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(Sunday, 19th Apr, 2015)

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Poll: Do you think the smoking ban in pubs should be overturned?

Total votes to date: 715


* Please note that the results of the online poll represent just a snapshot of opinion from the site members who participate. The results of each poll do not necessarily represent the national picture. Participants are only allowed to vote once in each poll.

  Anonymous   Posted: 21/03/2005 09:50
I think there should be a smoking ban in pubs that sell food as well as drink. but if the pub only sells drink they should have the option if they want to have smoking in the pub.
  jambalya  Posted: 21/03/2005 14:44
it's working brilliantly! and for the first time ever (in my opinion) Ireland is a world leader in social change, with Norway, Italy and New Zealand following suit. the one good thing that the current govt have done.
  Anonymous   Posted: 21/03/2005 16:23
no way, its the best thing ever to happen to the irish social scene. I think its great and i'm a smoker!
  Anonymous   Posted: 21/03/2005 17:42
i think if someone wants to smoke they should be allowed to smoke, just cos someone dosent like it they should leave its not up to them to decide what other people do its their decision to smoke, free will used to be a great thing!
  Anonymous   Posted: 21/03/2005 21:24
As an asmatic I know have the choice of eating out in peace, or going out for a drink with out worrying about having my inhaler and how badly I will be affected by it. I can also eat out with our sons in resturaunts with out being concerned for their health.
  Anonymous   Posted: 21/03/2005 22:30
well looks like Im first to say it sould nor be banned, I dont drink but I smoke,since this ban came in, i went out 1, and it was totally degrading, as I had to go out onto the street to have a smoke,this I fell is last straw, there were few mine age (54) and we felt like pick ups; when this ban was coming all publicans should have be ordered to have a smoking area within, for us,it had certainly stopped me from going out, BUT and big BUT didnt stop my smoking addiction;
  Anonymous   Posted: 22/03/2005 00:24
I second that point about it being the only thing the government seem to have gotten right, but that's mainly because it has been the ordinary people who have contributed to its success, its a crying shame they wouldn't give us a crack at fixing the mess that's supposed to be a health service! (a 3-legged blind donkey couldn't do any worse, then again, he probably would be put out of his misery, like the government should!). But then again, with a minister smoking in the dail bar after the ban was put into legislation, they might be suggesting that it be overturned. Seems to be the way with some politicians, breaking the speed limits in their chauffeur driven cars, parking in disabled parking bays, having a week or 2 lying in the sun while ordinary sick people spend the same amount of time lying in hospital corridors or waiting rooms! Leave the ban as it is, who knows, the government might have the health mess sorted out (as if) by the time we start to reap the rewards of the ban, as I remember reading some where it takes 5 years for the muck to clear from your lungs!!
  Anonymous   Posted: 22/03/2005 08:28
It's the best thing that ever happened. Keep it that way.
  John(johnwilliams)  Posted: 22/03/2005 20:28
The law banned smoking in every workplace not only pubs and it was on very good public health grounds. The government could see massive claims coming down the line which would make the army deafness claims seem like pocket money. I think it has done wonders for the atmosphere in pubs and restaurants and is not responsible for the fall off in pub business. Publicans are using this law as a scapegoat for their own unbusinesslike running of their establishments and are still trying to undermine it. There is quite a lot of covert smoking in pubs and if the authorities don't move to stamp it out it will make a mockery of the law and overturn the good it has done.
  rose(AQN20414)  Posted: 22/03/2005 21:49
i think the smoking ban was an still is very affective and should be kept in place
  Jill(CEU12051)  Posted: 23/03/2005 04:11
The smoking ban is an abominable public policy decision from the Irish government. It seriously infringes upon a person's personal and social freedom by fostering an insufferable attitude of intolerance among non-smokers and forcing the social exclusion of an entire class of people. And no - I'm not a smoker.
  Anonymous   Posted: 23/03/2005 12:50 smoking class somehwere between working class and middle class??????.what is your point? people are not born with a right to smoke!!!!!!!!! if that is the case what happend my right to fresh air? smoking is a filthy disgusting habit that kills people and takes up huge amounts of tax payers money why should non-smokers pay for smokers' health care? i am an ex-smoker and i know that had it not been for the smoking ban i would probably still be addicted to the filthy weed. Well Done Mr. Martin
  Anonymous   Posted: 23/03/2005 14:27
Agreed, its a great thing. As fo rthe person who found it degrading to have to go outside - was that the first time you smoked in the open air? I'd doubt it. Why did you feel degraded THIS time?
  jambalya  Posted: 23/03/2005 15:02
"...fostering an insufferable attitude of intolerance among non-smokers..." To be honest Jill, many, many smokers are in favour of the ban so if you want to talk about non smokers being intollerent you have to include some smokers too! from my experience when a(n) (ignorant) person sparks up in the pub it is the smokers who obey the law who are most aggrieved! Chiil out, it might add years to your life!
  Jill(CEU12051)  Posted: 23/03/2005 15:08
Dear "Anonymous" -- This is precisely the attitude I'm talking about. Your tone of disgust and use of the words "filthy" and "disgusting" in association with smokers says it all. I am certainly glad that this smoking ban made it so easy for you to quit; which makes me wonder how much of a smoker you were, seeing as you appear to have been able to quit on a whim of the Irish government. You miss my point. I am of course talking primarily about the heavy smoker for whom life without cigarettes is *not* an option and for whom this ban has placed a lockdown on their social lives and effectively forced them to retreat to their homes. I mean this in a very literal sense - if being a smoker means not being able to sit down for 10 minutes in *any* public building *anywhere* without having a cigarette. You may guess, correctly, that I am close to several people for whom the ban has meant just this. So I *know*, even if you don't believe me, that I am not making this up. This *is* an entire class of people - and to answer your question - no, I wouldn't place this entire class between working and middle.
  Anonymous   Posted: 23/03/2005 15:31
To Jill, these heavy smokers that you talk of who can't sit for 10 minutes without smoking etc, I assume none of them work, as no employer (or fellow employees for that matter) would tolerate someone running out the door every 10 minutes - purely from the point of view that they would get absolutely nothing done.
  Jill(CEU12051)  Posted: 23/03/2005 15:41
you're probably right about not being tolerant of running out the door. but the people i know are self-employed. (and maybe it's more like 1/2 an hour - okay, i exaggerated a little.)
  John(johnwilliams)  Posted: 23/03/2005 18:56
Methinks Jill exaggerates. Do these heavy smokers ever go on holidays? With a one and a half hour check in, a 3 hour flight and at least half an hour in the airport collecting luggage etc, that makes 5 hours without a cig and I dont hear anyone complain.
  Anonymous   Posted: 23/03/2005 21:23
question waa directed at me, asking was that 1st time I smoked outside, and the person seemed to ask and answer the question, bravo to them; well my answer to you, yes it was as I stated im 54 and never did I smoke outside, it was unheard off, does that answer your query,dont please ask the question, and dont try to answer it for me, ok,
  Blaggarde(JLK24692)  Posted: 24/03/2005 00:21
There is no doubt that the smoking ban in pubs should be overturned. It should be overturned everywhere else too. The intended consequence of this law was negative discrimination against people who smoke. There is a democratic duty to cater for our minorities and there should be smoking venues for adult smokers who want them. This legislation is a standing example of one of the worst abuses of political power in the history of the state.
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 00:26
Jill, so how much time would your self employed friends spend per smoke? in an average 8 hour working day, with your 45 or 60 minutes break taken, how much more time, lost productivity time, all be it at their own expense, would be lost per working day, week, year? Over a five year period how much money would that be? I know if I was self employed, or even more so an employer, I would rue the financial costing this would incur? I agree there are some heavy smokers out there that feel they need to light up in quick succession, but a certian amount of control needs to be shown, no matter who or where you are.
  Kevin(kennedyk)  Posted: 24/03/2005 08:56
Go on holiday to another country and go out for a few drinks. You'll wake up the next morning with a blocked nose, clogged lungs, smelly clothes and sore eyes.. not to mention the stink when someone lights up beside you in a bar/restaurant. The smoking ban is one of the best things ever to happen to this country in modern times. Overturning it would be idiocy. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves..
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 09:54
The smoking ban is the one thing this Govt has done right. Those who speak about 'smokers rights' were amazingly silent when the non-smoking majority was forced to put up with inhaling carcinogenic smoke for years. No-one is 'locked in their home' as a result of this ban. Just step outside the pub for a few minutes - that's all it takes. At last, I'm able to take my baby daughter out for a nice lunch or dinner without worrying about her health (or my health). No Govt will dare to overturn this ban.
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 10:23
Please now ban smoking outside pubs. In many pubs one now has to fight through a group of smokers huddled around the door indulging their filthy habit. It has also become difficult to have proper conversations when in a pub with smokers, who run for the door with increasing frequency as an evening wears on, and no, I don't mean the loo door! It's about time this disgusting habbit is killed off completly.
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 10:36
I think it should be modified to allow smoking in indoor unserviced area. That would be a reasonable approach - I'don't see the health gain in forcing smokers out into the open to catch their death...
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 10:37
isnt it great to be living in a fascist country all of a sudden! although maybe the irish were just waiting for an excuse to pick on a minority groups... racism is not pc, so being anti-smoking allows people to vent those nasty feelings instead! Blaggarde, Jill - I'm afraid its time for us to move to another country... the nanny state here has taken over, more's the pity...
  Vera(VeraM)  Posted: 24/03/2005 12:53
I'm delighted the smoking ban came into our culture. I was a smoker myself until Nov 2004. Everything smells better now don't you think? I know I feel better, and let's face it why should non smokers have to share the bad habits of smokers?
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 13:45
I like the ocassional cigarette on a night out, but I wuldn't go back on the ban. It's much more pleasant now to be in a pub than previously and it's no great hardship slipping out for a cigarette.
  Ray(ERO25718)  Posted: 24/03/2005 13:50
i think the ban is a good thing as there are very many young people working long hours in pubs whose health could be damaged. I was a smoker myself for ten years and am suffering the ill health ever since. Admittedly its my own fault, but I do regret my 10 years of heavy smoking. I don't know if a total ban was fair on the smoking population though. Could there not have been smoking rooms introduced in public houses, completely cut off from non smoking sections?
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 14:48
No, absolutely not. My husband is a musician a non smoker and it is brilliant that he comes home not stinking of pub. The band gear also smells great. You should see the Tar on the microphones etc over the years. Discusting. Smokers dont care about anyone only Me Fein. Would any of you put up with someone farting alnight. Smoking is rude and offensive. Michael Martin has balls. Its a pity there are not more like him.
  Elaine(QXZ16756)  Posted: 24/03/2005 14:48
As a confirmed smoker for over 20 years, smoking at least 20 a day, almost every day. I was very supportive of the smoking ban coming in last March. I continued to smoke extremely successfully until I (underlined) made the decision to quit!!! I am now 3 months free of the drug and love it!! I absolutely feel that the smoking ban made it easier for the first couple of days- now it makes no difference except it is much more pleasant to go out for a meal/ drink. There is life after the drug!! Now my only regret is going outside for a cig was a great place to meet people!!!
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 14:48
Was in Cardiff last weekend (don't mention the rugby, thanks) and it's amazing to sit in a hotel lobby or pub with people puffing in your face. Hard to believe it's been barely a year since we banned this (as an ex-smoker, I promised myself a sneaky fag IF we won the Triple Crown, so I guess I'll have to hold off a while longer...)
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 15:17
don't smoke, don't agree with the ban...why has it been ok for hundreds of years, all over the world? maybe a limit on the amount of cigs being smoked at once????
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 16:02
If tabacco is that bad for your heatlth why is the government still selling it? Because they make money with it. Smoking outside might be an option for Southern Europe but surely not for Ireland. And no, I am not a smoker.
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 17:18
I quickly scanned all the comments made re the smoking ban and could not find even one remark about the benefit to the young generation who will be luckly in tenortwenty years time to live in a healthy smoke free society. No one thought about their future. What a selfish society we have become .
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 20:51
To the person who has never smoked outside before, you mean you have never lit up walking to and from the pub, had a smoke going to the shop to buy more smokes? You mean you only smoke indoors?
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/03/2005 22:47
To Anonymous who complained about the difficulty of having a conversation in a pub with friends who are smokers,you obviously want to have your cake and eat it. Do you really expect your friends to sit all night without a cigarette so as not to inconvenience YOU.
  Blaggarde(JLK24692)  Posted: 25/03/2005 01:45
Maybe i could be forgiven for thinking there is a concerted campaign on here - what would one expect from a "health" website...... but it is intriguing nonetheless to see so many replies on the one date. And then there's the SUBSTANCE of the replies. One person thinks bringing her baby into a pub is now a good thing. (the Question... WAS about pubs) Another thinks her husband's BAND GEAR - oh pleeese! - smells great. And all the anti's are anti because they want to be anti and now they can be, because they've got a GOVERNMENT LICENCE!!! No human being stuff. No rationale. Just plain hate. This is yet another reason why we need radical change and politicians with backbone like John Deasy. (by the way Other Anon, he was NOT a minister, nor even in government). Tolerant smokers may have been muted into not speaking out over years, but the shoe is on the other foot now and a million+ votes will speak out on this exact point at the next general election just as they have on the recent local elections and by-elections. You may bet there will be change. FF can no longer afford the likes of MM.
  Anonymous   Posted: 25/03/2005 09:29
the venom in some of the non smokers messages is really quite sad. the smoking ban is in and here to stay , everyone is entitled to their view on it but nit picking and having a go at someone whose view differs your own is kids stuff. the pubs are alot quieter these days maybe the finer weather will see that changed but the price of drink has gone crazy so that as well as the smoking ban has made getting a seat in a pub on a saturday nite alot easier.
  Anonymous   Posted: 25/03/2005 10:03
Blaggarde - you say that the smoking ban should be overturned everywhere else too. Are you sayign that it would be ok for me to sit at mey desk and have my rights to clean air infringed by people smoking beside me. This is discrimination against non-smokers. Jill - you are offended by people sayign that smoking is a filthy, dangerous disgusting habit. But it IS all those things. Why does the truth offend you? To the 54 year old who nver smoked outside. Do you have children? Does this mean you smoked in your own home and inflicted the harm of second hand smoke on your children?
  Anonymous   Posted: 25/03/2005 11:05
Blaggarde, I have to agree with you about children in pubs. One afternoon last weekend I went to a pub (which does not serve food until after 8pm) to watch a football match with a friend. In the corner where we sat, there was a couple with a toddler and a baby in a carry cot, joined by another couple wheeling a double buggy with two young toddlers and a lady with a baby in a carrier. Now, if I wanted to spend the afternoon in the company of small children and babies, I would attend a mother-toddler group. The pub is an adult environment and sould remain so. And before anyone says I'm trying to keep parents from enjoying themselves, this is not so. If people choose to have children then they should arrange to have adequate care organised for them while they socialise, just as they do while they are at work.
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 25/03/2005 12:40
I believe the ban should be overturned. Why? Because I believe it was instituted under false pretenses. Why? Because there has never yet been a study done showing any level of actual harm to anyone from the low levels of smoke that would be present in a modern and well-ventilated commercial venue whether it be a pub or anything else. The studies on secondary smoke and lung cancer have produced VERY mixed results (see the bottom of for 130 study results) and are expressive of smoke exposure levels from the 1950s through 1980s, largely long before much concern was given to healthful ventilation. Despite this, very few studies met even the bare minimum scientific standard of statistical significance (to say nothing of the far stricter standards governing findings of causality) and further examination of the components of secondary smoke show that they never even approach levels of safety concerns. (see for verification) If the law was honestly proposed as being based on an annoyance factor and was favored by a majority of pub-goers I could agree with it: but it was not. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  Anonymous   Posted: 25/03/2005 13:53
Butthe pointMichael is the so many of the pubs are not well ventilated.
  Anonymous   Posted: 25/03/2005 15:03
Ah yes, the person with a ream of studies to prove this that and the other, while someone else will come around with a raft of other studies to show how the other persons studies are biased, ioncorrect, not based on scientific paramters bla bla. The proof is in the pudding people. Barring a handfull of exceptions, compliance has beenh phenomenol which in itself is a good indicator of the support of the smoking ban.
  Anonymous   Posted: 25/03/2005 18:46
my dad died from cancer due to smoking and the ban is the best thing that has ever happened in this country.I would put a statue of micheal martin beside the spire. Three cheers.You have to admire his bravery.
  hermon(KFI11496)  Posted: 25/03/2005 19:19
I beleiven that smoking ban in restorants and pubs must be implied. For those who need smoking special pubs could be arranged,
  Jaime(seaotter)  Posted: 26/03/2005 03:25
Au contraire, Michael J.! Side stream smoke causes nearly immediate changes in aortic elasticity, just to cite one bad effect. Most of the studies you are looking at are rather old and done w/o modern instrumentation. The simple fact is that tobacco in any form is a potent toxin. I have made most of my adult living designing, installing and testing ventilation systems. One that would ensure smoke-free air for persons nearby a smoker would be a wind tunnel! No one would long tolerate it and the energy bills for replacement heated air would rival the government health budget! Sorry, Michael, you'll have to take it outside!
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 26/03/2005 08:45
I am totally against a blanket ban on any kind of activities. This prohibition style behavior sets a dangerous precedent that permits our Government to consider that 1.2 million Irish people is a minority and so, can be intimidated and forced to change their behaviour. What other bans would the pro lobby like to see: a total ban on all diesel engines from our roads (as diesel fumes are a class A carcinogen), a complete ban on golfing perhaps as it is destroying family life, a ban on irish people being outside when the sun shines as skin cancer is growing rapidly (oh ! and a 3,000 euro fine if the skin police catch you), or maybe just a ban all the fat people - the weight police could swoop down on you with authority under the new law to weigh you on the spot, check your body weight mass index, and fine you appropariatly. Naturally, the real fatties would be forced indoors thereby preventing our "precious children" from viewing them as role models. 'Capnaphobia' is the term used for people who hate smoking and, a phobia by definition is the irrational fear and hatred of something. Those who cheer the ban are having their phobia satisfied but, I wonder, when an activity or pleasure of theirs comes under the spotlight next, will they try to enlist the support of smokers to fight a new and unjust law ?
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/03/2005 13:21
I think the ban is the best thing. I am a smoker and dont mind going outside. Although some pubs do provide facilities for smokers, I just wouldnt go to a pub that didnt. I'm not going to be put out on the street to smoke. Another problem that I've seen my self is the amount of children in pubs. A few people have actually said that they are glad there is no smoking because it means that their childrens health will not be affected if they are in a pub. I ask you do children like sitting in pubs ALL DAY while their parents are drinking.
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/03/2005 13:41
The ban should definately NOT be overturned. At last I can go out for a night and return home not wheezing form other people's smoke. Anyone who thinks passive smoking is not dangerous is plain stupid and smokers who moan about having to go outside to smoke have little to occupy their minds.
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/03/2005 13:46
What in God's name is "Blaggarde(JLK24692)" talking about?! I don't know what he / she is on, but it's something stronger than cigarettes...
  james(idiopath)  Posted: 27/03/2005 16:19
From Micheal Martin\'s term as health minister it shoud be obvious that the smoking ban was not implemented for health reasons as fianna fail in general have decimated the health service with Harney\'s blessing. So what was his/their real agenda?
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 28/03/2005 09:56
I think the question is incorrectly phrased. Perhaps you should ask " Do you think safe facilities should be provided in pubs for smokers" ?
  mary(OEJ26444)  Posted: 28/03/2005 12:17
i am against theb ban, i think this policy was rushed in, firstly it is not a ban on smoking in all workplaces!!! if you are in prison you can smoke as much as you like, no one seems to care about those who work there or does smoke just not affect them... people in psychiatric hospitals can smoke which i agree with but people in general hospitals cant. been a nurse one of the sadest things i witnessed recently was a dying man having to wheel himself down to the basement of a hospital in order to have a ciggerette thats wrong so wrong and also unsafe. we are left in this country where law abiding people cant smoke in peace but dont worry if ya break the law or go crazy from trying to deal with it then you'll be ok.... and no i dont smoke
  Anonymous   Posted: 28/03/2005 13:41
Oi Blaggarde - Why do you assume that the person who brings the baby to the pub is female? I'm not female. And no (to the Anon poster), I don't spend hours in the pub with our baby, and I hate to see toddlers running around a pub causing mischief while parents are boozing. But there are responsible parents who will bring their children to the pub to share a family meal. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Maybe if the pubs continue to get more family oriented, and less macho-drinking oriented, their businesses will thrive and there will be less family breakdowns in Ireland. Michael J - You are factually incorrect. Before the ban was implemented, the Irish Health & Safety Authority commissioned a study from independent non-aligned experts that concluded that there was serious health risk from 2nd hand smoke. The report is available on the HSA website at - Those small minority who still oppose the ban might like to review the results of the recent Mandate survey of bar staff ("almost 87% of staff supported the law, up from 71% when it was introduced 12 months ago, 87% believed the law had already had a positive impact on their health, 70% of those quizzed felt the social atmosphere in the pubs had improved or stayed the same since the legislation came in last year and said their “regular” customers were still coming in) and the recent OTC TNS/MRBI poll (93% of people think the introduction of the law was a good idea, including 80% of smokers, 96% of people believe the law is successful, including 89% of smokers, 98% of people feel that workplaces are healthier since the introduction of the law including 94% of smokers). There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that any Govt would even think about reversing this ban. Stop bleating about smokers rights and keep your filthy, carcinogenic substances to yourself. Oh and by the way, please start picking up your butts too.
  Anonymous   Posted: 28/03/2005 14:24
I think smokers having to go outside is creating a whole new social setting outside the pubs!its obvious theres a lot more "craic"outside!
  John(johnwilliams)  Posted: 28/03/2005 15:50
Michael J - The law that banned smoking in the workplace had nothing to do with annoyance or people enjoying themselves etc. It is a blanket ban on smoking in all workplaces. Pubs and restaurants happen to be workplaces for a lot of people who have a legal right to protection from the proven harmful effects of smoking. End of story. No Irish Government can overturn this law without exposing itself to massive litigation clams.
  Paul(pmcniffe)  Posted: 29/03/2005 03:42
I smoked and when the smoking ban came in I was Pissed. I hated going outside for a smoke. But after listening to my wife and kids hound me to give up the smokes I did and by God do I feel the better for it. Yes it's tough but this time I found it alot easier. I have been off them 9 weeks now and all I can say is, GIVE THEM UP IT IS THE BEST THING THAT ANYBODY CAN DO.I wonder can anybody set up a group or forum from this section to help smokers as I would be willing to help people and talk as well.
  Anonymous   Posted: 29/03/2005 09:21
No, Hernon, you are wrong., special pobs for somkers could NOT be aranged under this legislation. It was instituted to protect workers. How would you propose workers be protected in 'SMOKING' pub?
  Anonymous   Posted: 29/03/2005 09:29
But, John - there is no total ban on somking. You simply are banned from inflicting it on others. You can still smoke - at home or outside the pub
  Anonymous   Posted: 29/03/2005 09:31
Prisons, nursing homes and psychiatric hopitls were excluded from the ban as they can be regarded as someone's permanent residence for a time. One can afterall, choose to step outside the pub for a cigarette. An inmate cannot step outside a prison!
  Anonymous   Posted: 29/03/2005 09:33
John - how can 'safe facilities' refer to smokers? Safe for whom? Certainly not for the health.
  jambalya  Posted: 30/03/2005 16:23
RE: Anonamous. "If tabacco is that bad for your heatlth why is the government still selling it?" If any govt were to make smoking illegal it would just help to develop the black market industry that already exists in illegal cigs. This would make millions for organisied criminals and subversives. Remember prohibition in USA. It made Al Capone! Plus if the govt were to criminalise cigs they would be no longer able to collect the tax revenue which we need to inject into our overburdened health service. and just bacause smoking would be illegal it doesn't mean that less people would smoke, so the money used to treat all the smokers in hospital would have to be taken from somewhere else.
  Michael(liken)  Posted: 31/03/2005 14:37
The ban was introduced to protect workers in all workplaces. Patrons of hotels and bars can decide to enter or leave at a whim but the workers particularly bar workers have to stay and breathe in a known cancer causing agent and an agent that increases a person's chances of developing heart disease and stroke.
  Anonymous   Posted: 31/03/2005 16:11
To Jambalya. So it is OK to discriminate smokers by kicking them out on the street but your are happy to take their money? It is proven that smokers cost the government less money as they die younger then non smokers.
  Anonymous   Posted: 31/03/2005 16:13
This is a public health issue not a personal one. Smokers do not have some sort of absolute right to smoke wherever they please. In my view the ban should stay.
  Anonymous   Posted: 31/03/2005 17:42
During the fifty years in which I've smoked, I exercised due respect for the non-smokers in my company. At no time was I ever asked not to smoke in any particular social setting. Mind you I did notice a growing level of glaring and grunting from some people, but they never had the bottle to appraise me of their affected disgust. I am very surprised now at how vociferous those people have become. Are we being subjected to an outbreak of old-fashioned begrugery and bandwaggoning by the pious majority? (Hic!)
  hermon(KFI11496)  Posted: 31/03/2005 18:03
Defenatly smoking in pubs must be baned, to protect the health of others.
  Anonymous   Posted: 31/03/2005 18:32
  Anonymous   Posted: 31/03/2005 19:22
best thing that has happened in Ireland for a long time!!!
  ROTTMAN  Posted: 31/03/2005 19:58
I am completely for the ban, my aunt died before she was thirty from lung cancer caused by smoke inhilation, but never smoked a cigarette in her life. How would the smokers out there complaining about human rights feel if it was their family torn apart because of someone else doing something that directly affected their ability to live
  Anonymous   Posted: 31/03/2005 20:47
I think a poll on this subject should be confined to people who actually go to pubs regularly. Im sure the result would be very different if it was. I go to two pubs fairly regularly and the majority of people in both smoke including the bar staff. Im sure that people who dont go to pubs and dont smoke think the ban is a great thing but most regulars dont. Surely a seperate well ventilated smoking area would keep both smokers (including bar staff) and non smokers happy
  Anonymous   Posted: 01/04/2005 08:55
As a smoker I am amazed that there is so much venom attached to the word SMOKER. I do not have to deal with smoking in my workplace and I do not expect anyone else to have to, so I think that the ban has been effective and achieved its ultimate goal. However I do wish that non-smokers would now "quit their whinging" or maybe that's the problem, they are now left with nothing to complain about!!!
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 01/04/2005 09:27
To Anonymous who posted that it is proven that smokers cost the government less money as they die younger then non smokers - Please post details of your proof.
  Anonymous   Posted: 01/04/2005 10:07
Pub owners were offered the option of compulsary ventilation and refused it. I'm not saying that ventilation is a bad thing but in two venues where I have been that had ventilation the non-smoking section (pre-ban) it was absolutely freexing depite the fact it it was Summer, on both occasions.
  gerald(loughreelodge)  Posted: 01/04/2005 11:19
The best thing that our government ever did and did we ever think we would see the day when a minister would have the courage of his convictions well done Michael martin
  Anonymous   Posted: 01/04/2005 13:20
To Gerald Minister Michael Martin is a complete looser. You may think what you like about the smoking ban but Minister Martin has done nothing to improve the badly organised Irish health service. Ireland has a healthy economy so how come most other European countries have a much better health service? Michael Martin introduced the smoking ban to distract people from the poor Irish health service which was certainly not improved by him.
  Anonymous   Posted: 04/04/2005 14:28
To Anonymous Posted: 31/03/2005 17:42, how can you say that you showed due respect to the non smokers in your company over the 50 years you smoked? From your message you obviously smoked in front of non smokers and did not have the courtessy to stop when you obviously noticed that the people in your company were made uncomfortable by your smoking?
  hermon(KFI11496)  Posted: 04/04/2005 18:30
I simply say NO
  Anonymous   Posted: 06/04/2005 12:15
Overturning this ban would be similar to allowing people not to wear seatbelts or to allow children to travel in cars without restraint. It is without doubt one of the best pieces of legislation Ireland has introduced, and led the world in healthy public policy for a change. What a joy it is to go to the local and have a meal and a few pints without being choked by passive smoke which knows no boundaries.
  Anonymous   Posted: 07/04/2005 17:51
under no circumstances !!! micheal martin is to be praised for refusing to submit to the pressure from the vintners association and the members of the public who had no thought for how their disgusting habit impacted on the rest of us. by the way i used to be one of the former !!
  joe(joseph1)  Posted: 07/04/2005 20:05
  Anonymous   Posted: 07/04/2005 20:59
Im a long time smoker, married to a non smoker and have 4 non smoking children, all adults now. I do think that it is an infringement on my rights not to be able to have a cigarette if Im at the pub. People say that I, and my fellow smoking public, cost the health board and tax payers money for any smoking related diseases we may fall ill to. BUT does anyone question the amount of tax we pay on a pack of ciggies that goes into the governments pocket? Its well over 30 million a year. Where does that money go? If smoking is SO bad for us and we are all supposed to "Give up our filthy habit" why doesnt the government stop the tobbaco companies manufacturing these "disgusting little white sticks" then we wouldnt be able to pollute the atmosphere. And while we are on the subject, how about a complete stoppage on the production of liquor, then we'd have no drunks or liver disease, sweets, so we dont rot our teeth, food, so we wouldnt have to fight obeseity etc. etc, Shall I carry on or have I made my point. If I want a fag, I shall have one!
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 08/04/2005 08:47
Hi Anon - Paying taxes doesn't give you the right to make other people ill. I pay my road tax - Does that give me the right to drive at 100 mph down your residential street? Of course not. Sensible regulations to protect workers and other citizens have to apply. No-one is stopping you smoking. The ban stops you smoking in the pub. Just step outside.
  Anonymous   Posted: 08/04/2005 09:04
Yes, Anon if ou want a cig you'll have one but not in the pub. If you had an concept of a period in US history which featured the prohibition you would know exactly why alcohol could not be banned
  Anonymous   Posted: 08/04/2005 12:28
It's the best thing to happen, no more sickly smell of smoke in your hair, on your clothes but worst of all, in your lungs. Smokers had their way far too long.
  Anonymous   Posted: 08/04/2005 15:20
of course not. i watched my aunt dying at only 73 because she had smoked all her life. There was no other cause of the emphesema which caused her to choke to death. Its a horrible death.
  Anonymous   Posted: 08/04/2005 21:20
O.K.S\" Rainy day\" I do know about prohibition, but didnt they get \"bootleggers\" which is precisely the reason why the government wont stop the production of tobbaco products. If us \"smokers\" are so at risk from ssmoking then why dont we get the support from the health board and suchlike to rid us of our addiction, I know that there are phone lines where some nice person( probably a lifelong non smoker) pats us on the head and tells us what \"good people we are\" when we\'ve gone a day or two without lighting up\' but if we were on \"proper drugs\" we would get substitutes like methadone. Ive tried the patches, they burnt my skin, hypnotherapy , willpower didnt do much good either. Zyban worked, but it was taken off the market. I do respect the non smoking population, I wouldn\'t dream of lighting up in a restaurant where people are trying to enjoy their food, Idon\'t smoke when my grandchildren are with me in my car, indoors with my non smoking family, I sit at the other end of the room with a window open. I can go on a plane and abstain for the length of the flight.But-- I smoke, end of story.And, going by the venom in your message, you probably do think you have the right to speed down roads as you wish.Smoking in pubs is and always has been, part and parcel of a night out, if they don\'t want us to smoke in the main bar, make us a special smoking room.I have seen the decline in bar takings and it is affecting the licencing trade.As a final note, to Anon,I sat in hospital with my Mum, aged 65, for 4 days while she died of emphysemia, it wasnt nice, she GAVE Up smoking, (something she enjoyed), 8 years before she died, didnt do her much good did it!
  Anonymous   Posted: 08/04/2005 23:15
NO NO NO the smoking ban should not be overturned, I do smoke myself a bit but i hate going into a smokey atmosphere and definately hate smoke when i am having a meal, so no, the ban should stay in place, and should stay in place for any place where you are indoors unable to escape smoke, and it even helps smokers to cut down as well which is just great, I think it is the best thing that has happened of late in this lifetime and it benefits all. We are also world leaders and just look at the other countries who are watching us and are considering putting their own bans in place because ours was successful, the government got something right for once but really it was the people who got it right and who supported it so much that helped it take off,
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 11/04/2005 10:58
Hi Anon - Precisely what help do you want from the Govt to help you to stop smoking? Please explain how a 'smoking room' could work while still protecting the staff who have to collect glasses & maintain order in the pub? No-one is trying to stop you smoking. We're just trying to stop you damaging our health.
  Anonymous   Posted: 11/04/2005 12:04
I support the ban but please, please lets not go on as if we, and especially Micheal Martin are the best things since sliced bread. This talk of how great Micheal Martin is is making me sick. The ban was a good idea but he was a desperate Minister for Health in my opinion. The ban has ensured he will go down in history but not for the realistic performance. He was dreadful.
  Anonymous   Posted: 11/04/2005 21:15
Hello again Rainy Day, we must stop meeting like this. As I said before Zyban was a very effective smoking deterent and I wish it was still available, after only a week I couldnt stand the smell or taste of a cigarette But---. Smoking rooms could be worked by smokers, judging by the amount of employees I have seen standing outside having a fag in their breaktimes. Or, what about Air Filtration Units. You say that the ban is good because it will protect health, point taken, so does that mean I can ask for a ban on drunk drivers like the one who ran into my car and ruined my spine causing me to have two major operations and having to suffer contstant pain every day. This was supposed to be a disscussion on wether or not the ban should be overturned but it seems to be an outlet for a tirade of abuse for those of us who still succumb to tobbacco.When I started smoking there was no indication that it was bad for you so how long before it was made public did the manufacturing companies know what harm these substances could do to your health. Should we all sue Sir Walter Raliegh after all he first bought it into the country.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 13/04/2005 09:06
Hi Anon-Pity you didn't answer my specific questions. Your proposals that smokers would run smoking rooms is absolutely impractical. Given the obvious mess of butts left behind by smokers, the prospect of smokers looking after their own smoking rooms (butts, dirty glasses, keeping drunks in order) is just not feasible. And by the way, in case you haven't noticed, drunk driving is already banned!
  susan(FFC27134)  Posted: 13/04/2005 11:04
Absolutely not, I am a smoker and my entire family smoke and not one of us would want smoking back in the pubs again. On the occasions when I happen to be in a pub I smoke less, my clothes dont smell of smoke at the end of the night, I am not passive smoking 1000 cigerattes it was a great decision and has prompted me to give up. My sister runs a public house and she has asthma, if smoking was still in, she would have to change careers completely. I say keep the ban 100%.
  Anonymous   Posted: 13/04/2005 18:01
Of course not. If people want to ruin their health by smoking, that's fine by me. But let them not do the same to others e.g. bar workers, and customers
  Anonymous   Posted: 13/04/2005 20:00
We meet again Rainy day. It wasnt the drink driving I wanted banned, I know that its banned,I may be crippled but Im not non compus mentis, what I meant was why not ban the booze so the ones who still insist they are capable of getting behind a wheel after a session in the pub cant do so. There would be a huge outcry , as already has been, to the banning of drink.I also didnt mean the general public clearing up or working in smoking rooms, I did mean employees who are agreable to working in this situation. I worked in pubs for 12 years so do know that a pint and a fag are some peoples idea of a relaxing social night out.You only have to take a look in the doorways of pubs to see the amount of smokers. For some the ban works for others its an infringement of what they see as their prerogative to enjoy this freely available substance.Shall we agree to disagree on this after all we are all entitled to our opinions, or is that banned too! Also to susan(ffc27134) how long has your sister had asthma, and how long has she been in the licencing trade, more than a year, thats how long the ban's been in force, if so did she think that smoking would not affect her pre-ban days.
  Blaggarde(JLK24692)  Posted: 13/04/2005 23:46
Hi Rainy - I see you\'re at it again here too, making all your old arguments about why things should be run your way. There is an unfortunate tendency in this country nowadays for a certain small-but-vocal minority to promote intolerance and tell other people how to live their lives. It is time for that to stop. Amending legislation should be introduced immediately to provide smoking venues for adult smokers and workers who want them, before we descend into Politically-Correct Hell. I call on the very vast majority of tolerant people in this country to support this view and let it be known at a public & political level that they support such tolerance, freedom and goodwill towards their fellow citizens. We owe it to future generations to curb the antics of the small-minded out there, who want to turn this country into a plastic, humanity-free society.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 14/04/2005 10:07
Hi Anon - Would you apply this principle of workers choice to all Health & Safety regulations? So builders don't have to wear hard hats if they choose - right? And asbestos workers don't need protective clothing/equipment if they choose - right? You realise that by doing so, you would be giving employers a charter to exploit the health of low-paid workers to earn a few dollars.
  Anonymous   Posted: 14/04/2005 10:07
so what happens when the smoking workers give up? For halth reasons they will be forced to find a new job - this is contructive dismissal and I wouldn't like to be in the shoes of the employer who tries it.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 14/04/2005 10:16
Hi Blaggarde - the recent surveys which marked the 1-year anniversary of the ban showed that you are in a very small minority with your narrow-minded view to inflict damaging funes on low-paid workers. The vast majority of bar workers and general public welcomed the ban. The couple of cranks who ran in the local elections on a smoking platform failed miserably. Your calls for mass protests are falling on deaf ears. You can do your King Canute bit and demand that they tide doesn't come in, but it is still coming in, regardless of what you say.
  Anonymous   Posted: 14/04/2005 13:26
Well Rainy Day, how narrow minded you are showing yourself to be. My only hope for you is that you don\'t hurt yourelf too much when you fall off your soapbox. God forbid, you may end up in hospital and have to be treated by one of the many health employees I have seen standing out in the grounds having a smoke.To Blaggarde-- well done, someone on this subject with a non defaming view of smokers.Isnt it funny how Rainy Day calls us narrow minded, when it is obviously the other way round. What has happened to the old saying\"Live and let live\"( he/she will have a heyday with that saying) if Rainy Day doesnt like smokers in pubs or whever, maybe he / she should stay indoors.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 14/04/2005 14:01
The irony of using the 'Live & Let Live' phrase when it comes to inflicting carcinogous fumes on low-paid bar workers and the rest of us has obviously gone right over your head. 'Live & Let Die' would be much more appropriate. As I've said before, I've nothing against smokers. Some of my best friends etc etc etc. But smoking - that's a different story....
  Anonymous   Posted: 15/04/2005 21:25
There was a letter in the Irish Times a few days ago which highlighted the obsession in this country with smoking and its harmful effects.Its worth reading.Hardly a day goes by now without some negative article about smoking appearing in the paper or elsewhere in the media. Although I am a moderate smoker I am not overly concerned about the ban.For me, it is just one more good reason to get out of this repressive,violent, little country as regularly as possible.It seems to me that there will always be a significant number of people in this country who will back any measure that restricts the freedom of others.Why is it not possible to legislate for diversity in this society ? Why, if there are workers and employers who are happy to operate a pub where smoking is permitted are they not allowed to do so ? There is a vindictiveness about some of the health obsessed fanatics in this country-their argument often seems to be that its payback time -smokers have irritated them for years and now they have the law on their side and are delighting in seeing smokers outside the door. Why else would someone be concerned because a person is smoking in a company car or in a business where there is only one employee and it is not open to the public ? I continue to be amazed that while the country is awash with hard drugs,and there is rampant abuse of alcohol some people see passive smoking as the greatest danger to their health.I would congratulate the office of Tobacco Control and Mr Martin For one thing and that is the fantastic success they have had in brainwashing very gullible people. While I have no doubt that smoking is harmful I do not believe for a moment all of the \"research\". Recently, we were told that radon gas could be causing the death of about 20 people a year from lung cancer.I wonder how many of these deaths were previously attributed to either active or passive smoking ? The truth is that in matters of health there are far more questions than answers. For me the gratest danger to my health and safety in this society is unprovoked assault.A friend of mine who works in Accident and Emergency in a medium size town told me that on St Patricks Day over 80 people were admitted for treatment following assaults in the town. In the last few weeks there have been several murders in this country yet there does not seem to be any public outrage or undue concern expressed by public or politicians.Today there is the story in the paper of a pregant woman who miscarried the day after she witnessed a violent assault on her husband by a group of teenagers.I think the people on this website and elsewhere who are concerned about passive smoking are far more likely to have their health compromised by what is happening on our streets
  Patricia(GMC11099)  Posted: 17/04/2005 15:40
The ban was the best thing that ever happened. I have never smoked in my life, and cigarette smoke from other smokers irritates my eyes, and gives me nausea. If people what to smoke, and ruin their health, then that is their problem. But I do not want them ruining my health, they have no right to make life unpleasant for others. Smoking is an addiction, and many many smokers would give anything to be able to kick the habit, and many people I know are struggling and doing their best to give up, for their health's sake. It is also really a question of consideration for others. One poster here says: "I'll have a cigarette if I feel like it". Right on! But not in my face, please!
  alan(grehound)  Posted: 25/04/2005 21:36
I have posted on this debate before and I did support the ban then I have not changed my mind since,When the ban came in to law I knew a lot of people that smoked but within the twelve months that has passed I know that six have kicked the weed including my wife who smoked about 45 cigs a day She has passed the twelve month mark we are very proud of her, of course there were times that she would have given anything for a fag, but with the help of myself and our kids for support she never went back on then thank God. As time go on there will less people smoking someday I hope that smoking will be a thing of the past.
  Ciara(GZV27863)  Posted: 27/04/2005 20:09
We are all clearly divided on this issue and I think that both non-smokers and smokers should become more tolerant of each others beliefs, habits, etc. I doubt that anyone would deny a smoking ban but where the problems arise is when an all-out smoking ban occurs, one like we have in Ireland today. On one side we have those who have the right not to be immersed in a room of smoke and those who perceive that they should have a social right to smoke in whatever environment they choose. However there is a ban whether we like it or not and I think that smokers should be congratulated for complying with such a ban, a ban that imposes restrictions on their social habits in order to benefit other people's social habits, i.e. the right not to breathe in smoke. However my fear is that Irish people, smokers and non smokers, have become too passive in Irish society and regarding the issue of health in particular, we tend to believe everything that health officals say on the matter of our health, good and bad. We were told in March 2004 that this ban would, without a doubt,ease the A&E crisis. I have no doubt that those who suffer from such illnesses like asthma genuinely do feel much better in a smoke free environment, yet the A&E crisis did not change in the dramatic way that the government, doctors and Míchéal Martin in particular, led us all to believe. Now we see the government attacking the drug, that they should have attacked in the first instance, alcohol etc, for this crisis. I have heard many arguments in favour for the ban and one such argument was that people can breathe in fresh air now that it is a smoke free zone. For those people who share this view I hate to awaken them and tell them that if you live in a growing industrious society there is no such thing as 'fresh air'. In fact you would not get out of your own bed if you really knew what fumes lingered in the air you breathe. Worse than the smoking ban these fumes themselves are not only a danger to our health but a danger to the very existence of our planet. I find that those who drive cars, in particular, and are for this ban are highly hypocritical, including doctors, and those in the medical profession. Why be in favour of a ban when you pollute other people's lungs with excess fumes from the car that you yourself drive?! Before I go on I must stress that there is a major difference between a non-smoker and an anti-smoker and it is the latter that I will be discussing now. Since the smoking ban I have noticed that anti-smokers seem to have a genuine belief that they are superior than those who comply by the ban. Not only that but they seem to believe that they have a right to pass remarks on those who continue smoke in compliance with the ban. It upsets me that the people of Ireland could not demand a more tolerant smoking ban; one that caters for those who smoke and for those who don't. Finally it must be said that this and these discussions would probably never have happened if a smoking-ban had've been brought out in an equal and democratic way.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 28/04/2005 10:50
Hi Ciara - Can you please advise specifically who stated that "that this ban would, without a doubt,ease the A&E crisis"? I don't recall any such promises for short-term improvements. The real health benefits of this ban will take 10-20 years to be visible. I'm proud to be anti-smoking, but I'm not anti-smoker - some of my best friends etc etc etc. And to be more specific, I'm not anti-smoking - I'm anti-smoking where the smoking impacts on me or it impacts on children. The workplace ban has gone a long way to help me, but it is not the full picture. When are smokers going to stop littering their butts? When am I not going to have to inhale smoke at the LUAS station?
  Anonymous   Posted: 28/04/2005 10:59
Ciara, how do you suggest that a smoking ban could've been brouht in an equal and democratic way? Also, I am a non-smoker (not an anti-smoker) who drives a car. Why do you regard this as hypocritical (other than percieving that it allows you to be on the high moral ground for some reason)? How precisely do you imagine most of us would be able to travel to our jobs (to pay our bills) without a car. - And please don't suggest buses as many of us are not in a position to be on a bus route and for others, getting 3 or 4 buses a day is neither practical nor reasonable.
  Ciara(GZV27863)  Posted: 28/04/2005 23:11
Hi S(Rainy Day), I have recollections of Míchéal Martin stating this on news reels, radio, and on Questions and Answers on RTE before the ban was brought out that this would ease the A&E crisis. But the lesson we should've learned is never to trust politicans!! My partner suffers from asthma and he would find that if he was in a room full of smoke with no ventilation he would have to take a trip to the hospital. This happened more than once!! So therefore if people like my partner no longer has to make these trips to the hospital then he and many like him because of the ban are easing the A&E crisis. It is only one of many factors that contributes to the crisis and the problem has been there long before Mary Harney took hold of the Health office. I noticed in your argument that you stated that 'you're proud to be anti-smoking' but your not an anti-smoker, best friends etc...' Im not entirely sure what your saying sorry. Can you develop that point please? I totally agree that children should not surrounded by smoke. Besides if we're talking about pubs in particular, children should never be in pubs as it is hardly a place for a child, as we all know. I will never condon littering especially cigarettes butts that consume our streets. But how do you suggest that this can be solved? Regarding the LUAS there is no real solution to the problem, because smokers have a right to smoke in the street all you can do is move if you don't like it. And I don't doubt for one second that you would like to be forced to move all because someone else chooses to smoke. The problem is that I don't like the way the ban is very much one sided. There has to be some level of tolerance with smokers. Regarding the Anonymous argument that followed S (Rainy Day) very few would suggest that you can do without a car, I understand entirely how reliant people have become on them. However I don't like car fumes why should I have to breathe in these fumes? That is just my point. I don't like smoke, I don't like car fumes, etc, but should I want to see these things banned just because I don't like them. When you drive a car there are three significant consequences of driving a car; the potential of an accident (I'm not saying never drive a car, travel in a bus, plane etc, because you might be in an accident, but road accidents are on an all time high and it is the ordinary people, not joyriders, etc that are butchering each other on the roads. It is a constant 'mistake' that is never learned), they produce carbon monoxide which is a colourless, odourless gas and is a SILENT KILLER, and three they have been a factor that contributes to obesity. If it was permited in pubs that one section was cornered off and well air conditioned for smokers with no staff permitted to go to that section to collect glasses, etc, until all have left and non-smokers if they wished could go to that section, would you have any problems with that? Regarding 'in an equal and democratic way', what I mean is that everybody should get a say in the actions of the government. I fear for the future because a ban of this scale has been imposed with virtually no oppostion and therefore the government have the prove they need that they can manipulate us in the future. With this ban descision it wasn't passed with true democracy as the minority had been entirely overlooked. Why did they not have a referndum on this issue? Even though there has been 94% compliance with the ban that doesn't mean that all people are satisfied with the ban. I don't smoke, I never had smoked, I don't like smoke but the point is that the government has introduced this ban in a way that is the complete opposite of democratic.
  John(LNQ28047)  Posted: 02/05/2005 21:49
The fact that other people's smoke ends up in my lungs is the problem - that's why I support the complete ban on smoking in pubs and the workplace.
  Anonymous   Posted: 03/05/2005 09:30
Ciara, I would have thought the obvious point here is that I (like thousands of others) NEED my car to get to work, visit my parents etc. People do not needs to smoke. My car is a neccessity. Smoking is an addiction.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 03/05/2005 10:00
Hi Ciara - I would respectfully suggest that your recollection of Minister Martin claiming that the smoking ban would 'without a doubt fix the A&E crisis' is faulty. Unless you can specifically refer us to when the Minister said this, in fairness, you should withdraw this claim. Your comments about the ban being undemocratic because there wasn't a referendum don't make sense. We only have referenda on constitutional matters. Governments introduce new policies on a whole range of matters every day without referenda. However, if you do want to assess public support, look at the surveys which were carried out to mark the 1 year anniversary of the ban which showed overwhelming (90%+) support for the ban from the public and from bar workers. Or look at the few cranks who stood in the local/euro elections in 2004 on anti-ban platforms and performed abysmally at the polls. The ban has public support. Your view that children should not be in pubs is outdated. I would often have our baby (now a toddler) join us in the pub for a meal. I wouldn't like to see kids hanging round pubs all day while parents are getting drunk, but there is nothing wrong with having children in pubs. Indeed, if pubs become more family friendly, we can move to a more mature attitude to alcohol with less binge drinking. Your proposal for a well-air-conditioned smoking area in a pub just won't work. There is no air conditioning system that removes the toxins from the air (as explained in the HSA report). There cannot be an area in the pub that is 'no go' for staff as staff are responsible for maintaining good order in pubs. Would you go for a swim in a swimming pool with a 'pissing area' cordoned off at one end of the pool?
  Paddy(XGS14075)  Posted: 03/05/2005 17:24
Anon 3/5/05. Who says a car is a necessity. Get a bike and/or use public transport. This is how I travelled from Drogheda to work in Dublin along with thousands of others every workday. The country is overrun with cars (not to mention urban SUV's)and we're spending billions to accommodate them with cluttered highways.
  Anonymous   Posted: 04/05/2005 08:33
I'm not on a bus route, there is no train service any where near where I live and 34 miles on a bicycle, even if it were possible, is frankly a laughable suggestion. And our motorays would not be so cluttered if there was proper planning in place like there is in every other EU country.
  Anonymous   Posted: 04/05/2005 12:54
Paddy, I agree with Anonymous Posted: 04/05/2005 08:33. the car is a necessity. I too travel to Dublin everyday on the train from Drogheda, just like you, however, to get to the train station I need my car because the public transport in this country just is njot up to scratch. Aren't we getting off the point though!!!! Cigarettes are not a nessecity, I am proff of that having given up in the past week. It's tough but I'll get there in the end. As for the issue at hand, even when I was smoking I did not mind the smoking ban, it was a slight inconvenience, especially as the evenings wore on, but it was only a minor inconvenience and I felt much better for it - smoked less, stank lass, felt much better the next morning. Definitely the ban should stay. Personally I'd like to see a complete ban on smoking and the sale of cigarettes as it would definitely help me and countless others give up once and for all. Then again, we'd have to listen to more of Blaggarde though. Only joking Blaggarde!!!
  Ciara(GZV27863)  Posted: 04/05/2005 15:12
Hi S(Rainy Day), I never stated that Míchéal Martin said that the smoking ban would 'without a doubt fix [your words] the A&E crisis. What I stated was that Míchéal Martin said that this would 'ease' the A&E crisis. You clearly have a problem with this issue yet I will not revise my original statement. I suggest that you contact RTÉ Studios Donnybrook, Dublin 4 and ask them to send you out a copy/ies of the 'Questions and Answers' program that was aired between February and March 2004. I understand that the word referendum was a wrong term to use in the context of the argument. But I think in certin matters when the government formulates the legislature of the State that the people should be consulted. Obviously it is not practical to consult the people on every piece of legislation but in those regarding socio-economic issues, especially one as controversial as the smoking-ban, that the people should be given the choice to review the government and not only give this power to the Senate. Regarding the 'overwhelmingly 90+ support' for the ban, can you state where you got these figures. Are they government statistics? The problem with statistics is that the question being asked has only two possible answers. For instance, 'Are you in favour of a smoking ban?' is not the same as 'Do you agree with a smoking ban?' In fact 'Are you in favour of a ban does not state on what grounds would the ban be enforced. Will it be an outright ban?, etc. I am in favour of A ban which would put me into that 90+ figure but the fact is I don't agree with THIS ban, because I detest the inequality of the whole law. I am an advocate of people being giving the right to choose, which is supposed a democartic trait. Publicans and customers were not giving the right to choose, if publicans wanted their pub to be smoking permitted or not. If you saw a pub that permitted smoking and one that does not, you also have the right to choose which pub you wish to go to. I don't necessarliy agree that if we continue to make pubs a more family friendly environment that this would formulate a mature attitude to drinking with less binge drinking. Working in the education sector I strongly feel that pubs are not a place for children and bringing children to pubs is certainly one that should not be promoted. There are personal reasons why I state this so strongly but I don't want to discuss that here. Of course it is fine on rare occasions, parties, etc, but binge drinking not only happens in a pub but also in the home, and children can be involved in both environments. Neither is it true that because children are present that you automatically become more aware and therefore lessen the content of alcohol. Restaurants are there to provide a family friendly environment, pubs should be left to adult orientation. Regarding smoking in pubs, Italy has proven that non-smoking pubs and smoking pubs work particularly well. But these smoking pubs are only permittted so long as the area is air conditioned properly. There are hi-tec ventilation systems that can remove toxins in the air, however these are highly expensive.
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/05/2005 19:38
this post only concerns people that used to live in Dublin and have moved and drive back into Dublinevery a,m. I see a lot of posts agreeing about the use of the car, we are all getting away from the point for some people I will agree the car is needed but in a lot of cases the car is not needed I had a car up to last xmas I got rid of it and took to the bicycle and I enjoy every minute of it A lot of people cannot afford houses in Dublin anymore because the posh ones are to dear so they go out side dublin and what they consider to be nice and posh hence the use of the car back to where they work, and some of you may ask what has this post got to do with this subject well as I cycle my way to work every am I cannot help but feel sorry for the tired faces of the single car occupants ,oh yes I am breathing in the car fumes car after car after car, with the cost of petrol going to hit the roof this year and next I hope to see a lot of house buyers coming back to there roots are, maybe I'll have them for neighbours. GET ON YER BIKE IT'S FUN.
  Anonymous   Posted: 06/05/2005 11:25
Ciara, you and blaggarde and the other opponents of the ban seem to consider this ban as an all out ban on smoking, why is that? I am truly curious. My argument is that this is merely a ban on smoking within the enclosure of the pub. Smokers can still smoke outside. Now the ban does not say smokers must stay outside the pub and never enter, it means that if you want to smoke and you are inside the pub, you must step outside for the duration of your smoke. I have also noticed that some opponents have asked that the ban be introduced with a choice i.e. smoking and non smoking pubs. There are some pubs with beer gardens etc. There is a choice there. Just because your traditionally favourite pub does not have a beer garden and therefore a smoking area, chose to frequent a different pub that has one.
  Blaggarde(JLK24692)  Posted: 08/05/2005 22:36
I would like to try and shed light on your query Truly Curious Anon, by saying that for smokers, smoking is a way of life, it is a part of the fabric of who they are and what they do...... rather like, for women, fashion and what to wear is a way of life. Imagine, if women were banned from pubs UNLESS they wore skirts, and imagine further that this was made into law under penalty of criminal prosecution..... ("research" could be going on as we speak).... and then imagine people saying to you: "well, OF COURSE women are NOT banned from pubs; .....just so long as you don't wear jeans..... What's the big deal? ..... can't you just sit outside [in November] if you want to wear jeans .......and CHANGE if you want to be allowed back inside......nobody is stopping you from going to pubs..... anyway you can wear jeans in your OWN HOME... get over it.... etc " And then imagine every quasi-misogynist in the place (here) telling you that it is for everyone's good that our women are now healthier, and the best thing that ever happened?? No doubt you would find a tongue to speak with.................. But smokers, in this society, are out in the cold by state decree and that is a cruel injustice. What is more, i believe that tolerant non-smokers are UNAWARE of the serious injustice being done here (as your question suggests), because the law doesn't negatively affect their lives on a day-to-day basis and because they have been told, and so believe, that smoke-free pubs is a good thing. What they haven't been made CLEARLY aware of is, that to create these conditions (they don't believe in the power of ventilation in 2005), they will legally oust people who smoke, from normal society. Very neat. I haven't been to a pub since March 28th 2004; like the woman who wants to wear jeans, i will not accede to being a second-class citizen in my own country. There should be smoking venues for adult smokers and workers who want them. And i will continue to voice this abuse of political power for as long as it continues. If you were in my shoes you would do the same. I hope you voice it anyway, because is the right thing to do.
  Anonymous   Posted: 09/05/2005 09:50
Anonymous - your suggestion to get on your bike is not only impractical but laughable. I NEED (yes, need my car). I bought a house outside of Dublin not becuase I wanted an area that was "nice and posh" but becuase I COULD NOT AFFORD to buy in the suburbs. Even if petrol prices increased next year - I still could not afford to live in the suburbs. Any training in simple economics will teach you that petrol is a very inelastic commodity - peoples' petrol needs do not vary greatly in response to price. They simply cut back on luxuries to pay for the increased petrol. So even if it were legal to cycle up he M50 to work every mornign (which it's not) and i valued life a limb so little to allow myself to be forced into the gutters and potholes by traffic - 74 mile round trip by bicycle every day is not only unreasonable but frankly ridiculous. This also applies to hundreds and maybe thousands of others.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 09/05/2005 10:06
Hi Ciara-Please stick to the facts. The words "We were told in March 2004 that this ban would, without a doubt,ease the A&E crisis" are your words, not mine. They are a direct quote from your post above [Ciara (GZV27863) Posted: 27/04/2005 20:09]. Interesting to see that you are now rolling back on this comment. You'll be pleased to hear that I didn't need to get RTE to send out the Q&A tapes, as these are all available on their website. I've just checked the Q&A archive for Feb/Mar 2004. The only appearance of Micheal Martin was on 29th March 2004 (see I've listened to the Minister's words on that show and he makes absolutely no mention of A&E. So once again, I'd respectfully ask that you withdraw your claim if you can't substantiate it. This isn't a pub debate where one gets to make wild outlandish claims without substantiation. Back up your comments or withdraw them, in the interests of sensible debate. I'm quite surprised that you choose Italy as an example of successful smoking/non-smoking pubs, given that smoking in pubs was outlawed in Italy since January this year. From the Italians that I have spoken to, the ban is working extremely well in Italy, just like in Ireland. Indeed, I've chosen Italy for our family holiday this year specifically for this reason. You state that 'the people should be consulted' - they were! The HSA ran an extensive public consultation programme with public meetings and online submissions of opinion. Did you participate in this? I guess not. I did. And full details of the survey you question can be found on the Office of Tobacco Control website ( and the Mandate union website. The fact remains that the ban has overwhelming public support and is the most positive step that any Govt has taken in yonks.
  Anonymous   Posted: 09/05/2005 11:07
Blaggae your allusion is nonsensival. Can you explain how a women wearing skirts makes her healthier or those around her healthier - it doesn't, it's nonsensical. Also there is a big difference between changing from jeans into a skirt in a public sreet outside a piub in broad daylight (virtually impossible without exposing oneself) and stubbing out a cigarette.
  Anonymous   Posted: 09/05/2005 12:00
Blaggarde, curious anon here. That jeans v short skirts argument is completely ridiculous and indicative of your unreqalistic arguments and contributions to this debate. The wearing of clothes by others does not directly impact on the lives and enjoyment of other people in the same vicinity, smoking does. The wearing, or not of certain items of clothing does not impact on the health of others, smoking does. And before we get the usual "there are no studies that conclusively show a relationship between second hand smoke ..." etc all I'll say is it certainly can not improve your health & well being.
  Anonymous   Posted: 11/05/2005 21:10
To anonymous dated 09-05@ 09-50. I hope the mods will give me a chance to reply to above, I am mindfull that this is but this is a topic which is important to our health meaning the air that we all breath, first of all I was not hitting out at you or anyone that find themselves in the same situation ,I think I made that point in my post but to say it again I am thinking about people in and around Dublin that have access to public transport allso maybe they have two or three cars in the drive way but they think that public transport is below them or they are to grand to car share with other members of there family or freinds who might be going the same way, yes petrol is going to go up and up what would happen if petrol became scarce? there would be no one laughing then least of all you who have to travel some 70 miles. national bike day said it all for me the one's that could have used another form of transport did not bother Our health is very important to all of us, the air that we breath is worth minding. thank you for giving me the space to put my point foward
  Anonymous   Posted: 12/05/2005 09:38
Anon above, I am mindful of the air we breathe too but sitting being jolted around on a usually dirty smelly bus which is unrelaiable and inflexible will not help that cause one whit.
  patricia(FLE28533)  Posted: 12/05/2005 18:54
yes,im irish living in jersey,i have never been back to the place since the ban before i went 2 or 3 times a year.when the french brought in a ban some years ago the police showed their contempt by lighting up and everywhere you go in france you cansmoke at leastthey have guts to stickup to dictators....and they are the healthiest in europe.if all of you publicans stick together like the french do and all go on strike the dictators would soon come to a compromise remember all the hundreds of years you were under a british dictatorship,you fought for freedom then why not now? has your fighting for your rights deserted you,do not forget smokers have rights too.
  Anonymous   Posted: 12/05/2005 21:28
To anon posted 12/05/05 @ 09;38 your post does not merit comment But I will make this comment I hope that some day soon petrol will dry up at the pumps across Ireland for about a week then anon you might be very glad to avail of our nice comfortable clean public transport I would allso anon, think that you would be the person to jump the que to get on first. GET ON YER BIKE AND ENJOY.
  Anonymous   Posted: 13/05/2005 11:47
To Anon, getting on my bike, given the current stae of the roads and lack of facilities like cycle lanes, my attire and bicycle lock-ups is simply not an option. I have yet to see "nice comfortable clean public transport" in the form of buses (I'm not near a rail line). As I drive a diesel car, the petrol drying up at the pumps will not be a problem and if the diesel dries up - well, the busses will be off the road too.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 13/05/2005 11:48
Hi Patricia - What about the rights of non-smoking bar staff to clean air at their place of work? Why should they end up with cancer to accomodate your addiction? The reason why there hasn't been an 'uprising' about the ban is because the vast majority of people (non-smokers & smokers) support the ban. You're living in the past.
  Anonymous   Posted: 14/05/2005 15:59
To anon re diesel car you are adding to the problem you are not with it anon if you think that diesel will dry up for public transport in the avent of a fuel shortage it wont. you are moaning about the cycle lanes it is people who are driving cars that we have to have cycle lanes, anyway I hope there is a fuel shortage on the way this will sort the men from the boys and oh the reason I suppose you have diesel is because it was cheaper [was] that was a ploy to get people to drive diesel car's it is not cheaper anymore GET ON YER BIKE ENJOY
  hermon(KFI11496)  Posted: 14/05/2005 17:57
Smoking in pubs must not be overturned, but pubs can afford to create places for those who intend to smoke while having a beer or two, seperate from others who do not smoke.
  patricia(FLE28533)  Posted: 14/05/2005 19:12
my last letter has been put on the wrong page my fault could you please put it on this page thanks p.mccredie
  Anonymous   Posted: 16/05/2005 09:13
Hernon smpokers do have a place to smoke while having drink - it's called outside. Anon, it is unlikely there will be a diesel shortage as it would bring haulage and the life blood of industry to a stop - WAKE UP. Cycling is simply not a option for the vast majority of suburban professionals.
  Ciara(GZV27863)  Posted: 17/05/2005 14:35
S Rainy Day, you have no right to accuse me of making 'wild outlandish claims without substantiation'. And I think that you should apologise for your claim against after it is for the 'interests of a sensible debate'. Besides if you did your research more carefully on the smoking ban you would find that M.Martin did make these outrageous claims. Yet my point was, if you had've read my previous points with care, was that the smoking ban could never ease the A&E Crisis as the problems are rooted deeper in the system itself. Here is a quote from M.Martin, 'The State assumes most of the costs of health care and tackling the tobacco epidemic is a Government approved health priority. A significant number of beds in our acute hospitals are occupied by people with tobacco related illnesses. Effective measures to reduce the incidence of smoking related illnesses are esstential if this burden of tobacco related ill health is to be reduced. Even a modest reduction in this area will result in significant health gains'. I agree with Herman KFI11496 when he says that a ban should not be overturned but a place inside specifically for smokers should be permitted,or at least tried and tested PS.the anonymous who said that smokers have a place to smoke whilst drinking- i.e.Outside, is not at all fair. Legally pubs do not allow you to take drinks in glasses outside on a public street, when there is no beer garden or room to have a few chairs outside. Besides, if there was one room within a pub that was cornered off, i.e., with bricks and mortar, and staff who do smoke who work there are responsible for the maintenance of this room and are willing to work in a smoking room, how would this effect you and others like you??? You have the choice not to go there, etc. As a non-smoker I would choose not to go to that room too. But at least I would feel comfortable knowing that smokers and non-smokers CAN work together. Back to S Rainy Day, unfortunately the HSA, which I know of, I don't remember the authority carring out public meetings on this issue. Why did the authority not function through the City/County Councils where they could've arranged meetings in the local community centres, on a national scale. If there was such programme, people could have had their say and if they/we passed the ban well then that would have been fine and fair. But the bill was rushed in with no public influence and you cannot deny that S Rainy Day. PS. you said that the HSA (which was set up by the 1989 Act are not elected by the people but are a sub-contactor for government reports funded by government which are in turn paid by the people of Ireland, whom they people have no say over. The country is rampant with institutionalism and these bodies seem to have a say over government proceedures)did 'extensive surveys' through means like online submissions yet not everybody has the internet to submit these opinions nor are aware of the HSA. Think of the elderly did they really get their say? Were they overlooked because they did not have the internet nor had the brains to be more focused on governemnt plans or realise that these so called extensive public meetings were in progress. The point is that there was no national programme to give everybody a say and I am truly worried for the future of this country. I find it remarkable that you use the HSA Report (an unfair means) to condon the implementation of the ban. Other matters, for instance when other political parties failed to nominate a candidate for the recent Presidential elections, this was the beginnings of the threat to democracy. We might of all have voted for McAleese but the fact is we never got to use our so called democratic vote to vote otherwise. We are now banning vending machines in primary schools, vending machines that aren't even there. The vending machines are in secondary schools, third level. But there's only going to be a relaxation of the no. of vending in secondary schools! If we are going to ban one thing that infringes upon our health we will have to ban everything else that does the same. Even the car, as it is 'second-hand smoke which is a term we use to convey the simple message that people are UNWITTINGLY exposed to toxic pollutnat that is NOT their causing'. We are living in a Car Culture, a car dependency society. Why do I have to breathe in someone else's fumes, well if it's a necessity that's ok! If that is damaging my health UNWITTINGLY than it should be banned, purely because the smoking ban was enforced on thesse grounds therefore why not a car ban!!!The whole point is I don't want to see bans implaced here, there and everywhere. Now that we have a smoking ban people want to take this to another level. We seriously need to have our transportation system revised. it is one of the factors that has contributed to our car dependency culture. Last year, for instance, we had a 'no-car day'. Very few were aware of this. It was not properly promoted, some chose to ignore it and others realised that the transportation system was not good enough to accommodate their needs flexibly, therefore we wasted thousands of tax payers money on teh little promotin that was carried out for something that was not visible at the present.
  Anonymous   Posted: 17/05/2005 15:59
our point Ciara about banning cars is simply a nonsense - Cars are a NECESSITY. Smoking is not. As for your suggstion to have a smoking room in a bar that is closed off. How are staff expected to maintain order in this mythical room (which is part of they their job) if they don't actually enter it.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 17/05/2005 16:46
Hi Ciara - Your quote from Minister Martin does nothing to support your claim that he said that the ban would solve the A&E crisis. That quote does not mention A&E at all. If that is your best effort at supporting your earlier claim that "we were told in March 2004 that this ban would, without a doubt,ease the A&E crisis" (direct quote from your post of 27/04/2005 20:09), you have still failed to substantiate this claim. You really should now withdraw this claim, as you failed to substantiate it for 3 weeks. Just for the record, I actually agree with you that the ban will not solve our A&E crisis. The benefits of the ban for our health system will come over a much longer term. Your suggestion to have a smoking room blocked off by 'bricks & morter' in pubs staffed by smoking staff is a non-runner. First of all, health & safety legislation does not give staff the choice to take on inappropriate risks. Would you propose that builders have the choice not to wear hard hats if they wish? Or that asbestos workers don't have to wear protective clothing if they wish? Of course not - to do this would leave workers wide open to exploitation by unscrupulous employers. For the same reasons, smoking staff are given the choice to work in smoky environments. Also, smoke from someone else's cigarette can be MORE dangerous than smoke from your own cigarette as it hasn't gone through any filter, so you would still be exposing the smoking staff to additional, unacceptable risks. And what happens if that staff member gives up smoking? Does he then lose his job? This is an outragous suggestion that pressurises low-paid staff to keep up their smoking habit to retain their job. Your comments about the HSA are once again inaccurate. They also accepted written submissions to their consultation process, so it was open to anyone who could write a letter or postcard, not just those with computers. And your proposal for 'community centre' meetings is just not practical. If people didn't bother to get up off their backside and write a submission or go to one of the consultation meetings in each city right across the country, what makes you think they would go to a local community meeting. This would only serve to incur additional costs & delays. Government are there to govern. Leadership is about leading from the front and doing the right thing, not looking behind you all the time to see if EVERYONE agrees with you. Minister Martin showed true leadership on this ban, and the overwhelming public support that it has received showed that he was dead right all along.
