cheaper. We all hate the smoking ban with a passion, my non smoking father included.
  • Has your social life changed since the ban?
  • Yes, see above. Our social life now revolves around someones house rather than the pubs. The only downside is we can't meet new people like we used to do. Pubs used to be friendly places before smoker hatred was born. Smokers and non smokers got along and we often talked to people we had never met before.
  • Do you go to pubs as often as you did before?
  • No. A visit to the pub is now a rarity. We sometimes go if we get bored of drinking in the house or if there is some king of special occasion, although I try to avoid those where possible. A visit to the pub often involves a long conversation about the smoking ban too. People say that the smoking ban is not the fault of the pubs and smokers should stay loyal. I used to work for a brewery when the ban came in and I know they are just as responsible as the government. When the ban was proposed they just bent over, so I feel no guilt about having abandoned them to their fate.
  • If not, where do you drink and smoke?
  • At home. At friends or families houses.
  • Has your local pub made an effort to accommodate smokers?
  • No. It closed down. Then it opened again. Then it closed.
  • Would it make a difference if it did or would you still feel unwelcome?
  • No matter what accommodations were made for smokers I would still feel like a leper using them, just like was intended I suppose. Anyway, pigs get better accommodation than what is allowed by law for smoking shelters.
  • Do you feel less or more strongly about the ban five years on?
  • Much more strongly and I feel stronger about it every day. The smoking ban is the epitomy of everything that Britain has become, from persecution of minority lifestyles, censorship, bans and general nannying control freakery. Once the smoking ban came in the floodgates were open. I also get annoyed when I see apathy in other people. I often hear folk talk about how nice it is to go into a pub and not come home smelling of smoke. I have a right good rant about the damage to jobs, the economy, society and property rights that the ban has done. Then I call them a smelly bastard for wanting to wear last nights pub clothes the following morning.

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