Engels protest tegen rookverbod

Als op 1 juli in het Verenigd Koninkrijk het rookverbod ingaat zal daar door honderden pub-eigenaren tegen worden geprotesteerd. Die dag zal een protestdag worden waarbij deze pub-eigenaren roken op hun terrein gewoon zullen toestaan.

Een door de Telegraph uitgevoerd onderzoek laat bovendien zien dat rond de drie miljoen rokers die dag ook massaal het rookverbod aan hun laars willen lappen.

Inmiddels weigeren ook parlementsleden om zich aan het rookverbod te gaan houden in hun eigen kantoor. Verder blijkt uit de meest recente cijfers dat de kosten van het rookverbod zo’n 100 miljoen pond onderschat zijn en de belastingbetalers en horecasector zo’n 1,6 MILJARD pond (plm. 2,4 miljard Euro) zullen gaan kosten.

Nick Hogan, 40, of The Swan pub in Bolton, Lancashire, who has emerged as a figurehead for landlords staging days of defiance, said: “This protest is growing and we are still a month away. It is a -protest against dictatorship. It is not about being pro-smoking. It is about the freedom to choose.”

Under the 2006 Health Act, mirroring similar legislation in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, it will be illegal to smoke in virtually all enclosed public spaces in England. Breaking the law will become a criminal offence punishable by a £50 fixed penalty fine. Landlords, restaurateurs and employers failing to prevent smoking on their premises could be fined up to £2,500, but will normally avoid a criminal record.

The Government estimates that the ban will cost £1.6 billion, but says it will bring a net benefit to the nation of up to £2.1 billion, including an annual saving of £100 million to the NHS as a result of a 1.7 per cent reduction in the number of smokers.

About 3.7 million workplaces will be affected, including nearly 200,000 pubs, bars and restaurants. Many are investing in special “non-substantially enclosed” outdoor smoking shelters.

Nathan Wall, the operations director of JD Wetherspoon, has estimated that his pub chain alone has spent nearly £1 million on creating smoking havens.

The ban will also affect private members’ clubs, with many of London’s most exclusive -institutions planning cigar dinners as last, smoky laments before July 1. At midnight on June 30, The Naval & Military Club in St James’s Square will stage a ceremonial “extinguishing of the cigars”.

“They will then be re-ignited in the courtyard,” said Ian Gregory, the club secretary.

Many are incensed by the prospect of “Orwellian” tactics to enforce the ban. The Government has given local authorities £29.5 million to prepare for July 1, and about 1,200 council employees are expected to be trained to police the ban. Ian Gray, the chief trainer for the Government, recently said that he expected “compliance officers” to take a softly, softly approach initially but admitted that “officers do not have to identify themselves when they enter premises and they can film people to gather -evidence”.

Hundreds of pubs to flout smoking ban
What the Sunday papers said (Publican)

Smoking ban costs will be £100m over budget

(Het argument van de Engelse gezondheidszorg dat dit bedrag zich zal terugverdienen door minder uitgaven voor de gezondheidszorg, zoals in het laatste artikel vermeld, snijdt echter geen hout. Uit Amerikaanse cijfers blijken die kosten juist met 7% te stijgen!)

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  • "Es ist schwieriger, eine vorgefaßte Meinung zu zertrümmern als ein Atom."
    (Het is moeilijker een vooroordeel aan flarden te schieten dan een atoom.)
    Albert Einstein

  • "Als je alles zou laten dat slecht is voor je gezondheid, dan ging je kapot"
    Anonieme arts

  • "The effects of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me."
    Sir Richard Doll, 2001

  • "Een leugen wordt de waarheid als hij maar vaak genoeg wordt herhaald"
    Joseph Goebbels, Minister van Propaganda, Nazi Duitsland

  • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
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  • "There''s no such thing as perfect air. If there was, God wouldn''t have put bristles in our noses"
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  • "Better a smoking freedom than a non-smoking tyranny"
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  • "If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go."
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