  Blaggarde(JLK24692)  Posted: 19/05/2005 02:48
I regret, Truly Curious, that my analogy did not meet with your approval. After all you did ask for an insight, so its a pity you chose to reject it in such a disbelieving fashion. But it is far from nonsensical on any front. Many thought ousting people who smoke nonsensical too - until it happened. And you don't need me to tell you that there are countries whose legislation goes far beyond banning women, in pubs or in public. (and yes, what they wear comes into it). The mindset that supports such intolerance and deprivation is not a hundred miles removed from the mindset that approves of our own kind of negative governmental diktat. It has nothing to do with "health", it has to do with control. Just read any of rainday's posts and you'll get the message. [she has her "law", wouldn't it make you wonder why she defends it with such venom?] However, there is a glimmer of hope for the freedom-loving and the tolerant. An increasing number - judging by this poll on this site in comparison with the pre-ban poll on this site - are in favour of OVERTURNING the ban. That means a whole lot more again are in favour of showing tolerance towards smokers in their current plight. Additionally, from the undercurrent of public reaction to the latest "task force recommendations" on heavy people and what they intend to do to THEM, it would appear that people in general are beginning to wake up to the fact that fundamentalist state interference in personal life choices is just not acceptable. I welcome the fact that people are beginning to wake up and think. Its one of the healthiest developments in a long time.
  Anonymous   Posted: 19/05/2005 09:41
Blaggarde, there is huge differnce between banning women (blatant discrimination) fron anywhere and banning smoking in pubs - the lkatter IS a health measure. But do enlighten us as to what they are goign to do to/for obese and overweight people - which is, by the way, also a health issue.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 19/05/2005 10:00
Hi Blaggarde - What makes you think that RainyDay is a she? Any comfort which you want to take from a few cranky posts is really just clutching at straws. The formal, independent surveys showed overwhelming support for the smoking ban from the general public and from bar staff. The few cranks who stood on anti-ban platforms in the last elections failed miserably. The ban is here to stay.
  Anonymous   Posted: 19/05/2005 10:38
Ciara, Which bit of Michael Martins quote do you disagree with. I have read it a number of times and it makes perfect sense to me. I persume that you agree that there are a lot of people seriously ill, directly due to smoking and therefore if we can influence the amount of smoking, we can lower the amount of people ill directly due to smoking. Could you enlighten me. (Quote 'The State assumes most of the costs of health care and tackling the tobacco epidemic is a Government approved health priority. A significant number of beds in our acute hospitals are occupied by people with tobacco related illnesses. Effective measures to reduce the incidence of smoking related illnesses are essential if this burden of tobacco related ill health is to be reduced. Even a modest reduction in this area will result in significant health gains').
  Anonymous   Posted: 19/05/2005 18:49
Ciara, M Martin was refering to bed blockers, some of whom are there because of smoking related illnesses. If the smoking ban decreases the number of people with smoking related illnesses, these "bed blockers" WILL ease the A&E crisis. I do however agree with you that M Martin said, or at least inferred that the smoking ban will reduce the A&E crisis but I dont think he meant straight away. Long term planning, isn't that what we want from our too near sighted government officials?? Also, your point on banning cars if we allow the smoking ban to remain does not hold any water. I belive that cars are not allowed in pubs, restaurants etc. Cars remain on the streets, where it is legal to smoke, So why would we ban cars again? Rainy, smokers do breath in their own unfiltered smoke so I dont agree with, nor have I ever done so, agree with this argument. As you said yourself, smoke is impossible to contain so even if the unfiltered smoke goes away from the smoker, it always comes back. Blaggarde, say what you like about your analogy of perfume and the smoking ban. It is still a ludicrous and non sensical analogy in this debate but lets agree to disagree on this point. Regarding the obesity problem, one of the main reasons for this debate and research was because children are becoming more and more overweight and this was the main driving force behind the recent issue. It is a fact that children are being allowed, and in fact the main food stuff given to them, is sugary and fatty foods by their parents (for various reasons so lets not go down that road). So, the personal choice for children does not exist. Ciara, are you mad about public consultation? Do you honestly think that any society could function adequately if there was public consultation and debate before any decision could be made. PLEASE, the government is slow enough in making any decision without the public getting involved in everything. Look at the second terminal and aer lingus as two recent examples.
  Ciara(GZV27863)  Posted: 20/05/2005 14:54
Hi S Rainy Day, I am very tired with in explaining and repeating myself regarding A&E Crisis. If you cannot interpret a statement there is nothing I can do or say that will change your mind regarding the statement. You said that health and safety legislation does not give staff the choice. That is true. But maybe someone would like that choice, so long as people are aware of the consequences etc. PS. asbestos is banned and is not used in the industrial sector anymore. Cases are very, very rare. Do you honestly think that those white masks would protect a workers if confronted with asbestos? If workers decide not to wear their protective clothing they have the choice, the know the implications of not doing so therefore that shouldn't affect anyone else. Once we are informed of the implications it shouldn't be up left to legislature to decide what happens next. People do have a responsibility regarding their own lives. From experience, those hats, steel toed boots, etc, do nothing for the workers who stand out day in day out whether beaten. Men and women should be given the opportunity to make use out of warm heavy clothing and properly heated canteens in winter time.If SIPTU were really concerned they would offer this facility immedialty. They have ignored the workers. SIPTU are office jobs and they make the desicions for which they don't really have an insight in the experiences of the average worker. Its 'jobs for the boys'. RE community centres etc, once again you have missed my point. It doesnt matter if people 'don't get off their backsides' the fact is that the opportunity could have been given and if people refuse that's fine. Your point is like saying we won't bother with a general election because some refuse 'to get off their backsides' In an idealistic world government are there to govern but in actual fact governments give a veneer of governing. Every governemnt has an element of corruption and I can't name a utopian-style government. I agree with certin elements of Blaggarde JKL24692 argument. The ban has nothing to do with health I'm afraid. Its against smoke, not tobacco. If people were really concerned about their health the smoking ban would not be their only issue, other factors like car fumes, intoxic dumps, would be threaded in the fight for health. When Blaggarde speaks of women and the smoking ban what I think he is trying to say (and correct me if I'm wrong-please) that the ban has crossed certin boundries, and if bans on this scale are passed again (which I think they will, look at today's Irish times p.14) because of constsnt intolerance, God knows what will happen next. We are too influenced by American culture. We aspired to New York (the biggest ganster cities in US) and California (the biggest pornificated states in US) regarding the smoking ban. I see S Rainy Day that you are already praising M.M. for his remarkable outstanding achievements even though the ban is only in force one year on, whilst you even stated yourself that the benefits of the ban for our health system will come over a much longer term'. How can you be so sure, how can I be so sure? The best is not to make these judgements until time has come to tell. Besides S Rainy Day what BUSINESS is it of yours to remark that I have not written back within 3 weeks. Did you think you won the argument?? Reasons as to why I didn't are mine alone, not yours, and you are fully aware of that. I am afraid that I have made the descision not to discuss any matters with you again from this point on, as it was you, not me, you crossed the boundry first regarding personal matters. I will continue to discuss with those you are willing to SHARE points of view and not to those who think their way is the only.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 20/05/2005 16:21
Hi Ciara-You need to take a deep breath, count to 10 and relax. Now let's stick to the facts of this debate. Firstly, you have made claims that Minister Martin said that the smoking ban would ease the A&E crisis, yet you have been unable to support these claims with evidence. So your claim is worthless. Your comment that hard-hats & steel toed boots do nothing is factually incorrect. Hard hats can and do save lives on Irish building sites. Your suggestion that workers should have the 'choice' to ignore H&S regulations as long as they understand the implications will create a charter for unscrupulous employers to exploit low-paid workers by taking risks with safety, whether on a building site, or an asbestos removal job, or in a bar. We've seen how GAMA are willing to exploit immigrant workers - just think how many lives would be put at risk on building sites and in bars if H&S regulations were left as a matter of choice. Why on earth would you want to put the lives of low-paid workers at risk to accomodate a minority of smokers who are not prepared to keep their habit to themselves. If you have any real concerns about car fumes, why don't you start a campaign to fix it? If not, it's really just a red herring that you're dragging into the arguement to distract attention from the real issue. Your comparison to a general election doesn't hold water. We did have a general election and we elected this Govt. We'll have a chance to replace them soon in the next general election. That doesn't imply that Govt's need to hold referenda on every controversial issue. The smoking ban does not breach the constition, so the Govt were quite entitled and correct to implement the ban without a referendum. The ban is here to say, so you might as well get used to it.
  Anonymous   Posted: 20/05/2005 21:34
To anon dated16/5/05 @09:13 you are the one that need's to wake up if you think that diesel will be @ the pumps in the event of a fuel shortage try to understand one thing here, if the newspapers ever get to print the big headlines fuel shortage looming what do you think will happen? every filling station around Dublin indeed all over the country will have very long que's for the first week any longer? the fuel will be rattioned then panic sets in. So annon dont crow when there nothing to crow about. GET ON YER BIKE.
  Anonymous   Posted: 23/05/2005 09:02
Ciara, workers DO NOT have the choice as to whether or not to waer safety clothes. It is the LAW - like the smoking ban. Any workr not wearign will not be allowed on site. Also hey are quite free to wear warm clothing in Winter, so I don\\\'y knwo where you got that from.
  Anonymous   Posted: 23/05/2005 16:40
Anon, don\'t be so naeve, people will stockpile before the event until the supply is loosening up by industry demands, I have no intention on getting on my bike (to do what - cycle in the gutters, risking life a limb to trucks and cars, in all weathers, sweating away and getting dirty in my suit, with no facilities to shower at the office and nowhere to secure a bike.
  Anonymous   Posted: 25/05/2005 18:31
To anon 23/5 /05 @ 16;40 I am not the one that\'s naeve I should point out to you that this type of stock piling of petrol is against the law and your house insurance would like to know if you were to have a housefire or worse, your suit may not be the only thing you might have to worry about.My last point on this matter is that it is people like you ANON that set\'s off the panic @ the pumps. Now who is the one the one that is being naeve ANON. GET ON YER BIKE FORGET THE CAR LEAVE IT @ HOME.
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/05/2005 08:42
Even if I were, for some odd reason, willing to cycle in the gutters, risking life and limb to trucks and cars, in all weathers, sweating away and getting dirty in my suit, with no facilities to shower at the office and nowhere to secure a bike, how on earth do you propose I drop off my baby and toddler at the creche and collect them in the evening? (aside from the fact cycling would make me late for collecting them anyway)?
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/05/2005 08:47
To the two contributors regarding petrol & bikes, firstly to the petrol stockpiler; the reality is that there is a finite amount of petrol in the entire world and the experts estimate that we have approx half of it used, and the second half will be harder to retrieve from the earth and the world is using it at a much faster rate. So even if you do stockpile it, it will eventually run out. To the biker, as a biker myself, I recognise that the answer to all our energy problems is not for everyone to get on their bikes. We will always need cars, trucks, ships, planes,, trains, etc, which all use petrol. As individuals, we have to hope that the "experts" will come up with viable (hopefully renewable) alternatives to petrol, before it runs out. Now, can we drop this arguement and get back to the real issue at hand re smoking ban in pubs.
  Anonymous   Posted: 27/05/2005 21:47
I am the person that supports more use of the bike But come on give me a break I nowhere on any post said we could do without cars. In the county's around Ireland the car is very much needed BUT in the city of Dublin where I live and all city's the use of the bike should be encouraged more I am sure that most people will agree on this one, except our friend that's afraid that his suit will get dirty. Regarding the the ban on smoking the ban should and will stay, smoking is only one of many things that is bad for your health when will the Garda tackle the problem of lorrys cars trucks and buses that are bleching out fumes from badly tuned engne's or are in need of a good service the laws are there to deal with this problem, we know now that a lot of car owner's are not availing of the nct test but I am affraid the will of the Garda is not there if the same effort was put into this problem as was the smoking ban well we would be all breathing much cleaner air. GET ON YER BIKE.
  Blaggarde(JLK24692)  Posted: 28/05/2005 02:06
Banning smokers from pubs IS blatant discrimination, anon, and is every bit as blatantly discriminating as banning women is elsewhere. Ciara, your interpretation is quite correct and i welcome and appreciate your input to this discussion. The fact is that the government has exceeded its function by excommunicating the smoking population. Turning a blind eye to this outrageous abuse of power is a bad and dangerous development but actively supporting it, as some here do, is without reservation, irresponsible. This is WAY bigger than just smoke. Ireland was a free country up until 29/03/04. This unprecedented attack on personal adult choice puts the current government on a par with every other fundamentalist state and severely out of line with the majority of European states. But i am very glad to notice that there is an awakening to these facts. Even in New York, where this nonsense all started, the new republican mayoral candidate intends to revisit the issue with the intent of restoring individual liberties.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 30/05/2005 16:39
Hi Blaggarde - Aren't you being just a little bit selective in your international comparisons. Instead of just mentioning one prospective candidate in New York, why don't you also reference the many countries/cities in Europe which have followed the Irish lead in banning smoking in bars, like Norway, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Liverpool, Minneapolis, Atlantic City and the imminent bans in Sweden & Belgium?
  Anonymous   Posted: 01/06/2005 13:17
Blaggarde, what part of this do you not understand. Smokers are not banned, smoking is. There is a difference. Can you see it? Using a ban on women as a comparison does not wash because a woman will always be a woman, you will not always be puffing smoke into the air. Additionally, being a woman does not impinge on the rights of others, your smoking does. YOu being a smoker does not but then again, you as a smoker are not banned from pubs, just your smoke. Have you grasped it yet???
  Anonymous   Posted: 09/08/2005 12:34
people have the addiction due to the invention of ciggarettes. Don't punish smokers for obtaining an addiction given to us by the ciggarette companys. It isn't fair to shove us in the pokie area of the pub to smoke where we will become gamblers. Don't austrisise us from the public, because smoking has become apart of us. Ban smoking all together if you have a problem with it. That would be the more sensible thing to do. It is discrimination.
  Anonymous   Posted: 15/08/2005 21:01
Banning the weed would be the best thing, But in this Country thing's are only done in half measure you can have one pint of beer so a lot of people have the second one and are over the limit while driving, the correct thing to do ban the cigs and no drink while driving.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 16/08/2005 11:22
Banning smoking is a nice idea in theory, but absolutely impossible to implement in practice. The banning of alcohol in the Prohibition era in the US in the 30's was what led to the rise of organised crime, and banning smoking altogether would have the same impact here. Let's just ensure that smokers don't damage any one else's health.
  Anonymous   Posted: 16/08/2005 11:53
You only have to look at the prohoibition in the states in the 20's to know how ludicrous the idea of banning cigarettes completely is. The Prohibition spawned a mafia which still exists today and gave rise the the biggest generation to alcoholics in the US that century. Is that realy what you want in relation smoking.
  Anonymous   Posted: 17/08/2005 00:18
I am absolutely and utterly fed up that I can't get a nights sleep anymore!This stupid stupid ban. Nothing but noise noise noise. My nerves are at me from lack of sleep. What about me? I'm peeping out of my curtain every night in case any of them try anything. They laugh and roar all night and mock me if they spot me peeping. They shout obscene names up at me and show me their two fingers. I live alone and I have to protect my property and I am getting really paranoid about the whole scene. It was the worst thing that has ever come in!!
  Anonymous   Posted: 17/08/2005 12:53
I assume you ae talking about punters in a nearby pub who smoke ouside the door (becuase presumable there is not ard / beer garden) talking loudly for the few minutes hey have their cigarettes. However, if they are roaring every night of the week after 10pm then this is a public order offence and needs to be notified to the Gardai. Why blame a public health mesure for the existence of ignorant people who roar at your window all night every night.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 17/08/2005 13:36
The ban isn't causing noise pollution. The rudeness and lack of consideration of smokers is the problem. If you have a problem with noise, there is a District Court process you can follow to get this resolved - see for more details.
  Anonymous   Posted: 17/08/2005 23:02
But then they will know that it is me and make my life even more miserable! I am too afraid to report them.
  Anonymous   Posted: 20/08/2005 22:09
i think this ban discriminateds in particular against women. they are not long in the pubs, maybe about 20 years properly. men have had a few centuries been allowed to smoke. what about women's rights.
  Anonymous   Posted: 23/08/2005 13:07
What about the discrimination of non smokers before the ban? Smokers should count themselves lucky that they got away with it for so long.
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/08/2005 14:30
What about the discrimination of smokers before and after the ban? In my lifetime so far I have heard nothing else but how bad smoking is and how bad smokers are to society. Your unfairness to non-smokers can only be applied to this lifetime.
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/08/2005 15:04
You have heard nothing else but how bad smoking is - What did you expect? To suddently hear that it was good for you? I am being facetious but honestly what else DID you expect?
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/08/2005 17:56
Anon 15:04 I personally think that it is great so why aren\'t we hearing this side of the argument? If I was told that smoking was good for me, I may not find them attractive anymore! Who wants to eat fruit and veg all the time? That is boring but cigarettes are as tempting as sweets and chocolates.
  Anonymous   Posted: 24/08/2005 22:43
Just came across this site, i think the smoking ban should be left as is, healthwise it's in everybodys best interest. I am a smoker myself, about 20plus a day but i don't see why non-smokers should have to sit and inhale my smoke.
  Anonymous   Posted: 25/08/2005 14:51
Annonymous 22:43 Traitor!
  Anonymous   Posted: 25/08/2005 16:07
Anon 25/08/2005 14:51, your post is a very aggressive & threatening one. The smoker in the previous post simply gave a very truthful & considerate message. Because there was nothing in the message that you could disagree with in substance, you resourced to attack the messenger, simply because you didn't like her message, and not because you could find any fault with the message itself. Very poor behaviour on your part.
  vicky(NZI33500)  Posted: 25/08/2005 16:47
i think that the smoking bans in the pub is execellent!! people who think it should be overturned imagin what it would be like for a person who doesnt smoke or some1 trying to give up or that have cancer of the lungs for that matter imagin wat its like breathing in the thing that is killing you..imagin how many children would develope asma or die of cot death!!i think second hand smoke is worst that smokin yourself..i no its silly 2 believe but imagin how many children an people you are putting in danger becoz of a smoker aswell!!
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/08/2005 02:21
Anon 16:07 Go to the other side and stay there now! You do not belong to us smokers anymore!
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/08/2005 13:20
Anon 16:07, its not the ban that is dividing society, its people like you with your attitude. How do you expect peopole to have any sympathy for your "plight" when you drag any discussion on the topic to a base level. That is a rhetorical question by the way.
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/08/2005 16:16
To Anon 02:21 & your collegue 14:51, who are calling fellow smokers traitors & telling them to go to the other side, you really have reached a new low. When you can no longer debate the substantive issue, because there is nothing factually correct with what the smokers in favour of the ban are saying, you resort to name calling. Is this how you deal with anyone that does not agree with you, even when they have shown your position to be illogical?
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/08/2005 17:34
This is how people turn away from God because they find the devil more appealing! Think about it! Judas kissed Our Lord on the cheek and then reported him. By coming on this site and saying that you agree with the ban you are actually reporting smokers!
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 27/08/2005 14:28
Sheeesh... I have no idea why my name is XMJ26362. Cantiloper here. Just wanted to bring things back to issues: There has never yet, to this date, been a single study showing ANY degree of long term harm to health from the low levels of tobacco smoke that would normally be encountered in any modern and decently ventilated establishment. The motivation for the smoking ban is more politically and social engineering oriented than based on any true concern for workers' health. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  Anonymous   Posted: 27/08/2005 23:23
I agree with anon 2:21, smokers agreeing with this ban are the same as people who have had a great laugh with a person and then goes off and talks about them behind their back!! If they are so concerned why didn't they go outside the door before the ban came in?
  Anonymous   Posted: 29/08/2005 08:37
Oh Please, we are now comparing smokers to God, and smokers who do not have a problem with the smoking ban are being copared to the devil and Judas. What next? You will be telling us next that everyone should take up smoking because it is most healthty thing that you could possibly do(based on the scientific and objective evidence that Aunt Mary up the road has been smoking 30 a day for the last 70 years and never sick a day in her life)
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 29/08/2005 10:30
Hi Michael J - Have a read of the Irish Health & Safety Authority report on Environmental Tobacco Smoke (see
  Anonymous   Posted: 29/08/2005 10:52
Anon 8:37 hasn't got a clue how to read posts! Who said anything about comparing smokers to God. The example was given to smokers that agree with the ban! They are now known as Judas's around the country. They have turned their backs on their fellow smokers preferring to agree with the anti-smoking lobby. Who wants to deal with these type of people?
  Anonymous   Posted: 29/08/2005 11:58
Michael, What kind of real thinking would you say is behind this smoking ban?
  Anonymous   Posted: 30/08/2005 11:12
No it should not be reintroduced.I have no objection to people smoking but why should I have to inhale their smoke.
  Anonymous   Posted: 30/08/2005 22:18
Anon 11:12 Is there any chance that you would wear a mask while we are smoking?
  Anonymous   Posted: 31/08/2005 12:03
Anon, 22.18 Any chance that you step outside every so often for 5 mins for your oh-so-precious cigarette, (with absolutley no benefits whatsoever), so that you will not impact negatively on the 2/3 of the population that do not smoke, and the workers who have to work in their work environment for their 40 hour week. Oh wait a minute; that is what the law requires and it is a law supported by most people in Ireland. Ah well there is no problem then, forget your cheeky request to wear a mask then.
  Anonymous   Posted: 31/08/2005 23:04
Anon 12:03 When it's raining outside maybe you wouldn't object to me having an odd cig by the fireplace would you? I'll make sure that I blow the smoke up the chimney! Or if I sat up on the windowsill and opened the window a bit and blew the smoke out there, would that be alright? Or what if there was about five or six of us in an office smoking you wouldn't really say anything would you?
  Anonymous   Posted: 01/09/2005 08:45
A mask would severely inhibit the enjoyment of my pint. Not as severly as having to inhale your smoke however.
  Anonymous   Posted: 03/09/2005 00:09
I am like a lost little puppy looking through my favorite coffee shop!! My tongue is hanging out for a lovely cup of coffee and a long cigarette!! How I long for the good ol' days....
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 03/09/2005 15:56
Rainy Day suggested that I read the Irish ETS report. The report is better done than some I\'ve seen, but still exhibits a lot of problems. - - - A good deal of the report focuses simply on stating things like \"There are chemicals in ETS that are bad and these are what they are:\" and makes no clear statement as to what amounts of those chemicals are ever present in bars, restaurants, or other workplaces. To ignore the importance of amount of exposure and simply depend on the presence or absence of a compound would lead one to call for a ban on alcoholic drinks in restaurants since there would obviously be a greater concentration of carcinogenic alcohol fumes in the air that the workers and children are breathing. Is such a thing worth worrying about? Of course not, if you\'re sane. But using the non-quantifiable criteria of concern used in the Irish Report such a problem would call for a ban. - - - The Report also relies heavily on such things as the 1992 EPA Report which relied on epidemiological studies based on, as I stated earlier, exposures to vastly higher and more concentrated quantities of ETS than would normally be found in any decently ventilated business today. Since even with those far more concentrated exposures the putative health effects were so small as to be almost unmeasurable with any consistency across studies, it\'s clear that they should not be used as the basis for law today. The Report tries to cover this up by examining ventilation as a factor and starts right off by putting out a model calling for one air change per hour. Since normal standards in smoking establishments today call for something on the order of 1,000% higher air change rates it\'s pretty clear that the Report is promoting a bias rather than examining a reality. - - - The Report continues this trend by deliberately confusing the terms \"control for\" and \"elimination of\" with regard to its discussion of workplace smoke exposure, and throws in the Repace type claims for \"de minimus\" risk assessments. The Report bases its claims about ventilation not upon a body of peer reviewed and accepted scientific studies, but upon the results of a *workshop* that is not even well-referenced. - - - This is particularly distressing since no one is making the claim that being shut up in a sealed closet with 1,000 burning cigarettes would not be bad for one\'s health: the entire basis of governmental smoking bans MUST, if it is to have any validity, spring from evidence that exposures to the highly diluted smoke normally encountered in businesses today poses a health risk in the real sense of the words. - - - - - - Michael J. McFadden - - Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers Brains\" - -
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/09/2005 10:48
Anon 00:09, while I agree with the ban as workers right to health must be protected, I have to say, I do feel sorry for you. I am a non-smoker. Anti-smoker where my car, home and where young children are concerned. But your story reminds me of my Nan. Every Friday morning, when she collected her pension, she would get her paper and packet of 10 meet 3 other women of her age and they would go to the local coffee shop, order a huge pot of tea aand sit drinking tea, having a few smokes and talking away for hours - until it was time to go home to lunch. It was the highlight to her week and she would spend the evening telling me what this one or that one said or did - she had the news of the town. She never lived to see the smoking ban and in a way I'm glad.
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/09/2005 13:40
Michael, you constantly knock reports that discredit smoking environments and the claims of the anti smoking proponents. I fail to see any evidence produced by you for your owen claims, rather you put forward your regarded cracks in others viewpoints or scientific studies. In your last post you referred to highly diluted atmospheres - what do you mean by highly diluted? What does your scientific atmospheric analysis define as highly diluted? Look, the bottom line is that smoking is bad for smokers, the fact that both fileteredd and unfiltered smoke gets into the air and in confined spoaces, that certainly is not good for anybody, smoker and non smoker. Someone mentioned that the smoking ban is more politically motivated than motivated by health concerns. Does that mean that it is a bad law? Not of itself, is it. The vast majority of people agree with the smoking ban and do not want it reversed. The sooner smokers wake up to this fact the better for them, and only them because it is here to stay.
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/09/2005 15:37
Anon 10:48 There are still a lot of these older people around to-day as well as ones in hospitals. Surely something better could have been achieved than this. Wouldn't it have been far more humanitarian to provide a nice comfortable place for these people to go to so they wouldn't upset the non-smoker. Surely this is not right and interferes with a person's dignity?
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/09/2005 18:52
Michael, Interesting how you brought up about the carcinogenic alcohol fumes. A publican on another site brought that up as well but the anti's thought it was ridiculous. Is alcohol seen as being more favorable than smoking and yet it could be damaging us more!
  Anonymous   Posted: 06/09/2005 08:42
i think teh smoking ban should stay and i was smoking at the time the ban came in pubs are clearer, my eyes arent stinging my clothes dont stink when i go home.. this has done wonders for teh health of non smokers as passive smoking effects everyone
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 06/09/2005 23:51
Anon wrote: "Michael, you constantly knock reports that discredit smoking environments and the claims of the anti smoking proponents." Well Anon, I was responding to Rainy Day's post where he specifically ASKED me to look at the Irish Report. Anon then wrote "I fail to see any evidence produced by you for your owen claims, rather you put forward your regarded cracks in others viewpoints or scientific studies." Largely true Anon, although I could refer you to various studies that support my own contentions. Not totally true though: check out my section on ETS on my book site and you'll see a sample of the research I've done on my own. Unfortunately, air sampling and such analysis require a degree of funding just not available to anyone on my side of the issue unless one wants to look to the tobacco companies or the ventilation/filtration manufacturers. And once you take THEIR money your findings are pretty much dead in the water. Anon then wrote: "In your last post you referred to highly diluted atmospheres - what do you mean by highly diluted? What does your scientific atmospheric analysis define as highly diluted?" I respond: I'd consider 10 to 20 air changes an hour to produce a highly diluted condition for tobacco smoke. This is a pretty primitive model and has defects but do the math yourself for a rough idea: if you take 100 cigarettes and burn them over the course of an hour and have one air change, you'll have removed 50% of the smoke. Move that up to 2 air changes and you'll have removed 75%. By the time you get up to 10 or 20 air changes you'll have less than 1/100th of one percent of the smoke still in the air, one one hundredth of a single cigarette. And the average person in such a venue, breathing at the rate of 10 liters per minute, is going to breathe less than a thousandth of that... one-one-hundred-thousandth of a cigarette. Even if this seat of the pants modeling is off by a factor of 100, we'd still be talking about 1/1000th of a single cigarette per hour. Meanwhile the Antinuts like to claim bartenders are inhaling 80 per shift! No long term harm has ever been demonstrated at such levels and to make people frightened of such a thing is wrong. - - - Michael J. McFadden - - - Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains - - -
  Anonymous   Posted: 08/09/2005 13:25
Michael J. (XMJ26362) Posted: 06/09/2005 23:51, in your book, articles or whatever, you take apart the figures of the antinuts, which is fair enough and I agree with you on ripping them apart. IN your last port you used an example of the antinuts proclaiming that bar staff breath in the equivalent of 80 cigs each shift. This is after you say they could only breath in a fraction of 80 cigarettes based on your scientific analysis. You fail to realise that your analysis was based on 100 cigarettes being smoked per hour. I sincerely doubt that in the size of pubs that we have today that only 100 cigarettes would be smoked in an hour. A very wild guess would suggest a multiple of 100 being smoked every hour. Time to plug a hole in your own analysis. TEll me this, is it ONLY the antinuts massaging the figures?
  Anonymous   Posted: 08/09/2005 16:46
The smoking ban should remain. Other countries are thinking about following our example although in UK there are thinking of a modified version. Best decision made by the government.
  Anonymous   Posted: 08/09/2005 19:39
At least the English have a bit of sense! Bring back the English, we can't cope again anymore!
  Anonymous   Posted: 09/09/2005 02:18
What about the country pub who has only 30 cigs in his ashtrays per night on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursday about 45 for the night. Friday, Sat and Sunday 100 for the night. What is it equivalent for me then?
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 12/09/2005 13:52
Hi Michael J. (XMJ26362) - Good to see that you\'ve spent some time on the HSA report, but I\'m really struggling to get to grips with your criticisms of that report. The HSA report does not call for \'one air change per hour\' as you claim. It mentions this as a benchmark, but it does not call for it. Your claim about the workshop which is \'not referenced\' shows that you are clutching at straws. I was able to find the workshop output via Google in about 40 seconds (see Your claim that the report \'makes no clear statement as to what amounts of those chemicals are ever present in bars, restaurants, or other workplaces\' ignores the quoted research in the report which shows the damage caused by the levels of chemicals present in hospitatlity outlets, e.g. - Wells (1998) undertook a review of 14 studies that examined the risk of passive smoking in never smokers and concluded that passive smoking in the workplace increased the risk of lung cancer by 39% - Kawachi and Colditz (1999)[...] concluded that [...] there was evidence of a dose-response relationship between intensity of ETS exposure in the workplace and risk of cardiovascular disease. - A study of workers in California bars found that the reported prevalence of these respiratory symptoms decreased in workers when the law was changed to make all bars and restaurants smokefree (Eisner, Smith, et al. 1998) - Waiters, bartenders and counter workers etc. who are exposed to high levels of exposure to ETS have been shown to have an increased risk of death from lung cancer (Dimich-Ward, Gallagher, et al. 1988; Lindsay, Stavraky, et al. 1993) etc etc. This evidence clearly contradicts your original statement that \'ANY degree of long term harm to health from the low levels of tobacco smoke that would normally be encountered in any modern and decently ventilated establishment\'
  hermon(KFI11496)  Posted: 12/09/2005 18:16
Smoking must be i,plicated in pubs to protect non smokers.For those who wish to smoke pubs must accomodate a place for them. for the past years smoking proved to be the main cause of several deseases including lung cancer, coronary problems.
  Anonymous   Posted: 12/09/2005 22:23
I like the smoking ban. At least when your on a bus or in a pub you dont have to breathe in fag smoke. Also people who complain about it are stupid. Smoking is bad for your health anyway so why complain about a ban on something that could kill you.
  Anonymous   Posted: 13/09/2005 11:29
Hernon, under this legislation pubs must NOT accomodate a place for smokers..
  Anonymous   Posted: 13/09/2005 23:11
Anon 22:23 We love being stupid that's why. It is okey to be stupid in this world and to do stupid things isn't it? And it is okey to think stupid thoughts like "I'm doing what is right for me" and all that isn't it? And it is okey for a stupid government to still sell such a stupid product and to still invest in these stupid companies is it not? Why target the stupid smokers and target the stupid government instead??
  Doreen(GKT28983)  Posted: 14/09/2005 18:50
I am a smoker. The ban should be lifted ONLY IF an area, enclosed or not, can be provided by the management of the premesis which is TOTALLY SEPARATE from the public area. As a smoker, I have met, and become friendly with, many people with whom I would not normally converse in "the pub". I have NO problem with the ban. There is NO reason why staff and patrons of any establishment should have to suffer from secondary smoking
  Anonymous   Posted: 15/09/2005 11:38
I think it is taking ti a bot far tho' that taxi drivers when they are on their own in the taxi canot smoke. Alos taking it a bit far was my local pub. They had picnic tables outside for summer. When winter came they cleaned and painted one of their outside sheds, did a lovely job on it - which is not connected to the pub and is out in the yard / carpark (it's a litle rural pub)and moved the picnic tables in there. Patrons collected and brought in their own glasses and ashtrays and there was a little heater in there but the big wide double doors were left open so that hte barman could see into the shed from the side door of the bar. To be honest, I saw nothing wrong with this. But no - thy were told this was not complying with legislation because it was an enclosed space and the bar staff could not supervise it fully. Now the picnic tabels are back out in the rain, the shed stands empty and smokers shiver by the door.
  Anonymous   Posted: 15/09/2005 14:03
Absolutely! To treat your fellow man in such a dispicable manner is disgusting. We want to live in this world the same as everyone else and to be treated with respect and not to be treated like animals locked in a cage! We want fair-play like the rest of humanity!
  Anonymous   Posted: 16/09/2005 13:14
The reason that taxi drivers are not allowed smoke in their cabs is, firstly because it is their work place, but the more fundamental reason is that customers of those taxi drivers should not be subjected to an enclosed smokey environment. The smoke lingers in the cab of any vehicle.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 16/09/2005 15:46
Quote "We want fair-play like the rest of humanity!" Isn't it funny how "fair play" wasn't such a major concern when you were polluting the lungs/hair/clothes of non-smokers?
  Anonymous   Posted: 16/09/2005 17:53
Rainy Day, There was plenty of fair play when I did not ask you to leave when I was smoking. I sat down and entertained you when I smoking and we got on very well. However you decided somewhere along the line that you did not want me the smoker in your life anymore and instead of asking me politely if I would move into another room you threw me outside the door! What was wrong with this great friendship that we had all along? I would never behave like that in any friendship! You wouldn't treat an animal like that!!
  hermon(KFI11496)  Posted: 16/09/2005 18:59
It is true that when one is in a pub he there to enjoy his stay, bur others who do not smoke are in the pub to have a nice time. So their health is also important. That is why I think that smoking must be baned,
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 18/09/2005 19:49
Anonymous wrote "Time to plug a hole in your own analysis. TEll me this, is it ONLY the antinuts massaging the figures?" Yes Anonymous, they ARE the only ones, at least in this case. Visit and read the section on ETS for an answer to your questions. I provide a very specific model that can be adapted for any pub you like. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 18/09/2005 20:09
Rainy Day posted a number of study analyses and then said to me: \"This evidence clearly contradicts your original statement that \'ANY degree of long term harm to health from the low levels of tobacco smoke that would normally be encountered in any modern and decently ventilated establishment.\' \" No Rainy, it does not contradict that statement. Even the studies you sought out specifically in an attempt to contradict it clearly fail the test. The Wells meta-analysis was based on smoke exposures that were most intense in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. It has nothing to do with present levels of exposure. Kawachi actually supports my contention since he claims a dose-response relationship: at the \"doses\" received in a modern well-ventilated pub the response would be so miniscule that it would virtually, and perhaps literally, not exist at all. Plus, you will note that Kawachi, even at the higher exposures did not FIND a dose response relationship but was only able to note that there was evidence pointing to the possible existence of one: two VERY different statements in the scientific world. The Eisner study had nothing to do with long term effects: it was a study of short term symptomologies. Even in that context the study was a joke due to the fact that 24 of the 53 bartenders were smokers themselves and due to the fact that more than half of the originally approached pool of potential subjects were so hostile to the research that they refused to even participate: Eisner\'s eventual pool of 53 consisted of a self-selected subset of bartenders most sympathetic to the concept that their health would be improved by a ban. Combine that fact with subjective symptomology reporting and Eisner\'s work is worthless. (And, remember, irrelevant to my point in any event.) If the Dimich-Ward study is similar to Michael Siegel\'s it is also worthless as real evidence. See Martha Perske\'s analysis of the Siegel study at FORCES. Now that I\'ve carefully answered YOUR criticisms... will you return the favor? Can you justify the misrepresentation of Helena by so many prominent Antismokers? (See \"The Great Helena Heart Fraud\" at ) Can you explain why Otsuka, in his ballyhooed \"30 minutes exposure gives a heart attack\" study deliberately avoided providing even the most basic sham control conditions? (Hint: because those conditions would have invalidated his experiment) That\'s enough for now I think...
  Anonymous   Posted: 19/09/2005 11:42
17:53 I do indeed wantthe smoker in my life. I do not however want their smoke.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 19/09/2005 12:13
Hi Smoker - Nope, that's not what happened at all. I told you many times how your smoke made me uncomfortable, smelly & unhealthy and you laughed it off. I think you even blew your smoke in my face a few times. You laughed when I pointed out how uncomfortable the people at the next table were as you blew your fumes towards them. And when I responsed 'yes' to your 'anyone mind if I smoke' question, you were so surprised that you immediately had to light up (at our table) to calm yourself down. And of course, you continue to exaggerate the impacts of the ban. The smokers are not banned - smoking is banned. So all you have to do is to step outside or retire to the beer garden for the 3-5 minutes it takes. But obviously, you cared little for my comfort and health for all those years - What goes around, comes around.
  Anonymous   Posted: 19/09/2005 16:39
Rainy Day, Hi non-smoker. That is not what happened at all!I have met only two people that ever told me that my smoking was making them feel uncomfortable. I immediatly blew my smoke in a different direction so they wouldn't feel uncomfortable. I asked the question "would you mind if I smoke" as usual at weddings and once ever I was asked if I would mind waiting until the meal was over. That is exactly what I did! All those years I smoked a product that was legal and used it the way it was supposed to just like anyone else using a legal product did. I couldn't really eat it because it was designed to be smoked! I never once asked to be kicked out the door. It is you who decided that! Why would you then do something like that to people who were your so-called friends?
  Anonymous   Posted: 19/09/2005 16:41
Anon 11:42 How can you class your friend without smoke as a smoker so? There is no such person!
  Anonymous   Posted: 20/09/2005 08:57
Anon - 16:41 That is why they now have to go outside the door.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 20/09/2005 10:50
Hi Smoker - What you fail to realise is that 'blowing your smoke the other way' is a pretty futile exercise. Will you be happy to stay beside me in the swimming pool while I urinate in the other direction?
  Anonymous   Posted: 20/09/2005 18:33
Excellent analagy Rainy, that is exactly what smoking is like, is can not be contained "in a seperate room" which is still off the "non smoking room". Will smokers who disagree with the ban ever get this point? Also, they fail to take on board that the pubs representative "union" LVA/VFI or whatever, dismissed the ventillation olive branch.
  Anonymous   Posted: 20/09/2005 23:14
Hi, non smoker Rainy Day, You picked a grand example. You have my full permission if you want to do that. I don't mind standing along side of you at all! And no, you wouldn't insult me one bit! I may even join you!
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 21/09/2005 13:28
And of course, you believe I'm entitled to urinate all round the pool, regardless of who is there. So even if your spouse or your child is there, they just have to grin & bear it - right? And on a related matter, when was the last time you dropped a cigarette butt on the street?
  Anonymous   Posted: 21/09/2005 16:41
Rainy Day, I dropped three cigarettes out of my car window just before I saw your post! Giving someone else a job of course, as always! And by the way, urine in the swimming pool is not a new thing. It is always happening! I wouldn't go there at all if I were you!
  Anonymous   Posted: 21/09/2005 16:50
I wouldn't go to that swimming pool either - just as you wouldn't go to a pub or venue where the atmosphere is similiarly polluted with smoke.
  Anonymous   Posted: 21/09/2005 19:12
Anon 16:50 Ah, I'll keep going there, I don't have any problems with germs or urine. Smoke! Nothing like it to exercise the lungs and get them used to a little bit of pollution. They'll be fine and fit for inhaling petrol fumes outside the door. However I'm not so sure about your lungs! I wouldn't venture outside the door either if I were you! One puff from a car and you could be...finished!
  Anonymous   Posted: 22/09/2005 03:25
Michael J. You haven't got a hope of getting answers from this crowd with your fantastic studies that should have been given to all smokers in the first place and non-smokers as well for that matter. Try talking about something else in relation to smoking. You just might get a few answers here. Rainy Day loves talking about urine!
  Anonymous   Posted: 22/09/2005 08:34
Some of the flippant comments from smokers in response to Rainy Day, indicate that these smokers seem to think that it is ok to urinate in swimming pools & throw rubbish onn the streets because it is somebody else job to pick up their rubbish. I think this kind of atitude illustrates the kind of people that we are dealing with. After all, they are knowingly taking part in a activity that is known to cause lung cancer & heart disease, not to mention all the other things that it is related to. How can you expect them to respect others when they do not even respect themselves.
  Anonymous   Posted: 22/09/2005 17:54
I notice that the anti bans are using the car fumes outside as some sort of argument against the ban. Dont you guys realise that the smoking ban allows you to smoke outside where the car fumes are? smoking outside is fine, as are car fumes because once they (car fumes and cig smoke) are emitted outside, the cause for health concerns are diminished. Now, bring the car fumes indoors and we have a problem, just like cigarette smoke.
  Anonymous   Posted: 22/09/2005 18:40
Anon 8:34 Even Rainy Day has a better sense of humor than you! I could actually hear the disgust in your post! If you don't like our attitude then why are you so worried about our lung cancer and our heart disease? If anything you should be delighted! Anyone that tells me how to live my life and kicks me outside the door will NEVER gain my respect! I had great respect for you one time in my life and considered you a friend but now you are my enemy!
  Anonymous   Posted: 23/09/2005 11:15
no, i love a few pints i didnt enjoy stinking of smoke or coughing my guts the following morning
  Anonymous   Posted: 23/09/2005 15:09
Anon 17:54 Are you kidding anon about car fumes being safe. They have been linked with causing cancer in children especially leukemia. Now you want the smokers to get this as well is it? Maybe it's because you want to get rid of us faster!
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/09/2005 09:57
Anonymous Posted: 23/09/2005 15:09 I didn't say that car fumes were safe, I said that there is a problem if car fumes were emitted indoors .... oh forget it. As for you link to lukeamia well second hand smoke has been linked to many diseases but your cohorts deny that second hand smoke has ANY negative effects so dont try to bring in "links".
  Anonymous   Posted: 26/09/2005 16:30
Anon 9:57 There has been no reports done with car fumes inside. My message to you is that because car fumes are dangerous why are you putting the smoker out there more often to inhale them. Why are you not putting the smoker into a room with proper ventilation (free from the elements of rain, wind and snow + car fumes) instead? Surely this is not too much to ask! I could call car fumes urine then as well, couldn't I?
  Anonymous   Posted: 27/09/2005 10:04
Anonymous Posted: 26/09/2005 16:30, as I have said numerous times, the ventilation option was offered by the government before the ban was announced. The publicans representatives dismissed this out of hand saying it was too expensive and such systems were not good enough. So dont blame the non smoker and in fact, I am a smoker, I just happen to agree with the smoking ban and dont see what the whole fuss is about. It is not that big of a deal.
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 27/09/2005 12:46
Rainy Day of course ignored my challenge on Helena, or any serious discussion of the science about secondary smoke. Since he seems to prefer urinary discussions I\'ll simply show how wrong he is on that count then. He claims that having smoking and nonsmoking sections in a restaurant would be pretty much the same as having urinating and non-urinating sections in a swimming pool. Of course, as is the problem with most Antismoking arguments, his math is a bit off. The pool gets its water changed about once a year and has no current. Any decent modern restaurant has its air changed about 30,000 times a year and has designed air flows. Rainy day is off my a factor of 30,000 times... 3 *million* percent. Typical Anti math. Michael J. McFadden Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\"
  Anonymous   Posted: 27/09/2005 14:05
Anon 10:04 What about the publicans who have these systems in place who in fact went out of their way to make people's lives more comfortable? Why are they now being left with these systems? And what about the small country publican who had very little smokers anyway and who also has ventilation in his pub. Why is he being penalised? What is wrong with having a small amount of smoke on your premises as opposed to a large amount? And what is wrong with a cosy evening when you have two or three smokers around? Can simple little examples like these not be catered for? Afterall we have gone from one extreme to another!
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 27/09/2005 16:51
Hi Michael - I really wish I had the time to engage more seriously with you on the medical evidence. Clearly, you have more experience on these issues than me, but unfortunately, I just don't have that much time to do the research necessary to challenge you on every point. You can of course continue to spin all the statistics you like. The fact remains that a group of leading, independent, non-aligned Irish experts reviewed all the literature available in 2003 and recommended the workplace ban. They had nothing to gain. They aren't out to 'get' you. It's not a conspiracy. It's just common sense. Every survey, formal & informal, shows that the smoking ban has been welcomed by the vast majority (smokers & non-smokers). 2 recent TV polls reported that the smoking ban was the BEST thing that happened in 2004, and the BEST thing about living in Ireland. The vast majority of people are very happy with the ban. There is no good reason not to expect the small minority to accomodate the majority. And are you really telling me that you've no objection if I urinate beside you in the swimming pool?
  Anonymous   Posted: 27/09/2005 17:06
Michael, you are totally wrong about swimming pool water. It is filtered with a constant flow of water which is extracted and re-filled.
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 27/09/2005 20:00
RainyDay wrote: \"Hi Michael - I really wish I had the time to engage more seriously with you on the medical evidence. Clearly, you have more experience on these issues than me, but unfortunately, I just don\'t have that much time to do the research necessary to challenge you on every point. You can of course continue to spin all the statistics you like.\" I respond: There were no statistics RD. There was a three page study. If you don\'t have the time or expertise to read a three page study and its criticisms and properly evaluate it, then indeed you should stick to talking about urination rather than public health. RD wrote: \"The fact remains that a group of leading, independent, non-aligned Irish experts reviewed all the literature available in 2003 and recommended the workplace ban.\" I respond: Want to see how valid such recommendations are? Check out my Critique of the Welsh Committee\'s similar recommendations at and you\'ll see they\'re barely worth the paper they\'re printed on. RD wrote: \"They had nothing to gain.\" I respond: Really RD? No conflicting interests at all? No grants in the past to their institutions from the makers of nicotine replacement products? The Antismokers routinely discredit lawyers as being \"tobacco industry lawyers\" because they worked for a while at a law firm where another branch represented a tobacco company, so I think the sauce is fit for the gander too. If you look at the makeup of the Irish Committee (I haven\'t) I\'d be willing to bet they\'re not nearly as \"pure\" as you\'d like to paint them. RD wrote: \"They aren\'t out to \'get\' you. It\'s not a conspiracy. It\'s just common sense.\" I respond: No conspiracy: just an unfortunate confluence of goal among several distinct groups of people who are out to get rid of smoking by any means possible and/or get rich in the process. \"Every survey, formal & informal, shows that the smoking ban has been welcomed by the vast majority (smokers & non-smokers). 2 recent TV polls reported that the smoking ban was the BEST thing that happened in 2004, and the BEST thing about living in Ireland.\" I respond: \"Surveys are guided by the people sponsoring them. Wording and guidance are important, as is the population pool sampled. Irish Health has never DARED do such a survey of Irish pub workers because they know they\'d lose in a flash. Nor did they try a survey of pub customers before the ban knocked 20% or more of them away. RD wrote: \"The vast majority of people are very happy with the ban. There is no good reason not to expect the small minority to accomodate the majority.\" I respond: Somehow, if the shoe were on the other foot, I doubt you\'d be content to be in a quiet minority. RD wrote: And are you really telling me that you\'ve no objection if I urinate beside you in the swimming pool?\" If you were over in the urinating section 20 feet away by the output pipes and the pool water was being changed 30,000 times a year you could urinate to your heart\'s content RD. Michael J. McFadden Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\"
  Anonymous   Posted: 27/09/2005 21:14
I\'m against all out smoking bans and it amazes me continually that in today\'s world, solutions can\'t be found that accomodate everyone equally well. There is a real need for people to learn mutual respect and tolerance for each other and we are loosing this ability. Smoking is a nuisance for some people who don\'t smoke, I know, because I\'ve been both a smoker and a non smoker. But, I don\'t believe in all this nonsense about the dangers of second hand smoke either. Equally, I\'m unhappy with the disgusting venom that flies both ways at times in this debate. There should be no place for it in a civilised society. To those of you who engage in this lousy activity - shame on you!
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 28/09/2005 12:14
Hi Michael - Interesting that you are happy to set your own 20\" limit on my swimming pool urination, but you object so strenuously to non-smokings setting their limits on your smoking. Sauce for the goose eh? Your comments on the views of bar workers are miles away from the truth. The bar workers trade union surveyed their own members on the 1-year anniversary of the ban. Read the findings at - as you can see, the ban is overwhelmingly supported by bar workers too. But most importantly, I\'m extremely dissapointed at your scurrilous allegation at alleged conflicts of interest by the authors of the HSA report, when you have no evidence to support this. This is the worst kind of \'tabloid journalism\' approach of spreading rumours and doubt which have no foundation in reality. If you have any decency or honour, you will withdraw this allegation or back it up with evidence. For the record, the preface of the HSA report includes the actual signatures of each of the report authors confirming that they have no conflict of interests.
  Philip(IFO35261)  Posted: 28/09/2005 21:43
Hello everyone. I am loathed to join in because of the level of hate being directed at smokers. I am disappointed but not surprised. I won't join in with the unpleasant banter and so this post will be my last. I am a UK NHS Doctor, I smoke, and will politely avoid annoying non-smokers with my habit despite the anti-smokers bad manners. I choose to smoke. You choose not to. Big deal. Michael J. is absolutely right, there is no proven link between second-hand smoke and health problems. Clearly his time spent on researching this matter is wasted on you, but not on me. I confirm him to be correct. In summary the smoking ban should be overturned. By the way the presence of urine in the swimming pool could not do anyone any harm and so is a very appropriate analogy to make as cigarette smoke has similar effects..NONE!! Goodbye
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 28/09/2005 23:43
RD wrote: \"Hi Michael - Interesting that you are happy to set your own 20\" limit on my swimming pool urination, but you object so strenuously to non-smokings setting their limits on your smoking. Sauce for the goose eh?\" I respond: RD, if I was concerned about your urination in a pool that had a current toward you changing the pool\'s water 30,000 times a year you could stand about as close as you wanted and I wouldn\'t care. You\'ll also note that I did not request a separate pool for you. Can we leave urination now while I put in my third (?) request for you to justify what wasinvolved in the presentation of the Helena study? It\'s such a wonderful example of the way Antismokers lie about what their studies show that I\'d hate to simply leave it. If you take a full day to read each page of the study and then three days to read the responses and criticisms of it, that will still be under a week. You can work backward if you prefer from the last critical response made over a year ago and, of course, still ignored and unanswered by the authors: RD wrote: \"Your comments on the views of bar workers are miles away from the truth. The bar workers trade union surveyed their own members on the 1-year anniversary of the ban. Read the findings at - as you can see, the ban is overwhelmingly supported by bar workers too.\" I respond: It\'s interesting that you neglected to mention that the survey was carried out by Mandate, the trade union that has consistently supported the ban from before it was even implemented. You also neglected to mention that Mandate is NOT just a \"bar workers\" trade union, but a union representing retail, bar and administrative workers. If the survey was carried out among its general membership that\'s a very different survey pool than if it were carried out just among bar workers as you suggested. Do you have a link to the actual survey rather than to a news article seemingly in favor of the survey results? Or is the data hidden from public view? RD wrote: But most importantly, I\'m extremely dissapointed at your scurrilous allegation at alleged conflicts of interest by the authors of the HSA report, when you have no evidence to support this.\" I respond: I did not \"allegate.\" I quite clearly asked if you were sure there were no connections, said that I would bet they were not totally \"pure.\" Perhaps they are... I would be surprised, but as I also quite clearly noted, I have not read the report: it\'s probably quite a bit longer than the three pages that you have not had time to read. RD wrote: \"This is the worst kind of \'tabloid journalism\' approach of spreading rumours and doubt which have no foundation in reality. If you have any decency or honour, you will withdraw this allegation or back it up with evidence. For the record, the preface of the HSA report includes the actual signatures of each of the report authors confirming that they have no conflict of interests.\" I respond: If you DO ever find time to read the Helena study you\'ll find that Stanton Glantz also declares no conflict of interest, despite the fact that virtually his entire life\'s income over the past decade or two has been firmly based upon his dedication to putting out research designed to promote smoking bans and such. RD, are you willing to stake your own reputation here on the fact that none of the authors of the Irish study have any affiliation or connection with institutions or conferences that have accepted pharmaceutical or Antismoking-earmarked funding? If you are, and if you\'d be willing to bet your future posting here on that, then I\'d be willing to do the research and either withdraw my suggestion of such or politely hold the door for you as you leave. So, I end with three requests: 1) Follow up on the Helena study and respond to my concerns about it. 2) Define the survey pool that you represented as \"bar workers\" and supply a source for examination of the survey itself. and 3) Decide if you have enough faith in your defense of the authors of the Irish study to stand behind that defense here. Michael J. McFadden Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\"
  Anonymous   Posted: 29/09/2005 01:48
Anon 21:14 I agree with you that we should be living in a civilised society but when people get treated unequally you are bound to have unrest. The smoking ban issue is now a human rights issue and will not go away unless new changes are made. You cannot expect to bring people from a very hot country to a freezing cold country overnight! That puts a person into shock and this is what this ban is doing because it is an extreme. It is human nature's right to fight against extremes is it not? Or should they just be forced into submission and end up denying who they are? Do you think that this is right? If both parties feel hard done by, there has to be a war. It cannot be any other way.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 29/09/2005 17:16
Hi Michael - I don\'t have any further information on the Mandate survey. It\'s dissapointing to see you attempting to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) by suggesting that the survey was not focussed on bar workers, despite the fact that the press coverage I mention specifically & repeatedly refers to bar workers. Hi Dr Phil - That\'s a great tactic for avoiding real debate - Just jump in, state that you\'re right and everyone else is wrong - and drop out again. That has really contributed hugely to meaningful discussion & enlightenment - NOT. To the Anon poster who predicted a war, you are way off the mark. All the surveys show that the vast majority support the ban. The cranks who attempted to run in the last local/euro elections on an anti-ban ticket failed miserably. There is no public support for lifting the ban.
  Anonymous   Posted: 29/09/2005 22:26
Rainy D, The war started on the 29Th of March 2004! It's too late!
  Anonymous   Posted: 30/09/2005 02:42
Rainy Day, I agree with you about Dr.Phil. I want him to come back too! I never in all my life thought that there would be a doctor out there who would support us smokers!! Come back Dr.Phil, please come back!
  Susan(CFJ35352)  Posted: 30/09/2005 18:33
i work in a hotel and people used to come in to check in and stand right in front of me, light a cigarette and blow it in my face! so i think the smoking ban is the best thing to happen in this country in a long time!
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 01/10/2005 13:08
I note with disappointment but little surprise that Rainy Day completely ignored by final three questions to him (well, he sort of answered the middle one, though with a simple admission that he couldn\'t answer it) and then accused *me* of being the one spreading uncertainty etc. Rainy, just in case you weren\'t able to read through to the end of my admittedly long post, let me repeat those last three questions for you: \"So, I end with three requests: 1) Follow up on the Helena study and respond to my concerns about it. 2) Define the survey pool that you represented as \"bar workers\" and supply a source for examination of the survey itself. and 3) Decide if you have enough faith in your defense of the authors of the Irish study to stand behind that defense here.\" And tell you what Rainy, I\'ll even add a bonus question for you: See if you can name a single reputable study that clearly shows ANY significant long term harm to an individual from the levels of smoke that one would normally encounter in a well-ventilated and filtrated modern business establishment. Hey, name three or four if you can! Strut yer stuff! I\'d like to end with a brief note of appreciation for the folks who run the Irish Health site. When I first posted here a number of months ago I believe wandered off and never bothered checking back because I simply assumed that my post would be censored to nonexistence. The site owners have not done that to me or to anyone that I\'m aware of and I wanted to say GOOD JOB!!! Michael J. McFadden Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\"
  Anonymous   Posted: 03/10/2005 10:51
Who cares whether Dr Phil comes back or not. His contribution is meaningless and there are enough of his type of posts in this discussion. Good ridens.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 03/10/2005 14:50
Hi Michael - I think something got snipped out of my last post. Note sure if this was my error, or editing by - Anyway, I was pointing out that there really is no point engaging in serious debate with you when you fail to withdraw the scurrilous allegations you made about the authors of the Irish HSA report having conflicts of interest. Yet again, you throw out a 'possibility' in relation to the Mandate report without any evidence to back this up. If you want a real debate, let's start by sticking to the facts that we know. If you have any decency or honour, you will withdraw the allegations that you made against the authors of the Irish HSA report, or alternatively produce some evidence to back up your allegation.
  Anonymous   Posted: 03/10/2005 16:37
Anon 10:51, Now, now, you can't be adding to the hatred that is already there! You are only proving Dr. Phil right and letting yourself down! I wonder how many doctors out there feel the same way about smokers!
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 03/10/2005 18:01
Rainy Day wrote: "Anyway, I was pointing out that there really is no point engaging in serious debate with you when you fail to withdraw the scurrilous allegations you made about the authors of the Irish HSA report having conflicts of interest." Heh... does that mean you *won't* stand behind them as I asked? Vis: I wrote: "RD, are you willing to stake your own reputation here on the fact that none of the authors of the Irish study have any affiliation or connection with institutions or conferences that have accepted pharmaceutical or Antismoking-earmarked funding? If you are, and if you'd be willing to bet your future posting here on that, then I'd be willing to do the research and either withdraw my suggestion of such or politely hold the door for you as you leave." Or is it just that you don't have answers to the clear and serious questions raised here and wish to distract the discussion from that fact? As I noted above: I'm quite happy to do the research on the Irish paper if you're willing to stand behind your own claim as above. And, just to clarify for anyone coming in at the end here: the "allegations" consisted merely of asking RD if he were sure there were no conflicts of interest and my statement that I'd bet there were. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  Anonymous   Posted: 04/10/2005 01:53
I work in a hotel too and people used to light up a cigarette straight in front of me. I loved it! So I thing that the smoking ban is the worst thing that ever came into this country!
  Anonymous   Posted: 04/10/2005 16:23
01:53 You LIKED to passive smoke???? Would you come off it?
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 04/10/2005 17:26
Hi Michael - I think my position was very clear, but I'll spell it out further. I'm not going to negotiate with you over what conditions will be attached to your withdrawal of an unsupported allegation. This is not a matter for negotiation. If you have any honour or decency, you will either withdraw your allegation or provide supporting evidence straightaway.
  Anonymous   Posted: 04/10/2005 17:43
Honestly 16:23, I think the smell of smoke is just heaven! It's a beautiful earthy smell and you would think that you were being nourished! And there is such a variety of different smells.It's like being in a forest!
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/10/2005 08:45
Seriously 17:43, is that your honest opinion or are are you taking the 'proverbial' (mickey). I really would like to know. The reason being, I had a very interesting conversation with a non-smoker just this morning on that very subject.
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/10/2005 13:23
Anon 8:45, I have never been more serious in all my life! I have always enjoyed the smell of smoke and now I really miss it especially the variety. I used to love guessing what was what. The smell of pipe tobacco and some cigars could send you into states of ectasy! I mean you couldn't get anything better surely to God!
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/10/2005 15:47
Actually, I like the smell of pipe tobacco too tho cigar smoke makes me sick and gives me a headache
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/10/2005 17:37
Anon 8:45 What was your interesting conversation with a non-smoker about? Or am I being too nosy?
  Anonymous   Posted: 06/10/2005 08:44
(8.45 HERE) I was on my way into work yesterday morning and she (the non-smoker) was standing outside talking to a couple of smoking colleauges. She then proeeded to walk into the office with me. I asked her if the smoke didn't bother her. She said that she hung out wiht a lot of smoking friends in college and when her friends took study breaks, especially coming up to exams, the used to smoke. So she always associated the smell of smoke with relaxation! That associaed persists her her even still!! She was totaly in earnest out this and it really surprised me. I joked that while I knew that smoking made smokers relaxed I had no idea that passive smoking made non-smokers relaxed!!
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 06/10/2005 13:35
According to the Department of Health's Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health in London, the risk of a non-smoker exposed to tobacco smoke getting lung cancer is 2-3 in 100,000. UK mortality is just under 611,000 (2003). You can work out from that (assuming a fatality rate of 100%!) that 800 to 1200 non-smokers with exposure to tobacco smoke died from lung cancer. This accounts for less than one fifth of one per cent of UK mortality. But it does not prove that tobacco smoke was the main or only factor in those cases, just that it was possible. One would have to do similar calculations for other conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke. But it does not look as if the official sources on their own make much of a case for the dangers of passive smoking.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 06/10/2005 20:53
Belinda, Your postings here and elsewhere on the Irish Health website do you credit. As a non smoker, you seek the truth and have persisted through sarcasm, lies and abuse. I too have gone down this path. I am a stubborn smoker, I resent the ban and nearing 50 years of age, I'm of a time where I would resent a ban on anything. Variety and human colour in all its manifestations are what keep me active and healthy mentally. In any day, I am confronted with what i like, dislike, love and hate. To achieve a mental balance, I avoid as much as I can the downside and try to drown myself in the euphoric end. Anti-smokers are a very frustrating lot to cope with. Officially, they have right on their side though, as you have discovered, scientifically, they do not. As an active smoker, I have really tried on four occassions to quit, once for nine months even, but then, my true love at the time dropped me and that night, my Mother died. It was the last time I tried. I don't know if I enjoy cigarettes or just need them more, but they do it for me. I am happy though to report that neither my son or daughter wish to smoke and, it is only at times of severe crisis that my wife dips into my pack for one (only). But, while science is currently on our side, E.T.S. does not harm non-smokers except in ridiculous quantities which could not be staged in real life, I do not rule out the possibility that future research in years to come could prove that it is harmful. Equally, the reverse could happen. In the meantime, I admire your tolerence, honesty and bravery in taking part in our national debate - you have made me view non-smokers in a different light, John.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 06/10/2005 22:16
Another interesting fact from the same body of statistics is that nearly half of lung cancer deaths in 2003 were those of people aged 75 or over. It would be even harder to demonstrate for people in this age range that their lung cancer or their death was solely a result of their exposure to tobacco smoke.
  Anonymous   Posted: 07/10/2005 02:56
Anon 8:44,Yes, I know of a few ex-smokers who just love the smell of smoke too. We find it a shame then to have it gone when we loved the smell. After all, we are all so different and it is a pity that it has upset some people to this extent. I would genuinely love to see it back but that is just my personal opinion. I think life is more boring now without it.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 07/10/2005 10:59
Furthermore the same is true of two-thirds of coronary heart disease victims, four-fifths of stroke victims and three quarters of victims of respiratory disease: all over 75 when they died.
  Anonymous   Posted: 07/10/2005 19:53
Belinda, You're after stunning me with your information! How come none of this is known to the public? In my neighbourhood which consists of over 500 houses I have never yet heard of an incident of lung cancer in all of my 27 years. What I mostly hear about are young people dying in road crashes or suicide cases. Where is all this lung cancer and heart disease?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 07/10/2005 21:36
Michael somebody sent me a copy of your critique of the Welsh Committee which I read with great interest. I was persuaded to read the HSA report too and have to say I was fairly astonished by the contents, eg, it says on p11 'displacement ventilation is viewed as having the potential for a 90% reduction in ETS levels but even this would leave exposure levels 1500 to 2500 times the acceptable risk level for hazardous air pollutants. If nine-tenths of pollutants are removed this means that 15,000 to 25,000 times permitted exposure levels existed before the ventilation systems were installed. This seems quite unbelievable. HSA were unable to help explain this (it is not even specified whether there was any smoke in the room in the first place) and directed me to the Office of Tobacco Control. I have read various things that convince me either that a vast amount of spin is going on or that most people in health organisations are not confident with numbers.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 10/10/2005 13:01
anon 19.53. You can check this at, search 'Deaths by cause, sex and age, 2003, United Kingdom and
  John(TKD34735)  Posted: 10/10/2005 23:02
Belinda, you are quite remarkable and you should look at The Publican's website. There are some interesting strings come up on that too. I'm sure your clear thinking would be appreciated there as well. Also, perhaps, if you haven't already done it, you should pen a few acute letters to the UK government too!
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 10/10/2005 23:22
Belinda wrote: "If nine-tenths of pollutants are removed this means that 15,000 to 25,000 times permitted exposure levels existed before the ventilation systems were installed. This seems quite unbelievable. HSA were unable to help explain this (it is not even specified whether there was any smoke in the room in the first place) and directed me to the Office of Tobacco Control." I'm not surprised: I have a whole file of emails to Antismokers asking them for sources and such... the questions are rarely answered, and when they ARE answered one finds that the pointers virtually never supply the answers asked for. I actually devoted one of the Appendices in Brains to the topic, reproducing strings of nonresponsive emails to illustrate the joy of "Communicating With Antismokers." You see, for the most part they have "control of the microphone" through their money and paid press releases. They're also given favored status for extended messages through the media because they are considered to be "the guys in the white hats who have no reason to lie." Thus, when people on our side of the aisle pose difficult questions their best tactic is to ignore them and hope nobody hears us in the first place. Another similar tactic is that employed by Rainy Day type people: seek to find an excuse for ending a discussion with someone whose points are a bit too good good or too sharp. Vis: your catch on the 25,000 times pollution level. Given the general fall in smoking rates over the years, the HMS claim would actually translate into saying that pollution levels in pubs of 20 years ago were FIFTY thousand times the acceptable level. See my table on ETS exposures at to see how ridiculous this is when one looks at individual claimed "deadly pollutants." Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antsmokers' Brains"
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 11/10/2005 11:45
Hi John - It is you who is ignoring the difficult questions, like why you are not withdrawing your outragous slur on the individuals who authored the Irish HSA report when you have failed to produce any evidence to support your wild allegations.
  S(RainyDay)  Posted: 11/10/2005 11:46
Last message should have been addressed to Michael and not John.
  jeronimo  Posted: 11/10/2005 13:20
Rainy Day, Would you ever get out of your mood and come back and enter into a resonable debate? You're like a two year old pouting in a corner!
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 11/10/2005 15:35
Rainy, I sent in a thorough posting with the information twice. It has not been put up on the board for some reason. Anyone who would like to see it is more than welcome to send me an email and I will mail it to them... including you RD. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  jeronimo  Posted: 12/10/2005 00:07
I think that the anti-smoking lobby should be brought before the courts for lying to the people of Ireland. This should be declared a national scandal akin to other scandals that this country has gone through. We should not put up with this any longer and I am going to tell as many people as I can about all their lies.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 12/10/2005 18:28
John I appreciate your comments and take them as evidence that this time I got the numbers right. Until now I have lacked the confidence to argue the point with anyone, but now I feel prepared for the increasing discussions in the pubs and so on that will no doubt take place in the months leading up to the ban. In the meantime I am writing letters too, for information and clarification from people in parliament and from the authors of one or two reports. Because of all the spin the general awareness of people is low, and they are told one in four people will be affected directly or indirectly by cancer, or whatever, and they assume that the numbers involved are enormous. Actually all the Scottish Executive research shows is that nearly 97% of non-smokers die from causes not even associated with tobacco smoke. Since the executive does not have figures for quitters as opposed to never-smokers, they raise their estimate of non-smokers whose deaths are linked to tobacco smoke to 'up to 2,000', and this reduces to 95% the deaths of non-smokers that are not linked to tobacco smoke. The causes of these 97% or 95% of the deaths cannot be ruled out as factors in the other 5% of cases just because those 5% were married to smokers or worked in smoky pubs. This further lowers the weight of evidence that smoke causes significant damage. The report does not give any evidence for the allegation that passive smoke ‘causes’ the deaths of the 865 people on which it bases its findings, other than that tobacco smoke was a persistent factor in the lives of those concerned. It is quite sad to read because it is obviously put together with a lot of care and attention to detail but it seems that the author has wholly lost the overall perspective about the numbers involved and lost sight of the fact that incidence does not prove causation. Source: .
