The death of the old brown?

The British government has just voted for a total ban on smoking in all public bars and members clubs. This is great news indeed. England has some of the smokiest bars that I’ve come across in the world, most likely because as a country we have an apparent blind spot to the concept of air conditioning, thinking that a small, arthritic fan in a high window is sufficient. Many a night I’ve come back from being out with friends and almost had to burn my clothes from the smell of cigarettes.

Yes, it will be hard at first for all the smokers, and everyone else who hangs out with smokers who has to listen to how hard it is for smokers – but having seen what happened in New York and what a difference it now makes I have to say the pain will be worth it. People here in New York still smoke, they go outside, chat, come back in – plus after midnight there’s a loophole which means many bars let you smoke. Everyone, including smokers I know here, does not want to go back to the way it was – so England, just try it out for a while, and if it doesn’t work then vote in a party that only runs on policies of forced, non-consensual inhalation of stinking, carcinogenic fumes in the name of ‘having a good night out’. Cough.

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