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 13/10/2005 03:53
A note with regard to a posting that may appear immediately above this one: Rainy Day did indeed send me an email asking for the details I was having difficulty posting. I didn't see it for several hours because it went to an alternate screen name activated from my web pages. So, sorry RD! Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  jeronimo  Posted: 13/10/2005 13:43
Does this mean that Rainy Day is coming back?
  RainyDay  Posted: 13/10/2005 22:11
Hi Jeronimo - Why don't you put your money where your mouth is and take this legal case against the Govt and/or the OTC yourself? If your case is as strong as you seem to think, you're bound to win and you won't have to worry about legal fees. ALl - Michael has emailed me his 'justification' for his outragous claims against the authors of the Irish HSA report. To say that I'm extremely dissapointed is an understatement. The 'evidence' to support Michael's slur that 'I'd be willing to bet they're not nearly as "pure" as you'd like to paint them' (in relation to the authors of the HSA report) is as follows; One of the authors is 'Head of the Department of Pharmacology' in a major Irish university and [wait for it, here we go, here's Michael's bombshell] 'most reasonably sized University Pharmacology departments usually receive research money from large pharmaceutical companies and that many of those companies make Nicotine Replacement Therapy products'. So the slur against named individuals is based on 'most' and 'usually', rather than any specific evidence. This really is outragous. If I were to comment that 'most pro-smokers like Michael get kick-backs from tobacco companies', would Michael get annoyed? Of course he would - and rightly so. But he expects to spin a web of vague insinuations without any supporting evidence. I'm calling yet again, for Michael to withdraw or back up his claim.
  Michael J.(XMJ26362)  Posted: 14/10/2005 00:20
jeronimo asked: "Does this mean that Rainy Day is coming back?" Well now that I answered HIS question he might be afraid to come back... since he'd have to answer the ones I posed. We'll see. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  jeronimo  Posted: 14/10/2005 14:00
Good to see you back Rainy Day and in fighting form as well! Word of mouth is the best way! Surprisingly enough the word is out there a little bit already. People are beginning to question this passive smoking crack and wondering what is going on. None of them feel any different and are still worried about all the major illnesses around the world.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 14/10/2005 22:02
jeronimo noted that people "are still worried about all the major illnesses around the world." jeronimo, one of the points I make in several different places in Antibrains is that we may soon have the Antismokers to thank for a worldwide epidemic of SARS or the avian flu. Air travel in poorly ventilated nonsmoking airplanes will be a prime cesspool for airborne transmission. Planes that allowed smoking, aside from having lower risks of hidden fires and accidents during "emergency smoking landings" also offered far lower risk of airborne disease transmission due to increased ventilation rates. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers Brains"
  Dr Phil  Posted: 15/10/2005 17:17
I'm back! I can hear the cheers's deafening! I tell you why...I'm intrigued to know why Rainy is demanding an apology or withdrawal from Michael. Michael didn't say anything inflamatory and merely stated his views. I suspect MJM has good reason for believing what he says. Rainy, are you saying that you hold the opposite view? i.e. that said authors are beyond reproach. You would be quite within your rights to have such beliefs as Michael is within his rights. Why continue to stick your neck out for a withdrawal which will not be forthcoming? Thats not very constructive. Can you come up with evidence that authors are perfect. I have to say Michael has a fare point and whilst I have no evidence, I wouldn't find it difficult to believe. I would find it far more difficult to believe that the authors were without any bias at all. Rainy's persistence rather infers he is one of the authors. If so and he admitted it then MJM might reconsider. Anyway it would be far better if Rainy restarted his fascinating comments on the issue.
  RainyDay  Posted: 17/10/2005 11:13
Hi Dr Phil - So you're proposing the 'guilty until proven innocent' school of justice eh?
  jeronimo  Posted: 17/10/2005 15:53
Dr. Phil, Now that you're back could you please tell us the truth about smoking and get these anti-smokers off our backs once and for all!
  Dr Phil  Posted: 17/10/2005 20:23
Good plan Jeronimo..but unrealistic. No-one knows the literature like MJM and no-one quotes it more accurately or more fairly than he. If he can't get off our backs no-one can. Needless to say MJM is right in all he says. The evidence for harm from passive smoking is not conclusive. It fails to prove a link even at maximum exposure levels. The Anti-smoking alliance is using tax payers money, and specifically topsliced NHS money to swamp the media and internet with lies to scare people into accepting that smokers are scum and to attempt to stop smoking. All smokers now have to stand up to the propaganda and refute it at every opportunity. Its our choice to smoke and we will continue to do it without inconveniencing non-smokers. Absolutely all the anti-smoking campaign is founded on lies and scandalously funded. No Rainy, I do not support that point of view and obviously niether does MJM
  Jeronimo  Posted: 18/10/2005 01:58
Michael, I have to agree with you about the hidden fires. Having people sneaking off for cigarettes is hazardous and without an ashtray! I'v seen people smoking in toilets with a piece of paper or toilet roll and then putting it into the bin. I mean this is crazy. Making people ashamed of their habit could lead to a whole household of people dying in a fire. How do you feel about that anti-smokers?
  Anonymous   Posted: 18/10/2005 11:19
Or making people ashamed of their habit could result in them giving up and save their lives. Incidentally, why don\'t the loo-puffers simply flush that ash and butt filled toilet paper away??
  RainyDay  Posted: 18/10/2005 12:45
Hi Dr Phil - Michael is slurring the reputations of these professionals without any supporting evidence. Jerinomo - Blaming anti-smoking campaigners for fires caused by cigarettes dropped by smokers is missing the point just ever so slightly. The solution to this problem clearly lies with the smokers.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 18/10/2005 13:49
Anonymous 11:19, Have you ever tried flushing a butt down the toilet. It takes about four flushes to go down because it keeps bopping up to the surface. That's why they put it into the bin. To hide the evidence fast!
  Jeronimo  Posted: 18/10/2005 23:34
Anon 11:19, Did you say something about shame? Shame is gone my dear and has been replaced with fun and excitement either in company when we're outside or cowering inside in toilets, workplaces or offices. That Oust spray is a gift! My habit does not cause me an ounce of shame! It's cool man! So cool!
  Anonymous   Posted: 19/10/2005 16:46
So if they are not ashamed why are they smokign in secret, why don't they smoke outside with everyone else.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 19/10/2005 18:32
It's all down to convenience and inconvenience! When it's lovely and sunny outside there is no problem, wind and rain the toilet. At work if I have to travel too far and haven't enough time, the toilet again or the broom closet. Other times I just like playing hide-and-go-seek. It's a game! You see we are all little children at heart, some worse than others! Shame! What's that??
  Anonymous   Posted: 20/10/2005 00:01
I agree about fires. My mum and dad have hardly ever gone out since the smoking ban. I have no peace now. They both get drunk at home and could put their cigarette anywhere. They also bring in friends from outside and they laugh and joke half the night. This only happened the very odd time before. I am 16 but it is us who is suffering from this smoking thing.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 21/10/2005 22:38
Rainy re authors of HSA report, I have been offline for a few days and before leaving, added a comment to this part of the discussion that was meant for you. It was rejected, though obviously I did not think it was libellous or I would not have posted it. I would like you to read it so could I sent it to you either directly or perhaps via MJM if you don't want to post your address.
  RainyDay  Posted: 24/10/2005 11:53
Hi Belinda - MJM has my email address if you like to forward the information through him.
  mimi  Posted: 02/11/2005 23:06
no. I'm a smoker my self, but I do not see why other should have to smoke because I do.
  jeronimo  Posted: 03/11/2005 00:17
I have two friends who vowed they would never smoke who have now taken up the habit. They were introduced at it in a house party. They said that they were the only ones not smoking at the party so they decided that if they couldn't beat them then they may as well join them. Brilliant smoking ban, isn't it?
  PJK  Posted: 03/11/2005 10:38
Jeronimo, can you explain your comment. You seem to be indicating that your friends started smoking as a results of the smoking ban in the work place, even though they actually started smoking at a house party to which the ban does not apply. Were there not house parties before the ban, and was there not smoking at these house parties before the ban, so therefore would your friends not also have started smoking before the ban in the situation that you describe, so therefore the ban has not in anyway caused your friends to start smoking. What point in your logic am I missing?
  RainyDay  Posted: 03/11/2005 10:58
Hi Jeronimo-Your anecdotal evidence of increased smoking is not supported by formal research. The formal research shows a reduced number of people smoking, reduced sales of cigarettes and reduced smoking in the home. So your friends must be the exception rather than the rule.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 03/11/2005 12:52
House parties before the ban! Once in the blue moon I would say! Someone has a party on every week now. Did you not see that D.I.Y. shops did so well in the year of the smoking ban? And if there isn't a house large groups of us meet in someone's field. So, no, house parties were'nt this big massive area that they are now! The young one above was telling the truth!
  RainyDay  Posted: 03/11/2005 17:03
Hi Jeronimo - Once again, your anecdotal evidence is very different from the experiences measured in the formal surveys. See this Irish Indo article ( which confirms that "Nine months after the implementation of smoke-free environments in Ireland, the number of Irish households which are smoke-free increased by more than 30pc"
  Jeronimo  Posted: 03/11/2005 21:23
Well, Rainy Day, Your survey must be the exception rather than the rule. These are only surveys of hope. Hope that the ban will work out and everybody will be happy! All the people that you don't hand pick in these surveys knows different. My experience is the complete opposite. Of course you may believe that I am one of those people who come from so-called poor class areas and where you believe that this kind of behaviour isn't surprising. I could be one of those people who someone like you doesn't give a toss about. That is the attitude of the anti-smoking lobby, isn't it. Maybe the houses that I go to are making up for the loss of your 30% ones that are surveyed.
  PJK  Posted: 04/11/2005 09:12
Jeronimo, I am afraid that you seem to have been living a sad life; I was in my 20's in the 1980's and house parties were a weekly event, in my college days, and yes there was smoking at them.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 04/11/2005 10:25
Rainy Day, Once again you dismiss everything you don't want to hear (in this case from Jeronimo) by referring us to an article in the Independent which claims that "nine months after the implementation of smoke-free environments in Ireland, the number of Irish households which are smoke-free increased by more than 30 percent". So Jeronimo, the staff of the Irish Independent contacted every household in the country with an exhaustive questionnaire, they spoke to every member of every household because, as luck would have it, they were all at home that day. When questioned, every single one of them told the whole truth and nothing but the truth and felt under no pressure whatsoever to give politically correct answers. Despite the contention from A.S.H. that giving up smoking is so difficult that only 2% of those who try actually succeed, an amazing 30% of Irish smokers achieved this in only nine months. On top of this, the Indo was able to get accurate figures on the millions of smuggled cigarettes directly from the willing racketeers themselves and this, coupled with the legal sales and a little creative touch, further confirmed this massive drop of 30%. Admit it Jeronimo, the facts are there for all to see, by next Monday week, you'll be the only person left in this country who smokes and as such, you will be universally vilified and maybe even banned from breathing. Put that in your pipe but don't light it, John.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 04/11/2005 13:04
Good one man! Thanks for the support. Everytime a survey like this comes up on the telly I just lift my eyes up to heaven. It's always amazing that I never get to answer any of these surveys and anyone I know never gets the chance either. College parties! The rich always probably had these all right Rainy Day. If I am right, you probably had to pay a big fat fee for college back in the 80's whereas I had to go out and slave because my family couldn't afford to send me to college and depended on me to bring up the household money to rear the other kids. That is why it is easy for you to stand back and preach to the rest of us. You were never left short and probably never had hardship in your life. You then turn around and judge people who try to cope in life by smoking an ol' fag!
  RainyDay  Posted: 04/11/2005 13:48
Hi Jeronimo & John - You can of course continue to dismiss the consistent & overwhelming findings of all the surveys which show that the ban is welcomed by the vast majority if you wish. These surveys aren't perfect, but they are certainly a lot more reliable that your anecdotal stories. If there was any signficant public support for dropping the ban, don't you think that Big Tobacco & the Vitners would be publishing the results of their surveys? But of course, there is no such support. The couple of crank candidates who ran on anti-ban platforms in the 2004 elections failed miserably to make any mark. The ban is here to stay.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 04/11/2005 18:13
Anecdotal stories? This is experience I am talking about man! Experience is completely differant than making up stories or depending on surveys. Have to agree with you though on Big Tobacco and the Vintners. They have left us down badly. Still, we've got each other (smokers) and I suppose this is what really matters afterwards. There was probably an old hand-shake given here (if you know what I mean)so I guess it's not surprising. I did hear though that a load of publicans boycotted the last meeting that the Vintners had so this says a lot and some of them have pulled out of their union. And then of course the Vintners have mentioned the amount of pubs that have closed and God help those that were near the border all along. This seems to be getting sorted though but I pity the North with all the Catholics and the Protestents. Should be an interesting one!
  PJK  Posted: 07/11/2005 09:01
Jeronimo, I am the guy talking about house parties in the 80's where there was smoking before the ban (not Rainy Day). I think that you need to get over your inferiority complex and stop going around thinking that everyone thinks they are better than you. I am not from a rich background, I went to college on a full grant, and huge sacrifices by my parents. I have not been on a big fat check since the 80's, but just a average wage, living in an average 3 bedroom semi-d. Now that I have clarified my personnel details, I think we can agree that they are totally irrelvant to the discussion, and just the subject of a personalised attack by you.
  RainyDay  Posted: 07/11/2005 09:21
Hi Jeronimo - I never mentioned college parties, that was PJK. But you couldn't be more wrong in your wild assumptions. I paid my own way through my evening college degree while working during the day. No handouts. No state support. Even no tax relief on fees in the dark days of the 80's. But of course, that's entirely irrelevant to this debate. Is this another attempted diversion?
  Jeronimo  Posted: 07/11/2005 13:06
Well PJK and Rainy Day, Maybe my picture of all anti-smokers may be a bit warped. I have seen many letters in papers though who refer to smokers as being lower-class citazins and I don't like that picture at all. We are portrayed as these addicts who would be a lot richer if they stopped smoking but they have such a hard life and they generally come from poor families. I find this highly insulting especially when the cigar smoker is put in the rich bracket. So I would have a thorn in my side in this area of smoking and so it is not a diversion. A smoker smokes for many different reasons and smokers follow many classes of society. Why pick one particular area then to highlight?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 07/11/2005 13:14
Jeromino - We seem to be on the way to a legal challenge in Scotland, by a hotel group. They are only challenging the ban's coverage of private clubs, not the principle of the ban. This limited challenge is a pity but it is far better than nothing! We'll see what happens ...
  RainyDay  Posted: 07/11/2005 16:34
Hi Belinda - Just FYI, we had lots of talk in Ireland before the ban of legal challenges (hotelier Sean McEniff from Donegal, if I recall correctly), and the Vitners Association were supposed to be putting together a 'fighting fund' to cover the legal costs. This all came to nothing in Ireland.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 07/11/2005 17:50
so far it is only a report in the paper. I am doing all I can to encourage them!
  Jeronimo  Posted: 07/11/2005 17:55
Belinda, Rainy Day is right! My local landlord told me that at a meeting up the country somewhere, every one of them voted for a challenge. They went home happy that night but on the nine o'clock news the Vintners came out and said there would be no challenge! He said everyone of them were gobsmacked and couldn't believe what they were hearing! Something went wrong somewhere so you need to watch out very carefully for this one. As a result many pubs here in Ireland have gone under.
  RainyDay  Posted: 08/11/2005 10:57
Hi Jeronimo - Can you provide any evidence to back up your claim that 'many pubs in Ireland have gone under'?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 08/11/2005 13:17
'We are aware of just over 200 licensed premises that have closed since the introduction of the smoking ban in March 2004.' Seamus O"Donoghue of VFI, quoted in Publican 10th May 2005.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 08/11/2005 13:18
Rainy Day, If you ring the Vintners they should be able to tell you. In my area four pubs have closed since the smoking ban, two of which were there for years. The talk at the time was that it was entirely due to the smoking ban.
  RainyDay  Posted: 08/11/2005 15:29
Hi guys - I'm afraid I'm reluctant to treat anything that comes out of the Licensed Vitners too seriously, given the unmitigated bull that they produced before the ban. The sales figures for the major drinks companies shows small drops (approx 5%) in pub sales over the last year, so I can't see how this would result in significant number of pub closures.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 08/11/2005 16:24
Rainy Day, You are bound to be skeptical with figures coming from the V.F.I just like we are with your figures. I went away and had a chat with my landlord an hour ago (lunch break) and to date he said that 7,600 staff have been laid off by the pubs. I saw this on one of his issues of Update (which is a booklet for the publicans). He has laid off three staff himself so it is pretty obvious that pubs get affected. Another publican's coffee mornings has taken a complete nose-dive and he knows of another coffee shop who has changed their premises to take-away.
  PJK  Posted: 09/11/2005 08:47
Jeronimo, The smoking ban was introduced at a time when pub trade was falling at a great rate anyway, so it would be hard to determine how much if anything the smoking ban has contributed to the fall since its introduction. Off-licence sales by volume were increasing at nearly the same rate as pub sales were falling off. The reasons that trade was falling already are multiple and include cost to the punter of drink, people staying at home with a bottle of wine or few cans, and then going out later for the atmosphere.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 09/11/2005 13:47
It's extraordinary that the price of drink was used as an excuse for the smoking ban when doctors at the time were preaching that alcohol wasn't half expensive enough. They clearly felt that people were drinking far too much. The anti-smokers hyped up this area in order to cover up for the effects of what they perceived as a miracle law. That's all that happened here Rainy Day. Do you honestly think that bringing down the price of drink is going to do our young people any good when that's all they seem to spend their money on at the weekends!
  PJK  Posted: 10/11/2005 09:11
Jeronimo, I am not argueing the rights & wrongs of the price of drink, all I am saying is that pub trade was in decine before the smoking ban, so you cannot definetely say what (if any) portion of the decline since the smoking ban was due directly to the smoking ban, and not just down to the decline anyway. I don't specifically know what is the cause of the decline, but certainly there is a growing trend of people buying off-licence, in particular wine.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 10/11/2005 11:24
I think if a publican notices people suddenly not coming in any more after a ban is introduced it is a little bit hard to say that is due to a longterm trend.
  PJK  Posted: 10/11/2005 13:53
Belinda, my point was that it was not a sudden phenomenom that people stopped coming to the pubs following the smoking ban, but rather that numbers were falling already, even before the ban.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 10/11/2005 14:29
It amazes me that the anti smoking lobby continue to deny the negative commercial and social effects of this unjust ban. According to Seamus O'Donoghue, President of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, "nationwide, turnover in pubs is down by up to 20-30%. In County Clare alone, 26 pubs have closed in the last 12 months.  An estimated 170 licences have been lost in Cork City and County.  Many rural publicans now choose not to open until the evening time, cutting off a vital social link for many customers living in isolated areas". It must be remembered that, it is not in the interests of any business to admit to such a huge fall in revenue as it devalues the business in the eyes of both the banks and potential buyers. For this reason, you can take it that his comments are genuine. Also, I have been told, a big number of publicans are also members of the Fianna Fail party and have been discreetly directed by headquarters to keep quiet. In County Clare alone, 26 pubs have closed in the last 12 months and an estimated 170 licences have been lost in Cork City and County. Even the Central Statistics Office reported that 7,600 jobs were lost in the hospitality sector in 2004, the first year of the ban and this at a time when vacancies increased in every other section of the economy. One of my own local pubs with a large new extension and a big professional staff is a case in point. Of the 25 staff, 23 told the owner that they were firmly in favour of the ban. The owner in turn, believed the spin about how business would increase through the attraction of the ban for non smokers and so, with the support of his staff, he made no effort to accommodate smokers. A year into the ban with nine staff having been let go, the remaining employees have pleaded with the owner to put in a smoking room (though none of them smoke), that will pass the Health Inspector's examination. He has now had a builder in and taken legal advice also. He has told me that he either invests in an attractive but expensive smoking room, or he closes down. A stark choice for a business that had this problem inflicted on it by a bad law. Simply put, the ban has cost a lot of jobs, created uncertainty and damaged the social fabric of this increasingly selfish country, John.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 10/11/2005 16:01
PJK my point was exactly that publicans did observe a sudden drop, precisely when they were led to believe the opposite would happen. Ask the ones who did go out of business.
  RainyDay  Posted: 10/11/2005 16:31
Hi John - Your statistics about turnover are way out of whack with the audited published revenue figures of Diageo (suppliers of Guinness & other leading drinks brands) who state that ' The on trade declined 5%' when publishing the 2005 results (see ' Is there just a possibility that the Vitners are exaggerating again?
  PJK  Posted: 10/11/2005 16:50
John, do your figures tell what loses were occurring in the pub trade in the years just before the ban. You have to treat the VHI figures with caution. Don\'t forget that the VFI is the organisation that does not want the licensing liberalised to allow genuine competition in the pub trade. They were the ones who scuppered McDowells plans on the cafe-bar proposal. If my memory of the Eddie Hobbs \"Rip Off Republic\" programme is correct, approx 10% of the pub licences in Ireland are in the Dublin area, even though as we know 25% of the pop lives there. As a result I live in a Dublin suburb, and am in walking distance of at most 3 pubs. Yet in my small home country town, with a pop of 10,000, I have a choice of 24 pubs in walking distance and the price of the pint is almost €1 cheaper than in Dublin. Competition works for the customer, but not for the VFI, as many of their members have paid inflated prices for licensed premises based on inflated earnings.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 10/11/2005 18:12
PJK, Pub licences is a different subject all together. The fact of the matter is that there was a huge drop after the smoking ban came in. When someone is a smoker and can smoke at home it is pretty obvious that they would cut down going out. Sometimes I wonder why we go out at all! The drinks companies have probably made up ground in the take-away market and could easily consider companies who have set up taps for the home trade as being on-sales. But sure what good is it having people staying at home all the time for. The pubs are far less fun now than they ever were. What we are left with now are cranky old faces from the anti-smoking crowd. And they are such a dry lot!
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 11/11/2005 07:44
Rainy Day, The revenue figures from Diageo do not include brands such as Heineken, Beamish, Smithwicks, Fosters etc, and do not include all the whiskey, brandy, vodka, gin and other spirits, not to mention the wine lake or the sale of cigarettes. A drop off in custom also affects food sales. So while Diageo might report a fall of 5%, which is a significant drop for them, the real fall for Diageo has to include their expected rise in turnover that year, which might typically be 4%. So their actual loss would be 9% which would be reflected in their budget spending for the following year. I made the point that the Vitners are not exaggerating as it is very much not in their interests to do so. The Vintners are the industry representatives and so are the best and most accurate source of information on the pub trade. I do not understand why there is a witch hunt on publicans at present. Over a third of their take is taxation similar to petrol sales. They employ thousands in this country and provide a valuable social service as well. Some of them have become quite rich and some are not doing so well, like in any other competitive industry. You may not wish to believe it, but when they report turnover down about 20 - 30% across the country, then that is what has happened. One publican in Cork has told me his take is down 50% but he's been in the business for years, has cleared his debts so, he just let three staff go and both he and his wife fill in now when necessary. He, like all the others, blames the smoking ban. PJK, The figures are year-on-year so they do take into account the the fall off from the previous year. But, you make the point that "the VFI is the organisation that does not want the licensing liberalised to allow genuine competition in the pub trade". Pubs already compete with each other for customers. The fact is that the Government limited the availability of licenses for years thus driving up the price. At the same time, property prices went through the roof and the combination of the two means that the price of a pub, particularly in Dublin, is massive. What Michael McDowell proposed around cafe bars was to simply devalue the publicans license investment at the stroke of the Ministerial pen without any compensation to those whom he had forced to pay a high price for the license in the first place. And incredibly, he wanted to double the amount of outlets where alcohol was available for the stated purpose of cutting down on drinking ! I take your point about the variety of prices. In Cork, one of my locals charges 3 euro and 10 cent for my favorite tipple while the other charges 4 euro for it. Of course, I have the choice of which one to go to whereas, in Dublin, I have been charged up to 6 euro for the same drink almost everywhere. In Turkey, a similar drink is 40 cent so it cannot be the cost of manufacture that sets the price. But, like most competitive businesses, publicans will charge what the market will stand. In the computer industry, for example, when a new model comes to market, the manufacturer decides what he will charge the dealer based on what he thinks the demand will be and the dealer will add his mark-up based on what he believes he will get away with. The dealer could, in theory put 100% on the sell price though he probably would not sell many. In the same way, parking is more expensive in Dublin, commuting also. What smokers have discovered is that, not being welcome to smoke legally with a drink in public, the price of their favorite drink at home is less than half what it costs in the pub. You will buy a bottle of wine in the off license for the price of two glasses in the pub. But this is an unhealthy development for society as a whole and far from having anything to do with the health of non smokers, the ban is a deliberate attempt to force over a million people to conform to the morals and beliefs of a small powerful minority who absolutely hate smoking. It is social engineering on a grand scale and the first example in this country of what was a simple civil right being taken from the citizen on a pretext. While this does not adversely affect you now, a precedent has been set with the smoking ban that will allow any powerful lobby to influence Government to take away one of your rights in the future at the stroke of a pen and, as long as you are in a minority, you will be powerless to stop it. I don't know about you but the main attraction for me of living in Ireland is the sense of personal freedom. I believe this is being eroded and the smoking ban is a prime example of this, John.
  Mary  Posted: 11/11/2005 09:20
Ah now Jeronimo not all anti-smokers are old. Cranky and dry perhaps but not all old, surely.
  PJK  Posted: 11/11/2005 09:37
Jeronimo, the point is that pub trade has been falling for a number of years anyway even before the ban. Therefore you cannot with any certainty say how much of the fall in trade since the ban is down solely to the ban, and how much would have just been a continuation of a trend that was already there. You must have noticed the upsurge in off-licences attached to many pubs, to take advantage of the upswing in off-licence trade that approx matches the down-turn in pub trade. This trend was well established before the smoking ban came in.
  PJK  Posted: 11/11/2005 09:55
John, the Gov keeps restricted licences at the behest of the VFI. You say that the VFI would have no reason to spin the figures for a particular end. Well, here is one reason, maybe if they show how badly they are all doing, they can keep the pressure on the Gov to keep the number of licences restricted, rather than liberalising the market. The story of inflated prices for licences, has a parellel in the taxi liberalisation, where taxi driver had paid inflated prices for a plate, and then needed a certain revenue to support the repayments. The whole set-up played against the interest of the customer and was a classic "bubble" that had to burst in the end, in order to benefit the customer.
  RainyDay  Posted: 11/11/2005 10:29
Hi John - Please stop playing with statistics. Including a projected gain in calculating a fall is just ludicrous. A fall is a fall, nothing more, nothing less. There is no reason to believe that the Diageo figures are not in same ballpark as the rest of the industry. The Vitners exaggeration is a classic 'resistence to change' response. They don't like change and they are digging their heels in. If they took a more positive attitude and worked out how to make their businesses more attractive to the majority of their customers (better quality food, improved hygiene, decent live music etc), they might manage to get the figures back up again. But it seems they are just going to continue whinging and harking back to the past. Your description of the ban as unhealthy is missing the point. The ban has been hugely liberating for the 3 million people who like to socialise without breathing in other people's exhaust fumes.
  PJK  Posted: 11/11/2005 11:27
John, Jeronimo, Mandate said that CSO's final estimate of a 5.3pc fall in bar sales was only slightly above the rate of decline which began in 2001
  PJK  Posted: 11/11/2005 11:34
John, You were wondering about Bemish & Heinekens view of falling sales, well here is a report in todays Irsih Independent "Beamish & Crawford boss, Alf Smiddy, said that all the evidence - both anecdotal and sales-related - indicate that the overall impact of the smoking ban on the drinks industry has not resulted in a hit on sales. "Certainly there aren't any indications of major drops in sales," he said. Smiddy said that anecdotal evidence has indicated that pubs which feature a food-trade have reported significant increases in their overall trade - while some of those entirely dependent on drink sales have noticed slight declines. "It's very much a case of swings-and-roundabouts. And of course the background to all of this is that sales through off-licenses continue to surge ahead," he said. Lager sales continue to soar in Ireland, indicating ongoing changes within the industry, said Smiddy. Sources within both Guinness and Heineken Ireland mirrored these comments and feedback, indicating that no significant decreases in sales have been recorded since the smoking ban came into law. "
  Mary  Posted: 11/11/2005 12:11
Actually, Rainy, tho' I'm usually inclined to agree with you, the ban has been affecting others who also like to socialise and are now outside on the street breathing in other exhaust fumes - from passing cars
  The Publican  Posted: 11/11/2005 14:16
So this is where you are all gone! Why didn't you tell me? Now, I'd like to tell you all what is going on in my pub regarding drink sales. Guinness is doing very badly in my pub since the ban came in. There are two reasons for this. One is that a lot of smokers have deliberately changed over to Beamish as a way of protesting against the smoking ban. After all a pint of Guiness in my pub costs 3.50, whereas a pint of Beamish is 2.95. The other reason is because Guinness's put an add on the television claiming that "the atmosphere just got better"! On top of that they advertised their home products encouraging people to stay at home. So Guinness's are running themselves into the ground and it's about time too! It's great to see the smaller breweries coming up! Heineken has collapsed in our pub not only for the same reason but because of the price. We brought in Bavaria which only costs 2.50 a pint compared to 3.70. I would prefer though if Heineken didn't do so badly because they are a lovely company to deal with as opposed to Guinesse's. So Beamish's are bound to claim that they are doing well because they have effectively 'robbed' from Guinness's! Bavaria should be saying the same. The off-licence trade is right into their oil-can of course because of the smoking ban so this area must have increased dramatically. That's pretty obvious and we have seen a notable increase ourselves and are buying far more cans than we ever did before. So it is of course the publican who is suffering and the people are losing out socially. The day will come when the small country pub will no longer exist because people will do all their socialising at home. That will be a sad day for communities that used to come together as one.
  PJK  Posted: 11/11/2005 14:24
Apologies the above quote from the Irsh Independent was from 29 Apr 04.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 11/11/2005 15:38
Rainy Day, Isn't it only right and proper that the Vintners are trying to protect the publicans. I would expect any union of mine to protect me. How could you expect small pubs to survive under these conditions. Sure they have families too. People are getting fed up with big large businesses who are always very impersonal. It would indeed be a very sad day if these pubs went under. These are the friendliest pubs where everybody knows each other. They are a mighty asset to any community.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 11/11/2005 20:01
All this discussion on publicans got me thinking, then I read this this frightening piece ...... In a dramatic new departure in the war on ill health, the H.S.E. has warned about the dangers posed to the unsuspecting public, of exposure to 'publicans'. The Chief Executive of the H.S.E. said in Dublin today that "for years now, people in Ireland have become sick and some have even died and in many instances, even actual doctors have not been able to pinpoint the cause". Warming to his theme, Doctor Hugh Dunnit claimed that "it took exhaustive epidemiological research, including the odd chat with the next-of-kins, to firmly establish the link between the condition of these poor people and the 'publican'. But, it has now been established beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had all come in contact with a 'publican' at some time, and some even as often as once a week. Professor Blame of the H.S.E. pointed to an exhaustive study done on two individuals in Leitrim, one who died at the tender age of 105, but who both had visited a pub (where publicans lurk) on the same day and then, amazingly, died within 26 years of each other. "It's no coincidence" he went on "those publicans are lethal". "The list of dangers associated with the 'publican' are endless" added Dr Dunnit. "While the smoking ban has done a lot to improve the air quality in public settings, the recent discovery of environmental horse shit (E.H.S.) in the atmosphere in pubs, is causing alarm in health circles". Basically, this seems to be caused by the 'publicans' cleverly listening to their customers moans and then pretending to empathise with them. The unwary customer is then lulled into a false sense of relief and, instead of seriously worrying about their problems, as they should do, they seem to forget all about them. This in turn, has not only led to frivolous unruly nonsense (F.U.N), a mild condition that can be treated with a dose of reality, but increasingly, people are not going regularly to their Doctor for anti-depressants. This in turn is causing concern in the medical community where some members are now having to think twice about that fourth investment property. But 'publicans disease' is multi-factoral. As well as the numbing influence of E.H.S. some of these crafty breed have made their venues warm and inviting, they serve intoxicating beverages and in some extreme cases, even good food. "They have contrived to create a situation where mature adults can go and enjoy themselves" said Dr Blame. "Clearly, something must be done about this". The risks to a healthy Irish public cannot be overstated. "Everyone must have the right to stay at home and ponder their problems and worries and must be free of the inducement of this kind of shoddy relief" said Dr Dunnit. If pubs and publicans are not banned, then Doctors may be forced to do a twenty hour week just to pay their green fees and the reliable queues in A & E could become just a happy memory. Indeed, the money wasted on the over inflated drink from the publican could buy a dizzy cocktail of pharmaceutical goodies that can even treat things you don't have. The Health and Safety Executive has called on the Government to take stringent measures to stamp out this "publican disease" and introduce a rationing scheme through pharmacies where a unit of alcohol could be dispensed to each adult over forty on a monthly basis, at the usual fee of fifty euro a visit. The unit itself might be wine or could in fact be a quart of benylin, either of which could be imbibed in a controlled and sober setting. "The fiasco of the pub has gone on long enough" claimed Professor Blame. "These dens of iniquity have got to go. The Government must now seriously look at the very real dangers posed by evil publicans, should ban alcohol except through proscribed outlets and should seriously consider handing over these publican's properties to doctors in private practice who could use the high profile venues to attract new customers, not least for the alcohol prescription and thereby ensure a healthier and more productive fuel source for the hungry Celtic Tiger engine. You know it makes sense, John.
  The Publican  Posted: 12/11/2005 03:19
John, that was some piece of writing you found! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Oh, yes, there is plenty of truth in it all right! We would definatly prevent the sale of anti-depressants all right! I also told Rainy Day on the other site that we have prevented a few suicides as well but I don't think he was very impressed at all. I know though sincerely that we have helped four suiciders for a fact. If every pub in the country did that, that would amount to many a person saved. A country pub is brilliant for this because we give the people time. I spend a huge proportion of my time sitting down talking to the customers and they can use me all the time as a kind of a chairman to refer to. So we are social workers and excellent ones at that. It is time for the greedy publican attitude to go. It was never there where the country publican was concerned. You won't make big money here at all. You will be on the same level as most other people are. Just about making it. And yet we feel that we have all the wealth we need because we have the people around us. That is what really matters. We have some of the most beautiful people in the world (some of them smokers of course) coming in to us, we have great chats, great laughs, we help one another and that is what really matters at the end of the day. No amount of money can make up for that.
  Chesterfield  Posted: 13/11/2005 20:58
Take a look at this very interesting and unusual piece by KGMM ALBERTI, President of The Royal College of Physicians (and it's pretty short):
  Mary  Posted: 14/11/2005 08:52
John, that piece was absolutely brilliant. Are you the same person who wrote the gag-piece about the dangers of bread and why it should be banned?
  RainyDay  Posted: 14/11/2005 10:38
It's difficult to take the role of the publican as a suicide-preventing social worker given that alcohol is generally accepted as being a substantial contributory factor towards suicide - see the following links for more information;
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 14/11/2005 11:59
Rainy There is all the difference between drinking in isolation and drinking socially.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 14/11/2005 13:28
Rainy There is all the difference between drinking in isolation and drinking socially.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 14/11/2005 13:43
Mary, Glad you enjoyed those two tongue-in-cheek pieces about bread and publicans. Good Lord, it's just occurred to me that a publican actually armed with a sliced pan could wrack havoc. Rainy Day, At your suggestion, I checked the V.H.I. site to discover the horrors of the demon drink and, by association, the evil publicans. It appears that research published in conjunction with Depression Awareness Week has found that drinking has risen by more than 40 per cent in ten years and over the same period suicide increased by 45 per cent. I see, but our personal wealth increased over the last ten years. Could money be causing suicide. Immigration shot up in the last ten years - are all these East Europeans driving us to top ourselves. There's three times as many cars on the roads. Could these shiny sleek vehicles or the cost of their fuel (see money) be pushing the individual over the edge. But no, it has to be the booze. The thing is though, this so called research is framed in the context of "Depression Awareness Week". To even half believe the research you would have to assume that people drink alcohol to get depressed. I tend to believe that the opposite is true. It has more to do with stress relief, relaxation and elation. The fact that every high is followed by a low is true of anything that produces a high. The truth is that, the research shows that it is depression which can lead to suicide. No great insight there but, to single out alcohol as the primary cause of the depression in the first place is about as valid as citing smoking as the sole cause of all cancers. It is untrue, misleading and negates the need to really understand what drives a person to such levels of despair that they would actually attempt to take their own life. These fabricated health scares are a product of the "politics of fear" and say more about the authors and their motivation than they do about the reality of everyday life. Honestly, it's enough to drive you to the drink, John.
  The Publican  Posted: 14/11/2005 14:54
Rainy Day, For once I will agree with you that alcohol plays a part in suicides. Some people should not drink at all. Drugs also play a part in suicides and drugs from pharmeuceutical companies such as anti-depressants also do. Men are desperate when they break up from girlfriends and many of them can't seem to handle this one at all. Nowadays you have mixtures of alcohol and drugs and depending on the cocktail, it can be lethal. As Belinda pointed out alcohol in isolation has caused the death of five women in our area. These are known as the 'silent' drinkers and none of those ever came into my pub. Pushing a smoking ban on people has to increase this area significanly and lacks all the controls that a public house has in force at the moment. Watch the figures for drinking and driving as they begin to drop as more and more people drink at home. And then also watch for the figures for alcoholism and treatment centres rise as this problem escalates. While you appear to be seen as controlling one problem you are creating monsters in the backgroud.
  RainyDay  Posted: 14/11/2005 21:46
Hi John - The 'I know everything and everyone else knows nothing' line is getting just a bit old. I'm amazed at your absolute conviction that you know more about the relationship between alcohol & suicide than the Chairman of Aware, a highly respected, independent charity that has been dealing with depression & other mental illnesses for decades. No-one tried to 'single out alcohol as the primary cause of the depression in the first place'. You are attempting to ridicule something that no-one on this debate has claimed, which (to paraphrase your own words) says more about the author and his motivation than it does about the reality of everyday life.
  The Publican  Posted: 15/11/2005 02:13
Rainy Day, You may be interested in this article that is in our UPDATE brochure that I got in the post today. Ask any publican who is joined the V.F.I to see it if you want to. Smoking Ban Blamed For Increase In House Fires. The introduction of the smoking ban in pubs has resulted in an increase in the rate of fire deaths in homes. Cigarettes have become the biggest cause of house fire death and the risk of resulting fires in the home has increased since the introduction of the ban, the National Safety Council has reported. There is now a significant increase in the number of people smoking and drinking at home. This combination has seen the risk factor rise. A study revealed that 33 out of 35 fire deaths in the home last year suspected that alcohol was a factor in six out of every ten fatalities. Only 11 percent of the houses involved had working smoke alarms. Most of the fires (43%) were caused by cigarettes. So now you have it! How would you feel I wonder if a whole family was wiped out because you wouldn't leave people have a smoke in public!
  Mary  Posted: 15/11/2005 08:16
John, I now have this vision of a publican in frnt of a packed pub wavign a sliced pan in a threatening manner - briliant!! to The Publican, i HAVE TO SAY, i SEE YOUR POINT. Fellow is depressed following breaking up with his girl. He can't go to the pub and have a ew smokes and few pints in comforts while he thinks or even talks over the situaton (emotion laden chats aren't best served by needing fequsnt breaks to nip out for a fag) so he sits at home with a few smokes and a few drinks (maybe more drinks than are good for him) on his own, become very negative, very down,m dos the same the next night and the next. I can see how this might lead to suicidal thougts. Other scenario. He gos to the pub, has a few pint and few smoks in confort, talks it over with he lads, maybe he talks it over with you either. Goes home, maybe not in good form exactly but feeling better than when he went out. Does the same the next night, few pintrs, few smokes, a good chat. Maybe he starts to see things ina different light and that life isn't so bad afterall.. I do see your point. Womena have more, or maybe just different emotional support networks for when things go par-shaped than guys do. Maybe I have ben selfish.
  PJK  Posted: 15/11/2005 14:52
Hi Publican, I have looked up the Natioanl Safety Council website, to confirm your ascertations that the "Smoking Ban Blamed For Increase In House Fires". However, when I look at their site and not the distorted VFI article, their headline is "No Smoke Alarm in 9 of 10 Fire Fatalities", and the first line is "A total of 39 people died in domestic fires in Ireland in 2004, an increase of 2 on 2003 according to provisional figures? released by the National Safety Council today, Monday 11th April 2005." The main focus of the article is the importance of having a smoke alarm, and nowhere is it mentioned that there is a signicant increase since the smoking ban. An increase from 37 to 39 is not significant. This is what I keep saying, publican, you cannot take the word of the VFI at face value. Quoates of previous messages from the drinks, industry in the name of Diageo, Beamish, Heinekn, all show that the pub trade was in decline before the smoking ban and that trend has continued, but has been more or less matched in increased off-licence sales. But the VFI continue to say how badly they are doing because of the smoking ban. They really have to be taken with a large grain of salt.
  The Publican  Posted: 15/11/2005 16:30
PJK, I was accused of not studying your surveys earlier on and picking up what I wanted to hear from them. I believe the same thing has happened here. If I can see that there is an increase in people drinking at home plus an increase in sales from the off-licence section then I have no reason at all to doubt the V.F.I. This is 'ground' truth as well that I see which is always the most important. If a pattern is repeating itself in the country then you can be guaranteed that it is happening on a much larger scale. We have always found this down through the years. When any problem reaches the country it is always a sign that something has gone out of control. The same with the drugs. We genuinely did not have a problem with this only in the last couple of years and that to us is a very bad sign.
  The Publican  Posted: 15/11/2005 16:37
Thank you Mary, for seeing my point. People need other people in their lives more than anything in the world. It gives most people a reason for living. Some of the best memories you will ever have in your life is being in the company of people that you have something in common with and who can brighten up your life. No-one should be put into a situation that makes this vital communication uncomfortable for them. There are always better ways. That is why I find this whole smoking ban issue to be a major interference in a person's life and as I continually say it, some people are finding it very hard. It shouldn't have come to this.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 16/11/2005 02:03
Sorry to have been absent the last couple of weeks: things here were heating up with ban fights in Chicago and Washington and I've been trying to help out in both places. I did a bit more research on the topic RD and I were disagreeing about: my contention that a certain person had a connection with a certain group before a certain study was done may well have been incorrect. The connection I found appears to have been established AFTER the study and there is no evidence it existed beforehand. When I'm done with the current battles over here I'll see if I can offer the HSA report the same tender care I gave to the Report for the Welsh Assembly Government at: Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  PJK  Posted: 16/11/2005 08:43
Hi Publican, I notice that you did not deal with my last message, which quoted the actual National Safety Council article about house fires and not the distorted inaccurate VFI represntation of the National Safety Council article. I am glad to see that you & I are in agreement about the fact that pub trade is declining and off-licence trade is increasing at similar rates. As you know, because the evidence is everywhere to be seen; a lot of the off-licence trade is in fact done by pubs, with off-licence shops attached to many pubs. Therefore the only point of contention is that I & the drinks industry as represnted by Diageo, Bemish, Heineken Ireland all say that the pub trade was in decline already before the ban (in fact since 2001) and that it is just a continuation of this trend. You & the VFI say that the trend only started since the smoking ban. Given the above example re house fires and the distorted misrepresentation that VFI gave to the National Safety Council report, I would have to say that they do not have much credibility in these types of matters.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 16/11/2005 11:20
PJK An increase of 37 to 39 is an increase of about 5%. Not only is this significant, it is also considerably greater than the 'risk' of non-smokers getting lung cancer from secondary smoke, given by the Department of Health as 2 in 100,000. In this case the numbers involved are very small, and a comparison in the UK would yield more convincing results because of its much larger population.
  PJK  Posted: 16/11/2005 12:42
Belinda, statisically the difference between 37 & 39 is neglible, and within the expected normal variation. As an example as you know if you flick a coin you have a fifty/fifty chance of getting heads or tails. However if you flick a coin 100 times you could get maybe 47 heads & 53 tails, or alternatively 52 heads & 48 tails. This would be within expected variations; and does not proof that the chances are not fifty/fifty. Again I have looked up the Natioanl Safety Council site, that was "misquoted" by the publican & VFI, and the deaths for the last few years from fires are as follows 2001 - 63 2002 - 51 2003 - 37 2004 - 39 2005 - 29. So if anything the trend would seem that deaths have come down since 2003. Now I am not for a moment saying that this fall in deaths is due to the smoking ban; all I am saying is the VFI are terribly unreliable in presenting figures and have in this case totally misrepresented the Natioanl Safety Council in an attempt to prove that house fires have gone up since the smoking ban. The theme of the National Safety Council was that the lack house smoke alarms was a huge contributor to house fire deaths, and there was absolutely no mention whatsoever to the smoking ban.
  The Publican  Posted: 16/11/2005 13:42
PJK, I have already answered your post on house fires. The article I gave could have the views of the V.F.I thrown in. Only last night a 60 year old man in the Kerry Pike region died in a fire from his own cigarette. Fair enough, this could have happened anyway without a smoking ban but many of us will wonder whether the smoking ban was the contributory factor in his case. And anyone that dies in a fire or whole families will have this question mark hanging over their heads. Will these people be amongst the 5% increase or not? With regards to the pub trade it was very easy to shout this one with regards to drinking and driving and the price of the pint. The price of the pint was suddenly blown out of all proportion but this was only a cover-up for the smoking ban. People had never any problems with our prices and found us cheap compared to city prices. The smoking ban made our evenings in particular seem like a ghost town. There was no-one around and that is still the same to-day. Even yesterday, I opened at 4 o'clock and I had no-one in until 8! That's scary and I have a big family to rear as well. This was never the case before. We were guaranteed at least 10 people for the evening. The same has happened to the pub that is about a mile up the road from us. They used to open at 10.30 in the morning, then went to 12 and then onto 2. They are now thinking of going to 4 just like we do and they are in a village. When Scotland and England bring in a smoking ban Belinda, you can be sure that the country pub will travel the same road.
  RainyDay  Posted: 16/11/2005 14:18
To blame the smoking ban as the sole or main reason for the decline in pub business is short-sighted. Maybe people have finally got sick of forking out so much money? Maybe people are getting more & more health conscious and are cutting down on alcohol? Maybe people got tired of limp hang sangwidches and want a bit of decent food. Maybe people want to spend a bit more time with their families and a bit less time with drunken strangers? There are a whole pile of reasons NOT to go to pubs.
  PJK  Posted: 16/11/2005 14:45
Hi Publican, No you did not address my message about house fires. You came on spouting on about how house fires were on the increase as a result of the smoking ban, and that the National Safety Council said that this was so. You got this rubbish information from your VFI newsletter. I actually show you what the National Safety Council actually did say, and that they never once said that house fires were on the increase due to the smoking ban, and that there is no real change in house fire deaths between 2003 & 2004, and that this shows how the VFI have absolutely no credibility in this debate. Your response is to side step this issue. Again going back to 37 deaths versus 39 deaths, statistically they are virtually identical and you cannot say that there is a 5% increase in deaths. To do that you would to have a number of years in a row at 37 deaths and then followed by a number of years with 39 deaths to show a trend. Otherwise at this moment it just looks like a normal flucuation. Interestingly, you do not seem to have speculated why deaths have fallen from 51 deaths before the ban to 37 deaths after the ban in 2003. (see my message at 12.42 above) or indeed your VFI buddies did not mention this aspect. Again I am not making any claims on this, all I am showing is that VFI analysis on this particlar issue is pure unadulterated rubbish and so discredits anything that they might say on the matter (such as the fact that they seem to forget that pub trade was in decline before the ban anyway)
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 16/11/2005 15:47
Rainy Day, The November issue of the B.M.J. publishes a recent paper by Dr. Shane Allwright, senior lecturer in epidemiology, at Trinity, called “Legislation for smoke-free workplaces and health of bar workers in Ireland: before and after study”. The study was commissioned and paid for by the O.T.C. 329 bar staff were enrolled in baseline survey with 249 (76%) followed up one year later. Of these, 158 were non-smokers both at baseline and follow-up. They do not immediately explain why the other 25% were not followed up which is strange. But what they do state later in passing is that “we excluded people who claimed to be non-smokers but had salivary cotinine concentration 113.6 nmol/l, as we considered them to be active smokers”. Putting two and two together, in plain English, those that claimed to be non smokers but did not demonstrate the desired dramatic fall in cotinine and nicotine levels which were desired for the outcome, were simply dismissed as liars. They then go on to refer to “protection” in relation to both cotinine and nicotine. But both of these substances are completely harmless in themselves. Protection from what is harmless is certainly a new departure. Perhaps sensing that the whole thing was a bit flimsy, they then went on to “self reported exposure to secondhand smoke, and respiratory and sensory irritation symptoms”. You know the kind of thing yourself, “have you noticed that you are breathing in less cigarette smoke in the pub since everyone stopped smoking in it”. Or, “without all those smelly disgusting smokers blowing smoke in your face, you must be breathing much better, aren’t you”. So, no Rainy Day, I don’t believe it any more than I believe that alcohol is the big contributor to depression. I hate being taken for a fool but the real damage done by junk science is that when the real thing comes along, I might have heard “wolf” once too often, John.
  RainyDay  Posted: 16/11/2005 16:56
Hi John - Why don\'t you give Dr Allright a call and discuss your concerns
  The Publican  Posted: 16/11/2005 18:56
PJK, You need to have a look at one of the Updates. When you do you will find that it is one of the most interesting and promotional articles you will find. The Update informs the publican very well, bringing with it all the dangers of what can go wrong in the business. I cannot see for one minute why the V.F.I would lie. It just isn't possible. They have to be so careful in case they are open to being liable. You must remember that part. Everything in that article would make sense to any publican because you can see it with your own eyes and it would be an obvious truth to us. I'm sorry but I could not dismiss this article at all. This would be some serious joke on the part of the V.F.I. If they got this warning from The National Safety Council then there has to be truth in it. Maybe that is an older article you are looking at. The one I am looking at is for this month, November o5.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 17/11/2005 00:00
PJK I did acknowledge that the 37 to 39 per cent rise was from too small a sample to draw conclusions, and that was why I suggested the UK might make a better picture (except that so far they are not planning to implement a total ban in England). You are right that getting a trend of 5% over a few years would be necessary to establish any sort of cause/effect relationship. However the difference between 37 and 39 is indeed just over 5% and I was inviting you to consider the difference between that and the government estimate of 2 in 100,000 cases of lung cancer in exposed non-smokers. You are comparing a scant possibility of cancer against someone being burned alive.
  Jeronimo  Posted: 17/11/2005 00:11
John sure has some point there Rainy Day! Surveys can word things so well. The people that they had exclude probably didn't work in the pub anymore! Bar staff are constantly changing as this is usually a stop-over job whilst waiting for something better to come along. There aren't too many long-term bar staff that I know of anyway.
  PJK  Posted: 17/11/2005 10:07
John, I have always unquestioningly respected your analysis of the whole questionability of the dangers of passive smoking, due to the fact that you seemed to know what you were talking about and seemed to make a reasonable case. However, as time went by and you seemed to be using similar arguments to prove that actual smoking itself was not as harmful as people thought and also the fact that you were questioning the clearly established strong link between lung cancer and actual smoking, I began to loose faith in your original analysis. So this time I followed up the article that you are quoting for your case, namely the one written by Shane Allwright. Firstly this article is co-written by the following impressive list a of authors; Gillian Paul, research fellow1, Birgit Greiner, senior lecturer in epidemiology and public health2, Bernie J Mullally, research associate2, Lisa Pursell, senior researcher3, Alan Kelly, senior lecturer in biostatistics1, Brendan Bonner, manager4, Maureen D'Eath, researcher3, Bill McConnell, director5, James P McLaughlin, senior lecturer in physics6, Diarmuid O'Donovan, senior lecturer in social and preventive medicine3, Eamon O'Kane, director7, Ivan J Perry, professor of public health2 Secondly the research is peer reviewed by the BMJ itself. So unless you are questioning the ability of the BMJ to spot questionable use of stats, I think we have to take it that the study is sound in its analysis. Thirdly going to the specifics of the exclusion of people who claimed to be non-smokers but had salivary cotinine concentration 113.6 nmol/l, as they considered them to be active smokers. There is a very detailed explanation in the stats analysis section of the article explaining why this was done. Fourthly, the analysis is restricted to participants who were non-smokers at both baseline and follow-up. So smokers are eliminated at the start of the study, as obviously their exposure to cotinine will always be high. Fifthly the study was not saying that cotinine is harmful in itself, but was merely used as a marker for exposure to smoke. Sixthly, you say he does not explain, “why the other 25% were not followed up which is strange”. Well John, he does explain it as follows “Forty eight were not eligible for follow-up, 23 could not be contacted after several attempts, and nine refused”. And before you say it, he does explain the 48 not eligible as well; most of them are no longer in the bar trade. Seventhly, you deride the equality of questions relating to questions related to self reported exposure to respiratory and sensory irritation symptoms. The type of questions used here related to “wheezing, dyspnea, morning cough, cough during the rest of the day or night, and phlegm production”. If these type of things have improved as a result, well already there are health benefits. The more serious stuff will come time. Allbrights study concluded that “The smoke-free workplace law in the Republic of Ireland has provided protection for one of the most heavily exposed occupational groups by reducing their exposure to secondhand smoke both in and out of the workplace. The reduced exposure has led to a decline in respiratory and sensory symptoms in non-smokers”. I think that following this exposure of your totally inadequate analysis of the Allbright article, that I can safely say that any other analysis of other studies on your part could be seriously flawed also. Therefore I am going back to basics, and putting my faith in the experts in this stuff, and believing that smoking is bad for you and strongly linked with lung cancer, and also passive smoking must be bad for you.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 17/11/2005 22:12
Rainy Day, As with a number of my previous posts, you ignore the substance because from your point of view I presume, they're indefensible and you choose instead to, mostly, go off on tangents. Instead of responding intelligently to my last contribution, you've chosen to refer me to the author of the report I mentioned which, we both know is a waste of time. But are you running out of steam Rainy, feeling a bit vulnerable, questioning perhaps the whole moral legality of this unjust ban or are you beginning to fear that people are waking up to the subterfuge, both smokers and non smokers, and could it actually happen that the whole thing might get overturned in the interests of political expediency. I detect a shrill note in the anti smoker advertising when, having extolled the virtues of the ban (using the type of evidence in my last posting), they go on to plead "let's keep it that way". Are they worried that they might get found out, that maybe, they shouldn't have gone too far. Could it be that the ordinary person is not feeling much healthier, could 7,000 people have actually lost their jobs in the hospitality industry and are now competing with low cost labour for another, might the ban supporters be worrying that smokers are just drinking at home and ignoring their dictates or, could it be that there are rumblings in their own ranks about how things are not as much fun now at weddings etc. Are you wondering why other people are not getting worked up anymore about your complaints regarding smokers in the open air. Could it be that the nonsense peaked a while ago and no amount of prodding from it's exponents will ignite any interest from a jaded Irish public who have real things to worry about. And, if the worst happened (from your point of view) and this Government or another one, amended the ban to properly represent their electoral areas, are you scared that nobody but the most agitated phobics would protest and, in doing so, might further be discovered for what they really are. Or are you just sitting smug in your self rightousness and feeling vindicated by the unjustice wrought on a third of your fellow citizens because, well, you don't like smoking, John
  smoker72  Posted: 18/11/2005 00:21
Oh my god! I have been looking over the last few comments that have been made this month, and i just have to say, claws back in please. My opinion on the SMOKING BAN, is, that it should have been a gradual process and not the blanket ban that was brought in. Ireland's pub industry HAS been affected by this ban. I don't particurlarly mind having to leave the premises (when i do go out, which is now a rare occurance), but my partner who is a non-smoker does! There is little or none of the old "craic" being generated in pubs anymore, and the oppurtunity of making friends and just having a good chat with people, has decreased by a long way, in rural regions especially. I grew up in Dublin, but have moved away now, so I know both scenarios! So, I think publicans have been hit by said ban, and the increase in the off-licence market says it all.
  fifi  Posted: 18/11/2005 12:28
Im a smoker but Im glad the smoking ban was introduced. The next morning after a night out, I dont feel half as queasy as I used to. However, all pubs should provide modern, warm & sheltered space for those people who want to smoke. Another thing I noticed, some of the anti-smokers get very riled at us. Let me just finish by saying that while everyone knows smoking isnt "good" for you, theres plenty of people I once knew who never drank, smoked & excercised all their lives & they are now pushing up daisies.
  RainyDay  Posted: 18/11/2005 13:07
Hi John - Why would you be so reluctant to have a simple discussion with the expert Dr Allwright? Just make a call - you know it makes sense.....
  PJK  Posted: 18/11/2005 14:34
Hi Publican, Please try to be logical on this (if you can). You say that the National Safety Council has warned the VFI about house fires on the increase as a result of the smoking ban. You make this ascertation on the basis of the VFI newsletter. I have actually quoted the original National Safety Council article to you, and also their figures. You then have the audacity to say that the VFI are right on this issue, even though their basis for being right is a total distortion on the figures produced by the National Safety Council. Likewise you say that pub trade has dropped as a result of the ban, again on the basis that the VFI say it is so, even though the figures and the rest of the drinks industry say that pub trade was falling anyway before the ban, and the trend has just continued. You continuely ignore the facts, purely on the basis of the VFI information, and your own limited anecdotal experience. John, I persume that your last post was written befor eyou read my response to your poor analysis of the Allwright article.
  The Publican  Posted: 18/11/2005 16:36
There are two major problems in this smoking ban. One is the fact that I can get fined 3000 euro if a smoker is caught smoking on my premises. This puts me on edge and it interferes with the more important matters to deal with like those who are too drunk and fighting ect. Without a doubt it does! This is dangerous in my eyes. The other problem is putting the smokers outside the door. This is a shameful act on it's people by the government on those who elected them. This is the major thing that turns off people coming to the pub. I have spoken to many of them and this is how they feel. These are the two areas that have caused the most problems. When I bring up smokers to my kitchen they do not smoke anymore than if they went outside the door. I use this room in particular when it is raining outside. Therefore I can see that anti-smoking goals could be achieved somewhat. We have to agree that some problems can go out of control and as smokers we would probably at least feel that we had more control over our smoking than being out of control. Achiveing control for us all is a good thing but going overboard creates only anger, discrimination and bitterness towards those who brought it in. Whether you like it or not this ban has created division. There are better ways and I think if there was a bit of leeway given at this stage it would be in everybody's favor. Smokers overall have been outstanding during this smoking ban. We know now that they are not this rowdy bunch that some people may have thought of. What is needed now at this stage is a bit of respect sent towards them.
  The Publican  Posted: 18/11/2005 21:55
PJK, You know that I will take the side of the V.F.I. but I also know that you are going to defend the anti-smoking side. What-ever I have challenged you on is only what you are challenging me now on. I know what custom I have lost before the ban and after the ban. I know all the details of what affects trade and what doesn't affect trade. You don't. Before the ban my evenings were okey, after the ban they weren't. I know who I had and I know why they don't call anymore. It's because they are filling this gap by going home and smoking there. They are using the no-smoking law for when they come out at the weekends or special occasions. Everybody has made changes in this smoking ban. I hope that you are aware of that. Remember we have gone from one extreme to another. Did you honestly think that a person's psyche could ignore this? Yet, no-one from the government or the anti-smoking lobby could give out any warnings before this ban. They were on the understanding that people would just get used to it. This was a very childish attitude to take on this occasion. There were serious changes here that a person had to make to their lives. What's saving us is that some of them are still coming out at night and making the effort. But to have the audacity to say that people are happy with this is sheer immaturity.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 21/11/2005 02:21
I have not read Dr. A\'s study, but it sounds similar to some I\'ve analyzed before. The biggest problem is probably a self-selected survey pool of bartenders who felt more favorable than the average toward the ban. They would naturally tend to feel that the ban benefitted them, and in the absence of objective medical measurements it\'s very hard to correct for that possibility. Another important thing to look for in a study like this is the presence of cautionary and qualifying phrases. In Eisner’s 53 Bartenders Study (Eisner et al. Bartenders’ Respiratory Health…. JAMA.1998; 280: 1909-1914) if you actually read the study rather than the headlines about the study, you find the claim of causality is not quite what it appears: In the last two paragraphs of the study Eisner wrote that “the possibility that unmeasured (infections) or reduced active smoking could still partially explain the observed improvement… reduced ETS exposure… was associated with improved adult respiratory health… smoking prohibition appears to have immediate beneficial effects....” (emphases added) Possibilities of unmeasured partial explanations. Associated with. Appears to have. Not quite the way the story made the headlines, certainly nothing to indicate any long term harm or health risk, and quite certainly nothing like a definitive statement of causality. As noted, I haven\'t read Dr. A\'s study but the two or three others of this type I\'ve looked at seemed to have similar defects. Michael J. McFadden Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\"
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 21/11/2005 13:05
PJK, At first when this ban was proposed, it was widely reported that medical science was overwhelmingly in agreement that E.T.S. caused cancers, heart attacks, asthma, etc. I was aware that there were those who disliked smoking but it was a huge jump in importance for me if it was actually doing harm to non smokers. Whatever about sensible restrictions on smoking in deference to other peoples sensibilities, I found that I had to agree with a ban if smoking was endangering the health of non smokers due to E.T.S. I had time on my hands around then so I decided to research the available evidence on E.T.S. for myself (I was doing a research project on another topic so it was convenient). I found studies that showed a casual relationship and then I found studies that showed no relationship. The studies themselves were heavy going as I do not have a background in medicine but a doctor friend of mine in Dublin helped me to understand both the terminology and the contexts. As the weeks went by, a few things became apparent which confused me. No actual scientific studies into E.T.S. in the workplace had actually taken place - that is to say, tests on actual human beings were not being done on an ongoing basis. The research method seemed to be 100% epidemiology. On advisement, I bought a book on the subject and that too was heavy going. Epidemiological studies consist of asking the subjects questions, measuring mortality rates and then statistically arriving at conclusions. It involves confounding factors such as lifestyle, diet etc and depends on framing of the questions and the accuracy of the responses also. I do not dismiss epidemiology but it does include a vast amount of variables and a wide margin for error. What further surprised me was the virulent nature of the debate - there was genuine hate and anger against smokers all over the net on this topic. I realised that I had to get my hands on ALL of the research documents and, as there was such a difference of opinion, I could only make my own judgement on the weight of available evidence. I found in total over seventy full epidemiological research studies done over forty years on the subject of E.T.S. Over 80% of these showed no effect or an insignificant effect. Even the World Health Organisation who ran a huge study (and supported the idea that E.T.S. must be harmful) concluded that it was of insignificant effect. My doctor friend was surprised also and we debated the issue (in a non emotive manner - he accepts that I smoke but has advised me not to). He referred me back to the research to find which studies had been financed by the Tobacco industry. When I went down this route, I discovered some studies that were, some where no conflicting interests existed but, the vast majority seemed to have been done with a variety of research funding through universities and with Pharmaceutical Industry backing also. What was most frustrating was that all our media outlets were taking it as a given that E.T.S. had been proven to be harmful when this was patently unproven. In debate with my family members who are non smokers, they like you will listen to my findings but will argue that if smoking is dangerous for the smoker then it MUST be dangerous for those around them. Much is made of the 4,000 chemicals in a cigarette without realising that there are over 100,000 of these same chemicals in your daily diet including arsenic. What matters is the dose, not the existence of these chemicals. Added to this the fact the E.T.S. is thousands of times more dilute than what the smoker inhales directly into the lungs and it disappates quickly particularly in a ventilated space or in the open air. It is simply unreasonable to believe that E.T.S. is causing long term ill health in non smokers and research is there to show that. But, as I have said before, in a small low ceilinged non ventilated bar, for example, if the air is thick with cigarette smoke, you will get a tickly throat, watery eyes etc and this is directly dose related. I do like that atmosphere any more than you do and I would simply leave and go somewhere more pleasant. Neither would I like to work in such a place. But there are no grounds, legal or medical, to base a blanket ban on. I have said before, I do not object to sensible restrictions and have no wish to make your evening, or anybody else's, unpleasant. But, given that I have nowhere now that I can go and enjoy a drink with a smoke, I stay at home and this gives me a lot of time to both check my facts and feel a growing sense of resentment. I believe we have all been lied to, to satisfy the wishes of a powerful and well funded small lobby who absolutely hate smoking. So, in response to your last mail, the research paper itself was both worthless and meaningless. They introduced the ban, nobody smokes in the pub anymore so naturally they found reduced levels of cotinine and nicotine levels in the workers there. Both were harmless before the ban and still are. They then went on to a questionaire to establish in a wooly fashion that these barmen are feeling better. Wow betide the guy that says he actually feels the same. And it is meaningless anyway because E.T.S. has been shown to have no measurable significant effect in the vast majority of studies. Playing to the bias of an audience that is just too willing to believe the dangers may prove successful in keeping the status quo, but it not the truth. And, you see, what I sought to find was the truth, because believe me, if I thought for a minute that my smoking was actually harming my children (and then anyone else), I would either try to give up or smoke in the back garden, John. P.S. Nowhere on this site, or anywhere else have I attempted to suggest that direct smoking is harmless. What I have done though is to counter the impression that smokers are dying at an alarming rate. The vast majority of smokers live to the national average and die from the same things as everybody else and this is borne out by the Central Statistics Office. This is not to say that they do not suffer shortness of breath, chesty coughs and all the other ailments associated with smoking. But, God forbid, were I to die of a heart attack, there is no absolute way a doctor could determine the cause as smoking. What the doc could say is that smoking was a factor, as would drinking, diet, lack of exercise and a variety of other possible unhealthy factors. One thing for sure though, I'll die sometime.
  PJK  Posted: 21/11/2005 16:50
John, I understand what you are saying about ETS, as you have made similar points previously. However, it was you who particularly raised the issue of the Allbright article with a number of criticisms of the methodology used, as yet another example of what you consider the shoody science behind the smoking ban. I specifically read this artilce in detail and found that all your criticisms were without foundation, and highlighted each & every one of them to you. Instead of dealing with what I highligthed as your inadequate analysis of the science, you then go on a rant, again based on more of your analysis of the science of other reports. This to me illustrated that you do not really understand the subject matter that you are reading. For example in the Allbright article you seemed to think that you have a greater understanding of epidiemology & its significance than the editors of the British Medical Journal not to mention the host of authors of the article which included "senior lecturer in epidemiology", "senior lecturer in epidemiology and public health", "senior lecturer in biostatistics", "senior lecturer in physics", "senior lecturer in social and preventive medicine", "professor of public health". This is why I have now said that I am no longer willing to accept your analysis of all the ETS studies, and will instead accept the analysis by the experts.
  RainyDay  Posted: 21/11/2005 17:04
Hi John - Can you please refer us to which specific sections of which CSO reports support your amazing claim that 'The vast majority of smokers live to the national average and die from the same things as everybody else and this is borne out by the Central Statistics Office'
  The Publican  Posted: 21/11/2005 18:50
Rainy Day, I don't know about John or anyone else but in all the time that I have been a publican I haven't seen smokers dying younger than anyone else. On the ground is the only truth around I believe. Seeing is believing they say and there is no doubt in my eyes.
  PJK  Posted: 22/11/2005 09:14
John, one of your criticisms of the Allwright article was "They then went on to a questionnaire to establish in a woolly fashion that these barmen are feeling better". Well once again for your benefit the questionnaire actually covered "wheezing, dyspnea, morning cough, cough during the rest of the day or night, and phlegm production". These are not woolly, but are in fact specific. Further on you say "And it is meaningless anyway because E.T.S. has been shown to have no measurable significant effect in the vast majority of studies". This is not a general conclusion but rather your personnel conclusion, based on your analysis of the studies done; not the actual experts conclusions. Based on your atrocious attempts at interpreting Allwright's article, I do not believe that you have any real credibility there. John, you are an amateur in this area, and have been shown up as such with your very poor understanding of the Allwright article, which I have responded to line by line. The experts contributed their findings of all the research to the Office of Tabacco Control, which in turn came up with the smoking ban. While I do not unquestioningly always just follow authority, your contribution to this debate has urged me to to question their findings, and check out some of your claims. Likewise Publican has made some amazing claims based on his interpretation of the National Safety Council, which I also checked out. What I have found in both cases is that both you & publican have been totally wrong in your understanding in the cases that I have checked, and so I now have renewed faith in the experts on this issue. Thank you for that.
  RainyDay  Posted: 22/11/2005 09:36
Hi Publican - Are you really telling us that we should set national policy based on your anecdotal, unproven, heavily biassed reports of your experiences in one pub?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 22/11/2005 11:37
I don't know what John has read but I can tell you what I have. Already posted. Total UK mortality, 610.000. Two-thirds over 75. Lung cancer kills more under 75 than over but was about 30,000 deaths. Heart disease, stroke and respiratory conditions all kill more over 75. Two-thirds (ish ) non smokers. From this I would deduce that the death rate among smokers at a younger age is probably higher owing to the higher rate of younger lung cancer deaths, but not overwhelmingly higher. Many of the younger deaths are miscellaneous, accident, suicide etc too. Don't have the actual figure to hand.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 22/11/2005 11:47
John As you know you are not alone in your scepticism. A useful website for understanding epidemiological studies is It explains the terminology used and other things to look out for.
  The Publican  Posted: 22/11/2005 16:07
Rainy Day, I would reckon that my pub would be a great judgement for the rest of the country. If there are four pubs within a three mile radius they will more or less have the same customers and each pub would be in regular contact of the ongoings around the neighbourhood. Statistics are dealing mostly with strangers who would never be in a proper postition to tell the truth anyway. You have to see these areas in action on the ground. There are others who are very sceptical on figures here as well. That's for the same reason that I have. They cannot see it with their own eyes. Your passive smoking argument will never be won when people are living to be ripe old ages. It is so obvious that this has been the biggest farce of a thing ever and will for me put question marks on any new surveys coming out in the future.
  RainyDay  Posted: 23/11/2005 15:06
And of course you choose to completely ignore the fact that I'm sceptical about your figures! That the views and impacts you quote are completely different to the ones that I encounter in my everyday life. Why should your pub be chosen as the sole benchmark for making public policy? Why is your experience more valuable than mine?
  The Publican  Posted: 23/11/2005 17:25
Rainy Day, Tell me more about what your experience is. It's surely not always to do with surveys. What exactly are you involved with? Where is your experience? What are you seeing that I'm not? Country pubs will definately show up more or less the same as myself. City pubs may be different. Some areas may have environmental factors contributing as well. But there is nothing at all as far as I can see that is unusual in people smoking dying younger.
  RainyDay  Posted: 24/11/2005 07:04
My experience is that both smokers & non-smokers think the ban is the best thing since sliced bread. I literally haven't met anyone face-to-face who doesn't support the ban. So now can we use my experience as the basis for future public policy?
  The Publican  Posted: 24/11/2005 14:57
Rainy Day, Haven't you met us, maybe not face to face, but we're telling you that we are not happy with the ban. Or is it that we don't matter? The message that we are trying to get across all the time is that this ban could have been handled better. We're not saying anything about reversing back to the way it was. We're talking about still staying out of your way by having a separate room. As a smoker I would never agree for one minute that standing outside the door or in a smoking area when it is cold wet and windy as being a good thing! I'd be a fool if I agreed with this! No we can't use your experience as the future for public policy because that is not the proper truth. Public policy based on truth is surely the only way. Why the need to go to such extremes with people? There's something wrong when people feel the need to go this far. And I believe what's wrong is within the people that brought in a law that went this far. Is it a pride thing or what? Do you have to win this one? And if so why? If the ban as you say was so successful there should be an almighty drop in the cigarette market. If anything it is up! So what have you won afterwards?
  RainyDay  Posted: 24/11/2005 16:10
So if we can't use my experience as a basis for public policy, why should we use your experience. Is your experience more important than mine?
  PJK  Posted: 24/11/2005 16:11
Hi Publican, In reaction to RainyDays' experience you say "we can't use your experience as the future for public policy because that is not the proper truth". I think at last the penny might have dropped for you and you now realise that you cannot make policy based on individual personnel anecdotal experience. But rather you must make it on big picture proper statisical basis. Well done Publican, you have come a long way.
  The Publican  Posted: 24/11/2005 18:25
To be honest PJK, I don't know exactly what you are trying to say. I don't know where you get my personal anecdotal evidence from when I am speaking with my customers about it. My customers are not happy with the ban only those ones who smoked an odd one here and there. That's because they are not badly affected. The amount of non-smokers that have said that a room would have solved the problem better is very high in my pub. I would love to know exactly what your bigger picture involves especially now that Mary Harney recognises that more young people are taking up the habit. I would also like to know your bigger picture with regard to the amount of noise that people have to put up with plus all the litter and the amount of drugs that are being used. What would your policies be here? And what are your policies with regard to people who won't support this economy as good as they used to, preferring to travel abroad to spend their money and bring in their cigarettes. How come flu has doubled this year? Give me something concrete to go on! Give me a bit of hope that everything will turn out for the better. I believe that out of both of us that I have a more realistic world than you have whereas you are believing that we are on the road to some kind of a perfect world.
  RainyDay  Posted: 24/11/2005 21:37
Hi Publican - You're avoiding the question. Why is your experience more relevant than mine?
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 24/11/2005 21:39
Some people like statistics, some people like reality. For a healthy dose of reality, visit and click on the BanLosses item near the top of the left column. Then click on Ban Loss Database. Two or three stories about Bob the Bartender and Molly the Waitress are anecdotes: a table of hundreds of real people with real businesses telling their real stories is reality. If you REALLY want some statistics, check out the largest multi-state economic study done to this date on the effects of widespread \"level playing field bans\" by following the same initial route but going down below the \"Ban Loss Database\" item. You\'ll find a study by Dave Kuneman and myself indicating that the state of California, all on its own, may have lost on the order of a hundred Billion dollars due to its smoking bans. No wonder its economy has been spiraling downward over the past ten years! Michael J. McFadden Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\".
  PJK  Posted: 25/11/2005 10:00
Publican, I am not sure whether you are actually thick, or whether you are just pretending to be thick to try to infuriate me. I think it is the latter and you have succeeded. Where is your evidence that drugs are on the increase due to smoking ban; where is your evidence that flu has doubled this year: if there is evidence that flu has doubled, where is your evidence that it is due to the smoking ban. The type of big picture stuff that I am talking about are properly constructed and analysed national figures on which any national policy should be conducted. For instance figures from before the ban showing a certain amt of drug dealing , and then figures after the ban showing a higher amt, and most of that increase being found in the car-parks of pub amongst smokers. If this was true, wouldn\'t you think that the police would have notice and have some info on this. If you can show me that then I might begin to believe you. Not the anecdotal rantings of a two-bit country pub owner, who has a problem with drug dealers in his particular car-park and customers who litter their cigarette butts on the ground. Figures that I will not believe are any VFI quotes, as I have already shown they are unreliable and will misrepresent the figures of orgainsations like the National Safety Council. By the way you still haven\'t explained why the amt of deaths from house fires has dropped from 51 in 2002 (i.e. pre-ban) to 37 in 2003 (post-ban), which your VFI friends seemed to have missed when they were mis-quoting the Natioanl Safety Council. I would agree with you on the litter problem, but being honest a lot (note not all) smokers have never considered throwing their butts on the ground as being litter or if they did they still did it anyway.
  PJK  Posted: 25/11/2005 12:43
Hi Michael, I really haven't the time to read all the stuff that your referred to, so could you give me the gist of how California may have lost 100 billion dollars, as a result of the smoking ban.
  The Publican  Posted: 25/11/2005 13:12
PJK, Let's just say that I am actually thick rather than pretending to be thick with regards to the picture that you have. Inside my pub I have very little problems with regard to the smoking ban. But when my customers are outside the bar then I have a much bigger area to police. I have to be conscious all the time of who is inside the pub and who is outside. Young people tend to stay outside smoking much longer than the older group. I have heard them talk about drugs and how they have used this that and everything. When I have staff on for the night I cannot even relax in my kitchen anymore. We cannot even go out for a night out for ourselves and that is because we have to continually watch what goes on outside the door. When did I have that problem to deal with before? Never. You know damn well that I don't work in the area of doing figures. What I find extraordianary is that the country is being run by figures that can so easily be manipulated and provide scare tactics for the country. This is the area that you infuriate me with! I have shown you several areas that are causing big problems in this country at the moment and the only one that you can agree on is the litter one. And do you know why it is the litter one that you agree on? It's because you can see it with your own eyes and now have the truth of it! You don't need any statistics for this one. And that is my whole point all the time! Seeing is believing! In fact you would want your whole wits about you where this ban is concerned. With regards to the figures for fires they went up in 2004 by 2. It may have been a small increase but it still went up. Let's see what 2005 will hold. If that shows an increase as well then it has to be down to the smoking ban unless the figures get manipulated again or maybe deliberately to keep the smoking ban a success! Was there any figures done on home fires without deaths I wonder?
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 25/11/2005 14:56
PJK wrote: \"Hi Michael, I really haven\'t the time to read all the stuff that your referred to, so could you give me the gist of how California may have lost 100 billion dollars, as a result of the smoking ban.\" Best way is to read the study itself PJK. Path:, then do a search on Kuneman McFadden and you should turn up the study pretty readily. --- Michael J. McFadden --- Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\"
  bonny  Posted: 25/11/2005 20:47
well hi to all, now can you just imagen night as it is, going out for drink and smoke, shame because we wont be going out, why? no where for us aliens to smoke; and i dont drink;
  RainyDay  Posted: 27/11/2005 08:04
Publican said "What I find extraordianary is that the country is being run by figures that can so easily be manipulated and provide scare tactics for the country" - But isn't it even easier for you to manipulate your findings about the ban, your findings about your loss of revenue, your findings about the prostitutes and cocaine dealers flocking outside your door? No survey is perfect, but it's a hell of lot more reliable than the anecdotes of one publican with a financial vested interest and a huge chip on her shoulder.
  PJK  Posted: 28/11/2005 08:55
Hi Publican, so what you are saying is that apart from personal anecdocatal experince you have no evidence to back up your claims. As you already agreed with Rainy Day and myself this is not a good basis for setting National policy. Remember when RainyD quoted her personnel anecdotal experience you said, "we can't use your experience as the future for public policy because that is not the proper truth". RaniyD & I both agreed with you on that one. To set National policy, you need national figures.
  PJK  Posted: 28/11/2005 09:15
Michal you must know by now, that I am cynic when it comes to believing any of the stuff that anti-smoking advocates put forward. Twice I have actuallay checked out the stuff that was being put forward, namely VFI article quoting the National Safety Council, and secondly John quoting from a BMJ article by Shane Allwright. In the case of Publican & VFI, I exposed a total distorted representation of the facts by the VFI of facts from the National Safety Council. In the case of John, I exposed an inadequate & incomplete analysis by him of the Allwright article. After this exposition, his only repsonse has been to now accept the findings of the Allwright article, but dismiss them as meaningless anyway. So basically Michael, I am not prepared to waste any more time reading on the issue without something concrete to go on to make me belive that it is worthwhile. On the face of it it just seems incredible to me that California could have lost €100Billion dollars due to the smoking ban, so unless you can give me some inkling for the basis of this ascertion, I have to say that I am not going to spend time reading it, on the same basis that I would not read an article that said there were in fact little green men living on Mars. I just haven't time to read, what on the face of it, seems ludicrious rubbish. Give me something to go on, there must be a central thesis that can be summarised to two or three sentences.
  The Publican  Posted: 28/11/2005 15:11
PJK, With regards to Michael's statement to the Californian experience Rainy Day has already acknowledged that I have lost money. In fact I would say that ye are probably delighted that I have lost money. And because I am losing money you think that I am using this one all the time in my arguments. But if I am losing money where is the money going so. It is clear that more and more people are going abroad and I for one have got an incredible amount of cigarettes brought in from abroad. You have people now deliberately going abroad for cigarettes and even after going to all this trouble they are making huge savings. They also shop for clothes and other items while they are there. But you might put this down to anecdotal evidence again of course because we have to prove everything to you. Maybe you'd like to come on holidays with me some day? Would that be proof enough. In the meantime I am catching every non-smoker as well going abroad to bring me back cigs. What an awful loss to this economy! Oh, just before I forget it! Did you see a placard on the news lately about incinerators? In case you didn't one of the signs read, "If you can butt out cigarettes, you can butt out incinerators! I enjoyed that one!
  PJK  Posted: 28/11/2005 17:03
Publican, you personnelly may be losing some money, I am willing to accept your word on that, but overall in the country more or less the same money is being spent on drink, the only difference is that more drink is being bought in off-licences and less in pubs. I do not know why that is, as this was a trend that was happening before the smoking ban and has continued after the ban, so therefore we can conclusively say that it is not relative to the smoking ban. What I do know is that the figures show it, and my eyes confirm it, and in recent years there seems to have been a lot of extra off-licences being attached to pubs. As regards people buying cigarrettes etc abroad, I think that this was always the case. Maybe you are right it might have increased slightly since the ban, I don't know, i haven't seen the figures, but it certainly is not a new thing. I think that you will find in the figures that the economy is doing pretty allright, and the main problem seems to be how the Gov is going to spend all the money properly. Again this is what the figures say, with virtually no unemployment, low inflation and low mortgage rate, compared to unemployment, inflation & mortgage rate all in approx 20% in the early 80's.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 29/11/2005 00:31
PJK wrote: "So basically Michael, I am not prepared to waste any more time reading on the issue without something concrete to go on to make me belive that it is worthwhile. On the face of it it just seems incredible to me that California could have lost €100Billion dollars due to the smoking ban, so unless you can give me some inkling for the basis of this ascertion, I have to say that I am not going to spend time reading it," You've read TWO studies, one by a vintner's association and one by Allwright, and you feel you have a basis for ANYthing? Try reading the three page Helena study (it really IS just 3 pages if I'm remembering rightly) and my Rapid Responses after it and see if you can find anything to critique. Try reading the Welsh Committee's work and my critique and see if you feel they've been unjustly represented: Rainy Day indicated he didn't have the time to read the three page Helena study and its responses, and you're indicating you're unable to summon the energy to focus on the four or five pages of the California study. Sound bite battles can be fun, but they're not seriously productive of anything: you need to read more if you want to make a serious contribution to the discussion beyond offering your own private opinion. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  The Publican  Posted: 29/11/2005 01:57
Hi PJK, Let's say that I know exactly what business I have lost that is entirely relevant to the smoking ban. After all, if I run my own business I should surely know this much, right? So, we'll agree that I wouldn't be thick on this one! The trouble is before the smoking ban came in we were told that we wouldn't lose any business at all and in fact our business would increase. So why this false truth? On top of that you want to continually blame trends that were happening before this already. You cannot seem to acknowledge what the smoking ban has done and that is because you are so happy with it that you don't want to believe anything else. Now that is a person that lives in an airy-fairy world! Look at what good the ban has produced but not the bad side. This then puts you also at an extreme. Remember this was never tried before and no middle ground was given in it. What if the middle ground turned out to be better? This is something that you will never know now will it? Bringing in cigarettes from abroad has not increased slightly, it has increased hugely especially in my part of the country and you will never have figures for this! You also say that the economy is doing well but my son who is in the building trade can no longer find work because of all the Polish people that are now employed. It's very easy to have figures on employment up when you can put in all the foreign people who are taking over Irish jobs. There is a lot of restlessness in the country at the moment so Michael's predictions could easily come true.
  PJK  Posted: 29/11/2005 16:25
Hi Michael, I have now read the Helena report and scanned through a lot of the response to it, including your own. I would agree that the Helena study is not a very strong article, with the primary weakness being a small sample size. This was acknowledged in the article itself in the limitations section. Having said that it would be a hell of a coincidence that the very same 6 mths that Helena had a smoking ban also conincidences with the first dip in six years. This article is to my eyes weak due to the sample size. I don't know if it is an oft-quoted article or not. You have me at a disadvantage, as you clearly have done a lot of reserch on this matter and by your own admission have a conflict of interest, in that you are trying to proof that passive smoking is not harmful, so as to justify your habit. Therefore you will naturally quote the weaker cases in your arguement. I know that the people who put together the submission to help create the smoking ban are experts in their field and have done a huge amt of reserch and come to the conclusion that the ban was right. I know also that RainyD can quote at will, many studies that also back up the smoking ban. So I will concede a draw (not a win to you) on the Helena artilce, but on balance I am willing to take the experts words that the weight of evidence overall was in favour of the ban.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 29/11/2005 22:41
Michael Sounds to me as though PJK's definition of 'expert' is 'agrees with smoking ban'!
  PJK  Posted: 01/12/2005 09:30
No Belinda, my definition of an expert is someone whose career (and sometimes live) is devoted to a particular area of expertise and whose education & body of research justfies their claim to this expertise. (Generally PhDs & professors would certainly come under the heading of experts) An expert is not some chancer who has a sore point about the conclusions of experts, because their conclusion causes a law to be passed that benefits the health of the nation, but discomodes the chancer and his drug habit for the greater good of society. By the way do you want smoking brought back in hospital wards, if you think it is so safe; or would you agree that people in general would find smoking in hospital wards outrageous? Why is this Belinda? Not so many years ago, people were allowed to smoke in hospital wards.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 01/12/2005 15:47
Thanks for clarifying that. But surely you know that sometimes 'experts disagree' as they do on this issue. You are only concerned with the experts who give the anti-smoking conclusion. The point about hospital wards was interesting. I am not old enough to remember the time it was allowed in adult wards and actually have not been overnight in hospital since an adult and have no direct memory of it. Because I have very little knowledge of hospitals I gave very little thought to the issue. I would not think it right that people should smoke in hospital beds although there might be a case for allowing in wards restricted to smokers for patients who were severely immobile. I am aware that smoking is very bad for health and that many people feel that hospitals are the last place where it should be allowed. That I feel is still not a 'one-case-fits-all' situation, and should be negotiated between medical staff and their patients. I don't believe in making hospitals (and their grounds) non-smoking zones. This might very well discourage people turning up for necessary treatment. Well ventilated smoking areas should be provided. Indoor shopping centres are another interesting case as many of these are already non-smoking. I would much rather shop in the open street but I suppose it is up to the owner of the centre, with license to individual shops though all of this is getting unfashionable here in Scotland as the law is so draconian.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 01/12/2005 17:26
PJK So, can we take it that you also accept the many research papers published by the vast majority of researchers who studied environmental tobacco smoke around the World and who found that it had either "an insignificant effect or no effect at all" on non-smokers. This includes over 80% of such studies carried out by people who, by your own definition "are those whose career is devoted to a particular area of expertise and whose education & body of research justfies their claim to this expertise" Are you willing to credit the W.H.O. research report on the issue that admitted it could find no case against E.T.S. as reported in The Guardian. Do you take the word of Sir Richard Doll, the man who discovered cancer, when he said that people smoking in his proximity "did not bother him at all". Or have you a preference for a well organised group of fanatics, dedicated to persecuting smokers for their own enrichment and to further their influence and who can turn out meaningless drivel (such as the Alright paper) to further stoke the fires of their personal agenda, John.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 02/12/2005 01:34
PJK wrote: "Therefore you will naturally quote the weaker cases in your arguement." Not at all PJ. I take the best and the brightest that they bring out in the strongest way at smoking ban hearings everywhere. Take a look at my critique of the Welsh Assembly Governments' proposal for example. The Helena study appears over 900 times with a Google search for it. It was reported on repeatedly on all the major TV networks in the US and in many international newspapers. Its misrepresentation has been used in virtually every smoking ban hearing I have been to or heard detailed reports about. The strongest studies used by the Antismokers, the ones that they see as so powerful that they are vital to passing smoking bans, are all defective, often strongly so. Are you familiar with the oft-repeated claim that 30 minutes in a room with a smoker can give you a heart attack? The base study for that was done by Toru Kato in 1999 where extreme nonsmokers were forced to sign agreements acknowledging the "dangers" they might be exposed to and then put in a room that was 25 times smokier than the old smoking sections on pressurized aircraft. None of them got heart attacks by the way... they just had a couple of blood chemistry variables change: just as they would have if the experimenter had set up a proper control with exposure to nasty perfume and fog. How about Eisner's study of bartenders being healthier after a ban? That's another of their flagship studies. They never mention that more than half of the 53 bartenders were smokers, or that most bartenders approached for the study refused to participate (thereby leaving them with a self-selected pool probably heavily weighted with ban sympathisers), nor do give proper weight to the fact that most of the "measurements" weren't measurements at all, but simply subjective reporting of things like "I don't think I cough as much now." or "My eyes don't itch from the smoke anymore." Or how about Mike Siegel's study showing bar and restaurant workers getting 50% more lung cancer? Siegel never corrected (he had no way to) for higher drug and alcohol use among hospitality workers, largely did not correct for higher smoking rates, and left a bunch of other problems and confounders out there as well. He did that study about 20 years ago. More recently he has come out in denunciation of the methods and falsehoods of the Antismoking movement he worked with throughout most of his life. You might enjoy visiting his blog at and see how his expert former colleagues respond to his challenges to their science and its warping. - - - Michael J. McFadden - - - Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains" - - -
  RainyDay  Posted: 02/12/2005 05:22
Hi John - Wouldn't it be more reasonable to take a balanced view on the work & publications of Richard Doll, rather than just grasping onto the one catch-phrase that suits your purposes?
  PJK  Posted: 02/12/2005 08:52
Belinda, I am only 40 and so not so old (I like to think). Certainly within my adult life smoking was allowed in hospital wards, say within 15 to 20 years ago. I am only guessing on that one, but you get the picture. (This is Ireland, I wouldn't know the story in Scotland) Whatever about pubs, there is definitely no public call for a return to smoking in hospital wards, amongst any group. I find it interesting that you are using similar arguements to try and justify why smoking should be allowed in hospital wards. I would be interested in seeing which group of doctors would sanction that one. I think it would be a pretty amazing case if somebody refused hospoital treatment because there are no smoking wards allowed. I like the example of the hospital a lot, because if you and John etc are right, why wouldn't we have smoking allowed in hospital, and why would people in general not find it outrageous, and why is there not some doctor lobby group looking for this basic right for their smoking population? Why is this, do you think, if it is so safe? John, who says that 80% of studies show no harm from ETS? Is this the result of your impressive research into the matter, or has some reputable body come to this conclusion? John, just for the record, Dr Doll did not discover cancer, he discovered an epidiemiological link between smoking and lung cancer victims that was so strong that he gave up smoking as soon as he discovered it. This was 50 years ago.
  The Publican  Posted: 02/12/2005 12:12
PJK, I know of several individuals who have avoided going for treatment in hospitals specifically because they couldn't smoke. To be quite honest I would go out of my way to avoid hospitalisation because of this very problem myself. Of course patients should be allowed to smoke in hospital. What about those who are going to die anyway? It is dispicable that they cannot have a cigarette on their dying bed. That is downright cruelty and many a non-smoker would agree with me on that one. Another one is when a woman has given birth to a child. There is nothing more satisfying then to be able to have a cigarette after going through so much pain to have a child! To deny a mother this is absolutely incredible and the anti-smoking lobby should be ashamed of themselves. Now instead you prefer to put these women just after coming down from the labor ward out in the cold in their dressing gowns for a fag! It's unbelieveable!!
  PJK  Posted: 02/12/2005 13:38
Hi publican, well you and your smoking friends are obviously in the minority of the minority, seeing as 25% of bed admissions to hospital are due to smoking-related illnesses.
  The Publican  Posted: 02/12/2005 17:12
PJK, 25% doesn't sound like a minority to me! Why don't you just come out and admit that this is not God's way at all! You prefer to put the sick and dying and those who give new birth to the world through torture for the few days that they are in your care! There is no way that Mother Theresa would have done this and if she knows that this is going on you can be pretty sure that she is turning in her grave right now!
  RainyDay  Posted: 02/12/2005 21:00
Best quote yet from the publican "25% doesn't sound like a minority to me" - Thanks for brightening up my day.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 02/12/2005 23:01
PJK wrote: "25% of bed admissions to hospital are due to smoking-related illnesses." Hmmm... since smokers and ex-smokers well over 25% of the population I guess PJK is trying to promote the idea here that smoking makes you healthier! LOL! Hey, Rainy Day, I corrected my earlier statement about the IHS authors... I believe it is now time for you to fulfill your commitment to answer the three questions that were posed to you. Shall I repeat them or simply ask you to go to the trouble of scanning upwards a bit? Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  The Publican  Posted: 03/12/2005 03:19
Rainy Day, How did you manage to get that post in after time on the Friday. Are you well in with the editor or what? Go on! Give me a laugh and tell me that the 25% of hospital admissions are people who were subjected to passive smoking! No comment at all I noticed on your meaness and cruelty towards the sick and dying or the brand new mother! Can't answer it I presume! Or maybe you're too coweredly!
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 03/12/2005 11:26
PJK Where did I say that smoking is safe to smokers? I have also posted elsewhere that smoking restrictions can be justified if there is a fire risk. Smoking in bed is not recommended anywhere. In the case of sick and immobile people I think it should be a matter that is open for negotiation. I was in a psychatric hospital where the smoking restrictions were not strong enough: that is to say the carpet in the main communal area in the ward was full of cigarette burns. These long-stay wards are horrible places to live anyway, with constant unpleasant and scary noises, and more smoke-free areas in that ward should have been available. I have heard an obstetrician discussing the issue of smoking restrictions in the deprived Glasgow district hospital where she works. She felt quite clearly that even some outpatients might find coming to the clinic more than they can face in the absence of smoking provision. Many people find hospitals extremely stressful anyway. I am 41 and grew up in England. The only wards I have visited in my adult life have been labour wards. So really I have no acquaintance with the subject either in general or in Scotland.
  PJK  Posted: 05/12/2005 08:57
Publican, you are losing track of your own argument. You said \"I know of several individuals who have avoided going for treatment in hospitals specifically because they couldn\'t smoke.\" My point was that your point of view has to be amonst the minority even amongst the smokers, seeing as 25% of bed admissions are due to smoking releted illnesses. Therefore this shows that most smokers will attend hospital for treament, unlike yourself.
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/12/2005 10:02
Any new mother I know after giving birth wants - a cup of tea (or coffee), to see her baby, and to sleep.
  PJK  Posted: 05/12/2005 10:47
Belinda, Very interesting outlook. I would be interested in knowing which medical lobby group would agree with you. You believe that a smoking ban is correct in hospitals mainly for the reason of a fire risk when people are lying in bed. Of course I am not disputing the fire risk when lying in bed, so maybe if the rule was you can only smoke when not lying in bed, would you then allow smoking is hospital wards. Could you quote anyone of significance looking for this. Michael, 25% of bed admissions are due to smoking related illnesses. Of course smokers also suffer from ordinary illneses that we all suffer from, so no this figure does not show that smokers are healthier.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 05/12/2005 11:24
PJK you are making an issue of this! I don't have any knowledge of hospitals, only a general interest in smoking issues. I think there would be a few individuals in the medical profession who agreed with me like the woman on the radio in above post, but the majority probably wouldn't. But my position does not rest on the idea that everyone agrees with me. Most people in Scotland don't want a ban in pubs and clubs. As far as medics are concerned I have no interest in believing the majority because in my own case the majority got it wrong in diagnosing my thyroid condition and more or less told me that if I wasn't happy I could get treatment from anti-depressants. Believe me if you had been in this position you would not feel that their expertise was infallible.
  PJK  Posted: 05/12/2005 11:48
Belinda, You are right I am making an issue of this. The reason that I am making an issue of this is that you and other anti-smoking ban campagners are trying to say that passive smoking is not harmful. If that is true then there is no reason that smoking should not be re-introduced to hospital wards and maternity wards with new born babies. So if you are to be truely logical, you must campaign for smoking in hospital wards and maternity wards as well as the pub. So lets hear it everyone, bring back smoking to hospital wards, especially maternity wards, as it is is a well established fact that passive smoking is not harmful!!! Breathe in little babies, it will do you good!!! (100% tongue-in-cheek I hope you realise)
  The Publican  Posted: 05/12/2005 13:25
PJK, If I ever have to attend a doctor or hospital for blood tests or whatever then I never tell them that I smoke! I always get the proper treatment then! I came across this attitude twice before when, if I had a problem, I was told to pack up the cigarettes! No treatment, no nothing. But proper treatment when I went to a different doctor and told him that I never smoke! You see, this is a huge incompetence on the medical profession. Doctors can use your smoking habit if they are not sure of a diagnosis. This then leaves them off the hook. Thankfully I have copped that one myself. Now they have to use their brains to determine what it wrong with me! Your answer to the pregnant woman wanting a cigarette after the birth was pathetic! You more or less chose to ignore to answer it and you are someone that preaches about addiction and all that and yet you chose to dismiss the mother's wishes. Your lack of understanding makes me wonder how you are a spokesperson for the anti-smoking lobby at all! I suppose you would prefer to come up with some stupid answer for the dying patient as well. "Oh, most dying patient's that I know would prefer to meet the angels and head off up to heaven as quickly as possible!" Can you not see how bad your attitude is??
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/12/2005 14:08
so you think it's ok for e mother to breeathe smoke all over her newly born baby. Some caring attitude that is.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 05/12/2005 14:18
PJK No it is not logical that I should choose to campaign for patients to smoke in hospitals. That is an issue for patients who smoke and I don't know about it. I think there is enough doubt about whether smoking is bad for you to merit caution about people smoking freely in a hospital. As I said before I feel it should be a matter for a patient to negotiate with medical staff, not one there should be laws about. I am not campaigning 'for' smokers' rights. I am campaigning in the light of government claims that they are acting in my interests as a non-smoker. They are not acting in my interests or in accordance with my wishes.
  RainyDay  Posted: 05/12/2005 17:56
Anything that encourages mothers to continue to smoke during & after pregnancy should be absolutely discouraged. I'd recommend that they have to walk barefoot over hot coals & climb a barbed wire fence to get to the smoking area. Given the clear documented evidence linking smoking & foetal deformity, low birth weight and cot death, everything possible should be done to discourage mothers from smoking. The current situation whereby patients (adult & baby) & visitors to Holles St in Dublin have to 'run the gauntlet' of smoking patients & relatives at the steps of the hospital is disgraceful. [And yes, publican - we know you smoked through all your childrens' pregancies and they are all fine strapping healthy young things, but that doesn't change the medical evidence]. I've seen one elderly lady who was a very committed smoker simply give up when she went into hospital, and she'll now tell you it's the best thing that ever happened her. I can remember when visiting my ill mother in hospital only 10 years ago that I (and she) had to ensure smoking in the 'day rooms' in Dublin hospitals. Absolutely disgraceful, yet again.
  RainyDay  Posted: 05/12/2005 17:58
Hi Michael - Are you getting your threads mixed up? Is the withdrawal of your unfounded claims and your 3 questions on a different thread? I can't find them on this thread.
  The Publican  Posted: 05/12/2005 18:26
Anon, 14:08 I grew up as a baby with smoke all around me and I turned out fine. In fact all the friends that I grew up with would have been in the same league and everyone of them are still alive as well. When I had some of my children in hospital there was loads of smoking around the babies and each of my children plus some of the women's children that I was with are still here too. That's your latest one. Use the children but it turns out to be a stupid statement afterwards because none of us are sick or dying. And that is how you got in your smoking ban. You made everyone feel guilty about the state of people's health and everyone is afraid to challenge you on that. That's why the doctors won't agree with the smoker. They just might be seen to favor lung cancer and would be seen as influencing people badly. How could they possibly go against their own crowd who are working so hard to combat cancer. It would look awful! And while some of these doctors preach to their patients about smoking these same doctors will go off to their offices and have a smoke themselves or you will find 20 fags sticking out of their pockets! There should be a duty of care given to each and every patient coming into the hospital. If a patient is addicted to some substance then their needs should be accommodated! They are already under a huge amount of stress inside in hospital anyway and it is not the duty of the hospital to make life harder for them (by denying them a cigarette) but by helping them. That patient is paying taxes and keeping hospitals in jobs! This is one of the most sickening acts today that you have caused. Putting sick people and those who have just given birth outside the door! You should absolutely be ashamed of yourself! Each time I pass a hospital and see this charade I feel like vomiting on top of the people who put them out there!!
  PJK  Posted: 06/12/2005 08:52
Beinda, At least Publican has the guts to stick to the perverse logic that her parallel universe holds. You however, have been campaigning against the smoking ban, with one of your main points being that it is not harmful to passive smokers. The only logical conclusion to that logic is to support Publican and his fellow smokers and your smoking friends and let them smoke in hospital wards, including maternity wards with new born babies. Your publican friend has said that she wants this for more or less the same reasons that she wants smoking in her pub. Why would you not support Publican in this issue? It really does make sense to support her, if you truely belive that passive smoking cannot harm. However, I see some weakening in your feelings in your reasoning for not supporting a call for smoking in hospital wards in the following sentence "I think there is enough doubt about whether smoking is bad for you to merit caution about people smoking freely in a hospital." Were you unconsciously referring to passive smoking in this sentence, as smokers will smoke anyway, so the only extra people potentially affected are the non-smokers through passive smoking. So Belinda get off the fence on this one, should there be a national health policy to allow smoking back in hospital wards, based on the same logic that you say it should be allowed in pubs, namely that passive smoking does no harm to non-smokers. You need to be true to your cause; are sick smokers in hospital not as worthy of your support as the poor down-trodden smoker in the pub?
  Mary  Posted: 06/12/2005 12:35
Rainy, walking over hotcoals and climbing a barbed wire fecnce sounds to me as tho you are encouraging torture of a woman who has already possibly endured agony to bring into the world, that which is most precious. It is I admit, awful to see patients, complete with drips and dressing gowns standing outside or shivering on balconies of hospitals hoping not to be 'caught smoking' - as if they were naughty school children.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 06/12/2005 13:05
If you insist. I am getting pilloried for claiming expertise in things that I am not claiming expertise in, merely stating a view. If I claim no expertise, and that I have formed no view, I am criticised for that too. On balance - and I have said this already - it should be a matter between medics and patients whether a patient smokes. I don't believe that the law should be involved. I don't think it irrelevant in this situation that smoking is bad for the smoker's health. In fact since I don't regard passive smoking as significantly harmful, it is the only issue. In any case the focus of this thread is on pubs, not hospitals. I am not sure what you are trying to achieve by pushing the hospitals issue. I am not a smoker and am not personally affected by the issue at this time, and I am interested in pubs because it affects me and friends, and everybody throughout society on an ongoing basis.
  The Publican  Posted: 06/12/2005 17:41
Mary, thank God that you feel some bit of humantarian towards at least the patient. I find this area very disturbing. The sick and dying should never have come under this bracket ever! Ireland has overstepped this one completely and I for one could never forgive the government for this one! The smoking ban is not just about stopping smoking! It's about bringing down a certain group of people who appeared in some way to be victorious all along. It's a type of revenge against our fellow man that need never have happened. To pick on the sick and the dying is the lowest of the low and only proves to show that there are some dispicable people living in Ireland. On the one hand people are being encouraged to support this group and that and on the other hand you're expected to degrade and humiliate another group! And to imagine that a health group has actually caused this leaves me just choked for words!
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 06/12/2005 19:16
RD wrote: "Are you getting your threads mixed up? Is the withdrawal of your unfounded claims and your 3 questions on a different thread? I can't find them on this thread." RD, scroll up and you'll find the following: The withdrawal: 16/11: my contention that a certain person had a connection with a certain group before a certain study was done may well have been incorrect. The connection I found appears to have been established AFTER the study and there is no evidence it existed beforehand. ======= The Challenge: 1/10: So, I end with three requests: 1) Follow up on the Helena study and respond to my concerns about it. 2) Define the survey pool that you represented as "bar workers" and supply a source for examination of the survey itself. and 3) Decide if you have enough faith in your defense of the authors of the Irish study to stand behind that defense here." And tell you what Rainy, I'll even add a bonus question for you: See if you can name a single reputable study that clearly shows ANY significant long term harm to an individual from the levels of smoke that one would normally encounter in a well-ventilated and filtrated modern business establishment. Hey, name three or four if you can! Strut yer stuff! So now I await... We'll see if the "high horse" you climbed upon was sincere or just a slimy tactic. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 06/12/2005 19:22
In addition, PJK, I already explained that my cause isn't 'the smoker'. Since you don't agree with my position, I think you are not best placed to tell me how I should express it.
  RainyDay  Posted: 06/12/2005 22:44
Hi Mary– If you think that hot coals & barbed wire sounds rough, do some research on the effects of smoking in pregnancy. Have a look at this quick summary of kinds of damage that selfish mothers will inflict on their children. From “Babies who were exposed to tobacco smoke while still in the womb had twice the risk of being stillborn.” From “Decreased birth weight is the most consistently observed effect of maternal smoking on infants. This decrease in infant birth weight is on average 200 g.- Cigarette smoking may affect maternal nutrition and, consequently, fetal nutrition, in two important ways: (1) the increased metabolic rate in smokers can lead to lower availability of calories; and, (2) the exposure to tobacco may increase iron requirements and decrease the availability of certain nutrients such as vitamin B12, amino acids, vitamin C, folate, and zinc. In smokers, uteroplacental blood flow restricts nutrient and oxygen flow to the fetus.” From “Low birthweight is itself associated with increased illness and death of babies around the time of their birth. Long-term effects are delays in physical, emotional and intellectual development.” From “Women who smoke while pregnant are 50 percent to 70 percent more likely than nonsmokers to give birth to a baby with a cleft lip or palate, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System. The risk of the disfiguring facial birth defect rises with the number of cigarettes that a mother-to-be smokes each day, even after factors like the mother's race, age and educational level are considered.” From “SOME 56 babies are estimated to be dying each year as a result of smoking by their mothers, a report by the Economic and Social Research Institute has found.” Now that publican can continue to delude herself that it doesn’t cause any harm. She can continue to paint paranoid pictures that everyone is ‘out to get her’. But any reasoned observer can see the overwhelming tidal waves of evidence to show that it does cause serious harm. Are you still seriously suggesting that we should encourage mothers to continue to abuse their children in this way by providing nice, warm, convenient smoking areas?
  The Publican  Posted: 06/12/2005 23:08
Your post shows nothing but me-fein! Me, Me, Me all the time. You have to run your gauntlet through the poor sick patients now and my God what you had to endure in the day rooms! Your committed smoker could have just gone into hospital and not smoked anyway particularly if you had a kind-hearted room to put the smoker into. But if all anti-smokers attitudes are like yours it proves how weak you are afterwards when you had to resort to those who are even weaker than you!
  PJK  Posted: 07/12/2005 08:42
Belinda, Your support for smoking in hosptal wards is weak at best and non-existent at worst. I feel that the real reason that you cannot wholeheartedly support the cause for smokers in hospital wards, including maternity wards with new born babies, is because it makes you feel uncomfortable, and questions your core arguement in relation to allowing smoking in pubs i.e. your premise that passive smoking is safe. So you are now retreating into a "I am just doing it for the social benifits of smokers & non-smokers mixing" type mode. Well you can be true to this aspect of the aruguement and just ignore the health implications, if that is what your conscious needs in order to reconcile the contradictions: but it is only yourself that you are fooling.
  Mary  Posted: 07/12/2005 08:55
As far as I know Publican, hospices are excluded from the ban so care of the dying does not come into it. Also, there are some hospitals who still up to a while ago anyway provided a smoking day room. Some of course would argue that if you are in hosptal and are therefore in poor health then you shouldn't be making it worse by smoking! That said, I visted a relative in a North Dublin hospital recently and was waiting in the day room, until they came back from theatre. As I was waiting a patient came in, looked furtively around and sat down, a man in his mid to late 50's I would say. As we were the only two there (it being quite late at night) we starting chatting as you do. Then he asked if I would mind if he opened the window. There being a windchill factor of about -1 degrees, I thought this odd but said go ahead, anyway. He then told me, in a lowered voice as if he was admitting something awful that he'd "murder a smoke". He already had a pack in his dressing gown pocket. Then asked would I mind if he had a few quick drags if kept the cigarrette outside the window and blew the smoke out and would I not "tell on him" if the nurse put her head around the door. Honestly I felt awful - as if he thought I was some kind of cross between an angry school teacher and a police woman.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 07/12/2005 13:49
RD why are you giving Mary all these reports about smoking in pregnancy? Mary was talking about somebody who had just given birth!
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 07/12/2005 14:04
rainy how many times do I have to tell you that I have no knowledge of hospitals and I am only in this conversation with you at your insistence. Smoking, if you are sick in hospital seems be to an action of dubious wisdom and dangerous if you are in bed. It seems to have little to do with passive smoking to me. As for whether visitors should smoke I would say if they are in a mixed ward they should not, because I don't consider it courteous smoking in the sleeping areas of people you don't know when they might object and especially when they are sick. You may be right that I am used to thinking of hospitals as smoke free environments and be hesitant about bringing it back into hospitals. But you are right that these things need to be thought through. There are ventilation systems available and improving and so for separate visitors' areas, I think one could allow smoking. However you don't need to tell me that I am in any doubt about whether tobacco smoke is dangerous - it isn't.
  The Publican  Posted: 07/12/2005 14:07
Mary, I know of a man who stayed in an ordianary hospital for a few months dying and never had a decent place to smoke. He had to be brought down and outside for his smoke. He was one of the most incredible people we had ever met in our lives and did great things for the young people in our community. I went to visit him several times and the biggest factor that disturbed him in hospital was the fact that he couldn't smoke. It would have helped tremendously he said to pass the time away. I will never forget that statement that he made because he had spent years and years battling the illness that he had. And right in the middle of that fight all he wanted to do was have a few smokes. It's just so unfair! I have also being told recently that a psychiatric home near our pub decided not to allow their patients to smoke inside when according to the law they can. A male nurse said that he feels it is cruelty on the part of those running the home and has made their work even more awkward by trying to watch the psychiatric patients from wandering off. I was shocked when I heard it! Could this smoking ban at least have looked after those who are so vulnerable in society? And could it not at least look after the celebratory mother? Those two areas should at least be made a priority! Get in a decent ventilated room and give them the comfort in life that they deserve!
  The Publican  Posted: 07/12/2005 14:19
Rainy Day, If I went onto have seven children (which is a lot) I didn't come across anything that you have come up with in your argument about maternal smoking. Iron needs are always covered now because you are supposed to take iron tablets with folic acid. Every doctor will now insist on this. Two babies in my area died from cot death and there was no smoker in the house. There were no delays what-so-ever in their physical, emotional and intellectual ability. Some of my children are far more intelligent than myself and others are brilliant with their hands. Of course I did make sure that I didn't inhale the cigarettes during pregnancy and this is all the advice that pregnant women need. It's no good preaching to them to stop smoking completely when this clearly will not happen but your advice could go down very well. Dictatorship never works! What determines low birth weight? Most women will have their own average birth weight and this will be consistant throughout their pregnancies. My average was 7 pounds. This ran right through and with my first child I would have only been smoking very little. If you did nothing but smoke during pregnancy and hardly eat at all I would say something. But pregnancy has a habit of making you eat whether you want to or not. After having seven kids I should be fairly knowledgeable in this department don't you think, Rainy Day?
  fifi  Posted: 07/12/2005 16:11
No. Im a smoker & I think the ban is a great thing. It should have been done years ago. However, I do feel that publicans could do a little bit more to accomodate us on the cold wet winter nights & provide us with fairly decent outside shelters.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 07/12/2005 17:34
PJK anyway the 'smokers and non-smokers mixing' stuff is not a retreat - although you have mistermed it - it is the whole point! People do have the right to mix in public places on an equal basis, ie without the threat of criminal sanction whether they are smokers or not. Second hand smoke is not dangerous and should not interfere with this principle. It has nothing to do with sick people smoking in hospital beds which is an entirely different problem. People go to hospital to be treated for sickness, not to conduct their vital social relationships. I am not retreating into anything.
  The Publican  Posted: 07/12/2005 19:16
Fifi, Where in God's name are some pubs supposed to put their smoking shelters? On top of the roof is it? Do you know what a land-locked pub is? It is a pub that has no extra room at all! But of course I don't know what the anti-smoking lobby were thinking of when they brought in their smoking ban! I reckon that they didn't expect pubs to put up smoking shelters at all. And now that some of them have another problem has been created for pubs that cannot do it. This of course has created more bad feeling particularly amongst publicans. The other thing is that many people don't want to go out into these shelters on cold dark wet nights. Most of them are not enclosed and no amount of heating in them will keep you warm because of the wind and rain still getting in! Their own kitchens and private quarters are a lot more welcoming for customers then aren't they? And that is all they can do if they want to keep surviving in business of course!
  RainyDay  Posted: 07/12/2005 21:40
Hi Belinda - I didn't address anything to you about hospitals. I guess you meant to refer to PJK, not me. Do you think that many of the women who were smoking after the birth had just suddently taken up the habit, or had they actually been smoking during pregancy. And of course, if they continue to smoke in their homes, they increase the risk of cot death & respiratory disorders significantly. Hi publican - Your claim that non-smokers are all 'me, me, me, me' is ludicrous. It is the selfish smokers who are prepared to impose their 2nd hand excretions on the rest of us who are selfish. In Holles St, they have a designated smoking area about 30 seconds walk across the yard from the main building. But no, that would just be too much trouble - instead they inflict their smoke on the parents & new-born infants who have to pass the gauntlet of smokers to enter the hospital. No, having 7 kids does not make you an expert. Seeing 2 kids who died from cot death without smoking does not make you an expert. No-one is claiming that every case of smoking in pregancy causes harm. Every report from any reputable body shows that it substantially increases the risk of harm. But please do feel free to continue with your 'see no evil' delusions. Continue to live in your smoky fantasy world. The rest of us will live in the increasingly clean & fresh real world.
  The Publican  Posted: 07/12/2005 23:31
Belinda, I hate to say it but you need to explain your hospital views a bit better. You do appear to have a problem here. Maybe Rainy Day has genuinely pushed you into an area that you are not sure about. Is it the smoking in bed that would worry you (that would be quite understandable) even I'm not asking for that. I'm looking for only a room again. Even though Rainy Day has me smoking inside in the labor ward and around all the babies again. Not that I think it is a problem but that is not what I am looking for at this stage. I'm not looking for what Rainy Day thinks I am either in the pub. All I am looking for more than anything else is to get everyone off the streets, stop putting them on show (especially the sick, dying, psychiatric and those after giving birth!) and to go half-ways and give them a bit of respect and comfort. Absolutely nothing else!
  Mary  Posted: 08/12/2005 08:49
Agreed Publican. Someone who is dying, like that, in an ordinary hospital should be facilitated. I was very surprised to hear athat about your local psychiatric home. They can by law permit smokign but refuse to!! Surely the term 'home' says it all. The patients LIVE there, just as you and I live at our respective homes. This surely makes life more difficult for not only the patients but the medical and ancillary staff.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 08/12/2005 13:34
Publican I haven't been in a hospital bed since the 1970s so I don't have strongly formed views on this area. I don't know why it's suddenly dominating a discussion about pubs. If anyone has any specific questions I will try to answer them but I think I have told you as much as I can.
  Anonymous   Posted: 08/12/2005 22:25
  The Publican  Posted: 08/12/2005 22:46
Belinda, The problem here in Ireland is that the smoking ban came in everywhere at the one time. It hit hospitals, workplaces and pubs. You may only think that it came into pubs and all the other places were done a few years previously. But everything happened at once. So the talk in the pubs is all about other areas that are being unfairly treated as well. I would have a major problem with the sick and the dying as well as pubs. Some people spend months inside in hospitals and it can be extremely lonely for them. I see the same lonliness when people feel that they cannot come out anymore. No matter what Rainy Day says about all the clear air and how great it is she is refusing to believe and acknowledge that the ban has been a nightmare for some people. Some places you can indeed avoid or change where smoking bans are implemented. For instance I can choose to hire out videos rather than go to the cinema. Or I can use home colorants rather than going to the hairdressers. Many of us do not go for coffee anymore but that is not a great worry. We have a cigarette before we go shopping and have one after the shopping. It's an easy enough change. Where the pub is concerned many people can decide to go to off-licences and drink at home. And yes, it is a fact that many of them are doing it. Here it is I who lose out but there is nothing I can do about it. But if you are sick and have to go to hospital, what choice have you here. You have no idea how horrific it will look when you see the patients standing outside the door with their drips and their nightgowns. I guarantee you 100% that you are not going to like this one. You will see the faces of your mother, father and grandparents outside that door and you will realise that this ban is making a pure mockery out of society. All that is wrong at the moment is that you cannot imagine the situation until it is there in front of you. I know Belinda, that if a smoking ban similar to Ireland's comes into Scotland you will have a very different insight again. I never saw any of these areas either before the smoking ban came in. So be prepared.
  The Publican  Posted: 08/12/2005 23:06
Rainy Day, A smoker is selfish now again are they? Not addicted but selfish! Depending on what we are talking about the smoker is either selfish or addicted! Which is it Rainy Day? If I am addicted to buying shoes am I also selfish. If I am addicted to wearing a particular style of clothing am I also selfish? If I am addicted to life itself am I also selfish? It's one or the other. Try and make yourself clear on this one once and for all! This has also been a very wet winter so far. It is quite understandable that the smoker is looking for some decent shelter that you couldn't provide for them! But everything they do has to be selfish in your eyes! If they were up on the moon you would complain that they were blocking some of the light from there! What is wrong with you? How are the mothers inflicting their smoke on the new-born babies inside in hospital? Do you not realise that your smoking ban is in there as well and they cannot do it! You have also more or less claimed that smoking doesn't cause everyone to have problems during pregnancy. Why is that? It only increases the risk so and why may I ask is there such a big lecture given to every pregnant woman? And why all the guilt trip? Sure, we are all capable of increasing our risks with any product on the marketplace.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 09/12/2005 01:32
RD, did you miss my post about a dozen posts up from here or are you ignoring it? I fulfilled my part of our deal and withdrew my claim about the IHS authors when I realized their affiliations may not have occurred until after the report was written. You now need to respond to the following: = + = + = 1) Follow up on the Helena study and respond to my concerns about it. = = = 2) Define the survey pool that you represented as "bar workers" and supply a source for examination of the survey itself. = = = 3)Name a single reputable study that clearly shows ANY significant long term harm to an individual from the levels of smoke that one would normally encounter in a well-ventilated and filtrated modern business establishment. Hey, name three or four if you can! Strut yer stuff!
  RainyDay  Posted: 09/12/2005 08:48
Hi Publican - You don't understand the situation at Holles St. There is a smoking shelter (sheltered from rain & the worst of the wind) just across the car park, about 60 seconds walk from the main building. But instead, the smokers opt to congregate at the entrance steps, ignoring the no smoking signs, littering their butts on the steps & the path, and forcing patients (mothers & babies) who are entering/exiting the hospital to breath in their fumes. This is the kind of selfishness that gets up my nose (physically & metaphorically). Why won't these smokers use the shelter? Why won't they clean up after themselves?
  The Publican  Posted: 09/12/2005 13:27
Hi Rainy Day, The reason that I believe that people are not using the shelters is for a few different reasons really. Staying at the entrance to a building makes them feel as if they belong more. Going over to the shelter makes them feel cut off. This is a problem with pubs as well. Hugging the entrances ensures that they are still part of the crowd. That would be done unconsciously more than anything else. But this drives you mad. How mad do you think the smoker is? Did you really think that you could have it all and that the smokers wouldn't cause any problems what-so-ever! Your lobby send out all these statistics and reports about compliance levels yet you are still angry at some of the things they do. I have similar problems in the pub. The hiding of the cigarette in the fist and the toilets and I too have my front doors blocked. In my case everyone of my customers are outside on the public road which is highly dangerous. This is what makes me very angry that my customers are now at risk. Can you imagine a whole pile of children playing on the public road? You would be horrified! It's not ordinary adults we are dealing with here but intoxicated ones remember. You'll have to come up with a few better ideas Rainy Day because there are quite a few dangerous aspects to this smoking ban.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 09/12/2005 18:55
Publican, be aware that the statistics on compliance levels are usually simply another one of the Antismokers' tricky lies. They'll strut a 98% compliance level around as though it referred to the real life situation in pubs. Actually it usually refers to compliance in ALL facilities (including RD's maternity ward and ICU unit) while the compliance level in pubs is actually enormously lower. Here in the U.S., in the very heart of the stronghold of Antismoking Madness, California... a state where only about 15% of adults will even admit that they smoke occasionally... the Antismokers in their own discussions bemoan the lack of compliance. One study that was done within the last year or so found violations at roughly 50% of the bars it examined. The Antismoking extremists won't admit this generally in public because they want so desperately to present the image of "everyone is happy with the bans and everyone is complying." As every occupying army knows, the best way to keep rebellion from spreading is to keep the news of any uprisings that occur as quiet as possible. If everyone THINKS that everyone else is happy and cooperating... then they'll join with the crowd and cooperate too. The Irish ban was based on lies, lies like the proclaimed results of the Helena study showing protection from secondary smoke. Visit and see what's happened to Helena in the last week or so. A study over a thousand times larger has now completely invalidated the "Great Helena Heart Miracle." Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brans"
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 10/12/2005 00:03
Publican Thanks, I didn't know that it was all introduced at once. That is what we are getting here really. I think there are restrictions now but locally applied ones, not in the national legislation.
  RainyDay  Posted: 10/12/2005 08:14
Hi Publican - Why do I need to come up with solutions? The smokers are big enough & old enough to come up with their own solutions? It is extremely anti-social for smokers to expect others to come up with solutions for them. Isn\'t about time they took some responsibility for their own actions? Hi Michael - I think your memory must be failing you when you refer \'our deal\'. We never had any deal. I made it abunduntly clear that I wasn\'t going to negotiate with you. Even if I were to ignore the ethical issues involved in negotiating over tabloid-style allegations which had no supporting evidence, on pure practical issues this would be foolish tactic for me. To give you some kind of deal for agreeing to withdraw allegations which had no evidence in the first place would not be very clever. In relation to your 3 queries, I may get round to them, or I may not. As I said earlier \" really wish I had the time to engage more seriously with you on the medical evidence. Clearly, you have more experience on these issues than me, but unfortunately, I just don\'t have that much time to do the research necessary to challenge you on every point\"
  Bill  Posted: 10/12/2005 10:44
The reason smoking was banned where there were other people who would have to breath in the poisonous chemicals was because in their addiction smokers are extremely bad mannered and downright selfish. They were always selfish. They happily blew smoke in my face for decades until eventually the goverment (note new sensible spelling) stopped them. This is the same reason they block doorways and force those entering the buildings to go through a fog of smelly filth. To The Publican, it is illegal to sell alcohol to someone who is intoxicated. If one of your customers gets knocked down on that road, he has a claim against you for making him drunk. Smokers have a very simple solution to their addiction, stop. Their lethal addiction should not be anyone else’s problem.
  PJK  Posted: 12/12/2005 11:37
Hi Belinda & Publican, Actually the smoking ban did not come in everywhere at once in practice. Smoking has been banned for years in cinema, concert halls, buses, airplanes, bingo halls etc. Also most workplaces had it banned, certainly in the working areas (you would never see someone smoking in an office for years now), and as already said it has been banned for years from the wards in hospitals. So the population in general has been well accustomed for many years to there being no smoke in public & work areas. I would assume that all the areas menetioned above also do not have smoking in Scotland, and funnly enough the world has not stopped spinning on its axis. One of the last areas to have smoke removed has been pubs, hotels etc.
  The Publican  Posted: 12/12/2005 13:03
Bill, You seem to suddenly know what my position is if someone gets knocked down outside my pub when they are intoxicated. If a person has only taken one drink they can be regarded as being intoxicated. This has happened some people when they were bagged. One drink could put them over the limit while another could pass it after taking 6 drinks! Would you say as well that I am responsible if a non-drinking smoker gets knocked down outside my pub whilst smoking?
  The Publican  Posted: 12/12/2005 13:09
Rainy Day, I take it that if all my smoking customers would prefer to smoke in my kitchen rather than stand out on the public road that they are coming up with a proper solution for themselves? I can go to court in the morning and tell the judge that my smoking customers insisted that I give them a room in my home because their lives are in danger on the road. The judge couldn't do anything to me because it is my own home. And neither can the health boards. So really I suppose we have our smoking room and no-one can do anything about it. The compliance level then that Michael talks about would in effect be non-existant in the pubs.
  Bill  Posted: 12/12/2005 16:08
A non drinking smoker is unlikely to get knocked down. YOUR point was that they were intoxicated and that was where the danger was. If you sell someone so much drink that they get drunk and get knocked down as a result, you could be liable. As I said it is illegal to sell someone drunk, drink. Another point is that publicians are also selling a danergous drug and many publicians have served drink to members of the public who they knew would drive and who have got killed. So opposing anti-smoking legislation is par for the course. It is well known in the drink trade that those selling boooze will be and are being targeted next.
  The Publican  Posted: 12/12/2005 16:55
PJK, Most workplaces did not have it banned and you know that very well. There were some places that brought it in voluntarily and some chemical factories had no choice but to bring it in. Bingo halls came under this legislation. My local bingo hall had smoking in up to then. Hospitals had day room smoking or a room downstairs. So they went outside the door as well when the ban came in. I'm sure that Belinda has certain areas already in place in Scotland so stop trying to give out the wrong message to her.
  The Publican  Posted: 12/12/2005 18:53
Bill, It seems that you are really out to get the publican! And you seem to suddenly have all the answers! I can assure you that I run one of the most decent respectable pubs around and I don't need you to tell me how to run my business where intoxicated people are concerned anyway. I am quite well aware of laws. But are you aware that I also have customers need my premises who are not drinking on it at all. Can you tell me where I stand on this one? I don't know these answers but seeing as you were able to answer the first point so well perhaps you would care to answer this one as well. Who's responsible for those people who bring cans with them and mingle with the smoker? You never answered the non-smoker one properly either. Remember I am on the public road, you cannot see the road ahead of you properly because of a bend and there is a huge hill that you have to drive up when you pass my pub. I have spent years training my children to be careful with this road because some of the cars coming past my pub are speeding up making way for that hill. Maybe now you can see how dangerous my position is and how it is much more dangerous now with people congregating outside for long periods. I have had several of them say to me already that a car just missed them. There will be a day guaranteed I believe when someone outside my door or pubs in a similar position will have someone killed because of this stupid smoking ban.
  RainyDay  Posted: 12/12/2005 21:43
Hi Publican - I'm actually amazed at your claim that your arrangement to have your smokers smoking in your kitchen has been approved by the Environmental Health officers. I don't think your claim that the judge can't do anything will stand up. Let's put it to the test - Let us have the name & location of your pub and I'll follow it up with Enviromental Health on your behalf.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 12/12/2005 23:24
RD wrote: Hi Michael - I think your memory must be failing you when you refer 'our deal'. We never had any deal." = = = True enough in some ways. I made the offer of granting your request of a proper response if you would grant mine in return. Since you were playing "I've stuck my fingers in my ears and I can't hear you till you've done what I demand." there was no way to do more than expect you to react honorably in return for my action. And of course that seems not to be the case. You don't have time to read a three page study or the inclination to analyze such. Or the inclination to answer those three VERY simple questions I posed. = = = However, two of the questions did not require you to read a study. I asked: = = = 1) Define the survey pool that you represented as "bar workers" and supply a source for examination of the survey itself. = = = 3)Name a single reputable study that clearly shows ANY significant long term harm to an individual from the levels of smoke that one would normally encounter in a well-ventilated and filtrated modern business establishment. = = = So RD, you don't need to take any time or do any of that nasty research stuff to challenge me "on every point." = = = But it *would* be nice if you, or perhaps PJK, would answer those two questions. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  Mary  Posted: 13/12/2005 08:19
Ah Bill - would you ever cop on. You say that 'Smokers have a very simple solution to their addiction, stop'. Have you ever actualy spoken to a smoker?? I don't smoke, I have never been a smoker, heck I don't even like the things but honestly. Don't you think if ut were really THAT simple, veryone would have given up without any difficulty, sometime, around say, 1955 and we wouldn't even be having this conversation. How easy do you think it is for anyone to simply give up an addiction. I mean if it were that easy - it wouldn't be an addiction would it? Oversimplifying doesn't help anyone.
  PJK  Posted: 13/12/2005 09:12
Publican, I am afraid that it is you who is misleading Belinda about the facts. I cannot find any references when I google it, but smoking has not been in cinemas for years, I would guess 10 years or more. Maybe you are right that it was a voluntary ban, but my point still remains, that smoking was not allowed in loads of places for years, including most work places. Face it publican, it has been a while since you walked into a bank and saw people behind the counter smoking. So my point was either voluntarily or by law, smoking has been banned in loads of places for years, like as I say, buses, airplanes, cinemas, bingo halls (although of course not your personnel bingo hall) and most office spaces. There has not been an uproar about this, until it came to the pubs. When it was introduced in the pubs, there was I admit a lot of controversy at the start, but now there is overwhelming support for it (although not of course 100%, show me a law that has 100% support). People in pubs are just getting on with their lives, in the same way as they got on with their lives after cinemas, buses, airplanes, bingo halls all banned smoking in previous years. There is of course the odd moaner & whinger left, (I am of cousre not reffering to your publican). The reason that I keep in this debate, is that otherwise Belinda might think that your view is representative of the views of Ireland in general. There are not many participants in this debate, because most people have just moved on. On this site there is Publican, John & Michael McFadden opposing the ban. You might say that there are not many on the site in support of the ban, which is true, but that is because the debate in Ireland is largely over, and people are just getting on with life.
  Bill  Posted: 13/12/2005 11:13
Mary, they can stop. I did. So ahve many others. It was difficult but can be done. Why should I or anyone else suffer the horribly effects of smoke because of someone's addiction? Ireland has moved on. They issue IS dead. The majority of smokers support the ban. Many have said that it has helped them give up smoking or at least cut down, so the ban will save lives. The lives of husbands & fathers, wives and the mothers of children. Smoking is very evil and anyone not fully supporting all moves to end its disease & death causing addiction is to be condemed.
  The Publican  Posted: 13/12/2005 12:16
PJK, There is no doubt that non-smokers and anti-smokers are getting on with their lives. But it is the smoker that has had to make all the adjustments. It's very easy to come up with high figures for overwhelming support when you have so many people to choose from. In fact with all your figures you can so easily eliminate the smoker on this one. What changes besides going outside the door for a fag can you come up with? Are there any unconscious changes that you could find? By the way at this stage you could practically eliminate me as one of your so-called people who have come off the cigarettes. I have hardly bought any here in Ireland since the ban came in. Only yesterday I got 800 cigarettes for only 90 euro from a friend of mine. Here in Ireland they would have cost me 240 euro! That is some savings don't you think PJK? One of my customers also heard on the radio that the government are down over 10% on taxes which is directly attributed to the smoking ban. That should amount to a fair bit of money. The government may have no choice but to revert the smoking ban.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 13/12/2005 12:27
That's kind of you PJK: I'm sure you lead a busy life! I try not to make assumptions about the feelings of people who don't participate in the debate. It is like you say only one of many issues that people have to contend with, and they have to get on with things, go to work, feed the kids, go on holiday and so on. I know there are non-smokers that support the ban as well as people like me who don't. I expect that there are many people who share the Publican's views of the ban. But neither of you will convince me that you represent the voice of all Ireland. I certainly don't accept that the people who don't post on these sites have all just accepted the government's reasoning and now agree with them. And however much you post you will not convince me of this. So if you do feel like 'moving on', it will not have a material effect on my views.
  Mary  Posted: 13/12/2005 14:48
Bill you say that "Smoking is very evil and anyone not fully supporting all moves to end its disease & death causing addiction is to be condemed." "Very evil" "condemned" - what sort of pseudo-polictical public statement is that? Not to mention simplistic.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 13/12/2005 17:23
PJK wrote: "smoking has been banned in loads of places for years, like as I say, buses, airplanes, cinemas, bingo halls ... There has not been an uproar about this, until it came to the pubs." Really PJK? No uproar? Care to make any estimates about how many thousands of fliers have had their flights interrupted and been forced to take the risk of extra landings and takeoffs because of altercations about the smoking ban on planes? And no uproar at Bingo Halls? Try entering the following search term into Google or Google News: "smoking ban" bingo It should take you no more than a minute apiece to visit the various pages there and get the needed information. Go down one at a time and count how many are about post ban bingo disasters vs. post ban bingo improvements in real life cases. Come back and share the details of your research and show us how bans have not hurt bingo. Do it in a way we can reproduce, as all good science is done (e.g. "I checked the first 20 and 15 said bans were no problem in real life bingos.") Let us know what you find. Or, if you don't have the time for such research (I know you and Rainy are very busy posting and have a hard time researching things) I could simply post a half dozen or so "uproars" from recent news articles about charities dying because of ban-caused bingo losses. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  The Publican  Posted: 13/12/2005 18:13
Mary, the statements that Bill made are DEAD and gone! With about 10 years! The majority of non-smokers and smokers only laugh at these statements. Bill is fed-up, that's what's wrong with him. His message isn't having the same effect anymore and he's in a bit of a panic. So he resorts to insults. What he was probably hoping for was that we would all get insulted and move off this site and then it would look as if he had won! You could sense his frustration big time particularly in the last sentence. He made two references to this. The one in brackets (I spotted that one) and when he told us to give up or shut up. But Bill you can tell us to do this very easily without having to use big capital letters to make yourself clear. You are talking to adults after all who contribute huge amount of taxes to the government in order to keep our country running.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 13/12/2005 18:27
Bill Many of the harderline anti-smokers are ex-smokers. People who oppose the ban include people who enjoy smoking socially, and people who do not expect the ban to reduce people's smoking levels or addiction levels generally. As far as condemning people who don't appear to share your priorities, how about being a little charitable? Somebody may have once hated you for blowing smoke into their face, even though you may not have intended to do so. I don't smoke and don't recognise this behaviour you describe at all. Whether giving up smoking is hard depends on a number of factors. Self-motivation is a big help. Most people give up as a result of their own determination, rather than other people's. If the government tells you to stop doing something that you want to do you will protest or find ways round it. It won't stop you wanting it.
  Louis  Posted: 14/12/2005 10:13
Publican, I think you are just winding people up to get attention. Reading most of your contributions, they are full of conjecture, innuendo and hypothetical scenarios. There is little or no substance to your comments. I would suggest that you try adding some fact to the discussion!
  PJK  Posted: 14/12/2005 11:36
Hi Michael, I took your advice and put in ("smoking ban" bingo) into google for the crack, and looked at the first 4 pages which is 40 links, and could find no article about uproar about the smoking ban in bingo halls. This was your suggestion, so you tell me what that means. Incidently thanks for that because I did find a link that told me the ban has been in bingo halls since 1995, which is in the time frame that I thought it was. I don't know anything about bingo and whether it is doing well as a business or not, but if it is not, there could be thousands of explainations that are nothing to do with the smoking ban. Belinda, I hope that you don't mind the fact that I have not "moved on" as you suggested. I did find that remark of yours slightly offensive, as I am as entitled to express a point of view the same as you or publican, and hopefully have not been too personal in my remarks, but have stuck to logical arguements. But on the whole you do seem like a nice person with a genuine empathy with people, so I will put it down to just a "bad hair day" as they say.
  Bill  Posted: 14/12/2005 11:43
So, “the smoker has had to make all the adjustments”. Isn’t that perfectly logical? It is the smoker who is the addict. It is the smoker who fouls the air. It is the smoker who gives cancer & heart disease to the pub employees. So he creates the problem and therefore should create the solution. Until the recent laws came in, the smoker couldn’t care less. He was totally selfish. I stand by my comments Mary, smoking is ONLY bad. Smoking kills an estimated 5,000 Irish people per year. Virtually the only reason people smoke is that they are addicted. There is no “social smoking”. People do not “choose” to smoke. Watch the unfortunate addicts jump up from their seats in the pub ever half and hour or so, go out into the cold and rain and get their fix and tell me they are “enjoying” smoking. The argument re smokers paying taxes is totally irrelevant and nonsensical in the face of the costs to society that they incur. What is the yearly cost to society of the 5,000 deaths from smoking? I would say that alone is equal to the income from cigarettes. A large proportion of the costs of running the Health Service is directly attributed to smoking. The higher absence rate from work of smokers also costs millions. Smoking COSTS money and does not contribute more than it costs. The Publican’s waffle in his post 13/12 18:13 is just that, waffle. Belinda suggests I be charitable to smokers. Can she give me ANY example of when smokers are charitable to those who detest their foul addiction? I have seen my son who is asthmatic have to leave concerts because of the smoke. Where is the smokers respect for others there? None existent. I repeat again, EVERYONE should do their utmost ALWAYS to stop people smoking. The sooner the illogical, smelly, disgusting & foul addiction is consigned to history the better.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 14/12/2005 13:52
PJK Really I did not mean to offend you. It is just that you are already saying that everyone else has 'moved on' so I had difficulty in understanding why you were so interested in the topic when the law you wanted has been passed. I appreciate your other comments. The smokers in my life are very important to me and I don't want my conversations with them to be interrupted all the time. Bill - I have met more intolerant attitudes to smoking on this website and others than I have ever met in the flesh. If somebody expressed such open contempt of something that you like doing, you might find it hard to be polite to them. If people say they like smoking why not believe them? If you dismiss them as liars into the bargain, on the grounds that you disapprove of their preferences, are you then surprised that people find it hard to treat you with complete consideration? Didn't you ever enjoy a smoke? Some of the kindest people and the most committed ones I know are smokers. In fact smoking does not reflect on people's selfishness or otherwise any more than if they are left-handed, have brown eyes, or whatever.
  Mary  Posted: 14/12/2005 14:02
Bill, you say that EVERYONE should do their utmost ALWAYS to stop people smoking. Do you extend that to grabbign lit cigarettes out of peoples hands? I would like to see you try that outside certain citypbs and see where it would land you. As it happens there is such a thing as a socila smoker. My grnadmother was a social smoker for years. Only smoked with others in a socila setting. Sjhe smoked becuase she enjoyed it and it made her feel relaxed. She felt it contributed to her life.
  The Publican  Posted: 14/12/2005 15:06
Hey Bill, I haven't got any heart disease or cancer (yet!). I wonder could a case be brought to court about how my health was far better when there was smoking in the pubs. The only days I ever missed from my pub was when I had to go to hospital to have my kids! I never had to go for a smoke break because I was able to smoke behind the counter and have my fag. Now that the smoking ban is in I have to have a break! What a nuisance! Noticed that you have come down from your figure of 7000 deaths before the smoking ban came in by 2000! That's a lot! Talking about ashmatics. I have two of those in my pub. One went back on them when the smoking ban came in and claims that he feels a lot better! I'v told you already that I will give you his phone number if you want. Another ashmatic is smoking a phenomenal 40 cigarettes a day and he is only 19! If he keeps heading this direction he will be at the 100 mark when he reaches my age! He says smoking fills the time that he has to wait around in his job. He is employed by a cabinet maker and has to wait for pieces of timber to be ready for him. Someone claimed earlier on that smokers have said that it is easier to give up the cigarettes since the ban came in. That talk was only there at the start and they are all still smoking, at least the ones that I know. Those who you claim have cut down mustn't be that addicted so or else smoking is an addiction that can be controlled. Your addict message is becoming less clearer all the time so something else must be coming into play. An addict shouldn't be able to cut down at all! I argued that point earlier on and gave examples of all different amounts of smoking but this seemed to be laughed at. There are those who smoke only three cigs a day and there are those who smoke up to 100. If you claim then that there is an addiction to smoking the 3 cigarette a day person shouldn't really exist. He would be classed as the drinker who only drinks very occasionally. It's time that you started categorising the smoker and tell me at what point would you consider a smoker addicted.
  fifi  Posted: 14/12/2005 16:39
As a smoker Im delighted with the smoking ban. My only nark would be publicans who dont bother to provide a half decent shelter for us to have a smoke in. Since the ban Im not half as "caught up" the morning after as I used to be before the ban came in. Dont stink as much either. By the way, anyone notice how all the crack is out in these shelters anyway? Those left inside the warm confines of ye olde refreshment house are usually dull & boring because even the fun loving non smokers follow us out to our "reject sheds".
  brennan05  Posted: 14/12/2005 17:48
The smoking ban in pubs is one of the most constructive things that took place in this country in recent years, Personally I think smoking should be banned everywhere. People who have no respect for their own health, should at least consider other people.
  The Publican  Posted: 15/12/2005 00:14
Fifi, Where are you getting all this 'caught up' from? I never felt this in my pub after breathing in all different varieties of cigarettes and cigars. One or two people mention this and suddenly everyone catches on and believes this rubbish. And that is all it is. Pure rubbish. If it were to be true all publicans would have stopped smoking a long long time ago because they wouldn't be able to stick it! Your clothes will freshen up after only about five minutes in the fresh air so that's another figment of your imagination. I never got this awful smell off my clothes! One thing though that I will agree with you though and that is that the crack is of course 100 times better outside the door than inside. That's because smokers are genuinely happier people and take life certainly easier than anti-smokers do. Sure the anti-smoker is one of the most serious people you will ever meet in your life and who has all the woes of the world on his shoulders. That has always been known. (Bill won't like this conversation at all!). And the majority of non-smokers actually love our company very much and are hugely tolerant of us. Pity that they were pulled into a group that they were never meant to be involved with i.e., the anti-smoker. They always use the term non-smoker. But Belinda says it all. We have a pile of those people around who never wanted to kick us out in the first place and who back us when there is an anti-smoker trying to bring us down!
  Mary  Posted: 15/12/2005 15:39
Actually publican, when there was smokiing in pubs my throat used to be all dry and hoarse ans sore after a night out so it is not rubbish No my clothes never rfeshened up after only about five minutes in the fresh. Even if I was walking for 20 mins and standing outside talking for another 20 my clothes would still stin the next day and as a matter of fact, even when i put themiun the laudry bin, the next day the bathroom wouls stink of stale smoke. Maybe that becuase you'e a smoker you're used to the smell all the time and never notice it. Maybe you're right tho and smokers are genuinely more laid back relaxed people and take life easier than anti-smokers do.
  Louis  Posted: 15/12/2005 16:06
More BS from the publican in my opinion!
  The Publican  Posted: 15/12/2005 16:17
Mary, you said earlier on that your sore throat could have been down to shouting over the loud music. Now it's smoking again is it? You are definately exaggerating the clothes set-up because my husband would have had a problem with this being a non-smoker. Never did he mention the smell off his clothes and believe me he would! He's been nagging me to get off the cigarettes for 20 years! Of course I nag him about his drinking and his weight! What the anti-smokers should have done was found their own pubs that would have eliminated smoking. I don't know why they had to come in and interfere with everybody's life for. We didn't want them at all. That's all they are is a pack of busybodies afterwards who cannot bear to have other people enjoying themselves. The whole thing is backfiring on them now because they have made smoking one of the coolest things you could do at the moment. And all our young people are proof of that. One of them shouts, "Anyone coming out for a smoke?, and five or six people get up straight away. And the smoker has gained a huge sympathy vote with a pile of people out there. Taking things too far has undoubtedly produced the opposite results.
  The Publican  Posted: 15/12/2005 21:59
Louis, Being Rainy day, Louis, Bill, PJK, lovable Mary and possibly fifi who usually praises the smoker in order to get a response is a load of BS in my eyes. You are using all these names in order to make it appear that there are more anti-smokers on this site! I'v stuck with The Publican all the ways through proving that I am more real and more 'with it' in this world than you are!
  Mary  Posted: 16/12/2005 08:40
Maybe it was having to shout over the music and maybe it as the smoke. We'll never know that for sure. Perhaps the venues I chose now are queiter. I tell you tho', I am not exaggerating about the clothes. Even my mother who would be a social smoker and smoked very little used to notice it and on occasion used to even put them in the wash to get them out of the bathroom, before I'd have a chance to get up (being a late riser after a night out).
  fifi  Posted: 16/12/2005 09:28
Publican, Im a smoker like I previously said. However, lets be honest, as much as I like smoking, my clothes did smell bad after a night in the pub. 5 minutes of fresh air wont get rid of that particular smell. When I said "caught up", I meant it from a personal point of view. The morning after a night out before the smoking ban came in I used to wake up coughing. I would be wheezy & even have phlegm if I must be graphic. Being a smoker, Im with the smokers but dont try to tell people that cigs arent bad for you because they certainly not good for you.
  Louis  Posted: 16/12/2005 12:27
Publican you are still at it, I do not go under any other pseudonym other than Louis, I am what your might call a reformed Smoker that gave up 5 years ago after smoking for 25 years. I appreciate how difficult it is for others to give up smoking. However when I read the rubbish such as smoke smells not infecting peoples clothes, about innuendo suggesting that smoking is possibly good for you, about ridiculing people because they make comments, about trying to justify comments without fact, and generally trying to buy sympathy as you cannot manage your business properly. Then I get annoyed. When an item such as a smoking ban is introduced there will be a transition period where by people do strange things, this is normal! We have to adjust. When I was giving up smoking people like you, the publican, were not sympathetic, everywhere I went I was reminded of what I was trying to give up, now I can go out without being overwhelmed by smoke. Publicans should have noticed that their business model is changing and the most successful publicans are changing to reflect the needs of the new market. You seem to be easily influenced by the minority, is that because you are part of the minority? Take a fresh look at the whole scenario with an open mind, you may be surprised by the result!
  Mary  Posted: 16/12/2005 13:01
Publican, thanks for calling me lovable - but i swear to you, I'M NOT USING ANY OTHER NICKNAME IN THIS DISCUSSION. Never have. Before using my name on this discussion, In went under one of the many anonymouses
  The Publican  Posted: 16/12/2005 14:53
Okey, Fifi, I will admit that we could be doing better things than smoking. However I wouldn\'t run them down to the ground totally. There must be some benefits because I don\'t really believe in this addiction crack. Not when I see it being controlled by other people especially. A little of what you fancy is a very true saying. What I have a problem with is that both sides of the argument should be shown to the public. Smoking something that is perceived as being purely bad for you is only an attraction for some people. It is within the human nature\'s psyche to suss out things that are bad for you as well and taps into the so-called biting the poisoned apple side of us if you know what I mean. Alcohol and drugs and even certain foods come under this bracket as well. A person who is in touch with himself recognises this importance within himself, it\'s just that many people are doing it unknownst to themselves. Making a person consious of something is a very good thing which Ash has done in the past in a very good way. But Ash has now run themselves to the ground. They wanted it all and now the scene is very different. On the ground smoking is back in with a vengence. Nice and clean inside but oh God, what a mess outside and I don\'t just mean the butts on the ground. This was such a severe smoking ban and if right was right it should have produced some massive results. In other words there should have been a major drop in the amount of smokers. From what I can see it has produced far more interest in smoking and has escalated the drug scene. Belinda has a really good picture of what a smoking ban would be like in Scotland and I\'m sure that her common sense alone would show her that I am telling the truth as it is on the ground. It is time that Ash woke up and admitted that they have gone too far.
  The Publican  Posted: 17/12/2005 01:09
All right, Mary, I believe you. Still not sure about Louis though!
  RainyDay  Posted: 17/12/2005 08:48
Hi publican - The objective of the smoking ban was not to reduce the number of smokers. The objective was to protect bar staff from the effects of 2nd hand smoke. The ban continues to achieve that objective every day. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that any Govt will ever roll back on the ban.
  The Publican  Posted: 18/12/2005 02:23
Welcome back Rainy Day! You mean the ban was brought in to protect the only person that is on this site that comes under this bracket! Myself! How nice of you to be so considerate but I don't want it, thanks very much. It's extraordinary how the main staff i.e., the publican, doesn't want the ban at all! What a farce!! What an awful devious way to go about a law! That should actually have been classed as a mortal sin! I wonder will you all get away with that blunder in the next life. I reckon that St. Peter will definately refuse you at the front gate unless of course that you knock three times and he might think that he is leaving himself in at the gate! But really Rainy Day, are you really and truly and honestly expecting me to vote for that kind of a government? A government that puts the owner of his own business outside the door for a cigarette! My own home! If you take a drink Rainy Day, would you vote for someone that made you stand outside your own door to have a drink! You would in your ar**!!!
  Mary  Posted: 19/12/2005 09:58
Now RD, some people have the theory tht hell consists of one part that is extremely hot and another that is extremely cold (so as wherever the person is, they can nver be truly comfortable) - I wonder how long your ideologival snowball woudl last in the cold part?? Sorry - I'm being a smart-alec aren't I? By the way publican, I was out on Saturday night, moved on to a noisy venue late in the night (everywhere else was jammed) was yakking away non-stop. Yesterday morning, I was hoarse and my throat WAS INDEED a little hoarse and uncomfortable, tho not as bad as it used to be. - Just thought I'd mention it.
  The Publican  Posted: 19/12/2005 13:12
Mary, I wonder how long Rainy Day's snowball would last if it went into the extremely hot part! There are others of us out there who have a theory that there is a place that is not too hot and not too cold. The temperature is just right! By the way Mary, it sounds as if you don't go out too often. It is only last Satureday night that you noticed a difference! Sure the ban is in 18 months now!
  Mary  Posted: 19/12/2005 13:59
It's is ages since I've been to a late night venue that noisey - probably last Christmas. Usually after a meal we'll heasd to a Hotel bar or lounger where we can chat but Saturday everywhere in town semed to be jammed by the time we were finished out meal. Tell us, why are you so interested in my social habits? A little personal survey of non-smoking females under 35?
  The Publican  Posted: 19/12/2005 16:14
Mary, I get the feeling that you are trying to put me into a bit of a spot! I also noticed that you used the word jammed in both of your posts. Trying to tell me something? Why not go out and visit the poor ol' country publican, huh, and you will find that you will have plenty of room to sit down. You will be even able to have a chat with the publican himself! Now isn't that some treat! A survey for the under 35 non-smoker? I'm not sure but go on belt away! Give me all the gorey details on how fantastic it is now!
  Mary  Posted: 20/12/2005 09:51
No Publican, I'm not trying to put you into a bit of a spot at all. Yes, I did use the word jammed in both posts. Because the venues in town were jammed. Worth mentioning as well that the 'smoking terraces' were also jammed. Looked very continental with everyone outside at cafe style tables, until you realise that 2 or 3 degrees is far from continental. The smokers seemed to be having great craic tho. A couple of reasons why we (as a group there are 7 of us) don't go out and visit the poor ol' country publican. - We would have to go to a fairly decent urban centre for our meal and then all pile into the car and taxi to go out to the country pub and back into the car and taxi again to go home and a taxi from a rural loation is bound to cost a lot more than from the city centre. We are all scattered around various outlying suburbs and therefore need somewhere fairly central so that all can meet without having anyone to do an unfairly long journey. - Also one woman has her partner collect her and I don't knwo that he would fancy a long trek out to the country to collect her and another long trek home Another now gets the luas instead of a taxi (so we only have one taxi taker). On ths occasion, I left the other three home. They are our reasons. Nothing against he country publican at all, where to go out is a huge conveneince factor for us tho'.
  The Publican  Posted: 20/12/2005 16:19
Okey, Mary, I know that convenience plays a huge factor but if you get the chance sometime you might like to try out the country publicans. These are the pubs that would be most effected by the ban because they wouldn't have big money to make changes to their business. I know that a lot of country pubs are in big trouble and the government doesn't seem to care. I got two lucky breaks this year, (I think God was looking out for me) so I'll manage for another little while but there are other pubs not so lucky. Anyway you never gave me the gorey details of what it is like now for the under 35 year old non-smoker.
  Mary  Posted: 20/12/2005 17:11
To be honest publican, I don\'t really think there are any \'gory details\', what ever gave you that impression? Anothr factor in not visiting the county pub for many people is that if there are just two of you, one wil have to be the driver and thus, non drinker for the night, becuase the pub is a drive away, unlike your proverbial local. Also this means that you never drop in for a couple of quiet glasses and a read of the paper on your way home on a Friday. (my parents local was always great for this, esp. if there was a fire on, very relaxing). Glad you got the lucky breaks tho\'. Can you tell me, what part of the counry are you in. I\'m in Co. Meath. Any nice country pubs you could really recommend there?
  The Publican  Posted: 20/12/2005 18:51
Mary, come on! You should be able to describe exactly what you think it is like now in the pubs without smoke! You can exaggerate if you like. Or maybe you are uncomfortable with the whole scene now that your smoker friends are thrown out. Would you think that the pub would be better if the smokers weren't outside and were able to somehow mix with the crowd again or do you think that it is far better having them outside in the street. Is there any improvement at all that you could see? By the way I am from Co.Cork. If you are ever heading out towards West Cork on the backroads stop and enquire about the family run pubs near the airport. You might just find me but if you are coming before 4 in the day you'll have to knock three times on my door so that I will know you!
  RainyDay  Posted: 20/12/2005 21:47
Hi Publican - You're not 'bar staff'. You're a bar owner. The Mandate survey of bar staff showed overwhelming support for the ban among bar staff. And yes, we know you don't believe in surveys (unless they give you the answers you like of course).
  Mary  Posted: 21/12/2005 10:40
To be fair Rainy, Publican IS bar staff as well, as she works behind the counter serving in her own pub. To be honest I prefer it without smoke - I suppose as a non-smoker. Before the ban there were two pubs I frequested who had special arrangements. One had a non-smoking section but as the night went on the smoke ventually drifted into it so it made no difference. The other had a non-smoking section also and despite two big open fires and the usual radiators it seemed to be freezing all the time and this seemed to be due the filtration system. That said, it was a lovely cool place for a pint on a hot summers afternoon. To be honest, I do feel bad when my smoking pal has to go outside for one, so in winter (or inclement Summer weather at night) if we\'re in a pub with no smoking shelter, I will go and stand outside with her so she\'s not on her own, as I reckon it must be awful to stand outside the door on the path in the cold and rain to have your cigarette. No exageration. The improvement I can see is that my contact lenses aren\'t destroyed with smoke - believe it or not my opthamologist (sp) confirmed tha t the particles did adhere to and damage my soft lenses. Also, my clothes don\'t stink. As I said before (and you since pointed out) I can\'t be sure what the hoarseness was fully down to. What was a bit annoying on Saturday was the fact that we were in the middle of a really juicy gossip session when the smoker asks us to hold the conversation in mid-air for three minutes while she goes outdside to smoke. By the way, last night on TV I saw an ad for a certain comedian (Ardal o Hanlon) who was talking about the smoking ban - he was anti-ban in the sketch and it was kinda funny.
  Bill  Posted: 21/12/2005 11:30
I find it astonishing that Fifi smokes and uses a collection of Complementary Medicine (CAM)including the nonsensical "detox" products AND smokes? Forget about the CAM Fifi, stop smoking.
  The Publican  Posted: 21/12/2005 12:20
Rainy Day, As Mary says, I am one of the main bar staff in my pub. We have only one or two casual staff at the weekend. For the sake of pubs like mine I cannot understand how a room could not have been provided. As a country publican I would be very concerned about keeping the crowd together. I believe this ban disrupted the closeness that people had and made some of them less likely to come into the pub. As I have said before the home has become more welcoming and is less hassle. Maybe all that will drift away in the future, I'm not sure, maybe it is only hard for those in the height of the ban at the moment. Or maybe our young people will be influenced by those staying at home and begin to form their patterns. It is different for me when I can come up here to my kitchen and smoke but to be honest I have put off and am very slow to go out to any place at the moment. It is then that I can understand why people would prefer to stay at home.
  Mary  Posted: 21/12/2005 12:40
Providing a room I don't think would have kept the crowd together. ven pre-ban when we were all hadig out if asked whether we waned smoking or non-smoking ina restaurant, my smoker pal would alwayts say 'do you mind if we sit in the smoking section'. Even tho; there were 6 non smokers and only one smoker, somehow her wishes were acceded to. I'm not sayign she's a bully, far from it but I've seem the same pattern with my in-laws. One of them smoked so the whole family soemhow felt oobliged to sit the smoking sections. Also, the law would argue that having a smoiking sction in your bar is all very fine when you don't mind sevign that section but it doesn't protectthe two casual staff you employ for weeksend
  fifi  Posted: 21/12/2005 13:10
Bill, its true I smoke AND I also use complementary medicine. However I also jog 3 miles a night - 5 nights a week. I swim twice a week & I play competitive badminton twice a week. I also never ever eat fried foods, crisps, chocolate, white breads, processed foods etc. So, all in all Bill I like to think that yes, while I do smoke I also try to manage some state of equilibrium healthwise. Do you follow a similar healthy diet & excercise routine Bill? Perhaps you are too busy being cynical.
  Mary  Posted: 21/12/2005 16:03
Well Fifi, if you swim, jog, play badminton and never eat chocolate or crisps - well a gal's gotta have some vices.
  The publican  Posted: 21/12/2005 16:43
Mary, the same thing is happening now sure when the smoker goes outside the door. The non-smoker is being invited out too. Or some of them go out in sympathy with the smoker. What ever it is about this ban a lot of people are affected about it emotionally. That is where the ban has hit most of all. The emotions. But this has the potential of creating more smokers for the future or it will keep some people smoking in order to stay on sides. The ban has created this you and me type of set-up and will influence a lot of people in the future. So now we have a swing that will go either way in the future. The ban then is on a very thin line with no middle at the moment especially for those new smokers and for those of us who are smoking at the moment. Fifi has also demonstrated how smokers can make up for their so-called poison by choosing their foods carefully. I am very careful myself about food and when I eat I am drawn towards the healthier foods. So Fifi would be right here in saying that smokers will form some kind of a balance automatically.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 21/12/2005 16:53
Mary Non-smokers outnumber smokers even in the smoking areas! Doesn't seem to me as if the contamination will be overpowering. STILL we have no proof that smoke is dangerous, and yet there is a law in place to criminalise the smoker. I am sympathetic to people who find smoke irritating, but I still can't feel that casual bar staff are at any special risk from airborne pollutants. I am not sympathetic enough to irritation to want to criminalise anybody for taking part in a reasonable social life, on terms decided, however grudgingly, between themselves and those who want to spend time with them.
  Mary  Posted: 22/12/2005 09:15
I suppose the argument would be that at least outside, the smoke drifts off, it's not in an enclosed space for the rest of the evening and while I can go home froma bar at whatever time suits me the woirkers are there until the shift ends. Besides there is no real way to prevent passive smoke driftign around outsid, short of bannign smoking in the streets and no I don't really hold with that. To me, it would be like puttign smokers on some kind of leash (like the way they tag criminals in some states) where they cannot be more that a couple of hours away from their or someone elses own home.
  fifi  Posted: 22/12/2005 09:46
Thank you Mary. You are spot on. A gal needs a vice of some description. My is the weed!
  Bill  Posted: 22/12/2005 10:42
Fifi, your are seriously fooling yourself into thinking that you have some balance in your life between healthy eating, exercise and smoking. Smoking is so dangerous that all the exercise in the world is irrelevant compared to its dangers. You would be far far healthier and live longer if you stopped all exercise, eat worse BUT stopped smoking. Incidentally I do go for walks, probably not as often as a I should and I do eat natural and varied foods. I don’t eat sugar or drink suggary foods or eat junk food. Smoking is not “some vice”, it is literally lethal. Half of all smokers are killed by the habit. Those that are not are seriously injured, suffer bronchitis, heart disease, premature skin aging, reduced fertility, and produce babies with lower body weight, a lower IQ and less of a chance of surviving. Parental smoking is now the biggest cause of cot death. The Publican’s point that “Fifi has also demonstrated how smokers can make up for their so-called poison by choosing their foods carefully”, is literally absurd and nonsensical. Smoking is not a “so-called poison”, it is the most poisonous thing that you can do. If you smoke, no matter how “you chose your food”, it still will probably kill or seriously injure you.
  The Publican  Posted: 22/12/2005 14:02
Mary, Do you not think that the smokers are not already on a lease at the moment?? We cannot be more that a couple of minutes away from the crowd inside the doors!!!!
  Bill  Posted: 22/12/2005 15:59
you put me in moind of a comment a former colleague of mine made about 7 years back . She was pregnant and smokunbg when i asked her if she would not give them up for the sake of the baby, she replied that the midwife told her that drinking and goign dancing (she was fond of dancing) werethe worst things you could do in terms of harmto the baby. She also added that i it made the baby smaller sure then it would be easier to give birth to. Publican, why I meant by on a leash is that a smoker if they cpouldn't smoke outside would feel they were only on a 2 or 3 or 5 hour leash away from their (or someone elses) home as they had to be back to have their next cigarette and so couldn't go off for the day, down the country or about their business.
  The Publican  Posted: 22/12/2005 17:21
Bill, Because our IQ is so low you cannot get it through to our brains how dangerous smoking is. We haven't got the intelligence to see what you are saying because we are simply thick! Our bodies can't see it either because they are not displaying any of the symtoms you are saying. On top of that the government also has a low IQ when they keep wanting us to buy them and use even more ignorance by throwing us outside the door. They must have cleaned up lately when Philip Morris latest 10 billion law suit was thrown out. Check it out on the Forces page. So all in all there are a lot of us in this country who have a low IQ!
  Bill  Posted: 22/12/2005 18:39
Please note that "Bill" of the 22/12/2005 15:59 is not William Grogan. Publican, smoking will harm a smoker's baby, as far as I know it will not effect their own IQ. Therefore if you have a low IQ, as you claim, it may have been the fault of your smoking mother or more than likely just bad luck via a vis your genes. Your silly post addressed none of my points and is just waffle. I notice you resort to this if points are put to you that you cannot refute. WG
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 23/12/2005 01:53
Ahh! So Rainy Day hath returned. Probably still not willing to answer the two simple questions posed to him over a month ago, preferring instead to play word games with demanding retractions and proofs of his being willing to answer the things he can't answer... but I'll post them here again, just so they're nice and fresh and smelling better than rainy days... 1) Define the survey pool that you represented as "bar workers" and supply a source for examination of the survey itself. = = = 3)Name a single reputable study that clearly shows ANY significant long term harm to an individual from the levels of smoke that one would normally encounter in a well-ventilated and filtrated modern business establishment. = = = Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  Mary  Posted: 23/12/2005 09:09
Y'know Publican, now that we all have nicknames instead of a bunch of anonymouses, I andI'm sure others are startign to see the formation of online personalities with certain posters and sadly I have to say, some of the anti-smokers seem to be a very rigid, serious and rather dry crowd and the smokers seem to be more relaxed and take life easier. Incidentally, if you want a bit of smile before Christmas and you have the time, go to the 'Smoke still in Pubs' discussion. About 2 thirds of the way down, posted on 16/11/2005 09:56 there's a poem there titled "The night before banning" - styled on the poem 'The night before Christmas' I thought it was rather amusing - but then again you know what they say 'self-praise is no praise'. Happy Christmas, Mary.
  Bill  Posted: 23/12/2005 12:29
Mary, I am “seriously” anti-smoking but totally reject your comments that I am “rigid” or “dry”. I also drink, listen to music, crack jokes, go out, travel, read and do all the things that provide me with amusement. In fact I am seriously hedonistic. Your comments were made to try and cover up the fact that those addicted to the most dangerous drug there is are somehow also better fun. To put it mildly you are being disingenuous. How could an addiction to a lethal chemical make you “more fun”? Nothing could be further from the truth. Where is the amusement in coughing up phlegm every morning? Where is the fun in stinking out your car and house? Where is the craic in having you leg cut off, like a friend of mine’s smoking father? Where is the fun in dying and leaving behind a young family? I suppose the most “relaxed” you can be is dead and that’s what smoking does to 50% of those who smoke!
  Mary  Posted: 23/12/2005 12:39
There you are Bill, being all serious again. This is perhaps, why your fun side doesn't come across in your posts. I am not being in the slightest disingenous. not am I trying to cover up anything. As I don't smoke (tried it twice while drunk - didn't like it) don't have anything to cover up.
  Bill  Posted: 23/12/2005 13:15
I can't think of anything more serious than dying of lung cancer.
  The Publican  Posted: 23/12/2005 14:18
Mary, I'm not sure whether my last post went in or not so I could be repeating myself here. I didn't click the submit button but it could still have gone in. Anyway I found your site and had a look at your poem. It was very impressive but I preferred the poem that was above it! In fact I thing I'll learn that one off by heart for the customers over Christmas. I can't sing you see but I could give them a poem. But I might use your one too especially if there are a lot of anti-smokers in over Christmas! When I read Bill's post I started coughing automatically and I was sure that I felt something running down my leg!! A right strange feeling it was too. Then in my mind's eye, I saw all my children's faces and a wave of guilt washed over me! But then I thought, Ah, things aren't too bad, my youngest is 13 so if I drop off in the meantime they won't be too bad! (I know, I know, that was in very bad taste!) Of course, Bill, I have the belief that I will live for ever and that there is no such thing as death as we know it anyway so this belief doesn't really help my case either. But then again that could be thoughts coming from my addiction and my mind could be messed up!! Still, I have found this debate that we have had up to this point in time extrememly enjoyable and I sincerely wish every one of you a happy christmas as well. My greatest wish though is that Santa will help you to see that the ol' smoker isn't as bad as you thought they were all along and that in the future you might look on your smoker friends as some of the nicest people that you have ever met. It's even happening to me! The ol' anti-smoker isn't half as bad as I thought he was and I don't duck under the counter anymore when he arrives in the door. So a small bit of progress has been made on this site anyway! What do you think?
  Mary  Posted: 03/01/2006 11:30
Yes, I think progresshas been made. I can see the other side to the debate more clearly and don't see it all in black & White anymore. Maybe even the lurkers are enightened too.
  The Publican  Posted: 03/01/2006 17:24
Well Mary, Hope you have a lovely New Year. Belinda I hope it won't be a scary new year and John I hope you didn't stay at home too much! It was a very dead Christmas here I'm afraid. Couldn't get anyone singing, they just couldn't get into the swing of things. Guess the smoking ban had an awful lot to do with it. Very sombre it was. I'v just come to accept that things will never be the same again I'm afrid. Such a pity. One or two days were very scary especially New Years Eve. I know that we had no music on or anything but there was literally no-one around all day. Selling a lot of take-away all right but what good is that! It's time to definately overturn the smoking ban!
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 04/01/2006 16:13
Hi Publican Sorry your new year was such a damp squib. Mine was fine. I don't know if people are trying not to think about the coming blow, but it was not referred to. Can't say I am feeling too bright about the months ahead. Our first minster is gracing the local paper with his picture being taken with bright and happy ex-smokers. I feel that the 'nice' cosy supportive part of this health drive will not last as long as its punitive aspect. I went out leafletting with a pal just before christmas and through the whole evening we only encountered one or two who disagreed with us. We will be taking out better leaflets in the weeks to come. A happy new year to all.
  The Publican  Posted: 04/01/2006 23:37
Well Belinda, At least ye are doing something about it. We here in Ireland were one hell of a pack of cowards. We were afraid of the health crowd and yet as you say when you walked around you only encountered a few. And that is the crazy thing about it. There are only a fistful of them outside but because it is under health everyone is afraid to speak up because God forbid some poor soul might die of lung cancer! This is entirely why this smoking ban came in. We are made out to be killers. So how do you fight that! Persecution of the Christians is what I call this. Abuse of the hand that feeds them and abuse of the hand that rocked the cradle. Oh, I could go on and on and on...
  Mary  Posted: 05/01/2006 08:45
I may be wrong but I as (half)-listening to a financial related news item yesterday mornign and according to the report, smoking related revenue is actually up on last year but not as high as pore-ban. of course there is no was of measuring whether the levels of imported cigarettes (brought back by people on holidays / business etc) are higher or lower than previously.
  Mary  Posted: 05/01/2006 15:31
Ah now Publican how is banning smoking an abuse of the hand that rocks the cradle and the land that feeds them
  The Publican  Posted: 05/01/2006 16:44
Well, Mary, the hand that rocks the cradle are all the poor mothers trying to cope with their off-spring. Some of their nerves must be quite bad and they really need a cigarette to keep them going! I bet over the Christmas holidays there were some cigarettes smoked when you are dealing with kids who are bored after one or two days of Santa calling. And what about trying to deal with a load of teenagers fighting and arguing! God a mother has to have something to keep her nerves intact! Even in the bar I notice mothers staying longer with their kids and drinking far more. The reason for this is because they are finding it hard to cope with their children. Of course the do-gooders would say that they should have no problems. But people are genuinely nervous in disposition, find life a bit scary and feel that they need substances to cope in life. Human nature. The other statement was meant for the government who get a great kick out of taking huge taxes off smokers but don't mind kicking them outside the doors!
  The Publican  Posted: 05/01/2006 18:53
Mary, that financial article that you heard is surely telling you something. At the very least something is wrong. Why isn't it going the other way? And if you think about cigarettes coming in from abroad, if legislation came into your life in the morning that made you angry, surely you would go out of your way for some form of revenge. The foreign cigarettes are a huge market. Everybody is talking about it! Comparing prices here there and everywhere. Beautiful loss of revenue!
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 05/01/2006 22:16
2005 has been an entertaining year on the Irish Health Forum, whether you agree or disagree with the messages therein. I wish both smokers, non-smokers and even anti-smokers, a prosperous 2006 and may the fight go on. And 2006 kicked off on the pages of the Irish Independent with an interesting article on nicotine patches. Remember our anti smoking brethren, our doctors, the media and, of course the manufacturers of smoke quitting products have been pointing us smokers towards a better way with a dizzy variety of chemicals, to get us away from our old friend, the cigarette. Well, lo and behold, as RainyDay might say \"NEW research\" shows nicotine patches and gum in early pregnancy can lead to a 60pc increase in birth defects. I thought it must be a typo. Surely they meant minus sixty per cent. But no, apparently the lastest study, reported in the journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology was based on almost 77,000 pregnant women in Denmark. And it comes in the wake of a UK advisory agency saying that pregnant women should no longer be warned against using nicotine replacement products. The study found those using the patches had double the chance of having babies with musculoskeletal malformations, such as hip problems, than non-smokers. Dr Luke Clancy of A.S.H. described the findings as \"disappointing\". The article is interesting but depressing also. Another small item I noticed on the T.V. ads over Christmas was very interesting indeed. The true smoke haters pull their hair out at the thought that young girls take up smoking to stay slim. It drives them bonkers because smoking suppresses the appetite and they do not know how to counter that perception. The figures also show that more and more young women are taking up smoking. But an ad for a nicotine replacement product proudly boasts in text on screen that their product helps you stay slim. How\'s that for the health sector being concerned. The expression \"your knickers are showing\" comes to mind. Far from concern for the well being of their customers, this is a blatant effort to shift tons of whatever it is, loaded with nicotine, aimed at young women for the simple purpose of profit. A cynic might imagine the board room of \"Healthy Pharma Plc\" with the distinguished Chairman saying \"if the silly people want to slim, let\'s just re-position the product in the marketplace\". I, of course, would never be that cynical and see this merely as an innocent but beneficial side effect of an excellent product that has a rated 242% success rate on lab rats. Humour aside, I truly believe that the first step in quitting smoking is the actual determined decision to do so. If you have made up your mind, then you won\'t need the props to help you. At the turn of the year with so many laudable resolutions in the air, I wish those smokers trying to quit, every success in their difficult quest. And for those who wish to continue smoking, I hope 2006 brings reason and choice where we will once again be allowed back in from the cold to enjoy ourselves in our favourite haunts regardless of our chosen personal habit, John.
  Mary  Posted: 06/01/2006 11:37
I get your point about the govy taking taxes from smokers and them putting them out. I realise that mothers (and I'm sure fathers) get frazzled when dealing with fractious children. Yes theyt could well feel as if they're drivign them to driink, smoke, substances or God knows what else. But honestly, there must be some types of other coping mechanisms or relaxation strategies out there other than depending to smokes or drinks - asie from giving a bad example to the children. As for teens, no actually, I've oddly, never had that kind of problem relating to teens, tho I acknowledge that they do drive some people up the all. Perhaps informaiton and communication skills could be improved (for both the adult and the teen, I mean).
  PJK  Posted: 06/01/2006 13:16
John, you seem to be missing two crucial points in your message about nicotine patches and their manufacture. 1. The patches are a product to help smokers wean themselves off their addiction in stages. There would be no market for them, if there was no smoking in the first place. Naturally the patches are full of all sorts of chemicals; aren't they trying to help the body get away from cigerettes which are also full of all sorts of chemicals. 2. The pharmaceutical industry which produces the patches is not really a direct part of the health sector as you put it. They are primarily a part of the manufacturing profit-making world, who happen to be producing health related products. Their primary purpose is to generate profit.
  The Publican  Posted: 06/01/2006 14:13
I think the pregnant woman would want to definately avoid these products and told to cut down rather than chance something new throughout their pregnancies. It makes sense that even their own bodies may not be able to cope with new types of chemicals in particular and could transfer to the baby. Whereas their bodies would be well used to the chemicals in cigarettes. Mary, it would indeed be great if their were other coping mechanisms in life than some kind of a drug. But there isn't. People seem to need drugs all the time in their lives whether it is smoking, drink, anti-depresseants caffeine or any of the illegal ones. The country is indeed awash with drugs and it would make you think as to how we cannot seem to do without them. There is some form of calmness associated with drugs and many many people are drawn to one of them. The only people that I have come across are very much into sports and this is their drug. But it is not always possible for people to be involved in sport and when someone is cooped up inside in a house with small children in particular how can they be involved in sport? From my experience I genuinely do not believe that cutting out a particular group of people from the crowd is the way to go. I genuinely feel that it has only encouraged a new interest in cigarettes and brought more people into that bracket. I know that you may have problems with that one but I think you really need to look at that side and really think about the repercussions it could have on the future of smoking. While people may not be exposed to smoking inside in places anymore there are many other ways that they are exposed to it now and will most definately lead to a certain amount of people taking up the habit who wouldn't otherwise have done it if the smoking ban was implemented in a different form.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 06/01/2006 15:53
PJK Glad to see you back in 2006 - I thought you had deserted us. To answer your post, I do not miss the point at all. I am a realist who knows the frailty of human nature means that addictions of all kinds are commonplace and a natural response to our ever changing environment. There are those addicted to gambling, shopping, sport, drinking, sex, fast cars, work, health, education, money, power and a whole host of other addictions that can render an individuals behaviour open to ridicule by a peer group who see it as unhealthy. And social trends change so that, what was unacceptable a few years ago, is now the norm (and vice versa). But, I would make the point to you that the Pharmaceutical Industry is deeply entwined with the health services of every developed nation on earth. Over the years, they have helped to assist the health policy in many countries with various vaccines and medicines to combat diseases and conditions that arise. Relationships have been cemented between policy makers and private enterprise that benefit both parties for different reasons. Most research into any ailment is paid for by the Pharmaceutical Industry, and for good reason. They stand to benefit most from the right outcome. But, commercially, in a world of globalisation, it is a short step to create the climate of fear that sells the product rather than responding to a given problem. When you create the problem through fear you have the control. Smoking has always been a health issue for those who engage in the habit. But how would it be if a collection of large drugs companies viewed this problem in reverse, and instead of a problem that needed a response (a medicine), they saw a commercial opportunity that needed a profitable product. And you ignore the fact that the majority of smokers want to smoke in the first place. As I said in an earlier post, the only way to quit is to decide (realistically) to do so. In this sense, your second point is true. The Pharmaceutical sector is private, is along for the ride for profit motives, designs and manufactures various drugs with a view to sales and operates to its own imperatives. Their ethos trickles from the top down through our medical service and, you would be naive indeed to think that they would not have a strong influence on our overall health strategy. I did not highlight the problem of the patches in my earlier posting lightly. I do feel so sorry for a woman who uses that product to avoid smoking during pregnancy only to discover later that her child has a limp. And I do not think that the answer is to condemn her for smoking in the first place, John.
  Mary  Posted: 06/01/2006 16:10
But publican, there are coping mechanisms outthere if people will only look for them. Sports is one - it is not a drug or substance. Yoga, chanting, meditation and deep breathing are 4 others. Again, not drugs. Oh yes,a pregnant woman might well be used to the toxins and chemicals in cigarettes but with her newly developing little foetus be used them??
  PJK  Posted: 06/01/2006 16:31
Hi John, Happy New Year to yourself. I think that we are largely saying the same thing about the pharmaceutical industry, in that they see an opportunity to market a profitable product now with the patches, chewing gum etc. I also agree that there is a lot of interlinks between the medical world and the pharmaceutical industry, and we are relying to a large extent on the doctors’ integrity to not be influenced by drug companies throwing money on them for seminars in foreign companies etc. However, there is a significant amount of synergy going on here too, in that the drug companies have the money to fund the research and to fund the seminars discussing the new drugs. This does however lead to situations like the drugs for treating malaria being based on old technology as there is no money to be made in developing new drugs for a mainly third world disease. However the true health sector has been saying for decades that smoking is bad for you, long before it became sexy to develop and promote nicotine replacement products. And don’t forget that it was the cigarette companies who knowingly & deliberating put the addictive drug nicotine into cigarettes to get their customers addicted. So your are attempting to shoot the wrong messenger in this situation.
  The Publican  Posted: 06/01/2006 18:15
Mary, I don't think that you could get away with yoga, meditation or chanting in front of the kids. Deep breathing you might but the kids might take it up that there is something wrong with you! It's right in the heart of the situation is where I think the coping mechanism is needed. We all seem to turn to a product here when 'something' is needed. It has to be available right there and then and there must be some kind of a change from that product. It seems to me that all the drugs that are out there at the moment ARE producing these changes and making each of us feel better. If they weren't we would easily cast them off. I myself would consider most of these products as satisfying some kind of hunger in the body, not the hunger that we feel for our stomachs but for another part of our bodies. That could be the brain or some completly different part of the body. I had always thought that taking drugs of any kind was psychologically based but as I go along I'm beginning to think that our physical bodies may actually need 'something'genuinely. No-one seems to be escaping drugs at the moment and I have brought up this discussion several times in my pub. Where the pregnant woman is concerned you could say the exact same thing about food. How do we know that we are giving our babies the food that they need. We usually eat only what we like but I have found that my children absolutely hate some of the foods that I eat! Yet I ate them when I was pregnant with them. The only thing that I believe that any pregnant woman can really do is to trust her own instinct. I genuinely went out of my way to Not inhale the cigarettes when I was pregnant but there was no way could I actually come off them. I believe that this is too much pressure to put on a woman on top of being pregnant.
  The Publican  Posted: 06/01/2006 18:18
PJK, I spotted that sentence and it really brought a smile to my face! "It became sexy to develop and promote nicotine replacement products." Could you explain what is so sexy about them??
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 06/01/2006 20:35
PJK, I would gladly shoot both messengers in a sense. I am not here as a supporter of the tobacco industry but am merely one of their customers. I own a German car but am no apologist for the Third Reich. By the 1930's, the American automobile industry was strong but it needed to continue to grow to maintain and increase its strength. Cars at the time, were bought very much for the same reasons as a horse, to get from 'A' to 'B' locally. The American oil industry had a stake in the venture also. The auto manufacturers and the oil industry combined to lobby Government to build the interstate highways. At a stroke, they managed to get the tax dollars (of their customers) to build the roads that would induce those self same people to buy cars. They had created a win-win for themselves. So big was the bonus, that even today, train travel in the U.S. is secondary. The big industries created a market that was not there at no expense to themselves. And industries such as MacDonalds were merely a by-product. My point is that, heaven forbid, a huge wealthy drug company, requiring massive growth to satisfy their investors, and having close ties with health policy makers worldwide might decide to "get newer bigger roads built". They might for example, come up with a product that has no discernible market as yet, and use their influence and gravitas with the scientific/medical community to lobby local Government to create such a market. A decent health scare around a few everyday ailments combined, that ordinarily come and go (ie do you feel listless, joint pains, lacking motivation, find it hard to concentrate etc ?), you could be suffering from PJK disease. Follow this with a big press campaign about the dangers of PJK disease, this new blight on our landscape, point to the young and defenseless and generally scare the pants off the average Joe. Then, before you can say I've caught PJK, Along comes a tablet that makes it OK ! Cynical, maybe, but there is very little independent medical research going on today. And researchers could be forgiven for taking the big buck in the short term to find as the customer desires, with a view to using that funding to honestly pursue more meaningful research later. One of the side effects of globalisation and the huge corporates it creates is that their research facilities throw up products that do not have a market. This is a regular event in the I.T. industry. Hard to imagine today, but the personal computer was not demanded by the marketplace. It was designed and built - IBM dismissed it as unnecessary and faddish and then big money made it desirable. In the same way, the old ARPANET was around since the late 50's. Nobody but the military had a use for it. In the 80's it became the internet and was used solely by academics to communicate. It was not until Netscape put a graphic user interface on it and gave that away free as a ploy, that the rest of us "had to have it". Markets are created for products and products are created for markets. But we are all loathe to believe that the big drug companies would somehow gamble with our health for profit motives. I'm inclined to the notion that they may feel they have no other choice, hence, E.T.S. John.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 06/01/2006 21:48
Publican I think going out with leaflets is quite difficult and it wasn't my idea, but that of a woman who was also writing letters to the local paper. We went together. I am not sure yet if I feel like going alone. She has been doing all the printing anyway so I have nothing to distribute as yet. In Scotland they have been going on about funding available to help people stop smoking and it is a little bit embarrassing for a non-smoker to insist that smokers' rights are being infringed by the legislation. I honestly do not know how most of them feel. When I get out and about quite honestly I have been avoiding the subject because it is very disheartening. The vogue thing to say is that it is so hard not to smoke again if you are in the company of smokers. Nothing to do with second hand smoke. I agree with your comments about the hand that rocks the baby etc, and I don't accept the government should leap in and say you HAVE to deal with your difficulties another way. Their role is REPRESENTING people, not giving orders. And who knows what those life experiences are. Some of the day-to-day experiences of smokers I know are hair-raising and why the law should deny them public space totally baffles me. We should judge a society by how it treats its smokers. Discrimation against all peoples, women, races or whatever else is always 'justified' by contemporary scientific opinion. It always gives rise to unpredictable viscious behaviour on the ground. It is tempting to give in to the idea that some people are more deserving of rights than others. It has happened with smoking bans. But that goes against the principle that everybody has them, and ways have to be found to accommodate all people in society, not only the most powerful and articulate. The real trouble with the ban is that it assumes that everybody perceives life in the same way that the government does. if everybody accepts the need we are all happy and what was all the fuss about. But opposition comes at a cost. The guilt burden is big, as are the financial penalties a nuisance, never mind the unpleasantness of being on the wrong side of the law.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 07/01/2006 04:26
PJK wrote: "don’t forget that it was the cigarette companies who knowingly & deliberating put the addictive drug nicotine into cigarettes to get their customers addicted." PJK, I think God is going to be very annoyed with you when she reads this posting. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  PJK  Posted: 09/01/2006 09:17
John, I agree with almost everything that you said in your mail, about the pharmaceutical industry. The one point I would take you up on, is your analogy of you being a German car customer, without being a Third Reich supporter. A closer analogy, would be you being a German Car customer, and all the car reviewers saying this car was dangerous & unsafe, and then some smart cat comes up with a gadget to make the car safer. You are condemning the gadget manufacturer for exploiting you, instead of directing your anger at the German car manufacturer for making the unsafe product in the first place. Michael, I thought that nicotine was a separate drug from tobacco and that cigarette companies added it to cigarettes. If this is so then God has nothing at all to do with cigarettes being bad for you. Anyway, even if tobacco does contain nicotine God never said to go around burning it and inhaling it for kicks, that was a human idea. I am open to correction and I am sure that you will if I am wrong.
  The Publican  Posted: 09/01/2006 11:44
I think that John's point is an excellent one and I know exactly where he is coming from. John's theory is based on what way governements think and yes, in this smoking ban they have created a win-win situation at the expense of smokers. They have kept all the big companies happy so that they will continue seen as being favorable in their eyes and have ignored the unknown smokers with the hope that these people don't matter. They have given us the impression that we are a type of ignorant people that don't know what we are doing because we are addicts. And anyway this smoking ban will be seen as doing us a favor and that everyone will actually feel sorry for the smoker. If you try and stick up for yourself and your fellow smokers they are ready with the answer "that smoking is bad for you". This has caused suppressed conversations in getting to the whole truth about smoking, about why people smoke and the reasons behind it. All we hear is that smoking is addictive and bad for you and that's that. It then goes on to point the way to chemists in order to give them up. This should not be the way in Ireland and the ordinary smoker should have been allowed a decent say in a matter that was going to be life-changing for him. The attitude that came in at the time was that he would only have to step outside the door for a few minutes and that it wouldn't be that hard at all. I thought that a very flippant attitude was taken here and it does show up as Belinda says how people can be so easily discriminated against. It's actually frighteningly easy to discriminate against people and yet at the same time everyone wonders why there is so much depression in the world. Changes that are perceived as being little in the eyes of others are seen as devasting in the eyes of more and it should be imperative that everyone is as fully involved in the future in life-changing laws such as this one. The smoking ban dismissed it's smokers who were the most important people to be affected in this ban. It does not make sense!
  Mary  Posted: 09/01/2006 12:14
Publican, I see that I didn't make myself clear. What I mant was that pratises such as yoga, meditation etc are designed to make a person calmer so that the regular practicer (sp) of such techniques will not need to rely on cigarettes, alcohol or other crutches. As for food, you don't mrean to tell me that you could have harmed your children by eating foods while pregnant that they now dislike?? Michael, why would God be displeased with PJK?
  The Publican  Posted: 09/01/2006 14:34
Mary, Of course I could have harmed my children with certain foods. Remember there are allergies to all sorts of foods in life. Who is to say that I didn't give them too much of one vitamin over another? Or maybe I didn't give them enough of one mineral to prevent a certain disease when they were older. Sure this would be very hard to determine and in this day and age I am also pumping all sorts of chemicals into my baby. What am I drinking that could be causing problems? If I drink only a tiny amount of alcohol I will be guaranteed a kidney stone, so I stay away from it and while alcohol hasn't yet been connected to kidney stones I know my own body best myself and so I will avoid it at all costs no matter what a doctor tells me. I also know that I am affected by the smell of alcohol and I don't care if it is ever proven. So no-one knows what genuinely affects the new-born baby or not. Even the way we feel can surely affect the new-born if as doctors claim so many things can cross the placenta. I get your ideas about meditation and yoga allright and I must say it could work for some people. What I would be more in favor where smoking is concerned is control on the amount you smoke. This was being achieved I believe before any smoking ban was concerned. It was a far better system I think. You were still able to smoke but you were blending in amongst the non-smokers. It is hard to believe that I myself shot up from 30 cigarettes a day to 40 when the ban came in. Can you tell me why this happened? I am still very puzzled over it. I have two others with me that have gone the same way. And there are others who stock up. Now I feel cheated over this and believe the smoking ban did me an awful disservice.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 09/01/2006 14:41
PJK, It is not so much directing my anger at the German car manufacturer for making an unsafe product in the first place, as I know that is the case, it is more about condemning the gadget manufacturer for promoting a health product that (may be) is dangerous. The smoking ban is about health promotion, specifically for non smokers. It has had very little impact on smoking numbers, as evidenced recently by the huge revenue increase reported for 2005. And this figure did not include smuggled or imported stuff. I still maintain that you can justifiably ask, coax or convince a smoker to give up the habit (and I support this approach). In order to quit you have to want to, you cannot be forced. But when our Government decides to force people to quit by making their lives uncomfortable and difficult, that is when I believe they have gone far to far. I support the promotion of health, not its imposition. If good health becomes a requirement of citizenship (with all its entitlements including free association), then there are a lot of other groups we need to target besides smokers. In such a regime, those who would pose an unhealthy burden on the state might include the elderly, the overweight, drinkers, those already ill, the terminally ill and everybody in care. Where do you stop when it becomes Government policy that people must be healthy. If it is justified to refuse a smoker medical treatment, then all of the above should be refused also. The issue of choice is immaterial when the problem is immediate, John.
  Mary  Posted: 12/01/2006 09:49
Watched a health program last night on one of the home channels and it stated that 1 in 8 daths in smokers was directly attributable to smoking. Also read ina medscape artivle this morning that Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
  RainyDay  Posted: 12/01/2006 14:01
Hi John - Nobody is trying to force smokers to quit. They are forced not to inflict their habit on others, but they are quite welcome to continue to smoke in their own homes/cars. Hi Publican - Your claim that 'no-one knows what genuinely affects the new-born baby' is just plain wrong. Smoke affects babies and damages their health - plain & simple.
  The Publican  Posted: 12/01/2006 15:12
Well, Rainy Day, are you trying to say that I am affected from smoking because my mother smoked. That must mean that a huge proportion of our population are affected by smoking because a huge amount of people smoked in our time. It was about 50% of the adult population that time. Are we all half-mad I wonder? Or are we all guaranteed cancer or what? Maybe our generation will all just drop dead from heart attacks! We all seem to be doing pretty well though overall don't you think!
  The Publican  Posted: 13/01/2006 02:49
Mary, What happened to the other seven deaths? Did they escape from the effects of smoking?
  Mary  Posted: 13/01/2006 09:42
I am assuming that the other seven death were not directly attributred to smoking (but perhasp to a number of causes. I just thought there was some disparity between the two comments.
  PJK  Posted: 13/01/2006 10:15
Mary, There is no disparity between the two comments. As Publican & Co have often said we all have to die of something. If your quote about 1 in 8 deaths being directly attributable to smoking is true, that is 12.5% of deaths, which are prevantable by the single act of giving up smoking, and this is probably why the other quote says that it is the leading cause of preventable deaths. There cannot be too many things that can be done that would eliminate 12.5% of deaths. These people will then live for another while, hopefully with good quality of life, until they eventually die of something else. There comes a time when the death by this "something else" is not preventable.
  The Publican  Posted: 13/01/2006 13:45
PJK, These 8 deaths remember were smokers. There was only 1 of these deaths directly attributed to smoking. That means that the other 7 did not die from smoking. This proves to me that a lot of people can go through life and not be affected by their smoking. That would make sense with my lifestyle. I have often said in previous posts that my own smoking plus all the passive smoking that I had to inhale never did me any harm afterwards. Twenty-four years behind a bar counter is a long time dealing with smoke and since the smoking ban came in I don't feel any different than I did all along.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 16/01/2006 00:09
Mary wrote: \"Michael, why would God be displeased with PJK?\" For saying that \"it was the cigarette companies who knowingly & deliberating put the addictive drug nicotine into cigarettes to get their customers addicted.\" Of course PJK can say that God didn\'t know that putting nicotine in tobacco would have this effect... but I kind of doubt that he\'ll make that argument. What\'s most telling is that he didn\'t know something so extraordinarily basic to this entire subject. I feel as though I\'ve been debating a battle strategy in a tent on the eve of a World War II campaign only to discover that one of fellows debating against me didn\'t know what gunpowder was. - - - - Sorry PJK, but for you not to realize that nicotine is not only an inherent part of the tobacco plant but is really just about the only thing that distinguishes its\' smoke from that of any other leaf indicates quite strongly that you need to do more reading if you wish to debate smoking bans on ANY other level other than a moral or individual preference level. I\'d recommend at a minimum reading either my book or Jacob Sullum\'s. Sullum\'s is a bit better in some ways (e.g. he has over 1200 references backing him up while I have only between 600 and 700) and might give you a better grasp of the longer historical overview aspect of the Antismoking movement; but mine is better in others: I designed it to be a bit more readable by the casual layperson and it is more focused on the recent psychology and propaganda tools of Antismokers while providing insight in how to fight them. - - Michael J. McFadden - - Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\" - -
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 16/01/2006 01:22
Rainy Day! :) Here we are, 20 days or so after my last challenge to you, and you have RETURNED! I can only assume that that means you now have answers to the questions I have posed to you over the past FOUR MONTHS or so... Here, Let me repeat them again for the benefit of new folks who might not be up for searching through abstruse old threads and arguments but who deserve the benefit of sharing your wisdom: You now need to respond to the following: = + = + = 1) Follow up on the Helena study and respond to my concerns about it. = = = 2) Define the survey pool that you represented as \"bar workers\" and supply a source for examination of the survey itself. = = = 3)Name a single reputable study that clearly shows ANY significant long term harm to an individual from the levels of smoke that one would normally encounter in a well-ventilated and filtrated modern business establishment. Hey, name three or four if you can! Strut yer stuff! Michael J. McFadden Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\"
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 16/01/2006 14:14
Isn't it lovely, PJK, when this snap solution to delay the deaths of 12.5% of the population lies at someone else's door? Other people's lives are invariably easier to sort out than our own!
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 16/01/2006 16:59
Isn't it lovely, PJK, when this snap solution to delay the deaths of 12.5% of the population lies at someone else's door? Other people's lives are invariably easier to sort out than our own!
  malteser  Posted: 16/01/2006 23:06
I think the ban is a good thing but pubs should have been given the option of having a totally separate smoking area indoors.The litter mess created by smoking outside will have to be tackled.I'm a smoker and find I tend not to go to the pub as much but still smoke the same.I do smoke less in work however.
  PJK  Posted: 17/01/2006 08:43
Publican, I agree with you that I misread Mary's comment, and you are in fact right that her quote talks about 1 in 8 deaths of smokers that have deaths directly attributable to smoking. I will cede that point.
  The Publican  Posted: 17/01/2006 16:07
Okey, PJK, but reports like this are the cause of many mixed messages out here. Many many people follow results of certain surveys ect. and this kind of thing makes them give up especially if they are thinking of giving up smoking. It gives the impression that things aren't as bad as they seem and so people carry on with their habits. I would put alcohol in this bracket as well because many mixed messages are out there with regards to this one as well. I think that we all as the general public deserve far more truth than we are given.
  RainyDay  Posted: 17/01/2006 19:12
I take it is your own special patented brand of 'truth' that we deserve more of - right? So not the truth as researched by medical & social research professionals, but the 'truth' as observed by you over the bar counter.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 18/01/2006 16:53
yes Rainy, but some of us share a regard for the truth as it is on the ground as opposed to the unsubstantiated allegations about secondary smoke made up by the professionals. I'm also waiting with interest to see if you can answer any of Michael's questions. People go quiet when asked to show the evidence.
  The Publican  Posted: 18/01/2006 17:35
Rainy Day, Experience is everything. That is what tells the truth most of all. Twenty-five years of experience can dispute any professional. That's all they are. Professionals but it is I who am the Expert.
  PJK  Posted: 19/01/2006 08:55
Publican, you maight be the expert in running your pub, but you are not the expert in national health policies, you vision is too clouded by your personal perspective, and have no ability to look at the bigger picture.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 19/01/2006 09:00
Rainyday, The Publicans "truth" is heartfelt and honest and is not only reflected in that pub but in every one I have visited throughout the last couple of years. As I do not expect that you find yourself huddled outside the door with smokers at anytime, you would not understand anyway. The triumphalism you display is distasteful and, to my mind, is backed up by a money making racket cobbled together by self appointed social engineers for their own enrichment and supported by a discredited set of medical & social research professionals producing health scares for the highest bidders. There is a saying, "a politicians reality is what he sees on T.V. - a voters reality is what he sees everyday". Over the last few months, Belinda, Michael, the Publican and I have furnished information on medical and scientific research that points to a reality quite opposite to your beliefs. Rather than respond to those, you choose to avoid debate in favour of pithy comments. As an intelligent person, that reaction should be beneath you, John
  RainyDay  Posted: 19/01/2006 14:25
Hi Belinda - I don't claim to be an expert on these matters. I really just don't have the time that it would take to do all the research myself. But if you are asking who do I trust - the HSE panel of non-aligned experts or yourself & Michael, that's an easy one to answer. I trust the HSE panel of experts who reviewed all the available evidence and came to the right conclusion.
  The Publican  Posted: 19/01/2006 15:53
Oh, PJK, I would dispute that one with you very much. We are all experts with regards to our own health. We are the ones that feel the symtoms of disease, a doctor fixes them. Without my symtoms the doctor wouldn't know what to do. If I am an expert in running my own pub then every factor comes into play here. In order to run my pub expertly then I need to know my products and my customers. I also need to know the effect of these products. I keep myself well-informed through Vintners meetings and through their books. Now not once were we ever informed that smoking was affecting us behind the counter and not once did I have any concerns with this one. And there are many many of my customers who are not concerned either. In this particular picture there is no bigger one nor was there ever one. All it ever was, was an inconvenience to some people and it was never an inconvenience to myself. You have to admit PJK, that the smoking ban is in a year and a half and I for one should notice a huge difference by now. Am I going to have to wait 10 or 20 years now before I notice anything or maybe it will all be noticed when I am dead and gone!
  PJK  Posted: 20/01/2006 08:41
Publican, it will be impossible for you personally to notice a difference since the smoking ban, since you are in fact a smoker and I seem to recall that you are smoking more than ever now out of spite since the smoking ban. How would you ever expect to see an improvement. This very statement alone, shows how little you understand the relationship of smoking to health.
  The Publican  Posted: 20/01/2006 14:43
Hold on a second PJK, where's all the passive smoking part that was affecting me all along? It never did now because I am a smoker. Thanks for conceding on that one. It is really only the smoker that comes out badly so. I'm not smoking more out of spite of the ban unless of course that I am doing it unconsiously. I smoke down by the fire in my pub out of spite of the ban all right. But wait a second! We have one success out of this ban if you want to call it one but I don't know who you could give the credit to. I had one individual who was a very heavy smoker and who would not go outside the door for anyone. So I left him smoke huddled in against the fire blowing his smoke up the chimney. Everyone else went outside the door. Those in the pub knew what he was doing but he was very discreet and everyone left him alone. With the last 6 weeks he is now off the cigarettes whilst those outside the door continue to smoke! Leaving him break the law helped him to give up cigarettes! A 60 cigarette a day smoker. What do you think of that one?
  PJK  Posted: 20/01/2006 15:39
Publican you are just being your usual illogical self now, trying to get my goat going. Of course the reason that you are not benefiting from the smoking ban is that naturally everyone would agree that actual smoking is much more harmful to you than passive smoking, so any benefit that you might gain is more than counteracted by your smoking. The non-smoker on the other hand will and does benefit a lot.
  RainyDay  Posted: 20/01/2006 16:48
Hi Publican - Do you think your 60-a-day smoker would have even considered giving up at all, if the ban hadn't been brought in? It looks to me as if the ban has had another success!
  The Publican  Posted: 20/01/2006 17:45
Rainy Day, That's only you trying to take glory for this 60 cigarette a day smoker! If this smoker had welcomed going outside the door he would probably still be smoking now. But breaking the law gave him a different picture. He avoided being with his fellow smokers outside the door and really put himself in the criminal mode position. Breaking the law made him nervous. He was nervous in case anyone said anything to him and he was nervous in case I got into trouble. He was constantly looking over his shoulder in case there was a stranger coming in the door. He also asked me to ask particular individuals if they would mind if he could have his fag by the fire. All this eventually got to him whereas if he went outside the door he would have had support. It proves to me that an aid to helping smokers pack up is to be amongst those who could disapprove of it and not separated from them.
  RainyDay  Posted: 20/01/2006 22:47
I note you are not answering my question, publican. Do you reckon he would ever have considered giving up the fags if the ban was not in place?
  The Publican  Posted: 22/01/2006 00:26
Rainy Day, As I am always 99% truthful (the 1% being something that hasn't been brought to my awareness yet!) in this particular indidvidual's case no. He would not have packed up the cigarettes without a smoking ban. So I'll give you a few minutes to jump for joy over that statement. Don't read any more of this post until you have done that. Right! Have you it all out of your ststem now? Okey. Now answer this question for me with pure honesty like I just gave you. If you were behind the counter what would you have done with that individual? Would you have refused him his smoke by the fire for one and a half years now remember? Would you have watched out the window for him for one and a half years?
  RainyDay  Posted: 22/01/2006 07:41
Yes - I would have enforced the law. He might well have given up sooner.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 22/01/2006 12:13
Hi Rainy Day (going back to last Thursday) - so you are putting implicit faith in the HSA who made the astonishing claim about ventilation systems, that even if they remove 90% of impurities they would still leave 1,500 to 2,000 times permitted pollution levels. The implication of this is the air space in question contained between 15,000 and 20,000 times permitted levels before the installation of such ventilation. The air space desribed is not even put in context: is it a crowded pub or an empty one. It is hard to imagine anybody smoking in the presence of such high levels of airborne pollutants. Such claims seem to undermine any credibility claimed by HSA.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 22/01/2006 14:40
Rainy Day wrote: \"I note you are not answering my question, publican.\" This is rather funny coming from the guy who continues to ignore the questions below that he\'s been repeatedly presented with: You now need to respond to the following: = + = + = 1) Follow up on the Helena study and respond to my concerns about it. = = = 2) Define the survey pool that you represented as \"bar workers\" and supply a source for examination of the survey itself. = = = 3)Name a single reputable study that clearly shows ANY significant long term harm to an individual from the levels of smoke that one would normally encounter in a well-ventilated and filtrated modern business establishment. Hey, name three or four if you can! Strut yer stuff! Michael J. McFadden Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\"
  The Publican  Posted: 23/01/2006 13:09
Rainy Day, A bare blunt answer! What if he didn't pack up? And what about two new people who started smoking when the law came in?
  RainyDay  Posted: 23/01/2006 16:41
Hi Publican - What if, what if, what if? What if his cigarete had ignited a passing cloud of helium and blown your pub to smithereens? We can all play the 'what if' game, but let's keep to reality. The fact that you know 2 people who have taken up smoking does not dispute the fact that less & less people are smoking in Ireland every year. Smokers are (literally) a dying breed. Hi Michael - It's an awful pity that you don't have anything more constructive to add to the debate than to sit on sidelines replaying that awful oul tune again & again. I've explained repeatedly to Belinda & Michael that I don't have the expertise to answer your questions. If you really want to find the answers, just ring the any of the authors of the HSA report and have a good chat with one of the real experts. I'd pay good money to listen on such a phone call.
  The Publican  Posted: 24/01/2006 12:42
But you see, Rainy Day. Your smoking ban that is gone to far has created a lot of What if's. Millions of people all over the world can pack up cigarettes without any smoking ban. But the time has to be right for them. Forcing people to give up is like force feeding a child and setting up worse problems for the future. People that are left behind when the smokers are outside are of course going to be tempted to join them. Fair enough, you might not be but everybody is different. This could easily happen as well with a smoking room but a lot of people are consious of the "Freeze" factor that is involved at the moment whereas they might not be if there was a "Comfort" room. So what results do you think there would be IF you created a room. IF it turned out better than you are foolish not to even try one. IF you gave it a year there may be better results. IF you were to try that you might even be rid of me arguing with you on this site which could be a relief to you. And IF a cloud of helium passed, my pub would still stay standing!
  Mary  Posted: 24/01/2006 15:10
  Mary  Posted: 24/01/2006 15:11
Sorry, that was not intended to be all in capitals.
  RainyDay  Posted: 24/01/2006 16:23
Hi Publican - With no if's & but's, I'll tell you exactly what would happen with a smoking room. Smokers would not respect it. They will smoke on their way into the room. They will smoke on their way out of the room. They will smoke on their way to the loo and their way back from the loo. This is what happened with non-smoking areas before the ban, and I've no reason to expect that things would be any different now.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 24/01/2006 17:58
I agree with all of your post except the implication that ETS is harmful to smokers. This was a line followed by the Scottish executive and unlike your governing body, they do not even have the right to pass legislation on these grounds. Health and safety at work is employment law and this is reserved legislation, ie still under the control of the UK government in London. Quite how they are getting away with it I don't know.
  The Publican  Posted: 24/01/2006 23:31
Mary, You frightened the life out of me first when I saw the capitals! But when I saw your other post I went Phew! Staff are no problem with a room. A camera can be put in place and anyway the smokers will be back up to the crowd after a while. They won't stay in the room. All they need be told by the proprietor is that you can have a cigarette below there if you want to. Rainy Day, They won't act the way you say they will because they are not doing it now. If that was the case they should be lighting up their cigarette inside in the pub and then going out the door. I have yet to see this. Think for a minute how much better it would be. Smokers would feel as if they belong once again. There would be no litter outside (at least not to the extent there is at the moment), no advertising for the young people coming up, less access to drugs and in my case the customers wouldn't be in danger. It just has to be a plus. There is just too much aggrevation this way.
  Mabz  Posted: 24/01/2006 23:40
Since when do smokers have less respect?? We are human beings after all, have all the anti smokers forgotten that or are we still classed as cancer catalysts? If a smoking room was created, smokers would be absolutely delighted with it and would cherish the opportunity to relive the feeling of a drink and a smoke. At the moment though, the anti smokers who issued this ban will have to save their money and buy a heart or no room will be created. Plus the non smokers are too afraid that the smokers room will be the most popular place in the pub which i can guarentee will be the case. All the smoking areas in town at the moment have got the best crack, people are friendly as we are all in the same boat, and lonesome non smokers inside even come out for a look and rave about it afterwards. Hmmm bit weird huh, the way smokers and non smokers alike are having more fun outside. Looks like the ban isnt working out quite the way it intended!!!! Smokers are now becoming the new blondes! Fun fun fun!!!
  Mary  Posted: 25/01/2006 11:33
A camera - publicam, that could actually work, i THINK. The ban , tho, maks the city centre look so much more continental with all the cafe bar style tables outside tho'. - Which can look truely odd in the depths of winter!
  RainyDay  Posted: 25/01/2006 11:38
Hi Publican - You tell us that 'They won't act the way you say they will because they are not doing it now' but yet you told us last week about the old man who was smoking at your fireplace. You have just proved yourself wrong. You can't have it both ways!
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 25/01/2006 12:16
Mabz If there were smoking rooms I would be in them (not smoking). Certainly if there was anybody I knew there, but actually I don't like the idea much because I prefer it when people mix. I guess why that is why the antis don't like them because they would show that people actually do prefer to be together. It seems to me that this is what is being criminalised: being together.
  The Publican  Posted: 25/01/2006 13:00
No, Rainy Day. I didn't prove myself wrong at all. In this individual's case it was I who allowed him. That's different. If you knew this poor creature all your life, you would definately do the same for him. He is a great adviser to everyone and people watch out for him. There has to always be a few exceptions on humanitarian grounds. The heart rules the head in some cases and sometimes people do you great favors in life so to deny them a cigarette by the fire is like throwing that favor right back in their faces. All these things have to be considered. If a room though is there, then they won't feel that you are kicking them out. Now he's off the cigarettes anyway so my actions worked. Might have been a queer way of going about it but that must surely be saying something. Now he is delighted that he is off the cigarettes so wouldn't it be better if you had us publicans working in harmony with you rather than against you?
  RainyDay  Posted: 25/01/2006 14:00
Hi Publican - If the smoker was such a great humanitarian, you would think that he wouldn't want to put your livelihood at risk for his addiction - No? It doesn't matter why you chose to let him smoke, his smoke still impacted those around him.
  The Publican  Posted: 25/01/2006 16:33
Rainy Day, It does matter why I left him smoke because I knew that he couldn't harm me. Impacting on others is not what the law says, remember. And this is where I can come in when there are arguments about smoking. I can always say that one to anti-smokers. The law is not for you, only me. So according to the law, Rainy Day, you will always have to refer those type of statements about impacting to me rather than the customers. (You know I'm right on this one, so stop cringing!) Anyway, have you thought about all the people that you have pushed into the home impacting on children's lungs. What about them? Blame the smoker again I suppose because that is your form. Blame everyone else but yourself! Do you know something? You remind me of that Snow Queen with the heart made of ice in one of the children's fairy tales. When is it going to melt? Until then, I am going to trust my instincts where each individual smoker is concerned and play it by ear. What was it the Gingerbread man said? "Catch me if you can!"
  Mary  Posted: 25/01/2006 16:59
To be fiar Publican, thoie peple CHOOSE to smoke in their homes among their childen
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 25/01/2006 20:59
Rainy Day wrote: "Hi Michael - It's an awful pity that you don't have anything more constructive to add to the debate than to sit on sidelines replaying that awful oul tune again & again... I don't have the expertise to answer your questions." + Ahh! But you see RD, you HAVE just answered them. Thank you. + I asked if you could back up your assertion that the survey you cited was limited to bar workers. You now admit you can't because you "don't have the expertise to" read and understand the survey you cited. + I asked if you could read a nontechnical, four page study and its comments, and you now say you can't because you "don't have the expertise to" read and comment on it. + I asked if you could name just a few studies that "that clearly shows ANY significant long term harm to an individual from the levels of smoke that one would normally encounter in a well-ventilated and filtrated modern business establishment" and you now say you can't because you "don't have the expertise to." + So you see RD, you HAVE answered my questions. You have indicated quite clearly for all of us that beyond expressing personal preferences and repeating sound bites that have been fed to you by the antismoking lobby, you really "don't have the expertise to" do anything else. + I will not argue your personal preferences: they're yours. I think it's wrong for you to try to force them upon other people, but some folks are like that and there's nothing I can do about it. + If you have further sound bites to contribute however I will be happy to dissect them and show what is wrong with them. + I must admit that I'm curious though: you claim to be familiar with and understand the HSA report which is many times longer and more technical than the four page Helena study... yet claim not to "have the expertise to" understand the Helena study. Odd. + Michael J. McFadden + Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains" +
  The Publican  Posted: 25/01/2006 22:55
Yes, Mary, people do choose to smoke in the home just like I do myself. They also choose to smoke in their homes as a way of coping in life, just like people like to drink at home to help them to calm down as well. Which is better? To have a few smokes and deal calmly with your children or to be angry and hit your children. You are under this great impression that people can cope as well as you can and if they all follow your habits of what not to do then everything will be fine. But people don't listen and don't want to listen because they are all travelling their own paths. Most people will tell you that what they do behind their own doors is their business and no-one else's and they are right to a point. The very reason then that they are staying at home rather than coming out is because they can smoke. The home is very inviting when no-one is telling you what to do whereas going out is showing you a type of punishment. At least before people were in pubs that had ventilation but in a home there is no system of ventilation.
  RainyDay  Posted: 26/01/2006 18:53
Hi Publican - As you well know, the law does not give the publican personal discretion over who can smoke and who can't smoke. The law bans smoking in pubs, plain & simple. And as for those who choose to smoke in their homes in front of their children, they represent the ultimate in selfish, irresponsible parenting. But they are not breaking the law - yet.
  Mary  Posted: 27/01/2006 09:04
Michael, you say yuo think its wrong for a person to try to force their persponal preferences on other people. I presume then that you think it's also wrong for parents to force their preference for seconf hand smoke on their children by smoking around them? Publican, of course havign a smoke and claming down is better than hitting your children, no-one would dispute that. No, I'm not under the impression that people can cope as well as I can - hey, wo says I can cope well at all!! Nor would I say that if they all follow my habits then they will be better off. I'm simply pointing out that all parents, not just smokers, might benefit form maybe a parentign skills class and learning soem other kind of coping strategy. Oh yes, people are fond of tell others that what they do behind their own doors is their business and no-one else's and this has given leave for so many over the years to conceal domestic abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, psychiatic illness and NO I am NOT accusing anyone here of perpetrating or being victime to any of these things, i'm just say thing for years this old line has meant that a lot of things which should be aired and cleared up were hidden. What you said about smokign in front of your kids and calming down made me think of my cousin. She disliked drink but would smoke of a rare occasion but she siad when hr children were small (and she had a big family) if they were being very troublesome she would sit down in the middle of it all and light up. and would then say to them -'look, you have me smoking now, you're that bold I've ended up smoking, you'll have me drinking next and where will we all be then'! - This transformed their behaviour. One of them told me afterward that he reckoned at the time, when he was young, that he must have been awful altogher to cause Mammy to smoke! She said she never had to raise her hand when they were being uncontrollable, al she had to do was light up. It worked for her but then she didn't often smoke.
  RainyDay  Posted: 27/01/2006 10:04
Hi John - Do you see the irony of smokers complaining about my opinions that "it's wrong for you to try to force them upon other people"? Where was your concern about forcing when I was forced to breath in tobacco smoke for decades? Where was your concern about forcing when familes were forced to inflict tobacco smoke on their children if they were so bold as to want to enjoy a pub lunch together? I'm also amazed that you continue to play the conspiracy theorist game in relation to the reports of the Mandate survey. The press reports of that survey clearly referred to "87pc of bar workers support the the law" - but you still try to spin that there is something flawed about this survey, and you expect me to prove you wrong. I have more important things in my life than to spend time trying to disprove your wildest, unfounded allegations. If you want to try to prove yourself right, then knock yourself out - go chase down the survey yourself. But if you think that I'm bothered about (or that anyone else takes seriously) your wild, unfounded 'Have you stopped beating your wife yet' type allegations, you're wrong. And please dont expect me to take the Forces website seriously.... It's just a bad joke at this stage.
  The Publican  Posted: 27/01/2006 18:38
Ah, Rainy Day, you're getting all hot and bothered again! Calm down will you! Where's Mary? Mary, tell Rainy Day to calm down and to stop frightening the life out of John and myself! When I saw that "yet" at the end of my post I could see the Black And Tans marching with their rifles towards my house! You sent shivers down my spine!
  The Publican  Posted: 28/01/2006 00:19
Mary, when I looked into this site, your post wasn't above Rainy Day's at all, that's why I was looking for you in my last post. I understand fully what you are saying about the happenings at home and many horrible things have been covered up here. There are things happening here that will never come out in the open and there is many a dark secret in them. But I wasn't really coming from the angle of abuse. Parenting is about the most stressful job in the world (well that is my view) and you just have to have something to help you cope. Cigarettes helped me. I know you are going to hate it when I say it but without them I really don't know what I would have done at times. You can call it irresponsibility if you like but that wasn't the way that I saw it. I felt genuinely in control with cigarettes and they gave me that vital little break each time in keeping a routine going with the children. I think I was very responisble in every other area. I'm a very hard working person, I always cooked good food for my children, I never left them cry for even a second, I taught them all how to read at a very early age and I sat there every evening doing their homework with them. I never missed a parent-teachers meeting and drove them everywhere for extra-curriculum activities. Many many parents are like this. So when we are accused of being selfish after putting in all this effort it is very disheartening. All we are doing is trying to look after ourselves in the best way possible so that we can continue to encourage and bring the best out of our kids.
  RainyDay  Posted: 28/01/2006 08:09
Hi Publican - Cigarettes didn't 'help you' to be a good parent. They helped you to deal with your nicotine addiction.
  Bill  Posted: 28/01/2006 14:36
The hypocrisy of a Publican claiming that smoking is good for children because it allows parents calm down as opposed to hitting their children is unbelievable. The biggest cause of child beatings and domestic abuse is the product the Publicans sell – alcohol. Furthermore Publicans sell this product knowing full well that their customers are drunk, will drive cars over the limit and I am quite sure in many cases will go home and beat their wives and children as a result of being drunk. This isn’t some amusing game we are playing here; it is estimated that 50% of smokers die and often die horribly as a direct result of their addiction.
  The Publican  Posted: 29/01/2006 00:44
Rainy Day, How can you possibly make that statement when you never smoked! Telling me that I'm addicted drives me up the wall, back down again and back up! I wanted to catch the computer and break it into pieces when I saw that statement! Instead I went out and kicked the rubbish bin which of course fell over and spilled all over my yard! "See this rubbish, Rainy Day!", I shouted from the top of my voice "it won't be cigarettes on the ground that you will be worried about if I find your house!!!!!!!!!!! And then I went inside, had a cup of tea and a cigarette and began to finally calm down. You see Mary, Rainy Day was so exassperating that I had to go off and have a cigarette! I'll be drinking next!
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 29/01/2006 01:07
S'ok Rainy, calm down. Heh... it IS sorta funny to see you get so upset that you mix me up with John though. As noted above, you're clearly more than welcome to express your preferences. If at some point you would like to read and comment on the various studies I cite or discuss I'll be happy to provide links to them as well. Mary, you ask whether a parent has the right to "force" secondary smoke upon their children. The same could be asked about their right to "force" secondary alcohol fumes upon those children. Obviously not... parents who smoke or drink in their homes or within 24 hours of being in those homes should have their children taken away from them to be raised by the state in institutions. Would you feel better if that was the case? Don't think the proposal is far-fetched: here in the States foster-parents who smoke in a home or vehicle within 24 hours of the presence of a foster child are already being threatened with such action. As the alcohol prohibitionists continue to gain strength following the path cleared by Antismokers we'll see movement in that arena as well. You've heard the phrase, "Those that refuse to learn history are doomed to repeat it." ? Well, back around 1900 we had a young lady over here named Lucy Page Gaston. She founded the "Anti-Cigarette League" and eventually got cigarettes outlawed in over a dozen states. Hot on her heels came another fair lassie, Carrie Nation. Carrie took advantage of the "boys" being over in Ira.. er.. I mean Europe, during World War One and got Prohibition passed as a Constitutional Amendment. This time around the prohibitionists are much smarter and are laying a more solid groundwork: make the smokers and drinkers into pariahs, use the power of tax money and the media to convince a much wider segment of the population that they are being threatened by such behaviors, ratchet up taxes and restrictions to reduce the active population supporting those activities... and the "Death of 1,000 Cuts" can be achieved. Can they be stopped? I don't know. I hope so. I'm trying. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  RainyDay  Posted: 29/01/2006 07:48
Hi Publican - Are you trying to tell us that you're not physically addicted to nicotine? Hi Michael - Apologies for mixing you up with John. Can I ask that you clarify your position so the rest of us understand where you are coming from. You tell us that there is no scientific evidence of the harm caused by ETS. The logical conclusion of this position is that you are right, and the eminent HSA expert panel are all wrong. So please tell us (in your opinion) why they are wrong - Are they simply too dumb to know what you (the real expert) knows? Or are they all part of the massive pharma-funded conspiracy against smokers?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 29/01/2006 10:58
Bill - not three minutes ago I read a report saying that smoking related illnesses account for one-fifth of deaths. It was an article about the BMA pushing for a total ban in clubs and pubs. So I don't know where you got 50% from but it seems to me estimates of how many smokers are killed by smoking are as wild and unpredictable as the estimates of numbers dying from so called passive smoking. Acutally your allegations about the publicans' contribution to violence in other households by the sale of alocohol are quite irrelevant to the quality of her parenting (in the absence of other evidence she sounds very reasonable to me). They are also irrelevant to the issue of smoking bans. The licensed trade is a fact of life. What we are trying to do is damage limitation. If you are concerned about the violence caused by excessive drinking, I would think it quite sensible to allow smoking in public venues, so that people (especially the inexperienced) who want to smoke are not tempted to drink more quickly, either because they are foregoing smoking for the night, or because they want to go out for a cigarette and not leave their drink unattended. It will also keep people from drinking at home, which (I believe) has led to more domestic violence in some locations - judging from the behaviour I see in Scotland where we have 6 more weeks of smoking in public, such a development would not surprise me at all. Just saying that these things are bad for you and trying to vilify people who are involved in the trade will get us nowhere.
  The Publican  Posted: 29/01/2006 15:30
Bill has suddenly decided to throw all the blame over unto me all of a sudden. What caused all that outburst Bill? My alcohol is suddenly the cause of all these beatings at home but there is suddenly no responsibility where the customer is concerned. Yet when it comes to picking up litter off the ground the customer must show responsibility. Now that is what I call hypocrisy! Humor of course can't be mentioned here either because it is taken up that I am not taking this issue seriously enough. But the way this smoking ban stands at the moment that's all I can really call it. A joke! A law that has every publican in the country watched and fined, a ferocious amount of litter on the ground, people ostricised from the crowd, the sick and dying outside hospital doors and still an increase in the cigarettes after all this! When is common sense going to prevail? As far as I am concerned it is a pack of embesiles that are running this country. You have sent a huge sympathy vote into an unnessary area. You have people concentrating on the smoker outside the door rather than on the homeless. Yes! That is where you have cast attention on and people have only so much energy for these areas. Some great causes have been pushed into the background because of this. Was that serious enough for you? And stop misinterpreting statements that you have to smoke if you don't want to beat your kids! You know damn well that I wasn't coming from that angle!
  RainyDay  Posted: 30/01/2006 09:09
Hi Publican - Your claims of huge public concerns about the ban are patently untrue. The few crank candidates who ran in the 2004 Euro/local elections on anti-ban platforms failed miserably. Every survey shows strong public support for the ban. It's time to give up on trying to stop the tide coming in - you're just wasting your time.
  Bill  Posted: 30/01/2006 09:48
Belinda, I don’t have the article you quote so I do not know EXACTLY what was said. However if it did say that 20% of deaths are caused by smoking and if smokers make up 33% (one third) of the population then smokers have a slightly WORSE than 50% chance of their habit killing them which is what I said. I doesn’t sound like numbers are your forte? Do you see where you were wrong? Michael J makes some seriously silly points, but that’s common when someone decides what the truth is and then goes about defending the indefensible. No matter what ridiculous position you take in the US someone will support you and buy your book. Just look at Creationism, the notion the Earth is 6000 years old or that the world wide Biblical Flood occurred. US citizens have some of the highest support for the wackiest notions. Twice as many of them believe in Creationism as Evolution, many believe we never went to the Moon. Second hand smoke is far more dangerous than “alcohol fumes”. I have never heard until this post by Michael that anyone has suggested banning parents from breathing near the kids after a drink. This type of argument is known as a Straw Man argument. Michael is using it to raise a target of his own invention and then knocks it down so after a casual reading of his post you think he has made some valid points. It is of course intellectually dishonest and an underhand debating trick. A second straw man argument of Michael’s is to put forward the notion of prohibition and then argue against it. No one here has suggested banning smoking BECAUSE it wouldn’t work and that is partly because of the failure of prohibition. In fact I am anti-smoking and yet think that drugs should be de-criminalised for the same reason. The ban in Ireland specifically exists to stop workers spending a lifetime in a hazardous environment, the same as all other workers. Second hand smoke has been shown to be dangerous in many studies. The fact that there is a serious risk to the health of workers is all that society needs to ban them from the workplace. Ireland is a democracy and very few pieces of legislation in recent years have been shown to be so well supported as the smoking ban, even by smokers, most of whom are hopelessly addicted and realise that the ban may help them cut down or even stop.
  The Publican  Posted: 30/01/2006 13:07
It is extraordinary how Bill knocks the US for their beliefs and yet our smoking ban here in Ireland was influenced from New York! So if he thinks that there are a pack of weirdos over there he'd want to include himself in that one. Why didn't Ireland come up with their own fairer system by introducing a room? It's outside the door is the major problem where all this free advertising wouldn't be influencing our young people. And while you may not have a problem with drugs, I certainly have. I have yet to see a cigarette change a person's eyes like drugs do. Even if they were decriminalised they would still have this same effect. Mix the two of these with alcohol and you have some lethal mixture. A nation of zombies is all we would have who haven't got a clue what they are doing or where they are going! How many of our young people will be introduced to this rubbish outside our doors specifically because of the smoking ban. I reckon the figure will be very high. But you insist on turning a blind eye to this area to the detriment of many of our people. Yet, this should be one of your priorities. You are letting down parents and our young people by allowing this ban to carry on day by day rather than finding a room where some proper decent supervision can take place. Your smoking ban is only being applauded by those who refuse to see and who are only concerned about themselves. It is a selfish smoking ban. We are all here together on earth at this moment in time or have you forgotten that.
  RainyDay  Posted: 30/01/2006 23:47
Hi Publican - It's the smokers that are selfish, not the ban. The ban is the most liberating piece of legislation to appear in decades.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 31/01/2006 13:15
Bill In this case yes, I realised shortly after posting that I was comparing half of smokers with a fifth of the general population. Given the difficulties in attributing smoking as a major cause of disease, this is not such a big difference. Okay I don't always get the numbers right. But what I read sometimes begs an explanation. For instance I read in a letter from Charles Kennedy that 1,000 people die a year from the effects of passive smoking. This is more or less the figure claimed for Scotland. Both figures can't be right, and the other possiblity is that neither of them is right, so I try and come to some reasonable conclusion. It is hard to escape the conclusion that many people don't actually know the source of claims that they are making. I am interested in your stance re decriminalising drugs, since you don't want to tolerate tobacco smoking in public. I think some decriminalisation of drugs makes some kind of sense because of the enormous amounts that can be made selling them illegally. But I also don't want them in the hands of people who don't understand their effects, and assume you have some thoughts about how/if possession should be regulated at all. One of my fears about a smoking ban is that people outside the door smoking might feel, why not spice up the baccy with something special, ie the whole smoking culture becomes more associated with other drugs that are currently illegal. Is your position that people should be able to get anything they want provided that they take it privately?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 31/01/2006 17:08
Sorry again. Charles Kennedy figure is 1,000 for the whole UK as opposed to 1,000 in Scotland which includes 10% of UK population.
  The Publican  Posted: 01/02/2006 01:36
Belinda, You can be certain that this drug problem is definately going to escalate because of the smoking ban. Besides having sick patients standing outside of hospitals this is my other major concern. Smokers are the more likely target for drugs because they are already using a drug that is similar. You can smoke some of the drugs and you can sniff others. The sniffing makes a connection in their subconsious to the days when snuff was a big thing. Memories can rise to the surface. The only drug that they could have trouble targeting the smoker with are the E tablets but some of these might take a risk and combine both smoking and E tablets to see their effect. I'm sure Belinda, that like me, you can easily see the drugs being handed around in an encouraging manner outside the doors where no-one is watching them. It is like a playground! A gang of them can so easily stray around the car-parks and grounds of a premises and no-one can do anything about it because they are customers and they have to go outside anyway to smoke. If you saw anyone before around your car-park, you would be very suspicious. As well as that, they can bring a whole load of drink into their cars but still make it seem like they are drinking in the pub by ordering one or two drinks. We the publicans are being screamed at then when things go wrong. And Rainy Day is trying to tell me then that this ban is liberating!!!
  RainyDay  Posted: 01/02/2006 20:01
Hi Publican - There is of course one amazingly simple solution to the gangs of e-popping, snuff-sniffing, dope-smoking, coke-sniffing drug fiends that seem to be swarming round your pub doorways & car parks. Just stop selling them booze, and they will quickly go elsewhere - problem solved, right? OK, so your takings will be down a bit, but given your concerns for the community spirit, you won't have any objection to that -right?
  The Publican  Posted: 02/02/2006 00:13
Rainy, This is not confined to a once off pub. This problem is hitting every single pub and hotel around the country. I am doing the best I can but I have to catch them in the act. That is why I am constantly checking outside my door all the time. But I can't be wandering off into bushes ect. when I have a pub to run as well!
  Mary  Posted: 02/02/2006 11:04
Publican, I don't know of any pub or hotel in my area with this problem. There is one in my mothers area with the problem but it had a seriously bad rep long befre the smoking ban so there was nothing new there. It does not affect city centre hotels and most of the bigger city pubs have bouncers / door men.
  RainyDay  Posted: 02/02/2006 11:35
So let every publican do the responsible thing and stop serving the drug poppers - Easy eh?
  PJK  Posted: 02/02/2006 13:49
Publican, Well Jeanny Mac, you've dragged the old "drugs in the car park" argument up again. It won't be long before you follow-up with the "prostitutes picking on poor defenceless smoker in the car park" argument. Maybe this is common in the car park of your pub, but it is certainly not that common and in no way related to the smoking ban. If it was true, Why aren’t there front-page headlines on the newspapers, tabloids in particular love this sort of story? Why isn't it the topic on talk radio programmes like Newstalk106(Eamonn Dunphy or George Hooke) or RTEs Live Line with Joe Duffy? These programmes never shy away from controversy and have brought many important issues to the public eye. Why not this important issue of drug pushers & prostitutes taking advantage of the smoking ban. Why haven't any of the political parties taking up the issue? In particular the smaller more left parties, such as Sinn Fein or Labour or the Socialist Party normally try to bring these type of stories to the forefront. Or if it was true would it not be ideal territory for Fine Gael to score goals against the current Gov. Don’t you think that all these political parties have their ears to the ground, and even have smokers amongst their midst, and are ready to utilise any ground swell of opinion that they could use to their advantage. Don't tell me that they are all the above are afraid of the lunatic health-freak anti-smoker element of society. If there was any weight to your ascertation, the above-mentioned groups would bring it to the public eye, and the vast majority of the population would listen (even the anti-smokers), as I would agree with you, that it would be an important story, if I thought it was true.
  The Publican  Posted: 02/02/2006 14:39
It is clear to me that you do not want to adress this problem or to acknowledge that it exists. The only reason that you are choosing to stay blind is because it upsets your smoking ban. Thankfully there are many people out there that keep their ears and eyes open and thankfully the gardai can take this issue seriously. Some people wonder why the gardai aren't planked outside of pubs every day of the week. One of the reasons is that publicans can help in the drugs issue. Maybe you should ask them about the drug problem. I'm sure they would give you the answers that you are looking for.
  RainyDay  Posted: 02/02/2006 20:32
No-one is ignoring the problem - We're just wondering why publicans don't take the obvious quick simple solution of stopping serving these anti-social customers?
  The Publican  Posted: 03/02/2006 02:25
Well, PJK, it's a long long time since I heard that word Jeanny Mac! You took me down memory lane to the days when I used that word instead of a swear word! Jeanny Mac, huh.... Well, Jeanny Mac, I don't know what they are doing in them newspapers! I'll have to write an article myself I'd say! And Jeanny Mac, who wants Fine Gael, sure they're on their way out. Sinn Fein are guaranteed our votes so why would they want to upset anything and they know that we'll pull in a few non-smokers with us. And Jeanny Mac, Pat Rabbitt would only want to join the youngsters in the fields holding out his carrot stick! Of course the government are not afraid of you, sure Jeanny Mac, you've done them a favor. You've increased the cigarettes for them! And sure, Jeanny Mac, aren't the smokers having such hilarious laughs outside the door. Sure it doesn't matter whether they are high on drugs as well once they still have a fag in their hands! Maybe the publicans are afraid to talk up. That's more business gone down the drain and sure Jeanny Mackers, haven't they lost enough business already with the Jeanny Mackers smoking ban!!
  PJK  Posted: 03/02/2006 08:48
Publican, you say, “It is clear to me that you do not want to address this problem or to acknowledge that it exists”. Well, if I thought there was a problem, I would like to address it. As I have said, I would agree with you it would be a serious issue, if it was in fact true that drug pushing was on the increase due to picking on vulnerable smokers in car parks. Give me a hint where you got this idea, apart from the observations of your car-park. The thing is I have seen or heard nothing indicating such an increase. None of the newspapers, radio shows or political parties have made any noise on this issue. You didn't answer my question. Why are none of the newspapers, or talk radio shows or political parties running with this very important issue. You mentioned the guards. Well only last week the latest crime figures were published. A number of bad news stories came out of that. However, there was no mention of increase of drug pushing in pub car parks, or increased prostitution in car parks due to the smoking ban. Why is this? So publican, everywhere that one would expect to hear of such an issue, seems to be silent on this issue. Why is this? Maybe it is an issue confined to a limited number of pub car parks, and not really a national issue.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 03/02/2006 13:01
Rainy What makes you think that the Publican is encouraging obvious drug pushers by serving them? I don't know about the circumstances of the pub, but it is naive to suppose that 'just stopping serving them' will prevent them coming and trying to push drugs if that's what they want to do. They can organise their lives around off sales and come up to the pub without bothering to darken the door.
  The Publican  Posted: 03/02/2006 13:36
Rainy Day, You sound quite innocent to me you know. Take a bunch of really nice young fellows outside the door. One of them takes out a bit of hash or grass or whatever, prepares it and gets it ready in front of his friends. Curiosity sets in amongst the youngsters who want to know what this stuff is. So he offers it around for them to try out. One or two of them decide that they would like some too and ask him if he can get them some. So he tells them how much they need and that he will give it to them on such and such a night and to meet him in such and such a place. Now this fellow may or may not be the drug pusher at all. More often than not he isn't. He is just touting for business for the drug pusher. In that way he might get a bit of free stuff for himself. All this is done very discreetly and if I happen to come on the scene it is quickly put behind their backs. They will usually be further away from the doors of the pub as well. You could have a crowd then that look totally innocent outside your pub and may not realise at all that they are dealing in drugs. Yet, if they were inside the premises you would get the distinctive smell that we got on one or two occasions down through the years. Now I can't use my nose anymore. I have to use my eyes and use them well if I don't want innocent youngsters dealing in drugs. Put some of those youngsters into a car afterwards and God only knows what can happen. You can surely see how much harder it is now to watch this whole area.
  PJK  Posted: 03/02/2006 16:58
Publican, you have used your imagination and put forward a possible way drugs might be pushed or distributed in the car parks of Ireland. However, apart from your perosnnel observations, and the use of your imagination you have not quoted any sources for confirming your theory that this is in fact happening. Also you have not explained why all the usual sources such as radio-shows, newspaper, political parties garda crime figures are not coming up with this information. However, national health policies have to be based on something more substantial than your imagination & your observations of activity in your car park.
  RainyDay  Posted: 03/02/2006 17:31
Hi Publican - Isn't it funny how when it comes to reversing the smoking ban, you are absolutely convinced that the youth of Ireland are imbibing all kinds of illicit substances outside your door BUT when it comes to YOU taking action, you are suddenly not quite so sure at all about who is doing what. It doesn't surprise me at all to know there are people taking/selling drugs outside your door or in your car park. They are also taking/selling drugs in your toilets. They are also taking/selling drugs in their GAA club, in their bedroom, in their church grounds, in their school/college toilets etc etc. They are taking drugs everywhere, and the smoking ban has absolutely nothing to do with it. But you still haven't answered the question - if you suspect that these people are taking drugs, why don't you simply stop serving them and bar them. Once you aren't discriminating against them on one of the grounds in the Equality Act, you can refuse service to anyone you like. So why don't you just stop serving them and encourage all your publican colleagues to do likewise?
  RainyDay  Posted: 03/02/2006 17:33
Hi Belinda ' I never said that Publican was 'encouraging obvious drug pushers'. It is the Publican who is telling us that she has a huge problem with all kinds of drugs being sold/taken at her doorway and in her carpark. I'm giving her an obvious solution, and wondering why she doesn't take it?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 03/02/2006 19:22
Rainy sorry I was not clear. I meant encouraging them by selling them drink. If as you say they are everywhere, they won't be deterred by the publican not selling them drink.
  The Publican  Posted: 04/02/2006 00:04
PJK and Rainy Day, I am using my imagination now am I? And you say that I am giving ideas on how to push drugs. You must think that I have a huge imagination and you are pushing me to give you answers. The most important message that I am trying to put is that it is a whole lot easier to gain access to drugs now with the smoking ban in. Of course these drug pushers were there before and of course they get sold everywhere. I can assure you that I am very much in tune in this area. I have uncovered one major job and I am very proud of it. That's because I used my ears and my eyes something that you seem to have trouble doing. You were looking for a hint that this was happening. I uncovered it all myself simply by eavesdropping. But this is a huge dangerous area for everybody to get involved with. How do you think Veronica Guerin died? Because she got too close. But that woman's name will live on because many of us are out there with her and will do our best in the war against drugs. Tell me this much. How would you like a teenage son of yours starting out work and all his money seems to just disappear and there is nothing to show for it? I have recently heard of one young fellow who spends 400 euros on drugs a week. His take home pay is 460 euros a week! Can you imagine it! Will you know what your teenage sons are spending their money on? How many people out there realise this? Welcome to the real world. I don't want any smoking ban overturned. All I want is ONE room where I can watch things easier and try and stop just ONE teenager getting wrapped up in this dispicable area. That I'm sure was your goal with regards to the smoking ban. If you stopped just ONE person dying from the cigarettes or ONE person taking them up then you would be happy. Well, I have the same interests at heart in this particular area.
  RainyDay  Posted: 04/02/2006 00:25
Hi Publican - Still avoiding the question, I see - Why don't you just bar/stop serving the drug abusers?
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 04/02/2006 03:14
Rainy Day wrote: "Can I ask that you clarify your position so the rest of us understand where you are coming from. You tell us that there is no scientific evidence of the harm caused by ETS. " Rainy, when I asked you three quite simple questions earlier in this thread (repeatedly, over the course of about four months) the answer I got from you eventually was that you didn't "have the expertise" to understand and discuss such scientific matters. I would suggest that you start out by reading the writings on my web pages with regard to ETS and if there are specific arguments or terms you don't understand I will attempt to clarify them for you. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  RainyDay  Posted: 04/02/2006 09:53
Hi Michael - Your avoidance of the 'are the HSA dumb or corrupt' question shows the fatal flaw in your position. Your only reference point is YOUR evidence on YOUR website. You can't face up to the reality as evidenced by the HSA report written by their team of eminent experts - Do you really think that any/many readers will take your ramblings seriously?
  The Publican  Posted: 04/02/2006 13:38
Rainy Day, Anyone that is deliberately pushing drugs is of course sent on their way. Could you not read that at all amongst my posts? Can you not understand that there is always someone else that comes along to take their place? It takes a lot of time and effort to find out who is involved in drugs and I am certainly not going to bar any person who is innocent of this crime. I don't work like that. But it seems that it may be the way that you would work. Plank the problem on somebody else's door or into somebody's field. You are so naive! What about the teenager who is hoping that he would be caught so that he could get out of this trap? Have you thought of that one! No. Just kick him out is it? Wouldn't we all be in some state in this country if we all took that attitude! No wonder people have too little people to turn to. No one wants to get involved!
  The Publican  Posted: 04/02/2006 15:15
Rainy Day, You can be certain sure that there are plenty of us out there who take Michael's ramblings seriously. Now your ramblings are a different matter...
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 04/02/2006 22:49
Rainy Day wrote: " HSA dumb or corrupt" ? I would go with a bit of both actually, though not in the classic definitions of either. Science can be corrupted by money and grants from Big Pharma or Big Tobacco, but it can also be corrupted because of the background beliefs/ideals of the scientists who push their results/interpretations in certain directions because they are either unconsciously biased or because they believe their work in that direction is for "the greater good" or both. You don't need to be "dumb" in the classic sense to be taken in by a massively funded campaign to push certain ideas (e.g. "The Danger of Secondhand Smoke") upon the public. You see flashy ad after flashy ad, press-release driven news story after press-release driven news story, with very little in the public eye to contradict them and it's almost impossible not to have your unconscious corrupted toward accepting that view. So, I'm not avoiding the question at all. If the conclusions of the HSA report are as you seem to have presented them (although if you don't "have the expertise" to read and understand the simple four page Helena study I have to wonder where you got your conclusions about the much larger and more complex HSA report) then I would say the members probably suffered to some degree from both "dumbness" and "corruption" within the parameters I've outlined: much the same as suffered by those who presented the Welsh Report that is so strongly critiqued at: Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 04/02/2006 23:17
Publican You don't want the ban overturned? I do before even seeing it in action. Have there been any legal challenges to it in Ireland?
  RainyDay  Posted: 05/02/2006 08:09
Hi Publican - The reason why I pushed you so hard for an answer was to expose the fallicy of your earlier comments. It has nothing to do with my views on dealing with drug addicts. Your answer when pushed "a lot of time & effort to find out who is involved" paints a very different picture compared to your earlier comments about your pub doorway, when one would think that you are tripping over coke-sniffing e-popping addicts every time you step out. Suddendly now, you're not really too sure who is doing what at all. This clearly shows the gross exaggeration in your earlier comments, and shows why they have no relevance to your request for a smoking room. Drug users & dealers won't be impacted either way by your smoking room. They will still deal/use drugs whether you have the room or not. The drugs issue is just another of the many red herrings that you introduce into the debate.
  The Publican  Posted: 05/02/2006 14:20
Oh, Belinda, at this stage that would be an absoute dream come true i.e to completely overturn the ban. But I know myself that now that the ban is in I can forget that idea at least for the foreseeable future. The anti-smoking lobby are going to get their way some way so we can't really deny them that much. There are some aspects that can be good, I have to admit that but the system is just swinging too much in one direction. Some people do indeed think that the lack of smoke is a great thing, others couldn't care less and of course many of the smokers are very aggrevated. It is this aggrevation which is doing the greatest damage, financially and socially. It is imperative that some fairer system be brought in and that in my view is a room.
  The Publican  Posted: 05/02/2006 16:19
Rainy Day, You haven't exposed any fallacy at all. I know what is different now and what isn't since the smoking ban came in. I can see that drug pushers had a lesser target for themselves before any smoking ban came in. Before any-one hovering around in car-parks or indeed hovering outside door ways were always suspicious. Who is suspicious this way? And that is one hell of a big question. You are missing the poing of supervision, something that was so much easier before the ban. You are under the impression that supervision outside pub doors is easy when in fact it is so much more difficult. Think of the fellow in Fawlty Towers running all over the place. This is what you have done to me. I am combing my whole area every night of the week and I haven't got the money to hire people. Why make a person's job so much harder when there are far easier ways of doing it? How many business's in this country have to operate this foolish kind of stystem? Let you try and name all the extra work that you have given me. I stay in with the youngsters. I become one of them and I can assure you that many of them have told me that drug pushers have never had it so easy. If you weren't allowed to sell clothes inside in a business but no-one could stop you selling them to people out on the street, how much would you make I wonder? But if there were no people out on the street you wouldn't make anything at all. So what this smoking ban has done is effectively created a new business.
  Anonymous   Posted: 05/02/2006 21:05
definately think the smoking ban should stay.Pubs are much cleaner and you dont have half the hangover next day. Also you dont smoke as many when you have to go outside to do so.
  RainyDay  Posted: 05/02/2006 21:32
Hi Michael - It's quite interesting to get to the root of your views. So the nub of your position is that the eminent individuals on the HSA expert panel (doctors, professors, lecturers) - all professional scientists who have built their successful careers using data and evidence (not press releases and spin) are incapable of seeing through the 'flashy ads and press-release driven news stories' which only you can see through. You have clearly exposed the quite incredible nature of your position. Hi Publican - The point that I'm making is that supervision is absolutely useless, unless you can find a way to do it 24/7. Regardless of how well they are supervised in your pub or at the doorway, they will still be able to buy/sell drugs as much as they wish. You're not going to supervise every bedroom, every hedgerow, every field, every street corner. Your supervision is of no value, and breaking the smoking ban to provide a smoking room will do nothing to reduce drug abuse. Indeed, it will only encourage abuse of another drug - one that just happens to be legal due solely to historical reasons.
  The Publican  Posted: 06/02/2006 03:44
Rainy Day, Supervision is vital in every area of a business. There are several ways to supervise especially in the area of drugs. What good is it in trying to bring down the taking of a legal drug and yet increase the illegal ones? There is no sense or meaning to that one. Besides I am already selling another legal drug just inside the door. So why aren't all your legal drugs falling under the category of the smoking ban. You said earlier that alcohol doesn't affect other people, yet at any point on a given night, myself or my customers could be subjected to a punch in the face from someone after taking alcohol. Someone could pick up a stool and throw it at me and mess up my pub. You know this as well as anyone. (And don't try and make out that I have a rowdy pub just like earlier you were trying to say that my pub was the only one dealing in drugs!) My talk is always general talk and I am only speaking on a small scale because I am only running a small pub. Every single drug in the country is affecting someone else. It affects the income coming into a household, it affects the economy, it affects people's thoughts and actions, their driving and their social skills. Singling out a particular drug the way you have was a very dangerous move in my eyes. Some people may love this ban but how many are there? In the same way, you have encouraged others to take it up. How many of those will you have to wipe off your list? For two who love the ban in my pub you have to cancel them out for the two who took up the habit specifically in support of the smokers. How many new young people have you brought into this smoking area because of what fun they see outside the door. Again, you will have to cancel out more of those who love the ban. So where is your success afterwards or is there any at all? What good is one success if you have two failures? A room could work brilliantly. The main bar stays smoke free and will be the first place that smokers will hit. A quick pop down to the room for a fag and back up to the main bar. Perfect! Why would they want to stay down in the smoke room all the time when it is out to meet their neighbours is what they came out for. Think of me heading up to my kitchen for a smoke. I have one cigarette and I come back down. I have no need to stay in a place where there are only one or two people at a time. It is the crowd that I want to be amongst. In the bar there is no ashtrays which stops me longing for a cigarette more. But when I do want one I don't want to go out into a cold dark wet wintry set-up. I would rather stay at home then where I would probably end up smoking far more than I should. There just has to be a bit of give and take here for this ban to be a decent success.
  PJK  Posted: 06/02/2006 09:32
Hi Publican, well I was away the weekend and sure did miss a lot. I would agree with you that drugs are a problem in this country and there are many sad cases like the teenager that you described. However, you still have not explained how come no one bar your good self is highlighting this great problem of increased drug pushing and prostitution in the car parks of the pubs of Ireland since the smoking ban. Come on Publican, explain why none of the radio-shows, newspapers, political parties, garda crime figures are coming up with this information? We hear about all sorts of controversial stuff, like dodgy bank deals, corrupt politicians, child abuse priests, corrupt guards. So these sources are not afraid to rock the boat. Why are they not exposing this great story of yours that drug pushing & prostitution are on the increase due to the smoking ban. I think publican it is time for you to face reality it is confined to your imagination and your car park. It is not a national phenomenon.
  Mary  Posted: 06/02/2006 12:18
Again, the problem with the smoking room is supervision. The staff must supervise it and therefore the staff are exposed to ETS - which was the very reason he ban was brought in to protect them
  The Publican  Posted: 06/02/2006 12:47
Hi PJK, The newspapers and all the rest of the media haven't exposed anything to do with the smoker. There is no talk of how the smoker feels or how isolated they are now or how wet and cold they are getting outside the doors either. The subject is completely avoided. They are just hoping it will go away. I guess they have handed the buck over unto the anti-smoking lobby. "Leave them deal with it now. We've listened to enough stick over this issue. It's too thorny." This whole area is just a silent war sitting in the background waiting to explode. Who knows, it may end up like the Muslims abroad at the moment burning down all the buildings. At the moment we are trying to use peaceful means like communicating on this forum. But I might get a mad fit one of these days and end up wreaking a few places! It'll probably then make the headlines alright!!
  RainyDay  Posted: 06/02/2006 13:24
Hi Publican - You're contradicting yourself again. You tell us that the smoking area outside the door is the centre of attention & craic in your pub now, but if you get an inside smoking room, it will NOT become the centre of attention? You can't have it both ways. Your claims of lots of people taking up smoking to spite the ban isn't supported by any evidence. Maybe this only happens in your part of the world. It's certainly not happening around Ireland, as the numbers smoking are steadily decreasing each year. We all know that alcohol can breed violence, and there are existing laws in place to address this issue. If you get a stool thrown at you, this is a criminal offence. So it is perfectly logical that there are laws to prevent the harm caused by smoking as well. But you are still missing the point (deliberately perhaps) about supervision. Your supervision will not stop people using drugs. They will find a way & place where they can sniff/smoke/pop a pill. You might as well stand on the beach, stick your hand out and command the tide not to come in, just like old King Canute. It didn't work for him, and it ain't going to work for you. This is yet another red herring in the smoking debate.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 06/02/2006 15:23
Mary, Those of us who have checked the scientific data on E.T.S. have discovered that the vast majority of such studies state that it has an insignificant health effect on non-smokers. However, many bar staff may wish to avoid E.T.S. because it irritates them or they dislike the smell. A bar I know has large roofed smoking room with tables and ashtrays and a large T.V. Smokers simply go into the bar, order their tipple and bring it out to the smoking room. We also return our glasses to the bar and they have a small bin where we can empty the ashtrays. It has been passed by the health inspector and is always very busy. With this compromise, we can smoke in peace without getting cold or wet and we can join our non-smoking friends in the bar at any time. Better again, there is now a new \"smoking room\" device on offer. From todays paper I learned that there is a trade show for the hospitality industry in Ireland coming up next week. They are advertising the only \"indoor smoking room in Ireland\". This is the text from the website: The Freshwall Smoking Room appears at VINTRA 2006 for the first time. This is the only solution to the smoking regulations where your customers can sit in style and comfort in a warm and inviting room. It is designed to be an extension to your existing premises; a fully functioning room built by engineers to the same standards as traditional buildings yet it complies with the smoking regulations. This unique patented design allows air to flow freely yet none of the elements like wind, rain or snow can get in. The Freshwall Smoking Room will be located as an additional room to the nightclub feature and is well worth a visit. It seems that there is a standard of indoor ventilation that is acceptable despite RainyDay\'s protestations, John.
  The Publican  Posted: 06/02/2006 15:56
Rainy Day, Let's just take a look at the outside area for a few moments. Looking through the eyes of a youngster this is a brand new creation with new possibilities staring them straight in the face. There is the possibility of experimentation unknownst to those inside in the pub. A great chance to pop pills, smoke or sniff. Being out in the dark with your friends looking up at the stars is cool. In some cases some of them will indeed be on the beach depending on the position of the pub. How exciting is this? There is even the opportunity to run into the water with their clothes on just for a laugh! An outside area where there is a lack of supervision has a sense of intrigue about it and therefore there is a sense of curiosity and wonder about the smoker. Who are these people who are separated from the crowd? Who are those who are inside? Well, the ones that are outside sound better than those inside! I want to be a part of this. Put them in a room and everybody is inside. Now they cannot compare because in a sense everybody is together. The room is in fact boring and to make it worse it is supervised. "I can't smoke any joint here. I can easily get caught. It's much better outside the door!" Think of the amount of new teenagers that could be saved from drugs by bringing in another new move. There would have to be less exposure.
  Mabz  Posted: 06/02/2006 19:45
Hi again, i was just reading over a couple of posts and noticed that drugs were mentioned. Some seem to think that the smoking ban hasnt increased drug propositioning or the selling of drugs at all. First of all, who here is young and goes out clubbing and socialising in pubs on a regular basis? Who here has been proposed drugs by young dealers?? Being 21 and a college student i have. Declined politely of course and reported that person to the head of security :) The smoking ban has created an outdoor office for all dealers. People are more accessible, vulnerable and drunk. Security has stepped up inside clubs, inside toilets especially for fear of smokers getting the urge to spark up and not wait in a queue to get outside for a fag. Dealers cannot find a way to distribute their products in this environment at all. Outside is ideal, i have been offered drugs more in the past year than in my entire life. Dealers might be stupid with regards their career choice, but do not underestimate their intelligance in making a profit. They have benefitted so much from this ban, drug users are increasing every day, and with potential buyers only a lighter away it will only be matter of time before the whole country turns into a herd of hallucinating maniacs. Its obvious at this point that the ban will not be overturned and not even a little shack inside where us smokers can meet to have a chat on how life is so unfair will be introduced. At least ensure the safety of the smokers sent outside the door, by having more security and gardai on hand. Thank you and goodnight. :)
  PJK  Posted: 07/02/2006 09:05
Publican, again you side stepped and avoided my question with your lame "There is no talk of how the smoker feels or how isolated they are now or how wet and cold they are getting outside the doors either." We were not talking about feelings, we were talking about your claim, that drugs & prostitution are on the increase due to the smoking ban. I have agreed that this would be a dramatic & important story if true. But Publican, and Mabz, neither of you have answered my question. Explain why none of the radio-shows, newspapers, political parties, garda crime figures are coming up with this information? We hear about all sorts of controversial stuff, like dodgy bank deals, corrupt politicians, child abuse priests, corrupt guards. So these sources are not afraid to rock the boat. Why are they not exposing this great story of yours that drug pushing & prostitution are on the increase due to the smoking ban.
  The Publican  Posted: 07/02/2006 12:50
Don't worry PJK, This news will most definately surface in the future. It's not sensational enough yet for them. Look how long it took for the child sex abuse with priests to come to the foreground. The dodgy bank deals were probably going on for a whole lifetime and there is still loads that they haven't uncovered, I would imagine. Currupt politicians. God help us, we were lucky to hear those ones. It will be the same in this area. All most people, particularly the upper-class are focused on now at the moment is the imagined success of the smoking ban. 98% success! Sure, what else can they see only a blindness. When they are sitting down inside having a drink, again, that is all they can see. A blindness. When I can change my pool table cover to an entirely different one and some customers ask if the effects of the lights over the cover have changed it, then that shows blindness at it's best, doesn't it? Mabz has given you her experience. She's 21 and would be right in the heart of that problem. Not good enough? Did you notice how she said that she was offered more drugs in the last year than her whole lifetime which could be anywhere between 3 and 7 years. She also indicated that she felt unsafe outside the door which is another factor that you refuse to see. Some people Want to be supervised outside the door. They Want to feel safe there. They Want to see the owner. If someone started arguing alongside of you in the pub you would expect to see someone in charge to immediatly be on the scene to diffuse this situation. Well, it is the same outside the door. What you have got here, at the very least, is a warning of what is going on. Are you going to take it or leave it?
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 08/02/2006 00:07
Rainy Day wrote: "are incapable of seeing through the 'flashy ads and press-release driven news stories' which only you can see through. You have clearly exposed the quite incredible nature of your position." I have indeed RD, and anyone who would like to examine just how "incredible" that position is need only take a few minutes to examine the Critique of the Report to the Welsh Assembly Government available at: And, just to anticipate the traditional Ad Hom slap at FORCES.... the Critique is my own work in its entirety: it's merely hosted on the FORCES web-server. It's not just the WAG and HSA that have these difficulties of course: I had prior experience over on this side of the puddle with such groups as well. See for example what the Board of Health in Findlay Ohio tried to get away with: The Board of Health never responded of course, and I believe two of their members actually resigned shortly after I sent this. Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  PJK  Posted: 08/02/2006 10:00
Publican, I am exasperated. You say “All most people, particularly the upper-class are focused on now at the moment is the imagined success of the smoking ban.” I think you can be assured that the make-up of most radio-shows, newspapers, political parties, gardai is not upper-class. You could never accuse the likes of Eamonn Dunphy, George Hook or Joe Duffy as being upper-class. They are great champions of the cause of ordinary- everyday people and their relationship with the establishment. They are never afraid to rock the boat. Publican approx a third of the population are smokers. If as you claim drug pushing & prostitution are on the increase due to the smoking ban, this is a serious situation, and therefore wouldn’t you think that most smokers would be aware of it, and wouldn’t you think that one third of the population could make their voices heard on such an important issue. There has to be significant smoking representation amongst the media and politicians. Come on Publican, get of your bum and do something about this instead of whinging on some relatively low key website. Get your facts & figures together, and expose this important public interest story. Why can’t the smoking lobby do this? Maybe, there just is no facts to support this, outside the isolated observations of yourself & Mabz. I am not denying that drugs are a problem in Ireland. I am just saying there is nothing to say that it is worse now as a result of the smoking ban, except you.
  PJK  Posted: 08/02/2006 11:14
Hi Publican, you say that the story of drug pushing and prostitution on the increase due to the smoking ban is not sensational enough for people yet, and that is why none of us have heard about it yet. Well, I would say it is a sensational story, if it were true. Now if it is not sensational, why are you bothering to tell us about it? Therefore you also think it is sensational. Of course, I agree with you it is sensational, but where we disagree is that I don't believe it. I think it is also an incredible story and no-one is running with the story, because there is nothing to back it up, apart from the rantings of a country publican, with a drug & prostitution problem in their car-park, and a research student trying to prove that smoking does not cause cancer.
  RainyDay  Posted: 08/02/2006 12:00
This is just laughable. Mabz & the Publican are blaming the smoking ban for introducing young people to \'open air\' as if this was a new concept. They seem to think that young people never step outside the door, except to have a smoke outside a pub. Unless these young people have mastered the art of teleporting star-trek style, they will find themselves \'outside\' on a regular basis. This has nothing to do with the smoking ban. It is just life. There is no rational basis for easing or changing the smoking ban based on the comments here. And of course, even if smoking rooms were introduced, they couldn\'t be compulsory - so if the \"outside\" is as inviting and intruiging as Publican would have us think, the masses will still go outside to enjoy the thrills of \'looking at beaches\'. John - I\'m rather surprised to hear of your roofed smoking area, particularly as I\'ve heard of a number of recent cases where the Environmental Health Officers forced pub to close down such areas. The \'Freshwall smoking room\' can be seen in the Vintra newsletter - - It\'s hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like steel railings. I\'m sure you\'re not going to fall for the sales speil of the sellers of this product - You would expect some independent verification of their claim that it complies with smoking regulations, wouldn\'t you? Hi Michael - Would you care to name the 2 individuals who resigned from Findlay Ohio Board of Health and advise approximately when this happened? This would allow some verification of your claim. But just in case there is any confusion - we\'re not in Wales and we\'re not in Ohio. We\'re in Ireland. We have a valuable report prepared by Irish experts, and you expect us to believe that these eminent experts have been fooled by press releases. I think not.
  The Publican  Posted: 08/02/2006 12:15
First of all PJK, any law that deliberately aims to discriminate against a certain group is an upper-class law therefore it follows that the people that implemented it are upper-class people. This law is a form of snobbery. "Oh, I don't want to be associated with your kind any more. You are only a piece of dirt. Remove yourself from my prescence immediately. You smell!" Eamonn Dunphy agreed with the smoking ban in the survey that was done on RTE. So we can't rely on him even if he was to take the smokers cause to hand. I don't know much about the other two to be quite honest. Yes, I do claim that drug pushing is on the increase and that the smoking ban adds to it and many smokers are indeed aware of this. But who is listening to the smoker at the moment? No-one. And you ask then why the smoking lobby should do this. But it was you who created the problem not the smokers. For every youngster that takes up that habit outside our pub doors it is your responsibility and something that you will have to adress sooner rather than later. When you are on a mission you have to handle all the pit-falls as well that comes with it. I have offered to help by allowing them back into my premises where I can keep an eye on them. But it seems that you don't want my help. Your job will then be far more difficult for you to solve as will the gardai's but some people like to take the hard road in life. They like big huge massive challenges. Anti-smoking are such a crowd.
  The Publican  Posted: 08/02/2006 15:55
PJK, I said the stories for the media aren't probably sensational enough. Of course it is sensational enough for me! There was already a warning on this issue from an Independent TD. It's just that I can't remember his name at the moment. There is also a comment made by a night club owner and if you go down near the bottom of the page you will see what he says about the smoking ban. This is the link: 787650633.asp I have no prostitution problem in my car-park. It was young people who told me of this problem in the city. The reason you cannot believe it is because you are not watching out for it. It is as simple as that. Yet many of us can simply see how it could of course increase drug taking. A brand new target audience! It's incredible that you cannot see it! When I have parents asking me in the pub where did their young fellow go and I tell them that he is outside the door I get remarks like this. "God, you'd be wondering what they are up to out there wouldn't you!" or a wife would say to the husband "Peep out there and see what he's doing will ye, he could be up to no good!". So you see, the parents can't even relax when they come out for a drink PJK.
  RainyDay  Posted: 08/02/2006 17:11
Hi Publican - It's a bit difficult to take your concern about illegal drug-taking too seriously when your whole life seems to revolve around getting other harmful drugs (albeit legal ones) such as alcohol & tobacco into people. If you had a real concern about drugs, wouldn't you be trying to stop people using these harmful substances too?
  The Publican  Posted: 09/02/2006 02:15
Rainy Day, Please tell me that you are only joking about the old 'open air' compared to the new 'open air'! I talked about a blindness earlier on but even I never thought that it was as bad as this! How far did the talks on the implementation of the smoking ban go? When the ashtray was being removed off the table was it? Or had you just images of all the windows in the pub open and all the fresh air pouring in. No wonder you are giving out about the litter! You couldn't even see that one coming at the time! Now that I have stretched you a bit more, you can't handle this one at all. You should have had an adviser like Dr. Spok (who not only had great advice but a fabulous pair of ears!) instead of the power hungry person that you chose. And instead of having him chauffered around New York with the lord major visiting top class hotels that were delighted that they had 'Ordinary decent people' frequenting their premises, you should have sent him into the slums of New York on his own! Instead you pampered him up to the last so that he would come back and tell you that the smoking ban was a 99% success!! Talking about smoking rooms. What is the landlocked pub supposed to do? Everyone was supposed to be on a level footing yet big pubs can put in all these fancy smoking rooms that only a country publican can dream about! So where is the fairness now? How can the pubs in towns or cities compete when someone like Stringfellow comes along with all his millions and put in a smoking room with a computerised type roof when all they could possibly manage is a few tables and chairs outside their doors if they are lucky and don't have to pay hefty fees to the council. So your smoking ban is unfair here as well. Yet, you will think nothing of coming along to the likes of those smaller pubs and fine them to the hilt if they are not complying with the smoking ban. But of course the anti-smoking lobby wouldn't dream of saying anything to the bigshots!
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 09/02/2006 10:27
RainyDay The suppliers of this wonderful smoking room are advertising it on National Radio as complying with the (childish) smoking regulations. They would hardly make such a claim unless it had, indeed, been given the green light by some phobic anti-smoking official, possibly attached to the Office of Tobacco Control. Doubtless, the air quality within its walls must be of such a rarified and pure kind that not even a large research grant from a Pharmaceutical Company could pollute it. But why would you be so concerned at these wonders springing up all around the country. Are you nervous that smokers might come out to play again, might laugh and joke and make the freshwall smoking room the centre of attraction for happy pub goers. Do you fear that the efforts to make smokers feel unwelcome in public might just collapse. Would it be such a calamity if the vast majority of non smokers happily accepted this compromise or worse, were totally unconcerned by this novel solution. Indeed, if it is possible to have such a room in a pub, it must be possible to have one in an office, an aircraft, a cinema or a restaurant. But Rainy, it was bound to happen. When you introduce a social prohibition of any kind, you do not get rid of demand, you in fact increase it. And in our democracies, with demand comes supply. Statistically, two out of three of the designers, funders and manufacturers of the freshwall smoking room are probably non smokers who see a chance to make money. They have spotted the need and come up with the solution. And the pub owners who buy them also know that they will get a good return on investment. It's called capitalism. It occurs to me that we could, equally, reverse the proposition, call it the 'freshwall non smoking room', repeal the ban and you would have a safe clean air environment. Think about it ! Having had to breathe in the deadly carbon monoxide fumes from your own car and all the others, on your way to the pub, you could have a little haven of purity right inside the door - heaven ? John.
  RainyDay  Posted: 09/02/2006 12:24
Hi Publican - It really is impossible to have any kind of rational discussion with you. As soon as you are asked specific questions, you change the subject. So now your gripe is the class of hotel Michael Martin used in New York. If you want to have a serious debate, I'm quite happy to take you through your concerns, one at a time, to show you how groundless they are. If you just want to rant about the ban without any attempt to discuss the matter, then fire ahead - but I'm not going to engage with you. Hi John - You seem to have more trust in advertisers than I do. The ASAI website is full of reports of advertisers lies. I'd really like to know who has approved their smoking room before I make any judgement, positive or negative. Your claim of increased demand due to the ban isn't supported by any independent survey. The number of smokers is dropping every day.
  The Publican  Posted: 09/02/2006 14:57
Rainy Day, I am better than a doctor with my legal drugs. 99% of the time I get to prescribe my drug to you and watch you having it. Who watches you after walking away from the doctor with your prescription in your hand?
  The Publican  Posted: 09/02/2006 17:02
Okey, Rainy Day, I have wiped my face and I'm gone all serious again. But sure there is a whole lot of truth in what I say. You don't have to be serious in life to get your point across you know. This is the way that we talk on the ground anyway, us lower-class people. Your problem is that you are too serious and you want everyone to be the same. John is after spelling it out plain and clear that smoking is indeed a new business and the Firewell room is a fact. I have the Update from the Vintners right in front of me after the postman delivered it a half an hour ago. Page 23. Ask any publican for it. You'll see a gorgeous comfortable room just like the 'old' days with the ashtrays on the table. Massive! It would appeal to the smokers like crazy! "The Freshwall panel is unique in that it has three layers designed to be open and at the same time diverting any external airflow sideways and hence making it impossible to flow through the room. It is installed as an external FOUR sided, Fully roofed room, providing a safe, dry, comfortable environment for your customers. It will instantly appeal to smokers/mixed groups for socialising, watching sports, parties and dining!" So you can easily bring non-smokers into this place. What an utter farce of a smoking ban Rainy Day?
  The Publican  Posted: 11/02/2006 13:12
Hey, Rainy Day, Where are you gone to? I hope that I didn't insult you again. I d'be only trying to be funny, can't help myself, that's the way the man above made me, I'm harmless, really I am! So, come on, let's get stuck in again, yeah? Did you have a peep at the Update?
  RainyDay  Posted: 11/02/2006 21:25
Hi Publican - No insult at all - As I mentioned above, I just feel the debate is going round in circles, as every time we get close to a serious discussion on any angle, you jump away to yet another red herring - so nothing comes to a conclusion.
  The Publican  Posted: 13/02/2006 13:35
Rainy Day, The reason that you feel that this debate is going around in circles is because there is an awful lot more in this smoking ban than anyone realises. You must also be feeling this because you are not getting through to us here on the site. Why is that? I believe that it is because you haven't stepped into any of our shoes and seen the way that we view the ban. It's easy for us to see where you are because you think that you have just got rid of us from your life. You don't see us anymore when you are in the pub or the workplace and don't want to know us anymore. Therefore it is simple that you can dismiss what is outside our doors. This is a very personal issue. You are targeting people's feelings and morals with this area. Tell me, What is in this smoking ban for you personally? I don't want to hear that you want to help smokers or non-smokers for that matter. Why do you feel the need to help people who never asked you for your help in the first place? If this was the case, this ban would have been put to the people and they would have voted on it. Why wonder then that people are aggrevated and conversations are going around in circles? They go around in circles in the pubs as well. No one wins the argument and no one can create fairness. The ban is the way it is. Aggrevating and frustrating when it could be so much better.
  RainyDay  Posted: 13/02/2006 16:27
Hi Publican - You are convinced that the reason why I disagree with the ban is because I don't understand you. This is wrong. I do understand you and I fundamentally disagree with you. You ask what is in the ban for me personally - What is in it for me is the ability to go for a pint without coming home stinking of cigarette smoke in my clothes, my hair and my skin. It is about the ability to bring my little girl for a family pub lunch at the weekend without worrying about the effects of smoke on her health. The ban has already created fairness. It stops other people from imposing their addictions on me. In future years, our descendants will look back in horror at the idea of smoky pubs, in the same way as we look back in horror at emptying raw sewage out the window into the streets.
  The Publican  Posted: 13/02/2006 18:10
The statement you gave me creates it's own 'red herring' Rainy Day. You wouldn't have any cigarette smoke on your hair, your skin, or your clothes if the smoker was in his own room. Your little girl still has to see the smokers outside the door as she enters the pub and still has to walk past them. What does your little girl 'see' in her society today? She 'sees' a group of people that cannot carry out a certain action inside the door. She 'sees' that particular group as doing something wrong in life. She 'sees' that group as being a group to stay away from because parents will tell them not to become like these people. Do you honestly think that this is fair on that particular group? You have some beautiful people in amongst that group who contribute tremendous value in their communities yet you have chosen to do this to them. I want to know why.
  Tara(YFQ41975)  Posted: 13/02/2006 20:35
  Anonymous   Posted: 14/02/2006 15:29
Of course the smoking ban should be overturned. If this is the way that our country treats addicts that says a lot when people are looking for help. Governments that put the sick, dying, pregnant, and addicted outside doors should be kicked out!
  Bill  Posted: 15/02/2006 08:56
The UK parliament has voted overwhelmingly to ban smoking in all enclosed areas. The argument is over there too. Smoking is so dangerous that it is literally insane to smoke and only serious addicts and idiots still persist.
  Chana  Posted: 15/02/2006 09:31
Is there anythign so very wrong with seeing the action of smoking as doing something wrong in life seeing as it contributes to the death and illness of so many. Anon, you must remember that many of those addicted to nicotine are not simply looking for help. Some don\'t want to give up smoking. As for feelign sorry for a pregnant women who has to go outside to smoke. A pregnant women - smoking. It\'s her unborn child all my sympathy goes to. At least I can walk away from smoke if I choose - that child is dependant in the most fundamental way possible and will be for years after birth.
  PJK  Posted: 15/02/2006 10:19
Publican, Sorry, I've been away for a few days, and so have not been in touch. In fact I was up in Belfast, where as you know they are still allowed to smoke in bars. I was in the hotel bar for two nights and I must say you do forget how bad it once all was. There was an atmosphere of smoke that you could literally see hanging over the whole crowd, and the smell was appalling. My clothes smelt absolutely disgusting the next day and could not be worn again. (I am used to getting a second day out of my good shirt when I put in on for a night out). Our law protects workers from having to work in this terrible environment, and also has the added bonus that it also protects me the customer. As regards upper class. Really publican, we have had our revolution in this country many years ago, and the upper class are very few in number. There are some very successful business people who would be in the super-rich category, but I don’t know if you would call them upper class. You really should get over your inferiority complex, you are as good as the next person, stand up and be proud.
  PJK  Posted: 15/02/2006 10:20
Publician, I checked that Business Post article from May 2004. I am afraid that if the best that you can come up with is a two year old newspaper article that in a one small paragraph has a small quote from a small-time drug dealer, I don’t think that you have much of a story there. The only other people that you can think of are some independent TD who you cannot remember and a “comment” by a nightclub owner. Reminds me of the nursery rhyme “Supposing, supposing three men were frozen….” Of course there will be isolated cases of all possible scenarios, including some carparks with drugs. However there is no evidence that it is a wide-spread or significant problem. The fact is that none of the newspapers, radio-shows, political parties, or Garda figures show that there is any increase of drugs or prostitution due to the smoking ban. You have not explained why none of these influential, groups, who are not afraid to rock the boat are not running with this story. You say it is because they don’t want to see. You also say that it is my responsibility for introducing the law. Well Publican the democratically elected Government of this country introduced the law, so we all have a responsibility in this matter. You seem to be implying the smokers of this country have a whole load of knowledge about this phenomenon of increased drugs due to the smoking ban, but you are keeping it to yourself out of spite, so that in years to come you can say “We told you so”. Does this apply to all the newspaper, radio-shows & political parties, who would have at least the normal proportion as smokers? How about the Garda figures; is some smoking guard manipulating the figures to hide this great fact of yours that drugs & prostitution are on the increase due to the smoking ban. Publican, I really think that you are straying seriously into fantasyland on this one.
  Bill  Posted: 15/02/2006 10:33
Parental smoking is now the most common cause of Sudden Infant Death. Parental smoking is the most common cause of children taking up smoking. Smoking in pregnancy causes children to be born lighter and with a reduced risk of surviving. Smoking while pregnant should be illegal. It is child abuse.
  RainyDay  Posted: 15/02/2006 11:32
Great to see the UK following our fine example in banning all smoking in pubs. Interesting to note that this was free vote in parliment (no party whips applied) and it was still overwhelmingly in favour of the ban. This move ensures there is no possibility that the ban in Ireland will be rolled back. To answer the Publican's questions - I've explained repeatedly why a smoking room will not work. Let's not keep going over the same ground over and over again. I'm not putting anyone outside the door. They are putting themselves outside the door. If being outside is such a huge problem, why don't the smokers solve the problem themselves (by giving up or cutting down) instead of expecting the rest of society to be disrupted to accomodate their habit.
  Mary  Posted: 15/02/2006 11:43
It's strange Bill, but I know men who smoke, not idiots by any means - probably more intelligent than myself and saner than many I have met who smoke and claim to enjoy a smoke and that it enhaces their lives and relaxes them. I couldn't say thay were majot addicts ans they only smoke 7 - 10 a day. Some of them 15 at most,
  The Publican  Posted: 15/02/2006 13:22
PJK, Thanks for saying that I am as good as anyone else. I was on the understanding that the anti-smoking lobby had no time for publicans because of our vested interests. I will never back down on the drugs issue. I \'am telling you so\' now. It\'s up to you to make sure that in the future this area does not go out of control. That will always be your most challenging job. It is such a serious issue and without a doubt the smoking ban has contributed here. You cannot afford to be afraid of the disadvantages of smoking bans. There are quite a few. It\'s all very fine saying that the government implemented this ban but the people did not vote for it so you haven\'t got the figures of the amount of people that do not agree with the ban. You can only guess. It would be far better though if you were as near to the truth as possible on these figures though. The bigger the amount of people that are against bans the more there will be problems. At the moment there are false figures being given out. If anything there are many people who feel that the ban is too severe and that the smoker should have been catered for. If then people feel that this ban is too severe how is the smoker feeling or coping. You are forgetting that many people cannot do what you are asking them to do and stay inside their four walls because of it. I know that there is a major struggle for some smokers and it has affected their lives greatly. It is this indifference towards them is what I have serious reservations about as well. These people feel blocked in participating in society and yet none of these people are getting any recognition what-so-ever in this smoking ban. It is imperitive in my view that these areas be properly looked at and acknowledged and even more so to be admitted as one of the downsides of the ban. It is unfair for you to keep claiming that the ban is so successful when it is clearly not in some areas.
  Tiffy  Posted: 15/02/2006 17:13
Bill, you say Smoking while pregnant should be illegal - this is arrant nonsense and you know it. This akin to sayign sex before marriage should be illegal or smiling should be illegal. Laws are only worth a damn if they are enforcible and you cannot control what adults do inthe priavte sphere. What so you suggest we do, go around to every house in the country and request evcery female between 13 and 63 to do a wee-wee over a dipstick and then raid the house for cigaettes, confiscate them and DNA test them for a positive match with the woman\'s urine if it turns out she is pregnant. Are you going to volunteer for this mammoth task and can you be sure you won\'t get the occasional slap in the mouth or kick in the rear for your trouble?
  The Publican  Posted: 15/02/2006 20:52
Bill, isn't it extraordinary how smokers can suddenly give up when they are pregnant yet smoking is supposed to be addictive. The anti-smoking lobby must be one of the most contradictory crowd of people in the world. On the one hand you act as if you want to be every smokers friend because the poor old creatures are addicts and sure God love us they can't manage to pack up on their own. Ah, but we'll help you out with all the grand products that we have. We'll be your saviours! You can count on us. We have every smokers interest at heart! Now all of a sudden when you are pregnant the person isn't addicted at all. Oh no! This is child abuse! Fingers point madly at the mother condemning her as this great monster. Not a faint whisper about her being addicted. Suddenly she's a bloody monster and a murderer. Do you, in all honesty, think that I came down on the last shower?
  The Publican  Posted: 15/02/2006 21:07
Oh, Rainy Day, You are mad about the English now huh! Best of friends just because of a smoking ban. How shallow you are! I wonder what would your ancestors say now if they saw you jubilantly supporting a country that took them so long to free Ireland. A turncoat is what I have to call you I have already had one of those in my bar last night ie., praising the English ban until a customer pointed out that he was always giving out about the English all along. There was huge laughter at this remark and it shut him up for the rest of the night. So I\'d be careful if I were you What are you hoping for? That both countries will unite together again and we\'ll all live happy ever after!
  Mary  Posted: 16/02/2006 11:16
Now Publican that is an attitude that REALLY gets my goat every time. Newsflash: - The Civil War IS over has been for some time now. . Criticize the the British for somthing they have done recently that you dislike. Admire them for something you like. But why bring up 800 years of history that no one can change. And why call rainy a turncoat, perhaps he liked them all along. I personally have no problem with any person in Britain today and I'm really not interested in what their ancient anesters did or didn't do. As regards, what his ancestors would say - they are DEAD as are mine and Oliver Cromwell and niether have an opportunity to say anything. Honestly, is it any wonder this bloody country spent so long oppressed when some of us, 80 years later are still looking at the past lamenting what has been done to us. While you keep looking the past, you will never face the future
  PJK  Posted: 16/02/2006 11:24
Publican, apart from you saying “I 'am telling you so' now”, and one small newspaper article two years old with a quote from a small time drug dealer, you have not produced any evidence to support your claim that drug dealing is on the increase as a result of the smoking ban. Also, you have not explained why none of the newspapers, radio-shows, political parties, or Garda figures show that there is any increase of drugs or prostitution due to the smoking ban. You have not confirmed whether or not you believe that there is some smoking guard manipulating the Garda figures to hide this great fact of yours that drugs & prostitution are on the increase due to the smoking ban. Would this explain why none of the rest of the country is aware of this phenomenon? Just where are you getting this crazy idea from Publican. I would genuinely support you on this important issue, if it were credible. Come on, help me here, I genuinely want to believe, but I am a logical person and so please give me something to help me believe that this is a widespread. (Apart from your personnel observation in your car park)
  PJK  Posted: 16/02/2006 11:30
Publican, again you are showing your inferiority complex, this time in relation to the England. Is it not a source of National pride that England, looked at something that Ireland has implemented successfully, and decided to copy us. After all imitation is the highest form of flattery. Shake of the shackles of your historical Anglo-phobia, and come into the 21st century, where we have been free for nearly a century, and are able to hold our own on the world stage, and sometimes provide leadership to bigger countries than ourselves.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 16/02/2006 12:04
PJK Like you, I was away in Liverpool for the last few days. Sensible restrictions on smoking were in place. At the Hotel, there was a choice of smoking or non-smoking rooms (we opted for non-smoking). There was no smoking in the dining room but an area was set aside at the far end of the reception for smokers. One area of the bar was smoking and the rest was non smoking. The "Ferry cross the Mersey" was all non-smoking including on deck which was fine and at each stop, there was an area to smoke ashore. Even at the Airport which boasts a smoke free policy, one area of the main bar was set aside for smokers. It was a set of simple compromises which suited everyone and it was a civilising experience once again to be accepted for what I am and catered accordingly. If I had one observation, at Anfield we used the executive suites before and after the game and they had no smoke free areas, a fact my wife brought to my attention. As I have stated before, I do not object to restrictions, I have no wish to 'blow smoke in anyones face' etc, and I would be happy with a limited few venues where I could go in peace but you would probably never visit. You would have the majority of choice and need never encounter smoke. What I find unfair is that you, on the other hand, are not content to allow me to smoke in ANY pub because a minority of flawed scientific studies have declared an insignificant danger to be associated with it, John.
  Bill  Posted: 16/02/2006 12:21
Being intelligent is no bar to being an idiot. It is idiotic to smoke in light of the fact that 50% of the idiots are killed by their habit. Recent research is showing that even a few cigarettes a day are very dangerous. The ONLY reason smoking is pleasurable is because your body’s nicotine level decreases and you begin to suffer from withdrawal. It is arrant nonsense to say that smoking enhances ones live. Cancer, bronchitis or chronic heart disease is hardly enhancing, nor is smelly breath, dirty nicotine stained fingers or a bad cough. It is illegal to abuse children. It is illegal to abuse them in your own home and yes social workers and the police do enter private homes and charge people therein. Smoking while pregnant is VERY dangerous for the infant. It could be made illegal and those smoking while knowingly pregnant could be fined. At the very least everyone should make it known to pregnant women that they are lowering the IQ of their children, risking them dying at birth and developing other illnesses in later life. The mothers are also at an increased risk. In the US adoption agencies are now forbidding foster parents to smoke in their homes because of the danger to the children.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 16/02/2006 12:29
RainyDay, I note that for you the ban means " the ability to go for a pint without coming home stinking of cigarette smoke in your clothes, your hair and your skin". What is stinking, disgusting, vile, filthy etc for some people is quite the opposite for others. For example, the various powerful perfumes and after shaves which cling to the nose, hair and skin may be viewed by some as desirable while others find them sickening. The base of most of these products is alcohol with a variety of known carcinogens added for good measure but, the dose is the poison. Drinking a large bottle of perfume could make you very ill (not to mention drunk) but this should not lead to a ban in everywhere but the home. But then, for you, a state of fairness exists when a third of the population are forced out into the elements to enjoy, what is for them a pleasurable addition to their day, it's legal and it contributes millions in taxes due to the insanely high price imposed on the product. I'm beginning to wonder if your smugness indoors is due to the air quality or the discomfort of those outside, John.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 16/02/2006 13:16
Bill, To label all smokers as "insane" and "idiots" is not only insulting but is in itself idiotic and insane. You go on to inform us that "the UK parliament has voted overwhelmingly to ban smoking, the argument is over there too". The same U.K. built a nuclear reactor near the Irish east coast and unlawfully invaded Iraq. I presume for you that there is no argument there either. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion but you then trot out some nonsense dressed up as facts. Parental smoking, according to you, is now the most common cause of Sudden Infant Death. I do not know who, if anyone, you are quoting, but that is simply unproven rubbish. But, obviously on a bit of a roll, you add that "parental smoking is the most common cause of children taking up smoking". You are free to make this wild claim if you wish but it is not supported by any serious study ever done. Perhaps bolstered by no firm challenge to your inaccurate claims, you suggest that 50% of smokers die from their habit. This is the hysterical rant of a phobic anti-smoker. Every condition associated with smoking is multi factoral. Diet, lifestyle, environment and economic circumstances are among the many factors which affect the health of both smokers and non smokers. No single illness is smoking related only and, unfortunately for you, the vast majority of smokers will die of old age, John.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 16/02/2006 13:34
Smoking does not make a bad parent of anybody any more than it makes them unintelligent. Instead of rejoicing that the US authorities are allowed to lay down draconian conditions for fostering children that would be impossible to enforce on biological parents, why not consider the number of children deprived of loving foster families, because there are bound to be many people who either resent such interference or don't believe themselves capable of complying with it. This means that you will have more children growing up in care than there should be, and lets see them thanking the anti-smokers for that.
  Tom  Posted: 16/02/2006 14:41
Bill, that is a very severe state of affairs. I am all for the smoking ban. I dont think it THAT much of an imposition for smokers to go outside to have their fag and while I was smoking this is exactly what I did without whingeing. I have not smoked one since January 2. However, it is extremely draconian to criminalise a mother for smoking while pregnant. Firstly I cant see the legal basis for it, especially in jurisdictions where abortion is legal. For one thing, criminalise a smoking pregnant lady would extend rights to the foetus it does not currently enjoy which allows legislatures to allow abortion. Secondly, I believe there would be a case against governments allowing, and profiting from, the sale of cigarettes the use of which would be illegal. Will the governments contemplating such moves provide sufficient supports for the smoking woman for the duration of the pregnancy to help her 24 hours a day in order for her to avoid smoking. It is a very dubious path to travel. As for fosterm parents not being allowed smoke in their home, well I never smoked in my own house when I was a smoker so I dont see a problem with this per se but it is much hartsher than the work place ban.
  Tom  Posted: 16/02/2006 14:43
PJK, get over yourself. Ireland was not the first country to bring in the smoking ban. Why do people think this? It was in many othern places before Ireland. We are the copy cats, not the pioneers. Nothing new there though.
  RainyDay  Posted: 16/02/2006 14:49
Ah publican, your veil is slipping and your true colours are showing. You are biased against the English and biased against non-smokers. Your claim that we 'haven't got the figures of the amount of people that do not agree with the ban' is just not true. The figures from survey after survey are there for all to see. It's just a small number of cranks who object to the ban. Just this lunchtime, a smoking colleague was telling me what a great idea the ban is. Hi John - Your claim that restricted smoking areas 'suited everyone ' is just not true. It doesn't suit me. It doesn't suit the bar staff. It doesn't suit majority of members of parliment. It might suit you (which is obviously what it most important to you), but it definitely doesn't suit everyone.
  The Publican  Posted: 16/02/2006 14:55
Bill, This is where the anti-smoking lobby would make you sick. Run after the most vulnerable people! Make people ashamed of their habit. Yet, it frees you up to have your own stinking habits while you are condemning others for their's. Picking on easy targets with your guilt trip is vile and disgusting and trying to drive a whole load of fear into a person's choice in life. Now the child you are carrying is going to be a stupid child, nothing about the highly intelligent children who have come from smokers. No, they must all be brain boxes like yourself because you know everything. If you were any kind of a decent citazin at all you would be targeting the 'big boys' like the government who are creaming off the smokers instead of picking on the weak and vulnerable. Hopefully some day it will be shown that it is the likes of you who are the monsters in this country and not the poor pregnant smoker!
  Tiffy  Posted: 16/02/2006 15:22
Belinda, there are plenty of conditions enforced on foster parents which could not be forced on biological parents. Non-smoking is just anoyther condtion to add to the list for the protection of the child. Bill, what did you mean by intelligence doesn't meansomeone is not an idiot. This is the most contradictory statement i HAVE EVER HEARD. John IY, so you smokers obey the no smoking area signs but does smoke, when it comes upon the signs suddenly halt in its tracks and stop drifting?? I'd like to see that, sounds like a great trick.
  RainyDay  Posted: 16/02/2006 16:27
Hi Belinda - Are you telling us that there is a real shortage of foster parents in the US? Have you any evidence to support this claim? Hi John - Your claim that smokers contribute millions in taxes (while technically correct) is dangerously one-sided. You can't look at the millions in taxes without looking at the millions in health-care costs. Smokers are net cost to the state (see research on You refer to a ban 'in everywhere but the home' but of course this is not the case. Smokers are still permitted to smoke in public outdoors (for the time being at least) and in their cars - anywhere except a workplace. Your proposal for banning perfumes and aftershave is quite interesting. I'd certainly be quite happy to see them banned, but it's not something that I feel strongly about. I've certainly never seen any evidence of the health effects of passive perfuming. If you have any such evidence, please do share.
  The Publican  Posted: 16/02/2006 17:57
Your leadership includes kicking people outside the door PJK. Oh, marvellous leadership isn't it! Exposing our young people to a whole range of illegal products. That's great leadership as well. If you ask me the only sane people on this planet are smokers. At least they can see sense and know what works and what doesn't work. What you are proving is how people cannot work together. Dismiss one group and give them absolutely no say in politics or how to run this country. The same attitude that keeps the poor poor and the rich rich. It should be smokers that should be running this country and bring this country back to being something to be proud of! They are the ones that have a decent personality, a fair personality, a positive outlook and a joy to be around. You have a long way to go before you'll ever properly eliminate us from this planet because we are not going anywhere. If anything it is now that we are really coming into our own and it is the likes of you that will bring out the best in us. You want a fight, well, I can assure you that you are in for one hell of a one. What would you do I wonder if all the smokers in Ireland, England and Scotland got together, down tools and refused to put up with this farce? I pray that it will come to this!
  The Publican  Posted: 17/02/2006 02:59
Rainy Day, How did you get your smoking colleague to agree with you about the ban? I bet he saw you coming and put on his pretense cap like we all do when there is an anti-smoker in our presence! Rainy Day: "Well, John, this smoking ban is great isn't it?" Colleague: (better humor him!) "Oh, God, yes Rainy. The best thing of all that happened! I'm after saving a fortune." Rainy Day: "Well, I'm delighted for you John! I knew that this was a great move. Look at all the people that will be saved from this ban. Colleague: I know! Isn't it brilliant... (casting a glance over to his friend and then a quick wink when Rainy isn't looking!) I bet that is what happened Rainy and you just didn't cop it! This is hilarious in the pub. We deliberately start up conversations in the pub and when it is going really well, we leave Anti on his own and all head out for a smoke! Sometimes we invite him out but he always refuses. Awwwh! What a shame! He doesn't realise what he is missing out on!
  Tiffy  Posted: 17/02/2006 08:45
Publican, what's wrong with making people ashamed of smoking - it is afterall not a good habit. Could you tell me tho', what "stinking habits" Bill has? Bill do you let off stink bombs in public places? Not wash regularly? Something like that perhaps? Rainy I am a non-smoker, always have been. I don't like smoke but I have no problem with people smoking in public outdoors and to be honest, I don't know any rational person who has. Personally, I'd never want to see perfume banned - it gives me a great mood lift to put on certain fragrances in the morning and I love guessing what fragrance other people are wearing. Certainly there are some fragrances I don't like but that's just a personal thing. But like you, have never heard of the dangers of passie perfuming. Publican I wouldn't call choosing to increase your risk of cancer by smoking, the sign of a very sane person.
  PJK  Posted: 17/02/2006 09:04
Tom, I don't need to get over myself thanks very much. I never said that I thought Ireland was the first country. I was merely standing up for Ireland National pride, which Publican seems to be ashamed off. Anyway, while we were not the first, we were one of the first, and certainly in Europe we were one of the first, and England is now following suit.
  PJK  Posted: 17/02/2006 09:16
Hi Publican, you are an amazingly frustrating person to have a discussion with. You throw out a comment as fact that drugs & prostitution are on the increase due to the smoking ban. But you continue to refuse to come up with any facts & evidence to support this claim. This is despite the fact that I have said that I agree with you that this is a serious story, if true, and that genuinely I would support you strongly if you would only give me something substantial to go on. I want to believe, please help me. Also, you have not explained why none of the newspapers, radio-shows, political parties, or Garda figures show that there is any increase of drugs or prostitution due to the smoking ban. The only thing that you seem to be saying is that somehow or other smokers know this fact, but are not going to share it with the rest of us, and are waiting for the whole thing to blow up in our faces in years to come and then you can say “We told you so”. This apparently must also come down to a smoking Garda manipulating the Garda figures to hide this very serious fact. Publican, you really must come back to us to the real world. We are losing you to your paranoid delusions. This would be a shame, as you do seem to be a good person at heart, and I would say that your pub is a great place to go.
  Bill  Posted: 17/02/2006 09:54
Are you people seriously telling me that to engage in a habit that has a 50% chance of killing you horribly and slowly and even if it doesn’t kill you it will make you ill more often, reduce the quality of your life by causing such illnesses and conditions as Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, gangrene in the legs, leather skin, etc is NOT idiotic? A habit that on average chops 15 years off a smoker’s life is not idiotic? If that’s not idiotic what is? What does the word idiot mean then? Can you give me an example of something MORE idiotic? John, I am fully in favour of Nuclear Power and if you want to discuss that there is a thread on that subject on this website here [see if you want to know how this works. Joe put me on to it.] In fact because we are linked to the UK grid we use Nuclear Power (NP) here in Ireland. I lived in France where 80% of the electricity is generated by Nuclear Power without any problems whatsoever. A leading intellectual and founder of much of the environmental movement has just published a book demanding that we stop burning fossil fuel and generate all electricity by NP. I was also in favour of the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of one of the most evil dictators in the world. I would have preferred if the UN had done it but the UN is useless in these matters. The most common cause of SID WAS the way the babies were put to sleep but that problem has largely been solved by education of mothers. Now it is smoking. You can read up on SID yourself but here is a link If you want to be frightened by smoking read this Here’s some statistics on smoking and why people smoke Read these links and then tell me that smoking is not idiotic. Here a quote from this website “Research has found that children of smokers were almost twice as likely to smoke as children with parents who never smoked.” The 50% risk of being killed by smoking is a fact which can be readily ascertained by reading up on the subject, e.g. 114,000 people in the UK die from smoking every year which is about 50% of 33% (the percentage who smoke) of the number who die. I can see the point that where abortion is legal it may seem contradictory to make it illegal to smoke while pregnant but no child results from an abortion, one does from a birth. The child born to a mother who smokes HAS been abused, therefore it is logical, moral and advisable to make smoking during pregnancy a crime just as beating a child or not feeding a child is a crime. Furthermore the act of making it a crime would ensure that mothers knew of the risks, most young mothers do not. Smoking in the company of children or in a car with children is grossly ignorant, immoral and dangerous. It does make you a bad parent knowing what we now know. It even causes glue ear and Sudden Infant Death. What “stinking habits” are you suggesting I have? Challenging foolish people maybe?
  Tom  Posted: 17/02/2006 13:04
Publican, catch yourself on. The only reason that smokers were a passive bunch before is because they were allowed smoke with impunity. You talk of tolerance, now that the ban is in, are you tolerant? No you are not. Non smokers were quiet for long enough and in fact looked for compromises before but the publicans thought it would cost them a few quid and said no to proper ventilation and extractioin systems. In effect, the publicans brought this all on themselves. So please, save us the martyrdom.
  RainyDay  Posted: 17/02/2006 13:07
Hi Publican - The \'down tools\' idea has already been tried. Remember that chance in a pub in Galway? He got fairly short shrift from the authorities and his pub is now closed down I believe (though this wasn\'t at the behest of the authorities). So off you go and down your tools if you like - It won\'t make a whit of difference. Smokers have exactly the same political rights as non-smokers, one man, one vote. The people of Ireland are not dumb enough to waste their vote on some crank who wants the right to pollute the air to take their (legal) drugs. This was proved in the 2004 local/euro elections. Your concern about illegal drugs seems very hollow, given your enthusiasm for harmful yet legal drug (tobacco & alcohol). The tide is turning. Smoking is just not socially acceptable any more. It\'s time to move on.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 17/02/2006 22:06
RainyDay, The restricted smoking areas in the U.K. did suit the staff as, there was no smoke anywhere near the bar counters themselves and at a couple of venues, the bar staff came outside the counter to smoke. Also, I found them extremely helpful in pointing out the areas I could go. The members of Parliment certainly voted to forbid ordinary mortals from smoking but ensured their own exemption at the Houses of Commons. Your reference to the healthcare costs of smokers is at best unprovable and at worst mere speculation. There is no single condition unique to smokers. Any ailment a smoker complains of could equally affect you. Figures that are bandied about have got to be made up because there is no way to separate a smokers illness from that of anybody else. My perfume jibes were just a sop to the intolerent. Tiffy, I cannot make head nor tail of your comments - please re-post, John.
  focal  Posted: 18/02/2006 17:15
Ladies and Gentlemen - Despite the fog, the clear issue here is choice and despite our current certainties, exercising choice can have surprising long term results - Madame Jean Calment was a remarkable lady Who lived very well right up to her demise At the great auld age of 122 years The oldest human on record so to speak. So what you say what does that prove Well for a start she was not at all Your typical non indulgent teetotaller Nor did she avoid foie gras or Provencal stew. And as for the don't mention it dreaded weed Enthusiastic daily partaking was her wont And in spite of today's received "wisdom" Divil the bit of harm it seems to have done her. Of course it helped that she was French Which particular tribe history has largely spared The baleful influence of the masochistic Puritan way To punish those with a superior capacity for happiness. She and it seems many of the century brigade Have somehow twigged that truth in good health Lies in moderate indulgence in hedonistic pleasures Rather than in the mean spirited lifestyle of misery makers.
  The Publican  Posted: 18/02/2006 23:31
After studying Tom's post about the possible extension of rights to the foetus which could interfere with abortion coming into this country by criminalising smoking during pregnancy then maybe I have been too harsh with Bill. If I actually thought that this would actually stop abortion then I would actually be all for it. But to bring in abortion and to criminalise smoking during pregnancy would make a pure mockery of the whole scene. But knowing our government they would find some crafty way around this so that they could still keep powerful organisations like Ash happy. They'd find a way of making out that the child has no rights if you are going for an abortion so you can smoke away but the child would have rights if you were carrying the child to full term all right so you can't smoke. It would be like me smoking in my own pub right up to the time I turned the keys in my door but not after that.
  RainyDay  Posted: 20/02/2006 11:35
Sorry to dissapoint you publican, but he brought up the topic and expressed his view before I had a chance to say anything about the ban. You can continue to make up fairy stories to suit your purpose if you wish, but the reality is that some smokers do support the ban.
  RainyDay  Posted: 20/02/2006 11:40
So publican, if you put on your 'pretense cap' at the bar, why don't you put on the same cap here. Why don't you pretend to us that you support the ban too? But that's not my real question - my real question is why the hell you would even think about something called a 'pretense cap'? Is this some part of the quaint Oirish pub culture that I've yet to understand? Is it not possible to have a sensible mature disagreement with someone in your pub without it coming to blows? How on earth to expect anyone to take you seriously if you insist on playing childish games with winks & nudges? Maybe people should be spending less time in pubs (with or without the smoking) if this is the kind of childish schoolyard behaviour that goes on.
  Bill  Posted: 20/02/2006 12:26
Tiffy, this sentence of yours is total nonsense, "Bill do you let off stink bombs in public places? Not wash regularly? Something like that perhaps?" The fact is that most smokers either do not realise or do not care that their habit is filthy, irrating & smelly and if they had any manners in the first place and didn't blow their obnoxious smoke about the place the law wouldn't have been necessary. One of the biggest contributions to litter in Dublin is also smokers.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 20/02/2006 12:47
All I am claiming is that people are frightened of putting themselves forward as foster parents because of the requirements of the authorities, who would make quite adequate parents compared with the general run of humankind. It has nothing to do with the waiting lists in the USA.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 20/02/2006 15:49
Tom that is an absurdity, no government should be in the business of introducing anti-smoking legislation as a punitive measure against publicans, for supposedly not taking action to reduce smokiness in bars. The ban affects everybody's social routines, and it is a goevernment's responsibility to its people to explore the possiblities in full before introducing bans of legal products. I am sure that ban supporters will feel vindicated by the recent vote in London, and that is why we are getting all these comments suggesting that smokers should be ashamed of themselves etc. Private regret is one thing, public policy another, and no policy should be aimed at inducing feelings of shame for doing something that is legal. Such is the social climate of bans. Those of us who oppose bans in the UK are continuing to find ways of challenging the use of public money to put across health messages concerning secondary smoke that are at best unproven and at worst utter nonsense. Legal challenges are under way. We want communities where people can be together and where people are not prosecuted or harassed for either smoking or not. Smoke particles in the air can be dealt with. It is a scientific fact.
  RainyDay  Posted: 20/02/2006 17:05
Hi John - Are you now speaking on behalf of the hospitality staff when you say that "restricted smoking areas in the U.K. did suit the staff "? If so, you might like to get closer to your members and see what they really think. The trade union movement (who are paid by the staff to represent the staff) are solidly behind the smoking ban - see any/all of the following for confirmation; Are we really supposed to believe that you know better than all these unions what suits the staff?
  Tjhe Publican  Posted: 20/02/2006 17:50
Rainy Day, The 'down tools' set-up would work allright if it was thrown into the smokers hands. If every smoker in the country decided that they would not go outside the door, what could any publican do? He'd have to keep throwing them out and if they refused to go he'd have to call the guards. In the publican's case in Galway it didn't work out because it was he who allowed it. So all they had to do was to catch him. At any given stage of the ban smokers could have got together and did this and many a time it was spoken of. I said earlier on that smokers were the salt of the earth. They didn't make our job awkward when they could so easily have. This is something that you should be very appreciative of and after getting this respect shown from smokers it only makes sense that the same amount of respect would be shown if they were given a room. You could make any rule you like now for a smoker and they would follow it. If I told them in my pub that they are only allowed to pop down every now and again for a fag, bring their pint glass up with them, empty their ashtrays and clean the tables, I know for a fact that they would do it. Yet, you try to make out that they will do the opposite and yet they are obeying the law practically to a tee. Tom, non-smokers could have insisted on their own room many years ago. Why didn't they do this? The only reason that I am intolerant is because I have been kicked out. You were never kicked out remember and that is the huge difference in this ban. When did we ever tell you as smokers to get outside the door because there was smoking inside? No, we didn't because we are decent respectable individuals. We speak and act with fairness. We have obeyed all the changes that have been made to date but kicking us out was the last straw. Did you ever see the film Braveheart? Well, watch Mel Gibson's face as he falls off the horse near the end and he discovers that Robert the Bruce betrayed him. That's EXACTLY the way that I feel about the anti-smoking lobby!
  RainyDay  Posted: 20/02/2006 21:31
Hi Belinda - Help us to understand your claims that "health messages concerning secondary smoke that are at best unproven and at worst utter nonsense" and "Smoke particles in the air can be dealt with. It is a scientific fact". I take it you now expect us to believe that you (with zero professional knowledge or experience in this area) now know more about passive smoking and particle ventilation than the eminent team of experts who wrote the Irish HSA report. You're the expert now - right?
  The Publican  Posted: 21/02/2006 01:17
Rainy Day: 11:40 Rainy, I'm afraid me and you are from two different worlds altogether although we appear to get on alright now and again. I know my humor disturbs you with all my winking and blinking ect. but this is pub life for you. I'v been brainwashed into this set-up after 25 years. The country pub scene is also poles apart from the city scene because you rarely see the owners here but in the country you will meet the owner all the time. We (the owners) then form a special bond with our customers and the majority of conversations revert around having a good laugh. People come into us especially for that laugh and just leave their hair down. Here we encourage people to say what is on their minds and use humor all the time in solving problems. It gives the customer a really enjoyable way of looking at life in a completely different way. That is our object all the time and having their friends and neighbours with them makes an enormous difference. There is so much more involved in running a pub than merely making a profit. I have had years when I made a loss and yet I wouldn't part from this place for the world. This is a little place in heaven for me and my husband and none of my kids are in any hurry to go either. I know that I am rambling on a bit but I just want to give you a better picture and I want to show you that I am not trying to really mock you in any way but this is how we deal with things. The pretense cap is here in my pub anyway but it's not meant in a nasty way. It's only done to make us all laugh. Maybe you should be encouraging people to come out to the pubs rather than staying away. Some people would probably benefit greatly especially if they came to my pub!
  The Publican  Posted: 21/02/2006 01:47
PJK, I was looking at Today Tonight only last Friday I think and the drugs issue was brought up. The Drug Awareness group were mostly looking for funding on that programme but they were making it clear that drugs have gone out of all reason. They also said that the government are not taking this issue seriously enough. And I too believe that they are not. No factors at all as to why drugs have increased were given on that programme but I can definately see the smoking ban as being a new contributory factor on this one. I have said it to several of my customers who looked at me and said, "God, I never thought of that one! Sure, yeah, they'd find it very easy to sell more drugs that way! So I can understand how people might not see it. It was my ear-wigging that made me aware of it in the first place and peeping out of my top window. You have no idea how much I abhor drugs particularly hard ones. It's just awful to see whole wage packets belonging to grand young fellows literally going down the drain. On the paper today a young lad from our parish was given a 3 year sentence for drug pushing. Not so long ago great tragedy struck his family. His mother died first, then his brother was killed on a motorbike and his cousin got beaten to death several months later. He was a superb worker outside of pushing drugs and a lovely quiet lad to talk to. Some people are under the impression that drug pushers are real thugs but the sad thing is that they are not. They are only ordinary people after. This is a very painful area then when it hits your own parish. Even if I have the slightest suspicion at all with the young people outside my door I will get them in off the street and put them into my living quarters so I can keep an eye on them. I don't give a damn about any smoking ban at that stage and I know that they could always do it later on but at least I will have upset them and you never know somebody might decide to go home afterwards rather than join their friends. At that point I might prevent someone from taking up the habit. That would be a huge success in my eyes even if I act out of paranoid. If you look at The Evening Echo for 20th Feb. there is an article about the growing problem of prostitution. Again, no factors given for this. It seems that reporters don't want to say what causes these things. But the two questions on the above topics makes one wonder why they are growing. An increase in prostitution is an increase in customers. Where are the customers coming from? Outside the doors smoking?? On the Today Tonight programme that I watched I noticed something else that you will probably come running after me about. In the first half of 2005 gambling jumped from 20% to 45% online. Are these smokers staying at home and taking up gambling?? So don't worry PJK, I haven't lost the run of myself at all. I am watching the smoking ban very carefully, I believe that a better way should have been found, some aspects are good but there are very dangerous ones too. It is this observation that has helped me to run a great pub all these years with little or no mishaps but I could be here for another 25 yet! Thanks for your last comment! That was very much appreciated.
  Tiffy  Posted: 21/02/2006 08:36
Ah calm down Bill, Publican accused you of having a filthy habit - I asked what it might be?
  Mary  Posted: 21/02/2006 12:48
Ah now Publican, come on, I know plenty of non-smokers as well as smokers that have a decent personality, a fair personality, a positive outlook and are a joy to be around so I think your comment was unfair. I wonder if all the smokers here and in England and Scotland DID get together and refuse to put up with it, what would happen? Would they all be barred from their locals/ Would publicans such as our self sympathise. Would they be reported and fined? What if they refused to pay the fimes. At what point would our prisons be too small to hold them - afterall they are overcrowded as it is. It reminds me of a study, done in the U.S. in, I think the 40's or 50's (I may have alluded to this already, I'm not sure - if i have sorry) where in a liberal prison system they gradually took away the prisoners priveledges to see what would happen. There were compaints and grumbles about a lot of things - reduced recreation time, restrited access to workshops and classroms, restricted visting - until they supervisors took away their smokes There was a riot!!
  RainyDay  Posted: 21/02/2006 12:52
Hi Publican - OK, so I've failed to convince you that 'down tools' wont work. Off you go, so. Down your tools today - let your customers smoke and let me know the address of your pub. Once you've seen the reaction of the state authorities, maybe then you'll believe me that this isn't going to work. And I just don't believe your claims that smokers will now comply with the law. They are breaking litter laws every day, every time they drop their butts on the street. Just Saturday, I noticed a man who lit up his cigarette as he approached the exit door of a shopping centre, instead of waiting until he was outside. This isn't speaking and acting with fairness (to use your terms).
  Mary  Posted: 21/02/2006 12:54
Not sure about the online gambling Publican but I think it's definitely stretching it to say that prostitutes are gettign their increae in clientele from people smoking outside the pub. Maybe I'm naieve - maybe I am but I cannot see a man o any age, out of a few drinkis with friends, his pint or whatever sitign on the table, he nips out for a smoke and suddenly takes a notion to go off with a passing prostitute who happens to be touting for business outside the door of the pub? Sorry - it just doesn't was with me I don't see it as even a half believable scenario.
  RainyDay  Posted: 21/02/2006 13:32
Hi Publican - Do you see any contradiction at all between your abhorrance of illegal drugs and your boundless enthusiasm (including earning your living from) for legal drugs - alcohol & tobacco. Why are you so worried about young people taking illegal drugs when you are pushing the drink into them and encouraging them to smoke by bringing them up to your kitchen? [I do hope you've informed your insurance company that you bring customers into your house for a smoke] Do you think that perhaps if you discouraged smoking from the start, less people would end up smoking hash?
  PJK  Posted: 21/02/2006 13:39
Hi Publican, I agree with you that drugs are a real scourge on society, with some terrible consequences, and do seem to be on the increase. Where we part is that apart from your hunch from peeping out your window, there is nothing concrete to say that this increase is due to the smoking ban, so I think that we will just leave that argument for now. There could be loads of reasons for this increase in drugs, not least the fact that we are all much richer than we were ten years ago, and so have more disposable income, for spending on so-called recreational drugs. Likewise with prostitution. Incidentally, not that I know much from personal experience, but I understand that a lot of prostitution is arranged through mobile telephone numbers and arrangements are made to meet in apartments. Therefore it is now a lot more discrete, with much less chance of being caught kerb crawling. This coupled with the proliferation of mobiles, apartment blocks and extra cash, could well be contributing to the increase in prostitution. Certainly none of the pub car parks that I pass through seem to have a prostitution problem.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 21/02/2006 13:51
Rainy Your problem is that you don't recognise any experts except the HSA. As i have already told you they are such experts that when I asked them what they meant by one of the claims they could not answer me but referred me to the OTC who didn't even bother replying. Like it or not, the claims that secondary smoke are damaging are not proven, and the idea that smoke particles will not move and are not subject to the same physical laws as the rest of the air is nonsense. I am not really concerned with the HSA in any case. We have our own reports in this country. If you only read the one text, be it the bible or whatever, you will inevitably reach the conclusion that it is the whole truth. I may not be able to prove that secondary smoke is not dangerous, but it is quite easy to demonstrate that there is serious scientific opposition to the view that secondary smoke is dangerous, and that the health authorities should not spend public money claiming it as 'gospel' truth. There are no studies showing a clear biological pathway between smoke exposure and sickness.
  The Publican  Posted: 21/02/2006 14:03
Well, Mary, at least you are not sure about the online gambling which gives me the impression that you can possibly see something here. With regards to prostitution it was my own young fellow who drew my attention to this. He was indeed approached as were four of his friends. I can certainly see some smokers going off with prostitutes anyway just as easily as non-smokers do. Why wouldn't they? There is obviously a market out there so there has to be customers for it. There would be nothing at all surprising about this. I enjoyed the one about the people experimented in jail. That's what's happening with us smokers at this moment in time. We too are being experimented on and I for one don't enjoy it at all! Those that do in my view need this kind of treatment in their lives. For what reason God only knows? Tiffy, I had a grand post naming out all of Bill's possible filthy habits but the whole thing got rejected! I guess you will have to only use your imagination now as to what these could possibly be! Some people's imagination can be wild!!
  Mary  Posted: 21/02/2006 14:38
Publican, maybe you missed my point. Certainly your son was propositioned but he or his friends did not actually take the prostute up on her offer. To think that he could be enjoying a few pints and the odd smoke wiht friends and then suddenly decide to go off with a prostitute is a little hard to believe.
  RainyDay  Posted: 21/02/2006 15:12
Hi Belinda - It is just a little bit rude to tell somebody else what their problem is (i.e. 'Rainy - your problems is that you...'). I don't have any problems around this. You may have a problem with my opinions, but I don't have any problems around the HSA experts. The OTC's failure to answer your query does not in any way take away from the validity of their report. How hard did you try? Did you push them? Did you ring them once a week or once a day until they responded? The HSA report itself was a literature review of many, many other studies on the damaging effects of passive smoking. It is not a one single 'gospel', but a distillation of many other gospels all with one clear message at the core. Passive smoking kills. I certainly haven't seen any serious scientific opposition in Ireland or UK to this position. Have you?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 21/02/2006 21:26
Rainy No rudeness was intended. The Bible is not a single gospel either, but many religious scholars might also want to study an alternative source like the Koran. There is always another valid view. I did not say that there was enormous opposition in scientific circles. I said that the science was not proven. I have a list in front of me of studies of lung cancer in exposed non-smokers since 1981. Only a fraction of them shows a relative risk over 2 (ie a 20% risk). Relative risks should exceed 3 before they are considered statistically significant in themselves (as stated by the New England Journal of Medicine and the US national Cancer Institute) and the quality of the data also has to be sound and not subject to recollection bias or other confounding factors. The relative risk in most of these studies is under 2. This suggests to me a lack of evidence that 'passive smoke kills', and significant evidence showing that the effects of secondary smoke are neglible. The official position is that the evidence suggests only that secondary smoke is dangerous. I want people to realise that this is a misrepresentation of the facts. You are right that I did not perservere with the OTC, but they are not the authors of the report, and I felt that the HSA should have been willing to explain the content of their own report. To me that does suggest a lack of confidence in their material, and buck passing never looks good. But as I said I am more concerned (and no more reassured) by what we are told in Scotland.
  The Publican  Posted: 22/02/2006 02:00
Mary and PJK, Thankfully my young fellow did not take up the prostitutes offer on that occasion but now that the idea was given he could ponder over it and act in the future. This is another point that you are missing and it is the exact same with the drugs problem. All it takes is someone to suggest something and plant the idea. Remember it was the same with passive smoking. That was unheard of before until someone suggested it. Look how far it ended up travelling! It's no good then PJK dismissing the drugs issue. I am certainly not going to dismiss it because I know in my own heart and soul that the smoking ban is a definite contributory factor here and I will refuse to stay blind. In actual fact, I cannot afford to stay blind when I am trying to supervise my premises. You can afford to alright maybe but personally I believe that anyone that is a supporter of this type of ban should be also taking responsibility and every parent out there should be made aware of it. You say that when you pass through a car park you see no prostitution. I say passing through is not good enough. Try staying out there for a few nights and maybe then you will spot something. Try walking the streets of Dublin for a few weeks and see if any smokers are approached by prostitutes i.e if you can spot prostitutes. My son's word was good enough for me but if you are really concerned and want to see this for yourself you may have to go to these lengths. You will have to do the same with drugs. Seeing is believing which is what has happened in my case.
  The Publican  Posted: 22/02/2006 02:33
Rainy Day, Would you ever please tell me what is your main job? Give me a chance to find fault with your one because you are mad trying to knock my one! If you are langers drunk you can be certain sure that I won't serve you drink enthusiastically at all. If you are a nasty character I won't be enthusiastic either. If you are fine and sensible and have a few sensible drinks then I will serve you enthusiastically then alright. While some of you are spending about an hour drinking one pint I will entertain you and introduce you to people as well. I will also do this for people who sit down all night with one glass of coke in front of them! Have you forgotton Rainy that I serve minerals as well. And would you believe it, I will still talk to you even if you asked me for a glass of water! When the insurance companies decide to give all of us publicans a bit of money back now that there is no longer smoking on the premises I will immediately inform them when I have customers in my living quarters! That's a promise! At the moment I am still paying the same premium as I have always done when smoking was allowed. Maybe you could help us to fight this one Rainy? Believe it or not Rainy, I am discouraging smoking far more than other publicans are because I have never erected an outside area. Outside areas have the effect of encouraging smokers. Some of them stay there all night and could smoke up to 20 cigs for the night. When I bring some of them into my living quarters they feel that they cannot put me out so they end up only having the occasional smoke. Far far better! That's why I know how good a room could work. But you are so full of paranoid thoughts on this area. You have yourself convinced that it wouldn't work yet this is my area. I should know what works and what doesn't. I see so much improvement here that it is unreal. It's such a shame when you can't see it. Would you ever, please, stop looking on us publicans as being part of the enemy? Your common sense is gone Rainy and you have strayed off the path. You are too stubborn and too bitter and it will only lead to your downfall. Non-smokers will still be protected. The room is for the protection of smokers and will be an aid in giving up smoking rather than being tempted to smoke more outside or worse still to end up using something worse.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 22/02/2006 12:11
okay rainy I'm contradicting myself again. Sorry. But even if I can't argue a case, the fact remains that not everybody agrees with the passive smoking case and there are sound reasons for not agreeing with it. Shoot the messenger, not the message!
  RainyDay  Posted: 22/02/2006 12:29
Hi Publican - If you want to educate the general public on the risks of prostitution & drugs arising from the ban, why don't you work through your trade association - the Vintners Federation of Ireland. They are well able to get the public attention when they need to. They have the professional PR agencies on hand. So give them a call and tell them how important it is to spread this message. I look forward to seeing Tadgh from the VFI on the 9 O'Clock news telling us all about these serious risks.
  Mary  Posted: 22/02/2006 16:45
Actually, Publican, as far as I'm aware, your living quarters constitute your private house anf bringing your customers in there for a smoke is no different in terms of insurance than having friends, relations or the fellow on the street for that matter
  RainyDay  Posted: 22/02/2006 16:52
Hi Publican - Please don't take things so personally. I'm really not out to attack you. I'm sure that you could indeed find fault with my job (public sector) if I were to expose my soul to you. But that's not really relevant to this topic. I understand that you may be annoyed that your insurance premium hasn't gone down, but that is a commercial matter between you and your insurers. Have you shopped round for cheaper alternatives? Have you got the VFI to put pressure on the insurers to drop their rates? I only mentioned the insurance cover because you could possible find yourself without cover as a result of your practice of bringing customers into your home for a smoke. Insurers are great at finding ways to avoid paying out claims, and this is one possible way in your case. You brought the topic of illegal drugs into the discussion, so don't be surprised or annoyed if I bring up the related topic of legal drugs. There is a very real contradiction between your enthusiasm for the legal drugs of alcohol & tobacco (both of which cause very real harm to many of their users) and your abhorrance for illegal drugs.
  RainyDay  Posted: 22/02/2006 17:11
Hi Mary - Bringing customers into your living quarters to smoke goes way beyond the normal usage of living quarters in terms of the frequency of the visits and nature of the visits. I'm not an expert on this, but I would guess that this would constitute increased risk for the insurance company. All insurance contracts are based on the principle of 'utmost good faith' and failing to be completely honest with your insurance company on matters like this can result in you having no insurance cover at all.
  The Publican  Posted: 23/02/2006 02:01
Rainy, if insurance contracts operated \\\'on good faith\\\' then they should have come running to me at the start of the smoking ban and offered to immediately bring down my premium substantially! Today Tonight again highlighted the Payment Protection racket and how customers who went for claims discovered that the policy didn\\\'t actually cover what they thought it did. So what then constitues \\\'good faith\\\' Rainy?? Mary is right. I love Mary because she\\\'s been the best one so far for sticking up for me! I can easily make these people out to be my guests and when they come out of my living quarters it looks as though they are just coming up from the toilet. I have all my tracks covered Rainy. I\\\'m a fair old bit of a detective and I can do it right under your nose Rainy while you are breathing in your fresh air!! The next time it comes out on the telly that the ban is a 99% success remember that I\\\'ll have this big smirk on my face as it is being announced! With regards to your contradition that you seem to have trouble with maybe if you compared it to painkillers you might see the light. The safer ones or the weaker ones are over-the-counter but the strong ones are on prescription. Why don\\\'t they put the strong ones over the counter Rainy? Because they are too dangerous. Well, it\\\'s the same with me. I administer what are termed as safer drugs made legal by the government. As I have said before you get to be monitored and all with us publicans wheras no-one monitors your tablets. Our drugs are so safe now that you can go into a supermarket and buy the biggest pile of drink that you want, take it home and no-one gives a damn. So I don\\\'t know why you think that my drugs are dangerous now!! The illegal drugs on the other hand could have anything inside in them. There is no government watchdog for them and some people have jumped off cliffs or took an eyeball out of themselves! How many youngsters have died after taking one ecstasy tablet? While my drugs can certainly be abused, it follows that almost anything can be abused. Food is another huge one, there are shopaholics, gamblers, keep-fit fanatics. Even words can be abused. How many people out there have to have a swear word in every sentence? Your argument is a weak one Rainy although when I go to heaven (of which I am certain) I will probably tell the man above that if he wants to send me back that I would prefer not to be a publican again!
  Mary  Posted: 23/02/2006 08:38
But surely if smoking constitutes increased risk, then Publican is still paying the premium for increased risk as her premium has not gone down since the introduction of the ban.
  Mary  Posted: 23/02/2006 08:43
. . . and as for the normal usage of living quarters in terms of the frequency of the visits and nature of the visits, surely is is her her HOME and as such she is entitled to have as many visitors as often as she pleases for any legal purpose (smoking is still legal - you and I may dislike it Rainy but that does not take from it being legal) Who's to say but she might be extremely popular and sociable and be fond of a lot of company. As for the compariason between legal and illegal drugs, at least Publican supervisies the ones which are legal on her premises. She can no longer reasonably supervise those smoking out on the footpath.
  PJK  Posted: 23/02/2006 10:44
Publican, I agree with you that insurance companies are not all they make out. In the event of a claim they will be sticklers for detail, and if any part of the contract is not adhered to they will declare the contract invalid and not pay up. That is why people discover that the insurance does not cover what you thought it would. So from memory, I would think that normal household insurance would have a clause saying it was for normal residential use, and that is why it would be a lot cheaper than commercial insurance, where the numbers of people would be higher and therefore the risks higher. I would have thought that the risk of fire would be reduced since the smoking ban, so I would have thought that there was a legitimate case for a reduction in premiums on that basis. I would agree with Rainy, that your famous VFI should be fighting this case on your behalf, and bringing some clout to bare on the insurance companies. I would certainly support you on this cause. Maybe the reason for no reduction in premium, is that most of the premium is covering the public liability aspect, which is notoriously high in Ireland, due to the high numbers of claims (including loads of spurious claims) and the high pay-outs.
  RainyDay  Posted: 23/02/2006 11:11
Hi Publican - Here we go with the diversion tactics again (painkillers & chemists). Can we stick to one point at a time? You ask many people have been killed from taking one esctacy tablet? I would suggest that the answer (for Ireland) is a very small number - maybe less than 10. Now I'll ask you a few questions in return - How many people have died as a result of alcohol abuse? Hundreds or maybe thousands, I guess. I've seen one relative of my wife in her 50's die as a result of liver failure due to alcohol abuse, leaving a family of teenagers & young adults behind. Unfortunately, she is far from a rare case. Here's another one for you - How many have died from lung cancer, heart disease, COPD, stroke or other conditions directly related to their smoking? Thousands or maybe tens of thousands? And yet you focus on a tiny number of ecstacy deaths instead - Not very logical, is it? If you are really concerned about drugs, why do you make your living from selling a pretty harmful drug? You're not half as cute as you think you are about your insurance. Your ability to 'make these people out to be my guests' hasn't got a hope in hell of standing up in court. If it came to it, the insurance company will have teams of lawyers supporting their case. They will have the private detectives with the 'hidden camera' shots of your customers entering & leaving your kitchen. They will show the proposal form where you signed the commitment to notify them of any change in usage of your property. You would lose any such case, find yourself without insurance, and probably find yourself paying their legal costs as well. I'm not an apologist for the insurance industry. Yes, I do think that you should have got lowered premiums as a result of the ban, though maybe having all the smokers dropping their burning butts at your door is still considered a substantial risk. But your flimsy excuse of 'making them out to be my guests' would be torn apart in seconds by any half-decent insurance assessor.
  The Publican  Posted: 23/02/2006 15:08
Hey Rainy, I was at a parent teachers meeting yesterday waiting patiently in line for my turn. On my right I turned to a woman and said, "God, I'm dying for a fag! She looked at me and gave me a half-hearted smile! So I said again, "What would you think of this smoking ban?" Again she looked at me and gave me that half-hearted smile! She just had to be an anti! So I turned to the woman on my left and said the same thing again! "God, I'm dying for a fag!". "God, I am too!" she said. I nearly fell off the chair with delight. "What would you think of this smoking ban?" I said. "Oh, it's a pile of crap isn't it?" she says. At that moment half-hearted got up off her seat and threw me a quick glance. I got great pleasure in sending her a half-hearted smile back!
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 23/02/2006 15:12
Rainyday, You keep referring to cigarettes and alcohol as legal drugs. I would remind you that everything in the pharmacy is a legal drug and, in terms of it's ability to poison and kill, the dose is the poison. A doctor will prescribe and a pharmacist will dispense a month long course of drug "X". You cannot ask the pharmacist for a four year supply of your favorite drug "X'. Equally, the publican under law, cannot dispense more drink if you are already drunk. There's a school of thought that says that one drug is food for the body and the other, food for the soul. Personally, when I get the flu, I find a tot of brandy (a drink I despise) every bit as good as anything in the Chemists shop and much, much cheaper. I have had the same bottle of brandy now for over sixteen years ! John.
  RainyDay  Posted: 23/02/2006 17:11
Hi Mary - You ask 'Who's to say but she might be extremely popular and sociable and be fond of a lot of company'. It is nothing to do with Publican's popularity or sociability. It is to do with her using parts of her home to run her business. Your 'Who's to say' approach just doesn't stand up legally. If it did, it would be used by brothels and creche owners to get round a whole pile of regulations. The simple fact is that she is extended her business into her home. I suspect that the insurance for her home is based on it being her home, not a part of her business.
  The Publican  Posted: 23/02/2006 18:32
Yeah, Rainy, Put Mary's post into your pipe now and smoke it!!
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 23/02/2006 20:51
RainyDay, Your touching compliance with, and defense of, the 'Letter-of-the-Law' must come from a background in the civil service where dotting the "i" and crossing the "t' is of paramount importance. The Publican's skill-set is in the art of hospitality. Unlike yourself, income is not guaranteed, but is dependent on how the customer feels and whether they stay awhile. There is a human common sense that prevails in that circumstance that cannot be governed by any law or even a rule book. Her invitation to smokers to come into the family home is both civil and humane and your speculation on the reaction of the thieves in the Insurance Industry in the unlikely event of an accident is spurious in the extreme. I take my hat off to her for coping as best she can in our ever accelerating (false) P.C. culture. If you cannot accept that someone as an adult, freely chooses to smoke, then you run the risk of intolerance towards everybody, be it for their creed, religion, race or colour. The Publican provides you, the avid smoke hater, with your chosen environment but you seem to wish to extend your influence into her home and persecute further her smoking customers whom she is trying to please. Since the introduction of this stupid ban, all of us smokers have found out "little place". In some cases, we may be bending or even breaking this ridiculous law, confounding the abolitionists and avoiding the health police. But, you yourself, may be moving in the circles of the self righteous where this is impossible to believe. Over a million of us have not marched the streets. We've just done what we Irish have always done and made other arrangements. Personally, I will never agree with this outrageous ban and will always lament the fact that in 2006, we do not have the wit or the culture in this country to cater for all tastes, John.
  RainyDay  Posted: 23/02/2006 21:08
Hi John - Yes, I realise that the pharmacists shelves are full of legal drugs, but lets not kid ourselves that there is any genuine control in Ireland around the quantities of alcohol sold to individuals in Ireland. Just take a walk through Temple Bar any night of the week and then tell me that publicans don't serve alcohol to drunks. Publicans have a long way to go before they are in the same league as pharmacists.
  The Publican  Posted: 24/02/2006 02:50
Rainy, you have forgotton one major important thing with regards to my home. You see not only is my bar licenced but All of my home is as well. I can serve drink in my kitchen, bedrooms and even the toilets. My insurance covers every part of my building. That is in case I ever have such a crowd in that I have to use another part of the building. It is also there for those who have to change their clothes for acts, marking quizzes, those who clean our beer lines, the health offficers, sales people, accountants and bank managers. So my public liability isn't a problem here. On top of that as far as I am concerned it is far less of a risk for me to have a few customers smoking in my living quarters rather than having them outside in my garden where I can't mind them properly especially where I am positioned. I have also told you already that some pubs were told by the guards to get their customers in off the streets because of complaints about noise. They didn't care what the proprietor did with them once they were off the streets. So this is a big problem that cannot be solved easily. As John says I am working with this ban the best way that I can but when I point out the danger you don't want to see it. I also have to think of those customers who were our bread and butter down through the years and who continually give us support. If leaving them have a smoke in comfort in my kitchen keeps them happy then I will certainly oblige them. I agree with you that there is a lot of abuse with alcohol but really and truly Rainy, the abuse in the country is minimal. This is because the owner is there all the time and the owner wants to run a decent pub. The city scene is very different because I have heard of a type of reward financially for those who push drinks. The more you sell the more you will get paid. I think that this is an awful practice myself and personally should be outlawed. We mostly run the pub here ourselves but have two or three casual staff. They are getting a certain figure every night regardless of whether it is busy or not. Most of the time they are under no big pressure because we are always here to help out and we would never dream of ever letting them on their own. So there is a distinct difference here in the country. In all of the time that I have been here two of my customers got cirrohsis of the liver but these two travelled from pub to pub. All those who have only stuck with us have never gotton anything and that is the gospel truth. The abuse of alcohol is planned. There is always a routine involved and the routine covers a lot of time. Whole days are taken up travelling around to different places as well as drinking at home. I can't stop this at all although I have certainly refused a few or given them a feed of tongue. If anything doctors encourage drinking simply by saying that a certain amount of it is good for you. People aren't concerned about the amount that the doctor said only that it is good for you. Still, doctors say that cigarettes are bad for us as well but we still ignore this one. I don't know the figures for deaths related to alcohol or cigarettes for that matter but I do know that they exist. One thing though that I am very curious about is how many deaths are due to prescription drugs? Last year I heard of a phenomenal 100,000 in England alone! What are the figures for Ireland I wonder Rainy?
  RainyDay  Posted: 24/02/2006 10:02
Hi John - I agree that the insurance issue isn't central to this debate. However, your comment on the 'thieves in the insurance industry' is dangerously one-sided (Are we seeing a pattern here?). I accept that there have been dodgy practices in some parts of the insurance industry. But these have been matched with enthusiasm & gusto by dodgy practices from their customers. It is a relatively common practice for the named driver on a car insurance policy to be in fact the main driver of the car. Think of all the Mummy's little darlings to drive Mummy's car more frequently than Mummy ever does. There is a view that this little white lie is just a slight bending of the rules and the little darling is still covered. Well, he's not. If you lie on your insurance form (i.e. name the wrong main driver of the car), your insurance contract is null and void. Don't underestimate the extent to which insurance companies will go to avoid paying a claim. CCTV tapes, parking records and private detectives will all be used to gather evidence about who was actually the main driver. Some of the Mummies are dumb enough to have themselves down as the main driver on 2 seperate cars, which gives the insurance industry a pretty good indication that they are up to no good. Such lies constitute insurance fraud, and the other customers of the insurance company (i.e. you & me) are left to pick up the bill for the fraudsters. Your thoughts on my civil service state of mind are somewhat flawed. I've only joined the public sector 3 months ago after approx 25 years in private sector positions, so I don't really think I've become institutionalised (yet).
  Mary  Posted: 24/02/2006 10:32
Rainy, I'd like to point out that detectives with hidden camea shots if obtained without the permission of the owner would 1. be trespass for which they would be liable and 2. be inadmissable evidence., thrown out of court and significantly weaken the insurance companies credibility. This is not a 1970'S AMERICAN DETECTIVE SHOW, YOU KNOW!! As for pharmacies, if a person is determind enough they can go from pharmacy to pharmacy buying significant quantities of OTC drugs. Just as Publicans' customers can go on to another pub and another. You don't expect her to have someone follow her custmers around after they leave do you?!!
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 24/02/2006 11:28
RainDay, You are, of course, correct about Temple Bar. I have only been there twice and was appalled. Perhaps my image of the Irish pub is quaint or old fashioned but, I use the facilities of a pub to meet and chat with friends, read a book or newspaper and on some occasions, watch a sporting event on a large screen. There are several pubs in my locale that serve great food also. I don't suppose I will ever understand the mentality that consumes alcohol purely to get blind drunk so I cannot see the attraction of venues like Temple Bar. However, I believe the vast majority of pubs in Ireland still reflect my impression and it is invalid to point at the exceptions to prove your rule, John.
  RainyDay  Posted: 24/02/2006 12:43
Hi Mary - There is no trespass involved in a detective sitting in the pub. You seem to be surprised that insurance companies would go to these lengths? Didn't you see the Prime Time show on fraudulent claims some time back where they showed the clips taken by detectives showing claimants who were supposedly disabled as a result of injuries who were actually working on building sites and dancing the night away. This kind of thing happens all the time. Evidence is admissable in court, though more often than not the court proceedings are settled once the fraudsters are shown the tapes.
  Mary  Posted: 24/02/2006 13:56
Rainy, there IS trespass involved in a dectective entering someones home undr false pretences and filming them. That is trespass and possibly pbreaking and entering and it is Publicans home we're talking about.
  PJK  Posted: 24/02/2006 14:14
Publican, you cannot have it both ways. You are saying that you are inviting people into your home to smoke, and that gets you around the smoking ban. In the next breathe you are saying this has no insurance implications as your home as well as the bar all come under the bar licence and your home can be used for bar related work. Both statements in themselves make sense on their own, but when looked at together are contradictory. If you are covered by insurance as you say, well then it is because your home is also part of the work area of the bar, and therefore would have to come under the smoking ban as the ban is on smoking in the work place. It also negates your claim to a lower insurance premium as there is still smoking going on in your work premises. It might sound like nit-picking, and won't come to anything unless you ever have an insurance claim, at which time insurance companies have all the resources to nit-pick in order to get a way out of paying up a claim. I am afraid Rainy is right on this issue and her example of named drivers is an excellent example, that a lot of people do not realise until the unfortunate day that their child is involved in an accident. A lot of drivers even though on paper look like they are insured, are in fact driving without insurance in the only real way that matters, i.e. when it comes to making a claim.
  The Publican  Posted: 24/02/2006 14:43
Hey, Rainy, stop frightening the life out of me will you?? I was hoovering the kitchen today and after your comment I became aware of the cobwebs on the ceiling and started tapping it to see if there were any hidden cameras! I'm becoming paranoid now! I even lifted up parts of the carpet in case there were any secret bugs planted there! I'll have to buy a bloody metal detector!
  RainyDay  Posted: 24/02/2006 17:00
Hi Mary - A pub is (by definition) a public house. There is no trespass involved in sitting in a public house. I\'m not suggesting that a detective would enter her home. I\'m suggesting that he could easily enter the pub and film the flow of customers heading out to and returning from her kitchen. Hi Publican - You did manage to make me smile with your lifting up the carpets. See - that proves that I\'m not all bad!
  Mary  Posted: 24/02/2006 17:35
Yes, Rainy but how could he prove they are entering her kitchen and not going to the toilet and also how could he prove they are smoking in her kitchen.
  The Publican  Posted: 25/02/2006 02:53
Yes, PJK, this is one of the loop-holes of the smoking ban. What I am doing according to the license that I hold is neither right or wrong aside from any claims. It certainly is contradictory as you say. The insurance company actually cannot stop me bringing up guests to my home and yet at the same time it could be disputed that even I myself cannot smoke in this building. See, you should have thought of all that before you brought in any ban. More proof of how little the ban was thought out. There are probably other businesses that can come under this one as well so you will have to admit that it is not even possible for the ban to be 99% successful. I reckon with this in your way you will have to bring it down to about 70%. I wouldn't expect to go any higher with this. I guess the smirk on my face will be even bigger! Any way I was told that by the health officers that there is no problem with my own home. So if anything it is I who is sticking to the law properly. But this is the position that you have put a lot of us in. If I want to survive here in this business I as John says have to juggle things around in order to keep going. If it was only myself and my husband things would be grand but I have seven children that need a lot of rearing yet. John has already told you that my income is never a guaranteed sum which of course it's not. My overdraft doubled when the ban came in but God was good and sent me an event that cleared it. Without that I would have been tearing my head out. Many other pubs are not so lucky though and I know that they are very worried at the moment. And so this is what we must do but at least for the moment I am still obeying the law!
  The Publican  Posted: 25/02/2006 03:00
Hey, Rainy, I did a Rain dance around the kitchen when I saw that I made you smile! Just like the Indians I was making all their funny noises! The kids thought that I had gone half-mad (which is nothing unusual)but every now and again I have to drum it home to them! All along I thought that I was dealing with someone like Blanch from Coronation Street but I'v now moved you a step Deirdre!!
  RainyDay  Posted: 25/02/2006 08:10
Hi Mary - As neither you nor I know the layout of Publican's pub, I don't think either of us can sensibly comment on the liklihood of customers going to the kitchen for a smoke being mixed up with customers going to the loo. Personally, I don't recall ever seeing a pub where toilets & kitchen areas (public or private) were mixed up like this, but I can't say that it is impossible that this would happen. If it was my kitchen, I certainly wouldn't like the idea of a load of pub customers (half of whom don't wash their hands after using the loo) hanging round near my kitchen, but I guess that's just picky old me. They wouldn't need to have the 'smoking gun' evidence to prove actual smoking. Simply bringing pub customers to the kitchen on a regular basis constitutes increased risk. Just wait until one of them has a trip or a fall and takes a case against the pub and their insurers, and publican will quickly become an expert in these liability matters.
  The Publican  Posted: 26/02/2006 22:46
But see Rainy, if on the off-chance that they do fall and claim off me they would be doing themselves a huge diservice by saying they were smoking. More than likely half their claim would be taken off them or worse again thrown out!
  Mary  Posted: 27/02/2006 09:37
I may be wrong Rainy, but I THINK it was publican who pointed out something along the lines of ' who's to say they (the smokign customers) are not coming back from the toilet rather than my kitchen' - so I took this to mean they were both along the one corridor but I may be wrong. Let me get this straight tho' - the smoking ban bans smokign in public premises i.e. your pub. You home is also licensed and insured in the same manner as your pub yet the smoking inspectors have agreed that it is in order that you would let people some in your home - afterall it is your home, but this does seem rather contradictory to me
  Tom  Posted: 27/02/2006 11:34
The smoking in the wokplace legislation (or whatever it is called) and the licensing laws are two seperate pieces of legislation. While on the face of it contradictory, a derrogation can be given in one law so that another law will be circumvented.
  Mary  Posted: 27/02/2006 12:29
Thanks for the clarification Thom.
  The Publican  Posted: 27/02/2006 15:31
And tell me this Tom. What would this derrogation say because you still couldn't stop me from smoking in my own home. That would also include my guests. An entirely new law would have to be passed and it would have to come into everybody's home as well.
  RainyDay  Posted: 28/02/2006 00:09
Let's not give too much weight to the approval of the Publican's kitchen arrangement by the local environmental health officer. This approval doesn't necessarily mean that this arrangement complies with legislation and/or insurance requirements. It just means that the local EHO doesn't have a problem with it - no more, no less. Having said that, I did see what for all intents & purposes was a new 'smoking room' in a newly renovated local pub near me tonight. The roof of this room was some kind of special construction, which I guess allows them to get round the rules.
  Tom  Posted: 28/02/2006 09:05
Publican, I do not know what this legislation says exactly, but my understanding was that the smoking ban only relates to the work place and therefore, your home, if it is attached or "housed" under the same roof as your pub, would not be included in the definition of work place. This is irrespective of whether the licensing laws consider your home to come within the boundaries of those same licensing laws. It is likely that the smoking ban legislation MAY have to explicitly state this, I dont know, I am not an expert on this issue but perhaps would be worth consulting a solicitor, or the Health Board in writting, to get closure on the issue. If I am correct in my understanding publican, this may give you the loophole that you so desperately crave by allowing your customers into your house to smoke rather than kicking them outside but they would not be able to bring their drink with them. Then again, that may be too simple so get proper advice on the issue.
  Opal  Posted: 28/02/2006 10:05
It is a treat to spend time in pubs and restaurants now, without coming out with streaming eyes, stuffy nose and smelly clothes and hair ... congratulations to the Irish Government for introducing the ban! Once one has gone to Europe for a holiday and one has to sit in a smoky bar/restaurant there, one appreciates Ireland's ban even more!
  Mary  Posted: 28/02/2006 10:56
Rainy, surely if the local EHo does not have a problem with it then this would indicate, for all intents and purposes that it DOES comply with the legislation.
  PJK  Posted: 28/02/2006 11:40
Dear All, I think that we (including myself) are all getting carried away with amateur court room legalities regarding whether Publican is covered or not from an insurance perspective and also from a smoking ban perspective. Unless any of you is actually a solicitor, we are all just surmising. Mary & Rainy you are both right in that the local inspector seems to have taken a pragmatic approach to Publican, and decided that Publican is complying somewhat with the spirit of the law, and so is willing to let things go as is, even if they are not to the letter of the law. The insurance companies on the other hand are a totally different kettle of fish who are multi-national multi-million profit making organisations, (as anyone who has ever made a claim will testify). They will have legal experts who eat, drink and sleep the law, and will be ready to pounce on any technicality to let them out of paying a claim. We as amateurs can only guess the outcome. Somebody gave the sensible advice to Publican to check it out with a good solicitor, if she really wants to know. The ground is shaky on this one, so I would think that it would not be wise to ask your insurance company as you might be exposing a weak hand which the insurance company will exploit if they have to. Publican is clearly someone who enjoys the element of risk in a gamble, and if she wants to take this risk that is her prerogative. The main person who will suffer is the claimant (one of her customers) if they have cause to make a claim and she is not covered.
  RainyDay  Posted: 28/02/2006 11:50
Hi Mary - If you drive past a member of the Gardai at 35 mph in a 30 mph zone and the Guard does not stop you, does this imply that driving at 35 mph in a 30 mph zone complies with the legislation?
  The Publican  Posted: 28/02/2006 12:53
Well, Rainy, Personally I think that this is the only way to go. I'v tried it out, I believe that my customers are safer, warmer and happier. I have spoken to many a non-smoker and they are all in favor of a room for the smoker. I believe that they smoke less, are not open to drugs and there is no risk of them getting knocked down. I have more peace of mind when I can look after them properly. Everybody is happy this way. Personally I would prefer if the likes of Ash would see this viewpoint and realise that this may be a better way. It is only by trying it out that you will be able to see. I know that you would probably prefer to see cigarettes banned completely but until it does it would be better if you could accommodate the smoker in a more humanitarian way. The non-smoker has got what he is looking for and now because the smokers have been exceptionally in their behaviour towards the smoking ban, an allowance should be given here. Some smokers deliberately do not smoke for the night anyway because they are trying to cut back or train themselves to give up. A room for those who feel that they are not able to do so has the added benefit of been 'hidden' thereby not exposing our young people to the advertising of cigarettes. Some smoking rooms are on full display of the public and I personally think that this is a no-go area and has other consequences. I see less smokers in the future with a room provided and more with the way that it stands at the moment.
  The Publican  Posted: 28/02/2006 13:35
PJK, Sometimes we have to risk things in life for the betterment of humankind. As it stands at the moment there are risks in the toilets with the way this ban is implemented. A sneaky cigarette thrown into the sanitary bins has already caused a small fire in my pub. Some people hold up toilets by having their sneaky fag. You hardly expect me to accompany them while they are in the toilets! I can't even put a camera in here. You by far have created the greatest threat to life by putting people outside the door. You never once considered how people could easily get knocked down. This was pure madness in my eyes and totally irresponisible. Why didn't you assess each pub's location before you ever brought in this ban? There was a serious lack of sight again in this area. Knowing all the other risks that you have created if you ask me it is I who is the only decent one that has sense in this area. I am trying to minimise the risks that you have created.
  Mary  Posted: 28/02/2006 13:49
I think what Rainy and some others loose sight of, and this was pointed out to me in a discussion last night. Yes, smoking is a dangerous disgusting, smelly, filthy unhealthy, nasty habit. But it is still a perfectly LEGAL habit. It might be morally wrong according to my standards. I might dislike it very much (which I do) but niether of these things make it any less legal.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 28/02/2006 16:47
For once Publican, I disagree. I have no difficulty with a smoking room in full view. I note with amusement today that A.S.H. are in Cork tomorrow to protest the various smoking rooms that have sprung up. At the time of the ban they hopped around protesting about the health of bar workers (and we were supposed to believe that their concern was genuine). Now that they have their ban, they seem to want to persecute smokers directly. Any compromise on behalf of officialdom that sees a facility which caters for a third of the population, must be closed down, according to them. They themselves have chosen not to smoke and now wish to remove that choice from everybody else. They boast about the compliance with the ban here without ever mentioning that it is the smokers, not themselves, who are doing the complying. But when pubs find a way to obey the law and accommodate smokers, they become enraged. I believe that publicans (such as yourself) are doing a fine job. It is not a matter of \"getting around the law\", it has more to do with trying to hang on to one third (at least) of your customers who are adults . For this reason, it makes sense that more and more smoking facilities will become available and smokers in turn, will vote with their feet. I am neither proud nor ashamed that I like to smoke. It is a fact, and will remain so unless I choose otherwise. Over the last two years, we have heard exclusively about non smokers rights but, smokers have rights too and the sooner organisations like A.S.H understand this the better. It is quite correct that publicans should protect their own business interests and promote their venues and if the provision of a smoking room that complies with the law is a part of that, then it is no-one else\'s business but the publicans and you have have the right to advertise such a facility to those who might be interested, John.
  The Publican  Posted: 01/03/2006 00:38
Hmmm, John, you gave me food for thought there. One of the major things that I could see all along was the amount of free advertising of cigarettes for our young people with a smoking area in full view. The other concern though that I would have now is that the outdoor smoking room may be forced to close down. (By the way, where will they be in Cork?!) Remember that I told you some publicans are still paying back for ventilation systems that they installed when there was a threat of a smoking ban. Well, if there is a huge amount of money pumped into classy outside areas then maybe all this money could go to waste too. People wonder why drink is so dear, well, when you are playing with the likes of all these kind of factors and different laws what is one supposed to do? Go out of business. Personally I prefer my kitchen at the moment. At least I am not pumping in huge money (that I personally cannot afford) and I believe that I am helping in preventing the advertising of the cigarettes. But what can you do when a crowd like Ash cannot see sense? Many people are indeed fed up of them and if we were any good we would indeed revolt against this. People can only take so much. It was one of the worst thought out laws that I have seen to date. There were so many aspects of it ignored. From what I can see we will all be back to square one again and maybe people will talk properly around the table this time!
  PJK  Posted: 01/03/2006 08:34
Hi Publican, will you do me a favour and stop accusing me of introducing the smoking ban. It was the democratically elected government of this country, with the support of all the opposition parties that introduced this law not me. So therefore the overwhelming number of elected representatives of this country introduced this law, so stop blaming me please.
  Tom  Posted: 01/03/2006 11:24
John, the statistic for the amount of the population that smokes is 25% (give or take a percentage point) so I dont know where you are getting the ONE THIRD figure from. Also, as far as I am aware, quite a few of the smoking population are not even of pub going age as the cigarette companies target young teenagers in their marketing campaigns. If I am wrong, please feel free to educate me. Also, ASH was established not to obtain a smoking in the work place ban, but to stamp out smoking completely so I dont see why you are surprised at their actions.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 01/03/2006 16:26
Folks, I've looked at the statistics again and found some interesting facts for this site. At the time of the ban's introduction, Michael Martin repeatedly asserted that 3,000 people a year in Ireland were dying from smoking (preventable deaths was his phrase). The Dept. of Health & Children suggested it was nearer 6,000 and A.S.H. (still) claim it is 7,000. This is direct smoking - no one has ever been registered as dying of E.T.S. either here or in any other country. I noted that all these claims were preceded with the phrase "it is estimated". So, who is estimating (guessing) what are, after all, being presented as shocking facts here. Well, the A.S.H. website credits the Dept. of Health & Children with their figure even though that department's own figures are over 16% lower. I then went looking for the Dept. of Health & Children's source for their figure. It turns out to be a 'developed world' research paper by a Richard Peto, an American epidemiologist, which he did in 1999. His method was to take the mortality rates in the U.S.A. for any condition which is (rightly or wrongly) associated with smoking and assume that a high percentage of those who died must have smoked, based on the smoking population. He then took that figure as a percentage of the total American population, got a percentage value and then applied this proportionately to all the other countries including Ireland. This then is the Dept. of Health & Children's source of factual information. Michael Martin is a politician so he has a right to make it up as he goes along. Every condition that Richard Peto included was A) multi-factoral and B) an estimate. In the U.S. there is no doctors register of who is a smoker and who is not. Nobody has their 'cause of death' on their certificate stated as smoking. He had no way of getting any kind of figures, accurate or otherwise, so he had to make a lot of presumptions. Using these presumptions of his own, he applied a statistical analysis and large dollop of his own bias to reach a set of pre-determined conclusions that he called a table of estimates. If he stated that nobody ever died from smoking or that one billion people a second die from it, it would have been equally valid. Worse than that though, our Health Agencies used our tax monies to buy a media campaign to present this to us, the stupid public, as a set of incontravertable facts. To muddy the waters even further, they used these made up figures in the same sentences with the effects of E.T.S. on bar workers and non-smokers. Without ever stating the truths we were actually led to believe that smokers were killing 3,000/6,000/7,000 innocent non smokers whose only crime was being forced to share the same air space as the hated smoker. When people in high places who are compensated heavily to look out for our welfare, resort to lying to us for their own ends, then we, the stupid public, are empowering them to take away our civil rights - we are asking the fox to mind the chicken coup, John.
  PJK  Posted: 01/03/2006 16:27
Pubican, You say "Many people are indeed fed up of them and if we were any good we would indeed revolt against this." I couldn't have said it better myself. Off you go and see how much support you get ("if you were any good").
  Mary  Posted: 01/03/2006 16:57
From what I understand, cigarette companies are not ALLOWED to target ANYONE anymore in their campaign, teen age other otherwise
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 01/03/2006 19:21
Tom, The original Government paper in 2002 claimed that 31.9% of the population were smokers. I understand this was based on C.S.O. figures. But the statistics office has not visited the subject since so, any stats you have are either guess work or lies fed to you. Those who claim it has fallen to 25% have a vested interest in proving the ban is a success and those who claim it is much higher want to sensationalise the smuggling and duty free millions that are brought home due to our excessive taxes on cigarettes. As regards under age smokers, they are not included in this figure for the reason that it is unlawful to do so. I suppose if you add them, factor in a guess at how much is smuggled into Ireland and take the 31% as Government gospel, you could be looking at a sharp rise in smoking numbers since the ban. Throw in the high proportion of Eastern European immigrants who smoke and you could call it a drastic rise. But that would be statistical conjecture masquerading as fact, not my domain (hint, hint). What I find most interesting in your post though, is your contention that \"ASH was established to stamp out smoking completely\". Where does this agency get the arrogance to decide to target over a million Irish people who engage in a habit of their democratic choosing, a habit they find pleasurable. John.
  PJK  Posted: 02/03/2006 09:00
John, I think that you are loosing any creditability in your argument when you again start questioning if smoking is harmful at all. Here are some Irish facts established by the Irish National Cancer registry. Average new cases of lung cancer per year is 1577, Average deaths per year from lung cancer is 1497. Survival rates after one year is 25%, after 5 years is 10%. 90% of lung cancer victims are due to smoking. You can talk all you like about multi-factorial causes, but there is an undoubted direct link with smoking and lung cancer, that you are not acknowledging, and neither is Mabz or Publican. If this denial is what it takes for you to rationalise your smoking, that again would seem to be part of the denial process, and would be linked to your addiction problems also. What you say about ETS does on the face of it sounds reasonable, until one factors in that you seem to be in denial that smoking is the main cause of any sickness. So if you think it is not worth trying to save 1497 deaths per year, well you really have to question your whole approach to public health. For instance there is national outrage that we have close to 400 deaths on the road in car crashes. Breast Cancer claims about 650 deaths each year. Your approach seems to be that these are not big numbers and not worth doing anything about. Well tell that to all the car-crash victim’s families, or the women in the West looking for BreastCheck to be extended, nation-wide. I think you can see where your approach to public health would lead, we wouldn’t bother trying to cure anything, because only a small % die of any one disease, or cause, and so is not worth the effort trying to improve that.
  The Publican  Posted: 02/03/2006 11:32
PJK, Maybe you could tell me what kind of a smoking ban would you have brought in? Would it have been a fairer one? Have you looked properly at the separation that this one has caused? Have you any ideas on how you could unite the people better? Why use fear to get people to conform?
  Tom  Posted: 02/03/2006 14:24
John, in your paragraph when you quote the 3000, 6000 and 7000 smoking deaths you say that these figures were deaths from direct smoking "This is direct smoking - no one has ever been registered as dying of E.T.S. either here or in any other country." Then at the end of your post you condemn people and organisations for spewing lies and twisting statistics to prop up their flawed and false contentions. At the same time you state "Without ever stating the truths we were actually led to believe that smokers were killing 3,000/6,000/7,000 innocent non smokers whose only crime was being forced to share the same air space as the hated smoker." Now you are trying to say that our health agencies are trying to convince us of pure falsehoods. Didn't you say at the begining of your post that M Martin and the agencies were refering to deaths from Direct smoking? Who is twisting the facts to prove a point now? Anyway, regardless of blatent falsehoods, these ARE facts: Cigarettes contain toxic chemicals. Toxic chemicals are not healthy, they are in fact poisonous. The filtered smoke from cigarettes is not good for anybody let alone the unfiltered smoke from the burning tip. Cigarette smoke makes your chest painful, hair smelly and clothes smally. Cigarette smoke in enclosed spaces makes non smokers very uncomfortable. The vast majority of the population do not smoke. Smoke can not be contained ANYWHERE. The vast majority of people in this country, non smoker AND smoker alike are in favour of the ban and would not like to see it lifted. So in summary, people want this ban and, irrespective of whether ETS can kill, it is not good for your health plus smokey atmosphere is extremely uncomfortable for the enjoyment of the vasdt majority of the population of this country and is why the vast majority of people are in favour of it.
  RainyDay  Posted: 02/03/2006 23:06
I'm currently reading a interesting book 'Clearing the Air' on the introduction of the smoking ban in Ireland. I thought Michael, Belinda & John might be interested in one little nugget from page 98 as follows; "statements from the Philip MOrris website which suggest that, while ventilation was capable of reducing the sight and smell of tobacco smoke, 'it is not shown to address the health effects of second hand smoke'. Philip Morris asserted that 'Ventilation is merely the dilution of unwanted indoor air constituents (such a smoke or odours with fresh outdoor air'. The website added: 'Philip Morris USA believes that the conclusions of public health officials concerning environmental tobacco smoke are sufficient to warrant measures that regulate smoking in public places. We also believe that, where smoking is permitted, the government should require the posting of warning notices that communicate public health officials conclusions that second hand smoke causes disease in non-smokers." So I guess this means that Philip Morris who by their own claim are 'the world’s leading international cigarette business with products sold in 160 countries worldwide' are now part of the international conspiracy of 'lies' along with the public health officials, the medical experts, the technical experts etc.
  The Publican  Posted: 03/03/2006 01:48
Rainy Day, Philip Morris was obliged to put these statements on his site to cover himself. I have already researched that area and these statements were actually conditions made by the courts. This is done just to help him to not get sued. I was always on the understanding that 7000 deaths were attributed to smoking as are many people in the country. Now it is only 1497! That is some amazing drop! I remember the number of 7000 deaths clearly because it was the exact same figure given for those who traveled abroad for abortions. PJK stated that their goal was to eliminate smoking. I thought John's reply on that was excellent but then PJK should have no problem with us trying to defend smoking. And this is where the war will be all the time. Everytime that something is blamed for smoking there will always be more of us who will contradict these statements. The news on the ground is that the suspected TB cases are the cause of the smoking ban and that the smoke used to kill off these infections before. I am a firm believer in the growth of some bacteria because now that the place inside looks cleaner there isn't half the effort put into cleaning as there was. Smoking was marvellous for this. It produced so much dirt that you were constantly cleaning your premises. This was at least one aspect of smoking that was very good. I reckon the same thing will happen in many other places (i.e if it is not already happening). People could have a monster facing them yet and not realise the role that passive smoking played for them. It could have been an angel in disguise all along!
  The Publican  Posted: 03/03/2006 02:10
Tom, Every time you interact with another human being you will be dealing with chemicals. While you are talking and I am listening I will be breathing in the air that you exhale. There are supposed to be up to 200 chemicals in our mouths alone! You will also have to deal with all the chemicals in your alcohol that goes into the air as well plus all the chemicals in food. We don't actually care about chemicals. They're everywhere anyway! The filtered smoke never did me any harm in all the years that I have spent behind that counter so at the very least you have one person who would dispute this one vehemently. And this is coming from someone who has dealt with far more smoke than you will ever do in your lifetime. Cigarettes only made my hair and clothes smell of smoke, a smell I enjoy thorougly. The vast majority of people have very little problems with regard to smoking. It is only a few cranks who hate it and try and make others see their viewpoint. Most people couldn't care less if you smoked there or not. Non-smokers are not anti-smokers and you should be speaking for yourselves and not drawing in people who do not hold your viewpoint. This is one of the biggest lies you have told but one that was spotted quickly. Thanks be to God.
  PJK  Posted: 03/03/2006 09:48
Publican, while I personally did not bring in this smoking ban, I am happy to support the democratically elected Government of this country plus all the democratically elected opposition parties in this ban. The overwhelming number of elected representatives of the country support it. I personally am perfectly happy with the ban. All the arguments in favour make sense to me and most of the arguments against do not make sense. You Publican in particular do not seem to have any sense of logical argument. John & Mabz seem to want to prove that smoking does not cause lung cancer. Belinda is on a wishy-washy feel-good hippy-type crusade to liberate all humankind or something. I would also support your right to come up with reasonable logical objections to the ban, and have encouraged you to pursue your cause. When you said, “if we were any good we would indeed revolt against this”, I encouraged you by saying “Off you go and see how much support you get ("if you were any good")”. I have encouraged you (and here I mean the entire anti-smoking ban lobby) to tap into the usual sources such as political parties, talk radio shows, media but for some reason you do not seem to be able to make yourselves heard. You have not come up with any logical explanation for this. If your arguments were logical they would be heard, as somewhere around third of the population are smokers, so get your act together, is what I say to you. I also supported you in your cause about drugs & prostitution being up the up as a result of the ban, and asked you for some evidence, so that I could support you more wholeheartedly. But unfortunately for you, the only evidence that you have are your observations from peeping out your window at your car-park, and knowing in your “heart & soul” that you are right. You have no rational explanation why the Garda crime figures did not highlight this terrible situation. You see Publican, a national health policy cannot be developed on the basis of you “knowing in your heart & soul”, it has to be based on logical evidence. So many of your arguments are so illogical, that you totally discredit any arguments that might sound somewhat logical, but for which you have no evidence.
  PJK  Posted: 03/03/2006 11:53
Publican, You really are something else. Talk about cheek, you are now blaming the smoking ban for an increase in TB. You have to the cheek to say that because the publican is not now as thorough in their cleaning, that is the fault of the smoking ban and has now lead to an increase in TB. This assertion is on top of the other equally outrageous suggestions that smoking does not cause lung cancer, drugs, prostitution and house fires are all on the increase as a result of the smoking ban. You just throw out ideas that enter your head as fact, with no reference to any reliable sources.
  Mary  Posted: 03/03/2006 12:06
So now the smoking ban is responsible for the inrease in TB becuase it has somehow caused people to drp their hygene standards. Oh I GIVE UP.
  The Publican  Posted: 03/03/2006 12:36
PJK, The only reason that I am sounding illogical to you is that you simply do not want to listen. You have tunnel vision and that is the way that you want to stay. You are right when you say that we smokers are not been heard. Numerous letters have been written and emails sent to politicians and yet there are no replies. That's because the Health crowd have too much power in this country and care about only themselves and no-one else. In fact no ordinary person has been heard where this ban was concerned not even the anti-smokers on the ground. Why the people of Ireland themselves are not allowed to have their say beats me. Some day the proof that you are looking for will surface, I am fairly confident of that. At the moment you are like the consultants acting like God and no-one wants to go against you. But I have great faith that the day will come when that attitude will fall to it's knees. You avoided my questions on what kind of a ban you would have brought in and simply stated that you were happy with the ban as it stands. Have you no mind of your own? You would assume that laws like this will suit everybody including smokers. With this attitude it is clear that I will never sound logical in your eyes and when the smoking rates climb there will be another illogical explanation (like the cigs are too cheap and need to be put up) in order to make sense of this!
  RainyDay  Posted: 03/03/2006 13:34
Hi Publican - I'm not sure if you realise how much credibility you lose when you come out with ridiculous statements blaming the smoking ban for everything that is wrong with the world. To blame the smoking ban for NOT forcing publicans to clean the premises is just ludicrous. If you have a real concern about pub hygene, why aren't you working through your beloved representative association the VFI to get this sorted? Or perhaps the VFI only wake up when they foolishly believe that their members pockets will be lightened. I'm fascinated to hear that you have researched the impact of court judgements on the Philip Morris website. Given that you have already done this research, can you give us some more specific details? What court issued this judgment? When was the judgement issued? What exactly did it say? If you want some real research on this issue, check out this article ffrom the highly respected Lancet jjournal "Diethelm PA, Rielle JC, McKee M. The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth? The Research Philip Morris Did Not Want You to See. Lancet. Vol. 364 No. 9446, 2004" Are you seriously suggesting that public policy should be built entirely around your own personal experience of 'never did me any harm'? If my personal experience is different to yours, why shouldn't public policy be based on my experiences? Do you really, really, deep-down-in-your-heart-really believe that every doctor, every public health expert, every ventilation expert in the country is wrong, and you are right?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 03/03/2006 14:14
Tom, like you I am a non-smoker and don't suffer the same effects in smoky environments. They don't affect all non-smokers, and most people in Scotland voted against a comprehensive ban (about 82%) even though most are non-smokers. PJK, it may well be that most lung cancer deaths occur in smokers. That does not prove that secondary smoke is harmful. UK figures for 2003 show that over 33,000 people died of lung cancer from a total of 610,000 deaths. ie about 5.5 per cent of deaths. This means between half and one per cent of total deaths are of non-smokers suffering lung cancer and one can't assume that all of these people died primarily from exposure to cigarette smoke. You will come back and talk about strokes etc but lung cancer is the only major condition that kills more people under 75 than over it. Also you have not resolved the problem that there are other factors in all these diseases. All in all this looks like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut. (It also looks as though you are going to miss the nut.) The Guardian had a typically confused attitude to this. It applauded the ban while acknowledging that 95% of passive smoking occurs in the home. In other words it doesn't matter whether this has the effect of reducing passive smoking or increasing it, we are going to support this legislation anyway. Call this wishy-washy if you like.
  Tom  Posted: 03/03/2006 18:25
Publican, I never said non smokers were anti smokers so donmt put words in my mouth. As for your arguments against the facts I put forward, well they are a bit watery in fairness.
  The Publican  Posted: 03/03/2006 18:36
Mary, I thought you were on my side! Huh! PJK, I'll reply to you over the weekend and Rainy I'll have a look at that article you showed me. But can I just say this before the weekend is out. I do not blame all the world's problems on the smoking ban. I am simply showing up faults and I am showing up how untruths can get around as well. The TB case can go in favor of the smokers at the moment whether there is truth in it or not. I am surprised that you said every ventilation expert said this about smoking when they have a vested interest here. Are you sure that they were working there? I am not saying that I am completely right either but that I am half-right. My goal in this ban is completly for a compromise solution thereby bringing people back together again. Surely this is a good thing. I don't want to be separate from you and I hope that you don't want to be separate from me. But separation as it stands is inevitable at the moment and that cannot be a good thing for any community or for the country as a whole and creates restlessness. Where will this restlessness lead to only into areas of disturbance either mentally, emotionally or financially. It isn't fair to put the responsibility of this ban on the people when the government has the best of both worlds. Thankfully people realise what our present government stands for at the moment. Pure hypocrisy!
  Tom  Posted: 03/03/2006 18:36
Belinda, I used to smoke and the only reason I was in favour of the ban before it came in was that I thought it would help me quit. It didn't as it happens because I kept smoking after the ban was introduced. If quitting was not on my mind before the ban then I would definitely not have been in favour of its introduction. However, after the introduction of the ban and I saw its effects, I thought, and still do, believe it is one of the best things to happen to Ireland in a long long time. Happily I am off the cigarettes since January 2 but this has nothing to do with the ban. So my point here is thatmost people in Ireland think the ban is a good idea and do not want it over turned. There have been a couple of polls on the topic and they all say keep the ban. Scotland perhaps is different but I bet once the ban was introduced Scottish people, like the Irish, would change their tune once they experience the benefits.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 04/03/2006 00:58
Tom I don't know Tom, how similar Irish and Scottish societies are, my impression is that much of Irish society is still very religious with much stronger family ties and fewer people without immediate family if they can't get to their traditional sources of company. I don't have family locally myself and live alone too so that is part of my problem with the ban (although a non-smoker). I guess we will find out very soon. You don't (I assume) feel that there are many people who don't feel capable of coming (or willing to come) out in ban conditions? Such people might not be visible to the media.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 04/03/2006 09:44
PJK, I have openly acknowledged on this site and elsewhere that smoking is damaging to health. I know when I smoke that it is not doing me any physical good. It does offer me mental relief from time to time and I find a cigarette pleasurable and relaxing after a meal or with a drink. That might seem astounding to you but, to each his own. So it is a trade off. It may seem rather illogical to light tobacco and inhale smoke until you realise that alcohol is a strong poison yet we freely engage with that too. Human behaviour is not all logic and machine like. I asked the National Cancer Registry (twice) how they collected the figures for their statement that 90% of lung cancer deaths were from smoking but they could not tell me. I then asked two doctors I know (both anti smoking) and their response was interesting. According to them, there is no official register that lists whether a patient is a smoker or not. Their doctor furnishes this information but the N.C.R. is concerned with type of cancer, stage of development, detection and treatment and they keep numbers on that. One of the doctors made the point to me that smoking alone could not be stated as the cause of lung cancer as, even in heavy smokers, their were other factors to be considered. But he did say, that in his opinion, if a smoking patient gets lung cancer then the cigarettes would certainly be 50% responsible. He acknowledged however that this was his gut feeling and was probably unprovable. I freely admit PJK that smoking contributes to many cancers, as does food, alcohol, environment, lifestyle and social status. It is credible that smoking contributes more to some and less to others. And smokers know it is not good for them. While there are a whole bunch of people coming down on us today to quit smoking, you never hear of any effort by smokers to get others to start smoking - it doesn't happen. They do not want to endanger or harm their fellow man. I am happy that neither my wife or the two children smoke (or wish to smoke). But I maintain my own right to do so and, if I quit, I would be like Belinda. As regards E.T.S. well, thats a nonsense. If you take the time to look at all the studies that have been done on the topic, over 80% of them list it as insignificant or harmless. Yes, nearly 20% make a case that it is harmful but, The World Health Organisation commissioned one of the largest studies ever done and found to their horror that the effects of E.T.S. were insignificant. The American Environmental Protection Agency listed E.T.S. as a carcinogen (cancer causing) but had that listing overturned in the American courts. They were accused of mal-practice, duplicity and lying. Having said that, the statistical science of epidemiology has been the basis of all of these studies. This is a very effective method for detecting diseases caused by one factor only but cancers, heart disease etc have many factors combined in their causes so, I acknowledge that, even studies that show E.T.S. to be harmless are not necessarily 100% accurate. What I do know though, is that in the absence of definite proof, there is no basis for a total ban on smoking in the workplace, either here or anywhere else. If two thirds of the population find tobacco smoke to be filthy, disgusting, vile etc, then two thirds of the public venues should be smoke free. What has happened is that your rights have been recognised absolutely and mine have been completely taken away. That is neither fair nor democratic, John.
  John(IYM26386)  Posted: 04/03/2006 10:30
Tom, My point was two fold. One party was claiming that 3,000 die from smoking each year, another claimed it was 6,000 and yet another put the figure at 7,000. Now Tom, they are not all right. Someone is telling us a fib here. You see, medically, it is impossible to put on a death certificate that the patient died from smoking. What it might say is, cardiac arrest for example. A twenty stone man who takes no exercise, drinks like a fish, eats junk food and smokes and then dies of a heart attack is a tricky one. What killed him ? The only thing you can say for sure is that the heart attack killed him. You can then speculate as to what caused the heart attack but it is just that, speculation. If you had a bias against alcohol you could say he drank himself to death. My problem with the wild figures bandied about in relation to the ban is just that - they are guess work designed to appall and influence (right thinking) people but they are not in themselves, the truth so, should not be quoted as absolute facts. My second point was that having made up these lies (about direct smoking), the various anti smoking spokespersons used them in the same sentences as E.T.S. and the (allegded) effects of this on non smokers until the two were indistinguishable. Many innocent non smokers were left with the impression that between 3,000 and 7,000 of their ranks were needlessly dying each year because of selfish murderous smokers while, at the same time, there is not one single recorded death from E.T.S. There is a popular myth that we have a right to clean air. This is not in our constitution and cannot be offered by our elected Government. At the moment in the EU and the USA, they have made pollution a commodity to be bought and sold. Industrial countries with economic might are buying the right to pollute our atmosphere, ground, air supply and water. It is an acknowledgement that pollution is a reality, it is an effort to control it and is a clear statement of a new world order that says you can pollute anything you want if you can afford it. So your contention about cigarettes being toxic etc while valid, is in reality not a problem at all. However, with respect to you, it is clear that you dislike smoking anywhere in your vicinity and I respect that. While constitutionally you do not have the right to smoke free air, in a civil democratic society with two thirds of the population of like mind, then smoking should be restricted to reflect the common opinion. I have not called for the ban to be overturned. Neither would I like to inconvenience you, PJK, RainyDay or any of the other contributors to this site by smoking in your presence. I strongly believe that you should be able to go out for an evening with friends and not be subjected to the smoke of others. But I, and over a million like me, have nowhere we can go without the indignity of being put outside to smoke. We have no rights now as smokers. What I am looking for is a modification of the ban so that perhaps, one of the six pubs within walking distance of my home permitted smoking. Then, like in every other area of my life, I would have a choice as to what I wanted to do also, John.
  The Publican  Posted: 07/03/2006 01:40
What John has just said in his last post is exactly what many of us want when we go out. I like to socialise in other places as well you know but I haven\'t done this since the ban came in. Here am I, expecting people to come to me when I can\'t bring myself to go to them. Talk about hypocrisy! I\'d rather stay at home myself rather than face standing outside a door, I find it a lot more pleasurable. Why do you think that there are so many parties now at home?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 07/03/2006 22:48
We now have legal proceedings against the ban in Scotland and a nationwide petition. See and for a campaign page that will link you to others (including the petition for any UK expats). They hope to get an interim injunction to stop the ban but a date has yet to be set (last I heard) for the hearing.
  RainyDay  Posted: 08/03/2006 21:53
Hi Belinda - Interesting to note that you have a substantial number of opposers to your campaign (i.e supporters of the ban) showing on your petition. I wouldn't get my hopes up about the legal moves, if I were you. There were similar moves in Ireland before the ban, but they came to nothing.
  The Publican  Posted: 09/03/2006 01:35
Belinda, I just hope to God that this will go ahead. Our crowd told us that we were all going for a challenge too and later that night they told the media that they weren't. I hope that Scotland will stick to it's guns and go for it. I noticed that it is going as a human rights issue of which of course it is. The amount of people that have felt so lonely from this ban is just awful. No law should ever be allowed in any country that can cause so much hardship particularly for the heavy smoker. No government deserves a vote when they can't even go half-ways with their people.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 09/03/2006 10:57
Rainy Opponents don't register their opposition on petitions: What do you mean? If you mean I have 9 opponents to the campaign on the BBC page, that means nothing - I only have 17 supporters. I filled in two and a half pages of the petition in pubs yesterday afternoon and only a handful of people recorded an email address, indicating that many smokers are not regular internet users. My hopes are moderate. There are lots of channels to go through other than legal action. Some very offensive posters about passive smoking have been removed from outside pubs as a result of local pressure. There are lots of other things to do about this. Publican: the Court of Session has agreed to serve petitions on the ministers concerned, and it is not just one action it is four (I only knew that one was coming up. So I think there is very little doubt that there will be a hearing.
  The Publican  Posted: 09/03/2006 13:25
Belinda, Don't worry about the amount of opponents on the internet. In my pub not only do smokers not have home computers, there is hardly anyone at all! Very few of them have access to them at work either. This is another thing that the anti-smoker has missed. To find out the proper truth you have to talk to individuals face to face. A very different picture then emerges and yet it is not surprising because the ordinary individual got no say at all anyway in this ban.
  Michael J. McFadden  Posted: 14/03/2006 15:38
RD wrote to Belinda: \" I wouldn\'t get my hopes up about the legal moves, if I were you. There were similar moves in Ireland before the ban, but they came to nothing.\" \"Resistance Is Futile! Throw down your weapons and MAYBE we\'ll spare your children.\" As I\'ve noted before Belinda, the Antismokers are terribly, desperately, HORRIBLY afraid of resistance: you\'ll find they pull every dirty trick in the book to try to sabotage what you\'re doing. Ignore them. Michael J. McFadden Author of \"Dissecting Antismokers\' Brains\"
  PJK  Posted: 15/03/2006 11:30
Yes Michael, But RainyD is still correct legal moves were mooted here, but did come to nothing, the ban is still here.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 15/03/2006 17:31
PJK Well there's one difference: ours will be in court tomorrow.
  The Publican  Posted: 18/03/2006 03:09
Rainy, Check out this site. It might make you think! http://www.medicalnews.php?newsid=39233 Nurses have been saying this for a while in my pub.
  RainyDay  Posted: 18/03/2006 08:31
Interesting to note that the legal case in Scotland in being brought by the owner of a chain of pubs - Im sure his major motivation is the health of his employees & customers - right? He wouldnt be a money grabbing dealer in legalised drugs who wrongly percieves a threat to his income, by any chance?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 19/03/2006 04:38
The case in Scotland is being brought by three parties, one and Edinburgh football club, one an individual in Inverness and the third the hotel group. I can't conrirm that he doesn't care about his staff, and in fact Rainy, you haven't really shown that they are at risk from tobacco smoke, only that you believe everything about it that comes from the press. You said that you were in public employment, in that case you must be aware of the volume of correspondence that passes between the government's press office and the press on any sensitive issue. This is to ensure that the government version gets maximum coverage at peak times. If you think this has no negative impact on the kind of facts that the press issues to the public, think again.
  RainyDay  Posted: 19/03/2006 09:19
Hi Pubican - I think you mistyped the link to that article. But I thought you didn't believe anything that the medics say at all? Or perhaps you only believe what suits you?
  The Publican  Posted: 19/03/2006 21:30
Rainy, When the medics can't tell me why I shouldn't be dead by now then it's hard to take this smoking crack seriously. My own doctor maintains that I am one of the healthiest around despite 25 years of stifling so-called passive smoking as well as smoking myself. Would you not agree, Rainy, that it is a pure and utter miracle that I am able to have this conversation with you? Really and truly I should be speaking from the grave or at the very least have one foot in it! Of course that article suited me down to the ground! A verification that non-smokers get lung cancer too. Sure nurses are telling me that it is 50/50 all the time inside in the hospitals. How come the public only get to hear about the smokers? I also noticed the little stab you gave Belinda about what the chain of pubs could be involved in. Nice to see the truth of you coming out at last which is a sarcastic little s***head!
  RainyDay  Posted: 19/03/2006 21:36
Hi Belinda - Wrong again - It is completely untrue to say 'that you believe everything about it that comes from the press'. If you want to fairly describe my position, you could say that I believe just about everything that comes from every medical organisation in the country, every trade union in the country, the association of Environmental Health Officers, the HSA expert committee of experts in public health, ventilation and toxicology, every medical representative body, every political party, everybody I've ever discussed this issue with - it's a long from 'everything I read in the press'.
  RainyDay  Posted: 19/03/2006 23:11
Hi Publican - It is extremely dissapointed that you have sunk so low as to combine personal abuse with foul language. I'm simply going to ignore your posts in future, so feel free to continue with your ludicrous proposals that the entire public health policy of the nation should be based on anecdotal evidence of your personal situation.
  PJK  Posted: 20/03/2006 08:53
Publican, no-one said that 100% of lung cancer is down to smokers. The Irish Cancer Registery puts it at 90%. I know that you are a people person and will believe the anecdotal evidence of a gang of nurses on the tear, when they say it is 50/50. I am a numbers person, and will believe the comprehensive national statistics analysed by epidiemiologists, and public health experts. This I believe is a more credible method for setting National Health. Incidentially the National Cancer Registery puts the remaining 10% of lung cancer down to exposure to asbestos, radon and of passive smoking.
  trish  Posted: 20/03/2006 09:45
No Matter what it all comes down to smoking is detremental to health, and i for one am delighted as since it came in, i was at last able to quit smoking, and i know i'm not the only smoker turned ex smoker who is delighted with the ban. The only people not so happy are the publicans, who feel that the decrease in business is due to the ban, but i think its just a long overdue shift in the Irish social scene and the cost of a night out! Change your business!!! I think it is a shame that the Cafe style bar never came about because that could have been the future.
  PJK  Posted: 20/03/2006 11:36
Trish, the reason the cafe bar idea didn't come off, is because the vitners put the boot in and wouldn't let it happen. The reason for this is clearly that they do not want the market opened up to genuine competition. As a result for example there are far too few pub licences in the Dublin area, as exposed on the Eddie Hobbs programme last summer "Rip Off Ireland", which leads to mini-rtels, and higher prices for the customer. Within walking distnace of my house in Dublin there are at best 3 pubs, with the price of the pint €4.50. In my rural home town there are approx 30 pubs in walking distance of my parents home, and the price of the pint is €4 and under depending on the pub. Competition works, for the customer, but not the vitners.
  The Publican  Posted: 20/03/2006 13:00
Rainy, My sincerest apologies for insulting you. It wasn't meant that way. It was meant to be funnier but now that I look at it, it did make me cringe! I have to try and get out of this ground talk. I'v bad habits picked up from being a publican! I promise you that I will try and watch my tongue (typing words) in future. Will you forgive me this time?
  The Publican  Posted: 20/03/2006 13:06
PJK, That's what's wrong with you. You don't want to see anyone else's experience of situations. You want to deal with so-called experts that probably don't even want to go out to pubs! Now you don't want to believe the nurses that work inside there! You have tunnel vision I tell you. You should be taking an holistic approach to every problem on the planet. I haven't given you any anecdotal evidence at all. I am giving you pure experience and I just can't for the life of me understand why you insist that I am telling lies. That's one thing that I do not do.
  PJK  Posted: 20/03/2006 13:45
Publican, I don't mean to suggest that you are telling lies. I genuinely believe that you are a good person with a great way with people, and that clearly is one the reasons why you enjoy running your pub. However, trying to decide National Health Care policy on the basis of your personnel experiences, in the pub, and on your observations in peeping out the window at your car-park, is hardly what you would class as genuinely holistic. When I speak of you quoting anecdotal evidence, it is this class of evidence that I am talking about, which is highly personalised, and in no way gives you any perspective on the bigger picture. To quote from the dictionary, anecdotal is defined as "existing in the form of an anecdote, as distinct from corroborated evidence or proof", and an anecdote is defined as "short account of an interesting or amusing incident". As an example you quoting the fact that you are alive, as proof that smoking does not cause lung cancer is anecdotal and only proves that you personally are lucky so far, and smoking has not lung cancer in you. The National Cancer Registry figures show proof with substantial figures that 90% of lung cancer victims are or were smokers. Again a bunch of nurses in pub, talking about it being 50/50 is again only anecdotal, based on the small number of cases that they will have seen, whereas the National Cancer Registry has the figures for the entire country. I do agree that we should listen to evidence from all sources, and for example if nurse had been listened to in the Dr Neary case, we might have stopped him a lot sooner. A large part of the problem there was the lack of proper system figures and the lack of analysis on these figures. If the nurses had been listened to and the figures been looked at, well now that the figures have been analysed, it was clear all the time that Neary was dangerously out of line by comparison to National norms.
  RainyDay  Posted: 20/03/2006 14:21
Hi Publican - Apology accepted. The reason why PJK & I won't accept what happens at your bar counter is simply because you just cannot set national health policy based on what happens in one bar. What happens when I go into a different bar which has a different experience to yours? Should health policy be changed overnight based on bar discussions?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 20/03/2006 23:27
PJK I am more than ready to believe that 90 per cent of people with lung cancer are smokers, as this is the condition that seems to cause the highest proportion of premature deaths. However that is very different from saying that 90 per cent of smokers get lung cancer, and it does not seem to boost the idea that 'passive smoking kills'. For one thing where is it shown that the 5 per cent of lung cancer victims who are non-smokers are exposed to tobacco smoke in such concentration that would rule out hereditary effects or the effects of other carcinogens in the environment? According to 2003 figures, about 5 per cent of the population dies from lung cancer, so 0.5 per cent of total deaths are of non-smokers in total whether or not exposed to tobacco smoke. Four point five per cent of total deaths are smokers dying from lung cancer (half of them over the age of 75). So we are talking about say 2.5 per cent of deaths are smokers dying from lung cancer before the age of 80. This is again very roughly about ten per cent of the smoking population. Other conditions kill more people but at a higher age. Even this does not say that smoke kills this people. We don't know the other factors that affect them. So I don't think the casualty rates that are proven to result from smoking are high enough to justify an affront on civil liberties.
  The Publican  Posted: 21/03/2006 02:19
Yes, PJK, I understand now what you are saying. However policys have been known to be wrong or at the very least could be improved upon. There is now a separation of the crowd which was never there before. I would in fact call this quite dangerous and cannot be good for the country in the long term. There has to be a way for non-smokers and smokers to live together in a more harmonious way. Do you honestly think PJK, and you too Rainy, that this is right? Surely to God, we smokers deserve to be better treated than this. This is a leprosy type system that you have given us and you are under the weird impression that we are happy too. Sure this couldn't be further from the truth. This particular health policy that was brought in gave no consultation to the smoker at all. Everything went completly one way. To the non-smoker with no regard what-so-ever for the smoker. With regards to the cafe bar set-up, the anti-drink lobby had as much to do with this area as did the publicans. I thought a health site would also be in favor of less alcohol being sold. That's because alcohol probably doesn't bother you much PJK or Rainy, but smoking does.
  Chana  Posted: 21/03/2006 14:59
Well as you are selling it Publican, I take it that alcohol doesn't bother you all that much either.
  PJK  Posted: 21/03/2006 15:06
Publican, McDowell did not bow to the anti-drink lobby on th ecafe-bar idea, as his thinking was to have drink more associtaed with food, and not just an end in itself. So his purpose was to help improve our overall attitude to drink. He did however bow to the huge vitners lobby group, who as I have already explained are against competition in the city areas, as they might have to drop their price.
  The Publican  Posted: 21/03/2006 22:36
PJK, Aren't most pubs doing food now anyway so McDowell's argument about changing people's perception of drink is a foolish one. All McDowell is interested in is selling more alcohol so that his government will have more money. He is scared that because so many pubs have closed down because of the smoking ban that they will lose revenue. That is sticking out a mile. The French have cafe-style bars yet they have the highest rate of liver cancer than anyone else in the world. Is that the road that you want to travel for Ireland. The anti-drink crowd specifically told the Vintners that we couldn't help you with the smoking but we will back you all the way about the cafe-bars. So they did have a big say in this. Chana, even though I may be selling alcohol it certainly does bother me when people take too much of it. I am very very strict. You have no idea and my customers know it. It is 100 times better for a strict person to dish out alcohol than to leave them unsupervised in the home. At least I know what I am selling, who can handle it and who can't. Alcohol is considered by some people to be far more dangerous than any other drug out there. Isn't it better than that the less places that sell it the better? By right we should sell everything else as well in our pubs and give all of these supermarkets a taste of their own medicine. So while you are condemning me for selling alcohol Chana, why not condemn all the supermarkets as you are at it? Oh, and whatever you do, don't forget to target the government as well!
  PJK  Posted: 23/03/2006 08:31
Publican, you are deliberately missing one of the points that in some areas there are basically not enough pubs, e.g. in the city areas. As a result competition is poor and the punter ends up paying much more for the pint. This has been exposed by many people including Eddie Hobbs. Are you denying that this is one of the core reasons that the vitners put the boot in on the cafe-bar idea? If not what was the core reason?
  Chana  Posted: 23/03/2006 09:25
Publican, in relation to drinking or any other legal activity - you cannot supervise adults (grown men and women) in what they do in the privacy of their own home.
  PJK  Posted: 27/03/2006 08:36
Belinda, I woke up this morning and as far as I can tell the world is still spinning on its axis, the sun came up as normal, and human rights campaigners have not switched their attention from the terrible crimes committed against fellow humans. It looks like the smonig ban being implemented in Scotland has not had a negative impact on the world. It might however have some impact on the 13000 deaths in Scotland from lung cancer.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 27/03/2006 12:24
PJK - but what about the Office of Tobacco Control. This story was in at least two of our Sunday papers and made front page news in the Daily Express: Laws banning smoking lead to more people taking up the habit, a new report published today claims. As a smoking ban is introduced in Scotland, an official study by the authorities in Ireland - where a ban has been in place for nearly two years - concludes its own ban has been counter-productive. Since the Irish ban came into force the numbers of smokers has increased, with some speculating that the prohibition has made smoking 'cool'. This is believed to be especially so amongst young people who indulge in the practice of 'smirting' - smoking and flirting outside a pub. Smoking rates in Ireland have risen from 22 per cent in March 2004 to just over 23 per cent in December last year. - Mail On Sunday
  The Publican  Posted: 27/03/2006 12:30
PJK, That\'s probably what Hitler and all those cruel fellows thought down through the years as well! Hopefully some day a different generation will look back and realise that we were treated like dirt.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 27/03/2006 13:11
another funny news report yesterday in the Sunday Times revealed that Scottish ministers' pensions funds are invested in tobacco. It was reported that they refused to comment on this as it was a 'personal matter'. How ironic can you actually get???
  The Publican  Posted: 27/03/2006 14:01
Belinda, Just to verify that everything in those papers is very true. However I think the smoking rate is slightly higher than what is being said. I have four new non-smokers myself, a huge amount is coming in from abroad and support for smokers is well up.
  PJK  Posted: 27/03/2006 14:49
Belinda, I have looked at the report on the OTC, and would say that the quote you give from the Mail on Sunday misrepresents the overall tone of the report. The OTC did not conclude that the ban has been counter-productive. There have been a lot of benefits, especially clean air for everyone, especially the bar-staff who work in these conditions for their working week. Having said that I will say that there is a definite slight upward trend, especially in the 19-35 age group. However an increase from 22% to 23% is hardly hugely significant, but again I will admit that it would be significant if the trend continued. Publican, again you are going back to anecdotal evidence when you quote 4 new smokers in your pub, as being indicative that the national trend is greater than 24%. These 4 smokers in your pub are only evidence that there are 4 snew smokers in your pub, nothing more.
  RainyDay  Posted: 27/03/2006 16:15
Hi Belinda - You really should know better than to believe everything you read in the tabloids. If you check out the data on the OTC website ( you will see that the actual figure for March 2004 was over 25% (not 22% as you or the tabloids) seem to thin.
  The Publican  Posted: 27/03/2006 17:24
PJK, The reason my four new smokers started was specifically in support of the smokers. Do you not realise that? Was the smoking ban supposed to produce this kind of a result? No. Of course it wasn't. The dream of anti-smokers was to bring the rate down significantly. It produced just one success and four failures in my pub. What about the other pubs? Pubs twice and three times as big as mine. How many supporters did they gather in support of the smoker? We are dealing with idiots who know nothing about smokers but who only think that they do. They have this idea in their head that every smoker on the planet thinks as they do. They'd badly want to think again and maybe have smokers rather than non-smokers running organisations such as Ash. Ash have only ex-smokers that gave up in different times. It's smokers in this present time that they would at least need to be prepared to listen too. What's it going to take?
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 27/03/2006 18:11
PJK The table shows that smoking has been steadily rising in the last 12 months. The preceding table states that many people try to give up around new year and this might explain a small drop in the December figure. You are correct in saying that the table does not show that pre-ban levels have been achieved (assuming the table to tell the full picture although official figures rarely do). The point that what I picked up from the tabloids misrepresents the body of the report is hardly surprising since they (and a Scottish broadsheet today) are patting themselves on the back for finding the figures buried in the report. Official policy still favours a ban. It would also be interesting to know whether people are denying tobacco usage, in order to protect their insurance policies, gain employment or any other reason.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 28/03/2006 00:06
actually PJK I see what you mean about the Mail on Sunday report not reporting what the OTC said. Other papers here just picked up on the figures but right enough I see no claim in that report that the ban was counter productive.
  Mary  Posted: 28/03/2006 08:38
Interesting, I heard a news article yesterday mornign indicating that fines by the OTC have increased 400% indicating that they are taking a tougher line now. I wonder tho', if that's the reason or if more people are just flouting it.
  The Publican  Posted: 28/03/2006 17:09
God Mary, Where did you hear that? I'll have to have a lookout for my pub! Have you any idea what they look like?
  Mary  Posted: 29/03/2006 08:43
the 6am news, on Q102 and also the 6.30 am news on 98FM on Monday morning. I would imagine, they strice to look just like anyone else entering a pub.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 29/03/2006 23:23
Have there been any precedents in Ireland for this sad story? (an elderly man died following a fall on his way to smoke outside a bar)
  PJK  Posted: 30/03/2006 14:36
Belinda, I have not read the story, but it does sound sad and tragic, and I feel sympathy for his family. Now don't think me heartless, but exactly what relevance is this story to this debate?
  The Publican  Posted: 30/03/2006 16:27
God, Mary, do you be up that early! I'v only gone to bed two hours previous what with these late night opening hours, cleaning up after and trying to wind down. I for one saw that article Belinda. I was absolutely shocked! Another tradegy of the smoking ban plus a few home fires. But of course the anti-smoking lobby do not want to see any bad side of the ban. What's more, they won't take any responsibility for what goes wrong. Oh, but the smoker is held responsible all right! One rule for the rich and another for the poor!
  PJK  Posted: 30/03/2006 16:47
Publican, God not the increase in house fires since the smoking ban arguement again. I thought we nailed that one least Nov, when we actually looked at The National Safety Councils report, which showed that since 2002 deaths by house fire had in fact dropped from 51 to 37 in 2003 & 39 in 2004. Let's not go again into the whole statisical debate on whether 37 & 30 are statisically significantly different; they aren't. You are a terrible woman altogther in a debate. You keep bringing up as facts, issues that we have a number of times demonstrated as being unfactual. You must be due a whirl again about prostitution & drugs all being up as a result of the smoking ban. Please stop assigning your hunchs and observations in your small pub as being in any way illustrative of a national trend. For that you need national figures, everyone of which prove you wrong in all your arguements. National Policy must be based on facts and figures and not hunches of small time publicans.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 30/03/2006 16:47
We are just three days into the smoking ban and it is now very hard for the man's family not to imagine that but for the ban he would not have got up to smoke. The family did not call for the ban to be lifted following this but they did call for certain people to be made exempt. This brings it right within the sights of what is relevant to this debate. How can somebody dying in the act of compliance with a supposedly 'life saving' law that is described by many as unnecessary, possibly be considered irrelevant? In the press today barely a mention, but I haven't see the local morning daily.
  The Publican  Posted: 30/03/2006 21:58
Ah but Belinda, you should know that the press have probably got paid off to keep their mouths shut. Everybody gets handpicked where this subject is concerned. My God, Belinda, it wouldn't do to have an elderly man dying because of the smoking ban! Cover it up on the spot just like PJK and Rainy Day do not want to accept anything that I say. They have to have facts all the time. How they gather them together when some firemen 'pretend' that there was an electrical fault in the house rather than admit that it was caused from a smoker beats me. They don't want the dead person to be seen that it was his own fault. At least they are showing some respect here. And talking about drugs PJK, the newspapers are full about talk on the how the drugs scene is gone out of all reason but how no-one seems to care. I'v told you so PJK, it's all the fault of the smoking ban! I don't need any facts or figures, thank you very much PJK nor do any of the ordinary simple minded community. Our eyes and our ears will do us just fine.
  PJK  Posted: 31/03/2006 08:38
Belinda, the reason this poor man's death is not relevant to the smoking ban debate, is that he could have fallen and died on his way out of the pub on the way home just as easily as when he fell and died on his way to a smoke. The reason he died is because he fell, not because he was going for a smoke. If you used your arguement you would close down pubs, as he would never have died if he hadn't gone into the pub for a drink in the first place. Likewise he could have fallen on the street just as easily and fallen under a car. Would you use that as an arguement to ban cars or maybe better still ban old people going out altogether? The two events (i.e the fall and going for the smoke)are mutually exclusive and have no baring on the other, except by co-incidence.
  RainyDay  Posted: 31/03/2006 09:33
Hi Belinda - Blaming this man's death on the smoking ban is missing the target. The accident could just as easily have happened when he was going to the loo or leaving the pub. Perhaps there was spilt drink on the floor which caused the slip. The man didn't die because of the smoking ban.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 02/04/2006 23:29
Rainy Day and PJK, you are both twisting my words. The man died in complying with the ban. Whether or not he slipped on a banana skin, or skidded on something is beside the point. It is silly to tell me not to blame his death on the smoking ban, because I didn't. But what happened is an unforgettable association between the ban and the fall in the minds of people who are unsteady on their feet - I have already seen somebody on TWO sticks outside a bar without any outdoor seating. How are people supposed to keep their balance? The following is as close as I got to blaming the ban: 'We are just three days into the smoking ban and it is now very hard for the man's family not to imagine that but for the ban he would not have got up to smoke.' The environment for smokers is more dangerous and it will make more vulnerable people wonder how they are going to cope with it.
  The Publican  Posted: 03/04/2006 02:09
Of course the man died because of the smoking ban! How else could he have? The FACT of the matter is that on This particular occasion he was getting up to go out for a smoke. It was THIS event that caused the fall at THAT particular time. End of story! You can't say 'if this' and 'if that'. Sure we could say that about everything. Is that how you come up with your facts PJK and Rainy because of 'if that' and 'if this'? That's your problem see all the time. You haven't a clue what truth is about afterwards. You need some lessons badly! I have one very elderly gentleman who is very unsteady on his feet. He comes in the evening time and never once have I put him outside the door! He sits down by the fire and he has his smoke and no-one dares to say anything to him because I would'nt be long shutting them up. But in fairness to them they don't! There is a thing called respect and there is a thing called exceptions. I follow my instinct as to who come under these categories and I am not one bit worried about the law on these occasions. I follow God's law then.
  PJK  Posted: 03/04/2006 09:05
Publican, would you ever try to be logical for a change? The figures that I quoted are in relation to deaths in house fires. The figures quoted never mentioned the cause of the house fire. To recap the deaths in house fires (regardless of the cause of the house fire) has fallen since the smoking ban was introduced. This is a fact. I am not interpreting it in any way, unlike you who tried to say that an increase would have been due to the smoking ban. The National Safety Councils report, says deaths by house fire were 51 in 2002, 37 in 2003 & 39 in 2004. So please stop saying that the smoking ban has been the cause of the increased deaths from house fires, because in fact in the first place there has been no increase in deaths from house fires. In your world, newspapers are on the take to not run controversial stories. This is not giving much credit to our journalists who have been instrumental in exposing many of the great controversies of our country, e.g., corrupt politicians, corrupt guards, corrupt banks, corrupt lawyers, sickeningly disgusting priests. You are saying that they are afraid to run a controversial story about the smoking ban. Get real Publican; they can only run with a story, with some back-up evidence. In your world firemen, deliberately falsify records regarding the cause of house fires. You do realise Publican the motives of these figures is to understand what is happening and therefore try to improve the situation. You are in effect saying that firemen are covering up an important fact. In your world smoking guards, are covering up in the crime figures the fact that drugs & prostitution are up in the car parks of our pubs. As I understand you, the motive for this, is that in years to come when it all blows up in our faces, the smokers of the country will be able to say, "We told you so". In your world, the smokers of this country all know these facts, but are hiding them from the rest of us, but haven’t got the cop-on to do anything constructive about it, even though they make up approx quarter or a third of the population. Come off it, Publican, the vintners of this country are a very powerful lobby, who have numerous times in the past influenced the law in this country, but even they could not influence the smoking ban. So the smokers of this country with the support of the vintners should easily have been able to influence Government if there was any credibility to your outlandish claims. Actually Publican, reading back over this message, I honestly think that you are suffering from paranoid delusions and loosing your grip on reality. The whole world is not out to get you. Your addiction is affecting your judgement.
  RainyDay  Posted: 03/04/2006 09:25
Hi Belinda - The only people who will associate the man's death with the smoking ban are those who are more concerned about taking the cynical opportunity presented by an unfortunate accident to score cheap points in an important debate. Your posting encourages this cheap, cynical approach.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 03/04/2006 12:53
Rainy the association is very strong in the family of the man concerned, as you would know if you read the article, but they did not call for the ban to be repealed. You do yourself a disservice with these cheap allegations. You talk of this man's death being 'coincident' with the smoking ban because he died complying with it. That is as the Publican points out pretty much causal. Another 'coincidence' is that some non-smokers die of lung cancer, but you claim that is doutless caused by secondary smoke. I really don't understand your notions of cause and effect.
  RainyDay  Posted: 03/04/2006 13:13
Hi Publican - Given that you are 'not one bit worried' about the law in relation to your elderly smoker, you won't mind posting the name of your pub so we can report you to the Environmental Health officer? Hi Belinda - The fact that the man's family are making this association does not mean it is right. Your attempts to use this man's death to spread dissent about the ban are pretty dispicable. You might as well go dancing on his grave.
  PJK  Posted: 03/04/2006 13:48
Publican & Belinda, God rest his soul, but the poor old man that you talk about died from his injuries incurred in a fall. It is you Publican (& not I) that is introducing the "if this" & "if that", by implying that if the ban hadn't been in place, he wouldn't be going outside for a smoke & wouldn't have fallen. If he had fallen on the street and fallen under a car, would you say that justifies banning cars from the road? If he fell in the street because he went for a walk, because it was a fine day, would that justify banning fine days, or banning walks for elderly on fine days. Of course that sound absurd doesn’t it? Now if he fell on the street because the path was broken up and he tripped, then the broken path caused his fall, and whoever is responsible for the path would be at fault to a certain degree. If he fell in the pub on the way for his smoke, because the pubs yard was a tip, then the pub owner would be at fault to a certain degree. But if he fell, just because he was weak & feeble, well then he could have fallen at any time and it really is just co-incidence that he fell on the way for a smoke. If he fell on the way to the toilet would you say that maybe the fact that he had a drink made him go to the toilet and therefore it was the pub’s fault for serving him drink? You see how ridiculous this line of argument can get.
  PJK  Posted: 03/04/2006 14:09
Belinda, to clarify on co-incidence, it is not a co-incidence that 90% of lung cancer victims are smokers, it is because lung cancer is caused by smoking in conjunction with other factors. This pattern is seen the world over in an endless stream of research. The 10% who are not smokers got their lung cancer from a number of sources, e.g. radon, asbestos, possibly heavy metals and passive smoking. Going back to the point about the old man who died in a fall, while going for a smoke, while having a drink. It was you who raised this as an issue. If your point was not to try and link this poor man’s death with the smoking ban, well exactly what was your point? As I have already said the two events are independent and mutually exclusive. What I mean is that either event can happen with or without the other. i.e. the man could have fallen without going for a smoke, or he could have had a smoke without falling. They are not directly linked, except in their timing. This is co-incidence. As I have said before, if he fell while on his way to the toilet, would you say he fell because he was going to the toilet?
  The Publican  Posted: 03/04/2006 14:51
First of all PJK, I\'m not hiding anything from you. I am giving my observations of the ban based on what I have seen. There are cover-ups in every area of life and all the facts in the world will never be right. Even distance cannot be proved accurately because of movements in the earth\'s structure. Your world tries to consistently deal with cold facts. Numbers and figures that have no emotion attached to them. However I deal with emotion face to face in my everyday life which I believe is one of the most important aspects in dealing with human life. Your world shows an image of a smoker that is dirty, smelly and obnoxious. You see them as not only killing themselves but of killing those around you. You see them as apart from you and not belonging simply because you have refused to look at the emotional aspect. I on the other hand see the smoker as someone who has a preference to use a particular product which has been endorsed by the government. I see a human being who cries, laughs, worries, and wonders the same as anyone else. I see a person who could become trapped like a prisoner in their own home because of the choice that they have made in their life because of this particular law that has swept the country. I see people who gave no thought what-so-ever to these people who could have major difficulties and which could have been so easily solved with a compromise. I see a group of non-smokers who are ego-orientated in their goals with regard Only for their own kind in this smoking ban. This then is narrow-mindedness when the goal should include a fairness to those that they want to target. Now I see a pityful organisation that will never be happy. The mayham that they have caused will have to become severer rather than comprimising. The smoker will have to be fined for littering, car smoking will have to be stopped, porch smoking has to stop, throw in guilt at home for smoking in front of the kids and maybe some day we will be able to get rid of them off the streets.
  Belinda(VAT33244)  Posted: 03/04/2006 15:41
I attempted no such thing Rainy. I asked if there was a precedent in Ireland. Correct or not the association is very very strong. What makes you more right than those with the opposite conclusion.
  The Publican  Posted: 03/04/2006 16:17
Hey, Rainy, You are hardly going to go reporting me now after all the entertainment I have given you in the last few months. I should be an exception to the rule! That wasn't very nice what you said to Belinda. How many are going to dance on your grave, huh, Rainy? Well, if I am still around (God forbid if smoking doesn't catch me first!) I'll be difinately dancing on it! What do you want me to perform? A jig or a reel? Or maybe I will do a Mike Murphy on you!
  Blaggarde(JLK24692)  Posted: 03/04/2006 22:38
Rainy and PJK. Have a little respect. The pensioner who died was an 85 year old smoker. His Name was Jim Donachie. Had there not been a smoking ban, he would not have died in the way he did, in the place he did, at the time he did. Your thoughtlessness, cynical attitude and twisting of logic in this matter is an absolute and total disgrace. Is everything so cheap to you now, that you feel you can just shoot your mouths off, as if this is some kind of game?
  PJK  Posted: 04/04/2006 08:49
Blaggarde, Welcome back, and I never meant to be disrespectful to the poor man's death. It was not me who tried to use his death in a cynical way to score political points to justify lifting of the smoking ban. That was Belinda, supported by Publican & now yourself. Of course I feel sorry for his death, and I acknowledge that he died in a fall while at the same time co-incidentally going for a smoke. I re-iterate that the two events are not directly linked, no more than if he fell on his way to the toilet, could you say he died because he had to go to the toilet. No he died because he fell. If you want to get to the cause of death, you need to look at the reason he fell, e.g. was he weak & feeble and just fell, in which case he could have fallen anywhere & anytime, did he trip over something in an untidy pub yard or corridor on the way to the yard, did he fall down dangerous steps. Do you see there are numerous reasons that he may have fallen, and there-in lies the reason he died. You and Publican, have the very narrow focus that all that is wrong with our society is traceable back to the smoking ban, including house fires, drug pushing, prostitution, and now old people falling, and in a paranoid fashion, feel that the journalists, policemen, firemen, medical profession, government are all in on this great conspiracy against you. This is obviously because your addiction distorts your judgement, and as your body craves its next fix, and says a small extra obstacle to overcome, you react in an irrational, over-the-top & illogical manner. Of course you cannot help this response, and is totally in line with addiction behaviour.
  Mary  Posted: 04/04/2006 09:09
C'mon now seriously any of you, if you were in Publican's pub and saw an elderly gentleman (I believe you said your customer was 82 and you allowed him smoke inside) having a quiet smoke by the fire - how many of you would report it to the OTC?
  fifi  Posted: 04/04/2006 12:46
RainyDay, your postings are fanatical. Ive never seen such a cynical attitude to other people in quite some time. Open your mind a bit. Im sure you are far from perfect.
  RainyDay  Posted: 04/04/2006 16:00
Hi Mary - I would! I'd take a couple of quick photos with my mobile phone as evidence, and I'd call the OTC reporting line (I have their number saved on my phone) straight away. Hi Blaggarde - I'm not twisting anything. I'm not trying to use the man's death to score points. You can choose to blame the smoking ban for his death. I can choose to blame the society that permitted and encouraged his smoking for years. It's all a matter of perspective.
  The Publican  Posted: 04/04/2006 16:17
Ah, PJK, you can't even put the Link between the smoking ban and the man falling! And yet there are Links to everything on this site every day of the week. But no! It is our addiction of course that is clouding our judgement. For God's sake, are you for real or what! It has to be all over the papers and if it were a huge army of your followers would be in on top of them to discredit their stories. That's all you wanted at the time as well when my man got beaten up in June of 2004. It took him four months though to die and this would have made it easier again for you to discredit this story. But at least the locals know how he died and haven't much time for smoking bans and the same will happen in that part of Scotland where the man died. Of course there is a conspiracy going on. The media have shown up this plainly by barely mentioning the smoker in their articles. They don't want to be seen to go against the health of the nation which is what you are preaching all the time. We smokers though, can see through it all! It's our addiction you see. It shows up the truth as plain as pie!!
  The Publican  Posted: 04/04/2006 16:21
Mary, absolutely no-body would because thankfully the smoking ban has shown up that there is a very deep respect for the elderly in our country. That's one good thing that the smoking ban has shown up. I think that every old person living here in Ireland has nothing to worry about and that they will be looked after by it's people.
  Blaggarde(JLK24692)  Posted: 04/04/2006 22:12
PJK, you really are just digging yourself into a bigger hole by going on about it. Quite tasteless really. It is already abundantly clear that you have absolutely no care for anyone on the other side of this issue. It only seems to matter to you that other people's rights remain quoshed to keep yours upheld - at any cost. I suggest you have a good long look in the mirror. And kindly refrain from putting words in my mouth.
  PJK  Posted: 05/04/2006 13:45
Hi Publican, if there is a conspiracy going on what are you going to do about it? Amongst all the journalist, politicians, firemen, police-men, medical professional, can you not influence the smokers amongst them to blow this conspiracy apart, and expose the real facts, as you see them? Why over two years into the ban can you as a group not do something about this terrible thing that has been done to you? You make up somewhere between quarter & a third of the population, which if you got together, could certainly have a significant influence. There are stories on the news and primetime everyday of the week, with a lot less than a third of the population impacted. Come on Publican, what is stopping you? Incidentally, what is the motive for this great conspiracy of yours, and who gains?
  Mary  Posted: 05/04/2006 13:53
Publican, clearly Rainy would - he\'s even take a photo as evidence and actually has the OTC phone number saved onto his phone.
  The Publican  Posted: 05/04/2006 13:56
Oh ho, Rainy. You think I wouldn't spot you taking photos! Must put a notice up in the bar as well. "No photos to be taken without permission." And besides, I don't think there is any date on those photos. We could easily say that you took that picture years ago or that somebody sent you those! Put that in your pipe! Oh, and one more thing! There is no reception in my pub for hotline numbers!
  RainyDay  Posted: 05/04/2006 23:20
You wouldn't have a hope in hell of knowing when I would/wouldn't be taking photos. But regardless, it wouldn't be my photos that would be presented in court. It would be evidence of the EHO. My photos would serve to encourage the EHO to spend some time in your pub to check out the 'atmosphere'.
  The Publican  Posted: 05/04/2006 23:20
Actually PJK, it would be the simplest of all things to gather smokers together in the morning if we wanted to. We could do anything at all that you want us to do! Right at this very minute all I would have to do is snap my fingers and hey presto I could have all the smokers behind me. Twould be too easy though and we like to play games. While it may appear that you are dealing with a pack of cowards and wimps this is exactly the kind of picture we want you to have. You hardly think that we are going to copy Ash do you? We're far smarter than that and we don't have to shout from no roof-tops. We work like thieves in the night, nice and quietly doing our own thing. The country is already damaged and the government is already damaged. Far more has been achieved by keeping our mouths shut than opening it and the best thing of all is that we are getting a great kick out of it. A whisper here, a whisper there. A boycott here, a boycott there. A vote plucked here, a vote plucked there. You know yourself. It's the little things that matter!
  Mary  Posted: 06/04/2006 09:06
Juast to let you know publican, photos on most camera phones can be traced to date taken. And also there's nothign to stop Rainy stepping outside your pub to get a signal (if he can stand to be among those horrid horrid horrid smokers :-) for a moment). Also camera phones are remarkable discreet. Using one looks like you could be sending a text or looking up a number
  Chana  Posted: 06/04/2006 16:17
Publican, not sure how much or little you know about mobile phones but if a peson can get a signal in your pub, they can riung any number in country, hotline or otherwise. There is no way for you to block the signal so hat only hotline numbers can't be rung from mobile phones.
  PJK  Posted: 06/04/2006 16:38
Hi Publican, I think that you need to stop playing games and just start doing something constructive, as your little games don’t seem to be having impact 2 years into the campaign. What exactly have you achieved so far? I think you need a change of tack and to stop whinging on some relatively low-key website, and go out and actually do something (Apologies to editor, but you know what I mean, I hope).
  RainyDay  Posted: 06/04/2006 16:49
Hi Publican - Who do you think you are kidding with your 'we like to play games' oul guff? You're certainly not kidding me, and to be honest, I doubt if you are really managing to kid yourself on this one. You have spent months telling us how important this issue is, how it is tearing apart the fabric of rural society, how it is terrorising the elderly and the inform, how it is driving our your people into the arms of prostitutes and drug dealers. And now you tell us that you are just 'playing games' and 'getting a great kick out of it'. Clearly, the smoking ban isn't as important to you as you were making out! Please keep on plucking your votes here and there. The results of the crank anti-ban candidates in the 2004 local/euro elections should clearly that the voters don't give a pluck about the smoking ban, and they aren't going to waste their vote on this issue.
  The Publican  Posted: 06/04/2006 17:55
Rainy and PJK, you've all suddenly converged on me like vultures! What did I say to deserve this? All the observations I have given you are nothing but the truth. Your smoking ban has not been perfect at all and I am only trying to point out the weaknesses that it has. And it has some major weaknesses. Smoking rates are up because I am selling more. The rates would have come down if you had listened to us publicans and went for a decent compromise because rates were coming down all along anyway. Your smoking ban has just created a rebellion amongst smokers making them more determined to keep smoking. This was your major failure where the smoking ban was concerned. And that is some serious failure. You were under the impression that you could tell people what to do and in reality it has had the opposite effect. You have added years onto people who would have been in your path in your fight against smoking. The injustice of the smoking ban has run far and wide all over the country. That was some game that you played wasn't it? Look at the problems you have created outside the door. Only the other day a woman on The Examiner claimed that it was one of the worst pieces of legislation after coming in because of the patio heaters. She reckons that all the good work that was done in saving the environment is being wiped out now. What would you say to that weakness in your smoking ban? Think of all the countries in the world who could bring in smoking bans and the millions upon millions of patio heaters there will be. You are already giving us something big to worry about and there will probably be another big hole in made. The games I am talking about are places where we can withdraw our services ect. There has been plenty achieved here. You have also sent a huge vote in favor of Sinn Fein and do you know why? Because for the first time in our lives we didn't understand what it was like to feel completely down trodden in society. Now we understand when we felt that we were all sitting pretty all along. Sinn Fein now have our sympathy and will have votes that they never got before.
  The Publican  Posted: 06/04/2006 20:33
PJK, I am horrified that you think that this is a low-key site! I have to stick up for the editor here. What you have here is an outstanding way to reach people. I have thoroughly enjoyed this site and while I may not agree with everything here, at least I have got replies. This has been one of the most insightful debatable discussion forums that I have been on. Okey, we could do with a few less rejections at times but I suppose we get them in about 90% of the time. All humor I believe whether it is genuine or not should be posted. This is the only way to be able to see the true character of an individual. At least then a person is able to present themselves as being real. I have found this place to be one of the best to allow this openness and acceptance. There are other topics that you may never post on but make some very interesting reading. In others you can't help but comment even if it is only one. Many people have mentioned seeing this site on the newspapers and maybe some day this site will be one of those that will draw a very big audience. Just thought I'd praise you for a bit. I'm in that kind of form today. One of those old lovable forms. I'm due a few giddy days though so watch out again!!
  RainyDay  Posted: 07/04/2006 16:26
Hi Publican - I'm delighted that you are so respectful about the site and its contributors. You will therefore be most interested to check out the results of their recent poll where 93% of readers consider the smoking ban to be a worthwhile measure (see - no sign of your mass uprising there. Also, check the news article confirming that 'Passive smoking ups diabetes risk' - see - The article concludes that "However 17% of those who had never smoked, but were subject to second-hand smoke, also developed glucose intolerance. This was higher than the risk rate for former smokers (14%)" and the rate for non-smokers (12%). But I'm sure you think the authors of this report are just part of the media conspiracy against smokers - right?
  The Publican  Posted: 07/04/2006 18:40
Rainy, I wouldn't trust the percentage on polls on this site at all particularly the ones that relate to smoking! Sure you Rainy could be able to have 10 or 12 votes on this site for all I know! The smoking ban came in under health grounds and this is a health site so more than likely the unhealthy aren't visiting this site as often as the healthy! I bet Professor Luke Clancy always votes on this site! The second article I would see as trying to gain proof of passive smoking. It does nothing for me. After 25 years of profound passive smoking my husband and myself have no trace of diabetes or glucose intolerance whatever that is! How about putting news articles like "Smokers should be treated better" or "Smokers are some of the nicest people on the planet" or "Smokers demand safer cigarettes". I'd feed into those type of news articles alright but I bet you are terrified in case you send out the wrong message. But they couldn't be any worse than the messages that are out there at the moment. Practically all of them getting ignored and people smoking as much as ever. Go on Rainy, make my day! Give me an article that will make it seem that you are actually on the side of the smoker rather than against us. I dare you!
  Blaggarde(JLK24692)  Posted: 08/04/2006 01:35
RainyDay Posted: 04/04/2006 16:00 "It's all a matter of perspective" Its a matter of fact RD, that without a smoking ban James Donachie would not have died in the way he did, at the time he did or in the place he did. It's all a matter of cause and effect and simple logic [with which you always seem to have difficulty]. Your insistence on it being a matter of perspective is a prime example of how you twist the facts to suit your position. On a further point, it wasn't "society" gave him encouragement to smoke, it was his own decision. Remember that?? Grown-ups making their own decisions? Bit of a foreign concept maybe??
  RainyDay  Posted: 08/04/2006 08:42
Hi Publican - Your concerns about the lack of security on the poll apply equally to both sides of the debate. For the record, I didn't vote twice, but for every pro-ban double voter, you can bet there was an anti-ban double voter, so the result still stands. As has been explained to you repeatedly, the (unverified) fact that you personally have not suffered any ill-effects in relation to passive smoking does not negate all medical evidence. The article does not say that EVERYONE who suffers passive smoking will get diabetes. It does point to a considerable increase in the risk. You can stop pretending that you don't understand this. I know you're not really a dumb as you pretend to be when faced with evidence.
  The Publican  Posted: 09/04/2006 01:02
Well Rainy, why isn't there a balanced approach so? An increased risk means nothing to the m